Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Social engineering

There has been lots in the media lately about controlling population numbers.

There are arguments for increasing the numbers of babies born to relieve the impending pensions crisis. Currently there are 4 working people for every retired person. In 30/40 years there will be just 2 working people for every 1 retired person.

Putting away stacks of cash for your retirement won't help - there won't be enough people to produce the food we need, or health workers to keep us all alive. We can save all the money we like but we can't keep food in the cellar and a doctor in the freezer in preparation for our retirement!

Some say we should decrease the numbers of babies born. Most of these arguments centre around the environment and the impact that the human species is having on this overcrowded planet.

The more I think about this subject the more I get freaked out. I always though I had free will to make my own choices about how I live my life, and if and when I reproduce. In actual fact I am just another pawn in the huge game of life played by the people with power.

If the Powers-that-be decide we need more babies they will engineer society in such a way as to force that to happen, or vice versa. I will just be another statistic, being helplessly swept along in a tide of other statistics of child bearing age. I will be offered tax incentives to reproduce, or not to reproduce, I will be encouraged to stay at home, or go back to work, the law will be changed to alter social attitudes towards sex, marriage, partnerships, money will be made available then taken away from infertile couples wanting IVF. The list of tactics goes on and on, and all this in the guise of Democracy.

Even more concerning to me: are the ideas in my head that I presumed are my own actually engineered by society? For example: I want to have 2 kids. Why 2? Is it because they would fit in my car better, buns comes in packs of 4, family tickets for the Zoo include 2 adult 2 kids? Is it because I have left having kids quite late in order to study for years and years, and I no longer have the time to have 10 children? I chose to go to uni didn't I? or did I? Was it actually a government initiative to increase the numbers of students going into Higher Education and yet again I got swept along. Having kids at 17 just isn't done these days if you are an aspiring intelligent woman of the 21st century.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not about to jack it all in and go and live in a tree house wearing sackcloth and eating acorns. I like my 3 bedroom house in suburbia and my sensible car. However I liked the idea I was autonomous but have come to realise I'm not. Not in any way shape or form. I'm just another piece in a huge game and I don't make the rules.


Blogger OboeJane said...

Who says having lots of money won't help? There won't be ENOUGH food/healthcare etc - not there won't be ANY. There is a big difference.

In other words, the people with the most cash will, as always, be ok. And the poor will put up with the shortages.

3:46 PM  
Blogger Christian Briddon said...

The rich could always eat the poor in the future. That would solve the food problems and free up much needed doctors and hospital beds.

I should go into politics. :-)

4:28 PM  
Blogger rach said...

crikey, say what you think guys, don't hold back

5:48 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

What a jolly post... I tend to end up thinking similar things (although I doubt I'll bear children personally) at certain times. However, I am autonomous, I excercise freewill, I don't read the paper and I don't listen to the news so there's no way they can socially engineer *me*.

I also end up worrying about this stuff on a grander scale. I read a lot of Stephen Baxter novells and a recent trilogy of his covered the life of the human species from the dawn of man through 10s of thousands of years of evolution. It didn't necessarily turn out all that pretty, and the journey was rocky. He predicted that Global Warming will cause natural disasters and change the way we live completely. Most worrying of all was his prediction that carbon based fuels (petrol) will be banned within the next 20 years - cars will be hydrogen powered buggies.

I'd better come to visit before they stop selling petrol :o)

9:28 PM  

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