Modern Eugenics

in Deep Dives2 months ago

Inequality is inevitable and natural. This is the argument used by conservatives and the wealthy to explain away the vast and growing gap between the insanely rich and the rest of us, as well as the difference between rich and poor countries. Here's why that's nonsense.


source: YouTube

We're not born equal. I think that's a statement no one will even try to deny or argue against. Individuals are unique, even identical twins aren't the same. So different people will have different talents, interests, defects, looks; they're all unique. That's the only way we're all the same. But the social history of humankind, since the agricultural revolution 10,000 years ago, is defined by placing one individual or one group above the others, the idea that some of us are just better than others. That's the appeal of the "inevitable and natural" nature of hierarchy for the conservatives and those in power; it needs no further explanation, it's just the way it is...

The notion that intelligence, talent and "just being better", is inherited is as old as human civilization. Royalty is blessed with "blue blood", as are their children. That's why the rule of monarchies was maintained through blood-lines with no regard for the offspring's ability, or even willingness, to rule. And that's just talking about families; this notion of inherited qualities or hereditary superiority has been expanded to apply to the different races found in different parts of the world. And with that, there's always been efforts by the powerful, who are better than the rest of course, to shape society in a way that benefits them and their successors. This is where "eugenics" enters some black pages in the book of our history.

Eugenics can best be described as a set of beliefs and practices aimed at the improvement of the genetic quality of human populations or societies. It's more a political than a scientific movement in which the ruling elites decide who's fit and who's unfit to reproduce, who's capable of producing worthy offspring and who's not. Those deemed unfit to reproduce usually include people with mental or physical disabilities, and members of disfavored minority groups. It's believed and likely that the modern history of eugenics emerged in the United Kingdom in the late 19th century; "the Empire on which the Sun never sets" produced white colonists who, upon returning home, wrote and talked about the lack of civilization among the black, brown, red and yellow humans they'd encountered on their voyages. One of the major pioneers of the modern eugenicist movement is Francis Galton, an English statistician and anthropologist, who even coined the term in 1883 and is said to also have coined the phrase "nature versus nurture". He was a half-cousin of Charles Darwin who, inspired by his theory of evolution, expanded on the principle of natural selection to apply it on the supposed hereditary nature of greatness and intelligence in his 1869 book Hereditary Genius

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What started as an attempt to separate the human races on biological grounds and determined by external factors, like skin- and hair-color, the color of eyes, hair-texture and facial traits, was soon expanded into a differentiation of personality-traits. The common thread in those differentiations was, of course, that the white European male was always blessed with the best traits. The black Homo Sapiens Africanus was lazy, physically strong and sexually proliferate, the yellow Homo Sapiens Aziaticus was ruled by culture and socially and sexually inhibited, and so on. This is all nonsense, as we've learned with modern genetics. Not even eye-color or hair-color can be assigned to a single or a small number of genes, and we've thus far identified 500 genes that influence intelligence. We also know that there's more genetic diversity among Africans, than there is between Africans and other races.

Still the idea that some perceived superiority can be inherited persists to this day. "Well, if I have more it's because I'm better, and the evidence that I'm better is clearly because I have more." That's the kind of circular argumentation that should invite ridicule among people with a few functional brain-cells. But unfortunately it's not meant as a joke. It's deadly serious and this exact quote was said by Jordan Peterson in conversation with Douglas Murray; you can watch that clip in the above linked video at the 15:13 minute mark. Elon Musk and his father Errol Musk both believe in the Epstein strategy of impregnation many women in order to bless the world with their offspring. As you can read in this article, Elon Musk's 76 year old father claims sperm banks are hounding him for his 'genetic material'.

Elon Musk's view on the shape and size of the population is of particular interest, as it shows the real reason why the ruling elite is so concerned with genetics, reproduction and babies. Where traditional eugenicists call for the wealthy and successful to reproduce more, and the poor and non-whites to reproduce less, Elon Musk just wants more babies. "If people don't have more children, civilization is going to crumble," he proclaimed from a Tesla Factory in 2021. That was at the same event where he was hyping his Tesla bot, a robot that can perform grunt work. That's not a coincidence because Elon's cry for more babies, for more humans, is a cry for more cheap labor:

“The fundamental constraint is labor,” Musk said. “There are not enough people. I can’t emphasize this enough: There are not enough people. One of the biggest risks to civilization is the low birth rate.”
source: Wired

Before I close, it must be said that eugenics and the belief that the genetic quality of a population can be improved by selective breeding are not exclusive for conservatives or the political right; it's found across the political spectrum. What's sure though, is that the debate around modern eugenics is heating up with the advent of gene-editing and the CRISPR technology. It's a heated debate because, as often happens with new technology and new knowledge, it centers around ethics. The debate formerly constrained to the realms of the elite, with them deciding who's fit to reproduce and who's not, is slowly becoming open for the general public. Where not there yet; we can't even confidently choose the color of the eyes of our offspring. But it's possible that we'll one day be able to actually design humans. If we do, what minimum level of intelligence is acceptable? Do we make whites only? Those and many other questions will possibly busy our minds for decades to come...

I'll leave you with a very interesting discussion about the history of eugenics and racism; it's what inspired today's post and is extremely informative. So please watch it; it's almost two hours, but well worth your time.

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