Forced abortions. Mass sterilization. A “Planetary Regime” with the power of life and death over American citizens. These and other ethically dubious recommendations were made by John Holdren, whom Barack Obama has recently appointed Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, and Co-Chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. This may give us pause as to whether this so called “Science Czar” for the Obama administration still holds these same views, which he expressed over thirty years ago.
Student Researcher: Brandon S. Daby
John Holdren, Obama’s Science Czar, says: Forced abortions and mass sterilization needed to save the planet,” Zombietime.com http://zombietime.com/john_holdren/
Faculty Evaluator: Elliot D. Cohen, Ph.D.
When the idea of eugenics is raised (the racist pseudoscience determined to wipe out human beings deemed “unfit,” preserving only those who conformed to a Nordic stereotype) most people immediately think of the Nazi regime of WWII ; but the concept of a white, blond-haired, blue-eyed master race didn’t originate with Hitler. Eugenics was born as a scientific interest in the Victorian age. In the late 19th century, Sir Francis Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin, theorized that if gifted people married only other gifted people, the result would be significantly superior offspring. Elements of the philosophy were part of US policy in the early 20th century as States passed laws that forced sterilization and segregation laws, as well as marriage restrictions, in as many as 30 States .The California eugenics program sterilized 20,000plus people (one-third of the reported US cases) from 1909-1964, performing nearly all sterilization procedures with little or no due process.
Prior to WWII, California eugenicists began printing texts promoting forced sterilization, which were distributed to German scientists and medical professionals. The forced sterilization program engineered by the Nazis was reported to be modeled after the program utilized in California. It was also supported by funding from corporate charities, explicitly the Carnegie Institution, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Harriman railroad fortune. The Rockefeller Foundation funded numerous German eugenics programs, including the one where Josef Mengele “The Angel of Death” trained before he went to Auschwitz. This funding and experimentation led to the sterilization of 450,000 individuals in a decade and eventually the deaths of over 10million victims of the Holocaust.
Recently, North Carolina reported 7,600 (and possibly more) people, between1929 to 1974, were sterilized without their consent because they were assessed by state social workers to be “feeble-minded,” having a “mental disease” or suffering from epilepsy. The government of NC is the only state that has recognized the acts that were committed against their citizens and is attempting to compensate for this by awarding $50,000 to each of the approximately 2000 surviving victims. Although there is no fiscal amount that could be used to measure the loss to these residents it is the solitary attempt in the US.
One could attempt to defend the actions and laws concerning eugenics that scientists and governments have made by arguing they were following an Act-utilitarian (theory asserting that the morally right action is the one that directly produces the most favorable balance of good over evil) approach, the perspective being the use of sterilization to “improve” the human race by preventing those who were deemed “unfit” to reproduce and raise children. Eugenicists believed they could destroy undesirable qualities and create a more advanced society by eliminating weak or undesirable traits and controlling the population thus justifying the violations of personal rights and the murders committed by the Nazis.
In the case of eugenics the scientist and government leaders set a standard which they felt would ultimately better all mankind, but setting such standards is a dangerous path as history has proven. The elite group would increasingly feel they were becoming more elite and in turn set higher standards.
We have since moved into a new century with better understanding of mental illness, medical procedures, and the realization that educating the masses on birth control has eliminated the need for government population control policies; Or have we? If John Paul Holdren, the current Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Co-Chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, has anything to say about it the answer is not so clear-cut. Below are a few edited quotes from the text of ECOSCIENCE, which was co-authored by John Holdren, Paul Ehrlich, and Anne Ehrlich:
- Pro-family and pro-birth attitudes are caused by ethnic chauvinism (749).
- Single mothers should have their babies taken away by the government; or they could be forced to have abortions (786).
- The government could control women’s reproduction by either sterilizing them or implanting mandatory long-term birth control (786-787).
- Mass sterilization of humans though drugs in the water supply are OK as long as it doesn’t harm livestock (787-788).
- The kind of people who cause “social deterioration” can be compelled to not have children (838).
- Nothing is wrong or illegal about the government dictating family size (838).
- We will need to surrender national sovereignty to an armed international police force (917).
- A “Planetary Regime” should control the global economy and dictate by force the number of children allowed to be born (942-943).
- As of 1977, we are facing a global overpopulation catastrophe that must be resolved at all costs by the year 2000 (944).
The above quotes are not taken out of context and can be verified in Holdren’s book or thru this link.
The text was written over 30yrs ago. However, Holdern is in a position of immense influence and power and we have no way of knowing if his thinking has changed. Should we be concerned that his philosophies as presented 30 yrs ago still permeate his thinking and could be influencing his and the current administration’s policies?