Monday, September 15, 2008

The Curse of Marie Stopes

The Daily Mail has published an article on the Marie Stopes stamp controversy. It makes for interesting reading but what gripped my attention more were some of the reader comments left in the combox. As a pro-life campaigner, I am all too aware of the eugenic mentality behind the abortion and contraception industries but they are usually quite careful to keep quiet about it and do everything possible to deny any association with eugenics. However, voxpop is less guarded and the comments were spine chilling. Here are some examples

"Why is it acceptable to selectively breed better animals but where humans are concerned, we bend over backwards to help the most lazy and unhealthy specimens to have families?"

"Just imagine what a stable, well-ordered society we'd have if compulsory sterilisation had been adopted years ago for the socially undesirable. The prisons would be almost empty, and the law-abiding majority could walk any streets without fear."

"The opposite of Eugenics is dysgenics. This aims to multiply the number of cripples, incompetents, idiots, criminals, murderers, whores, thieves, delinquents, drug users, stupid brutes and drunks in society. The social engineers have been successfully making our society in this mould for the last sixty years. No wonder decent people want to emigrate. This society has no hope."

A young British pro-life campaigner once told me that she sometimes wondered what would happen if the millions of men who died fighting the Nazis were to come back from the dead and see what the world looked like now? In her words, 'would they think the Nazis had won?'

I am not sure I would take things that far, but I think it is true to say that society has never learnt the terrible lessons of Nazi Germany when it comes to respect for basic human freedoms. Judging by the response to the Daily Mail article the eugenic philosophy is clearly still alive and well. Ironically, eugenics is founded on junk science, the entirely misplaced assumption that every facet of a person's physical, mental and moral development is based on their background. But more to the point, I would like to ask people who casually assert their support for eugenics, precisely whom they feel should decide which members of society has the right to have children? What criteria should they use in making such a decision? Would they accept that decision if an appointed judge were to decide that they were either too bigoted, or too heartless or perhaps even too ill-informed to be allowed a child? And ultimately, would anyone wish to live in a country where the state held such absolute power over the most intimate area of a citizen's life?

I think it was Mahatma Gandhi who said: "The best test of a civilised society is the way in which it treats its weakest members." We have failed that test.