free web hosting | website hosting | Web Hosting | Free Website Submission | shopping cart | php hosting

Chapter VIII -- Neo-Aristocracy

			   237

		       CHAPTER VIII

		     NEO-ARISTOCRACY

STRESSFUL transition is the key-note of our time.
Unless all signs be at fault, we stand at one of those
momentous crises in history when mankind moves from
one well-marked epoch into another of widely different
character.  Such crucial periods are of supreme
importance, because their outcome may determine man's course
for many generations -- perhaps for many centuries.
   Transition spells struggle.  And this is pre-eminently
true of to-day.  Historians of the distant future, appraising
our times, may conclude that the Great War was
merely a symptom -- an episode in a much vaster struggle
of ideas and elemental forces which began long before
the war, and lasted long after its close.  Certainly such
a conflict of ideas is to-day raging.  Perhaps never in
human annals have principles so dissimilar striven so
fiercely for mastery of the coming age.
   Now in this conflict the ultimate antagonists appear
to be biology and Bolshevism: Bolshevism, the incarnation
of the atavistic past; biology, the hope of a progressive
future.  To call Bolshevism the incarnation of
the past may sound paradoxical if we heed its claims to
being ultramodern.  But we have weighted those claims
and have found them mere camouflage.  What we have
found is that Bolshevism, instead of being very new, is

			   238

very old, that it is the last of a long series of revolts
by the unadaptable, inferior, and degenerate elements
against civilizations which have irked them and which
they have therefore wished to destroy.  The only new
thing about Bolshevism is its "rationalizing" of rebel-
lious emotions into an exceedingly insidious and per-
suasive philosophy of revolt which has not merely welded
all the real social rebels, but has also deluded many mis-
guided dupes, blind to what Bolshevism implies.  Such
is the champion of the old, primitive past:  intrenched
behind ancient errors like environmentalism and "natural
equality," favored by the unrest of transition times, and
reinforced by ever-multiplying swarms of degenerates
and inferiors.
  Against this formidable adversary stands biology, the
champion of the new.  Biology is one of the finest fruits
of the modern scientific spirit.  Ripened by the patient
labors of earnest seekers after truth, biology has now at-
tained a splendid maturity.  Forth from a thousand
quiet laboratories and silent library alcoves have emerged
discoveries which may completely alter human destiny.
These discoveries constitute the new biological revelation
-- the mightiest transformation of ideas that the world
has ever seen.  Here, indeed, is something new: the un-
veiling of the mysterious life process, the discovery of
the true path of progress, the placing in man's hands of
the possibility of his own perfection by methods at once
safe and sure.  Such is the young science of applied bi-
ology; or, as it is more generally termed, "Eugenics' --
the science of race betterment.  Eugenics is, in fact,

			   239

evolving into a higher synthesis, drawing freely from
other fields of knowledge like psychology and the social
sciences, and thus fitting itself ever more completely for
its exalted task.
  The fundamental change of both ideas and methods
involved in the eugenic programme is at once apparent.
Hitherto all political and social philosophies, however
much they might differ among themselves have been
agreed on certain principles: they have all believed that
environment was of basic importance, and they have all
proposed to improve mankind from without, by changing
existing individuals through the action of various political
and social agencies.  Eugenics, on the other hand, believes
that heredity is the basic factor, and plans to improve
the race from within, by determining which existing in-
dividuals shall, and shall not, produce succeeding gen-
erations. This means the establishment of an improved
social selection based upon biological considerations in-
sted of, as hitherto, upon envirornmental considerations.
Of course, this new selection would operate mainly
through the old social and political agencies; but these
would no longer be regarded as having specific virtue
in themselves, and would be applied only in so far as they
tended to better the race.  Eugenics does not deny the
effect of environment:  on the contrary, it is precisely
because of environment's bad effects upon the race that
the science of eugenics has become such a vital necessity.
What eugenics does say, however, is that environment
however powerful, is an indirect, secondary factor; the
direct, primary factor being heredity.  Therefore, all

			   240

environmental influences should be considered with ref-
erence to heredity, which should always be the funda-
mental consideration.  Thus a new criterion of policy
and action is set up for every field of human activity,
thereby involving a general revaluation of all values.
  The eugenic programme may be thus succinctly stated:
"The problem of eugenics is to make such legal, social,
and economic adjustments that (1) a larger proportion
of superior persons will have children than at present;
(2) that the average number of offspring of each superior
person will be greater than at present; (3) that the most
inferior persons will have no children; and (4) that other
inferior persons will have fewer children than now." *
  Of course, eugenics does not propose to attain its ob-
jective in a day or at a stroke.  Inspired as it is by the
scientific spirit, it believes in evolution, not revolution,
and is thus committed to strictly evolutionary methods.
Eugenics advocates no sudden leap into an untried Utopia;
it desires to take no steps which have not been scien-
tifically tested, and even then only when these have
gained the approval of intelligent public opinion.  Eu-
genics does claim, however, that the momentous scien-
tific discoveries of the past half century enable mankind
to make a sound start in the process of race betterment.
It further claims that such a start is imperative, because
racial impoverishment is today going on so fast, and
the forces of social disruption are growing so ominously,
that delay threatens speedy disaster.
  The truth is that our race is facing the most acute crisis
_____________________________________________
(*) Popenoe and Johnson,  Applied Eugenics, p. v (Preface).

			   241

in its history. The very progress of science, which af-
fords our best hope for the future, has thus far rather
intensified the peril.   Not only are all the traditional
factors of race decadence operative, but new factors which
may become powerful agents of race betterment are at
present working mainly in the direction of racial decay,
by speeding up both the social sterilization of superior
stocks and the multiplication of inferiors.  The result is
a process of racial impoverishment, extremely rapid and
ever accelerating.
   As the English biologist Whetham justly remarks:
"The sense of social responsibility, the growth of moral
consciousness, have matched a certain point among us --
a point that the student of sociology may well call a 
danger-point.  If, accepting the burden of moulding the des-
tinies of the race, we relieve nature of her office of
discriminating between the fit and the unfit; if we under-
take the protection of the weaker members of the com-
munity; if we assume a corporate responsibility for the
existence of all sorts and conditions of men; then, unless
we are prepared to cast away the labors of our forefathers
and to vanish with the empires of the past, we must ac-
cept the office of deciding who are the fittest to prosper
and to leave offspring, who are the persons whose moral
and intellectual worth make it right that they and their
descendants should be placed in a position of prominence
in our midst and which are the families on whose up-
bringing the time and money of society are best bestowed.
We must acquiesce in the principle that the man who
has made his five talents into ten shall profit by the skill
 
			   242

and energy he has shown, and that the man who has
repeatedly failed to use his one talent shall have no
further chance of wasting the corporate resources on
himself and his descendants." (1)
   The effect of eugenic measures in permanently lighten-
ing social burdens should appeal strongly to a world
staggering under difficulties.  This does not mean that
established methods of reform should be neglected.
But it must be remembered that such methods, affect-
ing as most of them do merely the environment, require
a constant (if not increasing) expenditure to be kept up.
   To quote Whetham again: "We must recognize an
essential difference between the two methods.  To put
it briefly, it seems as though work done by heredity was
work done once for all.  The destruction of a tainted
stock will leave a race eternally the better for its removal,
the breeding-out of a good strain causes an irreparable
loss; whereas improvements due to environment alone
require a constant expenditure of energy to maintain
them in existence.  The one may be compared to an ac-
tual gain of capital as far as the human race is concerned;
the other involves a constant expenditure of income,
perfectly justified as long as the increase in capital is
maintained, but unjustifiable when capital must be drawn
upon . . . .
   "Looking at our problem in this light, we see that
there must be some relation between the average innate
capacity of a nation and the effect likely to be produced
________________________________________________
(1) Whethan, "Decadence and Civilization,"Hibbert Journal,
October, 1911.

			   243

by the expenditure of a given amount of energy on im-
proving the environment.  If a race falls back in its in-
born qualities; if, owing to the efforts of philanthropists
and the burdens of unsound taxation, more of the failures
of civilization reach maturity and parenthood, and fewer
competent persons are brought into existence to sup-
port them, not only has the nation less energy to use
for the maintenance and improvement of its social con-
ditions, but such energy as is available will produce a
correspondingly smaller effect.  The old standard can
be maintained, if at all, only by a policy of overspending
leading to bankruptcy.  We have, in fact, conditions in
which retrogression set in and the environment will
follow the heredity downhill." (1)
   Another point to be emphasized is the necessity for
seeing how environmental measures affect racial interests,
One of the gravest objections to environmentalism is
its tendency to look at social and political reforms as
ends in themselves.  Scrutinized from the racial view-
point, many of these reforms reveal racially harmfull
consequences, which more than offset their beneficial as-
pects and so require their modification in order to be
desirable in the long run.  Take the matter of poor relief,
for example.  Its necessity and desirability are generally
acknowledged.  Yet, however pathetic may be the ob-
jects of public charity, the interests of society and the
race alike require that poor relief carry with it one im-
perative obligation: habitual paupers should be pre-
vented from having children.  Otherwise charity will
_________________________________________________________
		  (1) Whetham, op. cit. 

			   244

merely mean more paupers -- a result harmful and unfair
both to the thrifty and capable members of society who
pay the taxes and to society itself which ought to expend
its taxes as far as possible for productive purposes.
   Again, take the question of the "social ladder." We
have already observed how the ability of superior in-
dividuals to rise easily in the social scale is characteristic
of a progressive civilization. This is something which
no well-informed and right-thinking man can deny.  Ac-
cordingly, the furtherance of the "career open to talent"
is the constant solicitude of social reformers.   And yet,
here too, the racial view-point is needed.  Suppose the
"social ladder" were so perfected that virtually all ability
could be detected and raised to its proper social level.
The immediate result would be a tremendous display
of talent and genius.  But if this problem were concid-
ered merely by itseIf, if no measures were devised to coun-
teract the age-old tendency toward the social sterilization
and elimination of successful superiors, that display of
talent would be but the prelude to utter racial impoverish-
ment and irreparable racial and cultural decline.   As
things now stand, it is the very imperfections of the "so-
cial ladder" which retard racial impoverishment and
minimize its disastrous consequences.
   Remembering the necessity for viewing all political 
and social projects in the light of racial consequences, 
let us now consider the eugenic programme itself.  The 
problem of race betterment consists of two distinct 
phases:  the multiplication of superior individuals and 
the elimination of inferiors -- in other words, the exact 

			   245

reverse of what is to-day taking place. These two phases
of race betterment clearly require totally different meth-
od. The multiplication of superiors is a process of race
building; the elimination of inferiors is a process of race
cleansing. These processes are termed "Positive" and
"Negative" eugenics, respectively.
  Although race building is naturally of more tran-
sendent interest than race cleansing, it is the latter that
we will first consider.  Race cleansing is the obvious
starting-point for race betterment.  Here scientific knowl-
edge is most advanced, the need for action most apparent,
and public opinion best informed.  In fact, a beginning
has already been made.  The segregation of the insane
and feebleminded in public institutions is the first step
in a campaign against degeneracy which should extend
rapidly as society awakens to the full gravity of the situa-
tion.  We have already seen how much graver is the prob-
1em than has ordinarily been supposed. We now know
that the so-called "degenerate classes" are not sharply
marked off from the rest of the community, but are
merely the most afflicted sufferers from taints which ex-
tend broadcast through the general population. The
"degenerate classes" are, in fact, merely the nucleus of
that vast "outer fringe" of mental and physical unsound-
ness visible all the way from the unemployable "casual
laborer" right up to the "tainted genius."
   Degeneracy is thus a cancerous blight, constantly
spreading, tainting and spoiling sound stocks, destroying
race values, and increasing social burdens.  In fact, de-
generacy not only handicaps society but threatens its

			   246

very existence.  Congenitally incapable of adjusting
themselves to an advanced social order, the degenerate
inevitably become its enemies -- particularly those "high-
grade defectives" who are the natural fomenters of social
unrest.  Of course, the environmentalist argues that so-
cial unrest is due to bad social conditions, but when we
go into the matter more deeply we find that bad con-
ditions are due largely to bad people. The mere presence
of hordes of low-grade men and woman condemned by
their very natures to incompetency and failure automat-
ically engender poverty, invite exploitation, and drag
down others just above them in the social scale.
   We thus see that our social ills are largely the product
of degeneracy, and that the elimination of degeneracy
would do more than anything else to solve them.  But
degeneracy can be eliminated only by eliminating the
degenerate.  And this is a racial, not a social matter.
No merely social measures can ever touch the heart of
the problem.  In fact, they tend to increase its gravity;
because, aiming as they do to improve existing indi-
viduals, they carry along multitudes of the unfit and
enable them to propagate more largely of their kind.
  If, then, society is ever to rid itself of its worst bur-
dens, social reform must be increasingly supplemented
by racial reform.  Unfit individuals as well as unjust
social conditions must be eliminated. To make a better
world we must have better men and women.  No reform
of laws or institutions or economic systems will bring
that better world unless it produces better men and
women too.

			   247

  Society must, therefore, grapple resolutely with the
problem of degeneracy. The first step should be the pre-
vention of all obvious degenerates from having children.
This would mean, in practice, segregating most of them
in institutions.  Of course, that, in turn, would mean a
great immediate expense.(1) But in the long run such out-
lays would be the truest economy.  We have already seen
how expensive degenerates are to society.  A single de-
generate family like the Jukes may cost the state millions
of dollars.  And to these direct costs there must be added
indirect costs which probably run to far larger figures.
Think of the loss to the national wealth, measured in
mere dollars and cents, of a sound, energetic stock ruined
by an infusion of Jukes blood.  Think of the immeasur-
ably greater loss represented by a "tainted genius," his
talents perverted from a potential social blessing into
au actual social curse by the destructive action of a de-
generate strain in his heredity.
   However, even if we leave all indirect damage out of
consideration, the direct costs of degeneracy are so ob-
vious and so computable that, as a cold financial proposi-
tion, the flotation of public bond issues to defray the
expenses of immediate, wholesale segregation would be
amply justified.  The consequent diminution in the
______________________________________________
(1) Even in the civilized countries only a small fraction of those 
who should be clearly segregated are to-day under institutional care 
and thus debarred from all possibility of reproduction.  In the United 
States, for example, which ranks rather high in this respect, only 
10 or 15 per cent of the obviously feeble-minded are in institutions. 
The reader will recall that, in the year 1915, out of approximately 
600 living feeble-minded and epileptic Jukes, only three were in 
custodial care. To house and care for the vast hosts of defectives now 
at large would require from five to ten times the present number of 
institutions.

			   248

numbers of paupers, vagabonds, criminals, etc., would
unquestionably enable the State to get all its money
back with a handsome profit besides. (1)
  Of course, even the rigorous segregation of all clearly
defective individuals now alive would not extinguish
degeneracy.  The vast "outer fringe" would for genera-
tions produce large quotas of institutional recruits.  But
these quotas would get steadily smaller, because the
centres of pollution would have been removed.  And,
this once done, the racial stream mould gradually purify
itself.  Remember that race cleansing, once done, is done
for good and all.  The whole weight of scientific evidence
shows that degeneracy is caused, not by environment,
but by heredity;  that the degeneracy with which we
have to deal is an old degeneracy due to taints which
have been carried along in the germ-plasm for generations.
If, then, this mass of degeneracy, the accumulation of
centuries, could be once got rid of, it would never again
recur.  Sporadic degenerates might now and then be
born but these isolated cases, leaving no offspring, would
be of negligible importance.
   We thus see that a general and consistent application
of those methods which even now are approved by public
opinion, (2) and are already practiced on a small scale would
________________________________________________________________
 (1) The cost of such institutions would not be as great as many 
persons imagine. The old idea of huge barracks where the inmates 
were kept confined is giving way to the "farm-colony" idea. 
Here the patients lead a healthful out-of-door life, where they 
are not only contented but earn much of their keep. It must be 
remembered that many defectives possess great physical strength 
and enjoy hard, muscular exertion.
(2) Public opinion today generally approves the segregation of 
defectives. The principal difficulty thoroughgoing segregation 
is the matter of expense.

			   249

suffice to cleanse the race of its worst impurities. Of
course, if no further methods were adopted, the process
would be a slow one. The unsound "fringe" is so wide,
the numbers of less obvious defectives above the present
committable" line are so large, and their birth-rate
tends to be so high that unless many of these grades also
were debarred from having children, by either segregation
or sterilization, (1) at least two or three generations would
probably elapse before the recurrent quotas of defectives
would be markedly reduced.  Meanwhile, society would
continue to suffer from the burdens and dangers which
widespread degeneracy involves.  Whether these risks
are to be run is for public opinion to decide.  Public opin-
ion is to-day probably not ready to take more than the
"first step" suggested above: the wholesale segregation
of our obvious defectives.  This makes some advocates
of race betterment impatient or pessimistic.  But it
should not.  Such persons should remember that the
great thing is to take a real start in the right direction.
When that first step is once taken, the good results will
be so obvious that public opinion will soon be ready for
further advances along the same line.
  One point which should hasten the conversion of public
opinion to the eugenic programme is its profound hu-
maneness.  Eugenics is stern toward bad stocks, but to-
________________________________________________________________
(1) Sterilization must not be confounded with castration.  The
method of male sterilization now employed (vasectomy) is a trivial
operation producing no functional disturbances of any sort, and 
leaving sexual vigor absolutely unimpaired -- except, of course, that
reproduction does not ensue.  Female sterilization as now as 
practiced involves a fairly serious operation.  Other improved 
methods of sterilization are, however, in sight (the X-ray, etc.).

			   250

ward the individual it is always kind.  When eugenics
says "the degenerate must be eliminated," it refers, not
to existing degenerates, but to their potential offspring.
Those potential children, if eugenics has its way, will
never be. This supreme object once accomplished, how-
ever, there is every reason why the defective individual
should he treated with all possible consideration.  In
fact, in a society animated by eugenic principles, de-
generates, and inferiors generally, would he treated far
better than they are to-day; because such a society would
not have to fear that more charity would spell more in-
feriors.  It would also be more inclined to a kindly atti-
tude because it would realize that defects are due to
heredity and that bad germ-plasm can be neither
punished nor reformed.
   Furthermore, the very conversion of public opinion
to the eugenic view-point would itself tend powerfully to
purify the race by voluntary action.  Legal measures
like segregation and sterilization would apply in prac-
tice only to the most inferior elements, whose lack of in-
telligence and sell-control render them incapable of ap-
preciating the interests of society and thus make legal
compulsion necessary. The higher grades of unsoundness
would not be directly affected.  Right here, however, the
pressure of enlightened public opinion would come into
play.  Later on we shall consider the full implications of
the development in the general population of a true racial
consciousness -- what may be termed a "eugenic con-
science."  Suffice it here to say that the existence of such
as attitude would eliminate the higher grades of mental

			   251

defect by voluntary action as rapidly as the acuter grades
were being eliminated by legal action. In a society ani-
mated by a eugenic conscience the begetting of unsound
children would be regarded with horror, and public opin-
ion would instinctively set up strong social taboos which
would effectively restrain all except reckless and anti-
social individuals -- who, of course, would be restrained
by law.
  Such social taboos would not, however, mean wholesale
celibacy.  In the first place, a large proportion of those
persons who carry hereditary taints in their germ-plasm
carry them in latent form. These latent or "recessive"
taints do their bearers personally no harm, and in most
cases will not appear in their children unless the bearers
marry persons carrying like taints.  By avoiding unions
with these particular people, not only will sound children
be reasonably assured by wise matings, but the taints
themselves will ordinarily be bred out of the stock in a
couple of generations, and the germ-plasm will thus be
purified. Furthermore, even those persons who carry
taints which make parenthood inadvisable need not be
debarred from marriage.  The sole limitation would be
that they should have no children.  And this will be per-
fectly feasible, because, when public opinion acquires
the racial view-point, The present silly and vicious atti-
tude toward birth control will be abandoned, and un-
desirable children will not be conceived.
  By the combination of legal, social, and individual
action above described, the problems of degeneracy and
inferiority, attacked both from above and from below,

			   252

would steadily diminish, and the racial stream would be
as steadily purified.  The point to be emphasized is that
this can be effected almost wholly by a broader and more
intelligent application of processes already operating and
already widely sanctioned by public opinion.  Segrega-
tion of defectives, appreciation of racial principles, wise
marriage selection, birth control:  these are the main
items in the programme of race purification.  This pro-
gramme is thus seen to be strictly evolutionary and es-
sentially conservative.  The first steps are so simple and
so obvious that they can be taken without any notable
change in our social or legal standards, and without any
real offence to intelligent public opinion.  Further steps
can safely be left to the future, and there is good reason
to believe that those steps will be taken far sooner than
is generally imagined, because the good results of the
first steps will be so apparent and so convincing.
  Such, briefly, is the process of race cleansing known
as "negative" eugenics.  Many earnest believers in race
betterment are inclined to minimize eugenics', "nega-
tive" aspect. Such persons declare that the vital prob-
lem is the increase of superiors, and that the "positive"
pluses of the eugenic programme must, therefore, be
equally emphasized from the start.
  Now in this I think they are mistaken. Of course, the
increase of superior types is an absolute prerequisite to
the perfecting of the race.  But race perfecting is a much
more difficult matter than race cleansing and involves
measures for most of which public opinion is not yet pre-
pared.  Also, besides questions of expediency, there is

			   253

the more fundamental point that race cleansing will do
more than anything else to assure that social and intel-
lectual stability which will constitute the sure foundation
on which race building can take place.
  In considering the problems of degeneracy and in-
feriority, many eugenicists are apt to fix their attention
upon the so-called "defective classes," and to regard
them as a separate problem.  This is, of course, not so.
The defective classes are not sundered from the rest of
society; they are merely the acutest sufferers from de-
fects which, in lesser degree, spread broadcast through
the general population.  These defects, continually
spreading and infecting sound stocks, set up strains, dis-
cords, and limitations of character and personality of
every kind and description.  Consequently, the elimina-
tion of morbidity, of weakness, of unintelligence, would
work wonders not only in harmonizing and stabilizing
individual personalities, but also in harmonizing and
stabilizing society itself.
  Picture a society where the overwhelming majority
of the population possessed sound minds in sound bodies;
where the "tainted genius" and the "unemployable"
wastrel were alike virtually unknown.  Even though the
bulk of the population were still of mediocre intelligence,
the gain for both stability and progress would be enor-
mous.  The elimination of neurotic, irrational, vicious
personalities, weak-brained and weak-willed, would ren-
der social cataclysms impossible; because even those who
could not think far would tend to think straight, and
would realize that social disruption could not really bene-

			   254

fit any one who stood to gain by social order and progress.
Of course, the mediocre masses would be decidedly con-
servative and would hold back progress; but their con-
servatism would be much more leavened by common
sense, cooperation, and public spirit than is now the
case, and constructive proposals would thus get a fairer
hearing and stand a better chance of adoption.
  Now when we contrast this picture with our present-
day world, disorganized, seething, threatened with down-
right chaos, I submit that some such stabilization as I
have described must first be attained before we can de-
vote ourselves to creating a super race.  Our particular
job is stopping the prodigious spread of inferiority which
is now going on.  We may be losing our best stocks, but
we are losing them much more slowly than we are multi-
plying our worst.  Our study of differential birth-rates (1)
showed us that if these remain unchanged our most in-
telligent stocks will diminish from one-third to two-thirds
in the next hundred years; it also showed that our least
intelligent stocks will increase from six to tenfold in the
same time.  Obviously, it is this prodigious spawning of
inferiors which must at all costs be prevented if society
is to be saved from disruption and dissolution. Race
cleansing is apparently the only thing that can stop it.
Therefore, race cleansing must be our first concern.
  Of course, this does not mean that race building
should be neglected.  On the contrary, we should be
thinking along those lines. Only, for the immediate
present, we should concentrate our energies upon the
____________________________________________________
	      (1) In Chapter III

			   255

pressing problem of degeneracy until we have actually
in operation legal measures which will fairly promise to
get it under control.  Meanwhile, the very fact that we
are thinking eugenically at all will of itself produce im-
portant positive results.  These may not take the form
of legal enactments, but they will be powerfully reflected
in changed ideals and standards of social conduct. The
development of that "eugenic conscience" which, as we
have already seen, promises to play so important a part
in the elimination of the higher grades of degeneracy,
will also impel the well-endowed to raise larger families,
prefer children to luxuries, and discriminate between the
high cost of living and the cost of high living.  People
will think less about "rights" and more about "duties,"
will come to consider their race much as they do their
country, and will make sacrifices for posterity such as
they now make for patriotism.
  In fact, such an attitude will soon render public opinion
ripe for considering definite eugenic measures of a con-
structive character.  One of these measures, which is
already foreshadowed, is a remission of taxation propor-
tionate to the number of children in families.(1) Later on
society may offer rewards for the production of desirable
children. Such action will, however, have to be very
carefully safeguarded.  Any indiscriminate subsidizing of
large families regardless of their racial value would be
extremely disastrous.  It would mean merely another
_________________________________________________________

(1) Far example: The United States Federal Income Tax grants 
a larger exemption to married than to single persons, and 
allows further deductions for "dependents," including, of 
course, minor children.

			   256

tax burden upon the thrifty and capable for the stimu-
lation of the unfit -- who need no stimulating!  0nly
where the racial superiority of the couples in question is
clearly apparent, as shown by proven ability, pscycholog-
ical tests, and sound heredity, should such subsidies be
granted.
   These and a few other kindred matters are probably
the only definitely constructive legal measures for which
public opinion is even partially prepared.  But there is
nothing discouraging in that.  The great thing, as al-
ready stated, is to get people thinking racially.  With
the development of a "eugenic conscience" and the curb-
ing of degeneracy, plans for race building will almost
formulate themselves.  There is the inestimable advan-
tage of a movement based on the evolutionary principle
and inspired by the scientific spirit.  Such a movement
does not, like a scheme for utopia, have to spring forth
in detailed perfection from the imagination of its creator
like Minerva from the brow of Zeus.  On the contrary,
it can evolve, steadily but surely, moving along many
lines, testing its own soundness at every step, and win-
ning favor by proofs instead of promises.
  "There are several routes on which one can proceed
with the confidence that, if no one of them is the main
road, at least it is likely to lead into the latter at some
time.  Fortunately, eugenics is, paradoxical as it may
seem, able to advance on all these paths at once; for it
proposes no definite goal, it sets up no one standard to
which it would make the human race conform.  Taking
man as it finds him, it proposes to multiply all the types

			    257

that have been found by past experience or present reason
to be of most value to society.  Not only would it multi--
ply them in numbers, but also in efficiency, in capacity
to serve the race.
   "By so doing, it undoubtedly fulfils the requirements
of that popular philosophy which holds the aim  of so-
ciety to be the greatest happiness for the greatest num-
ber, or, more definitely, the increase of the totality of
human happiness to cause not to exist those who would
be doomed from birth to give only unhappiness to them-
selves and those about them; to increase the number of
those in whom useful physical and mental traits are well
developed; to bring about an increase in the number of
energetic altruists and a decrease in the number of the
antisocial and defective; surely such an undertaking will
come nearer to increasing the happiness of the greatest
number than will any temporary social palliative, any
ointment for incurable social wounds." (1)
  If social stability can be maintained and a cataclysm
averted, there is every reason to believe that our world
will soon take a decided turn for the better.  The new
biological revelation is already accepted by large num-
bers of thinking men and women all over the civilized
world, and when it becomes firmly fixed in the popular
consciousness it will work a literally amazing transforma-
tion in the ordering of the world's affairs.
  For race betterment is such an intensely practical,
matter!  When peoples come to realize that the quality
of the population is the source of all their prosperity,
______________________________________________________
(1) Popenoe and Johnson, Applied Eugenics, p. 165

			   258

progress, security, and even existence; when they realize
that a single genius be worth more in actual dollars
than a dozen gold-mines, while, conversely, racial de-
cadence spells material impoverishment and cultural
delay; when such things are really believed, we shall see
eugenics actually molding social programmes and polit-
ical policies.
   And, as already stated, there is much evidence to show
that this may happen sooner than is now imagined.
Many believers in race betterment are unduly pessimistic.
Of course, their pessimism is quite natural. Realizing as
they do the supreme importance of the eugenic idea, its
progress seems to them unconscionably slow.  To the
student of history, however, its progress seems extraor-
dinarily rapid. Only twenty years ago eugenics was
virtually unknown outside of a few scientific circles.  To-
day it has won a firm footing with the intellectual elite
of every civilized land and has gained the interested
attention of public opinion.  History shows that when
an idea has reached this point it tends to spread with
ever-accelerating rapidity.  In my opinion, then, eu-
genists, whether laboring in the abstract field of research
for the further elucidation of the idea or in engaged in en-
lightening public opinion, may one and all look forward
hopefully to the operation of a sort of "law of increasing
returns" that will yield results as surprising as they are
beneficient as the next few decades roll on.
  The one deadly peril to the cause of race betterment
is the possibility of social disruption by the antisocial
elements -- instinctively hostile to eugenics as they are

			   259

to every other phase of progressive civilization.  If this
peril can be averted, the triumph of race betterment is
practically certain, because eugenics can "deliver the goods."
When public opinion once realizes this, public opinion
will be not merely willing but anxious that the goods be
delivered.  When society realizes the incalculable value
of superior stocks, it  will take precious good care that
its racial treasures are preserved and fostered.  Superior
stock will then be cherished, not only for its high average
value, but because it is also the seed-bed from which
alone can arise those rare personalities of genius who
tower like mountain peaks above the human plain and
to whose creative influence progress is primarily due
  The people which fosters its superior stocks will be
thus twice blessed.  In the first place, such stocks will
produce, generation after generation, an unfailing supply
of men and women of ability, of energy, of civic worth,
who will leaven society and advance every field of hu-
man endeavor.  And, in addition to all this, those same
stocks will from time to time produce a "genius" -- one
of those infinitely rare but infinitely precious minds which
change man's destiny and whose names reverberate
athwart the ages.
  "Every race requires leaders. These leaders appear
from time to time, and enough is known about eu-
genics to show that their appearance is frequently pre-
dictable, not accidental.  It is possible to have them
appear more frequently; and, in addition, to raise the
level of the whole race, making the entire nation happier
and more useful.  These are the great tasks of eugenics.

			   260

America needs more families like that old Puritan strain
which is one of eugenics' familiar examples:
  At their head stands Jonathan Edwards, and behind
him an array of his descendants numbering, in the year
1900, 1,394, of whom 1,295 were college graduates; 13
presidents of our greatest colleges; 65 professors in col-
leges, besides many principals of other important edu-
cational institutions; 60 physicians, many of whom were
eminent; 100 and more clergymen, missionaries, or theo-
logical professors; 75 were officers in the army and navy;
60 prominent authors and writers, by whom 135 books
of merit were written and published and 18 important
periodicals edited, 33 American States and several for-
eign countries have profited by the beneficent influences
of their eminent activity; 100 and more were lawyers,
of whom one was our most eminent professor of law;
30 were judges; 80 held public office, of whom one was
vice-president of the United States; 3 were United States
senators; several were governors, members of Congress,
framers of State constitutions, mayors of cities, and minis-
ters to foreign courts; one was president of the Pacific
Mail Steamship Company; 15 railroads, many banks,
insurance companies, and large industrial enterprises
have been indebted to their management.  Almost if
not every department of social progress, and of the public
weal has felt the impulse of this healthy and long-lived
family.  It is not known that any one of them was ever
convicted of crime." (1)
  Such is the record of the Jonathan Edwards strain.
____________________________________________________
	  (1) Popenoe and Johnson, pp. 161-162 

			   261

Now compare it with the Jukes strain? (1)  Edwards vs.
Jukes!  Faced by such evidence, can public opinion, re-
main much longer blind to the enormous innate differ-
ences between human stocks?
  The Edwards family record illustrates a principle of
vital importance: the infinite diversity of ability. Many
ill-informed or prejudiced critics have asserted that eu-
genics visualizes a specific type of "superman" and wants
to "breed for points."  This is arrant nonsense.  No real
eugenist wants to do anything of the sort, for the very
good reason that the eugenist realizes better than any
one else that the fundamental quality of superior germ-
plasm is its generalized creative urge -- expressing itself in
a multitude of specific activities.
  What eugenics wants is "more physically sound men
and women with greater ability in any valuable way.
Whatever the actual goal of evolution may be, it can
hardly be assumed by any except the professional pes-
simist that a race made up of such men and women is
going to be handicapped by their presence.
   "The correlation of abilities is as well attested as any
fact in psychology. Those who decry eugenics on the
ground that it is impossible to establish any 'standard
of perfection,' since society needs many diverse kinds of
people, are overlooking this fact.  Any plan which in-
creases the production of children in able families of vari-
ous types will thereby produce more ability of all kinds
since if family is particularly gifted in one way, it is
likely to be gifted above the average in several other
desirable ways.
_______________________________________________________
	       (1) See Chapter III.

			   262

  "Eugenics sets up no specific superman as a type to
which the rest of the race must be made to conform.  It
is not looking forward to the cessation of its work in a
eugenic millennium. It is a perpetual process, which seeks
only to raise the level of the race by the production of
fewer people with physical and mental defects, and more
people with physical and mental excellences. Such a
race should be able to perpetuate itself, to subdue na-
ture, to improve its environment progressively; its'  mem-
bers should be happy and productive. To establish such
a goal seems justified by the knowledge of evolution which
is now available; and to make progress toward it is pos-
sible." (1)
  The eugenic ideal is thus seen to be an ever-perfecting
super race.  Not the "superman" of Nietzsche -- that
brilliant yet baleful vision of a master caste, blooming
like a gorgeous but parasitic orchid on a rotting trunk of
servile degradation; but a super race, cleansing itself
throughout by the elimination of its defects, and raising
itself throughout by the cultivation of its qualities.
  Such a race will imply a new civilization. Of course,
even under the most favorable circumstances, neither
this race nor this civilization can come today or to-mor-
row -- perhaps not for many generations;  because, like
all really enduring creations, they will be the products
of a progressive, evolutionary process, not of flaming
revolution or numbing reaction.
   Yet this evolutionary process, however gradual, must
ultimately produce changes almost beyond our dreams.
_____________________________________________
	   (1)  Popenoe and Johnson, p. 166.

			   263

Every phase of human existence will be transformed:
laws and customs, arts and sciences, ideas and ideals,
even man's conception of the Infinite.
  How shall we characterize this society of the future?
I believe it may be best visualized by one word: Neo-
Aristocracy. The ideal of race perfection combines and
harmonizes into a higher synthesis the hitherto conflict-
ing ideas of aristocracy and democracy.  I am here re-
ferring not to the specific political aspects which those
ideas have at various times assumed, but to their broader
aspects as philosophies of life and conduct.
  Viewed in this fundamental light, we see democracy
based upon the concept of human similarity, and aris-
tocracy based upon the concept of human differentiation.
Of course, both concepts are, in a sense, valid.  Compared
to the vast differences between mankind and other life
forms, human differences sink to insignificance and
mankind appears a substantial unity.  Compared with
each other, the wide differences between men themselves
stand out, and mankind becomes an almost infinite di-
versity.
   If these distinctions had been clearly recognized, de-
mocracy and aristocracy would have been viewed as
parts of a larger truth, and there might have been no
deep antagonism between them.  Unfortunately, both
concepts were formulated long ago, when science was in
its infancy and when the laws of life were virtually un-
known.  Accordingly, both were founded largely on false
notions: democracy upon the fallacy of natural equality;
aristocracy upon the fallacy of artificial inequality.

			   264

  Thus based on error, both democracy and aristocracy
worked badly in practice: democracy tending to pro-
duce a destructive, levelling equality; aristocracy tend-
ing to produce an unjust oppressive inequality.  This
merely increased the antagonism between the two sys-
tem's; because one was continually invoked to cure the
harm wrought by the other, and because social ills were
ascribed exclusively to the defeated party, instead of
being diagnosed as a joint product.
  For the past half century the democratic idea has
gained an unparalleled ascendancy in the world, while
the aristocratic idea has been correspondingly discredited.
Indeed, so complete has been democracy's triumph that
it has been accorded a superstitious veneration, and any
criticism of its fundamental perfection is widely regarded
as a sort of lese-majeste or even heresy.
  Now, this is an unhealthy state of affairs, because the
democratic idea is not perfect but is a mixture of truth
with errors like "natural equality" which modern science
has proved to be dearly unsound. Such a situation is
unworthy of an age claiming to be inspired by that scien-
tific spirit whose basic quality is unflinching love of truth.
In a scientific age no idea should be sacrosanct, no
facts above analysis and criticism.  Of course, criticism
and analysis should be measured and scientific -- not
mere outbursts of emotion.  Traditional ideas should
receive just consideration, with due regard for the fact
that they must contain much truth to have established
and maintained themselves.  In like manner, new ideas
should also receive just consideration so long as their

			   265

advocates strive to persuade people and do not try to
knock their brains out.  But, new or old, no idea should
be made a fetich -- and democracy is no exception to the
rule.  As an idea, democracy should be thoughtfully,
even respectfully, considered, as something which con-
tains a deal of truth and which has done much good in
the world. As a fetich, democracy has no more virtue
than Mumbo-Jumbo or a West African ju-ju.
  The fact is that modern science is unquestionably
bringing the democratic dogma under review.  And it
is high time that scientists said so frankly.   Nothing
would be more laughable, if it were not so pathetic, than
the way scientists interlard their writings (which clearly
imply criticism of the democratic philosophy) with asides
like:   "Of course, this isn't really against democracy,
you know."
   Now these little pinches of incense cast upon the demo-
cratic altar may keep near-heretics in good standing.
But it is unworthy of the scientific spirit, and (what is
more important) it seriously retards progress.  Genuine
progress results from combining old and new truth into a
higher synthesis which, bound by inherent affinity, will,
like a chemical combination, "stay put."  Arbitrarily
coupling truth and error, however, results in something
which compares, not to chemical synthesis, but to a me-
chanical mixture about as stable as oil and water, which
will be forever separating and must be continually shaken
up.  Obviously, out of such a mixture no new synthesis
can ever come.
   When, therefore, believers in race betterment are ac-

			   266

ccused of being "undemocratic," they should answer:
"Right you are! Science, especially biology, has dis-
closed the falsity of certain ideas like 'natural equality,'
and the omnipotence of environment, on which the demo-
cratic concept is largely based.  We aim to take the sound
elements in both the traditional democratic and aristo-
cratic philosophies and combine them in a higher syn-
thesis -- a new philosophy worthy of the race and the
civilization that we visualize."
  Of course, it may be asked why, if this new philosophy
is such a synthesis, it might not be called "Aristo-democ-
racy," or even "Neo-Democracy."  To which I would
answer that I have no basic objection, provided we all
agree on the facts.  Labels matter comparatively little.
It is the things labelled which count.
  Yet, after all, labels do have a certain value.  If they
mean precisely what they say, this in turn means exact
information as to the facts and hence avoids the pos-
sibility of unsound reasoning based on faulty premises.
Now I believe that, for the time being at any rate, the new
philosophy should he called "Neo-Aristocracy";  be-
cause it involves first of all the disestablishment of the
democratic cult and the rehabilitation of the discredited
aristocratic idea.  For, despite its many unsound ele-
ments, the aristocratic idea does contain something en-
nobling which must be preserved and incorporated into
the philosophy of the morrow.  Today, therefore, the
value of the aristocratic principle should he emphasized
as a healthy intellectual reaction against the overweening
preponderance of the democratic idea.  Generations

			   267

hence, when the elimination of degeneracy, and even of
mediocrity shall have produced something like generalized
superiority, the approach to real equality between men
will have become so evident that their philosophy of life
may better be termed "Neo-Democracy." Other times,
other fashions.  Let us not usurp the future.
 One last point should be carefully noted.  When I
speak of Neo-Aristocracy as applicable to-day, I refer
to outlook, not practice.  At present no basic political
changes are either possible or desirable. Certainly, any
thought of our existing social upper classes as "Neo-
Aristocracies" would be, to put it mildly, a bad joke.
We have already seen that, while these classes do un-
questionably contain the largest percentage of superior
strains, they are yet loaded down with mediocrities and
are peppered with degenerates and inferiors.  We must
absolutely banish the notion that Neo-Aristocracy will
perpetuate that cardinal vice of traditional aristocracy.
-- caste.  Classes there probably will be; but these classes,
however defined their functions, will be extremely fluid
as regards the individuals who compose them.  No true
superior, wherever born, will be denied admission to the
highest class; no person, whenever born, can stay in a
class unless he measures up to specifications.
   The attainment of Neo-Aristocracy implies a long
political evolution, the exact course of which is probably
unpredictable.  However a recognition of the goal and
of the fundamental principles involved should help us
on our way.
  That way will assuredly be long.  At best, it will prob-

			   268

ably take many generations. It may take many cen-
turies.  Who knows whether our present hopes are not
dreams; whether the forces of chaos will not disrupt
civilization and plunge & us into a "Dark Age."
   Well, even so, there would be left -- faith. For, may
we not believe that those majestic laws of life which now
stand revealed will no more pass utterly from human
ken than have other great discoveries like the sowing of
grain and the control of fire?  And, therefore, may we
not hope that, if not to-day, then in some better time,
the race will insure its own regeneration?  To doubt
this would be to deny that mysterious, primal urge which,
raising man from the beast, lifts his eyes to the stars.



Back to Book Index or to Patrick Henry On-Line