Many of the bobble-headed Patriot Rockstars will claim that eugenics is the esoteric philosophy of the Establishment itself. Such an assertion certainly merited a serious examination as to its truth and veracity. Unfortunately for the Carousel of Carnivores, this argument of theirs is simply not that hard and fast with regards to its accuracy.
If Francis Galton was the grandfather of what later became known as eugenics, then Charles Davenport was its father. While it is true that the initial works of Galton and others, particularly Gregor Mendel, were primarily British in origin, eugenics really only took off as such only after it was consolidated by Davenport and the leading American eugenicists of the early 20th century. Do not forget that throughout this book, it is mentioned innumerably that both the Carnegie Institute and the Rockefeller Foundation deliberately funded not only the Cold Spring Harbor eugenics facility, but also many German scientists (at least up until the 1920s).
It was these American special interests that truly developed this prejudiced fake science, which was only seriously picked up by the Germans in the 1930s, who then led the field to its now widely recognized logical conclusion. The problem here was not one in goals, but one of techniques, for the Germans wanted to do everything hard and fast, whereas their American predecessors had slowly and quietly pushed through the government’s adoption of unconscionable legal statutes, such as compulsory sterilization, in no less than 20 of these United States. Obviously, following the end of the Second World War, the American eugenicists became “geneticists,” which is where their successors have congregated to this day.
I do have a serious problem with the alleged objectivity this book is supposed to possess. Considering the emotionally-charged subject matter, when combined with the author’s Jewish heritage, I can’t help but seriously question with how he wrote his history of eugenics. Granted, while the Third Reich was certainly tyrannical, there is all sorts of easily provable evidence that can demonstrate this, so there is no need to go seeking phantoms of imagined abuses. I found Mr. Black’s quickness to curse the National Socialists as “anti-Semitic” quite hypocritical, since he significantly hesitated to consistently apply that same curse upon the Americans, from whom even he admitted the Germans got all their ideas about eugenics from in the first place! Needless to say, I would have greatly preferred a writer to have broached this admittedly volatile topic who didn’t have a dog in the fight, especially in light of the fact that there were black Nazis.
Edwin Black’s War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race is really nothing more than an subjective narrative on the history of eugenics. Although I do think that many of the factoids presented herein were based on objectively acquired evidence, I disagree with Black’s interpretation of them, particularly in regard to his biased treatment of the Germans. As a libertarian, I abhor natural prejudice, yet I also recognize it as a facet of the human condition for many people; while I do think that ethnic collectivism is wrong (much like the vague notion of “society” itself), it is a widely held personal belief for many individuals, upon whom I have no right to infringe on their liberty of thought. As Thomas Jefferson wisely said:
“The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”
Collectivism, ethnic or otherwise, is only so dangerous as it infringes upon personal liberty by coercing the individual at the barrel of a gun, by way of government. Such is the case here with eugenics, and it only became dangerous when its wealthy special interests backers were able (through their ostensibly “philanthropic” foundations) to acquire the government’s support in marginalizing their political opponents through the passage of legal statutes enforced by the police powers of the State. Also, there was absolutely no evidence offered with regards to eugenics as it is likely practiced now; not even a mention of such soft-kill eugenic weapons like fluoridated water. All in all, there is nothing productive or even enlightening about this book, despite Black’s last minute half-hearted attempt in the last chapter to impress upon the reader to care about their own personal genetic privacy.