Chinese Eugenics: Ron Unz’s “How Social Darwinism Made Modern China”

In a similar vein to Geoffrey Miller’s recent essay “Chinese Eugenics” and echoing Gregory Clark’s findings in Medieval England, Ron Unz (whom we discuss here), has a new essay entitled “How Social Darwinism Made Modern China,” where Unz argues that heavy selection pressure has helped China to create a super-state.  As in Clark’s analysis of England where there was a downward drift of people (and genes) because of the lower classes not reproducing, Unz thinks something similar happened in China:

“…only the wealthier families of a Chinese village could afford the costs associated with obtaining wives for their sons, with female infanticide and other factors regularly ensuring up to a 15 percent shortfall in the number of available women. Thus, the poorest village strata usually failed to reproduce at all, while poverty and malnourishment also tended to lower fertility and raise infant mortality as one moved downward along the economic gradient. At the same time, the wealthiest villagers sometimes could afford multiple wives or concubines and regularly produced much larger numbers of surviving offspring. Each generation, the poorest disappeared, the less affluent failed to replenish their numbers, and all those lower rungs on the economic ladder were filled by the downwardly mobile children of the fecund wealthy.”

You should read the whole thing here.

Of course, as Miller states in his essay, many Westerners probably won’t “get it,” which can apply both to China’s past (Unz) and present (Miller) eugenic practices.  Miller writes:

“My real worry is the Western response. The most likely response, given Euro-American ideological biases, would be a bioethical panic that leads to criticism of Chinese population policy with the same self-righteous hypocrisy that we have shown in criticizing various Chinese socio-cultural policies.”

Unz seems to think the same, noting that extreme political correctness is undermining scientific research in the USA:

“Yet although Chinese researchers living in America willingly conform to American ideological restrictions, this is not the case with Chinese researchers in China itself, and it is hardly surprising that BGI—the Beijing Genomics Institute—has become the recognized world leader in cutting-edge human genetics research. This is despite the billions spent by its American counterparts, which must operate within a much more circumscribed framework of acceptable ideas.”

It’s a bit of an irony that when one thinks of eugenics the first thing that comes to mind are Hollywood movies about the H-Man.  While Europeans long practiced eugenics, from ancient times to Medieval times to modern times,  what is happening in the West now, for about the past 75 years, is largely dysgenic, because of mass Third World immigration and relaxed selection pressure.  What goes largely unnoticed, however, is that two other groups who have actively practiced eugenics are Ashkenazis and the North Asians.


#1: Speaking of Unz, you should also check out his resent response to Janet Mertz on Jewish over-representation in academia and the collapse of Jewish academic achievement (which we previously discussed here).

#2:  Unz responds to this article here.  I respond:  “Must eugenics be intentional?

9 thoughts on “Chinese Eugenics: Ron Unz’s “How Social Darwinism Made Modern China”

  1. While both Unz and Miller looked at the Chinese gene pool and Unz made reference to Miller’s A Fairwell to Alms in his piece, the two were talking about distinctly different periods of time and drivers of genetic change, with Unz discussing Fairwell to Alms-style downward mobility among the peasantry and Miller looking at the consciously implemented one-child policy and some eugenic aspects of the policy. While one or both may impact or have impacted the Chinese gene pool, Unz’s conjecture stands as an explanation of current success, whereas Miller’s would serve as an explanation of future success.

  2. Pingback: Christianity, HBD and Political Correctness | Occam's Razor

  3. Pingback: China: Chinese Eugenics? | The American Conservative

  4. Pingback: Unz on China: Chinese Eugenics? | Ron Unz – Writings and Perspectives

  5. Pingback: Must eugenics be intentional? | Occam's Razor

  6. Pingback: China: Chinese Eugenics? | Tony Johnson

  7. Chinese families demand their children produce grandchildren. It’s the reason China has the largest population in the world. Unz seems to think that the Chinese have a view of procreation like that of Europeans where it’s optional. That is not the case. The one child policy was really only enforced in the 80s and early 90s. Chinese get around the policy now very easily.

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