Sir Francis Galton introduced the term “eugenics,” meaning well-born, in 1883. His emphasis was on encouraging healthy and capable people, of above-average intelligence, to bear more children, with the idea of building an “improved” human race. The eugenics ideologies that are typically associated with the first half of the twentieth century are much older though they persist, even today. Now they are simply manifest in a different way.
While an individual may reasonably consider what their children might look like upon choosing a mate, a couple would likely be ostracized for using abortion for purposes of selecting a child based upon, say, hair color. In May of 2019, a Supreme Court opinion described abortion as a potential “tool of eugenic manipulation.” The opining Justice was referring to an Indiana abortion law that bans abortion motivated solely by the race, sex or disability of the fetus. He used the history of the eugenics movement to explain why “the use of abortion to achieve eugenic goals is not merely hypothetical.”
Societies have long engaged in what is sometimes termed positive eugenics, the improvement of the human race by better breeding. Plato suggested applying the principles of selective breeding to humans around 400 BC. He went on to suggest selective mating to produce a guardian class. Negative eugenics also emerged long ago when, in Sparta, every child was inspected by the council of elders to determine if the child was fit to live. In Rome, Table IV within the Laws of the Twelve Tables required that: “A dreadfully deformed child shall be quickly killed.”
North American colonists practiced race warfare through the gifting of blankets and linens contaminated with smallpox to the Ottawa tribe’s Chief Pontiac. In his 1922 book Race Decadence, William Samuel Sadler, addressing problems within a given race, argued that alcoholism, feeblemindedness, insanity, and delinquency” were hereditary traits and that those who possessed them were breeding at a much faster rate than “superior human beings.” By 1933, California had subjected more people to forceful sterilization than all other U.S. states combined.
Early in the CoVid 19 pandemic, one Antioch planning commission member wrote on his Facebook page that “the World has been introduced to a new phrase “Herd Immunity.” He wrote “In my opinion we need to adopt a Herd Mentality. A herd gathers its ranks, it allows the sick, the old, the injured to meet their natural course in nature.” He went on to add, the “homeless and other people who just defile themselves by either choice or mental issues” should also be allowed to perish. This, he said, “would fix what is a significant burden on our society and resources.”
The forced sterilization program engineered by the Nazis was partly inspired by that of 1930s California. National Socialist racial hygiene, the German variation on eugenics, was at the center of Nazi ideology. It’s prominence rose sharply as wealthy Nazi supporters started heavily investing in it under Adolf Hitler’s leadership.
Now, in 2020, a wealthy and largely hidden network of ideologues, advances eugenics in a highly effective ways that also support plausible deniability. This same oligarchy uses a variety of sophistries to engineer poverty, to complicate access to healthcare for people that are in many other ways marginalized due to their age, their race, their ethnicity, or their economic status.
The oligarchy is cloaked in a thin veneer of religiosity as it surrounds itself with excessively prominent, integrity challenged, mammon serving evangelicals. No matter how injudicious the judicial act, how reckless the executive behavior, how negligent the legislative inaction, it all maps back to the depraved heart indifference and unmitigated selfishness of these, the most condescending.
It has been said that politicians campaign in poetry and govern in prose. We have seen them campaign in bigotry as moral depravity flows. Such groups cannot win without cheating, and therefore focus much attention on rewriting the rules of the game. Wielding disproportionate political influence to mislead, spam, purge, suppress, intimidate, gerrymander, and otherwise corrupt elections is not new to the game. The exploitation of crisis events, that was once associated with a small group of war-profiteering industrialists, now appears to be in vogue to benefit career politicians together with their donor owners personally, and on a global scale.
As the United States surpassed the grim milestone of a half million pandemic related deaths, we should all recall the former guy’s early efforts to minimize the severity of the outbreak. Vanity Fair quoted one public health expert who said a member of the Corona Virus Task Force offered the view: Because the virus had hit blue states hardest, a national plan was unnecessary and would not make sense politically. Beto O’ Rourke later said the Texas GOP is a ‘death cult’ that wants you to do the dying.