Farewell to Future Generations

It is oft good – if still disheartening – to read of one’s deepest fears realized, for it signifies that one’s thoughts are tending in the right direction, even if those same thoughts lead to a dark place. It is thus that I, with some dismay, read the musings of one Professor Todd May of Clemson University, who claims that the extinction of humanity would be a good thing for the planet and all its animals; even if on the other hand, it would also be bad, losing all that culture, like ‘Shakespeare’, other ‘art and culture’, as well as the capacity to wonder, which the professor claims is missing in most, if not all, other animals.

May does have some hesitation on killing off people now living:

To demand of currently existing humans that they should end their lives would introduce significant suffering among those who have much to lose by dying.

Well, thanks for that. But he goes to offer a solution:

In contrast, preventing future humans from existing does not introduce such suffering, since those human beings will not exist and therefore not have lives to sacrifice. The two situations, then, are not analogous.

Yes, some sort of a priori extinction through contraception and just not having that extra child, or any children at all. The reader may peruse his original article in the New York Times here, but beware, for you will only have one free trial article left, wasting your other on this Manichean mush. And all this right before Christmas, when we celebrate life, and the Life that gives life. Professor May is some kind of Scrooge, squared. Here’s hoping for his conversion, sometime after Midnight Mass, with a visit from some kind of hopeful, or Holy, Ghost.

What amazes me most is that people actually pay to attend Clemson University and May’s lectures. Perusing their webpage, I noticed that Clemson is in South Carolina, originally an agricultural college, which still focuses on that noble enterprise, but whom will the farms feed, if it feed not those non-existent future generations? The institution also holds the honour, if it be such, as the ‘safest campus in the nation’. Well, that depends on what one means by ‘safe’. It’s not so safe, it seemeth, from intellectual idiocy from one’s professors.

Things may be moving in May’s preferred direction, with fewer and fewer humans, as the United States – one of the few countries on Earth still actually reproducing itself – has seen its slowest population growth since 1937, when the Great Depression was at its nadir, or zenith, depending on your perspective. As others have said, a nation is primarily a metaphysical entity, requiring a purpose and will, to plan, build and sacrifice for the future, including raising children. If one loses hope, why do anything at all, except maybe lounge around, going to ‘work’ in some desultory job, until the boredom and pain get too much? As the British economist John Maynard Keynes (+1946) said, ‘In the end, we’re all dead’, so why not rather spend now, rack up the debt, and let the ‘government’ take care of everything? Keynes was a great fan of stimulus spending to ‘shore up’ the economy, which has the eventual effect of socializing most ‘industry’, an enervating policy that has influenced governmental policies across the world, including Canada.

People seem to have to learn the hard way – as we do most things – that socialism is an intrinsically evil system, whose primarily deleterious effect is to vitiate human energy and initiative and, in the end, the very will to live.

Contra Keynes: In the end we’re not all really dead, but rather called to eternal life, and to that end we will all be judged, primarily on how we have used our talents and the time we have been given.

And Prime Minister Trudeau continues his own socialist ways, adopted from his father, the apple not falling far from the red maple leaf, ways which have not worked so far, but why should that stop him? Hot on the heels of the half-billion of our dollars doled out to the media industry, he is now offering Albertans 1.6 billion dollars – a ‘loan’, as it is put – to shore up the faltering economy of the province, which is selling its once-precious oil more or less at a loss. A cynic might think he was trying to buy votes for the upcoming election.

Of course, this cash will be burned through in due course, along with the billions given to universities, schools, indigenous programs, green energy, providing almost no lasting value. For it is not so much the economy that is crumbling, but the capacity and will to produce real wealth, about which Trudeau knows little, having made so little of it himself in a life coddled and protected –as most of ours have been, mind you – from the harshness of the ‘real’ economy and all the ‘real’ vicissitudes of life. But at least we should be aware of what we do not have, have not done and are not doing.

It is by the labour of working men that States grow rich, Pope Leo XIII wrote.

And now it seems we’re not just running out not just of working men, but of men themselves.