Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Eugenics in Great Britain

As already mentioned, the leader of eugenics was Darwin's cousin Francis Galton, but Leonard Darwin, Darwin's own son, was also one of the supporters and proponents of eugenics in Britain. Winston Churchill was another who lent the movement his support.108
Galton maintained that the principle of the "survival of the fittest" had to be complied with and that only the strongest should be allowed to participate in the world. According to Galton's unscientific and illogical thesis, humanity was in a position to take control of its own evolution and even to produce a master race. Galton openly stated his belief in the superiority of the "master class" and the "master race." He also claimed that blacks possessed a low level of intelligence, saying:
… the number among the negroes of those whom we should call half-witted men, is very large. Every book alluding to negro servants in America is full of instances. I was myself much impressed by this fact during my travels in Africa. The mistakes the negroes made in their own matters, were so childish, stupid, and simpleton-like, as frequently to make me ashamed of my own species.109
Galton went so far as to suggest that various breeds of dogs were higher in intellect than some races of human.110 But in his evaluation of blacks and slaves, he ignored one very evident truth: that the great majority of books about slaves were written by slave owners. In addition, since slaves were immersed in a society entirely foreign to them, in a culture of which they knew nothing, naturally much of their behavior and actions should seem ignorant. Clearly, any European taken to live in an African village would exhibit the same sort of incompetence in trying to adapt to a foreign culture and way of life.
More importantly, Galton's claims about blacks or his own citizens going to live in other countries possess no scientific validity, but were based solely on the illusory assumptions of various so-called scientists, brainwashed by a materialist world view, under the primitive thinking of the time.
Prejudiced and inconsistent, Galton's theses were by no means restricted to these. For example, he also proposed that for there to be social progress, those with low intelligence and intellectual levels had to be prevented from multiplying, and the smarter ones encouraged to do so. Otherwise, he warned, there would be social collapse. Obviously however, real social collapse would come about when the model proposed by Galton and the like, based on slaughter, conflict, violence, and slaughter, were put into practice. During a lecture to the Huxley Institute in 1901, Galton claimed that "brains of our nation lie in the higher of our classes."111 In addition, he recommended that children of the upper class should be identified at birth and 1,000 pounds be paid to their families. He suggested that upper-class women should give birth to at least one extra son and daughter.112 
Galton's belief—that an increase in the numbers of people whom he regarded as superior class could lead to social progress—is irrational, illogical, and unscientific. A great many elements lead any society to progress, but the most important are the moral values and characters of those who make up that society. A society whose members possess strong moral values and characters will progress swiftly, and permanently. It is impossible for such features to be passed on genetically. If someone wants his society to make progress, he must turn his attention to the spiritual strengthening of individuals by various cultural and educational means. Galton and those like him sought to increase the numbers of the rich and reduce those of the poor by treating human beings literally like animals in the countries in which they were influential, and even sought to justify even murder on that account—a terrible cruelty and indescribable ignorance.
Nonetheless, at Galton's prompting, the first activity of the eugenics movement in Britain was based on birth control. This measure, taken by those who had been deceived by the deceptions of the theory of evolution, was aimed solely at the poor and those whom they regarded as of an "inferior" race.
In the 1920s and 1930s it was thought that the numbers of the poor increasing, even as the numbers of the upper class were going down, represented a threat. In 1925, for instance, Julian Huxley wrote the following in Nature magazine:
The proportion of desirables is decreasing, of undesirables is increasing. The situation must be got in hand.113
According to the eugenicists, the first step to ensure a balance between the "desirables" and "undesirables" was so-called racial hygiene. First, it needed to be determined for whom "racial hygiene" was desired and for whom it was not. Exceedingly primitive and unbelievable means were used to make that distinction. In Britain and the USA, for instance, people's heads began being measured. With these campaigns under Galton's leadership, the sizes of people's skulls were measured and their intelligence allegedly determined from the results. However, science would later reveal absolutely no direct relationship between skull measurements and intelligence.
Following on the skull measurements, intelligence tests began being employed. According to the results, it was decided that some should be sterilized and kept under lifetime observation and supervision. Later, however, it was realized that the intelligence tests used did not provide reliable results. These totally unreliable analyses reflected the scientific ignorance of the times. Factors such as the conditions under which test subjects were raised and the education they received were ignored, and it was concluded only whether they were inherently intelligent. In any case, the objective was not actually to secure reliable results, but to eliminate or isolate the "undesirable" poor, the sick and races regarded as "inferior."
108. Allan Chase, The Legacy of Malthus, Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1980, p. 136.
109. Francis Galton, Hereditary Genius: An Inquiry into its Laws and Consequences, London: Macmillan, 1892, p. 330 
110. Joseph L. Graves Jr., The Emperor's New Clothes, Rutgers Universtiy Press, 2001, p. 96 
111. Ibid., p. 99 
112. Ibid. 
113. Nature 116 (1925), p. 456. 

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