Category Archives: Viva!

Eugenics refuses to die – and now Andrew Sabisky has put it back in the headlines | Angela Saini

Racism, not science

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Today’s right still turns to 19th-century pseudoscientific ideas of ‘human breeding’ to avoid responsibility for social problems

If there’s one thing policymakers love, it’s simple technical ideas that can solve complex problems at a stroke. They’re always on the lookout for what the American nuclear physicist, Alvin Weinberg, in 1965 termed the “technological fix”, be it a high-speed rail network to solve regional inequality, or nuclear power as an answer to the climate crisis.

This week, one old and discredited technological fix has reared its head: eugenics, the pseudoscientific belief that humans can be bred to “perfection” in the same way we breed cattle or domestic pets for particular traits. Developed by Charles Darwin’s cousin, Francis Galton, in the 19th century, it was promoted by politicians and intellectuals in Britain, before becoming the justification for millions of involuntary sterilisations globally, mainly of the poor and disabled, and the Nazis’ devastating programme of “racial hygiene” that culminated in the Holocaust.

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Virus-hit cruise liner passengers start disembarking in Japan after controversial quarantine

Controversy created by press and lawyers. Would you rather that they all be free to spread the disease and help create a global pandemic? 2.3% of global population and mostly people over 50 – you ready for that. Passengers on the virus-hit cruise ship moored near Tokyo began disembarking on Wednesday, public broadcaster NHK said, after a controversial two-week quarantine that saw more than 500 people infected with the new coronavirus originating in China.

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UK to close door to non-English speakers and unskilled workers

Racism runs deep in England

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Government plans to take ‘full control’ of borders a disaster for economy and jobs, say industry leaders and Labour

Britain is to close its borders to unskilled workers and those who can’t speak English as part of a fundamental overhaul of immigration laws that will end the era of cheap EU labour in factories, warehouses, hotels and restaurants.

Unveiling its Australian-style points system on Wednesday, the government will say it is grasping a unique opportunity to take “full control” of British borders “for the first time in decades” and eliminate the “distortion” caused by EU freedom of movement.

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