September 27, 2023

Letter to the Editor: Population control

Yuval Harari in his book HOMO DEUS is of the opinion that the future will see half the population of the planet extraneous — not needed. As technology increases our ability to manage, create, and organize humanity, this seems rather likely. Since our capitalistic economy depends on growth which in turn depends on population increase (wealth increase if it were actually shared), this would seem to raise concerns.

When one gives this some thought, it is clear that our current legislative bodies out here in the great midwest in their determination to ban abortion, have not the slightest interest or desire in addressing this coming issue. If, in the future, we need less people to produce what we want and to keep us satisfied with our needs and desires for more, it might be a thought, just a thought mind you, that we ought to begin to give some consideration to the benefits of having less people on this planet.

It is believed by many that less people might be less destructive of Earth which is coming to be seen as something that is in our best interest. The question though is how to go about this. There are several options available, one of which, abortion, has been nixed by many state legislatures. The option that we have apparently chosen over all others is mass shootings, and I will include in the definition of mass shooting the intentional killing of multiple people by automobile which has a like effect in that one can kill numerous people quickly and without much effort.

As with many modern developments, the United States is a leader in this new method of population control. Now we are not including actual war or ethnic cleansing — these are tried and true methods of population control which are not currently in favor here. We are talking about our true ideological myth of the individual. Here, we are individuals first with rights inherent in our citizenship and this right clearly includes killing other citizens and non-citizens who may also be individuals with rights or not depending. And in order to exercise this right efficiently, one needs rapid-fire, military-style guns. They are so much more efficient.

Currently, our laws are such that mass shootings are not encouraged. If one of our citizens should kill a bunch of other citizens or non-citizens, as the case may be, the killer is tried for murder and either killed by the State or put in prison for life. This, of course, is, if the shooter survives the mass shooting incident. If mass shootings are indeed the future of population control, we need to lighten up a little. We do need to keep up the pretense of not supporting these mass shooters, but slowly lessen the penalties. Those so inclined to assist in this necessary mitigation of planetary distress will realize that our legislatures are subtly encouraging them and act accordingly.

Richard E. H. Phelps II