During our recent thread on China's one-child policy I caught myself thinking rather wistfully, "Gosh, it would be nice to discuss this with an old-fashioned hippie who wouldn't beat around the bush, would see this totalitarianism for what it is, and would hate it as much as I do and call as loudly as any conservative for the defunding of the UNFPA." I especially thought of this when I made this comment.
It would be nice if occasionally someone on the left started getting a clue that "family planning" programs, funded by international groups, and run through governments in foreign countries, are as a matter of the facts of human nature going to become coercive to one extent or another. I remember mentioning on a previous post (don't have time to look it up now) one of these "family planning programs" presently funded by USAID, IIRC. That program positively brags about how in some African country it is funding mass male sterilization campaigns. I'm sorry, but you're a fool if you think these are fully voluntary. Another of these same groups also brags about how it is "promoting" "family planning" to women in an African country in the course of offering them immunizations for their children. I'm sorry, but you've had your creepiness antennae removed if that doesn't make your skin prickle.
China is by no means the only country in which there is evidence of the coercive nature of family planning programs. Some of this coercion is more subtle; some of it is more overt. The problem is endemic to the genre, and it isn't difficult to see why for those who can see at all and who want to see.
I distinctly remember some years ago reading some sort of hippie manifesto that sounded pro-fertility. I kid you not, it contained the line, "Resist with seed. Breed." Where I saw it remains a mystery, but it left me with the distinct impression of a flower-child contingent that would be appropriately creeped out by government population control programs.
Where did they all go?
There are a number of possibilities, not all mutually exclusive:
1) I'm wrong. There never was any noticeable set of such people. There may have been hippies and leftists who talked a good anti-totalitarian talk, but when the rubber met the road, they would have simply been in denial about or made excuses for totalitarianism if perpetrated by Communist governments or if funded by cooperation with Communist governments.
2) There were such people, but they're all dead.
3) There were such people, but over time they were all corrupted so that now they won't straightforwardly denounce such policies and call for our complete withdrawal from all funding, because such calls come from the right.
4) A variant on 3: There were such people, and they even used to be pro-fertility, but they aren't anymore, because the left has become strongly identified with all anti-fertility measures.
Any ideas, readers? Any candidates for old-fashioned lefty-hippie types who, if they were alive today, would be calling for defunding the UNFPA and who would have the hair on the back of their necks rise when they heard "population control program"? The only candidate I can think of, and he is alive today, is Nat Hentoff, for many decades a writer with the Village Voice. Don't know if he's ever addressed the defunding issue, though.