Our institutions are encouraging Americans not to have children

A recent Pew Research Center survey found only a third of their wide-ranging sample would categorize marriage and children as at least somewhat important to their feelings of personal fulfillment. Of course, any Pew survey is a product of its times. The underlying meaning of the questions was, “Who in their right mind would want children?” The questionnaire phrased their questions so grossly that they gave away the game.

Had they not been creatures of their own strange culture, they could have formulated the questions in a different manner:

  • “Is it humanity’s responsibility to raise children in a family context?”
  • “Do you consider it your personal responsibility to raise children?”
  • “Would it give your life additional purpose if you raised a family?”
  • “If many people decide not to have children, are the consequences to the world positive or negative?”
  • “Would the world be any riskier for your children than when your parents conceived you? When your grandparents conceived your mother and father?”
  • “Are people more or less likely to care about the welfare of future generations if they have children?”
  • “All other things being equal, do you feel it is a better idea to elect or to hire people with children to important policy-making positions?”
  • “Do you feel tasked to leave the world a better place than you found it?”

Image: Family by freepik.

Do the above questions suggest an agenda? Yes, but no more than the questions of the Pew survey. The questions above suggest to the surveyed individuals that it is an unmitigated disaster for many people to decide not to raise families. It helps if people can ask the right questions in order to solve real problems. The questions will determine the direction of our efforts. In our case about personal responsibility for raising families, the proper questions will help determine the viability of our species. How exactly?

The genetic and epigenetic diversity of a larger population makes survival more likely when confronted with disasters of different types. For example, we can see the operation of genetic or epigenetic differences when, in the same family, some people had COVID vaccine reactions while others did not. As it stands now, groups like athletes have died at a much-increased rate following vaccination. Now we hear that rates of fulminant cancer first detected at stage-four are rising among the vaccinated, but not uniformly across that population. Lowering the population would eliminate useful genetic strains or epigenetic patterns that could aid the continuation of civilization.

Moreover, other traits like intelligence, physical vigor, creativity, and emotional stability are not evenly spread among the population. Any population reduction based on the luck of momentary financial success overlooks the unrealized potential of people who have never had the opportunity to add their talents to the pool of productive labor because systemic or externally imposed poverty prevented it. It is only under challenging circumstances that we can see the wisdom of the well-accepted idea that “demography is destiny.”

On the other hand, with the large number of individuals who now wish not to raise families, we may have a unique opportunity in history to weed out those who cannot love their offspring to the point of sacrificing their personal lives and wealth to raise them successfully. Much of the psychopathology of everyday life (Freud’s term) stems from poor early life experiences visited upon them by their parents – abandonment, physical, sexual or emotional abuse, frank neglect, and more subtle forms of neglect as when parents cannot find time and energy for raising their kiddies. Those who are still inclined to raise families in spite of life pressures will, on average, produce a better child and ultimately adult than those with little interest in family life.

Perhaps the only hope for mankind is to rely on those who actively seek to raise families. Anyone who absurdly suggests that the death of the majority of humanity is a means of saving it is a bloody idiot with criminal intent. Anyone who acts upon such twisted thinking needs to be brought to an updated Nuremberg tribunal. The mere existence of an individual in the world should not be considered a capital crime.

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