Friday, February 15, 2008

George Washington

"...No man appreciated family stock values more highly than did George Washington. This is exemplified by his prizing and utilizing superior seeds and plant stock for his fields and orchards and by his acquiring and increasing the best bred livestock which he could secure in America and Europe. He valued in his fellow men the qualities of fortitude, honesty, courage, common sense, good business ability, initiative, faith, sacrifice, patriotism, love of nature, the manly sport of physical prowess and skill, and elegant living -- in short character and intelligence. These qualities come basically from sound and superior human stocks, -- regardless of present fortunes. These are the inborn traits upon which education and opportunity must build in order to make elective(?) men. Eugenics is concerned with the increase of such inborn capacities in the family stocks of future generations." (page 111)
I'm not sure exactly where or what time period this came from, but I find it interesting that these are the traits seen as "superior". It is absurd. I mean "prizing and utilizing superior seeds and plant stock" and "increasing the best bred livestock he could secure in America and Europe"? These things don't exactly require much skill or higher level thinking. Also, just because someone has good genes does not mean they are honest, courageous, faithful, patriotic, love nature, etc. The whole paragraph talks about how George Washington has such great genes but what kind of patriot was he? He led a freaking revolution against his own country -- not exactly the most patriotic thing you can do. Most of the things that are valued in any culture can be taught and modeled. If one person can learn to do something, anybody can learn to do it. This is why the whole idea of eugenics is so ridiculous. I mean to stop people from breeding just because they're poor? They're poor because no one ever taught them the values and beliefs it takes to be rich.

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