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Bloody socialists

Elena Gorolová was 21 when she gave birth to her second son. “The doctor told me I would need to deliver via a C-section otherwise I would be risking the health of me and the baby.”

In the delivery room, a nurse gave her papers to sign. “I was in so much pain … I was in no state to think about what I was signing,” says the social workerfrom the Czech Republic. She had unknowingly signed an agreement to be sterilised.

Until now, the Czech government has not officially acknowledged or compensated Roma women such as Gorolová for a government-led eugenics agenda from the early 1970s until it was officially abolished in 1993.

You know what word doesn’t appear in the Guardian’s report? Socialism. Nor Soviet, People’s Republic or any of that.

Odd really…..

18 thoughts on “Bloody socialists”

  1. Why should the Czech government (aka Czech taxpayers) pay for an act that happened in a different country?
    Send the bill to the slave owners, post-restante The Kremlin (embalming department).

  2. You know what word doesn’t appear in the Guardian’s report? Socialism. Nor Soviet, People’s Republic or any of that.

    I bet they don’t also mention the main cheerleaders for eugenics, the evil Fabian Society.

  3. Roma you say?

    “Two blokes came and knocked on the door and said they could see I needed sterilising. Four thousand quid, they’d do a nice tidy job and use proper tarmac. They were big blokes, really insistent, and one got quite nasty and said I could be in trouble with the council if I didn’t agree to have it done. They wanted cash, and one drove me to the bank so I could get it…”

  4. I know a couple where the wife has an hereditary condition. They’ve had four children – all inherited the condition, two died of it before they were 10 and the other two are wheelchair-bound like their mother.

    Some eugenic sterilisation would have saved a lot of human misery and cost to the public purse.

  5. @Theo

    Though by implication, the wife was well enough to grow up, get married and have kids, which – even if she needed a wheelchair – suggests a life not utterly bereft of happiness, meaning or dignity is possible. Would the two kids in wheelchairs be better off not to have existed at all? I think that’s a question beyond objective answer but if you do think the answer is “yes, better they had never lived”, would you say that to their faces? Would you be so confident of your answer that you would sterilise the woman yourself, or push for a court order that enforced sterilisation against her express wishes?

    Now I could very well understand such a woman seeking sterilisation if she didn’t want her potential children to experience what she had gone through, and I certainly wouldn’t think I know better than her and try to persuade her otherwise. But what if she thinks that life is a chance worth taking, and has sufficient mental competence to make that decision? The fact she is married suggests she has such competence – the edge case of someone with very severe mental disabilities and unable to process, for example, how children are conceived or the probability of inheritance, would need separate consideration.

    I for one wouldn’t feel comfortable living under the power of a state that had taken unto itself the power to force mentally competent women to undergo sterilisation against their will because doing so would reduce future state expenditure. I might never fall into that category myself, nor might my friends or relations, but if a state can do that to one group of people, what might it take it upon itself to inflict upon me and mine?

  6. Presumably the Czechs are also to blame for the actions of the German National Socialists as well.

  7. MBE

    “Would the two kids in wheelchairs be better off not to have existed at all?”

    Obviously not. Their lives have value to them and some others, though their lives are a significant cost to the rest of us. That said, I am not advocating the non-existence of actual people, but the non-existence of potential people by sterilisation.

    The parents are intelligent people. I can understand them trying once, even perhaps twice. (They would never countenance embryo selection, because they oppose abortion.) But four children? After two such children, the state should be able to seek a court order compelling sterilisation in the public interest.

    One of their surviving children has already reproduced…”Man hands on misery to man./It deepens like a coastal shelf.”

  8. I, and I think others around here, simply reject the very idea that someone’s life or not life should or even could be decided by “the public interest”. We might grudgingly put up with the idea that the actual parents are allowed to decide abort or not but anything wider than that no, nope and hell no.

  9. Theophrastus (2066)

    Perhaps ‘public interest’ was not the right term, but my point still stands.

    Opposing the sterilization of parents who are on a low income to prevent them producing more than two disabled children is to give the parents freedom without responsibility.

    Medical resources are always limited. So not only are they imposing costs on the rest of us, but also there is an opportunity cost to their selfish attitude which will be borne by others.

    Doctors regularly and the Courts occasionally decide to allocate resources in a way that leads to the shortening of some lives in the interests of prolonging others. Why then could doctors and the Courts not act in such a way as to prevent the potential birth of more cripples?

  10. @Theo

    Putting aside the violations of medical ethics and bodily autonomy (which are rather big things to be sweeping aside…), it’s quite a stretch to say that the act of having children is an abdication of responsibility regardless of who’s picking up the tab. Normally we think of having children as taking on a great responsibility – I suppose the complete abdication of responsibility is putting your child up for adoption, which seems to have occurred in various cultures for thousands of years, and doesn’t seem likely to be abolished any time soon. Compared to everything else this is a mere quibble but your framing of the issue in terms of “sterilization of parents who are on a low income”, as a nod to the resources they are presumed to have available, misses out the fact that you’re suggesting a radical and permanent medical treatment to be applied on the basis of a financial position which is at least potentially temporary – after all, even a mug could win the lottery (in fact mugs are more likely to than non-mugs, seeing as the mugs are more likely to play it).

    In general most people have kids before their household income peaks, so the years when children are very young are often pretty stretched. Some people ease out of it as the promotions come in and the demands of childcare become less onerous once kids are off to school, but others don’t catch up and end up stuck in a tight money situation. By then, though, the chance of sterilising them has already been missed. So even if I were to make the leap to assuming sterilisation of those who “can’t afford” children was somehow justifiable as a social net-positive, I can’t see any reasonable way of writing the financial criteria unless I were gifted a crystal ball.

    There’s a related issue which is that the health and social care costs of a severely disabled child – and anybody who has a child, even with careful screening, runs at least a small chance of having such a child, for example due to brain damage during birth – can be so enormous, particularly if they were to require 24/7 care and live well into adulthood, that the financial situation of the parents is more or less irrelevant. Even someone in the top 1% of earners won’t be paying anywhere enough tax over their lifetime to cover such costs. Indeed in some ways the argument works the reverse way round – if someone living on a part-time minimum wage job has a disabled child, the fact they may well give up work to become a full-time carer represents only a tiny loss to the Exchequer. If an upper-middle class professional couple each paying higher-rate income tax, and expecting to be in line for £100k+ jobs if they keep progressing with their careers, suddenly discover one or both of them needs to become a full-time carer, the loss to the Exchequer is going to be considerable. Though compared to the cost of state provision for the child, this still may only work out as a small component of the burden on the public purse.

    Perhaps high-earners should be sterilised by HMRC agents to keep their tax payments flowing, while society relies on low-earning “breeders” for its procreation? If this troubles you in terms of genetic endowment, an alternative would be to sterilise the low-earners, pay high-earners a “baby bonus” so they pop out all the kids society needs, while HMRC deploy a crack team of midwives and social workers to immediately snatch the infants and send them for compulsory adoption into households deemed of minimal taxation potential but acceptable potential love and care they could offer a child. After all, they might as well be used for something useful. This solution seems socially optimal, and therefore all who oppose it are automatically proponents of the sub-optimal and should hang their heads in shame. But I don’t think I would go so far as to suggest my solution is “just”.

  11. Theo: “Why then could doctors and the Courts not act in such a way as to prevent the potential birth of more cripples?”

    You are in the middle of the unholy mess politicians and “the Medical Field” have made of the handling of the spread of a single virus, for which every theory in biology and epidemiology states it should have been easy to control and nip in the bud before it even left China.
    And yet here we are, under measures that infringe on life and liberty and utterly ruin the economy, on a scale that usually only a full-blown war can accomplish.

    And the squeamish bastards are loath to let go of those measures against common sense, just for fear someone will shout “You Killed Gran!” and costing them their plushy job.
    (And some really, really seem to like the Power now that they’ve had a taste of it…)

    Yet you want those same people have decide who will and will not have children based on something as complicated as the expression of the genetic blueprint into an individual, and its potential to develop certain “undesired” traits under pressure of these things called “environment” and “behaviour”?
    When even Science in the many relevant fields will have to admit red-facedly that we really still don’t have a bloody clue about how it actually, really works? Probably with some feet-shuffling as well..
    And that, anyways, a lot of Statistics and Quantum is involved in the process, so you can’t even tell for sure what the result of a given double set of genes will be?
    Even under “controlled circumstances” like the twin experiments in the US and elsewhere during a rather more simple and self-congratulary age when “eugenics” still had a peg-leg to stand on even after a rather unpleasant german cult had shown what it actually leads to? With the swedish efforts as a double-blind dessert?

    Please run that by me again… I didn’t quite hear you…

  12. After two such children, the state should be able to seek a court order compelling sterilisation in the public interest.

    I’m in the no camp on this because it’s clearly against the public interest for the state to have that kind of power over individuals.

    However, I am open to arguments that the state should cease funding further care after two such children. If the couple is willing to go ahead at their own expense or seek charity, fine. The state’s tax power over individuals is absolute and should not be exploited.

  13. You are in the middle of the unholy mess politicians and “the Medical Field” have made of the handling of the spread of a single virus . . .

    Heh, you chose exactly the wrong approach to Theophrastus with that. In case you hadn’t noticed, he’s a Branch Covidian.

  14. “After two such children, the state should be able to seek a court order compelling sterilisation in the public interest”

    This is the bloke who endlessly accuses me of being a fascist.

  15. Though I would quite like to execute yr computer clown Tim who has now removed my name/ email so I have to re-type them every time regardless of ticking the box.

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