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History, Political Philosophy & Religion
 Students for Democracy forums : History, Political Philosophy & Religion
Subject Topic: Eugenics and the USA Post Reply Post New Topic
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Sgt. Pepper
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Posted: 26/November/2003 at 14:35 | IP Logged  |  Copy the link in order to refer to this post Quote Sgt. Pepper

"At the start of the 20th century, industrialists like Andrew Carnegie and John D Rockefeller saw a justification for competitive capitalism in Darwin's 'survival of the fittest'. Eugenics would surely be the logical step forward, enabling man to command his own evolution in a way that was efficient and progressive. In 1904, the Carnegie Institution founded a centre for genetic research at Cold Spring Harbour, with Charles Davenport as director. Davenport soon turned his attention to human inheritance. Along with such purely genetic traits as albinism and Huntington's disease, he also traced conditions like alcoholism and 'feeble-mindedness' through family lineages. He pronounced these to be Mendelian in nature. In 1910, with the financial support of the Harriman and Rockefeller families, he established the Eugenics Record Office at Cold Spring Harbour and appointed Harry Laughlin as its superintendent.


Meanwhile, the psychologist Henry Goddard had introduced the Binet intelligence test to the US at the start of the century. This gave the eugenicists a way to quantify intelligence, and, more particularly, measure and define 'idi*ts', 'imbeciles' and 'morons'. Goddard's famous study of the inheritance of feeble-mindedness in the pseudonymous 'Kallikak' family was published in 1912. This and other studies showed that the devil of genetic unfitness was at work within the US. The only way to deal with the problem was 'negative eugenics' - denying the right to breed. By 1931, 27 American states had enacted sterilisation laws to allow the compulsory sterilisation of certain categories such as the feebleminded and morons. By 1941, almost 36,000 individuals in the US had been compulsorily sterilised under such laws. The trend spread: within a few years a number of European countries had followed suit with compulsory sterilisation. These included not only Nazi Germany, but also Switzerland and the Scandinavian countries. "

 

And I thought the Nazis invented that unhuman, murderous 'treatement'!

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twiw
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Posted: 27/November/2003 at 18:59 | IP Logged  |  Copy the link in order to refer to this post Quote twiw

No. Many things about US are forgotten only because the Nazis took everything to the extreme.

The Americans have been worse on many areas than the Europeans of the 1930s. No one talks about it because of the Nazis. Some kind of "historical luck" for the US.



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Romulus
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Posted: 27/November/2003 at 23:30 | IP Logged  |  Copy the link in order to refer to this post Quote Romulus



twiw wrote:

No. Many things about US are forgotten only because the Nazis took everything to the extreme.

The Americans have been worse on many areas than the Europeans of the 1930s. No one talks about it because of the Nazis. Some kind of "historical luck" for the US.

More leftist math, its not 20,000,000 Hitler killed thats evil, its the 36,000 America sterilized. From the above article...

Quote:
Eugenics would surely be the logical step forward, enabling man to command his own evolution in a way that was efficient and progressive.

Where do progressives fall on the polical spectrum, thats right...on the left side. I dont aim for the dimunition of America's culpability regarding sterilization and euginics, however, I find the moral equivelance of Hitler's murder of 6,000,000 Jews to America's sterilization of 36,000 people rather moronic. (Notice I say Hitler, not Germany. Im trying to get away from all this country bashing, unless its France which is irresistable)

Still yet, the entire idea of social Darwinism originated with Francis Galton who published his first works in 1869. Well before any American. Its also interesting to note Galton was no conservative, and was an outspoken critic of religion...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/genes/factfile/galton_factfile.html

Another outspoken, leftist eugenicist and European peace activist was Bertrand Russell...

http://www.luminary.us/russell/icarus.html

Even when Russell came to realize that State-sponsored eugenics could very easily fall into the wrong hands -- a realization he expresses in Icarus he still clearly saw it as desirable at least in theory.

In America as in Europe, euginicists were predominantly leftist and socialist political activists. Like Margaret Sanger...

http://www.citizenreviewonline.org/special_issues/population/the_negro_project.htm

who is the Founder of Planned Parenthood, the major provider of abortions in America.

To this day, the biggest proponents of euginics are European enviromentalists like Britons naturalist David Attenborough...

http://www.spiked-online.com/articles/00000006DEAF.htm

And a country that is to this day a model and inspiration to Leftists everywhere is Sweden -- with its all-embracing welfare State. So what happened in Sweden? As we read here:

During the Nazi era in Germany, eugenics prompted the sterilisation of several hundred thousand people then helped lead to antisemitic programmes of euthanasia and ultimately, of course, to the death camps. The association of eugenics with the Nazis is so strong that many people were surprised at the news several years ago that Sweden had sterilised around 60 000 people (mostly women) between the 1930s and 1970s. The intention was to reduce the number of children born with genetic diseases and disorders. After the turn of the century, eugenics movements--including demands for sterilisation of people considered unfit--had, in fact, blossomed in the United States, Canada, Britain, and Scandinavia, not to mention elsewhere in Europe and in parts of Latin America and Asia. Eugenics was not therefore unique to the Nazis.
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Posted: 28/November/2003 at 01:37 | IP Logged  |  Copy the link in order to refer to this post Quote EngineerSoldier

36,000 dead was a days work for Germany on the Russian Front. It took more than one misguided millionaire to get that done. I'm not going to accept an analogy. Stick with Slavery, that'll shut us up every time, just some strategy for you.

No part of any arguement I make is intended to be a recrimination, I always intend to talk about the future. So yes even the French can be redeemed, but they better get their freedom fighting hat on quick.

The point you make is mute. Nobody here is either a Nazi nor a eugenicist.

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le Gaulois
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Posted: 28/November/2003 at 06:29 | IP Logged  |  Copy the link in order to refer to this post Quote le Gaulois

What do you mean by "here"? This site or your country?



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Posted: 28/November/2003 at 13:40 | IP Logged  |  Copy the link in order to refer to this post Quote EngineerSoldier

Both, I'm not going to characterize my country as being harborers of eugensisists, because that's about as fair as saying todays Germany is a harbor for Nazis.

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Posted: 28/November/2003 at 17:28 | IP Logged  |  Copy the link in order to refer to this post Quote Genosse

ES, for once I fully agree with you.

Yet I'm very worried in "progress" these days. Indepent of country.

Take PID for example, nothing but eugenics. I kinda do understand parents who for example already have a seriously handicapped child, especially if it is something life shortening and want to make sure their second child will not have the same disease but it has "selection" written all over it nonetheless.
Just one example of medical progress that is seriously troubling.

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Posted: 28/November/2003 at 18:37 | IP Logged  |  Copy the link in order to refer to this post Quote EngineerSoldier

What's PID?

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Posted: 28/November/2003 at 18:44 | IP Logged  |  Copy the link in order to refer to this post Quote Genosse

You create sveral embryos ex vitro (in a tube), then do a check on them for the desired or (in the best case) undesired genetic traits, implant a few of them, wait til they start attaching and then see what happens. Most often, a few of them are aborted as the pregancy progresses.

PID= PraeImplantiv Diagnostic.

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Posted: 28/November/2003 at 20:52 | IP Logged  |  Copy the link in order to refer to this post Quote EngineerSoldier

Its an interesting debate, which I'm willing to sit out of.

I phrased an opinion in a colege paper like this. Does the gene that caused me to have acne as a teenager have a necessary role in who I am? I mean is it really better to fight acne with drugs like acutane with negative side effects, rather than "cure" the problem from the start. If we were able to 'repair' the problem of acne genetically, is that playing god? or is it just medicine that is actually successful at curing the problem rather than treating the symptoms.

If we're willing to call genetic disease, 'disease' why shoudl correction of these 'diseases' be called playing god? Its like someone having a broken arm and refusing treatment because 'god wants it broken'.

I'm not real fond of the notion of PID. but it all depends on when you decide that an individual with rights as a human being begins. I'm willing to let society make up its mind without my opinion. I don't give a damn about how we treat the period between conception and birth, and women have the biggest stake, so they should decide.

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Posted: 28/November/2003 at 21:00 | IP Logged  |  Copy the link in order to refer to this post Quote Genosse

Yeah, I see your point.

Acne sucks, but we are not talking about "repairing". We are talking about you (the embryo you) being singled out and destroyed for having such a gene and some other embryo which doesn't have it being implanted.

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