Tag Archives: infanticide

Globalizaiton and Genocide

My friend Jason of SDP emailed me yesterday, asking about genocide, globalization, and ideology. Specifically, considering that neither race nor society are going away, does globalization have a chance to end genocide?

My answer: Yes.

Genocide — purposefully killing a large fraction of your own population — only works when you can get away with it. This means that it has to be either profitable or at least not terribly costly. In Rwanda, for instance, the massacred Tutsis didn’t just leave bodies behind — they also had farmland that needed to be disposed of. (In parts of Rwanda where there were no Tutsis, the Hutu hordes helpfully killed fellow Hutus, accomplishing the same land reform without the ethnic overtones).

Likewise, the German attacks against the Jews in the 1930s and 1940s were enabled by the disintegrating world economy that allowed Germany to “go it alone” away from the discipline of international capital markets. In the first phase, the Nazi regime confiscated wealth from the Jewish upper-class to fund a growing welfare state. (If 1990s Rwanda was “land reform,” then 1930s Germany was “capital reform.”) After the War had started, Hitler’s regime faced roughly equal costs in interning Jews and killing them. They chose the latter.

Certainly there are genocides — mass butchery — today. In Darfur, a nasty party of the nasty non-integration gap — people kill each other as they have for the past few thousand years. In much of the western world, late-term abortion puts Herod to shame. But a Darfuri and an infant a month from birth have the same economic value to you — zero — so they aren’t protected by the globalized order.

Defining Infants as Persons

Born Alive babies face first House hurdle in being defined as “persons”,” The Leader, http://www.illinoisleader.com/news/newsview.asp?c=23111, 22 February 2005 (from Free Republic).

Are infants persons? Is intentionally killing an innocent infant murder? At least manslaughter? A movement in Illinois thinks so

“This year, the legislation is identical to the federal language which passed the U.S. Senate unanimously, even with support from Barbara Boxer, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and Ted Kennedy,” Jill Stanek, Concerned Women for America’s Pro-life coordinator and key volunteer lobbyist on the measure, said today.

The need for a so-called Born Alive Infant Protection Act became evident when Stanek, as an obstetrics nurse at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, made public how she witnessed babies, born alive as the result of induced abortion, being left to die on a shelf in obstetric floor’s soiled utility room. Stanek was on duty one night when the attending nurse was taking a baby to the soiled utility room because she was too busy to hold the baby until he died.

Stanek took the baby from the nurse and held the 22-week old baby until he breathed his last breath. The baby was afflicted with Downs Syndrome, and the mother had agreed to the induced abortion rather than carry the baby to term.

One other nurse corroborated Stanek’s testimony with her own similar personal experiences before the U.S. House in 2002.

After learning of this medical procedure being used in his own district, former State Senator Patrick O’Malley (R-Palos Park) introduced state level legislation which would have not only defined babies born alive as persons, but also included general guidelines for doctor assessment as well as groundwork for civil action if doctors did not follow the guidelines in their medical care.

I am not sure that infants are full persons, but they are more than animals. The baby’s death was hellish.


Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide,” by the United Nations General Assembly, United Nations, http://www.hrweb.org/legal/genocide.html, 9 December 1948.

Where Have All the Children Gone?,” by Pavel Kohout, Tech Central Station, http://techcentralstation.com/012705D.html, 27 January 2005 (from The Corner).

Note: This post morphed into something unexpected as I was writing it. In its final form, it uses a TCS article on pension reform to attack misuses of the term “genocide.” While I generally agree with the article, one poorly worded sentence undermines its credibility and cheapens history. This post also criticizes the United Nations for helping cheapen true genocides. — Daniel

Second Note: Zen Pundit ways in with his thoughts on the Auschwitz remembrances. As always, he is very worth reading. He has a different take on some examples I use, but our feel is the same. His third sentence sums everything up: The best possible tribute to the victims of Nazi genocide would not be ceremonies or pious incantations of memory but for the world to actually try to stop the next one.

The U. N. defines genocide as

In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

* (a) Killing members of the group;
* (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
* (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
* (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

* (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

In that context..

The question of why fertility has been falling so dramatically in continental Europe has been food for thought for both demographers and economists. The answer must be looked for in several important factors, which, to further complicate matters, do not simply add up in their impact. Nevertheless, it can be said with a fair amount of certainty that the existence of pay-as-you-go pension systems has had a very negative impact on birth rate. The National Report on Family published by the Czech Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs in August 2004 says:

“In terms of intergenerational solidarity, the importance of the child as an investment for material support in old age has been limited by the social security and pension insurance system, which has eliminated people’s immediate dependence on children. The importance of the child’s role in relation to its parents has transferred to the emotional sphere, which reduced the direct material indispensability of children in a family, while also allowing for them being replaced with certain substitutes bringing emotional satisfaction.”

When a modern young European has to choose between setting up a family of his own and a comfortable life without children, he is very likely to pick the latter option — unless he belongs to a social class which regards children chiefly as a source of social benefits. A high amount of taxation combined with ill-functioning labor and housing markets is a truly genocidal mix. That is the case of Italy, but also Bulgaria and the Czech Republic. Its impact cannot be corrected by all sorts of government subsidies paid out to young families. On the contrary, under certain circumstances the benefits for families may even lead to a drop in birth rate.

Clearly pension reform is important. And poorly designed public institutions may negatively affective the birth rate. But to call it “genocidal” cheapens the term. The murderous government of Sudan has been called genocical, when its not, just as Monty Python’s Black Knight Milosevic was, when he was not. The most eggregious case of this is the so-called Armenian Genocide, where oriental incompetence and multicultural adoption laws are compared to the Holocaust.

There are real genocides. The Shoah was on. And there are real autogenocides, like Pol Pot’s nightmare in Cambodia. One Free Korea and NK Zone have been documenting the crimes of the DPRK, which may be an autogenocide.

But let’s save the meaning of words. Social Security is not genocidal. Not even this is.