This week continues with a series of posts examining the anthropological assumptions and philosophical underpinnings of Margaret Sanger’s world view. It is every bit as unrelenting and unsparing as her Planned Parenthood.
One of the commenters in the comboxes challenged Sanger’s treatment here, suggesting that the scholarship being done at NYU ought to merit serious consideration. The reader went on to challenge another reader for not being an ‘expert’ in matters pertaining to Sanger.
One need not be expert in order to see Sanger for the wretched creature that she was. One need only consider her words in context. Her famous book, The Pivot of Civilization is available as a PDF online.
Margaret Sanger in her own words:
Even if we accept organized charity at its own valuation, and grant that it does the best it can, it is exposed to a more profound criticism. It reveals a fundamental and irremediable defect. Its very success, its very efficiency, its very necessity to the social order, are themselves the most unanswerable indictment. Organized charity itself is the symptom of a malignant social disease.
Those vast, complex, interrelated organizations aiming to control and to diminish the spread of misery and destitution and all the menacing evils that spring out of this sinisterly fertile soil, are the surest sign that our civilization has bred, is breeding and is perpetuating constantly increasing numbers of defectives, delinquents and dependents. My criticism, therefore, is not directed at the «failure» of philanthropy, but rather at its success.
Statistics now available also inform us that more than a million dollars are spent annually to support the public and private institutions in the state of New York for the segregation of the feeble−minded and the epileptic. A million and a half is spent for the up−keep of state prisons, those homes of the «defective delinquent.» Insanity, which, we should remember, is to a great extent hereditary, annually drains from the state treasury no less than $11,985,695.55, and from private sources and endowments another twenty millions. When we learn further that the total number of inmates in public and private institutions in the State of New York−− in alms−houses, reformatories, schools for the blind, deaf and mute, in insane asylums, in homes for the feeble−minded and epileptic−− amounts practically to less than sixty−five thousand, an insignificant number compared to the total population, our eyes should be opened to the terrific cost to the community of this dead weight of human waste.
Organized charity is thus confronted with the problem of feeble− mindedness and mental defect. But just as the State has so far neglected the problem of mental defect until this takes the form of criminal delinquency, so the tendency of our philanthropic and charitable agencies has been to pay no attention to the problem until it has expressed itself in terms of pauperism and delinquency. Such «benevolence» is not merely ineffectual; it is positively injurious to the community and the future of the race.
This rapid survey is enough, I hope, to indicate the manifold inadequacies inherent in present policies of philanthropy and charity. The most serious charge that can be brought against modern «benevolence» is that it encourages the perpetuation of defectives, delinquents and dependents. These are the most dangerous elements in the world community, the most devastating curse on human progress and expression. Philanthropy is a gesture characteristic of modern business lavishing upon the unfit the profits extorted from the community at large.