non-fascist fascism

Historians used to think that eugenics was a fringe science of the 1900s to 1920s practiced by a handful of quacks in marginalized areas like Indiana, rural Virginia, and the remote prisons of California. We now know that "race betterment"--the Nazi's called it Rassenhygiene--did not appear with or disappear with these quacks or their German successors. Four of the wealthiest, most conservative businessmen in America funded the early eugenics movement--Rockefeller, Carnegie, Harriman, and Kellogg. Some of the most well-known Christians supported it, preached eugenics from the pulpits even. A number of the most progressive reformers--Margret Sanger, among them--agitated for the extension of eugenic laws. And, we now know, some of the best scientists--people that had previously been portrayed as "above the fray"--advocated eugenics and even constructed some of their scientific theories around their support for race betterment. Julian Huxley--grandson of Darwin's "bulldog" T. H. Huxley and brother of Brave New World author Aldous Huxley--was one of the pioneers of the idea that there are things called "genes" controling our heredity. His work, touted by some as the Great Synthesis of biology, also gave scientific creedence to the idea that "defectives" would bring down society. Here are his words:
Here again, dealing with defectives in the present system can be at best a palliative. We must be able to pick out the genetically inferior stocks with more certainty, and we must set in motion counter-forces making for faster reproduction of superior stocks, if we are to reverse or even arrest the trend. And neither of these, as we have seen, is possible without an alteration of the social system.


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