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We’ll make that great heart what we want it to be.

May 14th, 2019 | 2 min read

By Susannah Black Roberts

Just throwing this up here for future reference, after thinking and writing a bit about about Margaret Sanger’s intense Lothrop Stoddard fangirling, and the eugenicist origins of Planned Parenthood:

“Man has got to take charge of Man. That means, remember, that some men have got to take charge of the rest–which is another reason for cashing in on it as soon as one can. You and I want to be the people who do the taking charge, not the ones who are taken charge of. Quite.”

“What sort of things have you in mind?”

“Quite simple and obvious things, at first–sterilization of the unfit, liquidation of backward races (we don’t want any dead weights), selective breeding. Then real education, including pre-natal education. By real education I mean one that has no ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ nonsense. A real education makes the patient what it wants infallibly: whatever he or his parents try to do about it. Of course, it’ll have to be mainly psychological at first. But we’ll get on to biochemical conditioning in the end and direct manipulation of the brain.”

“But this is stupendous, Feverstone.”

“It’s the real thing at last. A new type of man: and it’s people like you who’ve got to begin to make him.”

“That’s my trouble. Don’t think it’s false modesty, but I haven’t yet seen how I can contribute.”

“No, but we have. You are what we need: a trained sociologist with a radically realistic outlook, not afraid of responsibility. Also, a sociologist who can write.”

“You don’t mean you want me to write up all this?”

“No. We want you to write it down– to camouflage it. Only for the present, of course. Once the thing gets going we shan’t have to worry about the great heart of the British public. We’ll make that great heart what we want it to be.”

Lewis, That Hideous Strength, p. 42

Susannah Black Roberts

Susannah Black Roberts is senior editor at Plough. She is a native Manhattanite. She and her husband, the theologian Alastair Roberts, split their time between Manhattan and the West Midlands of the UK.