Breeding is selfish, natalism is selfishness made into a social value.

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.

41 thoughts on “Breeding is selfish, natalism is selfishness made into a social value.

  1. Miep December 23, 2013 at 22:03

    It never fails to amaze me that humans keep having kids. Such benighted optimism.

  2. nautminame December 24, 2013 at 00:18

    Can the delusional really be said to commit a moral crime?

    • Francois Tremblay December 24, 2013 at 00:20

      Well I would personally go with “yes,” but given the formulation of your question I assume your answer is “no.”

      • nautminame December 24, 2013 at 00:31

        yea sorry I should have worded that better. I was working on a rewrite but you’re quick on the draw tonight. i just think that it is possible to believe you are having children for their own sake even if such a belief is necessarily mistaken – and that it would not be appropriate to call such an act entirely selfish in that case (since it was partly or wholly intended for another’s benefit). i definitely agree with you in general (most reasons for procreation are selfish), but i wonder if some people actually think they do it for the sake of their children. (also i guess some people might have children not for themselves or their child, but some third person).

        • Francois Tremblay December 24, 2013 at 01:13

          I don’t think intention is relevant if you’re going to label an action factually. But it is relevant in attributing blame or guilt.

  3. DefyEntropy December 24, 2013 at 18:28

    Happy holidays!

    I have completed the logo design, now it’s just a matter of formatting it on an appropriate save file/venue. I apologize for the protracted nature of this exchange, but it’s finally done.

  4. dimasok December 24, 2013 at 23:16

    Good post. You always forget to mention the existential futility of it all. While its true that capitalism & natalism go hand-in-hand, etc, even if everyone was fundamentally happy and we had population control and there was 100% risk-free guarantee of a happy life, it would be just as immoral to breed because all sentience is malignantly useless, whether in capitalism or not.

    • dimasok December 24, 2013 at 23:20

      And also, I don’t particularly agree with your comparison of events such as going to college, buying a house/car, etc as being equivalent to breeding. While I do know where you’re coming from and that the point was more to bring into question the immediacy of the decision to breed versus the contemplative decisions that usually go into the other questions, I still feel uncomfortable seeing them side-by-side

      All of the other decisions involve useless sentient crap that doesn’t really do anything except serve temporarily a need that need not exist, cause discomfort all the time to varying degrees and leads exactly nowhere whereas the decision to breed, regardless of its ease of implementation lies at the foundation of what allows this preposterous garbage to continue.

      • Francois Tremblay December 25, 2013 at 01:36

        Okay, I agree on that one, that’s a fair point. I will add that to the entry.

  5. David Gendron December 25, 2013 at 09:03

    Marvelous stuff!

  6. ThymineC December 25, 2013 at 22:51

    Brilliantly well-written, but as Dima points out, it overlooks the utter malignant uselessness of coming into existence, such that breeding is an intrinsically immoral act and would remain immoral even if overpopulation and exploitation of the Third World were not issues.

    • Francois Tremblay December 25, 2013 at 22:55

      I never say that breeding might be actually _good_ if there was no overpopulation or exploitation. The existence of overpopulation and exploitation just makes it _worse_.

      • ThymineC December 25, 2013 at 23:00

        Oh, I wasn’t trying to imply that you thought otherwise, I just think that if you’re writing an article about the selfishness of breeders, one of the main reasons breeding is considered selfish by antinatalists is not just the additional pressure that more children will put on the environment and on the already-existent, but also the fact that people who have children willingly prioritise a small increase in their own well-being that they perceive they will attain by having children over the lifetime’s worth of potential suffering and misery that these children might have to go through for being brought into the world.

        • Francois Tremblay December 25, 2013 at 23:15

          Well, that’s sortof my point early on in the entry.

  7. Sardonicus December 26, 2013 at 13:33

    I don’t know how any could use capitalism as a justification. The more people there are in a capitalist system, the harder it becomes to regulate it and the more problems there are that arise. Assuming capitalism was a necessity, it still does not justify natalism. To assume it is necessary still results in the fact that those who are having life imposed upon them are having even more responsibility placed on them. Now, not only are they having life and survival imposed on them with no guarantee that they will be happy, but they are also having imposed upon them responsibility of helping a system other than themselves to survive for the benefit of the others within the system. The necessity of capitalism would only make stronger the argument for antinatalism, not natalism. It is increasing the burden and making it almost equivalent to creating slaves.

    Realistically, there is no justification for imposing such a massive burden on another without their consent. Even then, assuming capitalism is a necessity, having children for the sake of capitalism is even less about the child and more about the selfish desires of not just the progenitors, but also the entire capitalist system. Furthermore, having more children would increase the necessity of capitalism, creating a self-aggravating condition that would spiral out of control for all time until everything collapsed because resources for a any system, let alone capitalist, are limited.

    • Francois Tremblay December 26, 2013 at 13:43

      “Realistically, there is no justification for imposing such a massive burden on another without their consent.”
      That’s the short and long of it. :)

      • Sardonicus December 26, 2013 at 16:09

        I have a personal philosophy blog (WordPress). It doesn’t have a ton of traffic, but I have a section on the right of other blogs/sites/organisations that I support (ex. VHEMT). The blog’s content is more broad than yours, but I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind me linking to your blog there. I know that these things can be somewhat unwelcome when the other site is one you would rather not be affiliated with, so I thought I would ask first.

        • Francois Tremblay December 27, 2013 at 01:29

          I don’t know how any blog could be more broad than mine. LOL

          That being said, I do have a problem with your “Anti-Gender = Anti-Progressive” entry. Not because I support progressives (they can all shove off as far as I care), but because you take a genderist position. Radfems form a good percentage of my readership and radfem is one of my core topics: I can’t really put up a blog that goes against it without it being somewhat hypocrite.

          • Sardonicus December 27, 2013 at 07:55

            Understandable. Also, that article has nothing to do with “progressives” as a political movement/party/affiliation. The article has to do with the lack of fairness and hindrance placed on gender issues by trying to make everything hyper-gender-neutral. However, I do understand.

  8. pandaduh December 26, 2013 at 20:14

    Reblogged this on AmandaPandaDUH and commented:

  9. Francois Tremblay December 27, 2013 at 13:30

    Thanks Adam. Maybe you should post under a nickname. :)

  10. stuntcat January 4, 2014 at 19:06

    I’d kill myself before making a new child to give it the rest of this century. My OWN child? There is no way it’s a good or moral thing to do, and every reason for doing it, not matter how nice it seems, comes back to selfishness, or just stupidity.

  11. Cammy January 6, 2014 at 04:35
  12. […] 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 […]

  13. Francois Tremblay January 31, 2014 at 22:57

    I saw your latest comment. I’m sorry you disagree on one issue, but most people who read my blog disagree about something. If your sense of entitlement about your dick is stronger than your desire to discuss, then I guess you better go.

  14. L'amour L'amour Maggie August 4, 2014 at 17:47

    VERY Truthful article, well written, straight to the point of some the major issues selfish breeding has caused. Breeding is the most selfish legal activity I can think of.

  15. L'amour L'amour Maggie August 4, 2014 at 18:03

    The tablets from Atra-Hasis explains there has been overpopulation issues on earth since at least 18th-century BCE. “Tablet I continues with legends about overpopulation and plagues. Atrahasis is mentioned at the end of Tablet I. Tablet II begins with more overpopulation of humans and the god Enlil sending first famine and drought at formulaic intervals of 1200 years to reduce the population.”

  16. L'amour L'amour Maggie August 4, 2014 at 18:04

    Causes and Consequences of Overpopulation

  17. L'amour L'amour Maggie August 4, 2014 at 18:05

    “While human populations have doubled in the past 35 years, invertebrate species are dying off.”

  18. […] sleight of hand is also seen in natalist rhetoric. We are told that a sum of procreation, which is a profoundly selfish act, can somehow amount to a good effect for society in general, whether it’s uncontrolled […]

  19. Ezguy August 22, 2016 at 05:08

    I love this, minus the occasional profanity and typos.

    • Francois Tremblay August 22, 2016 at 05:18

      shrugs Then you probably don’t want to read my blog then.

  20. Ginger March 24, 2017 at 17:33

    Thank goodness,there is somebody who thinks like me! The rich corporations need struggling people. Those struggling people at the bottom will take any job to survive. They’ll be working 60+ hours per week in Macdonald’s, supermarkets, Deli’s, etc. with no time to think about quality of their life. When people exist by surviving, they have no strength to think. They can only fill a few short free moments in life with breeding activity, then go back to work. As corporations grow, their assets grow too, and so they require more cheap labor. And, they don’t have to look hard and far to find more labor because the cheap labor is self-reproducing and is always available. It’s a free working force that is too dumb to realize they are pushing themselves further into poverty by wasting away their lifetime on changing baby diapers on their 30-minute lunch breaks and at night between breeding sessions. And they end up being so “unselfish” that society ends up paying for their food stamps and medicaid – what a burdensome gift! And yes,in dire circumstances, they think: “Oh well, I’m homeless and so what? Let me make another baby – so now there’ll be two of us homeless. The more of us here, the less lonely!” What an “unselfish” gift to society – now we have even more homelessness! Thank you, you dirt-poor “unselfish” people. Did you ever ask an orphan or a homeless baby eating from trash “Do you like your life? If you could choose to not be born before your birth, would you choose to?”

  21. Bunny April 24, 2017 at 11:49

    I am not sure i agree about the selfishness assumption, although in many cases certainly that is true

    . I think it may be more of not being selfish enough. people who are doing what is expected of them by parents, society, church…etc

    People should be more selfish, let me explain.
    This capitalist society is NOT a co-operative venture. The one percent of one percent at the very top are the main beneficiaries of this plutocratic oligarchy of America (political scientists in the Netherlands have shown what all of us already suspected*). These parasitic institutions (corporations) socialize the costs to the rest of us (and generations of people and animals of the future) while privatizing the profits. Bureaucrats (who live off of taxes) and Plutocrats (capitalists who live off of other’s labor) benefit from people having more of the reasons there are so many tax benefits to encourage reproduction.(see “Baby Boon” **)

    IF people were to start to question and think independently, our capitalist system would be in serious difficulty. (hence the institution of public schooling with its obedience training by operant conditioning and conformity conditioning by peer pressure.)

    IF people care about themselves enough they would question the basic assumptions we have drilled into us at an early age:

    WHY do those who have little money and little political power have to cooperate to benefit those who pollute and destroy the planet?

    WHY do i have to pay taxes on land that i supposedly own, but the state can sell the mineral rights to an oil corporation, and allow them to FRACK under my land, with or without my consent, and DESTROY the fresh water springs on “my” property?
    I don’t really own the land then, do it?

    Just so, the bureaucrats tell me what drugs i can put in my body and which i can’t.
    This implies that i do not actually retain ownership of my own body, the state does.

    MANY people have children because it is what one is supposed to do for family, for state, for the future, for their faith, and they expect you to bow down and worship them for sacrificing themselves to the “greater good” of us all.
    The actual problem you are addressing is one of WHICH underlying philosophy is being employed and for the benefit of whom?

    IF you are selfish enough, and overcome reams of conditioning (by school,media, and corporate) to get to the point where you actually think for yourself, you are in the process of doing what 95% of the human race has failed to achieve…

    I agree that having children is selfish, but WHO is the selfish one ? Qui Bono?
    I think that many people have been snookered into buying propaganda and an agenda that benefits someone besides themselves.

    And yes, i am childfree, and do not regret it.


  22. chandlerklebs July 15, 2017 at 16:17

    I totally agree with this post. I guess I never realized how much society rewards breeders and gives them a higher status than the childfree people.

  23. […] kids, not antinatalist environmentalists. So it seems here that the conclusion is misplaced. It is breeding that is fundamentally selfish, not antinatalism. There is nothing selfish about having fewer or no kids, as no one is being hurt […]

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