Monday, 9 May 2011

Anti-Natalism and Politics

What political position, if any, should anti-natalists adopt? Is there any ideology that dovetails with the anti-natalist position? Given that the best of anti-natalism comes from a desire to reduce human suffering what form of government best facilitates that aim?


In ‘Better Never To Have Been’ David Benatar expresses his own uncertainties concerning the issue. On the one hand, he speculates that introducing sterilising chemicals into the public water supply would be the only way to put an end to procreation, yet also admits that such a manoeuvre would go against deeply felt moral intuitions concerning individual rights and the ownership of one’s body.


Is it morally defensible to violate an individual’s rights in order to serve the greater good? Especially when, as with anti-natalism, the conception of the greater good (non-procreation) is held by a tiny minority and abhorred by the majority.


The Chinese one-child only policy is probably only enforceable due to the lack of any independent civil society in that country. If such a civil society were to emerge, one could bet that the restriction on procreation would be one of the first laws to be challenged.


On a broader level, given that apart from the structurally necessary miseries of existence, humans have contrived a world where inequality reigns, 25,000 people die of hunger every day, political power is the preserve of the few, violence dominates and so on, should the anti-natalist take a stand or should he throw his hands up and say “So it goes, always has gone, and always will”?


I really have no idea.

6 comments:

  1. You want my honest opinion? I think the only ideology that is compatible with antinatalism is an anarchistic world view. I find myself more closely aligned with the liberty minded individuals such as Lew Rockwell, Aaron Russo (he's no longer trapped in the bio matrix), and Ron Paul. Although they more than likely adhere to something more akin to the Libertarian school of thought (less government; more individual freedom), they still seem to think that imposition on others is necessary to some degree. I mean, c'mon, Ron Paul was a freakin' OBGYN for goodness sake! *shudders* It seems to me that most people who call themselves individualists still fail when it comes to taking that final, logical, and ultimately respectful step toward eliminating the imposition that leads to all problems. You know, birth. Let's face it, making a new life is not an individual endeavor; so it cannot be attributed any status as an individual right. Nor is it part and parcel of the pursuit of one's own life, liberty, and property. It absolutely entails forcing others to fight your battles for you (weaklings, cowards...), stamping out the will of those who are already caged inside of this bio matrix by subjecting them to those unknown new persons, and it entirely precludes even the possibility of obtaining consent from the victim that came as a result of two living things coupling. If I had the ability to instantly sterilize every damned living thing in the universe... I'd do it in a heartbeat!

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  2. Great comment, Garrett. Thanks as always. Yeah, I was reflecting on Libertarians and was wondering if they would say that a reproductive right is intrinsic to the female, as she is choosing to manipulate her body voluntarily and if anyone can be deemed to be the owner of her organs, it is her. On the other hand, given that her manipulation of her body leads to a person or proto-person subject to all the usual jeopardies of existence, does the state have a right to intervene?
    And then there are some Libertarians who claim that parents have no moral duty to consider the welfare of their offspring as this contravenes their own rights! The ultimate in arseholology, if you ask me.
    Of course, imposing sterilization implies massive state control, but then again no state is likely to come into being that conceived the greatest good in terms of non-existence.
    So I agree with you that if I had the red button, I'd press it, but given that happy eventuality is unlikely to materialise, I guess attemtping to spread the word is the only way forward.

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  3. Great post, makes us wonder. I was going to comment here, but the comment got so long, and then I just post it on my blog, as a blogpost.

    I will now link your blog there!

    thanks man!

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  4. My friend Shadow has an excellent reply piece to this post over on his wonderful blog:

    http://antinatalismo.blogspot.com/

    Anyone interested in the kind of topics discussed here should check it out.

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  5. "On a broader level, given that apart from the structurally necessary miseries of existence, humans have contrived a world where inequality reigns, 25,000 people die of hunger every day, political power is the preserve of the few, violence dominates and so on, should the anti-natalist take a stand or should he throw his hands up and say “So it goes, always has gone, and always will”?"

    I plan on suicide. Reducing my misery is the best I can do.

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    Replies
    1. Christoph, I don't know if you are still reading this, but please contact the suicide prevention lifeline if you are having suicidal thoughts: 1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-273-8255. http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

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