The bubble of Heredity has been pricked: the certainty that acquirements are negligible as elements in practical heredity has demolished the hopes of the educationists as well as the terrors of the degeneracy mongers; and we know now that there is no hereditary "governing class" any more than a hereditary hooliganism.
…of society as an organic whole nowhere, may muddle successfully through the comparatively tribal stages of gregariousness; but in nineteenth century nations and twentieth century empires the determination of every man to be rich at all costs, and of every woman to be married at all costs, must, without a highly scientific social organization, produce a ruinous development of poverty, celibacy, prostitution, infant mortality, adult degeneracy, and everything that wise men most dread.
There are no more uses of "degenerate" in the book.
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"If our search degenerates to that level I’ll be sure to call on you," I said without looking in his direction.
Patrick Rothfuss -- The Name of the Wind
By nature I am high-strung and animated, but when frustration confronts me head-on, I degenerate into a demoniac.