Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Anarchism and EugenicsAn Unlikely Convergence, 1890-1940$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Richard Cleminson

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781526124463

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.7765/9781526124463

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 27 July 2021

Science, revolution and progress: the constitutive terrain of anarchist eugenics

Science, revolution and progress: the constitutive terrain of anarchist eugenics

(p.20) 2 Science, revolution and progress: the constitutive terrain of anarchist eugenics
Anarchism and Eugenics

Richard Cleminson

Manchester University Press

Chapter Two sets the intellectual scene, both in anarchism and more generally, by providing a discussion of the characteristics of nineteenth-century ‘classical anarchism’ in terms of its reliance on understandings of nature, progress and science as the foundations upon which hereditarian and biological thought were built in the movement. This allows for an analysis of the reception of thought on doctrines such as Malthusianism, with its pessimistic account of the relations between population and resources, and discourses on human degeneration as a biological phenomenon. The chapter moves on to analyse the uptake of theories of evolutionary variation and inheritance within anarchism and to how these ideas dovetailed or conflicted with anarchism’s core values on the ability of human beings to forge their own environment and future. The chapter suggests that such debates, which were transnational within anarchism, provided the bedrock upon which interest in anarchist circles on processes of biological change, the relations between the environment and heredity, and, ultimately, eugenics were built.

Keywords:   Anarchis, eugenics, nineteenth-century legacy, degeneration, population, neo-Malthusianism, science

Manchester Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.