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Monday, August 6, 2018

135. Eugenics Arrives: The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto from archive.org


135. Eugenics Arrives: The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto from archive.org


Eugenics Arrives  

     Between 1890 and 1920, the percentage of our population adjudged "feeble-minded" and  condemned to institutional confinement more than doubled. The long-contemplated  hygienic form of social control formulated by eighteenth-
century German social thinker  Johann Frank, "complete medical policing," was launched with a vengeance. Few  intimidations are more effective than the threat of a stay in an insane asylum. Did the  population of crazies really double in those three decades? The answer given by one  contemporary was elliptically Darwinian: "Marriage of these inferiors is a veritable  manufactory of degenerates." It could no longer go unchecked.   

     The American Birth Control League 1 left no doubt about its plans. Its position, as  expressed by Yale psychologist Arnold L. Gesell, was that "society need not wait for     perfection of the infant science of eugenics before proceeding upon a course which will  prevent renewal of defective protoplasm contaminating the stream of life. " Gesell's The  Family and the Nation (1909), a thorough product of the new Zeitgeist, advocated  "eugenic violence" in dealing with inferiors. According to Gesell, "We must do as with  the feebleminded, organize the extinction of the tribe." [emphases added]  

     Here was a far different promise of American life, a Connecticut Valley Yale-style  pledge. Yet governors of the Birth Control League were acclaimed heroes in every  progressive assembly. With this thrust, old-line Calvinism converted its theological  elements into scientific truth, supported mathematically by the new Galtonian discipline  of statistics. Yale was the most important command center for the reemergence of old-  time Puritan religion, now thoroughly disguised behind the language of research  methodology.  

     The eugenics movement begun by Galton in England was energetically spread to the  United States by his followers. Besides destroying lesser breeds (as they were routinely  called) by abortion, sterilization, adoption, celibacy, two-job family separations, low-  wage rates to dull the zest for life, and, above all, schooling to dull the mind and debase  the character, other methods were clinically discussed in journals, including a  childlessness which could be induced through easy access to pornography. 2 At the same  time those deemed inferior were to be turned into eunuchs, Galtonians advocated the  notion of breeding a super race.  

     Humanist Scott Nearing wrote his masterpiece, The Super Race: An American Problem,  in 1912, just as the drive to destroy an academic curriculum in public schools was  reaching its first crescendo. By "problem," Nearing wasn't referring to a moral dilemma.  Rather, he was simply arguing that only America had the resources to meet the  engineering challenge posed in creating supermen out of genetic raw stock.  


1.'The early manifestation under Margaret Sanger's influence of the organization, which eventually changed its name to Planned Parenthood.  

2.'As mentioned previously, this was Judge Ben Lindsey's idea; Lindsey was the man often credited with perfecting Children's Court  procedures, particularly suspension of defendants' customary legal rights. 


 Mr. Hitler Reads Mr. Ford 

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