Dear Colleague :
Ideas have consequences. With a recent surge in media coverage relating to China’s one-child policy, it is important to understand the origins of that barbaric program which I first documented in 1979-80. It all began with the Club of Rome’s Limits to Growth hoax of the early seventies. A computer simulation of population growth and ecological collapse convinced China’s ruling elite to embark on a radical program to cut in half the number of people in China. The population controllers and their radical environmentalist sidekicks bear a moral responsibility for the deaths of hundreds of millions of people in China. The infamous one-child policy is their baby.
China’s One-Child Policy and Western Population Controllers
By Steve Mosher
Population control was not imposed on China by the West, as it has been imposed on smaller, weaker countries. Not only did western-funded organisations like the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and others lend China’s one-child policy enthusiastic support but, as recent research makes clear, the intellectual impetus for the policy came from the West.(1) Vaporous Sixties ideas about population growth and resource depletion had explosiveâ€¨real-world consequences years later and half a world away. The core ideas underlying the one-child policy, it turns out, came from Western science, and more precisely from the notorious 1974 Club of Rome study which asserted that we were breeding ourselves to extinction.
The Club of Rome sponsored a computer simulation, carried out by a group of MIT-based systems engineers, called The Limits to Growth Released with great fanfare, the study predicted that, if population growth and resource consumption were allowed to continue unchecked, the world would come to an end by about 2070.(2) The study was soon shown to be a hoax, with even the Club of Rome disowning it. Its primary purpose, said the president of the Club, had been to jolt people into taking the overpopulation problem seriously. But the stage was set for systems control specialist, Song Jian, who worked for China’s state-owned defence industry. Visiting Europe in 1978, Song happened to learn about the application of systems analysis theory by European scientists to the study of population problems with a great success.
According to him, British scientists contended that Britain’s population of 56 million had greatly exceeded the sustaining capacity of ecosystem of the [United] Kingdom. The United Kingdom is a corporation)
They argued Britain’s (Britain is a country) population should be gradually reduced to 30 million, namely, a reduction by nearly 50 percent . . . I was extremely excited about these documents and determined to try the method of demography.(3)
When Song Jian returned to China, he regurgitated the simulation’s scary scenarios of ecological devastation, applying these specifically to China: The vegetable cover has been progressively removed so that only about 12 per cent is forested . . . the grass-cover, too, has been shrinking each year and the deserts have tended to expand . . . These developments are threatening ultimately to destroy the ecosystem which supports human life. Song drew a similar conclusion :
The capacity of the land . . . does not permit excessive increases in population. This is quite obvious.(4)
He reinforced his rhetoric with eye-catching charts showing China’s population remaining low for 4,000 years, then spiking up terrifyingly to 1 billion by 1980.(5) No mention was made of dramatic declines in the birth rate in the seventies.(6)
Other Chinese experts jumped into the debate, arguing that not only China’s ecology but also its economy was collapsing under the weight of its gargantuan population. Nothing less was at stake than the country’s drive for wealth and global power, warned Vice Premier Chen Muhua in the pages of the People’s Daily: In order to realise the Four Modernisation’s, we must control population growth in a planned way.(7)
Once the Chinese leadership had been, to use Club of Rome terminology, jolted into accepting the idea that population growth was sabotaging the nation’s modernisation, they were ripe for a radical solution. It was Song Jian, armed with a computer simulation right out of the pages of The Limits to Growth, who offered one.
The computer simulation presented by the Song group to Chinese leaders-perhaps the first they had ever seen-was met with awe. Scientific and technological modernisation, named by Paramount Leader Deng Xiaoping the most important of his Four Modernisation’s, was now paying off. China’s communist leadership had few qualms about regulating the fertility of its subjects, and Song’s insistence that Western science left them no other choice made their decision easy.
When Song’s study was later published in the People’s Daily on 7 March 1980, it was edited to read that allowing more than one child per family would be disadvantageous to our country’s four modernisation’s . . . and to the raising of the people’s standard of living. The one-child-per-couple policy, which would shrink the population over time, was described as a comparatively ideal scheme for solving our country’s population problem.(8)
Publication in the official party organ, the People’s Daily, meant that the policy had received the imprimatur of the Communist Party, and was therefore beyond further discussion. Six months later, in mid-September 1980, the one-child policy was formally ratified by the National People’s Congress. Since then it has been set in stone. On this terrible altar hundreds of millions of mothers and children have suffered and died,â€¨sacrificed to a scientific fraud.
The Party, for its part, was happy to blame China’s overlarge population for all of China’s problems and backwardness, since this helped distract the people from its own errors of the preceding three decades. Population growth became an all-purpose villain in the official press, blamed for everything from declines in labor productivity to sagging economic growth. If only you wouldn’t have so many children, the Communist Party continues to chide the people even today, we could achieve wealth, power and glory for China in a few years.
The population controllers claim to be proud of what China’s one-child policy has accomplished. They should be. It is their baby.
1. Demography in China : From Zero to Now, Yuan H. Tien, Population Index 47(4) :683-710; China’s Strategic Development Initiative, Tien, Praeger: New York, 1991.
2. The Limits to Growth: A Report for the Club of Rome’s Project on the Predicament of Mankind, D.H. Meadows et al., Universe Books : New York, 1972.
3. Systems Science and China’s Economic Reforms, Song Jian, in Control Science and Technology Development, Yang Jiachi, ed., Pergamon : Oxford, 1986; Pp. 1-8.
4.Population Development : Goals and Plans, Song Jian, in China’s Population: Problems and Prospects, Liu Zhen, Song Jian et al., eds. New World Press: Beijing, 1981; Pp. 25-31.
5. Song, 1981; p.26.
6. Chinese figures of the time showed that the years 1971-79 saw the natural increase rate fall by half, from 23.4 to 11.7, and the crude birth rate decline by almost as much, from 30.7 to 17.9. Tien, p. 683.
7.In Order to Realize the Four Modernizations, We Must Control Population Growth in a Planned Way, Chun Muhua, People’s Daily (Renmin Ribao), 11 August 1979, p. 2.
8.Concerning the Issue of Our Country’s Objective in Population Development, Song Jian, Tain Xueyuan, Li Guangyuan and Yu Jingyuan, People’s Daily (Renmin Ribao), 7 March 1980, p. 5.
Steve Mosher is the president of Population Research Institute, anon-profit organisation dedicated to debunking the myth that the world is overpopulated.
The Club of Rome
The Club of Rome was founded in April 1968 by Aurelio Peccei, an Italian industrialist, and Alexander King, a Scottish scientist. It was formed when a small international group of people from the fields of academia, civil society, diplomacy, and industry, met at a villa in Rome, Italy, hence the name.
Hasan –zbekhan, Erich Jantsch and Alexander Christakis were responsible for conceptualising the original prospectus of the Club of Rome titled â€œThe Predicament of Mankind.
The Club of Rome raised considerable public attention with its report Limits to Growth, which has sold 12 million copies in more than 30 translations, making it the best-selling environmental book in world history. Published in 1972 and presented for the first time at the International Students Committee (ISC) annual Management Symposium in St. Gallen, Switzerland, it predicted that economic growth could not continue indefinitely because of the limited availability of natural resources, particularly oil. The 1973 oil crisis increased public concern about this problem. However, even before Limits to Growth was published, Eduard Pestel and Mihajlo Mesarovic of Case Western Reserve University had begun work on a far more elaborate model (it distinguished ten world regions and involved 200,000 equations compared with 1000 in the Meadows model).
The research had the full support of the Club and the final publication, Mankind at the Turning Point was accepted as the official Second Report to the Club of Rome in 1974. In addition to providing a more refined regional breakdown, Pestel and Mesarovic had succeeded in integrating social as well as technical data. The Second Report revised the predictions of the original Limits to Growth and gave a more optimistic prognosis for the future of the environment, noting that many of the factors were within human control and therefore that environmental and economic catastrophe were preventable or avoidable, hence the title.
In 1993, the Club published The First Global Revolution. According to this book, divided nations require common enemies to unite them, either a real one or else one invented for the purpose. Because of the sudden absence of traditional enemies, new enemies must be identified. In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through changed attitudes and behaviour that they can be overcome. The real enemy then, is humanity itself.