Liberal social engineering is destroying us

National Review has a mordant piece by Mark Steyn. There are good points here. He links the so-called “social issues” (and if they go wrong, everything else must necessarily go wrong) and the partisan political mud fight, and the rapidly approaching collapse of the economy.

My emphases.


The U.S. economy shuts down in 2027? [During a House hearing, Rep. Paul Ryan – R-WI – had sketched out where the economy is headed.] Had you heard about that? It’s like the ultimate Presidents’ Day sale: Everything must go — literally! At such a moment, it may seem odd to find the political class embroiled in a bitter argument about the Obama administration’s determination to force Catholic institutions (and, indeed, my company and your company, if you’re foolish enough still to be in business in the United States) to provide free prophylactics to their employees. The received wisdom among media cynics is that Obama has engaged in an ingenious bit of misdirection by seizing on a pop-culture caricature of Republicans and inviting them to live up to it: Those uptight squares with the hang-ups about fornication have decided to force you to lead the same cheerless sex lives as them. I notice that in their coverage NPR and the evening news shows generally refer to the controversy as being about “contraception,” discreetly avoiding mention of sterilization and pharmacological abortion, as if the GOP have finally jumped the shark in order to prevent you jumping anything at all.

It may well be that the Democrats succeed in establishing this narrative. But anyone who falls for it is a sap. In fact, these two issues — the Obama condoms-for-clunkers giveaway and a debt-to-GDP ratio of 900 percent by 2075are not unconnected. In Greece, 100 grandparents have 42 grandchildren — i.e., an upside-down family tree. As I wrote in this space a few weeks ago, “If 100 geezers run up a bazillion dollars’ worth of debt, is it likely that 42 youngsters will ever be able to pay it off?” Most analysts know the answer to that question: Greece is demographically insolvent. So it’s looking to Germany to continue bankrolling its First World lifestyle.

But the Germans are also demographically exhausted: They have the highest proportion of childless women in Europe. One in three fräulein have checked out of the motherhood business entirely. A nation that did without having kids of its own is in no mood to maintain Greece as the ingrate slacker who never moves out of the house. As the European debt crisis staggers on, these two countries loathe each other ever more nakedly: The Greek president brings up his war record against the German bullies, and Athenian commentators warn of the new Fourth Reich. The Germans, for their part, would rather cut the Greeks loose. In a post-prosperity West, social solidarity — i.e., socioeconomic fictions such as “Europe” — are the first to disappear.

The United States faces a mildly less daunting arithmetic. Nevertheless, the Baby Boomers did not have enough children to maintain mid-20th-century social programs. As a result, the children they did have will end their lives in a poorer, uglier, sicker, more divided, and more violent society. How to avert this fate? In 2009 Nancy Pelosi called for free contraceptives as a form of economic stimulus. Ten thousand Americans retire every day, and leave insufficient progeny to pick up the slack. In effect, Nancy has rolled a giant condom over the entire American economy.


So, what we really need are free sterilizations, free abortifacients, free contraceptives and contrary-to-nature unions recognized as “marriage”. Under nationalized healthcare, I can imagine a One Child Policy.  After all, babies are expensive.

Furthermore, when we have all these things, liberals will force the Church to accept them (and never preach against them) under pain of fines and prosecution of her bishops and priests.

Hurray for the American Patriot Catholic Association!

American Patriotic Catholic Association

But first, we need to endure a couple more election cycles.  Then we can get down to work!


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. wmeyer says:

    What we need from Congress is to cancel the baseline spending (automatic annual upward adjustments) and to recognize that our government is a stage 4 cancer, at least with respect to spending, but in truth, in most of its actions.

    What we need from our bishops is strong and determined leadership. This means not retiring from the field after firing one salvo. In my parish the (mild) letter from our Archbishop was read the weekend after it was issued, and has not been heard again, nor any mention of the issue. Yes, Virginia, this is a problem!

    Obama is relentless in his drive to grow government and to assert totalitarian control — we must be, as well, in our insistence that all this must be rolled back.

  2. Scarltherr says:

    I’ve been reading Genesis with my family this week. The battles of spouses to have children, and all they were willing to sacrifice for that gift stands in stark contrast to this battle today.

  3. Maltese says:

    Up next: Catholic insurers will be forced to fund abortion.

  4. wmeyer says:

    As to the economy, I like to sample prices at Costco, as their relatively stable selection and pricing tend to be a reasonable reflection of what is happening with inflation. In July of 2011, they offered ribeye steaks at $5.99 a pound. They are currently $8.99, and rising. As I read it, that is an increase of 50% in roughly 6 months. I fear that any estimate of the “shut-down” of the American economy is likely to be wrong, as I think the curve will be exponential, as has been seen in many states which have suffered hyperinflation. The only factor I see which will give us any relief is that China and other countries currently enjoying growth in their economies are doing so largely because we remain the hungriest of consuming markets. This is a partial answer to why the Chinese will continue to provide some support even as they see us decline: they need us buying. it’s a screwy situation, this world market. Still, at some point all our “friends” will realize that as we go down, there will be a giant suction, and being close is a clear danger.

  5. Johnno says:

    The liberals are well aware in the back of their minds that they’ve created a problem. But they’re too proud to admit that their ideology was wrong and will cost us all. So they pretend otherwise.

    Another thing to note. They are also aware of the danger that they are a dying breed due to the fact that the more liberal amongst them don’t have children, whereas traditional conservative religious families do. In other words, in time they and their ideology will die out naturally. They are afraid of this and so to counter that, instead of having children themselves, their plan is to take YOUR children away from you to be raised in their secularist values.

    This is what is behind all the moves to put an end to homeschooling and mandating state education and reducing the rights of parents, especially religious ones, and trying to frame religious education as ‘child abuse’ and also the moves to eliminate any form of religion from the public sphere.

    I was reading a forum discussing the population problems in Japan, and you’d hear the usual ‘population control’ people trying to spin this as a good thing. Instead of seeing the problems a declining population and feminism has created in Japan, they propose the solution being that Japan needs to open up to the diversity of immigration. Of course they’re then forgetting that those people who would need to immigrate would need to of course come from somewhere while maintaining the population growth of that country simultaneously. Not to mention that those immigrating cultures bring their own family values along with them. In Europe they are worried about the growth of Islam for precisely this reason. These population reduction folks are so ironically lost, it’s no longer funny…

  6. Sword40 says:

    Well, my wife and I did what we could to solve the population problem; we had seven children and now we are expecting our 19th grand baby this July. We really love having so many kids around.

  7. The Sicilian Woman says:

    Under nationalized healthcare, I can imagine a One Child Policy. After all, babies are expensive.

    Oh Father, I am so ahead of you on that one. Not only will the number of children be restricted, but parents’ choice of homeschooling will be, too. Because, you know, The World Will Be A Better Place when those pesky, backwards, uneducated, unenlightened religious folk are forced to include liberal social engineering in their homeschool curriculum. Or it’ll just be forbidden, period.

  8. ContraMundum says:

    This is a good example of how worthless the National Review / Republican Party-style conservatism is to anyone interested in restoring moral sanity to this country. The Democrats are welded to abortion, so they’re a real problem, but “conservatives” like Mark Steyn can’t help but mock opposition to contraception, so they’re not really an option either. You may say he is only saying what Obama supporters would like people to believe, but he never confronts that issue head on. Instead, he implies that he thinks it is “misdirection” to distract people from the really important issues of sterilization and abortion, as though contraception is not important in itself.

    As for the demographic crisis, pretty much the whole world is facing it. China’s One Child Policy will cause a serious population inversion before much longer; it’s already hit Europe and Japan. So to whom is all this debt owed? Not to the Third World, where children are still being born. It’s to that 1% of which the “occupiers” complain. If Mark Steyn is right about the coming economic crunch, they’ll be lucky if they get off better than the French nobility in 1794.

    We really do have a number of unsustainable trends, but the idea of predicting what the economy or anything else will be like in 2075 is a pipe dream — and yes, that pipe is clearly full of an illegal controlled substance. No one — least of all the Allies — thought that Germany would be able to spank France in little over a month, but that’s what happened. No one foresaw the fall of the Berlin Wall until it was underway, and even after that, the coup that removed Gorbachev and ended up bringing the Soviet Union to a peaceful end caught everyone by surprise. Heck, just 15 years ago there were silly people proclaiming an “end to history” and wondering if we were in a new era in which the stock market could never go down again. I think we know how accurate those predictions were.

  9. Reason for hope:

    Those who would destroy us do not reproduce. Their numbers are shrinking.

    If just 100,000 Catholic couples open to life have an average of 5 children. And each of their descendants marry at an average age of 25 and have an average of 5 children.

    And so on…in 100 years those couples have 62,500,000 descendants.

    If there are 500,000 Catholic couples, in just 50 years they will have 12,500,000 descendants.

  10. Supertradmum says:

    Sweden and Germany have outlawed home schooling and prosecute parents accordingly. See my blog. But, none of this is new and is part of the, dare I mention the name, Gramscian effect of changing the identity of society through education, entertainment, the media, morals, literature, music, you name it. What the violent threat of the Cold War did not do, the Lukewarm War, my phrase, has done. Slowly, most Americans have come to believe in the socialist, godless lies of the far left. But, this has been happening for a very long time. That Americans are beginning to get nervous is like the Jewish community thinking something is getting bad after Kristallnacht . It was already way too late. All this administration needs is one bad event to show its teeth. Wake up, please, please and get ready for really standing up for the faith and for freedom.

  11. pm125 says:

    ‘ As a result, the children they did have will end their lives in a poorer, uglier, sicker, more divided, and more violent society. How to avert this fate? In 2009 Nancy Pelosi called for free contraceptives as a form of economic stimulus. Ten thousand Americans retire every day, and leave insufficient progeny to pick up the slack. In effect, Nancy has rolled a giant condom over the entire American economy. ‘

    … and the wool over voters eyes – engineering mentality to a very low and common denominator.
    In a video clip, she called the spending getting more bang for the buck . It’s all just without reason. The products are not scarce or anything.

  12. ckdexterhaven says:

    Respectfully, Contramundun, I think you are misreading Mark Steyn and National Review. Steyn filled in for Rush Limbaugh a couple of weeks ago, and he skewered liberals, not once did he mock those who oppose contraception. I haven’t even seen a hint of that on National Review since the mandate came down. National Review and other conservative blogs have been great on this issue.

  13. SemiSpook says:

    I’ve always liked Steyn. Very underrated in some areas, but he does have a razor-like wit when it comes to skewering the left.

    Speaking of social engineering, as I’m sure some of you have no doubt heard, the Maryland General Asylum…er, Assembly passed a bill on Friday legalizing same sex marriage. It passed by only two votes, both of which happened to be parishoners within our own cluster. Have to say, the priest had a set of stones to name names during his homily, and praised those of us that were married in the congregation this morning.

  14. ContraMundum says:


    I hope you’re right, but in the piece above, he definitely seems to be taking the position, “It’s not really about contraception. That would be silly. It’s about sterilization and abortion.” It’s about all three.

  15. TZ says:

    Steyn writes: “People are free to buy bacon, and free to buy condoms. But the state has no compelling interest to force either down your throat.”

    Oh, but the state does: in Obama’s accounting method, taxpayers will save lots of money by supplying free contraception, sterilization, and abortion because people cost more. And soon there will be too many retired elderly in this country for a shrinking pool of working taxpayers to support–this may be happening already–it’s not much of a stretch to see how accounting could determine when it would be more cost-effective for the old to die. The pro-life movement predicted this disaster back in 1973, but few were listening.

    I suspect we have a brief window of opportunity to talk about this cold horror before it becomes accepted reality. We should make the most of it.


  17. bookworm says:

    If I’m not mistaken some European countries saw demographic disaster coming years ago and started handing out actual incentives to have more children such as baby bonuses and generous maternity leave policies. Unfortunately, even PAYING people, literally, to have babies hasn’t had the desired effect because people have gotten so used to their hedonistic lifestyles.

    Also, somewhere recently (sorry I can’t remember where) I read that, according to surveys or some kind of study, most young Chinese couples would continue having only one child even if the government removed the one-child policy and there were no longer any financial penalties for having multiple children. The reason being that they have now grown accustomed to a more consumerist lifestyle.

    I’m really not sure how you get people to have more children without giving them some positive, hopeful reason to do so and facilitating marriage at younger ages. The problem, as even the NYT now admits, is that marriage in our culture has been turned into “a luxury” reserved for the middle and upper classes — something you are not supposed to even consider until you complete your education, attain financial stability and can afford a five-figure wedding/honeymoon bash. Yes, there are still a lot of children being born out of wedlock but generally speaking people will be more open to having children in a stable marriage than outside of it. Outside of Hollywood or the hard-core welfare dependency culture you don’t generally see unmarried mothers with lots of kids.

    Remember that the Baby Boom occurred during an era when couples were frequently marrying right out of high school, or even dropping out of school to marry. The median age of first-time brides in the 20th century bottomed out in 1955, at around age 20, meaning HALF of all women getting married for the first time were still teenagers. It’s not just a coincidence that the Baby Boom peaked a couple of years later!

  18. cthemfly25 says:

    Sin is accelerating as the normative, the institutionaled and expected behavior of society. It will soon be the target of health care “reform”, climate legislation, and the homosexual agenda to control “family” as a function of state. Limiting families to one child, eugenics, the end of home schooling, once taboo, are now in the sights of the statists. Soon, as part of rationing, preferential health care will be available to party apparatchiks who have greater value to the state. Thus it is and will be with the utilitarian view of man.

    Welcome to a brave new world where “all men are paid for existing, and no man must pay for his sins.”

  19. Judge67 says:

    The liberal philosophy dictates that we exist to nurture, worship and preserve the earth at all possible cost and more people only serve to threaten the environment. It’s my understanding that someone can get up to 20 years in prison for posing a threat to a certain species of California sea turtle yet a woman is free to kill her unborn baby. If re-elected, Obama has already made a commitment to find a way to pay for cleaning up the greenhouse gases.

  20. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    ” marriage in our culture has been turned into “a luxury” reserved for the middle and upper classes — something you are not supposed to even consider until you complete your education, attain financial stability and can afford a five-figure wedding/honeymoon bash. “

    For quite a long time in New England history, any self-respecting working class – as well as middle class young man – would approach his sweetheart’s father before asking her. In the 19th century the father would inquire whether the young man had completed 8th grade, which back then was quite an accomplishment. (Check out on the web how difficult a 19th century 8th grade final exam would seem even to modern-day college grads – aside from technology, things really have been dumbed down a lot). And in the first half of the 20th, Dad would inquire whether the young man had completed high school? The young man would be asked to explain how he proposed to support his wife and family once they were married.

    On one income.


    We’re talking about a family farm, a factory job, a journeyman tradesman, a shopkeeper, or other family business. Nothing all that fancy, really.

    And the young man would be asked whether he had some cash saved up for emergencies. Three to six months’ salary to cover expenses in case of illness, disability or lay-off from work.

    If the young man didn’t got solid marks on three out of three questions, then the young lady’s father would probably counsel the fellow to wait a year or two before marrying until he had completed night school, or found a job, or put away some savings as the case may be.

    Meanwhile, the young woman would have been trained from her earliest years under the tutelage of her mother how to grow fruits and vegetables in the garden, how to cook and to bake from scratch, including a roast beef or roast lamp dinner for twelve, including several home-made pies, how to make preserve, jams, jellies from the produce of her own garden to wash clothes and linens in a tub and to iron, how to sew, including constructing garments, to mend, to run a stove, an oven, and a furnace, how to scrub and clean floors, walls, windows, and furniture, how to make beds, nurse sick children, and very likely how to milk a cow, collect eggs from hens, and care for farmyard animals.

    Upper class folk would have the fancy weddings with hundreds of guests in rented hotels and halls with delicacies and elaborate floral arrangement. More modest folk would often marry quietly in church, and then return to the home of the bride which had been made festive by family and friends, and all sit down to a home-cooked meal. No limos, no hired orchestras back in the day, except for rich folk.

    In more recent years, working and middle class young couples may well be high school juniors, each of whom still lives in his or her parents’ basement, who decide to “tie the knot” without a penny to either of their names, without the slightest idea what it means to hold a job, since neither of them ever has, with no place to live, and no idea how they are to keep body and soul together without both sets of parents footing the bill, coaxing, minding, nagging, running the errands, co-signing the lease on the apartment, doing the laundry, supplying home-cooked meals . . . and especially supplying the cash for the limo, the tuxes, the gowns, the “bachelorette party”, the immense flowers, the very loud salsa band, and the pricey hotel.

    I think the priorities were better in New England, back in the day. But that’s just me.

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