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Breeding SupermanNietzsche, Race and Eugenics in Edwardian and Interwar Britain$
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Dan Stone

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780853239871

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846312694

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From ‘Underman’ to ‘Underclass’

From ‘Underman’ to ‘Underclass’

(p.135) Conclusion From ‘Underman’ to ‘Underclass’
Breeding Superman
Liverpool University Press

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche's influence on eugenics has recently reemerged as a subject of debate among scholars. In Germany, for example, the Karlsruhe philosopher Peter Sloterdijk has argued that a better understanding of genetic science now makes it possible to realise the eugenic dream of ‘selection’. The ideas of the eugenicists of the early part of the twentieth century, originally founded on an inadequate understanding of genetics, have suddenly become presentable under the guise of ‘real science’. The seemingly outrageous ideas of Anthony Mario Ludovici and other eugenicists made up the so-called ‘extremes of Englishness’ – ideas that can be utilised as the basis of a British fascism. Eugenics is being presented as individual choice, which is inseparably linked to questions of race. As a result, biological determinism, in which genes are used to explain every social problem, is rising in prominence. The old concepts that represented eugenics have reappeared, from differential birth rate to the threat of racial pollution and the threat posed by the underclass to the social elite.

Keywords:   Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, eugenics, underclass, genetics, extremes of Englishness, fascism, race, biological determinism, real science, selection

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