Perfectibility of Mankind
Darwin refers to a belief by some in the “perfectibility of mankind” and how a hypothetical “philanthropic” dictator – leaving aside ethical questions – might develop a program which would not permit those with “inferior qualities” to breed (pg. 103). He discusses ideas like this throughout the book and often dismisses each idea as soon as he explains it. In this example, he claims this type of focus on “inferior types” would be an inefficient method of perfecting the human race (104).
Darwin mentions the idea of “changing the human race into liking” crowded city conditions (99). He makes another interesting reference to crowded cities on page 129.
This raises some questions. Why do we have a world now that has crowded cities and plenty of empty countryside and wilderness? Even if the world was becoming overpopulated, shouldn’t more people tend to spread out to avoid large cities and crowding? Isn’t it the case that coercive political policies are pushing people to live in crowded cities – farm policies, economic policies and wars? I suspect Darwin had the same views as those connected with UN policies today. They want people to get off the land and live in cities – for reasons of control.
He discusses the importance of “creeds” – in other words belief systems or religions – and how they can produce “enormous effects on human history” regardless of whether they are true or not (104).
There will be those who persecute and those who suffer persecution for their creed regardless of what kind of sense it makes. Literally the threat of persecution because of some crazy creed could be used in the name of human “betterment” policies:
“They serve to give a continuity to policy far greater than can usually be attained by intellectual conviction” (113).
To use the “laws of biological heredity” to “directly change man’s nature” would be effective if it could be sustained for a long period of time (114). A creed would be necessary to make sure this biological change was carried out over generations.
“… a creed gives the best practical hope that a policy will endure well beyond the life of its author, and so it gives the best practical hope that man can have for really controlling his future fate” (114)
He presents an example of a government policy of encouraging the “superior” to have more children. He explains that it would not endure over a long period of time unless it is “attached to a creed” such as “ancestor-worship” or the “sinfulness of birth-control”:
“it would not matter very much whether the creed was reasonable or unreasonable, provided that it produced the effect” (154)
When he is referring to creeds as policy tools, it seems to me that he is prefiguring modern environmentalist beliefs, potentially leading to earth or Gaia worship. We have “Earth Day”, “Earth Hour”, the belief in focusing on so-called “endangered species”, the belief in man-made climate change or global warming, the belief in supposed over-population.
And what effects and policies will these beliefs lead to? The ones we already see, such as the government funding of abortion and sterilization worldwide, the obsessive focus on what we throw away, the focus on conservation. Also the possibility of universal carbon taxes and the deliberate rationing of energy, water and food. Also with the backing of this new creed, the possibility of restrictions on family size as in China and mandatory sterilization.
Continued Part 4
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