“The Global War Against Baby Girls” is the striking title of the lead essay in the new number of The New Atlantis. Therein Nicolas Eberstadt assembles some impressive evidence to defend the accusation entailed in the title. His demographic calculations demonstrate a very unnatural distortion of “the population composition of the entire human species” on an unprecedented scale. Most of this distortion, of course, derives from the most populous parts of the world, above all China, where social engineering of the atheistic variety reached its zenith. However, India, Latin America, elsewhere in Asia, and the West have joined this grand project in enlightenment: the experiment of producing a planet far more densely populated by unmarriageable males whose female siblings were executed before birth. According to Eberstadt, the numbers already extend into the 30 million range; in other words, larger than the entire NYC metro area.
One would think that this sort of thing might interest those liberals so exercised by the effect of human engineering and techne on the various “compositions” of the earth. If the fractional composition of our atmosphere (as viewed from the position of temperature) is so pressing an issue as to necessitate the introduction of vast global bureaucracy by which to make our penance for the distortion of natural processes, what can explain their general insouciance concerning a compositional distortion more immediately related to humans?
One would also think that a world beset by the burden of debt obligations extended, by public authority, as promises to the aging generations, on the assumption of the productivity of the rising generations, might find something to ponder carefully in the deliberate and ruthless culling of those rising generations.
One would further think that some interest might attach, given our captivation with the sources of private income and wealth, to an industry providing elective medical procedures of a particularly gruesome nature, often in contravention of local statutory law, for a not inconsiderable price. The innocence of our skeptics of private enterprise concerning the profit motive in this service is conspicuous. If you want to break up shale formations to recover natural gas, in order to sell at for a profit, you’re a dirty capitalist and polluter; if you want to break infant skulls in the womb for a profit … crickets.
It turns out that curiosity about such matters is not a leading quality of our leading liberals. It is convenient for them to maintain dogmatically that abortion is a second- or third-order matter with little bearing on social life or policy. Mr. Eberstadt demonstrates, from a new and troubling angle, the plain pulverizing falsehood of this view.