apparent self-sacrifice -Reply

jones/bhandari djones at uclink.berkeley.edu
Tue Jul 18 03:05:22 MDT 1995



>        MANY 'smart' people are not reproducing themselves (they'd much
>rather watch TV or play with their computers [hmmm...] :) -- and then we
>get anti-colored immigrant backlashes...

Perhaps socialism could be defended as the  unfettering of the most
advanced reproductive forces. Think of the tools that neo-luddites would
have to break in this case.

So sad that Richard Herrnstein croaked, he could have been the leader;
could have made a socialist out of him, for true socialists should have
the solutions to his concern that "high IQ women are not having enough
children" as he lamented sometime in 1989 in the Atlantic Monthly.

Indeed it has been done before: "Catholic socialists on the continent had
no difficulty in reconciling their pronatalism with the commitment to the
liberation of the working class from the fetters of unbridled capitalism.
Many followed Marx in excoriating Malthus as the pessismistic ideologist of
the selfish bourgeoisie, an man who blamed the poorfor their poverty and
opposed state welfare as counterproductive.  This is one of the themes of
the scholarly work of the Italian radical politician and economist,
Francesco S. Nitti, who later became prime minister after the First World
War and received a Nobel Peace Prize for his work on behalf of the League
of Nations. In a book published in 1893 and translated into French, German,
and English [as well as the Asian language--just joking]on Population and
the Social System, he developed the idea that a socialist society would be
one with a fertility rate higher than that of a capitalist society, because
socialism grew out of a commitment to collective rather than individual
morality.  This view was based on the assertion 'that every system of
morality which leads to individualism is contrary to a great fecundity of
race, and that, on the other hand, every system of morality, which has as a
fundamental principal social solidarity and mutual assistance is favorable
to large birth rate."

Would the Chinese social system, grounded of course in a collective
morality,  be an anomaly at this point?

Quoted in the fascinating book The Fear of Population Decline by Michael
Teitelbaum and Jay M. Winter. Orlando: Academic Press, Inc. 1985

Declining fertility rates, the rise of strategic demography (related to
Foucault's biopower?) and the obsession with differential birth rates are
all terribly understudied by critical social scientists.  There is Sydney
Coontz's old book Population Theories and the Economic Interpretation and
Ricard Soloway's study of Victorian England Demography and Degeneration.

Like to keep this thread going.

Rakesh



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