Exploring the Social Imagination

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Darwin a Social Darwinist in His Social Imagination!

Charles Darwin presumably thought as he taught that men are mere animals and he wanted to see them treated like animals in the matter of breeding.  
The eugenics movement, which has served as a great change agent in creating the modern culture of death, is Darwinian through and through.

Eugenics seeks to advance the human race through breeding. It was seen as a way for man to “take control of his own evolution and save himself from racial degeneration” (Horatio Hackett Newman, University of Chicago zoology professor, Evolution, Genetics, and Eugenics, 1932, p. 441).

“Not only did many leading Darwinists embrace eugenics, but also most eugenicists--certainly all the early leaders--considered eugenics a straightforward application of Darwinian principles to ethics and society” (Richard Weikart, From Darwin to Hitler, p. 15).

While some have tried to distance eugenics from Darwinism, Darwin himself laid out its basic principles, which is the improvement of humankind through controlled breeding.

“With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilized men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick: we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is a reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilized societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed (The Descent of Man, p. 873).

Darwin was bemoaning the fact that the “weak in body and mind” are not eliminated from the human gene pool. He taught that men are mere animals and he wanted to see them treated like animals in the matter of breeding.

Darwin told Alfred Wallace, co-discover of the doctrine of natural selection, that he was depressed about the future of mankind because modern civilization allowed the unfit to survive and reproduce.

“[Darwin] expressed himself very gloomily on the future of humanity, on the ground that in our modern civilization natural selection had no play, and the fittest did not survive. Those who succeed in the race for wealth are by no means the best or the most intelligent, and it is notorious that our population is more largely renewed in each generation from the lower than from the middle and upper classes” (“Human Selection,” in Wallace, An Anthology, p. 51).

Charles Darwin was not a brave man and he did not conduct a campaign for the control of human breeding, but he did call for voluntary restraint, saying that “both sexes ought to refrain from marriage if in any marked degree inferior in body or mind” (The Descent of Man). Since men do not typically think of themselves as inferior, it is not surprising that Darwin’s call went unheeded.
Darwin’s cousin, Francis Galton (another grandson of Erasmus Darwin), founded the eugenics movement after reading On the Origin of Species. Galton invented the word “eugenics” (meaning “good breeding”) and defined it as “the study of all agencies under social control which can improve or impair the racial quality of future generations.” (Desmond, Darwin, p. 557).

Of course, men like Galton are elitists who consider themselves the cream of society and well capable of determining who is and is not fit. An elitist is willing to eliminate others (either actively through abortion, euthanasia, etc., or more passively through birth control), but the thought doesn’t seem to cross his mind that he should volunteer himself for elimination.

Darwin’s son Leonard was the president of the First International Congress of Eugenics. Leonard wanted to register the names of every “stupid” and otherwise “unfit” person in Britain. His plan envisioned that teachers would report “all children to be specially stupid.” To this would be added the names of “all juvenile offenders awaiting trial, all ins-and-outs at workhouses, and all convicted prisoners” (Black, p. 215). Those so registered would be prohibited from propagating. Also, “their near kin were to be shipped off to facilities, and marriages would be prohibited or annulled.”

The entire text above is copied and pasted from the source "Way of Life" org. The text is much longer and full of historical and ongoing current ideas and applications regarding the full implementation of eugenics. It is a suggested read and one to weep over. The sad irony is that many will read and not weep. For they like Darwin or Galton or Sanger or any other elite or one who thinks of him/herself as an elite in appearance or intellect/education/position/career will never think that they should be weeded out even as it is according to their own egotistical agenda.  

It would be interesting to know if such 'elites' including Darwin would have agreed with Sartre - 

and even more interesting is that Sartre changed his view ...

*Source for Way of Life article ~ http://www.wayoflife.org/index_files/eugenics_and_darwin.html

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