Hesiod meets Oedipus at the edge of eugenics.

Humanity seems to love itself a good ol’ fashioned eugenicide. But why?

The bent certainly seems to be hard-wired, as evidenced by the inherent obsession young boys (eg. ages 6-8) have with “lazer cutting” each other’s penises (and of course that of their fathers). Oedipus isn’t as shocked as you are, dear sweet secular reader, because the history of humanity is littered with countless such examples,i none of which “make sense” to our contemporary (ie. dysgenic) sensibilities, but all of which have shaped the species(es) we are today.ii

But perhaps we’re not as innocent as we like to imagine ourselves? How else to explain our apparently staunch dissatisfaction with our present weak-stomachedness and general weak-willedness, as manifest by ouriii perfect contentedness with the implicit eugenics of “careers“, “consumerism“, “capitalism“, and “urbanism,” none of which fundamentally grow the pie for humanity but all of which serve to cull the herd of those lacking discipline (and/or good fortune). But the explicit stuff? Let’s not get our hands dirty!

It may be that this is the best we can hope for in this Hesiodic Iron Ageiv / Dark Age / Hurricane : a very quiet selection for optimism and inter-generational thinking. At least for a few of us.

Shear Yashub… but not too loud, the Straussians are listening.

  1. The Rape of Nanking by the Japanese in 1937, just before the formal outbreak of WW2 was just a small glimpse into what humanity is capable of. Not that the Japanese invented cruelty and “genocide”, far from it:

    Speaking of “genocide,” it must be said that Israel‘s current forays into Gaza are awful – if perhaps necessary –  but hardly qualify as “genocide,” but maybe that’s where the current criticism from campuses originates from? Indeed, in the same way and for the same reasons that a dissatisfied wife browbeats her under-ambitious husband, and as mainstream journalists attack SV techies for the latter’s limp-wristed “manipulation” of society*, so too may it be that hopelessly wealthy and woefully under-informed undergrad students today are similarly unimpressed with Netanyahu’s excessive restraint and lack of bloodthirstiness. Like, doesn’t Bibi realise that every Gazan child is a future enemy combatant? The 28-year-old Bibi certainly did:

    ___ ___
    *As Samo points out only too keenly:

  2. The Ancient Spartans are perhaps the best known example of a “eugenics-forward” culture, but many if not most of the First Nations of North America were similarly styled and for broadly the same reasons: food was scarce, making toughness priviledged. So the drums beat ever louder to drown out the screams of the newborns deemed unfit…
  3. By “our” I don’t mean “our democracy,” but rather “our bureaucratic oligarchy.” Because that’s exactly what we have.
  4. What if the “Ages” of mankind have less to do with metallurgy and more to do with our souls? The Ancient Greeks according to Hesiod certainly thought so, and it’s funny that our current descriptions of history and pre-history map so neatly onto his, although our hyper-materialist lens largely obscures this relationship. Interestingly, according to Hesiod’s historical taxonomy, the Ages of Gold, Silver, and Bronze were pre-diluvian!

One thought on “Hesiod meets Oedipus at the edge of eugenics.

  1. […] arrangements in any given time and place might actually be entirely novel to our humble species(es)? If you’re sensing some sarcasm, you’re not wrong, it’s there, so let’s […]

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