From Jonathan Freedland, commenting at Britain’s Guardian:
Socialism’s one-time interest in eugenics is dismissed as an accident of history. But the truth is far more unpalatable
Hush. Someone is finally being honest about that.
They believed in science and progress, and nothing was more cutting edge and modern than social Darwinism. Man now had the ability to intervene in his own evolution. Instead of natural selection and the law of the jungle, there would be planned selection. And what could be more socialist than planning, the Fabian faith that the gentlemen in Whitehall really did know best? If the state was going to plan the production of motor cars in the national interest, why should it not do the same for the production of babies? The aim was to do what was best for society, and society would clearly be better off if there were more of the strong to carry fewer of the weak.
What was missing was any value placed on individual freedom, even the most basic freedom of a human being to have a child. The middle class and privileged felt quite ready to remove that right from those they deemed unworthy of it.
Eugenics went into steep decline after 1945. Most recoiled from it once they saw where it led – to the gates of Auschwitz. More.
We can’t get past it if we can’t have an honest acknowledgement of the way Darwinism made racism and classism into “science.” It’s intriguing to listen to the special pleading of Darwin’s followers on the subject, when all they need to do is admit it and get past it.
And stop it! For example, what about the ongoing scandal of demands to legislate a national Darwin Day in the United States, despite the dismal record of Darwinian racism? Couldn’t someone just put a cork in the thing? For a start?
See also: Darwin, Nicholas Wade, and the alt right
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