Archive for November 10, 2011

Modern Contraception Destroyed Internal Slavery

November 10, 2011 33 comments

It is easy for a well-read person living in this connected age to see that all major systems of socio-economic organization, from capitalism to communism, socialism and pretty much every other well-known system has either failed or is in the process of failure. But why is that so? Some of you might believe that the eventual failure of all socio-economic systems is part of some grand cosmic cycle or is otherwise inevitable.

But is that really the case? What if there is another, albeit, darker explanation?

I have previously mentioned that all civilizations and cultures to date are ponzi schemes, which depend on the an ever larger supply of youthful and naive suckers to power themselves. I had also explained the mechanism, if briefly, as it relates to CONservatism. The rest of this post can be considered a somewhat more detailed explanation of the underlying mechanism and how it has powered all known forms of civilization.

While I would prefer to use colorful animations to make my point, I am not motivated enough to go through that process at this moment and you will have to do with a text-based explanation.

Let us consider two fertility scenarios-

A. The median woman has 2 or fewer kids who reach adulthood over her lifetime.

B. The median woman has 4 or more kids who reach adulthood over her lifetime.

Throughout human history, we never had scenario A except in the aftermath of famines, massive epidemics or wars. However, today scenario A is the norm even in countries where the previous generation of woman lived with scenario B.

So why is this fact important and how does it affect the structure of socio-economic institutions and ideologies?

To understand that we must understand that the number of people on earth has been fluctuating between half a billion to a billion for many centuries. The major restriction for population growth was lack of technology which led to an almost constant struggle between people for a pretty pathetic existence. You have to understand that every single ideology which we discuss, read about or live in was created during the pre-modern technology era.

This pre-modern era was characterized by a lack of technology but virtually endless quantities of youthful suckers who could be utilized or manipulated towards any end, even if it was destructive to them. Therefore all popular and somewhat successful ideologies are built around the paradigm of disposable hardworking youth to the extent that they cannot function without that ‘resource’.

So how did that work in practice?

Since it was understood, if at a subconscious level, that there were simply not enough seats in this game of musical chairs the emphasis was on normalizing and rationalizing the exploitation of both young men (for their labor) and women (for their fertility). All older socio-economic systems and ideologies therefore stressed sacrifice, duty and honor even though their own elders and elites acted otherwise.

Naive younger people were used in a number of endeavors- from fighting and dying in wars to performing back-breaking work. While their efforts created value, most did not live long enough to enjoy the fruits of their labor. The survivors and elites did however benefit greatly from the sacrifice of their naive kin. Most older ideologies celebrate fertile women primarily because they provided an endless source of suckers to burn in the ‘machine’.

That is correct! Pre-modern civilizations are best seen as ‘machines’ which use youthful disposable workers to shovel more fuel into the boiler and then use most of those disposable workers as fuel, once they are dead- just to keep a minority of the population in decent shape. Nazi death-camps and soviet gulags were therefore merely a chronologically compressed version of the basic modus operandi of pre-modern human civilization.

Every major socio-economic arrangement, ideology and theory of society is based on the implicit assumption of endless disposable youthful labor which will create value without asking and ‘disappear’ before they can demand their share of the pie they helped to bake.

Capitalism, communism, socialism and all your other -isms cannot function under conditions where the number of youthful suckers decreases to replacement levels and/or they have to make good on the promises made to the majority of individuals. Technological gains and ideological zealotry can delay the end, but not by much.

Modern contraception and bio-medical advances put a wrench in this system by creating conditions where limiting female fertility was booth desirable and necessary. It is no longer necessary to have 10 kids to have 3-4 of them reach adulthood. However the very act of voluntary restriction of female fertility also simultaneously removes the extra suckers who could be exploited and played against each other for the benefit of others.

But here is the problem- even though the supply of naive and disposable suckers had dried up and is starting to adversely affect the ‘machine’, most people especially the older generation who occupy positions of power in the hierarchy act as if the system parameters have not changed. You therefore keep on hearing solutions that involve harder work, more education, lesser paying jobs, manning up and pulling yourself by your bootstraps etc.

But all of these “solutions” are attempts at recreating a dynamic which is not resurrectable. You cannot solve the problems inherent in any of the popular -isms by acting as if things have not changed. Indeed, none of these -isms can solve problems requiring them to work without that core assumption.

We have run out of ‘extra’ naive suckers and no system which requires that pre-condition can be either stable or functional.