The Atlantic magazine – which recently declared itself unable to affirm its own founding commitment to “be the organ of no party or clique” – lent its pages to a full throated endorsement of eugenics and mass sterilization, The National Pulse can reveal.
The magazine of the globalist left – owned by Steve Jobs’s widow Laurene Powell Jobs – published an article in its November 1950 edition entitled, simply, “Sterilization.”
The piece weighed and measured the benefits of the mass sterilization of those suffering manic depression, epilepsy, the feeble-minded, and “certain chronic criminals,” based on the idea that these were hereditary traits that should be forcibly bred out of the human population.
“There are, in America alone, millions of individuals markedly unfit 1o live in society. Many of them cannot care for themselves or their children and are a burden to their families or communities. Because of the possibility that their defects are hereditary, and that allowing these people to have children will result in spreading their disabilities more widely through future generations, we must consider the question of eugenical sterilization.”
The piece, still available on The Atlantic’s archive, goes on:
Sterilization is a very simple operation. But it is much simpler to perform the operation of sterilization than it is to decide on whom the operation shall be done. There are those who advocate sterilizing all individuals who are “socially inadequate by reason of heredity,” and here they include all the insane, the feeble-minded, the epileptic, and certain chronic criminals.
The arguments were originally expressed by Dr. Abraham Myerson, a Lithuanian eugenicist who worked at Tufts Medical School. His posthumous book, Speaking of Man, was published by Knopf (now part of Penguin Random House) and extracted for The Atlantic in late 1950.
Myerson, listed as Meyerson by the Atlantic, perhaps presciently notes in his piece:
As for meddling with the sexual organs, there is a deepseated repugnance which is socially instinctive and could be overcome only by great force or very intensive social education.
The current widespread meddling with sexual organs by the political left can be justified using Myerson’s eugenics-based arguments, a subject almost echoed by another Atlantic author, Harriet Pilpel, in 1969.
Writing on the merits of abortion, “women’s rights” activist Pilpel asserts:
For several years, we have heard warnings about the population crisis. Indeed, so concerned are we that there now are voices in the land calling for “compulsory sterilization” and “compulsory birth control,” for the withholding of public support for illegitimate children in excess of a certain number, for conditioning welfare monies or parole or whatever on coerced sterilization, and so on. Yet little is done to make sterilization easily available on a voluntary basis, particularly to the poor and underprivileged.
Myerson’s piece discusses “Mongolian idiocy,” as well as “feeble-mindedness” and epilepsy as rationales by which to enforce sterilization amongst the wider public. He noted on these points:
We recommended sterilization in the case of feeble-mindedness. Though we hesitated to stress any purely social necessity for sterilization, it is obvious that in the case of the feeble-minded there may be a social as well as a biological situation of importance. Since most of the feeble-minded can hardly care for themselves, a family of children may prove an overwhelming burden.
We believed that schizophrenia would need relatively little attention from the surgeon because most cases that are recognized in time to prevent procreation spend their days in hospitals anyway. Moreover, the sexual urge and the marriage and birth rate are low. Sterilization might well be recommended, however, for those patients living in the community, since desirable qualities of other kinds are only incidental to schizophrenia and not part of its make-up.
As for the manic-depressive psychoses, there are problems that would tax the judgment of the wisest board and that must be met with conservatism and caution. The manic-depressive temperament is frequently associated with the highest achievement and ability of which mankind can boast. In this disease particularly, the decision would have to take into account the total assets of the individual character as well as the liabilities incident to the psychosis.
As for epilepsy, we believed that if the individual’s epileptic attacks were infrequent and if the qualities of the personality were intact, there was no reason for recommending sterilization.
In a stunning conclusion, the Atlantic concluded that “a limited eugenic program is warranted,” via Myerson’s article:
It is a cardinal article of faith with me that it would be good eugenics, as well as good euthenics, to wipe out every slum, to secure for everyone access to sunshine and good food, cultural opportunities, and those things which stimulate the growth of intelligence; to eliminate the infectious diseases and especially those diseases such as syphilis and tuberculosis which may injure more than one generation. A large part of our population, even in the best of our commonwealths, live in circumstances in which we would expect deterioration in plants and animals. At any rate, we can say that while a limited eugenic program is warranted at this time, even more important would be a radical improvement in the environment of civilized man and an organized research into the nature of those mental conditions from which he suffers, so that we can work with understanding and intelligence.