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Eugenics

Am I the only one who finds this sinister?

Just read through and note the language used.

Things like…

”It’s still their choice. They either decide to take contraception or they don’t. We aren’t trying to coerce people into it but if people think about it they might think it’s a good idea.”

And…

”If a GP receives a request from a drug addict patient for sterilisation or long-term contraception, the focus of the consultation must be on the overall interests of the patient.”

Apparently you get fifty quids worth of TESCO vouchers just for turning up! The Nazis didn’t do that!

I really don’t like the way this is going. I’m beginning to imagine where it might lead and am not liking it one bit.

After all we must have optimum population levels and that means no time for the hangers-on, surely?

29 Comments

  1. Ian Phillips says:

    Also, is it just me or are Tesco really evil? I mean they were first in line to help with the whole ID card fiasco and now this, fer fooks sake!

  2. EndivioR says:

    And thankful for her fine, fair discount, Tess cooperates…

    I remember when I was a nipper of twenty, I had a girlfriend who thought it was cool to have a vasectomised partner (speshly if he had a Badge). I didn’t really see the point of kids at that time so said yeah, why not. We did the rounds and the only folks who would give the snip to a bloke of 20 who hadn’t yet sired anything more than a few godawful sonnets were Marie Stopes. I nearly got mariestoped but I forgot why I bottled out in the end. Maybe you had to pay something upfront, or maybe they made you talk to a Councillor first. I hate Councillors.

    I wonder what the situation would be today. I reckon I could trade my vas deferens for at least a holiday at Butlins and a crate of Newky Brown.

  3. Bod says:

    Ah crap.

    I’d composed one of my rambling, aimless monologues on this one, and I lost it in a browser crash.

    Tant pis as led froggies might say. So here’s a shorter rambling monologue.

    The point of it was that this is creepy, because it seems to me that you can’t get reliable informed consent from someone strung out on heroin. If that little problem could be solved, it would eliminate almost all of the creepyness for me.

    The whole thing drives to the heart of the issue of Libertarian thought on substances which turn adults into non-functioning members of society. They’re often children, from a functional point of view. Few libertarians believe that kids should be totally responsible for their actions – they are ‘subjects’ of their parents.

    But that’s the problem. In the case of people who have seen fit to turn themselves into functional children, who are they ‘subjects’ of? I realize this is little different from whether sufferers of Downs’ Syndrome are also ‘functional children’ (and I’ll readily concede that most Downs’ adults are capable of functioning in adult society if given quite modest assistance, and therefore should definitely NOT be considered to be children)

    No advanced society can call itself such unless there’s some practical solution to dealing with people who thru’ misfortune or their own bad choices, find themselves incapable of functioning in the modern (adult) world.

    I don’t have an answer, but I’d certainly like to think there is one.

  4. Bod says:

    Heh. I’d just started a new job (among mostly women) when I got the snip.

    The habit at the firm was that we’d announce our diaries in the staff meeting, so it got to me:

    Me: “I’ll be out on Wednesday afternoon, and possibly Thursday. I’ll be contactable Thursday by phone and email if necessary.”

    NY Yenta: “Oh, why’s that? Hot date?”

    Me: “No, gonna get the snip. {fx: snapping fingers, a la Edward Scissorhands}

    Room went silent.

    Two weeks later, said yenta comes up to cube and asks me how it all went. Told her I was getting so many IoIs (indications of interest) from women that it was $75 well spent and maybe I should have had it done years ago when I couldn’t pull birds. She asked me – very indirectly – how … it … went … – ‘like, everything’s *OK*’?

    At this, the dense limey caught on.

    “Oh yeah” says me. Extravagant wink. “Let’s say there have been no complaints from the customers.”

    Of technical interest, I had what US practitioners call the ‘Chinese Method’ which was pioneered apparently by Chinese pig farmers. Instead of a goddawful long incision, it’s a tiny incision and they have these snips that look like tiny dog-claw cutters, and they put them into the inci… oh … OK, I’ll shut up now ….

  5. EndivioR says:

    Bod, you’re very articulate for someone who has just lot a long comment in a crash. When that happens to me I seem unable for several minutes to type anything that doesn’t begin with f.

    Functional children, well, some would argue that’s the whole point of Decadent Western Civ, to turn us all into that. (Recommended reading: The Machine Stops, by EM Forster). Over on rec.arts.poems there was an inveterate sonneteer I kinda warmed to called Hammes (sadly, died a couple of Decembers ago) among whose many party tricks was calling anyone he disagreed with “babies”. His definition of an adult IIRC was someone who, if necessary, could rebuild his entire civilisation from scratch. Quite a tall order really.

    I don’t think there’s any real problem with Libertarian vs e.g. Downs or anything else which diminishes either responsibility or ability to cope unaided. Hell, no one’s suggesting a society in which no one gets any help. The point is simply (as I understand it) that whatever help is currently provided by the State, with whatever ghastly circumventing of individual responsibility and ethical transparency this normally entails, would be provided by voluntary private organisations much more efficiently, humanely, responsibly and at a fraction of the cost.

  6. Bod says:

    Agreed on the role of voluntary private organizations, but who is in a position to act in loco parentis, for want of a better term for these individuals?

    Who’s the guarantor of the behavior or a minor in these situations?

  7. bloke in spain says:

    Heard this woman being hostilely interviewed on a radio station a while back. Thought she made a good case. She’s seen the damage caused. Kids born with habits. Neglected. Damage limitation she sees it as.

    If I had any doubts last week’s experience put paid to that.

    Got involved in some sorting out of problems for a junkygirl. Friend of a friend. She’s effectively homeless & not in a good situation. No good just giving her money, it’d evaporate. Plan was to get her into an apartment of her own, give her space to sort herself out. Maybe get her kid back with her. Be a family again. 8pm it’s all settled. She shows at noon tomorrow, she gets the keys & we’ll get some essentials in, get her settled. Noon comes, noon goes. So does one & two. Three she eventually answers her phone but it’s too much trouble to get out of bed. We settle for five. Sixish she turns up like she’s doing us a favour & wants feeding. Runs up a 30€ tab in a restaurant, picks a fight with friend & storms out.
    Friend’s now out about 500 & has a 300 p/m apartment round her neck.

    Trouble is they’re not children. 8pm she was a rational adult, full of plans for the future. 20 hours later she flushes the whole lot down the toilet. My pal’s devastated. Girl’s come to her as her last hope she’s said. Grew up together, school, etc. All the sob stuff. My suspicion it was all a ploy to separate her from the up-front money on the apartment but who knows what goes on in their heads?

  8. Senior says:

    I think being sterilised is the responsible thing to do if you’re a drug addict. It’s an acknowledgement that you won’t be able to look after your children if you have any.

  9. View from the Solent says:

    In answer to your question, no.
    Slippery slope, anyone?
    Smokers
    Drinkers
    Fatties
    ….

  10. NickM says:

    VftS,
    I’m glad someone caught my drift as to the slippery slope.

    Bod,
    There isn’t “an” answer. There never is “an” answer (general solution) to complex problems. Even a quadratic equation has two roots… It was the whiff of eugenics here that prompted me to post.

  11. Lynne says:

    Malthusians. Not to be confused with Malteasers…

  12. Bod says:

    Yeah, but the problem is that as slippery slopes go, this one’s a doozy, because while I think that smokers and *heavy* drinkers (see what I did there?) would be better off moderating their behavior, for the most part, there’s a point during any given week where there’s a chance they’ll be able to function as adults, understand what ‘specialists’ are recommending and give informed consent.

    Some (certainly not all) heavy drug users aren’t in that position for much of the time, and I’m not convinced that their future life trajectory should be determined by the policies and decisions of charitable organizations – their function is to assist people who need assistance – and I’d be just as queasy about having a charity have the sort of power over an individual’s fate as I do about someone being sectioned or otherwise committed to become a ward of the state.

    I don’t think I want to cede that kind of authority to the state in the kind of world I’d *want* to live in, but absent a viable alternative model, I’m not sure how we’d deal with it.

    But sure, the ‘humble proposal’ falls just short of dragging all sorts of ‘unfit’ people off for all kinds of ‘humane therapies’, whether some cash changes hands or not, when you’re dealing with people with a tenuous grip on reality, you’re going to be abrogating their freedoms.

  13. Roue le Jour says:

    Eugenics is modifying human reproduction for a specific goal, yet the state extensively modifies reproductive behaviour as it is by shifting the money about and making child rearing more costly for some groups and less for others.

    Is making it impossible for lower middle class couples to afford children any less ‘eugenics’ than spaying junkies? Anyway, I don’t find long term contraception particularly objectionable, we’re only talking, what, a year at the most? In the unlikely event of a seasoned drug user turning her life around, it takes at least that.

    I’m not sure about the slippery slope bit though. A junkie will agree to anything when they’re hanging out, but personally I’ve never wanted a drink that badly.

    Bloke in Spain,

    That pretty much matches my brief exposure to the drug using class. The state is responsible for much strife here by fostering the impression that drug users can’t stop without (state employment providing) programmes and councilors. Drug users play on this mercilessly by demanding help to get clean. It’s all fiction. Giving up drugs is easy if you want to, drug users don’t want to.

  14. Roue le Jour says:

    And Cats is still not updating in my feed reader, Firefox/Brief. Deleting and resubscribing updates it but it doesn’t update on its own anymore. All other feeds fine. All ideas gratefully received.

  15. JuliaM says:

    “Am I the only one who finds this sinister?”

    Nope. Although the prospect of women raising children in unsuitable conditions is a tricky one, the existing controls on it should prove sufficient.

    And who’s to say their life can’t turn around? Isn’t that what ‘rehabilitation’ is supposed to be all about? If we’re admitting leopards can’t, after all, change their spots, can we extend that concept to the probation system?

  16. Chris says:

    Apparently you get fifty quids worth of TESCO vouchers just for turning up! The Nazis didn’t do that!

    Didn’t the Indians try this on their rural ‘surplus population’ back when Indira Gandhi was in power? They offered clock-radios rather than Tesco vouchers IIRC.

    Of course, there was a later sh*t-storm of lawsuits bought by men who claimed they didn’t realise exactly the intent and long-term implications of this ‘minor surgical operation’. Keeps m’learned friends in business I suppose…

  17. richard grey says:

    If the procedures are reversible (and there are plenty of ways to provide long term sterilisation that are), I would support this.

    If it was a government doing it, no.

    If it’s a charity, I would be inclined to donate to them.

    The only argument against it is that dope heads don’t have sufficient judgement for it to be considered informed consent. But that is through their own fault, it’s not like they have learning disabilities that cannot be surmounted. And if they can’t think past their next fix, and take the snip so they can run to the dealer, then they would be nothing but walking disasters as parents.

    If they clean up their life, no harm is done and they can reverse the sterilisation and get on with their life.

  18. NickM says:

    Chris,
    Yes. Also in towns with the homeless. And no you sometimes didn’t get a radio. It was sometimes forcibly done. Lovely women Mrs Gandhi. Shot by her own bodyguards in the end. That says something.

    “If we’re admitting leopards can’t, after all, change their spots…” And that is what is scary. Can’t help it, born that way is one of the foundations of eugenics because eugenics is essentially the idea that genetics is destiny. Here we have an interesting clash in nature versus nurture.

  19. NickM says:

    “If it was a government doing it, no.

    If it’s a charity, I would be inclined to donate to them.”

    I do not really understand the distinction in the circumstances. The charity would have to operate with at least tacit government approval, if not praise, if not funding.

  20. NickM says:

    Deborah and Jay, nine, were stopped by the volunteers on Friday in the grounds of Possilpark Health Centre in Glasgow.

    She said: “Three women got out of a car and said they were from Project Prevention. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one they approached .

    “They asked me for a chat and I listened to them even though I was a bit wary.

    “They then offered me £200 to get sterilised in front of my wee boy. I was speechless and then I told them where to go.

    “I said it was a disgrace that they come up to normal people like me and ask these things in front of kids.”

    Deborah added: “I am not even a drug addict so they appear to have picked me at random. For them to hang around medical centres in poorer areas and assume the women who visit are drug addicts is a disgrace.

    “I told them to get away from me and that it was a disgrace that they were just going up to folk saying this stuff .

    “The woman then said that this was the kind of area that they needed to be in. She said they were here to try to help ‘your sort of people’.”

    “Your sort of people”. Yes, and three of them.

    From:
    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/2010/05/23/mum-s-fury-after-being-approached-in-the-street-and-offered-200-to-get-sterilised-86908-22279042/

  21. richard grey says:

    *“If it was a government doing it, no.

    If it’s a charity, I would be inclined to donate to them.”

    I do not really understand the distinction in the circumstances. The charity would have to operate with at least tacit government approval, if not praise, if not funding.*

    the whole point is no-one is force to fund it or take it up.

    Goverment = forced to fund it.

    Further, once it’s set up by goverment it’s hard to destroy it, with a charity you just stop giving them money and they die.

  22. RAB says:

    Aha! Now we’re getting somewhere. The sheer fuckin arrogance of “those people”!

    When I first read this post, I was scratching my head, trying to figure out what problem they were trying to solve here. Because let’s face it folks, the biggest cause of unwanted pregnancy is Alcohol not Smack. Smack addicts are a tiny proportion of the population compared to piss artists.

    Ratarsed on a Saturday night, knocked up by Sunday morning, and another little Johnny Claimant in the pipeline.

    Drunks are no better at parenting than smackheads, probably worse. All the smack users I have known, don’t even do sex, they have no interest in anything but their next fix, and smack takes away the desire for sexual pleasure anyway.

    Crystal Meth addicts on the other hand find that the drug actually makes them horny as hell.

    So yeah this is sinister, creepy, slippery slopeism here. The ostensible “Good cause” is anything but. It is just a means to a wider end.

    People like you.

    That says it all doesn’t it? And what it says is…. We can do without “People like you” What evil arrogant cunts!

    But look at the comments on Nick’s last linked piece. Jesus! what a well informed bunch of fuckin Nazi’s they are.

  23. NickM says:

    Richard.
    You seem to have a nice, rosy idea of charity. You do appreciate quite apart from the fact many receive substantial government, LA or EU support some, such as the RSPCA, NSPCC, Barnados have de facto powers. Where the money comes from is one issue. What is done with it is another.

  24. elizabeth says:

    Nick at 10.57

    Wow that amazes me, offering sterilisation to random people in the street in certain areas.
    Offering sterilisation to people who have children already in care and costing the state 150,000 a year plus in terms of education, care and therapy per child doesn’t seem to happen.

    There is no pattern to this stuff!

  25. CountingCats says:

    EndivioR

    Lazarus Longs definition of an (adult) human:

    A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

  26. Bod says:

    When you’re introducing a new eugenic program, Elizabeth, they start with the victims everyone can agree on like ‘drug addicts’; they go for the tougher ones, like Catholics and council-estate dwellers next. It’s all about concensus-building.

    They don’t come for the thought criminals and people who look ‘ethnic’ until later.

  27. HSLD says:

    I fucking hate smackheads. You can’t really understand what a pestilence they are until you have a tribe of the fuckers living next door to you. Thankfully the owner of the property next to us ( a notorious local gangster who thankfully owed me a big, big favour ) gave me carte blanche to beat the little wankers up until they went elsewhere.
    Finally we bought the house from him, just to get some peace. I don’t mind beating up junkies but it gets boring after a while.

    Therefore the libertarian view on drugs doesn’t really go down too well with me, experience has taught me otherwise.

    I don’t care where they get their shit from – the state, dealers, whatever, it’s got to be paid for somehow, and when they don’t get it for nothing then they’ll descend on ‘normal’ society like a plague of fucking locusts. Thieving little junkie bastards.

    I have been through opiate withdrawl myself ( thanks to the National Death Service ) and it fucking sucks. It really is like Trainspotting. But fuck ‘em – they chose that for themselves.

  28. richard grey says:

    *You seem to have a nice, rosy idea of charity. You do appreciate quite apart from the fact many receive substantial government, LA or EU support some, such as the RSPCA, NSPCC, Barnados have de facto powers. Where the money comes from is one issue. What is done with it is another.*

    I am aware of that, but I am of the view that not one single penny of goverment money should go to charities.

  29. NickM says:

    richard,
    I agree and quite frankly it’s beyond my political view. A government supported charity is an oxymoron. Worse than that it’s a quango.

    HSLD,
    I don’t think it is incompatible with libertarian views on drugs at all. A libertarian society would have given you much greater freedom to defend your life, liberty and property and the junkies would have had no sniveling, “It was the junk what made me do it, I’ll get clean honest…” when called to account. Either after you’d got the law involved or hit them with a big stick. With freedom comes responsibilty. Not as a quid pro quo as much as being part and parcel of it.

    Anyhoo glad you sorted it in the end.

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