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Michael Beadling Jonathan Swift, author of, “ A Modest Proposal” is not alone in his literary theories regarding a method to cure the plaguing disease of overpopulation. Overpopulation meaning: the inability of society and of Earth to accommodate an excessive amount of persons. This problem has been addressed and dealt with in a variety of ways for hundreds of years.
It is thought, that if there are too many people, than every new addition to the population takes away from those who already exist. So, if this is the case, why not stop the newcomers from coming or rid t he one’s who just arrived? Theses above mentioned thoughts eventually are put to action and made laws by government. A man by the name of, Paul Ehrlich, who was an advocate for population control, stated in his book, The Population Bomb, “ we can no longer afford merely to treat the symptoms of cancer of population growth; the cancer itself must be cut out”(xi). By this quote he means that we can’t just keep giving “medicine” to the disease in hopes that will cure it, we have to completely eliminate the disease.
In the people’s country, the Unites States of America, eradicating children and putting to death those who bare children is not something that is practiced. This does not, however, hold true for other countries. China is presumably the most famous country for enforcing strict population control. Acknowledging that China is a communist country, they hold the power to carry out their rules as they see fit. An article in The New York Times stated, “Chinese women were rounded up and forced to have abortions; vigilantes abducted pregnant women on the streets and hauled them off, sometimes hand-cuffed or trussed, to abortion clinics”(Wren). In the Wall Street Journal, Steven Mosher wrote that the People’s Press agreeably talked about “ the butchering, drowning, and leaving to die of female infants and maltreating of women who have given birth to girls”(Mosher) The people of China believe that a man is more apt and able to take care of his parents than a female, so they prefer the births of men over women.
Although China may seem evil in their antics for population control, the US has it’s own ghosts. Planned Parenthood is one of the few entities promoting family planning and birth control. This is a group whose tactics lack bribery and corruption.
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Tying together the information previously stated with Jonathan Swift’s essay, it is obvious there is a concern for overpopulation. There are many factors that go along with their theories and ideas for controlling the situation. Some are more radical then others, however politics play a huge role in any one country’s involvement.
Overpopulation blames those who are victims to hunger and poverty. However, with those groups who are honest and decent working to help the overpopulation cause, there may still yet be a light of hope.
Ehrlich, Paul. The Population Bomb. New York: Ballantine, 1968. Wren, Christopher.
“Chinese Region Showing Resistance to National Goals for Birth Control.” New York Times 16 May 1982 Mosher, Steven.
“ Why Are Baby Girls Being Killed in China?” Wall Street Journal 25 July 1983 Kuhl, Stefan.
The Nazi Connection: Eugenics, American Racism and German National Socialism. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.
Pendell, Elmer. Population Roads to Peace or War. Washington: Population Reference Bureau, 1945.
Califano,Joseph. Governing America. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1981.
Caldwell, Don. South Africa: The New Revolution. Johannesburg: FMF Books, 1989.