Re: James Fulford’s article “Eugenics” is What Happens when Cousins Don’t Marry
From: An Anonymous College Student [Email him]
James Fulford’s article prompts a question. At the beginning he stated that eugenics “gets a bad rap,” due to associations with early 20th century progressives and the Nazis. Let me state I am against state enforced eugenics, but I agreed with the gist of your article, in support of essentially free market eugenics. My question as it relates to libertarians and paleoconservatives is as follows:
In the past few years I’ve read many paleoconservative and libertarian blogs which are against globalism essentially try to link anyone associated with eugenics or racial science as being a part of an elite conspiracy.
Examples include articles on Lew Rockwell’s website, and also that of conspiracy theory radio host Alex Jones. In many of their diatribes they have smeared any sort of promotion of selective breeding as a part of a “globalist” conspiracy, i.e. the Rockefeller funding of the Population Council which created Norplant.
In addition to this, I’ve heard Glenn Beck and other neoconservatives condemn early 20th century figures such as Margaret Sanger and immigration reformer Madison Grant as being a part of global conspiracies or as having been no different than the Nazis, due to their belief in eugenics. Essentially what is your take on refuting such theories?
I for one find them to be out there; but, I just wanted to write and get your take, as I greatly enjoy your columns and analysis, and thought you could be of help as it relates to debunking those that have attacked anyone interested in eugenics as globalist.
James Fulford writes: I was able to answer this question from my iPhone, which means that I originally sent the writer fewer links than I usually would.(It annoys me when a writer says "Google such and such" ) I wrote to the anonymous student that:
Briefly, it's not the case that either Sanger or Madison Grant were part of a conspiracy—both were ordinary public intellectuals.
Besides, he's a sincere Catholic, and would not appreciate Sanger's work even if it weren't coercive.
Madison Grant was an immigration restrictionist rather than a eugenicist.
He didn't want to prevent “mental defectives” from being born, he wanted to prevent foreign immigrants from landing at Ellis Island.(Lothrop Stoddard was more of a believer in Eugenic Laws.)
One problem is that these people were trying to practice Eugenics without having invented genetics, or much in the way of psychometry.
Not that they were totally helpless, the thing about cousins not marrying is in the Bible, and you can diagnose Downs Syndrome from across the street, but it was crazy to pass laws on the basis of what they knew at the time.
If you look at German history, you will begin to wonder if the German tendency towards mass murder, rather than being caused by American Eugenic theories, was not, in fact...genetic.