|• Main||• Contacts|
will admit of no escape. These facts must be faced, and steps must be
taken by society to protect the race from degeneration and actual Race
Suicide. And the Science of Eugenics is pointing the way.
Dr. Saleeby says of this phase of Eugenics: "Negative Eugenics will seek
to define the diseases and defects which are really hereditary; to name
those the transmission of which is already known to occur, and to raise
the average of the race by interfering as far as may be with the
parenthood of persons suffering from these transmissible disorders.
Only thus can certain of the gravest evils of society, as, for instance,
feeble-mindedness, insanity, and crime due to inherited degeneracy, be
suppressed; and if Race-Culture were absolutely incapable of effecting
anything whatever in the way of increasing the fertility of the
worthiest classes and individuals, its services in the negative
direction here briefly outlined would be of incalculable value. To this
policy we shall most certainly come; but here, as in other cases, I
trust far more to the influence of an educated public opinion than in
legislation; though there are certain forms of transmissible disease,
interfering in no way with the responsibility of the individual, the
transmission of which should be visited with the utmost rigor of the
law, and regarded as utterly criminal, no less than sheer murder."
But the Science of Eugenics is concerned not only with telling society
what "not to do"--it is equally concerned with telling it "what to do."
It has its Positive as well as its Negative side. After pointing out the
evils of procreation on the part of the unfit, it then proceeds to tell
the fit how to best serve the interests of the unborn. Eugenics is not
satisfied with merely plucking out the foul weeds which have encumbered
the fair garden of life--it seeks also to furnish to the real flowers
better soil, and improved conditions, and to give them the benefit of
the best selection, breeding and conditions, that they may evolve and
improve into still more glorious products of nature's power.
The Eugenists earnestly advocate laws and public opinion tending to
protect mothers and expectant mothers. They recognize the supremacy of
motherhood, and aim to encourage and protect it. They decry the common
indifference toward this function which is all important in the
preservation and evolution of the race, and which neglect is well
expressed in the complaint of Bouchacourt, who said: "The dregs of the
human species--the blind, the deaf-mute, the degenerate, the imbecile,
Page 2 from 5: Back 1  3 4 5 Forward