Shaming Parents

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Our national broadcaster is today running a think piece by Kristen Pyszczyk entitled "It shouldn't be taboo to criticize parents for having too many kids." Citing David Wallace-Wells' widely discredited New York Magazine piece, "The Uninhabitable Earth," Pyszczyk indulges in what can only be called grade-school Malthusianism. "Procreation is becoming a global public health concern, rather than a personal decision," she argues. "So when people do irresponsible things like having five children, we absolutely need to be calling them out."

Anyone who has not been living under a rock for the past decade will recognize instantly that Pyszczyk is playing with political fire here. Even the Euro radicals who urge parents to have "one less child" as a means of offsetting their carbon footprints agree that the decision must be made entirely voluntarily. There is a good reason for this. They understand what Pyszczyk does not—that imagining family planning as a "global public health concern" amenable to social control is fundamentally a eugenic project. Ask any German Green where that road leads. Ask the Chinese.

"In the global West," Pyszczyk insists, "it's crucial that we begin to present all people with alternatives to the traditional nuclear family. This inevitably involves calling out people who have kids like they're going out of style." This is, arguably, the saddest part of all. Pyszczyk does not seem to know that in the global West kids have already gone out of style. And neither, apparently, do her editors at the CBC.