Dr. Garrett Hardin and his wife, Jane, have died. He was 88, and she was 81. Dr. Hardin was a scientist and scholar who did us the invaluable service of pointing out unpleasant truths most of us do not wish to think about. Denial is an all-too-human characteristic.
One of those unpleasant truths is that while Earth and its resources are finite, population is not, and overpopulation will eventually kill our planet. Dr. Hardin spent many witty and scholarly pages debunking all the excuses people use to avoid facing this problem. They range from fantasies about space colonies to superstitious faith in technology. But technology won’t save us, and there is no chance at all of colonizing space, the nearest star being 4 quadrillion miles away.
I accept the concepts of limits. That is, after all, one of the characteristics of a true conservative. But Hardin, with his scientific mind and rigorous logic, goes the next step. Population can only be controlled by coercion. He favored China’s one-child-per-family rule even at the price of forced abortions and sterilization.
This is something I especially find unpleasant. It goes against my libertarian grain. It goes against my respect for life. Yet, what is China to do? With a population base of more than 1 billion people, even a small percentage increase adds tens of thousands of mouths to feed. Unchecked, population growth will be a disaster.
The good news, Hardin has written, is that the population of North America and Europe can be easily controlled — if we slam the doors on immigration. The bad news is that there is not the political will to do it.
"Diversity within a nation destroys unity and leads to civil wars," Dr. Hardin wrote. "Immigration, a benefit during the youth of a nation, can act as a disease in its mature state. Too much internal diversity in large nations has led to violence and disintegration."
On another occasion, he wrote: "If two cultures compete for the same bit of turf and if one of the populations increases faster than the other, then year by year the population that is reproducing faster will increasingly outnumber the slower one … in time the slowly reproducing population will be displaced by the fast one. This is passive genocide. It may be that no one is ever killed, but the genes of one group replace the genes of the other. That’s genocide."
You can see what he is talking about in California, which one writer now calls Mexifornia. The corrupt and elitist government of Mexico has no intention of curbing population growth. It is actively shoveling its surplus people across the border into our country. We are, like the 19th-century American Indians, facing the start of a massive migration from hapless, poor nations into North America (and Europe).
Dr. Hardin often used the analogy of a lifeboat. Any lifeboat has a definite carrying capacity. Add more passengers, and it will sink and all will drown. Therefore, it becomes a hard question: Can those in the lifeboat condemn others to drown so that they might live? If they can’t, everybody drowns. And that, friends — denials notwithstanding — is the situation we are facing.
I have often said that if you want to know what immigration can do to you, ask the few remaining American Indians. They were defeated to the point of virtual genocide not by arms but by mere numbers of European immigrants. Our ancestors did not outfight them. We outbred them.
No question facing America today is more important than shutting down runaway immigration, both legal and illegal, and yet not one stinking politician running for president has the guts to even mention it. Our ancestors did hard things to leave us a country worth living in. Now it’s our turn. Either we make the hard choices or we leave our posterity a mongrelized, impoverished cesspool for a country.
Charley Reese has been a journalist for 49 years, reporting on everything from sports to politics. From 1969—71, he worked as a campaign staffer for gubernatorial, senatorial and congressional races in several states. He was an editor, assistant to the publisher, and columnist for the Orlando Sentinel from 1971 to 2001. He now writes a syndicated column which is carried on LewRockwell.com. Reese served two years active duty in the U.S. Army as a tank gunner.