[A Long Read that contains considerably more than one sentence on Julian Huxley :
Breeding Ourselves to Death, continued:
The experts, in fact, considered publication of the pamphlet a mistake. John D. Rockefeller 3rd, chairman of The Population Council, felt phrases like “population explosion” and “population bomb” might create an atmosphere of panic. Frederick Osborn, head of the Army’s information and education program in World War II, urged that distribution of the pamphlet be halted.
Convinced, however, that India and many nations soon faced a frightening struggle between starvation and overpopulation, Hugh Moore thought the crisis too ominous to bury in academic treatises. A warning should be shouted from the rooftops.
His methods were often designed purposefully to stimulate controversy and thereby focus public attention. With time running out, people had to face raw facts. “Who among us,” he liked to ask at meetings, “will come up with a plan for starting a CONFLAGRATION?”
1. Hugh Moore presents a mobile clinic to the Family Planning Association of India.
2. A photo of Dr. Paul R. Ehrlich, Professor of Biology at Stanford University and popular spokesman for population control, is the author if the best selling book on the subject, ‘The Population Bomb’ (Sierra Club—Ballentine, over a million copies since 1968 publication). Ehrlich borrowed its title, with permission, from the 1954 Hugh Moore Fund pamphlet.]
When the first printing of The Population Bomb reached a test-sampling of 1,000 leaders in business and the professions, reactions were surprisingly favorable. “The best presentation that I have seen of the basic threat to our civilization.” Arthur Krock, dean of The New York Times, called it.
“Although the contents of this booklet are frightening. ” wrote Roger H. Ferger, publisher of the Cincinnati Enquirer, “it should be read by every thinking American.”
I will copy a little bit more of that tomorrow or Saturday.
I got a little bit distracted when searching for Arthur Krock on The New York Times website. I noticed a review of a book that might be interesting… I will copy from it for a little while.
by Leo Markun
Published in 1930
The casual observer sees fewer feminine knees than he did a few months ago; a Federal commission considers it necessary that the Prohibition laws be enforced, although taking cognizance of the fact that the American tradition of disregarding unpopular laws is well established; the question whether damn and Hell may properly be used in nonreligious discourse by a radio broadcaster is being seriously debated; the sale of cigarettes in the United States, especially to women, has risen amazingly since the World War of 1914 to 1918; the Massachusetts Watch and Ward Society is being severely criticized for the tactics of its agent, but the convictions he has recently obtained in Cambridge stand, while an effort is being made to liberalize the law directed against obscene literature; a meeting of American farmers is told that the diminishing birth rate of the country threatens the future prosperity of agriculture, especially since the immigration laws will probably be made more rather than less stringent in the near future. Such matters as these, which we can find in to-day’s newspaper, are not entirely comprehensible without some knowledge of their historical background.
To provide such knowledge has been my task. I have tried to perform it honestly, but I cannot hope that I have avoided all mistakes of fact and interpretation. I am indebted to several hundred secondary writers, but there is hardly a page in this book that does not depend to some extent upon primary sources. These include official records, memoirs, letters, sermons, books of etiquette, and literary works of all kinds.
I am grateful to Mr. E. Haldeman-Julius for his courteous promptitude in granting me permission to make free use here of the material contained in such of my earlier publications under his imprint as cover, though on a lesser scale, parts of the present ground. Hardly any of the phraseology of Mrs. Grundy, however, has been carried over from these.
THE INCARNATIONS OF MRS. GRUNDY
When Mrs. Grundy was an ancient Spartan, she insisted that the freeborn boys should be taught to steal, for she knew their courage and self-reliance would otherwise be imperiled. It seemed to her entirely fitting and proper that they should occasionally go out in bands and murder a few members of the hereditary slave caste, for the better maintenance of class distinctions. She knew the importance of exposing ugly and deformed children to die, in order that the Lacedaemonian breed might remain at a high level. In Sparta, as indeed elsewhere in Greece, trickery and deceitfulness seemed to her true manly virtues. Yet in Persia, at the same time, she taught young men to avoid lying as the greatest of all evils.
Some of Mrs. Grundy’s friends and admirers are fond of telling us that she has always been essentially the same. Skirts may be abbreviated, one of them remarked a few years ago, but not morality. But if we are to believe the learned gentlemen who decipher old records and the travelers who visit far countries, Mrs. Grundy’s outlook is by no means the same in all places and at all times. In fact, there is not a single definite rule for moral conduct that has always and everywhere prevailed among men.
Let us consider “THou shalt not kill,” on the face of it that one of the Ten Commandments acceptable to moral men everywhere, of any religious faith or none. The words will be accepted by probably all my readers as presenting an indestructible and essential rule regulating social behavior. Yet, if we turn to specific applications of the commandment, it will readily appear that they are not unanimous in their views.
For example, should the agents of the State kill a man because he has committed murder? Is it noble or base to shoot the soldiers of a country against which one’s own has declared war? Is it moral or immoral to slaughter an animal other than man for food? If an infant is born that is destined to live, if at all, as a helpless, monstrous idiot, should any great effort be made to prevent its death? Most of my readers (at least those living in the twentieth century) will no doubt consider infanticide wrong and properly to be dealt with as a crime. But is the use of drugs and mechanical devices that prevent conception immoral? Is artificial abortion always to be considered a form of murder? Again, is a husband justified in killing the man he finds in his wife’s bed? At a given time within the United States, we find Mrs. Grundy approving such jealousy and revenge in one community, sternly shaking her head against it in another.
In the inland regions of New Guinea, where women are cheap, it is considered perfectly proper for their husbands to put them to death in response to the merest whim. On the coast, the female sex is more respected because it is costlier. Wherever slaves are abundant at low prices, public opinion allows them to be barbarously mistreated. Mrs. Grundy respects pounds-shillings-pence even in interpreting “Thou shalt not kill.”
[An interesting book, I might copy a little bit more from “Mrs Grundy: A History of Four Centuries of Morals Intended to Illuminate Present Problems in Great Britain and the United States.” tomorrow or on Saturday. ]