NRL News

The totalitarian mindset and China’s One-Child Policy

by | Nov 3, 2015

By Dave Andrusko

ChineseAbortionClinicNational Right to Life News Today has posted five stories about the announced change in China’s infamous, brutal One-Child Policy. We will continue to closely follow the story for four compelling reasons.

First, announcing that married couples may now have a second child doesn’t mean that change will be honored. “The new policy needs to be thoroughly vetted for dishonesty,” Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) wrote. “The Chinese government lies about its human rights record. In 2013 it claimed an end to the horrific ‘Reform Through Labor’ system of detention. But we know now that system has continued under different names.”

Second, while the number of “allowed” children may have increased, “Children will continue to be killed if unauthorized by the government and huge fines imposed—the so-called social compensation fee—on families who evade detection and have so-called illegal children,” Smith wrote. “Both the old and ‘new’ policies implement forced abortions, involuntary sterilizations and huge fines. These coercive methods result in a gender imbalance favoring males that drives human trafficking problems region-wide,” added Smith, who serves as the Chairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. “It remains highly restrictive because it still limits the size of Chinese families, which means it will be enforced coercively.”

Third, the reasons given for the change are as entirely demographic just as the outcome–a 118-100 boy-to-girl sex ratio and an aging population–was entirely predictable.

But, and this is a huge but, “Noticeably absent from the Chinese Communist party’s announcement is any mention of human rights,” wrote Reggie Littlejohn of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers.

“The Chinese Communist Party has not suddenly developed a conscience or grown a heart. Even though it will now allow all couples to have a second child, China has not promised to end forced abortion, forced sterilization, or forced contraception. Coercion is the core of the policy. Instituting a two-child policy will not end forced abortion or forced sterilization.”

To its credit, the Washington Post wrote a devastating editorial. I can’t honestly say if the Post was a Johnny-Come-Lately to the choir of critics of this grotesque abridgement of human rights, but it did say (in “China’s lifting of its one-child policy can’t undo the damage already done”) that

There’s a broad lesson in this about simplistic Malthusian thinking — as well as a very specific lesson about the characteristic mind-set of totalitarian states.

The Post observed that, in addition to ignoring the “radical contingency of the future ,”

What also dissolved, in the minds of the one-child policy’s architects, was any shred of compassion. Even if it had succeeded in fine-tuning China’s population growth according to some universally acknowledged criteria, the one-child policy would have been monstrous. The proof of that is the litany of forced abortions, harassed and jailed mothers and female infanticide that the policy brought in its wake, and which continued even after Beijing liberalized the rules five years ago. Those who spoke up in protest, such as dissident lawyer Chen Guangcheng — now living in U.S. exile — often wound up arrested and jailed, too.

There is a fourth reason we will continue to cover China’s population control polices, just as we have for decades. As we wrote yesterday, there were, are, and always will be apologists for what you could properly call “soft totalitarianism.”

The practitioners of soft totalitarianism, like Paul Ehrlich, start out telling you that the end-is-near, the apocalypse is around the corner unless you [fill in the blank]. In this case the 1968 doomsday prediction was “The Population Bomb.”

When their predictions do not come true, they double down, becoming even more intolerant of doubters. I am indebted to Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal for this:

“My language would be even more apocalyptic today,” an unrepentant Mr. Ehrlich told the New York Times earlier this year. “The idea that every woman should have as many babies as she wants is to me exactly the same kind of idea as, everybody ought to be permitted to throw as much of their garbage into their neighbor’s backyard as they want.”

As Stephens points out, “Notice what Mr. Ehrlich is comparing to garbage.”

Stephens traces the origins of China’s One-Child Policy to Ehrlich. But his key insight is that there will be always be people like Ehrlich–trained as an etymologist, for heaven’s sake–who make exaggerated statements and are impenetrable to evidence that they are wholly wrong. It’s the motivation of followers , who tend to be highly educated, that is mysterious. Or, maybe not. For them

What matters, rather [that evidence], is the strength of the longing. Modern liberalism is best understood as a movement of would-be believers in search of true faith. For much of the 20th century it was faith in History, especially in its Marxist interpretation. …In short, a religion without God.

Think about how abortion fits into this secular catechism . It is the be-all and end-all (literally for the unborn child) that will rescue women from the nefarious forces of history–the shackles of organized religion, the chains of customs and mores, and the manacles of the dreaded Patriarchy.

And because evidence has no place, the Planned Parenthoods, the NARALs, the EMILY Lists cannot be dissuaded.

Thus forever and always, Death=Life.

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Categories: China