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Full text of "Man In The Modern World"

EUGENICS AND SOCIETY
man-power, quantity of population above a certain minimum quali-
tative standard is as essential as higher quality; and if the two con-
flict, quantity supply must not be interfered with. For qualitative
change, a dual standard is indicatedódocility and industrious sub-
missiveness in the lower majority; intelligence, leadership and
strength of character in the upper few. Since a high degree of in-
tellect and imagination, of scientific and artistic ability and other
qualities, cannot be adequately expressed or utilized, under any
system resembling the present, in the great majority of the lower
strata, it is useless to plan for their genetic increase in these
strata. Indeed, it is more than useless, it is dangerous; for the frus-
tration of inherent capacity leads to discontent and revolution in*
some men, to neurosis and inefficiency in others. The case is strictly
analogous to that of cattle in Africa; in an unfavourable environ-
ment, too drastic genetic improvement is worse than none.
Next we come to planning for an ideal or optimum environment.
An obvious difficulty here is that the various optima conceived by
different minds, or groups of minds, will be so different as to be irre-
concilable. Putting this on one side, however, it is I think possible to
state the sort of optimum which would commend itself to the mass of
what we may call "men of goodwill." It would, I take it, be a social
environment which gave the opportunity, first of work which was not
excessive, which was felt to be useful, and whose rewards would pro-
vide not only the necessities but a reasonable supply of the comforts
and amenities of life: secondly, of a reasonable amount of leisure:
thirdly, the opportunity to everyone of expressing whatever gifts of
body and mind they might possess, in athletics or sport; in art,
science or literature, passive or actively enjoyed; in travel or politics,
in individual hobbies or in social service.
If so, then we should plan a eugenic programme with a single and
very high standard. We should aim at a high level of inherent
physical fitness, endurance and general intelligence; and we should
encourage the breeding of special talent of any and every sort, for
mathematical as much as for business success, artistic as much as
administrative. We should realize that, if we succeeded, our genetic
results would over a great range of the population be out of harmony
with their social surroundings, and would either be wasted or lead to
friction and discontent, or might express themselves in characters such
as neurosis or a sense of maladjustment which would represent a lower
level than that from which we started. For ultimate success we should
rely on creating a demand for changing the environment towards our
optimum. The supply of genetic types which could only reach proper
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