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Wed Jan 16, 2013, 01:44 PM

Should we be worried about the Chinese eugenics program?

http://www.edge.org/response-detail/23838

"China has been running the world's largest and most successful eugenics program for more than thirty years, driving China's ever-faster rise as the global superpower. I worry that this poses some existential threat to Western civilization. Yet the most likely result is that America and Europe linger around a few hundred more years as also-rans on the world-historical stage, nursing our anti-hereditarian political correctness to the bitter end.

When I learned about Chinese eugenics this summer, I was astonished that its population policies had received so little attention. China makes no secret of its eugenic ambitions, in either its cultural history or its government policies.

For generations, Chinese intellectuals have emphasized close ties between the state (guojia), the nation (minzu), the population (renkou), the Han race (zhongzu), and, more recently, the Chinese gene-pool (jiyinku). Traditional Chinese medicine focused on preventing birth defects, promoting maternal health and "fetal education" (taijiao) during pregnancy, and nourishing the father's semen (yangjing) and mother's blood (pingxue) to produce bright, healthy babies (see Frank Dikötter's book Imperfect Conceptions). Many scientists and reformers of Republican China (1912-1949) were ardent Darwinians and Galtonians. They worried about racial extinction (miezhong) and "the science of deformed fetuses" (jitaixue), and saw eugenics as a way to restore China's rightful place as the world's leading civilization after a century of humiliation by European colonialism. The Communist revolution kept these eugenic ideals from having much policy impact for a few decades though. Mao Zedong was too obsessed with promoting military and manufacturing power, and too terrified of peasant revolt, to interfere with traditional Chinese reproductive practices."

read the whole thing

12 replies, 1918 views

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Arrow 12 replies Author Time Post
Reply Should we be worried about the Chinese eugenics program? (Original post)
AngryAmish Jan 2013 OP
Ganja Ninja Jan 2013 #1
Tierra_y_Libertad Jan 2013 #2
JustAnotherGen Jan 2013 #3
AngryAmish Jan 2013 #5
JustAnotherGen Jan 2013 #7
Agnosticsherbet Jan 2013 #4
sadbear Jan 2013 #6
AngryAmish Jan 2013 #8
AnnieBW Jan 2013 #9
AngryAmish Jan 2013 #10
HughGrigg Jan 2013 #11
muriel_volestrangler Jan 2013 #12

Response to AngryAmish (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 01:50 PM

1. If you're a female Chinese fetus you might have a problem.

From what I understand it's the males that are prized.

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Response to AngryAmish (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 01:54 PM

2. Only if one is given to worrying.


At the end of the article the author is more worried about the West's response to Chinese eugenics more than the programs themselves. Probably with good reason considering the way we respond to any perceived threat.

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Response to AngryAmish (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 01:55 PM

3. I read the whole thing

He closes with this:

My real worry is the Western response. The most likely response, given Euro-American ideological biases, would be a bioethical panic that leads to criticism of Chinese population policy with the same self-righteous hypocrisy that we have shown in criticizing various Chinese socio-cultural policies. But the global stakes are too high for us to act that stupidly and short-sightedly. A more mature response would be based on mutual civilizational respect, asking—what can we learn from what the Chinese are doing, how can we help them, and how can they help us to keep up as they create their brave new world?



He left out what part of that criticism would include - in the Western Hemisphere - there is a little thing called slavery (not just in the USA) and a little thing called the genocide of Native Americans (North, Central, and South). Yes I have a mother of European descent, but my father was Black, Cherokee, and Irish.

If we can learn from them and not play 'race' games - beautiful - but the author doesn't reassure me of that. My parents were married 2 years after loving v. virginia. So I'm on the cusp generation that truly understands just how tender and young being a 'full human being' in the eyes of America it is for black people in America.

I wonder though - does China have an IQ level where they force sterilization? What is their next step? Is that it?

I don't expect you - the OP - to have the answers to those questions - you are just posting an article. But I'm not sure if it's a concept I feel comfortable adopting in the US. China doesn't share our history and doesn't have the racial and ethnic diversity of the US to be able to tell us they hold the key to our future.


Then again - I can be pretty heartless towards the country of China in general.

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 02:09 PM

5. There is a lot of diversity in China but only the Han rule

The CCP is just another dynasty in that way. (ie, it looks out for the interests of their own ethnicity. The Han have had quite enough of the manchu and mongols are their leaders)

SO, CCP very much plays race games. They have no concept of racism in the western sense - not that they are ignorant of the concept but that they don't acknowledge that it is bad.

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Response to AngryAmish (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 02:58 PM

7. It just seems like a very dangerous thing

For America to import . . . we have to much of an *ugly* history if you know what I mean. We are just one generation away from whites only drinking fountains.

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Response to AngryAmish (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 01:57 PM

4. China's preference from male babies has skewed their population demographics.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/02/chinas-great-gender-crisis
There are between 120 and 130 men born for every 100 women, leaving China today short of about 35 million women. This will continue to cause problems.

I don't see anything wrong with the country trying to achieve a 1 baby policy. They recognize the problem of over population. To do so without initiating changes so that the society reveres women equally is the disaster.

http://www.prb.org/Educators/TeachersGuides/HumanPopulation/Women.aspx

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 02:12 PM

6. Heaven forbid the adopt polyandry.

Can you imagine the response from the religious right of this country?

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 03:16 PM

8. 1 baby policy is the opposite of your body, your choice

Around here that is big no-no. In fact it probably means you should not be on this site.

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Response to AngryAmish (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 03:44 PM

9. Wait until all of the Chinese girls adopted out to the US

Become of marriageable age and start getting offers to go back to the Motherland. Can you imagine the fun when a group of Western-raised women start shaking things up over there?

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Response to AnnieBW (Reply #9)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 04:21 PM

10. My FIL is from Pakistan

When Mrs. AA was about twenty a bunch of his cousins came over and started inquiries about marriage. All he could do is laugh at them. Never told Mrs AA about it until years later.

The thought of Mrs AA being a quiet little wife of an army general in Pakistan is amusing, tho.

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Response to AngryAmish (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 08:36 AM

11. That whole article is complete nonsense

Miller's article is completely wrong on so many points, far more than I can summarise here. It really annoyed me how he made little to no effort to back up the wild and varied claims he makes there - he just chucks them out with no evidence. I've written up my response to it in full here: http://eastasiastudent.net/china/edge-org-chinese-eugenics-rubbish/

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Response to HughGrigg (Reply #11)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 09:50 AM

12. Welcome to DU!

I can't help noticing you've also just joined "Politics Forum", where I also occasionally post (as "Prosthetic Conscience" - I might as well let you know the name). And I'm glad to see you post here, and read your rebuttal of the Miller piece (I don't have enough knowledge of China to be able to contribute anything on this, but that article did 'smell off', to me - it seems to end saying we should be considering eugenics in the West), because that indicates you won't fall for the 'consider fascism' reply you got there - that guy really means it.

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