On Malthus, Overpopulation Myth, and the Fascist RH Bill
I had a debate with a Filipino Freethinker who strongly and passionately support the fascist Reproductive Health bill. I’d like to re-post it here for online readers to read and react to.
Here’s what this pro-RH bill Free-Farter said: the RH bill “will give women and their husbands the right to attend to their own reproductive health.” He added: “The right to choose the size of one’s family and the spacing between the births of one’s children (that is, the right to family planning) does not exist in the Philippines today. Even more importantly, the right to correct and scientific information regarding proper contraceptive methods is something that does not exist in the Philippines today. It is the hope of most members of FF that the RH bill will give women the powerful right to gain control over their reproductive capacity through proper eduction regarding family planning.” He also wrote: “However, we must always take note that the planet earth has a limited carrying capacity. That’s a scientific fact. Do a little research if you are not convinced. While it is true that human ingenuity creates goods and adds value to raw materials, the fact stands that the earth can support only so many people. As such, before we invent a way to build human settlements on the Moon or on Mars, we must be conservative in our use of the earth’s limited resources. Such ecological conservatism is in our best interest as a civilization, for after all, what’s more important than our own survival?”
Here’s my reply:
First, you have raised a number of issues here. Based on that statement I understand that since planet earth has a limited carrying capacity, then we must support government programs that are aimed at controlling population. This is how I understand your statement since I believe that it is related to the issues of Malthus and the RH bill. Yes, it is true that the earth has a limited carrying capacity, but I don’t believe in your idea of “ecological conservatism.” It does not follow. That’s a non sequitur fallacy. Do you really understand the goal of the environmentalists who are all “ecological conservatives”? They call for the preservation of nature yet disregarding the fact that it is a requisite for the survival of man. Meaning, we must use and exploit earth’s resources to survive. They oppose every kind of new technological and scientific development for the sake of preserving nature itself. They oppose nuclear programs for the reason that it harms the environment and human beings. They oppose scientific activities for the reason that it harms certain types of animals that are being used in the laboratories. They oppose the cutting of trees for industrial and economic development for the reason that it harms the environment. Yes, they are opposed to the advance of this civilization.
Now I don’t believe in shrinking resources. There are shrinking resources because man’s freedom is shrinking. What do I mean by this? If world
governments allowed economic freedom to flourish and if the stupid environmentalists and their nihilist cohorts (e.g., the secular humanists, freethinkers, and religious people) stayed at bay and kept their stupidity a private matter, there would have been a new technological and scientific renaissance on earth. Technological and scientific development is only possible in a free society. By free society I mean an informed society. A society that does not regard man as a sacrificial animal or the means to the ends of others. And we would only be able to achieve a free society if men truly understood the real essence and concept of reason.
When you use the term “ecological conservativism” I saw the sheer contradiction in your philosophy or belief system. I stated very clearly my opposition to this view in my blog entitled The Psychology of the Anti-Population Cult. But let me relate this point to your view of the RH bill which you strongly support.
In my blog The Psychology of the Anti-Population Cult, I stated the following:
“Observe also that the overpopulation issue serves as the melting point of all the altruists, collectivists, and ecologists or environmentalists. The environmentalists claim that the enemy of nature is man, so there is a need to control population growth. The socialists proclaim that since earth’s resources are scarce, the government must do something to limit “population explosion.” Both these two groups of mystics are altruists. Their mongrel philosophy, which they consciously or unconsciously hold, upholds the virtue of self-sacrifice, self-abnegation, and self-immolation. They declare that they are for the welfare of the world and men, but they are unaware that the belief system, which they dogmatically embrace, is anti-Man.
“Overpopulation is the problem,” they say, but they reject the fact that population is a private matter only left to private individuals and families. “Overpopulation is linked to poverty,” they claim, but they refused to understand the very source of poverty. If these altruistic people are concerned with suffering and human poverty, they should have the patience to discover their cause. They should ask—Why some countries continue to progress, while others do not. Africa and certain nations in Asia are being used as the poster card of global poverty. But why most people in Kenya cannot even build a deep well to solve widespread thirst and hunger? Why most people in Africa cannot even develop a practical system of agriculture as a way of solving mass starvation? Why is that the Philippines still had to rely on foreign relief during the past natural calamities that devastated the nation. “Why is it that most Filipinos are poor in spite of the fact that we’re rich in natural resources?” most people in this country wonder. The difference between the developed and underdeveloped nations is a matter of philosophy.”
“The anti-population advocates should ask not why America became a superpower nation, but how it reached it current status. The communists claim America became a global power because of imperialism, disregarding the fact that Soviet Russia had also conquered nations and killed millions of its own people. America is a product of philosophy, while the rest of the world is a product of history. America, the first free society on earth, was based on the philosophy of Aristotle—that man has inalienable rights to his life, property, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is the first nation on earth that recognized individual rights, and it is this concept that led to the development of rational ideas and principles that spread throughout the world. This is why our Constitution recognizes individual rights. But most of you would argue, “but America was built by immigrants!” Yes, but what kind of immigrants? The brilliant minds of the world, the creators, the scientists, the innovators, the thinkers, and all those who loved life and achievement, migrated to the United States over the past 200 years because it was the only nation that permitted them to practice their profession without the risk of being sacrificed to society or the “common good.” America was based on the premise that man is an end in himself, not the means to the ends of others.”
“Both the anti-population advocates and the environmentalists demand for more government powers. They believe that population growth would lead to what most of them fear—a so-called Malthusian catastrophe. This anti-population philosophy devised by Thomas Malthus in the early eighteenth century, which was imbibed by Population Bomb author Paul Ehrlich and the rest of the modern-day environmentalists and the so-called population experts, postulates that “the power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man.”[viii] Despite the fact that it was developed about two centuries ago, this Malthusian theory still poisons most modern-day population intellectuals. Malthus wrote his thesis for irrational men at the time when such things as genetic engineering, wireless technology, high-end machines and apparatuses, innovative architectural engineering, among many others were still beyond the imagination of man. Malthus, his followers, and fellow thinkers believed that man is a helpless being who cannot improve his status on earth.”
And then you said: “I completely disagree with you — the RH bill will do the exact opposite, it will give women and their husbands the right to attend to their own reproductive health. The right to choose the size of one’s family and the spacing between the births of one’s children (that is, the right to family planning) does not exist in the Philippines today. Even more importantly, the right to correct and scientific information regarding proper contraceptive methods is something that does not exist in the Philippines today.”
Here are my answer to that statement:
First, reproductive health is not a right. In my blog entitled Reproductive Health Care is NOT a Right I stated the following: “Health care is not a right! We’re not born with a right to a ride in Enchanted Kingdom. We’re not born with a right to enslave other people by coercing them to contribute something for the benefit of the majority. We don’t live—and we’re so lucky that we don’t!—in a statist or socialist society, where a so-called presidium has the monopoly of all social, economic and political powers, including the authority to allegedly provide all the needs, be it health care, education, housing, and some other basic necessities, of all its communal members to survive. I do believe that this “man-is-his-brother’s-keeper” scheme is impractical and evil at best. No, we cannot contradict reality. If the RH bill is so good, why criminalize those who want to opt-out? Why impose penalty on the employers who don’t want to be reduced to mere slaves? Why do the Leftist politicians who proposed this bill have to force some people to contribute to what they call the “common good” if their proposition is for the good of everybody?”
“One of the greatest fallacies ever invented to corrupt man’s mind is the distortion of the concept of “right!” That which you passionately call or claim as “right” means the “right” by, for, and of the socialists or the communists. There’s a big difference between a right and a privilege. A right is one that is incumbent upon an individual since birth. You have the right to exist, but you don’t have the right to command your neighbor to feed you. You have the right to education, but you cannot demand that you be spared from school fees to obtain a degree. You have the right to medical services, but you can’t tell the doctor, who spent a lot of money and years of his/her life studying medicine, to treat you for free. The proper concept of “right” means the right of every individual to choose and to reject self-destruction. Such a right cannot extend to enslave your neighbor. It simply means a right to choose or not to choose.”
Second, when you said the RH bill “will give women and their husbands the right to attend to their own reproductive health”, don’t you think that’s not provided under the current set up? The RH bill aims to redistribute wealth. Any human being that claims to be a defender of reason and freedom will not support that socialist legislation. Did you read the bill? Now I tell you what’s wrong with that bill.
FIRST, under Sections 21 to 22 of the bill it is stated that failure by employers to provide RH services for their employees would constitute an offense punishable by fine or imprisonment or both. Again, if the RH bill is so good, why criminalize those who want to opt-out? Why impose penalty on the employers who don’t want to be reduced to mere slaves? Why do the Leftist politicians who proposed this bill have to force some people to contribute to what they call the “common good” if their proposition is for the good of everybody?
SECOND, all the nice-to-hear coverage of the bill– (1) Information and access to natural and modern family planning (2) Maternal, infant and child health and nutrition (3) Promotion of breast feeding (4) Prevention of abortion and management of post-abortion complications (5) Adolescent and youth health (6) Prevention and management of reproductive tract infections, HIV/AIDS and STDs (7) Elimination of violence against women (8) Counseling on sexuality and sexual and reproductive health (9) Treatment of breast and reproductive tract cancers (10) Male involvement and participation in RH; (11) Prevention and treatment of infertility and (12) RH education for the youth– are PROVIDED UNDER THE CURRENT SET-UP, and that there are existing and open government agencies that can deliver these services.
For instance, departments and agencies under Section 4(n) like the Department of Health, Department of Education, including public clinics, and other specialized government health centers like the Lung Center of the Philippines, Health Center of the Philippines and government hospitals, can be given additional or even special functions only to comply with the supposed social welfare mandate of this bill. All of the alleged welfare state boons are guaranteed under our present set up. In other words, there is no need to enact this so absurd legislative proposal. However, it is important to note that this bill includes a “pass-on provision.” It’s proponents seek to shift the burden of paying for the RH services to employers. By virtue of their success and economic status, employers are being offered to a sacrificial altar to satisfy the reproductive health care needs of a particular group of people. This trend simply means that need now is a claim on slavery.
THIRD, Overpopulation cannot be legislated. Overpopulation is, indeed, a problem but it cannot be legislated. This attempt to legislate population is tantamount to reducing it to mere statistical problems, which can be solved by orchestrated government actions and social edicts. Population is not synonymous to goods, which are determinable by statistics. In a capitalist society, a regime can only increase the domestic production output by letting the capitalists perform their job. But population is a different matter. A proposal to legislate population is an attempt to invade every household in this country. There’s only way to solve population without the use of government’s arbitrary powers, and this is through voluntary education. Like I said, there are government agencies that can perform this function, and I’m certain that there are also private organizations and non-profit institutions willing to help the government fulfill its goal. History tells us that most socialist states that attempted to legislate their population resorted to force and even mass killing. Socialist countries like Sweden used sterilization or eugenics programs to control the growth of its population. This only means that if you allow your government to rule your lives, the use of arbitrary powers and force is inevitable.
FOURTH, overpopulation is not the main problem. It is true that population is increasing, but I don’t believe it can be legislated. It appears that the main reason of the bill’s supporters is the unfounded fear that overpopulation is somewhat linked to poverty. This contention is debatable and the burden of proof rests upon those who claim that overpopulation is the problem. It is wrong to totally attribute poverty to overpopulation, considering that fact that there are even worse social problems confronting this country, like corruption, people’s stupidity and faith-based fanaticism, and most especially massive government intervention. Almost all crises that took place in this country were caused by excessive state interference. Population must not be used as a scapegoat to correct an evil with another evil. We can’t solve poverty by expanding the powers of the government. Only Capitalism can save this country from poverty, and I have clearly and explicitly stated the reason why in my previous blogs. Population is not the culprit. It cannot be controlled with the use of political edicts. It can only be managed through proper education—by giving every family the right to choice and proper information.
FIFTH, it is dangerous to our rights and freedom. Can’t you see that the main target of most statist/socialist bills are the producers of wealth, while the main excuse or justification for forcing them down our throats are the poor? Yes, nobody is defending the rights of employers and doctors in this country. Well, who likes to defend the rich? Ellsworth Toohey of The Fountainhead, who’s the philosophical figure of the bill’s proponents and supporters, is right in saying that—“It is always safe to denounce the rich.” In fact, some “rich” people even support their own destroyer.
We all know that the country’s medical field is experiencing an ongoing brain drain. This is not a myth. Most doctors, nurses, and other health care providers would like to leave the country any time now had they been given the chance. Just imagine if this bill were passed, I believe we should expect a massive exodus of not only health care providers, but the people who produce as well.
Now some politicians are proposing to implement a universal health care system in the country, a proposal that is more dangerous than the RH bill. And I predict that this universal health care proposal would unite the religionists, who oppose the RH bill, and the bill’s supporters.