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Holdren & Company: The Neo-Malthusian School

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Jurriaan Maessen
Prison Planet.com
Tuesday, July 14, 2009

In the same year that Obama science czar John P. Holdren spoke his mind in Ecoscience, he wrote an article for the book The No-Growth Society, in which a gathering of Neo-Malthusians makes the case for depopulation policies to be implemented in order to avoid impending doom and destruction.

In the book all the contributing authors advocate the ‘no-growth society’, which means there should be no growth in the number of people consuming the earth’s natural resources. In the introduction, economist Mancur Olson presses the point that more government regulation and control is absolutely necessary in order to reach the state of no-growth, or zero population growth (ZPG):

Another characteristic that no-growth societies have is an extraordinary degree of governmental or other collective action. (…) Whether it became so by choice or by necessity, a no-growth society would presumably have stringent regulations and wide-ranging prohibitions against pollution and other external diseconomies, and thus more government control over individual behaviour than is now customary in the Western democracies.’

The next author, Kingsley Davis (who is credited for coining the terms “population explosion” and “Zero Population Growth” or ZPG), explores by which means the state of no-growth could be achieved.

If ZPG were the supreme aim, any means would be justified. By common consent, however, raising the death rate is excluded; also, reducing immigration is played down. This leaves fertility reduction as the main avenue. (…) If then, the means is birth limitations, why not take measures to reduce births? Why not simply limit each couple to two births, with sufficient penalties to discourage three? The response of the Population Establishment is that this would be “compulsion”. Although plenty of compulsion has been used to lower death rates, it is not to be used to lower birth rates. On the contrary, the right of couples to have the number of children they want has been declared by policy leaders to be “a fundamental human right.”


  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

Then he laments the voluntarism of people to decide how many children they wish to have and launches an idea for a propaganda-campaign. Knowing perfectly well that bearing children is a natural inclination inherent to our species, he advises something cunning:

Built into the social order, therefore, are values, norms and incentives that motivate people to bear and rear children. (…) Respected leaders of society are not about to disavow them, nor is the general public likely to do so. Accordingly, what is strategically required, if one wants to be a population policy leader, is a formula that appears (emphasis added) to reduce reproduction without offending the mores that support it. The formula is to interpret the social problem as an individual one and the solution as a technological matter. Thus “fertility control” becomes control by the woman, not by society; and the means becomes a medically approved contraceptive. (…) The respectability of this approach to population policy is reinforced not only by its appeal to health and medical authority and its link with science (reproductive physiology) but also by its preoccupation with parenthood and children. “Family planning” and “planned parenthood” implicitly feature the family. Nearly every family-planning booklet depicts on the front two radiantly happy offspring, and on the inside implies that every woman’s main concern is her children, a concern that alone justifies her limiting their number.

Davis asserts that ‘if ZPG is the goal, “existing values” are not a help but a hindrance (…).’

Ironically’, Davis continues, ‘the “voluntarism” so much emphasized by the Population Establishment, if consistently advocated, would be unacceptable. A regime of complete freedom in reproduction would be anarchy.’

Davis however is not at all enthusiastic about family planning. According to him, it’s not effective enough:

If family planning policies, even when broadened somewhat as they have been in the last few years, are not likely to bring about ZPG, then additional and more drastic measures may be required.’

Holdren’s contribution, Population and the American Predicament: The Case against Complacency, departs from the same point as did his surprisingly revealing scribbling in the Ecoscience monstrosity. Humans are a virus, and their prosperity on earth (and the United States particularly) needs to be put to a halt as soon as possible.  In the piece, Holdren puts forth several rhetorical questions. The first being:

Do the potential consequences of continued population growth in the United States justify systematic measures to hold fertility at replacement level if it should show any tendency to rise again?

His second ‘question’:

Should such measures be used to push fertility well below replacement (…)?’

Of course, he answered these questions in great detail in the infamous Ecoscience document as well as propose concrete measures, such as forced abortions and other horrendous criminal suggestions. In the no-growth article though, Holdren only hints at such measures, starting out by illustrating the ‘moderate position’ formulated at the time by the National Commission on Population Growth, which recommended that ‘the nation welcome and plan for a stabilized population.’ Right out of the gates, Holdren makes clear that this recommendation is far too soft for his taste:

The specific issues (…) justify, I believe, a greater sense of urgency than the Commission’s recommendations convey.’

In Two Cheers for ZPG, sociologist Norman B. Ryder also prescribes reducing the number of births:

Assuming that ZPG is not to be achieved by purposeful elevation of the number of deaths, in order to terminate population growth under current conditions we must reduce the number of births to the number of deaths, a reduction by 46 percent. This is a heroic prescription indeed, considering that, barring the grossest of departures from our traditions of freedom, we have confident knowledge of no policy weapon which can nudge fertility down (or up) more than a trace.’

He comes to the conclusion that even a ‘massive propaganda campaign’ would not be effective enough to quench the Malthusian thirst for more death.

This book, with all its willingness to deceive the public, is illustrative of the Neo-Malthusian mindset that Holdren and company propagate so passionately.

This article was posted: Tuesday, July 14, 2009 at 12:01 pm

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