Following on from my last blog, it seems that society really is moving towards fascism. Today I watched the Wright Stuff on Channel 5, as I do almost every morning, and sat in horror as they covered the story of a learning disabled woman who is threatened with being sterilized directly after giving birth. I found the story itself horrific, but to then listen to two people, one a parent of a learning disabled child, speak in favour of this practise chilled me to the core. One of the panel had brought up the analogy of the Nazi’s and the parent who rang was very upset by being compared to Hitler. Yet this is exactly what all in favour of this practise are. To use an arbitrary measurement of intelligence to decide who is and isn’t allowed to breed is precisely what the Nazi’s did. This is eugenics to the core. To claim it is for their own good, poor little cripples who can’t cope with being a parent or understand sex does not make it any different. The Nazi’s used this argument too.
So did many countries through out the world at that time. In the USA people of a low IQ were sterilized on a county wide scale. It got so bad that feuding neighbours would denounce each other as simple and this would lead to sterilization. Also people who were considered morally inferior, such as unwed mothers, were sterilized to prevent passing on the moral decrepitude. Many countries in Northern Europe in the early part of the 20th century practised eugenics, and the mainstay of this drive for genetic purity is the sterilization of those deemed to be undesirable to the gene pool. After the 2nd World War fascism and Nazism were denounced as evil. Eugenics was also shown to be incorrect and disproved as a scientific theory. These kinds of practises were considered to be a thing of the past. Yet here we are, less than 100 years later, with a society that is slowly starting to embrace the ideals of eugenics, and so Nazism, again. The disabled are now either worthy of treating like pets and being neutered, or seen as a drain on the hard working tax payer. So we are seen as legitimate targets for treatment that was once seen as unrepeatable.
But were will it stop? Today it is someone with severe learning difficulties, but who will be next? Will it be someone like my wife’s late father, who had epilepsy? That can be passed on to their children, so surely it is only fair to stop epileptics from breeding? What about people like my brother, who is dyslexic? In a modern world were reading is essential to being productive, surely he shouldn’t be allowed to pass his disability on to the next generation? Then we have to consider those people who just aren’t that clever. Many studies show, or can be made to show, that those people who have a low IQ have children who also achieve low academic results. They are not real use to a modern society, so let’s sterilize them. Of course once we get rid of the stupid, the goal posts will move, and what is considered stupid will change. Within a short while anyone without a degree level education will be targeted. Then it will be those under a second, and then those under a first. Then anyone who does have a doctorate or a masters will be unable to breed. Then it will be those who disagree with the ruling government and anyone who does not tow the party line. Then one day they will come for you.
That is the reasons why we must cry out against the slippery slope we are starting out on now. Anyone who claims to be sterilizing another human being for their own good, has no understanding of what it is to be alive. Our society should be moving towards a place were we help everyone fulfil their potential and give support to those who need it. There are many able bodied people who are terrible parents, and many people who are considered to have learning disabilities who are superb parents. But more than that, there is a bigger picture here. I cannot believe we may begin back down a road that ends in camps and gas chambers in the name of what is best for disabled people. Trust me, it will end up there. It might not be Jews this time, but it will be another minority, or minorities, that will be demonized. The Nazi’s started with the disabled, and these acts of true evil paved the way the extermination of millions of able bodied humans. So before you consider this question of the rights and wrongs of sterilization of the learning disabled, remember the outcome may lead to a knock on your door from state police when you are considered not worthy of human rights. If you don’t cry out now, then there may not be anyone left to cry for you!
I’m rather sorry I missed this episode. People fear the sexuality of people they see as different. I think your point about the movement of goalposts is very important. We’re all human, no matter how different or otherwise we are. To deny a part of human existence in one of us destroys the humanity of both the victim and the perpetrator.