Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Godless World View

In a Godless world view, the taking of human life is merely an accepted strategic means to reach a defined individual or national interest and has no morality attached to it, as morality itself is unattached to anything real beyond the material world, and the human being drifts in an evil eugenic sea, the world of population control, subject of a new book.

An excerpt from the review from The Claremont Institute.

“When historians study hubris, they usually tell stories about the dazzling, cruel, or ill-fated exploits of specific people—presidents, dictators, revolutionaries. In Fatal Misconception: The Struggle to Control World Population, Matthew Connelly, an associate professor of history at Columbia University, looks instead at an idea: controlling human reproduction. Bold in its claims and wildly arrogant in its approach, the international population control movement of the 20th century provides a stark example of the harms that can occur in the name of benevolence. As Connelly describes in this meticulously researched and well-argued study.

“Scientists and activists organized across borders to press for common norms of reproductive behavior. International and nongovernmental organizations spearheaded a worldwide campaign to reduce fertility. Together they created a new kind of global governance, in which proponents tried to control the population of the world without having to answer to anyone in particular.

“As Connelly tells it, the population control movement faced the perverse challenge of trying to reverse an extraordinary human achievement: "In the last century, humanity has experienced more than twice as great a gain in longevity as in the previous two thousand centuries, and more than four times the growth in population." But with rapid growth in population came fears of social disruption and food scarcity. The "misery and the fear of misery" caused by overpopulation that mathematician Thomas Malthus first described in 1798 remained a constant concern in Europe and the U.S. During the late 19th century, these anxieties fueled the drive to categorize and make systematic a world that seemed out of control; among the most popular ways of doing this was dividing the world up into different ethnic or racial groups, some deemed more favorable than others. In the United States, fears of "race suicide," an influx of immigrants from Asia and Southern and Eastern Europe, and concerns about the growth of the so-called feebleminded population at home led to the embrace of eugenics, the movement to improve the human race through better breeding practices.

“In the 1920s, efforts by activists to organize a birth control movement gained traction, and advocates of population control eventually supplanted eugenicists as the more effective voices for limiting reproduction, Connelly argues. By the ‘30s, the phrase "family planning" became popular, and the global economic crisis prompted more converts to the idea that overpopulation was a definite peril. As Connelly reminds us, during the Depression, "birth control was one of the few American industries to prosper, serving a $250 million market by 1938." And with many more people relying on government assistance, the notion that the state and its experts should have a greater say in who should and should not reproduce began to gain acceptance. In other words: don't breed if the state is the hand that feeds you. By 1937, even the staid American Medical Association had approved family planning.

“One of the strengths of Connelly's history is its global scope, and as he demonstrates, India soon became the proving ground—and often the exploitative laboratory—for many population theories in circulation. American birth control activist Margaret Sanger famously debated Gandhi in the ‘30s and traveled the Indian countryside dispensing her wisdom and hawking a contraceptive foam powder she had never bothered to have tested, even on animals, before distributing it to clinics in India. By the ‘40s, Connelly writes, "Innumerable Americans and Europeans...traveled to India, witnessed ‘overpopulation' firsthand, and returned ashen-faced, suitably appalled, to tell others of their experience." As one British colonial administrator bluntly put it, in India, "The people multiply like rabbits and die like flies." Despite concerted efforts to control reproduction, however, activists were flummoxed that "even the poorest people could not be relied upon to want fewer children." In the decades to come, population control enthusiasts willfully ignored this lesson.”