What is Eugenics?, by Leonard Darwin

That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.

Re: What is Eugenics?, by Leonard Darwin

Postby admin » Sun Mar 29, 2020 4:59 am

Chapter XVII: Selection in Marriage

THOSE who marry any one with any serious defect of body, mind, or character are apt to bring trouble on both themselves and their children. This is because such failings are not only immediately harmful, but may be passed on to succeeding generations by natural inheritance or by example. To be careful in the choice made in marriage will, therefore, benefit the nation and the race.

To spread the view that great forethought ought to be exercised in the selection of a partner for life has, indeed, been held by some authorities to be the most important aim of eugenics. And certainly it is very important. But there are reasons why too much reliance must not be placed on selection in marriage as a racial safeguard. These reasons will now be briefly stated.

Let it be supposed that I have four dogs, two well bred and two ill bred. Of course I wish to mate together the two well-bred animals, so that I shall get puppies as well bred as possible. But how about the ill-bred dogs? If I take care that they do not breed, nothing more need be said. But if I were to let them mate together, and if they were to have four puppies, whilst my well-bred couple had only two, then my group of puppies would contain twice as many ill-bred as well-bred dogs. This gives a rough illustration of the way in which our own race may now be going down hill.

This illustration also shows that careful selection in marriage does no good to the breed of the nation as a whole if those who are passed by in the first instance marry as certainly and as quickly as those selected before them. In other words, the exercise of care as to choice in marriage is beneficial to the race only in so far as it delays or hinders the marriages of the worse types. No doubt the silly or weakly in each class are less likely to marry, or are likely to marry later in life, because of their defects. In this way the nation is always to some extent being kept up to the mark. The greater the care taken as to the choice made in marriage, the more effective will be this check on parenthood amongst those in any way defective or inferior, and the better it will be for the race in the future.

On the other hand, if we make young people more particular, the result may be that the better types will become less likely to marry. This would defeat the end we have in view. How are we to steer between these opposing considerations?

Our first and most important aim should be to plant high ideals in the minds of the young. This should be done in regard to all things rather than with special reference to marriage. To succeed in this endeavour, it is of the utmost importance that we should ourselves set a good example. If we associate with persons with blots on their characters, our object being our own amusement, we must expect our children to do the same. If we only make worthy friends, our children will of their own accord also associate with worthy companions. This is the best method of safeguarding them against unhappy marriages. And in this way we shall also help to maintain the quality of our race in the future.

Our next aim should be to give young people ample opportunities of meeting each other. The occasions chosen must be suitable, and undesirable partners should be excluded as far as possible. Then let the young alone to settle their own affairs. They will fall in love with each other quickly enough.

Marriage between those of good stock ought to be as enduring as possible. This is because such marriages ought to result in plenty of children, all of whom should have the advantage of the companionship of both parents. Now love is the best cement for holding a couple together. Hence to promote marriages for love should be our aim.

But we must not blind ourselves to the fact that it is impossible to force high ideals into low minds. A person who is markedly inferior in mind will generally prefer to marry another person of like inferiority. Amongst such as these we can do little towards preventing parenthood, either by example or precept. Definite steps, such as those described in Chapter XIV, ought to be taken to reduce the size of the families of those of inferior stock. If this is not done, merely to preach care in marriage will do little towards saving the race.

Turning to a different point, when a person has grounds for fearing that insanity, for example, may appear in his children, he is often advised to avoid marriage with any one similarly threatened. Now, it is true that the child who gets a double dose, so to speak, of harmful heredity, one from the father and one from the mother, is more than twice as likely in consequence to be cursed with the threatened evil. It is, therefore, worldly wisdom to avoid a marriage with a person similarly threatened. But let there be no mistake as to what is being done. A harmful inheritance is not destroyed by marriage with good stock. It is in consequence merely more often concealed and made to become more widely scattered. If it does not show itself, it will nevertheless lie hidden, but ready to come out in any future generation.

The same principle applies to the marriages of cousins. They are only harmful if the stock common to both parents is bad. When both stocks are good, children of such marriages will have a double chance of turning out well. If the stock on both sides is bad, the children of cousin marriages will be likely to show the evil qualities common to the ancestors on both sides. This is true even if neither of the parents shows any visible defects; for such defects may lie completely hidden. Marriages between cousins are, therefore, open to objection as regards immediate results. As regards the effects on the race, to marry a cousin is no worse than marrying anyone else. It would not increase the evil inheritance, though it might bring it to light, and consequently make it more easily stamped out. The immediate effects of cousin marriages may be very harmful, whilst the ultimate effects may be good. Probably it is best to say that they should be discouraged, but not condemned. More knowledge will throw more light on this difficult question.

One general rule can, however, now be laid down; and this is that, if a person seems likely to transmit any evil quality to his descendants, the first question to decide is whether he or she ought to refrain from marriage. In coming to a decision, no thought ought to be given as to who is to be the other party to the marriage. This is because, as we have seen, the race will in the long run be injured rather than benefited by mating good stock to bad.

To give up marriage out of a sense of duty may require great moral courage and may involve a great sacrifice. Before deciding that such a sacrifice ought to be made, a few other points should be considered. Good qualities as well as bad should always be given full weight in the balance — a point often forgotten. Then, again, a childless marriage is sometimes justifiable. Lastly, when there is much doubt as to the probability of the harmful qualities of the ancestors reappearing in the children, marriage with a very small family may be the right course to take.

The question whether a medical certificate should always be obtained before marriage has often been raised, generally in connection with venereal diseases. These terrible maladies are not now under consideration, and no opinion bearing on them will here be expressed. It would, however, in any circumstances be objectionable if doctors were to be placed in such a position that they could absolutely prohibit a marriage. On the other hand, it would be advantageous if before marriage each party had to certify that he or she was free from certain diseases, and had never either been certified as a lunatic or mentally defective, or had been in prison, or previously married, or divorced. Full particulars should be given when such a certificate could not be signed, and severe punishment enforced for false statements. Such certificates would be to some extent a safeguard, but would be even more useful in calling attention to these subjects.

As in previous chapters, we here find that to spread abroad noble ideas is the surest way of promoting racial progress. Wise marriages based on affection will thus be promoted, and foolish ones rendered less probable. Great sacrifices in regard to marriage and parenthood, producing beneficial results, will be more often made. Some needed reforms would involve the infliction of suffering; and, when this is the case, it is far pleasanter to push all such disagreeable subjects out of our minds. Without moral courage no advance will be made.

What has just been said is true not only as regards marriage, but as to all the other problems which have here been discussed. As to the scientific questions involved, it is greatly to be desired that all men and women would so control their minds as to be able to look into them without either passion or prejudice. Ignorance is always the enemy of progress, and ignorance would thus best be overcome. Selfishness is, however, an even greater enemy to human welfare. Our first aim must be to arouse moral sentiments, including true patriotism, to the highest possible pitch. This would make members of bad stock ready to make that great and noble sacrifice which would deprive them of some or all of the joys of family life. In the same way, the well-to-do would be made to be willing to sacrifice personal comfort, so as to enable them to supply their share of recruits to the coming generation; recruits who will then be needed to fight the good fight for peace and progress. Again, the politician might thus be so stimulated that he would be willing even to sacrifice a few votes in consequence of his advocacy of racial safeguards destined to benefit his nation for countless generations in the future.

Eugenics rests on pure science for its foundations of fact. But it is on religion, including all the promptings of the inner man towards better things, that eugenics must rely for the motive force needed in the long struggle for human progress which lies before us.
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