Population Management

There are two basic views of humankind: a) that we have been created in the image of God and thus are so perfect that any improvement is unthinkable; and b) that, while our species possesses great positive features as well as negative, enhancement is essential, and – at the very least – prevention of genetic decline is an absolute moral imperative.
In many ways eugenics prescribes for humankind the same goals as for non-human species: a healthy population probably limited in size so as not to upset nature’s intricate balance of species and environment. Nevertheless, the specifics of human population administration are not identical either in goals or methodology to non-human population management techniques. A “drain the pond and restock” methodology is not only morally objectionable with regard to people, its feasibility is also questionable. Blatantly coercive measures can even be counter-productive when they engender resistance to eugenic reform. For eugenics as a movement to escape the temptation of utopian fantasy, it must be oriented toward the realistically achievable.

In dealing with non-domesticated animal populations, simple viability is the goal, health being defined as the capability to survive and reproduce within an environment. By contrast, human health criteria also include intelligence and altruism. As for methodology, only relative minor impingements on the wellbeing of the current human population can be tolerated, since it they and only they who can implement eugenic reform. For example, whereas wildlife managers take for granted that a balance between prey and predators is a “healthy” thing, no such Spencerian “survival of the fittest” is appropriate for humans. Despite the grand continuity of belief retained by modern eugenics from the earlier tradition, on this point realistic modern eugenics departs radically from that preached a hundred years ago.

Although individual eugenic efforts are already in full swing, they are submerged in the great demographic currents, and thus global eugenic reform is a task for society as a whole. The strength of the government relative to that of the governed population determines the limits to governmental intervention (and abuse). The weaker the government, the smaller the potential for rational population management. There is also a role to be played by non-governmental organizations, whose freedom can be less fettered than that of governments.

History is replete with instances of forced population management, the most infamous method of which is genocide. But other compulsory methods have also been employed. For example, the government of Indira Ghandi implemented a policy of compulsory sterilizations and vasectomies. And, although India ultimately came to reject this policy, the nation’s current population is many millions smaller than it would have been without it. Nevertheless, China’s semicompulsory one-child policy has proven far more efficacious, and India with a Total Fertility Rate of 3.1 will soon surpass China (TFR: 1.7) as the world’s most populous nation. It is estimated that by 2000 the Chinese population was already a quarter billion less than it would have been without the onechild policy. On the other hand, there are situations where emergency methods may well present the only means of averting major catastrophe. Bangladesh and Haiti come to mind, but the political will even to raise the topic is totally absent. Global society is living a fatal lie.

Shifting our focus from quantitative to qualitative questions, the debate over voluntary versus compulsory methods has thus far amounted largely to pandering to the whims of current generations. Indeed, the very phrase “reproductive rights” itself represents a bias. Do people have the “right” to give birth to babies who in all probability will grow up feeble minded or who are likely to suffer from devastating genetic illnesses? On the one side of the equation may be a single person with a genetic IQ so low that simply coping in society is well nigh impossible and, on the other, the millions of disadvantaged offspring whom he and/or she may ultimately engender over the generations. Forced sterilizations of persons with genetically predetermined low IQ and major genetic illnesses should be reinstituted. This is an unpopular statement, but it has to be said. Our current refusal to take into account the right of future generations to health and intelligence is a cowardly betrayal of our own children. Can it be that we are so selfish as to want to breed a genetically disadvantaged class of servants to perform our menial tasks for us?

The grand demographic trend is toward belowreplacement fertility rates, and while compulsion has its place, the good news is that energetic voluntary measures ought usually to be sufficient to permit women of reproductive age to realize their goal of smaller families. Clearly, voluntary methods are generally preferable to compulsory, although the line between voluntarism and coercion can often be vague. One voluntary method involves the use of ultrasound to determine the sex of the fetus. In developing countries the desire for a male offspring is often strong enough to induce parents to abort females. Ultimately the number of males in a population is reproductively insignificant, since only females can bear children, and a tiny male population is capable of impregnating a huge female population. Thus, population management has to be female-oriented.

The Chinese infant sex ratio was normal in the 1960s and 1970s (roughly 106 boys for every 100 girls), but when the one-child policy was introduced in the 1980s, the figure became far more skewed in favor of boys; by 2002 China’s fifth national census revealed a sex ratio at birth of approximately 116.86 males per 100 females, having increased to 108.5 in 1982 and 110.9 in 1987. (Admittedly, there is also a question of underreporting of female births on the part of couples eager to receive permission to have another child in the hope that it will be a son.) As early as 2000 the number of men in China was already estimated to exceed that of women by sixty million. The situation is much the same in India, where the 1991 census indicated approximately 35-45 million missing women, when ultrasound was far less available than it is now. In a ten-year study of babies born in Delhi hospitals in the period 1993-2003, the number of female births was 542 per 1,000 boys if the first child was a girl. If the first two children were girls, the ratio was only 219-1,000.

Unfortunately, although the desire for sons is greatest among rural populations, high-IQ families possess greater access to modern medicine, including ultrasound, so that this practice appears to have been dysgenic thus far. But made easily available to low-IQ families, or if such families were even financially rewarded, it could become strongly eugenic in nature, simultaneously attacking both quantitative and qualitative demographic problems. (The historic link between eugenics and Malthusian thought should be emphasized.) A sea change is already underway; by 2005 many clinics offered ultrasound for as little as 500 rupees ($11.50). It goes with out saying that this is a tragic turn of events for those men who do not find a mate for themselves, but it is a far lesser evil than dysgenic overpopulation. Moreover, heightened competition for females would disproportionately reward high-IQ males. (For this same reason polygamy should be universally decriminalized. The legal enforcement of monogamy is a dysgenic intrusion into personal freedom. No scientific breeder would even consider it.)

Another voluntary method is a vigorous promotion of contraceptive methods among low-IQ families. While education is not about to cancel out the sex drive of young people, it can go a long way toward reducing the birth rate. Reversible sterilization should be actively promoted. The current debate between “pro-choice” and “pro-life” fails utterly to take into account the consequences of abortion for genetic selection. Abortion should be actively promoted, since it often serves as the last and even only resort for many low-IQ mothers who fail to practice contraception. Welfare policies need to be radically reexamined. Rather than simply pay low-IQ women more for each child, financial support should be made dependent on consent to undergo sterilization. Society should put more emphasis on greater tax credits for families with children, nurseries, day-care centers, etc. This would promote fertility among high-IQ women, who otherwise are tempted either not to have children at all, or to have too few, sacrificing their unborn children before the altar of career advancement. The goals of the feminist movement are in and of themselves legitimate and fair, but wed to the anti-scientific worldview of radical egalitarianism, they will devastate our species.

Eugenic family planning services are the greatest gift that the advanced countries can offer the Third World. In a global society, parochial fixation on any one country is a pathology that human society can ill afford. What is needed is tough love. Such a policy would promote the interests of any ethnic group, all of which suffer when their least intelligent members serve as the breeding pool while the most intelligent encounter strong disincentives to fertility. In different countries a different mix of governmental and non-governmental activism is appropriate. Useful measures would include paying low-IQ women to accept embryo transfer. Sperm banks need to be encouraged to attach the greatest importance to intelligence, and the promotion of these institutions should be covered out of tax monies. And the technology should be developed to create an artificial womb or, alternatively, make inter-species embryo transplants a reality, rapidly increasing the number of high-IQ individuals.

Religious belief will always be with us, and eugenics must not be presented as scientific in an anti-religious sense. At the same time there is a huge potential for excess if eugenics were to become a core belief of the masses. Genetic research needs to be promoted without regard to cost. Who can say what enormous potential awaits us in the future as a result of germ-line intervention? On the immigration front, the importation of low-IQ groups to perform unskilled labor at low wages must be recognized as a threat to the host population’s long-term viability. Panmixia also represents a loss in genetic diversity. All populations represent unique entities, and the loss of such uniqueness is everyone’s loss. Nevertheless, given the realities of improved transportation and communication, outbreeding can only increase in the future.

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