Friday, June 19, 2020

Ludwig von Mises on Eugenics

Ludwig von Mises
Phil Magness spotted this odd phraseology in a new article by Patrick Deneen, Professor of Political Philosophy, University of Notre Dame:
He replied with a dance as to what he really meant, distancing Mises from eugenics:
For the record, this is what Mises had to say about eugenics in his book Planned Chaos:
It is vain for the champions of eugenics to protest that they did not mean what the Nazis executed. Eugenics aims at placing some men, backed by the police power, in complete control of human reproduction. It suggests that the methods applied to domestic animals be applied to men. This is precisely what the Nazis tried to do. The only objection which a consistent eugenist can raise is that his own plan differs from that of the Nazi scholars and that he wants to rear another type of men than the Nazis. As every supporter of economic planning aims at the execution of his own plan only, so every advocate of eugenic planning aims at the execution of his own plan and wants himself to act as the breeder of human stock. 
The eugenists pretend that they want to eliminate criminal individuals. But the qualification of a man as a criminal depends upon the prevailing laws of the country and varies with the change in social and political ideologies. John Huss, Giordano Bruno and Galileo Galilei were criminals from the point of view of the laws which their judges applied. When Stalin robbed the Russian State Bank of several million rubles, he committed a crime. Today it is an offence in Russia to disagree with Stalin. In Nazi Germany sexual intercourse between "Aryans" and the members of an "inferior" race was a crime. Whom do the eugenists want to eliminate, Brutus or Caesar? Both violated the laws of their country. If eighteenth century eugenists had prevented alcohol addicts from generating children, their planning would have eliminated Beethoven. 

1 comment:

  1. Joe Salerno cites Mises' opposition to "social Darwinism" and eugenics, chapter and verse: Ane what libertarian ever endorsed "transhumanism"? Some science fiction writer?