Eugenics And The New Right-David Garrett Exposes Real Desires
Chris Ford - 5 March, 2010
The pronouncement by Act MP David Garrett that he would like to see abusive mothers paid an incentive to sterilise themselves has exposed the New Right’s hidden agenda towards the poorest sections of our society.
While the Act Party have publicly distanced themselves from Garrett’s comments, I would go so far as to say that this exposes the real eugenics agenda on the part of some prominent individuals on the New Right. Indeed it was during the Industrial Revolution in the nineteenth century that eugenics caught on as a means of exerting control over the ability of so-called ‘undesirable’ people, namely, the poor, disabled people, people with mental illness, sex workers and those experiencing drug and alcohol addiction, etc, to reproduce children.
The first person to espouse eugenic theories at great length was the British scientist Sir Francis Galton who drew on the work of his half-cousin Charles Darwin (the father of modern evolutionary theory). Eugenic theories caught the attention of both neo-classical theorists on the right and (sadly) some early socialists on the left. Therefore, eugenics attracted the support of people across the ideological spectrum during that period including Sydney and Beatrice Webb (early Fabian socialists), Peter Fraser (Labour Prime Minister of New Zealand), John Maynard Keynes (liberal economist), Marie Stopes (one of the world’s first family planning advocates) and most notoriously Adolf Hitler (Nazi German dictator).