The Eugenics movement is a pretty good example of why government shouldn’t control science
Jeffrey Tucker writes on the ugly Eugenics movement of the 1920’s here.
Climate debate has of late veered toward questions of whether a State-appointed scientific elite should handle climate policy decision-making. BAD idea, if the behavior of eugenics “scientists” are any indication. These are scientists that are unusually amenable to using government force in sickening ways to achieve their ends. From panics about “racial suicide”, the immigration of “degenerate races”, and, finally, forced sterilization upon the recommendation of these “scientists”, the Eugenics movement is evidence of what happens when you graft government violence onto “science”.
From Tucker’s article:
“Today we find eugenic aspirations to be appalling. We rightly value the freedom of association. We understand that permitting people free choice over reproductive decisions does not threaten racial suicide but rather points to the strength of a social and economic system. We don’t want scientists using the state to cobble together a master race at the expense of freedom. For the most part, we trust the “invisible hand” to govern demographic trajectories, and we recoil at those who don’t.
But back then, eugenic ideology was conventional scientific wisdom, and hardly ever questioned except by a handful of old-fashioned advocates of laissez-faire. The eugenicists’ books sold in the millions, and their concerns became primary in the public mind. Dissenting scientists — and there were some — were excluded by the profession and dismissed as cranks attached to a bygone era.
Eugenic views had a monstrous influence over government policy, and they ended free association in labor, marriage, and migration. Indeed, the more you look at this history, the more it becomes clear that white supremacy, misogyny, and eugenic pseudoscience were the intellectual foundations of modern statecraft.”
Those among us that clamor for greater government control over our lives are calling for just the sort of official monstrosity that occurred during the Eugenics nightmare.