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Marks for Family Merit
It may seem very reasonable to ask how the result proposed in the last
paragraph is to be attained, and to add that the difficulty of carrying so
laudable a proposal into effect lies wholly in the details, and therefore that
until some working plan is suggested, the consideration of improving the
human race is Utopian. But this requirement is not altogether fair, because
if a persuasion of the importance of any end takes possession of men’s
minds, sooner or later means are found by which that end is carried into
effect. Some of the objections offered at first will be discovered to be
sentimental, and of no real importance—the sentiment will change and
they will disappear; others that are genuine are not met, but are in some
way turned or eluded; and lastly, through the ingenuity of many minds
directed for a long time towards the achievement of a common purpose,
many happy ideas are sure to be hit upon that would not have occurred to
a single individual.
This being premised, it will suffice to faintly sketch out some sort of
basis for eugenics, it being now an understanding that we are
provisionally agreed, for the sake of argument, that the improvement of
race is an object of first-class importance, and that the popular feeling has
been educated to regard it in that light.
The final object would be to devise means for favouring individuals
who bore the signs of membership of a superior race, the proximate aim
would be to ascertain what those signs were, and these we will consider
The indications of superior breed are partly personal, partly ancestral.
We need not trouble ourselves about the personal part, because full weight
is already given to it in the competitive careers; energy, brain, morale, and
health being recognised factors of success, while there can hardly be a
better evidence of a person being adapted to his circumstances than that
afforded by success. It is the ancestral part that is neglected, and which we
have yet to recognise at its just value. A question that now continually
arises is this: a youth is a candidate for permanent employment, Previous page Top Next page