Outbreeding others only makes sense if you have no viewpoint of your own – only that of your group. In other words: collectivism. If breeding was the key to success we would all migrate to Africa and rabbits would have landed on the Moon.
Headcount doesn’t ensure economic success. It doesn’t make Uganda rich and space age innovation doesn’t routinely come from Mexico. The key to economic success lays on an entirely different axis that puts quality over quantity when it comes to human resources. And it requires the freedom to set your own course.
This is why breeding doesn’t ensure ideological success either – despite what its proponents peddle. Here is a nice summary from Houellebecq about the way religious people try to sooth themselves that religion is successful. As in: outbreeding others, not in any real sense.
Basically, they argue that belief in a transcendent being conveys a genetic advantage: that couples who follow one of the three religions of the Book and maintain patriarchal values have more children than atheists or agnostics. You see less education among women, less hedonism and individualism. And to a large degree, this belief in transcendence can be passed on genetically. Conversions, or cases where people grow up to reject family values, are statistically insignificant. In the vast majority of cases, people stick with whatever metaphysical system they grow up in. That’s why atheist humanism – the basis of any “pluralist society” – is doomed. Monotheism is on the rise, especially in the Muslim population – and that’s even before you factor in immigration.Michel Houellebecq: Submission (2015)
So it’s genetic, no less. Right. They also use the success of an idea and the success of a person interchangeably. They can because no one will notice. Everyone will freak out at their confident boasting. And finally, their definition of success is questionable:
Outbreeding others only makes sense in a collectivist mindset. When you lose your own viewpoint and think as if you were your own prime minister / president / church leader / dictator. But you are not.
When we confuse our viewpoints with that of our leaders, we are all victims of the way they taught us history in school:
- A country can make a decision, it attacks, it loses, it suffers. Not its people, not its leaders, the country.
- Countries, religions, nations can even be offended.
- Races can be successful and less so. Poor Neanderthal must have spent its lifetime crying and sad because he went extinct. They told us that homo sapiens (as such) were successful.
You may or may not remember anything from history classes. But you definitely still apply the implied message: that success is a group-thing. That a country is successful when it’s biggest on the map.
But that doesn’t equal to the happiness of its population. Or their success. Or that someone will invent medicine there. Only a person can smile or be happy. Only a person can invent things. Applying these notions on groups creates the illusion that we need to pursue group success. Perpetuating the species, even if we all suffer.
Because a group can be (called) successful even when every member is miserable. And that is what fundamentalists and nationalists peddle. Subjugate half the population into slavery (unpaid household and sex work, which I refuse to call marriage), the other half to political powerlessness. They will be miserable and subservient but they’ll hopefully outbreed the enlightenment-folk and take their land. And keep being miserable there.
The question came up in relation to the increasing migration into Europe as Middle Eastern dictatorships burst. Population was alright over there, so were the so called family values and women’s submission. And yet, it didn’t work.
Hence my last remarks:
A breeding-focused economy didn’t even succeed in terms of GDP. Fundamentalists get all that unpaid work out of women, they relieve the male half of the population from the burden of female competition at the workplace – and they can still not produce a cent of GDP that is not based on oil or tax havens. They secured the perpetuation of their own kind but sustainable economic success still eludes them. I think it’s time we put the population=economic success fallacy to rest.
Besides, it is also tribalism. Those who fret about the decline in a population want to outbreed the wrong kind of humans. The other tribe, the other religion, the other race. In short, the breeding dogma is inherently racist. Not that it makes its proponents feel ashamed. They are not-racist-but.
As a non-religious person I always had a beef with the way fundies treat women. Religions are inherently misogynistic and yes, religious women are misogynistic too. It hasn’t been PC to blame Islam, but it is OK to bash the local Christian Democrats, who routinely submit laws to limit women’s rights. Because family. I also look in horror at the Haredi Jews and their medieval birth rates and the Quiverfull cult, the most despicable Christian group I had the misfortune to learn about. Having a TV show dedicated to their fertility porn is probably the lowest point reality TV has ever sunk to. Breeding like rabbits is the hallmark of a society/culture/civilisation stuck in its self-inflicted childhood. If it was up to them, they would also still die at medieval rates.
The response to this nonsense is not a counter-religion, not a counter-fundamentalism and out-breeding them – but secularism. And again, human rights. Liberate those women from their choice-less lives and you will see reason in birth numbers. You will see education. You will see choice and freedom and success.
The one thing where population matters is the dumbest interpretation of democracy: majoritism. The idea that whatever the majority wants should happen (as opposed to whoever the majority elects should decide) – combined with identity politics, when my group dictates my stance.
Yes, there’s room for improvement there. But not through multiplying the numbers of the right kind.
The answer is understanding what made Europe great, what makes it desirable, what democracy should be and the spreading of enlightenment, human rights, secularism, and women’s equality among those still missing it.
Enlightenment is man’s leaving his self-caused immaturity. Immaturity is the incapacity to use one’s intelligence without the guidance of another. Such immaturity is self-caused if it is not caused by lack of intelligence, but by lack of determination and courage to use one’s intelligence without being guided by another. Sapere Aude! Have the courage to use your own intelligence! is therefore the motto of the enlightenment.
This is not your usual Malthusian whining. I am not concerned about resources. People fix problems – provided they have the freedom to do so and get rewarded. (As opposed to expected to do so and henceforth not rewarded.)
My concern is the relative value of a human life and the impact of being replaceable and disposable. We already know how it looks like when the collective reduces a group of people to be all but a function. Women in these medieval societies are mere reproductive functions and no one in their right mind wants to be one of them. But in an uncontrolled population boom everyone is worth less, not just women.
In behavioural science ‘societal collapse’ or ‘behavioural sink‘ describes the consequences of overcrowding. The answer is not more people of the right kind. It is to stop treading on each other and give back the individual the right of choice.
Image: Brittany Wright
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