Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The left's anti-natalism

Commenter "Dan" wrote the following in a couple of places:
Here are 10 areas off the top of my head where ‘liberal’ theology is anti-natalist: 
1 – Pro-Life versus pro Choice (duh) 
2 – Worshiping the Cathedral (specifically higher education); the more time you are in higher ed, the less time you have to have children 
3 – Feminist careerism – can’t be in the kitchen cooking dinner for your kids if you are in the corporate boardroom, or most any demanding job 
4 – Antagonism toward religion – most religions are pro natalist to varying degrees 
5 – Feminist insistence in the sameness of men and women – makes women much less attractive to men 
6 – View of marriage as a patriarchal instrument of oppression – Children are much more likely to spring forth from married people 
7 – Upholding birth control as a fundamental human right (and forcing every institution to give it away for free) 
8 – The environmentalists view of humans basically as a scourge on the planet 
9 – Liberals’ attachment to urban living puts them in a setting not conducive to having children 
10 – Young liberals’ belief that they have a human right to pursue a field that is not economically viable means of course that they will not be able to, you know, support anybody.  
Oh, gosh and I forgot the most obvious ones of all! 
11 – Male homosexuality as the holiest and most righteous form of goodness that there is. 
12 – Lesbianism as the other holiest and most righteous form of goodness that there is.
Great list. How about a contrarian perspective? In what ways could it be argued that the contemporary left is pro-natalist (even if its adherents don't always put the putatively preferred behavior into practice)? Here's off the top of my head:
- More supportive of alternative fertility methods like IVF than many socially conservative organizations are 
- Minimal hostility for 'statutory' rape between consenting people (think the Roman Polanskis of the world) 
- Hostility towards Project Prevention and similar efforts 
- Supportive of the welfare state, which plays the provider role for absent fathers (and deadbeat parents in general) 
- Relatedly, exhibits lesser to non-existent condemnation of single motherhood and teenage pregnancy 
- In favor of more lenient sentencing for convicted criminals, meaning thugs are back out scouring the street sooner 
- Supportive of unrestricted immigration, with one consequence being lots of highly fertile settlers from south of the border making babies in the US
Additions/suggestions for both lists are solicited in the comments section, please.

Only the first item could be considered both pro-natalist and eugenic, or at least not blatantly dysgenic. That Dan's list of anti-natalism characteristics is primarily directed at the white middle and working classes, while the pro-natalist list is especially relevant to NAMs is not a coincidence. Don't misconstrue a little devil's advocate work on my part as indicative of support for the civilizational destructiveness cheered on by the left.


Anonymous said...

left supports family leave and universal daycare.

Noah172 said...


The Left wants to restrict many of the economic activities that can provide family-supporting wages to non-college men: oil/gas/coal/nuclear, mining, heavy manufacturing, fishing, logging, construction, etc.

Jokah Macpherson said...

Ok, I thought long and hard on this one, and I came up with an example that's pro-natalist and not dysgenic: the left's indifference towards family unity (i.e. tolerance of divorce). Per the GSS white people who have divorced have .2 more children that those who haven't (I assume because some of them remarry and decide to make "ours" children) and the difference is the same for both sexes. For all respondents the difference is greater for men and less for women but overall it is about the same.

The GSS also suggests that divorce is not particularly associated with higher or lower IQ (surprising to me; this could be wrong) or with political party, other than independents being worse, as is usual, but I think this is a matter of ideology seeping into culture and affecting people of all affiliations equally.

I'm not saying the left is pro-divorce or anything, but as someone who thinks culture is important, I perceive them as indifferent to marriage other than believing gays and lesbians should definitely be able to do it and that women should not suffer if a marriage fails. The right at least reserves a spot of honor for large, intact families.

Anonymous said...

Adding to Jokah Macpherson's comment, liberal divorce judges who hand down outrageous divorce settlements. The cost lies on the men, who can no longer afford to remarry and have a new family. Or if they do they are very poor, have less chance to prosper than their male cohort. In general this gives the divorced women leisure. It is an incentive not to remarry as that reduces leisure and requires a great deal more work. Thus they rarely have more children. This is in the white world, I think things are quite different for black people.

Audacious Epigone said...


Wow, duh, that's an obvious one I left out.


Right, the dirt gap.


In the sense that because the left doesn't condemn divorce people are more likely to think of marriage as less of a high stakes game and thus more willing to tie the knot and, as a consequence, have kids they otherwise wouldn't have? Am I following you correctly?

JayMan said...

I've made this argument, and in fact it is Democrats that are at present better for the interest of the country.

Parental (especially maternal) leave is an obvious one. As I noted, this is one important left-wing policy that does serve to boost fertility.

Planned Parenthood is another obvious important policy (reducing fertility of the low-IQ).

Clinton-era welfare forms have greatly stemmed its dysgenic effects.

Indeed, if the Dems were to embrace rational immigration policies, their policies would be clearly superior to encourage eugenic breeding (of Whites and non-Whites). Some liberals in fact do.

Mainstream Republicans, with their pro-big business, neoconservative bent, have been nothing but disasterous for the country, and would be again if they were in a position of power. Democratic control has thus far been able to slow many of the upcoming demographic crises.

The liberal mindset might indeed be less "natalist" than the conservative one, but the former's execution of policy is better for us than the latter's.

Jokah Macpherson said...


I don't think you are exactly following my line of thought. I was saying that one side effect of more divorce is more remarriage and from my experience remarried people often have at least one additional child together (vs. children from prior marriage) that they might not have had otherwise had they stayed with their original spouse.

I can think of two examples of people I know who were only children until they were 17 and then their parents had another child with a second spouse. The GSS seems to support this theory but I can't be certain of cause-effect.

Dan said...

AE - Thanks for posting my comment.

Readers should be reminded of one of the orignal articles in this field which captured the stark reality of the liberal baby problem.


That article should have won a Pulitzer but alas not in modern America. Steve Sailer feels the 'dirt gap' (cost of living) is the issue, but it seems pretty clear to me that liberal ideas themselves are bad for white fertility.

Social conservatives' central thesis that children should spring from marriage is a highly eugenic notion if it is followed. Getting married before having children is a strong marker of higher intelligence and education in 2012 and the trend is apparently not new. The demands of Christendom across Europe over a thousand years that sex should be within marriage and a man couldn't marry unless he couldn't be a provider meant that the less successful married later if at all. And with strong sexual morality still in force, unmarried people typically just didn't have sex, even if it meant dying a virgin. It has been suggested (Maybe HBD Chick or others) that this was a prime driver toward the development of greater intelligence across Christendom.

Culture clearly played a central role in fostering eugenic / dysenic trends across time because if intelligence were only an artifact of having to survive harsh winters then the Eskimos would have all the Nobels.

Maybe Judiasm did Christendom one better by historically conferring the highest marriage market value on scholars.

Dan said...

@Jayman --

As for the Clinton-era welfare reforms you are right: They are to be praised (and were bitterly opposed by the left at the time).

So why in the heck did Obama absurdly attempt to gut welfare reform (by trying to remove the work requirement) before he was stopped by the right?

There is no method to Obama's madness I think. If he was pro-civilization, why would he support unbelievably backward Islamists in the overthrow of all semblance of civilization in Libya and Egypt?
Friggin' Egypt. That hurts. To lose all remnant of civilization in such an enormous country...


Dan said...

I would note that the left does have some eugenic elements worthy of note, particularly in reducing teen birth rates. Teen births tend, I think, to be dysgenic.

* The left has worked hard to reduce teen pregnancy through education and free prophylactics everywhere.

* Facebook (created by someone I presume is a leftist) has surely played a role in the decline in teen births. Nobody ever got laid over the Internet or through their cellular link.

Anonymous said...

I would note that the left does have some eugenic elements worthy of note, particularly in reducing teen birth rates. Teen births tend, I think, to be dysgenic.

* The left has worked hard to reduce teen pregnancy through education and free prophylactics everywhere.

this is a tough one to call.

In 1960 there were twice as many teen births (per capita), and 90% of them were to married women aged 18-19. Now there are half as many teen births (per capita) and 90% are to unmarried women aged 18-19. Progress? Not really because it means there are about 5 times as many illegitimate kids of teen moms (that we have to support rather than their fathers) and 90% fewer born to married teen mothers. The husbands back then generally weren't teens nor were they low life scum, just regular Joe's who married a young woman and started a family. Is the change eugenic? not really because it only lowered the rate of young women marrying decent guys and having children within that marriage. Having fewer good folks marry and have kids while exploding the fraction of illegitimate kids born to ne'er do well parents is not progress.