Underpopulation wasn’t caused by ‘capitalism.’ It was caused by the left’s insidious, century-long campaign to usher in a culture of death.Underpopulation wasn’t caused by ‘capitalism.’ It was caused by the left’s insidious, century-long campaign to usher in a culture of death.
Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez informed her social media followers that many Americans can no longer afford children because of the “burdens of capitalism.”
“There are quite a few countries that are really struggling because young people, under the burdens of capitalism … we’re not having kids. Or we’re not having kids at the same rate! And we actually need immigrant populations to help balance things out,” she said.
While AOC is correct that the West is experiencing a profound underpopulation crisis, she’s wrong about the reason. It is the left’s insidious, century-long campaign to usher in a culture of death that is at the core of the underpopulation problem.
The Demonization of Big Families
More than a hundred years ago, Margaret Sanger, who is the founder of Planned Parenthood (America’s largest abortion provider), launched the birth control movement because she believed that the world was suffering from an overpopulation crisis. “The creators of over-population are the women, who, while wringing their hands over each fresh horror, submit anew to their task of producing the multitudes who will bring about the next tragedy of civilization,” she claimed.
Sanger worked hard to change cultural perceptions of large families in order to promote birth control and fix the population “crisis.” One of her favorite tactics was fearmongering women out of having many children.
“To me, the distinction between happiness and unhappiness in childhood was one of small families and of large families rather than of wealth and poverty,” wrote Sanger in her autobiography. “Large families associated with poverty, toil, unemployment, drunkenness, cruelty, fighting, jails; the small ones with cleanliness, leisure, freedom, light, space, sunshine.”
Sanger claimed large families tend to produce “unwanted and undesired children” and perpetuate “poverty, misery, disease, overcrowding, congestion, child labor, infant mortality, [and] maternal mortality.” Ultimately, as Sanger wrote in “The Case For Birth Control,” it would be“[b]etter a single child properly reared by a happy contented mother than a dozen ill-fed, unkempt, dirty, vicious and half-baked hoodlums.”
Modern population control activists share Sanger’s abhorrence of large families. Estranged ex-royals Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are among the most notable of the many young couples vowing to limit their families in the name of “climate change.”
While Sanger was more concerned with the economic ramifications of “overpopulation,” she and today’s leftists agree in several key areas. Both claim they want to empower women and promote human rights, and both maintain that too many children will lead to the destruction of mankind.
A recent study found that 39 percent of young people said they were “hesitant to have children” because of climate change. But climate change fears aren’t the only reason young people feel ambivalent and even hostile toward the idea of having a big family. As Sanger’s rhetoric makes clear, the demonization of large families far predates Harry and Meghan. Indeed, the numbers reflect a decades-long decline in birth rates.
Getting Rid of the ‘Undesirables’
Margaret Sanger was a eugenicist, classist, ableist, and racist. Her goal to rid the world of “undesirables” is being carried out through the hundreds of thousands of abortions that take place every year.
Margaret Sanger declared that “Women of the working class, especially wage workers, should not have more than two children at most.” She believed that parents with many children were incapable of investing adequate time and money to raise them properly.
This line of thinking has not gone away. During a 2011 debate in the House of Representatives over a bill that would defund the Sanger-founded Planned Parenthood of federal tax dollars, Wisconsin Congresswoman Gwen Moore suggested it would be better for unborn children to die in abortions than grow up having to live poor and eating “Ramen noodles” and “mayonnaise sandwiches.”
More recently, Democrat Rep. Katie Porter said on MSNBC that families can survive Joe Biden’s inflationary economy by aborting their children. Because killing kids saves money, right?
In a 1932 speech delivered to the “New History Society,” Sanger described her vision for the perfect United States. According to Sanger, a “population congress” would ideally “apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is already tainted or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring.”
The mentally and physically challenged continue to be targeted today. Studies show that babies prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted at a rate of somewhere around 80-90 percent. In Denmark, around 98 percent of parents whose unborn children receive a Down syndrome diagnosis choose to abort their babies. In 2019, only 18 children with Down syndrome were born in the entire country.
The Sanger sentiment has really sunk in. Just listen to “The View” co-host Ana Navarro suggest that if a child is found to have a disability in the womb, it is preferable to kill the child than to give him or her a chance at life.
One of Sanger’s most cherished initiatives was her “Negro Project.” She masked her eugenic goals by claiming to promote “bodily autonomy” in black neighborhoods. And to gain access to and trust in these communities, she enlisted the help of black pastors.
Today her apologists are rewriting history to make it seem like Sanger really wanted to help black Americans, but that idea is ridiculous. It ignores Sanger’s writings and her associations with groups like the KKK, who shared her goal of weeding out the “unfit” by preventing the birth of “undesirables.”
Abortion supporters today say “even if that’s true, who cares? It’s not like Planned Parenthood is racist today.” On the contrary, Sanger’s “Negro Project” is alive and well. The vast majority of Planned Parenthood clinics remain in minority neighborhoods. According to the CDC, black women undergo 38 percent of abortions in the United States, yet black Americans only make up 13.4 percent of the U.S. population. One study actually found that black women in New York City have more abortions than live births.
In the late 1950s, Sanger made her last horrible contribution to the world when she recruited researcher Gregory Pincus to develop an oral contraceptive, and in 1960, “the pill” was approved by the Food and Drug Administration. And with the introduction of “consequence-free” sex, our current population crisis became inevitable.
The second-wave feminist movement and its partner in crime, the pill, destroyed cultural priorities. It discouraged people from starting families. It lied to women, making them believe that their children are chains and the corporate rat race is freedom. It promoted hook-up culture and open relationships. It told people that sex could be separated from reproduction so that when they were faced with an unplanned pregnancy, their already self-centered outlook led to more abortions.
In 1910, President Theodore Roosevelt gave a speech at the Sorbonne in Paris, where he stated:
The first essential in any civilization is that the man and the woman shall be father and mother of healthy children, so that the race shall increase and not decrease. If this is not so, if through no fault of the society there is failure to increase, it is a great misfortune. If the failure is due to deliberate and willful fault, then it is not merely a misfortune, it is one of those crimes of ease and self-indulgence, of shrinking from pain and effort and risk, which in the long run Nature punishes more heavily than any other.
Punishment may be exactly what has befallen Western civilization. AOC is right. Economic disaster is brewing as the elderly are now outnumbering the young, placing a strain on our many social entitlements and general productivity. But the cause of our impending doom is not “capitalism.” It’s the culture of death launched by Margaret Sanger and perpetuated by AOC and the leftist movement she leads.
Evita Duffy is a staff writer to The Federalist and the co-founder of the Chicago Thinker. She loves the Midwest, lumberjack sports, writing, & her family. Follow her on Twitter at @evitaduffy_1 or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org