EUGENICS AND SOCIALIST THOUGHT IN THE PROGRESSIVE ERA: THE CASE OF JAMES MEDBERY MACKAYE

Luca Fiorito, Tiziana Foresti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

of this essay is to assess James Medbery MacKaye’s contribution tosocialist thought during the Progressive Era. Largely forgotten today, MacKayeproposed a special version of socialism, which he called “Pantocracy,” based on apeculiar blend of utilitarian and eugenic assumptions. Specifically, MacKaye heldthat biological fitness mapped to the capacity for happiness—biologically superiorindividuals possess a greater capacity for happiness—and saw the eugenicbreeding of “a being or race of beings capable in the first place of happiness” asa possibility open by the advent of Pantocracy. Incidentally, this essay providesfurther evidence that the influence of eugenic and racialist beliefs upon theAmerican Progressive Era political economy was so deep-rooted and pervasivethat it did cut across traditional ideological boundaries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-388
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the History of Economic Thought
Volume40
Publication statusPublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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