“We must have population control at home, hopefully through changes in our value system, but by compulsion if voluntary methods fail.” – Paul Ehrlich, 1968 (pXI)
The previous two articles in this series described some of the compulsory techniques for controlling population growth in America and the third world proposed by Paul Ehrlich in his 1968 book, The Population Bomb*. What about changing our value system into something more compatible with Ehrlich’s mindset? How do you change a societies value system?
Sex Education and the Role of Women
When trying to institute a change in society, especially a long-term change, the most important and easily manipulated group are children. And there is no better tool than the education system for indoctrination of children.
From The Population Bomb:
“One of the most important roles of sex education must be to impress on everyone that death control in the absence of birth control is self-defeating, to say the least.” – 87
“We need a federal law requiring sex education in schools – sex education that includes discussion of the need for regulating the birth rate and of the techniques of birth control. Such education should begin at the earliest age recommended by those with professional competence in this area – certainly before junior high school.
By “sex education” I do not mean course focusing on hygiene or presenting a simple-minded “birds and bees” approach to human sexuality. The reproductive function of sex must be shown as just one of its functions, and one that must be carefully regulated in relation to the needs of the individual and society. Much emphasis must be placed on sex as an interpersonal relationship, as an important and extremely pleasurable aspect of being human, as mankind’s major and most enduring recreation, as a fountainhead of humor, as a phenomenon that affects every aspect of human life… In short, sex as we know it, is a peculiarly human activity. It has many complex functions other than the production of offspring. It is now imperative that we restrict the reproductive function of sex while producing a minimum of disruption in the others.” – 133
Another obvious group of society that needs to have their values changed, if the population is to be reduced, are women.
“With a rational atmosphere mankind should be able to work out the problems of deemphasizing the reproductive role of sex. These problems include finding substitutes for the satisfaction and rewards that women derive from childbearing and for the ego satisfaction that often accompanies excessive fatherhood. Implicit attitudes and social pressures within our society toward parenthood, especially motherhood, add up to an even more powerful prenatal policy than our legal system represents. Equal opportunities and salaries for women in business and the professions, which are now being sought by the women’s liberation movement, would strongly encourage them to seek other outlets for their energy and talents besides motherhood. Society would greatly benefit both from the resulting lowered fertility and the productive contributions of women.
All too often today marriage either provides a “license” for sexual activity or a way of legitimizing the unplanned results of premarital sexual activity. But greater equality between the sexes, reliable contraceptives, and changing attitudes among today’s young people are solving the former problem; the greater availability of contraceptives and abortion could solve the latter.” – 134
What about American religious values? Are they in need of change too?
“Somehow we’ve got to change from a growth-oriented, exploitative system to one focused on stability and conservation. Our entire system of orienting to nature must undergo a revolution. And that revolution is going to be extremely difficult to pull off, since the attitudes of Western culture toward nature are deeply rooted in Judeo-Christian tradition. Unlike people in many other cultures, we see man’s basic role as that of dominating nature, rather than as living in harmony with it. This entire problem has been elegantly discussed by Professor Lynn White, Jr., in Science magazine. He points out, for instance, that before the Christian era trees, springs, hills, streams, and other objects of nature had guardian spirits. These spirits had to be approached and placated before one could safely invade their territory. As White says, “By destroying pagan animism, Christianity made it possible to exploit nature in a mood of indifference to the feelings of natural objects… Both our present science and our present technology are so tinctured with orthodox Christian arrogance toward nature that no solution for our ecological crisis can be expected from them alone. Since the roots of our trouble are so largely religious, the remedy must also be essentially religious, whether we call it that or not.” ” [emphasis mine] – 155
Spreading the Message of the New Religion: Population Missionaries
Ehrlich finishes his book with a very descriptive answer to the question: How can people spread the new faith?
“The question I am most frequently asked after giving talks about the population explosion is, “What can I do to help?” The obvious first answer is, “Set an example – don’t have more than two children.” ” -159
“First of all, get together with people who share your concerns. It’s easier, pleasanter and generally more effective to crusade in a group.” [emphasis mine] – 160
The major thrust of this section is to write letters to politician and others.
“Above all, if you really want to survive, start writing!” – 164
“Editors of magazines and newspapers are excellent targets for letters. Complain bitterly about any positive treatment of large families. Attack the publicizing of “mothers of the year” unless they have no more than two children or have adopted the extra ones. Request that the publications you address stop carrying any advertising implying by statement or inference that it is socially acceptable to have more than two children. Point out that any promotion of the idea that a growing population means prosperity is making a contribution to the destruction of America. Television and radio stations should be subjected to similar constant pressure. Series featuring large families should be assailed. More programming about the population crisis should be demanded. Ask for prime time programs on sex education and the use of contraceptives. Raise a fuss whenever programming or commercials promote reproductive irresponsibility.” [emphasis mine] – 163
“Another target for your letters is the business community… “Dear Sir: Your company’s advertisement was shown in the middle of The Saturday Family, implying your sponsorship of that program. The day is upon us when we can no longer tolerate television programs that feature large families as if they still represented acceptable behaviour on the part of parents.” [emphasis mine] – 164
A fair bit of attention was devoted to children, as should be expected with Ehrlich’s focus on sex education.
“Give your child an IUD [intrauterine device] to take to “show and tell.” – 166
He also encourages people to “proselytize friends and associates” by giving specific arguments tailor made for different types of people. Under the heading “Target is a Schoolteacher,” he suggests that it is:
“easy for you to convince most schoolteachers that the population problem is very real. They have been struggling with overcrowded classrooms and ghetto children for a long time.” – 176
Because of the limits placed on individual teachers by school boards:
“Subtle propaganda to the kiddies and letter writing may be all you can ask for [from a teacher].” – 177
The next part in this series will examine the major organizations, foundations and individuals working toward population control. The final article will compare the current arguments for global warming with the arguments for population control, including a direct comparison between The Population Bomb (1968) and Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth (2006).
*Quotes from: Paul R. Ehrlich. The Population Bomb: Revised & Expanded Edition (1968, 1971). SBN 345-24489-3-150.
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