Dust or Magic, Sunday, January 10 2010
Population control is suddenly back on the agenda: a dangerous as well as a wrong-headed development. This pamphlet, "Too many of whom and too much of what?, explains what's wrong with population politics, its awful history, and what the real problems are that it diverts attention from.
It's a discussion pamphlet of the No One Is Illegal group.
You can download it as a PDF (A4) here, or in A5 booklet format (print double-sided, short-edge binding).
It opens thus:
THERE IS A CONVENTIONAL view in Britain that racism has been driven onto the defensive or even banished completely from most areas of daily life. The political Right, indeed, constantly portrays itself as the victim of “liberal oppression” and “political correctness gone mad”. Yet somehow, racism has won some huge victories in recent years, in all the liberal democracies, with very little opposition, to such an extent that the terms “fortress Britain”, “fortress Europe” and “fortress USA” are now quite normal usage – and, without even needing to be told, everybody understands what these fortifications are for: to stop the poorer, darker-skinned peoples of the world “flooding” into its richer, paler parts.
This transformation has been achieved by a combination of threats of violence from the “shadowy far right”, and “measured”, responsible-sounding rhetoric focusing, relentlessly, on the apparently colour-blind, objective issue of “sheer numbers”. It is “these people’s” numbers, apparently, that demand urgent attention; their numbers are their only human attribute that matters, and this underlies the incessant chant from anti-immigrant pressure groups, like Migration Watch UK, that Britain (for example) is a “tiny, overcrowded island” and from the resurgent far right (BNP, UKIP) that their anti-immigrant politics are “about space, not race”; and the extraordinary, apocalyptic visions of right-wing illuminati like Gunnar Heinsohn and Christopher Caldwell (see below) of a world overrun by rapidly-breeding Muslims.
Being “too many” is a hard, indeed a terrifying, charge for a lone human being to face. It can be applied to anyone. And it will be, increasingly, in all manner of insidious, destructive and even deadly ways, if the current trend to target “sheer human numbers” invades the political mainstream and we have a return to full-blown population politics: an old, prurient politics driven by an itch to control not just the movement of (certain kinds of) people, but also their sex-lives, and their very existence.
Posted by Bob Hughes on Sunday, January 10 2010