Ok, so the post title today was immediately what came into my mind, but naturally someone in the comment section to this article, It shouldn’t be taboo to criticize parents for having too many kids, already said it, so my thunder has already been stolen a bit.
These kinds of articles, essays, blog posts, etc, are everywhere these days. I used to collect them, hoping that the sheer number of them would persuade people to the real danger. Nowadays, however, the people who can be persuaded already are (after all, they’ve got eyes; they can see these articles themselves, which are EVERYWHERE), and the people who can’t be persuaded will never be persuaded. For these, I often encounter a variant of Rod Dreher’s “Law of Merited Impossibility” at work. In sum, there are people who argue like this: “X will never happen, but when it does, you’ll deserve it.” Put another way:
From arguments of denial to arguments of justification, overnight, with no one seeming to grapple with just how profound the consequences must be. [Emphasis mine].
Similarly, in dozens of exchanges on topics related to population control, my debate partner will A., deny that what I’m describing exists and then after I show it very much does will B., say it isn’t as common as I purport, and after I provide 10, 20, 30, 40… (I could provide hundreds, but after 20 I think we know what’s going on, don’t we?) examples, they will C., say, “well, surely we ought to have a conversation.” And you can be quite sure that after A, B, and C, all come into their full flower, when “D” comes to pass — coercion–they will say, “like I said, it will never happen, but now that it has, you deserved it!”
People with this mentality have something really sick in their head. (Or is it their soul?) It is more dangerous and potentially deadly than the policies Kristen Pyszczyk wants to have a ‘conversation’ about, and something we should be watching out for when we hear people talking about such things.
Pyszczyk, though offering a rather typical argument, is not worthy of a point by point response. I certainly have no interest in debating the un-persuadable. But there are people who are persuadable, and even already persuaded, who could stand to understand better where the danger lies in such argumentation. This post is for them.
First of all, we need to observe that Pyszczyk describes herself as a feminist–and yet, she feels completely justified in telling other women how many children they ought to have:
It’s not OK to have five kids without once considering adoption.
In the global West, where the environmental footprint of one person is far larger than in developing nations, it’s crucial that we begin to present all people with alternatives to the traditional nuclear family. This inevitably involves calling out people who have kids like they’re going out of style.
Shame is a powerful tool for changing behaviour: it’s how we introduce new and existing social conventions.
Here is your takeaway: people in this mold, while they might describe themselves as liberals, or feminists, or whatever, who would never want to talk about anything that, as Pyszczyk says, “involves telling a woman what to do with her body,” in reality, these count for very little. Her own essay stands as a rebuttal to her feminism, but she is too daft to notice–or give it much weight.
The problem for the rest of us is that we take them at their word. They say they are animated by rights for women, they say they are for personal liberties (more often than not, license), they say they don’t want the government in the bedroom, they say they don’t want anyone else to come between a woman and her doctor… and they are lying about all of it.
Now, they may not know they are lying. They may very well be lying to themselves. They are lying nonetheless.
Pyszczyk correctly notes, “Population control is a fraught topic, and carries with it associations with eugenics and other nasty historical events.”
Quite so. And if you actually study population control, eugenics, and other nasty historical events, you will very often find that the eugenicists and perpetrators of these ‘historical events’ attempted to take the exact same line that Pyszczyk does, that of ‘changing attitudes.’ I will talk about that more in just a bit.
The point is, she thinks that if you get society to adopt ideas that serve the ‘public good’, even if it descends into shaming (just how coercive would she go?), this is NOT an intrusion on anyone. As someone who HAS studied these things, I can assure you, this is a very common sentiment among the eugenically-minded. Recently I detailed it in a post describing the aborting of children diagnosed with birth defects, in this article, “The White Supremacy of Aborting Defectives.” Just to illustrate for our purposes here, I quoted a very reputable geneticist as saying:
In order to fulfill the aim of achieving a form of selection more humane than that resulting from the unalloyed struggle for existence, it would of course be all-important for this purposive control to be carried out, not by means of decrees and orders from authorities, but through the freely exercised volition of the individuals concerned, guided by their recognition of the situation and motivated by their own desire to contribute to human benefit in the ways most effective for them. This is the only real solution, the only procedure consistent with human happiness, dignity, and security. … But for voluntary adoption by people in general of a course of such wisdom, and so different from that now followed, a deep-seated change in mores would be necessary. Not least among the requirements for this would be a far more thoroughgoing and widespread education of the public in biological and social essentials. [emphasis added]
And here we get into very strange country.
As it relates to population control (rather than aborting children with birth defects), we find in the first place that all the same people who advocated for women’s rights were ready in an instant to revoke them if it became necessary. In his 1969 book The Population Bomb, Paul Ehrlich famously said,
The battle to feed humanity is over. In the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent [yadda yadda yadda]. Our position requires that we take immediate action at home and promote effective action worldwide. We must have population control at home, hopefully through changes in our value system, but by compulsion if voluntary methods fail.
What kind of compulsion, you wonder? Ehrlich would team up with a certain John Holdren in the mid-1970s and put on the table: compulsory abortion, …
…. compulsory giving children up for adoption, adding sterilants to the water supply, compulsory sterilization, outlawing having more than 2 children, and lets not forget “an armed international organization” or “planetary regime” to enforce such policies on a global scale.
Please observe that Holdren said that these laws can be sustained under the US Constitution. Oh, and also that he was Barack Obama’s chief science advisor. He never repudiated his ideas. He only said that the situation wasn’t ‘sufficiently severe’ to entertain such policies.
These kinds of arguments run throughout the pro-woman’s ‘choice’ to have an abortion field. I mean, they are everywhere, if one cares to actually find out what they really think. By far, the most glaring and easy to access example of this sentiment is the Jaffe Memo, which I extensively treat on this blog.
The most notable feature of the Memo for our purposes here is the fact that it was put together by a Vice-President of PLANNED PARENTHOOD, and includes proposals such as:
Restructuring the family by altering the “image of the ideal family size.” Compulsory education of children. Encouraging homosexuality. Fertility control agents in the water. FORCING women to work–and then provide few child care facilities. Compulsory abortion and sterilization–obviously. Discouraging private home ownership. And so on.
You get the idea.
The counter argument is that these have not been actually implemented, they were just options to consider. My point is that they were options at all! To have an organization like Planned Parenthood seriously considering such proposals, when it is supposedly the guardian of a woman’s right to her own body, is very revealing.
And of course, they all knew that abortion and eugenics were interrelated. As Frederick Osborn said:
“Birth control and abortion are turning out to be great eugenic advances of our time. If they had been advanced for eugenic reasons it would have retarded or stopped their acceptance.”
And Henry Kissinger noted in a 1974 report (NSSM 200) that was embraced by both Republicans and Democrats:
Certain facts about abortion need to be appreciated: No country has reduced its population growth without resorting to abortion.
There is one obvious conclusion to make from my argument thus far in relation to Pyszczyk’s claims. She says ‘we ought to have a conversation.’ This ‘conversation’ has been going on already for the greater part of a century!
A more substantial criticism, along the same lines, is in response to her statement:
Now, as a feminist, I tend to oppose any cultural conversation that involves telling a woman what to do with her body. But women have long been told that they need to have kids to have a meaningful life, and they are groomed for motherhood from a very early age.
But we don’t often hear arguments for alternatives to motherhood. Women need to be presented with options for a fulfilling life that don’t involve taking 20 years of their lives to care for offspring. Changing the narrative around motherhood should help to offset some of the cultural conditioning we receive throughout our lives.
Wow, just wow. What kind of bubble does she live in? The above quotes enough show that in actuality, for the last 40-50 years, the truth is that women have long been told that they do NOT need to have kids to have a meaningful life. Women are CONSTANTLY presented with options for a ‘fulfilling life.’ Moreover, population control advocates have long understood that it is not ‘cultural conditioning’ that leads women to want to have children, but rather the way women really are. In other words, until and unless the elites smother what women really want, they will generally want to have children.
This ‘smothering’ has been more or less the actual policy for the last 40-50 years. What happened is that they couldn’t get any traction on the compulsory angle, and the only thing they were left with was trying to change the culture and attitudes (largely among women themselves) about having careers, giving up having children, or too many children, that sort of thing. We see this most pronounced in the direction that John D. Rockefeller took in his own population control efforts. An active proponent for population control, he helped spearhead a commission, which gave its report to Nixon in 1972. Very few of the proposals could be implemented politically (so sad!) so by the late 1970s he has shifted his efforts exclusively towards promoting “women’s rights” (by which he meant, like many advocates of “women’s rights”, “Women can’t think for themselves, so we’re going to goad them into a socially benefit direction”) and homosexuality. (This is documented in the book, Intended Consequences, by Donald Critchlow)
In other words, everything that Pyszczyk says we ought to be doing is already happening. It’s already part of the program. It’s already institutionalized. Read this little excerpt, which pointedly reveals that all Pyszczyk is advocating for is well under way:
Before the 19th century, fertility levels in North America were as high, or higher, than present levels in many of the world’s less developed countries. As Canada developed and living conditions improved, birthrates declined steadily from their early levels of around 50 births per 1,000 population. By the 1920s, the birth rate had dropped below 30, and by 1937 had reached a low of 20 births per 1,000 population. The Second World War revived the economy and reversed the declining trend in birth rates; they reached record highs during the baby boom — 28.9 in 1947 and 28.5 in 1954 — before resuming the long-term decline beginning in the early 1960s. This decline occurred in a context of significant social change, especially with respect to the role and status of women in society. Beginning in the 1960s, there were significant advances in women’s education levels and their participation in the paid labour force, as well as increased availability of efficient birth control methods (see also Women in the Labour Force). All of these factors contributed to a decline in fertility rates.
Since the mid-1970s, the number of births has been below 400,000 per year, and the total fertility rate has ranged between 1.5 and 1.7 children per woman. These figures are well below the 2.1 level of fertility needed to ensure the long-term replacement of generations for a low mortality population such as Canada. The continuing pattern of low fertility for nearly half a century gives little reason to expect a return to replacement levels. In 2014, the total fertility rate was 1.58 children per woman, significantly lower than the 3.85 rate recorded at the peak of the baby boom in 1959.
Thus, if you find her essay offensive, you shouldn’t be offended by what she’s proposing. You should be offended by what is happening. And then take action.
(There are countless resources detailing all this, many of which are highlighting the problems resulting in DECREASES in population. In other words, the birth rate is already so low in so many places, that there are major societal problems arising from it. To think that there is a continuing problem with a GROWING population, when the population is actually set to decline [certainly in certain countries, eg, Japan, but globally, too] shows you just aren’t paying attention: you are a dupe.)
In particular, you should start thinking very carefully about what you believe and why you believe it. Chances are good you were fed 1970s-era rubbish which you accept today as fact, and have no idea the rubbish was formulated by pro-population control eugenics-minded people who didn’t give a rat’s ass about individual liberties and the like, but had to find a ‘work around’ to the reality that they couldn’t just shoot people the way the Nazis did.
Now, I want to say a word or two about the most dangerous part of the whole thing. It would be easy enough to chalk this up to typical liberal progressive excrement, but the underlying attitude that Pyszczyk exhibits is not at all limited to the liberals. The attitude in question: statism. Yes, liberal progressives are almost all statists to a man, but you can find statists across the spectrum.
For example, to stay on this topic, the population control movement was thoroughly welcomed in the Republican party for decades. It was Richard Nixon that passed a Federal population control bill establishing an office of population affairs–which still exists. (You’re not supposed to notice that the whole purpose of the agency is to curtail the population of the United States while its sole activity is to promote ‘family planning.’). Henry Kissinger, previously mentioned, has played both sides of the aisle, and was charged by Nixon to apply population control measures first internationally (with an eye towards eventual domestic implementation). It was the Republican Gerald Ford that signed the implementation order on Kissinger’s plan. George H Bush is on record fully supporting population control (forgotten by the time he ran for president).
These guys are all statists. Also statists: Mitt Romney, John McCain, and Lindsey Graham. And of course, Obama, John Holdren, Cass Sunstein, Jonathan Gruber, etc.
Pyszczyk is a statist.
Among the many giveaways in her article is her throwaway comment regarding immigration:
And if the birth rate in Canada declines, so what? As old You-Know-Who cuts off aid to not-for-profits that educate on abortion, restricts immigration and stops sending money to countries that need it, we will have a steady supply of smart and talented immigrants. Their loss, our gain.
This is essentially the exact same position of ‘moderate’ Republicans who are in favor of open immigration: we need workers to take the place of all the people who are not being born because of our population control efforts. (Notice again how Pyszczyk is contemplating a FUTURE decline, amazingly seemingly unaware that the decline is well in progress.) Immigration is not linked to the welfare or dignity of the immigrants, but is instead a necessary counter-balance to a falling population. And abortion, rather than a function of a woman’s liberty, is construed as a public policy issue.
What is a statist, exactly?
Think of a farmer who has a herd of cows. The farmer runs the estate, of course, but he also decides which cows will breed. He decides how each cow will be utilized. He balances the resources of his property to maximize the ‘sustainability’ of the enterprise. At times, he will cull the herd.
A statist is like the farmer, except instead of a farm it is a nation or the globe, and instead of managing cows, they manage people. They literally view the human population as something to be managed, and they, of course, are the designated Managers. They are usually exempted from their own management policies–eg, they will fight tooth and nail for compulsory public education, but they send their own kids to expensive private schools with far more flexible arrangements. Or, like Al Gore, they’ll lecture on cutting back on a carbon imprint while having one that is 100 times larger than anyone else.
There are many starting points for becoming a statist, hence how both Romney and Obama can be statists, but in entirely different political parties. (Remember, Obamacare was modeled off of Romneycare). I’m not going to go into all the different rationales behind statism, as that would be quite the essay, and this one is already 3,000 words long. But core idea is that it is good, proper, and appropriate for one group of people to manage another (usually larger) group of people (usually, the rest of us). Culling is very much on the table–what do you think abortion is? And euthanasia, to ‘free beds’?
True, the best of them try to balance their inclinations to manage society against the rights and dignities of individuals, but in principle, they are ready to give them up when the chips are down. I mean, after all, if you thought the whole globe was going to DIE unless X happened NOW, what wouldn’t YOU contemplate? That’s how they actually think, and that’s why they are a continual threat to all that is good and decent. They are, in a word, proto-fascists. And bigots and racists and sexists usually, too (black people can’t take care of themselves, so the government needs to step in… by paying for their abortions; women, when left to their own devices, would have a baby! Aaaaaaaaaaaah! Must! Inter! Vene!).
Kristen Pyszczyk wants us to adopt a society-wide shaming campaign. Fine, lets start with shaming the proto-fascists like her.
[A fascist, historically, is someone who advocates for private ownership, but government control. This is only a small step away from communism: government ownership and control. Capitalism: private ownership, private control.]
They can’t be trusted.
If only they were God, they would be smart enough and able enough to manage the affairs of 7 billion people. Despite their persistent belief that they are God, they aren’t. They ruin everything they touch.
The best thing would be to radically scale back their ability to touch anything. That’s probably not going to happen, though. The best opponent to statism, at least right now, is the Republican party in the United States. The fact that the GOP threw up a field of presidential candidates in 2016 in which 3/4 were statists tells you what you need to know about the long term prospects of the GOP being a faithful opponent to statism. Its only a matter of time before proto-fascism turns into real fascism. Plan accordingly.