I hope two groups of people read this with some care and an open mind:
1. Those who think a government-managed economy is always the most beneficent kind of economy.
2. Those who think marriage laws, or the “proper” kind of marriage laws, is a noble American tradition.
If this piece isn’t the reason for at least a moment of pause and reconsideration, I’m not sure what might be.
Americans today have almost completely forgotten how widespread and “respectable” the eugenics movement once was in American political and social life. And they’ve totally forgotten that the eugenics movement was led not by those who wanted to be free from government control, but rather by those who wanted to use the force of government and government policies to engineer a “progressive” future for America.
I couldn’t agree more! There is a benefit in recalling the real purpose behind some of the treasured policies of the Left. AND some of the deeply held notions of the Right. The salvation of the masses was not (and has never been) the Left’s concern. The Right, which claims liberty as its primary concern, must be careful to not co-opt certain positions, lest we also gain assignment of the immoral thinking that gave birth to those positions.
Princeton University’s Royal Meeker was Woodrow Wilson’s commissioner of labor. “It is much better to enact a minimum-wage law even if it deprives these unfortunates of work,” Meeker argued in 1910. “Better that the state should support the inefficient wholly and prevent the multiplication of the breed than subsidize incompetence and unthrift, enabling them to bring forth more of their kind.”
Frank Taussig, who was otherwise a good economist, asked in his bestselling textbook Principles of Economics (1911): “How to deal with the unemployable?”
They “should simply be stamped out,” he stated.
We have not reached the stage where we can proceed to chloroform them once and for all; but at least they can be segregated, shut up in refuges and asylums, and prevented from propagating their kind.…
What are the possibilities of employing at the prescribed wages all the healthy able-bodied who apply? The persons affected by such legislation would be those in the lowest economic and social group. The wages at which they can find employment depend on the prices at which their product will sell in the market; or in the technical language of modern economics, on the marginal utility of their services. All those whose additional product would so depress prices that the minimum could no longer be paid by employers would have to go without employment. It might be practicable to prevent employers from paying any one less than the minimum; though the power of law must be very strong indeed, and very rigidly exercised, in order to prevent the making of bargains which are welcome to both bargainers.
These are but a small sample and pertain only to this one policy. Eugenics influenced other areas of American policy, too, especially racial segregation. Obviously you can’t have the races socializing and partying together if the goal is to gradually exterminate one and boost the population of the other. This goal was a driving force behind such policies as regulations on dance clubs, for example. It was also a motivation behind the proliferation of marriage licenses, designed to keep the unfit from marrying and reproducing.
Read the entire article HERE.
Knowledge is power.