Thursday, July 22, 2010

Eugenic Eunuchs

The Nordicists, under the leadership of Madison Grant, could be criticized for many things, but I join with author Jonathan Spiro in mocking their sterility. In his book Defending the Master Race, Spiro must have mentioned 30 eugenicist leaders who died without fathering a single child. Nowadays (and perhaps even then) there would be nothing but whispers that these guys were closeted homosexuals. 

Yeah, yeah Grant devoted his entire life to doing what he thought was best for the country, but how about listening to your own lectures?  

I agree completely that society benefits when the most successful have lots of kids, and the less successful have few (although coercing people is fascistic). So in that spirit, I looked at General Social Survey data and calculated percentiles for the number of offspring had by smart people (WORDSUM of at least 8) who were ages 40-59 during the surveys conducted from 2000 to 2008. I also took the liberty to label guys by their productivity:



UPDATE: The eugenicists were like Shakers.  If you're starting something like a new religion, you have to either convert lots of people or breed them if you're going to last. The Grantians seemed to think their prestige and corner on the Truth was enough to make an enduring movement. Meanwhile, the Boasians cranked out PhD after PhD, and took over anthropology departments all across the country as well as the American Anthropological Association by sheer numbers. Their cultural determinism was no closer to the truth than Grant's biological determinism, but truth had nothing to do with who won.  

1 comment:

Jim Bowery said...

Certainly intelligent victims of parasitic castration should be derided for proposing that fertility of the intelligent might be increased by taking deliberate corrective action against said parasites. We can thank Mr. Jonathan Spiro for showing the appropriate leadership, and to Ron for his underestimated helping to start the movement.