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Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Eugenics, Planned Parenthood, and the Death of Civilisation

Aug 24, 2015

There are always those whose nefarious schemes are said to be done for our own “good”. The word eugenics means ‘good birth’ or ‘well born’. Hitler thought what he was doing was for the good of the German people, if not all of Europe. The eugenicists thought what they were doing was for the good of mankind.

Planned Parenthood founder and hard-core eugenicist Margaret Sanger of course felt she was doing “good” and she was happy to embrace and apply evolutionary theory in doing so. And Darwin did not just write about what he observed in nature and the animal world in his 1859 The Origin of Species – he of course applied it to mankind in his 1871 The Descent of Man.

All these differing streams of course are not isolated incidents. All felt they had the welfare of humanity at heart, and all drew from a common worldview. As Richard Weikart put it in his important 2004 volume, From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany:

eugenics 1“Darwinism by itself did not produce the Holocaust, but without Darwinism… neither Hitler nor his Nazi followers would have had the necessary scientific underpinnings to convince themselves and their collaborators that one of the world’s greatest atrocities was really morally praiseworthy.”

And again: “Not only did many leading Darwinists embrace eugenics, but also most eugenicists – certainly all the early leaders – considered eugenics a straightforward application of Darwinian principles to ethics and society. Darwin’s cousin, Francis Galton, the founder of modern eugenics, developed his ideas upon reading Darwin’s Origin of the Species.”

And he offers meaty chapters on how social Darwinists declared war on traditional morality, especially sexual morality. Many leading radical feminists in the early part of the 20th Century were fully supportive of eugenics. There were plenty of these folks in pre-Nazi Germany, but America had Sanger and Britain had Marie Stopes arguing the same thing.

One recent article nicely ties much of this together. Robert Oscar Lopez speaks about the atrocities being exposed at Planned Parenthood, and connects the dots with other social revolutions. In his piece, “Planned Inhumanities: From Roe to Obergefell” he writes:

“Well-educated people believe that ‘planned parenthood’ can lead to a socially just world. That hubris is the main horror from which all these other abhorrent things descend.” He goes on to discuss “The Monstrous Idea of ‘Planning’”:

It is the “planned” part of the organization’s title that needs to be urgently criticized. What kind of society is so lacking in humanity that it thinks “parenthood” – a phenomenon responsible for, well, the perpetuation of everything social about us – can be regimented, organized, scheduled, commoditized, bought, sold, and programmed by people? And in particular, by the people running this soulless association? Stop for a moment and consider the intellectual consequences of this foundational belief that humanity can be “planned.” Such a belief means that humans can be edited and arranged, by contract if necessary. To be editable, people, particularly children, must become objects rather than subjects.
Once they become objects, children can be treated as dehumanized products in multiple ways, all bad. They can be disposed of, like integrated waste, when they are not convenient or not proceeding according to plan. Just as we recycle cans of Diet Coke and milk cartons, we can try to limit the wastefulness of our garbage by recycling the broken-down parts of people: their livers, hearts, lungs, and brains. All of this is management of objects, which costs money, so who is to say that there shouldn’t be some remuneration? Why not reimburse the people who are stuck with this waste for the cost of transporting and recycling it? Why not pay them a salary and make the salary attractive so that qualified professionals are indeed willing to take on such a ghoulish task?
The flip side of the disposable child, of course, is the child as a desired commodity. Since people can be thrown out when they are not convenient, they can also be manufactured and maintained through industrialized processes, when the natural process of lovemaking is not convenient. And alas, this leads us straight to the sublimities of Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges.
Kennedy’s opinion emphasized the constitutional right of gay couples not to be lonely. According to Kennedy, the Fourteenth Amendment assures that gay couples should be given marriage licenses lest they call out to the universe and find nobody to answer back to their emotional needs with love.
Obergefell brings Roe v. Wade to its climax because it completes the transformation of children into objects. For children will be forced to love gay adults who are not their parents. To Kennedy, gay adults have a right not to feel lonely, which includes the right to start families. In fact, he states that they have a right to “custody” and “birth certificates” (i.e., birth certificates falsified to include two same-sex parents and erase biological parents of the opposite sex). To satisfy the human right to dignity and to thwart the civil injustice of “loneliness,” children must be produced and provided to people who want them, whether or not those people conceived the child by making love.
Children not only can, but must be manufactured. The transfers of custody must generate orphans and abandoned children, paying gamete donors and surrogates to abandon and orphan their offspring, so that this new product – the loving and obedient human being – can be delivered to paying customers.
You can’t be against Roe but for Obergefell. It all goes together. The small but crucial part of the electorate – largely made up of younger Americans – who oppose abortion but support gay marriage are perilously deluded. The objectification of children through one means will lead inexorably to the objectification of children through another means. The “child as waste product” and “child as product for sale” are the same child: the dehumanized and “planned” child suited to make paying customers happy.

He is absolutely right to bring together in this way the commodification of children and the depersonalisation of humanity. Of course with hindsight it is easy to see just how bad the Darwinist-eugenics mix really is. But back in its heyday when it was being promoted by all sorts of respectable folks, some voices were offering a warning.

While folks like Sanger were calling the frail, needy and weak “human waste” others, such as G.K. Chesterton, were leading the charge against this diabolical movement. He wrote plenty of articles and columns on this. Indeed, he wrote a book in 1922 called, Eugenics and Other Evils: An Argument Against the Scientifically Organized State.

He is worth quoting from as I bring this piece to a close. In his book he rightly noted how social engineering is always preceded by verbal engineering:

Most Eugenists are Euphemists. I mean merely that short words startle them, while long words soothe them. And they are utterly incapable of translating the one into the other, however obviously they mean the same thing. Say to them “The persuasive and even coercive powers of the citizen should enable him to make sure that the burden of longevity in the previous generation does not become disproportionate and intolerable, especially to the females”; say this to them and they will sway slightly to and fro like babies sent to sleep in cradles. Say to them “Murder your mother,” and they sit up quite suddenly. Yet the two sentences, in cold logic, are exactly the same. Say to them “It is not improbable that a period may arrive when the narrow if once useful distinction between the anthropoid homo and the other animals, which has been modified on so many moral points, may be modified also even in regard to the important question of the extension of human diet”; say this to them, and beauty born of murmuring sound will pass into their face. But say to them, in a simple, manly, hearty way “Let’s eat a man!” and their surprise is quite surprising. Yet the sentences say just the same thing.

But even back in 1909 he had already been saying such things: “Eugenics seems to be quite as barbarous as cannibalism. If we have a right to mate and breed men and women like beasts, I cannot see why we should not cook and eat them like beasts. If a citizen may not settle what is to happen to his live body, why should he be allowed to be fastidious about what happens to his dead body?”

C. S. Lewis was also to deal with this in various places, including his brief 1947 essay on vivisection:

Once the old Christian idea of a total difference in kind between man and beast has been abandoned, then no argument for experiments on animals can be found which is not also an argument for experiments on inferior men. If we cut up beasts simply because they cannot prevent us and because we are backing our own side in the struggle for existence, it is only logical to cut up imbeciles, criminals, enemies, or capitalists for the same reasons.

So there were some important voices warning about all this in the early- and mid-20th Century. Too bad most of their words fell on deaf ears. We are now reaping the whirlwind of all this, and it only looks to be getting worse. Each new PP video expose only tells us more about what happens when we dethrone God and elevate humanity.

As Chesterton put it in Orthodoxy in 1908: “The secularists have not wrecked divine things; but the secularists have wrecked secular things, if that is any comfort to them. The Titans did not scale heaven; but they laid waste the world.”

Or as Malcolm Muggeridge put it some decades later: “When mortal men try to live without God, they infallibly succumb to megalomania or erotomania or both. The raised fist or the raised phallus; Nietzsche or D. H. Lawrence.”

We are witnessing both in massive quantities today, and the demonic activities of PP are only the tip of the iceberg.

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10 Responses to Eugenics, Planned Parenthood, and the Death of Civilisation

  • A very well written post. The ‘planning’ of parenthood which results in people seeing children as an inconvenience goes directly against the Biblical belief that is written in Psalm 127:3

    Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.

    What a scary world our children are facing, the rate of social change is like a whirlwind.

  • ‘The “child as waste product” and “child as product for sale” are the same child: the dehumanized and “planned” child suited to make paying customers happy.’ – Made-to-order children, alive or dead. The stuff of science fiction is a chillingly reality.

  • Robert O. Lopez’ article is a brilliant exposé of the dangers of treating the human race in similar fashion to a herd of cattle or sheep bred for market: “Planned evolution” of humanity as proposed by eugenicists is an unavoidable tyranny of “experts” over their fellow humanity.

    Nietzsche’s notion of the ethical implications of evolutionary hypotheses was remarkabe – chillingly clear: The only way to cross the human tightrope between ape and Übermensch is down into a valley of death, a place devoid of the milk of human kindness, where the human species must be despised and overcome by exercise of the will to power so that the next, superhuman stage of the evolutionary process.

    There is a terrible price to pay for subscribing to a view of human origins and human destiny which affirms that, at the bottom of everything, there is nothing but what Professor Dawkins famously refers to as a “blind, pitiless indifference”.

  • I find it interesting that the concepts of eugenics, planned conception, and the manufacture of children as a commodity were all addressed in the classic novel “Brave New World’, written by Aldous Huxley in 1931. Can’t help but wonder whether this, too, came to the attention of Hitler. Perhaps in his troubled mind, he could see the advantages of bringing parentless children into the world merely to serve the elite classes. Of course, the novel was satirical, written as a warning of what the world could become if it continued on its downward path. Well, here we are more than 80 years later, seeing its fulfilment.

  • There is a poster going around on social media stating:

    “It’s true. If Planned Parenthood was selling puppy body parts they would have been closed down yesterday.”
    ~Chuck Wooley

    Animal lives are far more valued than human lives in this upside down, twisted world, today…

  • Wasn’t Huxley an atheist himself? And Dawkins worships nature, so does David Attenborough. I wonder what exactly it is which stops people short of worshiping the God of creation when they can see he has spoken forth such an amazing world? We long for the creator and yet pretend we can be filled by merely that which He has made for the sake of pride or fear. I was not aware of the exact meaning of eugenics until now, but it fits with the general trend of things espoused by the ungodly being exactly the opposite of what they say.
    Many blessings
    Ursula Bennett

  • The fact that Aldous Huxley and George Orwell were atheists does nothing to minimize the prophetic nature of ‘Brave New World’ and ‘1984’. God uses all manner of people to serve his purposes – even Balaam’s ass! There is much untapped wisdom from the past ‘out there’ that God is able to put to good use. Not so much today, when the loudest voices openly defy his existence. And of course today’s atheists are far more aggressively militant than those of the Huxley/Orwell era.

  • I’m not sure that Orwell was a full on atheist – Orwell was a lifelong Anglican in name, but not so much in spirit. He was baptized an Anglican and buried, by specific request, in the Anglican tradition. He did attend a Catholic school as a young boy, but would, later in life, refer to the Catholic Church as “parasitic” and “those stinking Catholics.”

    Orwell seems to have felt a sort of loyalty to Anglicanism and did attend services as an adult. Explaining his relationship to the religion as a boy, he said:

    [I accepted] mechanically the Christian religion without having any sort of affection for it.

    Orwell was an intellectual, a thinking man’s thinker and ultimately considered religion as a whole quite irrational and an institution that encouraged irrational thinking, which paved the way for the coercion of the masses. He said:

    As long as supernatural beliefs persist, men can be exploited by cunning priests and oligarchs, and the technical progress which is the prerequisite of a just society cannot be achieved.

    In the end, it was a complicated relationship Orwell had with his church. Much like his relationship with England–a staunch patriot who was highly critical of many of his country’s policies and attitudes, which brings us to…

    The Orwellian Worldview

    Orwell was, to apply the obligatory labels, a socialist, a social democrat and even by some accounts, an anarchist.

    Orwell’s productive years were also some of the most politically interesting and tumultuous years in European (and maybe world) history. Orwell saw and experienced much and many of his views are in reaction to that. He witnessed the atrocities of Soviet Russia, which he satirized in his novel Animal Farm. He saw the rise and fall of the fascist dictatorships of Mussolini’s Italy, Hitler’s Germany and Franco’s Spain. In fact, Orwell even participated in the Spanish Civil War, siding with the anarchists, who helped shape his worldview. He wrote of his experiences from a hospital bed:

    I have seen wonderful things and at last really believe in Socialism, which I never did before.

    Later, he would write in his book, The Road to Wigan Pier,

    I worked out an anarchistic theory that all government is evil, that the punishment always does more harm than the crime and the people can be trusted to behave decently if you will only let them alone.7

    Orwell added the caveat, however, that governments must exist to protect people from crime and injustice.8 But this brings up an interesting contradiction. Can one be both an anarchist and a socialist? They do seem to be quite ideologically distinct. But, really, Orwell’s main fixation was regarding personal/individual freedom and democracy–that people must govern themselves and he painted a grim picture of the opposite of freedom in his seminal work, 1984.

    For much of his adult life, Orwell was a card-carrying member of Britain’s Independent Labour Party, but like his views on religion, he didn’t accept it without major reservations and often disagreed with the party’s approach to the details of social governance.

    Perhaps what would most sum up Orwell’s sociopolitical views is his commentary on his writing, of which he said:

    Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written directly or indirectly against totalitarianism and for Democratic Socialism as I understand it.

    From The Hollowverse.com

  • And – Orwell, then, presented Catholics as either stupid or blinkered, dishonest or self-deceived. Yet he was very far from denying the need for religion. In his opinion socialists were quite wrong to assume that when basic material needs had been supplied, spiritual concerns would wither away. ‘The truth,’ Orwell wrote in 1944, ‘is the opposite: when one’s belly is empty, one’s only problem is an empty belly. It is when we have got away from drudgery and exploitation that we shall really start wondering about man’s destiny and the reason for his existence. One cannot have any worthwhile picture of the future unless one realises how much we have lost by the decay of Christianity.’

    For nearly two thousand years, Orwell pointed out, the western concept of good and evil had been tied up with the idea of personal immortality. The hope of heaven and the threat of damnation had seemed real enough to foster altruism and self-sacrifice. But if death extinguishes the individual, what incentive could there be to cling to moral principle against worldly interest? Orwell, who feared that in his own times the worship of power was proving infinitely more seductive than the cult of virtue, was haunted by the nightmare of a boot smashing into the human face, forever.

    Somehow, he wrote in June 1945, just before the publication of Animal Farm, the religious attitude to life must be restored. Christian thinkers were right to believe ‘that if our civilisation does not regenerate itself, it is likely to perish — and they may be right in adding that, at least in Europe, its moral code must be based on Christian principles’. Like T.S. Eliot, Orwell saw the delusion of systems so perfect that no one will need to be good.

    www.spectator.co.uk/features/7009903/orwell-vs-god/

  • Yes, you are right. Orwell had a complex relationship with religion. I didn’t want to go into all that, because it would have taken too long. Either way, even atheists back then were nothing like as militant or aggressive as they are today. Nevertheless he has, on occasion, been given all of the following labels (and then more):

    An intellectual
    An anarchist
    A socialist
    A very Christian atheist
    An embittered atheist
    A pious atheist
    … and an Anglican!

    Basically he was a deep thinker who recognized the need for a strong moral code based on Christian principles, and yet it seems he had a loveless relationship with organized Christianity.

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