Institutionalizing the Unfit
"I will call it the Feeble-Minded Bill, both for brevity and because the description is strictly accurate. It is, quite simply and literally, a Bill for incarcerating as madmen those whom no doctor will consent to call mad. It is enough if some doctor or other may happen to call them weak-minded."
"Indeed one Eugenist, Mr. A. H. Huth, actually had a sense of humour, and admitted this. He thinks a great deal of good could be done with a surgical knife, if we would only turn him loose with one. And this may be true. A great deal of good could be done with a loaded revolver, in the hands of a judicious student of human nature."
The Tyranny of Science
"The thing that really is trying to tyrannise through government is Science. The thing that really does use the secular arm is Science. And the creed that really is levying tithes and capturing schools, the creed that really is enforced by fine and imprisonment, the creed that really is proclaimed not in sermons but in statutes, and spread not by pilgrims but by policementhat creed is the great but disputed system of thought which began with Evolution and has ended in Eugenics."
"There is no reason in Eugenics, but there is plenty of motive. Its supporters are highly vague about its theory, but they will be painfully practical about its practice. And while I reiterate that many of its more eloquent agents are probably quite innocent instruments, there are some, even among Eugenists, who by this time know what they are doing."
The Poor Man and his Child
"There is one human thing left it is much harder to take from him. Debased by him and his betters, it is still something brought out of Eden, where God made him a demigod: it does not depend on money and but little on time. He can create in his own image. The terrible truth is in the heart of a hundred legends and mysteries. As Jupiter could be hidden from all-devouring Time, as the Christ Child could be hidden from Herodso the child unborn is still hidden from the omniscient oppressor. He who lives not yet, he and he alone is left; and they seek his life to take it away."
The Rich Begin To Fear the Poor
"So at least it seemed, doubtless in a great degree subconsciously, to the man who had wagered all his wealth on the usefulness of the poor to the rich and the dependence of the rich on the poor. The time came at last when the rather reckless breeding in the abyss below ceased to be a supply, and began to be something like a wastage; ceased to be something like keeping foxhounds, and began alarmingly to resemble a necessity of shooting foxes."
"That is the problem, and that is why there is now no protection against Eugenic or any other experiments. If the men who took away beer as an unlawful pleasure had paused for a moment to define the lawful pleasures, there might be a different situation. If the men who had denied one liberty had taken the opportunity to affirm other liberties, there might be some defence for them. But it never occurs to them to admit any liberties at all. It never so much as crosses their minds. Hence the excuse for the last oppression will always serve as well for the next oppression; and to that tyranny there can be no end."
"In short, people decided that it was impossible to achieve any of the good of Socialism, but they comforted themselves by achieving all the bad. All that official discipline, about which the Socialists themselves were in doubt or at least on the defensive, was taken over bodily by the Capitalists. They have now added all the bureaucratic tyrannies of a Socialist state to the old plutocratic tyrannies of a Capitalist State."
The Working Classes
"The working classes have no reserves of property with which to defend their relics of religion. They have no religion with which to sanctify and dignify their property. Above all, they are under the enormous disadvantage of being right without knowing it. They hold their sound principles as if they were sullen prejudices. They almost secrete their small property as if it were stolen property. Often a poor woman will tell a magistrate that she sticks to her husband, with the defiant and desperate air of a wanton resolved to run away from her husband. Often she will cry as hopelessly, and as it were helplessly, when deprived of her child as if she were a child deprived of her doll."
The book is a fair read, some of the authors arguments are really good, and a few are outdated.Published 9 months ago by J J
A bit lengthy, but compelling none the less. It is terrifying to think that such evil people existed, and perhaps even more terrifying that they still exist today, masquerading... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Mike
As always G.K. Chesterton cuts through to the essentials. Eugenics is an evil that is rearing it's ugly head again in this day and age. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Stephanie Forester
This is a very informative read. Eugenics is a very touchy subject but this book gives a good
all-around view of all the other aspects of Eugenics - namely where are the... Read more
"The thing that is trying to tyrannise through government is Science. The thing that really does use the secular arm of the state is Science. Read morePublished on July 2, 2011 by Joe Keenan
Once in a while, a very great while, people are annoyingly clever in their commentary. While they are making light, they are teaching heavy issues. Read morePublished on December 27, 2010 by Gwendolyn
The heading is a joke, by the way. I will say that when compared with abortion and some of the other big science/big brother things going on in the present, early 20th century... Read morePublished on April 1, 2008 by Amazon Customer
Nothing by G.K. Chesterton is ever disappointing, but this is/was downright prophetic. It's a must read for all who seek a better understanding of the negative utopian forces and... Read morePublished on January 8, 2008 by Jude
Eugenics is a GREAT EVIL. Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parent Hood, was associated with Adolph Hitler. Read morePublished on September 30, 2007 by Robbie L. Macdonald