This week Reuters reported:
“As many as 2,000 people forcibly sterilized under a past North Carolina program should be compensated $50,000 each, a panel voted on Tuesday, the first time a state has moved to pay victims of a discredited human selection program.”
There approximately 2000 living victims of the eugenics experiment conducted between 1929 and 1974 in the State of North Carolina. The short report released at a late hour of the business day (3:26PM) in a non-graphic format only commanded ‘24’ tweets by the time that I wrote this article some 24 hour later. These are extremely small viewership numbers for the magnitude of this article.
Governor Beverly Perdue provided political backing for the aforementioned compensation derived by a five member task-force. While this information may just seem as common as Interpol discovering some Waffen SS General in his late 90’s, it is not. The political and legal implications of this executive decision are wide spread. It is not the normal protocol of any government to give legal and financial incentive to its constituencies to demand (and receive) any type of indemnification. A greater question for the NC-Governor and the task force is: Why? While I’d expect to see some District and possibly even the Supreme Court push back on this legislation, there is a real opportunity posed to the pseudo-democratic body that is the United States from a legal, socio-cultural, and technological standpoint. Of course there is a real threat posed from an economic standpoint. Every affected entity (individual or institution) seeking reparations for their abuse, from slavery to agriculture subsidies, has some new grounds for argument; and further, in the fashion of capitalistic we should assume that every ambitious attorney is paying attention.
Pandora’s passions for chaos provides all the incentives that federal, state, and local governments need to keep denying the need to even consider reparations for the many socio-cultural, ethnic, gender, and preference groups that are deemed “undesirable” by the most conservative and elitist of us all. Transhumanists have long had ties to eugenics,but ideas on how to improve the genetic composition of a population have to ensure that individual choice to (or not to) participate at their own risks/reward.
The lack of ethics that human-kind has witnessed by technological elites will over the others has been consistently dangerous to the optimal operation efficiency and effectiveness of our species. While it is likely impossible philosophically for human’s to actually have a nature about themselves, the one thing that we’ve always tried to do is control our situation to better manage the risks of uncertainty. It’s not an ill mission, but the pathology of our altruism often shows that it is our most stifling virtue. Projecting our idea of greatness onto the entire population is not progressive, even as technology progresses. As we merge away from the socio-cultural conservatism of the past century(s) and our diverse preferences become cliché, let’s be conscious to honor and protect choice, and continue to scale the distribution of information to individuals and institutions alike.
– originally from Integrationalism