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Eugenics: The hidden history of the progressive movement

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The people currently wrecking homes and businesses, statues and churches have a history with eugenics as well. Some wonder why it isn’t being taught in schools:

Judging by a representative sample of textbooks, America’s high-school students get little exposure to the history of eugenics and scientific racism. One reason might be that the relationship of these movements to Progressivism is too close for comfort.

Eugenics and scientific racism in the United States emerged in the second half of the nineteenth century and lasted through the 1930s. It claimed that heredity was the fundamental determinant of an individual’s ability to contribute to society. Eugenics claimed the scientific ability to classify individuals and groups as “fit” or “unfit.” The unfit were defined by race, mental and physical disabilities, country of origin, and poverty. Eugenics was widely accepted by academics, politicians, intellectuals, government, the U.S. Supreme Court, and especially progressives, who supported eugenics-inspired policies as policy instruments to be utilized by an interventionist administrative state to establish a healthy and productive society. Those who questioned the “settled science” of eugenics were dismissed as “deniers,” much like those who question the “settled science” of climate change are today dismissed as “deniers.”

Eugenics and slavery share much common ground in their inherent racist view of blacks; however, the inherent racist perspective of eugenics was broader in that the set of those considered unfit included individuals and groups beyond those who were black. Eugenics provided the scientific foundation for involuntary sterilization policies in thirty-two states, supported the racist immigration policies in the first part of the twentieth century, and supported a variety of de jure and de facto policies designed to limit those defined as “unfit” to less than full-citizenship status. More troubling, eugenics and eugenics-inspired policies in the United States were admired by Adolf Hitler. American and German eugenicists interacted and exchanged views up to the late 1930s, and sterilization laws, immigration restrictions based on race or ethnicity, and efforts to prevent full citizenship to the unfit in the United States became the model for the Nuremburg Laws of 1935. Stefan Kühl (1994) was the first to document in detail the American–German eugenics connection. In Hitler’s American Model (2017), James Whitman extended this research to illustrate how U.S. policies influenced Nazi race law in the 1930s and the Nuremberg Laws in particular. The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left (2017) by Dinesh D’Souza is the most recent effort to bring public attention to eugenics and the American–German connection.

The widespread acceptance of eugenics in the United States, especially by progressives, is a troubling part of U.S. history unknown to many Americans, and the role model America provided for Nazi race law is even more troubling.

Thomas F. Cargill, “Eugenics in High School History: Failure to Confront the Past” at The Independent Review

Keep wondering out loud, Dr. Cargill. Lights are going on, very, very slowly but surely, all over town.

See also: YouTube places restriction on vid on scientific racism. But of course they did! It’s part of the real story, not the airbrushed version prepared for compulsory school consumption.

15 Replies to “Eugenics: The hidden history of the progressive movement

  1. 1
    AaronS1978 says:

    Genetic determinism which is proven by twin studies continues to haunt our society

    Honestly I don’t know of any good way to refute it out right

    Yes it’s true that genes our biology influence every walk of our life

    But how much and to what extent

  2. 2
    Mac McTavish says:

    Genes run the gamut from purely deterministic, as seen in genetic diseases like Huntington’s, to those that afford probabilistic predispositions. Eugenics made the false conclusion that genetics was purely deterministic.

    In many respects, the ideology behind eugenics long predated Darwin and the theory of evolution, and this ideology still exists today, even amongst those who don’t accept evolution.

  3. 3
    AaronS1978 says:

    I didn’t mean to say proven by twin studies I wanted to say that twin studies are used to try to prove it.

    I absolutely hate genetic determinism the very thought that my DNA puppeteers my decisions my likes and my dislikes devalues everything including politics

  4. 4
    Seversky says:

    Sorry, but that really is a bit of a stretch, trying to discredit the BLM protests against being the victims of centuries of endemic racism by trying to tie them to the eugenics movement. It completely ignores the fact that there was widespread support for eugenics -at least in its passive form – in the early twentieth-century from many parts of society including a number of churches and religious leaders. Trying to portray the protests as massive riots by “progressives” bent on tearing down the very fabric of American society is a smear tactic which attempts to shift the blame from where it belongs.

  5. 5
    ET says:

    LoL! Trying to pawn off rioting and looting as “protests” is a perversion of reality and an attempt to escape responsibility for being ounks.

  6. 6
    AaronS1978 says:

    @seversky cool start explaining why BLM has been tearing down Abolitionist statues
    Please also explain to me all the videos of them beating the crap out of innocent people and business owners
    And how bout Nick Cannon and his last ridiculous statement
    And white Shaun King and his demands about tearing Jesus statues down

    And do you have to be so stereo typically left or is that just in your DNA

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:


    I don’t know of any good way to refute it (genetic determinism) out right,,,

    Here are a few articles along that line,

    Gene previously linked to obesity is unrelated – June 29, 2015
    Excerpt: … in the real world of careful analysis, scientists are just not finding the “genes” that the headline writers need. British geneticist Steve Jones points out that most human traits are influenced by so many genes that there is no likely systematic cause and effect:
    “We know of more than 50 different genes associated with height … That has not percolated into the public mind, as the Google search for “scientists find the gene for” shows. The three letter word for — the gene FOR something — is the most dangerous word in genetics.”
    And the craze is not harmless, he warns. …

    What If (Almost) Every Gene Affects (Almost) Everything? – JUN 16, 2017
    Excerpt: If you told a modern geneticist that a complex trait—whether a physical characteristic like height or weight, or the risk of a disease like cancer or schizophrenia—was the work of just 15 genes, they’d probably laugh. It’s now thought that such traits are the work of thousands of genetic variants, working in concert. The vast majority of them have only tiny effects, but together, they can dramatically shape our bodies and our health. They’re weak individually, but powerful en masse.

    Theory Suggests That All Genes Affect Every Complex Trait – June 20, 2018
    Excerpt: Mutations of a single gene are behind sickle cell anemia, for instance, and mutations in another are behind cystic fibrosis.
    But unfortunately for those who like things simple, these conditions are the exceptions. The roots of many traits, from how tall you are to your susceptibility to schizophrenia, are far more tangled. In fact, they may be so complex that almost the entire genome may be involved in some way,,,
    One very early genetic mapping study in 1999 suggested that “a large number of loci (perhaps > than 15)” might contribute to autism risk, recalled Jonathan Pritchard, now a geneticist at Stanford University. “That’s a lot!” he remembered thinking when the paper came out.
    Over the years, however, what scientists might consider “a lot” in this context has quietly inflated. Last June, Pritchard and his Stanford colleagues Evan Boyle and Yang Li (now at the University of Chicago) published a paper about this in Cell that immediately sparked controversy, although it also had many people nodding in cautious agreement. The authors described what they called the “omnigenic” model of complex traits. Drawing on GWAS analyses of three diseases, they concluded that in the cell types that are relevant to a disease, it appears that not 15, not 100, but essentially all genes contribute to the condition. The authors suggested that for some traits, “multiple” loci could mean more than 100,000.

    Thus, directlly contrary to Dawkins’ ‘selfish gene’ concept, that is more of less directly based on Darwin’s own ‘survival of the fittest’ thinking about competition, genes are instead best thought of as existing in a holistic web of mutual interdependence and cooperation.
    Which is, obviously, the exact polar opposite of being ‘selfish’.

    Supplemental notes:

    Is The Age Of The Gene Finally Over? – January 5, 2019
    Excerpt: So it has been dawning on us is that there is no prior plan or blueprint for development: Instructions are created on the hoof, far more intelligently than is possible from dumb DNA. That is why today’s molecular biologists are reporting “cognitive resources” in cells; “bio-information intelligence”; “cell intelligence”; “metabolic memory”; and “cell knowledge”—all terms appearing in recent literature.1,2 “Do cells think?” is the title of a 2007 paper in the journal Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences.3 On the other hand the assumed developmental “program” coded in a genotype has never been described.
    It is such discoveries that are turning our ideas of genetic causation inside out. We have traditionally thought of cell contents as servants to the DNA instructions. But, as the British biologist Denis Noble insists, “The modern synthesis has got causality in biology wrong … DNA on its own does absolutely nothing until activated by the rest of the system … DNA is not a cause in an active sense. I think it is better described as a passive data base which is used by the organism to enable it to make the proteins that it requires.” …

    Ask an Embryologist: Genomic Mosaicism – Jonathan Wells – February 23, 2015
    Excerpt: humans have a “few thousand” different cell types. Here is my simple question: Does the DNA sequence in one cell type differ from the sequence in another cell type in the same person?,,,
    The simple answer is: We now know that there is considerable variation in DNA sequences among tissues, and even among cells in the same tissue. It’s called genomic mosaicism.
    In the early days of developmental genetics, some people thought that parts of the embryo became different from each other because they acquired different pieces of the DNA from the fertilized egg. That theory was abandoned,,,
    ,,,(then) “genomic equivalence” — the idea that all the cells of an organism (with a few exceptions, such as cells of the immune system) contain the same DNA — became the accepted view.
    I taught genomic equivalence for many years. A few years ago, however, everything changed. With the development of more sophisticated techniques and the sampling of more tissues and cells, it became clear that genetic mosaicism is common.
    I now know as an embryologist,,,Tissues and cells, as they differentiate, modify their DNA to suit their needs. It’s the organism controlling the DNA, not the DNA controlling the organism.

  8. 8
    AaronS1978 says:

    Thank you BA77

  9. 9
    AaronS1978 says:

    Speaking about BLM and Nazis, Charlemagne tha God just proclaimed that the reason why Nick Cannon got fired was because Jews have all the power

    He will probably get fired next but doesn’t that sound very familiar

    Do you know what black rights are important women’s rights are important human rights are important Black people are human
    I don’t see race and I never have

    But I am starting to see history repeat itself in a terrible way

  10. 10
    Mac McTavish says:

    I don’t have a problem with Black Lives Matter. It is just a movement to bring attention to the inequities in our society that black people face. It doesn’t mean that other lives don’t matter, any more than promoting a specific charity means that other charities are less worthy.

    As with many other protests, some are infiltrated by violent anarchists or just individuals who what to cause mischief. However, the vast majority of BLM protests have been peaceful.

  11. 11
    jerry says:

    It is just a movement to bring attention to the inequities in our society that black people face.

    Then why don’t they try to get at the root causes of the inequities? Why do they and their defenders have to lie about things and why don’t they address the truth?

    Why all the violent reaction to the statement that “All lives matter?”

    They also have a published manifesto. Is that meaningless?

    Also BLM was a really big deal 4 years ago during the last presidential campaign. Is this just part of the election cycle that started 10 years ago when identity politics was amplified by the press after the Occupy Wall Street movement dried up.

    Is it all manufactured for politics only?

  12. 12
    ET says:

    Black people do not think that black lives matter. Why should anyone else?

  13. 13
    Mac McTavish says:


    They also have a published manifesto. Is that meaningless?

    Of course not. It is full of subversive agit-prop like this:

    We acknowledge, respect, and celebrate differences and commonalities.

    We work vigorously for freedom and justice for Black people and, by extension, all people.

    We intentionally build and nurture a beloved community that is bonded together through a beautiful struggle that is restorative, not depleting.

    We are unapologetically Black in our positioning. In affirming that Black Lives Matter, we need not qualify our position. To love and desire freedom and justice for ourselves is a prerequisite for wanting the same for others.

    And then there’s this subversive propaganda:

    We are guided by the fact that all Black lives matter, regardless of actual or perceived sexual identity, gender identity, gender expression, economic status, ability, disability, religious beliefs or disbeliefs, immigration status, or location.

    We make space for transgender brothers and sisters to participate and lead.

    We are self-reflexive and do the work required to dismantle cisgender privilege and uplift Black trans folk, especially Black trans women who continue to be disproportionately impacted by trans-antagonistic violence.

    We build a space that affirms Black women and is free from sexism, misogyny, and environments in which men are centered.

    And I don’t know how they get away with saying something like this:

    We embody and practice justice, liberation, and peace in our engagements with one another.

    I apologize for the sarcasm but I don’t see how their goals should be a threat to anyone. Painting them with a broad brush just because there have been incidents at some protests is just an attempt to justify pre-existing prejudices.

  14. 14
    AaronS1978 says:

    I just feel that a good portion of them in this organization are absolutely hypocritical to their own manifesto

    That’s why I’m not supporting them their manifesto sounds wonderful but that’s not what they’re doing or good portions of them are not doing that

    One of my ex-friends now participating in violent protests in New York said that Black Lives Matter unless they’re blue

    He also feels that peaceful protests don’t get anything done he’s a huge advocate of Marxist socialism

    He hates authority but he wants to be a cog in the system……….

    I have since cut all ties with him

    On the flipside my friend here in Arizona participates in black live matter’s protest and she had nothing to do with the giant raid that they did at one of our malls which was very destructive an awful

    She participated in multiple peaceful protest and I feel she got something done so I do agree with you that there are two sides to the coin just one side of the coin is really evil

  15. 15
    asauber says:

    “Saying eugenics “works” depends entirely on who you’re asking and what they want.”


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