Paul Ehrlich has lots of advice on how to make the world a better place. But what might a world run by Ehrlich look like?
Less populated for a start. Overpopulation, according to Ehrlich, causes madness. Over 80% of people in New York are mad, he tells us:
“We’ve stacked 75,000 people to the square mile on Manhattan and 81.5 per cent of them already suffer from some degree of neurotic or psychotic disturbance”
The Press-Courier, March 1970. World’s Big CleanUp Appears to be Major Social Problem.
Okay. So pollution and population are causing insanity. So what’s the solution?
First of all, capitalism and democracy will have to go:
“You can’t solve the world’s environment without biting the bullet and without facing very, very tough things like the redistribution of wealth, how the world’s trade system operates, the things the United States is doing to the ecology of Vietnam, the activities of the predator nations . . . if we’re going to save the globe, we’re going to have to have international policy planning”
Boca Raton News, June 1972. Expert on Population Pleased by Response.
Next for the reduction of population. The following quotes are all from the New York Times of November 25th, 1969, Page 19: “A STERILITY DRUG IN FOOD IS HINTED: Biologist Stresses Need to Curb Population Growth”:
“Some biologists feel that compulsory family regulation will be necessary to retard population growth. It is a dismal prospect – except when viewed as an alternative to Armageddon.”
Of course – compulsion requires us to believe that the only alternative is obliteration. But we would need to be convinced first of all that the choice was that stark. How could that be achieved? Ehrlich demanded the establishment of some sort of commission
“. . . with a large budget for propaganda.”
Sounds like NASA GISS. Okay. Having funded the propaganda machine, Ehrlich wanted a re-direction of effort from alleviating suffering to population reduction and mind control:
“Changing the pattern of federal support of biomedical research so that the majority of it goes into the broad areas of population regulation, environmental sciences, behaviour sciences, and related areas rather than into the short-sighted programs on death control.”
Yes, of course. All that money wasted on saving people’s lives when we should be researching “behaviour sciences” and “population regulation”. And if studies on population regulation and controlling people’s behaviour didn’t do the trick, then Ehrlich’s next demand certainly would:
“The addition of a temporary sterilant to staple food, or to the water supply. With limited distribution of antidote chemicals, perhaps by lottery“.
So there you have it, the world according to Ehrlich. End capitalism, redistribute the wealth, institute global governance, fund a massive propaganda machine, and put sterilants in the food and water.
The success of the Malthusian propaganda of the time can be judged from a poem written by two sixth-graders as part of a poetry competition on the subject of population control. The assistant director of the Population Council was so pleased with this effort that he wanted it printed and distributed nationwide, before wiser counsel persuaded him otherwise:
If we didn’t have people
We wouldn’t have pollution.
Get rid of the people.
That’s the only solution.
Cited by Pamela Winnick. A Jealous God. P. 38.
And he’s still on the same tracks. Watch Ehrlich here on Stanford University’s official Youtube channel calling for a global institution to study ways of altering our behaviour:
PS – don’t you just love the selection of books he has behind him? Toxics, then bio-ethics, then a book on Africa. Material for his next essay, perhaps?