Many of the early twentieth-century champions of eugenics were social democrats and feminists. All shared a belief that science and technocracy could re-engineer society for the better. Attempts to institutionalize eugenics coincided with the emergence of welfare states and infrastructure to monitor the ‘feebleminded’.
Professor of migration and social policy at University College Dublin. Author of Three Roads to the Welfare State: Liberalism, Social Democracy and Christian Democracy, published by Policy Press (2021).
The ‘Irish slaves meme’– assertions that Irish immigrants to the US were once slaves – has been mobilized by the alt-right to promote a white nationalist agenda based on claims of victimhood. Yet its popularity cannot simply be blamed on the online propaganda of white supremacist groups, argues Bryan Fanning.