The Lost Girls
China’s One-Child policy is an epic disaster. Why does it have so many cheerleaders?
by Jonathan Last - September 26th, 2011 (Publication Date) - The Weekly Standard
A few weeks ago Vice President Joe Biden made, by his standards, a minor squall when he visited China and held forth on the country’s One-Child policy. Biden didn’t endorse One-Child, exactly, but said that he would not “second guess” it. He wasn’t the first Westerner to look favorably upon the regime. Tom Friedman once mused that One-Child “probably saved China from a population calamity.” The Associated Press lauded it recently as a “boon” to Chinese girls. Others believe One-Child to be so admirable that it ought to be replicated on a global scale. Financial Post columnist Diane Francis, former Planned Parenthood director Norman Fleishman, and Ted Turner—among others—have all said that the entire world ought to adopt China’s One-Child policy.
It’s hard to know what’s at the root of all this admiration. Part of it may be a reaction to the gauche American habit of having children. Push environmentalists hard enough and eventually they devolve into overpopulation hysterics. Or perhaps appreciating One-Child is, like following professional soccer, just a way of peacocking moral superiority.
But the more charitable (and likely) explanation is that people who claim to admire China’s One-Child policy simply don’t know very much about it. Like where it came from. Or how it actually works. Or what it has really done to China’s demographics.
Like almost everything that progressives admire or invent, the one-child policy has created some horrible unintended consequences. China will never recover from this experiment without serious action. One possible action, growing more likely every day, is war.
Without a war to provide wives for the huge population of men for whom marriage is not possible, the nation is likely to see massive civil unrest and social instability.
Those on the outside who dismiss these pressures are simply deluding themselves. Of course our own progressive elite politicians are so busy admiring the one-child policy that they have not begun to deal with its real world unintended consequences, for either China, or the rest of the world.