After this war is over, of course, Europe will find herself prostrated economically, by the destruction of property and workers, and not only that – the survivors will lack the strength and vital power which the aggregate had before the war. So far as the strongest still survive, they will be crippled largely in body, mind, and estate. Europe will be a vast hospital full of invalids, a vast almshouse full of paupers, a vast cemetery full of graves.
This will leave the United States the one great nation, physically and otherwise fit to carry onward the torch of civilization. We, alone, of the world’s great peoples, will remain endowed with both the economic and vital power necessary for the prosecution of that mission. Therefore, it seems to me that it must be clear to every thinking man that Europe should serve to us as a warning and not as an example.
The tragedy there should stir us on to reduce, not to increase our militaristic ideas. While Europe is spending life we should set ourselves determinedly at the task of saving life.
Fisher was a crusading vegetarian, teetotaler, and eugenecist:
It is the quality rather than the quantity of human life that should be held precious…
If war would weed out only the criminal, the vicious, the feeble-minded, the insane, the habitual paupers, and others of the defective classes, it might lay claim, with some show of justice, to the beneficent virtues sometimes ascribed to it.
But the truth is that its effects are diametrically opposite. It eliminates the young men, who should be the fathers of the next generation — men medically selected as the largest, strongest, most alert, and best endowed in every way…
Their less endowed fellows, medically rejected from military service, because of defects in stature, eyesight, hearing, mentality, &c, are left at home to reproduce the race.
Caplan didn’t much like that part:
According to Fisher, war isn’t bad because it’s mass murder; it’s bad because it’s dysgenic mass murder!
Really, I don’t think that’s a fair paraphrase. Fisher would say that mass-murder is bad, but dysgenic mass murder is worse.