International Studies in Phenomenology and Philosophy

Journal | Volume | Article


Lessons from anarchist eugenics

Anne O'Byrne

pp. 103-122


There is a tension between present and future at the forefront of anarchist thought: if we reject authority, how can we bear the authority we inevitably have over those who come after us? This is not a problem exclusive to anarchism, but a tension that is also embedded in every politics that strives to both promote freedom and sustain itself as the best possible structure for the realization of that freedom. While “anarchist eugenics” sounds like an oxymoron, it was a theme developed in Spanish anarchist thought in the 1920s and 30s as it addressed this problem and struggled to sustain revolutionary practice. The cause of freedom and equality could be served and “the race of the poor” eliminated by sex education, free love and conscious generation.

Publication details

Published in:

Fritsch Matthias, Menga Ferdinando G (2017) Responsibility and justice for future generations in dialogue with phenomenology. Metodo 5 (2).

Pages: 103-122

DOI: 10.19079/metodo.5.2.103

Full citation:

O'Byrne Anne (2017) „Lessons from anarchist eugenics“. Metodo 5 (2), 103–122.