Should there be a limit on the number of children one person can have?

(Mofosyne) #41

@Johnjeffery11 can you avoid oneliners answer? Please elaborate. (This post will be deleted once done)

(Jesse Hermans) #42

I’d argue that the birth rate in Australia is a bit too low, and we should be subsidising child rearing - which we already are. “Irresponsible mothers” who are having “too many kids” should be subsidised by the community, since they are doing a national service by supporting the national birth rate and child rearing the next generation, whereas other women choose not to. Also this notion that there are women out there having kids for welfare money is just a pejorative stereotype with no basis in reality. If the problem you are suggesting is parental neglect then that’s a seperate issue. However I don’t see why the community and state shouldn’t be supporting parents who have lots of kids, like we are willing to support everyone with a UBI. The amount of people who do are so few that our birthrate is still below the replacement of 2.1. More importantly we should also be reducing the absurd costs of family formation like land/housing, precarious work, underemployment/unemployment etc.

Immigration is the main driver of domestic population growth, so if you are concerned about domestic population you should look at immigration policy. If you are concerned about excess global population then you should boost female education, empowerment and all the other things the Sustainable Australia Party advocate for:

However given global population is going to peak at 11bn we shouldn’t really be worried about it. We should be more worried about creating environmentally sustainable economic systems to support 11bn people.
Most of these points have already been covered enough by previous participants.

(David Boxall) #43

Y’reckon? What makes you think that we’re not already many times over what the planet will sustain in perpetuity?

(David Boxall) #44

No and no. At least, not in current numbers.

(twisty) #45

or at current “western” standards …


Ok how do we f-
“and no”
Ok well if thats the case, if it’s just not at all possible to live sustainably and for some reason that means we get to pick and choose peoples lives and destinies i say we euthanize old age pensioners. Who needs em?

(David Boxall) #47

I reckon the belief that the planet (or the nation) can sustain current numbers in perpetuity - at any standard - is deluded.

The population of Australia before European settlement is estimated at between 300,000 and 1 million. If we return to that standard of living and level of technology, then that’s an indicator of the sustainable population. I reckon, with current technologies, Australia could probably sustain up to 8 million in perpetuity, though at a standard of living not much higher than that at the time Cook & Banks visited. chart source

(David Boxall) #48

What makes you think we’ll get to choose? I reckon we’ll continue to deny, until nature deals with us.


Better thread title: “Doomsday Prep General”

(Karen Price) #50

I find this entire thread on reproductive authoritarianism distasteful. I thought the Pirate party had a more rigorous intellectual approach to privacy data use and technology. Whilst undoubtedly there are some reasonable sustainability comments this is low brow politics and a reason for me to leave this site.

(Alex Jago) #51

It’s interesting, because 5 of the first 6 participants in this thread, and a continuing majority thereafter (even without counting you) seem to me to be firmly against reproductive authoritarianism (and as reasonably progressive civil libertarians we bloody well ought to be!)

As you recognise, the thread then mostly moved on to sustainability issues.

(Tom Randle) #52

This is a forum where people can openly debate, even distasteful subjects. Debates are not Party policy. Knowing and exploring the counter arguments to bad ideas, such as reproductive authoritarianism, is a good thing.

Yes we’re all gonna die, but be optimistic about it! There’s still time left to do stuff and that makes us the lucky ones!


No, this party is founded on civil liberties.

(Ben McGinnes) #54

It is, but without the “rigorous intellectual approach” referred to by @brookmanknight, that becomes a weak excuse. That sort intellectual laziness is what has made the libertarian right in America effectively indistinguishable from the so-called alt-right over there and they are fascists.

Embracing and encouraging liberty for all is essential, but without understanding the reasons and basis for it it’s too easy for things to manifest as the opposite of their meaning.

Take freedom of expression, for instance, it’s arguably one of the most core, fundamental rights needed to ensure the rigorous debate, it’s one of the principal concerns of this party and it is one which we have seen attacked by authoritarian bastards on every continent for decades. Yet it is the “defence of free speech” which is most often cited by those same opponents of genuine free speech for doing what they do.

The big example online beginning a few years ago being GamerGate. It was the pro-GG crowd who always claimed their actions were about free speech along with their catch phrase, “ethics in gaming journalism.” Yet they were the ones prosecuting targeted campaigns against any single individual of harassment, threats of violence against either that target or those close to them, in some cases credible threats which moved beyond the keyboard.

While most of that sort of thing seems to happen in North America, it’s not limited to that. Though it is still only the USA where people have managed to kill people that way (i.e. via SWATting).

We even tried to address some of this at last year’s Pax Pirata and there was a lot going on there that was off stage. Most people have no idea how much (it’s also why I wasn’t quite as relaxed as during the previous one and it will no doubt show in the footage). In fact, as far as I am aware, that was the only panel at PAX Aus last year to have someone physically removed from the event during the conduct of the panel.

Yeah, we’re for free speech, but we’re for it for everyone and not just those we agree with. Whereas in the example of the pro-GG crowd, they were only for free speech for themselves and prosecuted campaigns of persecution, vilification and violence against those who disagreed with them. That’s not free speech, that’s armchair fascism; they’d probably prefer to go further, but they don’t have an army willing to get off the couch long enough to do anything.

Yes, I know it’s not just the the various troll brigades guilty of this sort of thing too. The various branches of so-called progressives amongst the left and centre-left are notorious for taking a very similar attitude regarding the extent and, of course, limitations of any civil liberty or even of human rights. Though they often use slightly different tactics.

There are even areas where they’re much worse than GG were since in some areas they’ve actually managed to achieve (or be suckered into achieving, it’s a bit difficult to tell) making it politically correct (or mandatory from their POV) to suppress certain types of scientific or medical information. This speech or information suppression (it’s not quite censorship; the information is still available, but it can’t be discussed in their forums or in public without a progressive pile on or “no-platforming” action) in such a way the adverse affect on one particular minority could be life threatening. The irony is that almost all of these people are also vocal when it comes to fighting back against fascists without realising they’re doing the same regarding another matter.

You’ll note that even here I’m avoiding stating what that other matter is. That’s because it’s not just the progressives who hate that topic and I don’t feel like dealing with it now. It’s enough to know that it exists and besides, if and/or when I do deal with it, it’ll be a bit more than a blog or forum post.

For now it’s enough to know that there are such areas that either or both (or all, or most) sides of politics want to suppress arbitrarily; either for power or because they genuinely believe in the justness of their cause. Yet in the two examples here, one has created campaigns of persecution against any vocal opposition, mostly women, in order to suppress their speech; while the other has integrated one particular sociological view to such an extreme and without context that they are literally preventing a certain type of minority from either discussing or finding the information they need to survive.

Which is worse? I don’t know, but I do know that both are killing people and I know that I don’t want to be associated with either of them and I certainly don’t want to think like them.

The alt-right (including pro-GG, 4chan, 8chan, kiwi farms and the other troll brigades) are fascists and the progressive left are often crypto-fascists. Not falling into the same traps they have requires effort and conscious thought.


Ben, When most of your post is conflating a lot of groups and basically calling everyone you don’t like a nazi, I just can’t take you seriously.

(Stuart Rutherford) #56

Ben doesn’t conflate anyone with anyone else - he simply points out that if we forget why we support civil liberties then it becomes easy to fall into the trap of doing away with them fairly arbitrarily for lesser goals, using the example of freedom of expression, which is hotly debated itself.

Therefore it’s important to argue on this, just like we argue on freedom of speech itself from time to time. If we didn’t critically look at civil liberties and instead merely follow them dogmatically, we’d inevitably throw a few under the bus for some distorted version of liberty that falls apart if the wrong person takes the reins.

You might feel the last paragraph is a bit too fascist-baity for your liking, but it hardly invalidates his overall point.

(feel free to correct me if I read your post wrong Ben, but I think that was the jist of what you were saying)


Well as someone who was a part of GG and is a Social Liberal, who personally witnessed GG policing it’s own and actually reporting people on it’s own side who were found to be harassing people, and witnessing people who tried to build a bridge from the other side and “talk across party lines” get harassed offline by their own side. I have a hard time not looking at him like he’s a brainwashed zealot.

(Ben McGinnes) #58

Nope, you got it pretty much right. :slight_smile:

(David Boxall) #59

Pejorative terminology aside, the thread has moved on from its beginnings. The distasteful must be discussed. It’s called “free speech”.

The sad fact is, we live in a limited world. By some measures, we’ve passed those limits and are now damaging our world, further reducing its capacity to sustain us. Either we’ll rein ourselves in or nature will deal with us.


I think you can look at reigning in the systems that encourage an increase in population, but you should never consider limits. At least not in the contexts of this party, restricting personal freedoms seems the antithesis of the principles behind this party.