Extremely Unwise Move: Sterilizing the Most Advanced Human Beings
by Charles Galton Darwin (1953)
endnote by Bradford Hanson
IN THE ESSENTIAL matter of survival there are two things needed, the survival of the individual and the survival of the race. We are all very well endowed with deep instincts for both, and curiously enough we are ashamed of both these instincts.
As to the survival of the individual we have a very strong, intimate and deep fear of death, evoked by any form of danger; it is not a thing we boast about, but it is certainly a very essential quality for survival, and as such it is to be regarded as important and valuable.
For the reproduction of the race, there are two instincts needed, the sexual and the parental, and the way these are organized is to say the least curious. The sexual instinct, though much complicated by all sorts of taboos, is for most of mankind nearly as violent as the fear of death, though it has the advantage of being pleasant instead of unpleasant.
Among animals it brings about the inevitable consequence of reproduction, and until very recently the same was true for man, so that the Malthusian increase of population was assured. This is still true for a large proportion of the human race, but the existence of birth-control has entirely altered the situation among the more highly developed peoples. The consequence has been to make reproduction depend for them not on an intense instinctive impulse, but rather on intellectual reasoning, and this for very many people is an exceedingly tepid motive.
The parental instinct is also somewhat ineffective, because for the majority it is only strongly stimulated by the presence of the children; that is to say, it is very important in preserving them, but it does not make any such clamant [urgent — Ed.] call on the emotions to beget them.
It has not the same intensive compulsion as the sexual instinct, and this is not very surprising because of its very different function. No one can feel any very intense emotion continuously for more than a short time; whether it is pleasure or pain, anger or grief or fear, the sharp edge of it fades in a few days, whereas the parental instinct has got to work effectively for fifteen or twenty years, if it is to serve the survival of the race. It is therefore hardly surprising that it should be steady and continuous, but not so intense an instinct as the sexual instinct or as the fear of death.
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A hat-tip to Dave over at Occam’s Razor for the piece from C.G. Darwin and his thoughts on the excerpt, which I’ve edited:
A question Darwin raises that deserves sober consideration by the future leaders reading this is whether civilized European-descended people will culturally or biologically evolve to desire children enough to always beget an adequate number of them, or stay stuck in an endless cycle of Aryan civilization contracepting itself out of existence and, after a long Dark Age, being rediscovered or reinvented by barbarians. The huge danger now: Where are the Aryan barbarians who can reinvigorate our dying world?
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Source: Occam’s Razor and The Next Million Years by Charles Galton Darwin