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Speaker: The Fabians: There is an alternative

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  • Sam F,

    Am I looking forward to the inevitable Your Views on Garrett's sterilisation plan.

    Wherein the general consensus will be that the plan's only fault is that it isn't mandatory. I suppose you saw Redbaiter's response to Garrett clarifying "no compulsion" in the Kiwiblog thread?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1551 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    And the two best comments @ Dim-Post on the matter...

    "By Laws’ logic, John Banks should never have been born…"

    "Paula Bennett would have been sterilised – whatever you think of her politics, it seems a little harsh."

    At the end of the day, those who mention sterilisation as a social remedy aren't proposing solutions, they're effectively admitting defeat.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4226 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I suppose you saw Redbaiter's response to Garrett clarifying "no compulsion" in the Kiwiblog thread?

    You suppose incorrectly. What's a Kiwiblog?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7354 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    I need a de-lousing shower - stat. Please stop hinting at Kiwiblog threads, because being of an inquisitive nature I go and look. Feel like I've had paradoxical needles stuck in my eyes.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Watched Gattaca for the first time tonight and thought it dealt with eugenics in a very entertaining and inspiring way. Quite a good watch.

    Indeed. Eugenics fears weakness and death so much that it limits true potential. Nice idea, does tally with my experience - having natural advantage can make a lot of people lazy and weak.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8433 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I was going to bring up Michael Lhaws, I swear I was.

    Serves you right for swallowing him in the first place. Tastes bad going both down and back up.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6162 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Eugenics fears weakness and death so much that it limits true potential

    That is a great summary of what's wrong with current practice and thinking about disability. People have always had a mix of strengths and weaknesses, but some of our collective prejudices about function and contribution are downright mediaeval. And such a waste all round.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16599 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I doubt there would be anywhere near so much really high level super advanced mathematics if autism didn't exist.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8433 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Quite. Autism suggests the broader fear is of difference, not really weakness as such. Unless someone wants to argue Einstein was weak.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16599 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    having natural advantage can make a lot of people lazy and weak.

    Yeah, comprehensive social reform is just so messy, and expensive. Best way to solve that problem is make 'them' cease to exist. Easy! Yeah, easy.

    Anyone who writes sentences starting with 'these people' while discussing eugenics should include an irony tag.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Unless someone wants to argue Einstein was weak.

    I'm pretty sure I could have taken him.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7354 posts Report Reply

  • Alien Lizard (anag),

    Unless someone wants to argue Einstein was weak.

    well theoretically more of a WIMP

    The Arrrgh Complex • Since Jan 2010 • 158 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Time article from 1999 on Eugenics.

    Eugenics never recovered from the news of what had been carried out under its banner in Hitler's Germany. In truth, a number of people--including G.K. Chesterton, H.L. Mencken, Walter Lippmann and Clarence Darrow--had ridiculed and debunked eugenic theories well before the horrors of the Holocaust occurred and became widely known.

    Is this what DG and Lhaws want to be associated with? There do seem to be a number of old school Fabians who were in the Eugenics movement also. G B Shaw, H G Wells etc. Would be interesting to hear the current Fabian views on this.

    And that someone sat down and drew this picture makes me embarrassed to be part of the same species. Calling all Aliens, any chance of an interplanetary abduction?

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Alien Lizard (anag),

    Eugenics and vial bodies...
    Good old Brighton, Good old Christchurch...
    Nice to see The Press (Fairfax) running ads for TradeMe (Fairfax) masquerading as front page stories...

    (whoops, I'd posted this on the wrong thread
    a suitable case for treatment obviously)

    The Arrrgh Complex • Since Jan 2010 • 158 posts Report Reply

  • Alien Lizard (anag),

    And that someone sat down and drew this picture makes me embarrassed to be part of the same species.

    That picture is more of a dire dier-gram...

    The Arrrgh Complex • Since Jan 2010 • 158 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Quite. Autism suggests the broader fear is of difference, not really weakness as such. Unless someone wants to argue Einstein was weak.

    I think people still have trouble not simply putting it in the same basket as other mental disabilities.

    I believe my aunt was sterilized early on. She is very severely IH, or whatever the term is these days, a tragic case of PKU syndrome before there was standardized testing for it. Especially tragic because it is treatable if discovered, and the cause of the brain damage is all the foods parents were taught to give children in those days.

    Having known her my entire life, I can see sense in the sterilization, but not from a eugenic point of view. There is no reason she could not have healthy children. But there is absolutely no way she could have cared for them, or herself during a pregnancy, and it was pretty clear that she could be sexually active. She was and still is prone to extreme self harm. She is completely blind, having bashed her head so much that she detached both retinas. She was constantly injuring herself deliberately by punching and kicking walls (putting holes in them usually) if upset. Caring for her was too much for my grandmother, whom she specialized in reducing to tears for fun at every chance. A child would have been taken from her immediately at birth and would fall on the state or family to look after, after which it could all happen again, and again, with no memory or thought for consequences.

    In her case, she is simply not competent to make any big life choices, and sterilization was to her own and everyone's benefit. It also meant she could actually have a sex-life. I don't know if she ever did.

    But I think it's all to easy to generalize from such clear cases to the much grayer ones. Certainly I feared that my children could have PKU, it being a genetic condition, and raised the question constantly in the hospital, until we were shown the negative results. Kind of ironic one of them ended up brain damaged anyway, the ultimate cause still being mysterious.

    Perhaps Marcus' autism is a result of his brain damage. Perhaps not. It doesn't really matter, to me the autism is the least of our worries, having seen what just out-and-out brain damage is like. Certainly I got some sharp looks from the pediatrician when I related details about my parents noticing a great deal of similar things in my behavior at the same age as Marcus shows - was "Undiagnosed High Functioning Asperger's" flashing through her mind? Or was she just pondering the strangeness of the human mind? As Russell once noticed, once you learn the smell of autism, you sniff yourself a lot for it. But now I just don't care. He'll be what he will be, and we'll continually encourage him to improve in all directions, physically, cognitively, linguistically, socially. I'm trying to do the same with myself. Much less fruitfully, it seems. Being old is the worst disability of all.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8433 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    [Redacted].

    Ben made flippancy inappropriate. It is a skill he seems to have perfected. Were I wearing a hat, I would be taking it off right about now. This is the debate. Not some headline seeking ignorance as witnessed elsewhere.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I'm pretty sure I could have taken him.

    LOL. Who would you pick in Einstein vs Gandhi though?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8433 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    LOL. Who would you pick in Einstein vs Gandhi though?

    Ah, so I'll post that video for Alien after all.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Oh Gandhi, no sweat. Took out the Raj, and all that. The passive resistance thing is unbeatable.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1532 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Unless someone wants to argue Einstein was weak.

    I'm pretty sure I could have taken him.

    What about Schrödinger, then? It'd be pretty hard to land a punch, I reckon, what with that whole 'there and yet not there' thing he had going on.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2395 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Hmm. System froze and posted it twice. Anyone with super human powers watching? Apart from Einstein's ghost.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Hey recordari don't go redacting flippancy on my account. I wanted to talk about my aunt's sterilization as contextually relevant, but it wasn't meant to be a bummer. If anything I fully expect someone to tell me it was an outrage, and that I'm a eugenic wanker for thinking it was the right thing to do. Maybe I am, let the wisdom of the net rain down. Or ignore it and have fun - I won't be upset.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8433 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    The passive resistance thing is unbeatable.

    I hear he had Parihaka to thank for that idea.

    And I wouldn't be surprised if Einstein was crap at housework and suchlike.

    Schrödinger, perhaps not so great at keeping pets..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16599 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    The key thing with both eugenics and a modern understanding of disability is seeing people as groups, not just as individuals.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16599 posts Report Reply

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