Friday 25 October 2013

What is the *real* reason why the New Left, Politically Correct elites are so vehemently against eugenics?


The real reason for the New Left opposition to eugenics (beyond strategic electoral demographics) has nothing to do with preventing the state from imposing low fertility upon the lower orders (after all, the politically correct see no limit to the state's right to control people, and the Left care nothing for the freedom of the lower orders).

The modern ruling class opposition to eugenics has almost-everything to do with preventing the state from enforcing high fertility upon the higher orders - ie. the PC elite themselves.


In other words, eugenics is about two things - increasing the differential representation of beneficial genes in the gene pool, and reducing or eliminating the proportion of deleterious genes in the gene pool; and in terms of human fertility this implies higher fertility for the most able and best-behaved, as well as lower fertility for the least able and worst-behaved.


Note added:

It is my contention that the modern Leftist elites are not really bothered about the fertility of other people; they don't talk or write about this topic and don't lose sleep over it (although they probably should); and they would naturally regard themselves and people like themselves as having the highest aptitudes and best attitudes; however, they are also extremely concerned with controlling, delaying and in general suppressing their own fertility (and duties and responsibilities).

Therefore they dishonestly deny that intelligence and personality are substantially heritable - because this gets them off the hook!

Anything which would tend to pressure the modern elites to focus on marrying much younger, staying married, and quickly start having children, up to three or more...

Well... anything of that kind is regarded with fear and loathing - whether it be eugenics or traditional religion.


NOTE: I personally am against eugenics, because I am a Christian.

And I am in favour of making marriage and family a major focus of national policy; and I also believe that family size should be constrained by family resources - so, for these reasons - pro-natalism tempered by self-sufficiency, in general (with exceptions) I approve greater fertility/ larger families for the more wealthy than for the poorer. But (although in some ways similar) that is not eugenics, because it is not aiming to influence the gene pool. 



Valkea said...

If a family, not the state, can make children more healthy and intelligent by eggcell selection, I dont see any reason to be against it.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Valkea - the bitter and nasty *controversy* about eugenics, which pretty much divides the Old (pre-1967 meritocratic) Left (who were very pro-Eugenics) from the New (post-1967 egalitarian) Left (who supposedly hate, hate, hate eugenics) was mostly to do with intelligence and behaviour (e.g. criminality) - not about health.

But if eggcell selection ever really happened, then almost all forms of selection (including health) would be differentially stronger against the lower orders - and there would be an implication that the most intelligent, best behaved, most healthy etc (i.e. the upper orders) *ought* to have more than two children on average.

Any widespread promotion or prioritization of childbearing and quality of offspring among the Leftist elites would have many knock-on implications for age of marriage and commencement of childbearing (which would need to be reduced from the current average of about 30), which would affect educational and workforce participation... in other words, politically correct heads will explode!

Al said...

When one looks more closely, it seems to me that the Left is quite prepared to support different forms of eugenics. Its eugenics involve such things as seeking to drive down birthrates in Africa. Of course, this is often in the name of empowering women, but do they support provision for the African women struggling with infertility? Its eugenics also operate in the name of 'choice' as disabled children who are perceived to be undesirable can be aborted. Its eugenics involve the celebration of 'choice' in the use of reproductive technology and methods, means by which parents can select the traits of their offspring. Upper class eugenics is the sort of thing that means that Harvard-educated women like my girlfriend are offered up to $50,000 for egg donation, a practice that is increasingly normalized in the age of same-sex marriage.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Al - Yes, but those things aren't really eugenics - I think you are describing various ways of humans interfering with reproduction, but they are not strategically aimed at good breeding, at 'imporving the gene pool' - which would be eugenics.

Unsystematic, piecemeal, inconsistent eugenics isn't eugenics. There would have to be an overall, long-term group-genetic purpose to it.

Adam G. said...

I've wondered about the huge switch from the racist, eugenic progressives of the early 20th to now. You've nailed it.

As their godless philosophy has reached its logical nihilistic and hedonistic conclusion, they've rejected anything that would imply personal sexual obligations.

Many progressives are still highly racist and eugenicist in their private lives, of course. Only mates from the best schools with the right kind of family background need apply.

asdf said...

One of the things that's always struck me as strange about alt-right fervor on eugenics is how few had lots of children or any children at all.

Eugenics starts at home, have kids!

Bruce Charlton said...

@asdf - As I keep saying, Alt-Right is Left - more proof!

dearieme said...

Ahoy, Bruce, allow me a wildly off-topic comment. In that Unholy of Unholies, the Guardian, I have just seen an article about an institution that I didn't know existed, a wee bank owned by the Salvation Army.

I'm staunch in my atheism but remain a firm fan of the Sal Dals. I shall consider whether there is any business I can put their way.

Bruce Charlton said...

@d - Several of my extended family became (and remain) Salvation Army - having been in an Ulster branch of the Plymouth Brethren before.

What is interesting is that the SA are (I would have thought) very obvious real Christians, and yet they have no sacraments (no baptism or Holy Communion) - from which I infer that it is possible to be really and sustainedly Christian but non-sacramental.

The idea of dispensing with sacraments doesn't appeal to me, because I believe these things have some real effect and are helpful, but it just goes to show.