13 May 2008 Vol. 10 / No. 19
The Cost of Control:
Steve Mosher’s Book Explodes the Myth of Overpopulation
As the very first line of Steven Mosher’s latest book reads, we have all grown up “on a poisonous diet of overpopulation propaganda.”
Mosher’s book, Population Control-Real Costs, Illusory Benefits is, first and foremost, an answer to the allegation that the human race is inexorably multiplying, hell-bent toward a giant demographic cliff like so many lemmings. The numbers show that the world is not, has never been, nor ever shall be, overpopulated. In fact, according to the world’s experts–even the ones advocating population control–birthrates around the world are dropping at a precipitous rate.
The book thus torpedoes the lifeboat scenario, which argued that in order to survive, we had to throw some of the earth’s passengers overboard.
But it is much more than this. The history of the population control movement is replete with human rights abuses. Those who were made to walk the plank of abortion, sterilization, and contraception–all for the supposed good of humanity–have some horrific tales to tell.
The first chapters of Mosher’s book describe the history of the population control movement, and how it is has never been the scientific, intelligent or cultural phenomenon it styles itself to be. Rather, this movement was started and sustained by figures like Thomas Malthus, Margaret Sanger, John D. Rockefeller, and Hugh Moore, who led a contentious movement dominated by cultural elitism, racial hysteria and ignorance. As Mosher pointedly argues, their legacy has cost millions their lives and tens of millions more their basic rights.
“Human rights are nonnegotiable, or they are not rights at all,” contends Mosher. “Abuses of basic rights, such as the right to bear children, cannot be expunged by reference to any calculus of costs versus benefits, any more than comparable violations of other basic human rights can be explained away, excused, or justified by reference to a supposedly larger social good.” The book explains exactly how the population control movement continues to violate these basic rights, in the pursuit for a false “good”— fewer children.
Mosher lays out the China Model, based on China’s one-child policy, and how population programs everywhere draw on its tactics. Nigeria provides an apt case study of how Western population controllers continue to strong-arm national governments into implementing abusive policies, policies that undermine the basic rights and freedoms of their people.
But the population controllers not only run roughshod over human rights for the sake of the supposed “greater good” of population decline (the chapter “Human Rights and Reproductive Wrongs include a detailed, annotated list of human rights abuses perpetuated in the name of population control), they also sap primary health care programs and marginalize real health needs. For example, because of the time and money wasted on unwanted and unnecessary contraceptives and abortifacient devices, malaria runs rampant in Africa. Developing countries end up with thousands of health clinics that literally carry nothing but contraceptives while people die from treatable diseases.
Neither do population control programs provide any real benefits. Its “benefits” are mere illusions designed to dupe developing nations into submitting to an elitist, western agenda. Population control, writes Mosher, is just that: control. Organizations like the UNFPA, far from being “here to help,” have in fact been bearers of death to our less developed neighbors.
Population Control does not simply outline the problems; it proposes a solution as well. Mosher dedicates his final chapter to possible ways that developed nations can avoid the demographic disaster that now threatens. Small tax credits and paltry child subsidies are not nearly enough. Young couples, he argues, need to be sheltered from taxes altogether. And population control programs needed to be ended as soon as possible. Mosher ends by quoting the late Julian Simon: Human beings are the ultimate resource.”
Colin Mason is the Director for Media Production at PRI.