Friday, December 16, 2011

Time to consider Breeding Licenses?

Andrew D Atkin:

Most people's reaction to the idea of the state defining who can and cannot breed is one of knee-jerk rejection, because of course it seems like a violation of citizens rights. I understand, but the fact remains that if you don't believe in breeding licensing then you believe in the alternative; and the alternative is to let thousands of children be born to seriously disturbed people. That is, people who perpetuate abuses and neglect on levels that you may not even wish on your worst enemy. So choose your greater evil?


How can we be so confident in proposing social policy for the now, when we blatantly ignore the demographic impact of our policies running into the future? How can we make claim to the 'rightness' of our propositions, when we do not even dare have the real conversations?

Current public policy in the western world works to ensure that anyone, not matter their physical or psychological status, can have as many children as they want. Whatever their failings the state will pick up the slack. We do this primarily because we have no tolerance for the idea of leaving children for dead. However, our policy is also reckless - we operate this policy in the vacuum of long-term thinking, and already we are paying dearly for it with the rapid expansion of the underclass.


I have written periodically in my blog that I believe in breeding licenses, but I want to make a dedicated statement on it. We live in a country, and world, where serious child abuse is so common that it is a norm. But we don't take serious action. Why?

The problem is, I believe, that we have far less political pressure than there should be to address this problem. Here are some thoughts as to why:

1. The biggest problem is the out-of-sight/out-of-mind effect. Yes we know child abuse is an ugly and pervasive problem, but it's still only abstractions to our minds because we can't see it and feel it personally.

2. Another problem is that, ironically, not even the people who are subject to child abuse can see it and feel it (fully) because they repress it.

-This relates to the permanence of the damage: See my Understanding Mental Sickness.

3. Once abuse has distorted the mind (and yes, it literally distorts the functioning and even structure of the brain), you get an individual who no longer even knows what normal is.

-Imagine a father beating the death out of his son while saying: "My dad beat me up when I did something wrong and I turned out ok". You get my point.

4. Too many people with personal demons to hide. What child-abuser wants their children to be tested for signs of abuse? This is probably why the topic is often taboo.

So here we have this individually and socially devastating problem that just won't go away. In fact it's getting worse because we have a welfare system that supports highly damaged people in having as many children as they want, and regardless of their personal status. I know it's a bit crass to say so, but in part at least you could interpret the DPB (domestic purposes benefit) as a breeding programme for the criminal class, because functionally that's what it has been for so many cases.

However, removing financial support for woman with children is not a realistic option. Once children have come into this world they should be supported as well as they reasonably can be. They cannot be blamed for a mother's incompetence and, as the reader will probably agree, they should not be left for dead.

But if we are to retain our welfare system and continue to support children, and regardless of who they are born to, then we need to seriously consider actively imposing ourselves so as to regulate who can and cannot have children in the first place. Because the alternative is the status quo - that is, thousands of children being born into hell, leaving us with a profound current and inter-generational problem that will spread and endure indefinitely.

I am not speaking theory I am speaking fact. We are already dealing with the consequences of this today.


Some people believe that education can provide the answer to the cycle of child abuse. They are no doubt well intentioned, but wrong. They do not understand the impact that child abuse has on the individual.

Yes education is important, and it can help to some degree, but it is limited. You can never truly 'enlighten' someone who has been robbed of their childhood. The repression, developmental deficiencies, and distorted emotional programming run far too deep.

Think about it. If education could solve the problem then our species wouldn't need a childhood in the first place. It takes about 20 years in a proper environment for the human animal to develop into a capable parent themselves. You're dreaming if you think a short-term remedial "cook book" programme can substitute it.

The included video gives an excellent overview in the impact of child abuse. It clarifies for the reader what we are really dealing with (link here).

How could it work?

My ideal model is to make it so that mothers cannot breed until they are first awarded a license. However, you cannot regulate to avoid an accidental pregnancy, and a forced-abortion is politically impossible and in my view morally unacceptable. So, there would be many cases where a woman will get pregnant, want to keep her baby (even though she's a mess), and in turn will have her baby without a license. So how do you deal with this?

I believe the punishment would have to be forced surgical contraception once the woman's baby is born. Accept the one baby, do your best for them, but then no more.

Yes I know that is brutal. But the incentive to get a license before pregnancy must be strong otherwise the law will be useless and dysfunctional. I wish there were a nicer way but I can't see it. And remember, a woman can always choose not to "walk off the cliff" by taking proper precautions before sex. The state would only have to be brutal for if she insists on being impulsive and stupid. At the least, the message would be clear: Pregnancy is a serious business.

Who would be awarded a license?

If I had it my way it wouldn't be the bottom 20% of society because I know how damaged 'normal' is. But the points of reference are subjective - no-one is non damaged. Basically, the larger the fractional cut-off number, the faster you can eradicate the impact of severe inter-generational damage within your society.

However 20% would almost certainly be politically impossible. My personal guess is that only the bottom 5% would be restricted from reproduction. Regardless, stopping the worst of the worst from breeding would be a major step forward and put us on the right track.

How do you measure fitness?

It's only recently that we have had the tools to make a reasonable decision.

Believe it or not, the least of the concerning attributes for winning a breeding license would be things like gainful employment, good manners and attitudes, and social conformity etc. These things are skin deep. People can do all the "right" things but still for all the wrong reasons, and vise versa. What you want to look for is signs of substantial psychological damage. This can be detected with background reports, and more importantly physical and mental analysis using brain scans. Genetic physical/mental fitness is a concern to look at as well, which I speak about later.

It's a given that you will never have a perfect screening system. There will always be the borderlines who in principle should or should not have been awarded a license. But that would be a small price to pay for the advantage of stopping the bulk of societies most damaged people from breeding.

Population control:

Another great advantage of breeding licenses is that you establish the infrastructure for direct population control. No one can argue that this may not one day be a necessity, if it is not already.

I know that people argue that the Malthusians have got it wrong, and that populations stabilise with wealth. But these people are looking at our industrialised societies only from the surface. I can't say for sure, but I retain a strong suspicion that the conditions have long been introduced to (deliberately) keep population growth suppressed in the industrialised world. (See here for my comprehensive statement on this). And if so, then I for one would like to see the exchange of our current form of 'tyranny' for direct controls on population, via breeding licenses.

Better to limit the number of children people can have directly, than to psychologically condition and economically starve them out of the option?

The eugenics question:

The eugenics question relates to the other great advantage of breeding licenses. We can include in the list of prerequisites that parents-to-be have no serious risk of passing on chronic disorders to their children.

In our society we do not let nature "have its way" and let people with chronic genetic problems die of their own shortcomings. Though on a humane level this is obviously great, it's bad practice for the long-term. By facilitating the "survival of the weak" we threaten the future health of our species. So maybe we need to think about doing surgically what nature will otherwise do catastrophically? Again, I speak about this in detail here.


So you think I'm a Nazi? Nope. I'm a realist. And sometimes the nice things to believe are not the real things to believe. And can I say that I'm not the one who promotes the idea that thousands of children should continue to be born to parents who will exchange what should be love with sexual and aggressive release. I won't labour the point, but again, if you're not for effective change then you choose the status quo and whatever it is that the status quo will evolve into. It's not pretty.

I believe that the time for breeding licenses has come. At the least can we start talking about it? If there are better (realistic) solutions to the problems that I'm talking about then great, I'm all ears. But so far I can't see them.


Addition: 17-6-13:

Charles Murray's essay is of interest. He notes that America has dealt with the underclass problem not by stopping it from breeding or rehabilitating it, but by segregating it through prisons and gated communities, etc. This is not a solution to the underclass itself course, it is only a solution for those who don't want to be subject to it directly.


  1. quote:
    "Too many people with personal demons to hide. What child-abuser wants their children to be tested for signs of abuse? This is probably why the topic is often taboo."

    andrew, you are right. according to the u.s. justice department, official records show that 16.5% of american females are sexually molested before the age of 12 but accurate estimates show that 65% of child molestation goes unreported because the child is too frightened or embarrassed to say anything.

    that means 47% of american girls are sexually molested before they reach 12 years of age.

    psychologists say child molestation is one of the most serious types of trauma. the victim will experience post traumatic symptoms for the rest of his/her life. the damage is not easily recognized by the molester because the child's mind will undergo the 'neurotic split' while the abuse is happening, especially around the ages of 4 to 8.

    i haven't mentioned other types of child abuse such as extreme punching and kicking, which also rates very high in america.

    if you go to any internet chat room and try to discuss child molestation, you are likely to receive a negative response. you will be talking to child molesters, and the victims, neither of whom will be comfortable with an open discussion.

    do you think people will vote for reproduction licences?

  2. Thank you Richard. Yes about so many girls being sexually abused. And then there's all the other stuff too, and the devastating trauma's that are so common as to be almost universal. There's infantile neglect, damage at birth, and all the drama that happens in the womb as well.

    Will people vote for it? It's sensitive as hell and it will take a long time to educate people, but I'm sure we can get there if we highlight that it's only the bottom 10% we're after, and the do-nothing alternative is so much worse - and it is.

    The basic idea of screening people is being introduced in New Zealand with the screening of teachers, which is being promoted by incumbent politicians (the Key government). This will help to "ween" people onto the idea I believe.

  3. Andrew,

    This is a topic I've commented on before and it appears as if you've yet to address the overarchiving issue, that of 'mission creep.' While you advocate that this would only be for the bottom 10%, what to say the next person after you will not decide to increase it to the bottom 20-30% and not be expanded into other 'undesirable' traits. It's not as if this is a wholly new idea and hasn't been tried before.

  4. vandiver49: Yes it's not a new idea - I'm just presenting my argument for it.

    Already we can slip down any "black hole", and in part we have already done so, I believe, and there are no guarantees as to how we will move in the future - who knows who is going to be in control in the future, and what they will do.

    But as it stands today I believe we need to look at reproduction licenses, for the reasons I assert. Ultimately we can only do our best to develop the best regulations for the day, to the best of our knowledge.

    Controlling the risk of 'creep' would need to be a collective effort - remember we can 'creep' to anywhere. Maybe the best thing to do is to make sure we don't let the debate over where we put the parameters/goal-posts out of our sight.

    And keeping psychopaths out of power is a good idea too.

  5. Why limit the reproductive licenses and forced sterilisation to women? We don't want abusive or neglectful fathers any more than we want abusive or neglectful mothers, but you don't seem to mention that problem. Surely men too should be required to make sure they don't cause any pregnancy unless they have a license (and the consent of the woman who would have to bear the child for nine months) and if they violate either of these conditions they too should be subject to forced sterilisation.

    1. If it helped for the objective then maybe it would be a good idea. But I think it would be fruitless in the end because sperm is just too easy for a 'loose' woman to come by.

      Modern society is too promiscuous for male sterilization to be relevant, I believe.

  6. Eugenics is actually "the greatest good for the greatest number of people" when future people are considered, and not just the present. I see Marxism as somewhat of an empowerment of resentment by the masses born into poverty (by parents who reproduced before accumulating the resources to afford it) against the successful, who in a state of nature would have reproduced according to their greater ability to acquire resources by superior mastery of nature. The lesson is that the healthy and intelligent MUST use their genetic advantage to reproduce, since the wealth and tools that they create ease life and allow those who have a lower threshold of contentment to reproduce more ("r" reproductive strategy vs. the intelligent, few-offspring "k"), propagating poverty. The successful will pay for lots of children, one way or the other. In the modern era, the couple with 1 or 2 kids paying $100,000 in taxes is essentially providing for 2 genetic offspring,and perhaps 10 non-related offspring through welfare spending (at least in the USA).

    The primary objection would be the use of force to maintain eugenics policies. I'd support any method to avoid the use of force through strong incentives for the reproductively least desirable to be voluntarily sterilized, such as many free benefits (that are currently funded by force through welfare), such as healthcare, housing etc. In a fair society, welfare would exist as the price of sterilization. If you want to live at the expense of others, an indication of parasitism, you would first have to forego your reproductive ability.

  7. Thanks Steve,

    The key complication behind this lies in the fact that we live in an "artificial" environment, engineered by man. The evolutionary playing-field is far from level (the factor of non-biological inheritance is enormous), and in today's world the playing-field can change so quickly that we have to think beyond 'environmentally relative' which is the natural basis in which superior fitness is determined. Eg, Nerds were best suited to engineering pre-calculator age, but now that we have computers to do the number-crunching they may no longer be the best 'type' for see what I mean.

    The most successful, in environmentally relative terms, may not have the traits that we really want for an idealised world. Homo Sapiens are now beyond brute evolution - we need to be, and can be, scientific about it.

    Or to put it another way: As long as we control and specify the game, we also specify the idealised (and advantaged/disadvantaged) players. So, we might as well specify the players directly.

    btw: I celebrate you willingness to think about this issue!

  8. I had this same idea, and I looked it up to see if I'm the only one with this idea. Then I found this. I told my idea to my friends, but they told me this is kinda Nazi. Did I care? Hell no. This is how the utopia will be created. Just imagine a life without millions of people like Honey Boo Boo, or the people in 16 and Pregnant, or child abusers. Imagining about a world full of well mannered, intelligent, cultured people makes me really happy. Maybe one day we can do that.

    1. Fair call, but you have to be careful with the "utopian" attitude.

      I think it's a real gift to give the new people coming into this world a minimal chance of inheriting crippling conditions, but for political (public acceptance) purposes if nothing else, the best focus is "getting rid of the serious negatives" as opposed to "creating superman". The latter is just too closely associated with the Nazi horror show, and it's an unnecessary focus (and certainly not the most important).

    2. ...Oh, and we do have that kind of 'utopia' you speak of - gated communities. Problem is the middle class (and "higher") in this world has its share of problems too. I think their (exaggerated) conservative mentality that I so often see is largely just a "living the dream" defence against a childhood that was a total emotional void. But that's getting a little heavy...yet the reason why I wouldn't want to live inside their particular bubble myself. I can't stand *that* kind of "normal" :)

  9. I applaud your consideration, but the reality is that reproductive license will never occur in our society. If you want to effect change then it is easier (but still not a easy thing to do) to kill off a few billion world wide with disease ( Ebola, Marburg , take your choice), and then try to institute some reproductive rules in the remainder . Sad but true. Hit the reset button!!!!

    1. Well, for all its problems and poverty Africa still has the highest population growth rates in the world, accounting for the impact of their disease as well. Would they accept reproduction licenses, as required? I don't know. But if they don't, unconstrained population growth in turn becomes a ticking time-bomb towards brutal solutions, like you suggest. It's only a matter of time. Or semi-brutal solutions like what we see in the West (may be!) where we do everything we can, via indirect methods, to make child-beering as financially difficult and strenuous for parents as possible.

      Note China enforced its one-child policy successfully, for years. Policy like reproduction licenses *can* be done.

    2. I meant it would be an order of magnitude easier to unleash an apocalypse that to get reproductive license as a policy in America.

      As for china they enforced their policy in an Orwellian political system

      I would submit that rather than a license to procreate ( and perhaps more do-able) it would be better to require a license to run for office that would be based on intelligence, citizenship, and problem solving ability, to at least try to blunt the downward curve of the USA
      Our current system preselects for shortsighted opportunists ( for the most part) well off the bell curve below the top 10 % of intelligence that we need to steer us out of our current predicaments.

      Would the marching mass of morons accept governance by the Cognocenti? It seems doubtful, so back to the reset button.

      I know this seems dour, but sometimes to save a patient you have to amputate. I think eventually someone with the will and resources will come to the same conclusion with regards to the human race. Far fetched? I don't see it as any more far fetched than dropping a nuclear device, and our nation did that twice to win a war. Now we have individuals capable of privately launching space craft. That is much harder than distributing contagion as I alluded to earlier.

      And no I am not "prepper"

    3. Perhaps ALL people should be tested for a few major flaws such as psychopathy, the worst heritable conditions and contagious diseases, a marked tendency toward harmful behaviour etc. etc.
      The tests could be performed on young children at school. All the 'good' kids could be given a "Certificate of Human Fitness" when they reach 18 years of age. This certificate would allow them to breed, join a political party, become a priest etc.
      When the 'bad' kids reach adulthood, they would have to accept a "Special Certificate" which would deny them a few opportunities in life but would still offer them a life of dignity and respect -- something that all humans deserve.
      Hmmm. I guess it could be done but you would have to give the police very big machine guns and very big Certificates of Human Fitness. You would have to allow them to walk through shopping malls on a regular basis, just like Russia, to maintain a permanent atmosphere of military intimidation -- anything less would lead to the most spectacular civil wars ever recorded in history... that is... until America utilizes its latest anti-civil-war technologies/strategies which are being developed right now.
      Andrew, maybe you are too late.

  10. You need a licence to drive a car or motorbike.
    You need a licence to go fishing or busking.
    You need a licence to sell firearms or even food.

    Are all these really more important, issues for our safety and survival that the state has to licence?