viernes, 23 de marzo de 2018

Bizarro Eugenics of the Bee Women

"I am the specialist in applied biology", the dwarf began in a very simple manner. "I have been asked to come and tell you something about the origin of life in our race. Applied biology, let me say, however, is very important to the national existence; for if any of us failed in our work of studying cells, their growth and deterioration, then the battle we have won against nature would be lost again, and the national life would slowly come to an end. The matter of replacements of worn tissue is very vital to the prolongation of our racial existence.
"A great many centuries ago, perhaps nearly forty thousand years, the then Directing Intelligence made the observation that not all women were satisfactory as sources of propagation. Some were sterile, others who were fertile and intelligent did not care to go through the ordeal of childbirth. In fact, the more intelligent our women were at that time, the fewer children they had, and, of course, as our aim was a constantly growing intelligence, we felt that we could not trust the future of the race in the hands of the children of the ignorant. At the present time I understand you Middle-Men are facing these very problems.
"In order to secure a propre viewpoint we began to study biologic problems and their solution through the older forms of life; the termite, and, the bee and cockroach. We felt that, as their existence antedated ours by so many hundreds of thousands of years, they might have learned the solutions to the problems that confronted us. From a study of them, therefore, we evolved a scheme of perpetuating life that has become very satisfactory in every way.
"Each year we select from a group of five hundred mature young females twenty-five of special intelligence and other high hereditary qualities. These occupy the same relation to our biologic life that the queen bee holds in the hive. The skill of many generations of specialists in embryology, surgery and internal secretions has made our queens able to generate one egg a day, which is at once removed and placed in an incubator. These incubators are stationed on a carrying belt, which moves in an endless circle through our specially-heated and lighted nurseries. Over twenty thousand filled incubators, holding units in every stage of development are constantly passing along through the testing and sorting rooms. For the actual care, the feeding and the nursing, we have specially built machines.
"The final sorting is done by my pupil and myself. On us devolves the responsibility of removing those that show signs of being unfit; so that the standards of the nation will be constantly improved. When the sex is determined, most of the females are discarded. After birth, all the infant units are examined by our specialist in psychology and about half of those are disposed of. As the empty incubators are at once sterilized and prepared for more eggs, we have, in spite of the large percent of discards, an abundance of material for training purposes. The females are kept in their own cavern and are taken out only when they are discarded or to be placed in the queen´s cave, which is adjacent to the incubator and nursery houses.
"As you have perhaps observed, for propagation we follow the efficient method of so many of the lower forms of life. However, our sexlessness is more apparent than real; a sexless person, by special feeding and glandular medication, can be made into an efficient male in ten years. The only male who retains his sexual power is the Directing Intelligence. He is the father of all of us.
"The queens are watched carefully, and as soon as there is the slightest sign of deterioration in one she is discarded. By our system of inbreeding we have continued to raise the level of our mental life.
(..) At present we only have fifty queens there. Our supply of intelligent females has not been very satisfactory lately. For two hundred years we have had difficulty in obtaining females of the best grade. They have no function except the production of ova. Their bodies are very small and their heads also are smaller than ours.
"Here we have a section of the incubator room. My assistant is at work, sorting out the weaklings and the surplus females. He is a very brilliant and tireless worker and already his judgment in regard to immature units is slightly better than mine is. You notice that the holds a lever in his right hand and carefully examines each immaturity as it slowly  passes before him on the endless belt. When he finds a discard, he presses that lever, the incubator is taken off the belt, the contents discarded, the incubators sterilized and made ready for another egg.
"See! He has discarded one, a potential female. Now the incubator leaves the belt. It is taken to another belt by a machine worker, a door is opened and it is emptied by means of a vacuum cleaner into a tunnel which ends in a pit similar to the one you saw used so efficiently today.
(..) Of course, you understand that the disposal pits we use at the present time are simply the homes of different races of animals that have disappeared from the surface of the earth. We felt that science demanded that these animals and reptiles be preserved; so, we dug these enormous  holes and are using them for game preserves. But they had to be fed; so, we fed them with the discards of our nation, and when these were not sufficient we would throw down thousands of Middle-Men. We tried feeding the beasts synthetic food, but they did not thrive; and we were rather concerned until we found that in our own discards we had a nearly sufficient amount of fresh meat for them. I believe though, that they prefer the bodies of Middle-Men to our discards. Perhaps the blood and taste is different.
"But just as soon as a growing unit, I believe you would call it a baby, is discarded, it is put into an inclined tunnel and shot down into a pit. Thus, nothing, not even our immaturities, is wasted..."

D. H. Keller, The Conquerors (1929-1930)

No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario