Planned Economies are “Vampire Economies”
There is one underlying aspect about eugenics that persists throughout the science: eugenics is by necessity a political and governmental construct. St. Augustine called it “libido dominandi,” or the “lust for control.” The term “lust” can hardly be said to be an overreach, as eugenicists demand an inordinate, and even perverse, amount of control over the population. They are obsessed with controlling the reproductive organs of others. Any “science” so obsessed with the genitalia of otherwise autonomous individuals only can be described as “lustful” in its desire to control the makeup of society. Eugenics is about controlling outcomes, and thus all of its proponents are disdainful of laissez-faire democracy. Eugenics is largely the product of economic and cultural upheaval, where democracy is deemed as anarchy. These thoughts and notions are pervasive throughout the eugenic texts in the United States, Britain and Germany through the turn-of-the-century and leading up to The Holocaust.
It comes as no surprise that most of the important and influential eugenicists were utopians, and most of the time of a socialist or collectivist mind-set. Their eugenic “science” is dominated by an inordinate amount of governmental or legislative thought all directed at employing some form of governmental or societal controls over reproduction. This is why it can be said with some measure of confidence that eugenics is politics, as its “scientific” goals are simply impotent without delving into the legalistic and governmental proposals necessary to employ its policies. The story of eugenics is the story of a culture and politics of control, and inevitably the conversation turns to economics and legalisms as the history of this “science” is inseparably entangled with the history of Progressive and Fabian Socialist politics. The history of eugenics is the history of the debate between those that want a laissez-faire as opposed to a planned society.
The story of the Wright Brothers is the story of personally funded, hands-on, practical ingenuity pitted against government-funded projects in the hands of the intellectual elite. It is the story of the government picking the horse and putting its money in the hands it believes to be most capable of solving those grand historical challenges. The story perfectly illustrates the fallacy that one can manage the trajectory of history by sitting at the high levels of government and micromanaging and controlling innovation by handpicking who will work on the solution and who will get the funds to accomplish what no one else has. It is the story of how two humble bicycle shop owners beat the best minds, of the best scientists, funded by the most elite of scientific institutions.
There is absolutely no way the Wright brothers would have been awarded the responsibility to develop a flying machine if they lived in a “centrally planned economy” where investment in innovation and technology is all channeled through a government agency. They were bicycle mechanics with no credentials to justify a governing body to conclude that they were the appropriate individuals to work on such a project. They did not have the scientific education, background, or experience to indicate them capable of contributing to a government run project of such aspirations. The Wright Brothers were the textbook definition of entrepreneurship, and the best example that capitalism is nothing more than freedom of expression finding a voice through an economic venue.
Ironically, it is the fact that their expertise and knowledge came from a seemingly unrelated field that ensured their ultimate success. They gained the mechanical skills essential for their success by working for years in their shop with printing presses, bicycles, motors and other machinery. Their work with bicycles in particular influenced their belief that an unstable vehicle like a flying machine could be controlled and balanced with practice. It was their understanding of how the human body and mind maneuver a machine on land which was the key difference that allowed their flyer design to succeed where others failed. All other designs assumed that a flyer with a “fixed wing” design meant a fixed and rigid flying body. They assumed a solid, rigid, and unyielding vehicle body as that of a car’s frame or a ship’s hull. It was precisely because the Wright flyer was designed to contort and flex according to the body movements of the pilot that it ultimately was successful. On the basis of observation, Wilbur concluded that birds changed the angle of the ends of their wings to make their bodies roll right or left.  The brothers decided this would also be a good way for a flying machine to turn in order to “bank” or “lean” into the turn just like a bird. The Wright gliders flexed as the pilot threw his body weight left or right in order to maneuver much in a way a cyclist leans left or right to maneuver a bicycle. A close inspection of the Wright flyer reveals that there are very few fixed joints on the wingspan. Those thin wood vertical and horizontal members are capped by pivoting joints that respond to the steel cable system that pulls and contorts the frame to the pilot’s desire.
To be sure, the intelligentsia of the high-up governing bodies had placed their bets on the scientist they deemed to be the right horse in the race to create a flying machine. Samuel Pierpont Langley was an American astronomer, physicist, and inventor. He attended Boston Latin School, graduated from The English High School, was an assistant in the Harvard College Observatory, then became chair of mathematics at the United States Naval Academy. In 1867, he became the director of the Allegheny Observatory and a professor of astronomy at the Western University of Pennsylvania, now known as the University of Pittsburgh, a post he kept until 1891 even while he became the third Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in 1887. Langley was the founder of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, and seemingly the best man for the job of creating a flying machine.
In 1898, based on the success of his models, Langley received a War Department grant of $50,000 and $20,000 from the Smithsonian to develop a flying machine, which he called an “Aerodrome” (coined from Greek words roughly translated as “air runner”). Langley hired Charles M. Manly (1876–1927) as engineer and test pilot.
In contrast to the Wright brothers’ design of a controllable airplane that could fly against a strong wind and land on solid ground, Langley sought safety by practicing in calm air over the Potomac River. This required a catapult for launching. The craft had no landing gear, the plan being to descend into the water after demonstrating flight, which if successful, would entail a partial, if not total, rebuilding of the machine. Langley gave up the project after two crashes on take-off on October 7 and December 8, 1903. In the first attempt, Langley said the wing clipped part of the catapult, leading to a plunge into the river “like a handful of mortar,” according to one reporter. On the second attempt the craft broke up as it left the catapult (Hallion, 2003; Nalty, 2003). Manly recovered unhurt from the river both times. Newspapers made great sport of the failures, and some members of Congress strongly criticized the project
The Smithsonian Institution arrogantly displayed Langley’s Aerodrome in its museum as the first heavier-than-air craft “capable” of manned powered flight. This, of course, denied the Wright brothers their rightful place in history, and relegated their invention to secondary status. This triggered a decades-long feud between Orville Wright and the Smithsonian Institution. The Smithsonian based its claim for the Aerodrome on short test flights Glenn Curtiss and his team made with it in 1914. The Smithsonian hoped to save face and salvage Langley’s aeronautical reputation by proving the Aerodrome could fly. Orville Wright persistently objected to misrepresentations, but the Smithsonian was unyielding. Orville responded by loaning the restored 1903 Kitty Hawk Flyer to the London Science Museum in 1928, refusing to donate it to the Smithsonian while the Institution “perverted” the history of the flying machine. As such, Orville Wright would never see his flyer again, as he died before the flyer returned to the United States.
Charles Lindbergh attempted to mediate between the Smithsonian and the Wright brothers. It was not until 1942, after years of bad publicity and encouraged by Wright biographer Fred C. Kelly, that the Smithsonian finally relented by recanting misleading statements it had made about the Langley Aerodrome. Orville then privately requested the British museum to return the Flyer, but the WORLD WAR II prevented it from returning to the United States. The Wright Flyer remained in protective storage for the duration of World War II and was not back on American shores until after Orville’s death. On November 23, 1948, the executors of Orville’s estate signed an agreement for the Smithsonian to purchase the Flyer for one dollar. The agreement stipulated strict conditions for display of the airplane. The agreement reads, in part:
Neither the Smithsonian Institution or its successors, nor any museum or other agency, bureau or facilities administered for the United States of America by the Smithsonian Institution or its successors shall publish or permit to be displayed a statement or label in connection with or in respect of any aircraft model or design of earlier date than the 1903 Wright Aeroplane, claiming in effect that such aircraft was capable of carrying a man under its own power in controlled flight.
On December 17, 1948, the 45th anniversary of the flight, the Smithsonian Institution ceremoniously unveiled the flyer. Generations of school kids wander under the flyer hung in the Smithsonian Museum, letting their imaginations roam from that initial flight to the subsequent flying machines displayed by its side. It is in the imaginations of the young where the flyer rightfully belongs. The dream of man-powered flight had begun with minds free to dream, play and aspire to greater things. In 1878, Orville and Wilbur’s father brought home a toy “helicopter” for his two younger sons. The device was based on an invention of French aeronautical pioneer Alphonse Pénaud. The toy was made of paper, bamboo and cork with a rubber band to twirl its rotor. Wilbur and Orville played with it until it broke and then built their own. In later years, they pointed to their experience with the toy as the initial spark of their interest in flying.
It is impossible to know exactly how much money was a motivating factor for Orville and Wilbur. One thing is clear: Their flying machine was an expression of their dreams, their aspirations, and their ingenuity. Their flying machine is just as a legitimate form of expression as a painter’s canvas or a writer’s pen. The image of that flying machine has certainly communicated their dreams and aspirations to just as many people as Leonardo DaVinci’s Mona Lisa and Plato’s “Republic.” Case in point, it is likely that Leonardo himself would agree with this particular notion that a flying machine, like the many flying machine designs Leonardo himself sketched, was an expression of the individuals that created them. This is an important, but forgotten, lesson to learn from the Wright brother’s flight: That capitalistic ventures are a form of self-expression, just as legitimate as any other form of self-expression protected by the U.S. Constitution. This is the lesson of individual “liberty” and “freedom” that Americans like Edward Bellamy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the various flavors of utopian socialists and Progressives railed against laissez-faire economics and the alleged “wasted resources” that result from capitalistic “competition.” Greed may drive a significant portion of capitalism, but greed is an emotion to be expressed, nonetheless. Capitalism is driven by entrepreneurship and personal dreams, aspirations and ingenuity. Capitalism is not a form of government. Capitalism is what happens when individuals are free to pursue their dreams.
The obsession to control all aspects of an economy nearly destroyed the U.S.S.R. during World War II. Despite the built-in capacity to produce armaments, and the vast geography to shield its armaments factories from enemy bombings, the U.S.S.R. had to rely on the United States to arm itself for World War II. Historians largely attribute this to the chaos that incurred due to the fallacy of believing that bureaucrats can oversee and control the multitude of decisions that the manufacturers must make on a day-by-day and hour-per-hour basis, which are otherwise made by the players themselves in a free economy. The ensuing chaos is an onslaught of overproduction of some goods and underproduction of others, and at best an untimely delivery to the shop floor and thus the extreme waste of labor allocation. Hitler’s National Socialism was a planned economy as well. Neil Gregor, author of the 1998 book “Daimler-Benz in the Third Reich” documents that far from the picture of efficiency that the world attributes to Germans, the Third Reich’s planned economy was chaotic to the verge of catastrophe. The militaristic micro-management by the Third Reich on German industry was at pains to achieve acceptable levels of productivity up until Hitler named his architect, Albert Speer to the ministry of armaments and war production. Speer reversed the relationship by allowing the different companies and engineering firms the freedom to innovate and improvise:
By transferring responsibility for production to the industrialists themselves, under the system of ‘industrial self-responsibility’, Speer hoped to exploit the technical and organizational expertise of industry in coordinating contracts allocation and the utilization of capacity, the best possible division of labour between plants, the simplification of the production programmes of each plant, the rationalization of production through further standardization and the usage of labour- and materials-saving production processes on the shop floor. (Pg. 94, “Daimler-Benz”)
Guenter Reimann was a communist subversive within Hitler’s Germany who would later be a consultant to U.S. Presidents. In 1939, Reimann wrote “The Vampire Economy: Doing Business Under Nazism,” and in it he describes in painful detail the difficulties that anyone engaged in the marketplace had to endure in the Third Reich’s “command economy.” Reimann quotes a letter received by a friend trying to operate a business within Hitler’s economic system:
Business friends of mine are convinced that it will be the turn of the “white Jews” (which means us, Aryan businessmen) after the Jews have been expropriated. Just when this will happen and the extent to which “Aryan” businessmen will be pillaged depends on the internal struggle within the Nazi party . . .
When we consider that Hitler himself came not from the ranks of organized labor, but from the ruined middle class or the fifth estate, what guarantee have we that he will not make common cause with the bandits whom he has put into uniforms? The difference between this and the Russian system is much less than you think, despite the fact that officially we are still independent businessmen.
You have no idea how far State control goes and how much power the Nazi representatives have over our work. The worst of it is that they are so ignorant. In this respect they certainly differ from the former Social-Democratic officials. These Nazi radicals think of nothing except “distributing the wealth.”
Some businessmen have even started studying Marxist theories, so that they will have a better understanding of the present economic system. (Pg. 6, “The Vampire Economy”)
Reimann’s book takes us through the chaos and corruption that ensues, and historically speaking, what he wrote in 1939 was verified nearly fifty years later by historians scrambling to understand why the U.S.S.R. fell apart. The causes and symptoms are identical in both studies. Albert Speer makes independent observations in his 1969 memoirs titled “Inside the Third Reich.” Speer’s perspective was that of the Ministry of Armaments and War Production, and thus was at the epicenter of the economic chaos that was National Socialism. Speer recalled the reaction of his predecessors to the laissez-faire changes he implemented:
The old-line officials of the government bureaucracy spoke disdainfully of a “dynamic Ministry” or a “Ministry without an organization plan” and a “Ministry without officials.” It was said that I applied rough-and-ready or “American” methods. (Pg. 210, “Inside the Third Reich”)
Speer claimed a 27 percent increase in the production of guns, a 25 percent increase for tanks, a 97 percent increase in ammunition, with an overall increase of 59.6 percent attributed to his changes:
Aside from all organization innovation, things went so well because I applied the methods of democratic economic leadership. The democracies were on principle committed to placing trust in the responsible businessmen as long as that trust was justified. Thus they rewarded initiative, aroused an awareness of mission, and spurred decision making. Among us, on the other hand, all such elements had long ago been buried. Pressure and coercion kept production going, to be sure, but destroyed all spontaneity. (Pg. 211, “Inside the Third Reich”)
Furthermore, there are military parallels that cannot be ignored, as they were the source of historically important military catastrophes. Stalin’s armed forces stalled and waited for the order to come while Hitler’s forces marched into the depths of the U.S.S.R. in Operation Barbarossa. Stalin would not give the order to mobilize even as the Russian forces were being overrun by the Germans. Likewise, German forces stalled and waited as Hitler slept while the Allies embarked in the assault of the Normandy coast on D-Day. Hitler’s treatment of his admirals and generals is well documented. Military historians have noted his detachment from the reality of the battlefield, ordering non-existent battalions to attack on his map despite the fact that intelligence had not updated the map to warn the micro-managers that these groups either were otherwise engaged, or worse, defeated and no longer existing. Albert Speer’s recollection of Adolf Hitler’s reaction to President Roosevelt’s death is indicative of Hitler’s conception of leadership:
When I arrived in the bunker, Hitler caught sight of me and rushed toward me with a degree of animation rare in him these days. He held a newspaper clipping in his hand. “Here, read it! Here! You never wanted to believe it. Here it is!” His words came in a great rush. “Here we have it! Roosevelt is dead!” – He could not calm down. He thought this was proof of the infallible Providence watching over him. Goebbels and many others were bubbling over the delight as they exclaimed how right he had been in his reiterated conviction that the tide would turn. (Pg. 463, “Inside the Third Reich”)
Fortunately for humanity, the American armed forces did not operate with the level of micromanaged obsession that the Roosevelt’s administration imposed on the American economy with the New Deal. The independence and autonomy ingrained in the American population by the Founding Fathers enabled the American economy to persist, while sputtering and stagnating, because of the Progressive-minded New Deal measures. While Hitler slept through the morning of the D-Day invasions, the American soldiers regrouped, readjusted to unforeseen realities, and improvised in ways that either German or Russian forces would prohibit from doing so. Most importantly, there was no discernable hiccup in the transfer of power between Roosevelt and Truman that military historians have documented, at least none as catastrophic as the ones documented for Hitler and Stalin.
The Marxist Socialists and the Progressives, or Fabian Socialists, differ in that the Marxists fail to realize that their pyramidal governmental structure irreversibly surrenders all power to a bureaucratic elite, while the Fabian Socialists make no qualms about their desire to control all aspects of society from beginning to end. The Marxists cling to the illusory notion of a government that will “wither away,” as Vladimir Lenin disingenuously postulated. This is why Anarchists, the ugly little sister of International Communism, persisted in aligning themselves with the Communists, the most invasive form of government and by any sane measure the mirror opposite and antithesis of a true anarchism. The Anarchists and Communists alike persist in believing that a narcissist like Vladimir Lenin would actually surrender the power to control all aspects of their lives from the “cradle” to the “grave.” Fabian Socialist and Progressives make no allusions, as they are not the children of Marx, but of Edward Bellamy’s “nationalistic” form of “socialism.” It should come as no surprise that the champion of Progressive and Fabian economics, John Maynard Keynes, was also a devout eugenicist and member of the various British eugenic societies lead by Leonard Darwin and Karl Pearson. Keynesian economics are about controlling an outcome, and being distrustful of individual freedom, in precisely the same way that eugenics is distrustful of the choices individuals make in choosing a mate. All Fabians and Progressives are intoxicated by the planned society depicted by Edward Bellamy. The “solidarity” and “unity of purpose” under the direction of a governing elite is the essence of their desires, and they make no qualms about this all-powerful governing structure “withering away” as the Communists promise their constituents. To the contrary, the perverse amount of control by the elite is lustfully desired much in the way St. Augustine depicts. These Progressives and Fabians claim they stand for a “meritocracy,” which is the term used for government by a professional ruling elite, which is explicitly intended to exclude those they deem to be lesser than themselves.
EXCERPT: This chapter is not included in the final edit of “From a ‘Race of Masters’ to a ‘Master Race’: 1948-1848” and is presented here with all of its defects and imperfections.