Malthusian Domestic Policy in the time of Disco

Some people should not reproduce.

This is never a controversial statement when you apply it to specific people. “Todd should not reproduce.” Sometimes it is even acceptable to apply to groups, “I wish that the entrance to R.E.O. Speedwagon concerts was equipped with a high powered x-ray machine aimed at crotch height.” What is not acceptable is to target people according to race (unless they are white) or according to socio-economic status. (Unless they are white.)

This is regrettable, as ethnic cleansing is definitely something that should be carried out on a regular basis. Not in the way that it has been, where one ethnicity fixates upon another and gets their heart set on making them all die, but rather, the way Oliver Wendell Holmes intended it. In other words, one ethnicity, cleansing itself, the way most of us do, every day, with soap and shampoo. Only this time, the soap will have added ingredients that turn your wife into a freemartin. One group of people, taking a good long look in the mirror, and burning down all their trailer parks. Everyone who considers themself a member of any group can easily identify those who are considered low class. Nascar fans can tell who bought their shirt at J.C. Penney and who bought their shirt at a convenience store, and this type of knowledge is something upon which we should act.

I call to mind the gripping docudrama, “Swing Kids,” where, in Hitler’s Germany, during the height of brutal racial inequality, when Jewish people were relegated to ghettos and gas chambers simply because they were born to families that had only been in Germany a few hundred years. It was in that climate that a few brave young men and women took a stand and decided that, in order for Germany to be truly great, people who listen to shitty music need to die, even though they had blonde hair, and even though they had blue eyes, and even though neither of their legs were particularly gimpy.

Not really. Part of the problem is the inefficiency with which countries, like India, harness its water resources. They still haven’t tapped nearly as much of their annual rainfall as they could, for example.

But anyway, you’re ignoring the tread that industrialization/urbanization leads to dramatically reduced birth rates. The only countries with strong positive population growth are basically third world / “global south” ones that are either basically pre-industrial (most of Africa) or have a limited industrial base combined with either a) one sector of their economy that is still manpower intensive (india, china) or who exports their manpower as a primary source of income, or b) has a strong cultural imperative towards larger families and/or against birth control (latin america).

Aren’t even many of those headed steeply downward? Someone is going to have to live in Germany and Russia when the Demo bomb hits. Japan, though, will stay xeno until the last one turns out the lights.

I think it’s pretty unlikely the human race will extinct itself through birthrates without noticing.

Flowers, sometimes you scare me. This is not just because I’m trying to gauge how much of that is a joke, but about wondering how evil I am for agreeing with some of it.

Ehrlich was hyperbolic, but a lot of starvation in the third world was averted by a relatively small group of people working on crop genetics. I’d be amazed if you could point to anyone at the time who realized that food supplies the world over were about to start consistently increasing at well over 5% per year for decades on end.

And w/r to Lysenko: He was wrong, maybe. He was not absolutely correct in a hyper-technical sense, sure. But people who believe in Lysenkoism have a powerful motivation to work out and educate themselves. Kids need that sort of positive message. It’s no coincidence that right around the time society abandoned Lysenko, we all turned into a bunch of fat, ignorant gaywads. I’m just saying, teach the controversy.

I just can’t help going along with it because he is such an excellent writer. I still think he did Woody Allen better than Woody Allen ever could in his General Custer/bagel-mashup.


Freemartin = free for all, am I right boys?

As usual, Phil, you’re taking things waaaay too seriously, and too argumentively. My point wasn’t that some yahoo who made wacky predictions was going to be vindicated, only that the concerns over sustainable food are not, perhaps, nearly as fringe as some have maintained. I’m also skeptical about the value of averages taken across the globe–those still leave a lot of room for a bunch of folks to starve while others gorge. But in general, I do agree that wild predictions are rarely very helpful.

I’m not sure what you’re getting at. I’m not saying we’re in some sort of Malthusian meltdown; if that’s what came across, that’s not the intent. I was merely pointing out that the boon of new crops and high-yield agriculture is now being questioned; I don’t doubt that the issue of demographics is much more complex and less scary in many ways than the doomsayers predict.

The skepticism towards genetically engineered high-yield crops though is real, and is widespread. The problems in Punjab are real, ongoing, and well-documented. Now, it’s quite possible that those could have been mitigated by better planning, but they weren’t, were they? And they’re not being mitigated in many of the places where the green revolution is having its biggest effects, it would seem.

I’m sure it’s not what you mean, but what you’re saying seems to imply that “it’s their own damn fault” when talking of developing/global south/whatever you want to call it non-Western non-industrialized societies that are having agricultural or resource issues.

Ultimately it’s simply a matter of TANSTAAFL. Getting crops to give higher yields requires some trade off somewhere. It’s possible people can manage those trade-offs well, but they’re not doing it very effectively.


you just don’t get it man! Mother Earth is dying, Man raping her. It is the evil corporations like Monsanto are only interested in profits that are messing it up for everyone. Down with the corporations, man.

I think we all know who our eventual savior will be.

I’d like to be that wrong and still be a Stanford professor.

He singlehandedly set back the Soviet’s Biology, Genetics, Agronomy, and Ecological sciences decades. But children need that so they can stay positive? Seriously?

No, it wasn’t singlehanded. He just had the right theory to fit the state ideology. Communist versus capitalist underpinnings for evolution.

THIS was a key lesson that the Bush administration should have embraced. Making scientific decisions/appointments on the basis of ideology is a proven disaster. You’d think Republicans would be more likely to learn from the mistakes of godless commies than anyone, but no.

Well it would be nice to see a change from that. Alas…

Well, of course you don’t care. Libertarians never think of the children, unless they’re looking for drug mules or runaways to cast in pornography.

For the rest of us, I think we’d all rather live in a world where people believe that their hard work can not only afford their children opportunities, but actually makes them inherently better. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go read Principia, BECAUSE MY SON IS GOING TO BE A COSMONAUT.

You forgot coal miners, pharma’ lab-rats and video-game-addicted mercenaries. But otherwise, yes.

For the rest of us, I think we’d all rather live in a world where people believe that their hard work can not only afford their children opportunities, but actually makes them inherently better. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go read Principia, BECAUSE MY SON IS GOING TO BE A COSMONAUT.

An idea that hard work advances you individually? Nah, that will never catch on with libertarian types.

Interesting backgrounder.