It is the purpose of this work to attempt to describe a method that will help to bring about this end.
THE MULTIPLICATION OF THE UNFIT IN RELATION TO THE STATE.
Ancient methods of preventing the fertility of the unfit.—Christian sentiment suppressed inhuman practices—Christian care brings many defectives to the child-bearing period of life.—The association of mental and physical defects.—Who are the unfit.—The tendency of relatives to cast their degenerate kinsfolk on the State.—Our social conditions manufacture defectives and foster their fertility.—The only moral force that limits families is inhibition with prudence.—Defective self-control transmitted hereditarily. Dr. Mac Gregorys cases.—The transmission of insanity.—Celibacy of the insane is the prophylaxis of insanity in the race.—The environment of the unfit.—Defectives snatched from Nature’s clutch.—At the age of maturity they are left to propogate their kind.
THE humanitarian spirit, born 1900 years ago, effectually checked all inhuman practices for disposal of the unfit. Christ is the Author of this spirit. The noisy triumph of His persecutors had scarcely died away before His conception of the sanctity of human life found expression in the mission of those Roman maidens who in His name devoted their lives to collecting exposed infants from the environs of their city—that they might rear and educate them and bring them to the Church.
Not only has it done this, but it has taught society that its first and highest duty is to its weaker brethren, who constitute the unfit. All our modern institutions are based on this sentiment, and what is the result? Weaklings are born into the world and the weaker they are the more carefully are they tended and nursed. The law of the struggle for existence, i.e., the law of Justice is suspended or modified, and the unfit are allowed to live, or at least allowed to live a little longer, long enough indeed to propagate their kind.
Hospitals and Homes and Charitable institutions all combine their energies, and direct their efforts to nurture those whom the laws of nature decree should die.
Sympathy and not indignation is aroused when a defective is born, and the result of all the effort which that sympathy evokes is that the little weakling and thousands such are safely led and tended all the way to the child-bearing period of life, only to repeat their history, in others.
Not only do defects “run in families,” but they run in groups, and a physical defect such as club-foot, cleft palate, or any arrested development, is apt to be associated with some mental defect, and it is the mental more than the physical defects of individuals that prevent them being self-supporting helpful members of society.
In the “North American Review” for August, 1903, Sir John Gorst declares that:—