Thursday, 9 January 2014

A Conversation overheard in Paris


I was in a restaurant in Paris last week. Two Americans came in and sat down next to me. After a while, the woman, whom I gathered was the editor of an 'Americans in Paris' lifestyle magazine, started talking about what a 'shame' and 'disgrace' it was that there weren't enough incentives for the poor to sterilise themselves. They expressed 'horror' at the failure of 'our society' to act in such a vital matter. I began to feel nostalgic for the USSR....

The man, whom I gathered worked for Forbes Magazine, ardently agreed with her. Both had previously identified themselves as Libertarians and there was a grim pleasure in listening to them desperately trying to dream up enough carrots for the poor to get the snip/drink the bleach of their own free-will, so that the authorities could claim it was all an act of 'autonomy'. Of course, it seemed to escape their grasp that for people like them to continue their plush lives, an endless supply of the poor is needed in order to do the 'dirty' and 'degrading' jobs too awful for the 'enlightened' ones to contemplate....

92 comments:

  1. So now antinatalists are opposed to sterilization and euthanasia, and in favor of the USSR? Interesting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish people would read carefully before making mindless remarks.

      I said nothing about euthanasia in the post.

      The thrust of it concerned the narrow-minded arrogance of the couple, who would never dream that perhaps they themselves should be sterilized.

      Nostalgia is generally regarded as a false regret for an ideal scenario that never existed, ie a socialist utopia, as the USSR is sometimes considered to be, generally by those who never experienced it.

      Think before writing.

      Delete
    2. Weird, I was in Paris two weeks ago, we may have crossed paths!

      Delete
    3. Everyone recognises the problem, and, everyone knows its someone else's fault. Machines have pretty much finished off the necessity of having poor people, we are just a burden on the tax payer, and, it's not like we can afford the products their media sells, so what's the point of us? The scary thing is that they felt secure enough to talk about it in public, in a way, they would have been horified if they had been someone talking about ethnic minorities in the same way.

      Delete
    4. Ann, I was there from Dec31 to Jan3, so if you were there the week previous that means in comparative terms Paris was breifly overrun by Antinatalists:-)

      David, I guess they'll always need people to clean the sewers and toilets, although you never know. The restaurant was on the upper scale of things (I was dragged there, I hasten to add) and they talked in relatively hushed tones. It was quite a revelatory experience, all the same.

      Delete
    5. Paris: AAAAAAAAAAH why are there all these contraceptives in the waaaaateeeeeerrrrr? So bitter. So bitter. Add more coffee.

      Delete
    6. P.S. Which day were you in the catacombs? I'm assuming you went there.

      Delete
    7. I didn't, to my shame! I was in more of a French Revolution mood, hanging around the Tuileries and looking for the site of the Jacobin Club and Robespierre's house.

      My main pessimistic port of call was E.M. CIoran's address on Rue de l'odeon. Lucky bastard got it in the 40s when they had a frozen rent scheme and was able to stay there all his life up until the 90s!

      Delete
  2. I have to admit that definitely having a eugenics program that leads to happy, smart, pretty, healthy people who live the plush life is definitely so much better than having a program which promotes an all-around breeding by poor, miserable, unhealthy and ugly because it would lead to an astonishing net increase in overall happiness in the world as well as individually.

    However, as you said Karl, in a world of finite resources where the rich rely on the poor to do all of the dirty and low-pay jobs, it is really not feasible. If the rich sterilize the poor, eventually they will fall into a similar state when they realize that no more luxuries for them.

    I say let no one breed - easy and practical.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not to mention the fact that a certain percentage of smart people with time on their hands will surely conclude life is pointless and then become unhappy. To breed happy people would involve administering a lobotomy at birth:-)

      Delete
    2. I'm starting to think, well, we can't stop them. So I hope they have fun with whatever hell they'll create. Wheeeeee!

      Delete
  3. Cleaning the filth off of toilets is part of my job. I hate filth. I hate toilets. But this is the life I was born into. I have a severe facial deformity. I was trying to be a dishwasher but they wouldn't even consider me for that. So relegated to the toilets all thanks to the DNA I didn't choose. I would've been an astronaut if I was healthy. Why bother living when DNA calls all the shots and our own desires and efforts mean nothing? Also why doesn't it enter the rich peoples mind that their child could be retarded or deformed....it happens.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry for your troubles, Anonymous. Yes, we're all just puppets on a string ultimately. And the mindset of the rich extends to all, I reckon: '*my* child will be fine'.

      Delete
    2. Jesus. I'm so sorry for your long days. I hope you aren't an alcoholic as well, so you can at least enjoy all the beer you need. (People never think their children might grow up to have racking pains and horrible withdrawal hallucinations from drinking what to other people's bodies are normal amounts of alcohol, either.) I'm sorry for my flippant comment above. The hell they create isn't theirs alone, is it?

      Delete
  4. Karl,

    If you don't mind I would like to address this comment made by Aleksei a couple weeks ago and one which you endorsed:

    Begin quote:

    "We are soaked with art but society is more violent, not less. Moreover there are notable exceptions to the idea that art improves lives: Reinhart Heydrich was the son of a composer, operatic tenor and double bass player. He was also head of the Nazi Security Dept who killed Jews for a living. And he was a devoted musician whose face lit up with joy when he got his violin out.

    Did it make him a better person?

    As one who as a classical musician for many years I came across this notion time and time again. I regard is as not only nonsense but egregious nonsense.

    What is art for? Fun. Entertainment. And NOTHING more.

    But this romantic notion of sacralizing art means artists and musicians cannot accept the plain truth that we are entertainers and nothing more. It is also precious, arrogant and absurd. To seek art as other than mere diversion is to put too much expectation on it.


    ***************************

    This negative comment by Aleksei merely shows how much a sense of artistic meaning has eroded in modern times. He indicates "mere" entertainment as the bulk utility of art but it is worthwhile to examine what "entertainment" comprises. Really powerful entertainment does something extraordinary to one's viewpoint and, in the long run, can even change lives. Of course people are captured by good entertainment but an artist must really have something very special to produce that effect. Good art is created by people who are very special, who can examine the world from unusual viewpoints with great skills and exhibit new or unsuspected patterns to their audience. This is not easy nor is it common. But it is revelatory and greatly inspiring if it works.

    Also, one logical conclusion would be to sell the contents of Louvre, the Vatican Museum, the National Gallery etc. because they are merely pointless entertainment items and would be better objects in the consumer market. When a society has merely contempt for its cultural treasures, it signals the beginning of barbarism.

    And then, his crazy argument that great art has not been able to stop Nazi criminals from exercising their murderous appetites, is one of those silly clichées based upon misconception: people can enjoy art and have no idea of its implications. The fault lies then with the spectator not with the art.

    Finally, apart from its 'therapeutic' meaning, great art also aestheticizes life experience, to reveal its spiritual aura.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Genevieve,

      Real entertainment does not have to be life-changing. One can be entertained and that's it.

      And, sorry, but your elevation of artists as ultra-special human beings just doesn't wash with me. Many 'great' artists were horribly selfish people. You seem to assume they exist on a higher plane.

      Nor does your conclusion about selling museum contents folllow. Why is entertainment 'pointless'? It entertains and makes people feel good, that is justification enough.

      And where do you get the idea that people have 'contempt' for their cultural treasures? Most people are utterly indifferent to 'culture' and why shouldn't they be? They are too busy merely trying to survive.

      In my view, you have an extremely ultra-elitist view of art and artists, who, in your mind, 'guide humanity' etc etc. This is revelaed by your 'the fault lies with the spectator, not with the art' statement, which, to me, is just pompous nonsense,

      Art is a by-product of material existence and toil, nor I do believe in life's 'spiritual aura'.

      Delete
    2. Just say, “the arts are unnecessary.” We’re loath to say it. We’re defensive if the notion surfaces. However,
      somewhere along the line, despite the hype, despite the political-speak, the educator-speak and the
      arts-organization-speak, it’s staring us in the face. The arts have been rendered irrelevant. Unnecessary.
      (Are you getting upset yet?) Excluding movies and huge rock concerts, from a statistical standpoint, only
      about 5% of the population of a given region attend any live arts events. Of that 5%, only a fraction will
      attend a dance event, a classical music concert or go to see a play.

      Ask your neighbors; do they or their kids think about or use the arts in their daily lives? Do the people
      on your street come together for singing or dancing? It shows everywhere – people now believe the arts are
      for schools. They believe that artists are a special (and weird) breed, not everyday people. Ask your
      neighbors: what’s more important for a student – learn about math and science or learn how to play the piano?

      Ask any parent what type of profession they’d like to see their children go into. It’s a good bet that not
      a single art form will be mentioned.

      Delete
  5. WE are essentially talking about Social Darwinists here-

    Social Darwinists advocate the principle of selfishness (I take it that selfishness means caring only about yourself). The neoconservatives and Capitalists also advocate selfishness.

    Neoconservatives embrace capitalism and Social Darwinism.

    Civilized societies must include forced redistribution of wealth (government "welfare" programs). The "severe austerity policies" against forced redistribution (Reagan's of course) are "uncivilized," because they will cause "poverty ridden unemployed youth" to take up arms-i.e. become criminals resulting in uncivilized behavior.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No "system" will ever solve the puzzle of the human condition. No political system, no economic system, no ideological system, no philosophical system, no religious system....nothing....

      There is nothing for us to fall back on, nothing to save us ー no God will save us, no man will save us....there is nothing....

      ....only nothing ー forever nothing....

      Delete
  6. I am sick of promoting welfare queens-she has eighty names, thirty addresses, twelve Social Security cards and is collecting veteran's benefits on four non-existing deceased husbands. And she is collecting Social Security on her cards. She's got Medicaid, getting food stamps, and she is collecting welfare under each of her names. Her tax-free cash income is over $450,000.
    Sterlize all such moochers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This country has made glittering fortunes for the super wealthy and for the major corporations that dominate the landscape. At the same time, the lives of working people, the unemployed and the poor grow more difficult by the day. The cost of housing skyrockets, and education and healthcare become inaccessible.

      This is not unique to America. Shamefully, in this, the richest country in human history, fifty million of our people—one in six—live in poverty. Around the world, billions do not have access to clean water and basic sanitation and children die every day from malnutrition.

      This is the reality of international capitalism. This is the product of the gigantic casino of speculation created by the highway robbers on Wall Street. In this system the market is God, and everything is sacrificed on the altar of profit. Capitalism has failed the 99%.

      Despite recent talk of economic growth, it has only been a recovery for the richest 1%, while the rest of us are falling ever farther behind.

      In our country, Democratic and Republican politicians alike primarily serve the interests of big business. A completely dysfunctional Congress DOES manage to agree on one thing—regular increases in their already bloated salaries—yet at the same time allows the federal minimum wage to stagnate and fall farther and farther behind inflation. We have the obscene spectacle of the average corporate CEO getting seven thousand dollars an hour, while the lowest-paid workers are called presumptuous in their demand for just fifteen.

      Delete
  7. Karl & Ann,
    Do you guys realize how ridiculous your comments are?
    The two of you proclaim to be proletariat & yet you celebrate new year in Paris ,one of the most
    expensive cities, at fancy restaurants-what did you have Karl-Caviar with Champagne?
    I ,for one have never even left Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
    Now, I don’t mean that just because you got money to burn you can’t suffer ,you can, terribly but not like the folks who suffer every day because of the struggle to keep body & soul together,to put food on the table ,to keep the room warm.

    By the by,I celebrated new year at Misery, Nowhere land,eating junk food which is killing me.
    But hey,you are Euro Aristocracy,and I am American white trash,so its okay I guess.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Its White Trash again Karl-did you go to France in your own yacht with the queen of England?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, I went on a train which cost me 50 quid and stayed in a cheap, dodgy hotel, if that makes you feel any better.

      Nor do I have money to burn. In fact, I am quite poor and have to economise every day of the week.

      Sorry you're such a bitter person.

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    3. I am bitter.That is true. I've tried to be forgiving. And yet. In my life, whole years, anger has got the better of me. Ugliness turned me inside out. There is a certain satisfaction in bitterness. I have courted it. It was standing outside, and I invited it in.

      I was born an orphan.For years as a kid,I was abused both mentally & bodily.

      Since my youngest years I have been an anti-natalist.
      Instinctively I knew that the world was an evil place.
      Anyway,I wanted to be a doc.No,not to mint money,but to help those in pain,for I know pain better than most.


      Cracked the MCAT in the first attempt-A+ & all.Did not get the admission.Why?Did not have money to pay the fee.No connections,so no scholarships.
      Saw people with little aptitude become docs just because they had a rich dad & the dad has great connections.

      Anyway,now I work as a janitor.7 years back I lost an arm in a road accident.
      Tried to numb my pain with booze-now I have cirrhosis of the liver.

      I have no relatives & few friends.I am in my late fifties, few more pain-filled years to live.

      I look forward to dying.

      I am sorry to disappoint you Karl,I am not sweet & cute teddy bear.I am an ugly,bitter,old mangy dying dog.

      Delete
    4. I'm really sorry to hear that, Anonymous. I won't patronise you with any 'I feel your pain' bullshit.

      It's terrible that your noble aspirations to become a healer of suffering were hindered by the financial system, a real disgrace.

      In this world, it's the networks and the smug assholes who control the show, all looking out for each other, and protecting their safe, boring-as-hell materialistic lifestyles.

      Delete
    5. Not that you care, nor do you need to, but facts be facts: I was a dishwasher for about seven years of my life. The rest has been bussing tables, a brief shining period of working my way into a newspaper job with no degree; as the newspaper industry died I went to college at 30, got two separate degrees (I had no connections either and went to a cheap school; still paying for it), and graduated to spend, what was it, five years slinging pizza with 20-year-olds and far worse, till I finally got to use my verbal skills again at an advertising agency. Now with economizing I can go to Paris once a year, and then back to the job. I am very grateful for what I have now, and I am damned lucky to have all my limbs, considering what I've done to numb myself in the past. I've seen the rich kids with no aptitude rise, and I've been fucking angry, and now I'm a relatively lucky office drone who makes sure the word Triscuits is spelled right all day.
      Fortune is a fickle bitch. No doubt you want to punch me. But them's the facts. Oh yeah, I did visit the Queen last year though.

      Delete
    6. PS When I got a perfect score on the verbal portion of the SAT, my dad thought of letting me apply to Harvard "as a joke." But it cost 60 dollars to apply, so he decided that was too expensive for a joke. I know why you're pissed. I have landed on my feet for the moment, but I know there's always the dishroom waiting--assuming you still have the strength/limbs/will to do it. I wish you a merciful death.

      Delete
  9. Hi Karl, I believe your point is about the self absorption of the rich whereby they believe the poor should be sterilised or otherwise killed/reduced to stop the poor taking money and resources that might better go to the already rich. If the self absorption point had been more highlighted, and compared with anti-natalism as a personal individual ethical choice for one's self, where relative wealth did not influence your choice of not breeding, nor your wealth affect whether anyone else choosing to not have children, it might have a lot clearer. But conspicuous wealth will produce conspicuous consumption, and never more so than when governments in the past practised eugenics at the expense of the lives of their weakest citizens in the past (not just Germany in WW2, but the british and the americans, amongst others between the wars).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed, Malcolm. I was hoping my minimalist rendition would ,make the meaning obvious, but unfortunately some people need everything spelled out for them.

      I think there was also the aesthetic angle in the minds of those people, as they clearly found the poor and destitute a blot on their landscape.

      Delete
    2. Hi Karl, the aesthetic angle does not surprise me.When Charles Darwin was alive Darwinism appealed rather unscientifically to those who had the most, who used their wealth to blame those who had the least for what they had not got-taste and wealth. I think it was Edmund Spencer, Darwin's cousin and a breeder of cattle that succinctly turned evolution into a load of bull and lies, and invented eugenics, with his reductive logic in coining of the phrase 'The survival of the fittest'. What made people wealthy was family interbreeding because it was the chief way of keeping money, not actual physical fitness. If fitness and adaptability were the measure, then proof of adaptability would be an awful lot of victorian gentlemen dying young of obesity.

      Delete
    3. Correction-I know mis-remember names, Herbert Spencer was the man to coin the phrase 'survival of the fittest' but it was half cousin to Darwin, Francis Dalton who coined the phrase 'nature vs nurture' and the term 'eugenics' itself. Both were influenced by Darwinism and the cult of their own superiority and good taste.

      Delete
    4. Francis Galton...

      Delete
  10. This post and its comments are very good. Hopefuly I'll have time to answer it, even the post by "white trash" which I found quite funny, by this weekend. Until then!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Social Darwinism and antinatalism go together like gin and tonic, my friends. Sure, the ultimately goal might well be 200-proof human extinction – but getting the unfit not to breed is an intoxicating first round. Sterilizing the poor is better than nothing.

    ReplyDelete
  12. The legalization of abortion in the US led to a decline in crime, which is humorous to me for some reason. No matter how you look at it, there needs to be less poor people.

    Of course, I am not suggesting that all the poor people just fuck off and let the rich people have their fun. We should eliminate the conditions that create poverty. Sterilizing poor people is just treating the symptons of a disease. Undoubtedly there does need to be some serious population control but people will bitch about their "right" to impose life on someone else.

    Although I think the whole species should die, I don't have the audacity to be one of those hopeful ANs who thinks he can get people to die off. I hope that the future will be a pleasanter place and that to me is the only reasonable thing I can hope for. Suicide booths, anyone? Hey, there's one way to decrease the population and give the people what they want at the same time.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Being pregnant was very much like falling in love. You are so open. You are so overjoyed. There’s no words that can express having a baby growing inside of you so, of course, you want to scream it out and tell everyone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And inside you, your child is screaming out, "somebody save me from this devil woman that's about to enslave me for life".

      Everytime I hear comments from pregnant women it's all about them. You, you, you. You feel, you want, you desire, you love. And yet it's not real love. Real love doesn't enslave somebody else.

      Delete
    2. "True" or "real love" doesn't breathe the air of reality: that one gains utility from a 'beloved' cannot not have been expected. "To fall in love" is to become captivated by the aura of one's object of desire, hence to gravitate towards colliding with and plucking it from the skies. This is love within the real ... an aggression that only the worst kind of bully would project upon a target that cannot possibly move out of the way.

      Delete
  14. giving birth is an ecstatic jubilant adventure.It is a woman's crowning creative experience of a lifetime.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So it's all about the woman's selfish desires and the child's welfare doesn't matter a damn? Pretty telling.

      Delete
    2. Sometimes when you pick up your child you can feel the map of your own bones beneath your hands, or smell the scent of your skin in the nape of his neck. This is the most extraordinary thing about motherhood - finding a piece of yourself separate and apart that all the same you could not live without.

      Delete
    3. Yup, like most things in this sad life, it's all about ownership and control.

      Delete
    4. That reminds me of a short conversation I had with a co-worker last month. It was cold and hence her genetic condition, namely Raynaud's syndrome ( basically blood vessels constrict in the fingers to the point of them turning white or blue or black&dead in some extreme cases) started to bother her again. She remarked that it would stop with either menopause or the first child...
      which is from what I've gathered by studying Dr Wiki and the internets blatant nonsense and a strange notion for her to have, given that she seems to be highly-educated after all. (Yes, yes, I know...)

      Apart from the obvious madness of using a child as - in this case ineffective - means to an end thus passing on the same curse to it by quite a chance, this must be maternal love in a nutshell, eh?

      Delete
  15. Well, strike that ... it may indeed ease with menopause and pregnancy but it will just continue after the latter...
    The general idea still stands!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Karl,

    What is your opinion of philosopher Theodor Adorno who argued fiercely for the human and social importance of music?

    I personally can't go along with this at all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Adorno has a few good insights regarding the Enlightenment, but he stinks of elitism (he absolutely hated jazz, for example). He clearly believed he was one of mandarin class who would prescribe for all the others, plus he believed in the dignity and value of human life.

      The other thing that strikes me always is that he is absolutely in love with the sound of his own voice.

      Delete
  17. Karl this is totally off topic but i had to post it:)

    The FIRST CONFIRMED ANTINATALIST IN TV FICTION! And on HBO! XD!(he has a daughter but it's more like jim's situation)

    You should watch "True Detective" this is one badass scene:)

    Scene download: http://www32.zippyshare.com/v/42838153/file.html

    (Two Detectives in a Car)

    Hart: I'm not trying to convert you.

    Rust:Look. I consider myself a realist, all right,but in philosophical terms,I'm what's called a pessimist.


    Hart:Um, okay.What's that mean?

    Rust:Means I'm bad at parties.


    Hart: Heh. Let me tell you. You ain't great outside of parties either.


    Rust: I think human consciousness was a tragic misstep in evolution.

    Rust: We became too self-aware.

    Rust:Nature created an aspect of nature separate from itself.


    Rust: We are creatures that should not exist by natural law.

    Hart: Huh. That sounds god-fucking-awful, Rust.

    Rust: We are things that labor under the illusion of having a self,


    Rust:This accretion of sensory experience and feeling,programmed with total assurance that we are each somebody when, in fact, everybody's nobody.


    Hart: I wouldn't go around spouting that shit, I was you.

    Hart: People around here don't think that way.

    Hart: I don't think that way.

    Rust: I think the honorable thing for our species to do is deny our programming, stop reproducing

    Rust: walk hand in hand into extinction,


    Rust: One last midnight,brothers and sisters


    Rust: Opting out of a raw deal.

    Hart: So what's the point of getting out bed in the morning?

    Rust: I tell myself I bear witness, but the real answer is that it's obviously my programming,

    Rust: and I lack the constitution for suicide.

    Hart: My luck, I picked today to get to know you.

    Hart: 3 months, I don't hear
    a word from you, and--

    Rust:- You asked.

    Hart: And now I'm begging you to shut the fuck up.

    - End

    (Haha, i got the same reaction from a friend "shut up!!"). I'm really glad there's an antinatalist in a soon to be popular show. I'm thinking the show has to reach some people right? Kudos to the show creator, bravo:)

    Also i want to ask Dimasok why he closed his blog to uninvited guests? Is it because of trolls? it's a real bummer, i check your blog daily man.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for that. I saw the YouTube clip and it looks great.

      As for Dima, your best bet is probably to contact him through the Facebook groups.

      Delete
    2. Thanks karl, as for Dimasok he made a final vid http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zc_DDheYFbc

      I completely understand his point and wish him good luck. To rage against breeders can be exhausting and if advocating antinatalism brings you nothing but more pain,frustration,etc then you should take some time off or just stop fighting for the cause (the basic "don't procreate" is basically all you need).

      I've seen many quietly "vanish", nothing wrong with it. Anyways, Dimasok i really enjoyed your vids and personally i do think your material has been a comfort for many. Take care.

      Delete
    3. He's still very active on the Facebook scene, so he hasn't really gone anywhere.

      And yes, arguing with idiots becomes a waste of time in the end, as well as dispiriting. After seven years of it I can well testify!

      Delete
    4. And now we know he took from Ligotti... Verbatim, I believe.

      Delete
  18. Karl,

    OT.

    Have you read this interview about suicide with Sister Y?

    http://hooverhog.typepad.com/hognotes/2008/09/hoover-hog-you-have-described-yourself-as-a-currently-non-practicing-suicide-what-does-this-meansister-y-i-am-very-much-i.html

    My first reaction is that nobody is "forced to live" unless forcibly prevented from doing so, which doesn't seem to be what is claimed here. The Stoic view of suicide seems most reasonable, and doesn't require the kind of moaning, wailing and striking of attitudes which seems to typify these "forced to live" discussions. I wonder if we have Christianity to thank for the bugaboo about suicide; I would guess so.

    But I think we should address the idea of suicide as we should everything else, which is to say reasonably and responsibly, with primary emphasis on what harm our suicide would cause others, rather than merely asserting the existence of a right to kill ourselves for purely selfish reasons.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can't consent to be born, first of all. You have been, by definition, forced to live. You have been forced to live just like you have been forced to be the sex you are an have the color of eyes that you have.

      Since the only method of suicide available is DIY suicide, you must play a game of Russian Roulette that might result in institutionalization at best and horrific disability at worst. You are subject to emotional blackmail; it's a classic case of blaming the victim.

      If you must do something in total secrecy without anyone else having knowledge of it, I think it's safe to say that you are being forced not to do it.

      As for other people, I think it all depends on how badly you are suffering. The problem with mental illness is that you can't make others understand how awful it is. I hate to break it to you, but nobody is capable of not being primarily "selfish". If you decide to be a martyr of agony up on a cross of mental illness, that is only because it pains you more to think of you family and friends being bereaved. If you are truly extraordinarily ill you will not have the luxury of being so noble and thoughtless.

      Delete
    2. Anon,

      I think it is egoistic of anyone to think that their committing suicide will harm others terribly.

      Moreover, if someone is indeed caused unbearable pain by their suicide, they have a way of stopping it too. =)

      Delete
    3. I am the second anon. I meant to say "noble and selfless" so I wasn't trying to insult the OP.

      Delete
    4. If suicide was easy, I wouldn't be typing on this or any other blog.

      Delete
  19. Motherhood is near to divinity. It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, to reproduce bestows divinity, eh? Such modesty:-)

      Delete
    2. Aaand next on the Human Channel: Humans, the Most Awesome Creatures in the Universe (as Judged by Themselves).

      By the way: *mother*hood and *man*kind – interesting choice of words… :-D

      Delete
    3. Motherhood- so easy a cockroach can do it. I guess it is near to divinity, whatever, sure. God sacrifices his son as a blood offering so the story goes, and so does every mother sacrifice her own child to suffering and death. So yeah if that's your idea of what divinity is, go ahead and proclaim yourself divine. Just keep in mind that all you've actually done is lay somebody else on the altar. Go ahead and tell your child that you think you are "near to divinity". Prepare for a well deserved slap to the face ~Aleis

      Delete
    4. It really is divinity. My sister showed disappointment when i wouldn't treat her like a goddess and treated her more like a criminal. Every mother is guilty of murder, slavery and crimes against the peace. The thing about my sister is, she very well knows the truth about life but she does not want to give up the glory that comes with motherhood and all the perks (purpose, belonging,marriage,etc).

      What are you gonna do eh? When every sibling has kids and you stand alone at home, at work , seeing all those "aliens" swapping baby pictures and cheering when someone popped out another one...Thank the stars i'm an introvert, if i was an extrovert i'd probably explode.

      Delete
  20. I am addressing my comment to the Anonymous who posted the suicide interview with Sister Y:

    Does anyone owe anyone else his or her life?

    Does anyone have a duty to suffer for anyone else's benefit (or to forestall anyone else's prospective suffering)?

    Does the mere fact (i.e. imposition) of being born render each one of us a slave -- to family, to community, to the species?

    It seems to me that, in the absence of answering any of the above in the affirmative, there's nothing more selfish, and therefore more hypocritical, than stigmatizing suicide as "a selfish act."

    Even if it is, so what? Unless the 'collateral damage' of killing oneself is premeditated & also irreparable (which it very rarely is), so what? 'The world', after all, could stand to be relieved -- freely by self-selection -- of as many desperately (i.e. pathologically) miserable people as possible; gratitude rather than scorn (or taboo-fear) being the more appropriate, more civilized (i.e. pre-modern, pre-JCI), response.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's what bugs me sometimes – that many people are quick to label suicide as selfish, yet they fail to recognize their own selfishness: ”Please don't kill yourself. (I will miss you. And anyway, what will the neighbours say? How will I look them in the eye?)”

      And the same applies to not wanting children. That's selfish of you! Never mind our selfish reasons for wanting them… Oh, wait, ours are not selfish reasons, they are holy ones! Yeees.

      (Damn, the same applies to everything. It all boils down to this “me (us) good, you (them) bad” mentality that most (if not all) of us humans have.)

      I think this quote from Anthony de Mello hits the nail on the head: “Part of waking up is that you live your life as you see fit. And understand: That is not selfish. The selfish thing is to demand that someone else live their life as YOU see fit. […] The selfishness lies in demanding that someone else live their life to suit your tastes, or your pride, or your profit, or your pleasure.” (bold by me)

      Delete
  21. God could not be everywhere and therefore he created mothers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So much for his alleged omnipresence.

      Delete
    2. Our Dear Leader David Cameron has following kids
      Ivan (b. 2002 – d. 2009)
      Nancy (b. 2004)
      Arthur (b. 2006)
      Florence (b. 2010)

      If the PM himself had got a big family,why is it wrong for the public then?

      Delete
    3. A troll with no redeeming features here.

      Delete
  22. Making the decision to have a child-it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even if you are a troll, it's notable that so many women think along these lines in reality: 'it's a piece of me', ownership, control, extension of self etc. Pure egotism.

      Delete
  23. Granted-there are millions who suffer on earth.But statistically I could be proved that there are
    thousands who are living a charmed life,having a nice time,making millions-pity you aren't among them,but to
    suggest that mankind must end because YOUR life isn't fun is ridiculous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Again, no doubt this is a troll, but the ubiquity of the sentiment is so pervasive that it only serves to demonstrate the real nihilism of the masses that lurks beneath their squirming sentimentality about the 'sanctity of life'.

      Delete
    2. I don't think this guy is a troll. The guy below is, but this is just a naive fellow who is having the automatic reaction to antinatalism.

      Of course, the case for AN can be made impersonally, but like all other controversial beliefs, the first thing to be attacked is "the man" who makes the argument.

      Delete
  24. Truly, this earth is a trophy cup for the industrious man. And this rightly so, in the service of natural selection. He who does not possess the force to secure his Lebensraum in this world, and, if necessary, to enlarge it, does not deserve to possess the necessities of life. He must step aside and allow stronger peoples to pass him by.
    Thats for you antinatalists! Ha ha!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yet another troll, but a sentiment typical of the right-wing moron who elevates 'natural selection' into a deity.

      Delete
    2. Karl, trolls or not, they are pretty amusing. Every time they open their mouth, bullshit gushes forth.

      Delete
    3. It is strange that these folks are so nuts about killing off the weak, yet when you mention suicide or abortion, they go apeshit and start to refer to the “sanctity of life”. The sanctity of ruling over somebody else's life.

      Delete
    4. Well Anonymous better you than me! Better to watch where your feet are headed as you and the other "stronger, worthier" peoples gallop past us antinatalists. We've seen the cliff ahead, that's why we stopped. Fools rush in, where angels fear to tred. ~Aleis

      Delete
  25. Currently there is a baby bonus of 13000 CZK (approx. 670 USD) for each child born in the country. The mother must be a citizen or permanent resident of the Czech Republic.

    ReplyDelete
  26. This reminds me of Gary, who has said more than once that poor people should be sterilized (maybe dumb people, too, I don't recall).

    As for art in the classical, traditional sense, it's dead, or not completely dead, but people are more interested in pop music and movies, sports, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Zuckerberg etc. These are the new Goethes and Newtons.

    ReplyDelete
  27. With respect Karl, perhaps you are a man that *I* don't fully understand . A long time ago, I was in Vietnam. My army friends and I were working for the US. We were trying to buy the loyalty of tribal leaders by bribing them . But our caravans kept being raided in the forest by the tribals. So, we went looking for the tribals. For six months, we kept giving them clothes,food,durables. One day, I saw a local child playing with a broken radio given by us. The tribals had been throwing them away.

    Well, the tribals thought raiding was good sport. Because some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.
    You are think are such a man.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh right, so because those people didn't want to be assimilated by your way of life, there's something 'wrong' with them; because they didn't want to be bought off by invaders on their own land, they're primitive and 'backward'.

      Incredible, but not sadly uncommon, parochialism.

      Delete
    2. "Some men just want to watch the world burn."
      ... while others like to set people afire on napalm.

      Delete
  28. Hi Karl,

    long-time follower of your blog here, thanks for keeping it alive! Paris, yes? I'm quite jealous, but will probably get there myself in april (with my parents). Have you visited Shakespeare and Company?

    Cheers

    PS: Also thanks for recommending Buzzati and Dazai. Two greats! I read No Longer Human and was thrilled, I already liked Akutagawa (especially his auto-biography). Any other recommendation in this genre?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Shakespeare and Co. is ok. All English books and loud tourists. You're better off wandering the quays looking at the book stalls.

      As for recommendations, I haven't been reading much fiction lately. Beckett and Celine will always remain the top dogs of literary pessimism, I imagine, plus Houellebecq in the present day.

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Karl. Yes, tourists, and people in general. As someone who suffers from a mild form of social phobia or however it's called, this will be quite a test. I know Celine but never read anything from him, will check him out! Of Houellebecq I read his Lovecraft essay, and also have La carte et le territoire (not read).

      Delete
    3. Read Celine's 'Journey to the End of the Night', the blackest novel ever written.

      Houellebecq's 'Atomised' (or 'The Elementary Particles' in some translations) is his masterpiece.

      Delete
    4. Could you do a top ten depressing books/authors, with brief descriptions of the material mentioned? I imagine it would draw on your experience quite a lot, and encourage reading as a good human habit....

      Delete
  29. Don’t even talk to me about ma mum. She was never a mother! Just the psychotic twat I lived with for the first fourteen years

    ReplyDelete
  30. I come from a poor family, and I agree the poor should not have children. It's a vicious cycle. Very seldom these children would turn out well.

    At least the population will dramatically decrease as a result, and these rich and privileged people will be less so because there are less people doing the dirty and low paid jobs for them.

    A more just society for all. I'd say.

    ReplyDelete