The Dark Designs Behind Population Control - Part 5

Birth control as the most efficient implementation of the eugenics agenda

Margaret Sanger (1879-1966) started out as a proponent of freedom from excessive childbearing for women, from the concern that too many childbirths affect the physical and mental health of women. Under this agenda, she became a hyperactive propagandist of birth control by all possible means: abortion, contraception, segregation, sterilization, etc.

Sanger founded the American Birth Control League in 1921 which decided, for reasons to become obvious, to change its name in 1949 to the more moderate Planned Parenthood, and further established the International Planned Parenthood Foundation with tentacles all over the globe, including India.

While Sanger did not express her eugenicist feelings openly in her early birth control career, she started doing so as time progressed. As eugenics gained popularity in America and Europe and became something okay to discuss in public, she herself argued (Sanger, 1921) that there is no essential difference in the final aims of eugenics and birth control:
In the limited space of the present paper, I have time only to touch upon some of the fundamental convictions that form the basis of our Birth Control propaganda, and which, as I think you must agree, indicate that the campaign for Birth Control is not merely of eugenic value, but is practically identical in ideal, with the final aims of Eugenics.
Eugenicists hooked on to Margaret Sanger's birth control programme as the easiest way to implement their agenda, and poured in tons of money. This enabled Sanger to establish the Planned Parenthood birth control clinics all over America, and basically garner financial support for implementing the eugenics agenda. The Rockefeller Foundation and the Ford Foundation pledged their support for Planned Parenthood both within the US and worldwide. Recently, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has taken up this cause.

To get back to my philosophical argument, I urge readers to note that there is most certainly a crucial difference between a concern for women's health, and the eugenic concern for racial purity.

From purely a standpoint of women's health, one cannot make the assumption that races, communities and classes in which women bear more children are necessarily those which are "unfit" to exist and must therefore be wiped out. Which people are fit to exist, and which are unfit to exist cannot be the call of any truly ethical form of government. A government concerned only with women's health cannot seek to reduce or destroy the fertility of one particular race or community or class, for e.g., the jews in Germany, or the blacks in America. Nor can it invent ways of proving that the target people are inferior in one or the other way.

However, starting from the standpoint of racism, one can easily feign concern for the health of women in that race or community or class which a eugenicist wants to exterminate for reasons such as colour of skin and length of nose. By feigning such concern, and sugarcoating it sufficiently well, governments can translate them into a program of birth control, and help achieve the eugenic objective of "racial purity".

Birth controllers can claim that their single-minded concern for women's health actually drives them to find the most unhealthy women, wherever they are, and cut down their fertility in order to improve health. They can claim that there is nothing racist about that. However, as in most cases, it's not the intent which matters but the consequence. In many cases, birth controllers are committing a crime against humanity, albeit unknowingly. But a crime, whether committed knowingly or unknowingly, is a crime and must be stopped.

Birth control enthusiasts must answer some very difficult questions, which can arise only when love for all humanity awakens one's empathy for the oppressed:
  • Who gave birth controllers the right to decide what is health and what is not health for women from all races, communities, and classes?
  • What if the most "unhealthy women" happen to be in one particular race or community or class, and wielding the weapon of birth control on them actually leaves them with an irrepairable demographic loss?
  • How ethical is it for birth control enthusiasts to wipe out entire races, communities or classes using contraceptives and abortion clinics?
  • Who authorized birth controllers to use women's health as a criterion to determine whether a people may exist or perish?
  • Who authorized birth controllers to increase women's health and thereby wipe away the race, community or class to which those women belong?
  • In the ultimate analysis, who can affirm that an exterminated race, community or class is better than "unhealthy" women, even if the claim of unhealthiness were taken to be true?
History abounds with the use of seemingly innocent tools for eugenic purposes. One more example, similar to birth control, is the use of IQ tests to achieve eugenic goals. Writes Ajitha Reddy, Deputy Executive Director, International Human Rights Law Institute, DePaul University College of Law (Reddy, 2008):
Throughout the early 1900s, eugenicists labored to devise objective methods of measuring and quantifying valued traits, including intelligence, in order to substantiate their hypothesis of Nordic genetic advantage. Some of their more preposterous experiments involved measuring the crania of school children, analyzing the facial asymmetry of criminals, and sketching the toes of prostitutes.

Eugenicists struggled for years to produce compelling results, until the advent of Alfred Binet’s intelligence scale in 1909 gave rise to standardized intelligence testing, colloquially known as IQ testing.

Armed with this so-called objective methodology, American eugenicists advanced a straw-man rationale for large-scale testing. They reasoned that society needed to identify, segregate, and sterilize the “feeble-minded,” initially defined as those with mental disabilities but later extended to include any “unfit” person of low intelligence, character, or ethnicity. In both Germany and the United States, persecution of the “feebleminded” hastened a broader eugenic campaign against immigration, miscegenation, and other professed threats to Nordic ascendancy.
In America, therefore, the determination of "health" came to include having to pass an IQ test. This enabled US governments to declare the uneducated as "unfit" and therefore targets of birth control. If governments, instead of investing in the education of the uneducated, become butchers of the uneducated, are they really good governments?

In summary, racism is such that it can find very subtle ways of expressing itself without making its voice too loud. And Margaret Sanger's birth control program provided the most subtle, and the most efficient way for eugenicists to implement their racist agenda, especially after eugenics became a bad word in America due to Hitler's use of the "science" to exterminate jews.

Why did birth control become the most efficient implementation of the eugenic agenda? Simple: it was easy to get people hooked on to (Sanger, 1922)
unlimited sexual gratification without the burden of unwanted children.
Just like it became easy to make native Red Indians "fall to their women" and thereby relieve them of their land by way of pleasure, not pain.

References

Reddy, 2008: "The eugenic origins of IQ testing: Implications for post-Atkins litigation", Ajitha Reddy, DePaul Law Review, 13 May 2008, URL.

Sanger, 1921: "The eugenic value of birth control", Margaret Sanger, Birth Control Review, Oct 1921, URL.

Sanger, 1922: The Woman Rebel, Margaret Sanger, reprinted in Woman and the New Race (1922).

To be continued.

The Dark Designs Behind Population Control - Part 4

Eugenics meets the nation-state

What began as positive eugenics, that is, the "science" of getting the "fit" to breed faster than the "unfit", did not take long to turn into negative eugenics, which is the "science" of getting the "unfit" to cut down their fertility. And, what began as a programme which affected all races in general, did not take long to turn into an instrument of racial hegemony.

The line between the two types of eugenics is so thin, that Francis Galton, who is widely known to be a positive eugenicist, wrote the following in his autobiographical work, Memories of My Life (Galton, 1908), clearly prescribing a negative eugenicist implementation of the eugenics agenda before (and not after) prescribing a positive eugenicist implementation:
This is precisely the object of Eugenics. Its first object is to check the birth rate of the Unfit, instead of allowing them to come into being, though doomed in large numbers to perish prematurely. The second object is the improvement of the race by furthering the productivity of the Fit by early marriages and healthful rearing of their children. Natural Selection rests upon excessive production and wholesale destruction; eugenics on bringing no more individuals into the world than can be properly cared for; and those only of the best stock. (italics mine)
One thing to be noted about the population control agenda of early eugenicists such as Francis Galton, is that it was confined within the boundaries of whichever state or kingdom they belonged to. Thus, Galton was mostly concerned about checking the birth rate of the "unfit" in England only. In that sense, Galton is a classical Malthusian.

Eugenics became an important method for imperial nations to build populations which helped them further their colonial and racist agendas with maximum force. Eugenics was looked at as a way of ensuring that the population of a nation was kept "fresh, energetic, efficient and productive" (Rao, 2004). Thus, England, Germany and the USA openly practised eugenics.

Adolf Hitler described Madison Grant's Passing of the great race (Grant, 1922), a book on what's now called as "scientific racism", as his bible. In the book, Grant very clearly extended the theory of elimination of the "unfit" in any community (not that that's ethical to begin with!) to "worthless race types". Readers will note that the smooth operation of removing the unwanted by way of pleasure (instead of pain) is the exact same as what was practised by invading Europeans in America (the concept of Indian Removal, on which more here). Here's a passage from Grant's book summarising his prescription for removing unwanted classes and by extension, races:
A rigid system of selection through the elimination of those who are weak or unfit—in other words, Social failures would solve the whole question in a century, as well as enable us to get rid of the undesirables who crowd our jails, hospitals and insane asylums. The individual himself can be nourished, educated and protected by the community during his lifetime, but the state through sterilization must see to it that his line stops with him or else future generations will be cursed with an ever increasing load of victims of misguided sentimentalism. This is a practical, merciful and inevitable solution of the whole problem and can be applied to an ever widening circle of social discards, beginning always with the criminal, the diseased and the insane and extending gradually to types which may be called weaklings rather than defectives and perhaps ultimately to worthless race types. (italics mine)
Hitler, heavily influenced by the eugenics programme in America, and a big fan of Madison Grant, wrote in Mein Kampf (Hitler, 1926):
Because the inferior are always numerically superior to the better, the former would multiply so much faster---if they have the same possibility to survive and reproduce---that the better necessarily would be placed in the background. Therefore a correction has to be made to the advantage of the better.
Germany passed a Eugenic Sterilization Law in 1933, which made sterilization compulsory for all those who suffered from allegedly hereditary disabilities. While this was not targeted at a specific community, religion, or race in the beginning, that is what it became as time rolled on. With his hatred for the jews unable to contain itself, Hitler's Nazi regime simply couldn't help target jews as victims of population control. In less than two years after passing the eugenic sterilization law, the Nuremberg laws of 1935 were passed, placing strict bans on the fertility of jews. And, of course, this was followed by the infamous Nazi euthanasia programme.

In the US, eugenic principles informed immigration policies as well as sterilization and abortion of the "unfit". Leon F Whitney, an American Eugenicist, wrote (quoted in Rao, 2004):
We cannot but admire the foresight of the (German) plan (of sterilizing 4,00,000 people) and realise [that] by this action Germany is going to make herself a stronger nation.
Whitney also observed that:
the Negroes furnished six times as many sub-normals as did the native-born whites.
If you put two and two together, it is clear who the victims of eugenic principles were, and continue to be, in the USA: the blacks. Thus, national eugenics and racial hatred slowly merged into one worldwide. England, Germany and the USA were the pioneers of both the component concepts as well as the merged concept. Not only that, these countries basically worked with each other to improve this science of hatred.

In the next essay, I wish to touch upon another twist in the tale, wherein the rather innocent-looking concept - of women's rights - became the torchbearer of the racist eugenicist agenda which had earned a lot of disrepute among the intelligentsia mainly because of Hitler's open and violent adoption of the idea.

References

Galton, 1908: Memories of my life, Francis Galton, Methuen, 1908. Available on galton.org at this link.

Grant, 1922: The passing of the great race: or, The racial basis of European history, Madison Grant, 1922. Google books link.

Hitler, 1926: Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler, Wikipedia link.

Rao, 2004: From population control to reproductive health - Malthusian airthmetic, Mohan Rao, Sage publications, New Delhi.