From “The Pivot of Civilization” by Margaret Sanger
Excerpt from the Introduction by H.G. Wells:
'The New Civilization is saying to the Old now: "We cannot go on making power for you to spend upon international conflict. You must stop waving flags and bandying insults. You must organize the Peace of the World; you must subdue yourselves to the Federation of all mankind. And we cannot go on giving you health, freedom, enlargement, limitless wealth, if all our gifts to you are to be swamped by an indiscriminate torrent of progeny. We want fewer and better children who can be reared up to their full possibilities in unencumbered homes, and we cannot make the social life and the world-peace we are determined to make, with the ill-bred, ill-trained swarms of inferior citizens that you inflict upon us." And there at the passionate and crucial question, this essential and fundamental question, whether procreation is still to be a superstitious and often disastrous mystery, undertaken in fear and ignorance, reluctantly and under the sway of blind desires, or whether it is to become a deliberate creative act, the two civilizations join issue now. It is a conflict from which it is almost impossible to abstain. Our acts, our way of living, our social tolerance, our very silences will count in this crucial decision between the old and the new. '
Here we see Wells express a very elitist view of the world, the idea that being born to 'inferior parents' dooms you to being eternally 'inferior'... The idea that intelligence is solely based upon your genetic code and not something you can change through self discipline and education (i.e. proper nurturing either by parents, or yourself).
Chapter IV: The Fertility of the Feeble-minded
'There is but one practical and feasible program in handling the great problem of the feeble-minded. That is, as the best authorities are agreed, to prevent the birth of those who would transmit imbecility to their descendants. Feeble-mindedness as investigations and statistics from every country indicate, is invariably associated with an abnormally high rate of fertility. Modern conditions of civilization, as we are continually being reminded, furnish the most favorable breeding-ground for the mental defective, the moron, the imbecile. "We protect the members of a weak strain," says Davenport, "up to the period of reproduction, and then let them free upon the community, and encourage them to leave a large progeny of `feeble-minded': which in turn, protected from mortality and carefully nurtured up to the reproductive period, are again set free to reproduce, and so the stupid work goes on of preserving and increasing our socially unfit strains." '
So, how do we judge 'feeble-minded'?!
'Modern studies indicate that insanity, epilepsy, criminality, prostitution, pauperism, and mental defect, are all organically bound up together and that the least intelligent and the thoroughly degenerate classes in every community are the most prolific. Feeble-mindedness in one generation becomes pauperism or insanity in the next. There is every indication that feeble-mindedness in its protean forms is on the increase, that it has leaped the barriers, and that there is truly, as some of the scientific eugenists have pointed out, a feeble-minded peril to future generations—unless the feeble-minded are prevented from reproducing their kind. To meet this emergency is the immediate and peremptory duty of every State and of all communities. '
Because, after all, your parents and where you are born are the ONLY factors that effect how intelligent you become and what a productive member of society you become, right?! Wrong... Sanger, Shaw, and Wells were into Eugenics; and their dream was only found to be a real nightmare under Hitler when he took Eugenics to its logical conclusion during the Holocaust... But then, the idea of nurturing intelligence never dawned on these people. It amazes me that post WWII, the greatest age in American Engineering and Craftsmanship resulted, must have been that GI Bill you think? You know, all those masses of illiterate babies born in the Great Depression despite Sanger's best efforts to snuff them out. Even without Sanger's dream realized in the 1970's with the legalization of genocide in the form of abortion, we had well over half the country literate... Something Eugenics didn't think possible with how the 'feeble-minded' were the most fertile... Boomers could just about all read by the time they were 18... Genetics had nothing to do with that, but then literacy is a small measure of intelligence as a whole.
'The problem of the dependent, delinquent and defective elements in modern society, we must repeat, cannot be minimized because of their alleged small numerical proportion to the rest of the population. The proportion seems small only because we accustom ourselves to the habit of looking upon feeble-mindedness as a separate and distinct calamity to the race, as a chance phenomenon unrelated to the sexual and biological customs not only condoned but even encouraged by our so-called civilization. The actual dangers can only be fully realized when we have acquired definite information concerning the financial and cultural cost of these classes to the community, when we become fully cognizant of the burden of the imbecile upon the whole human race; when we see the funds that should be available for human development, for scientific, artistic and philosophic research, being diverted annually, by hundreds of millions of dollars, to the care and segregation of men, women, and children who never should have been born. The advocate of Birth Control realizes as well as all intelligent thinkers the dangers of interfering with personal liberty. Our whole philosophy is, in fact, based upon the fundamental assumption that man is a self-conscious, self-governing creature, that he should not be treated as a domestic animal; that he must be left free, at least within certain wide limits, to follow his own wishes in the matter of mating and in the procreation of children. Nor do we believe that the community could or should send to the lethal chamber the defective progeny resulting from irresponsible and unintelligent breeding.
But modern society, which has respected the personal liberty of the individual only in regard to the unrestricted and irresponsible bringing into the world of filth and poverty an overcrowding procession of infants foredoomed to death or hereditable disease, is now confronted with the problem of protecting itself and its future generations against the inevitable consequences of this long-practised policy of LAISSER-FAIRE.
The emergency problem of segregation and sterilization must be faced immediately. Every feeble-minded girl or woman of the hereditary type, especially of the moron class, should be segregated during the reproductive period. Otherwise, she is almost certain to bear imbecile children, who in turn are just as certain to breed other defectives. The male defectives are no less dangerous. Segregation carried out for one or two generations would give us only partial control of the problem. Moreover, when we realize that each feeble-minded person is a potential source of an endless progeny of defect, we prefer the policy of immediate sterilization, of making sure that parenthood is absolutely prohibited to the feeble-minded.
This, I say, is an emergency measure. But how are we to prevent the repetition in the future of a new harvest of imbecility, the recurrence of new generations of morons and defectives, as the logical and inevitable consequence of the universal application of the traditional and widely approved command to increase and multiply?
At the present moment, we are offered three distinct and more or less mutually exclusive policies by which civilization may hope to protect itself and the generations of the future from the allied dangers of imbecility, defect and delinquency. No one can understand the necessity for Birth Control education without a complete comprehension of the dangers, the inadequacies, or the limitations of the present attempts at control, or the proposed programs for social reconstruction and racial regeneration. It is, therefore, necessary to interpret and criticize the three programs offered to meet our emergency. These may be briefly summarized as follows:
(1) Philanthropy and Charity: This is the present and traditional method of meeting the problems of human defect and dependence, of poverty and delinquency. It is emotional, altruistic, at best ameliorative, aiming to meet the individual situation as it arises and presents itself. Its effect in practise is seldom, if ever, truly preventive. Concerned with symptoms, with the allaying of acute and catastrophic miseries, it cannot, if it would, strike at the radical causes of social misery. At its worst, it is sentimental and paternalistic.
(2) Marxian Socialism: This may be considered typical of many widely varying schemes of more or less revolutionary social reconstruction, emphasizing the primary importance of environment, education, equal opportunity, and health, in the elimination of the conditions (i. e. capitalistic control of industry) which have resulted in biological chaos and human waste. I shall attempt to show that the Marxian doctrine is both too limited, too superficial and too fragmentary in its basic analysis of human nature and in its program of revolutionary reconstruction.
(3) Eugenics: Eugenics seems to me to be valuable in its critical and diagnostic aspects, in emphasizing the danger of irresponsible and uncontrolled fertility of the "unfit" and the feeble-minded establishing a progressive unbalance in human society and lowering the birth-rate among the "fit." But in its so-called "constructive" aspect, in seeking to reestablish the dominance of healthy strain over the unhealthy, by urging an increased birth-rate among the fit, the Eugenists really offer nothing more farsighted than a "cradle competition" between the fit and the unfit. They suggest in very truth, that all intelligent and respectable parents should take as their example in this grave matter of child-bearing the most irresponsible elements in the community. '
Interesting how Sanger states how much she and other intelligent people are opposed to the controlling and disposal if 'feeble-minded' individuals; yet moves on to suggest immediate segregation and emergency sterilization of such people. On the one hand, trying act like someone who values individual Liberty; but really pushing for Fascist control by suggesting 'emergency' sterilization. Sadly, I doubt stopping stupid people from having babies will prevent stupid people from entering this world... On the contrary, I think it has the greater potential to keep the future Einstein or Hawking from ever being born in the first place (I recall Einstein being considered a moron by his teachers growing up...).
There is a reason I get upset at the notion 'stupid people shouldn't breed'. Its a hold over from the days of Eugenics, the days in which the idea of 'disposing' of millions; or the forced sterilization of them, was pursued with absolute zeal. This was a part of what led George Orwell to observe (http://www.george-orwell.org/Wells,_Hitler_And_The_World_State/0.html):
“Much of what Wells has imagined and worked for is physically there in
Nazi Germany. The order, the planning, the State encouragement of
science, the steel, the concrete, the aeroplanes, are all there, but all
in the service of ideas appropriate to the Stone Age. Science is
fighting on the side of superstition. But obviously it is impossible for
Wells to accept this.”
Why quote George Orwell in an essay slamming Wells during WWII while I've been pointing out Sanger's Eugenics? Well, the book I'm quoting from Sanger had an introduction written by H.G. Wells, and “The Pivot of Civilization” was written between the World Wars... Back when Progressivism and Eugenics were near the climax of popularity.
Nothing changes, we'll never learn from history. That much is a clear fact.
- ► 2012 (13)
- 25FEB11 Social Media and Jury Duty
- 21FEB2011 I feel so secure...
- Glenn Beck, Lila Rose, vs. Margaret Sanger
- 15FEB11 More rants and raves about the news of the...
- 11FEB11 Gross Incompetence watching over National...
- 10FEB11 Margaret Sanger...
- 03FEB11 Untold Stories from Iraq and Afghanistan O...
- 01FEB11 Egypt, Obama's Carter/Iran moment?
- ▼ February (8)
- ► 2010 (37)
- ► 2009 (148)
- ► 2008 (62)