The study of how to arrange reproduction within a human population to increase the occurrence of heritable characteristics regarded as desirable. Primarily developed by Francis Galton as a method of improving the human race, it fell into disfavor only after the perversion of its doctrines by the Nazis. “The most important, significant, and I would add, genuine branch of sociology which exists, namely eugenics.”
The Center for Garden State Families would like to present Part Two of our series on John Maynard Keynes. This article details the little known fact that John Maynard Keynes was an advocate of eugenics. As discussed in our previous article, worldview matters, and Mr. Keynes demonstrates once again, the dark corridors of his mind and how it influenced his thinking. Before we begin, we must look at who influenced Keynes’ thinking on this particular subject as it pertains to population control through eugenics.
Thomas Malthus (1766-1834) was a British Economist who wrote in 1798 the book called “An Essay on the Principle of Population.” Malthus wrote the following: “Yet in all societies, even those that are most vicious, the tendency to a virtuous attachment [i.e., marriage] is so strong that there is a constant effort towards an increase of population. This constant effort as constantly tends to subject the lower classes of the society to distress and to prevent any great permanent amelioration of their condition.”
In addition to Keynes studying the works of Malthus, he was also an avid student of heredity and genetics. Keynes was dubbed by his students Jeremiah Malthus. It is easy to see how Keynes embarked on his understanding of population growth and that to manage this growth, a given population needed an eye toward maintaining a “desirable” racial stock. As Keynes’ views of his economic theories expanded, his underlying beliefs as it pertained to eugenics remained solidly intact. Keynes was a member of the British Eugenics Society, whereas of 1946, he had served as its Vice President for seven years. Below is a sampling of his thoughts which reveal his ideas regarding eugenics and how it shaped his economic theories.
New Republic Magazine – 1923
“Is not a country overpopulated when its standards are lower than they would be if its numbers were less? In that case, the question of what numbers are desirable rises long before starvation sets in, and even before, the level of life begins to fall. Perhaps we have already sacrificed too much for the population. For is not the improvement in the average conditions of life during the past century very small in comparison with the extraordinary material progress of that period? Does it not seem that the greater part of man’s achievements are already swallowed up in the support of mere numbers? It is easy to understand the distaste provoked by particular methods, and the fear inspired by any proposal to modify the laisser-faire of nature and to bring the workings of a fundamental instinct under social control. But it is strange to be untroubled or to deny the existence of the problem for our generation.”
Keynes Lecture as recorded in 1925 by Margaret Sanger at the Conference on Population in Geneva:
“I am discouraged because they are not striking at fundamentals. They do not want to think of one fundamental question, and that is the population question. There is not a city, not a country, in the League of Nations today that will accept it, or discuss it, and until the nations of the world are willing to sit down and talk about their problems from the population point of view, its rate of growth, its distribution, and its quality, they might just as well throw their peace proposals into the wastebasket, because they will never have international peace until they do consider that problem.”
University of Berlin Lecture – June 23rd, 1926
“The time has already come when each country needs a considered national policy about what size population, whether larger or smaller than at present or the same, is the most expedient. And having settled this policy, we must take steps to carry it into operation. The time may arrive a little later when the community as a whole must pay attention to the innate quality as well as to the mere numbers of its future members.” These ideas were the underpinning of Hitler’s Final Solution as it pertained to the Jewish population of Nazi Germany. Further, Murray Rothbard, in his book Keynes the Man, discusses the German Edition of Keynes’ book The General Theory, which had a unique introduction which says the following:
“Nevertheless, the theory of output as a whole, which is what the following book purports to provide, is much more easily adapted to the conditions of a totalitarian state, than is the theory of production and distribution of a given output produced under conditions of free competition and a lance measure of laissez-faire.” By John Maynard Keynes’ admission, his thinking is more aligned with totalitarianism complete with State-sponsored population control.
Keynes’ Malthusian League Dinner Speech – 1927
“I believe that for the future the problem of population will emerge in the much greater problem of heredity and eugenics. Mankind has taken into his own hands and out of the hands of nature, the task and the duty of molding history and his soul to a pattern.”
Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren is one of the best-known writings of John Maynard Keynes. This book began as a lecture for school children in 1928. In this book, Keynes outlines what he would deem “our destination of economic bliss.” To achieve “Economic Bliss,” Keynes lays out the following considerations: “Our power to control populations, our determination to avoid wars and civil dissensions, our willingness to entrust science the direction of these matters which are properly the concern of science, and the rate of accumulation as fixed by the margin between our production and our consumption; of which the last will easily look after itself, given the first three.”
Because of his self-professed neo-Malthusian, views, his economics were tools of central planning complete with population control. Keynes, the Social Darwinist and Technocrat of his day, feared a situation where “lower class” births would outpace the genetically fit and, by doing so, reduce the average quality of society and, consequently, the average level of prosperity.
As a continuation of his work called The General Theory, it is consistent with the idea of “population equilibrium” as a pre-condition for success. Also, the issue of unemployment and a host of other economic ills could be cured with this perceived “population equilibrium.”
Interestingly enough, it was John Maynard Keynes who had a hatred for the Puritan notion of thrift.
This thrift that Keynes despised and sought to remove is the very ignition and engine of investment and production that would ultimately sustain a growing population free of any centralized government controls. Keynes’ distain for thrift blinded him to its merits. His Malthusian deceptions of population control reinforced Hitler and Margaret Sanger’s own bigoted egocentricities and countless others who have left a wake of collateral damage in their path. All from the worldview of one man who rose to prominence in the world of economics.
Fast forward to today’s world, and we see the Malthusian worldview once again. Modern-Day Social Darwinist Technocrats like Bill Gates are ushering in their Eugenicist plans of Mandatory Vaccines and Contract Tracers while working hand and hand with the centralized planners of a totalitarian government all in the name of one thing – population control.
There is nothing new under the sun.
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