The Current Attitude Toward Eugenics in France

A Review Article

John Glad, Washington, D.C.

Les gênes de l’espoir: à la découverte du génome humain
Daniel Cohen
R. Laffont, Paris, 301 pp.

Regard sur la biologie contemporaine
François Gros
Gallimard, 1993, 318 pp.

Histoire de l’eugénisme en France
Anne Carol
éditions du Seuil, 1995, 389 pp.

Des grenouilles et des hommes: Conversations avec Jean Rostand
Jacques Testart
Stock, Paris, 1995, 266 pp.

De l’eugénisme d’état à l’eugénisme privé
Jean-Noël Missa and Charles Susanne (eds)
De Boeck University, Paris/Brussels, 1999, 183 pp.

Les fondements de l’eugénisme
Jean-Paul Thomas
Que sais-je, Presses Universitaires de France, Paris, 1995, 127 pp.

L’eugénisme en questions: L’exemple de l’eugénisme “français”
Alain Drouard
elilipses, Paris, 1999, 143 pp.

L’eugénisme ou les généticiens saisis par la philanthropie
André Pichot
Hatier, Paris, 1995, 80 pp.

La société pure: De Darwin à Hitler
André Pichot
Flammarion, Paris, 2000, 458 pp.

Faut-il vraiment cloner l’homme?
Jean François Collange, Louis-Marie Houdebine Claude Huriet, Dominique Lecourt, Jean-Paul Renard, Jacques Testart
Forum Diderot, Paris, 1999, 122 pp.

Hygiénisme et eugénisme au XXe siècle à travers la psychiatrie française
Simmonot, Anne-Laure
Sili Arslan, Paris, 1999, 190 pp.

The cartographers of the human genome may only have begun their work, but so breathtaking is their progress that the old arguments over nature/nurture, the accuracy of testing, heritability, etc. now seem dated. With every day we improve our understanding of how biological beings function, and as we apply that knowledge to plants and animals, it becomes more and more difficult to maintain the taboo of non-intervention with regard to one single species out of millions—ourselves.

In 1993, in the early days of mapping the human genome, the geneticist Daniel Cohen published a book intended for the layman on the project: Les gênes de l’espoir: à la découverte du génome humain (The Genes of Hope: Discovering the Human Genome). Cohen wrote that he could not agree with the fears surrounding genetic interventionism and felt that alterations in human germ-line cells could be compared to the work of a surgeon wielding a scalpel. Why, according to Cohen, should we suppose the worst? Why could not modern genetic technology open new perspectives of freedom?

That same year François Gros, Director of the Pasteur Institute, responding to a UNESCO request, published his Regard sur la biologie contemporaine (A View of Contemporary Biology). While Gros did not treat eugenics per se in his work, he presented a relevant theoretical framework. Gros argued against what the biologist Ernst Mayr termed “constitutive reductionism.” By way of illustration, Descartes described an animal as a machine with a skeleton that fulfilled the functions of levers, the muscles as pulleys, and the lungs as bellows. According to this view, nothing in biology is illogical or contrary to the laws of physics and chemistry, and all states and events have an explainable cause, even if we may not be aware of it. The biologist is thus compared to a child taking apart a toy. When he is done, he can understand perfectly how it functions and then reassemble it. Gros expressed concerns over “molecular tinkering,” arguing that a machine is a perfect machine which is understandable only as an integration of all its physical parts and its environmental stimuli and past history. Gros went on to pose the question, not only of where we came from, but where are we headed. With a sigh, he conceded that “we (Alas!) are entering into the era of homo geneticus.” Thus, the conclusions drawn by Gros revealed appreciably greater reticence with regard to eugenics than did those of Cohen.

Although some nuances of ideological and political postures have shifted since those two books appeared, the basic issues have not. But has the general posture of Francophone thinkers altered in the meantime? This review article is intended more to trace out various authors’ views on eugenics that to discuss the historical information these books provide. The presentation is not intended to be exhaustive, but represents simply the books on the topic which I have read. Nevertheless, I believe it does provide a reasonably good overview of the intellectual climate in the French-speaking countries with regard to this particular topic. The quantity of French books on eugenics is much more limited than in English (no less than thirty-eight in the year 2000 alone!), and the books discussed here represent a very considerable percentage of the total.

To the degree the French-speaking general public is informed of eugenics, and that is not much, the attitude tends to be hostile. By way of comparison, when the Soviet Union still existed, Sovietologists were forced to use books and journals that were not only censored by the government, but were actually written by the censors. Thus, experts on Russia had no recourse other than to drink from polluted wells. Much the same situation now prevails with regard to eugenics.

Another caveat: intellectuals are a peripatetic lot, and it is not possible to understand French intellectual thought in isolation from the global climate. Books are relatively inexpensive and the French read a lot, so that book stores are crowded places, much like supermarkets in the United States. I have never seen crowds in American bookstores even remotely comparable to those in Paris.

The book store departments displaying books on eugenics show that egalitarian thinkers dominate French thought every bit as much as they do in the English-speaking world. Furthermore, these are not just writers who share similar views; they are the same people. It would appear that not only have all of Stephen Jay Gould’s books been translated into French, but they are displayed with enviable prominence. And the bibliographies provided at the end of French books almost inevitably refer the reader back to such writers as Daniel J. Kevles, Leon Kamin, and Richard Lewontin—all resolute enemies of eugenics.


That Ann Carol’s 1995 Histoire de l’eugénisme en France  (The History of Eugenics in France) is a reworking of her doctoral dissertation is something that any serious reader would sense quite quickly. Nevertheless, it appears to provide the most comprehensive treatment of eugenics in France as a historical movement. Both in manner and ideological stance it is similar to and probably modeled after Daniel Kevles’ 1985 In the Name of Eugenics, which is cited over and over as the most complete history of the topic, but in reality is a concealed assault on the movement.

As might be expected, Carol runs through the usual precursors of the movement. La Société française d’eugénique was founded in 1913 with a list of some four hundred members, a much larger number of them being physicians than was the case in other countries at the time. As in England, where the Galton Laboratory had been dedicated to research while the Eugenics Education Society was aimed at proselytizing, the French Society was also bifurcated, albeit only in part. The movement proved to be relatively short-lived; the Second World Eugenics Congress held in New York in 1921 had only marginal French attendance, and by 1926 there were only fifty members of the French Society remaining. Eventually, it was absorbed by the l’école d’anthropologie, and its bulletins were published by la Revue anthropologique until the latter ceased to appear in 1941.

French eugenicists had much the same concerns as did eugenicists in other countries: dysgenic fertility patterns, Malthusian concerns, public health, immigration, racial mixing, hereditary personality traits, man’s evolutionary history, criminology, sterilization, feeble-mindedness, eugenic utopias, moral obligations to future generations, hereditary inequality, genetic defects, the rights of the community as opposed to those of the individual, government interventionism, compatibility of eugenics with religion, scientific procreation. Unlike most Anglo-American eugenicists, they evidenced a strong penchant for Lamarckianism, which is basically a contradiction in terms. Anti-Semitism, Carol notes, was “trivial.” In 1937, in the context of the heightened tension with Germany, a “Latin Eugenics Conference” was held which set itself off from “Anglo-Saxon and German eugenics,” which was presented as “intransigent and extremist.”

On the whole the French Society achieved very little, with one exception—the introduction in December 16, 1941, of a mandatory health screening prior to marriage. The screen, albeit somewhat perfunctory nowadays, is still mandatory.

Although Carol’s study is supposedly devoted to eugenics in the nineteenth and twentieth century, the presentation does not go much beyond the Second World War, with a few pages toward the end discussing the probable rebirth of eugenics. Carol concludes her book with a phrase that could be interpreted as favoring “consensual eugenics,” but her intentional ambiguity is too opaque to fathom.


Jaques Testart is a specialist in reproductive biology, and his book (De grenouilles et des hommes—Of Frogs and Men) is devoted to Jean Rostard (1894-1977), who wrote nearly fifty books on biology and sympathized with some limited aspects of eugenics during the period when the movement enjoyed popularity in France. As can be imagined from the sheer quantity of books and articles which he wrote, Rostard was chiefly a popularizer of science, rather than a pathbreaking scientist, but his name is widely known and admired in France. Describing Rostard’s views on eugenics in a lengthy concluding chapter, Testart describes him as a great humanitarian, and the 1995 appearance of the book evidently was intended to present eugenics in a positive light, while at the same time condemning eugenics in Germany under Hitler. Testart is also one of the co-authors of a 1999 book on cloning, discussed below.


Missa’s and Susanne’s 1999 De l’eugénisme dé état à l’eugénisme privé (From Eugenics of the State to Private Eugenics) is a collection of articles authored by a group of Belgian and French scholars and scientists, some of whom are relatively hostile to eugenics while others are actually supportive. Even so, eugenics in various places is described as “utopian” and “unrealistic.” Its goals are “unachievable,” and it represents “a collection of false ideas” which are “contradictory” and “disproven by research.” The very mention of the term can call up “unconditional condemnation for a shameful practice.” Other phrases include “opprobrium… the horrors of classical eugenics… the danger of a eugenic drift… American charlatans… a real risk… a dangerous trend… the threat of eugenics… fear… risk… menace… peril… insidious… rampant… radical… immoral… the demon of eugenics… the temptation of eugenics… the worrisome Trojan horse of eugenics… the specter of eugenics… Nazi atrocities… gas chambers… racism… ethnic discrimination… the slippery slope of eugenics… detestable reputation… barbaric… fear… warning… fatal… vigilant resistance to this tendency… genetic discrimination… sterilizations and lobotomies… creeping determinism… genetic reductionism… racism which reduces culture to nature… the cult of the body… denounce… totalitarian… utilitarian drift… inhumane… a mad idea… materialist reductionism… biologicism… geneticism… existential or metaphysical horror… universal and absolute condemnation… a means which is absolutely evil… worse than murder… radical evil… absolutely bad, absolutely contrary to good… perversion… intrinsically evil… intrinsically and necessarily negative with regard to the autonomy of others… instrumentalization and objectivization of others… the genetic impovrishment of cloning….” While such phraseology is condemned by some of the authors participating in the collection, it is nevertheless revealing that anyone active in the field must proceed from such a threatening environment. At least one of the contributors believes that current human evolution is currently discussed under conditions of even less freedom in France and Germany than in the Anglo-American world—“as if Darwin had never been born.”

Missa and Susanne are more hostile to eugenics than some of their contributors, and even go so far as to claim that eugenics is not a branch of the natural sciences, but rather is part of the social sciences. Robert Graham’s Repository for Germinal Choice, christened in the press as the “Nobel Sperm Bank,” is said to “inspire nothing but irony.” One of the authors participating in the collection even calls it “charlatanism, pure and simple.” They note that “at the end of the twentieth century the fantasies linked to positive eugenics have not completed disappeared…. Positive eugenics remains in the domain of science fiction.” On the other hand there are statements which are clearly supportive of eugenics, as can be seen, for example, from the following statement by the bioethicist Fritz Mann at the Free University of Brussels:

Aside from religious grounds, there exists no ethical justification for not influencing the germ line. If one day a cure is discovered for curing a hereditary disease in this fashion, not only for its bearer, but for all his descendants, what reason could there be for forbidding it?


Les fondements de l’eugénisme (Foundations of Eugenics), by Jean-Paul Thomas, is part of the very useful Que sais-je? (“What Do I Know?”) series of hundreds of tiny volumes, each intended to elucidate specific topics—everything from algorithms to unemployment to pregnancy to alcoholism. Thomas, who is a professor of philosophy at the University of Paris, is hostile to his topic, describing it as “completely dated,” based on “ígnorance,” “completely discredited,” and claiming that “its rehabilitation is void of sense.” At the same time, he concedes that eugenics may well “rise from its own ashes” as part of the general “biologism” of which it is part and “pose a threat to our concept of democracy.”

Thomas actually presents a fair amount of material, albeit necessarily selective, in a slender volume, breaking up his text into three parts: a) predecessors of eugenics, such as Herder’s conception of a nation as an organic whole and his concept of decline, b) eugenics of the first four decades of the twentieth century (Galton’s and Karl Pearson’s statistical studies, the link between socialism and feminism on the one hand, and eugenics on the other), and c) the anticipated rebirth of the “demon” of eugenics under the influence of the current revolution of understanding in eugenics (in vitro and post-mortem fertilization, the use of “birth mothers,” mapping the human genome, sociobiology).


Alain Drouard is the Director of the Centre Roland Mousnier in Paris. His L’eugénisme en questions (Eugenics in Questions) is a pro-eugenics document intended to clarify for the lay audience misconceptions about eugenics with regard to racism, Social Darwinism, and what used to be know as “hygienism“ (public health). Drouard begins by quoting a phrase coined by the philosopher Leo Strauss, who fled Nazi Germany to teach at the University of Chicago: “reductio ad Hitlerum: “Hitler believed in eugenics, X believes in eugenics, therefore X is a Nazi.” Drouard then goes on to point out that only ignorance of the history of eugenics in France has created a “retrospective teleological vision which transforms every eugenicist of the past in to a precursor of the Nazi catastrophe.” Drouard maintains (disapprovingly) that “eugenics is unanimously condemned in France and this condemnation is written into the laws on bioethics.” He then goes on to quote Ernst Mayer’s Histoire de la biologie, in which Mayer writes that “since 1933 it has been nearly impossibly to objectively discuss eugenics.” In what is evidently a jab at Carol’s history of French eugenics, Drouard writes that the history of eugenics is France is far from having been written. He also mentions several articles by the French philosopher and political scientist Pierre-André Taguieff, in which Taguieff, who has authored a number of books denouncing anti-Semitism, declares the “ideological phobia” surrounding eugenics to be sheer fantasy. Drouard points out that eugenics was supported not only by rightest thinkers, but even by such extreme leftist groups as the anarchists, the socialists, and even by the Masons. He lists the countries in which the eugenics movement was strong in the early twentieth century: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, China, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, New Zealand, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Rumania, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Turkey.

Drouard discusses some aspects of the history of eugenics in France, including the advocacy of a “biocracy,” a 1920 coinage of the leftist eugenicist and Mason édouard Toulouse, indicating an alternative to democracy which would be implemented by a “scientific government of competent men.” For those intent on presenting eugenics as a precursor of Nazism, it is worth noting that Toulous was a resolute opponent of Nazism, fascism, and communism. Revealingly, his slogan was “la liberté, la vérité… la science.” He envisaged his biocracy as a rationalized society which would respect individual liberties.

Another eugenicist discussed by Drouard was the Nobel Prize laureate in medicine Alexis Carrel, who spent some forty years in Canada and the United States, where he was in contact with such American eugenicists as Charles Davenport, Harry Osborn, Edward Moore, Ward Crampton, and Irving Fisher, among others. His book Man the Unknown, which promoted his eugenic ideas, sold over a million copies. Like most of his French contemporaries, however, Carrel remained a Lamarckian, believing that acquired characteristics could be inherited. Carrel picked up Toulouse’s idea of a biocracy, which he envisaged as basic on science and brotherly love: “The goal of life is not profit.”

Whereas Toulouse was an agnostic, Carrel drew his morality from religion. Still, the Church was a greater source of resistance to eugenics as a violation of the Divine Order than was the case in the Protestant countries of Northern Europe—Denmark, Finland, Germany, Norway, and Sweden. The Church was also leery of any “rationalization” of sex which would lead to a loosening of morals.

In addition, there was great concern in France over the low birth rate, and any advocacy of sterilization tended to be unpopular. At the same time, however, Malthusian concerns ran at crosscurrents to another widely discussed topic, that of genetic decline.

Drouard devotes a small chapter to disassociating racism historically from eugenics, attempting to demonstrate that racial theories of racial superiority abounded among socialist thinkers and discussing eugenicists who historically favored racial mixing—even Gobineau, for example. He also quotes a number of eugenicists who came out against anti-Semitism.

Drouard sums up the essence of French eugenics as being neo-Lamarckian, stressing positive eugenics over negative, and as being pro-natalist, with chief emphasis on education rather than on the constraint of law. Moreover, eugenicists in France, unlike Germany, did not occupy positions of power in the State, so that their discussion remained largely on a theoretical plane.


The title of André Pichot’s 1995 L’eugénisme ou les généticiens saisis par la philanthropie means “Eugenics or Geneticists Seized by Philanthropy.” Pichot is a historian of science.

Pichot begins with the usual “fear of a resurgence of eugenics” and accuses biologists of engaging in “sophistry” when they claim they have nothing to do with this “perverted ideology.” He then goes on to list various vectors of “degeneracy” which society feared at the turn of the century—contagious diseases, alcohol, and drugs. He throws in race mixing and consanguinous marriages among European royalty, but pointedly fails to mention the chief fear, both then and now—of a negative correlation between IQ and fertility. Pichot’s general tone is sarcasm, and he presents the doomsaying of the eugenicists as developing on a background of blossoming prosperity and science which make “giant steps”—almost in the best of all possible worlds. Reading his book, one cannot but muse that it is unfortunate that future generations are not yet here to thank us for all we have done for them (or—depressing even to imagine—what we may yet do in the future).

Pichot does indeed have a sense of humor and really quite successfully picks his quotations, as for example that of a French anthropologist and sociologist who wrote in 1894 that he would replace Liberté, égalité, Fraternité with Déterminisme, Inégalité, Sélection. And Pichot is right to bring up early believers in eugenics such as Charles Richet, a Nobel Prize laureate in medicine, who fantasized about a world dictator and who in 1919 actually proposed “eliminating” the black and yellow races, and then eliminating undesirables among the white population, maintaining that such “elimination won’t be effective unless it is severe.” And despite his negative attitude toward eugenics, Pichot honestly concedes that such eugenicists such as Herman Muller (who was Jewish) were definitely not anti-Semitic.

Pichot does not limit himself to discussing the pre World War II period, but goes on to attack Le Hasard et la Nécessité (Chance and Necessity, 1970) of Jacques Monod, La Logique du vivant (the Logic of the Living, 1970) of François Jacob and Ernst Mayr’s Histoire de la biologie (History of Biology, 1989). For example, Pichot is unhappy that Mayr dwells upon the suppression of eugenics and that Monod believes in genetic decline. These authors, according to Pichot, are closet ideologues who carry on the torch of Galton, Huxley, Muller, and other earlier believers in eugenics. Pichot then goes on to discuss genetic testing and selective abortion, and uses the phrase “genetically correct babies,” implying that  the desire to have healthy children is as suspect as political witch hunting. Furthermore, he maintains, such tests are excessively focused on “rare” and “hypothetical” diseases and thus really pursue the goal of creating what he evidently considers to be a sinister map of the human genome.


In 2000 Pichot brought out a larger book on the same topic: La société pure: De Darwin à Hitler (The Pure Society: From Darwin to Hitler), once again engaging in an ironic criticism assault on eugenics, while at the same time presenting himself as a moderate who understands current issues in biology. Darwinism transferred to politics, we learn from Pichot, produces the risk of totalitarianism, and politics founded on biology is a “Nazi domain.” As for intelligence tests, they measure only specific skills, and not intelligence. Like Pichot’s earlier work, the book attempts to pose questions relating to future issues in eugenics on the basis of what happened in the nineteenth and early twentieth century: “There is nothing new under the sun,” Pichot writes. This is disheartening when one considers that early eugenics was embraced all over the political spectrum, from left to right, albeit not universally. One could just as easily speak of eugenics of the left as of the right. But Pichot, while discussing today’s incredible revolution of knowledge in genetics, is not moved to see any change in fundamental attitudes. Furthermore. there is the usual confusion of eugenics and Hitler’s September 1939 secret order initiating a national euthanasia program. This is a persistent red herring. This order was not motivated by eugenic considerations, since persons who were already institutionally segregated and in many cases sterilized could not possibly have had any procreation. Rather, the decision was made to free up as many as 800,000 hospital beds for expected war casualties. Pichot does concede that the UN statements denying racial equality are no more based on science than are the assertions of significant differences.


Faut-il vraiment cloner l’homme? (Should Man Really Be Cloned?) is the record of a conference held in October of 1998 and published in 1999. Since the terms of reference here are changing so rapidly, the dates are significant. It also must be kept in mind that such conferences are staged affairs in which invitations are inevitably determined by the organizers. Thus, it is difficult to judge the degree to which the invited participants reflect the general attitude toward cloning of French scientists and scholars, and even in some cases to judge how frank the participants were in expressing their own views. At any rate, the participants are prominent representatives in their fields, and occupy important positions.

By way of background the book contains an April 26, 1997, statement by French President Jacques Chirac declaring that cloning should be “forbidden… as an attempt to undermine the human condition” (bold face is mine—JG). Evidently, this was an orchestrated case where Chirac simply signed a statement prepared for him by others, probably by The National Consultative Committee on Ethics For the Life Sciences and Health, which published its response to his words four days before he spoke them (April 22). Furthermore, Chirac’s phraseology was suspiciously the same as in the statement of the Consultative Committee. The categorical nature of the statement signed by Chirac (whose wife Bernadette is actively involved in the campaign for conservative religious movement called “Integrism”) leads the reader to suspect that its true authors were members of the Roman Catholic clergy. The Consultative Committee’s statement concludes with the following paragraph:

There is no conceivable variation of human reproductive cloning, whether one begins with an adult or an embryo, which might escape a complex of insurmountable objections. Such arguments can inspire only vehement, categorical and definitive ethical condemnation. Such practices radically threaten the autonomy and dignity of the individual, and constitute a grave moral lapse in the history of civilization. Would it thus not be appropriate, in light of its universal prohibition, to legally declare it to be [part of] an attempt to undermine the human condition (again, the bold face is mine—JG), of which reproductive cloning constitutes the clearest example.

For the most part, the forum’s participants were negative with regard to cloning: Biologist Jean-Paul Renard: “The cry of Jürgen Habermas on ‘the horror of the human clone’ is also our cry.” Protestant theologian Jean-François Collange: “Beings created in this fashion can never really be our children. Biologically and effectively they are certainly human, but they will nevertheless lack the decisive characteristic that they were begotten…. This is a modern form of slavery… a practice which is dangerous and deserving  of condemnation.” Medical researcher Jacques Testart: “Technoscience shows itself capable of producing tools for reversing civilization.” Philosopher Dominique Lecourt: “One more reason for rereading Ovid’s Narcissus.”


Hygiénisme et eugénisme au XXe siècle à travers la psychiatrie française (Public Health and Eugenics Through the Prism of French Psychiatry) was written by Anne-Laure Simmonot with a preface by Jean-Paul Liauzu; both are hospital psychiatrists. Liauzu starts out by conjuring up Nazism and refers to eugenics as the “banality of evil” (a quote from Hannah Arendt) and “sordid utilitarianism.” Alexis Carrel, mentioned above, did not just return to France during the War, he returned to Vichy France. But Liauzu is right in his conclusion: “Eugenics will not have to be reborne, for it never ceased to be present.”

The bulk of Simmonot’s discussion is devoted to the historical aspects of eugenics and “hygiénisme,” which were closely interconnected in a number of countries, including France. Simmonot points out that in the first half of the twentieth century sterilizations were “the order of the day” not only in Germany, but also in the United States, Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Switzerland. On June 30, 1975, the French Parliament passed a law defining “handicap,” and a number of persons were institutionalized on this basis, their segregation being justified by their inability to care for their own persons. In April 1996 the French National Consultative Committee on Ethics recommended sterilization of the mentally handicapped, over the protests of some psychiatrists. Again, the formal grounds advanced were not eugenic, but were based on the inability of the persons involved to provide care for their children, but Simmonot maintains, no doubt quite correctly, that at least a part of the policy was based on eugenic considerations. Simmonot speaks of “genetic determinism” and of medical psychology being misused as a political instrument to manage “deviant” populations. Embryo screening is presented as “a new pathway to eugenics” in which autism, schizophrenia, obesity, hypertension, certain cancers, alcoholism, and cardio-vascular diseases are eventually all to be targeted:

The idea of people’s equal dignity and the idea of a legal order founded on the recognition of their rights are fundamental principles which can in no way be brought into agreement with eugenics. The coexistence of eugenics and democracy can not be anything other than conjunctural…”


In summation, the word “eugenics” still conjures the same hostility as in the United States, especially among persons who are poorly familiar with the history of the movement, and this hostility continues to be assiduously fanned by egalitarian writers. Only specialists seem to be aware that eugenics was not the exclusive bailiwick of the right, but was scattered all over the political spectrum. Almost no discussion is provided of the historical resistance of many eugenicists to racism and anti-Semitism. At the same time, eugenic practices are already common currency in France, and are often viewed with a favorable eye.

What has changed over the last eight years is that the opponents of eugenics have shifted from warning of the “risk of eugenics” to conceding that such a turn of events is not only an inevitability but is even now quietly underway. There is now total unanimity on this point among the movement’s advocates and its foes, but since the proponents of eugenics have been driven underground, it is its enemies who are now the chief trumpeters of its renaissance.

This article was published in Mankind Quarterly vol. XLII, No. 1, Fall, 2001, 77-89.