Sir Francis Galton, although not as well known today as his cousin, Charles Darwin, was inseparable in name from Darwin in their day. In fact his ideas swept the scientific and political world so much that he was in every measure just as instrumental in the revolutionary ideas of social engineering, if not more so, than anyone at the time.
While Karl Marx penned the concept of “dialectical materialism,” which believed that all life came about from struggle, Darwin went on to state in his theories that all life was a result of a struggle of the species. However Galton came up with a further theory.
As stated earlier, Darwin was not the first scientist to pen ideas on evolution. In fact in 1800, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is probably the first “modern” thinker to develop a theory of organic evolution. However, what made Darwin’s thoughts different was the concept of “natural selection.” For many, it solved a fundamental issue in the planning of social engineering.
Upon reading Darwin’s theories such as “survival of the fittest,” Galton was delighted and went on to further the concept. Driven by the idea of struggle or “competition of the species,” he believed everything and all knowledge to his time pointed to a simple and obvious answer; that it was not only a struggle of the species but a “struggle of the races.”
Yes, for the first time someone actually put forth that not “all men are created equal” but that the human race was ultimately divided into more evolved and less evolved sub-species that will either add to mankind’s future or put it into jeopardy through useless competition of resources.
In 1869, ten years after Darwin’s first book, Galton ultimately gave birth to a “new science” as he stated in his book, “Inquiries Into Human Faculty and Its Development.” In it he coined the term “eugenics” for the first time. Taken from the Greek, eugenics derives from the word eu (good or well) and the suffix -gen (born). For some the term “well-bred” sounds familiar and has its origins here.
The purpose of eugenics, Galton said, “Is the study of the Agencies under social control that improve or impair the racial qualities of future generations either physically or mentally.”
So this quest to improve the “future generations” through “social control” by impairing or improving the “racial qualities” of man led to a method of measuring which was called “biometrics.”
Biometrics endeavored to create a socio-physical template for this method of improving the species of man where it measured intelligence and traced racial ancestry and hereditary traits of diseases and mental soundness.
Now before we go on much further let’s consider this one point. When matters of racial issues and those that promoted its divisiveness are brought up, people often surmise the instigators are simply ignorant and uneducated folk that don’t know any better.
However consider this: Galton was a well respected scientist and was an English Victorian polymath, anthropologist, eugenicist, tropical explorer, geographer, inventor, meteorologist, proto-geneticist, creator of psychometrics, and statistician with such contributions to the field of forensic sciences as the process of fingerprinting and so forth. He was knighted in 1909. As a child prodigy he was extremely advanced and was later reported to have an IQ measuring over 190. He is credited to have authored over 340 papers and books throughout his lifetime.
Many are astounded to read this information about eugenics as it sounds … yes it sounds like the common practice of Nazi Germany in the 1930s and 1940s. However it is not. This was approximately 65 years earlier. Yet as Marx and Engels as well as many other socialists enthusiastically applauded this belief at the time, modern socialists still claim no part in its origins.
In its day, eugenics was controversial at first. However a family friend and supporter of Darwin and Galton, T.H. Huxley, known as their bulldog, became its most influential supporter and promoted the theories to universities and scientific circles throughout the world.
The families of Galton, Darwin, Huxley, and Edgewood were so convinced of the soundness of eugenics, that they committed their families to a social experiment where “the four families shall only breed together.”
They predicted in a short time the effort would produce a race of “Supermen” with the most elite traits of humankind. However they were wrong and it was a disaster. Within two generations, the experiment went awry producing stillborn children, mentally retarded and physically deformed offspring.
Interestingly enough though, this well publicized story did not deter in any way the zealous adherents to this pseudo-science and clung to it with religious fervor.
Many universities embraced the concept wholeheartedly and, one by one, prestigious institutions across the Western world adopted eugenics studies into their curriculum. Soon the subject was made into a credited study until near the end of World War II.
The Second Stage
The second stage in the development of the eugenics movement extended from 1905 to 1932, when the subject entered its period of greatest influence.
In the following years a wildfire of support swept the world over with a succession of important events that were fully endorsed by or originated with Socialist ideals of the planned society using eugenics as its guide for the citizenry.
Eugenics Growth Timeline
1898—Sweden: The Social Democrat Party, the second largest eugenics influenced society behind Nazi Germany taking orthodox Marxism and Galton’s models as guides survived until 1975.
1901—Great Britain: H.G. Wells, author of War of the Worlds, penned Anticipations, a pro-eugenicist scientist controlled future.
1903—Great Britain: George Bernard Shaw, playwright, novelist, and outspoken socialist writes “Men and Supermen” advocating a super-race of men produced through eugenics.
1904—USA: Charles Davenport establishes the Cold Spring Harbor Research Facility in New York with its funding from foundations of the wealthiest families in the world including John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, and the Harriman family with the purpose of eugenic studies and experiments on humans.
1907—USA: President Woodrow Wilson helped to pass the first sterilization laws which forcibly sterilized undesirables such as the mentally ill, persons who scored low on school tests, felons and violent persons, and even prevented deformed babies from living past birth. Eventually as the practice gained popularity, the victim list grew and this sterilization law was implemented in 34 states and victimized over 50,000 U.S. citizens.
Europe and Australia. Similar laws were already being adopted by Great Britain, Australia, and Canada and throughout Europe.
1910—USA: The “U.S. Eugenics Records Office” was established, taking tissue samples of unsuspecting Americans and experimental injections were administered as well as experimental radiation therapy on children and pregnant mothers, often resulting in death.
1911—Germany: The Rockefeller Foundation bankrolled the “Kaiser Wilhelm Institute” which later became a fundamental source of money and influence in the National Socialist Workers Party (Nazis)
1916—USA: Madison Conrad, an American lawyer, anthropologist, and eugenicist penned the book The Passing of the Great Race, an impetus in the socialist movement and later was referred to by Adolf Hitler as his “Bible.”
1916—USA: Margret Sanger, a feminist and eugenicist with a bent toward population control and a companion of H.G. Wells, opened her first birth control clinic which later became known as “Planned Parenthood” funded by the Rockefeller Foundation.
The Establishment of the International Eugenics Conference
In the following years, the International Eugenics Conference gained enormous popularity and became a public validation of its theories. Interestingly enough, a momentum of support by non-Westernized countries began as seen here:
1912—London: The First International Eugenics Conference with attendees from around the world and Major Leonard Darwin, Charles Darwin’s son, presiding. The event was dedicated to Sir Francis Galton. Attendees included socialists such as George Bernard Shaw, English Social Democrat leader Sydney Webb and, from Canada, Tommy Douglas. Also in attendance were other prominent leaders such as H. G. Wells, President Woodrow Wilson, President Theodore Roosevelt, Emile Zola, John Maynard Keynes, William Keith Kellogg, Margaret Sanger, Prime Minister of England Sir Winston Churchill, Sidney Webb, and many more.
1921—New York: The Second International Eugenics Conference was presided over by Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor, as well as new attendees from Latin America (Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela, San Salvador, Uruguay), Asia (Japan, India, Siam). The main topic was the elimination of the “unfit” in the concurrent societies.
1932—New York: The third International Eugenics Conference was presided over by Charles Davenport, the founder of the U.S. Eugenics Cold Springs Research Facility. Many of the attendees were ripe for action and an atmosphere of “Implementation” was present.
In the subsequent months, the Rockefeller Foundation funded a cooperation summit between U.S. and German eugenicists and dispatched Charles Davenport to the Rockefeller funded “Kaiser Wilhelm Institute” in Germany with two other colleagues.
The subject was an issue presented by the eugenicists but it was nothing new to the Germans. In fact it was rampant in the ruling party of Germany’s Reichstag and a belief prevalent throughout all of Socialist Europeans including the communists. However only the National Socialist Worker’s Party, or Nazis, were ready to implement the “Final Solution.”
“In Central Europe only Germans, Hungarians, and Poles counted as bearers of progress. The rest must go. The chief mission of all other races and peoples, large and small, is to perish in the revolutionary holocaust.”—Karl Marx, 1849
Next Week: “Socialism’s Final Solution”