Anti-Human Leader: Every Woman, Everywhere, Could Have Contraception

It would be better for me if you were dead.
“Isn’t she pretty. What’s her name?”

“Susan. After my grandmother.”

“Have you had her fixed yet?”

Don’t fret! That’s a conversation you won’t be hearing. Because why? Because, of course, if Alan “Not So” Weisman got his way and “[e]very woman, everywhere” had (to avoid “draconian edicts”) free contraception, there’d be no babies named Susan, no, nor named anything else. There’d be no babies period.

And that would be hunky dory to the author of The World Without Us, a book in the eco-pr0n genre which lists the delights that await precisely no one in a “post-human” world.

“Oh, baby. Tell me again of the rotting corpses of seven billion humans. And do it slow.”

Strict anti-human philosophy is a special kind of lunacy which I don’t think will catch on to a great degree. It’s one thing to have a philosophy, à la most variants of socialism, which provides its followers with that special kind of frisson which comes from contemplating murdering your enemies—and this anti-human gives.

But it’s quite another thing to say “Suicide is the solution” and recruit enough members for a parade. Yet Weisman tries—though not, or at least not yet, by leading by example.

Weisman is a “Boulder Lefty”, i.e. the kind of person who moved to Boudler, Colorado because he liked the view but who, after he got there, votes to keep newcomers out so as not to “upset the balance.” In the same way, he votes for keeping new people from the Earth since adding more would spoil the time he’s having.

What escapes Weisman, and all the other not so Weismans, is that there can’t be too many people. If there isn’t food enough to sustain a population, then that population cannot increase. Populations increase just because there is plentiful food and lots of health to go around.

Health is what accounts for the current rate of population increase. People aren’t being born at historically high rates, quite the opposite, but they are dying at slower rates. Yet even these old people will kick off sooner rather than later, and the population (if trends continue in the same direction) will begin angling southwards.

Let’s indulge Weisman and suppose that it’s the week after the pills are handed out. No, make it a year after. Should be time enough for bacteria, wild animals and the wind to do its work.

Now what?

Well, nothing. A whole lot of nothing. And nothing for a long, long time.

Anti-human fanatics would call this a good thing. But why is it good? It can’t be good for anybody because there are no bodies. It can’t improve anything for anybody for the same reason.

It won’t be too good for some animals, either. Cows, for example. Most will starve, others will end up in the stomachs of dogs. But who cares how the animals sort out which gets to eat which? Nobody, because there will be no bodies to make a “who.”

There isn’t any version of anti-human that isn’t nonsensical or absurd. So how do we explain the Weismans among us?

Bloodlust. These people, or most of them, say they are anti-human but what they really mean is that they’re anti-you. They’ll happily escort you up the steps of the guillotine with a cheering lecture on what a noble sacrifice you’re making “for the planet.” They may even shed a tear for you as they yank the rope, especially if you splatter their Birkenstocks.

But they don’t see themselves making the same journey. They figure that once they clear out the undesirables what’s left of the planet will given over to their beneficent and wise rule. They’ll beat their guillotines into plowshares and, well, share the land, living in harmony with all creation.

Until wolf packs, now held in bay by irritable farmers, start picking them off. Or until the occasional bear looks into the cornfields—they’ll call it maize because that sounds more eco—at those delicious walking snacks. Or until some new bug wangles its way past their white blood cells.

Or until, with all that free time on their hands and with all the baskets filled with surplus maize, they start making babies. Thus beginning the cycle all over again.


  1. Mike B.

    Love this one, Briggs. Your best essay in quite some time. Especially like the “Boulder Lefty” characterization. We have them all over suburban America, where (depending on where you live) people have bought on built a house in what used to be a forest or farm, and then fight tooth and nail to prevent any of the nearby forests or farms from being developed.

  2. Sheri

    I have repeatedly pointed out to people that lack of people dying is why populations have increased–lower infant mortality rate. Plus, when we run out of resources, the population levels, as you noted. It’s seems like a simple concept, but I guess not sometimes.

    It seems unlikely that anyone will ever succeed in convincing humans they don’t need to reproduce. Look at the money spent on fertility treatments. We may become lazy and selfish enough to give up children for a while, but it would be a very short while.

  3. Luis

    All well and fine but the anti-contraception vibe in these plains is silly. The idea that women can have control over their reproductive organs and still be able to enjoy sex is anathema to a lot of people and other than any weird pathological reason I just can’t bring myself to even agree by a mile with it. Sorry about that, it’s just plain basic mysoginy.

  4. Luis

    That english up there was just wrong. I meant to say I can’t bring myself to agree with those who think contraception is “a bad thing”. I think it’s downright mysoginy.

  5. Scotian

    I concur, a great article Briggs. I will add another reason why for Weisman’s position. Ego, pure ego, the overwhelming need to be praised for his brilliance. Unpopular positions don’t work as there would be too much scorn which would threaten a fragile ego. It is thus necessary to note the prevailing trends, at least from a MSM point of view, and give it your personal spin. Then wait for the accolades to flow in and bask in the glow of an inflated ego. Logic? What has logic got to due with it? From this we conclude that either Briggs’ ego is exceptionally solid or …, but lets not go there.

    What may eventually happen is that the motorcycle gangs will take over, sans motorcycles, and the cycle of history will continue. Weisman, if he survives, will shake his head sadly and reminisce on his glory days. Luis will call them all a bunch of misogynists and demand that he be allowed to speak for all the women. It will not end well.

    Whether contraception turns out to be a bad thing or not will be determined by an uncaring future and not by ideology.

  6. Luke

    Come on, Briggs. Birkenstocks are great shoes. Excellent arch support. We can’t surrender them to Boulder.

  7. Noblesse Oblige

    Malthusianism, like much of what we encounter, is simple, neat, … and wrong. Yet it remains a cottage industry, well regarded and supported by government. Just cast on eye on Paul Ehrlich.

  8. People continue to forget that Malthus identified “social” checks on population, not merely “natural” checks such as war, disease, and starvation.

    Those “social” checks included celibacy, contraception, and extended time before starting a family to ensure a financial stability in which to raise children.

    The Right Reverend Malthus wished to ameliorate the condition of the impoverished’s dependency on Poor Laws — public welfare — and leave open the door to private charity, in order to raise up the poor from the cycle of poverty. He argued for moral restraint.

    Malthus distinguished Man’s ability over animals by his ability to improve the means of food production.

    Malthus is in no way in the anti-human camp of the likes of Paul Erlich and the Alan Weisman.


  9. Luis

    Scotian, to be clear I do not claim to speak for anyone but me. I’m too aware of the feminism movement (third wave as they call it) and their irrational crazy stuff and I don’t want any of it. I’m also aware of their willingness to call anyone a mysoginist and so on.

    What I do think is that women should have the right to control their reproductive “duties” as they see fit and not as some ideologues see fit. If women use contraceptives they should not be thought as evil secular demons by anyone.

    In my mind, a system or ideology that blames or forbids women for doing the “sin” of controlling her reproductive cycle is mysoginistic.

  10. Scotian

    Luis, rights can only exist within a governmental system that grants them. If these same rights cause the system to collapse the rights will disappear as well. I don’t see that either Briggs or myself have blamed or forbid anyone. We are discussing cause and effect. The society with rights that allow a net gain in population will inevitably displace one with rights that produce a net loss. I’ll leave the labeling to you.

  11. Steve E

    “Until wolf packs, now held in bay by irritable farmers, start picking them off. Or until the occasional bear looks into the cornfields—they’ll call it maize because that sounds more eco—at those delicious walking snacks. Or until some new bug wangles its way past their white blood cells.”


    I suspect that they’ll turn on each other other well before this happens.

  12. Nullius in Verba

    “Luis, rights can only exist within a governmental system that grants them.”

    Rights can exist in informal societies, as well. And they are generally the result of a multi-way process of compromise and negotiation, rather than being dictated by a central authority.

    In a free society, government merely formalizes the rights and duties that society has worked out for itself. Where it tries to impose rights or duties that the people do not agree with, you get casual mass disobedience – those special laws that everybody ignores and nobody feels especially guilty about. And there’s a whole spectrum in between.

    It’s not inevitable that societies with higher population growth (in the birth rate sense) will always displace those with lower growth, because society membership is not strictly heritable. The poor reproduce faster than the rich, but the number of poor is shrinking, and the number of rich is growing, as people born in one society transfer to the other. Contraception and the ability to limit the number of children one has is a part of that.

  13. “O brave new world,” he repeated. “O brave new world that has such people in it. Let’s start at once.”
    Aldous Huxley, Brave New World, Chapter 8

  14. Scotian

    NiV, I’m not sure whether you are merely expanding on what I said or reading into it something that is not there. In either case the end result is the same.

  15. Nullius in Verba


    It depends on what you meant by “governmental system” and “population growth”. I had read them a certain way, although I wasn’t entirely sure if you had meant them that way. Either way, I thought it was worth clarifying.

    Glad to hear you agree. 🙂

  16. Andy

    Governments don’t grant rights. Usually they remove them.

  17. andyd

    As my namesake above just said. I would only add “Religions as well”.

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