By and large, human beings in industrialized societies live in post-literate worlds. Now, in place of words, which tend to hold a more objective meaning, post-modern society uses images to make its arguments. Images speak to us at a different level than do words, a level less critical, objective and concerned with truth. Pictures flashing on the screen address us subjectively and emotionally, inviting us to indulge ourselves not in an intellectual pursuit of the the truth, but in celebration, or outrage, or glee at a particular image.
Propagandists and advertisers (and sometimes these are one in the same) most value this paradigm shift in human communication. No longer do they have to work so hard for their argument to attain merely a shallow beachhead in our minds. Instead, quickly, they can advance into the very heart of our consciences to introduce even the silliest and most destructive of ideas.
Population and People of Faith: It’s About Time provides an excellent example of how propagandists can use images to indoctrinate unsuspecting people in pernicious concepts.
Produced by the Institute for Development Training, (see “Quinacrine’s latest pushers.” page 3, in this issue) Population and People of Faith projects a world of deserts and desiccation, starvation and human misery. Using these images as almost a video smokescreen, viewers are left with erroneous impressions and even more erroneous facts, such as using the high-end population projections when all the evidence coming in now argues that we will never attain such numbers. The video presents human beings as close to tapping out the planet’s resources while, in the real world, human grain and food productions have never been higher. Groups of women gather in the video, smiling, around “family planning” facilitators while, in the real world, there has most often been some coercive government measure or bribe to get them there. The video even presents Fred Sai and Gloria de la Vega as population experts and women’s advocates when, in reality, they have belonged to the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) for years and have lobbied intensely for widespread abortion and further means of population control.
IDT even uses the video to introduce ideas about the roles of women that many mainstream women in industrialized nations refuse to accept. How many American women, particularly mothers, would appreciate being told that the time they have spent raising their children and preparing them to be productive citizens has somehow not been productive tor their nation’s economy? Yet, that is precisely what IDT expects them to believe about women’s lives in the developing world. Far better, in the IDT world, for women to be “out of the home” and productive than with their families “pregnant and powerless.”
In the end the video is an excellent example of the aphorism that ‘all the best lies contain a bit of truth.’ No one will argue that there are no problems of poverty and its related burdens in the developing world, but we may certainly argue that the solution to those problems does not necessarily come from eliminating poor people themselves. And we will certainly argue that the population control movement’s continual disregard for human rights around the world particularly of women — drains any credibility from its claim of seeking to help women.
Christians are not dumb, and they deserve to have the people seeking their support for causes around the world not lie. We should hope that, in the future, other organizations will produce videos which contain a more balanced approach to the question of alleged “overpopulation.”