Sunday, February 12, 2017

Dark Side of Progressivism Exposed: From Eugenics to ‘Race Science’

By Samuel Gregg | February 10, 2017

A new book details the progressive movement’s reliance on eugenics and race science as well as its effort to exclude the disabled, blacks, immigrants, the poor, and women from full participation in American society.

An Associated Press photo of the Nazis in Berlin. In 1933,
 the regime hit the press with a restrictive law,but The A.P.
was able to report in Germany until 1941. (AP Photo)
The words “progress” and “progressive” evoke images of enlightened reformers selflessly promoting justice and overcoming ignorance and bigotry. I guarantee, however, that anyone who reads Thomas C. Leonard’s new book, “Illiberal Reformers: Race, Eugenics, & American Economics in the Progressive Era,” will be troubled—and, in many cases, shocked—by some of the motivations of the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century progressives who sought to dismantle the American experiment in ordered liberty and replace it with the administrative state.

In this well-researched and readable text, Leonard demonstrates just how deeply in thrall the progressive movement of this period was to some truly disturbing ideas. Those who bore the brunt of their efforts to apply these beliefs to American life were groups that contemporary progressives invariably claim to champion. While avoiding rhetorical excesses, Leonard draws attention to the sheer hubris characterizing those who believed they could create a new world through their top-down bureaucratic direction of society and the economy.....To Read More

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