Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A Faulty Anthropology

Given that Iraq's child-mortality rate is the highest in the world, it's a trifle...unedifying to see Western commentators fretting over a "shortage of children."

That said, it's hard not to admire the ease with which Patrick Kelly, vice president of the Knights of Columbus, anatomizes the problem:

"The problem consists of a faulty anthropology that detaches human freedom from the truth and values the person in strictly individualistic and materialistic terms," observed Kelly. "This was the great error of communism, and it now presents an enormous challenge to the consumer cultures of the West."
The great error of communism was its overemphasis on individualism? Surely Mr. Kelly is a queer farfetched man.

Though he's not alone in that, God knows:
Author and public policy expert Phillip Longman says the concept that if your parents never had children, chances are you won't as well, rings true across the world today.
That's a sentence worth printing out and carrying with you, just in case you come across someone who needs an anaesthetic.

The article insists that the child shortage is "not being fueled by high child mortality rates." I guess that makes a certain sort of warped sense, so long as your concern is with regulating sexual behavior, rather than with the survival of children per se. But even so, it's quite possible that some people are failing to procreate to the satisfaction of busybodies like Patrick Kelly because they're so completely fucking horrified by how we treat the children who are already here.

(Illustration at top: "An exhibit comparing white and Negro fetuses from the Eugenics Record Office at Cold Spring Harbor, 1921." Via The Adoption History Project.)


Phila said...


3:09 PM

You must be a communist.

Anonymous said...

Only on sundays.

Coeruleus said...

Almost surreal if it weren't so true. [sides splitting]