(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Children's Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Man In The Modern World"

EUGENICS AND SOCIETY
sometimes to zero, because they feel that they cannot bear to bring
children into a world exposed to such a constant risk of war and chaos.
As eugenists we must therefore aim at transforming the social
system. There may of course be those amongst our ranks who prefer
the not disagreeable role of a Jeremiah darkly prophesying gloom to
settling down at the more prosaic job of constructive work. But as a
body, we shall wish, I take it, to see at least the possibility of our
dreams coming true.
What sort of practical changes, then, should we as eugenists try to
encourage in the social and economic system? In the first place—
what we have already noted as desirable on theoretical grounds—the
equalizing of environment in an upward direction. For this, by per-
mitting of more definite knowledge as to the genetic constitution of
different classes and types, will at once give us more certainty in any
eugenic selection, negative or positive, upon which we may embark.
And secondly, we must aim at the abandonment of the idea of national
sovereign states, and the subordination of national disputes to inter-
national organization and supernational power.
But we need something more radical than this—we must try to find
a pattern of economic and communal life which will not be inherently
dysgenic; and we must also try to find a pattern of family and repro-
ductive life which will permit of more rapid and constructive eugenics*
On the first point, it seems clear that the individualist scramble for
social and financial promotion should be dethroned from its present
position as main incentive in life, and that we must try to raise the
power of group-incentives. Group-incentives are powerful in tribal
existence, and have been powerful in many historical civilisations^
such as the old Japanese. What interests us chiefly, however, is to
find that they have been to a large extent effective in replacing
individualist money incentives, or at least diminishing their relative
social importance, in several modern States, notably Germany and
the U.S.S.R.
It is not for a biologist to discuss the purely social merits of different
political philosophies: but he may be allowed to point out that not
all group-incentives are equally valuable from the eugenic standpoint.
Those of Nazi Germany, for instance, presuppose an intensificatiotx
of nationalist feeling and activity instead of their diminution: and
this, we have concluded, is actually anti-eugenic. It may of course
be urged that it is in its immediate effect eugenic; and there will be
many to uphold the value of the eugenic measures recently adopted in
Germany under the stimulus of National Socialist ideas and emotions,
even if some of them be crude and unscientific. But if in the long run
47