Eugenics, Yet

It is curious. Eugenics, meaning approximately the control of breeding to produce desired traits was once a popular idea, espoused by Charles Darwin, as well as such illustrious liberals as H. G. Wells and George bernard Shaw, a raft of feminists including Margaret Sanger, and countless officials from Churchill to Gandhi.  The field is now in very bad odor. Why, precisely?

Eugenics is of course routinely practiced today in various forms. For example, students at CalTech are chosen for very high intelligence and, when they marry, doubtless hope for and expect intelligent children. Eugenics. When a woman patronizing a sperm bank asks for an intelligent and healthy donor, she is practicing  eugenics. In many jurisdictions, prenatal screening detects various defects which are then aborted. Eugenics.

The place of genetics in public policy is fraught, to put it mildly. An observation often made is that modern medicine keeps alive to reproductive age people with genetic defects that would in earlier times have killed them in childhood. These are many, running from anaphylactic shock and death from allergies to Down’s syndrome to diabetes to Celiac disease and Tay-Sachs. Since these are no longer eliminated from the gene pool, they become progressively more common.

Not good, but what to do about it? Detect these in utero and abort them? Tell a bright and otherwise normal young woman that she cannot have children because they might have Celiac’s? (This would include one of my daughters, so I am not wildly enthusiastic.)

A common thread in the thinking of the many often-leftish proponents of eugenics was that various forms of public assistance encouraged prolific breeding by people of low intelligence and other genetic defects. The result would be an increasing load of imbeciles and approximations thereunto, constituting a burden on society. This thought, today almost meriting a death sentence, was once widely accepted.  Biologically speaking, it was correct. But what, if anything, to do about it?

Most crime is committed by young men of low intelligence and poor impulse control, the two being closely associated, and such men are seldom employable in a technological society. This is easily demonstrated. But what to do about it? As their numbers increase, the problem worsens. What to do about it? Keep building more jails?

Another observation is that the more intelligent people are, the fewer children they have. There seem to be several reasons for this. previously all women, including the very bright, were expected to stay in the house and to have and care for children. Dull-witted women couldn’t imagine doing anything else, and the bright hadno choice. Today smart women can become biochemists or lawyers or pretty much anything else, and often find these more interesting than changing diapers. Anyone moving in the professional classes of, say, Washington, will know very bright women either unmarried or childless by choice.

The result of low fecundity among the smart and exuberant reproduction by the dim is, at least according to those who study these things, a slow diminution of the national mean IQ. Or maybe not so slow.

This observation will be furiously attacked by the woke, presumably innocent of high-school biology. The politics of the day holds that if you pretend a problem doesn’t exist, it won’t.  In a deeply anti-intellectual America steeped in resentment of superiority and rapid endumbment of the schools and the entire culture, nothing can be discussed that might unsettle the mob. The consequences are going to be fascinating.

Yet it is interesting to consider policies offered by the advocates of eugenics. These will be shocking to the modern mind, such as it is. But remember that in former times things could be discussed that today are verboten.

One approach, widely practiced both in America and Europe, was compulsory sterilization of what were called idiots, moron, or imbeciles. This was not then regarded as justlikehitler, and seemed to many good-hearted people as preferable to having such defectives living miserably at public expense. Recently I have seen it said that we should not eliminate Down’s syndrome because those suffering from it  were a desirable form of societal diversity.

Another suggestion was to offer to pay the hopelessly dull to undergo voluntary sterilization. I don’t know whether this was ever done. Given that such people cannot raise children, this might be the best available idea.

At the other end of the scale, paying the intelligent to reproduce was thought  a good idea. This had the advantage that it did not compel anyone to do anything. Nor was it impractical. If couples of mean IQ 150 were offered a thousand dollars a month per child with a guarantee of having the university expense of the resulting rugrats paid, many might go for it. At the 150 level takers would be few enough and the payoff arguably high enough in gifted Americans that the expense would be worth it. Regression toward the mean, yes, but keeping good genes in the pool matters. Or would if we did it.

To me it is interesting that so many major figures favored eugenics and supported its compulsory application. Yet oddly, at least by today’s standards, many conservatives were against eugenics, as for example Chesterton, often on religious grounds. But it was widely accepted that the good to society justified the inconvenience to the retarded.

Well and good, and  interesting. However it is obvious that nothing will be done that smacks of eugenics, at least as regards intelligence, impulse control, and criminality. But genetic diseases? In the case of things like hemophilia, Tay-Sachs, and cystic fibrosis, in utero screening is done. But should we end up aborting fetuses for every detectable anomaly? A gluten allergy for example? In a society  in which a fair few favor partial-birth abortion, what if a defect is noticed three minutes after birth? Slippery slpes and such.

Crime and welfare dependency are another matter. The link between crime and low intelligence is well established with its concomitant of poor awareness of the future, and poor impulse control. People of low IQ can seldom read and make poor employees. Pockets of this sort of thing exist in the slums of London and did, maybe still do, in the back hollers of West Virginia and are rampant in American cities.

What to do? Would it make sense to encourage the most intelligent in the  urban underclass to have children  while discouraging the retarded? I don’t know, but it doesn’t matter as nothing will be done. We will on average become less intelligent, less healthy, and more criminal. Whoopee.














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Comments 27

  • Stupid people out-breeding smart people? C. M. Kornbluth predicted this in 1951 in his story “The Marching Morons”, which is freely available on the internet.

    Of course, it takes some intelligence to commit very large-scale crimes.

  • It’s great that we can talk about this. Hopefully that freedom will continue. The solutions to the burdens Fred describes are obvious to Fred and most who consider them. But maybe we are a higher species because we should and will carry burdens like these. Not that we should not create ways to prevent, cure, carry them better, easier more humanly, but that we decide it’s our responsibility to carry them. When the burdens become unbearable, I suggest Mother Nature will be up to bat.

  • The sad truth is that most of the poor/low-iq adults remain psychological children, lacking competences to function in an advance economy. They vote for socialism, because they need parental care for both themselves and their children. Millions of poorly-educated illegal immigrants are pouring through our borders, seeking the same care. They were unable to form their own functioning government, so they flee to ours, spreading the contagion from their government to ours.

    The crimes the we don’t recognize are often worse than the crimes we recognize. These crimes are the attitudes, mistrust, poor communication, lack of control over emotions, poverty, disorder, low IQs, and uneducated culture that have made our nation uncivilized and increasingly unlivable. Refugees and immigrants aren’t fleeing from some vague oppressor, as the Left likes to believe, but from themselves.

  • Wonder if anyone has considered that the function of the involuntary gene therapy clot shots were meant to do just this? Alter the gene pool of the WORLD to eliminate the burdens of society in the long term picture rather than come up with more band-aids of jails and abortion in the short term. Like the do-do, the stupid will go the same way, that’s the theory anyhow. We will just all have to suffer with the “stupid gene” that was revealed in so many seemingly intelligent people after getting the clot shot, until they all die out eventually. Its already happening. However, it must be considered that ALL life is precious and has a function. Perhaps those that cant take care of themselves are sent to us to send us a biblical message?? That’s for you to figure out in your own present circumstance.

  • The theory is good. In practice, we get Buck v Bell, with the vastly overrated Oliver Wendell Holmes writing “Three generations of imbeciles are enough,” concerning a woman who was not demonstrably an imbecile, or societies in which the power-hungry mediocrities exterminate the intelligent.
    The execution leaves a lot to be desired. We could, perhaps, just return to Social Darwinism, but then we miss lifting the talented poor to productive use. Difficult problem.

  • See the movie “Idiocracy” The future predicted.

  • A sad case I recall was the couple who, having had one child disabled by a simple Mendelian recessive disorder, “took a chance” on another. They lost the one in four lottery and had a second disabled child. I call that irresponsible.

  • Isn’t selective breeding of animals and plants eugenics too?

  • Today, in our collectivist West, in the collectivist rotting remains of the late Constitutional Republic the United States of America (July 4th, 1776 – November 3rd, 2020), we punish virtue and we subsidize sin. We punish the bright and we subsidize the stupid. Worse, yet, we steal at gunpoint from the virtuous and bright to subsidize the sinful and stupid. We make the virtuous and bright poor and take their freedoms away to give to the sinful and stupid so they can enjoy what they don’t deserve and reproduce.

    This is eugenics in reverse. This is, for not having a better antonym for “eugenics”, kakosgenics, the control of breeding to produce undesirable, bad, damaging, evil results.

    Left to their own devices, without a cent of subsidies, the sinful and stupid would die off in great numbers, as they ought to.

    Want to destroy a species? Kakosgenics comes to your aid. Everything that is bad for the species and will damage it and drive it to extinction by negating all the traits that would make it successful is the province of kakosgenics.

    Don’t call them “eugenicists” Call them “kakosgenicists” for they are evil.

    Nothing less than kakosgenics is what is being applied by design by the powers that be for the purpose of destroying human civilization and enslaving humans to be, the few survivors, the serf class / slaves / cattle / ants to a leftoxenomorph “elite” of feudal lords bent to taking us back to the medieval Dark Ages.

    The Davoser World Economic Forum and its accomplices, enablers, minions, thugs, goons and orcs are at the head of this crime being perpetrated every day of the week.

    Locally, in the collectivist rotting remains of the late Constitutional Republic, the current corruptocrats in Mordor on the Potomac and the whole of the leftoxenomorph religion fanatics and the d卐m☭nrat “party” are involved in kakosgenics and the take over of the realm to drive us back to the Dark Ages.

    And they are not going to stop on their own

  • Eugenics sounds like communism….the solution to all society’s problems…..until put into practice. Who decides what is valuable?! Reducing people to industrial units is precisely what Stalin implemented. I would rather 100 down syndrome kids than one more anthony fauci or any of his ilk. I understand the conundrum but as a Christ follower I have a hard time endorsing the taking of innocent life. And bribing people into sterilizing themselves feels like the MAIDS program being run out by those oh so ‘progressive Canadians. So yeh it would be great if everyone could be intelligent and law abiding but the solutions presented are antithetical to a God centred moral society. Like all great proponents of suggested solutions I say with a smile…..’you first!’

  • Idiocracy…..a documentary, not a comedy.

    • Except in the movie the president wasn’t senile; he was just stupid, like ol’ pedo Joe was when he was younger. He was dumb jock in both high school and college. Only his athleticism got him through school. In law school he barely graduated from a…shall we say…less than prestigious law school, near the bottom of his class, after being caught cheating, which I would bet my bottom dollar he did many times with impunity as a college jock, as long as he performed on the field.

  • I’m another octogenarian, perhaps even older, more senile, and more depraved than that ‘not-to-be-trusted-with-your-daughter’ fellow, Fred Reed. Still working at age 81. Trying to pass along some $$$ to my daughters and grand-kids who will be challenged in the future as the US continues its descent into the nether world and chaos. From my home in Orange, VA I drive through King George, VA everyday on my way to the Navy base in Dahlgren. Apparently little has changed from Fred’s childhood. It’s still a backwater. But backwaters are good. I could be in DC. Thank God I’m not.

  • What is problematic about this piece is that the core assumption – that intelligence is wholly genetic – has about the same level of objective based empirical evidence to support it as the equally untenable belief that men can become women and vice versa simply on a whim.

    Sufficient empirical evidence exists to demonstrate that other factors play a more significant part in such outcomes. However, now that the vast majority of us are considered by the Oligarchy to be surplus to requirements the pseudo science of Eugenics is being hoisted once again up to the top of the flagpole of The Official Narrative (TON).

    It would perhaps be useful to go back to the drawing board basics by properly defining the core terms because its clear to a blind man on a galloping horse that in the context in which it is being used here the term “intelligence” is a subjective and therefore socially constructed one in terms of its definition.

    Be careful what you wish for and remember that turkeys should never vote for Christmas (UK)/Thanksgiving (USA).

  • Lost you for a few years Fred, but have rediscovered you – the day has improved immensely. You have been missed.

  • More jails is the answer, sleeping in shifts to reduce the claims of crowding when necessary. A civilization has but one key requirement, to remove those who cannot behave, from among the citizenry. That’s it. The result is a CIVIL civilization, (the very definition) yeah, I know, that should be obvious, to many, it is not. Anything else is chaos. Gotham city, batman style chaos. Which leads to business flight, loss of jobs and city wide decline.

    With that in mind, the cost society must bear for incarceration is the price of civilization itself. In years past, we simply executed those who can not behave. Cost is nil, Benefits are obvious as the troublesome never return.

    Today, we let the uncivilized mill about in society creating havoc and then wonder what to do. The civil answer is full term, no plea, incarceration. The goal is not rehabilitation. The goal is civilization. Addresses the eugenics problem also. As it removes from society, the breeding age troublemakers.

  • Survival of the fittest, means those best adapted to the environment. To survive the bullshit modern man is subjected to, you have to be pretty stupid. Intelligent men will simply get too depressed. I think that is why there’s a natural limit to the development of intelligence.

  • We breed plants and animals for the best characteristics. Why shouldn’t we do the same with humans?

    As usual, it is the involvement of religion that sours logical thinking that would support selective breeding to improve the herd of humanity. But then again, if you believe flying deities, then logic isn’t your strong point anyway.

    Once the AI’s take over in 20 years or so, I am confident that they will implement a human enhancement program, perhaps coverting us into cyborgs like the Borg.

  • Like most anything the government does, Eugenics will become vulnerable to Politics.
    Good ideas end up being corrupted by people wanting government power to provide them what they want.

    In any case, how would such things be decided? Suppose one had a very high IQ, but a genetic disease? Can you say Stephen Hawking?

  • Can we improve the human genome without slipping into eugenics?

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