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New Age "Asiatic" thought ... is establishing itself as the
hegemonic ideology of global capitalism. (Zizek)

Friday, February 15

more on maslow and eugenics

The following long quote is from Fascism and Democracy in the Human Mind: A Bridge between Mind and Society by Israel W. Charny (pp. 42-44). The author begins here by comparing American eugenics to its German counterpart that resulted in the Holocaust.

...it is significant to note that there was also a powerful movement on behalf of eugenic solutions to society's ills in the United States that resulted in legislation to sterilize the mentally retarded in a number of states. This movement numbered among its supporters and promulgators some of the must distinguished names in American psychological professions including Truman Lee Kelley, William McDougall, Adolf Meyer, Lewis M. Terman, Edward Thorndike, Robert S. Woodward, and Robert M. Yerkes. These dIstinguished fathers of our psychological and mental health professions gave their names to public campaigns that called for the most serious measures against populations of the "inferior" in a language that can hardly be discriminated from the language of Nazi ideologues!
The time seems ripe for a strong public movement to stem the tide of threatened racial degeneracy following in the wake of the War [World War I]. America in particular needs to protect herself against indiscriminate immigration of criminal degenerates and race suicide .... Eugenics stands against the forces which work for racial deterioration, and for progressive improvement in vigor, intelligence, and moral fiber of the human race. It represents the highest form of patriotism and humanitarianism, while at the same time it offers immediate advantages to ourselves and to our children. By eugenic measures, for instance, our burden of taxes can be reduced by decreasing the number of degenerates, delinquents and defectives supported in public institutions; such measures will also increase safeguards against our persons and our property. (Eugenic Committee of the United States of America, 1924.)

An excellent and sadly shattering example of the way the mind of a devoted humanistic psychologist can move along the same track of the fascist paradigm to a point where he calls for execution [sic] of the nonbelievers -- in this case, nonbelievers in humanism! -- is found in the posthumously published writings of no less than Abraham Maslow, recognized and beloved as the founder of modern humanistic psychology! The same Maslow who conceptualized the unfolding development of the mind and personality of a person as the highest state of human development, and who attributed to the "self-actualized" person an ethical and empathic orientation toward other human beings and the society in which he lives, was revealed after his death to be a highly self-involved, bitter loner filled with contempt and rage at the many people who did not appreciate him or his ideas, and who dared to conceive on a broader community level the identification and execution of those who opposed proposed humanistic policies for the betterment of society.

The following are shocking, almost unbelievable excerpts from Maslow's posthumously published writings:

Humanistic psychology absolutely needs a doctrine of an elite, degrees of humanness, health and sickness, winners and losers, aggridants (whether by heredity or by learning), good specimens, no equal votes, non-equal weighting. The taste or judgment of one superior can and should outweigh 1000 or a million blind ones.

The Third-Force philosophy is antideath-wish, anti-exploiting of others, antistunting or crippling, antivalue-destroying, antibaby-crippling and diminishing; anti-unrealism = antifake.... We keep alive many of the people whom nature left to itself would kill off. So we are hurting the human gene pool, which must be deteriorating. We can certainly continue to do this, to be compassionate with anyone living, but this right to reproduce might very well be limited. In the immediate future -- within the next century -- we must anyway cut hack the population of the world. The right to reproduce must surely become rather a privilege which is socially controlled and socially granted.... One could speculate that the worsening gene pool is partly responsible for the large number of naysayers, death-wishers and born losers and schlemiels.

I find myself secretly entertaining all sorts of "cold-blooded" possibilities... drug users are performing a kind of biologically unselfish act, a sort of noblesse oblige for the good of the species and voluntarily killing themselves "for the good of the gene pool." ... Sooner or later, after the catastrophes force us to pace the overpopulation, we'll stop with all the crap about more food, or better strains of rice {which just produce more people). How can we give up on humanitarianism? But how can we not permit voluntary (or maybe involuntary) euthanasia and suicide? One day we'll have to talk about the exposure or killing of monster-babies, or even of healthy surplus babies.

As with some, nothing will work ultimately but shooting.

These are terrifying statements from anyone, let alone a great psychologist, especially one who is recognized as one of the fathers of "humanistic psychology." Maslow's fascist intolerance of lesser beings and his readiness to call for real murderous actions on behalf of a super race of humanists is a powerful warning to all of us to look for the corresponding readiness in us, and to overcome such readiness with what we will be describing as a democratic mindset.

In a review of Maslow's diaries in Contemporary Psychology, Elizabeth Leonie Simpson wrote:

The petty, the trivial, the authoritarian, sexist elitist is exposed interacting with the prophet, the seeker, and the striver. He knew himself to be extraordinary - one self-actualizer among cohorts who were similar to the few just men of the Jewish tradition who live among lesser people and for whose sake God allows the world to continue to exist .... Liberalism had failed the superior being. He trusted himself more than others and, holding power, he would have exercised it absolutely, abandoning Fifth Amendment protection against such disruptive forces as civil disobedients, convicted criminals, and unemployed "loafers."
Abe, we hardly knew ye.

you have the right to remain silent. forever.



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