Sterilize the Unfit
Robin Phillips - September 12, 2010
Professor David Marsland (pictured right) made news last month when he suggested that the mentally and morally “unfit” should be sterilized. The sociologist and health expert made the remarks on the BBC radio program Iconoclasts and urged that “permanent sterilization” was the answer to many of society’s problems.
Though Professor Marsland’s remarks produced outrage, his basic ideas are nothing new. I have had occasion to mention before on this blog that during the 1920’s and 30’s, permanent sterilization and social engineering were commonly accepted practices among the liberal intelligencia.
This was the dark secret behind Fernald school in Waltham Massachusetts. On the outside it looked like any other educational institution. Few passers-by would have guessed the dark secret lurking behind the brick walls – a secret penetrating to the heart of American liberalism.
Fernald was no ordinary school. Set up in 1848 with funds from the Massachusetts State Legislature, the institution was designed for the incarceration of “feeble-minded” children. Throughout the early 1900s, hundreds of thousands of low-intelligence (though not necessarily retarded) children were warehoused at Fernald in unspeakable conditions. Treated like animals and denied any affection, these “human weeds” were considered genetically inferior from the rest of society.
In his book The State Boys Rebellion, Michael D’Antonio shows that one of the purposes behind the Fernald school was to prevent these “idiots” from reproducing and diluting the gene pool. Margaret Sanger, icon of the American left and founder of Planned Parenthood, put it even more succinctly: “The undeniably feeble-minded should, indeed, not only be discouraged but prevented from propagating their kind.”