Civilization – Niall Ferguson’s brilliant, impeccably right-wing analysis of why it is that the West is going to hell in a handcart just gets better and better. (H/T Phantom Skier)
In the latest episode, he explored how the roots of the Holocaust lay in a dry run genocide carried out by the Germans (who else?) in German South-West Africa (now Namibia) in the 1900s against the Herero and Namaqua natives. Around 80 per cent of the former tribe and 50 per cent of the latter were brutally massacred with many of the survivors sent to concentration camps where their racial characteristics were studied by proto-Dr-Mengeles as part of the fashionable new scientific field popularised by Francis Galton – eugenics.
“The important point to note is that 100 years ago, work like Galton’s was at the cutting edge of scientific research. Racism wasn’t some backward-looking reactionary ideology: it was the state of the art and people then believed in it as readily as people today BUY the theory of man-made climate change.”
Obviously if you’re a believer in the Church of Climatism, this will sound like a monstrous slur. But it does also have the virtue of being true. As I note in my really-quite-soon-to-be-published book Watermelons, the values of the eugenics movement and of the modern green movement are closely connected.
Here, for example, is a popular 50s environmentalist called Harrison Brown in a book called The Challenge of Man’s Future (1954), discussing how to make the human species healthier:
“Thus we could sterilize or in other ways discourage the mating of the feeble-minded. We could go further and systematically attempt to prune from society, by prohibiting them from breeding, persons suffering from serious inheritable forms of physical defects, such as congenital deafness, dumbness, blindness, or absence of limbs.”
Brown, you’ll have gathered, was a keen eugenicist. Well, fine: so were lots of people back then, despite the setback their junk-science philosophy experienced with the end of Nazi Germany. But the point about Brown is that he was not just some ordinary bloke of no consequence: he was and is revered by many in the modern green movement as a key philosophical guru.
Among his biggest admirers is John Holdren, the green activist who is now President Obama’s Director of the White House Office of Science And Technology Policy, aka his Science Czar.
In 1986, Holdren edited and co-wrote an homage entitled Earth and the Human Future: Essays In Honor of Harrison Brown, in which he claimed:
“Thirty years after Harrison Brown elaborated these positions, it remains difficult to improve on them as a coherent depiction of the perils and challenges we face. Brown’s accomplishment in writing The Challenge of Man’s Future, of course, was not simply the construction of this sweeping schema for understanding the human predicament; more remarkable was (and is) the combination of logic, thoroughness, clarity, and force with which he marshalled data and argumentation on every element of the problem and on their interconnections. It is a book, in short, that should have reshaped permanently the perceptions of all serious analysts….”
As the author of this damning essay on the subject notes, as recently as 2007 Holdren was reiterating his admiration for Harrison Brown’s noxious views.
Holdren, let it not be forgotten, is also the author of this chilling paragraph, from a book he wrote in 1973 with fellow neo-Malthusian doom-mongers Anne Ehrlich and Paul Ehrlich, called Human Ecology: Problems and Solutions:
“A massive campaign must be launched to restore a high-quality environment in North America and to de-develop the United States. . . . Resources and energy must be diverted from frivolous and wasteful uses in overdeveloped countries to filling the genuine needs of underdeveloped countries. This effort must be largely political”
So thank you, Niall Ferguson, for totally getting it. The sooner sufficiently large numbers of people aware that, for all its fluffy pretensions, the green movement is rooted in pessimism, grotesque misanthropy and rabid anti-capitalism, the sooner we’ll be able to consign it to the dustbin of history next to all those other bad ideas that seemed so good to so many idiots at the time. Eugenics, for example.