Friday, September 01, 2006

Eugenics and intervention in the family

Among the many articles I haven't got round to writing yet is one looking at parallels between the eugenics movement at the start of the 20th century and the calls for more intervention in the family today.

The arguments used to promote both concepts are remarkably similar. In each case we are or were told that leaving the poor to go their own way imposes financial burdens on the rest of us and even that it threatens the survival of our society.

An enthusiasm for eugenics, incidentally, was by no means confined to the Nazi right. Many on the left saw it as the ultimate victory of science and socialism.

Today Charles Anglin has a post entitled "The return of eugenics", which suggests he has made the connection too. He does not develop this insight further, but it is still a splendid rant.

1 comment:

Jock Coats said...

I spotted something a few weeks ago about a Scottish Labour person talking about effectively enforced contraception for female drug users and made a link with eugenics. Been meaning to explore it further. I think some of these ideas recently have been particularly sinister.