Are we Nazis?

I’ve only heard of eugenics when talking about the Nazi regime and the Holocaust. But, these articles have opened my eyes to America’s dark history of eugenics. Eugenics is the practice of ridding undesirable types of people from the gene pool. The definition of undesirable changes with who is doing the eugenics. Eugenics is usually done by forced sterilization, like vasectomies and tubal litigations. American supporters of eugenics wanted to get rid of “imbeciles”, homosexuals, and overly-sexual people. Many of the people who were forcibly sterilized were women of color who came from low socio-economic statuses. Many of the laws that were passed to legalize sterilization in many states were repealed in the 1970’s. Still, in the 2010’s , over 100 women inmates were sterilized forcefully in California. The justifications for these acts were still the same, with these undesirables out of the gene pool there will be less crime and other issues in the future. In the past, the scientists in favor of eugenics used similar rhetoric. They justified it with classic darwinian evolutionary biology. This rhetoric was able to sway the intellectual side of society, even going as far to sway the Supreme Court.

It can be argued that eugenics is a techno-fix, it was a scientific fix for the issue of crime and, at the time, undesirable actions by people. Science and society are intrinsically linked, but time after time I believe that it’s proven that there should be no techno-fixes. One of the main reasons society changes and evolves is because of science. New scientific discoveries have massively changed how we see the world, imagine if we had never discovered the secrets of DNA. So, no, I do not believe that eugenics, which was a misuse of evolutionary biology, is proof that we should keep science and society separated.

3 thoughts on “Are we Nazis?

  1. Hello,

    I really liked your connection to eugenics as seen as a techno-fix. This connection did not occur to me, but it makes a lot of sense. I also agree that we have had some very questionable and outright unthinkable experiments take place in our history. Such studies like the Tuskegee study is just one other example of when sciences power was used to take advantage of minority people and thought to be for the good of “men”. These study have proven that techno-fixes and science can sometimes be a not so great idea, but overall I have to agree with you that they do not reflect science as a whole should be separated from society.

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  2. I understand where you are coming from, but I think that eugenics does give us a reason to separate science and society. If science and society were separated, society could not have been able to dictate or have such a profound influence on science. As a result, the horrors of eugenics may have been less severe or perhaps not occurred. Eugenicists’ ideas were founded in societal beliefs. However, if the two were separated, they may have not been able to get their ideas executed to the extent that they did. Additionally, if society and science weren’t so inextricably linked, perhaps eugenicist scientists never would have thought of, or acted upon, their eugenics beliefs because their social views would be independent of their scientific endeavors.

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  3. You say “I believe that it’s proven that there should be no techno-fixes.” One where is the proof? And Two, medicine is a techno-fix, we use technology to solve societal problems with disease. We have created vaccines that can eliminate certain diseases and are working on one for covid-19. I don’t think you want to abolish all vacines and medicines which would lead to the death of millions but your choice of words makes it seem like you do.

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