Eugenics as a Creed and the Last Decade of Galton's Life 349
as a whole, his tastes must be impersonal and his conclusions appear to a great degree heartless, deserving the ill title of `dismal' with which Carlyle labelled Political Economy. If, on the other hand, he attends only to certain individuals in whom he happens to take an interest, he becomes guided by favouritism, oblivious alike of the rights of others and of the well-being of future generations. Statesmanship is concerned with the nation; Charity with the individual; Eugenics is concerned with and cares for both.
"A considerable part of the huge stream of British charity furthers, by indirect and unsuspected ways, the production and support of the Unfit. No one can doubt the desirability of money and moral support, now often bestowed on harmful forms of charity, being directed to the opposite result, namely, to the production and well-being of the Fit. For the purpose of illustration we may divide newly married couples into three classes according to the probable civic worth of their offspring. Amongst such offspring there would be a small class of ' desirables,' a large class of ' passables,' and a small class of ' undesirables.' It would surely be advantageous to the country if social and moral support, as well as timely material help, were extended to the desirables, and not monopolised, as it is now apt to be, by the undesirables.
"Families which are likely to produce valuable citizens deserve at the very least the care that a gardener takes of plants of promise. They should be helped when help is needed to procure a larger measure of sanitation, of food, and of all else that falls under the comprehensive title of 'Nurture' than would otherwise have been within their power. I do not, of course, propose to neglect the sick, the feeble, or the unfortunate. I would do all that available means permit for their comfort and happiness, but I would exact an equivalent for the charitable assistance they receive, namely, that by means of isolation, or some other less drastic yet adequate measure, a stop should be put to the production of families of children likely to include degenerates."
Galton then referred to the newly founded Eugenics Education Society and the previously founded Eugenics Laboratory, and concluded as follows
" I will only add to this brief address that my purpose will have been fulfilled if I have succeeded in impressing on you the idea that Eugenics has a far more than Utopian interest ; that it is a living and growing science, with high and practical aims. I would ask you to make the Society known to your friends, and to persuade them as best you can to help on its good work."
It was a thoroughly good paper for a man in his 87th year, and expresses in' a marvellously brief space the creed of Eugenics. It is perfectly true that a democracy cannot endure unless it be composed of capable citizens, but did Galton fully appreciate what follows, when, as is the usual case, a democracy starts with a majority of incapable citizens? A government which drew a line between capable and incapable would rapidly perish ; for the incapables care nothing for the future of the race or nation, but seek from their necessarily subservient governments panem et circenses-more time to pillion-ride, more leisure for cigarettes, chocolates and cinemas-at the cost of the capable. Eugenics-however sturdily we preach its creed, and we have no preacher to-day like Galton-must be unsuccessful if we start with such a democracy. We might as successfully ask the weeds in a garden to make way of their own accord for the flowering plants whose development they choke. Let my readers think what a gardener could achieve, if his tenure of office depended on the consent of the weeds !
I will now reproduce some of the letters of the autumn of 1908.
42, RUTLAND GATE, S.W. Oct. 13, 1908.
MY DEAR KARL PEARSON, I see no reason against the Eugenics Laboratory publications including similarly solid work to its own, especially of a statistical kind which cannot easily find a home elsewhere. On the contrary it seems to me advisable. For a more popular kind the Eugenics Education Society might afford a home. As to F.'s work I gather that it is hardly up