Newsweek alarmed about dysgenics

For wildlife:
Researchers see 'evolution in reverse' as hunters kill off prized animals with the biggest antlers and pelts.

Some of the most iconic photographs of Teddy Roosevelt, one of the first conservationists in American politics, show the president posing companionably with the prizes of his trophy hunts. An elephant felled in Africa in 1909 points its tusks skyward; a Cape buffalo, crowned with horns in the shape of a handlebar mustache, slumps in a Kenyan swamp. In North America, he stalked deer, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep and elk, which he called "lordly game" for their majestic antlers. What's remarkable about these photographs is not that they depict a hunter who was also naturalist John Muir's staunchest political ally. It's that just 100 years after his expeditions, many of the kind of magnificent trophies he routinely captured are becoming rare.

Elk still range across parts of North America, but every hunting season brings a greater challenge to find the sought-after bull with a towering spread of antlers. Africa and Asia still have elephants, but Roosevelt would have regarded most of them as freaks, because they don't have tusks. Researchers describe what's happening as none other than the selection process that Darwin made famous: the fittest of a species survive to reproduce and pass along their traits to succeeding generations, while the traits of the unfit gradually disappear. Selective hunting—picking out individuals with the best horns or antlers, or the largest piece of hide—works in reverse: the evolutionary loser is not the small and defenseless, but the biggest and best-equipped to win mates or fend off attackers.

[. . .]

Tusked elephants, like the old dominant males on Ram Mountain, were "genetically 'better' individuals," says Festa-Bianchet. "When you take them systematically out of the population for several years, you end up leaving essentially a bunch of losers doing the breeding."

[Lily Huang. It’s Survival of the Weak and Scrawny. NEWSWEEK. Published Jan 3, 2009. From the magazine issue dated Jan 12, 2009]

This is not the first time someone's made this sort of observation.
At the age of sixteen, Madison was sent to the German city of Dresden, where for the next four years European tutors provided him with the best possible classical education. During this tie he managed to travel to every country in Europe (where he visited all the zoos and most of the natural history museums of the continent) and throughout North Africa and the Middle East as well. But his most significant visit was to Moritzburg, the baroque hunting lodge just outside Dresden, where my guess is that Grant found himself transfixed by the extensive collection of red deer antlers. The trophies--which had been collected three hundred years earlier--were impressively large, and the more the young student stared at them the more troubled he became. At some point, it occurred to him what was amiss: antlers of that size simply did not exist anymore on living European deer. Grant realized that, contrary to the Victorian understanding of evolutionary progress, the red deer had been getting smaller and smaller over the years. The species was actually degenerating.

Furthermore, Grant's naturalistically inclined mind apparently put together what he knew of the geographic range of the red deer, along with the sizes of the various specimens he had encountered in the wild, and he instantly envisioned a perfect continuum: At the far eastern edge of the red deer's range (in the Caucasus) the animal was almost as large as it had been in the sixteenth century. But toward the west (in the Carpathians) the deer began to diminish in size. Even farther west (in Saxony) the stags were smaller still, and at the far western limit of the animal's range (in Scotland) the red deer had shrunk to their smallest proportions.

Grant reasoned that this decline in size was indubitably the result of trophy hunting. Trophy hunters, of course, target the largest bulls with the finest antlers, which leaves the breeding to the inferior males. As one moves from east to west across Europe, the human population increases, as does the number of hunters, and the inevitable result is an ever-greater decline across space, and over time, in the size and vigor of the deer stock. In other words, as human civilization advanced, the deer declined. And Grant was struck by the fact that if the trend were to continue, the red deer would diminish in size and vitality to the point where ultimately the species would not be able to survive in the wild.

[Jonathan Spiro. Defending the Master Race: Conservation, Eugenics, and the Legacy of Madison Grant. Vermont: 2008. pp. 7-8.]


I don't foresee Newsweek opening their pages to consideration of human dysgenic breeding trends any time soon. Madison Grant, of course, wasn't so limited.
Indeed, wherever one looks in the world, the Nordics appear to be an endangered species. [. . .] The demographic decline of the European Nordics is hastened by the fact that they are currently killing each other off in the fratricidal Great War, which is nothing less than "class suicide on a gigantic scale."

[. . .]

Even in North America, the habitat to which they are so well acclimated, the Nordics are passing from the scene. "Survival of the fittest," after all, means the survival of the type best adapted to prevailing environmental conditions. In colonial times, the environment that confronted the settlers was an untamed continent, and survival entailed clearing the forests and fighting the Indians--tasks for which the Nordics were eminently suited. But the United States has changed from an agricultural to a manufacturing society, and "the type of man that flourishes in the fields is not the type of man that thrives in the factory." The truth is that the dark, little immigrant can operate a machine and navigate a sweatshop far better than "the big, clumsy, and somewhat heavy Nordic blond, who needs exercise, meat, and air, and cannot live under Ghetto conditions." It is with great pain that Grant is forced to admit that, "from the point of view of race," the environment of his homeland is leading to the "survival of the unfit."

Little wonder that America patricians are refusing to bring children into a society where they must compete with the Italians, the Slovaks, and the Jews. And, as with the Red Deer of Moritzburg Castle, when the fittest males do not breed, the result is racial degeneration. The old-stock American is "withdrawing from the scene, abandoning to these aliens the land which he conquered and developed."

[. . .]

But, of course, there is hope, and it is provided by the new faith of eugenics. Unfortunately, so long as the United States is a democracy, it will be extremely difficult to enact a eugenic program. Ever since "the loose thinkers of the French Revolution and their American mimics" inflicted on us "the dogma of the brotherhood of man," Americans have had a perverse fondness for democracy. The consequences of republican government were not overly detrimental as long as the electorate was predominantly Nordic. But in the late nineteenth century the country had permitted the beaten men of beaten races to enter its portals, and then carlessly granted political rights to these incoming "plebeians." The effect of universal suffrage has been to secure "the transfer of power . . . from a Nordic aristocracy to lower classes predominantly of Alpine and Mediterranean extraction." And it is difficult to see how the enfranchised "helots," indoctrinated by "the assumption that environment and not heredity is the controlling factor in human development," will ever allow the government they now control to enact eugenic measures.

[Spiro. pp. 153-155]

13 comments:

desmond jones said...

Did you read the book? The extracts sound great! Is Spiro doing Grant justice?

n/a said...

I haven't yet read much of the book beyond what's posted here.

Spiro's dissertation was very good, in my opinion -- fairly objective, with copious footnotes and remarkably little ideological content considering the author's ethnic background and academic affiliation.

I expect the book is mostly just an edited-down version of the dissertation, and this seems to be the case from what I've read so far, though it gives me some pause that Spiro thanks Matthew Guterl in the introduction for "insights" that helped him transform the dissertation into the book. Spiro also seems to be going for a slightly loftier tone in the book. But, if you can tolerate some possible adulteration with academic Marxese, I'd still recommend the book.

Bob said...

Why don't you guys try to stint for once reading and pining in your rooms like feeble dweebs what's just another of your 'evolutionist wetdreams". And instead put your own proof to paper. But I sorrily assume that is exactly what you brought you both here to begin with. Your feebleness, your middling inability in life.

desmond jones said...

bob,

Can you translate that into English?

Anonymous said...

Stop thumb-sucking on such pillowy racialist literature such as Grant's because you haven't proved yourself much in life. That's what he means.

desmond jones said...

How does he know that? What needs to be proved? And why do you care?

n/a said...

"Bob"/"Anonymous" is the same mentally-unbalanced individual that was talking to itself earlier in another thread.

"Bob": either make the insults entertaining or fuck off.

Celibate in Ulan Bator said...

Most informative, thanks

ac said...

Big horned deer are the losers. The remainder of the species are adapted to their new conditions. I don't get what your point is? That it's some sort of anti-progress for maladaptive traits to be selected out?

n/a said...

Read the article.

Tusked elephants, like the old dominant males on Ram Mountain, were "genetically 'better' individuals," [e.g., stronger immune system or lower mutational load, I assume] says Festa-Bianchet. "When you take them systematically out of the population for several years, you end up leaving essentially a bunch of losers doing the breeding."

"Losers" tend not to be very good breeders, meaning that this demographic shift ultimately threatens the viability of a species. Researchers also worry that the surviving animals are left with a narrower gene pool. In highly controlled environments, a species with frighteningly little genetic diversity can persist—think of the extremes of domesticated animals like thoroughbred horses or commercial chickens—but in real ecosystems changes are unpredictable. Artificially selecting animals in the wild—in effect, breeding them—is "a very risky game," says Columbia's Melnick. "It's highly likely to result in the end of a species."


Whether it threatens the viability of the species or not, it's rather difficult to deny that from the hunter's perspective selection of this sort does represent "anti-progress". Similarly, from the perspective of the someone who values Northwestern European civilization and its products, the racial replacement of northwestern Europeans represents anti-progress.

ac said...

Meh, I read the article. Festa-Bianchet admits he is is just speculating when he hypothesizes that the loss of tusked/antered males threatens the survival of species.

The hunter's perspective isn't the point, is it? If hunting is indeed a selective pressure, then the species is stronger for weeding out individuals born with hunters targets on their chests. Presumably the 'weaker' males manage to live just fine to an age where they can successfully impregnate - we have a winner!

To extend an anaology that associates of the 'products of NW Euro civilisation' with 'racial NW Eurpoeans' is just hot air.

So, do you guys actually promote this stuff, like, out in the open?

Anonymous said...

"The phenomenon has been most apparent in harvested fish: since fishing nets began capturing only fish of sufficient size in the 1980s, the Atlantic cod and salmon, several flounders and the northern pike have all propagated in miniature."

The hunter's perspective is the point if your livelihood depends upon fishing the Grand Banks.

"In 1992, the devastating collapse of the cod stocks off the east coast of Newfoundland forced the Canadian government to take drastic measures and close the fishery. Over 40,000 people lost there jobs. The communities are still struggling to recover. The marine ecosystem is still in a state of collapse."

Desmond Jones

n/a said...

The hunter's perspective isn't the point, is it?

When the hunter is the one doing the selecting, and the hunter is a thinking being who can consider the long-term consequences of his actions, yes, it is.