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The Bethe Birth

havior of


and they may not keep together. It is hard to see how the mortality in a normal population can be brought lower than 10 in a thousand, whereas there is no telling to what point its fecundity may sink. In New England, for example, the birth rate of the native stock appears to be less than its death rate, so that it is calculable being swamped by the foreign-born element, which breeds three times as fast as it does.


Society, however, is not without influence upon the desire for offspring. Whether a young couple shall avoid progeny, content themselves with a child or two, or undertake to rear a real family, depends much on the current opinion about children. If they are looked upon as blessings and if a normal-sized, well-reared famy is a source of pride, few couples will remain child-shy. Thus by substituting sound ideals for selfish and frivolous ideals, society may do much to raise births to the point, at least, of race continuance.

Rather In

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May Stim

ulate Child


tion by

Bearing a

If social appreciation of children does not suffice, society can induce the foresighted and prudent to rear more children by altering the economic incidence of child-rearing. At present the childproducing family handicaps itself in comparison with the childshy. If by free medical care of the child-bearing mother and her Its Oost children, free schooling, free meals in school, and so on up to the point of state allowances for healthy children born to healthy couples, the economic burden of race continuance were largely transferred from the individual to the community, no doubt the child crop of the superior strains would increase. It goes without saying that such aid would most stimulate the reproduction of the Fore shiftless elements unless it were reserved for couples which came up to a certain standard of inheritance, capacity, and chararter. Such a standard will not be accepted in a democracy until mental measurement is far more advanced and used than it now is. As soon as one element withholds its increase more than another element, it diminishes its share in the heredity of the generatons to come. Now, since those who limit their family to a derate size, are, on the whole, the prudent, self-controlled, and cable people, or those who have a high standard of what they ge their children, whereas those who have families of ten to ffteen are, on the whole, the more thriftless and reckless, or those

The Freemultipliers

Are, in General of



than the



CHAP. III who have a low standard of what they owe their children, is not birth control dysgenic? Does it not cause the race to be recruited from the less desirable strains? Formerly, owing to the poverty and ignorance of the parents of large families, fewer of their children survived than of the families half as large. But now that the child's prospect of surviving depends less on the intelligence and resources of its parents and more on the intelligence and resources of the community, the conscientious breeders have little advantage over the rash breeders.

Let the

Law Hinder the Free-multipliers

from Exploiting Their


The Size of One's

Not Alto

gether a Private Matter

Something may be done to correct this situation by social policies which restrain fathers from exploiting their young children. By means of compulsory school attendance laws and anti-childlabor laws responsible parents may impose upon greedy fathers the standards of child culture to which they already accommodate their own conduct. The conversion of children from assets into liabilities works a surprising change in the attitude of a certain type toward the large family..

It is possible, moreover, for public opinion to discourage imFamily Is moderate fecundity. When each trudges the road by himself, it is solely his own affair how many bundles he loads himself with. But when we go by train, it is everybody's concern how many bundles a passenger brings aboard. The more one brings, the fewer others can bring and the greater the general discomfort. Hence, an opinion grows up as to what is a reasonable amount of luggage for a passenger to travel with.

Can Social

the Mul

of the Inferior?

In the same way, once it is realized that only by a certain selfcontrol in propagation is it possible for a people to enjoy health, tiplication comfort, and length of life, an idea forms as to what is a reasonable family size, and disapproval is shown those who without warrant exceed this. No doubt the exceptionally endowed who offer society a "full quiver" of children will find favor; but the subcommon who are the most reckless in multiplication - will be made to feel community resentment when they propagate as if the world could not have too much of their ilk. The man of poor stock who begets a family of ten or fifteen will be looked upon as a fool or an egoist.

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But what of forethoughted parentage by the advanced peoples while there are peoples and races which multiply blindly and


of the In

threaten to flood their neighbors with their surplus population? CHAP. III Now that cheap travel stirs the social deeps and beckoning oppor- Unretunity fills the steerages, immigration becomes ever more serious Migration to the people which hopes to rid itself utterly of slums, "sub- Neutralize merged tenth" and "poverty" classes. Wherefore should it the Efforts practise family prudence if hungry strangers may crowd in and telligent occupy at the table the places it had reserved for its children? Lift Their Shall it in order to relieve the teeming lands of their unemployed Living abide in the pit of wolfish competition and give up the prospect of a betterment of the lot of the masses?

There is no doubt that barriers to immigration will be reared which will give notice to the backward peoples that enlightened humanity is not willing to cramp itself in order that these peoples may continue to indulge in thoughtless reproduction. Let a people make itself miserable by multiplying like an animal not endowed with foresight and reason, but why should this people expect other peoples to allow themselves to be made miserable in order to accommodate its overflow?

Unless family restriction becomes general over the world, it is vain, therefore, to expect acknowledgment of the right of any well-behaved and self-supporting human being to settle where he will From the standpoint of the brotherhood of man such an acknowledgment would be most desirable. But there is no blinking the fact that it would handicap the advanced peoples and in time cause the world's population to consist more of unthinking races and less of thinking aspiring races.

The barriers which are sure to rise will not aim to hamper the terchange of culture elements among the peoples or to hinder the movement of such bearers of culture as students, scholars, missionaries, travellers, officials, and business men. But they will prevent the movement of great numbers from areas of high pulation pressure to areas in which a low population pressure is deliberately maintained. The imputation of such a barrier is not that the excluded people or race is inferior but that the excluding people does not propose to incommode itself and lose its own field. of future internal expansion in order that the excluded may be relieved of the natural penalty of their heedless propagation. Such a policy smacks not so much of hateful discrimination as of hat wise conservation of resources for the benefit of posterity which is becoming general among the enlightened peoples.

Peoples to

Plane of


will be Reared to the Free

Keep Out




The Ex

eluded Will Not

Be Ex

cluded as


but as





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