Feasibility

When an ideal is recognized as unachievable, it is dismissed as “utopian.” If real sacrifice is required on the part of the currently living, whose altruism extends downward for only a generation or two and who for the most part are indifferent to culture and civilization, is eugenics not simply a fantasy? To evaluate the feasibility of reestablishing the eugenics movement as a viable social force, we must first take a hard look at political systems and move beyond the populist jingoism which is as eternal as it is ubiquitous. In a dictatorship, power is patently invested in one person, whereas in “democracies” the pyramidal power structure is more opaque:
Level A: lobbies and (largely anonymous) oligarchs.
Level B: politicians.
Level C: prominent government staffers and media.
Level D: the general population.

What is crucial in this scheme of things is that the relationship of Levels B and C to Level A is, to a significant degree, that of employee to employer. To be elected, politicians need money for polling and advertising/propaganda, while the media (also owned by Level A) entertain the general population with competitions in which the differences between the competitors is minimal. Once “elected,” politicians then implement the will of those who provided the financing, while losing politicians are “parked” in profitable ceremonial positions to ready themselves for the next round. To be sure, there are sophisticates within the general population who are not duped as to the nature of the system, but they can be intimidated, co-opted, or even permitted to voice discontent. Since they pose no threat to the system, their protests are used as a demonstration of “freedom of speech.” The bottom line is that all human social structures are oligarchic in nature, and the implementation of a viable eugenics policy is dependent on a relatively tiny elite.

Eugenics is not an either/or proposition. Many of the decisions being taken on a governmental level are already fraught with genetic consequences – family planning programs, legalized and subsidized abortions, immigration criteria, tax credits for having children, mandated paid parental leave, genetic research, cloning, fertility assistance, and so on. Eugenicists argue that it is only reasonable that the decision makers take into account the eugenic or dysgenic consequences of governmental actions. The world is divided into independent nations. Given the necessary funding, it would be possible in at least some of them to set up positive-eugenic breeding programs which would not necessarily depend on human birth mothers. The resistance to such changes is understandably intense, considering that even artificial insemination continues to be resisted in some quarters.

One obvious factor that will promote the eugenic agenda is the undeniable desire of parents to have healthy, intelligent children. Genetic screening of embryos will obviously encompass a greater and greater range of detectable traits, and thus the bar will be raised from simply eliminating disastrous diseases to attempting to produce children who enjoy genetic advantages that are currently available to a smaller percentage of the population. Germ-line therapy, unlike both the traditional methods of positive and negative eugenics, will make it possible for people to have their own children – but children who will be more healthy and intelligent than they would have been without genetic intervention. This method will entirely bypass the intergenerational conflict of interests which works to the disadvantage of the helpless unborn.

As discussed above, public opinion is extremely malleable. Advertising and political propaganda come down to cost. But if any individual country were to aggressively pursue a national eugenics policy while being militarily weak, of if any ethnic group were to follow such a course of action, nonparticipating countries/groups would sense a competitive threat to their offspring and would be sorely tempted to launch a preemptive strike so as to avoid the necessity of introducing a eugenics policy themselves.




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