You are here

What population policy means to a people


Talk of 'population policy', of meeting population targets, or using immigration to achieve particular growth goals conceals a much larger problem and moral issue. Furthermore, it allows people who promote such policies, or who accept them for personal benefit, to wash their hands of the moral implications that such policy has. Generally, these questions of population are seen as simply matters of numbers and resources, and it is definitely true that there are issues of numbers, space and resource management behind these. But behind all this is a larger issue, one obvious when seen, but rarely pointed out. The very acceptance of the idea that a 'population policy', or any policy or idea to that effect being implemented for economic or growth purposes creates a moral dilemma. To accept this as valid governance is to reject another idea, that of a people having the right to self determination and self preservation. That growth, or lack thereof of a nation is determined by peoples individual reproductive choices.

The problem is that once you entrust growth of the population and future direction to powerful individuals, whether in the government or in business, the ordinary people lose their right and ability to secure their own future. Having a system whereby a nation is subject to arbitrary population policy is a crime against that nation of people. Period. Policy which may influence birth rates through incentives or disincentives is different, as population in those cases is still determined by people’s individual reproductive choices. The future of a population of people is no longer in the hands of the people who share its future, but in those who may only see the people as a resource, or worse still, only see the state as a resource and people as merely human assets. People then become interchangeable and replaceable. A subtle, but very significant shift happens here. The identity of the people, the nation itself, the nation of people no longer exists in a political sense. The country has changed from being a tool of a people to organise themselves and to serve them, to a resource controlled by a few, whose make up is arbitrary and can be changed at will. All that matters now is numbers, and some will argue the population should be higher, others lower, but this is now all done from the perspective of the needs of the economy and the needs of the system. The people essentially hand themselves over and are now owned by state and government interests. Whether the state is a democracy or not, whether it has been popularly voted it or not doesn't matter. No individual should have the right to decide the fate of a people.

This has been happening for some time in the West and is so obvious, that no one sees it any more. But if, for example, you took control of Nepal and convinced them to have a population policy, and that the primary political endeavour would be to expand "Nepal" economically and structurally, then you would have essentially changed the nation to one which exists for its own sake because it is a nation of people, to one which is working for defined objectives (Growth, etc.). The people are now a means to an ends, rather than the ends in themselves. Now having established that, you can implement any legal population policy you like, even if it is one which results in rapid growth and in the original population becoming a minority or even being assimilated into the population you constructed and defined. You have also severely undermined the moral authority of the people to oppose you. You can even go further, and accuse those who object of undermining the country’s future.

This is an act of hostility against the nation, but by getting people to accept the premise that "Nepal" can and should be run as an enterprise, rather than be acknowledged as a nation of people, they've tacitly accepted this fate. If my goal was to engineer, modify the nation, or even completely change it demographically, I have targeted them, their way of life and identity for destruction. If one’s vision of 'progress' however involves destruction, destruction of suburbs, of parks, of heritage buildings and open spaces which people enjoy, why wouldn't it extend to include people? But there is a significant difference. One can own a building, and while it is a shame to allow people to destroy a building of beauty for gaudy apartment blocks, their ownership fits in with our morality.

But can one own a people? Does someone have the same right to engineer or change a population) the way they do their possessions? I argue they do not, and that being democratically elected does not grant one that right. Elected or not, no one has a right to decide for a people what their future is. Countries don't create nations. Nations of people create countries. Therefore the government which runs a country has no right to engineer a nation. Whether it is the Japanese nation, German or Kenyan, their respective government cannot assume the right to change the make up of the nations they are responsible for. The people of those nations must therefore call their governments out when they assume powers that aren't theirs.

We, however, are discouraged from looking at the issue in this manner. "Practicality" we are told, must trump all. But does economic benefit, growth or the housing industry justify this? Is it acceptable to reshape humanity, or sections of it for these purposes, or allow this to happen because of your policy?

We can see a more recent, clear example here.

This conference believes that the destiny of the natives of Aboriginal origin, but not of the full blood, lies in their ultimate absorption by the people of the Commonwealth and it therefore recommends that all efforts be directed to that end. Nobody who knows about these groups could deny that their members are socially and culturally deprived. We must improve their lot so that they can take their place economically and socially in the general community. Once this is done, the breakup of such groups will be rapid. [1] [2]

This was viewed by some as genocide, but not through killing or displacement, but by engineering the population. This was a deliberate attempt, but what if it was just promoted as an ideal? What if the government gave incentives for people to move to make this happen? What if the government marginalised Aboriginals who objected as being backward and intolerant of change? Are there any circumstances by which this goal could be achieved, and this be considered acceptable? I would argue not, and most people would likely agree.

We must be aware of the potential problems that can occur through poor 'population policy'. We should analyse it not just on economic and practical terms, but make those who promote policy accountable for the cultural and national impact that such policies have. If those policies pose threats to an identifiable group of people, then we must hold people who propose such policies morally accountable. This seems odd, as in the West we have been conditioned not to view ourselves this way. Populations always change over time, naturally, this is to be expected. But there is a smooth continuum from natural change, to forced change, from the migrations of people westwards into Europe prior to the establishment of civilisation, to forced assimilation to “breed out the black”. Between these two, there is a vast grey area, an area where it easy to move from acceptable to unacceptable. Where change can turn from natural to forced. Where demographic change can turn from natural evolution to forced engineering, as is happening in the West.

The idea of 'population policy', the tool that governments use to move masses of people can easily swing us from acceptable to unacceptable. It is this we must be wary of, and be willing to call our elected leaders out on.

NOTES

[1] http://www.stolengenerations.info/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=140&Itemid=109

[2] http://www.kooriweb.org/foley/resources/pdfs/52.pdf

Comments

The high population growth policies of both Liberal and Labor governments in recent years in Australia definitely amount to social engineering. The 2011 census showed that more than one quarter of people living in Australia were born overseas. Five years earlier “22.2% of Australians counted in the 2006 Census were born overseas”. In 2011 only 53% of Australians were children of 2 Australian -born parents whereas the 2006 census showed than 70% were of 2 Australian born parents. . The ABS says –

“Australia's population has increased each year since the end of World War II, due to a combination of high post-war fertility and high levels of migration. In 1901, 23% of Australia's population was born overseas. By 1947, the proportion of the overseas-born population had declined to 10%. The creation of a national government immigration portfolio in 1945 accompanied a gradual increase in the proportion of overseas-born Australians, reaching 22% by 1977. During the 1980s, 1990s and the early 2000s the overseas-born population fluctuated between 21% and 23%. At 30 June 2008, the number of overseas-born Australians was 5.5 million, representing just over one-quarter (26%) of the total population.”
http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/lookup/92C0101965E7DC14CA25773700169C63?opendocument

The 26% of people living in Australia being born overseas is of course not the highest it has ever been. In the 1890s it was over 30% but the proportion is now on the rise.

So, with only just over half of us being of 2 Australian born parents we cannot really as a whole “people” have more than a superficial grip on the land. This has been the problem ever since Europeans came here. There just cannot be the incidental oral history that you pick up from your father and mother as you grow up about the place you live in if your parents were not born in that place. You may be very well educated in the customs of your particular cultural origins, but there cannot be but minimal experience of the local environment historically and geographically unless you have made a special study. People who come to a new country cannot compare the past to now so a newly arrived couple bringing up children can make an effort to give their children experience of the natural world around them, which is really essential but they will still not know experientially what was lost in the last 10 years. (Natural places and open spaces are being lost very rapidly) The Australian Aborigines must have apprehended this loss and the un -knowingness of the new arrivals very keenly as their own history and sense of the world around them is passed down orally and they would have been able to see that this was impossible for the new arrivals to do.

In the context of a declining proportion of Australian born people in Australia , “multiculturalism”, another piece of social engineering has been very much encouraged with heavy propaganda alongside very high immigration. This seems a recipe to persuade new arrivals that their customs from somewhere else are more important than the awareness of the place they are now in, which in reality is what links them to others who share this place. It is a fact that the destinies of disparate peoples, through immigration have become entwined and this is the reality that must be embraced as a priority rather than focussing on all that which is not shared with others living on the same continent, in the same country.

As the overseas born proportion of people who live in Australia continues to increase we will further lose our connection to the land and its history. We will in the process lose our ability to care for and protect the land for future generations. Governments do not exhibit a sense of obligation or belonging to an entity called Australia as they sign away rights to protect the environment in the face or the commercial imperatives of corporations (Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement) and in a country with over 700,000 people unemployed increase the pool of available workers (by increasing 457 visas) with impunity and no explanation. They seem to be engineering “Australia” out of existence.

This is an outstandingly educational and lucid comment, Quark. It should be an article.
Sheila N

I've had similar thoughts , but I've usually dismissed them as being "over the top" or too paranoid or radical to vocalise. It's that Australia is too dry, with a population too "small" on global scale to be a nation. It's as if some conspirators in government have already agreed to increasing the monetary value of our country, selling off our nation as an international resource, for international population, to be exploited for minerals and food. Australia is to be phased out and made a generic land, without identity, history, territories and sovereignty. Why would our real estate be sold to Chinese investors, along with businesses and land? The "multiculturalism" ignores any culture, or heritage, of Australia!
The drive to globalise Australia, and ignore our culture and history, is insidiously part of the plot. The loss of biodiversity, despite the EPBC Act and other State legislation, is contradictory and is all part of the generic drive. The ruling focus on GDP and economic growth as the indication of measureable government success, despite lowing living conditions, joblessness and the squeeze on public services because of population growth, is a business plan for increasing our wealth, and making Australia more saleable for corporations. The downward push on working and pay conditions for Australia is a reversal of the Trade Unions and Labor party history and policies.
Population growth now is stealing the future from our descendants, leaving them bereft of the Australia that was handed down in previous generation. Policies from our government are too irrational, contradictory and with high rates of immigration, it makes the population too fragmented and concerned with struggling for economic survival to actually be effective in lobbying for change.

I don't think you are paranoid, and you may be surprised to find how many people might see things the same way you do.

Quite literally, our way of life that has been built up IS being sold off. In the past, there were barriers which people had to stop their social structure being torn apart, some of it seemed nonsensical, based on mindless custom, tradition, or even some might have said bigotry and backwardness. But as we are seeing, many of these values did have, well, value! Values actually have value!

For instance, communities were often tight knit and self controlling, but this value of 'owning your area' was fought against, and now no one feels they have the right to dictate what happens in their area. This is now economically exploited.

Or values of traditional families and household structure, which again, resulted in economic exploitation. Or the idea of a common culture and shared national consciousness.

Or the sense of national ownership, the importance of social groups, clubs. Multiculturalism seems to be more about manufacturing consent for demographic engineering, than about any actual positive cultural enrichment. Most of these so called "Multicultural" organisations really don't do anything apart from trying to eradicate and marginalise opposing ideas and providing economic lubrication so indiscriminate immigration can realise economic benefits to a few as quickly and efficiently as possible. Lets not forget, the migrants themselves are exploited, many not realising what they are getting into (debt slavery, crappy low paid work, fragmented communities, brutal living costs). I've had more than one I've worked with tell me that if they knew what it would really be like (as opposed to what they were sold), they wouldn't have come, citing reasons of 'work to live' culture and cost of living.

Australia is being turned into a generic land, of interchangeable economic units who's value is only to an economy for economic exploitation seems to be where we are heading. But what else is there?