By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Race Improvement : or, Eugenics : a Little Book on a Great Subject
Author: Baker, la Reine Helen
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Race Improvement : or, Eugenics : a Little Book on a Great Subject" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.


Transcriber Note

Italic text is denoted by _underscores_.

  "Make no more giants, God
  But elevate the race."


                           RACE IMPROVEMENT

                  _A Little Book on a Great Subject_


                     La Reine Helen Baker


                               NEW YORK
                        DODD, MEAD AND COMPANY

Copyright, 1912


_Published, September, 1912_


  CHAPTER                                               PAGE

     I Introductory                                        1

    II Heredity, Environment                              13

   III The Child, Its Heritage                            28

    IV Marriage                                           40

     V Possibilities of Race Improvement                  55

    VI Education, Eugenics                                69

   VII Eugenics, The Modern Feminist Movement             86

  VIII Positive, Negative Eugenics                       101


         A. State Endowment of Motherhood                120

         B. Sterilisation in U. S. A.                    128



The aim of this little volume is to interest the American public in an
important and neglected subject. The writer has her own views on art,
politics, religion and other topics which divide mankind, she does
not intrude those opinions here, although conscious that "to see life
steadily and see it whole" much more is wanted than a single branch of
study, however vital. It is not possible, however, to remain silent
and, at least passively, acquiescent when the interests of the race are
in danger of neglect. Need for apology is not considered when great
and influential journals, magazines and volumes dissipate their powers
on all the feeble foolings of the hour. There are many honourable
exceptions. There are organs of opinion in nearly all directions of
intellectual speculation, education and philosophy and there are of
course necessary volumes of information on cooking, travel, dress and
amusement. Every material interest except the basic material interest
of our human existence is represented in our periodical press. An
expedition to the pole, a prodigious attempt to attract the attention
of Martian observers whose very existence is denied by more than half
our scientists, or a commission to inquire into the relative merits of
various manurial nitrates, for these time and money, private enterprise
and state aid are readily forthcoming. Professorial chairs are easily
financed for lectures on every necessary and unnecessary subject other
than that of direct race improvement. Churches, universities and other
institutions have been endowed for the sake of schisms which have no
direct bearing on any human need.

I deny that people do not care what becomes of the race. There never
has been a time in the history of the world when parents would not
rather have a healthy progeny than an unhealthy. The nation would
always prefer to be able to boast of improvement instead of blushing
for its deteriorating citizenship. As long as Mothers love their own
young and as long as the average man sympathises with undeserved
suffering there will be perpetual possibilities for rousing interest in
the most promising of all sciences, Eugenics.

Eugenics is a word invented by Francis Galton to cover the philosophy,
collection of facts, the science, whatever we can call it, which
regards race improvement as a desirable and practicable process.
Stirpiculture is an older word for a similar idea. New descriptive or
misleading phrases will be invented from time to time, sometimes by
friends, sometimes by enemies of the movement. It may be well from
the first to clear away some misinterpretations. Accusations against
new ideas commonly take the form of attempting to show that the new
and possibly good idea is irretrievably committed to some other idea,
generally an older and discredited one. It is the universal rule,
particularly in Anglo-Saxon countries, to regard sex-relationships as
so sacrosanct that merely to mention them is to outrage modesty and
shock morality. Fortunately or otherwise we have had to overcome this
silly secretiveness. The horrible white-slave traffic, the loathsome
increase of venereal diseases, the frequent revelations such as the
Thaw case forced on the public, the necessity for protecting children
from outrage--all these and other things have made not only possible
but obviously desirable that decency, wisdom and humanity should make
their voice heard. The time has come when we will not tolerate the
daily scandal of having our newspapers polluted with details of sexual
abnormalities while we are refused the opportunity of educating the
people in the direction of purity, health, and efficiency in the
sexual relation. Eugenics is concerned primarily and materially with
the normal sex relationship, which in modern civilised lands means the
ordinary legal monogamic marriage. It is perfectly true that there
have been pioneer reformers, to whom the world owes much who have
linked their ideals of race improvement to an advocacy of freer sex
relationships. Modern eugenists have no such divided council. They
aim at encouraging the best births and discouraging the worst, and
all details of their propaganda must be subordinate to this great
aspiration. Seeing then that through monogamic marriage the Anglo-Saxon
race must overwhelmingly flow now and in all the sighted future, we
resolutely direct our attention to this institution as we find it.
On the lines of which the race has approved we shall proceed for our
reforms. The United States great in a thousand ways, although often the
despair of the reformer, offers the most promising field of the whole
world in the direction of Eugenics. Comprising within her catholic
embrace many varieties of monogamic marriage she possesses contrasts,
comparisons, examples and warnings, which will be of infinite use in
the Eugenist's laboratory. Well may we be content to show from these
differences how on the present basis of marriage a nobler race may be
reared. It is of course only one aspect of marriage that interests
Eugenists, but as according to the teaching of most Churches and the
theory of most governments the origin, basis and reason of marriage is
procreation, it will be seen that race improvement does not look on the
least important side of marriage. In other words it is in its public
and universal relations that marriage will be regarded by Eugenists. In
comparatively socialised States like ours where education and a hundred
other concerns of every child are the constant care of representative
institutions it would be retrogression if we did not now begin to
consider the child as having from its birth a public interest. Seeing
the advance being made in our understanding of some of the laws of
heredity it must not be considered wonderful that this public interest
in the future citizen should begin even before birth. For this purpose
it is not at all necessary, I hold it to be eminently undesirable, that
the State or any outside authority should attempt the ridiculous task
of organising who shall marry and mate, or dictate by law or force
the conditions of marriages which satisfy the contracting parties.
But this laisser faire doctrine obviously has no applicability to the
much more disputable proposition that the State has no right to deal
with the source of its future responsibilities, the root by which may
arrive human wrecks for which the State must provide in the days to
come. This brings me to a further protest. It has been suggested that
Eugenists are anarchists, tearing up the roots of government, blindly
striking at civilised institutions, putting a bomb to the foundations
of Church, State, and Family. Let it be said here and now in such
clear phrase as may be that Eugenics is the antithesis of anarchy.
It means order. Eugenics opposes chaos in the interests of the race.
It is the most profoundly patriotic proposition ever laid before the
people of these United States. Its conception is for the national
good. American Eugenists will never rest until our race becomes the
fittest on earth. Other nations shall teach us if they can, we will
better their instruction. Monarchical old world peoples, restrained by
traditions, tied down by red tape, drugged by the dread of progress,
may justify their own inertia, we cannot sink with them. We are leaders
and pioneers. In the United States respect is still accorded to those
who have new truths to teach for the benefit of the race. If "national
efficiency" has to some extent failed in its appeal, if the answer
has been an admission of unaccomplished desires, the reason must be
ascribed to the limited scope of the inquiry. The nation has to take
itself seriously in hand. We need to get beyond the citizen of to-day,
we have to consider the citizen of to-morrow.

As to religion, I appeal both to those who love God and to those who
love their fellow-man. It is futile at this time of day to quote
against the living race the dictates of a dead age. It is monstrous
also to slander the noble men and women who are at present engaged in
the secular activities of our Churches by pretending to believe that
they are not most keenly anxious to aid in any uplifting work for the
regeneration of the world. Every institution which is teaching, feeding
or otherwise helping children is a nucleus for Eugenic enterprise.
The neglect of Eugenics in the last generation has clogged the wheels
of progress in this generation. We cannot and must not forget the
victims of our national neglect, but we can do greatest honour to
our philanthropists and workers for the general uplift by seriously
endeavouring to eliminate from the coming generation the hopelessly
unfit and by encouraging the multiplication of the efficient.

There is no immorality in our proposals, as a glance at these pages
will abundantly prove. The Family of the future is going to be sweeter,
purer and nobler. It may even be more numerous, for while Eugenists
resolutely set themselves to discourage the national burdening by
debt, danger and decay which inevitably follow in the footsteps of
a deteriorating race, we have nevertheless no opinions whatever as
to whether a numerically large or small family is best. Race suicide
is no worse than race murder. We cannot imagine a nobler sight than
an enormous and increasing race of the vitally fit. A temporary
and deliberate discouragement of certain unwelcome elements may be
momentarily embarrassing, but this is only half the story. Our ports
of entry are firmly closed in the face of undesirable aliens, not for
the purpose of reducing our population, far from it. Our stability,
our greatness, our very existence depend on the success with which we
have attracted to our shores those immigrants whose children to-day
are our boast and pride. Eugenics, it cannot be too often said, is no
mere phase of Malthusianism. It is not _a_ population question it is
_the_ population question. It dismisses Malthus as a spent force, as a
prophet whose message was only half delivered, as a Jeremiah who would
have deprived the world of its saviours as well as of its betrayers.
Of Malthus it may truly be said that in forbidding those who would
"wade through slaughter to a throne" he "shut the gates of mercy on
mankind." No philosophy to-day can meet the needs of to-day if it
indiscriminately decreases both. Both methods are evil. We must weigh
as well as count. The Sphinx of civilisation sits waiting our answer to
her riddle. We have mingled the seeds of evil with the seeds of good.
Mere mechanical multiplication only accentuates the evil because weeds
are always of quicker growth than the flower plants which they deprive
of their due share of light and air. Patient division of the seeds,
careful sorting, subtracting as far as possible the contaminating
elements, and giving all the needful attention to the sturdy but
perverse, encouraging those seeds which in various ways will one day
grow into perfect trees so as to show flower; to bear fruit, give
shade, make timber or in any other way serve the multifarious needs of
the nation.



Eugenics is not committed to the Darwinian doctrine of evolution,
although it would probably never have reached the stage of practical
politics but for the encouragement given to all systematic scientific
studies by Darwin's magnificent generalisations. Eugenics takes its
stand on the ascertained fact of heredity, and it owes an immense debt
to the patience with which Lamarck, the Darwins, Weissman and others
have piled instance upon instance to illustrate the fact that "the sins
of the fathers are visited upon the children unto the third and fourth
generation" and "the fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children's
teeth are set on edge." The doctrine of heredity has never been more
resonantly expressed than in these words although they show only one
side and that not the better side of heredity. We are indeed "begotten
not made." Nurture, or environment, has its place, and an important
one, in race improvement, but the overwhelming fact remains that
more than three-fourths of the elements which build up a human soul
are in its nature, not its nurture. The formative factor of greatest
importance in the making of human life and character is heredity.

Mankind has hitherto failed to grasp the full significance of this
admission. Horticulturists have made it the starting point of their
experiments until to-day the Luther Burbanks can almost create
what they will in plant life. Cattle-breeders, dog-fanciers, and
horse-farmers, are able to raise the value of their breeds to a
wonderful degree. Ornithologists have been equally successful; from the
original stock a hundred varieties come at the touch of the scientific
magician's wand. In each case even where at first quantity was
considered of no importance compared with quality, there has been a
steady and unmistakable increase in the effective numbers side by side
with a gigantic development of those elements of strength or beauty
which have been arrived at. Race suicide is a metaphysical phrase not
easily open to definition, but two things may be said about it at this
stage. Race improvement is utterly inconsistent with any intelligent
conception of race suicide. An increasing birthrate is not in itself
a guarantee of progress and may indeed be the means of a nation's
retrogression. Experience and logic lead to the confident conclusion
that increased vitality means increased fecundity.

To acknowledge the law of heredity with its concomitant scientific
implications, must inevitably change our mental outlook in many
directions. Accordingly as we relatively place heredity or environment
first, our views on social politics will be fundamentally sound or
unsound. Taking a large view of society it must make an abysmal
difference whether we think the race can or cannot be improved
(not merely polished or even enlightened but really changed) by
_modifications of environment_. We can no longer pursue the same and
by the same means if we come to the conclusion that the individual is
either born a potential asset to society or "damned into existence,"
a permanent drain on his fellows' comfort and wealth, even a possible
miasma of infectious criminality.

I am a Eugenist because I believe that the nature we have received from
hereditary sources transcends in effectiveness all the nurture which
follows birth. Eugenics means seeking for facts and applying them to
solve the greatest of all problems--looking for light by which the race
may control its destiny. Heredity in the animal and vegetable world may
be considered dispassionately enough. Geology and astronomy are only
hereditary studies affecting the birth of worlds. But from human birth
and sex, the mysteries of creation in their divinest form, from _these_
branches of the study of heredity the flaming sword of prudery warns
us away. The subject of human sex has been the play-ground of neglect,
ignorance, bigotry, superstition, persecution and every other foe to
inquiry. It has been the object of worship but not of explanation, of
romance but not of science, of abuse, mutilation, misunderstanding,
but not of study, reason and generalization. Eugenics of course aims
at expressing the scientific side of the process of which love is the
artistic. The rare handful of brave men and women who against unique
opposition have forced this question to the front are not to be blamed
if up to now Eugenics can hardly be said to exist as a systematised
science. It is in the nature of things that as a philosophy Eugenics
is hardly more than a guess, a probability, an hypothesis. Doubt,
uncertainty and half-heartedness inevitably accompany a movement so
undeservedly discredited as this has been. Without the means to collect
the enormous body of facts required to justify national action the
Eugenists have been content to rely upon personal experiences, isolated
family histories and the normal and abnormal facts which newspapers,
biographies and daily life presented to them. Eugenists have wrestled
against difficulties like Hercules in the Augean stable or Paul in
the Ephesian arena. In fact the stable and the arena throw more light
on Eugenics than any at present available from the human animal. The
existent biology of Eugenics means a study of non-human life. There
is a sufficiently extensive literature and digest of experiments
relating to animal and plant life to serve as the stock in trade of
a fairly complete system of Eugenics--if only fuschias were men or
men were mules. External observations of animal and plant life cannot
universally apply to man even passively, while the active interference
of the human botanist in the affairs of the unprotesting plants
separates these from men by an unpassable chasm.

The first need then for Eugenic study is some systematic collection of
the ascertainable facts as far as they relate to human beings. This
implies sufficient scientific interest in the phenomena of parentage
to encourage widespread earnest patient desire to exchange information
and to steadily accumulate enough knowledge to justify experiment in
positive and negative Eugenics. No sane Eugenist advocates universal
State action based on the existent records, but it would be against
all good precedent if the absence of sufficient knowledge on a vital
subject were allowed to stultify the efforts of those who seek for
fuller information. Nothing but good will ensue if positive experiments
are boldly labelled as such, instead of pretending that our twilight
of investigation is the full light of perfect knowledge. Experiments
in positive Eugenics will take various forms. They began with the
most ordinary baby-shows; they proceeded through municipal prizes for
the healthiest offsprings. An important stage arose when premiums in
some cities began to be offered to all parents whose babies survived
the critical first year of life. These were elementary experiments,
based on the right motive but ignoring the element of heredity. The
experiments of the future must be on a surer foundation. The current
criteria of judgment are sound enough as far as they go, they encourage
careful nurture, but the limitations of the experiments are those of
an unscientific age. Obviously the next step in the same direction
is to discriminate. The haphazard chance that of fifty children
properly nourished one may be distinguished by its superior physique
does not materially help us to solve our problem if we stop at this
phase. Having found our healthiest child we might at least try to
discover the hereditary history of its progenitors and take steps
to encourage further offsprings from so promising a source. Imagine
a scientific cattle-breeder possessing a perfect bull, contented
that one of its offsprings should take a single prize! Not to unduly
strain the analogy we might with all decorum and wisdom circulate
what knowledge we can glean of those facts which have made perfection
possible. Are we to be everlastingly contented with news of the
romantic, sensational, abnormal and criminal phenomena of sex while
our newspapers and official records are silent concerning ordinary and
desirable experiences, their causes and their results? Heredity as
the basis of legislation is never dreamt of, while our statute books
are crowded with laws passed in a panic, laws which bear no ratio
to essential facts, and laws which look at the elementary passions
of mankind through the refractory media of prejudice, ignorance and
well-meaning misconception. It rarely if ever occurs to legislators
that a scientific system of society demands an acquaintance with
the recently accepted conclusions of our greatest thinkers. We are
suffering to-day from a pre-Darwinian government in almost all our
States. "Authorities" of all kinds are quoted in support of and against
any given proposal, but the "authorities" are seldom the fittest. In
earlier days latin tags were considered a worthy conclusion to a speech
in Senate or Legislature. Nowadays poetry or literature is called
into requisition. Darwin, Spencer and Galton should at least have
taught us to take trouble to learn all about the subject in hand and
what bearing the scientific discoveries of our generation have upon
particular problems. It is a disease of the age that we are conscious
of our national short-comings in only the vaguest possible way. We are
ignorant of the full extent of our misfortunes and we do not apply to
them the time, trouble and money which are a preliminary necessity to
discovering a remedy, and we forget the dynamic difference which must
be made in our treatment of race problems as soon as we accept heredity
as the controlling factor. But the preliminaries must be insisted
on. Investigation, collation, classification, generalisation, and
legislation, must be taken in their right order.

The difficulties in the way of investigating the laws which govern
heredity have as usual led to shirking the issue altogether. Even
when we look the difficulty straight in the face, we pass it by. We
have made a god of environment. Our best social efforts hitherto in
legislation, social conventions, conduct and educational ideals (and
in modern times even our religions), have come to consider environment
as of paramount importance. But take environment at its highest it can
only be the best soil for the best seed. _That_ is a Eugenic ideal
also but it cannot convert a disease germ into a desirable citizen.
Over-emphasis of reform dependent on improved environment implies that
a deadly upas tree, if transplanted and properly watered and "given a
better chance," will reward society with a plentiful harvest of edible
nourishing fruit. The heartless school which on principles hates all
reform derives its chief support from the fact that the reform which
regards only environment too often descends to veneering vice with
respectability or dissipates itself in futilities of a grandmotherly
kind. The reformer of the future must study causes as well as
phenomena. The skilled physician regards symptoms as of importance
only to the extent that they assist the diagnosis of disease. Accurate
analysis must consider hereditary causes as well as local symptoms.

Environment when properly subordinated to and illuminated by heredity
does not cease to be important. Environment may provide wings to
fly with and an atmosphere capable of sustaining weight, even when
it cannot provide the will to fly. To return to our agricultural
symbolism: environment cannot make or change the nature of the seed, it
is the soil, the sunshine and the succulence, but it has to take the
seed as it is. Heredity is inside the seed and goes behind the seed to
the mother plant. Heredity is what our ancestors meant when they said
predestination, necessity, destiny.

Philosophers of pre-Darwin days have lured mankind into the pleasant
but dangerously untrue belief that human nature is essentially and
universally good. This crude generalisation of Rousseau's gospel
does some injustice to that great man's philosophy which represented
a necessary revolt from the soul-destroying perversion of heredity
which described man as uniformly "born in sin and shaped in iniquity."
Experience has revolted against both extremes. The Heavenly father is
no longer a Fiend who destines "one to heav'n and ten to hell," and
the Earthly Parent emerges from his ancient unimportance. Man is in
neither case fortuitous, his nature, potentiality and destiny are writ
large in the study of his heredity. We are all, like poets, born not
made; as we are: we remain: we develop on lines long ago laid down for
us by other forces than those environment can control and it is still
impossible to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. This consideration
puts into proper perspective the things which matter, and warns us
to cease vain expenditure on unscientific philanthropy. The efforts
wasted on watering weeds might have made the garden smile with fragrant
flowers. Environment means opportunity. We shall understand better how
and why environments need reconstruction when we recognise the superior
importance of heredity. We shall begin to realise the uselessness of
forcing qualities into the human organism, and become all the more
anxious to afford opportunity for developing whatever utilisable
qualities are already there existent. We shall learn to educate, in
the old sense of the word. We shall bring out the maximum of the good
within. We will no longer tolerate the cruelties and crudities of
abortive attempts to instil properties and qualities of character which
not being inherent can never be successfully inoculated.



The previous chapter suggests that unless due regard is given to
heredity an increased population will merely aggravate the existing
social problems. It is necessary also to emphasise the importance
of watching our death statistics as well as our birth returns.
Obviously a nation with a low percentage of births compared with its
population may be increasing the latter much more largely as well as
more healthily than a nation with a much larger percentage of births.
The pulse of each hand must be felt. Infant mortality is as easily
ascertainable and is of at least equal importance. Infant efficiency
is unfortunately less easily ascertainable statistically. Subject to
these qualifications the Eugenics school welcomes Mr. Roosevelt's
protests against Race Suicide, and gladly identifies itself with any
religious, political or social effort to bring to our citizens a sense
of what we owe to the commonwealth. It is not a matter to be dismissed
with a speech or a magazine article when we see almost every career
in the world glorified, and parentage alone sneered at. Believers in
Eugenics regard with a horror based on a certainty of evil consequence
when they contemplate a State in which the noble task of motherhood is
left to the poor while the rich evade their duties. It is stupid as
well as abominable to reproach heroic but uninstructed mothers of the
less wealthy classes. Year after year they think they are fulfilling
their destined purpose in life by adding to their families a burden
difficult to bear. In the long run, after Nature has exercised a cruel
elimination, this burden of the individual becomes the glory of the
race, the very bloom and blossom of the future. Neither can reproach be
given to the parents in the slums. Nature here seems to be prodigal
indeed. The children come, only the doctors know the terrible tale
of them. To the registrar they are but a name, to the statistician a
number, but to the City and the State they mean cemeteries, hospitals,
prisons, asylums, as well as barracks. But I am not dealing here with
the whole problem of poverty. Eugenics aims at breeding the fittest
from the fittest and it sees

  "How many a gem of purest ray serene
  The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear."

Even in the most unpromising surroundings one sees noble sparks of life
not to be quenched by poverty or any other vital enemy. The Christ
continues to be born in a stable.

It is when we reach the exclusive circles of the rich that we see how
the race is decaying. Children are at a discount. Parentage is coming
to be considered a waste of time. A man cannot spare his wife from
social functions. Dressmakers agree that the coming of a child destroys
symmetry and prevents fashionable tight-lacing. Besides there are
other pastimes to consider. Neither the State nor the individual will
make the public believe that the production of healthy children is as
important as baseball, horse-racing or stamp collecting. Millions of
dollars are spent on securing the best breeds of horses. Seven thousand
dollars recently was the price of a single four-cent stamp. Dogs, in
the highest circles, have luxuries of food, clothing and housing which
the servants who feed them never possessed. Dog-cemeteries exist where
more money is spent on the tombstone of a dead dog than would keep a
live human family for a year. "Foxes have holes, the birds of the air
have nests" but the children of the poor starve and the rich prefer the
pastime of the moment to the permanent interests of the race.

Degeneracy is not a disease by specific intention, it is an attribute
to our social neglect, it is the result of our inattention to vital
issues, it is a sign that we are no longer keenly anxious to elevate
the race. Race improvement requires, under modern conditions of life,
eternal vigilance and deliberate aim. The prolific character of the
degenerate type has often been remarked. It finds expression in the
homely proverb "Ill weeds grow apace." But the "growth" is in the
undesirable direction--they do not grow better. If it were not for the
wasteful cruelty of it all one would see some gleam of satisfaction
in the admitted fact that many of these breeds of degenerates are
almost as short-lived as they are prolific. The handsome villain of
contemporary romance, healthy in physique and mentally alert is a
misleading picture entirely at variance with fact. The degenerate child
is neither beautiful, robust nor mentally sound. While the number of
children per family is four on the average, Dr. Tredgold tells us
that the average of births in a degenerate family is over seven, in
addition to the still-born who in the case of the degenerates amount
to about fifteen per cent of the children born. Almost every prison in
the civilised world bears record to the direct injury inflicted on the
community by the degenerate class. The feeble-minded alone amount to an
appreciable percentage of the ordinary population of our prisons, and,
if to these are added other victims of hereditary degeneracy, there
will be left only what may be described as the "Criminals by accident."
I am not claiming too much for the science when I say that Eugenics is
capable of revolutionising these terrible conditions. The hereditary
nature of the taint of criminality is proved by the history and bodily
characteristics of its unhappy victims. Eugenists as such have no
special remedy for the present day criminality. Their work is to point
to the breeding of the criminal and to urge the importance of stopping
his multiplication. As soon as society begins to take steps towards
cutting off the supply of the degenerate there will be no object in
perpetuating cruel punishments whose only object was deterrence.

Alcoholism may be treated as a separate phase of this great question
or it may be regarded as but a manifestation of feeble-mindedness. In
either case it can be shown that the children of degenerates are those
most often prone to the drink evil. It is not a fact that a drunkard's
children necessarily grow up drunkards. This assertion which is
sometimes met with in Temperance literature is based on a misconception
of what heredity is and a misunderstanding of what alcoholism is.
Alcoholism tends to eliminate the alcoholic. The children of the
drunkard may not be drunkards but they may exhibit weaknesses,
cravings for destructive media or absence of self-control which at
length terminate their generation. There is only one final cure for
national intemperance and that is a more humane imitation of Nature's
own plan. Nature seems cruel in its work because its effectiveness is
not hindered by moral or humane considerations. Man cannot and must
not imitate Nature's ruthlessness even if the process of elimination
becomes a slower one. We can imitate Nature's methodical incisiveness
without following Nature's murderous indifference. In some directions
we may even accelerate Nature's processes, not by increasing the pains
and penalties which she inflicts on a gradually disappearing progeny,
but by narrowing the circle of the victims; by declining to longer
tolerate the procreation of a hopeless generation.

I do not deny that temperance and similar effort at moral suasion
form a valuable buttress against the worst phenomena of alcoholism.
It serves the same purpose of help that bread does to the starving
destitute, it does not solve the problem but it is a necessary work all
the same, a valuable adjunct to a radical cure, and only objectionable
if it stands in the way of prevention which is better than cure.

There is a heritage for children worse, perhaps, than criminality,
feeble-mindedness or a tendency to alcoholic excess. I refer to
venereal diseases. Painful or otherwise the subject must be discussed
in this connection sooner or later. Like alcoholism, this disease
contributes to its own elimination, its victims do not survive
many generations. It is impossible to obtain statistics reasonably
complete of the depredations wrought by these diseases. Professor
Fournier regards them as social danger (1) By the individual damage
inflicted, (2) The damage inflicted on the family, (3) The hereditary
consequences, especially the infant mortality which is terrible, (4)
The race deterioration and depopulation entailed. Public opinion is
ripe for Eugenic treatment of this subject for one good reason, namely
that every other remedy has either failed after trial or is in the
nature of things incapable of adequate enforcement. State regulation
of vice, with its corollary, State examination of women, is nowadays
opposed by medical authorities because of the illusory security from
infection which it implies, and is bitterly resented by all reformers
as an intolerable tyranny applicable only to a single sex.

If I have emphasised the evils which are the heritage of so large a
number of our children, it must never be forgotten that great as is the
proportion of the unfit, we have not yet reached the stage when there
are more unfit than fit. The heritage of evil represents the need for
Eugenics in its negative aspect. We are perfectly well aware of the
characteristics which we desire to eliminate, and this is of very great
importance, not only because of the active harm which a decadent type
represents in our civilisation, but there is the further consideration
that ninety-nine per cent of the reformative effort of our legislative
and social crusades, and of the philanthropic side of our religious
life, is concentrated on this appalling problem. The release of much
of this effort would tend towards enlightening the nation in other
directions. It is not at all wonderful that we should recognise our
national agreement about the types we would gladly eliminate while we
disagree very widely about the types we would most value. This arises
largely from the fact that our attention for many years has been
riveted on "the submerged tenth," on "degeneracy" on "the criminal
classes" and on the various other descriptions of the undesirable.
What a little share in our organised study of man has the best type
had. We have fed the unfit and left the healthy unheeded. Actually
while we have been discussing the problem of improvement we have seen
the destruction and disappearance through war, disease and poverty
of representatives of types which stood in no need of improvement but
only of perpetuating. But in the main if we do not agree as to the most
desirable heritage a child should have there is very much common ground
between us all. We believe that every child has the right to a good
constitution. We regard as a misfortune every obstacle which renders
healthy parents unwilling or unable to add their contribution to the
welfare of the State by increasing the number of happy children growing
into efficient men and women. Why wonder at the anti-social elements
to be found in every city? What claim has the State on its children
when the State has neglected the duty of a parent. To be a citizen is
too great an honor to bestow on the hopeless children of degenerate
parents. These children's heritage is sorrow, the nation's remorse is
unavailing, Nemesis overtakes the neglectful State.



Forty years ago it would have been possible to say that all
encouragements to marriage necessarily meant increasing the birth
rate. Economic and other causes contribute to the decline of both
marriage and birth-rates. In this chapter I am not concerned with
the discouragements to race increase. I remark elsewhere on the
absence of national inspiration to race improvement. I am at present
concerned only with marriage as the medium for procreation, no other
aspect of marriage is the concern of Eugenists. To encourage those
marriages which will tend to produce a noble race might well befit the
consideration of a great people. The views uttered here, while I think
they would be largely shared by Eugenists as a whole, are more or less
personal to the writer who alone is responsible for their statement.
The legitimatisation in some way of the illegitimate seems to me a
necessary, urgent duty of the State. The stigma, implying moral blame
and sometimes meeting with actual ill-treatment on that account, is as
unjust and undeserved as anything that can be imagined. To overcome
the difficulty by making the marriage of the parents the sole method
of removing the reproach seems to me as unjust as it is illogical.
There is no sense in making a child suffer unnecessarily. The
absence of a home with a pair of loving parents is often the natural
sufferings inflicted on a "natural" child. We ought not to encourage
any discrimination between the adopted and the unadopted illegitimate
child. Public opinion must learn to regard all children from the moment
of their birth as having an inherent right to the best possible welcome
and the treatment best fitted to make them desirable citizens. Eugenics
studies the parents and on occasion challenges their right to produce
seed, and one of its basic reasons for doing so must inevitably be that
there can be no post-natal challenge to the child's right to exist.

Illegitimacy however greatly deprecated morally has justified itself
historically. It has produced some of earth's chosen heroes. It
can be condemned ethically because it so often inflicts hardship,
privation and misery on the unhappy mother and the innocent child. That
subsequent marriage of the parents should bring into the family records
the acknowledged previous offspring is obvious common sense, but the
child whose father refuses to do its mother the sometimes doubtful
"honour" of marriage should be regarded in this respect as a child
whose father is dead. As our records demand a name for the father,
"Anon" should serve where paternity is doubtful and the real father's
name should be acknowledged in every official document in every case
where paternity orders are obtained. In other words illegitimacy
should be abolished and, marriage or no marriage, every child should be
duly entitled to every right of inheritance, etc., which the laws at
present confine to the fruit of wedlock. It is not the form of marriage
or its absence but the racial result with which Eugenics is concerned.
Morality, religion, or the law which holds society together may have
its reproach, its deprecatory warnings, and even its punishments for
_parents_ who transgress its conventions, but humanity demands that no
stone shall be thrown at the _child_.

Eugenics is so seriously concerned with the race that it cannot accept
the pretentious puerilities which so often masquerade under the title
of marriage-law reforms. The mere refusal of a marriage certificate
to couples who cannot pass certain medical shibboleths, while their
offspring is unconsidered (except in so far as it demands immediate
public assistance) seems to be a mockery of a serious subject. The
marriage of the unfit is the concern of the Eugenists primarily
because deception on either side may lead to terrible evil. Physical
examinations and medical certificates before marriage are an urgent
necessity--not as a bar to marriage but as a hindrance to deceit. Wives
must know the man they are marrying. Men must be informed what kind
of wife is hidden beneath the attractive dress. A danger of marriage
is that a perfectly capable healthy person may unsuspectingly marry
an impotent, barren or deformed consort. Love capable of conquering a
wholesome physical repulsion is one thing; love, blinded by custom,
delivered bound into the hands of disease is a vile thing incapable
of defence. Partners for life can even now demand a certificate on
the portal of marriage, but public opinion and legislation must make
such certificates an essential preliminary to the marriage contract.
All legal barriers to breaking an engagement on grounds of physical
and mental ill-health must be swept away, and the enlightened public
must be led to learn that some promises are better broken than kept.
If these ante-matrimonial conditions are observed Eugenists will look
with a charitable if discouraging glance at marriages of the unfit.
Marriage between two "unfit" persons can be defended on very many
grounds so long as children are not born. It is, generally speaking,
improbable that the unfit at their worst will either be drawn to each
other or that they will wish to enter on any career which may tend
to deprive them of what vitality they still possess. Most often such
unions would be inevitably fruitless whatever vain attempts were made
to make the dry bones live. Such unions would in nearly every instance
simply mean that to prevent scandal a form of marriage is gone through
and thereafter two weaklings give each other the comfort of communion;
their common diet is suited to their needs, they live (as far as
they can afford it) in an atmosphere adapted to their complaint. I do
not envy the state of soul of their critics who would mar the placid
satisfaction of mutual comfort which would solace their declining
childless days.

The union of the fit and the unfit is a calamity or a catastrophe in
cases of knowledge, it is a crime where the victim is deceived into
ignorance. The union of two unfit persons entered into in complete
knowledge will be an infinitely smaller evil.

To make marriage attractive we must very greatly increase the
facilities for unmaking it, and we must lay down some general
principles for its healthy continuance. The absolute right of a woman
to her own person, and her prerogative to refuse to bear children, seem
elementary conditions of civilised wedlock. Woman must be protected
from outrage, be she wife or not. A married woman must have the same
right over her own person and her own children that an unmarried woman
has over hers. It is an unmistakable slight on marriage to compel a
woman to relinquish any of the legal or social rights she would enjoy
if unmarried. We cannot afford to throw these obstacles in the way of
marriage, we want the best women to marry and not to abstain on account
of the altogether unnecessary and unnatural disabilities which laws and
men have made.

Eugenists are willing to concede that divorce should be cheap, easy and
free from shameful scandal. This can only be done however without grave
injustice to women and the race if, apart from religious and moral
considerations, the family is made the first consideration. The problem
is largely an economic one. It is not likely that the State willingly
intends to take upon itself the burden of maintaining thousands of
wives unable to maintain themselves discarded by husbands wealthy
enough to incur new responsibilities and expense. Whether marriage
should be regarded as giving a claim to equal shares in the property
and income of either partner is worthy of discussion. It is likely
enough that the thinking woman of the present day and her successors
will insist on wages for wives, wages for motherhood, and wages for
housekeeping, and that these stipulations will receive the sanction
of State law wherever they are reasonably scheduled and definitely
approved. The children of divorced parents occupy an onerous position.
Mr. Henry James, in "What Maisie Knew," has touched convincingly on
this point. It cannot be dismissed as unimportant for there is hardly
a single good environment in children's lives so potent as that of
a happy home in which the two parents' love for each other is only
rivalled by their united love for the young lives their love has so
miraculously created. But there is no worse condition for children than
the home of hate. Divorce may be horrid, but the atmosphere of love
turned to indifference and hate is hell for all who breathe there.

While marriage does not exhaust all the possibilities of increasing
the race it may be said to be not only the best but the only socially
desirable way. Preventing divorce, or railing marriage round with
difficulties not only encourages illicit relations outside marriage,
it inevitably tends to prevent marriages being as fecund as the
interests of the race demands. There is no need to sigh for a uniform
marriage-law. If the ideal rule could be discovered it would be a pity
not to make it universal. States which have experimented under present
conditions become valuable examples or warnings, and the only need is
that the least enlightened (or the least speculative) State should
come into line with the most advanced without undue delay. Fortunately
already there has been a number of very interesting enterprises by
individual States, and the time is ripe for the more general adoption
of those marriage laws which have given general satisfaction where

The "age of consent" and the age of marriage must be brought to a
common minimum. If a girl is mature enough for one she is mature enough
for the other. The condition of parental consent seems at first glance
an anachronism, but may have some Eugenic value if modified to mean
that the age of consent can be pre-dated in exceptional cases.

No husband or wife should be tied for life to a person who develops
symptoms of such diseases as tuberculosis, syphilis, chronic alcoholism
and the like. Felony and even incurable laziness or incapacity should
be good grounds for divorce. There is no necessary connection between
Socialism and Eugenics but neither is there any essential antagonism.
Eugenics recognises the responsibilities of parenthood and to that
extent is individualistic; it claims also that the children born to
all men, rich or poor, are bound to be born as healthy as advancing
science can make them. That is why Eugenics is sometimes regarded as
socialistic, but we have long ago decided that health is a national
concern and therefore the State builds hospitals, passes sanitary laws
and insists on the notification of certain diseases. In a Republic it
ought not to be necessary to say that classes should not exist. At
the risk of accentuating the socialistic accusation it has to be made
plain that matrimonial selection must ignore distinctions of wealth
and class and creed. The fit must wed the fittest, that is the keynote
of Eugenics. Eugenics speaks with no uncertain voice on the "Colour
question"--every race must work out its own salvation, and in the
interests of each race there must be no intermarrying. It is a healthy
and natural objection which causes a white woman to shudder at the idea
of a mixed marriage. The mating of a black woman with a white man is
seldom a wedding, it generally means degradation to both and excessive
suffering to the victims--the woman and the child.

After we have done all we can to make marriage a more perfect
institution we are only beginning the ideal of Eugenic life. We have
to know more than we know at present of what characteristics are best
combined with what others, and to know which unions are fraught with
dangers both to the partners and still more to the offspring. The
old Stirpiculturists have very much to say on the subject of "likes
and contrasts" from the days of Byrd Powell up till the time when
scientific Eugenics under Sir Francis Galton gave new light to the
study: Phrenology, freed from its showman and charlatan element, may
yet help us in our quest. For there is no divorce law which can ever
cure the ills of ill-assorted marriage. Our ignorance may not be
criminal, it is nevertheless deplorable. Science gathers increasing
information about all other things and we spend our millions on
investigating the prevention of utilisation of waste, shall we not
hope that this great institution of marriage may too in its turn be
the subject of our scientists', philosophers' and statisticians'
concern. Marriage has its origin in the profoundest needs of social
man. The _raison d'etre_ of marriage is human happiness now and in the
generations to follow. Throwing legislative obstacles in the way of
marriage has never had any effect except the increase of illegitimacy.
The scientific remedy here as elsewhere is enlightenment. We have
to safeguard the race and educate the present generation. We cannot
tell those who would marry more than we know ourselves, but every
ascertained fact and every reasonable probability about marriage
should be at the disposal of every candidate for the "holy order." The
mere necessity of systematising our knowledge ready for distribution
will be a gain, the sum of actual fact about the mating of various
temperaments and characteristics may be larger than we think. Anyhow
it offers a promising field of research. Eugenics will encourage the
endowment of such knowledge, it will seek subsidies from the State
towards its acquisition, it will strive to popularise it in every way
until it will be much rarer than it is to-day unhappily to hear the
complaints "If youth but knew," and "It might have been."



It is unnecessary to argue the desirability of race improvement.
It is the avowed ultimate object of every religious, moral, social
and individual reform. In the light of history we know that race
improvement is possible. Degeneration is the scientists' formula for
the theologian's "fall from grace," evolution is the Darwinian phrase

"That far-off divine event To which the whole creation moves."

The Eugenist does not say that religion, morality, and education are
ineffective, he only claims that these great forces should apply to
the foundations of society instead of being spent and dissipated in a
thousand less important directions.

Eugenics is not a step in the dark. The theory is based on observation
and its practice on a selection of the innumerable experiences of
mankind. Since the first man married the first bride mankind has been
unconsciously offering an accumulation of experiments in improvement,
deterioration and stagnation of the race. It is only inexplicable
reticence which has diverted man's study from these phenomena. Failure
to appreciate relative values, the prejudice arising from a debased or
immature morality, the bigotry of misunderstood religion and the dread
of wounding prudish susceptibilities have led competent writers to
devote to pigs and sheep volumes which should have had man for their
subject. "The noblest study of mankind is man," but our naturalists
have not advertised it sufficiently. Charles Darwin, whose powers of
minute observation are admitted to have been supreme even by those
who dispute his conclusions, recognised the racial bias against "the
noblest study." Writing to A. R. Wallace in 1857 he said: "You ask
whether I shall discuss 'man.' I think I shall avoid the subject, as so
surrounded with prejudice; though I admit it is the highest and most
interesting problem for the naturalist."

The old attempts to divide mankind into good and bad have failed beyond
recall. The first lesson we can learn from a study of the past is to
recognise the probably infinite variety of type which exists, not only
in the attainments, but in the potentialities of various types of man
and woman. We no longer wonder at differences of mentality when we
know the variations in bodily form and structure. We see that some are
capable of endurance, some are physically weak, some are almost leonine
in strength. Each variation in strength may be united with differing
degrees of other qualities, of sight, of motion, of temperament--there
is no end to the combinations. We are well on the road to the
elements of Eugenics when we have grasped two facts, the analysable
distinctions between individuals, and the fact that broadly speaking
a child is endowed with its essential characteristics from birth. The
qualifications of the hereditary principle need not be set forth here.
Darwin's theory is being modified in our day on important but not vital
details. Eugenics is only interested in so far as we admit this broad
generalisation to which no scholar of to-day would substantially demur.

We cannot in every case disentangle human characteristics with
sufficient precision to warrant us in saying which combinations are
desirable and which are undesirable. We can, however, get into our
minds the idea that one good quality may be happily supplemented by
another, or that certain characteristics might prove irreconcilable
in combination. For instance strong sexuality allied to moral
responsibility would prove an admirable combination, but the former
quality in conjunction with weak mentality would work for certain ill.
The marriage of near relations has been demonstrated to stereotype
existent combinations, the evil is not as was once feared that the
act was in itself categorically immoral and therefore followed by
Nature's punishment. It amounted to the same thing in many cases
because Nature's law is progress or retrogression; to stand still is to
stultify the law of the universe. The highest and noblest physically,
morally and mentally are the most complicated, and there is little
danger that they will find their match amongst those with whom they
are likely to marry. The risk of like marrying like is more inherently
probable amongst the commonplace and mediocre. The danger becomes a
terrible one when the lowest rung of the ladder is reached and it is
here that intermarriage is most common if not invariable. The lowest
degenerates, the most vulgar criminals the absolute failures, the
"creatures who once were men" rarely have sexual unions of any sort
or kind outside their own degraded circle. The unfit breed more of
their kind and do not improve. The commonplace may by happy chance or
on wise information mingle just those characteristics which raise the
race to a higher level. The highest like those in the last category,
may in the next generation lead to still higher heights or they may
maintain their standard of efficiency, or their caste may sink to lower
circles. In any of these cases of course there is the alternative that
their race may be extinguished. All this is merely to state the case
as it stands. There are few who dispute the facts, the Eugenic remedy
is either not appreciated or it is ignored. It cannot be a subject of
indifference whether the best types increase or the worst. It must
matter to the race, it must seriously affect the present generation,
it must be of increasing importance to each generation. Cruel, harsh,
severe, repressive laws have been discarded as ineffective and inhuman.
We cannot go back to an abortive policy which failed even a Torquemada.
On the contrary we have repressed natural checks to population and must
increasingly continue to do so wherever we discover new methods of
foiling Nature's indiscriminate destructiveness. The stream of tendency
cannot be dammed, we must adapt our social mill-wheels to the new
channels which the river of time has cut in the fields of experience.

We must discard the old unscientific view of existence as an
inexplicable riddle, of marriage as a lucky bag, of crime as a mere
chance occurrence, of genius as a "sport," of events as casualties
or accidents and of goodness as accessible to all and badness the
deliberate choice of the wilful. A few years ago a well-known publisher
exposed a huge poster advertising his encyclopædia. It was called "The
Child; What will he become?" Two series of pictures were given, the
top line indicating the gradual ascent of the child fortunate enough
to read the encyclopædia. By easy stages he passed through the Sabbath
school, emerged into the business office where he accumulated wealth
and a cheerful countenance, he ascended into the paradise of benevolent
baldness and appeared in the final picture a happy patriarch breathing
out blessings and probably platitudes at every pore. Contrasted with
these series, the bottom line pictorially followed the awful fate
of the child who did not read this wonderful work. He deteriorated
rapidly, first a pickpocket, then a forger, finally a murderer, and
a drunkard all the time. This is the classic exaggeration of the
unscientific view actually held by some well-meaning reformers. And
if we ridicule this discredited theory of life why do we not frankly
disavow the hopeless "reforms" which are the natural product of this
haphazard view? We accept the doctrine on which Eugenics is based
because all the facts conform it, but we continue to spend our time
and money on methods of reform which have lost their root and now only
cumber the ground.

The "points" of an animal have for ages been the subject of the
breeders' successful efforts, but they are not more certainly inherited
than are the form of a man's head, his stature, the colour of his
eyes, and the length of his life, all of which are hereditary like the
colour of a horse, the scent of a flower and the shape of an apple.
Naturalists no more than farmers can with exactness predict that 173
live lambs will be born on one farm, that every flower of the same
class will give equally abundant perfume, or that every fruit on the
same tree will weigh just the same to an ounce. We are still more
ignorant or at least equally ignorant about the exact results in a
particular instance of the character of the individual offspring
even when we are reasonably well acquainted with all its antecedents.
We can say with certainty, however, as Dr. Karl Pearson says that
"of all the children of a definite class of parents like A and B we
can assert that a definite proportion will have a definite amount of
any character of A and B, with a certainty as great as that of any
scientific prediction whatever. I am not speaking from belief or from
theory but simply from facts, from thousands of instances recorded
by my fellow-workers or myself. Here is a great principle of life,
something apparently controlling all life from its simplest to its most
complex forms, and yet, though we too often see its relentless effects
we go on hoping that at any rate we and our offspring shall be the
exceptions to its rules. For one of us as an individual this may be
true, but for the _average_ of us all, for the nation as a whole, it is
an idle hope. You cannot change the leopard's spots, and you cannot
change bad stock to good; you may dilute it, but until it ceases to
multiply, it will not cease to be." (National Life from the Standpoint
of Science.) The reformer sees in these facts the basis of his highest
hopes as certainly as he sees therein the condemnation of all attempts
at reform which ignore these bed-rock truths. Permanent maintenance
of good standards, gradual elimination of the hopelessly bad stock,
and experimentation designed to utilise all the good elements on the
border line between the desirable and the undesired--this is the
Eugenist's programme in the immediate present. His ideal goes beyond
this practicable programme, for the Eugenist aims at some final
justification of Nature. Without worshipping Nature he desires to
understand her processes and walk in harmony with her tendencies.

The most potent of all the beneficent influences in the organic world
has been the law of Natural Selection. By "Law" of course we merely
mean the observed invariable sequence of events, and whether or not
this universe has a guiding Intelligence behind it, the "survival of
the fittest" has taken its course by means of this particular law or
process. It is impossible to deny that this selection has more often
been instinctive than conscious. It is easy to predict that conscious
intelligent selection may produce as real an improvement in the human
race as has been obtained in the animal and vegetable kingdoms where
man has so long directed the survival of the desired or elimination of
undesired "points."

Patience, study, discrimination and courage are the principal weapons
in the Eugenic armoury. With these qualities assured Eugenics may be
trusted in the long run to outdistance all other competitors in the
field of race improvement. Study is a _sine qua non_, because Eugenics
means Probability based on Experience, and the more extensive our
researches the safer our generalisations will be. Patience is needed
because unlike other cures Eugenics will help the individual less than
it will assist society, and it will always place the interests of the
race first and foremost. Accordingly its cures will not be apparent in
the current generation. This may discourage the unthinking, it will
tire the hand-to-mouth reformer, the superficial will dismiss the
whole thing as useless. Wisdom in discrimination will be essential
because sometimes "the stone which the builders reject" has a way of
becoming "the headstone of the corner." But when we have ascertained
beyond reasonable doubt the qualities we want to preserve and the
characteristics we desire to eliminate we must be courageous in the
application of our remedy.

We look not only at the worst but also at the best when we ask
ourselves can the Race be improved? The highest type of man known to
men must be our model. We must constantly and actively believe that
what man has been man may be. If mankind be truly one we are linked to
the Grants as well as to the Guiteaus, to the saviours as well as to
the assassins of society. Our kinship with the lowest must make us more
merciful, our kinship with the highest may make us more ambitious to be
contented with nothing short of the best.



A healthy wave of reaction seems setting in against the old ideal
of "cramming" which once masqueraded as education. Already signs
are apparent that in order to have a healthy mind a healthy body is
necessary. A sentiment in favour of physical education is slowly
arising and may some day be translated into statutes and administrative
rule. At present the sentiment is a vague one and is not wholly free
from the suspicion of ulterior motives connected with national defence.
It cannot be gainsaid that the army and navy will gain in strength
and efficiency by the improvement of the racial physique but the same
forces might be equally increased by some new discovery in aviation,
some new invention in machinery or some new combination in explosives
peculiar to America. Methods of education must justify themselves
first and last by their conformity to the physical, and moral and
intellectual needs of the human basis of society. They must not be
devoted to the development of a healthy manhood only, the interests
of the race demand that healthy womanhood shall be the care of any
truly national system of education. Until we have built up the body
we are little likely to succeed in creating a race of pure-thinking,
pure-living men and women. This is the universal need. Higher
education, the highest intellectual culture is for the few, not for
the wealthy few--but for the proved fit, for those whose antecedents
and character show that their brain is capable of receiving and their
powers are capable of using a fully developed education which would
otherwise be a ridiculously wasted acquisition.

The intellectual education of the future will probably average a
higher standard than at present but we must revise our criterion of
judgment. We must realise that our current ideals tend rather towards
making a nation of priggish inefficients than of happy, healthy home

If our teachers have aimed in the past at cramming comparatively
useless knowledge into every brain independent of individual capacity,
it is not strange that our educational faults have been to neglect
the physical side and to ignore the vital teaching which might have
led our scholars in the direction of their own physical development.
These two things must inevitably stand or fall together. If you neglect
physical training it will be because you do not realise its importance.
If you realise its importance you will not only devote your principal
educational efforts towards its universal practice in the schools
but you will see that nothing is left undone to induce the young to
adopt in the privacy of their own lives the principles which make for
physical perfection.

Heredity and environment alike teach this lesson. The child is father
to the man, the parents of to-morrow are now being made. The weak
should learn early their limitations, the strong should be taught how
best to economise their strength. No Eugenist believes in over-emphasis
of sexual knowledge, but every Eugenist believes in the absolute
importance of early familiarity with the essential information of
sex-life. To emphasise this knowledge would mean being guilty of the
same _kind_ of error as is at present prevalent. A knowledge of the
laws of sex should never be separated from other physiological and
moral education, its acquisition should be gradual, its full meaning
should be so well prepared for that its physical manifestations in the
youth of both sexes would be understood, without the necessity of a
sudden jump from abysmal ignorance to overwhelming experience.

Co-education, the schooling together of boys and girls until puberty,
is a step in the right direction. It familiarises children with each
other in quite the best and most innocent manner; it is no more likely
to create evil results than the daily life at home of the perfect
family of boys and girls meeting under the protection of their own

Co-education renders unnecessary that departing into separate schools
which is so mysterious in early life. It aims at giving girls the
benefit of boys' play, encouraging them in the boys' code of honour,
and tending to prepare them for a citizenship they have to share
with the boys whom they may even now regard as "chums." For boys the
familiarity with girls' ways and girls' characteristics will help
them to be courteous without being weak and to lose that shamefaced
sex-consciousness which is the opposite to a healthy knowledge of the
existence of another sex.

In the early years of infancy only the parents can impart information
about sex to their own offspring, and generally speaking only the
mother will be the desirable source of information. This in itself
justifies the necessity of the Eugenist demand for educationally
preparing girls for motherhood. In the nursery the time for teaching
intimate things may be left to date itself. The earliest questions of
a child fix the time when the earliest information must be given. When
a child asks questions you either tell him the truth or a lie. The
truth can be told so delicately that no one need blush to repeat it.
A lie may be directly more indelicate and in its future results may
be a source of deadly demoralisation. Children ask about the "secret"
of birth when a baby brother or sister is born. Their questions and
our answers are a frequent subject for jest, when the only reasonable
excuse for our failure to impart accurate knowledge is either our own
unfitness to teach, or our child's incapacity to understand. If the
first is not incurable it should be the object of immediate study with
a view to reform. The incapacity of youthful intelligence to grasp
elementary facts is greatly exaggerated, but anyhow it is no excuse for
deliberate deception. The immature mind can wait for knowledge, its
development need not be prejudiced before it begins to know anything.
If we cannot feed it on facts at least do not fill it with falsehood.

On entering school the children are introduced to a person whose
profession is to teach. How easy now it would be to obtain a child's
confidence, how easy to lead a child to believe that there is no
hidden knowledge, no subject which is taboo, no function of a healthy
body which is unhealthy, and no process of Nature which cannot be
made an interesting and helpful study. To impart an unnecessary sense
of shame to a child is a shocking outrage from which a sensitive
soul never recovers. Exceptional children will require exceptional
care but the average child need never know from experience the
meaning of sexual shame. Healthy boys and girls will learn that as
their parents made them they will one day themselves qualify for all
those joys, pains, excitements and interests which are so intimately
wrapt round the functions of parenthood. To prepare boys and girls
to become parents may seem a big proposition. I am convinced it is
practicable, desirable and in the best interests of the race. The human
relationship, the human parentage, the human processes should be the
foundation of natural history lessons. Botany and biology should be
interesting because of their relation to humanity. Information about
the human processes of life and sex should not be made contingent on
the possibility of divulging it in scattered fragments incidental to
remarks on the habits of polar bears or the functions of the stamen
and pollen of the flower.

On this subject at least there is no possibility of permanent secrecy.
The plan for Eugenic school-teaching is only a plea for the wise,
discreet well-timed truth from a capable and trusted source, against
indiscreet and often indecently ill-timed half-truth from the worst
sources. Children need to be informed, warned and helped.

Why should it be regarded as indecent to give kindly warning against
disease? Children are often over sensitive about fancied or discovered
differences between themselves and other children, and about natural
developments or even small defects which the uninformed mind magnifies
into first-class abnormalities. They would often be reassured by
learning of the enormous varieties which can exist within the average
and the normal. Children should neither be frightened by the well-meant
exaggerations which sometimes are used to warn children and growing
youth from the very real evil results of self-abuse, nor should such
evils be encouraged by a prudish ignoring of the possible danger.
Masturbation can be shown to stand in the way of all that youth rightly
values in its present happy school life and play, it can be proved
to prevent the accomplishment of what every healthy school ideal
demands as the future functions of maturity. Restraint is impossible
because onanism is essentially a secret vice, and therefore when
these appeals to reason, idealism, self-respect, and self-interest
fail everything fails. Fear is opposed to the very basis of school
honour. If the nobler motives are inadequate the physician is required
rather than the teacher, for there is a pathological reason for such
abnormal minds. The danger of contracting sexual diseases must be very
carefully taught. The body must be saved but the soul must not be
simultaneously lost. Sexual disease problems must not be mixed up with
sexual morality, or we shall pervert the noblest part of youth. Sexual
disease should be referred to, like all other sexual questions, as
incidental to the whole subject of the body and its functions, abuses
and diseases. The idea that any disease may justly be regarded as a
fitting "punishment" for any particular crime, is as evil in its effect
as it is vicious in its principle. To encourage the notification of
every disease, especially the worst, is a public duty we can only evade
at enormous cost in innocent lives. Grappling with the sexual scourge
called syphilis is horribly hindered by the reticence, concealment and
shame, directly or indirectly to be traced to a mistaken ethic about

To prepare children for parenthood involves finding a reasonable regard
for fatherhood as well as for motherhood. No system of economics that
relegates fatherhood to unimportance is good for the State. The boy
must learn that the father has responsibilities, different from the
mother's but worthy of his own very best. Fortunately the pages of
history teem with illustrations of this theme for those who desire
examples and warnings from the past, it may even be necessary to point
out that the father's function has been over valued in our annals as
compared with that of the still more important but less praised mother.
Inasmuch, however, as the mother's function is so much more continuous
than the father's, the perpetuation of such degree of perfection as a
boy is endowed with must be secured by constant vigilance, lest he fail
in the one great act which earns the right of giving his name to his

The Eugenic education of girls is generally easier than that of boys
for many reasons. Girls see more than boys of the management of a home,
they are used to children younger than themselves, they are fond of
babies and will nurse dolls for an amusement, deriving much pleasure
from a pastime fraught with Eugenic suggestiveness. Later on certain
signs of adolescence precipitate explanations and stimulate inquiry.
There is no need for any restrictions of the facilities women enjoy
educationally. As with boys the best education should be given to those
girls who show capacity for using it. It has never been claimed that
culture should be withheld from a man, as inconsistent with fatherhood;
motherhood must not be made an excuse for denying education. The safest
policy is to make preparations for Life independent of preparations
for a Career. The don and the bluestocking have to live, so have the
cowboy and the cook. All must have the universal knowledge whereby
they may serve their race as healthy parents of healthy children, even
though the college, the study, the ranch and the kitchen have their own
particular technicalities to be mastered by the interested individuals.

Of study in general Eugenics will find much to say. It is impossible
to neglect any branch of knowledge. The human will no less than human
necessity presses forward in every direction. We may be like King
Solomon surrounded by material wealth and possessions, but, like him,
if we are forced to choose between them and knowledge, the noblest
thing within us will cry for knowledge. We must learn to discriminate
between knowledge-values, and endeavour to frame our study-time so
that even the least of us may be encouraged to learn all that we
can. For those who can rapidly digest huge continents of study the
prizes of scholarship are assured. It is not in the interests of
Eugenics that knowledge should be acquired with this rapidity by those
constitutionally unfitted for the strain. An educational system devised
for men may not necessarily be suited to women equally anxious to
know and willing to give as long a period to study. It may be found
practicable on Eugenic grounds to give more facilities than we do for
broken studies, for studies which go slower and last longer, and for
studies where the honours are not given to those who can cram most in
the least time.

It is impossible for any view of Eugenics in relation to education to
ignore the terrible danger of child-labour. Economic consideration of
this subject is common enough; it is time that Eugenics made its voice
heard in denunciation of a system which cannot fail to demoralise the
race if persisted in. The energy of a growing youth is required for
building up his own constitution, and if his early labours are spent
in occupations inconsistent with physical development he becomes a
stunted weakling from whose loins we cannot expect the issue of a noble
race. In the case of girl-labour the trouble is intensified, partly
because the occupations of young girls are mostly of a description
requiring a bodily posture which works untold evil in their future
health and fitness. Needlework, laundry-work and typewriting are cases
in point. Housework, with which every young girl should be familiar at
a reasonably early age, becomes an intolerable check to womanly growth
when overdone. Factory life and "home" labour are equally objectionable
where children are forced by parental pressure, or the exigences of
economic circumstance to earn bread for themselves or to contribute to
the family sustenance.

I close this chapter abruptly, fully realising that Eugenic zeal has
carried me beyond any narrow view of elementary education, and will
inevitably lead the nation into economic controversy. The history
of all reform encourages us to persevere. Neither fears of expense,
nor metaphysical considerations of parental duty, nor sentimental
objections to State intrusion have prevented a nation (when faced with
a foreign foe) pledging all its resources, taking sons from mothers and
husbands from wives, and using land, railways and stores to prosecute
a war deemed necessary for national defence. I am convinced that we
have only to realise the national danger and we shall heartily follow
the Eugenic lead, even if it costs us the price of a fifth-rate war.



Eugenics is not essentially concerned with the right to vote nor
is Eugenics specially interested in such abstract questions as the
relative voting qualifications of the sexes. If these things really
weighed at all Eugenics would naturally favour fitness instead of sex
as the qualification for electoral enfranchisement. At present Eugenics
views the feminist movement from the point of view of political power
as a means to national efficiency. This standpoint is the more natural
because there is every reason to believe that while the objective
of the feminist is nominally Votes for Women it is actually an
assertion of woman's all-round equality with men. I believe it will
be a perilous enterprise, fraught with grave danger to the State if
women successfully organise as a sex-party, prepared to study every
question from the special interests or supposed interests of women.
However much this definite policy may be repudiated it is a genuine
danger, to which a prolonged suffrage agitation is bound, ostensibly
or unintentionally, to contribute. It is to the interest of all who do
not take a sex-party view of citizenship to abbreviate this struggle.
It seems illogical, unnatural and undesirable that there should be
a sex-basis of citizenship rights. All deprecation of anything even
remotely approaching a sex-war is an argument for the acknowledgment of
Women's claim to electoral equality with men. It is incredible that the
mere extension of the franchise can create a revolution; a revolution
is historically rather to be expected from refusing the suffrage to a
class containing intelligent, capable law-abiding adults.

Let us not deceive ourselves, however, as to the real meaning of
the claim for women's electoral emancipation. Whether that demand
is granted or not the moral and intellectual driving-force of the
agitation comes from a genuine reforming spirit, which will succeed
with or without the vote in elevating woman to a position more worthy
of civilisation than she has hitherto occupied. So much is certain to
those who recognise in Mrs. Chapman Catt, Dr. Anna Shaw and the English
Suffragettes the inspiration of Mary Woolstonecraft, the radical
pioneer who first said "Woman must be free." A conspiracy of men to
hinder women's emancipation might provoke a sex-war, the granting of
such freedom as women claim can only end in mutual honour. Women will
learn to realise and respect the differences between men and women when
those differences do not wear the unmistakable taint of inequalities.
The Eugenists' hope is for a peaceful solution, for the peace of the
home is the hope of the child. The child is apt to be forgotten when
men and women quarrel.

There are undoubtedly many property questions mixed up with the
electoral claim, and the former have a genuine Eugenic side to them.
It is not in the interests of the race that mothers should be in any
doubt as to their immunity from financial worry during child-birth
pains, or that they should have to consider any merely sordid question
in deciding whether or not a perfectly healthy mother should increase
the nation's stock of perfectly fit citizens. The position of a wealthy
man's wife in the present day is often an anomalous one. Where the
husband was rich at the time of his wedding, marriage-contracts usually
protect the wife's interests to some extent. In the much commoner
cases of gradually increasing wealth, of wealth coming unexpectedly
or as the result of years of protected operations, the wife depends
absolutely on her husband's good will. Often enough her exertions have
helped to find this fortune. Her influence on his life is frequently an
indispensable asset. Her care of the children she has borne give her a
sentimental claim which justice cannot ignore. It is intolerable that
husbands becoming rich men should be entitled to speculate and gamble
with the whole of what should be considered the joint capital of the
family, without obtaining the consent of the actual working partner.
He should be at liberty neither to "deal" unauthorisedly with what
might be considered the family's share of his fortune, nor to alienate
by testamentary legacy anything beyond a fair proportion away from
those who have the first claim upon his goods. In order to defraud his
creditors or for less criminal reasons a man has often used his wife
as a convenient banker. It will be easier to check this species of
cheating when the wife herself becomes a creditor.

In the poorest circles where man and woman are equally destitute
of worldly wealth this woman's property question is too inseparably
mixed with the whole economic problem to be stated solely in terms of
Eugenics. Eugenics does not profess to point out the lines on which the
problem of poverty is to be solved. Eugenics only says that certain
conditions (inconsistent with destitution) have to be observed if we
want the race to improve and to save the nation from absolute decay. It
is up to our politicians to find the means by which these conditions
can be observed. A nation converted to the gospel of Eugenics will not
boggle at providing the means for saving itself.

Middle-class women have a genuine grievance which is becoming
articulate. The women-workers claim equal wages for equal work, and
married women claim wages for the work they perform as housekeepers,
nurses or cooks, or all three. If there is anything at all in the idea
of attracting the best workers by high wages the women will win. It
will be a misfortune to Eugenics if for any monetary reason the best
women are attracted to commercial careers rather than to domestic
duties, but women-workers will succeed by combination while wives will
win only if legislation favours them. Legislation must and will be
forthcoming to prevent the comparative attractiveness of motherhood
from sinking still lower in the scale than at present.

The most important question which many suffragists are preparing to
face is to whom shall women look for their support. There is of course
for the daughters of the rich an inheritance which places them above
the vulgar struggle which ninety per cent. of our women have to face.
For this great majority the alternatives to State-maintenance are
generally speaking marriage or the labour-market. There is much to be
said for the State-provision of maintenance for motherhood, which is
elsewhere referred to. The principle is neither new nor revolutionary.
Most States make some provision of the kind, and this State-provision
is often excellent in efficiency but frequently quite demoralising in
the restrictions with which it is hedged. Obviously with no Eugenic
inspiration State-helps of the kind can never be anything but a
stop-gap which self-respecting women will not seek voluntarily and
which will always be given grudgingly. Its conditions will no longer
degrade but will tend towards race improvement by encouraging the fit
and warning the weak and diseased. For this double purpose the State
will employ ladies to visit poor mothers so as to make sure that at
least no mother shall want for food, shelter and the best medical
attention, while she is assisting in what will be universally regarded
as the highest and best interests of the nation. If State-subventions
of this kind are beset with restrictions, what are we to say to
"charitable" enterprises. Some few are ideal institutions, the vast
majority are only justifying their existence by doing badly what
would be otherwise left undone. Some exist merely because medical
students must have some experience of maternity cases, sometimes the
accommodation for mothers is so scanty compared with the number of
students that many score of students attend a single mother, whose
experience in such a case is not an enviable one.

Neither charity nor the present limited State-aid touch the larger
question. It would almost seem as if the State and the charities had a
grudge against motherhood. It is as if some monstrous misunderstanding
of Malthusianism had led these authorities to believe that the
interests of the race demanded the accentuation of the primal course.
"In sorrow," indeed, do the poor "bring forth children." There is a
prejudice too against the noblest emotions of motherhood. Cases are
common where the relieving authorities, public or voluntary, faced
with the absolute inability of a parent to contribute towards a child's
keep, undertake the child's care under conditions which exclude
the parents' continued interest in the child's welfare. A mother
unexpectedly widowed is "relieved" of her four young children who are
sent sometimes to different orphanages, often at a distance from the
mother who loves them and who would be their very best guardian. She
has to find work amongst strangers to support herself, while losing
money every "visiting day" if she can anyway get to see her children,
whose aggregate keep costs actually more than would comfortably
maintain them and their mother under ideal conditions. It is this
almost fiendish masculine administration of the maternal functions of
the public authorities which women most vehemently protest against.
There seems no remedy for it except a recognition that a man cannot be
a mother, not even a step-mother.

Apart from the maternal side of woman's life there is her individual
life to consider, and while this is of enormous importance to herself
its chief interest to Eugenists (as such) is that only out of healthy
and happy conditions of womanhood can a noble motherhood be expected to
grow. Slave-mothers are apt to breed slave-children, and still worse
for the race slave-women are disinclined to become mothers. It is of
course unfair to see no distinction between slavery which professes
no fine sentiment towards its chattel objects, and the refined system
which places woman on a pedestal and worships her but denies her the
elementary rights of citizenship. The Eugenist ideal of marriage is the
union of equality, two citizens joining together in love and wisdom
and with such sanction of the State and the Church as may be, with
resultant harmony of life and its fruit in an increase of the truest
wealth any State can possess, namely well-conceived, well-formed, and
well-matured men and women.

In the Eugenist State there will be a determined enmity to the
increased generations of the criminal, the weak-minded and the
diseased. But if reform is forced on women by men, instead of being
the spontaneous decision of a genuine democracy, the grossest tyranny
will be perpetuated (however wise its object, humane its methods and
Eugenic its result). A benevolent despotism might be endured in its
disposition of the issues of war, the production of wealth, or the
distribution of honours, nothing but the sovereign will of the people
can be tolerated in the Eugenic field, and here if nowhere else woman
being essentially concerned must have an equal voice with man. Where
women cannot be convinced that Eugenic reform is in the interests of
the race we must trust to personal persuasion, individual example and
such public opinion as we are capable of influencing. The powers of
the State must not be invoked in the face of popular protest, it will
be to the interests of Eugenists that such protest shall be able to
express itself in the ballot-box instead of by surreptitious evasion or

The double standard in morals must go. Whatever our standard may be
it must be colour-blind as regards sex. The modern feminist movement
is in harmony with Eugenic science, in insisting on this point being
made clear. For ages past masculine hypocrisy has been able to exact
from the opposite sex a crushing worship of Mrs. Grundy, by the simple
expedient of ruling men out of the conventions they dictated to women.

The time has come for a candid reconsideration of moral problems on
the basis of sex-equality. It may be that some fine sentiments will
vanish, perhaps women will descend from the dizzy height where they are
supposed to dwell. Truth at least will gain, pretence will give place
to reality and we shall be capable of postulating a new and better
morality based on the essential facts of life. To the consideration
of the best possible life for men and women must be added the Eugenic
claims of the race. We live and die but the race continues, heirs of
our perfection, inheritors of our defects. We pass, but we must think
of those to whom this heritage passes. The strong woman mated to the
strong man is proud of a posterity which will do them honour. The
woman-movement aims at removing the obstacles to this endeavour. The
tragedy of the woman's life is when either her own or her husband's
unfitness to bear anything but a tainted stock is disregarded by law,
custom and the brutality of lustful bestiality. She who might be, as
she desires to be, the guardian of the nation's truest interests, is
overpowered and compelled to be the medium of national pollution. This
knowledge strengthens the women's agitation; the determination to end
such a shameful degradation makes the women's movement irresistible.



This little volume would sadly fail to convey its author's meaning if
dogmatism stood in the way of persuasion, or authority seemed to be
claimed for the tentative suggestions herein outlined. There is no
immediate danger that Eugenic principles will suddenly rush society
into extreme action. The probabilities are quite in the opposite
direction. We shall continue to see what has always been observed
by thinkers, namely, "Decency and custom starving truth, and blind
authority beating with his staff the child which might have led him."
Valuable experiments are delayed by prejudice, and Eugenists have
only too good ground for complaint that the scientific spirit is
thwarted by prejudiced opposition to new ideas. The very absence of
dogmatism which characterises the genuine thinker serves as the basis
of opposition in his experiments. Because he does not glibly guarantee
universal success like a patent-pill advertiser nothing whatever is
done to obtain a criterion of judging how far his reasonable proposals
can succeed. The failure of all other attempts to improve the race may
force upon the public the necessity of Eugenic experiments. As has been
said more than once, philanthropy has failed, politics has failed,
rescue work has failed, perhaps Eugenics may not fail, for it is based
on the impregnable rock of science, it proceeds on the sound lines of
prevention, it aims to start at the beginning of things, to build up a
new race if not of supermen at least of sound healthy human beings.

The lethal chamber is _not_ a Eugenic remedy. It is the last
heart-broken despairing cry of the old unscientific system. It is
the only final alternative to Eugenics. It means that man has failed.
It has neither sense, sentiment, nor science for its justification.
It substitutes murder for moral method. Eugenics on the other hand
starts out with the principle that there is nothing so sacred as life.
That the lethal chamber for the aged, diseased, infirm, and unfit is
barbarous and immoral, that it is utterly indefensible, and would be
absolutely ineffective if not ridiculously impracticable. There is
not much need to waste further consideration on a project from which
every healthy citizen naturally revolts. It has to be categorically
repudiated lest it should be mistakenly regarded as a Eugenic proposal.

Abortion and infanticide are equally condemned by Eugenists, although
on different grounds. Infanticide is murder. It destroys the life of an
actual human being. Infanticide, though doubtless less reprehensible in
degree than the lethal chamber idea, is in principle indistinguishable
therefrom. It is the antithesis to the idea of Eugenics. The state
which can contemplate child-murder without horror is far indeed
from being a humane State. Sensitiveness to suffering is a sign of
civilisation. Wherever we find a live human being, however hopeless
its condition may appear, universal experience has shown us that man's
advance from savagedom depends on his using all his resources to save
the final spark of life which remains. "While there's life there's
hope" is a maxim which is based on the greatest need of mankind.
Eugenics deplores waste of effort that this entails, but there can be
no doubt about its rightness or its justification by the universal
consensus of progressive races. Abortion may be condemned on religious
and moral grounds, but the overwhelming weight of medical opinion
against it is based on physiological reasons. No woman can be guilty
of this practice without the greatest risks of physical damage.
She jeopardises her life immediately and she generally deteriorates
her capacity for future usefulness. Eugenics will find a sphere of
usefulness in the spread of this piece of saving knowledge. Unmarried
mothers and mothers in all spheres of society are terribly ignorant
of the dangers of this common death-trap. The mere fact that the sale
and procuration of drugs and use of means for purposes of abortion are
criminal acts is not sufficient. The idea is prevalent that it is only
the police who have to be evaded. Our laws are not empiric, but their
reason is seldom apparent to those who are expected to obey them. A few
drugs, or a few pills--how easy it all seems--and how fatal. Eugenists
do not want the law altered, but they want the added deterrent of
reason. There may be a chance of evading the law, there is none of
evading the bodily injury which inevitably accompanies abortion.

I have already shown that Malthusian arguments do not appeal to
Eugenists. This is not to say that Malthusian methods are also
condemned. Malthusian prognostications have not been fulfilled, its
statistics have been superseded, and its conclusions modified by the
process of the suns. The world does not contain too many people, it
only contains too many of the wrong sort of people. Production has not
only kept pace with population, it has raced it. Intensive cultivation,
new treatments of the soil, scientific rotation of crops and scientific
agriculture rendering rotation unnecessary, new economic inducements
to cultivate hitherto waste lands, discoveries and inventions of
all kinds have taken away from Malthusianism the unduly pessimistic
philosophy with which it once tried to frighten the race. Malthusianism
will always be remembered with gratitude, however, for its practical
methods and for its refusing to confuse marriage with procreation. That
distinction still needs to be borne in mind because otherwise half
our Eugenic efforts will be wasted by directing ourselves to a problem
which does not exist. It is impossible to assail the proposition
that a moral married life is consistent with a prudential check on
increased population. This prudential check need not necessarily be
a material one. Even a Tolstoyan may be a married man. Abstinence in
due season in the case of normal adults is or may be Nature's plan for
increasing virility at other seasons. The most prolific parents may be
pardoned for resting occasionally from their protracted persistency of
race-production. Eugenists object to weakening virility by sacrificing
fitness for mere numbers, but it is in the essence of their demand
that the race shall, "increase and multiply and replenish the earth."
The objection (which Eugenists share with the majority of the American
public) to anything remotely resembling infanticide must have some
definite proof of its sincerity. Eugenists denounce the New Decalogue
of current morality which says:

  "Thou shalt not kill,--but needs not strive
  Officiously to keep alive."

The Eugenist does not desire to detract from the responsibility of
parenthood, but rather to increase it. On the other hand whatever
steps may be taken against neglectful, vicious or unnatural parents,
the race interests demand that the child shall not suffer. A new
responsibility must be added to parentage--the parent of the race is
the State, which must be vigilant to protect the child from the faults
and follies of fathers who fail in their most essential duties. A child
should be guaranteed loving parents or failing these a never failing
foster-parent, in a paternal State.

In the recognition of its duties as Step-mother, the State will in
self-defence protect its maternal arms from the influx of undesirables.
The universal endowment of Motherhood may be a socialist dream
rather than a Eugenic practical proposal, but even the Eugenists'
demand for the State to act as step-mother involves an expenditure
which will probably amount to the cost of a national war. It is part
of our case that the money spent is an investment certain to pay big
dividends in the shape of increased national efficiency. It is in
any case inevitable. Public sentiment cannot tolerate this idiotic
waste of the noblest of all raw material. It will be not the least of
its advantages that the State will at length be directly interested,
financially and therefore most deeply, in stopping the supply of the
unfit--a bad investment at the best, requiring a maximum of trouble,
and a continuous source of damage. The sterilisation of the unfit has
become a regular experience in a number of States. It has outlived its
detractors wherever it has been practised. It remains necessary now
only to convert its objectors in other States, and to gradually extend
its beneficent operation and the sphere of its activities. Naturally it
begins with the habitual criminal. Of absolute success in the States
where it has been tried it will be far more effective when it is
applied in the more populous centres and when it becomes impossible for
the permanently criminal to escape its attention. Sterilisation as now
recommended and performed by our highest scientific authorities is in
no sense cruel, it is not even painful. It must not be confounded with
the mutilations of earlier centuries, it leaves the person operated
on possessed of every faculty for use and capacity for happiness, it
only takes away the power of reproduction. The first extension of
the plan has been to the certified hopeless idiot. These two classes
and the inmates of homes for incurable drunkards represent a very
easy definition of those who should be treated to this operation.
In the case of the criminal it will enable very great mercy to be
extended. Sterilisation will not be a mere added infliction of a
degrading punishment, it will substitute an awful warning for a long
imprisonment. Only those criminals will be sterilised whose chronic
criminality is proved after repeated convictions and form a study of
what facts are ascertainable as to their hereditary history. They
will leave the jail knowing that society regards them as unworthy to
be parents, or if they themselves are also too dangerous to be let at
large their close confinement will be rarely necessary.

The Eugenist does not propose to extend the operation of sterilisation
beyond the classes above mentioned. It does not, however, regard these
as exhausting the categories of undesirable procreators. Already
there are numerous suffering and semi-cured adults whose children
would inherit the diseases, weaknesses, and evil tendencies of their
ancestors. Tuberculosis, syphilis and St. Vitus's Dance sufferers
are specimens of this class. As Eugenics advances we may learn more
of the racial poisons, and a scientific black-list may be drawn up
of those hereditary taints which inflict most harm on the community.
Doctors should have to notify the authorities of these diseases
and the patient should be encouraged to frankness and helped to a
cure. In all such cases kind but firm warning must be given against
procreation. The failure to heed such warning should inevitably result
in imprisonment--a very short term will suffice, for with Eugenics
established as a rule of society, the State could afford to be patient.
The elimination of the unfit would make rapid strides, and the
offspring of tainted parents evading the law in one generation would be
less and less likely to escape in the next generation.

It may be that the State will be contented with the negative side of
Eugenics. It may be that it is the more important because we are
daily increasing the elements which if not checked will destroy our
civilisation. Negative Eugenics is as imperative a necessity as the
protection of our coasts from invasion or the destruction of potato

Positive Eugenics represents the attempt to encourage breeding from
every healthy stock. Its methods will vary with the views of society
from time to time. Its machinery will be by State-interference or by
private experimental enterprise according as socialist or individualist
ideals are current. I do not wish to commit Eugenists who are by no
means agreed on this point, but my personal view is that individual
experiments cannot possibly go far beyond public opinion, whereas, "the
State can do no wrong" if it endows, undertakes and is responsible
for experiments limited in extent but far reaching in principle, so
long as such experiments are based on scientific probabilities and
are supported by enlightened competent judges and do not outrage the
humane sentiment of the race. Drastic individual experiments, involving
however few people, will always be subject to interference at critical
moments by mobs, governments, vigilance societies, etc. It is not wise
to ignore this factor; it is not necessary even to deprecate it; nay,
it has its advantages. The omnipotence of the State rests not merely in
its power of arms; a State experiment, even though not initiated by the
people, can be stopped by the people. The electors' power ultimately to
interfere makes for tolerance.

While drastic experiments must be left to democracy acting through its
elected governors, there is ample scope for other features of positive
Eugenics. One of these is the endowment of worthy young couples too
poor otherwise to marry. The ideal of celibacy stands self-condemned.
Where successful it means race-suicide, where unsuccessful it means
hypocrisy and a thousand other horrors. What then can we think of the
fact that millions of dollars have been spent in endowing monasteries,
nunneries, brotherhoods and all the other ancient and modern forms of
celibate stultification of probably perfectly potential parents. Add
to these millions the other millions spent in endowing the worst and
least capable in prisons, asylums and in often demoralising charities.
Then bear in mind that the endowment of the healthy for Eugenic
purposes, for the regeneration of mankind, is absolutely unknown. A
millionaire who loves his kind could scarcely do better with his money
than the establishment, under proper supervision, of a fund which would
encourage human efficiency. There is no fame so lasting as the glory
which would attach to such a fund. It would be greater than a Nobel
name, its prizes would be more keenly competed for than for "Marathon"
or "America" cups. Its winners would become a new aristocracy, and
for the first time in the history of the world noble families would be
founded on a blending of ancestral and personal merit, aristocratic,
indeed, because the best become personally powerful, but absolutely
democratic in that neither class, caste nor creed are allowed to
count in the selection. From this aristocracy a new knighthood might
be formed. Degeneration would mean exclusion. Improvement would mean
increased honours. New standards of efficiency, mental, moral and
physical, would be evolved for the guidance of the race. An American
model of this kind would speedily find imitators abroad. The real
struggle for race supremacy would be concentrated on the Eugenic
groups. Competitions, challenges and contests between national
groups might eclipse in interest all the other exhibits in future
International Expositions.

The daily work of Eugenic education is independent of these short
cuts to the Eugenics millennium. The dissemination of ascertained
facts about heredity is urgently necessary. It may be news to many
that there are hundreds of institutions throughout our land where
accurate information has been carefully collected for many years.
The antecedents of inmates of prisons, asylums and "homes" have
been patiently scheduled, classified and studied. Only money and
public interest are wanted to make this vital information known.
Investigations of this kind need also to be made universal. It is
not enough that institutions should relieve the present sufferers.
They can only justify their existence by contributing to our desire
for the eradication of suffering. It should be made a condition of
public support that the most useful kind of inquiries should be
made, and be placed at the disposal of all who are interested. It is
useless throwing pages of undigested statistics at the public, this
is mere waste of effort. With the facts and figures in existence and
accessible, centres of scientific study such as a Eugenics laboratory
should be, will be able to present to the public the living issues
which those dead figures mean. It would, however, be contrary to
the spirit of Eugenics to confine attention to the sadder side of
statistics. It is of infinite importance that we should understand and
cultivate fitness, and therefore we want the systematic collection of
family histories relating to our noblest, best and worthiest. Here
State-interference is out of place. Voluntary work on the part of
enthusiastic Eugenists would soon succeed in obtaining information
of great value. Few families would refuse to impart through private
channels ancestral facts, particularly as the mere inquiry would
imply a compliment. The Chinese worship of ancestors would have a
modern scientific interpretation, in the honour which would be won by
the founders of fine families, a study of whose history would be an
inspiration and a help to the race.

The advocates of Eugenics are prepared for small beginnings but
they have enormous faith in its future. There is no desire and no
need to exaggerate the present tentative claims. To the many it is
still necessary to ask for the intellectual hospitality of impartial
consideration. Even to the convinced we only appeal for judicious
experiment. To the religious our work comes as a harmonious exercise of
the best with which the Eternal Will of the Universe has endowed us.

To the evolutionist Eugenics represents the study and expression of
Nature's plan. To the humane our work appeals as it assures mankind of
a curtailment of human suffering. We lay new laurels on graves of the
honoured dead and write new epitaphs glorifying the ancestors of the
worthy living. We reverence the cradle containing the hope of the race,
we think of past and present as the womb of the future.


_Maternity Maintenance, or State Subventions to Mothers_


First and foremost comes the need for qualified medical and nursing
attendance on the mother and the newly born infant. At present many
mothers go almost unattended in their hour of need; many tens of
thousands more have attendance that comes too late, or is quite
inadequately qualified; hundreds of thousands of others fail to get the
nursing and home assistance that is required to prevent long-continued
suffering and ill-health to mothers and children alike. The local
health authorities ought to be required to provide within its area
qualified medical attendance, including all necessary nursing, for all
cases of child-birth of which it has received due notice. There is no
reason why this should not be done as a measure of public health, free
of charge to the patient, in the same way as vaccination is provided
for all who do not object to that operation; and on the same principle
that led to the gratuitous opening of the hospitals, to any person
suffering from particular diseases quite irrespective of his means.
What is, however, important is that the necessary medical attendance
and nursing shall _always_ be provided. If the community prefers to
recover the cost from such patients as can clearly afford to pay--say,
for instance, those having incomes above a prescribed amount--instead
of from everybody in the form of rates and taxes, this (as with the
payment for admission to an isolation hospital) may be an intermediate
stage. In one way or another, there must be no child-birth without
adequate attendance and help to the mother.

_Pure Milk_

At present many tens of thousands of infants perish simply from
inanition in the first few days or weeks after birth. In town and
country alike many hundreds of thousands of families find the greatest
difficulty, even when they can pay for it, in buying milk of reasonable
purity and freshness, or in getting it just when they require it, or
often indeed in getting it at all. The arguments in favour of the
municipalisation of the milk supply are overwhelming in strength. But
an even stronger case can be made out for the systematic provision
by the Local Health Authority, to every household in which a birth
has taken place, of the necessary quantity of pure, fresh milk, in
sealed bottles, delivered every day. Whatever else is left undone, the
necessary modicum of pure milk, whether taken by the mother or prepared
for the child, might at any rate be supplied as the birth-right of
every new-born citizen.

_Maternity Pensions._

The next step must be the establishment of a system of maternity
pensions free, universal, and non-contributory. If they be not
universal, they will come as of favour, and be open to the objections
rightly urged against all doles, public or private. A contributory
scheme could only exist as part of a universal sick fund. If the
contributions were optional the poorest mothers would get no pension
at all. If they were compulsory on a fixed scale, the scheme would
still further impoverish those it is intended to benefit. If the
contributions were on a sliding scale, the pension would be smallest
just where it is most necessary. To work out a pension scheme on the
basis of compensation for loss of the mother's earnings would at once
involve a sliding scale such as is in force in Germany and Austria,
which would be unfair in the working, and benefit the poorest least.
Moreover, the theory is fallacious, inasmuch as it views the woman as
a worker and not as a mother. Let the pension be regarded rather as the
recompense due to the woman for a social service, second to none that
can be rendered. The time will come when the community will set a far
higher value on that service than it does at present. But at present
the main point is to tide the mother over a time of crisis as best we

How long should the pension last? The average duration of a maternity
case inside a hospital appears to be a fortnight. The normal period
during which upper class mothers keep their beds is three weeks, but
for some time after leaving bed, the mother is incapable of any active
work without harm to herself. Many internal diseases and nervous
complaints as well as a good deal of the drinking among women, have
their origin in getting about too soon. For some weeks at least,
whether the mother nurses her baby or not, she requires much more than
ordinary rest and nourishment. These considerations apply also, though
in a less degree, to the period preceding confinement.

Under the law of Great Britain, the period of enforced cessation from
factory work is four weeks. The same period is prescribed in Holland
and Belgium. In Switzerland the period is eight weeks.

These laws, though of great value, are often cruel in the working, as
they deprive the woman of wages without compensation just at the time
she needs money most. The result is they are often evaded. Germany
and Austria have recognised this. In Germany women are forbidden to
work for six weeks after confinement. But the insurance law of Germany
provides women with free medical attendance, midwife and medicine,
and in addition with an allowance not exceeding seventy-five per
cent of her customary wage for the six weeks. There is further a
provision that pregnant women unable to work should be allowed the same
amount for not more than six weeks previous to confinement. A similar
insurance system exists in Austria and Hungary. In some parts of
Germany, the municipality still goes further. In Cologne, the working
mother is given a daily grant to stay at home and suckle her child,
and visitors see that this condition is fulfilled. The Cologne system
has been adopted by some municipalities in France. In Leipsic, every
illegitimate child becomes a ward of the municipality, which puts it
out to nurse with certified persons who must produce it for inspection
on demand.

These provisions enable the government of Germany to enforce the
law against the employment of women in the last period of pregnancy
without hardship to them. The compensation given to German mothers is
already felt to be insufficient, but there is a difficulty in making
it more generous arising from the fact that the system is a scheme
of insurance; the benefits cannot be increased without a rise in the
contribution. In a free pension scheme, this difficulty will not occur.
A small beginning might be made by way of experiment to familiarise the
public with the advantage of caring for maternity, with a knowledge
that its scope could be extended indefinitely without dislocation of
the scheme. But the period like the amount must be substantial even at
first. If the pension is to have any permanent value it should extend
over a period of at least eight weeks: about two weeks before and six
weeks after the date on which the birth is expected to take place.

The above is a brief resumé of the essential features of the British
Fabian Society's scheme for the Endowment of Motherhood. In "Fabian
Tract No. 149" (from which these extracts are made) $2.50 per week is
suggested as a reasonable maternity allowance.


_Sterilisation of the Unfit._

The State Legislatures of California, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Indiana
and Connecticut have already passed measures to secure this object. On
February 10th, 1907, Indiana passed the following act:--

       *       *       *       *       *

"An Act entitled an Act to prevent procreation of confirmed criminals,
idiots, imbeciles, and rapists--providing, that superintendents or
boards of managers of institutions where such persons are confined
shall have the authority, and are empowered to appoint a committee
of experts, consisting of two physicians, to examine into the mental
condition of such inmates.

"Whereas heredity plays an important part in the transmission of
crime, idiocy, and imbecility, therefore, be it enacted by the General
Assembly of the State of Indiana, that on and after the passage of
this act, it shall be compulsory for each and every institution in the
State entrusted with the care of confirmed criminals, idiots, rapists,
and imbeciles, to appoint upon its staff, in addition to the regular
institution physician, two skilled surgeons of recognised ability,
whose duty it shall be, in conjunction with the chief physician of
the institution, to examine the mental and physical condition of such
inmates as are recommended by the institutional physician and board of

"If in the judgment of this committee procreation is inadvisable and
there is no probability of improvement of the mental condition of the
inmate, it shall be lawful for the surgeons to perform such operation
for the prevention of procreation as shall be decided safest and most
effective. But this operation shall not be performed except in cases
that have been pronounced unimprovable."

       *       *       *       *       *

In August, 1909, the Connecticut State Legislature enacted the

  "An Act concerning operations for the prevention of Procreation.--Be
  it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General
  Assembly convened:

  "Section 1.--The directors of the State prisons and the
  superintendents of State Hospitals for the insane at Middletown
  and Norwich are hereby authorised and directed to appoint for each
  of said institutions, respectively, two skilled surgeons, who, in
  conjunction with the physician or surgeon in charge at each of said
  institutions, shall examine such persons as are reported to them by
  the warden, superintendent, or the physician or surgeon in charge, to
  be persons by whom procreation would be inadvisable.

  "Such board shall examine the physical and mental condition of such
  persons, and their record and family history so far as the same
  can be ascertained, and if in the judgment of the majority of said
  board, procreation by any such person would produce children with an
  inherited tendency to crime, insanity, feeble-mindedness, idiocy,
  or imbecility, and there is no probability that the condition of
  any such person so examined will improve to such an extent as to
  render procreation by such person advisable, or, if the physical or
  mental condition of any such person will be substantially improved
  thereby then the said board shall appoint one of its members to
  perform the operation of vasectomy or oöphorectomy, as the case may
  be, upon such person. Such operation shall be performed in a safe
  and humane manner, and the board making such examination, and the
  surgeon performing such operation, shall receive from the State such
  compensation, for services rendered, as the warden of the State
  prison or the superintendent of either of such hospitals shall deem

  "Section 2.--Except as authorised by this act, every person who shall
  perform, encourage, assist in or otherwise promote the performance
  of either of the operations described in Section 1 of this Act, for
  the purpose of destroying the power to procreate the human species:
  or any person who shall knowingly permit either of such operations
  to be performed upon such person--unless the same be a medical
  necessity--shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars, or
  imprisoned in the State prison not more than five years, or both."

In California, in 1909, the legislature passed a statute which provides
that whenever in the opinion of the medical superintendent of any State
hospital, or the superintendent of the California Home for the Care and
Training of Feeble-minded Children, or of the resident physician in
any State prison, it would be conducive to the benefit of the physical,
mental or moral condition of any inmate of such home, hospital or
state prison, to be asexualised, then such superintendent or resident
physician shall call into consultation the General Superintendent
of State Hospitals and the Secretary of the State Board of Health,
and they shall jointly examine into all the particulars of the case,
and if, in their opinion, or in the opinion of any two of them,
asexualisation will be beneficial to such inmate, patient, or convict,
they may perform the same.

       *       *       *       *       *

The British Commissioners in Lunacy in their 63rd Report to the Lord
Chancellor, 1909, briefly reviewing the Report of the Royal Commission
on the care and Control of the Feeble-minded, say:

       *       *       *       *       *

"The Royal Commission devoted much attention to the causation of
mental defect, and arrived at the conclusion that feeble-mindedness is
largely inherited; that prevention of mentally defective persons from
becoming parents would tend to diminish the numbers of such persons
in the population; and that, consequently, there are the strongest
grounds for placing mental defectives of each sex in institutions where
they will be detained and kept under effectual supervision as long
as may be necessary. Public opinion would not, the Royal Commission
think, sanction legislation directed to the prevention of hereditary
transmission of mental defect by surgical or other artificial measures,
and they regard restrictions on the marriage of persons of unsound mind
as inadvisable, in view of the fact that this form of mental disability
is often of a limited or temporary character. As respects, however,
congenital and incurable forms of mental defect, no such considerations
apply, and the only remedy is to place persons so suffering under such
restrictions as to make procreation impossible. The Royal Commission
were evidently much impressed by the evidence they received, which we
can from our own experience amply corroborate, of the large number of
weak-minded women and girls to be found in the work-houses throughout
the country, who go there to be delivered of illegitimate children,
and they invite your Lordship and the Secretary of State for the Home
Department to consider whether the existing law provides adequate
protection for mentally defective persons against sexual crime and

Sterilisation of men can be effectively achieved by simple vasectomy or
section of the vas deferens, and of women by the almost equally simple
and harmless method of ligature of the Fallopian tubes (Kehrer's method
as advocated by Kisch). It would appear that both these operations may
be effected by skilled hands in a few minutes with a minimum of pain
and inconvenience, and they possess the immense advantage that the
sexual glands are preserved, and no organ removed from the body.[1]

(1) It is probable, also, that the method of sterilisation by X-rays
may some day acquire practical importance. In this case there is no
operation at all, though the effects do not last for more than a few
years. This might be an advantage in some cases. See _British Medical
Journal_, August 13th, 1904; ib. March 11th, 1905; ib. July 6th, 1907;
ib. August 21st, 1909."

[Footnote: 1] (Havelock Ellis in the "Eugenics Review," London, Eng.)

According to Dr. Havelock Ellis Swiss alienists are unanimously in
favour of the sterilisation of the mentally degenerate classes and hold
that this matter should be regulated by law. Switzerland is the first
European State which has adopted sterilisation as an alternative to the
"indeterminate sentence" in the case of confirmed abnormalities and
prisoners convicted of serious sexual offences against children. At
Wil in Berne, two women and two men were incarcerated in the cantonal
asylum. All were defectives but not strictly speaking insane. Children
had already been born in each case. To prevent further procreative
degeneracy sterilisation was suggested and agreed to by the four
persons who welcomed the operation as an alternative to detention. The
result has justified the experiment. According to the _Eugenics Review_
there has actually been a marked change in the characters of the
individuals and there is certainly no danger of their weaknesses being
reproduced at the expense of the coming generation.


       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber Notes

There is a quotation which begins on page 133 but there is no endquote
in the text. It is assumed that the quotation ends on page 136 after
the date August 21, 1909.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Race Improvement : or, Eugenics : a Little Book on a Great Subject" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.