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

Luca Fiorito, Tiziana Foresti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The aim of this essay is to assess James Medbery MacKaye's contribution to socialist thought during the Progressive Era. Largely forgotten today, MacKaye proposed a special version of socialism, which he called "Pantocracy," based on a peculiar blend of utilitarian and eugenic assumptions. Specifically, MacKaye held that biological fitness mapped to the capacity for happiness-biologically superior individuals possess a greater capacity for happiness-and saw the eugenic breeding of "a being or race of beings capable in the first place of happiness" as a possibility open by the advent of Pantocracy. Incidentally, this essay provides further evidence that the influence of eugenic and racialist beliefs upon the American Progressive Era political economy was so deep-rooted and pervasive that 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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