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Why all the population control hate?

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yoda's walking stick
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Jul 8 2011 11:30
Why all the population control hate?

So my understanding is that Malthus was all "rah-rah social Darwinism." But that doesn't make population control undesirable or unnecessary, does it?

radicalgraffiti
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Jul 8 2011 11:48

population is not a issue, and it is not likely to become an issue in the foreseeable future. Uneven and irational distribution of resources is the cause of things like famine, lack of access to heath care, housing shortages, ect, not over population, and this is ignored by people who make a big deal of population size, in favour of blaming the people who suffer the most for breading to much, or immigrating.

yoda's walking stick
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Jul 8 2011 12:04
radicalgraffiti wrote:
population is not a issue

This seems pretty blindly dogmatic. Humans are absolutely fucking destroying the natural world. We're like motherfucking imperialists of nature, even if shit like human famine isn't caused by overpopulation.

yoda's walking stick
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Jul 8 2011 12:04
radicalgraffiti wrote:
and this is ignored by people who make a big deal of population size, in favour of blaming the people who suffer the most for breading to much, or immigrating.

And this seems like a pretty sweeping straw-man. Really, EVERYONE who advocates population control is a social darwinist? Please. I already mentioned Malthus, which is the stock socialist response to population control. Can we stop cribbing Marx and move beyond the talking points just for a second?

radicalgraffiti
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Jul 8 2011 12:26
yoda's walking stick wrote:
radicalgraffiti wrote:
population is not a issue

This seems pretty blindly dogmatic. Humans are absolutely fucking destroying the natural world. We're like motherfucking imperialists of nature, even if shit like human famine isn't caused by overpopulation.

show that this is caused by population and not capitalism

Aflwydd
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Jul 8 2011 12:28

I don't think population control necessarily needs to be enforced. As christianity dies off as a guiding moral force, which will lead to abortions being socially accepted and ridiculous Catholic dogma about contraception being ignored, the rate of births will level out to an extent.

Yes, there is more dogma that needs to be fought against, including the bile spouted by certain Darwinists who claim that our only purpose is to reproduce, and there are many other factors too, but a policy such as China's One Child would never work, unless enforced with an inhuman efficiency.

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Rob Ray
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Jul 8 2011 12:32
Quote:
This seems pretty blindly dogmatic.

and

Quote:
Humans are absolutely fucking destroying the natural world. We're like motherfucking imperialists of nature, even if shit like human famine isn't caused by overpopulation.

Don't go together well dude. If you're going to criticise people for being dogmatic you should make sure you debunk that dogma properly or your point won't stand.

In terms of population control, you need to frame where you're coming from in terms of the problem you think needs solving.

Globally there's a number of different theories on this, one of the more prominent of which is that population is currently peaking and will stop around the 9.2 billion mark before entering a general decline. Other theories estimate continued growth but that it'll slow down, hitting about 10bn by the end of the century - though both theories stress prediction is pretty much impossible if trying to factor in things like climate change.

Now if you think this is unsustainable, or have other ideas about what numbers will come out of the next half century, then fair enough, but back that point with some facts. The we can have a conversation about how that might be dealt with.

radicalgraffiti
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Jul 8 2011 12:32
yoda's walking stick wrote:
radicalgraffiti wrote:
and this is ignored by people who make a big deal of population size, in favour of blaming the people who suffer the most for breading to much, or immigrating.

And this seems like a pretty sweeping straw-man. Really, EVERYONE who advocates population control is a social darwinist? Please. I already mentioned Malthus, which is the stock socialist response to population control. Can we stop cribbing Marx and move beyond the talking points just for a second?

what the fuck are you talking about? cribbing marx? i think you vastly over estimate how much marx i have read and how much i care about his opinion

i never said anything about social darwism

this is my own experiance of people who think population is an issue, they ignore what really causes the problems and put the blame on the people who suffer the most, that may not be what they intend, but its what blaming over population for the problems of capitalism, the market etc does

LBird
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Jul 8 2011 12:32
yoda's walking stick wrote:
Humans are absolutely fucking destroying the natural world.

I think we'd all agree that some un-necessary damage is done to the environment by humans.

But can this damage be classified as "absolutely fucking destroying the natural world"?

To judge this, we have to measure that damage that humans do, as compared to the damage that nature itself does.

By any measure, the damage that nature does outweighs the damage done by humans by an indescribable amount. Think of the collapse of stars or other celestial events. And even on this planet, the damage done by extraterrestrial collisions like meteors, or terrestrial explosions like Krakatoa and other volcanoes, or tsunami or earthquakes, far outpace human damage. Dust clouds from volcanoes have destroyed nearly all life on this planet, in the past.

So, if we are to ask what is "absolutely fucking destroying the natural world", we have to answer, by a very wide margin over human activity, "the natural world is absolutely fucking destroying the natural world".

So, yoda, although you're right to express concerns about the activities of humans, you have to do two things:

1) keep human destruction in a natural context; and

2) ask why, which, who and how humans are doing their, in comparison, minor damage.

If we can answer 2), we may be able to prevent some damage to this planet, which you're correct to point out.

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Rob Ray
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Jul 8 2011 12:37
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they ignore what really causes the problems and put the blame on the people who suffer the most

Yeah true enough, the straight population figure isn't actually that good for picking human impact - a couple who don't have a kid in Manhattan will be saving rather more in world resources than a couple who do the same in rural India for example...

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Khawaga
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Jul 8 2011 13:48

Two words: demographic transition. In a nutshell: when people move out of poverty, health, education and all that jazz improves, death rates go down, but birth rates go down somewhat later. In the end it levels out. Indeed, in Europe and Japan that has now become a problem. Hence all the calls for immigration of skilled labour (put keep out the poor!).

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Noa Rodman
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Jul 8 2011 14:26

Unhelpful to you no doubt, but Kautsky dealt with this in

Vermehrung und Entwicklung in Natur und Gesellschaft
(1910), 288 p.

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jonglier
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Jul 8 2011 14:35

It's only a hypothetical example and perhaps couldn't happen due to the places they tend to live, but what I'm wondering is, what would happen if the population of chimpanzees was growing as rapidly as that of humans? What if there were 7 billion chimps on the planet, all consuming the kind of things that chimps consume, and doing the kind of things that chimps do? Would it be so bad? I don't think it would be. So why is it that human population is such a problem?

When you write

"Humans are absolutely fucking destroying the natural world. We're like motherfucking imperialists of nature, even if shit like human famine isn't caused by overpopulation."

, you may well be correct, but does this fact follow automatically from the number of humans living on this planet?

What you are criticising here is something along the lines of "environmental destruction".

Anarchists and communists tend to criticise things like "economic exploitation".

Your implicit argument appears to be that we should reduce (by population control) the number of people living on this planet (in the future) in order to reduce the amount of environmental destruction occurring.

Applying your principle, then, an anarchist or communist could argue that the best solution to the current problems of economic exploitation is to reduce the number of people on the planet in order to reduce the amount of exploitation that can occur. What do you think?

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Arbeiten
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Jul 8 2011 15:39

Khawaga, LBird and Rob Ray have really already mentioned everything I wanted to say, but I am going to add my two pence anyway. Malthus' model was wrong, if the population carried on growing as he 'mathematically' predicted, there would have been like 100 million people in Victorian England alone. So by his own account, he was wrong. Second, he wasn't a social Darwinist, he was pre-Darwin, and Darwin actually admitted his indebtedness to Malthus on certain occasions. Marx deals pretty well with Malthus in his Capital.

This is just a point in passing and is a bit unconstructive but i am going to say it anyway. I don't often speak of morals, but I definitely think there is a moral failing when someone advocates 'population control'. I get the impression, and I could be wrong, but I get the impression that they are not talking about their own space they are taking up, the natural resources that they are using and the oxygen that they are breathing. No. They are talking about those 'over-productive' poor people.....

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Chilli Sauce
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Jul 8 2011 16:30

The obvious response is that for the issue of ecological destruction, it's capitalism not population growth that's the problem. But even within the context of capitalism, economic development/ industrialization dramatically decrease childbirth numbers (this was true even before widespread contraception and certainly abortion). This is to the point where, on average, the population of many European countries is dropping as parents cease to have an average of less than two children per family.

So, the issue, as always is a class one. If you're concern is population country, bring economic development, contraception, and abortion to the developing world. Of course as communists, our concern for this should be in relation to social equality and working class power, but don't write off the effects of capitalism as simply humans acting as "motherfucking imperialists of nature."

batswill
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Jul 8 2011 18:19

I think that ' isms ' or ethics are irrelevant, and our present condition is unavoidable. We are what we are, glorified animals mostly devoid of voluntary cognition, apt to behave like homicidal chimps at the first offerings of reward, glory or status.
Thus modern medicine is our reluctant nemesis, and we all must be guilty of being complicate in the depletion of our own resources.
But if the military industrial complex can be denied, we JUST may be able to support 6 billion.
Which brings me to the topic of "The Strength to be Celibate", lol, no wonder the world is fucked.

RedHughs
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Jul 8 2011 19:47

I don't have "hate" for these various issues, I just have an opinion. But I am starting to ... hate ... your "why the hate" headline style... Just state your point. "I think revolutionaries should take serious XYZ idea".

LBird
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Jul 8 2011 20:26
batswill wrote:
I think that ' isms ' or ethics are irrelevant, and our present condition is unavoidable. We are what we are, glorified animals mostly devoid of voluntary cognition, apt to behave like homicidal chimps at the first offerings of reward, glory or status.

Do you know, batswill, that your statement is entirely consistent with conservative philosophy?

If you want to accept those propositions, fair enough, but they have nothing to do with the Communist view of the world. If you regard yourself as some sort of Libertarian Communist, I'm afraid you've got some work to do in examining your own ideology.

On the other hand, if you're happy with your beliefs, and are already convinced of their truthfulness, why bother with us Commies?

yoda's walking stick
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Jul 8 2011 20:40

I wasn't really even trying to take a strong position. I was mostly hoping to listen to what other people thought on the issue of whether some form of population control was necessary or desirable. The class struggle is not my only priority. I understand it is for others here, and that's fine. I was hoping to hear your views.

The first response I got struck me as pretty trite. It's totally fine if people want to take the position of the first response. I was just hoping they do it in a way that seems more original and less a regurgitation of Marx's assessment of Malthus. I understand the first responder is not familiar with this assessment, so I apologize for casting aspersions.

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Chilli Sauce
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Jul 8 2011 20:51
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The class struggle is not my only priority.

I mean, it's not mine either. I quite like beer, skateboarding, my partner, and cooking (EDIT: not necessarily in that order!) . However, when it comes to politics, it's always a matter of economics which means its always a matter of class.

I guess what I'm saying is what do you mean by this statement?

yoda's walking stick
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Jul 8 2011 20:59
Chilli Sauce wrote:
Quote:
The class struggle is not my only priority.

I mean, it's not mine either. I quite like beer, skateboarding, my partner, and cooking (EDIT: not necessarily in that order!) . However, when it comes to politics, it's always a matter of economics which means its always a matter of class.

I guess what I'm saying is what do you mean by this statement?

I care about animals, the environment. I give money to UNICEF, despite Oliver Wilde's "Soul of (Gender-blind noun) Under Socialism," because I don't think my current government does anything about global poverty and I don't socialism is coming anytime soon. Feminist and race issues which fall outside the sphere of class....and other stuff.

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Feminist and race issues which fall outside the sphere of class....and on and on.

Next commenter: Haven't you read Engel's "Origin of the Family???" WTF.

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Chilli Sauce
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Jul 8 2011 21:02

Well, I'll leave this to someone who has the time and patience, but you can't separate issues gender, environment, and global poverty from class. In fact, they can only be tackled effectively within the context class politics, class struggle and, ultimately, class revolution.

I also find it odd that you have this assumption that everyone on this forum worships Marx. I think it's fair to say that far more libcom.org users have an understanding of and respect for Marx than most anarchist communities. However, it's a critical and well thought-out understanding of Marx and your sniping comes across as childish and uninformed.

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plasmatelly
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Jul 8 2011 21:44
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I don't think population control necessarily needs to be enforced. As christianity dies off as a guiding moral force, which will lead to abortions being socially accepted and ridiculous Catholic dogma about contraception being ignored, the rate of births will level out to an extent.

Yes, there is more dogma that needs to be fought against, including the bile spouted by certain Darwinists who claim that our only purpose is to reproduce, and there are many other factors too, but a policy such as China's One Child would never work, unless enforced with an inhuman efficiency.

Aflwydd - I'm not sure you've thought out what you've said here... you seem to believe that we have a population problem and that particular problem will be overcome by the death of christianity and "abortions being socially accepted".

Personally I don't think there's a population problem, but I think it's hard to prove or disprove when we live in a world that runs capitalism as it's modis operandi.

I'd hate to accuse you of it, but it sounds almost like you're suggesting that there's too many of those starving types and a good dose of abortion would sort 'em out.

Aflwydd
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Jul 8 2011 22:56
plasmatelly wrote:
Quote:
I don't think population control necessarily needs to be enforced. As christianity dies off as a guiding moral force, which will lead to abortions being socially accepted and ridiculous Catholic dogma about contraception being ignored, the rate of births will level out to an extent.

Yes, there is more dogma that needs to be fought against, including the bile spouted by certain Darwinists who claim that our only purpose is to reproduce, and there are many other factors too, but a policy such as China's One Child would never work, unless enforced with an inhuman efficiency.

Aflwydd - I'm not sure you've thought out what you've said here... you seem to believe that we have a population problem and that particular problem will be overcome by the death of christianity and "abortions being socially accepted".

Personally I don't think there's a population problem, but I think it's hard to prove or disprove when we live in a world that runs capitalism as it's modis operandi.

I'd hate to accuse you of it, but it sounds almost like you're suggesting that there's too many of those starving types and a good dose of abortion would sort 'em out.

No, I don't think there's a population problem either. All I was doing is saying how I feel the population level will level itself out through many factors, including the ones I mentioned.

The complaint about there being too many people to look after tends to come from the same people who complain about immigrants, anyone on benefits, or poor people in general. As Libertarian Communists, we have to make sure that we don't look for scapegoats when we all know what the real problem is.

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Tojiah
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Jul 8 2011 23:32
Aflwydd wrote:
As Libertarian Communists, we have to make sure that we don't look for scapegoats when we all know what the real problem is.

I don't see how saying that there are too many people is looking for scapegoats. On the face of it it's a very equal-opportunity statement.

batswill
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Jul 8 2011 23:42

Actually I've lived the communist creed most of my life, so my view may be from within it looking out at. The basic creed being no accumulation of wealth and the equality of all, labors and produce being divided between those directly involved in its exertions and creation, and land ownership being incomprehensible. Let's not complicate everyday events and our willingness to care for others, libertarian communism is about caring for a collective on a familiar base.
I think LBird that you misinterpreted my statement out of context, I was referring to the present capitalist dominated global scenario. Anyway, what exactly IS conservative philosophy? Kant, Nietzsche, Stirner, Feuerbach as compared to Foucault, Deleuse or any other Western-centric post-modern interpretations of existence.
I can understand you knee-jerk reaction, at first I may appear like a fascist, but if you look deeper you will see that I actually espouse beliefs that, if combined with a generous and compassionate practice, equate to a very Marxist sentiment, however quaint that may seem.
I think that Marx himself would role in his grave if he knew that an 'ism'had been attached to his name, this is just my feelings about his humble and magnanimous nature. I can tell you one thing, I am not a Catholic, yet there are Catholic libertarian communists. How does that work?

batswill
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Jul 8 2011 23:54

In relation to my above comment, in reply to LBird

LBird wrote:
batswill wrote:
I think that ' isms ' or ethics are irrelevant, and our present condition is unavoidable. We are what we are, glorified animals mostly devoid of voluntary cognition, apt to behave like homicidal chimps at the first offerings of reward, glory or status.

Do you know, batswill, that your statement is entirely consistent with conservative philosophy?

If you want to accept those propositions, fair enough, but they have nothing to do with the Communist view of the world. If you regard yourself as some sort of Libertarian Communist, I'm afraid you've got some work to do in examining your own ideology.

On the other hand, if you're happy with your beliefs, and are already convinced of their truthfulness, why bother with us Commies?

RedHughs
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Jul 9 2011 01:13
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The class struggle is not my only priority. I understand it is for others here, and that's fine. I was hoping to hear your views.

I think that can only be true if you define class struggle in fairly trivial fashion.

If generalized class struggle is the struggle against the totalitarian rule of capital, then it may not be what we spend all our waking hours on but it is the form taken by all struggle against all the impositions and commodifications of this society. Class struggle as some specialized activity (union sanctioned strikes or something) is nearly useless. But I think to authentically opposed this society, you need to see its reign as a single, unified regime, encompassing all the particular "oppressions" one might name.

yoda's walking stick
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Jul 9 2011 02:20

The class lense is certainly very helpful to understanding the world, but it's not the only one I use. In some situations, it's very helpful. In others, it's relevance is much, much, more oblique.

To suggest it's the best lense to use, in every situation, is silly dogmatism that I won't even bother responding to.

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Comrade Ole Crow
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Jul 9 2011 03:16

The 'population question' shit, is just that, shit, there is no population 'problem' or 'question' that's a fat load of borgy bullshit. Population control? No, definately not endorsing that.

batswill
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Jul 9 2011 04:01
Comrade Ole Crow wrote:
The 'population question' shit, is just that, shit, there is no population 'problem' or 'question' that's a fat load of borgy bullshit. Population control? No, definately not endorsing that.

Now we're talking! The natural evolution of circumstance can never be a problem, issues about over-population are only a construction by the bourgeois to create a paranoia amongst themselves, as an element of their own psychologically indoctrinated task as 'managers', to thwart the free flowing phenomena of unhindered life experience by the proletariat,i.e. the spontaneity and joy of fulfilling an innate biological desire without being subjugated, even if that means having nth degree children. When the factories are full of workers, surplus labor becomes a 'problem' for capitalists.