Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Too Many (Other) People

Czar of the Bizarre: John Holdren, long-time militant eco-collectivist, is Barack Obama's "Science Czar." He is also on the record advocating totalitarian population control methods, including compelled abortion and mass sterilization through chemical warfare.

As a left-leaning Rutgers law professor in the early 1970s, Ruth Bader Ginsburg thought that the Roe v. Wade abortion decision was the product of “concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations we don’t want too many of,” she recalled in a recent New York Times Magazine interview.

Her expectation was that the purported right to abortion created in Roe “was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion. Which some people felt would risk coercing women into having abortions when they didn’t really want them.”

Ginsburg doesn’t specify which parts of the human population “we” should cull, or how the creation of an abortion “right” would necessarily be a prelude to creation of a system in which abortion would be required in some circumstances. She told the Times that the question was effectively rendered moot by the Supreme Court's Harris v. McRae decision, which upheld a ban on Medicaid funding of abortion. That decision, handed down in 1980, indicated that her “perception” of the issue “had been altogether wrong," Ginsburg concludes.

But this means that there was an interval of roughly seven years during which Ginsburg, a well-informed and influential academic, believed that America was creating a eugenicist system in which abortion would help reduce “undesirable” populations -- however those populations would be defined. This was what Roe had wrought, Ginsburg believed for several years, and if she ever experienced misgivings about it, she managed to keep them private.

Another question worth examining is this: Where did Ginsburg -- a rising star in academe long before being tapped to fill the Rosa Klebb seat on the Supreme Court -- get the impression that American policy-making elites were discussing the use of welfare subsidies to bring about the attrition of “undesirable” populations?

If I may be permitted a modest venture in speculation, I’d suggest that Ginsburg, sometime in the 1960s or 1970s, became at least superficially acquainted with the writings of John Holdren or of like-minded people in the most militant branch of the population control movement.

In 1977, Mr. Holdren was a young academic who helped anti-natalist guru Paul Ehrlich and his wife Anne write an arrestingly horrible book entitled Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment. Today, Holdren is Barack Obama’s “Science Czar,” in which capacity he counsels the president regarding the role of science in public policy. This relationship has a certain Strangelovian undercurrent, given Holdren’s enthusiasm for eugenicist and totalitarian methods of population “management.”

In a passage that reads eerily like the direct counterpoint to Ginsburg’s musings about the reduction of undesirable populations, Holdren and the Ehrlichs wrote:

“If some individuals contribute to general social deterioration by overproducing children, and if the need is compelling, they can be required by law to exercise reproductive responsibility – just as they can be required to exercise responsibility in their resource-consumption patterns….”

The book offers similarly casual endorsements of “Involuntary” and “coercive” fertility control,” including the mandatory implantation of a Norplant-style capsule that “might be removable, with official permission, for a limited number of births.”

The authors endorse the creation of “a Planetary regime” in charge of regulating all human economic activity and interactions with the environment and the “power to enforce the agreed limits” on human population growth through whatever means might be necessary – including compelled abortion, involuntary individual sterilization, or even mass involuntary sterilization through the infiltration of sterilizing agents into public water supplies.

That last deranged suggestion appears in several of Paul Ehrlich’s other books, including his (if you will excuse the expression) seminal 1967 alarmist tract The Population Bomb.

As someone who shared a full authorial credit on the book, Holdren bears full responsibility for the content of Ecoscience. His militantly anti-natalist views are easily as repulsive as anything promoted by white supremacist groups, albeit all the more dangerous for being more inclusive in their misanthropy. His writings would have been uncovered in the routine vetting process following his nomination, but his they never came up during his confirmation hearing.

What is genuinely unsettling, however, is this: The totalitarian prescriptions offered in Ecoscience were squarely in the mainstream of the Stygian sewer called the population control movement.

In 1967, sociologist, demographer, and population control heavyweight Kingsley Davis published an essay in Science magazine observing that “the social structure and economy must be changed before a deliberate reduction in the birthrate can be achieved” in the West. He urged governments to subsidize voluntary abortion and sterilization and restructure their tax systems to discourage both marriage and childbirth.

Davis’s recommendations apparently inspired Frederick Jaffe, Vice President of Planned Parenthood, when he composed a 1969 memorandum intended for use as a template for anti-natalist efforts.

Jaffe’s memorandum, a version of which was published in the October 1970 issue of Family Planning Perspectives, organized recommended social policies under four headings: “Social Constraints,” “Economic Deterrents/Incentives,” “Social Controls,” and “Housing Policies.”

Like Paul Ehrlich, Jaffe suggested the placement of “fertility control agents in [the] water supply”; this recommendation was filed, oddly enough, under “Social Constraints.” “Social Controls,” on the other hand, included such measures as “compulsory abortion of all out-of-wedlock pregnancies,” “compulsory sterilization of all who have two children except for a few who would be allowed three,” and the issuance of “stock certificate-type permits for children.” (Nearly every radical population control system is built around the idea of a government-issued "permit" or "license" to have children.)

These totalitarian measures were widely and unabashedly promoted in the literature of the population control movement at precisely the time that the Roe decision was (if, once again, you’ll excuse the expression) gestating in the court system.

Coercive population control advocate Garrett Hardin (left), seen here conferring with environmentalist, population control advocate, and immigration restricitonist John Tanton.

“How can we reduce reproduction?” wrote Garrett Hardin in a 1970 Science magazine article entitled “Parenthood: Right or Privilege?” “Persuasion must be tried first…. Mild coercion may soon be accepted – for example, tax rewards for reproductive non-proliferation. But in the long run, a purely voluntary system selects for its own failure: noncooperators out-breed cooperators. So what restraints shall we employ? A policeman under every bed? Jail sentences? Compulsory abortion? Infanticide?... Memories of Nazi Germany rise and obscure our vision.”

Oh, those dreadful Nazis: If only they hadn’t given totalitarian eugenics such a bad name….

Hardin was one of many anti-natalist luminaries – the list included Kingsley Davis, Margaret Mead, Paul Ehrlich, and sundry Planned Parenthood leaders – who endorsed the 1971 manifesto The Case for Compulsory Birth Control by Edgar R. Chasteen. That book offered one-stop shopping for policy-makers seeking draconian population management methods.

Chasteen was emphatic on two points : First, ruling elites had to indoctrinate the public into accepting the idea that “parenthood [is] a privilege extended by society, rather than a right”; and second, that in the interests of public relations, supporters of that totalitarian perspective needed to settle on “a name other than compulsory birth control.”

Essentially the same program was endorsed by Dr. Norman Myers, an adviser to the World Bank and various UN agencies, in his peculiar 1990 volume The Gaia Atlas of Future Worlds.

"Government population-contrrol policies using strong economic and social incentives have been effective in China and Singapore," wrote Myers, who commended China in particular for using "strong social pressure" to control its population. Myers didn't to dwell on the fact that the Chinese government employs severe punishments -- prison time, destruction of homes, retaliation against family members and co-workers -- for women who have "unauthorized" children.

Myers suggested a variation on the same concept behind the "cap-and-trade" carbon credit system employing government-issued birth permits. Under his plan, couples would "be issued with a warrant entitling them to have a single child.... This warrant might even carry commercial value, allowing individuals to decide not to have children at all and to sell their entitlements to others wanting larger families."

This will only hurt a little bit: Sir Roy Calne, British physician and advocate of universal female sterilization through an injectable virus.

Arguably the most astonishing variant on this approach was proposed in 1994, just prior to the UN's International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, Egypt.

In a book entitled Too Many People, Sir Roy Calne, a noted British physician, proposed a universal minimum childbearing age of 25, and a strict two-child quota. Those seeking the government-dispensed "privilege" of having children would have to pass a state-mandated parenting class and receive the appropriate "reproduction license." Those who violate those restrictions would lose their children and face Chinese-style economic sanctions and criminal punishments.

Calne also suggested the development of an engineered sterility pathogen -- he called it the "O virus" -- that could be administered to women world-wide as a vaccine.

These malignant proposals are not just flatulent thought-bubbles blown in languid speculation by fringe eccentrics in the academic realm: With the exception -- as far as we know -- of mass involuntary sterilization through covert chemical or biological warfare, every method of coercive population control described above has been implemented somewhere with the material aid of the United Nations and its affiliates, and the practical support of organizations such as Planned Parenthood and Marie Stopes International.

Every argument on behalf of state-imposed population control rejects the concept of individual self-ownership and assumes that human lives – individually and in the aggregate – are a resource to be managed by society’s supervisors on behalf of the “common good.” And, as Ruth Bader Ginsburg correctly intuited in 1973, the Roe vs. Wade decision was a triumph, albeit an incomplete one, for the cause of eugenicist population control.

Although it was swaddled in the language of individual empowerment, the Roe decision was a dramatic victory for collectivism: It enshrined, in what our rulers are pleased to call the “law,” the assumption that a human individual is a “person” only when that status is conferred by the government.

While Harry Blackmun’s opinion in Roe pointedly avoided the question of when “personhood” begins, it emphatically made it clear that, for purposes of “law,” that the term doesn’t apply to any human individual in his or her pre-natal stage of development. This, not the liberty to procure an abortion, is the real gravamen, or central legal finding, in the Roe decision: It put the government in charge of defining who is, and isn’t a person.

As judges like to say, the matter of reducing "undesirable" populations is reaching "ripeness" now. Barack Obama's administration is eagerly expanding the government-dependent population and preparing to impose centralized "universal" health care on our society. And while all of this is going on, John Holdren, unabashed advocate of totalitarian population control, is in a position to whisper unthinkable thoughts into Obama's ear.

A quick note on sources:

This essay was unusually light on links because much of the material used herein isn't available on-line. Specific references are available, however, in a chapter of a book I wrote in 1994 entitled Freedom on the Altar. Those who are interested in receiving a copy of that chapter, complete with endnotes, should contact me at

Don't forget to tune in for Pro Libertate Radio at 6:00-7:00 Central on the Liberty News Radio Network.

On Sale Now.

Dum spiro, pugno!


Beloved of the King said...

Funnily enough, such people always lump themselves in the "allowed to have children" crowd.

isaac stanfield said...

Chilling, but not surprising or even unexpected.

In the various places we've lived, my wife and I have noticed distinct differences in the reaction people have to larger than average families. Go to the grocery store with one cute toddler in the Chicago suburbs and you get plenty of accolades and coochie-coos. Go with three or four and you begin to feel the "social pressure." In southeastern Washington, a barely constrained cohort of boys is met mostly with admiration, or amusement at the very least.

I guess my point is that while our more sophisticated and cosmopolitan "leaders" are deciding how to rid the world of us, the "breeders" will wake up enough to at least put up a fight.

Great essay Mr Grigg.

Is Blackmun's given name Henry or Harry?

William N. Grigg said...

"Is Blackmun's given name Henry or Harry?"

D'oh! Thanks for the catch. And you're right about the reflexive disapproval that greets any couple who have more than the "appropriate" number of children; it's sometimes disguised as commiseration ("My, you certainly have your hands full!"), but the real intent is unmistakable. As the father of six beautiful children I run into this quite often.

The other thing worth mentioning is the way people refer to surgical self-sterilization as "getting fixed," as if it were some aberrant design flaw that permits us to reproduce.

Anonymous said...

You're being too kind to them Will when you talk about "getting fixed". They, these paragons of population control, look at anyone with "too many" kids the same way as animal control does the pooch they've just neutered or the stray they'll "put to sleep".

You'll find time and again these eager humanitarians with their guillotines have set up camp within environmental circles. To them it's not enough to "raise awareness" within the very proles they continually pickpocket to fund their fevered fantasies.

No, if they were so concerned about cleansing Gaia of the heavy carbon footprint of mankind one would think they'd do the noble thing and check themselves out first. Call it an act of good faith. Putting ones money, instead of others, where ones gob is.

But, alas, these priests of death are heretics because they're more than willing to shepherd their flocks of lemmings, these "untermensch" in their soulless eyes, over a cliff while sparing themselves a similar sweet release.

Anonymous said...

The state already has implemented policies which are destructive to families - as any MAN who has been down the rabbit-hole of the family court system can tell you.

Marriage has become a contract with the state and the state sets all the terms. I actively counsel men I know and my own son's to never marry because of that experience.

To restore the true sense of 'family' in this country requires abolition of the family courts and the welfare system which actively encourages family dissolution through financial incentives.

Welfare, Child Support and No Fault divorce which rewards women primarily (who initiate divorce at twice the rate of men) are the most destructive forces in family dynamics.

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Sans Authoritas said...

An exceptional post, as usual, Mr. Grigg. And an excellent point, as well: "The other thing worth mentioning is the way people refer to surgical self-sterilization as "getting fixed," as if it were some aberrant design flaw that permits us to reproduce."

Precisely. People see human fertility and reproduction not as natural processes of the human body, but as a medical problem to be corrected at all costs. Medicine is the art and science whereby human diseases and pathologies are diagnosed and treated. Fertility is not a disease. Pregnancy is not a pathology. And those who commit abortions are not doctors! They're simply murderers who happen to operate in a sterile environment.

The anti-humans try to attack humanity in every possible stage: before they're conceived, before they're born, while they're walking, and while they're lying on their deathbed. Humans, (other humans only, of course, not they themselves) are but vile parasites on the face of the earth. It is the ultimate in elitism to use violence to settle who may or may not have children.

It's all right. All they will leave behind are mouldering books filled with the ancient, violent ideas that Satan first hissed into our forebears' ears. They will leave behind no children. The future belongs to those who have hope, and who value their beliefs enough to conceive children to whom they can pass them on.

The most vile works on the subject of systemic control of human life have their modern root in the screeds of Margaret Sanger, a Hitler-loving eugenicist who, with the best intentions, as always, called for the control of populations such as "negroes, feeble-mindeds, and undesirables." And of course, as insane as she was, even she did not believe that abortion was moral. But that did not stop the organization she founded, Planned Parenthood, from rapidly becoming the leading dealer of pre-natal death in the country.

We were told contraception would make marriages happier. They were horribly wrong. We were told contraception would decrease the number of abortions. They were horribly wrong. No, contraception has not improved marriages or divorce rates. Since the introduction of The Pill, the number of STD's in existence and in transmission, have skyrocketed. Likewise, since The Pill, the number of abortions committed has skyrocketed.

Dauvit Balfour said...

On the album "Population Override" by Buckethead there is a song called Too Many Humans. Sinister, albeit purely instrumental.

One of my favorite scenes in all of cinema is from the original Cheaper By the Dozen, when a woman from planned parenthood stops by the house, they lead her on as if they would support her movement, and then with a whistle kids come trooping in and the dragon lady leaves in a huff.

Allow me to venture another description of parenthood, not as a right or a privilege, but as a vocation, holy in the sight of God. The dream of every man should be to raise sons better than himself, and daughters to stand beside them. Life is no longer beautiful, it is mathematical. We have lost all sense of the supernatural, and have been reduced to calculators. Once the awe of creation is gone, little remains but the drive to satisfy every temptation that comes our way, at whatever cost.

Might I recommend Humanae Vitae? It is, I think, pertinent to the deeper issues that lie behind the cultural failure that has allowed these ideas to fester.

God bless you and your wife and children. May we always aim to misbehave. If the State wants us to have fewer kids, I say let's have an army of 'em.

Sans Authoritas said...

Continued from above:

Women wanted to be just like men, who could sleep around and not be responsible for any resultant offspring. What a noble thing to aspire to! So, in an age where everyone wants everything "natural," and "hormone free," men created a hormone pill for them that would confound the natural process of fertility. Yes, they're given hormones. Like cows. And for the same reason that men give hormones to cows: to facilitate their being used as pieces of meat.

It must be jabbed into the mind's eye of the populace that nearly every single trumpeted prediction in Paul Erhlich's sugar-coated human hatefest, The Population Bomb was proven absolutely wrong. As wrong as his illogical intellectual mentor, Thomas Malthus.

We must also not let Catholics forget that traitor, Harry Blackmun, who was given a public, Catholic funeral in St. Matthew's Cathedral in Washington, D.C.
While a prohibited practice in the Catholic Church, he was given a eulogy, in which it was said with a straight face and no intention of irony, "He always looked out for the little guy."

According to Catholic teaching, he should never have received a public funeral. He should have received a small private ceremony with lots of prayers for his treasonous soul.

Indeed. Watch out for any "vaccines" the powers that be attempt to force into your body. I am no conspiracy theorist (people who are conspiracy theorists give politicians and evil men far too much credit. They can't even plot their extramarital affairs successfully) but I do believe that evil does not suddenly show up on your doorstep one morning, wearing a top hat and twirling its moustache, announcing, "Good morning, I'm Evil!" No, Evil always shows up wearing a yellow smiley-face mask, to hide its true, reptilian visage.

-Sans Authoritas

Anonymous said...

Oh, so juicy, Brother William! Allow me to provide this trackback link. Your post inspired me to blabber at length.

adaptune said...

Dear Mr. Grigg,

Though I share your loathing and disgust for John Holdren and others who advocate government-mandated population control, I find your attempt to link legalized abortions with the problem to be strained at best. It's true that some of the wackos also support legal abortions, but so what? If Hitler promoted milk, and Hitler was evil, does it follow that milk is evil? Abortion is not, of course, a panacea of any kind; every instance represents a tragedy, and the women I've spoken to who have had abortions all describe it as such and carry lasting feelings of sorrow. However, criminalizing abortion leads to much greater tragedies, not least of which are visited upon the children that result. If in fact abortion is a terrible sin (and I don't believe for a moment that it in any way compares with the killing of a fully-formed, sentient human being), shouldn't it be left between God and the individual to atone for that sin?

The criminalization of abortion leads to massive persecution of people, and, whatever the evil of abortions themselves, such persecution compounds the evil many times over. It is highly ironic that you, who oppose Big Brother in most of his manifestations, apparently support Big Brother in every doctor's office if abortion is involved.

William N. Grigg said...

If abortion is the destruction of an individual human being, it's not only a grave sin but also the most fundamental crime against person and property that can be committed.

If the state can claim the power to designate an entire class of individual human beings as something other than persons, there's no reason to expect that any of us can be any more secure in our rights when our rulers decide to un-sheath their scythe and start mowing down "undesirables."

That last principle was very well understood by the people who agitated for legalization of abortion AND the imposition of collectivist population controls. There are myriad critical and substantive connections between those movements.

If the connection between these two subjects is contrived, why was it so obvious to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, among others?

Unknown said...


One could argue that the criminalization of anything leads to massive persecution of people. Precisely for this reason, the libertarian position is that those acts which do not involve aggression against another person's life, liberty, or property should not be criminalized. If we simply argue that criminalizing abortion leads to persecution of people, we open ourselves up to the following question: What about the persecution suffered by rapists and murderers?

Abortion, as depriving another human being of life, is an aggressive act, and as such falls under the only legitimate function of law enforcement - the protection of the innocent from the depredations of others.

As Will pointed out, legalized voluntary abortion reflects a rejection of the innate right to life of any individual, whether unborn, elderly, sick, or undesirable for whatever reason.

5-Pillar Scribe said...

"cap-and-trade" carbon credit system

Speaking of the "cap and trade" look who was clamoring for it:

Carbon trading must be globally regulated
By Simon Linnett
Published: 11:00AM GMT 31 Jan 2008 Daily Telegraph

Simon Linnett, Executive Vice-Chairman of Rothschild, has called for a new international body, the World Environment Agency, to regulate carbon trading.

In a recently published paper, Trading Emissions, for the Social Market Foundation, Mr Linnett argues that the International problem of climate change demands an international solution.

Unless governments cede some of their sovereignty to a new world body, he says, a global carbon trading scheme cannot be enforced and regulated.
The full paper - Social Market Foundation

Anonymous said...

You state:

If abortion is the destruction of an individual human being, it's not only a grave sin but also the most fundamental crime against person and property that can be committed.

but aren't you a libertarian? Which (I believe) adheres to a belief that people are free to do what they want with there own bodies and should be free from any form of g'ment interference. Which would also imply that a woman is "free" to have an abortion?

Help me to understand a libertarian perspective on abortion?

adaptune said...

Will and David,

Certainly if abortion is the moral equivalent of the murder of a sentient human being, your arguments are correct. But help me out here: a woman of child-bearing age produces approximately one egg per month. Is it "murder" if she takes steps to ensure that the egg doesn't become fertilized, and thus dies? No, clearly not. A man produces about 100 million sperm per shot, and thank goodness the vast majority of these die without participating in procreation. Yet those eggs and those sperm are alive. Why is it not "murder" to dispose of them?

Suddenly, when a sperm touches an egg, we have a "human being" (or, alternately, a "baby"). So, if a petri dish contains 100 eggs, and a load of sperm is introduced, fertilizing all the eggs, then the contents of the dish are destroyed, we have "mass
murder"??? I find such a position to be nonsensical. A one-celled fertilized egg is a blueprint for a human being, not the finished product. The belief that it is the moral equivalent of a sentient human life is highly subjective and properly belongs in the realm of religion, not law, in my opinion.

As for a supposed "connection" between advocates of legalized abortion and forced population control, would you not agree that there's at least as much "connection" between advocates of criminalizing abortion and people who openly promote and celebrate the extra-judicial murder of any doctor or other health worker who participates in them? Is the advocation for criminalization of abortion diminished by such extremist people, or is that an irrelevant distraction? I would argue the latter, in both cases.

William N. Grigg said...

There is not a single libertarian perspective on abortion.

My perspective on the moral issue is cognate with those of Ron Paul and Dave Badnarik: The individual right to self-ownership begins with the formation of the individual at conception.

For constitutionalists, including those of a libertarian persuasion, Roe is untenable because it's an example of blatant pseudo-legislative activism by the Supreme Court.

From a constitutional perspective the matter belongs within the purview of the states. But as Harry Browne correctly pointed out, this is a subject that transcends politics, and can't be remedied through government action. Whatever happens in the political realm, the only effective protection for human beings in their gestational state is the conscience of the mother, and that's where people who share my pro-life convictions have to focus our efforts.

Unknown said...

Libertarians differ on the issue of abortion, with some claiming that it is a matter of government interference in private affairs, and others claiming, as I did above, that abortion violates the non-aggression axiom of Libertarian thought and therefore falls under the same province of law as rape, homicide, theft, and so on.

The two most well-developed arguments that I have heard for abortion are the argument from bodily integrity and the argument from non-personhood. Viewed from a Libertarian perspective, both of these arguments fail.

Bodily integrity holds that a woman's right to her body trumps the fetus's right to life. This, briefly, reduces to an argument from self defense. Since the fetus cannot, however, make an act of the will to aggress against its mother, the mother cannot be justified in depriving her child of its right to life.

Non-personhood, on the other hand, requires that one first define personhood. If abortion is to be legally permissible, the government must define the fetus as a non-person, which is a realm of law which is not under the government's proper authority, and hence not permissible to a Libertarian.

That's a brief rundown of my explanation from a Libertarian perspective without reference to religious imperatives. Probably Will could elucidate much more.

William N. Grigg said...

"A one-celled fertilized egg is a blueprint for a human being, not the finished product."

Referring to that individual (the term is a scientific, not a subjective, description) is inadequate, since we're describing a "blueprint" capable of "building" him- or herself into a fully viable infant, absent some lethal misadventure or malicious intervention. The same is true of any human individual at any point in the continuum of human life from conception to death.

At what stage do we assume that the individual is a "finished product"? Immediately after Roe there was a significant push to have "neo-nates" -- newborns younger than eighteen months -- designated something other than full "persons," in order to permit parents to dispose of children with birth defects.

That reasoning, which is fully compatible with Roe, was used to justify several incidents of neo-natal infanticide in the U.S. in the early 1980s.

"The belief that [a developing human within the womb]... is the moral equivalent of a sentient human life is highly subjective and properly belongs in the realm of religion, not law, in my opinion."

The shared humanity of that individual is scientifically incontestable. The personhood of the developing child was publicly admitted by, inter alia, Planned Parenthood years prior to Roe; for instance, a 1963 P.P. publication described abortion as "kill[ing] the life of the baby, once it has begun."

Our most important aspirational values are all rooted in subjective assumptions. There is no objective reason, for instance, why we should treat life, liberty, or the right to property as sacrosanct, or why we should value the rights of the individual above the demands of the collective. The "rational" perspective, as a famously rational fictional character put it, is that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one.

William N. Grigg said...

"As for a supposed `connection' between advocates of legalized abortion and forced population control, would you not agree that there's at least as much `connection' between advocates of criminalizing abortion and people who openly promote and celebrate the extra-judicial murder of any doctor or other health worker who participates in them?"

The first problem with this attempted parallel should be obvious: John Holdren is literally in close orbit around the most powerful man alive, while proponents of extra-judicial murder of abortionists are found somewhere beyond the political Heliopause, as it were.

For the record: I don't support murder of any kind for any reason, whether "extra-judicial" or "judicial" in nature. While I support the right of self-defense, I unequivocally oppose the death penalty.

Secondly, the advocates of coercive population control referred to in my piece are not obscure or peripheral; they are the mainstream of that movement.

There are those who insist that there is no connection between Roe and the movement for coercive population control, consider this question: Would it be possible to implement such policies without the Roe decision?

Anonymous said...

Fuckn Ginsberg looks like a giant insect - maybe a preying mantis or a beetle.

gwen said...

Dear Adaptune,

My thought is not particularly relevant to this discussion, but I would like to point out that most women do not know they are pregnant within the first five minutes of that egg getting fertilized. I think that your description (at 12:25pm comment):

"one-celled fertilized egg is a blueprint for a human being, not the finished product"

is describing a nearly microscopic dot and may be what many people think is being aborted. By the time most women realize they are pregnant that cell has gone beyond a dot.

My personal experience (and husband's) is astonishment that we could hear our son's heartbeat at 10 weeks - which is when I discovered I was pregnant. At ten weeks that dot looks like a baby, albeit very tiny, with a heartbeat.

I'm not trying to inject emotionalism. At one point in my adult life I would have held beliefs similar to yours.

isaac stanfield said...

Oops. I said "while our more sophisticated and cosmopolitan "leaders" are deciding how to rid the world of us, the "breeders" will wake up enough to at least put up a fight."

I meant to say that I hope people will wake up enough to put up a fight. And by "put up a fight" I mean withdraw their consent from what Mr Grigg has so eloquently revealed as a literally Satanic endeavor emanating from the would-be omnipotent State.

Unknown said...

And on a lighter note:

Power Thirst

"Power making babies, you'll have so many babies!"


"I aim to misbehave"

traitor2tyranny said...

...people are free to do what they want with there own bodies...

What about her body?
Doesn't she have any rights?

CorkyAgain said...

I think Will nailed the most important point when he described the gravamen of Roe as an assertion of the government's power to decide who is and who is not human.

Mothers certainly have the right to decide what happens to their own bodies. But that isn't the issue. The issue is whether they also have the right to decide to dispose of the body of the child who is temporarily housed inside them.

FWIW, here's a link to a website that provides an in-depth exploration of the libertarian case against abortion:

LarryRuane said...

Adaptune made the point (12:25 PM) that many eggs and sperm die, and asks why it is not murder to dispose of them, since they are also "alive." I'd like to elaborate on Will's answer (12:47 PM). Even a skin cell is alive, and could conceivably be cloned into what everyone recognizes as a human being (or at least that will probably be possible soon). Yet no one will ever think we are committing murder by taking a shower.

But the key point is that a skin cell, an egg or a sperm cell will not develop into a human being without conscious, deliberate intervention. A fertilized egg will. That's why the moment of conception is critical.

A fertilized egg in a test tube is a trickier situation; it clearly won't become an adult human being unless is implanted into a womb (an intervention). But I still believe this is a rights-possessing being, because this is exactly the same type of object that does possess rights in a womb; the only difference is the location. And this fertilized egg cannot come into existence purely on its own, in nature; there had to have been a previous intervention to create it.

Sans Authoritas said...

"I aim to misbehave" is doubtless among the most underrated lines from one of the most underrated movies of all time.

Another can be found in "Legends of the Fall." You'll know it when you watch the movie.

Lloyd G. said...

Libertarians differ on abortion rights, but I think most libertarians would agree that gov't mandated sterilization is evil.

Ginsberg's non-specific reference to "populations we don't want too many of" has a "useless eaters" ring to it.

Lemuel Gulliver said...

A couple of comments, since the choir here is all singing the same tune and someone needs to parse the lyrics....

First: If you went to a restaurant and ordered fried chicken, and got a just-fertilized boiled egg instead, I think you would feel you had been cheated. An egg is not a chicken, it is a POTENTIAL chicken. And an eight-celled or sixty-four celled human embryo is not a person, it is a POTENTIAL person, all circumstances being favorable, just as I am a POTENTIAL billionaire, all circumstances being favorable.

However, I have been working in the labor force some forty years now, and am still waiting for those favorable circumstances. The odds do NOT look good. I could BEHAVE as if I was a billionaire, just as some people behave as if a new embryo is a person, but I would either be laughed at or locked up for my own safety.

I concede and agree that once the embryo begins to develop beyond a month or so, it acquires limbs and all the morphology of a small person, and that is a quite different thing than a tiny lump of undifferentiated cells. At that stage I would not favor abortion, much less one of those horrific late term procedures, which are plain murder in my estimation.

Second point: It is easy for us in this wealthy country with vast open spaces and immense natural resources to say with lofty assurance that population control is a bad thing. Mr. Grigg, you have a wonderful family and I am sure you have enough material resources to raise them healthy, and enough spiritual resources to turn them into fine adults. Go for it.

But if you lived in some arid dustbowl in Africa, or in the horrendous slums of Lagos or Calcutta, or in a muddy village in Bangla Desh, I would say bringing that many children into the world, only to watch them starve or die of disease, is the height of irresponsibility and extremely unfair to those children.

There ARE more people in the world than it can sustain. Every day already, tens of thousands starve to death. The past hundred years, with the discovery of antibiotics and petroleum, have made possible the survival beyond birth of most children, as well as mechanized agriculture, chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and mechanized irrigation. Now the fossil energy resources are in short supply and diminishing, (except for coal, which is choking the people of China to death - they build 2 new coal-fired power plants every week, and hundreds of thousands die of respiratory diesase evey year,) and the fossil water resources are likewise diminishing, while the Himalayan glaciers which supply a third of the world's population with a steady water supply are disappearing.

The harsh truth which you and others on this blog do not want to face is this: If our species does not immediately curb its unbridled reproduction, Nature will curb it for us. You may not like to hear this, but within the next couple of decades there will be massive famines and rampant disease, (which often breaks out when people are already weakened by hunger,) which will kill millions if not billions of human beings. There will amost inevitably be resource wars, and vast floods of economic refugees overwhelming those countries or areas which are still able to sustain their indigenous populations, such as North America. Internal race wars and ethnic strife will break out everywhere as people struggle to feed themselves and their children.

Is that what you intend to advocate?


Lemuel Gulliver said...


Malthus has been long derided, as he could not foresee in the 1700's the advances in medicine and agriculture and the harnessing of energy - first coal, then oil, now nuclear - to increase food production. But it is no longer a question of production. It is a question of space - arable land - much of which we have paved over in order to drive our cars on it, and a question of water, most of which we have pumped out of the ground or dammed the rivers to make golf courses and programmable illuminated fountains in the deserts of Nevada.

Our species is so smart we have become terminally and spectacularly stupid.

Did you know it takes 2,400 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef? One thousand-pound steer requires nearly two-and-a-half MILLION gallons of water to raise it. And 1.3 billion Chinese are now acquiring a craving for meat. Goodbye Amazon rainforests. Goodbye Borneo rainforests and those spectacular Birds of Paradise. We need the land to make biodiesel to run our cars. As Malthus was saying....?

Conclusion: Fine. Breed all you want. You can afford it, and do it successfully. But the vast majority of the human race is in no economic or ecological position to keep on multiplying themselves endlessly.

Forget the extinction of half or more of the world's animal and vegetable species, which have taken sixty-five MILLION years to develop. (Thirteen thousand times as long as all of recorded human history, or 1.3 thousand thousand human lifetimes.) Is that a wise move on our part? Is it right or just, to bring numberless children into the world that you know are going to starve and die?

Because that situation is what is coming down on us like the 7:30 AM express bullet train.

Yours sincerely,
Lemuel Gulliver.

PS: And if you think we can do a science fiction fast move and find another planet to live on, the nearest star is about 4.5 light years away. If we made our spacecraft fly TEN times as fast as they do now, it would take us 15,000 YEARS to reach that nearest star. Assuming it had a habitable planet, which is not likely. What you see, children, here on Earth, is what you got. Now and evermore. Treat it with respect. Or else, it will treat you with the same disrespect you show to it.

William N. Grigg said...

Lemuel -- As you are no doubt aware, many if not most people already exercise controls over reproduction of a voluntary nature.

Our "species" (see below) is NOT self-propagating, and rare indeed is the human being who doesn't figure that out by the time the relevant equipment is functioning and the impulse to copulate is making its urgent but resistible demands on our individual will.

You observe that "the vast majority of the human race is in no economic or ecological position to keep on multiplying themselves endlessly." You know what? Nobody is in a position to do so, and nobody does.

Apart from welfare state ghettos in which bastardy is subsidized by the same political class that supports Holdren's views of compelled population limits, we don't find people "breeding" heedlessly, whether or not they employ artificial means of limiting fertility.

That's because human beings understand and respond to market signals, a point I'll flesh out anon....

William N. Grigg said...


People are able to adapt to their material circumstances quite capably where they are permitted to. This includes conditions of privation of the sort that are still too common in what is referred to, more out of political correctness than factual accuracy, as the "developing world."

The chief cause of starvation is NOT some punitive instinct on the part of nature, which I refuse to anthropomorphize or deify; nor does it reflect the aggregate thoughtlessness of the local population, as if, amid terrible suffering they're consigned to think: "D'oh! We forgot to avoid having too many children for the local resource base to support!"

The CHIEF CAUSE of starvation and similar suffering, in a word, is GOVERNMENT -- in this case, the mis-allocation of critical resources for political purposes.

We will not solve that problem by treating human beings as another resource to be managed through political means.

Is that what you intend to advocate here? Because it hasn't worked, nor can it.

What I and others object to is the idea that questions of reproduction** and fertility be taken from the individual and put in the hands of the political class, those wise and generous people responsible for the mis-allocations of resources you describe while, in my view, mis-attributing their causes.

Resource scarcity is a reality, and the pricing system is the best way of assessing it. You're probably aware of the wage Paul Ehrlich lost to Julian Simon regarding the inflation-adjusted prices of several key resources:

Had the world adopted Ehrlich's totalitarian prescriptions in, say, 1977, when he and Holdren published Ecoscience, this is what would have happened:

A lot of people would have died needlessly, yet the human population would have continued to grow, and the suppressive effect of government intervention on human productivity would have resulted in an even greater "crisis" that would have called for even sterner measures.

And we would never have known that Ehrlich, like Malthus, was entirely wrong in his dire projections, the consummation of which always resides somewhere in the conveniently ambiguous future.

A few additional points:

*Regarding the term "species" as applied to human beings, I can't help but remember how Worf, from Star Trek: The Next Generation, reacted when a Borg drone chastised him and his fellow Klingons for not submitting to the Collective in the interest of "what's best for all species." "I like my speciesjust the way it is," Worf snarled at the Borg representative, spitting out the term with hostile contempt.

*One of the nastiest tricks played by the abortion "rights"/population control gang -- and they were pretty much the same people pre-Roe -- was in describing abortion as a matter of "reproductive" rights, when it is the nullification of reproduction. This little bit of legerdemain allows Chinese commissars to claim that even though they force women to abort "unauthorized" children, they still support "reproductive rights" because they don't ban abortion.

*The parallel involving the chicken and the egg or "potential" chicken would be apt if at any point a chicken could be said to acquire a right to life, or, alternately, if at any point in his development a human individual could legitimately be used to satisfy the appetites of an anthropophage.

Anonymous said...

William, this is slightly off thread but you may find it useful in a future post.

Tom Mullen said...

Will -

As usual you have managed to make me burst out laughing several times while at the same time describing some of the most monstrous ideas ever conceived by the human mind.

It occurs to me that you - the greatest libertarian blogger alive - are certainly included in "undesirable populations" according to our ruling elites. I commend you on not only your writing, but on the fact that you have opposed these horrible ideas in practice with the large family you have fathered.

Inspired by your writing, I immediately went upstairs and woke my wife up from her nap, so that I could join you in your struggle against tyranny. :D

Keep 'em coming, Will.

Anonymous said...

LG... I wish you'd at least cite where you get the figures for beef production etc. Even if it does use as much water as you say... So what! It doesn't simply disappear. There are more than enough ways to properly manage water in order to carefully produce food for the world.

Thats why I look forward to global warming. I'm all for it because it will free up arable land in places that now are considered ice bound and if it sinks Mordor on the Potomac and New York City then its all the better!. Thats a win win in my eyes.

Think of this. Even without a warming you could use hydroelectric power to transform Greenland or Iceland, places that once held vineyards, into food production sites through hydroponics. There isn't much else there under the ice and snow except vast mineral wealth. So use the tunnels afterwards for farming.

Desalination systems with newer efficient alternative energy sources can provide fresh water for home and farms thus fueling the ability to farm in arid and semi arid regions that as of yet can't support themselves.

With individual home energy systems you can create an entire new industry that takes the "power" out of a few hands... moreover those that government "permits" and "controls" and put it back into the individuals own hands. Imagine what that could do for poor people around the world. A means to produce their own veggies without the need to cut down trees for fuel.

That being said it's by and large fear mongering by government politicos and their money sucking hangers on that contribute to mankind's misery and all at the miserable ones expense. Notice how they flit about in those big bad polluting jets for their conferences and awareness raising efforts? Nobody traveling by bicycle or catamaran that I see. Still, they manage to point a bony finger at any poor slob who they deign to be out of touch.

Who are these "Eco Mao's" or "Sustainable Stalins" but those with the time and stolen treasure to dictate to us! Whenever these perfumed pashas prance about with tales of doom and gloom I instinctively reach for my wallet while I get the feeling a rope is being fastened about my neck.

No, mere babies are not responsible for our present problems but very adult, very evil, humanoid replicants in positions of power.

willb said...

"Oh, those dreadful Nazis:
If only they hadn’t given
totalitarian eugenics such
a bad name…."

This of course would include
Margaret Sanger, a known Nazi,
but it hasn't discredited the
organization she founded:
Planned Parenthood.

willb said...

Lemuel Gullible

"And an eight-celled or sixty-four
celled human embryo is not a

Because you say so?

Tell me, at what point will YOU
reach full maturation?

At any stage of development, yours
included, a human being is a
human being.

Spook, RN said...

"If some individuals contribute to general social deterioration by overproducing children..."

Mr. Grigg, those words sent chills down my spine.

I'm a native of India. For 21 months between June 1975 and March 1977, the government declared a "State of Emergency" - suspending the Constitution and giving the State unprecedented powers.

Of all the disasters that ensued from this debacle, none was more horrifying that the program of forced sterilization - the aim being to enforce independent India's "unofficial but highly recommended" policy of 'two children per family'.

That being said, I agree with you when you say: "Whatever happens in the political realm, the only effective protection for human beings in their gestational state is the conscience of the mother, and that's where people who share my pro-life convictions have to focus our efforts."

I'm not sure if I'm "pro-life" or "pro-choice". But I agree that this is a matter that transcends politics.

Here's a question: What if the Mother wishes to terminate the pregnancy but the Father does not?

Anonymous said...

MO T - That was great! I love your scathing writing style! "Sustainable Stalin" is a term that will definitely be used by this reader in the future.

Lemuel Gulliver said...

Mr. Grigg,

I do not advocate government intrusion into ANY facet of the lives of people, ESPECIALLY into something so fundamental as reproductive rights. We have the example of Nazi eugenics programs, and the end of where that road leads: to the mass elimination of "undesirable" or "inferior" populations.

As someone else observed here, the governments advocating these programs somehow never apply their own criteria to themselves. Heinrich Himmler, the chinless, squirrel-faced, yellow-bellied head of the Nazi SS, was the greatest advocate of the tall, blond, square-jawed, steely-eyed Aryan ideal, from which he could harldy have been more divergent himself. How come Nazi eugenics did not apply to him?

The historical examples of "government" coercion, suppression, and resultant viciousness are so many, we could spend days just listing them.

What I advocate is not government coercion, which inevitably leads to corruption and evil, but exhortation to a voluntary limitation of family size, and only in places where it is needed. Not everywhere.

You recently eulogized Switzerland. How come you do not find Haiti, the most densely populated nation in this hemisphere, as lovely and admirable as Switzerland? (That, of course, is a rhetorical question.) Please do me the favor of viewing this YouTube video: "Haiti: The Kidnap Capital of the World," and then tell me if you think this is an acceptable way for human beings to live:

To me it illustrates an existence barely above the animal; in fact many animal populations in the wild would seem to me to live more fulfilling lives than some human populations in Haiti.

(Not all, by any means - many parts of Haiti are absolutely beautiful, and the people live rich and happy lives. It is not everywhere as described in this video.)

I am not a monster. I would hope, for all people in the world, lives of plenty: good food, good health, companionship, happy families, spiritual fulfillment, and the opportunity to better their economic situation.

But in many places, and yearly more and more of them, the crush and pressure of rampant population growth dooms people to lives of grinding poverty, squalor, and misery. They are forced to kill, steal, maim and murder their fellow humans, just in order to keep themselves alive. (Port-au-Prince, Lagos, Manila and Mexico City come to mind.)


Lemuel Gulliver said...


We cannot and should not and must not "solve" this problem by "thinning" the population, like pruning rose bushes. People are not chickens to be harvested or grass to be kept trimmed. But we should and must help people in these places where resources cannot support their numbers, to voluntarily limit the size of their families. It would cost a trivial amount of money to help them do so. Considering the hundreds of billions this country spends on military hardware for killing people, and how much money governments in Africa and Asia spend on arms to kill each other and suppress their own people, it is, as I said, a monumental stupidity which our supposedly intelligent species should be able to remedy with ease.

If human numbers are not stabilized by voluntary family planning, our species, (yes, humans are a species - we are exactly like the animals, except we have been gifted with language and reason and abstract thought, all of which we should be using to the best of our ability to glorify God and His creation, and which we fail miserably to do,) our species will suffer horribly for our stupidity and our failure to act responsibly.

I am sorry you took exception to what I said. I hope this clarification will deflect your anger. However, I will not change my mind on the fact that the human population is getting too large in many countries to be sustained, and if we do not use our resources and God-given brains to change this, a great tragedy will descend on us, upon us humans mostly, but also upon all the other species on the planet.

They say we evolved from a small rodent-like mammal living 65 million years ago. I do not know if this is true or not. But perhaps in another 65 million years, descendants of the beavers will be building churches and praising God, instead of us.

(Not descendants of the rats - they breed too fast.)

Lemuel Gulliver.

Lemuel Gulliver said...


Hope you see this reply. I saw a table of figures recently, have not been able to find it again - too much Internet browsing - of how many gallons of water it takes to yield whatever. From something like 20 gallons to make a pound of soybeans, to several hundred to extract a gallon of oil, etc. etc. Sorry now I did not bookmark it.

Climate change is unpredictable. At the end of the last Ice Age, what is now the Sahara Desert was just like the Amazon. The Nile flowed into the Atlantic. It has been drying out ever since. 2,000 to 1,700 years ago, the Romans got their lions to eat the Christians from North Africa - now Tunisia and Libya. Where do you guess Hannibal got his elephants? There were still jungles and animals of all kinds - giraffes, hippos, elephants, lions, cheetahs, along the coast of North Africa. But they have been gone for over a thousand years now, and gradually even the trees are dying out.

Would we like to see another Sahara where the Amazon basin is now?

In 2004 or 2005, the Atlantic was very warm, and the rains which blow in over the Amazon failed. The Amazon at its mouth became a savannah - a hundred miles of grassland with a channel 10 miles wide in the middle - and the governments had to fly planes with water into the interior so the people living at the headwaters would not die of thirst.

That happened in one year. Fortunately it was exceptional. But catastrophic climate change could happen that quickly.

Scares me.
Lemuel Gulliver.

Sans Authoritas said...

Lemuel Gulliver,

You write, "You recently eulogized Switzerland. How come you do not find Haiti, the most densely populated nation in this hemisphere, as lovely and admirable as Switzerland? . . . and then tell me if you think this is an acceptable way for human beings to live:

To me it illustrates an existence barely above the animal; in fact many animal populations in the wild would seem to me to live more fulfilling lives than some human populations in Haiti."

Lemuel, are you intimating that a high population density is a cause of poverty in Haiti?

The population density of Singapore is 17,000 per square mile. The median income in Singapore is $30,000 USD. The population density of Haiti is about 660 per square mile. Their median income is about $700.

Does Singapore really have more in the way of resources? How about Hong Kong, a region which was literally an aggregate of some bird-dung encrusted rocks, not 75 years ago. Now it is a booming metropolis.

The poverty in Haiti is caused by their culture and subsequently, the State. Any culture in which private property rights are esteemed and recognized, in which the people have a work ethic, and where stability is present, you will find prosperity.

Another social ailment ascribed to "overpopulation" is war. Utter and complete nonsense. Men have been killing men everywhere since time immemorial. Cain did not kill Abel in an urban alleyway. Nor did Cain kill Abel for any other scarce resource.

You want to know what causes war? People who want power and material possessions. People who want to be left alone and put their treasure in heaven don't want war.

It doesn't matter whether the population living under a State is 1,000 or 10,000,000. If the powers in be want more power, they'll make war. Naturally, more people will die in a war if there is a higher population engaged in war, but the war itself is not caused by the mere presence of numerous human beings.

-Sans Authoritas

Anonymous said...

I worked at a suburban hospital a few years ago.

A white woman, obese, definitely of child-bearing age was having blood tests re. her 11th pregnancy.

Two 'husbands' accompanied her, one white, one black.

She seemed utterly vapid, and utterly blissful.

The 'husbands' present that day (there were more) boisterously congratulated her and each other.

Several 'husbands' and 11 children in as many years. She planned to have more, she told me with a big smile.

I remember thinking that a little "fixing" might be in order sometimes.


LarryRuane said...

My own view is that "fixing" is never in order, unless it's voluntary. We should always oppose the many ways government subsidizes having children (although we must also be aware of and oppose the ways government subsidizes not having children as well).

But if someone like this woman pays for her own children's upbringing (or enlists voluntary charity), then that is okay (although it sounds like she is living an immoral life by having more than one husband).

Let me also make it clear that even before government subsidies for having children are eliminated, I'm still completely against having people "fixed" against their will; it is a monstrous idea.

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Anonymous said...

Wow. I was really feeling this blog and thinking I'd found yet another libertarian I could read and support. Back to the drawing board! "Glibertarianism" reigns supreme.

I'm sorry, gentlemen. My right to my life and my right to my own damn body trump your dogma. You'll have to concede it's your personal belief that life begins at conception and that one of your biggest gripes with Roe is that you feel the government is trying to tell you otherwise. Well, I don't really care how you feel about anything, like a good libertarian ought to, and I'd like to continue not caring how you feel about my body.

Go ahead and have your beliefs. Sit around and chat with other people who share your beliefs. But don't try to the get the government involved in approx. 51% of the population's reproductive freedom, especially after championing liberty for the duration of your blog.

As for the eugenics, I agree with you that there are many kooks out there with horrifying ideas about population control. But do you really think most pro-choice feminists are pro-forced abortion or sterilization? (Hint: key word is "choice.") I can guarantee you we aren't, at least not by definition, despite what some pseudo pro-"choice" crazies or detractors want to claim. Either way, eugenicist and population control policies have nothing to do with liberty and everything to do with control, with these policies having the most negative effects on women. No one who is pro-human rights, as most feminists are or claim to be, can be a eugenicist. And, well, since science can't tell you when the "soul enters the body" or whatever, we're going to have to agree to disagree on when "life" starts and what that means.

I'll leave you with a much better and likely much more effective population control method to think about:

LarryRuane said...

Anonymous, not that the following will lead you will agree with us on the pro-life side, but just so you know where we are coming from:

To us, abortion is just a form of murder. Here is a thought experiment. Suppose you lived in a society in which it is a commonly-held belief that until a child is able to speak, it is not a human being with rights. You object, and state that children have rights as soon as they are born. But your opponents dismiss your view as "dogma" and say they don't really care how you "feel" about anything, and they'd like to continue not caring about how you feel about their families. They tell you to go ahead and have your beliefs, to sit around and chat with other people who share your beliefs. But don't try to get the government involved in people's freedom of choice to decide what constitutes a family and what constitutes a person with rights.

What would your reaction be to that? That's about the same reaction we have to what you wrote.

LarryRuane said...

Having said this, I want to mention that I am an anarchist. I don't believe in coercive, monopoly government. I support liberty in governance, multiple competing governments that one can subscribe to (similar to cell phone service) without having to physically move. So if you want to belong to a government that does not consider abortion to be murder, then that should be your right.

I do admit that abortion presents a problem for pro-life anarchists like me; let's go back to my example above. Suppose most people in the society you live in believe that a child doesn't have rights until he or she can speak, and the law agrees. You disagree. Do you have the right to intervene and save (take away) these children who are about to be killed? I would say yes; don't you think so? People who smuggled Jews out of Nazi Germany, in defiance of the law, were doing the right thing. But abortion is much harder, for two reasons. First, because there is at least a superficial plausibility to the idea that we get our rights at the moment of birth (birth is a big change), so pro-choice people, although in my view mistaken, have good hearts. Secondly, because you can't save the child (or fetus if you prefer) from abortion by taking it away, for obvious physical reasons; and preventatively locking up pregnant women is anathema to my way of thinking as a libertarian.

That's why I think persuasion and reason is far preferable to coercion when it comes to abortion.

Anonymous said...


I think you answered your own question/thought experiment in your second comment:

"Secondly, because you can't save the child (or fetus if you prefer) from abortion by taking it away, for obvious physical reasons; and preventatively locking up pregnant women is anathema to my way of thinking as a libertarian."

Yes, obvious physical reasons being that a fetus can't exist without the use of a woman's body. It seems to me that most anti-choicers forget about a woman's involvement in the whole pregnancy, birth and subsequent life, if she decides to go through with the pregnancy. It's like the debate stops where the "child" is concerned and doesn't take into account what happens before, during or after that.

As always, I'm feeling a little cut out of this debate. To you it's black and white, and this is murder. If I had an unplanned pregnancy, I'd have to shift my whole life around. I'd have to be in a position to buy things to accommodate my body, to see a medical specialist as often as weekly, to take time off work for potentially as much as a year, to deal with a deadbeat or just uninvolved dad (if that's the case, and who may tout his rights as an individual to have nothing to do with it), to be able to afford, in all sense of the word, life with and raising a child... or perhaps to be emotionally ready to give it up, should I be unable to do those things. While abortion won't necessarily ease what women who have to make that decision go through, I honestly feel they have considered the gravity of the situation. And this is all as a consequence to having sex, possibly only once and possibly with the use of protection.

I don't think abortion is a beautiful thing. I certainly can't say whether or not I'd have an abortion if I had an unplanned pregnancy. This doesn't change the fact that I believe personhood happens at birth, not when a sperm hits an egg. What I ask, as any libertarian asks, is that my views be respected. They will not change.

"That's why I think persuasion and reason is far preferable to coercion when it comes to abortion."

It's funny how quickly persuasion becomes coercion and "Why can't you see reason?!" when the other person stonewalls. I'll add that your views are the ones that would restrict my actions and define my life if we went ahead and stuck them on the list of things to be accepted 'voluntarily' in our utopia, not the other way around. In an ideal world this would be a medical issue only and you would have no idea what decisions I make and when.

Here's a link regarding the anti-choice movement's inconsistencies, aka reasons I find it difficult to see a "pro-life" libertarian as anything but a glibertarian. Do they really believe abortion is murder?

Anonymous said...

I am curious... What are your solutions to dealing with the projected population growth to 15billion and beyond? Your thinking in the very short term if you think that popping out a bunch of babies will benefit anyone. Even your own children will suffer as resources dwindle, living space declines, and biodiversity crashes. Do you idiots learn nothing from Easter Island.

LarryRuane said...

In a free society, where government doesn't artificially encourage or penalize population growth, population will always approach the optimal level -- precisely because people don't want to live in a place with no resources or limited living space. People can and do control their individual reproduction rates, when left free to do so.

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