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Tuesday
Nov102009

Crime Will No Longer Exist in 2007 (1907)

You know what's awesome about living in the future? Not having to worry about crime of any kind.

The March 17, 1907 Washington Post ran a piece from the Chicago Tribune titled "How Our Progeny Will Live One Hundred Years From Now." An excerpt, which imagines a world where crime is extremely rare, appears below.

I found the most interesting idea in the piece to be that those of a criminal inclination would no longer be allowed to procreate.

CRIME WILL NO LONGER EXIST

The repression of crime will largely be through preventive measures. With improved detective methods the chances of escape in any given case will be greatly diminished, the innocent will be rarely accused at all, and the punishments of the guilty will be of a reformatory character. In the meantime the study of mental science will have made great strides, and a great source of crime will be eliminated because men and women with the mental twist which leads to crime will be absolutely prevented from propagating their race.

 

Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

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Reader Comments (9)

So, basically eugenics will eliminate crime.

November 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChris N. Hanson

The use of eugenics as a form of proactive law enforcement had a lot of advocates in the early 20th Century. You find the idea in many of H.G. Wells's social writings, for example, and in Alexis Carrel's "Man, the Unknown."

November 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMark Plus

Strange, most paleo-futuristic visions were ridiculously perfect utopias, yet this article appears more like a unadulterated dystopia. Based on the asinine notion criminal inclination being an hereditary trait certain people get their human rights revoked, disgusting. No wonder the late 19th and early 20th century eugenics constituted large parts of the Nazis' ideology later on.

November 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHarb

Even 50 years ago when I was in junior high school and reading Julian Huxley, the Richard Dawkins of his day, he was still big on eugenics.

November 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRodger

It's an asinine notion now, but it made a lot of sense given the really rudimentary understanding of genetics, psychology and sociology at the time. The word "genetics" had only been coined a year previous to this articule being written, and at the time, the sky was the limit regarding what the new science could accomplish. And if you *coud* eliminate the genetic traits that lead someone to "commit crime", couldn't that be considered a worthy pursuit?

We've had 50 years to reflect on the horrors that applied eugenics can bring about, and we're still largely fragmented on what to do with whatever knowledge that gets discovered. When this article was written, such horrors were decades in the future, and the possibilities seemed a bit more golden. It's interesting, however, to compare this writing within the context of its' time vs today's writings about transhumanism in our time. We're still focussing on all the shiny, beautiful possibilities, and largely ignorant of the horrific potential.

November 16, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermike

Dont know whether I am angry or happy about finding out that this blog was still around. I guess, I'm glad that its still around, but 80+ unread posts because you never announced the move? kinda lame.

November 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJL

Has anyone actually tried genetic-based eugenic crime control?

Interesting that we all seem to agree it doesn't work.
But has it actually been tried?

November 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDoc

Oh great !But i think its not true.Its 2009 and still we are facing all those problems and the crimes are increasing day by day though there is a good,improved detective methods.Then too i pray to God that this news will be true one day.Hope we will see that day.Ne ways Good post!


pregnancy

December 18, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjiny_smith321

social darwinism is not new, and its a big rationale for abortion.

"mental science" just went a different direction than the author percieved.

July 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJack

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