John Taylor Gatto Fact Check #9: Eugenicist Wins Nobel Prize One Year After the Holocaust Ends Part III

While verifying some of the claims made in pages 2 and 3 of John Taylor Gatto’s Weapons of Mass Instruction I caught myself wondering why a Nobel Prize winning eugenicist’s August 1939 presentation of a Geneticists’ Manifesto was only vaguely referenced in the most prominent online biographical articles that turned up in my research.  I suspected that there might be something alarming in the text that some might want to leave forgotten.

Fortunately, the full text of the Herman Joseph Muller’s Social Biology and Population Improvement (commonly referred to as the Geneticists’ Manifesto) is available online.

A Quick Historical Background: Hermann Joseph Muller attended the Seventh International Congress of Genetics in late August of 1939.  While enjoying the stimulating company of the leading eugenicists of his day, Muller presented a paper that offered an answer to the question of how the world’s population could be “improved most effectively genetically.”  Muller’s paper was enthusiastically endorsed by his peers, not least among them the ever-meddling Julian Huxley.

Unpacking the Horrors: Below you will find brief summaries of some of Muller’s most poisonous ideas.  The complete text of the Geneticists’ Manifesto follows.  I’ve inserted bracketed numbers in the text that correspond with my summaries so that you may test the accuracy of my interpretations.

1.) The task of genetically improving mankind cannot be attempted without first prepping humanity through worldwide social conditioning.

2.) Humans need a powerful world government that can protect them from themselves.

3.) It will be taken for granted that women’s reproductive duties will complement their role of providing a cheap source of labor in a planned economy. Societal and economic realities will be recast so that it will be easier to keep women away from their homes and children.

4.) It will be necessary to safeguard superior breeding stock through permanent sterilization and abortion.  Fortunately, once properly conditioned, genetically inferior potential parents will consider it an honor to step aside so that the “best children possible” can be bred by those whom evolutionary progress has separated from evolutionary offal.

5.) Citizens of the world must be taught a scientifically correct philosophy concerning eugenics.  (Devotees of Lamarck could threaten everything.)

6.) The idea that an individual can pursue personal “success” should be viewed as a threat to the advancement of the good of peoplekind at large.

7.) Universal genius will become a birthright. (This only sounds good on the surface.)

8.) Eugenics will solve all of the problems of modern civilization. (Science will solve the problems created by science?)

A One Sentence Summary of the Paper: A more perfect humanity is our destiny, but in order to reach it we must first hand over control to a benevolent global leadership that is necessary to guide and protect us on our journey to becoming gods.

Here’s the Full Text:

Social Biology and Population Improvement by Hermann Joseph Muller:

The question “How could the world’s population be improved most effectively genetically?” raises far broader problems than the purely biological ones, problems which the biologist unavoidably encounters as soon as he tries to get the principles of his own special field put into practice. For [1] the effective genetic improvement of mankind is dependent upon major changes in social conditions, and correlative changes in human attitudes. In the first place there can be no valid basis for estimating and comparing the intrinsic worth of different individuals without economic and social conditions which provide approximately equal opportunities for all members of society instead of stratifying them from birth into classes with widely different privileges.

The second major hindrance to genetic improvement lies in the economic and political conditions which foster antagonism between different peoples, nations and ‘races.’ [2] The removal of race prejudices and of the unscientific doctrine that good or bad genes are the monopoly of particular peoples or of persons with features of a given kind will not be possible, however, before the conditions which make for war and economic exploitation have been eliminated. This requires some effective sort of federation of the whole world, based on the common interests of all its peoples.

Thirdly, it cannot be expected that the raising of children will be influenced actively by considerations of the worth of future generations unless parents in general have a very considerable economic security and unless they are extended such adequate economic, medical, educational and other aids in the bearing and rearing of each additional child that the having of more children does not overburden either of them. [3] As the woman is more especially affected by child bearing and rearing she must be given special protection to ensure that her reproductive duties do not interfere too greatly with her opportunities to participate in the life and work of the community at large. These objects cannot be achieved unless there is an organization of production primarily for the benefit of consumer and worker, unless the conditions of employment are adapted to the needs of parents and especially of mothers, and unless dwellings, towns and community services generally are reshaped with the good of children as one of their main objectives.

A fourth prerequisite for effective genetic improvement is the legalization, the universal dissemination, and the further development through scientific investigation, of ever more efficacious means of birth control, [4a] both negative and positive, that can be put into effect at all stages of the reproductive process – as by voluntary temporary or permanent sterilization, contraception, abortion (as a third line of defense), control of fertility and of the sexual cycle, artificial insemination, etc. Along with all this the development of social consciousness and responsibility in regard to the production of children is required, and this cannot be expected to be operative unless the above mentioned economic and social conditions for its fulfillment are present and unless the superstitious attitude towards sex and reproduction now prevalent has been replaced by a scientific and social attitude. [4b] This will result in its being regarded as an honor and a privilege, if not a duty, for a mother, married or unmarried, or for a couple, to have the best children possible, both in respect of their upbringing and of their genetic endowment, even where the latter would mean an artificial – though always voluntary – control over the processes of parentage.

Before people in general, or the State which is supposed to represent them, can be relied upon to adopt rational policies for the guidance of their reproduction, [5] there will have to be, fifthly, a wider spread of knowledge of biological principles and of recognition of the truth that both environment and heredity constitute dominating and inescapable complementary factors in human well-being, but factors both of which are under the potential control of man and admit of unlimited but inter-dependent progress. Betterment of environmental conditions enhances the opportunities for genetic betterment in the ways above indicated. But it must also be understood that the effect of the bettered environment is not a direct one on the germ cells and that the Lamarckian doctrine is fallacious, according to which the children of parents who have had better opportunities for physical and mental development inherit these improvements, biologically, and according to which in consequence, the dominant classes and peoples would have become genetically superior to the unprivileged ones. The intrinsic (genetic) characteristics of any generation can be better than those of the preceding generation only as a result of some kind of selection, i.e., by those persons of the preceding generation who had a better genetic equipment having produced more offspring, on the whole, than the rest, either through conscious choice, or as an automatic result of the way in which they lived. Under modern civilized conditions such selection is far less likely to be automatic than under primitive conditions, hence some kind of conscious guidance of selection is called for. To make this possible, however, the population must first appreciate the force of the above principles, and the social value which a wisely guided selection would have.

Sixthly, conscious selection requires, in addition, an agreed direction or directions for selection to take, and these directions cannot be social ones, that is, for the good of mankind at large, unless social motives predominate in society. This in turn implies its socialized organization. [6] The most important genetic objectives, from a social point of view, are the improvement of those genetic characteristics which make (a) for health, (b) for the complex called intelligence and (c) for those temperamental qualities which favor fellow-feeling and social behavior rather than those (to-day most esteemed by many) which make for personal “success,” as success is usually understood at present.

A more widespread understanding of biological principles will bring with it the realization that much more than the prevention of genetic deterioration is to be sought for and that the raising of the level of the average of the population nearly to that of the highest now existing in isolated individuals, in regard to physical well-being, intelligence and temperamental qualities, is an achievement that would – so far as purely genetic considerations are concerned – be physically possible within a comparatively small number of generations. Thus [7] everyone might look upon “genius”, combined of course with stability, as his birthright. And, as the course of evolution shows, this would represent no final stage at all, but only an earnest of still further progress in the future.

The effectiveness of such progress, however, would demand increasingly extensive and intensive research in human genetics and in the numerous fields of investigations correlated therewith. This would involve the co-operation of specialists in various branches of medicine, psychology, chemistry and, not the least, the social sciences, with the improvement of the inner constitution of man himself as their central theme. The organization of the human body is marvelously intricate and the study of its genetics is beset with special difficulties which require the prosecution of research in this field to be on a much vaster scale, as well as more exact and analytical, than hitherto contemplated. This can, however, come about when men’s minds are turned from war and hate and the struggle for the elementary means of subsistence to larger aims, pursued in common.

The day when economic reconstruction will reach the stage where such human forces will be released is not yet, but it is the task of this generation to prepare for it, and all steps along the way will represent a gain, not only for the possibilities of the ultimate genetic improvement of man, to a degree seldom dreamed of hitherto, but at the same time, more directly, for [8] human mastery over those more immediate evils which are so threatening our modern civilization.


Blogger’s Note: You probably noticed horrors that I did not take the time to point out.

Note Concerning the Nobel Prize Committee of 1946: One can only hope that Muller’s award was an oversight and not a reflection of callous wickedness in the hearts of Swedish academics.