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Many are calling for a culling of the human race, and where else would they start but with the sick and disabled. How is it that in a world where we pride ourselves on being so compassionate and tolerant, there can be such a horrific and outright evil way of thought? Interesting, frightening, very important to read and learn the history about.

Eugenics and Other Evils

Jun 13, Athens rated it really liked it. Chesterton is really quite enjoyable to read. I often disagree with his premises and outcomes of his thinking, but the thinking itself is something to behold. Will read more of his. Jun 21, Kirk rated it it was amazing. It is no good to cry out after you are hurt; especially after you are mortally hurt. People talk about the impatience of the populace; but sound historians know that most tyrannies have been possible because men moved too late.

The reader c "The wisest thing in the world is to cry out before you are hurt.

Eugenics and Other Evils: An Argument Against the Scientifically Organized State

The reader comes away appreciating Chesterton's rather prophetic denunciation of this "Prussian" issue which gained a following in England and beyond, but this book does not limit itself to one topic. Rather, Chesterton blends and weaves in his philosophy and observation on related subjects such as capitalism, socialism, ownership, marriage, and human sexuality with great dexterity.

It is Chesterton's aptness for criticizing, what may seem, both sides of an argument along with his ability to induce laughter while seriously examining the issues that makes him immanently readable. With this book, come for the intriguing period evaluation of eugenics, but stay for an evaluation of early twentieth century society that is strikingly relevant nearly one hundred years later.

Jul 26, Matthew rated it it was amazing. More Chesterton genius in this most entertaining collection of essays on a deadly serious subject. Feb 09, Steve rated it it was amazing Shelves: A marvellous web of paradoxes! Eugenics is back with a new respectability. Aug 31, Daniel rated it it was amazing. I am kicking myself for not having read Chesterton constantly, continually, and so very thoroughly much, much earlier in my career. And I have no plausible excuse. I was quite familiar with the name Chesterton due to the ongoing friendly rivalry that he had with George Bernard Shaw.

And there was always the indirect Chesterton quote that the very famous personality Michael Palin eventually delivered during the opening segment of the Ripping Yarns series. Yet I never picked anyth Bloody amazing. Yet I never picked anything up by Chesterton until about a half-year ago. The wisest thing in the world is to cry out before you are hurt.

It is often essential to resist a tyranny before it exists. It is no answer to say, with a distant optimism, that the scheme is only in the air. A blow from a hatchet can only be parried while it is in the air. After reading that opening paragraph I'll bet that you want to kick me as well for not having read Chesterton earlier in my career. Well, bring it on, fat ass. After reading Eugenics and Other Evils it should be painfully obvious to you that I will parry your kick while it is in the air.

I read quite a few Father Brown stories about ten years ago. I apologize for the inconvenience. Feb 17, Mary rated it really liked it. I'm kind of on a Chesterton kick--don't know if you noticed--but I'm still trying to sort his ideas out. He combines a kind of libertarian dislike of government interference in morality with a Christian especially Catholic concern for "living wages" for the poor.

This book is very bold, especially at a time when even U. Luther Burbank and other scientists promoted Eugenics. George Bernard Shaw said that nothing but a Eugenic religion could save civilization. I mean merely that short words startle them, while long words soothe them. Say to them 'The persuasive and even coercive powers of the citizen should enable him to make sure that the burden of longevity in the previous generations does not become disproportionate and intolerable, especially to the females? Say to them 'Murder your mother,' and they sit up quite suddenly. Yet the two sentences, in cold logic, are exactly the same" Aug 19, Russell rated it really liked it.

The thing that impressed me most about this book, aside from Chesterton's genius at writing with paradoxes, was how relevant it still is. The problems he wrote about are still here, almost like the modern world got stuck around post WWI and never moved past certain ideas. Chesterton's spiritual vision is piercing, able to see through many arguments and positions to correctly identify the moral dangers and evils behind.

He's not just an engaging author and a master of logic, he's a voice for comm The thing that impressed me most about this book, aside from Chesterton's genius at writing with paradoxes, was how relevant it still is. He's not just an engaging author and a master of logic, he's a voice for common sense rooted in spiritual truths. After seeing the damage done over the past decades, I cannot see any secular moral framework being worth much compared to Christianity's. Chesterton lays out the evils, shows why and how they are evil, and how they can be overcome by using the light of Christianity inform decisions and direction.

He applies his skills to expose not only the nonsenses of eugenics and social engineering, but also to the dangers of capitalism unfettered by the constraints of the traditions and moral framework of Christianity expressed through the shaping of England. It's another classic of Chesterton's, well worth reading. Dec 03, Alex rated it really liked it. This is a beautifully written book, still relevant today But it's not a "pro-life" or "pro-choice" book. It's a "plague on both your houses" book. Yes, he opposed divorce and abortion, probably would be outraged by mere idea of gay pride and homosexual marriage, and would think pretty much the entire notion of social liberalism is an irrelevant red herring But he would be equally horrified about the way his "wrong kind of socialism" with inspectors instead of bread and bewildering laws des This is a beautifully written book, still relevant today But he would be equally horrified about the way his "wrong kind of socialism" with inspectors instead of bread and bewildering laws designed to be impossible to comply with unless you're rich became conventional wisdom of a conservative.

He would not want an overturn of Roe v. A woman viewed as baby-factory "protected" by police from herself and for the benefit of her rich and powerful masters is exactly the dystopian vision he did his best to warn against in his book. Feb 02, Giedre rated it really liked it. This is a brilliant book, I don't know how I managed to avoid reading G. Chesterton up until now.

I wish I'd read this book ages ago, it's easy to read, clear, written with humour and sarcasm at times and it made me think and change my views on things I never really stopped and thought about. Although there were one or two arguments where I couldn't fully agree with Chesterton perhaps due to my lack of in depth knowledge or analysis of the subject , this is such a current book despite the fact This is a brilliant book, I don't know how I managed to avoid reading G.

Although there were one or two arguments where I couldn't fully agree with Chesterton perhaps due to my lack of in depth knowledge or analysis of the subject , this is such a current book despite the fact it was written a hundred years ago. The book is amazingly prophetic. It's something someone intelligent could write today and you would think 'Damn, why didn't I think of this before, how could I be so blind?

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I listened to David Grizzly Smith's excellent audio podcast of this book, available from Podiobooks. I enjoy Chesterton, and I have yet to read anything by him that is less than excellent. This one is scathing and very serious, even though his trademark humor often appears. He takes aim at some surprising targets.

In some cases, his critiques left me stunned because they were so unexpected. Brilliant and still relevant. Mar 05, Ellen rated it it was amazing. This book, like Chesterton's Orthodoxy, is a collection of arguments and speeches given in response to the assertions of leading eugenics supporters in England in the s. Many of his thoughts apply to today's battles over abortion and contraception and the government's role in providing them. Chesterton makes a clear and powerful reasoning for keeping the grasping government's hand out of the individual's most private life.

Nov 02, Kathy rated it really liked it. It's amazing how many topics that Chesterton tackled are still with us today. They have different names, but the concepts are still there. I think his main point is the dignity and worth and value of every living soul. No one has the right to trample on the rights of others, even in the name of "helping" them. Some of the allusions are out-dated now, but Chesterton is always biting and bright. Chesterton can be frustratingly obtuse and then suddenly brilliantly clear.

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I wished for more of the latter in this book. He argues against eugenics not only birth control for the poor or feeble-minded, but also the calculated "breeding" of more favorable human specimens using the arguments of human dignity and human freedom. The other "evils" of the title are socialism and unbridled capitalism.

Oct 30, Steve rated it really liked it. If one is familiar with the Eugenics argument, then Eugenics and Other Evils is well worth reading. If one does not have at least a basic grasp of the Eugenics argument then I would not recommend this book. There is a good argument for Distributism in the last couple of chapters in this book that are well worth reading for anyone. Feb 04, John Gardner rated it it was amazing Shelves: I chose a "current issue" which lies at the intersection of the topics which most interest me: Eugenics, though not a word often encountered, has been in the news once again in recent days.

I've written before of the connection between eugenics and Planned Parenthood whose founder, Margaret Sanger, was a member of the American Eugenics Society. It's prominent proponents in Britain and America ranged from popular writers such as H. This background is important because—though it is generally looked upon with revulsion today, across the political spectrum—during Chesterton's day eugenics seemed almost inevitable.

It took great courage to speak out when he did. So I thought all I had written irrelevant, and put it out of my mind. It has gradually grown apparent, to my astounded gaze, that the ruling classes in England are still proceeding on the assumption that Prussia is a pattern for the whole world. It would finally take the work of another German acolyte of Nietzsche and Darwin—whose eugenic experiments and ethnic cleansing awakened the world to the horror of this philosophy put into practice—to finally take eugenics out of the realm of mainstream thought.

And though Chesterton did not live to see the start of the second World War, he was one of the few outspoken critics of Adolf Hitler in the early 's, again announcing prophetic warnings about the Nazi leader's dangerous eugenic fervor. If only the world had listened to him then! But I do hope we're listening now, and so I'll allow Chesterton's words to speak for themselves for the remainder of this review. Here are a few excerpts that stuck out to me as I read: He knew his was a needed prophetic voice The wisest thing in the world is to cry out before you are hurt.

Say to them "The persuasive and even coercive powers of the citizen should enable him to make sure that the burden of longevity in the previous generation does not become disproportionate and intolerable, especially to the females"; say this to them and they will sway slightly to and fro like babies sent to sleep in cradles. Say to them "Murder your mother," and they sit up quite suddenly. Say to them "It is not improbable that a period may arrive when the narrow if once useful distinction between the anthropoid homo and the other animals, which has been modified on so many moral points, may be modified also even in regard to the important question of the extension of human diet"; say this to them, and beauty born of murmuring sound will pass into their face.

But say to them, in a simple, manly, hearty way "Let's eat a man! Yet the sentences say just the same thing. As today, churches were seen by the scientific and academic communities as standing in the way of "progress" through the use of political power All I assert here is that the Churches are not now leaning heavily on their political establishment; they are not using heavily the secular arm They are not specially using that special tyranny which consists in using the government.

Eugenics and Other Evils - G. K. Chesterton

The thing that really is trying to tyrannise through government is Science. The thing that really does use the secular arm is Science. And the creed that really is levying tithes and capturing schools, the creed that really is enforced by fine and imprisonment, the creed that really is proclaimed not in sermons but in statutes, and spread not by pilgrims but by policemen—that creed is the great but disputed system of thought which began with Evolution and has ended in Eugenics. Materialism is really our established Church; for the Government will really help it to persecute its heretics.

Vaccination, in its hundred years of experiment, has been disputed almost as much as baptism in its approximate two thousand. But it seems quite natural to our politicians to enforce vaccination; and it would seem to them madness to enforce baptism. It may be that this delicate and tenacious spirit has at last evaporated. If so, it matters little what becomes of the external experiments of our nation in later time. That at which we look will be a dead thing alive with its own parasites.

The English will have destroyed England. On the one hand it was said that the State could provide homes and meals for all; on the other it was answered that this could only be done by State officials who would inspect houses and regulate meals. It was decided to do everything that had ever been denounced in Socialism, and nothing that had ever been desired in it. Since it was supposed to gain equality at the sacrifice of liberty, we proceeded to prove that it was possible to sacrifice liberty without gaining equality. Indeed, there was not the faintest attempt to gain equality, least of all economic equality.

But there was a very spirited and vigorous effort to eliminate liberty, by means of an entirely new crop of crude regulations and interferences. But it was not the Socialist State regulating those whom it fed, like children or even like convicts.

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It was the Capitalist State raiding those whom it had trampled and deserted in every sort of den, like outlaws or broken men. All that official discipline, about which the Socialists themselves were in doubt or at least on the defensive, was taken over bodily by the Capitalists. They have now added all the bureaucratic tyrannies of a Socialist state to the old plutocratic tyrannies of a Capitalist State.

For the vital point is that it did not in the smallest degree diminish the inequalities of a Capitalist State. It simply destroyed such individual liberties as remained among its victims. Since Hitler's defeat, the eugenics movement has evolved significantly. While abortion is mentioned only once in Chesterton's book, the author is clearly concerned about what eugenic philosophy could mean for the unborn " they seek his life to take it away".

Prior to the 's, eugenics was focused more on selective breeding and forced sterilization rather than abortion; in the years that followed, dedicated eugenicists like Margaret Sanger turned their attention to different methods. I strongly encourage you to study more on this issue, and Chesterton's book is a great place to start. Chesterton fellow at Oxford: Transcript of a lecture from the American Chesterton Society on the significance of this book, and on the link between eugenics and abortion: Nov 13, Thomas rated it it was amazing.

Excellent, written 90 years ago, but you would think it was written today- except that Chesterton was a fantastic writer, most modern journalists are not fit to stand in his shadow, and it was a big shadow. Jan 14, Erik Olson rated it it was amazing. Chesterton is an amazing linguist. Some examples are dated, but the language and concepts involved are not. May 14, Carl Hesler rated it liked it Shelves: I am thankful that G. Jan 30, Keith Zuniga rated it really liked it. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Gilbert Keith Chesterton was born in London, educated at St.

In , he was asked to contribute a few magazine articles on art criticism, and went on to become one of the most prolific writers of all time. He wrote a hundred books, contributions to more, hundreds of poems, including the epic Ballad of the White Horse , fi Gilbert Keith Chesterton was born in London, educated at St. He wrote a hundred books, contributions to more, hundreds of poems, including the epic Ballad of the White Horse , five plays, five novels, and some two hundred short stories, including a popular series featuring the priest-detective, Father Brown.

In spite of his literary accomplishments, he considered himself primarily a journalist. He wrote over newspaper essays, including 30 years worth of weekly columns for the Illustrated London News, and 13 years of weekly columns for the Daily News. He also edited his own newspaper, G. Chesterton was equally at ease with literary and social criticism, history, politics, economics, philosophy, and theology. Trivia About Eugenics and Othe No trivia or quizzes yet. Sadly, this version does not have any of these features.

Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. I found it quite surprising, how many of the arguments are still relevant today. Eugenics may not be as openly advocated as it was in , but some aspects of the philosophy are afoot today in other guise. Not to mention the general busybody interference of the state in private affairs for the citizen's own good. And Chesterton has an interesting take on social problems and both Capitalist and Socialist thoughts on them.

Almost terrifyingly applicable to current times, and well written. I've been recommending it to friends and family. This is a very informative read. Eugenics is a very touchy subject but this book gives a good all-around view of all the other aspects of Eugenics - namely where are the boundaries of "Big Government and what "policies" should government be "allowed to dictate" and what should they NOT be allowed to dictate. A thoughtful read for anybody who likes a well-rounded point of view.

After completing Michael Creighton's book, Next, I scanned his resources: I cannot enhance Creighton's comments in this review, but can state that G. Chesterton, a man with a remarkable gift of memory and humor and insight and wisdom, did us all a service albeit 90 years ago by penning this book. This book touches on life in the 21st Century in the United States of America: I've often pondered whether the United States has ever produced its own Chesterton perhaps Will Rogers; but he did not write at the same depth or level as Chesterton, though his observations were always laced with humor.

Notwithstanding, we should not miss Chesterton's messages. Would that our press corps and educators and political pundits learn from him. This rambling review will benefit no one; the benefit will only come if those who bother to read comments as mine buy the book and savor its delights. We are great fans of Chesterton so this was an excellent addition to our collection. As usual Amazon delivered in a flash. One person found this helpful. A man that was so very ahead of his time. See all 46 reviews. Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers.

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