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12/19/2012

The Handicapper General






What if we lived in a perfectly equal world in every way? Would that not be paradise? This concept is explored in Kurt Vonnegut's short story  "Harrison Bergeron "  which reveals to us a world in which the execptional is despised and their are legal limits on thought. This may seem like some strange drug induced dream of a madman  but look at the world around you and try to deny that their are not those who encourage you to abandon your thoughts and your ideas in favor of that which is typical and expected and won't make anyone feel inferior.


http://theberry.com/2010/09/29/afternoon-eye-candy-john-lennon-25-photos/eye-candy-john-lennon-2/

         Even that which would not necessarily be considered ideal if all could obtain its traits by snapping their fingers is still sometimes shunned because rather than the typical person feeling envious they feel sorry for the individual posessing the traits and may either attempt to correct the traits or believe themselves incapable of correcting the traits and thus powerless and uncomfortable. However these traits are not necessarily negative and must be treated in the correct manor so that they can benefit the individual and the world around them. In certain cases the individual develops extremely or has loosely related negative traits which are used by the media and the human mind demonize  whatever they see as the isssue.


         The concept of eugenics was officially created by Sir Francis Galton a cousin of the discoverer of evolution Charles Darwin. Galton after reading Darwin's paper noted that evolution was based on the survival of the fittest and that our tendency to protect and care for the weak and the unideal among weakened us as a species.  This idea would in Nazi as well as American and British laws.


      So getting back to the point how could this "problem" of individuality be solved?  What if the government stepped in and appointed someone to handle this? What could the potential outcome be? In Vonnegut's story the physically attractive are made to wear unappealing mask  and the strong have their capabilities  limited with metal restraints and as for intellectually gifted they are frequently tortured with loud annoying sounds that their memory and concentration skills extremely. The person  put in charge of this whole hellish system is the Handicapper General. You may be saying to yourself that their is not a single person like this who exists or has existed on this Earth but you are very wrong.


        Hitler comes to mind when you think of those who try to harness and control human beauty and variation but there have been plenty others many of whom have not been nearly as cruel and have in fact meant to help all including those that they have done harm to. Think of the leaders of Autism Speaks who support the illusion that autism is not part of someone is and that it is possible to separate it from the individual in the same way you might remove a splinter but this is not supported by science and is a concept with close ties to eugenics. Eugenics is the idea that we should selectively breed, sterilize illiminate humanity as we see fit to create a stronger race.Supporters of Eugenics included Bell, Churchill and H.G. Wells.


 After the second world war eugenics has usually been looked down upon because of its association  with Nazism and the many terrible acts commited by Nazis. This history still does not prevent these harmful ideas from invading society and that is why you must look to help those in need of help and unite the world through differences and similarities creating a people that our strong in their humanity.



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