Population Problem – Western Paranoia & Eastern Gullibility!

Posted in Business, Current Affairs, Environment, European History, History, Media, Uncategorized by Anuraag Sanghi on January 30, 2008

In 1972, the Club of Rome’s The Limits to Growth (Universe Books) suggested that at exponential growth rates, the world would run out of gold by 1981, mercury by 1985, tin by 1987, zinc by 1990, petroleum by 1992, and copper, lead, and natural gas by 1993. The end was nigh.” – From the Reason website.

Sleepless nights & billions required

Bill Gates cant sleep at night. He is a worried man. He is spending billions (ok … ok … not billions for now … just hundreds of millions) to solve this problem. Ted Turner is equally worried. Ted Turner ‘thinks’ that people will eat people – instead of food, which will become scarce. He has already given away billions – and waiting in line to give away more. David Packard (of Hewlett Packard) was an equally worried man. His foundation has given hundreds of millions each year.

What’s worrying them? Linux? Naah Why worry? Is anyone else making money?. Mobile phones OS. That is Nokia’s problem. Google? They are a long way off. Let them get closer.

So, what is it? It is the thought of all the Asians, Browns and the Blacks in the world having sex. And the children they will have. The Packard family, Bill Gates, Ted Turner are not alone in having the population crisis and the people bomb on their mind.

Kill The Problem At The Root

Before the chemical process for synthesis of chloroquine phosphate (for malaria treatment) was invented, the most popular synthetic compound was quinacrine. Quinacrine fell out of favour as patients did not tolerate quinacrine well and after a course of quinacrine, acquired a yellow complexion. Choloroquine phosphate became the anti-malarial drug of choice.

What happened to quinacrine. The world forgot about it. Except a small Swiss company, Sipharm Sesseln AG. This company was making quinacrine for two Americans – Stephen D.Mumford, and Elton Kessel.

What were these two doing with quinacrine.

They want to change the world with quinacrine – by sterilising women in the Third World.

“This explosion in human numbers, which after 2050 will come entirely from immigrants and the offspring of immigrants, will dominate our lives. There will be chaos and anarchy,” said Stephen Mumford.

They had read Paul Ehrlich’s The Population Bomb. They were worried. Just imagine living with Blacks, Indians, Vietnamese, Banglas, etc!

Urgh! And urgh again! Yech … yech …

How much money did Mumford and Kessel make? Nothing at all! They were true believers – in their own race. They just wanted to use this cheap drug technology to stop reproduction of other races.

They were funded by rich anti-immigration individuals in the US – and they used a untested and unapproved method of sterilisation. When poor women came for health examination (especially pelvic), these two and their associates, injected quinacrine, which causes an internal bodily reaction which impairs subsequent reproduction. This method may also cause cancer, heavy menstrual bleeding, pain and fever. Very soon they notched up impressive numbers – more than 1,00,000 such sterilisations in Vietnam, another 1,00,000 in India, and another 1,00,000-2,00,000 in the rest of the world.

This story won awards. The writer’s name – Alix M. Freedman. When this story broke out on WSJ, there was heat. To certify the safety of this procedure, anti-immigration groups put up a an Indian doctor.

What did the manufacturer have to say about the risk of the product? Sipharm Sesseln AG President Fritz Schneiter told her (Alix M. Freedman) “But it isn’t our role to check if this is safe or not. We aren’t the conscience of the world.”

Where did this madness begin. There are many threads to this story.

One thread …

Robert McNamaraIn the beginning

In 1937, this young ‘genius’ (supposedly) scored 800 all correct answers in his GMAT test (reputedly, a first in the history of GMAT) – and joined Harvard Business School. Harvard milked this story to sell its struggling business school. In the next 60 years, (as the urban legend goes) only 3 others scored 800 points – all Indians (confirms IIT, Mumbai website).

During WW2

The young ‘genius’ was Robert S. McNamara (ironically, S. stands for Strange). During WW2, he was a part of the Statistical Control Office. Statistics is what the legendary Edward Deming used to increase production and improve quality during WW2 in the USA. Robert McNamara, Col. Charles B. “Tex” Thornton and 8 others were a team that were in-charge of war transportation and logistics. They made these ‘boring’ jobs glamorous – and used their academic excellence to create an aura around themselves.

At Ford Motors

After WW2, this team joined Ford Motors. The Ford PR team promoted them as the Whiz Kids, the American press lionized them, even as Ford’s business results were ordinary. This Ford connection was to prove relevant to McNamara’s activity later, we will see. The Ford in charge of the company was Henry Ford II, a direct descendant of the racist Henry Ford, who bankrolled Hitler and funded research into Eugenics – whose most famous practitioner turned out be Joseph Mengele.

L to R - U.S. Army Chief of staff General Maxwell Taylor, Robert S. McNamara and President John F. Kennedy. (Image - Photo: Agence France-Presse -- Getty Images; Courtesy - nytimes.com). Click for larger image.The Kennedy Presidency

In 1961, Robert McNamara became Secretary of Defense under President John F. Kennedy. Kennedy’s presidency was marred by more scandals than any other. Joseph Kennedy, JFK’s father made his fortune from bootlegging, many Wall Street Scams – and reputed shorted the market, which resulted in the Great Depression. On the other side was the inspired leadership of Ho Chi Minh.

The story picks up speed

In 1954, the Viet Minh defeated the French Army at Dienbienphu. Eisenhower outlined the infamous Domino Theory – based on Anglo Saxon paranoia that the whole world was against them (unfortunately, not true) and an assumption that Asia was retarded and incapable of making a suitable political choice – and that the Anglo Saxons knew better. The French handed over their mess to the Americans and walked away in 1956. And thus started McNamara’s War.

Sinh Cung Nguyễn - Ho Chi MinhFools Rush In Where Angels Fear To Tread

Kennedy-McNamara turned this into a war. Lyndon Johnson (on advice of McNamara) increased American involvement against the Vietnamese – without permission from the US Congress, which is essential as per US constitution. Then began the lies, duplicity, covert operations – directly monitored by McNamara. No wonder, McNamara boasted that “each hour of testimony requires 3 to 4 hours of preparation.”

The Vietnamese had the support of the Russians and the Chinese. American troops increased to 500,000 in this unconstitutional (and hence, illegal) war. Cost to the USA – more than 200,000 dead or disabled. Cost to Vietnam – incalculable.

What McNamara Learnt From Vietnam

Americans lost the Vietnam War. Against a determined enemy (like the Viet Cong), the technological edge that America had was not very useful. Worse, American technological edge, was only temporary. The experience of the Vietnam War, preyed on McNamara’s mind. The Vietnam War brought home the reality that India and China could raise an army bigger than the entire population of United States.

McNamara’s unique contribution to the Vietnam War was ‘body count’

he was so impressed by the logic of statistics that he tried to calculate how many deaths it would take to bring North Vietnam to the bargaining table … (later) he wanted to know why his reckoning had been wrong, why the huge casualties that he had helped inflict had failed to break the will of the men in Hanoi …

His ruminations about this began at the Americans’ April meeting in Washington, where he, Cooper and General Vesser agreed that casualties did not seem to weigh heavily with North Vietnam …. “Was there any consideration of the human cost in Hanoi as they made these decisions?” McNamara asked. “Is the loss of life ever a factor?” He noted that while 58,000 Americans had been killed, the most authoritative estimate — in a September 1995 article by General Uoc — put the number of Vietnamese deaths at 3.6 million. “It’s equivalent to 27 million Americans!” McNamara exclaimed.

To explain this to himself, he remembered … There were some people to whom life was not the same as to us, he reasoned as he stood one evening in the hotel lobby. (Ellipsis, bracketed text mine).

He was right. Only he could have killed an equivalent of 27 million Americans – and still talk about the value of life, with a straight face. For American neo-colonial objectives.

Against America’s temporary technology superiority, the population superiority that the Indians and the Chinese had was permanent. India’s subsequent rise in technology (with engineering skills in software, pharma, automobiles, etc.) and the Chinese rise in manufacturing proved some of McNamara’sLester Thurow ‘fears’ true. McNamara’s legendary quantitative skills made him a convert to The Population Crisis propaganda.

The Population ‘Crisis’ Ideology

You win, we lose.

That is what Lester Thurow proposed in his book, The Zero Sum Game. The ‘rise’ of India and China is a threat to America – and the West? In Anglo Saxon terms, the ‘rise’ of India and China is a zero-sum gain.

If India and China prosper, the West will lose, goes the paranoid thinking. Contributory growth as opposed to supplanting growth is an alien concept in Anglo Saxon strategy. Hence, the theory that population is the biggest problem for India and China – was ‘created’ as a development strategy.

The Ugly American Book CoverHow the Developing World was sold this dud

Initially the Carnegie Endowment and the Ford Foundation worked with USAID, (part of the US Government) to sell this theory – specially to the Chinese and the Indians. Since, there was no ‘apparent’ economic or political interest of the Americans, this paranoid construct was given respect as a theory. This lack of ‘apparent’ self interest also helped the ‘Ugly American’ (The Ugly American, by Eugene Burdick William Julius Lederer) to cover his face.

Next, the American economic aid started coming with the ‘population control’ strings attached. It took a while for the dots to start getting connected. At the first whiff of a scandal, USAID, Ford Foundation and Carnegie Endowments handed over this project to the UN, World Bank and IMF. This gave the Population Control programme, the respect it did not deserve.

Paul Ehrlich, Robert McNamara, Club Of Rome – False Doomsdayers

Paul Ehrlich

Paul Ehrlich

Paul Ehrlich’s The Population Bomb (1960 coincided with the start of Robert McNamara’s World Bank stint. Together, the “smartest man” (Lyndon Johnson’s description of Robert McNamara) and Paul Ehrlich did a hatchet job on this. Economists Herman Kahn and Max Singer (of the Hudson Institute) did come out with a alternative model which disproved this theory. Yet in the midst of the din, the furore and the determined PR push by various UN bodies, the World Bank and the IMF, poor Third World countries never examined this theory critically.

The Western world synchronised and the infamous Club of Rome’s The Limits to Growth predictions were released

the world would run out of gold by 1981, mercury by 1985, tin by 1987, zinc by 1990, petroleum by 1992, and copper, lead, and natural gas by 1993. The end was nigh” intoned the The Club Of Rome (from Reasononline …).

This psuedo-academic report was jointly authored by heavyweights – Donella H. Meadows, Dennis L. Meadows, Jørgen Randers, and William W. Behrens III.Reason Cartton - Paul Ehrlich

The venue for the release of this report was carefully chosen – Smithsonian Institute, to give it an air of solidity and authority. This report itself was released with much fanfare, publicity and PR. Yale economist Henry C. Wallich noted,

the quantitative content of the model comes for the authors’ imagination, although they never reveal the equations that they used.”

Economist Julian Simon rubbished this theory and made the famous Simon-Ehrlich US$100 bet – against the population doomsdayers. Julian Simon won the bet. Of course, he may bet either because he believed in the continued dominance of the western mode of exploitation or the inability of the rest of the world to stop this exploitation.

Un Helps?The bottom line was that these economists (the Ehrlich’s, The Club Of Rome, The McNamara’s, etc.) wanted the poor of this world to feel guilty about sex, about electricity, about having cattle, drinking milk and eating food.

Western critics (like critics Hermann Kahn and Max Singer) of the population theory were saying “Why bother? Our technology and military, economic might ensure that they (the poor) never lay their hands on the goodies!”

Popuation Crisis and The Population Problem

Nothing but re-packaged Eugenics programs of Pre-WW2. Hitler made these programs notorious. Hence, family planning and population crisis and population problem became other names for the same programs that killed more than 10 million Jews, Roma Gypsies and others. The repackaging and reselling was supervised by World Bank – under Robert McNamara.

McNamara’s two wars – on Vietnam and population control (of India and China) have both been a disaster. Strange, that a ‘genius’, supported and backed by the world’s only ‘superpower’ and the largest economy, could not achieve much against backward and developing nations like Vietnam, India and China.

What Is The Impact

Sanjay Gandhi at the Maruti factory before nationalization (Image courtesy - outlookindia.com.).

Sanjay Gandhi at the Maruti factory before nationalization (Image courtesy - outlookindia.com.).

The Chinese Communist dictatorship rammed this policy down the poor Chinese throat – and still does. Vietnam has made its citizens into guinea pigs. India was ideologically committed to this and practically did little. Call this ambivalence – except for a brief while during the 1975-1977 Emergency. During the Emergency phase, Sanjay Gandhi in India very much did, what had happened in the US and Europe earlier under the Eugenics laws. Forcible sterilisations and human rights abuses. The ethical ramifications are real and present.

The greater damage in India (and in the rest of the world) is the disrespect it has created for humanity amongst the administrative class and the advantaged. The population problem is ‘others’ – and western altruistic ethics and racist ideologies sanction solutions for the ‘greater good.’ Indian ethical system and constructs approve of purusharth पुरुशार्थ – धर्म dharm (righteousnss) arth, अर्थ (wealth), काम kaam (desire, including sexual desire) and मोक्ष moksh (deliverance, freedom, liberty at various levels, political, social, from life and death, from death by a thousand cuts) and disapproves violence against the living as they are vaasudevaiya kutumbakam (all living are God’s creation). The other damage is the to the self esteem of country.

Of course, once a population gets on this train, it is difficult to get off. In another 25-40 years, China will face the reality of slowing population growth, an aging population, increased health costs, increased capital spending to increase productivity. In short, the insurmountable problems that Western societies and Japan are wrestling with.

In India three aspects have kept this policy from being implemented. Children are seen as nandlala नंदलाला and balagopal बालगोपाल (instead of naughty children controlled by satan, shaitan) – popular expressions of respect for a new life. Combine this with the democratic backlash against the population policy in India in 1977 elections, and you have a case of lost political will. What has driven the final nail in the coffin is the healthy disrespect (some would even say contempt) for western ideas that non-English speaking Indians (which is more than 90% of India) have for western ideas.

The Economics of Population Control

The population theory does not stand up to any economic logic. Humans beings are the biggest factor in the production process. How can people become a problem? More people mean more production, bigger markets, lower costs, larger tax base, et al. False data, false assumptions, false propaganda (deliberate use of an oxymoron to make a point) have all been used to ‘sell’ this theory. Lower population growth is increasing health costs, aging populations, decreasing competitiveness. The Western societies were able to progress over the last 100 years at the expense of developing world.

The fight between these western proponents and western critics of the population control theory was not about equity or about ecology. The proponents were working hard to ensure that the poor did not demand or ask for resources.

The critics (cynics) were in fact saying that the poor were too weak to challenge the powerful rich countries – and what the west must do to keep them weak.

The Green Arguments & Population ControlIndian Cows Fart Too Much

By the later 1990’s the Green lobby, global warming, Ozone layer, environment had become an issue. The Kyoto protocol negotiations began. As usual, the Western world (led by the Anglo Saxon Bloc) dumped this problem onto the developing world. Secure a greener earth – at the cost of the poor.

Cattle in India started getting blamed for global warming (Indian cattle fart too much!). UN and FAO got involved in this psuedo scientific study.

Global Warming Is A 3rd World ProblemWhile 10% of the earth’s population, in the developed world (largely the western world) does not adequately price or cost the ecological damage they cause, into their production, the post facto price is borne by the rest of the world (90% of the world population). This damage is then inversely blamed on increasing population of the under-developed world!

An exquisite instance of acrobatics in inverting logic.

Amartya Sen, Gandhiji, Food, Population and Greed

In a landmark study in famines, economic policy and food availability, (by) Amartya Sen says,

“There has been a good deal of discussion recently about the prospect of food supply falling significantly behind the world population. There is, however, little empirical support for such a diagnosis of recent trends”. Further, he goes onto say, “… famines can take place without a substantial (decline in) food availability decline is of interest mainly because of the hold that food availability approach has in the usual famine analysis…” (Italics and ellipsis mine).

Gandhiji had something to say – “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed”.

The West in its greed wants to leave nothing for others – and this entire population conspiracy has been invented so that the victim delivers himself on sacrificial altar of western greed.

History of Population Control – Many Fathers

Another thread. Malthusian stories and Social Darwinism.

Population pressures leading to destruction and chaos was still-born concept – propagated by Thomas Robert Malthus from (yes, you guessed it right), an Anglo Saxon economist whose theories have remained just that – malignant theories. One of the landmark studies on this is by Paul Jalsevac in his study, “The Inherent Racism Of Population Control.”

But more insidious was the Eugenics program. This psuedo-scientific program was initiated, yes again, by another Anglo Saxon, Sir Francis Galton (related to Charles Darwin, the British co-originator of the Evolution Theory). The Eugenics programme was designed to create a ‘superior’ race of people – and ‘eliminate’ defective people and births. It gained many high profile adherents – and finally responsible for many medical, psychiatric and political abuses.

Eugenics In The USA

It attracted big ticket backers. John Harvey Kellogg (of Kellogg cornflakes) was an early sponsor and formed a “partnership” with the Race Betterment Foundation. Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) established the Station for Experimental Evolution at Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island, in 1904 – a centre for Eugenic research. In 1937, before, the start of WW2, when it became apparent that Hitler had hijacked Eugenics and where Eugenics was going, the Carnegie Foundation changed direction – and renamed the Eugenics Record Office to Genetics Record Office. After WW2, in 1952, the USA needed some ‘special weapons’. The Carnegie Foundation stepped in to assist the research. What were these ‘special weapons’ – new birth control methods.

Henry Ford was a supporter of Eugenics – and one of the most notorious Eugenics practitioner was Michael Teitelbaum – who worked with the Ford Foundation till the 1970’s – shaping population policy matters for world consumption. Clarence J Gamble, (of Proctor & Gamble) fame, advocated population control amongst the poor, Puerto Ricans, Negros – as they were a problem. The wives of Edward Henry Harriman, (financier and railway tycoon) and HB Dupont, were some of the others who participated in the Eugenics projects.

Today, the newly renamed Planned Parenthood Federation of America receives funding from the US Government, billionaires like the Hewlett family and the Packard family, Ted Turner of CNN fame, Bill Gates of Microsoft amongst others.

Three generations of imbeciles are enough

These abusive actions were possible due to legal sanction by the US Courts. A celebrated Supreme Court judge, Oliver Wendell Holmes, decided that

“…the public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the State for these lesser sacrifices …” (Italics and ellipsis mine)

of getting sterilised, lobotomised, committed to mental asylums on flimsy grounds, become guinea pigs for dubious medical research.

This judgement’s admirers were found all the way till Germany. Was Oliver Wendell Holmes very far from Nazi Germany? Not if you consider the Binding-Hoche study (Karl Binding was a lawyer and Alfred Hoche, a doctor). The Binding-Hoche study suggested that the German state had already lost its best people during WW1 – and hence the country was filled with ‘human ballast’. To remedy this situation, they suggested that these ‘inferior elements’ should be eliminated – much like what the American Chief Justice said. During the Nuremberg trials, the Nazis did cite the US practices of sterilisations, lobotomies, euthanasia as a defence.

Yes, instead of acting as parens patriae, which would be the first duty of the court, the US Supreme Court colluded with the executive to deny basic rights to the incapable, in the land of the free. This was much like slavery was approved by the US Supreme Court in the Dredd Scott vs Sandford case. Chief Justice Taney not only ruled that slavery was legal, but barred slaves from approaching the US Supreme Court.

Eugenics In Europe

The most notorious on Eugenics in Europe was Hitler who killed 60 lakh Jews and another 40 lakhs of Gypsies and assorted segments of the population. Montagu Norman, the Chief Of Bank England, who supervised the economic drain from India was another famous follower of Eugenics. Much before these practitioners of Eugenics, were others. Such racist concepts were tried by Germany – in Paraguay. Germany decided to breed a race of superior White Germans, in the colony of Nueva Germania. Heading the Nueva Germania project was Elizabeth Nietzsche – brother of Frederick Nietzsche.

In Britain, Julian Huxley, grandson of Thomas Henry Huxley, first head of UNESCO, brother of Aldous Huxley, joined the population propaganda machine. Julian Huxley called himself a ‘scientist’ and

advocated a much greater use of … Eugenic Insemination, … deep-frozen sperm banks containing donations by eminent men, Nobel Prize Winners … from which a prospective mother could choose … Huxley hoped that many of the users of such a sperm bank would opt for intelligence and he calculated that if the mean IQ of the population could be raised by as little as 1.5 per cent this would lead to a 50 per cent increase in the number of people with an IQ of 160 or more …” (from the galtoninstitute website).

This kind of psuedo-science was used by UN and the various population control propagandists to further their agenda.

This Doesn’t Happen Now

A law inspired by Eugenics was in force and utilised in the state of Orgeon, till 1980. 33 states in the USA approved eugenics laws during 1900-1925. An estimated 60,000-1,00,000 people were forcibly sterilised using these laws. Switzerland repealed forced sterilisation laws against the Romani Gypsies only in 1972.

New names for old ills continue. The new exercises in this could be the SARS and the Bird Flu. A few humans or birds die (due to respiratory complications) and entire continents are devastated. Is this another form of ‘conditioning’ for future bio-terrorism or bio-warfare? These new kinds of global hysteria use ‘neutral’ bodies – like the UN and World Bank to whip up fear, rumours and over reaction.

You still don’t believe that this happens even now?

The largest donors to the population control organisations in the last 10 years are (hold onto you chair or whatever) Bill Gates (of Microsoft-Windows fame), Ted Turner (of CNN-Time Warner) and David & Lucille Packard Foundation (co-founder of Hewlett Packard). It is re-run of the same story. Population Control is funded by the rich (in the USA) as they feel threatened by the poor of this world, especially if the colour of the poor is different.Nandan Nilekani

Post Script

On February 16, 2008, I read a post in Business Standard, one of India’s leading business newspaper. It carried a preview of a book by Nandan Nilekani, a business leader and director of Infosys. Nandan Nilekani says, his book traces (apart from other subjects) how India has “gone from seeing population as a burden to population as a source of human capital.” That is the good news.

Farcically, in the same breadth, Nandan also overestimates the importance of English. Is he implying that without English, India would have been backward like – China, Japan, Germany, Russia, Italy, Korea. In fact dear Nandan, show me one country that has become significant using some other country’s language – in the last 4000 years of history. Look again Nandan, Take A Secondlook. By 15th August, 2008, Nandan Nilekani, was invited to write for Economic Times. This time around, Nandan did not make too much on the importance of English language. Attaboy, Nandan!

China Takes Secondlook At One Child PolicyThe tide is turning. One month after this post(dated Jan 30th, 2008), China decided to take a secondlook at their population policy (on Feb 27th, 2008, link embedded). And on 4th March, Economic Times, India’s leading daily informed,“China takes second look at one-child rule, 4 Mar, 2008, 0231 hrs IST, AGENCIES.” In case the link does not work, click here China Takes Secondlook At One Child Policy.

An alarmed USA Today, wrote China ‘Considers changing one-child policy’. But the New York Times re-assured its readers that “this change the country’s one-child-per-couple family planning policy would not change for at least another decade.” The International Herald Tribune also repeated this reassuring report. The China Daily, at its website also released a similar report.

23 Responses

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  1. Parag Tope said, on February 2, 2008 at 2:33 am

    You make an excellent point here. On a side note – this entire discussion on “population explosion” is fundamentally a diversion from a basic paradigm – that it is the economy that drives fertility rates, albeit inversely. However there is a lag. What this means is that when poverty is rampant and the mother’s diet is poor, infant mortality is high. In 1910, India’s death rate was about 4.5% and the birth rate was about 4.8%. The death rate was weighted by the high infant mortality. Because many children were dying young, couples were having more children – “just in case…” The population was increasing very slowly at about 0.3% per year – but the birth and the death rates were very high. This remained roughly similar in the first half of the century (4.5% and 3.5% in the 30’s)

    Something important changed in the 60s. Despite oppressive economic policies of the government, a large section of the population was able to afford food in an India without the English. The infant mortality rates started to drop and the death rate dropped from 3.5% in the 30’s to 1.9% in the 60’s. The birth rate remained high at 4.2% – now suddenly the population was growing at more than 2.3% per year – simply because fewer children were dying.

    After about a decade or two, when couples realized that fewer children were dying, the birth rate decreased. The 70s the death rate had dropped to 1.5% and the birth rate had dropped to 3.7% – with the population now increasing at 2.2%. In the 80’s the death rate was at 1.1% and the birth rate at 3.2% and in the nineties the death rate had dropped to 0.9% and the birth rate had dropped to 2.7% or so.

    No matter who takes the “credit” and what government programs are justified for interference in people’s personal choices, the reality is that women, and particularly Indian women are rational in their choices. The twenty year lag between the reduction in infant mortality and the decreased fertility is the one generation of fertile women making decisions based on observations, regardless of government propaganda.

    No matter what our arrogant social scientists may claim to justify continued governmental and non-governmental involvement in people’s personal choices, the answer is simple. Let people freely make their economic choices which will always lead to rational personal choices. That is India’s legacy and that is its polity.

  2. Raimi said, on October 15, 2008 at 6:58 am

    Are you suggesting that all (or even most) arguments for limitation of world population expansion are somehow racist? Are you suggesting that it is not even an environmental issue? That concern over lack of resources, starvation, global warming, deforestation, wildlife extinction, urban sprawl, environmental toxins are all fabricated simply because some (or one, which is the weak example you give in the case of McNamara) white guy is somehow threatened by the superior brown skin because they score high on GMAT test? LOL!
    Or are you arguing simply against the misguided work of Stephen D.Mumford, and Elton Kessel. In which case, why make such an obvious argument? Certainly I would hope you don’t think people are naive enough to think that, because of what Mumford and Kessel did that attempts to educate and curb environmentally disastrous third world population growth should be abandoned. Or do you simply believe that earth can support unlimited numbers of people? Surely not.
    There is no educated, intelligent defense of continued overpopulation my friend. That’s why it is the uneducated, ignorant poor who are breeding excessively. That is why the birthrate is lower in societies where we have access to information, education, and are thusly knowledgeable of altruism beyond the self. That’s why the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation is funding bringing people out of poverty and educating them. Not ‘sterilizing’ them, which is what you seem to imply. My skin is the same color as yours and I can tell you, it’s much more intelligent at this point that we take care of those who are ALREADY born, not to create a lot of new babies to replace those who will starve next year. One would THINK that the average well-informed educated person would understand that (but apparently I’m wrong about that)
    By the way, your opening quote (from Limits To Growth) is false. The book gives those figures as examples of if there were no more mining from 1972 on, and then gives other scenarios as well, which you excluded. If you’re going to try to make an argument, opening with a misleading quote (even if you’re not the original misleader) is a sure way to immediately discredit the rest of the piece.

    • Moe said, on February 28, 2015 at 12:53 am

      “That’s why it is the uneducated, ignorant poor who are breeding excessively.”

      Who are you to judge who should live and who should die–maybe you’re taking up too much space.

  3. Anuraag Sanghi said, on October 15, 2008 at 8:11 am

    arguments for limitation of world population expansion are somehow racist

    Yes. Completely, totally racist.

    suggesting that it is not even an environmental issue

    Yes. Certain racist people are a hazard to the ‘intellectual’ environment. But, how can life be an environment hazard? Environment is life. But, when ‘racist’ economists’ try and create an ‘economic advantage’ for their own race by overexploitation of human beings and natural resources, yes, such racist societies can create environment hazards.

    no educated, intelligent defense of continued overpopulation my friend

    Are you meaning that educated and intelligent people like the Packards, Kelloggs, Fords, Carnegies, Gates or an Elizabeth Nietzsche will decide what the ‘over population’ figure is? And these ‘educated and intelligent’ will decide who will be ‘weeded’ out – and who will be allowed to live? Who will decide who will have how many children?

    Last time, I heard, Hitler was deciding who will live and die!

    uneducated, ignorant poor who are breeding excessively

    At least the poor in India are not burden on anybody. They are definitely not creating the ‘lack of resources, starvation, global warming, deforestation, wildlife extinction, urban sprawl, environmental toxins.’ So, if this list of problems is indeed your concern, it should be the stagnant, geriatric populations, who are burdening the young and working, who should be the target of your verbal outpourings.

    It is the educated, rich of the West, (who you seem to admire so much), who are doing this. If you see yourself in the mirror, you will see how contorted, knotted you are!

    My skin is the same color as yours and I can tell you

    So you claim. Maybe you are coconut. Brown outside and White inside.

    sure way to immediately discredit the rest of the piece.

    I wonder what got your goat … I am sure that it is not the opening quote.

  4. Dsylexic said, on October 15, 2008 at 8:31 am

    If I had an option, I would control the population in the Western countries. Not because they are White, but because they consume a lot of resources -far more per capita than any Asian or African. Is mass culling an ethical practice? George Bush seems to think it is good.

    The whole of tiny Switzerland consumes more sugar and coffee than China! Buzz off Gates foundation.you are totally misguided.

  5. […] of the myths that have taken root and which have done much damage to the post colonial India. The infamous population theory, Chidambaram’s ill-informed 5000 years of poverty, poor natural resources, the supine Hindu, […]

  6. […] And the children they will have. The Packard family, Bill Gates, Ted Turner are not alone in having the population crisis and the people bomb on their mind. All these paranoid thinking based on bad economic […]

  7. Hasan said, on June 14, 2010 at 3:39 am

    You are right to ridicule the eugenics program of the West. But you are dead wrong in suggesting that overpopulation is not a problem. The West makes two mistakes: a) Assuming that we do not have the right to ask for a better lifestyle b) Assuming they can interfere with our affairs to maintain their own lifestyle.

    You have made one mistake: Assuming that because the west is selfish in saying that too many of US will ruin THEIR share of resources, it is not true that too many of US will ruin OUR OWN ability to manage resources for all of us.

    Simple math, how much land does it require to grow enough wheat to feed one person? If the land available to our country is finite, can we then feed any population we reach through our individual choices of family size? I think not.

    A good example is power cuts and water shortages in many cities in India. Why? not enough infrastructure to meet the demand. And demand comes from two things: rising lifestyles and rising (urban) populations. Which goes to show, never mind the population in twenty years, we can hardly cope if indians in rural areas too poor to indulge in basic amenities decided to move to ‘big’ cities and rise in economic abilities.

    Do you see many homeless drifters in big cities? Some of them are people who find out the hard way that there are finite permanent jobs in any place. Yes, jobs will be created, but what if more people migrate to a city than jobs are created? Can you see the connection to population?

    There is no problem with having too many old people, except when not enough young people want to devote time to taking care of them. Now if you say that the youth should not be burdened by the needs of the old, especially when there are too many old people, then I’m not sure why you think that a) The west is being racist when they do not want to be burdened by the strain on resources that a growing third world population will create (which will happen, but the west has no right to complain) b) Overpopulation is not a problem

    • senthil said, on May 29, 2011 at 5:00 pm

      I have made a calculation – it needs 100 million hectare to produce rice to feed 1.2 billion population, with cultivation in one season.. India has around 400 million hectare agriculture land..

      I hope, the same calculation would apply for wheat too..

      /** A good example is power cuts and water shortages in many cities in India. Why? not enough infrastructure to meet the demand. And demand comes from two things: rising lifestyles and rising (urban) populations. Which goes to show, never mind the population in twenty years, we can hardly cope if indians in rural areas too poor to indulge in basic amenities decided to move to ‘big’ cities and rise in economic abilities.

      I think you have clearly given the answer in you above lines.. the population is a problem only to urban people.. why? Why no rural people complains about increasing population?

      reason: the urban centers are artificial and built by exploiting resources.. more cement, more steel, more electricity, more road, and more plots of land .. Infrastructure is being mistaken as building urban centre.. Its not my friend.. Infrastructure is different thing, if we apply common sense..

      /** Do you see many homeless drifters in big cities? Some of them are people who find out the hard way that there are finite permanent jobs in any place. Yes, jobs will be created, but what if more people migrate to a city than jobs are created? Can you see the connection to population?

      Why do you force more people migrate to cities? Its your problem to have a government policy that thinks only urbanisation is the standard for development..

      • Anuraag Sanghi said, on May 29, 2011 at 6:49 pm

        Senthil – I dont think it is a question of calculations or a matter of choice at all.

        Most famines in history have been man-made – and the theory of population control has been coming back under different names and justifications.

        Recently, a study by the Carnegie Institute concluded that Genghis Khan did a good thing by killing millions. These killings reduced global warming – says Carnegie Endowment. By this logic, we should declare Churchill, Hitler, Taimur Leng, Julius Caesar, Atilla The Hun, as saints. (Short URL – http://goo.gl/ftATq ).

        Secondly, we must finds ways of testing Carnegie Institute’s studies. How about killing all these Carnegie’s researchers – and see what effect it has global warming.

        Surely they cannot object to that?

        To get around the ‘problem’ of economic stagnation, the West has created artificial ‘crisis’ situations.

        1. Population Explosion
        2. Global Warming and climate change
        3. Civil Wars in Africa
        4. Islamic Demonization and the spectre of Islamic terrorism
        5. Financial meltdowns

        These are major diplomatic offensives using media, academia, events and situations to

      • Maintain superior negotiating positions
      • Define the agenda – which usually means non-substantive issues.
      • The real answer is that no one has a right to decide whether people should live in villages or cities; have one child or one dozen children, or any children at all.

  8. Anuraag Sanghi said, on June 14, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Your response assumes a few things: –

    1. That a Statist, public-sector economy (i.e. socialism, capitalism, communism et al ) are the only politico-economic model that is possible. I don’t see it that way!

    2. That human productivity cannot increase. Bad idea. Faulty assumption.

    3. Overpopulation is a problem when The Over-Consumption Model, of more cars, more TVs, more roads, more electricity is seen as an irreversible norm. No, there is no contradiction between this point and point #2.

    4. Old people are a problem in a Statist economy model – and yes, in a non-Statist model it will be a non-issue.

    • senthil said, on May 30, 2011 at 12:04 pm

      @anurag.. for your reply to my comment:

      I heard a lot of noises on this scarce land and population explosion.. hence i just made this small calculation to debunk their noises..

      i agree with you that most famines are man made..

  9. Jindal said, on September 4, 2010 at 5:15 am

    There is no question that population control is the need of the hour. It is evident that we haven’t been able to colonize space yet, and resources required to sustain the planet’s population are non-renewable. If not today, in the future it will be a strict state-planned population, especially in China and India. That’s much better than charting a path to cannibalism in a century or five. The sciences are available today. You need to also look at the ground realities. It is not that people are going to stop at one or two children for planetary goodwill. It has never worked and never will no matter how many free condoms are distributed all over the world. Also terminal patients’ should have the right to end their lives via physician-assisted suicide. To quote Dr Jack Kervorkian “dying” is not a crime. It is coming to the US too, albeit in a different form. Responsibility and determination are still lacking in India. The only valid reason that would seem realistic from an India perspective is to keep the giant neighboring troublemaker China under check – it is the best reason given realities on the ground.

  10. Anuraag Sanghi said, on September 5, 2010 at 7:53 am

    What an idea, Sirjee!

    • Jindal said, on September 5, 2010 at 8:55 am

      I presume you’d agree then given the stats on arable land and density of people per square kilometer, population is indeed a serious problem and hence the essay on “Western Paranoia & Eastern Gullibility” is bologna, needs to be revised somewhat with a more futuristic outlook.

      Pakistan started out with a population of about 30 million and stands at close to 180 million today. That’s a whopping 6 times in 6 decades. What’s worse is many who come new to the world are sent off to madrassas from the tender age of 4 to learn jihad so they can strap a bomb to their chests one day and violently blow up twenty to fifty innocent people. This can’t go on forever. If self-rule ain’t working at all, why blame the West?

      There are some new technologies available (search “Waste = Food” on Google Video). I keep wondering about the effectiveness of turning waste into food though, which if done right can help alleviate some parts of problems facing mankind. India should begin with a sustained media campaign of undermining the prominence of religion. Among other well-known ills, religion has been a major culprit in promoting the concept of children as “God’s gifts” as opposed to the outcome of one’s own sexual acts, while also being totally oblivious to global responsibilities. If hundreds of millions of pigs are bred and eaten every year, I don’t see why free countries could not provide the right to euthanasia. Why is a diseased human body so much more sacred and precious than other creatures held against their will to be slaughtered for food? India should also start exploring close diplomatic relations with African countries on immigration to help them out with technology and talented minds to build up their systems and economies.

      • Anuraag Sanghi said, on September 5, 2010 at 3:56 pm

        With the compelling statements of cliches that you make, what choice do I have? I agree .. every word that you say is a cliche … this blog is 2ndlook.

        Take a 2ndlook.

  11. admin said, on March 8, 2012 at 7:21 am

  12. admin said, on May 14, 2012 at 10:46 pm

  13. S said, on May 20, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    “They had read Paul Ehrlich’s The Population Bomb. They were worried. Just imagine living with Blacks, Indians, Vietnamese, Banglas, etc!”

    See http://www.populationmatters.org/about/our-people/patrons

  14. ajamk said, on December 29, 2012 at 2:08 am

    Disappointed with this article. Overpopulation is a problem. India lacks energy resources like ‘Petroleum’ and most of its coal deposits are in forests and hence it isn’t possible to get coal in large amounts easily. Even if energy is considered a ‘luxury’ in today’s world which it isn’t one cannot overlook this point. Of course I know that the US manipulated the petroleum market, but even then we have to accept a shortage. Leaving the ‘luxury’ energy resources, if we look at basic resources like ‘fresh water’ even this is limited and we are facing a problem due to mono-cultures, lack or diversity in cropping, etc.
    I agree that the agricultural produce can be increased dramatically from what it is today, but even then there will be some sort of a limit. We have to accept that majority of the Indians are poor, unemployment is high and so for practical reasons we have to adopt a 2 or 3 child limit policy. Plus we have already achieved this in most states barring UP and Bihar where the fertility rate is around 4, which is slightly higher.

    So in short India has already more or less achieved its population control(maybe with the exception of UP and Bihar), and we don’t need to worry about this much now.

    • ajamk said, on December 29, 2012 at 2:17 am

      Don’t know why i typed petroleum fresh water, etc in ‘ ‘ LOL. Also fertility ratio of UP and bihar are around 3.5 not 4. *correction*

      • ajamk said, on December 29, 2012 at 2:21 am

        Also a 1 child policy is national suicide as population will dwindle and along with it the economy. 2/3 children per woman ensures population stability.

  15. j said, on March 1, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    “Population Control is funded by the rich (in the USA) as they feel threatened by the poor of this world, especially if the colour of the poor is different.”

    Do you think this makes logical sense? I argue that most leaders are concerned about population growth because they see the majority of Western countries population growth decaying whilst most of Asia and Africa are growing. The majority of these countries are countries of faith and that is no coincident. They may also hold a culture that is mostly incompatible with our own. Why the hell would the likes of Bill Gates and Ted Turner not want to protect the culture that gave contributed towards their wealth and freedom of speech and that will contribute towards their children’s quality of life. Not protecting your own population from decline and mass immigration is cultural suicide. The western culture has a right to survive as well, without it you may not have the freedom of speech that you enjoy now.

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