August 5, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – An article in the August 3rd issue of Maclean’s magazine defends the choice of couples to remain intentionally childless, arguing that remaining childless helps the environment and that those who “breed” are guilty of extreme selfishness.
After touching on a growing list of writers who promote childlessness and examining the lives of a few upscale couples who decided against parenting, the article focuses on a book by French psychotherapist Corinne Maier. “No Kids: 40 Good Reasons Not to Have Children” caused an uproar when published in France last year, due in part to such words of wisdom about the difficulties encountered in raising children as, “If you really want to be host to a parasite, get a gigolo.”
Maier, though a mother of two, says that at times she regretted having her own children, now aged 14 and 11, and came to the defense of women who said they felt socially ostracized because they didn’t want children.
“To be childless is considered a defect,” Maier wrote. But she countered that “conscientious objectors to this fertility mythology” should be praised for their ecological concern and national patriotism. “To have a kid in a rich country is not the act of a citizen. The state should be helping those who decide not to have children: less unemployment, less congestion, fewer wars.”
Maier mocks the traditional family, calling it “an inward-looking prison focused on the child,” and states that parents, not “child-free” couples, should be stigmatized for their selfishness and the “carbon footprint of their offspring.”
“Every baby born in a developed country is an ecological disaster for the whole planet,” she writes.
The Maclean’s article does provide one refreshing counter-argument by American author Lionel Shriver, who, though she never wanted children, wrote in her book “Separation From Birth”, “There is something nihilistic about refusing to reproduce, selfish in the worst way.”
“Take individual fulfillment at the expense of parenthood to the limit, and one generation has a cracking good time, after which the entire human race, poof, vanishes from the planet.”
A group calling itself the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, whose motto is “May we live long and die out. Thank you for not breeding,” has this complete childlessness as its stated goal: “the hopeful alternative to the extinction of millions of species of plants and animals is the voluntary extinction of one species: homo sapiens … us.”
Though the group may be considered extreme fringe, public figures and scientists are increasingly calling for more childlessness despite the looming demographic collapse of most western countries.
In February this year, Jonathan Porritt, chairman of Britain’s Sustainable Development Commission, said that couples who have more than two children are “irresponsible” and called for more abortion and contraception to “save the environment.”
Speaking to the annual conference of the Optimum Population Trust, Porritt said that to make Britain “sustainable,” its 60 million-plus population must be reduced by half.
“Each person in Britain has far more impact on the environment than those in developing countries so cutting our population is one way to reduce that impact,” Porritt stated.
US author Steven Kotler, writing in Psychology Today, explains the solution to world problems: “You don’t need to ask what you need to do for the world. You already know. Stop having children. It’s that easy.”
In direct counterpoint to the rejection of fertility promoted by Maclean’s, the documentary film “Demographic Winter,” which explores the effects of the worldwide decline in birthrates, paints a disturbing picture of the devastating social, political and economic effects of the continuing global population crisis. “The ongoing global decline in human birthrates is the single most powerful force affecting the fate of nations and the future of society in the 21st century,” says demographer Philip Longman in the film.
“We are headed toward a demographic winter which threatens to have catastrophic social and economic consequences,” say the filmmakers. “The effects will be severe and long lasting and are already becoming manifest in much of Europe.”
Barry McLerran, producer of Demographic Winter, and its soon to be released sequel “Demographic Bomb: demography is destiny,” said that the documentaries show “what happens when countries comprising 80 percent of the world’s economy have plummeting numbers of workers, consumers and innovators – leading to falling consumer spending, and too few workers to support the elderly.”
Internationally syndicated conservative columnist Mark Steyn succinctly sums up the consequence of the growing trend to childlessness by western couples who quote “betterment of relationships,” “career motivations,” “dislike of children,” and “the desire to remain in their current lifestyle” as the reasons for their barrenness.
Writing in the UK magazine the New Criterion, Steyn observes, “Much of what we loosely call the Western world will not survive this century, and much of it will effectively disappear within our lifetime.”
“Europe by the end of this century,” he writes, “will be a continent after the neutron bomb: The grand buildings will still be standing, but the people who built them will be gone. We are living through a remarkable period: the self-extinction of the races who, for good or ill, shaped the modern world.”
Pointing to the collapsing birth rate and high rates of abortion in Western countries, Steyn predicts that what is now being called the “post-Christian” west will be taken over by the more fecund, socially confident and fundamentally dissimilar Islamic culture that is currently encroaching upon it.
“And the hard data on babies around the Western world is that they’re running out a lot faster than the oil is … the global fertility leader, Somalia, is 6.91, Niger 6.83, Afghanistan 6.78, Yemen 6.75. Notice what those nations have in common?”
It’s amazing to watch a whole culture justify its own suicide and selfishness by appealing to the god of the environment.
It’s a good thing that their thinking will die out with them, of course. The bad news is that the whole Western culture as we have understood it is going with them, and so are our freedoms and way of life.
Our only hope is a resurgence of Christianity. That and that alone is what will save us from these blind fools.