Tuesday, March 13, 2007


An early twentieth century movement seriously proposed the practice of selective breeding of the human species, usually known as eugenics. Margaret Sanger, a vocal eugenist, openly lamented the unrestricted propagation of "inferior types". She wrote about producing a "race of thoroughbreds", and eliminating "human weeds". (See this link for starters.) Founder of the American Birth Control League, today's Planned Parenthood, she mainly targeted her birth control measures to the poor, immigrants, and other minority groups. These remain the primary target clientele for Planned Parenthood today.

A similar eugenics philosophy lay behind Hitler's pogroms against Jews and other "inferior" peoples. It would seem that eugenics in practice must always become genocide. Well, the Allied forces defeated Hitler militarily, but the poisonous thinking of racism, eugenics, and genocide remains, still espoused by many, whether openly or covertly.

Moreover, beginning in the 1960's or so, another toxic idea related to human propagation began to be fed to us: that our very presence on this planet is a problem; that we by our nature are destroying the earth that we depend upon; we're using up finite resources and producing waste at an ever accelerated clip, the problem grows more acute every year, and the only apparent solution is to reduce our numbers.

Myth (mith), n.: A widely held belief based upon an imaginary or legendary story.
This story, usually told by well-fed academics of Europe and America, seems always to portend an imminent, deadly threshold. I am not discounting or minimizing the real crises and human need in many areas. Yet threshold after threshold is passed, and the anticipated doom doesn't materialize. Indeed, global per capita real income and standard of living appear to be holding steady or even modestly growing. Are there limits to human population growth? I suppose all finite things have limits. Are we near our own limit? I know of no reliable evidence that would suggest that we are, nor have i seen proof linking any particular crisis to a root cause of "too many people". Yet the myth, and the conviction of impending doom, continue to afflict many. (Ah, but there may well be an impending doom to fear - that of the righteous judgment of God upon our ungodly beliefs and practices!)

Now, here's where it gets interesting: Put the two toxic ideas together, and what you get is something very much like today's Planned Parenthood agenda, or the United Nations Population Control programs. Namely, you get the racist and genocidal campaign to 'help' the folks in poorer parts of the world (which just happen to be Hispanic, African, or Asian) to discover the sexual revolution and to have fewer children. You get foreign assistance offered only upon the adoption of liberal abortion laws, forced or coerced sterilization, etc. This was Margaret Sanger's eugenic goal from the get-go: target the 'inferior' peoples, doing whatever is necessary to ensure that they have fewer babies.

Herein lies the poetic irony (and divine judgment?): Demographic trends suggest that the people who have drunk most deeply of the toxic myth are precisely those from whose ranks the myth arose, but who were not targetted for extinction by Sanger and Hitler, nor by the myth makers, nor by current Planned Parenthood and United Nations population controllers. Germany and Japan, for example, are experiencing a severe drop in birth rates, far below replacement levels. France, at two births per woman, scarcely replacement level, has one of the highest birth rates in Europe. Worldwide, all birth rates seem to be slowing, but there is a definite demographic shift away from the formerly dominant and ascendant European stock, to folks from Africa, the Middle East, and Central and South America.

So, now the generalized fear of population growth takes on a more racist tone. Many in the U.S. feel threatened by the growing influx of people from Latin America. Europeans grow more wary of the rising tide of people, largely Muslim, from the Middle East. White Russia may soon become predominately Muslim and Chinese. Much is written, and feelings run high, regarding the perceived shift in demographic power.

I can't help thinking that there must be a connection here... That the eugenics/genocide ideology of Hitler, Sanger, et. al., rooted in racial fear, has now morphed into a sort of Thanatos syndrome, a culture-wide death wish on the part of the very people who were to become Sanger's "race of thoroughbreds", a paralysis of our collective will to propagate and thrive. Ironic that the debased thinking of Sanger and Hitler may actually have helped to fuel the very population changes they most feared!

What about a challenge to the premise: Do we, in fact, have to live in the consumeristic mentality that leads to such anti-life despair? Must we adopt the self-loathing mantra of the population control agenda? Or might we do better to try to rediscover a sustainable way of living, in which human beings are rightly seen, not as a liability, but as a vital resource? I hope to expand upon this hopeful thought.

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