From Dinosaur Comics.
Selfishness is the moral position that one should act only for one’s self-interest. When used consistently as an ethical principle, selfishness leads to institutionalized competition, a constant war of all against all, where power, not intelligence or compassion, controls what gets produced, what ideas are popularized, and the kind of rules one lives under.
A selfish person is one who constantly reduces everything, even global issues, to “me, myself and I.” Everything should be about what they want, what they desire, what they value, without regard to the fact that others may disagree and that we need to respect other people’s wants, desires and values as long as they don’t interfere with ours.
Breeding is the most selfish activity I can imagine. Having children is all about “me, myself and I.” People have children because they want a mini-me they can mold to their desires, because they want to perpetuate their bloodline or DNA, because they want to hide their homosexuality, because they want to prove their capacity for virility or motherhood, because their narrow and vain religious beliefs forbids them to abort, and so on. The most important reason, I think, is that breeding grants one a higher status: people with children are considered more valuable e.g. in workplace privileges and in health decisions. Basically, they hold society hostage because their children’s livelihood depends on theirs.
Breeding can never be in the interest of the child, simply because the child in question does not exist at the time of the decision, not even as a potential. So breeding can never, by simple logic, be in the interest of the future person. So in whose interest is it? The fucking parents, always the fucking parents, those ego-filled parasites who expect society to praise them for having had sex and to raise their children for them. I know I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: I sympathize with children, and have nothing against them, it’s the parents I hate.
The selfishness of parents extends so far beyond breeding. When their children are growing up, they expect everything around them to adapt to the existence of their precious possessions. They demand that adults without children curb their behavior for their own petty benefit, instead of taking a more active part in parenting. We need censorship and self-censorship because they can’t take the time to regulate what their children watch or hear, we need to allow them to bring their screaming babies everywhere because they can’t afford babysitters, we need to lie to each other about sexual and physical abuse to not bruise parents’ egos, and all the panoply of nonsense that slips under the door in the name of “what about the children?”
What can my family and friends do for me? What can my workplace do for me? What can society do for me? It’s all about “me,” “me,” “me,” “me,” “me,” never about anyone or anything else. And then they whine about child support, one of the only mechanisms in this fucking crazy society that exists to support children’s interests!
And don’t get me started about imposing religion, gender, nationality and politics on a little child who cannot possibly comprehend or actually hold any of these social roles, because ey is not yet a social agent, and crushing their freedom and vitality with them. If you’ve done that to your child, and all parents have, know that I hate you and your kind.
Yea, you can come yap in my face about how your little baby is so pritty pritty and how ey goohs and gaahs and how you’re so fucking happy that you think you’re gonna have a heart attack every time the baby open eir eyes. So what? I can cite counter-examples. Anecdotes don’t prove shit, and if you had any interest in the truth at all you’d at least know that.
Insofar as breeding goes, parents’ mind seem to be comatose; their justifications for the act are curiously and completely absent, to a point where they seem as nonchalant about such a grave act as a fish would be flippant about the existence of water. We’d call this ridiculously negligent behavior if people put so little thought into any other major decision of their lives, like buying a car or a house, what to study in college, whether to leave one’s religion, or who to marry. And yet when people take the decision to forcibly bring a new life into this world, in defiance of all the principles of ethics we otherwise so dutifully give lip service to, people are expected to praise them?
Furthermore, as dimasok points out in the comments, bringing a new life in to this world is a far more momentous act than the others I’ve listed, since it involves the life of another human being. So there can be no comparison between the two: compared to the grave consequences of breeding, decisions about what to consume or what to study are of little relative importance.
And they don’t give a shit about the effects of their decision on the rest of society and the world. They don’t care that we have more than seven billion people, that their lifestyle has an impact on their environment and the environment of the world, that their child will only get to live a Western lifestyle because of the exploitation of people in the Third World, that we didn’t ask to be burdened with more children in our society, and so on. They don’t give a shit because it doesn’t affect them very much. After all, one child is just a drop in the bucket. They don’t give a fuck what we think.
And why should they? We as a society keep telling them that they have a right to breed and that nothing can ever change that. So why should we blame them for feeling entitled to breed and being callous about it? They are merely agreeing with, and acting on the basis of, what they’ve been taught.
I haven’t really talked about natalism specifically, but the case is not much better. We are told by court jesters like Bryan Caplan that natalism is validated by the need to constantly feed the capitalist system, to drive consumption, to drive innovation, and so on. At no point do they discuss the interests of the child, because the issue does not even register on their radar.
We know that these natalists are really doing it to sell books and get their articles read, that the primary objective of these books and articles is to provide the rationalization for breeders to feel as if they are doing something un-selfish, socially positive, progressive. They are engaged in the manufacture of mass delusion, a mass delusion which is not even necessary since most people just have children without thinking anyway. This lack of necessity explains why natalist thinkers are not in high demand yet, although growing panic about birth rates might create a more vibrant market for their brand of lies.
Natalist arguments, like theological arguments, set out to use rhetorical sleight of hand to prove a preordained conclusion: that breeding is desirable and ethically justifiable. But these arguments can only be valid if capitalism, with its uncontrollable growth and resulting need for constantly spiraling consumption and production, can itself be justified. If capitalism is undesirable, then there is no need for natalism. And capitalism is undesirable. There is no need to put profit before people, there is no need to benefit the elite of society against the masses of workers and unemployed, there is no need to kill and exploit people in the Third World for our lifestyle. There is just no need for capitalism to exist, and if there is no need for capitalism to exist, then there is no need for natalism.
I know what many of you must be thinking, that it’s “common knowledge” that it’s the childfree and antinatalists who are the selfish ones. But this is pure projection. I can’t speak for the childfree community, but most people I know became antinatalists out of compassion for all life and anger at the suffering we inflict on each other. The projection enrages me because I don’t know a group of less selfish people than antinatalists. It is a Big Lie delivered by a bunch of selfish people to tar noble and just people.
Life is an imposition. What is selfish about not wanting to impose one’s will on other human beings? What is selfish about wanting the human beings that do exist to live the best life they can, without burdening them with more lives to feed and clothe? What is selfish about not imposing a new life on the society around us?
Natalists claim that it’s selfish to not want children because people who don’t have children end up not having to sacrifice their free time, money and well-being (even health) for children. One could say the exact same thing about a drug addiction. Is not having a drug addiction selfish? Since when is not sacrificing oneself to an evil cause selfish?
Breeding is a mass delusion. Natalism is a crock of shit meant to support that mass delusion. Together they are a clusterfuck of lies, projections and impositions.