Book Review: The Survival of the Wisest, by Jonas Salk

Updated: 3 days ago

By: A. W. Finnegan #psychopaths #vaccines #publichealthtreason

The Moral Relativism of Jonas Salk

This is a synopsis of Jonas Salk's book The Survival of the Wisest. For those who don't know, Jonas Salk was the inventor of the inactivated polio vaccine. I briefly discussed this book in one of my recent videos, Depth Perception: The Substance of Core Principles Vs. Vaguery & Semantics. The reason for bringing up Salk's book in this video, was to demonstrate how it happens that people can use intellectualism, vaguery, and semantics to make bold, unacceptable statements that would otherwise be seen with abhorrence and scorn. For instance, one who overtly promoted the idea of genocide as a means of curbing so-called overpopulation, would be rightfully called a psychopath and socially exiled.

Yet, many will get away with expressing essentially the same ideas, just so long as they dress the message under a disguise of intellectual vaguery and semantics. In other words, they could convey the same message, just as long as they worded it in such a way as to be vague enough and modest intellectually, as to say it, without being overly profane in the way they say it. Much is the nature of Salk's book, The Survival of the Wisest, an intellectually-worded, treatise in the implementation of moral relativism in sustainable development. This is the self-proclaimed member of the Priest Class, proposing the answer to overpopulation, using new forms of morality and ways of looking at the world to solve the problem of what many elite members of society termed "useless eaters," or as Jonas Salk likes to put it, "'polluters', who befoul the planet":

A major threat to the species is attributed to the increasing size of the human population, which, in turn, is ascribed to successes in science and technology. This "explanation" has evoked an attack upon science and the exploitation of its technology, to the development of which are attributed many adverse effects upon the human species and upon other forms of life. "Polluters" who befoul the planet affect the "quality of life" and are regarded as a threat to the present and future equilibrium of the species and of the planet. Those who consider themselves on the side of Nature, and therefore of the human species, see others in opposition to both Nature and Man. Hence we are to be concerned not only with Man's relationship to Nature but with Man's relationship to himself. [1]

This quote came before the book even gets underway, in the first chapter, as "a way to perceive." These preliminary ideas form the pretext in which his intellectually-disguised solution is to reflect on. He states this early on and throughout the book implies the controlling of overpopulation by direct intervention. Most of the book is more or less finding ways to dance around outright saying in simple terms what to anyone else would be overly psychopathic, by suggesting new outlooks on traditional morals and human evolution. At one point, Salk mentions genocide as a necessary fact of human evolution, and included in his terms of a new ethic and morality:

"that which was, and is, anti-life, expressed in genocide, is as much an evolutionary phenomenon as what is here thought of as a new ethic and a new morality on the basis of which Man's future survival as a species and as an individual is dependent." [2]

Several pages later, he expands on the parameters of this "new morality":

"If a new morality is to emerge, and if the wisest are to endure and their descendants to survive, it will be because they will have found a way to learn and to teach their wisdom in a world they have inherited and which seems to be right for this kind of metamorphosis. The new world we visualize will be one in which the fittest to persist will also be those who fit best in a pattern design to fit the purpose of Nature for the survival of the species and the satisfaction of constructive individuals." [3]

As a priest doctor in the figurative priest class, Salk has drawn-up the blueprint for later tenets of sustainable development through redefining morality as well as who plays God. The redefining morality was done in attempt to make the extreme measures more ethical. It is those 'wise' ones deciding what that new morality is, that Salk sees as the controllers of Man's destiny in "Nature," defining who will be judged accordingly:

"Wisdom has at least persisted in the course of human history. Now we are saying that if the quality of human life is to improve, a process of selection, both natural and human, will have to choose the wisest for positions of influence and of power. Eventually, the struggle in the human domain will be between the wise and the nonwise. This implies that those who lead others in ways that are anti-evolutionary, or that are counter to the natural process of becoming of The BEING, will either be replaced by others possessing wisdom akin to that of Nature, to guide men towards survival with greater satisfaction and fulfillment, or lead Man to disaster.

If we think of wisdom as the art of the disciplined use of imagination and respect to alternatives, exercise at the right time and in the right measure, it is apparent that judgment is required as to what is "right," in time and in measure. This may well depend upon an innate art, for which, in part at least, a science can be developed to serve as a guide, and a basis for judgement, for those who do not possess the imagination, or the art, within themselves. They could, thereby, be helped to function and to relate in ways that are constructive, rather than uselessly destructive, to their own beings and to others, and in this way experience a greater measure of satisfaction and fulfillment in life, rather than more anxiety and frustration." [4]

What really brings out the underlying sentiment of what he is trying to say, is highlighted closer to the beginning, when he illustrates how scientists can encourage or disrupt the human genes by direct intervention with RNA viruses:

"Biologists have discovered many ways in Nature of acquiring such information and of producing new combinations. For example, sexual reproduction, which results in new mixtures of inheritable information, may be seen as a producer of "mutations" in the sense implied above. "Mutations," as here defined, would also be produced by the introduction, either naturally or experimental e, of a virus into a sperm or egg cell, the genetic information of which would then be incorporated in either the DNA or the RNA and transmitted. Such new information might be advantageous or disadvantages. Nevertheless, it would be transmitted hereditarily, having become part of the organism, whose survival value would then be tested in the process of natural selection." [5]

While I could pull out a handful of other quotes, the point of this review is to give a brief synopsis of what he is really getting at, since most of the book has exhausted ways of justifying the quotes mentioned with sugar-coated modest language, semantics, and excessive intellectualism for its own sake.

As the pioneer of the first polio vaccine, the so-called inactivated polio vaccine (IPV), Salk was in a unique position to be able to openly make such statements and publishing the book that he made, considering the vaccine was also contaminated by such an RNA virus which could do exactly the kind of damage Salk hinted at in his little book. Not to mention, how it came to be that such a man was able to create such a vaccine, after attracting the attention of the FBI for communist sympathies in his earlier activities, revealed in the article Birth of a Cold War Vaccine, about the later oral polio vaccine, devised by Albert B. Sabin, when both were invited to Russia: 

Even though both he and Salk had been invited, Sabin was on a mission of one. Decades later Salk’s son Peter told Oshinsky that his father had turned down the Russians’ invitation because Salk’s wife, weary of her husband’s frequent absences, had finally “put her foot down.” Oshinsky’s chronicle suggests another possibility. As a younger man, Salk had been one of thousands of Americans who publicly espoused left-wing causes and thus aroused the FBI’s attention. Perhaps Salk feared that a visit to the Soviet Union would be misconstrued. More likely, the “celebrity scientist,” whose game-changing vaccine had made him famous and wealthy, believed he had little to gain from a Soviet trip. Unlike Sabin, he had nothing to prove. [6].

SV40 Tragedy Hearing in 2003

Is it any consolation that Salk's inactivated polio vaccine had been contaminated by several Type-C carcinogenic, RNA human polyoma viruses like SV40, JC Virus, and BK Virus, for a full 5 years and beyond after it was put into circulation? [7] We put dangerous individuals in positions of power, whether it is power over politics or our health, and the result is not so surprising.

What is surprising, however, is how these people still get to be lionized as heroes, write books endorsing genocidal ideologies and creating new moralities to justify their psychopathy. This should serve as a case in point on the dangerousness of ignorance and inability to realize that psychopaths with a lot of authority do indeed exist and ascribe to conspiracy against those unaware of their ulterior and cruel intentions.


[1] Salk, Jonas Edward. The Survival of the Wisest. New York: Harper & Row, 1973, pp. 02

[2] Ibid. pp. 81

[3] Ibid. pp. 83

[4] Ibid. pp. 71-72

[5] Ibid. pp.43-44

[6] Swanson, William. “Birth of a Cold War Vaccine.” Scientific American, vol. 306, no. 4, 2012, pp. 66–69., doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0412-66.

[7] Shah, Keerti, and Neal Nathanson. “Human Exposure to Sv40: Review And Comment.” American Journal of Epidemiology, vol. 103, no. 1, 1976, pp. 1–12., doi:10.1093/oxfordjournals.aje.a112197, can alternatively be retrieved from:

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