So, look at what Helena has in her pockets. Besides all the sugar and lollipops, there is this picture.
It looks like a newspaper clipping and the caption is something like “[…] the most perfect baby in the […].”
Through some googling I’ve found this:
The pictures are obviously different, but the captions seem to be the same. They are both about “Better Baby” contests. You can read more about it here, here and here, but let me give you the gist of it:
In the 1910s and 20s, there were lots of state fairs across the United States and they were a big deal. In them, farmers showed their live stock and there were competitions and prizes for the best pigs, cows, horses etc. Farmers made their best animals through selective breeding. Aka, the beginnings of genetic engineering.
Do you know what other prizes were given out? Prizes for the best babies (“Better Baby”) and best families (“Fitter Family”). Families would submit an “Abridged Record of Family Traits” and doctors would examine them to give a “eugenic health” grade. Guess who gave out those prizes. The Eugenics Society of America. They also used these fairs as a way to “educate” the population about eugenics.
But what’s interesting to me about it is that it seems that it’s not just the Neolutionists who want to “enhance” humans. It seems that the Proletheans also want the “betterment” of human race.
If you consider that pamphlets of an eugenics conference talked about it as “the self direction of human evolution” (which is also how Leekie described his philosophies), that Leekie flat out said that neolutionists are eugenicists (and that it seems that proletheans also are), then there are more similarities between Neolutionism and Proletheanism (?) than we might have thought.