Sterilizing our way to Paradise *UPDATED*

If you read Michelle Malkin, you already know about Zombie’s post exposing the unrepentant eugenicist past of John Holdren, Obama’s science czar.  Writing in the early 1970s, when the trendy concern was the population explosion (promising every a brutish Malthusian future), Holdren eagerly espoused a world order with forced abortions; mandatory sterliziation of those deemed unfit; birth-control chemicals running freely through our water and food; and a transnational global economy policed by a new world order.  Michelle Malkin has already commented on the fact that Holdren’s writing perfectly harmonizes with the eugencist thinking common among early 20th century Progressives, especially Margaret Sanger (and, of course, some late 20th century Progressives, such as Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg).

When confronted with these facts which sound so ugly when stated openly, the average liberal’s impulse is to deny their brutality and focus on the humanity behind them.  They’ll point to the fact that, beginning in the industrial era, rich women have controlled their fertility, and that there is a correlation between a nation’s affluence and its control over its birth rate.  (Although that last is actually a very 70s argument.  Looking at nations such as Japan or Italy, which have negative population growth and sagging economies because they no longer have a productive sector, one can see that controlled population growth can quickly reach a point of diminishing returns.)  They’ll tell you that they only desire a world in which “every child is a wanted one.”

It’s hard to argue with those facts.  As is typical for the utopian agenda, the end goal is always a lovely one.  After all, a lovely end goal is, by definition, the nature of a utopia:  it is a perfect place.  A utopia is also, as Thomas More recognized when he coined the name, a place that cannot exist.  (Utopia is Greek for “not place” — that is, an impossible place suitable only for allegory.)

People of goodwill have always envisioned a place in which everyone lives in harmony and material comfort.  War is gone.  Hunger is gone.  Each community is a perfect amalgam of density and space, allowing for high functionality and rural aesthetics that flow effortlessly into each other.  Heaven on earth.

The only problem with this whole Heaven on earth thing, of course, is those pesky humans.  Humans are erratic.  Some have the temerity to be born smart and some dumb; some are placid, some feisty; some strong, some weak; some submissive, some aggressive.  Whole cultures are poisoned by these variables.  The people who keep giving into their base human nature are making perfection impossible.

For many, the solution to these impossible humans has been a strong hand:  Hitler promised perfection, as did Mussolini, Lenin, Mao, Pol Pot and Stalin.  Humans — damn their imperfect hearts — could be corralled into virtue, and if corralling didn’t work, killing would suffice.

Given the effort it takes to force humans to be perfect, all of these Statists, without exception, realized that some humans simply weren’t worth the effort it would take to perfect them.  They were in the way.  How much better, then, simply to rid the world of them before they even became nascent.  The was Margaret Sanger’s plan.  Hitler liked that idea too.  Through a combination of genocide (Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, etc.) and sterilization (the generic “unfit,” although quite a few, my uncle included, came in for genocide too), he was acting with the best will in the world.  How else, after all, could he make the world a better place for his good Germans?  And undoubtedly, if asked, he would have said, “What’s good for the Germans is good for the planet.”

What’s so fascinating about these Statists — these people who believe that human-kind can be perfected through a governmental program of purging and heavy-handed guidance — is that, while they loath humans, they really like animals.  To get back to Hitler, you may recall that he was famed for his vegetarianism and love of dogs.  How can a man who loves dogs be all bad?

Sadly, while Sanger has been bathed in a misty glow, not as a crude eugenicist, but as the savior of poor women dying from too many pregnancies, and Hitler (thank goodness) has been discredited, these eugenic ideas live on, and at a very high level too.  Peter Singer, for example, holds an endowed chair at Princeton.  His books include Should the Baby Live?: The Problem of Handicapped Infants (Studies in Bioethics), Animal Liberation and In Defense of Animals: The Second WaveShould the Baby Live pretty much sums up the man’s philosophy:  he advocates euthanizing handicapped infants.  (Sarah Palin apparently forgot to read this book.)  He is, of course, reviled by the handicapped community (and rightly so).

The moral abyss Singer creates with his euthanasia musings is highlighted by the fact that his animal liberation writings make him a founding father of the animal rights movement — a movement that’s come to full flower in PETA insanity (which analogizes the death of chickens to the death of Jews in Hitler’s gas chambers). Singer explicitly believes that a healthy animal has greater rights than a sick person.  (As a side point, Singer has also made clear that he has no moral problem with bestiality, provided that the animal consents. Amusingly, this last viewpoint has put Singer at odds with the same animal rights movement he was so instrumental in creating.)

Getting back to Holdren, it’s fascinating to discover that he too places animals over humans. Thus, as Zombie notes, while Holdren enthusiastically supports mass sterilization through food and water additives, he adds a caveat — you can do it in the water supply as long as you don’t harm the horses (or dogs, cats, guinea pigs and hamsters):

Adding a sterilant to drinking water or staple foods is a suggestion that seems to horrify people more than most proposals for involuntary fertility control. Indeed, this would pose some very difficult political, legal, and social questions, to say nothing of the technical problems. No such sterilant exists today, nor does one appear to be under development. To be acceptable, such a substance would have to meet some rather stiff requirements: it must be uniformly effective, despite widely varying doses received by individuals, and despite varying degrees of fertility and sensitivity among individuals; it must be free of dangerous or unpleasant side effects; and it must have no effect on members of the opposite sex, children, old people, pets, or livestock.

The desperate need to eradicate an ever escalating number of humans, coupled with the mirror obsession for animal well-being establishes that, all Progressive protestations aside, utopianism has nothing to do with perfecting mankind.  Instead, it’s about mankind’s slow eradication, with an ultimate return to a time before homonids walked the earth.  You see, fundamentally, the Progressive isn’t Progressive at all.  By slowly removing people from the earth, one category a time, the so-called Progressive can regress to that true Utopia, before the snake, the woman and apple drove man from Paradise.

Masaccio's Explusion from the Garden of Eden

Masaccio's Explusion from the Garden of Eden

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

UPDATE:  Would you be surprised that other bloggers are concerned too?  At NoisyRoom, Terresa has more links to examples of eugenics ideas on the Left.  The Confederate Yankee adds his own spin about Holdren’s “dark mind.”

UPDATE IIMark Steyn’s latest column, about climate change/apocalyptic thinking, ties in nicely with this post.

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  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    Great post, Book.

    (As a siude point, Singer has also made

    A problem there you may wish to correct.

  • Charles Martel

    Wow, Book, when you’re on, you are really on. A magnificent post.

  • Quisp

    Great post, Book. Here’s a tiny bit more backup, from Peter Singer’s obituary for Harriet McBryde Johnson:

    I tried to persuade Johnson that her attribution of rights to humans with severe intellectual disabilities had implications for how we should think about animals too, since they could enjoy their lives as much as, or more than, the people whose right to life she was defending.

    (Don’t you wonder whose bright idea it was to ask Singer to write an obituary for a woman he’d told to her face she should have been killed at birth? If you’ve never read Ms. Johnson’s account of speaking with Singer at Princeton, it’s worth the time. “I have agreed to two speaking engagements. In the morning, I talk to 150 undergraduates on selective infanticide. In the evening, it is a convivial discussion, over dinner, of assisted suicide. I am the token cripple with an opposing view.”)

  • Danny Lemieux

    I concur with my fellow salonistas, Book…very well thought out, profound and very frightening. I wonder if the eugenicists within the Obama administration are now beginning to stir. Imagine the damage they could do if given the keys to universal health care.

  • Zhombre

    Well said, Book. Contemporary “Progressives” actually represent an inversion of the ideals of humanism and classical liberalism that have sustained the West since the Renaissance.

  • pst314

    “When confronted with these facts which sound so ugly when stated openly, the average liberal’s impulse is to deny their brutality and focus on the humanity behind them.”

    Another tactic I have encountered is to deny that the eugenicists were progressives. It doesn’t matter that they described themselves as progressives and that other progressives also saw them so. Just emit a smokescreen of obfuscation and insist that they were somehow right-wing.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    Hey, national healthcare will produce lots of savings. Simply killing off everybody above 80 in an involuntary euthanasia action will save everybody lots of money. So would abortions of handicapped people.

    Aren’t you people here interested in Helen’s world, in Ozzie’s utopia? Where is the compassion of conservatives Bush touted so much?

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    Just emit a smokescreen of obfuscation and insist that they were somehow right-wing.

    It might be a tad hard to nominate the founder of Planned Parenthood as ‘right-wing nut’ ; )

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  • BrianE

    Very depressing that this is the “new enlightenment” we are moving toward.

    Interesting (in the sense of watching a car crash) interview with Ginsburg, and just how left the left is. She originally thought that Roe was decided for population control, particularly in populatons “we don’t want to have too many of”. (wink, wink)
    She later realized she had been wrong. (this says nothing about her lack of revulsion to the idea of eugenics itself, just that she had drawn the wrong concluion about the purpose of Roe)

    JUSTICE GINSBURG: Yes, the ruling about that surprised me. [Harris v. McRae — in 1980 the court upheld the Hyde Amendment, which forbids the use of Medicaid for abortions.] Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion. Which some people felt would risk coercing women into having abortions when they didn’t really want them. But when the court decided McRae, the case came out the other way. And then I realized that my perception of it had been altogether wrong.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/12/magazine/12ginsburg-t.html?pagewanted=4&_r=1

  • suek

    Heh. Brian…back to that control of the health care system question…

    Why does the left want to control the HCS???? and here you thought it was because they really wanted to help the poor and needy….!

    I don’t _think_ so!!!

  • Jose

    The Mark Steyn article is, once again, brilliant. This line made me chuckle:

    “By contrast, as an example of an exemplary environmentalist, the prince [of Wales] hailed his forebear, King Henry VIII. True, he had a lot of wives, but he did dramatically reduce Anne Boleyn’s carbon footprint.”

    Gosh. Before long we’ll be thanking Hitler, Stalin and the Khmer Rouge for delaying global warming enough to us time to act. If it wasn’t for them, it might already be too late.

  • Danny Lemieux

    That’s not funny, Jose. A lot of people on the Left do think that way.

  • Charles Martel

    I remember the stir a few years ago when some scholar(s) wrote that one reason for the decline in the U.S. crime rate in the 1990s and early 2000s was probably the result of abortion: fewer babies meant fewer people growing up to become felons.

    For people who hold human life dear, the assertion was repugnant. For statists and utilitarians like Obama and Singer, it was almost certainly welcome news. Not only does abortion remove any penalties (viz Obama) attached to sex and free up women to remain in the workforce, it increases our standard of living by eliminating would-be criminals.

    Of course the only fly in that ointment is that also eliminates would-be taxpayers and workers, as in the people who have to be there to support pro-choicers in their old age.

  • BrianE

    JUSTICE GINSBURG: Yes, the ruling about that surprised me. [Harris v. McRae — in 1980 the court upheld the Hyde Amendment, which forbids the use of Medicaid for abortions.] Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion. Which some people felt would risk coercing women into having abortions when they didn’t really want them. But when the court decided McRae, the case came out the other way. And then I realized that my perception of it had been altogether wrong.

    It’s comforting to know that the left had it’s standards–just short of eugenics. Apparently Ginsburg is to the left of that standard, since she thought that Roe was for the purpose of controlling the population of those we didn’t “want too many of”.
    “Some people”, but apparently not her, thought that was going to far. Had she been on the supreme court then, Medicaid funding for abortion might have become the law of the and population control would have become the standard.

    We’re now headed that direction with a president who never saw an abortion he didn’t approve of, all under the guise of empathy. My how sympathetic the left is.

    She’ll be leaving the Supreme Court before she has an opportunity to contribute to humanity. I’m sure she’s disappointed.

  • Charles Martel

    . . .there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.”

    When an elitist like Ginsburg uses the pronoun “we” in conjunction with undesirable “populations,” you know its her inner racist Marxist struggling to get out and express itself, much like Dr. Strangelove’s Nazi salute.

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  • Mike Devx

    I’m coming back up for air after three glorious days reading the newly published – and eagerly awaited – David Weber’s latest, “By Heresies Distressed”.

    And I find this absolutely brilliant, wonderful post by Book waiting. Absolutely wonderfully written, Book!

    This looks like a Watcher’s winner to me!

    Just plain awesome.

  • Mike Devx

    Charles Martel #16:
    I remember the stir a few years ago when some scholar(s) wrote that one reason for the decline in the U.S. crime rate in the 1990s and early 2000s was probably the result of abortion: fewer babies meant fewer people growing up to become felons.

    That was a fascinating debate.

    One part of it in particular caught my eye and made me think: The claim was that we were aborting “unwanted babies” – babies that would have been birthed and either the parents would have been unable to care for them, or the parents would have been extremely poor caregivers. (On the average.)

    The claim was that felons/criminals, neer-do-wells are more often than not the result of very poor childhoods. Neglect of one sort or another was considered the driving cause behind the criminal class. By aborting a higher percentage of babies that would have been neglected, the crime RATE fell.

    There may very well be something to that argument!

    I certainly am not calling it a justification for abortion, which would be a case of the ends justifying the means. Where the end goal (a reduction in crime rate) justifies the means (abortion). That kind of social-goal thinking can lead you to the end goal (a reduction in Medicare and Medicaid costs) justifying the means (euthanasia of any elderly person with an expensive medical condition).

    And other such horrifying Statist “goals” that prompted Book’s outstanding post.

    There can never be a positive goal that can stand as a reason for an abortion, to me. I understand that abortion is legal, but to my mind, those who chose that legal operation are always suffering a tragedy.

    I empathize with the mother who faces a situation in her life where she decides, “I simply have no way of raising this child because of…”.

    I have little empathy for the mother who thinks, “There is *no way* I am giving up my lifestyle for some squalling little brat, and besides, John is hot, and I’d lose him if I became pregnant, and Chad wouldn’t like me very much either. Have you ever seen a pregnant cow have fun at a nightclub? Screw that!”

    In any case, I respect the decision to have the baby and give a baby up for adoption far more than I do the decision to have the abortion.

  • joshulux

    I would recommend anyone interested in thinking about both sides of these issues to read the novel “Ishmael” by Daniel Quinn.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    There is another aspect here. Abortion here can be used as a weapon against the Dems. It is the Dem lock on the black community that supplies much of their war fighting material, aka political advantage. By exposing the truth, that their white Democrat masters have been eliminating blacks in order to decrease the ‘undesirables’, we achieve our political goals while at the same time turning blacks against Democrats.

    Blacks are paranoid about the “Man”, of course. So use that. The Sunnis are tribal and parochial you say? Use that for us rather than against us!

    Btw, Mike, you’re one up on me since i didn’t even know that the third installation had been released yet.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    Gattaca is the movie you need to see if you wish to perceive the conception of a future society based upon pre-determined genetic destiny.

    And of how, ultimately, the human spirit and individual will transcends such predestined outcomes.

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