Continued from: Of Eugenicists, Oligarchs and Psychopaths (part 4)
After the second world war, the practice of “imposing measures intended to prevent births within [a national, ethnical, racial or religious] group” fell within the definition of the new international crime of genocide, set out in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
Article 2 of the Convention defines genocide as:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”
The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union also proclaims “the prohibition of eugenic practices, in particular those aiming at selection of persons.” (Article 3, Section 2).
In spite of the decline in discriminatory eugenics laws, some government mandated sterilisations continued into the twenty first century. Examples: during the ten years President Alberto Fujimori led Peru from 1990 to 2000, 2,000 persons were allegedly involuntarily sterilised. (P. Meilhan and B. Brumfield, Peru will not prosecute former President over sterilization campaign, cnn.com, 25.01.2014).
China maintained its ‘one-child policy’ until 2015 as well as a suite of other eugenics based legislation to reduce population size and manage fertility rates of different populations. (F. Dikötter, Imperfect Conceptions: Medical Knowledge, Birth Defects, and Eugenics in China, Columbia University Press, New York 1987; G. Miller, What should we be worried about? Chinese eugenics, Edge Foundation, Seattle, WA, 2013); F. Dikötter, (1999) The legislation imposes decisions: Laws about eugenics in China, UNESCO Courier. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization)
In 2007 the United Nations reported coercive sterilisations and hysterectomies in Uzbekistan. (N. Antelava, Uzbekistan’s policy of secretly sterilizing women, BBC News (12 April 2012).
During the years 2005 to 2013, nearly one-third of the 144 California prison inmates who were sterilised did not give lawful consent to the operation. (C. G. Johnson, Calif. female inmates sterilized illegally, USA Today, 20.06.2014).
Developments in genetic, genomic, and reproductive technologies at the end of the twentieth century were raising numerous questions regarding the ethical status of eugenics, effectively creating a resurgence of interest in the subject. Some, such as University of California, Berkeley sociologist professor Troy Duster, claim that modern genetics is a ‘back door’ to eugenics. (C.J. Epstein, Is modern genetics the new eugenics?, Genetics in Medicine, 5 (6): 469–475, 01.11.2003). This view is shared by White House Assistant Director for Forensic Sciences, Tania Simoncelli, who stated in a 2003 publication by the Population and Development Program at Hampshire College that advances in pre-implantation genetic diagnosis are moving society to a “new era of eugenics”, and that, unlike the Nazi eugenics, modern eugenics is consumer driven and market based, “where children are increasingly regarded as made-to-order consumer products.” T. Simoncelli, Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis and Selection: From disease prevention to customised conception (2003).
In a 2006 newspaper article, Richard Dawkins, ethologist and evolutionary biologist, said that discussion regarding eugenics was inhibited by the shadow of Nazi misuse, to the extent that some scientists would not admit that breeding humans for certain abilities is at all possible. He believes that it is not physically different from breeding domestic animals for traits such as speed or herding skill. Dawkins felt that enough time had elapsed at least to ask just what the ethical differences were between breeding for ability versus training athletes or forcing children to take music lessons, though he could think of persuasive reasons to draw the distinction. (R. Dawkins, From the afterward, The (Glasgow) Herald, 19.11.2006).
In October 2015 the United Nations’ International Bioethics Committee wrote that the ethical problems of ‘human genetic engineering’ should not be confused with the ethical problems of the twentieth century eugenics movements. However, it is still problematic because it challenges the idea of human equality and opens up new forms of discrimination and stigmatisation for those who do not want, or cannot afford, the technology. (Report of the I.B.C. on updating its reflection on the human genome and human rights, (PDF). International Bioethics Committee, 02.10. 2015 at 27).
Transhumanism is often associated with eugenics, although most transhumanists holding similar views nonetheless distance themselves from the term ‘eugenics’, preferring ‘germinal choice’ or ‘reprogenetics’ case to avoid having their position confused with the discredited theories and practices of early-20th-century eugenic movements. (L. M. Silver, Remaking Eden: Cloning and beyond in a brave new world, Harper Perennial, New York 1988).
Prenatal screening can be considered a form of contemporary eugenics because it may lead to preventing the birth of a child with undesirable traits. (G. M. Thomas, B. Katz Rothman, Keeping the backdoor to eugenics ajar?: Disability and the future of prenatal screening, AMA Journal of Ethics, 18 (4): 406–415 (2016). Their view is that prenatal screening for Down Syndrome, for instance, can be considered a form of contemporary eugenics, in that it effaces, devalues, and possibly prevents the births of people with the condition.
In the decades after the second world war, the term ‘eugenics’ had taken on a negative connotation and had become increasingly unpopular within academic science. Many organisations and journals which had their origins in the eugenics movement began to distance themselves from the philosophy, as when Eugenics Quarterly became Social Biology in 1969.
A common criticism of eugenics is that “it inevitably leads to measures that are unethical.” (R. Lynn, Eugenics: a reassessment, Praeger Publishers, Westport, CT, 2001 at 241).
Some fear future ‘eugenics wars’ as the consequence: the return of coercive state-sponsored genetic discrimination and human rights violations such as compulsory sterilisation of persons with genetic defects, the killing of the institutionalised and, specifically, segregation and genocide of ‘races’ perceived as inferior.
George J. Annas, Distinguished Professor and Director of the Center for Health Law, Ethics and Human Rights at the Boston University School of Public Health, School of Medicine, and School of Law and law professor Lori B. Andrews, Director of the Illinois Institute for Science, Law and Technology at the Chicago-Kent College of Law, Chicago, ILL., are prominent advocates of the position that the use of these technologies could lead to such human-posthuman caste warfare. (G. Annas, L. Andrews and R. Isasi, Protecting the endangered human: Toward an international treaty prohibiting cloning and inheritable alterations, (2002) American Journal of Law & Medicine, 28: 151).
William Ernest ‘Bill’ McKibben, an American environmentalist, argued at length against germinal choice technology and other advanced biotechnological strategies for human enhancement in his work Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age (St. Martin’s Griffin, New York, 2003). He writes that it would be morally wrong for humans to tamper with fundamental aspects of themselves – or their children – in an attempt to overcome universal human limitations, such as vulnerability to aging, maximum life span and biological constraints on physical and cognitive ability. Attempts to ‘improve’ themselves through such manipulation would remove limitations which provide a necessary context for the experience of meaningful human choice. He claims that human lives would no longer seem meaningful in a world where such limitations could be overcome with technology. Even the goal of using germinal choice technology for clearly therapeutic purposes should be relinquished, since it would inevitably produce temptations to tamper with such things as cognitive capacities. He argues that it is possible for societies to benefit from renouncing particular technologies, such as was the case during the Ming China, Tokugawa Japan and still is the contemporary Amish.
Others, for example Nathaniel Charles Comfort, an American professor at the Institute of the History of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University, claim that the change from state-led reproductive-genetic decision-making to individual choice has moderated the worst abuses of eugenics by transferring the decision-making from the state to the patient and their family. Comfort suggests that “the eugenic impulse drives us to eliminate disease, live longer and healthier, with greater intelligence, and a better adjustment to the conditions of society; and the health benefits, the intellectual thrill and the profits of genetic bio-medicine are too great for us to do otherwise.” (N. C. Comfort, The Science of Human Perfection: How Genes Became the Heart of American Medicine, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014).
Others still, such as Stephen Wilkinson, professor of Bioethics at Lancaster University and Eve Garrard, a moral philosopher at the Centre for Professional Ethics at Keele University, claim that some aspects of modern genetics can be classified as eugenics, but that this classification does not inherently make modern genetics immoral. In a co-authored publication by Keele University, they stated that “[e]ugenics doesn’t seem always to be immoral, and so the fact that pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, and other forms of selective reproduction, might sometimes technically be eugenic, isn’t sufficient to show that they’re wrong.” (S. Wilkinson, and E. Garrard, ‘Eugenics and the Ethics of Selective Reproduction’ (PDF), Keele University, U.K., 2013).
Bioethicists Allen Edward Buchanan, Dan W. Brock, Norman Daniels and Daniel I. Wikler argued that liberal societies have an obligation to encourage as wide an adoption of eugenic enhancement technologies as possible – so long as such policies do not infringe on individuals’ reproductive rights or exert undue pressures on prospective parents to use these technologies – in order to maximise public health and minimise the inequalities which may result from both natural genetic endowments and unequal access to genetic enhancements. (Allen Edward Buchanan, Dan W. Brock, Norman Daniels and Daniel I. Wikler, From chance to choice: genetics and justice (Cambridge University Press 2000).
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During the years leading up to the second world war, ‘eugenics laws’ were passed in 27 American states which allowed for the forcible sterilisation of tens of thousands of Americans, and account for the influence of a powerful elite of then-millionaires who pressed for such laws.
‘Grand capital’ supported the formation of nationalist groups and the advent of totalitarian regimes during the interwar period. Huge financing was behind the ‘squadre d’azione’ – action teams that Mussolini brought triumphantly to a pusillanimous king in 1922, opening a long period during which the future ‘Duce of Italy’ would move from an anarchist and republican position to a catholic and monarchist servitude. Italian and foreign capital had paid for his murderous squadre and final victory. And representatives of the ‘haute bourgeoisie’ competed on praising Mussolini, from Churchill in London to distant premiers in Australian capitals – to mention just a few of such admirers. Menzies preferred to praise Nazi Germany. Mussolini had invented the non-existent “razza Italiana”, assisted for the purpose by hired academicians. Contagion was to follow quickly and easily with Hitler – an Austrian born – exalting the “German rasse” and Franco proclaiming, with the benediction of the Catholic Church, the triumph of the “raza.” In that name, Ethiopians tasted ‘western civilisation’ from the combination of Church-Monarchy-Fascism, the Germans acquired Interessengemeinschaft Farbenindustrie AG – IG Farben, and the English could secure the much needed pyrite from the Francoist occupied Euskal Herria – Basque Country.
In the United States, behind the triumphant fascism stood the Pioneer Fund.
Established in 1937 by textile machinery millionaire, Wickcliffe Draper, an ardent eugenicist and lifelong advocate of strict racial segregation. the Pioneer Fund had a long connection with Nazi and neo-Nazi ‘race theories’, and for many years had been funding a small, tightly knit group of people who cited each other’s work, reviewed each other’s books and acknowledged each other in their writings. When scandal emerged these people invariably denied knowing anything of the Pioneer Fund’s nefarious history, even though many scandals had broken into national prominence and articles about the Fund had appeared for over three decades.
The Pioneer Fund was incorporated in 1937 by two American scientists: Harry Hamilton Laughlin, an American educator, eugenicist and sociologist who received an honorary doctorate from Heidelberg University in 1936 in honour of his contribution to Nazi eugenics and served as the Superintendent of the Eugenics Record Office from its inception in 1910 to its closing in 1939, and Major General Frederick Henry Osborn, who wrote in 1937 that the Nazi sterilisation law was “the most exciting experiment that had ever been tried.”
The Fund had two purposes. The first, modelled on the Nazi breeding programme, was aimed at encouraging the propagation of those “descended predominantly from white persons who settled in the original thirteen states prior to the adoption of the Constitution of the United States and/or from related stocks, or to classes of children, the majority of whom are deemed to be so descended.” Its second purpose was to support academic research and the “dissemination of information, into the ‘problem of heredity and eugenics’ and the problems of race betterment.”
Among the first projects discussed for 1937 was the distribution of two Nazi eugenic propaganda films to ‘high schools, colleges, clubs [and] churches.’ (See H. Laughlin to C. Schneider, 11 August 1936, Harry Laughlin Papers, Northeast Missouri State University; Frederick Osborn, ‘Summary of the proceedings’ of the Conference on Eugenics in Relation to Nursing, 24 February 1937, American Eugenics Society Archives; see also: Laughlin to Draper. 15 March 1937 and 9 December 1938).
In the 1950s and 1960s, the Pioneer Fund aligned itself with the American right fighting Brown v. Board of Education. 347 U.S. 483 (1954) That was a landmark decision of the Supreme Court in which the Court ruled that American state laws establishing racial segregation in public schools are unconstitutional, even if the segregated schools are otherwise equal in quality.
Draper also worked with the House Un-American Activities Committee to prove “that the Negro race is genetically inferior and that American Negroes ought to be ‘repatriated’ to Africa”, and was regarded by several academics as “a racist of the usual type.” (R. W. May, Genetics and subversion, The Nation, 14 May 1960; D. A. Blackmon, Silent partner: How the South’s fight to uphold segregation was funded up North, The Wall Street Journal, 11 June 1999).
Major General Frederick Henry Osborn, Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Northern Iowa, received over $40,000 from the Pioneer Fund in the mid-1970s. This included a $6,000 grant to test ‘Anglo-Saxon’ schoolchildren in a study directed by Donald A. Swan, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Southern Mississippi. When Swan was arrested in 1966 for mail-fraud, the police found Nazi paraphernalia, swastika flags, weapons, pictures of Swan with members of George Lincoln Rockwell’s American Nazi Party and hundreds of anti-Semitic, anti-black and anti-Catholic pamphlets in his apartment in Queens, New York.
Frederick Henry Osborn was not a geneticist, but he used Pioneer funds to study ‘forced bussing and its relationship to genetic aspects of educability’ (G. Lichtenstein, The New York Times, 11 December 1977), and to organise anti-bussing conferences, out of which grew the National Association for Neighbourhood Schools. (J. A. Raffel, The Politics of School Desegregation: The Metropolitan Remedy in Delaware, Temple University Press, Philadelphia, Penn. 1980, at 156-7) There was no objection to his acceptance of Pioneer funds, even when the organisation was exposed as racist.(The St Louis Post Dispatch, 11 December 1977)
Eugenicists did successfully legitimate and integrate themselves with the Reagan right. In 1985 Osborn was chosen as the chair of the Iowa Advisory Commission on Civil Rights by Clarence McClane Pendleton Jr., Reagan Administration appointee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. The Pioneer Fund was also closely associated with Jesse Alexander Helms Jr., a politician and a leader in the conservative movement who served from 1973 until 2003 as a Republican senator from North Carolina. Helms was the operator of a multi-million dollar high-tech political machine. The Fund’s president from 1958 to 2002, Harry F. Weyher Jr., a lawyer, was lead-counsel for Fairness in Media – F.I.M., the group which attempted to take over the C.B.S. television network. Thomas F. Ellis, a lawyer and political activist involved in numerous conservative causes, whose network of interests was described as ‘a multimillion dollar political empire of corporations, foundations, political action committees and ad hoc groups’ active in the 1980s, was Helms’ political strategist and F.I.M. founder. He served as a director of the Pioneer Fund. (D. A. Wise and T. B. Edsall, Battle for CBS takes on air of mudslinging contest, The Washington Post, 31 March 1985).
Despite Roger Pearson’s connections through the World Anti-Communist League (a British anthropologist, he had been a soldier, businessman, eugenics advocate, political organiser for the extreme right, and publisher of political and academic journals) with people such as Earl Thomas, former American Nazi Party storm trooper, and the late Giorgio Almirante (the founder and leader of neo-fascist Italian Social Movement until his retirement in 1987. He had written extensively for the journal La difesa della razza – The defence of race, and had followed Mussolini in his final collaboration with the Nazi invaders) he also developed successful relationships with the conservative mainstream. In 1982 he distributed a letter from President Reagan praising Pearson’s substantial contribution to “promoting and upholding” those “ideals and principles that we value at home and abroad.” On 28 September 1984 The Wall Street Journal embarrassed the White House into asking Pearson to stop sending the letter out but it refused to repudiate the letter.
The focus for many scientists was the I.Q. question. A survey of 661 scholars working on this issue had shown that the campaign to legitimate the work of the racist scholars connected to the Pioneer Fund was having a profound effect. The survey revealed that the single most compelling reason convincing scholars of the genetic component to I.Q. was the “barrage of studies on identical twins reared apart.”
The source of this “barrage” was Thomas J. Bouchard Jr.’s Minnesota Twins Study Project. Bouchard is a psychologist and geneticist, professor emeritus of psychology and director of the Center for Twin and Adoption Research at the University of Minnesota. He is best known for his studies of twins reared apart. Only a few articles on personality and character traits have been published in refereed journals, but the Minnesota group announced ‘conclusions’ and generated massive publicity about the heritable nature of personality traits. It was that, in order for the scientific community to have an opportunity to evaluate the twin study a book-length monograph was needed. Such a monograph was promised by 1987. (R. Bazell, Sins and twins, The New Republic, 21 December 1987).
It is possible that Bouchard’s survey is methodologically rigorous, but few bodies save the Pioneer Fund would support a study which has not been published in a reputable academic journal. Until such time, it was thought that a decade of media coverage will have made its impression, and ideas generated by right wing eugenicists heralding all end to white civilisation might have become acceptable and commonplace. (B. Mehler, Foundation for Fascism: the New Eugenics Movement in the United States, (1989) Patterns of Prejudice, vol. 23, no. 4), Foundation for Fascism: the New Eugenics Movement in the United States, Patterns of Prejudice, Ferris State University).
Of course, following the second world war, eugenics was re-branded to cast off its associations with the Nazis, and emerged, as it were, in the form of such social policy topics as ‘population control,’ ‘family planning,’ abortion/Planned Parenthood, health care, various types of genetics, even laced in between such agendas as global warming/climate change – which leads to arguments about reducing the burden of over-population upon the earth.
Later projects funded by the Rockefeller Foundation included everything from Margaret Sanger and Planned Parenthood, to an anti-fertility vaccine among others. These people spent millions back then and continued to do so throughout the decades.
And could one really believe that the motives behind the money have changed?
The ultimate goal – total control over society and depopulation – has never changed, regardless of what such privileged elite calls it now or how they try to paint it in a positive light today.
Even at a time when eugenics was en vogue, not everyone was on board with targeting the poorest and most vulnerable in society in a world run by Rockefeller wealth.
* * * * *
The Rockefeller Foundation was started by John D. Rockefeller Sr., along with his son John D. Rockefeller Jr., and the Senior’s principal oil and gas business and philanthropic advisor, Frederick Taylor Gates, in New York State on 14 May 1913, when its charter was formally accepted by the New York State Legislature.
Some people are still under the impression that the Rockefeller Foundation is all about philanthropy – helping people and saving lives. Those people have a personal position to defend; they are people such as William Henry ‘Bill’ Gates III, or the likes of Warren Edward Buffett.
In reality, the Rockefellers have been one of the largest financial supporters and drivers of the eugenics and the depopulation agenda for over a century.
Evidence is readily available, even from the humblest sources. On 4 November 1915 The Salem Daily Capital Journal printed an article headed: “Rockefeller, Jr., On Eugenic Problems.” The article is about a ‘new eugenics’ play “The Unborn” produced in New York by physicians and philanthropists. On the play this is what John Rockefeller Jr. says:
“For the first time in dramatic history the perplexing problem of the limitation of undesirable offspring which has been engaging the attention of thoughtful eugenists and sociologists the world over is dealt with on the stage in a play that we are to produce. The right of the child to be well-born and the right of the wife to decide about it are problems the solution of which society can no longer ignore.”
This is what propaganda looked like before television arrived. The Rockefellers were in fact funding a stage play pushing a eugenics depopulation agenda all the way back in 1915!
At first glance, it sounds like modern-day birth control and a woman’s right to choose, does it not? And it is well known that the Rockefellers have also been massive financial supporters of such programmes for a long time.
However, there are objectionable words in the passage – such as “undesirable”, which in this old context means something a lot different, and “well-born.” As used, the right of the child to be “well-born” seems to means something different, and rather sinister.
Just a few months earlier, the Rockefellers also appeared in multiple articles about a ‘new eugenics’ enterprise printed in papers across the country like the following in The Washington Herald on 3 September 1915.
Headline: “15,000,000 Americans defective, they say” Subhead: “Gigantic eugenic enterprise organized for Sterilization of unfit of Nation.”
This piece discusses the joint eugenics venture between Mrs. E.H. Harriman – mother of future statesman and Skull & Bones secret society member Averell Harriman; John D. Rockefeller; Andrew Carnegie, an industrialist and a leading philanthropist in the United States and in the British Empire; and scientist Alexander Graham Bell, who was said to have invented the telephone and who was apparently a huge eugenicist.
Apparently John D. Rockefeller and Co. were giving “liberal financial assistance,” i.e. millions to fund a “gigantic eugenic enterprise… to ascertain what is the matter with the human race” which had been going on for four years prior and which ended in the announcement in this article of a campaign being launched “for the sterilization of 15,000,000 Americans.”
Studies in eugenics had been “quietly conducted” for nearly half a decade not just at Cold Springs Harbor in the ‘imperial’ residence of the Harrimans, but “by field workers all over the world.”
The article concludes:
“The organization, after his (sic!) four years’ work in this country and Europe reached the conclusion that sterilization of defectives was the greatest work for them. Statistics gathered reveal the amazing fact that 10 per cent of the present population of the United States are defectives, who must be blotted out as reproducers of human life.”
“Undesirables” or “defectives” could mean anything from people who had committed crimes to people who drank alcohol too often, or people who were considered feeble-minded, physically handicapped or sick people and even the impoverished or people simply considered to be of poor breeding.
Children born to parents such as these were not considered to be “well-born.”
Under the guise of ‘fixing’ the ‘human race’, this elite got together and funded a massive campaign permanently to sterilise ten per cent of the American population.
The same elite robber barons who had consolidated and monopolised the oil, rail, steel and banking industries took it upon themselves also to promote laws to restrict which people might be allowed to have children, all while lauding themselves and their ‘blue blood’ friends as the types who should reproduce as much as possible.
In the 8 October 1915 edition of The Day Book, R.F. Paine made just such a case under the heading: “Where to begin.
The millions of Mrs. Harriman, relict of the great railroad ‘promoter,’ assisted by other millions of Rockefeller and Carnegie, are to be devoted to sterilization of several hundred thousands of American ‘defectives’ annually, as a matter of ‘eugenics’.
It is true that we don’t yet know all that the millions of our plutocracy can do to the common folks. We see that our moneyed plutocrats can own the governments of whole states, override constitutions, maintain private armies to shoot down men, women and children and railroad innocent men to life imprisonment for murder, or lesser crimes. And if we submit to such things, we ought not to be surprised if they undertake to sterilize all those who are obnoxious to them.
Of course, the proposition demands much on who are the declared ‘defective.’
The old Spartans, with war always in view, used to destroy, at birth, boys born with decided physical weakness. Some of our present day eugenicists go farther and damn children before their birth because of parents criminally inclined. Then we have eugenic ‘defectives’ in the insane and incurably diseased…
But isn’t there another sort of ‘defective,’ who is quite as dangerous as any but whom discussion generally overlooks, especially discussion by senile, long-hailed pathologists, and long-eared college professors involved in the Harriman-Rockefeller scheme to sterilize?
A boy is born to millions. He either doesn’t work, isn’t useful, doesn’t contribute to human happiness, is altogether a parasite, or else he works to add to his millions, with the brutal, insane greed for more and more that caused the accumulation of the inherited millions. Why isn’t such the most dangerous ‘defective’ of all? Why isn’t the prevention of more such progeny the first duty of eugenics? Such ‘defectives’ directly attack the rights, liberties, happiness, lives of millions.
Talk about inheriting criminal tendencies ! If there a ranker case of such than the inheritance of Standard Oil criminality as evidenced in the slaughter of mothers and their babies at Ludlow?
Sterilization of hundreds of thousands of the masses, by the Harrimans and Rockefellers? Let’s first try out the ‘defectives’ of the sons of Harriman and Rockefeller!” (A. Dykes and M. Melton, A Century Ago: Rockefellers Funded Eugenics Initiative to Sterilize 15 million Americans, The Liberty Beacon, 14 December 2014).
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