Opinion

KLAVAN: The Ancient Belief That Drives The Left’s Death Cult

A primitive and deadly fanaticism threatens to stifle human life.

   DailyWire.com
Activists from Extinction Rebellion protest in Parliament Square following a march through central London on the tenth and final day of mass protest action, on 10 September, 2020 in London, England. Extinction Rebellion carried out a series of disruptive actions over past ten days in a campaign to support the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill, which would speed up the UK’s progress on reducing its carbon emissions, and hold a national citizens’ assembly on the crisis. (Photo by WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto)
WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images

If you’re on Twitter, you’ll probably have seen a tweet that went viral recently — it featured a picture of an, *ahem*, bombshell mom with her nine kids, and a tenth on the way. The caption read, “this is environmental terrorism” — and then, further down, “In the year 2020 literally no one should have ten kids,”

I wish I could say the tweet was ratioed (the universal sign of Twitter condemnation in which a tweet receives more angry replies than likes or retweets). Instead, as of this writing, user “kai choyce” has 14,100 likes and only 7,400 replies. This, like so much on Twitter, is a small fact with big implications. There actually are masses of people out there who have been persuaded that big families are evil because they harm the earth.

This, I hardly need note, is a leftist philosophy. It was expressed in perhaps its boldest form recently in Vancouver, where a billboard campaign stated that “the most loving gift you can give your first child is not to have another.”

As a side note, there is something hideously grim about suggesting that the best thing you can do for a kid is make sure he grows up alone. But on a deeper level, the basic premise of this philosophy — that more humans mean more problems — is the basic premise of a death cult. It is also, not unrelatedly, a basic premise of the Democratic Party in 2020.

As is made relatively clear by his (admittedly self-contradictory and fumbling) statements at the first debate, and still more clear on his website, Presidential Candidate Joe Biden has accepted the framework of the Green New Deal, according to which “there is no greater challenge facing our country and our world” than to unmake industrial society and so restore the pristine purity of nature.

If there is “no greater challenge” than to clean the earth, and if cleaning the earth means ridding it of human influence to the fullest extent possible, then it will follow logically that keeping population low is the only ethical choice.

What neither Joe Biden nor any of his bug-eyed apparatchiks realize, however, is that this approach is the furthest thing possible from forward-thinking. The conviction underlying it all — that humans shouldn’t procreate because human life is bad — was precisely the conviction of Manichaeism, the dualist philosophy that Saint Augustine rejected en route to becoming one of the greatest Christian theologians of the 4th and 5th centuries A.D.

In his essay On the Morals of the Manichaeans, Augustine wrote that “whoever makes the procreation of children a greater sin than copulation, forbids marriage, and makes the woman not a wife, but a mistress.” In other words, to deplore the birth of children is to undermine the foundations of human life and turn creation on its head.

This foundational question — is the profusion of human life fundamentally good, or fundamentally bad? — stands starkly before the American people in this election. President Trump has made clear which side he’s on. The Republican National Convention, with its fiery speeches against abortion and its veritable parade of joyously strong mothers, embodied the Right’s commitment to affirming the superabundance of life and love that comes with childbirth.

As environmental policy activist Michael Shellenberger and host Will Witt make clear in the new documentary Religion of Green, the Left has set itself in stark opposition to the conservative culture of life.

Fanatical devotion to Mother Earth is no less a religious stance than fanatical devotion to the God of Abraham and of life. One god demands that we be fruitful and multiply, filling the world with creativity and love in the unfolding of fruitful human life.

The other god — the god of apocalyptic environmentalism — demands that we sacrifice the old and stifle the birth of the young, piling up corpse after corpse on the altar of a poorly understood and ultimately quite primitive idea about what nature is and how it thrives.

The two parties have each made a choice concerning which god to serve. In November, so must Americans.

Spencer Klavan is host of the Young Heretics podcast and assistant editor of the Claremont Review of Booksand The American Mind. He can be reached on Twitter at @SpencerKlavan.

The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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