China's One Child Policy

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Government Action on Population Control and China's One Child Policy

One of the more extreme measures taken in an attempt to control population has been China's one-child policy. Population advocate Garet Hardin suggests the rest of the world adopt similar policies. This paper is to show a country's government acting on theories that Hardin is popular for and the ethical and environmental effects that it had on people and the land. Hardin fails to see the ethical problems laid out by governments that suppress peoples thoughts and beliefs.

Hardin states that throughout most of history there's been no need for concern about population control. Nature would come along with epidemic diseases and take care of the matter for us. Disease has been the primary population controller in the past. Because widespread disease and famine no longer exist, we have to find other means to stop population increases (Spencer 1992, pp.61-2).

"Mutual coercion, mutually agreed upon" is a misnomer as Hardin routinely supports the actions of authoritarian governments who rarely seek consent for their actions. When asked about the one child policy Hardin said that the Chinese government didn't go far enough. He gave the Chinese credit for officially recognizing that they have a problem and for having the nerve to propose the single-child program .. he thought the failure was by not making the directive universal throughout the country. The one-child policy is only enforced in congested urban areas. People in rural regions continue to have too many children -- so the Chinese haven't solved their problems at all. (Spencer 1992, p.60).

Before 1950, there was an old Stalinist custom in China of rewarding "heroic mothers" giving birth to the largest...

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... all that poor? Economicaly spaeking they mirrior those of the thrid world countries. But, are they leading a poor life if they are allowed to act on their hertage?

Hardin fails to admit the ethical problem that the government poses on their people. His focus seems to be of lack of membership in urban or lack of policing those areas. He does not admit that part of the failure is that the policy was not a shared belief by the Chinese. It was imposed from above and with many contradicting and disrespecting the ethics of many generations.


Resources :

· People's Mouths. China's Environment.

· Asia. Keeping China off the Rocks. The Economist February 10th 1996.

-Easterbrook Gregg. Inconceivable, The New Republic. November 23rd, 1998.

-Spencer, Cathy. "Interview: Garrett Hardin." Omni, vol. 14, no.9, June 1992, pp.54-63.

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