Social Engineering



Imagine if you were to ask someone what they did for a living. Imagine they answer, “Oh, I'm an engineer.” Then you ask further, “What kind of engineer are you? Are you a civil engineer, constructing and designing buildings and other public works? Are you an electrical engineer, studying and designing various electronic systems? Are you a mechanical engineer, designing mechanical systems?” Now, imagine they answer, “No, I'm a social engineer. It is my responsibility to use my position of authority and power to bend the minds of people and to change their whole way of thinking and behaving in the overall goal of creating a new society where people think, believe and behave the way myself and a core of elite want them to think, believe and behave. I'm a social engineer.” You would probably throw up your hands and cry, “Conspiracy!” Could it ever happen in a civilized society that the financial, political and educational elite would involve themselves in a program of social engineering? Many today believe that such elite have done just that. A brief walk through history may shed light on this fear.

History has much light to shed on social engineering. What is social engineering? Social engineering can be called a discipline within social science that involves influencing the attitudes and behaviours of people within society on a large scale. It is the restructuring of culture itself by government, media and other elite members of society. The term is also used for a type of computer crime but I am not using this application of the term in this article. Could it be that our educational system and media are brainwashing the public towards a planned-out way of thinking, believing and acting? Who are these elite and what do they believe about themselves? Generally speaking, they are those who are the most financially advantaged members of society. Not all such ones are necessarily trying to social engineer their society. However, it would seem that many are. The elite often see themselves as being above the common members of society. They occupy a superior status that they feel is a reflection of their advanced wisdom, knowledge, intelligence and virtue. They see themselves as especially qualified to lead and to direct according to their advanced judgment. For the most part, we will be looking at Western history in this article. To understand social engineering as it exists in modern western society, we must understand its predecessor, the eugenics movement.

What is eugenics? The word “eugenics” was first coined in 1883 by the British scientist, Francis Galton.  Galton used the word “eugenics” to convey social uses by which information on a person's heredity could be used for selective breeding. Eugenics represented the idea of the social selection of “fit” persons within society and the removal of “unfit” persons. Fit persons were those deemed strong, healthy and independent, whereas, unfit persons were those who, in some way, were dependent on the society, social order and family to which they belonged. Eugenics presupposed that fitness and unfitness was largely determined by heredity and that positive changes in humanity could be obtained by selective breeding. Before the word “eugenics” was used in 1883, the idea had already been hashed around and developed by philosophers for a long time. In 1798, the English writer, Thomas Malthus, theorized that the finite world food supply would not be enough to support the expanding human population worldwide and that population control was needed to address this deficiency. He also spoke out against charity for the poor. In 1850, Herbert Spencer taught that man and society followed the rules of cold science and not that of a caring God. He was the first to coin the phrase “survival of the fittest.” 1 This would become a much-used phrase in years to come, especially in evolutionary circles. Spencer taught that the fittest would perfect society and the unfit would become more impoverished, less educated and die off.1 Eugenics has always been about population control.




The publishing of Charles Darwin's book, The Origin Of Species, in 1859, added tremendous fuel to the developing philosophy, not yet named, of eugenics. Darwin's theory was built on the concept of the survival of the fittest and, after him, a fury of philosophers began writing on the topic of the biological breeding of the strong people in society and leaving the weak to perish. By the time Galton coined the word “eugenics” in 1883, the concept was already highly developed and popular. As things digressed, the concept of “unfit” was expanded to include “races” of people, not only the handicapped and the poor. Between 1890 and 1920, 18 million refugees migrated to the United States. Rather than blending into a melting pot of culture and diversity, most retained their distinctive differences and there was little integration. The mainstream culture had little patience for those who would not, or could not, integrate and racism in America skyrocketed. All of these developments influenced the philosophy of eugenics during this time. Many social activists began voicing their belief that some people and some people-groups were superior to other people and other people-groups. It was not long before such opinions were being spread, not only by social activists but by elite philosophers, educators and politicians.

When discussing the spread of eugenics by activists, philosophers, educators and politicians, it would be hard to overstate the extent to which they popularized the philosophy of eugenics in America during the late-nineteenth century and early-twentieth century. Nancy Leys Stepan has said; “In fact, one of the puzzles about eugenics is that, far from viewing it as a bizarre notion of extremists at the fringes of respectable science, and social reform, many well-placed scientists, medical doctors, and social activists endorsed it as an appropriate outcome of developments in the science of human heredity.” 2 These same well-placed scientists, medical doctors and social activists were instrumental in mainstreaming eugenics as the science of their day. In fact, eugenics had become so much a part of health reform by the 1920s that anyone daring to criticize it was mocked. Edwin Black has said; “Racism, group hatred, xenophobia and enmity towards one's neighbours have existed in almost every culture throughout history. But it took millennia for these deeply personal, almost tribal hostilities to migrate into the safe harbour of scientific thought, and thus rationalizing destructive actions against the despised or unwanted.” 3 This safe harbour of scientific thought was really a cloak for prejudice, selfishness and racism.

While eugenics was finding a safe harbour among universities in America, it was also making inroads into the political arena. In America, for example, on January 29th of 1907, the Indiana representative, Horace Reed, introduced a bill which was later passed. This eugenics bill made lawful the sterilization of poor-house residents, the mentally impaired and prisoners. The State of Washington also adopted the use of sterilization of habitual criminals, as did California and Nevada, of convicts. Connecticut sterilized mental asylum residents. Iowa sterilized those it considered “criminals, idiots, feeble-minded, imbeciles, drunkards, drug fiends, epileptics, ... moral or sexual perverts,” whom they had in custody. 4 In 1911, the State of New Jersey passed legislation which created a “Board of Examiners of Feebleminded, Epileptics and Other Defectives.” 5 The term “other defectives” was ambiguous and open to interpretation. The board was also to identify prisoners and children, residing in poor-houses as well as charitable institutions, of whom “procreation is inadvisable.” 6 Decisions were made in a formal hearing where persons being considered defective were given a court-appointed attorney, but denied a family-hired or personally-selected attorney. New Jersey's governor, Woodrow Wilson, signed the bill into law on April 21, 1911. In 1912, the State of New York practically duplicated the New Jersey legislation for its own state. It would shock many readers that in the United States thousands of people were sterilized involuntarily. Statistics vary on the exact numbers. The most conservative figures begin at 60,000, though the highest numbers are estimated at up to 180,000. 7

The most famous eugenics program was that of Adolf Hitler. Hitler exterminated six million Jews in a gigantic eugenics experiment. The horror of this influenced public opinion against eugenics. The Nazi regime had forever blackened what had previously been a well-accepted philosophy, that is, eugenics. The elites who funded the eugenics movements around the world began dropping the word for what they were doing, as well.

Most people are aware of the triumphs of the civil rights movement within American society which led to Afro-Americans to be treated more fairly in the twentieth century than in previous centuries. Many people assume that the discrimination that Afro-Americas faced was a result of a grass-roots prejudice against them on the part of common white American society. Most do not realize how entrenched racism was, not only within common society but, within the upper levels of American society as a direct result of the eugenics movement. Eugenics projects like The National Committee For Mental Hygiene's Sterilization Program received financial support from Rockefeller philanthropies. The wealthy Rockefeller philanthropies were also involved with the Bureau of Social Hygiene. (For more information on eugenics, read my writings The Rising and Falling of Western Civilization,The Truth About Planned Parenthood and Charles Darwin and The Races of Man).

Social engineering has always been a component of eugenics as well as being a separate science of its own. It has existed within and alongside of eugenics. After eugenics lost its public appeal, social engineering continued as a discipline of studies and also as an experiment, as it has been applied in western society. The turn of the twentieth century saw an increasing interest in what is called The Science of Man. This was, in fact, a renewed interest in the human being. It attempted to delve into every aspect of human nature from the psychological dimensions of people to the social aspects of human relationships to the biological breakdown of the human being itself. Why were, and why are, elites so intent on understanding the human being and the human mind?

In the field of psychology, the 1920s saw the rise of behaviorism. Psychologist John B. Watson composed a “Behaviorist Manifesto” whose “theoretical goal is the prediction and control of behavior”.7 Behaviorism emphasizes that changes in human behavior can come about by frequent repetition of desired actions with rewards and discouragements. Behaviorism observes behavior and seeks to understand how to predict behavior and even how to control behavior.A great deal of interest was now directed at understanding the human psyche.

The sociological roots of social engineering stretched back into the nineteenth century and, in some regards, can traced to the sociologist, Edward Alsworth Ross. Ross began writing on the topic of “Social Control.” Social Control went on to become a major field of study within sociology, itself.

Ross argued in favor of a new liberalism that would accept inequality and class conflict in favor of advancing the social interests of society.

As liberalism would evolve in the twentieth century, it took on more and more aspects of social control. It advocated eugenic ideals such as abortion on demand. It embraced socialism. Socialism and communism, while advocating for equality, actually have delivered a police state in every society where they have been implemented. Police states are the epitome of social control. Liberalism also supports an environmental movement that increases government regulation in the name of protecting the environment. This increase of regulation also serves to increase social controls.

Twentieth-century higher education did not stop at studying psychology and sociology but also began exploring the science of man from a whole new angle, the biological dimension. Eugenics had taught that human behavior was a result of human traits that were inbred. Biologists now began coding the connections between physical structural biological mechanisms and behavior. Genes came into focus as a supposed indicator of human behavior.

The financially elite Rockefeller Foundation began funding the collaborative work of geneticists, biophysicists and biochemists to explore the role of proteins in determining power over heredity. Many geneticists came to accept the idea that proteins determined behavior. Throughout the 1930s, 1940s and into the 1950s the Rockefeller Foundation heavily supported research projects into human genetics.

As molecular biology progressed through the twentieth century, the 1950s saw the discovery of DNA. This discovery was monumental because DNA was found to be self-replicating and it contains the genetic information that many geneticists believe guide human nature and behavior. Because DNA is self-replicating, some social engineers began dreaming of the possibility of manipulating DNA in ways that would influence behavior.

The Rockefeller Foundation has come under much criticism for assisting in the development and funding of the German eugenics program in Nazi Germany. Another financial giant, the Carnegie Institution, has also been criticized for supporting the eugenics movement. Why have organizations, such as these, invested in such a socially destructive cause as social eugenics? Why have they also invested so much into the science of man and social sciences? The Rockefeller Foundation funded the construction of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institutes', institute for brain research. The Rockefeller Foundation created the International Health Commission which established the School of Hygiene and Public Health at John Hopkins University and, later, at Harvard and went on to spend 25 million dollars in developing other public health schools. It funded a twenty-year support program to research and educate on birth control, sex education and maternal health. In 1918, the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial (LSRM) was established which was involved in supporting research into social science. In 1922, Beardsley Rumi was hired to direct the LSRM and, more than ever before, he shifted Rockefeller philanthropies towards social science. He also created the Social Science Research Council. Overall, the Rockefeller Foundation has donated over 14 billion dollars to education and research and this has been divided between 1) health, medical and population sciences, 2) agricultural and natural sciences, 3) social sciences, 4) international relations and 5) arts and humanities. It has also been a big supporter of the United Nations. The Carnegie Corporation of New York is also involved in supporting higher eduction and advanced research on learning and cognitive development and on public interest broadcasting. How might the new technologies that arise out of this research affect our lives?

Up until the 1950s, the Rockefeller Foundation had been possibly the largest private financial contributor to sociological and biological studies. In the 1950s, another financial super-giant, The Ford Foundation, began investing in behavioral studies. They coined the term “behavioral sciences” and by 1957 had contributed almost 24 million dollars to behavioral research. Dr. Linus Pauling of Caltech (California Institute of Technology) was one beneficiary of this funding. Dr. Pauling advocated using this new science of DNA to purify the human germ plasm pool and to treat defects caused by heredity. He also advocated for population control and birth control. He said; “We shall have to find some way to purify the pool of human germ plasm so that there will not be so many seriously defective children born. … We are going to have to institute birth control, population control.”8 I disagree with this because it is like playing God. A new eugenics was born, one based on DNA manipulation to create desired traits in humans. What traits will the scientific and medical communities create in the new generation of humans. Robert Sinsheiner, from Caltech, said: “The old eugenics was limited to a numerical enhancement of the best of our existing gene pool. The new eugenics would permit in principle the conversion of all the unfit to the highest genetic level.”9 I disagree with this new eugenics because, like the old eugenics, it still views some of society as unfit. Again, Dr. Pauling, from Caltech, even went so far as to say; “There should be tattooed on the forehead of every young person a symbol showing possession of the sickle-cell gene or whatever other similar gene. … It is my opinion that legislation along this line, compulsory testing for defective gene before marriage, and some form of semi-public display of this possession, should be adopted.”10 I disagree with this opinion of Dr. Pauling because it has no regard for the human rights and privacy of individuals who do not wish to be identified by their genes and who do not consider themselves to be defectives.

Historically, as the nature versus nurture debate unfolded, psychologists and sociologists coming down on the side of nurture and biologists and geneticists coming down on the side of nature, each was well funded to conduct their research by financial elites represented by organizations such as the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation and others. It was all a part of the science of man. Their studies were aimed at understanding human behavior. The result of their research has been clamored over by the elite. What will they do with this information? What will social engineers do with this information? How might you and I be changed by this technology?



1.Herbert Spencer, quoted in Edwin Black, War Against The Weak (New York: Four Walls Eight Windows, 2003), 12.

  1. Nancy Leys Stepan, The Hour of Eugenics (London: Cornell University Press, 1991), 5.

  2. Edwin Black, War Against The Weak, 9.

  3. Ibid., 68.

  4. Ibid., 68.

  5. Ibid., 68.

  6. J. P. Watson, “Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It,” Psychological Reviews, 20 (1913), 158-177.

  7. CIT, Historical File, Box 88, Pauling File, “The Next Hundred Years,” pgs 10-12. KRCA , Channel 4, December 13, 1958. Also OSU, Pauling Papers, “The Future of Science and Medicine,” John P. Peters Memorial Lecture, Yale, November 17, 1958

  8. Robert Sinsheiner, “The Prospect of Designed Genetic Change,” Engineering and Science, 32 (1969), pp. 8-13.

  9. Linus Pauling, “Reflections on the New Biology,” UCLA Law Review, 15 (1968), p. 269.


Black, Edwin. War Against The Weak. New York: Four Walls Eight Windows, 2003.

CIT, Historical File. Box 88. Pauling File, “The Next Hundred Years”. KRCA , Channel 4, December 13, 1958.

Kay, Lily E. The Molecular Vision of Life Caltech, The Rockefeller Foundation, And The Rise Of The New Biology. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.

Leys Stepan, Nancy. The Hour of Eugenics. London: Cornell University Press, 1991.

Maafa 21. Denton, Tx: Life Dynamics, Inc., 2010. DVD.

OSU, Pauling Papers. “The Future of Science and Medicine.” John P. Peters Memorial Lecture, Yale. November 17, 1958.

Pauling, Linus. “Reflections on the New Biology.” UCLA Law Review, 15 (1968).

Sinsheiner, Robert. “The Prospect of Designed Genetic Change.” Engineering and Science, 32 (1969).

Watson, J. P. “Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It.” Psychological Reviews, 20 (1913).






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Rockefeller Foundation.” Wikipedia.

Carnegie Corporation of New York.” Wikipedia.