Typos p. 96, n. 2: enfans [= enfants]; p. 98: seperate [= separate]; p. 107: superstitution [= superstition]; p. 114, n. 4: Scandanavian [= Scandinavian]; p. 118: pre-exisiting [= pre-existing]; p. 119: to be so. 1 [= to be so, 1]; p. 125: THE MAN OF COLOUR [= THE MENACE OF COLOUR]; p. 129: resistent [= resistant]; p. 136, n. 1: V.A.P.U.F. [= V.A.P.U.D.]; p. 140, n. 2: cross-breds [= cross-breeds]
The More Fundamental Desiderata
2. Consanguinity, (continued.)
If all the above is true, why do we now find incest, close consanguineous matings, and sometimes even first cousin marriages generally forbidden?
The Victorian's glib answer to this question was that mankind had a natural horror of doing what is forbidden by Christian law, and that as transgression of this law led to degeneration its divine wisdom was demonstrated.
As a matter of fact the case is just the reverse.
When a race or stock has attained to purity, health, beauty and vigour, it is exogamy and miscegenation that produce degeneration. And when there is impurity, exogamy merely spreads it, and ultimately, after a brief spell of merely apparent improvement, which I shall deal with in a moment, aggravates it.
All through the last eighty or ninety years an animated controversy has raged between the various experts concerned on this very point. On the one hand, men like Count Arthur de Gobineau, Dr. Périer, Dr. Voisin, Delage, de Chapeaurouge, and others abroad, William Adam, Huth, Dr. Gilbert Child and many of the later biologists and anthropologists over here, and Professor Wilkinson in Holland, maintained that since incest brought no harm to pure stocks, and miscegenation was known to damage them, the exogamic laws all over the civilized, and various parts of the uncivilized world, could not possibly owe their origin to deliberate measures against biological degeneracy; while, on the other hand, a large body of scientists, like Dr. Cameron, Devay, Boudin, Darwin, Settegast, and many others, including anthropologists and sociologists like Westermarck, backed by the whole of popular prejudice and tradition in Europe, and arguing chiefly from their knowledge of inbreeding in tainted stocks, protested that since consanguineous matings did bring out disease, that is to say, canalize defects, therefore primitive mankind must have devised exogamy to prevent the supposed evil results of incest.
But, on the whole, those who defended as sound the taboos against incest carried on the controversy more as if the taboos were right and had only to be traced to their origin, than as if they were questionable and required justification. It was only when modern biological knowledge discredited the taboos more and more, and endeavours to justify them frequently failed, that ultimately the new position was adopted by such authorities as Crew, Ruggles Gates, Kronacher, Lenz, Rice and many others.
Among the first startling facts that careful investigation brought to light was that, until comparatively recent times, except for a few exceptions revealing no serious biological experience, no tribe or civilization which has forbidden incest, or close consanguineous mating, has ever done so for sound biological reasons, that is to say, out of the genuine knowledge of degeneracy caused by it.
This pointed to the suspicion that no connexion had been observed, either by primitive main, or by past civilized peoples, between the two phenomena, and that, therefore, if primitive and more highly civilized peoples of the past forbade incest and close consanguineous unions, it must have been for other than biological reasons.
Among primitive peoples, the reasons chiefly advanced for prohibiting incest (when it is prohibited) are that it causes epidemics, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, sterility in animals and women, the failure of crops, floods, death by lightning or in childbed, or through wild beasts. When they believe incest will affect offspring adversely, in a biological sense, they often believe also that it will affect the parents adversely too, a sign that the real grounds of objection cannot be fundamentally biological, based on an experience of cases. 2
A very typical case of the irrational prohibition of incest is given by Malinowski. If a Trobriand Islander, he says, be asked what happens to a couple caught in a breach of exogamy, the
1 SOCIOLOGY, I, p. 607.
2 T.E., IV, pp. 157159. Also PSYCHE'S TASK (London, 1909, pp. 4567) for an enumeration of examples of this.
Very often, among primitive people, and, as we have seen, even among civilized people, the prohibition between certain relatives is allowed, while it is disallowed and fiercely reprehended between others. Thus Spencer tells us that whereas the custom of the Veddahs "sanctions the marriage of a man with his younger sister, to marry an elder sister or aunt would, in their estimation, be incestuous, a connexion in every respect as revolting to them as it would be to us." 2
The Rev. L. Chalmers too reports that, although among the natives of Kiwai Island, in British New Guinea, the marriages of first cousins or of brothers and sisters are forbidden, a father may marry his daughter. 3
Among the Makusai Indians, on the other hand, while the marriage of a niece with her paternal uncle is strictly forbidden, her marriage with her maternal uncle is allowed. 4
Professor A. W. Nieuwenhuis tells us that among the Batak of Northern Sumatra, men may marry the daughter of their mother's brother, "whereas to marry the daughter of their father's brother is to commit incest." 5
These facts and they represent only a select few suggest that something other than a supposed dread of degeneracy based upon countless observations of the harmful effects of incest must have been the cause of the various prohibitions we find existing against consanguineous matings. As Lord Raglan says: "Where we find people who marry their nieces as a matter of duty, while they regard with horror the idea of marriage with women who are not related to them at all, it is, or should be, sufficiently obvious that their horror of incest is not based on a horror of marriage between relations." 6
1 S.S.N.M., p. 424.
2 SOCIOLOGY, I, p. 607.
3 NOTES ON THE NATIVES OF KIWAI ISLAND, FLY RIVER (Brit. New Guin.) Journ. of Anthrop. Inst., XXXIII, 1903, p. 124.
4 D.W., II. p. 230.
5 B.M., p. 69.
6 JOCASTA'S CRIME (London, 1933, p. 107).
Socrates certainly alleged that incest produced defective children, but the dialogue in which this is said shows how much more of a conjecture than a certainty the imputation is, particularly as he restricts the supposed evil results to incest in the direct ascending and descending line.
Hippias and Socrates are discussing marriage between parents and their children, and the question is put by Socrates whether those at the height of maturity have not better seed than those far past it. Hippias agrees they have. Socrates then suggests that those who are not at full maturity have not seed sufficiently energetic, and they ought not to have children.
Thus the objection raised by Socrates against incest seems to be only that it involves a disparity of ages. 1
Plato's mature and only objection to incest appears to have been that it was uncustomary. Arguing with Megillus about relations between parents and children and between brothers and sisters, the Athenian stranger says that the reason why such pleasures are extinguished is "the declaration that they are unholy, hated of God, and most infamous." And," he continues, "is not the reason of this that no one has ever said the opposite, but everyone from his earliest childhood has heard men speaking in the same manner about them always and everywhere, whether in comedy, or in the graver language of tragedy?" And Megillus agrees. 2
In THE REPUBLIC, moreover, Plato sees no objection to incest, provided only that "the lot chance to fall that way", and "the Delphian priestess also gives her sanction." 3
Aristotle, as we have seen, appears to object to incestuous unions only on the grounds that in them the love between the parties becomes too intense. 4 Ovid, as I show below, sympathized with this view.
Thus, not one of the three most prominent men of antiquity, who were all abreast of the knowledge of their time, and had
1 Xenophon's MEMORABILIA OF SOCRATES, IV, 2023 (trans. by Rev. J. S. Watson, London, 1910).
2 THE LAWS, VIII, 858 (Jowett's trans., 1892, V).
3 V. 461 (trans. by J. L. Davis and D. J. Vaughan).
4 See Note 2, p. 46 supra.
Zeno (333261 B.C.), according to Sextus Empiricus, was in favour of incest, and scornfully disposed of the usual objections to it. In a book intended for the general reader it is difficult to give Zeno's line of argument. Suffice it to say that he sees every reason in favour of incest, at least between mother and son, and bases his argument, if Sextus Empiricus reports him correctly, entirely on piety and solicitude. 1
This same author, who flourished about the end of the second century A.D., and who evidently had access to the works of both Zeno and Chrysippus, states that the latter also was in favour of incest, and propounded his views to that effect in his REPUBLIC. 2
Thus two of the most distinguished thinkers of Hellenistic Greece appear also to have approved of incest and to have known of no biological objections to it.
Ovid, a cultivated and aristocratic Roman (born 45 B.C.), au fait with every subject relating to Roman life, and with the authoritative accounts of life elsewhere, shared, with the rest of Rome, a horror of incest; but he is utterly at a loss to account for it. Had the practice been known, either in Rome or elsewhere, to be associated with bad biological effects, Ovid would most certainly have heard of them. Yet, in recounting the story of the incestuous love of Myrrha and her father, Cinyras, which he does very beautifully, he can think of no better reason for the horrible nature of the "crime" than "spiteful laws" made by "human civilization" against "what nature allows". 3
"Other animals mate as they will," Ovid declares, "nor is it
1 Those who cannot read the original will find a good translation in LES HIPOTIPOSES OU INSTITUTIONS PlRRONIENNES DE SEXTUS EMPIRICUS, Book III, Chap. 24.
2 Ibid. Chrysippus's own words are said to have been: "Il me semble que l'on peut aussi regler ces chases, comme elles ont été établies d'une manière qui n'est pas mauvaise chez quelques uns: qu'une mère puisse avoir des enfans de son fils et un père de la fille, et un frère de sa sur de mère. This is confirmed by Diogenes Laertius VII, 188 (trans. by R. D. Hicks. London, 1925).
3 METAMORPHOSIS, Book X, 329, 330 (trans. by F. J. Miller. London, 1916).
Thus does Ovid reveal his sense of the quite arbitrary nature of his people's and his ancestors' "horror" of incest. While a few lines later on he even suggests, as Aristotle does, that incestuous love is fiercer than the love between members of different families, because "natural love is increased by the double bond." 2
It is not uninteresting also to note that the fruit of the illicit relations between Myrrha and her father is described by Ovid as being an exceptionally beautiful specimen of manhood. 3
Plutarch, who nourished in the first century A.D., knows nothing of any biological objection to incest. To the question why people do not marry their near kinswomen, he makes various replies. In one he anticipates Augustine by saying that possibly it is because "they wish to increase by marriage the size of their families and the number of their relations", in another he says that "quarrels take place in marriages between near kin," and in a third he says that marriage with relatives deprives wives of their natural protectors if and when they are ill-treated. 4
Thus we find two leading Romans, both cultivated and erudite, unable to account, at least biologically, for the incest-phobia.
Tertullian (160240 A.D.), the most ancient of the Latin Fathers now extant, regards incest, of course, as wholly abhorrent, but he shows that his objections to it cannot be biological, because in a certain curious passage in AD NATIONES, he refers to what he regards as a most horrible example of incest namely, that between a father and a son, that is to say, a homosexual union. 5 Nowhere does he speak of it as being biologically unsound.
Augustine, the most illustrious of the Latin Fathers (55445 A.D.) condemned incest for sociological and not for biological reasons, because it heaped up relationships in one person, "while each of the relationships ought to have been held by a
1 Ibid., 324329. Incidentally this passage throws interesting light on old Roman breeding practices.
2 Ibid., 333.
3 Ibid., 520524.
4 QUEST. ROM., 6 (trans. by H. J. Rose. Oxford, 1924, p. 165a).
5 Op. cit., I, Chap. XVI, p. 455.
This is almost a complete anticipation of Adler, the twentieth-century psychologist who, scientifically aware (which Augustine was not) of the absence of biological grounds against incest, declares: "Incest falls under the interdict of communal sentiment, since it leads, like the marriage of blood relations, to isolation, and not to that mingling of strains which further the community". 2
I cannot, in this chapter, trace the history of the prejudice against incest and close consanguineous marriages m detail up to our own time. I can but give a brief sketch of it.
Huth tells us that he knows of no real scientific objection against the marriage of near kin until Shakespeare's time. 3 We certainly find, long after Shakespeare, cultivated and well-informed authors denouncing incest and consanguineous matings for every reason imaginable except a eugenic one.
For instance, as late as 1648, a well-informed and cultivated Frenchman, Moyse Amyraut, in a discussion of consanguinity which occupies the whole of one book 4 a fact which argues in favour of his having collected all the relevant data and scientific opinion up to his time comes to very much the same conclusion as Malinowski, who was to write some three hundred years later. He does not mention any biological grounds for man's horror of incest, although he had not Malinowski's reasons for knowing that there were no such grounds, and argues that incest was avoided by mankind chiefly in order to avoid social disorder.
"Thus," he says, "the vicious factor in uncle-niece and aunt-nephew marriages is the violation of paternal authority, in which the uncle and aunt participate to a notable degree; and the vicious factor in brother and sister marriages is the violation of that same authority, of which each party to such marriages bears on his brow the reflexion and image." 5
Over a hundred years later, in 1786, Dr. John Taylor, whose thorough and learned discourse upon consanguinity has been of
1 CITY OF GOD, II, Book XV, 16 (trans. by Rev. Marcus Dods. Edinburgh, 1871).
2 B.M., p. 366.
3 Op. cit., p. 24.
4 See Note 2, p. 46, supra.
5 Op. cit., p. 268.
From this it is clear that in the mind of a very learned Englishman, writing on incest and its prohibition for the instruction of others, there was, as late as 1786, no suspicion that there were any biological grounds against it.
How then has the democratic emphasis on the need of miscegenation on biological grounds, backed by pseudo-scientific opinion, and reinforced by the whole weight of popular prejudice, grown out of a mere religious prohibition?
The history is complicated, but briefly and simply it is more or less as follows:
At the dawn of our era, the greater part of the civilized world, in which Persia and Egypt had long ceased to be paramount powers, found itself, through Roman ascendancy, in possession of laws favouring exogamy and frowning upon too close endogamy.
These laws, handed down probably from the prehistoric ancestors of those who observed them, 2 could not have had anything whatsoever to do with biological experiences adverse to incest, but were, there can be little doubt, based to a large extent upon magic. In this I am inclined to agree with Ernest Crawley and Lord Raglan, 3 though I admit that such sociological considerations, as we shall see, advanced by various authorities, including Malinowski, may have converted taboos, originally based on magic, into civilized laws.
1 ELEMENTS OF THE CIVIL LAW (3rd Ed., London, 1786, p. 319).
2 T.E., IV, pp. 153154: "It appears highly probable that the aversion which most civilized races have entertained to incest or the marriage of near kin has been derived by them through a long scries of ages from their savage ancestors."
3 C.M.R., p. 414. "The belief in the injurious results of inbreeding is of religious origin, and parallel to the belief that sickness is due to sin or to violation of taboo." JOCASTA'S CRIME, pp. 113, 124129, 191.
During this period, with its extreme hostility to sex and every relation of man and woman a hostility which, as we have seen, went so far as to make fish suitable food for holy and fast days only because fish did not copulate everything possible was done to make even normal and legitimate marriage as difficult as -
Let me quote what a perfectly impartial authority says about the Church's attitude to marriage at this period.
"The ideal of married life was that attributed to Mary and Joseph. Thus Augustine cited this as an example that a true marriage may exist where there is a mutual vow of chastity, and held that the sooner this relation was established the better. Marriage being then an inferior state, to be discouraged rather than the reverse, the tendency was rapidly to narrow the field within which it might be contracted. . . . The marriage of the laity was hampered by the creation of a number of impediments. The few and definite prohibitions of the Roman and of the Jewish law in the matter of marriage between kindred were indefinitely extended, until in 506 the Council of Agde laid it down that any consanguinity or affinity whatever constituted an impediment . . . . and, finally, to all this added the impediments created by 'spiritual affinity', i.e. the relations established between baptizer and baptized, confirmer and confirmed, and between god-parents, their god-children, and their god-children's relatives." 1
All this proves not only that no biological motive could have been behind the prohibitions, but also that the Church, without inquiring into the basis of the exogamic laws which she found in existence about her, and, above all, without ever questioning them, gladly accepted them as sacrosanct and eagerly seized every opportunity of adding to them.
Not content with that, however, when ultimately the extreme hostility to marriage abated in deference to the vis major, man's
1 E.B., 11th Ed., XVII, p. 754. See also Lecky's HISTORY OF EUROPEAN MORALS.
This, no doubt, is the reason why the prohibitions against consanguinity in marriage came down to us wholly unquestioned, and why they gradually acquired, not only with the populace, but also, as we have seen, with scientific men, the character and . authority of divine ordinances, which science was not required to justify, but merely to explain.
Hallam, commenting on the Church's tendency during the Middle Ages to extend and multiply for venal purposes the exogamic prohibitions, says: "One readily apprehends the facilities of abuse to which all this led; and history is full of dissolutions of marriages, obtained by fickle passion or cold-hearted ambition, to which the Church has not scrupled to pander on some suggestion of relationship. It is so difficult to conceive, I do not say any reasoning, but any honest superstition, which could have produced these monstrous regulations, that I was at first inclined to suppose them designed to give, by a side-wind, that facility of divorce which a licentious people demanded, but the Church could not avowedly grant. This refinement would, however, be unsupported by facts. The prohibition is very ancient, and was really derived from the ascetic temper which introduced so many absurdities . . . dispensations have been made more easy, when it was discovered that they might be converted into a source of profit." 2
That there was no eugenic motive behind all this must be plain. Nor was even the remote origin and rationale of the exogamic laws she adopted understood by the Church. Seized upon first as an effective means of limiting hateful marriage, and then retained and extended for lucre, even to this day, neither the Catholic nor the Protestant Church regards them as eugenic in their operation, since although they both forbid the marriage of a healthy uncle and niece, and almost evaporate with fury over the marriage of a healthy brother and sister, they, together with their religious competitors, both constantly celebrate red-letter
1 The fact that the Church, following the law of Rome, forbids the marriage of an adopted child with the parent of the family that has adopted it, even after the adoption has been dissolved, alone shows that no biological precaution is behind the prohibition.
2 THE MIDDLE AGES (12th Ed., 1860, II, p. 209).
When, however, with the rise of scientific method and the increase of scientific knowledge, together with the steady increase of degeneracy in Europe, through the arrest or partial elimination of natural selection and the general tolerance shown to the physiologically botched of every description, it began to be noticed that consanguineous marriages did indeed lead among the offspring to a higher or more acute incidence of the diseases noticed in the parents; when, moreover, stockbreeders, still unaware of the natural laws, observed that inbreeding in tainted stocks led to disastrous results; then science, religion and popular opinion, arguing backwards from a state of affairs more or less recent, hastily assumed that the prohibited degrees, which still awaited justification, must have been instituted by prehistoric man for eugenic ends. Thus the exogamic laws of the Jews and Romans, handed down to us, first through tribal traditions, secondly through asceticism, and lastly through cupidity, received a higher and quite fictitious scientific sanction, and consanguinity itself (quite apart from any taints in the parents) was believed to be the real cause of any mischief to which inbreeding led.
And we may conclude that, apart from the view of a few enlightened people, who began to make their voices heard from about the fifties of last century, this opinion still prevails.
It is utterly erroneous, and yet it has proved the main support of that democratic policy of miscegenation that has ruled Europe for about two thousand years, and has found its way into popular superstition in the form of such ideas as the necessity for the marriage of opposites, according to which, dark must cross with fair, tall with short, and even sick with sound.
These views, pandering to the self-contempt of the average degenerate, who is proud of nothing connected with himself, naturally led to a stampede in favour of the most extreme miscegenation.
If Europe had only known the truth, it would have seen that, when mankind became largely polluted, the time had come to slacken the laws against consanguineous unions, not to re-sanctify the prohibited degrees with the authority of science. The moment it was observed that evil resulted, even from
It was only slowly and timidly that the perplexity arising from the unexplained and unjustified laws and customs preventing consanguineous marriages began to express itself in Europe against this democratic wave in favour of random breeding.
Among the pioneers of the movement opposing these unjustified laws and customs, who championed the view that it was a mistake to regard consanguinity per se as the cause of the mischief when disaster followed inbreeding, were such men as Count Arthur de Gobineau (1854), Dr. Bourgeois (1879), Dr. Périer (1860), Gilbert Child (1862), Dr. Auguste Voisin (1865), William Adam (1865) and Henry Huth (1876). The first, Count Arthur de Gobineau, very far from supposing, as many did in his day, and many still do, that in man there was an instinct to cross, declared: "I think I am right in concluding . . . that the human race in all its branches has a secret repulsion from the crossing of blood, a repulsion which, in many of the branches is invincible, and in others is only conquered to a slight extent." 1 In the preface to the second edition of his book, he wrote in 1882: "At one time . . . the prejudice against marriages of kinsfolk was so great that it was a question whether they should be allowed the sanction of the law at all. To marry a first cousin, one was told, practically meant inflicting deafness and other hereditary diseases on the children in advance. No one seemed to recollect that the generations preceding our own, which were greatly given to these marriages, knew nothing of the maladies that were supposed to follow them. . . . These certain and indisputable facts convinced nobody; for everyone, whether he liked it or not, was busy pushing the claims of a fantastic Liberalism that had no love for cloistral exclusiveness and opposed all purity of blood." 2
Dr. Bourgeois then published what Delage calls "a thorough and exhaustive study" of his own family, descended from a consanguineous marriage in 1729. Out of 91 marriages in 130 years, 68 had been consanguineous, 16 of which had been
1 THE INEQUALITY OF HUMAN RACES (London, 1915, p. 29).
2 Ibid., p. 22.
Dr. Périer, whom I have already quoted, concluded his learned essay on Consanguinity as follows: "It is true that, in the old days, consanguineous marriages were regarded as disastrous and strongly to be reprobated; but unless we are much mistaken, it is especially in this quarter that certain ignorant prejudices have retained most power." 2
Dr. Gilbert Child concluded "that close inbreeding is not, per se, contrary to any law of nature. That unless parents are themselves diseased close inbreeding does not tend to develop disease in their progeny." And, in anticipation of some of the most important discoveries of recent times, he said that marriages of blood relations "have a tendency to strengthen and develop in the offspring individual peculiarities of the parties, both mental and physical, whether morbid or otherwise; 3 and therefore in practice often do induce degeneration." 4
Dr. Auguste Voisin wrote in almost exactly the same terms; 5 William Adam said: "the alleged natural law prohibiting marriage in the direct line between ascendants and descendants ad infinitum is purely imaginary. There is not a particle of evidence adduced or adducible in its support. It is an established notion, but as far as I can perceive or judge, a baseless figment." 6 Then at a loss to find any biological grounds accounting for the alleged "horror of incest", he proceeded to explain it as the outcome of the laws relating to property, which, he thought, could not tolerate the confusion which would arise out of close consanguineous marriages. 7
Huth, who was one of the first to devote a whole book to the subject, concluded: "We have seen that there is no natural horror of incest, and that many peoples have practised and habitually practise it; while, on the other hand, we have seen that, whatever may be the reason of certain prohibitions that exist, they are certainly not due to any conscious or unconscious experience of any evil results." 8
But these writers made hardly any impression. Medical and
1 Op. cit., p. 269, footnote.
2 Op. cit., p. 215.
3 The italics are mine. A.M.L.
4 M.O.C. p. 465.
5 See pp. 8889 supra.
6 Op. cit., p. 75 (Nov. 15, 1865).
7 Ibid., pp. 8488.
8 Op. cit., p. 338.
Although this meant overlooking much of the historical and anthropological evidence, it was a step which presented but few difficulties to the leaders of science in the nineteenth century. 1 Darwin easily disposed of the argument brought forward by William Adams regarding the origin of the incest ban in the institution of property, 2 and himself set the seal of authority on the belief that close consanguinity in mating was in itself deleterious.
I have already described how ultimately, through the weight of recent scientific opinion, Darwin's views were overthrown. But their overthrow did not make the origin of the taboos relating to incestuous matings any clearer. These still required to be justified and explained, and if, as now seemed plain, biological grounds could not possibly have been their basis, what was?
Ever since it became really doubtful that any instinct existed in man or beast against incestuous matings, a lively controversy has raged around this point, and many different views have been advanced to account, no longer with the help of fancied biological reasons, for the origin of the taboos.
Darwin thought that "although there seems to be no strong inherited feeling in mankind against incest, it seems possible that men during primitive times may have been more excited by strange females than by those with whom they habitually lived. . . . If any such feeling formerly existed in men, this would have led to a preference for marriages beyond the nearest kin. . . . etc." 3 Another of Darwin's theories bearing on the origin of incest
1 It seems always to be difficult for scientists, despite their supposed "objectivity", to overcome the influence of remote savage magic and superstition, so that this attitude of nineteenth-century scientists is not at all surprising. A recent example of the same stubborn survival of magic and superstition in medicine is the prevailing belief among medical men that diseases, septic conditions, and epidemics can be due to germs.
2 V.A.P.U.D., II, p. 103.
3 Ibid., pp. 103104.
Walter Heape and Dr. Westermarck more or less favoured Darwin's first theory regarding the greater attractiveness of strange females.
Dr. Westermarck, believing that "consanguineous marriages are in some way or other detrimental to the species", argues that only those people who cultivated and acted upon a horror of such marriages survived, and thus, through Natural Selection "a sentiment would be developed which would be powerful enough, as a rule, to prevent injurious unions. Of course it would display itself, not as an innate aversion to sexual connexions with near relatives as such, but as an aversion on the part of individuals to unions with others with whom they live." 2
McLennan, one of the first to try to explain exogamy scientifically, and the inventor of the term, argued that it was a scarcity of women that had obliged men to go outside their own group for wives, and so gradually established a prejudice in favour of foreign women. This became so strong that in time men were strictly forbidden to marry women of their own group. Another authority. Professor E. Durkheim, derived exogamy from a religious sentiment based on the occult or magical virtue which savages attribute to blood, above all to the menstruous blood of women. But deflowering meant the shedding of blood, and, if it was that of a relative, it was in some way a desecration of one's own godhead.
L. H. Morgan, on the other hand, argues that exogamy was first introduced to break up promiscuity and prevent especially the marriage of brothers and sisters. But he does not give any reason why it should have been necessary to do this. Sir James Frazer ably disposes of all these arguments except the last, 3 and, after admitting that the abhorrence of incest could not have arisen in any observation of its dire effects, 4 attempts
1 D.O.M., p. 590.
2 ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT OF MORAL IDEAS (London, 1917, pp. 368371). Walter Heape, in a letter to Sir James Frazer (1909) assumes that inbreeding is injurious per se. But in SEX ANTAGONISM (London, 1913, pp. 3672) he supports Darwin's view that exogamy arose in the greater sex stimulation of the stranger. See also T.E., IV, p. 163.
3 T.E., IV, pp. 75120.
4 Ibid., p. 155: "The idea that the abhorrence of incest originally sprang from an observation of its injurious affects on the offspring may be safely dismissed as baseless."
Such was the position in 1910 after no less an authority than Sir James Frazer had examined the problem of incest prohibitions in all its bearings, and it is more or less Ernest Crawley's and Lord Raglan's position, 2 except that the latter does undertake to offer a clue regarding the kind of savage superstitution in which the incest taboos probably originated.
What interests us particularly, however, is the fact that here we have the views of at least two modern scientific experts to the effect that a world-wide and, in civilized countries, very rigid set of laws against close consanguineous mating was originally based solely on savage magic and superstition.
Certain later contributions to the subject have, however, to some extent modified this position.
Thus Freud, on the grounds of his psychological researches, argues not only that incestuous desires are natural to all human beings, throughout their lives, and therefore that Westermarck and those who claim that men feel an instinctive aversion towards those with whom they live, must be wrong, but also that man's feelings towards incest are to be explained on the hypothesis of a primeval crime. 3
Dr. Malinowski, however, examining the whole question afresh, in the light of psycho-analysis, comes to the conclusion that very early in the history of human society it must have been perceived that incest was incompatible with the family, and since the family was most important for order and the promotion of culture, incest had to be suppressed. He accepts Freud's contribution in so far as it postulates a universal inclination in man to incest, but cannot therefore accept Freud's explanation of the origin of the prohibitions.
1 Ibid., IV, p. 165.
2 C.M.R., Chap. XVII. JOCASTA'S CRIME.
3 TOTEM AND TABOO. (London, 1919, pp. 2829 and 206).
And further: "Incest must be forbidden because, if our analysis of the family and its n Ie in the formation of culture be correct, incest is incompatible with the establishment of the first foundation of culture. In any type of civilization in which custom, morals and law would allow incest, the family could not continue to exist. . . . The alternative type of culture under which incest is excluded is the only one consistent with the existence of social organization and culture." 2
This seems to be but a more modern and more scientific way of stating Moyse Amyraut's explanation of the reasons for the incest prohibitions, 3 and Lord Raglan, stigmatizing it as a reversion to the savage view of social institutions, dismisses it. But while it may be difficult to accept it as wholly adequate, it seems not at all improbable that the incest taboos may originally have arisen in magic, as Sir James Frazer, Ernest Crawley, and Lord Raglan suppose, and have been perpetuated when their sociological effect suited the social taste of certain peoples.
Brenda Seligman traces the history of the incest prohibitions to an attempt at establishing social harmony. And she explains the rule against brother and sister incest as an outcome of the jealousy of the father when he has relinquished his own right over his daughters. "The parent-child type is the fundamental incest law," she says, "but the brother-sister type is an auxiliary to it." 4
1 SEX EXPRESSION IN SAVAGE SOCIETY. (London, 1927, p. 244.)
2 Ibid., p. 267. How Malinowski reconciles all this with the fact that the family survived in Egypt, Persia and Peru, in spite of incest, it is difficult to see.
3 See p. 98 supra.
4 JOURN. OF THE ROY. ANTHROP. INST., LIX, p. 268. The whole essay should
This does not pretend to be more than the briefest sketch of the controversy. But, for the purposes of this work it was not so necessary for me to give a complete record of all the different points of view, which can be found elsewhere, as to show that modern anthropological science has at all events abandoned any attempt at explaining the remote and traditional laws against incest, as due to any observation of its injurious effects on the offspring.
Before turning to the one question which, from the standpoint of this book, is the most important the relation of consanguineous unions to eugenics, and drawing my conclusions, I must first clear up certain difficulties.
(1) In certain quarters it is held that people who live under the same roof and are brought up together have no incestuous desires towards each other, and therefore that, whether incest is biologically right or wrong, it is in any case "unnatural" and opposed to human instincts.
(2) Certain breeders of livestock and others have claimed that cross-breeding increases vigour, size, etc.
(3) Others claim that races which are the result of a cross, or several crosses, are superior to purer races.
be read by those interested in the origin of the incest laws. Dr. Briffault (MO, I, pp. 250291) opposes Darwin by finding the origin of the incest taboos in the jealousy of the matriarch. Of the transfer of the son's attachment to another woman, he says: "It meant the loss of the influence which the mother seeks to retain. . . . And since in the primitive group there is no object to which the young male . . . can turn except his sisters, it is any disposition to such a relationship that will draw upon it the full force of the mother's opposition" (p. 253). "Her instincts would equally oppose relations between fathers and daughters" (p. 258).
1 T.E., IV, p. 108.
I shall take these objections in the order in which I have stated them.
(1) Westermarck, as we have already seen, 1 believed that people feel an aversion "to unions with others with whom they live."
Havelock Ellis also holds this view. He says: "Between those who have been brought up together from childhood all the sensory stimuli of vision, hearing, and touch have been dulled by use, trained to the calm level of affection, and deprived of the potency to arouse the erethistic excitement which produces sexual tumescence." 2
Others, less authoritative, take this standpoint, and it is widely adopted by the middle classes of all civilized countries, whose newspapers, as a rule, rigorously shield them from all disturbing data, whether culled from their working-classes at home or primitive peoples abroad, calculated to indicate the frequency of incestuous unions or of incestuous temptations between house-mates.
In all this strong and honest conviction regarding the supposed indifference of house-mates, subjective feelings doubtless play a very important part. The individual is apt to proceed from the conscious thought, "I could never have married my brother", or, "I could never have married my sister", to the generalization, "nobody can marry a close relative", thus forgetting all the powerful repressions imposed in very early childhood by over rigid sex-phobia and incest-phobia (particularly rigid in European middle-class communities) which have left no memory of the potent incestuous temptations and sentiments of early life, but only their corresponding neuroses and phobias.
Freud, for instance, flatly denies this alleged indifference between house-mates. He says: "Psycho-analysis has taught us that the first object selection of the boy is of an incestuous nature, and that it is directed to the forbidden objects, the mother and the sister." 3
Furthermore, he states "that the experiences of psycho-analysis make the assumption of such an innate aversion to incestuous relations altogether impossible. They have taught, on the
1 See p. 106 supra.
2 S.P.S., IV, p. 205.
3 TOTEM AND TABOO, p. 28.
I need hardly remind the reader of the weighty support given to this point of view by Dr. Malinowski's acceptance of it. 2 Brenda Seligman also disagrees with Westermarck's standpoint. 3 And Sir James Frazer, arguing against this same standpoint, says: "We may safely affirm that if the deep horror which Dr. Westermarck assumes as the ultimate origin of exogamy ever existed, it no longer exists at the present day." 4
Moreover, if we suppose the feeling of indifference or of instinctive aversion alleged by Havelock Ellis and Westermarck to exist between house-mates why the laws?
"It is not easy," says Sir James Frazer, "to see why any deep human instinct should need to be reinforced by law. There is no law commanding men to eat and drink, or forbidding them to put their hands in the fire. Men eat and drink and keep their hands out of the fire instinctively for fear of natural, not legal penalties, which would be entailed by violence done to these instincts. The law only forbids men to do what their instincts incline them to do; what nature herself prohibits and punishes, it would be superfluous for the law to prohibit and punish. Accordingly we may always safely assume that crimes forbidden by law are crimes which many men have a natural propensity to commit. If there were no such propensity there would be no such crimes, and if no such crimes were committed, what need to forbid them? Instead of assuming, therefore, from the legal prohibitions of incest that there is a natural aversion to incest, we ought rather to assume that there is a natural instinct in favour of it, and that if the law represses it, as it represses other natural instincts, it does so because civilized men have come to the conclusion that the satisfaction of these natural instincts is detrimental to the general interests of society." 5
This seems to me completely to dispose of those who like Havelock Ellis and Westermarck argue that propinquity destroys sexual desire or stimulation, and we are forced to conclude with Ernest Crawley that "if, then, there is an instinct against inbreeding, it stultifies itself in a very curious way. . . . It would
1 Ibid., p. 206.
2 See p. 107 supra.
3 Op. cit., p. 245.
4 T.E., IV, p. 97.
5 Ibid., pp. 9798-
George Meredith, no mean psychologist, actually believed propinquity to be the foundation of sexual love, and declared that had Prince Ferdinand of Naples left Miranda much longer on the island with Caliban, she would perforce have married the brute as the result of propinquity. 2 I have myself given some curious statistics to the same effect in a previous chapter, 3 while Paul Popenoe believes that "love is to a large extent a matter of propinquity". 4
Certainly with women propinquity seems more of a stimulus than a bar to sexual love, and it still remains to be proved that a it is not so with men.
Besides, little of what Havelock Ellis and Westermarck allege can possibly apply to fathers; because the desire, whether conscious or unconscious, of the father for his grown-up daughter or daughters, is such a constant clement in every-day life, particularly in England, that everybody, one would suppose, must have knowledge of it. Occasionally a play like Besier's THE BARRETTS OF WIMPOLE STREET calls the attention of the public to an extreme case of unconscious parent-child incest-temptation, 6 but there can hardly be an observant married man in England who has not encountered much the same attitude of unreasoning opposition in his father-in-law, more especially if he happened to select a favourite daughter for his wife.
I say "particularly in England", because, at least in the middle classes here, this phenomenon is extremely common. What the cause can be I cannot discuss in great detail. The principal cause is, of course, the universal tendency to incest, which in the middle classes remains a temptation to which no one ever yields. But, apart from this, it may be due to sex-starvation in the middle-aged male, whose wife has long ceased to "tempt" him, and whose morals (unlike the male continental's) restrain him from affairs with strange young women of his daughters' ages. Or it may be due to some extent to the daughters themselves, who,
1 C.M.R., p. 412.
2 See EVAN HARRINGTON, Chap. XXIX. See also Flora Annie Steele (op. cit., p. 115).
3 See Notes on p. 13 supra.
4 M.M., p. 42.
5 In 19211922 I wrote a novel, THE GODDESS THAT GREW UP, dealing with this theme, and its publication in 1922 brought me a number of letters from spinsters, saying they now understood their father's irrational and stubborn opposition to their engagement a fact which had remained a mystery to them until then.
A third possibility may be that it is due to the influence of the right disparity of ages. Owing to the ridiculous notions current in England concerning the correct relative ages of spouses, and to the tendency to postpone the marriage of a girl until she is far over twenty she ought rarely to be more than eighteen when she marries 1 girls after puberty are forced much more than is necessary, to adapt their adult female lives to that of a male, their father, who, on Aristotelian principles, at least, is almost the ideal mate for them as regards age. A man between eighteen and twenty-five is much too young to be a good partner, whether intellectual or otherwise, to a girl of eighteen. The girl feels this and is therefore more attracted to men other father's age. And yet all the traditions and customs of her country restrict her to the men not more than six or seven years her senior at the outside.
(2) The increased vigour and size which are alleged to result from crossing two different breeds or races is not an imagined phenomenon, although its interpretation may have led to a good deal of error and to much over-estimation, particularly in the popular mind, of the advantages of miscegenation. The first knowledge civilized mankind had of this phenomenon was probably in the ancient myths of the Greek and Semitic peoples.
It will be remembered that the union of Ouranos, who was of the race of the gods, with Ge, the Earth (a cross which probably took place, though, as I have shown elsewhere, 2 it was really between a conquering and a defeated people) produced a race of Titans or giants; while at the beginning of Semitic mythology, when "the sons of the gods saw the daughters of men that they were fair . . . there were giants in the earth in those days. . . ." 3
A similar production of giants from a cross is recorded in the myth of the migration of Odin, after which there was a great mingling of the people. 4
1 See Part III, Chap. II infra on this point.
2 MAN'S DESCENT FROM THE GODS (London, 1921, Chap. II).
3 GEN. vi. 24.
4 See the HERVARASAGA.
Darwin, writing in 1875, said: "The good effects of a cross between almost any two breeds is at once shown by the great size and vigour of the offspring. . . . Such crossed animals are, of course, of no value to the breeder; but they have been raised during many years in several parts of England to be slaughtered . . . at fat-cattle shows a separate class has been formed for their reception. The best fat ox at the great show at Islington in 1862 was a crossed animal." 1 Darwin gives similar facts relating to sheep, 2 and quotes Mr. Crate (who five times won the annual gold medal of the Smithfield Club Show for the best pen of pigs) who said: "Crosses answer well for profit to the farmer, as you get more constitution and quicker growth; but for me, who sell a great number of pigs for breeding purposes, I find it will not do, as it requires many years to get anything like purity of blood again." 3
This heterosis, which is usually confined to the first generation, must be understood as a kind of spontaneous reaction in the progeny to the mingling of two hitherto inbred stocks or individuals. It offers no guarantee of the persistence in the blended stock of the favourable characters it produces, 4 and it must not be supposed that it is a phenomenon which can be expected of random bred stocks.
To argue on the basis of this phenomenon of heterosis that crossing is therefore desirable for the random-bred "biological proletariat" of modern England and modern Europe, is nonsense, and no arguments in favour of miscegenation or against
1 V.A.P.U.D., II, p. 97.
2 Ibid., II, p. 99.
3 Ibid., II, p. 102. Darwin also gives instances of heterosis in plants and trees. See especially ibid., p. 111. See also H.E., pp. 205206, and 230232.
4 When I say "favourable characters", the term should be understood to mean chiefly "increased size". And if increased size is always to be regarded as an improvement, this result may usually be reckoned on from the crossing of inbred stocks. The fact, however, that scientists are not agreed as to the undoubted advantage of this increased size is shown by Dr. J. A. Mjoen, the famous Scandanavian biologist, who, in writing of human hybrids, says: "When some scientists are inclined to think that many hybrids represented a good human type, we must not forget that they consider the large size of the hybrid as a symptom of health, strength and vigour. I have tried to show that this symptom is treacherous." (E.R., Vol. XIV, April. 1922. HARMONIC AND UNHARMONIC CROSSINGS, p. 38.)
Thus Ruggles Gates says: "The hybrid vigour, or heterosis arising from crossing, both in plants and animals, is confined very largely, or in some cases entirely, to the first hybrid generation." 1
Dr. Crew says, "Hybrid vigour, or heterosis, is based in heterozygosity," and he emphasizes these points in regard to it:
Hybrid vigour "is the peculiar property of the first cross. For its production it is necessary that the parental individuals shall be pure-bred and themselves as fine specimens of their breed or herd as may be. Without the pure-bred, there cannot be the cross-bred of any worth. The first cross, deliberately bred for a definite commercial purpose, must not be used for further breeding." 2
It may not be strictly accurate to say that the greater size or vigour, or any other intensified character, obtained by crossing, is confined wholly to the crossed generation, because cases are known of a continuation of the advantage in a modified form in subsequent generations. Thus Shapiro, in his study of the Pitcairn and Norfolk Islanders who were, as the reader will recall, the result of a cross between Tahitan women and Englishmen, says:"It is clear . . . that the average stature of the Norfolk men surpasses that of the parent stocks, English and Tahitan. . . . This increase of height among the hybrids is due to heterosis. The Norfolk Islanders, modern descendants of the Pitcairn Islanders, have a mean stature which is reduced from that of the F1 generation [first crossed generation], but which is still greater than that of the parent stocks." 3
On the other hand, Dr. Rodenwaldt, in a careful study of the Hybrids of Kisar, says they show no signs of any heterosis, 4 though we should remember that he is dealing with very late descendants of parental stocks which he can describe only conjecturally. According to Corrado Gini, the results of crosses
1 H.E., p. 206.
2 H., pp. 6970. See also Lundborg's description of heterosis in regard to human beings (R.B.M., p. 59).
3 D.B.M., p. 33. The same writer has also recently spoken of "some evidence of hybrid vigour" in the cross between Hawaiians and North Europeans. Taking average height of former as 171.3 cm. and of latter as 172 cm., he found the hybrids' mean stature 173.5. But he records this only of F.1. generation. (See NATURAL HISTORY JOURN. OF AMER. MUS. OF NAT. HIST. XXXI, 1931, p. 47). I remind the reader that the Hawaiians before their contact with Europeans were a highly inbred race.
4 M.A.K., p. 127.
Thus in at least two carefully observed peoples, who are the result of a cross, we find one with a slight permanent increase of stature, and the other with no noticeable heterosis whatsoever.
Professor Lundborg, however, claims a good deal of recent heterosis among Europeans through mixing. He says that latterly there has occurred an increase in their mean height due to heterozygosity, 2 and elsewhere he seems to speak of this increase as a permanent acquisition. 3 He says it is probably due to the improved means of communication, which have dispersed inbred stocks from their backwaters. 4 He even suggests that the superior height of urban over rural populations in Sweden may be due to heterosis as the result of greater mixing in the towns than in the country. 5
Even, however, if a permanent slight increase of height c6uld be definitely traced to mixing, this evidence of enduring heterosis would have little bearing on the problem of modern genetics and the choice of a mate, as it confronts the present-day populations of Europe. Because we must bear in mind that in the example vouched for by Shapiro we are concerned with a cross in which one parent stock (the Tahitans) was certainly inbred, while in the doubtful examples claimed by Lundborg, he too speaks of a dispersal of inbred stocks through improved communication.
Nevertheless, where inbred stocks still exist, as they undoubtedly do in Europe, crosses consummated with them might still be expected to produce heterosis, though it is well to remember that this would probably be merely ephemeral, its actual value, according to Mjoen, doubtful, and the places and occasions where such crosses can be made grow every day more rare. 6
It is possibly the ephemerality of spontaneous and apparent improvements of this sort that explains much of the disappointment which follows on the choice of an exceptionally fine-
1 P., p. 127. See also end of Note 5, p. 55 supra.
2 H.R., p. 83.
3 R.B.M., p. 67.
4 Ibid., p. 68.
5 Ibid., p. 69. See also Dr. J. A. Mjoen (op. cit., p. 38): "It is a fact that during the last decades the unfortunate mingling of races has increased to an enormous degree as the result of philanthropic measures of migration." See also his article, VOLK UND RASSE (p. 76), quoted in Note 6, p. 125 infra.
6 In his articles in VOLK UND RASSE (p. 74 of 2nd article) Mjoen suggests that heterosis may be due to an anomaly of the endocrine glands following miscegenation. (For description of articles see Note 6, p. 125 infra.)
I mean by this that though in families in which genius has been latent or recessive in the parental stock (in the case of Bach, Darwin, Pitt and many others) the production of a great man may not be ascribed to heterosis, on the other hand, in families like those of Marcus Aurelius and Napoleon it certainly seems as if it might be so ascribed. Because, while in the first cases the elements productive of great men were present, if only the happy combination and permutation of the stock qualities happened to occur, in the latter, where there appears to be no reason to suspect superlative qualities in the stock, a suddenly heightened degree of intellectual ability may have been the result of crossing.
My examples may not be fortunate. But I think it is probably sound to assume two possible causes of great ability in a man:
(a) The sudden combination of the best elements in two stocks both possessing elements of high ability.
(b) The spontaneous production of high ability through heterosis.
Though even in the latter case the parental stocks would have to be good average, or above average, and inbred.
I feel, therefore, inclined to agree with Kretschmer, who suggests that heterosis (Luxurieren) accounts for genius, 1 and to some extent with Dr. Brunold Springer, who claims that all genius and all creators of culture are of mixed blood. 2 But I deny that heterosis and mixed blood accounts for all genius. It accounts only for those geniuses who have been, as it were, bolts from the blue. 3 And, in any case, the present trend of biological practice in humanity cannot possibly promise the production of a continued crop of such geniuses; because, since heterosis is a phenomenon of crosses between inbred stocks, the widely established practice of random breeding must put an end to it.
Thus the phenomenon of heterosis cannot be used as an argument against inbreeding, or in favour of mixed breeding, since whatever advantages may be obtained by the phenomenon,
1 G.M., pp. 70, 71, 103, 104.
2 DIE BLUTMISCHUNG ALS GRUNDSATZ DES LEBENS.
3 Kretschmer admits another origin of genius besides heterosis. G.M., p. 24, he speaks of that concentration of musical or other qualities through inbreeding occurring in Bach, Goethe, Hölderlin, Uhland, Schelling, etc. See also G.M., pp. 6364. In Galton's HEREDITARY GENIUS there is also a mass of evidence testifying to an origin of genius other than heterosis.
(3) Those who claim that races which are the result of a cross, or of several crosses, are usually superior, belong also to that section of the modern world which, obsessed with the error that inbreeding is per se deleterious, imprudently assume that out or mixed breeding must necessarily be advantageous.
Truth to tell, however, as we have seen, there is no essential virtue about out or mixed breeding. Those desirable qualities not already present in the parental stocks are not likely to be created by any amount of crossing or re-crossing, while those that are there are only likely to be attenuated and diluted. Even when heterosis produces favourable qualities, we must remember that these are not spontaneously created by the mere act of crossing two inbred stocks alone. They are but intensifications of pre-exisiting qualities. 2
Nobody would claim that the incessant crossing between innumerable races that has been going on in the Levant, 3 or in South America, ever since the ancient Greeks and the ancient Peruvians ceased to exist, has produced stocks anything like as desirable as these two inbred peoples. Nobody would claim that modern North America, with its hotch-potch of races, is superior to ancient inbred Egypt. Nor would anybody in his senses ever expect anything like the greatness from the United States that Egypt is known to have achieved.
There cannot, therefore, be any virtue in crossing per se, and those who claim that there is speak without authority and in contradiction of the assembled facts.
The example frequently advanced in lecture halls by people
1 For suggested causes of favourable characters in heterosis, see H., p. 69, also p. 143 infra for further remarks on this point.
2 See p. 115 supra.
3 For a condemnation of the Levantines, see Nilsen, quoted by Lundborg, R.B.M., p. 163.
To such people, the best reply is to urge them to study their subject.
As a matter of fact, there was not anything like the amount of crossing they allege in the production of the English people as it existed up to the middle of the seventeenth century; though what has happened since, in the period which I regard as one of decline, and have shown to be so. 1 it is, of course, impossible to describe.
The earliest inhabitants of Britain, 2 who have survived to our time, were probably a people of Basque and early Mediterranean type, white-skinned but swarthy, like the darkest Italians and Spaniards, and many of their descendants can be recognized in Great Britain to-day. They spread over the whole island and all over Ireland, and outlived to a great extent the subsequent Celtic and Celtic-Aryan invasions.
The people who made these invasions came in successive waves, sometimes at long intervals, and ultimately drove the Euskarians or Basques from certain parts of the island, without, however, annihilating them.
Who were these invaders?
The first were known by the somewhat fanciful name of Aryans a fair-skinned, yellow-haired and blue-eyed folk, who had moved westward from their home in eastern or central Europe, and had reached the western borders of the continent as a conquering and superior race, establishing themselves over the whole of what is now France, Spain and the Low Countries as a rough aristocracy among the defeated, servile early inhabitants. Only in the most completely conquered areas, however, did they ever form the principal part of the population, and when they reached Britain they had so far improved their armaments as to be able to over-run the island fairly quickly. In the south they settled in large numbers hence the fact that the Romans found a tall, fair-haired, light-skinned race when they landed but in the west and north more sparsely. In certain
1 See my DEFENCE OF ARISTOCRACY, Chaps. IV and V.
2 I apologize for entering into this matter, even quite briefly, at this point; but those persons must be held to blame who ignorantly spread the democratic prejudice in favour of mixed breeding by repeatedly ascribing England's greatness to her alleged highly cross-bred stocks.
The Roman occupation, which was little more than a military garrisoning of the country, left little impression on this compound of two races. Besides, most of the legionaries in Britain were, in any case, Gauls, Spaniards, Germans or Low Dutch, that is to say, themselves a mixture of Euskarian and Celtic elements. 1
After the Romans, however, a series of invasions followed, although from the standpoint of the island's ethnological composition, these successive raids hardly altered the position one iota. The English and Saxons were what Ripley calls Teutonic, or late Celts. 2 They were Low Dutch pirates of the same stock as the original invaders of Britain. Opinions diner as to whether they killed off all the Britons. But it seems most unlikely that they did, and the only change they made was to turn the balance in certain parts against the Mediterranean proportion in the nation. The Northmen (Scandinavians), Jutes, and Danes, were of the same stock as the English and Saxons, speaking dialects of the same Celtic tongue, though hailing from different parts of the continent, slightly or very far north of the homes of the English and Saxons. And the Normans or Norsemen, who constituted the second large contribution of Scandinavian blood to the Mediterranean-Teutonic amalgam, were essentially of the same stock as the preceding invaders. 3 They were the same as the Danes who had colonized western England, though perhaps largely intermixed with Mediterranean elements in Gaul, and having forgotten both their original Teutonic tongue and their laws. So far as the proportions of the dark and fair races are concerned, however, the Normans left Britain much as it was before.
1 R.E., p. 311, where Ripley says: "When they [the Romans] abandoned the islands they left them racially as they were before." Most authorities concur.
2 Ibid., p. 121.
3 Of the invasions, Stubbs says (op. cit., I, p. 11): "Not only were all the successive invasions of Britain . . . conducted by nations of common extraction, but with the exception of the ecclesiastical influence, no foreign interference that was not German in origin was admitted at all." See also R.E., p. 311 for confirmation.
Both Mediterranean and Teutonic-Celts were of a high type. Both were certainly closely inbred at the time of their union, 1 and the first offspring of their mixture were not improbably examples of heterosis, some of the advantages of which may, in an attenuated form, have become perpetuated in posterity.
But to say of the English that they are more mixed in blood than either the Italians, the French, or Germans, and to ascribe their superiority to this fact, is simply untrue. 2 The English originally arose from a mixture of at most two races. 3 Their insular position forced endogamy upon them an advantage France and Germany never had and their great culture at the end of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was the outcome of a long period of inbreeding (enforced partly by their geographical position and partly by their own laws) 4 imposed upon the original stocks forming their ancestral races.
England's greatness since the seventeenth century has been due
1 Authorities for this have already been given. But, as to Germans, Tacitus is interesting, as he seems to have known that inbreeding produced homogeneousness. GERMANIA, IV: "In the peoples of Germany there has been given to the world a race untainted by inter-marriage with other races, a peculiar people and pure . . . whence it comes that their physique, in spite of their vast numbers, is identical; fierce blue eyes, red hair, tall frames, etc." (trans. by M. Hutton. London, 1914).
2 Gobineau knew this and ascribed England's conservatism to the homogeneity and purity of the English race (op. cit., p. 42).
3 To show how ill-informed they are who claim that England's greatness is due to the mixture of races, there is strong authoritative support for the view that. until the seventeenth century, the English were chiefly of one race. For, if Sergi is right in his view that the fair or Teutonic race is but a modified variant of the original dark Mediterranean race, and Ripley is right in arguing that, of the three races of Europe Teutonic, Alpine and Mediterranean England is wholly free of the second, then the two points of view taken together point to the English having been derived from two different stocks of the Mediterranean race the fair Teutons and the dark Mediterraneans. See Prof. Sergi's THE MEDITERRANEAN RACE (London, 1901) and Ripley: R.E., p. 365.
4 For these laws, see my DEFENCE OF CONSERVATISM, Chap. V.
Thus although, as we shall see, the crossing of races normally produces disharmony and conflict, and therefore chaos and strife in the life of a nation; if the races are not too disparate, and the period of disturbed equilibrium and conflict can be safely overcome and followed by a long period of inbreeding and rigorous selection, during which homozygosity or psycho-physical harmony and beauty may be restored, and provided also that the stocks crossed are of a high quality, there is no reason why the cross should not bring about desirable results.
This, however, is very far from constituting a plea in favour of indiscriminate, continuous and universal miscegenation such as is commonly advanced by ill-informed, sentimental and thoroughly Christian people in public assemblies. For in the minds of such people there is no knowledge of the problems involved, but only a democratic, unreasoning and ignorant prejudice in favour of random and mixed breeding as such.
Speaking generally, Dr. Rice says: "The mixing of divers races of human beings is practically always to be regarded with regret. It is often said that by such mixtures superior races may be developed, and they cite the case of animal breeders who cross their stock to get better combinations; but practical breeders do not think of crossing two pure breeds unless they are prepared to stand by for a long time and exercise a very rapid selection of offspring." 2
In his monograph on race mixture. Dr. Lundborg says that
1 For an expert's views on miscegenation in England during the last few centuries, see Note 2, p. 142 infra.
2 R.H., p. 308. See also p. 311. Corrado Gini also recommends rigorous selection if a cross is to be successful (P., p. 96). See also W.S.H., pp. 40, 44, 51, 81, and 91, for five separate authoritative opinions against the mixing of races.
Lundborg also quotes England and Japan as examples of this, as does also Dr. Reibmayr. 3
As I have already shown, even if England had the crossed races, she enjoyed subsequent segregation and inbreeding, both as the result of her geographical position and her wise laws. Moreover, the condition insisted upon by Rice and others rigorous selection certainly played a part in producing mediæval England, because until quite recently nothing like the medical and charitable interferences with Natural Selection ever existed. Although the original stocks were not so desirable as in Japan and England, there also appears to have been a happy blend of races in Chile, resulting in comparative homogeneity and harmony. Thus J. P. Lotsy and W. A. Goddijn quote R. C. Haines as affirming "that in Chile a national type has been formed from the mixture of Spaniards and Indians with 'almost no reversion' to the parent races", 4 while reports are also favourable of the cross between English and Maori and German and Samoan. 5
Shapiro, too, claims much the same of the Pitcairn and Norfolk Islanders. He says, there is "less variability among the Norfolk Islanders than among their parent stocks", and he adds, "this unexpected homogeneity of the hybrids contrasted with the English and Tahitans, may be explained by the long-continued and extensive inbreeding among the islanders." 6
1 R.B.M., pp. 165 and 167.
2 R.B.M., p. 57.
3 R.B.M., p. 153, and D.E.T.G., p. 9. Corrado Gini (P., p. 135) also takes this standpoint.
4 GENETICA, 1928. Hybridization Among Human Races in S. Africa, p. 139, foot-note.
5 R.B.M., p. 160.
6 D.M.B., pp. 58 and 68. On p. 58, Shapiro says: "Normally low-standard deviations are associated with racially pure strains. The homogeneity of the Norfolk Islanders may be explained by the fact that they have been, since the inception of the colony, inbreeding very closely. In one individual the genealogy showed that for a possibility of four white great-great-grandparents, there was only one Fletcher Christian."
Thus even Lundborg, who admits the possibility of a new race formation through crossing in some cases, says "As a rule, however, neither a new race is formed, nor does either parent race become resuscitated; but, even in the course of centuries, there results only a mixed population, which displays the most varied combinations of the characters belonging to the parent stocks." 1
Dr. Eugen Fischer, in his exhaustive study of the Bastards of Reheboth, concludes: "Thus we have described a mixture of races, or rather a mixture of race characters, but no mixed or blended race." Then he adds: "We have thus been unable to advance any proof of the existence of a genuine bastard race." 2 And, if we glance at the nineteen portraits of typical Reheboth hybrids at the end of his book, their terrifying ugliness and asymmetry confirms his words. Every line in those hideous features speaks of discord and conflict, and this in spite of the close inbreeding these people have practised. Thus it would seem as if widely divergent races can never blend, and the emphatic views against such unions becomes intelligible.
Ruggles Gate, for instance, says: "As regards world eugenics, then, it would appear that intermixture of unrelated races is from every point of view, undesirable, at least as regards combinations involving one primitive and one advanced race." And he adds, "It is therefore clear that miscegenation between, for example, the white races and African races which for ages have been undergoing separate evolution, which must have been at very different rates, assuming that both are descendants from the same original stock is wholly undesirable from a eugenic or any other reasonable point of view." 3 Earlier in the same work, he says:
1 R.B.M., p. 167. See also p. 45.
2 R.B., p. 223. See also p. 225. See also R.E.W., p. 85, where the slowness of modification and complete blending is insisted on.
3 H.I.M., pp. 335336. See also Dr. Fritz Lenz. (B.F.L., p. 692), and J. W. Gregory: THE MENACE OF COLOUR (London, 1925, pp. 225242), where there is a judicial summing up of the evidence for and against miscegenation, with a conclusion against the practice.
This verdict is supported by the bulk of expert testimony. Lundborg, for instance, quoting E. A. Ross (in SOUTH OF PANAMA) condemns the mulattos, the mestis (Indian + European) and the Zambos (negro + Indian) as being inferior to their parent stocks in physical strength, resistance to disease, intellect and longevity. 2 Quoting Gregory (THE MAN OF COLOUR) he writes: "The hybrids between people in very different grades of culture such as the 'Cape Boys', though they have been very useful in subordinate services, are rather a warning than an encouragement to the miscegenation of distant races." And he also condemns the mestis (hybrids) of Kisar, the Eurasians, 3 and the crosses between white and negro and Indian and negro in South America. 4
Again in 1921 he declared himself convinced that miscegenation increased the disposition to tuberculosis, at least in Sweden. 5 But this means simply that it lowers resistance.
The same charge is made by Dr. Jean Baptiste de Lacerda in his remarks on the crosses between Portuguese and negroes, although he is inclined to plead race equality. "As a rule," he says, "they are not muscular . . . they seem to have little power of resistance." 6
Dr. Livingstone seems to have had some experience of this
1 H.I.M., p. 329. See also B.F.L., where, of crossing widely divergent stocks, it is said: "The whole mechanism of nuclear division and cell division, and above all that of the reduction division, is disturbed and the two different sections of the nucleus are not properly adapted each to the other."
2 R.B.M., p. 159.
3 See also S.R.C. (A. P. Pillay, p. 85), where a similar condemnation will be found.
4 R.B.M., p. 160.
5 H.R., p. 78 and elsewhere. R.B.M., p. 120. See, too, Mjoen: E.R., April, 1922, p. 38.
6 PAPERS ON INTER-RACIAL PROBLEMS, Ed. by G. Spiller (London, 1911, p. 30). Also Spencer (P.B., p. 399), who as early as 1854 suspected that crossing lowered stamina. "Is it not a fact," he asks, "that the pure-breeds are hardier than the mixed ones? Are not the mixed ones, though superior in size, less capable of resisting unfavourable influences extremes of temperature, bad food, etc.? And is not the like true of mankind?" Also Mjoen (RASSENKREUZUNG BEIM MENSCHEN, in VOLK UND RASSE, July, 1928, p. 170), who says the military authorities of Norway have repeatedly declared that the mixed population of northern Norway (hybrids of Norwegians and Lapps) provides on the whole few desirable recruits. In VOLK UND RASSE of April, 1929, p. 74, he says he found tuberculosis and diabetes more prevalent among hybrid stocks than in the rest of the population.
Corrado Gini, on the authority of Mjoen, also claims that the cross-breeds of Norwegian and Eskimos are unfavourable, and inferior to both parents. 2 "The crossing of certain races," he says elsewhere in the same work, "produces particularly unfavourable offspring. This is believed to be specially true of the mixture of whites and negroes as shown by experiences in Portuguese Africa and America." 3
On the other hand. Dr. Eugen Fischer and Dr. Rodenwaldt both report no increased susceptibility to infectious diseases in their hybrids than in the respective parent stocks. 4 This may be due either to more rigorous natural selection, 5 or to ideal conditions. Lundborg, commenting on this fact, says: "If the Reheboth Bastards and Kisar Hybrids do not appear more susceptible to infectious diseases than their parent stocks, this is probably due to the fact that their populations live under exceptionally favourable external conditions." 6
F. L. Hoffman, who collected a quantity of data on the crossing of negro and white, and negro and other races, quotes a letter from Dr. Rogers, dated 1895, about a settlement of thirty fine, full-blooded Dahomeyans near Mobile, Ala. as follows:
. . ."The offspring of those who had married native-born coloured persons exhibited characteristics of an inferior physique
1 MISSIONARY TRAVELS AND RESEARCHES IN S. AFRICA (London, 1857, p. 128). Also N.E., p. 124, where Bryk says much the same of the E. African negro, in whom, he declares, syphilis usually stops at the primary stage.
2 P., p. 127.
3 P., p. 100.
4 R.B., pp. 177222, and M.A.K., p. 311.
5 Both authors admit that rigorous selection did take place.
6 R.B.M., p. 121.
Mr. Hoffman himself says: "It may be said, only with emphasis, that the cross-bred of white man and coloured woman is, as a rule, a product inferior to both parents, physically and morally." 2 And he adds: "It has been stated by Nott and proved by subsequent experience that the mulatto is in every way the inferior of the black, and of all races the one possessed of the least vital force." 3
He then adduces the evidence of various doctors given in the report of the Provost-Marshal General.
H. B. Hubbard, M.D., said: "Although I have known some muscular and healthy mulattoes, I am convinced that, as a general rule, any considerable admixture of white blood deteriorates the physique and impairs the powers of endurance." 4
Dr. McKnight said: "I believe a genuine black far superior in physical endurance to the mulatto or yellow negro." 5
J. H. Mears, M.D., said: "The majority of those rejected [for the Army] are of northern birth and generally mulattoes." 6
L. M. Whitby, M.D., said: "The conviction arising from an examination of a few hundred shades of colour is that the negro proper is well adapted for military service, but that the mulatto and all varieties of mixture of black and white have degenerated physically." 7
R. H. Smith, M.D., said: "In this country the mixture [of the coloured] with the whites contributes greatly to lower the health and the stamina." 8
Referring to some anthropometric data collected by Dr. Gould, Hoffman says: "On the basis of these observations, the conclusion is warranted that the mixed race is physically the inferior of the white and pure black, and as a result of this inferior degree of vital power we meet with a lesser degree of resistance to disease and death."'
Thus Dr. Lenz informs us that in twenty-eight States of the
1 RACE TRAITS AND TENDENCIES OF THE AMERICAN NEGRO (New York 1896, pp. 177178).
2 Ibid., p. 180.
3 Ibid., p. 182.
7 Ibid., p. 183.
8 Ibid., p. 182183. See also D.M., p. 14. "The suggestion that mixed races develop susceptibility of which pure types are incapable appears frequently in the history of epidemic diseases."
9 Op. cit., p. 184. See also B.F.L., p. 177, for confirmation.
But, if the mixing of two races is precarious and leads to doubtful and frequently disastrous results, how much more so is the mixing of several?
"The mixing of all possible unlike races," says Dr. Lundborg, "results on the whole in very inferior offspring. As the result of multifarious miscegenation there arises in the metropolises of the world a biological proletariat, particularly in the lowest classes." 2 And later on he says: "A general mixture would certainly result for the whole of mankind in a fateful downfall of the highest culture races and all their achievements." 3
Writing of the Win Tribe of mongrel Virginians, composed of a mixture of English, Indian and Negro, A. E. Estabrook and Ivan E. McDougle speak of them as "not a very edifying example either of a miscegenated or of a highly inbred stock. . . . The whole Win tribe is below the average, mentally and socially. They are lacking in academic ability, industrious to a very limited degree and capable of taking little training. . . ." 4
Thus, in this case, despite close inbreeding, no good results have been obtained owing to the inferior elements in the mixture, and probably also owing to its complexity. And the same is reported by Lundborg of the gipsies. The gipsies are inbred, but started as an inferior stock, and, cross only with inferior individuals in the countries through which they wander. 5
In accordance with our previous claims, there is no need to add that the crossing of races destroys character and spiritual qualities, because these go with the physical attributes and are inseparably bound up with them. If there is conflict and discord in the latter, there must also be in the former. But every authority, from Darwin to Ruggles Gates argues that crossing is injurious to character, and we shall see from what follows that this result is inevitable. 6
What, then, from the standpoint of the future, is there to be said for the crossing of races? It would appear as if there were very little. The three conditions of a successful blend segregation, inbreeding, and selection have, as we have seen, not
1 M.A.R., p. 303.
2 R.B.M., p. 146.
3 R.B.M., p. 166.
4 MONGREL VIRGINIANS. The Win Tribe (Baltimore, 1926, p. 199).
5 R.B.M., pp. 153154. Havelock Ellis also seems to think that even modern man instinctively dislikes the mixing of races. (S.P.S., IV, p. 176): "It is difficult to be sexually attracted by persons who are fundamentally unlike ourselves in racial constitution."
There are possibly only two arguments that can be brought forward in favour of race-crossing.
(a) It means for the inferior race an elevation in the hierarchy of human races. But it should be remembered that this is at the expense of the higher race.
(b) It may lead to superior adaptation in certain circumstances.
Thus, Corrado Gini says mulattoes are more resistent to certain diseases and tropical climates than the whites." 1 Dr. Eugen Fischer has shown that the Hottentot blood in the Bastards of Reheboth has led to satisfactory adaptation to African conditions. 2 Shapiro also claims superior adaptation for the Norfolk Islanders. 3 Hoffman also claims that intellectually (though not morally) the mulatto is the superior of the pure black. 4 While Dr. Jean Baptiste, who has not much good to say of the cross between Portuguese and negroes, admits that "they are physically and intellectually well above the level of the blacks, who were an ethnical element in their production." 5
Professor East Finch also claims greater intellectual gifts for the mulatto than for the negro. 6
Except for certain physical advantages in the tropics and elsewhere, however, in all the cases of superior adaptation mentioned, the advantages gained by crossing have been at the expense of the superior race. And even in respect to the physical advantages secured, it may be questioned whether the gain of local superior adaptation is worth the sacrifice.
Seeing that the mixing of races is only an extreme case of the
1 P., p. 131. See also Darwin on the mulatto's immunity to yellow fever in tropical America. (D.O.M., p. 193.)
2 R.B., p. 177.
3 D.M.B., p. 69. See also A.H.E., p. 32, where Dr. Beddoe suggests that the cross of the French-Canadians of Quebec with Red Indian blood "brings their constitution into better harmony with the climate," and may account for their having multiplied from a few thousand to a million in a century.
4 Op. cit., p. 184. Against this, however, see Davenport's tests (H.I.M., p. 354) which pointed the other way.
5 PAPERS ON INTER-RACIAL PROBLEMS, p. 380.
6 Ibid., p. 111. Also, H.I.M., p. 354. See also P.S.M., where Macdonald, p. 37, forms an unfavourable view of light-brown and yellow-skinned girls in "public" schools in America. Ed. Byron Reuter, on the other hand, in RACE MIXTURE (New York, 1931) is convinced that the mulatto is superior to the negro. See J.A.M.A., 25.4.31.
On the whole, therefore, we may conclude, with the best authorities, that the mixing of races is, from the standpoint of the superior, certainly to be avoided, and that, since it is too late now deliberately to select two closely allied races and breed from them under conditions of segregation, inbreeding and selection (as it was possible thousands of years ago) in the hope of producing any desirable new race, the whole question whether races should be crossed seems to be for ever closed and settled in the negative for the superior races at least, no matter how much the inferior may try to convince them of the contrary. And further confirmation of this point has yet to come in the sequel.
(4) Those who claim that the ruling families and aristocracies of Europe have degenerated through inbreeding, can find an exhaustive reply to their claims in my DEFENCE OF ARISTOCRACY. But briefly the position is this. While I make no endeavour to vindicate the Bourbons, the Spanish Habsburgs, the Braganzas, the House of Osman, or the later Stuarts, I nevertheless can regard no reference to them as relevant as an argument against inbreeding, unless those who advance them to this end can show that these royal houses did not fail to observe any of the rules which are essential to the preservation of a character or type.
As Dr. Rice points out, "certain of the royal families are very much inbred, and since there are definitely defective strains in them, the effect is bad." 1
Now no amount of inbreeding with defective strains can possibly produce any desirable result, unless it is attended by the most rigorous selection both of mates and offspring. But when has there been any such attempt at selection? The ancient Israelites certainly practised selection more than once in their aristocracy, but no European royal family has ever done so to my knowledge.
Nor is it possible in royal families to exercise any choice of mates along eugenic as opposed to political lines. When, for instance, Henry IV of France married into the Medici family, he
1 R.H., p. 156.
And such reasons have always prevailed over eugenic reasons in the marriages of royalty.
But although there always has been and still is some excuse for royalty if they do not mate eugenically because they are bound to consider political reasons there can be no such excuse for the aristocracy and the people.
Take, for instance, the marriage of Louis XIV of France! For reasons of state, he sacrificed his first deep and romantic love for Marie Mancini, who appears to have been both healthy and brilliant, in order to suit the diplomatic schemes of Cardinal Mazarin by marrying an ugly, rather stupid and unhealthy Spanish woman, the Infanta Maria Theresa. Her two brothers were so puny and sickly that nobody expected them to live, while she herself was undersized, anything but robust, and so nearly incapable of ensuring the royal line that five out of the six children she bore Louis XIV died in their infancy. Louis XIV, who is described as a "healthy young fellow", and as "tall and strong and masculine in stature" 1 could hardly have been responsible for this lack of stamina in his offspring, but he was prevented from choosing a better mate.
Nor was Louis XV's marriage any more eugenic. There were ninety-nine candidates for the king's hand. Ultimately this number was reduced to five, two of whom were daughters of the Prince of Wales. But the matter was decided neither by Louis XV's taste, nor any knowledge of sound genetics. It was decided by a chapter of accidents, among which the Protestant faith of the English princesses, George I's dislike of a possible union between one of them and Louis, and a violent quarrel between Madame de Prie and Mademoiselle de Vermandois (one of the candidates) played a prominent part. At all events the motives which ultimately led Louis XV's advisers to
1 THE NATIONAL HISTORY OF FRANCE (THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY, by J. Boulenger, London, 1920 pp. 168174).
To argue of a class like royalty, therefore, that they often show signs of degeneracy because they are inbred, as if inbreeding per se were the cause of the mischief, may reveal a certain skill in appealing to the democratic emotions of a public audience; but it assuredly makes no serious contribution to the science of biology, or of human genetics.
But the argument against inbreeding, based on the alleged degeneracy of the aristocracy is not very much more sound; for, quite apart from the fact that eugenic motives and caution have always failed and still fail to play a part in the mating both of aristocrat and mob in Christian Europe, the repeated and very numerous additions to the peerage within comparatively recent times would have sufficed to prevent anything in the nature of too close inbreeding, as can easily be seen from the following brief summary:
Not more than 29 temporal peers received Writs of Summons to the first Parliament of Henry VII; Henry VIII never summoned more than 51, and, at the death of Queen Elizabeth this number had increased to 59. James I created 62; Charles I, 59; Charles II, 64, and James II, 8. Thus, at the end of the Stuart line, the peerage should have numbered 252, but during the Stuart reigns 99 peerages became extinct, so that at the Revolution of 1688 the peerage stood at about 150. William III and Queen Anne increased this further to 168, and the first two kings of the House of Hanover continuing to make additions to the peerage, brought it in 1760 up to 174.
Then places in Parliament began to be bought outright. Men holding seats were bribed with money, knighthoods, baronetcies or peerages to give them to a certain party, and altogether from 1760 to 1820 no less than 388 universe were made.
William Pitt, the younger, was a principal offender here, and if the prestige of our aristocracy considerably declined during the nineteenth century, he is largely to blame. Referring to his creations. Green says: "The whole character of the House of Lords was changed. Up to this time it had been a small assembly of great nobles, bound together by family or party ties into a distinct power in the state. From this time it became the strong-
1 Similar examples could be taken from all the Courts of Europe. Charles I's marriage with Henrietta was no more eugenic than was his father's with Anne of Denmark. Religion in both cases, and the fate of the Orkneys in one, loomed more prominently than taste or sound principles in mating.
Speaking of this class of peer, Lecky says: "They were nearly all men of strong Tory opinions promoted for political services, the vast majority of them were men of no real distinction; and they at once changed the political tendencies and greatly lowered the intellectual level of the assembly to which they were raised." 2
Now even if inbreeding had had time to work its worst evils among the descendants of these peers, which it certainly had not, what in any case could have been expected from the progeny of these men who had flooded the Upper House? The law of heredity does not work miracles. It cannot turn sows ears into silk purses. And if by 1820 there was already some outcry against the hereditary chamber, let us be quite satisfied that it was not provoked by any degeneration supposed to have been caused by the close intermarriage of these eighteenth- and nineteenth-century peers. If you have bad material to start with, it is nonsense, and, before ignorant audiences, actually dishonest, to ascribe to the hereditary principle or to inbreeding an evil which no authority now claims either can create.
Seeing that in 1860, a century after the accession of George III, no more than 98 of the odd 450 peers could claim an earlier creation than the reign of that monarch, it would be more just and historically more correct to say that the incompetence and general lack of ruler ability which characterize the House of Lords, are due to the method of selection rather than to the hereditary principle, or to inbreeding.
When we bear in mind that since 1760 over six hundred new peers, that is to say, more than nine-tenths of the whole House, and since 1820, at least three-quarters of the total number of peers have been created, the hereditary character of the peerage acquires a different aspect, and if incompetence and misrule have characterized the Upper House, they must surely be traced to another source than too close inbreeding.
What do inbreeding and cross- or out-breeding mean respectively to the health of a people?
I cannot now add much to what has already been said on character and will power in the section on miscegenation above. But the evidence in favour of inbreeding here is enormous.
1 A SHORT HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH PEOPLE (1891, p. 816).
2 HISTORY OF ENGLAND IN THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY, V, p. 293.
Even Dr. Springer, who is such an ardent advocate of mixed breeding, is forced to admit, when discussing Sombart's statement that certain crossed stocks have not the spiritual balance of pure races, that this "is not quite untrue", though he adds, in order to save his theory, "but nothing was ever created by spiritual balance." 4
He has evidently forgotten the fact reiterated with such emphasis by Reibmayr, that all culture has been created by endogamous people that is to say, people with the "spiritual balance" which he acknowledges is a property of the inbred. If, however, we have ceased to separate the psychological from the physiological, and we know that out- or cross-breeding produces physiological discord, the inference that it also produces mental conflict, and therefore unstable or unbalanced character, is obvious.
Character is based on instinct and long racial habituation. Now
1 FRAGMENTS, 185192.
2 Gibbon's DECLINE AND FALL (1898, VI, p. 86). See also, supra, pp. 52, 53 and 55 for references to Egyptians, Jews and Greeks.
3 I.U.V., p. 37. See also p. 73: "It is more difficult for an exogamic than for an endogamic people to rear a leading caste possessed of pronounced character, and that is why such people are never able to play a prominent part in the history of human civilizations, so long as they remain faithful to the custom of exogamy.
4 S.R.C., p. 481.
In this sense, the extreme random breeding of to-day is probably not unconnected with the increase in mental instability and possibly too with the increase in insanity and mental defectiveness. 1
To concentrate upon the effects of miscegenation on the constitution, however, the chief of these are:
(a) Degeneracy, by inducing reversion.
(b) Dysfunction and disease, by the production of individuals who are inharmonious whose bodies are discordant jumbles of unrelated parts from various unlike stocks.
(c) Increase of national morbidity, owing to the fact that there is no canalization of disease, none of health, and that deleterious factors are spread even among sound stocks.
I will now examine these effects in their order.
(a) Darwin and others have shown that out-breeding leads to reversion in many different species in pigeons, ducks, horses, rabbits, cattle, pigs, etc. and that the crossing of cultivated stocks invariably produces throw-backs to a stage much earlier in the history of the race. 2
His experiments with pigeons are classical, and I will concentrate on these. He took a male Nun (white, with the head, tail, and primary wing feathers black), a breed established as long ago as 1600, and crossed him with a female red common Tumbler, which variety generally breeds true. "Thus neither parent had a trace of blue plumage, or of bars on the wing and tail." 3 He reared several young from this cross, and all of them had characters of the wild rock pigeon, the common ancestor of all pigeons. They had blue in their plumage, of which there was no trace in the parent stocks, and one or two had other primitive colourings or markings. He obtained similar reversionary characters from crossing male black Barbs with female red Spots, snow-white Fantails with Trumpeters, and so on, and he came to the conclusion that "the act of crossing in itself gives an
1 See Mjoen (E.R., April, 1922, pp. 3638). On p. 38 he says of the hybrid between Lapp and Norwegian: "The main feature of this type was an unbalanced mind." Also Dr. H. Hoffman (K.U.C. p. 71.) for similar views.
2 V.A.P.U.D., II, Chap. XIII. Also Archdall Reid: THE PRINCIPLES OF HEREDITY (London, 1906, pp. 6975).
3 V.A.P.U.D., p. 207.
A. D. Darbishire has more recently achieved similar results and came to similar conclusions. He experimented with peas, fowls and mice, and his work on the latter is fully reported. 2 Mating the Japanese waltzing mouse with the albino, he obtained by the first cross a hybrid which he describes as follows: "The coat is dark grizzly grey, hardly distinguishable from that of the house mouse, and the eyes are jet black." Now both the albino and the Japanese waltzing mouse have pink eyes. The albino has no pigment at all, and the Japanese waltzing mouse "is coloured exactly like the albino except that it possesses patches of fawn-yellow fur on its shoulders and haunches." 3 Reciprocal crosses were identical.
These facts are very important, and since they point to a phenomenon that has been observed in numerous other species, it seems justifiable to assume that in cases of confused heritage there is a tendency for the offspring to throw back to a remote common ancestor of both parents, which of course means degeneracy, that is to say, returning to a stage from which evolution had already elevated a species. 4
Probably much light is shed on modern man by this phenomenon. It may account for innumerable regrettable characters in his constitution; for to-day we are not only breeding with the utmost confusion, but actually crossing races which have been apart much longer than the Fantail pigeon has, say, from the Runt or Barb.
Such and similar facts reminded Darwin "of the statements so frequently made by travellers in all parts of the world, on the degraded state and savage disposition of crossed races of men." And he added that from them "we may perhaps infer that the degraded state of so many half-castes is in part due to reversion to a primitive and savage condition, induced by the act of cross-
1 V.A.P.U.F., II, p. 13.
2 BREEDING AND THE MENDELIAN DISCOVERY (London, 1911, Chaps. VI, VIII and XIV).
3 Ibid., p. 75.
4 Darbishire ascribed this reversion "to the reunion in one individual of two characters, the simultaneous presence of both of which is necessary for the existence of the ancestral character" (ibid., pp. 117 and 231). See, however, Archdall Reid op. cit., p. 87), who says: "All the phenomena of reversion are explained by failure or recapitulation." See also same work, p. 73, footnote.
The facts and arguments advanced above, in the section on the crossing of races, receive fresh confirmation from this phenomenon of reversion through cross-breeding, and it is not improbable that much of the ancient prejudice against miscegenation was based upon observations which, although they led to no body of scientific knowledge about genetics, pointed to some such consequences of mixed breeding as Darwin discovered. It is, therefore, not uninstructive to turn back to the attitude of savages and of the ancients towards miscegenation described above, and to consider it afresh in the light of modern discoveries.
(b) The fact that out- and cross-breeding must lead to ill-health, often of the most obscure and undiagnosable kind, by producing discordant individuals; or, to put it with the utmost moderation, the fact that miscegenation and random breeding cannot lead to such perfect health as inbreeding and incest, has not yet been recognized by medicine, but it soon must be. And here I suggest that, owing to the enormous amount of fresh light which the facts I am about to adduce shed on the etiology of dysfunction, this section of these two chapters on inbreeding is probably the most important, and the one which most amply repays the pains and sometimes tiresome elaborateness with which I have had to lay the whole case before the reader.
It is hardly deniable that any intelligent man, facing the facts, could have come a priori to the conclusion science is reaching to-day. For, if breeding is the conjunction of two germ-cells, and their production of a new individual is the intermingling of two sets of stock qualities, then it would seem elementary to conclude that, if harmony and beauty are to result, the offspring should come from parents who, apart from sexual differences, are not too different as regards their stock qualities. In other words, seeing that each of the two germ-cells, male and female, contain developmental factors, or genes, which determine the constitution and character of the future offspring, these developmental factors, or genes, which Federley picturesquely calls "the bricks" of which the individual is built, coming from the two parents, cannot be too much alike if perfect harmony and beauty are to result.
Otherwise, as seems obvious, there must arise something
1 V.A.P.U.D., II, p. 21.
The ancients knew this. And if we have had to wait until the last decade for science to tell it to us again, it is because science, owing to its democratic and fool-proof method, has to wait until it can present knowledge in such a form as to convince the meanest intelligence, before it can issue any fiat whatsoever. 1
How does modern science confirm what the wise ancients knew, and what any intelligent man, free from Christian, or any other form of magic, knows about breeding?
Modern science tells us definitely and emphatically that, since the relative size of the different parts of the body in different people varies to an appreciable extent, and since parts of the body can be and are inherited from each parent independently, so that a man can get his teeth from one parent and his jaw from another, and so on, 2 marked differences of type or race, or build, or looks, between parents must lead to disharmony in their offspring, often of a serious nature.
"The fact that there are inherent differences in the size of organs and parts is of profound significance," says Dr. Crew, "when it is remembered that it involves the inevitable sequel that racial and other crossings can lead to serious disharmony." 3
"It follows from Mendel's laws," says Lundborg, "that in the crossing of races, it is not the whole combination of characters (genotype), whether of the father or the mother, that is inherited, but rather, that every character, more or less, is inherited independently." 4
Exactly eighty years ago Herbert Spencer wrote as follows on this very point: "An unmixed constitution is one in which all the organs are exactly fitted to each other are perfectly balanced:
1 See H., p. 60: "In science the personal factor counts for very little, for its facts are such as can be verified by anybody amenable to reason."
2 Prosper Lucas seems to have known this as far back as 1847, for he said (see M.H., pp. 119 and 124): "No individual . . . can be said to bear in his organisation or in his mode of life the stamp of one of his parents alone. In one part of his system the mother, in another the father, predominates. . . . A father may transmit to a child the brain, and the mother the stomach, one the heart, the other the liver, one the kidneys, the other the bladder, and so on."
3 O.I.I.M., p. 125.
4 R.B.M., p. 36.
This has been the subject of comment among the field ethnologists. Dr. Eugen Fischer noticed the phenomenon in his. Bastards of Reheboth, and declared he could find no correlation of the racial characters inherited." 2
Dr. Rodenwaldt, though he found some correlation, noticed the same phenomenon in his Hybrids of Kisar, 3 of which more anon.
Miss Fleming found that in mixed crosses between negro men and white women in England, there were cases of negro skin combined with flaxen hair, or negro colouring with black woolly hair and very white scalp. In other cases the eyes and lips were English, the hair dark, scalp very light, and the skin colour a rich brownish red. Thus she found characters of eye, skin, hair and lips inherited with some degree of independence. 4
Lundborg tells us that the chin is probably inherited independently of the parts constituting the angle of the jaw. He also assures us that there are at least four different parts of the nose which can be inherited independently. 5
Speaking of the crossing of races, Ruggles Gates says: "Physical disharmonies result, such as the fitting of large teeth into small jaws, or serious malocclusion of the upper and lower jaw; 6 or, as Davenport points out, large men with small internal organs or inadequate circulatory systems, or other disharmonies which tax the adjustability of the organism and may lead to early death.
1 P.B., pp. 397, 398. See also a most interesting letter written by Spencer to Kentaro Keneko in 1892, telling him whether the Japanese should be allowed to intermarry with foreigners (D. Duncan's LIFE AND LETTERS OF HERBERT SPENCER, London, 1908, p. 322). "It should be positively forbidden," writes Spencer, ". . . there arises an incalculable mixture of traits, and what may be called a chaotic constitution." The whole letter (a long one) should be read.
2 R.B., p. 255.
3 M.A.K., p. 333. Also p. 405: "It has been proved, or shown as probable, that man's racial characters are inherited independently."
4 H.I.M., p. 356. See also D.C.S.R., p. 98, where Dr. Talbot gives numerous examples of characters independently inherited in offspring of negro Portuguese-Indian parents.
5 R.B.M., p. 90.
6 Dr. Talbot records this in fact in 1898. See D.C.S.R., pp. 249250.
Thus, breeding from parents who are dissimilar in other respects besides sex, is like making up a machine with spare parts derived at random from different-patterned machines. So that when parents display marked disparities in build, size, constitution, habits and general appearance, all kinds of disharmonies may occur in their offspring too small or too large a heart for the size of the body, too small or too large a liver for the size of the other abdominal viscera, too small or too large a stomach, and so on ad infinitum.
In his study of the Hybrids of Kisar, Dr. Rodenwaldt even found that their legs and arms were being inherited independently of their trunks, and of each other a condition which, as he says, "if it happened to a quadruped, might make the animal non-viable." 2
Long before these facts were known to me, I had decided, on the score of the independent inheritance of teeth and jaws alone, that results equally serious in other parts of the body must inevitably follow miscegenation, and my friends, including the Editor of this series, are aware that I was constantly emphasizing the need of seeking the etiology of much modern disability and debility in the sub-acute manifestations of these physical disharmonies. Now, however, that these facts have become definitely established, it is impossible to escape the conclusion that an enormous amount of modern disease and of obscure and chronic dysfunction must be due to disharmony of this nature, which is never suspected except when it presents itself to the naked eye in the form of a marked disproportion between the jaw and teeth; while it also accounts for that notorious lowered
1 H.I.M., p. 329. Castle appears to question Davenport's conclusions (H.E., p. 29); but the confirmation they have received from independent investigators such as Rodenwaldt, Darbishire and Fleming, incline one to believe they are right. Ruggles Gates, for instance, says: "A child may happen to inherit all the relatively long or short segment lengths of its two parents, and may thus be taller or shorter than either parent. Thus uniformity is not to be expected in marriage between tall and short people." (H.E., p. 29.) See also Darbishire (op. cit., pp. 88 and 244 et seq.).
2 M.A.K., p. 334. See also Darbishire (op. cit., p. 88), who found a mouse's colour and nature of movements inherited independently. See also a monstrous experiment reported by J. F. Nisbet (M.H., p. 124), in which, in a cross between a bull and a mare, the muzzle, tongue and spleen and eyes of the bull, and the teeth, stomach, womb and viscera of the horse, were independently inherited. See also Mjoen for disharmonies in rabbit cross-breds (E.R., April, 1922, p. 36).
The fact that certain well-known and acute diseases or disabilities are definitely traceable to disproportions of this nature should suffice to convince us that less obvious and less acute cases cannot fail to be the cause of much discomfort, debility and unhappiness.
For instance, in Hirschprung's disease, which leads to stubborn constipation, and other disorders of the abdomen, "the colon is. of abnormally large calibre", and "there is from earliest childhood a tendency to the accumulation of great masses of fæces in the large gut." 1 In congenital dislocation of the hip, there is a disproportion between the ball of the femur and the socket in the pelvis. And it is interesting to note that as regards this disease, the Norwegian anthropologist, H. Bryn, "has drawn attention to evidence showing that it is especially common in areas where there is an unusually intense mingling of races." 2
Sir Arthur Keith says that we must regard myopia "as a structural disharmony", 3 which, though he does not actually say so, is probably due to miscegenation; while another affection of the eyes, known as heterochromia, in which one eyes is brown and the other bluish grey, and which is also in all probability due to miscegenation, is not unattended with pathological symptoms. 4
Dr. Kathleen Vaughan, discussing maternal morbidity, places among the first of the three things "that really cause difficult childbirth": the shape of the pelvis brim, now oval but normally round, to fit the child's head." 5 And Dr. F. G. Crookshank, commenting on these remarks of Dr. Vaughan's, writes: "Disharmony between the maternal pelvis and the foetal head is sometimes . . . due to conflict between 'paternal' and 'maternal' strains . . . human beings can roughly be divided into long-headed and short-headed types, and there are pelvic forms corresponding to these. So if a mother who, although English, is yet slightly mongoloid with a round head and a round pelvis,
1 B.F.L., p. 377.
2 Ibid., p. 296.
3 THE NATURE OF MAN'S STRUCTURAL IMPERFECTIONS (NATURE, 12.12.1925, p. 867). Mjoen in his first VOLK UND RASSE Article, p. 171, makes the same claim, and adds (p. 173): "These abnormalities . . . provoke the suspicion that other organs or parts thereof in the mongrel may show disproportions and disharmonies in size and functional capacity, which, though they may not be apparent, may have serious consequences in the creature's life."
4 B.F.L., p. 227.
5 B.M.J., 22.10.32.
This point of view seems to have been held, before the correspondence quoted above took place, by the celebrated gynæcologist, Dr. G. Fitzgibbon, who is reported to have written that "little more than one per cent of cases of fto-pelvic disproportion are due to pelvic deformity, and that fewer than 20 per cent present even mild indications of a rachitic diathesis; the remainder are normal, healthy women in whom the disproportion is only an accident connected with a particular confinement. The increased incidence of fto-pelvic disproportion during the past two generations may be traced to increased facilities of transport, with intermarriage of different physical stocks." 2
Dr. Fritz Lenz, discussing the same problem, says: "Speaking generally, the shape and size of the maternal pelvis and the shape and size of the infantile head are mutually adapted. The obvious result of this will be that in mixed populations difficult labour from maladaptation in this respect will be peculiarly apt to arise. My own experience has taught me that when Swiss bovines, which are slender, wild-coloured animals, are crossed with stout black-and-white Dutch or East Frisian bovines, difficult labour is much commoner than in either of the parental races." 3
There are, of course, other causes which also contribute their share to the difficulties of childbirth among civilized women, and the great mortality of mothers, and I have myself called attention to some of them; 4 but the only cause relevant here, which no doubt plays a considerable part, is that suggested above.
Lundborg is convinced that miscegenation produces changes in the constitution as the result of a disequilibrium of the nervous systems and the endocrine balance, and he says: "This manifests itself in different ways, for instance, among other things, hypo-
1 Ibid., 5.11.32.
2 B.M.J., 8.3.30. (The italics are mine. A.M.L.) As to increased facilities for transport and miscegenation, see p. 116 supra. See also Dr. H. J. Fleure (R.E.E., p. 19): "Not only as between English and Irish, or English or Welsh, but as between English and French, or English and German, there has further been enough intermarriage in our country in recent centuries, and especially the last eighty years, to suggest care and reserve in discussions on origins and breeds."
2 B.F.L., p. 404. See also Berkusky (op. cit., p. 726), who says the negro prohibition of intercourse between their women and whites may have arisen from the difficulties and dangers experienced by negresses, owing to their relatively narrow pelvis, in bearing children to white men.
3 LYSISTRATA (London, 1924).
And he even throws some light upon the phenomenon known as "heterosis" discussed above. 2 For he says: "As a consequence of the disturbance of the endocrine system, there occur alterations in growth." And further, in the same connexion: "I come to the conclusion that miscegenation, in addition to many other effects on the offspring, often causes an increase in height." 3
As regards the actual disabilities and diseases resulting from the disharmony caused by miscegenation, however, it is probable that modern medicine is only on the fringe of a whole held of new discoveries. For it is impossible to compute how much of modern subacute and chronic dysfunction and degeneracy may be due to the same cause, owing to our rooted bias in favour of mixed and random breeding. 4
I have long been suggesting to friends in private that even the recent noticeable increase in cancer all over the civilized world may not be unrelated to the excessive crossing and re-crossing of types and stocks which improved means of transport and communication has, as we have seen, brought about.
For when it is remembered that cancer tissue is composed of cells alike in type to those of embryonic tissue so much so, indeed, that long ago Cohnheim suggested that cancer was due to "embryonic rests"; and when it is also remembered that nature has a tendency to revert when she is contused by marked or excessive crossing of divergent types, how can we dismiss the idea that cancer may be due partly to a cell reversion brought about by miscegenation? Mr. Lockart-Mummery's recent conclusion that the increase of cancer is due to civilized man's having
1 H.R., p. 79. See also R.B.M., p. 53: "In . . . comparatively pure-bred individuals there appears as a rule a sort of equilibrium between the endocrine glands, a sort of harmonious co-operation, which manifests itself in a harmonious development of the bodily and spiritual characters. But in crosses and mongrels this equilibrium is disturbed hence probably the physical and psychological disharmonies so frequently produced in bastards."
2 See pp. 113118 supra.
3 H.R., pp. 8082.
4 See D.H.T.G., p. 324. "I understand by degeneration an acquired and hereditary disturbance of the harmony (correlation) between the individual organs in the plant or animal body, i.e. a departure from these characters necessary for the stability of the individual, the family, the caste, or the nation." Also Mjoen (VOLK UND RASSE, 2nd Art., p. 74), who says that even the frequency of diabetes in Lapp and Norwegian hybrids may be due to the bastard's inheriting his pancreas from the smaller race, in which case it could not adequately perform its function in the larger body of the hybrid, especially if heterosis occurred as well.
We need but little imagination to see how far our laws against incest and close consanguinity in mating have probably driven us from that superb health which is harmony and correlation in body and mind, and a new light is thrown not only on modern man's chrome physical morbidity, but also on his perpetual and innumerable mental conflicts, his restlessness, and his increasing mental instability.
"A hybridized people," says Davenport, "will tend to be restless, dissatisfied, ineffective; the high death rate in middle life may be due to bodily maladjustments, and much of the crime and insanity to the inheritance of badly adjusted mental and temperamental differences." 2
Lundborg, speaking of mongrel humans, and referring to what I have described above as the confusion of racial memories and emotional reflexes in such people, says, quoting Nilson: "No definite line points the way for them, they waver between disconnected and hereditary tendencies." 3
Even in the realm of æsthetics and physical beauty, mixed and cross-breeding cannot fail to have the direst effects; for since, as we have seen, parts of the face and body can be and are inherited independently, it seems inconceivable that, except for a miracle of good fortune, anyone with a symmetrical or good-looking face and body should ever be produced in our random-bred population to-day. I have spoken of the terrifying ugliness of the Reheboth Bastards, and below I quote what three experts on genetics have to say regarding the question of crossing in relation to beauty:
"Inasmuch as the separate characters that combine to make up a physiognomy are capable of being separately inherited," say Doctors Fischer, Baur, and Lenz, "so that they may be either transmitted as a whole from one parental side, or can appear as a mingling derived from both sides, we have the possibility of the production of what strikes us as a racially harmonious type or of what seems to be an unbeautiful and dis-
1 See also Hastings Gilford, F.R.C.S. THE CANCER PROBLEM AND ITS SOLUTION (London 1934).
2 H.E., p. 236.
3 R.B.M., p. 163. The Romans regarded hybrids as wanting in sense. In Martial, for instance (VIII, 22). "hybrid" is a synonym for "fool" the meaning being, a man must be a hybrid, i.e. a fool, to mistake ordinary pork for boar's flesh.
But it will be argued that, in Europe, we have no mingling of races such as that which immigration has caused in America, and which was the subject of Davenport's study. In enumerating the three kinds of crossing, however, Ruggles Gates describes the first kind as that which takes place between individuals of the same race "who usually differ from each other in many minor characters and are also themselves heterozygous for many factor differences." 2
Although, therefore, to-day in England and Europe we may be no longer concerned with actual races, but only with populations; within these populations the utmost confusion of types prevails. There is complete confusion of sizes, shapes and symmetries. As I have shown in Chapter I, individual differentiation has reached extreme limits. And since this differentiation of types is often as marked and as fundamental as it is between races Kretschmer thinks it possible that races may tend to run to certain types 3 everything that has been said regarding the crossing of races applies almost with equal force to the crossing and mixing of types. It is not surprising, therefore, that this "biological proletariat", forbidden incest, and led by magic prejudice to avoid even cousin marriages, produces generation after generation of people who suffer not only from complete unattractiveness or actual ugliness, but also from all the other consequences of mental and bodily disharmony.
True, Rodenwaldt discovered that bounds appeared to be set to the independent inheritance of psycho-physical characters. He
1 B.F.L., p. 162.
2 H.I.M., p. 329.
3 G.M., pp. 8081. Ripley's findings (R.E., pp. 121123) seem to confirm this. On the other hand Weidenreich shows cogently (R.U.K., pp. 6263) that the same types run through all races. He does, however, conclude (p. 64) that certain races may show a stronger tendency than others to produce a particular constitutional type.
But while we must conclude that certain psycho-physical characters are, as a rule, handed on in groups 2 which prevent a too-frequent occurrence of lethal combinations of independently inherited characters, even on Dr. Rodenwaldt's own showing, an uncommon number of psycho-physical characters are actually inherited independently and can, therefore, combine in the child of disparate parents to produce all kinds of mental and physical maladjustments a fact, as we have seen, overwhelmingly confirmed by Dr. Fritz Lenz, Dr. Lundborg, Dr. Eugen Fischer, Ruggles-Gates and others.
Moreover, as Dr. Rodenwaldt says: "Even if it be probable that there is no splitting-up of character correlations [character linkage groups] which are vital, and that even between different complexes and their characters correlation is sustained in crossing, this does not mean that a higher correlation of bodily parts would not bring about an improved constitution and greater psycho-physical efficiency." 3
(c) A third reason why mixed and cross-breeding must be deleterious, and therefore unfavourable to the health of a nation, is that they disseminate and conceal taints. They do not rid a stock of deleterious factors, they merely hand them on in the dark. Darbishire's experiments have clearly shown that a recessive gene, although it may be associated with its dominant allelomorph for generations and made inactive, is not influenced by this long association, and loses none of its effectiveness. 4
So that random and mixed breeding merely cover up morbid tracks. And, in a biological proletariat like the population of modern England, in which most stocks possess the utmost variety of morbid factors, 5 mixed breeding merely hides and
1 M.A.K., p. 333.
See H., pp. 3031: "There is a certain number of character linkage groups, and it has been shown that this number is the same as that of the chromosomes in the gamete. The members of the different character linkage groups assort independently in accordance with Mendel's second law, while the members of one and the same linkage group, un the other hand. remained linked in inheritance." (Mendel's second law is concerned with the independent association of developmental factors.)
3 M.A.K., p. 413.
4 Op. cit., p. 244 et seq.
5 See Lenz: M.A.R., p. 470. It is true he refers to Germany; but the late war showed that morbidity in the population is by no means less in England than on
All the trumpery advantages secured by a healthy man's being forced by law to avoid a close consanguineous union, and to strike a fifty-fifty bargain with a contaminated girl, giving her children the chance of 50 per cent of his health, against the chance of 50 per cent of her diabetes, myopia and hepatic insufficiency, are thus seen to be merely illusory, and the principle by which such a union is enforced is one of universal discord and pollution.
As Professor Castle says: "Continued crossing only tends to hide inherent defects, not to exterminate them, and inbreeding only tends to bring them to the surface, not to create them." 1
I therefore suggest that to-day we are not only in need of a purification of our stocks, otherwise such a body as the Eugenic Society would hardly have any raison-d'être, but also that by prolonging our present method of random and mixed breeding, we are now merely living on and consuming the health capital still represented by our uncontaminated stocks.
But even this policy of persistently drawing 50 per cent of the blood of our healthy stocks into the contaminated pool from which each new generation springs, is not and cannot be successful, seeing that degeneracy is showing no signs of abating but rather the reverse. 2
We are therefore living in a fool's paradise.
While there is yet time we must canalize our healthy strains and canalize our polluted ones. And, if we cannot compel the unhealthy not to breed, and cannot guarantee to the healthy spouses worthy of them, let us at least encourage both sorts to marry their like, or else compel them to do so.
As Dr. Fritz Lenz says: "Really healthy and efficient families are too valuable to be mixed with the sick and morbid; they ought, therefore, as far as possible, to intermarry among themselves, as ought also the less desirable." 3
The simplest way to effect this eugenic and constructive form
the Continent. In fact, if we are to believe Mr. Lloyd George, who was then Prime Minister, it was very much worse. See also M.L., p. 404: "Most deleterious characters are recessive in nature; there are thus about ten times as many carriers of defects as there are defectives."
1 Op. cit., p. 224.
2 Those who doubt this should read Sir George Newman's latest report on THE HEALTH OF THE SCHOOL CHILD (Nov., 1933. H.M. Stationery Office). Formidable as this document is, however, as evidence of racial decline, it is only one among hundreds of similar documents. See my MAN: AN INDICTMENT (London, 1927), also Note 1 p. 144.
3 M.A.R., p. 476.
The simplest, most natural and most effective way, I suggest, is to break down the barriers now preventing the mating of close relatives, to make it plain to all that these barriers, like many more beliefs in this alleged scientific age, are based on magic, and to spread a new feeling and a new prejudice through the world, which will be against the marriage of unlike or unrelated people.
This would have the immediate effect of canalizing desirability and undesirability, and would straightway separate the sheep from the goats.
True, the morbidity and deaths among unsound and polluted stocks would be heavy, and it would require the utmost courage to pursue the policy. But English people do not usually lack the courage to pursue the things they desire. The question really is, do they genuinely desire health and sanity? Or are they already too completely debilitated to care?
Between 1925 and 1930, 29,132 people were killed in England and Wales by motor vehicles of all kinds. 5,319 of these were children under ten. 1
In spite of this high and utterly futile death-rate from cars, there is no national protest. Why? Because English people wish to have cars and are brave and determined enough to see 30,000 other people unselectively sacrificed in five years in order to get what they wish.
Are they, however, prepared to sacrifice constructively and usefully many more people than they now sacrifice unselectively and uselessly to the internal combustion engine? It is doubtful.
If, however, they do desire health and sanity much more than cars, here would be a rapid means of securing both, though, as Dr. Crew says, it would be expensive. 2
There is no reason to suppose, however, that it would necessarily be an expensive experiment in the healthy stocks. For the investigations of G. H. Darwin, Anstie, A. H. Huth and others into the results of first-cousin marriages, even among our random-bred, contaminated stocks, revealed a surprisingly low incidence of morbidity. In fact, G. H. Darwin found that the
1 In the last fifteen years 75,000 people have been killed by motor vehicles.
2 O.I.I.M., p. 97. "Inbreeding will purify a stock, but the process may be most expensive."
Truth to tell, however, while, from the point of view of sound eugenic policy, close consanguineous and even incestuous mating might immediately be encouraged among tainted and morbid stocks, so that disease and deleterious hereditary factors should become canalized and eliminated as soon as possible, it is neither practicable nor advisable to resort to the closest consanguinity in mating sound stocks, because of the danger of too rapidly isolating uniform strains with a too-limited set of desirable qualities in them. 2 In the case of really sound stocks, therefore, it would probably be advisable to be content, for a few generations at least, with using pressure only to obtain as many first-cousin marriages as possible. Speaking of these, Dr. Feldman says: "If there is any particularly valuable hereditary quality in the cousins, the marriage between them should intensify that quality in their offspring." 3
But for both schemes, a new and very much enlightened attitude will have to be adopted by modern mankind, and much latter-day magic will have to be abandoned. For it is unlikely that a scheme of canalization both of disease and of health could ever be practicable unless accompanied by rigorous artificial selection and legalized infanticide. 4
1 See a paper read before the Statistical Society, 16.3.1875, on MARRIAGES BETWEEN FIRST COUSINS AND THEIR EFFECTS. The general conclusion on p. 172 is that "there is no evidence whatever of any evil results occurring to the offspring in consequence of the cousinship of the parents." See also R.H., p. 156. See also the AMERICAN JOURNAL OF INSANITY (18691870) with its report of a committee appointed in 1869 by the New York State Medical Society to investigate the influence of consanguineous marriages upon offspring. The conclusion is that when a family is free from degenerate taint, marriage among relatives does not reduce the chances of healthy progeny.
2 Selection can only act formatively on a stock that is still heterozygous for many of its characters. When once homozygosity has been achieved "further selection is without avail" (H., p. 62). And Dr. Crew adds: "the effectiveness of selection depends on the presence of inborn variability" (H., p. 63). See also Kronacher (op. cit., pp. 4547). who deals carefully with the danger of concentrating too rapidly to the point of uniformity.
3 T.J.C., p. 29. See also p. 75: "From a purely biological standpoint, there can be no reason for interdicting the marriage of the closest relatives." In Germany the law allows special dispensation (obtained from the Catholic or Evangelical authorities.) for the marriage of uncle and niece; and in France, article 163 of the Civil Code allows an appeal to the President of the Republic for marriages between uncles and nieces and aunts and nephews.
4 See Kronacher (op. cit., p. 43). "Inbreeding can only produce the expected successful results if attended by rigorous selection."
I was, of course, jeered at. But it may be interesting to quote what an eminent biologist has said on this very point.
Writing in 1927, two years after the paper in question. Professor Crew, of Edinburgh, said: "Inbreeding is only disastrous if the ingredients of disaster are already in the stock. Inbreeding will purify a stock, but the process may be most expensive. . . . It would seem to be a fact, sufficiently secure for the foundation of sociological practice, that incest between individuals of undoubtedly sound stock is a sound biological proposition." 2
But it may be a long time before mankind, in these democratic times, so hopelessly under the sway of savage magic, will see the wisdom of this course.
Meanwhile, perhaps, the reader will have seen enough and thought enough to appreciate that it was not perhaps pure coincidence that those people whose greatness and beauty enabled them to wrest the first triumphs of culture and civilization from the rude conditions of savage life, were peoples whose will and natural conditions committed them to the closest and most continuous inbreeding, and whose taste and instincts furthermore led them to form separate groups and castes which were given to the closest incestuous matings.
We of a later and degenerate Age can know nothing of their great health and vigour, neither can we imagine the extent of their beauty, will, and character. But, although these things are now inconceivable to us, this does not mean that they are also inaccessible; for we have their practice and their experience to guide us, and if we choose to follow them, all these great achievements may be ours once more.
Against such a lesson from history, quite apart from biological considerations, it ought to be beneath our dignity any longer to allow magic, superstition and effeminate sentimentality to prevail.
1 This was on March 12th, 1925, though in my DEFENCE OF ARISTOCRACY (1915) I had already expressed views favourable to inbreeding.
2 O.I.I.M., pp. 97100. (The italics are mine. A.M.L.). See also P.B.R.B., p. 74: "For the welfare of the race, therefore, like should be encouraged to mate with like."