“Orthogenetic Extraction” – 25.09 x 17 in., digital mixed media on archival inkjet

I got caught up in a hyperlink tangent a few weeks ago that ended with a dive into the life of the Pugliese endocrinologist Nicola Pende, who in addition to pioneering work in his field and founding the University of Bari joined the fascists in the late 1930’s and began advising the party on its approach to bodies. Orthogenetics is a discarded understanding of evolution that sees species changing not in response to their environment but in motion toward a goal state, and you can imagine how much fun those shit-brained ghouls had with it. Look at these phrases from some of Pende’s publication titles—

  • Flaws of Constitution: Introduction to Constitutional Pathology
  • The Constitutional Approach in Social Medicine and POLITICAL BIOLOGY
  • The Orthogenetic Control of Adolescents
  • Rational Human Reclamation (“reclamation” in the sense of land reclamation, taking something wasted/useless and turning it good/making it yours) and POLITICAL BIOLOGY

Someone imposes that goal, you see. His idea was that foreigners/dissidents/“degenerates”/non-whites/Jews/etc had their own goal state, which was not of extinction, but one of use to the elite. They just needed a developmental touch.

Orthogenetics is gone, yes. But the programming of biology through the politics of domination is still playing an invisible hand. I wonder what use it has for me.

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