Speaking at the conference, and evoking the Darwinian concept of “survival of the fittest,” Fairfield Osborn, a British Fascist and adherent of Malthusian principles, stated that eugenics “aids and encourages the survival and multiplication of the fittest; indirectly, it would check and discourage the multiplication of the unfitted. As to the latter, in the United States alone, it is widely recognized that there are millions of people who are acting as dragnets or sheet anchors on the progress of the ship of state. . . While some highly competent people are unemployed, the mass of unemployment is among the less competent, who are first selected for suspension, while the few highly competent people are retained because they are still indispensable. [Remember that these remarks occur during the bottom of the Great Depression.] In nature, these less-fitted individuals would gradually disappear, but in civilization, we are keeping them in the community in the hopes that in brighter days, they may all find employment. This is only another instance of humane civilization going directly against the order of nature and encouraging the survival of the un-fittest.” Osborn’s speech was published in the New York Times, August 23, 1932 under the headline “’Birth Selection’ the Remedy in Crisis of Over-Population.”
In the U.S., the practice of eugenics took the form of marriage prohibitions and forced sterilization. Starting in 1907, thirty states passed laws promoting the sterilization of the ”unfit.”
The logo for the Second Eugenics Conference shows a tree with many roots, labeled as follows: anatomy, anthropology, anthropometry, archaeology, biography, biology, economics, education, ethnography, genealogy, genetics, geology, law, medicine, mental testing, psychiatry, physiology, psychology, religion and sociology.
What’s missing here? Nutrition! Not a single root is labeled “Nutrition.”
While a bunch of pseudoscientists were scheming on how to eliminate the impoverished, the unwashed and the unhealthy, Dr. Weston Price was quietly studying the effects of modern processed foods on the form, health, behavior and intelligence of human beings throughout the globe.
The eugenicists claimed the physical degeneration that Price observed was due to race mixing. Price was quick to disagree. “Nature always builds harmoniously if conditions are sufficiently favorable, regardless of race, color or location,” he said.
In Chapter One of his masterpiece, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, Price makes it clear that the change in physical form he observed with the change in diet has nothing to do with heredity or “race mixing” –based on what he observed, unlike the eugenicists whose pronouncements were based on what they wanted to believe.
“It is important to preface the observations by constructing a mental pattern of physical excellence from the pictures of the various primitive groups and, with this yardstick or standard of normalcy, observe our modern patterns. Certain preconceived ideas may have to be modified, as for example, that based on the belief that what we see is due to heredity or that deformity is due to mixing of races. If so, why should the last child in a large family generally suffer most, and often be different in facial form; or why should there be these changes in the later children, even in pure racial stocks, after the parents have adopted our modern types of nutrition? Although the causes of physical degeneration that can be seen easily have been hard to trace, the defects in the development of the brain, which affect the mind and character, are much more obscure, and the causes of mental degeneration are exceedingly difficult to trace. Much that formerly has been left to the psychiatrist to explain is now rapidly shifting to the realm of the anatomist and physiologist (emphasis added).”
In Chapter Twenty-One, “Practical Application of Primitive Wisdom,” Price addresses the subject again, specifically in response to the 1926 book Genius (Some Revaluations) by A. C. Jacobson.
“In the observations and deductions presented in the foregoing chapters are exerting as controlling an influence on individual and national character as seems to be indicated, the problem of the outlook for our modern civilization is changed in many important aspects. One of the most urgent changes in our viewpoint should be to look upon the assortment of physical, mental and moral distortions as due, in considerable part, to nutritional disturbances in one or both parents which modify the development of the child, rather than to accepted factors in the inheritance. The evidence indicates that these parental disturbances of nutritional origin may affect the germ plasm, thus modifying the architecture, or may prevent the mother from building a complete fetal structure, including the brain. In other words, these data indicate that instead of dealing entirely with hereditary factors, we are dealing in part with distortions due to inhibitions of normal hereditary processes. This changes the prospects for the offspring of succeeding generations. Atavism will still have plenty to her credit even if she must give up her claim to distortions of individual characteristics.
“Jacobson has summarized the determining factors in individuality and personality when he says ‘The Jekyll-Hydes of our common life are ethnic hybrids.’ Most current interpretations are fatalistic and leave practically no escape from our succession of modern physical, mental and moral cripples.
“Jacobson says of our modern young people: ‘Very much of the strange behavior of our young people to-day is simply due to their lack of ethnical anchorage; they are bewildered hybrids, unable to believe sincerely in anything, and disowned by their own ancestral manes. To turn these neurotic hybrids loose in the world by the million, with no background, no heritage, no code, is as bad as imposing illegitimacy; their behavior, instead of expressing easily, naturally and spontaneously a long-used credo, will be determined by fears and senseless taboos. How can character be built upon such foundations? There is a ludicrous as well as a pathetic side to the situation presented by a Greek puzzled by his predominantly German children, or by the German woman unable to understand her predominantly Spanish progeny. It is a foolish case over again of hen hatching ducklings, of wolf fostering foundlings.’
“If our modern degeneration were largely the result of incompatible racial stocks as indicated by these premises, the outlook would be gloomy in the extreme. Those who find themselves depressed by this current interpretation of controlling forces would do well to recall the experiments on pigs referred to in Chapters 17 and 18, in which a large colony all born blind and maimed because of maternal nutritional deficiency–from deficient vitamin A–were able to beget offspring with normal eyes and normal bodies when they themselves had normal nutrition.
“Much emphasis has been placed on the incompatibility of certain racial bloods. According to Jacobson: ‘Aside from the effects of environment, it may safely be assumed that when two strains of blood will not mix well a kind of molecular insult occurs which the biologists may some day be able to detect beforehand, just as blood is now tested and matched for transfusion.’
’It is fortunate that there is a new explanation for the distressing old doctrine which holds that geniuses cannot be born unless there is an abundant crop of defectives. In this connection Jacobson says, ‘The genius tends to be a product of mixed ethnic and nervously peculiar stock–stock so peculiar that it exhibits an unusual amount of badness. The human family pays dearly for its geniuses. Just as nature in general is prodigal in wasting individuals for the development of a type, or species, so do we here find much human wastage apparently for a similar purpose. One may think of the insane and the defectives as so many individuals wasted in order that a few geniuses may be developed. It would seem’ that in order to produce one genius there must be battalions of criminals, weaklings and lunatics. Nietzsche must have had biologic implications of this sort in mind when he spoke of the masses as merely fertilizers for the genius. This is why the genius has been compared to the lily on the dunghill. He absorbs all the energy of his family group, leaving the fertilizing mass depleted.’
“Our recent data on the primitive races indicate that this theory is not true, since in a single generation various types and degrees of physical, mental or moral crippling may occur in spite of their purity of blood and all that inheritance could accomplish as a reinforcement through the ages.”
The Nazi application of eugenic principles during the Second World War opened the eyes of the world to what eugenics was really about—a justification for genocide–and the concept fell into disfavor—or at least went underground. But do not think that eugenic thinking has disappeared.
In 1972, the Club of Rome published a report titled, “The Limits to Growth,” which argued that if the current trends in population growth and industrialization continued, the Earth would run out of food and resources within one hundred years. In a 2017 interview, Dennis Meadows, one of the report’s main authors (and a member of the World Economic Forum), argued for drastic population reduction. “We could . . . have eight or nine billion, probably, if we have a very strong dictatorship which is smart … and [people have] a low standard of living … But we want to have freedom and we want to have a high standard of living so we’re going to have a billion people. And we’re now at seven, so we have to get back down. I hope that this can be slow, relatively slow and that it can be done in a way which is relatively equal, you know, so that people share the experience.”
Actually, the invisible controllers have already figured out how to reduce the world’s population in a way that is “relatively slow and. . . can be done in a way which is relatively equal. . . so that people share the experience.” It’s called the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which advocates for a diet based on industrial seed oils rather than nutrient-dense animal fats, and warns against the evils of meat and salt. It takes several generations, but the negative effects on the health and fertility of the nation have been relentless. (To that add poisoning from vaccinations, fluoride, mercury and agricultural chemicals and you have the perfect “eugenic” formula.)
Since the devastation of these Guidelines has been “relatively equal” on all classes, more prosperous Americans are suffering from infertility or having severely unhealthy children just as frequently as the poor.” Desperate for “designer babies,” they pursue such techniques as genetic testing, in vitro fertilization and egg transplants from attractive donors, and pin their hopes on the promised benefits of cloning and genetic manipulation. In their book From Chance to Choice: Genetics and Justice, bioethicists Allen Buchanan, Dan Brock, Norman Daniels and Daniel Wikler argue for the adoption of as many “eugenic enhancement” technologies as possible, using the genome to have “better babies.”
I have news for these folks: none of these techniques will give them “better” babies. Only the kind of nutrient-dense diets that nourished healthy primitive people will do that. We need to recognize the fact that the genetic blueprint of every human being is not flawed but perfect; but its full expression requires wise practices in food, farming and the healing arts (including the spacing of children). Eugenics is the duty of every parent, in order to ensure the birthright of every child: good health, perfect form, keen mind and a desire in the heart to create a better world. True eugenics will be accomplished by putting our animals on pasture, eating butter and adding liver to our sausages, rather than by tinkering with the genetic code.