Why Is the Left So Anti-Baby?

Last week we learned that the Danes are working hard to reduce baby production in Africa. No doubt, because sub-Saharan African women are powering a baby boom that will make Africa into the Ground Zero of the Population Problem later in the century. Steve Sailer writes that women in Niger want about nine babies but usually have to make do with seven.

Meanwhile Japanese youngsters are reported to be remarkably uninterested in sex, and, of course, U.S. feminists insist that “Rule No. 1 for female academics is: don’t have a baby.”

My own personal experience is that the closer an American identifies with academia the less likely he or she is to have children.

The “educated” have been anti-baby and pushing population control for at least a century. What is going on here?

In part, of course, the push is to discourage other people from having children: eugenics and the “unfit.” In part, it is that upper-class women prefer to outsource child-minding.

So Birth Control was invented. And the educated classes decided to make abortion respectable. But it looks like the only people interested in birth control are the We, the educated, the evolved. Ordinary people just go on having babies like they always did, only now a lot more of the babies are surviving. How unfit of them.

I’d like to believe that this anti-baby culture is all part of the left’s foolish dream to create heaven on earth. You may have noticed that people don’t have babies in Heaven; they just live happily ever after.

But I think there is something else at work: monasticism. The scions of the rich and powerful very often don’t have the chops for the powerful life; they go, or are sent, into a monastery. I think that many of our liberal friends want to retreat from the rough and tumble of babies and parenting; they want to retire to a monastery.

Official Narrative tells is that monasticism is a Middle Ages thing, but the more I live the more monasticism I see around me. There’s the woman excited that her 11-year-old kid got into Juilliard. What is Juilliard but a novitiate for the monastic practice of the ancient texts of classical music? Conservatories are there to preserve a cultural tradition, to keep it going in all its purity, in perpetuity.

What is the purpose of a university but as a place where people can withdraw from the rough and tumble of ordinary life to think deep thoughts, instruct the young in the one true religion, hold endless committee meetings, and ease up on the baby production?

This not new, for monasteries are not just a Middle Ages thing. They flourished in the Dark Ages in the time of Charlemagne and the Franks, when a king might dump a troublesome relative in a monastery on one day, but then on another day nominate a relative to be abbot of a wealthy, powerful monastery in his domain. What was that all about?

What about the Buddha? Here was a handsome prince that dumped his wife and kids and took up the contemplative life. Pretty soon there were Buddhist temples that were as big as cities where rich young men from all over could go and meditate.

What about servants? Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes are simply the abbot and abbess of Downton Abbey. The one defining principle of servants is that they should not have “followers.” They are, in fact, supposed to be as chaste as monks and nuns in a monastery, or else. The love story of Bates and Anna is just Julian Fellowes’ little joke.

There seems to be a strong need in humans to reduce everything to a system, and freeze that system into a monastery. Don’t we all wish our lives were not so chaotic and uncertain?

But I suspect that the real meaning of life, the universe, and everything is the chaotic becoming of scrabbling for a living in this world and seeding it with children, what the Two Gentlemen of Verona called “wiving and thriving.”

Think of the greatest musical ever told. A girl leaves a monastery to take up a position as a governess of seven rich kids. Pretty soon she has bewitched the father, replaced the rich woman of a certain age that patronizes the best couturier in town, and led the whole crew off to America, land of the free and the brave, leaving the hills alive with The Sound of Music.

I just realized I missed out a big chunk of modern monasticism. What about the universe of gay trans feminist zir zis activism? At a risk of sounding racist, sexist, homophobic, I’d say that, just like in the Middle Ages there were nice respectable monks, there was also a rough trade, the flagellant friars.

Either way, anti-baby monastic liberals are voting themselves off the planet.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also see his American Manifesto and get his Road to the Middle Class.

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