Special edition newsletter for VHEMT information table at
The San Francisco Anarchist Book Fair March 30, 2002.
Note: A wide range of political orientations exists within The Movement.
Although I personally favor anarchy, many Volunteers and Supporters do not. Les.


Why Real Anarchists Don’t Breed

By Les U. Knight

We anarchists have many reasons to avoid procreation today. Our redundant breeding feeds the very forces we are trying to counter, and prevents us from living as freely as we might.

Capitalism is dependent on a growing population and an expendable work force. Labor gains power when the need for workers is higher. As demands for supplies are reduced, and markets cease to grow, economic changes we aspire toward will more easily be achieved. Sustainable economic systems could replace out-dated “slash and burn” methods when consumers are fewer in number.

Society’s institutions are dependent on our producing families. Churches, schools, and social services, all need fresh supplies of human bodies to exist.

Business applauds births. As if to celebrate each new North American life, a multi-passenger vehicle rolls off the assembly line to join it.

Anarchists generally oppose the culture of work, production and consumption. Breeding increases participation in these institutions. Workers with children are more dependent on their jobs and less likely to strike. Anarchists take risks which parents can’t.

Thinking about not producing more offspring is difficult for most of us. It’s a freedom that we guard fiercely, even though, with the exception of China’s government, no one is trying to take it away. The establishment is certainly not trying to talk us out of reproducing. Governments have traditionally been natalist and often subsidize procreation. Disorganized masses are easier to control than small unified groups.

If each of us produces one less pupil for the schools, one less soldier for the military, one less wage slave for industrial exploitation, one less consumer, and one less pawn in the government subsistence trap, we will help the old system fall. And when it does fall, it won’t be landing on any children we chose not to create.

Anarchy includes taking responsibility for our own lives. Creating a dependent which “takes a village” to raise, forces others to share responsibility for a couple’s free choice. Breeding, especially insisting on extra services for breeding, shirks personal responsibility.

Anarchists eschew hierarchy, favoring interactions among equals. Parent-child relationships are hierarchical, not consensual. Children don’t choose to be born, but parents do choose to breed. Creating a dependent child also creates an authority figure for many years. Couples who breed “accidentally,” have not taken responsibility for their fertility.

Anarchists and environmentalists understand the biosphere is in danger, and that six billion of us is far too many. Taking personal responsibility, we eschew breeding for the sake of both humankind and the Earth. Earth’s biosphere will benefit as every demand humans place on Nature is reduced. Human society will benefit from an improved birth rate, as shortages of food, housing, and resources are potentially lessened. Existing children could be better cared for in the coming weird times if there are fewer of them. By not breeding, we ’ll have more time and energy for promoting social change.

Anarchists seek neither security nor stability, understanding these states of illusion are not compatible with real social change. Parents seek both security and stability, for the sake of their children. Good parents make bad anarchists.

When thinking about improving our density, many see death as the only means of achieving it. Actually, death has had little effect on global population. A million deaths are compensated for in less than a week. High death rates cause high birth rates.

Giving up the fantasy of raising children which are biologically ours can feel like a major sacrifice to many people. However, if we are willing to risk our social status, jobs, and sometimes our freedom, surely we can consider giving up something that doesn’t exist yet.

Some say we need to breed more anarchists, but how many of us come from anarchist parents? You cannot make someone an anarchist: it’s up to them to decide. We’ll likely have more luck influencing other people’s children. Anyway, this would be expecting our children to do what we should be doing, with a 15 to 20 year delay. Anarchy happens right now, if we choose it.

Voluntarily choosing to not add another human to the existing billions is the greatest gift we can give the planet and the most severe blow we can strike against the New World Order.

Real anarchists don’t breed.

VHEMT denied participation in anarchist book fair

Although quite a few of us in VHEMT identify as anarchists, not all anarchists agree with VHEMT. An attempt to reserve a table at an anarchists’ book fair received this reply:

“We are totally opposed to the VHEM, and do not want your movement/group at our bookfair. You can attend as an individual, but any sort of VHEM literature or propaganda will be met with hostility.”

Their hostility toward an idea that’s fully compatible with anarchy reveals a subconscious awareness that breeding isn’t such a great idea.

Fascism and Anarchy: Our Density Factor

One major factor limiting our freedom often gets ignored: the sheer number of us sharing a space.

As the number of people living together increases, restrictions on activities must increase for the sake of fairness and order.

The number of possible interactions determines the level of anarchy possible, or the degree of fascism necessary to maintain order.*

When we live alone, few if any rules are required. Peaceful anarchy reigns. With two, simple agreements are sufficient. However, when more than a few share a kitchen and bathroom, some well-defined rules must be established and adhered to—voluntarily or not.

This is also true on a larger scale. Archeological evidence from around the globe and throughout our existence reveals that the lower a society’s population density, the more equally members are treated. As egalitarian tribes grow into chiefdoms, hierarchies develop. Cities evolve into empires, subjugating more and more people, enlarging the gap between top and bottom.

As our density increases, regulations are becoming more plentiful and more strictly enforced. In denser areas, we can’t even cross the street until a signal light gives permission.

China has about the same land mass as the United States and four times the population. Their society has to be more than four times as repressive just to keep order.

A future of peace and freedom in a more equal society may be possible if enough of us accept responsibility for our growing numbers, and voluntarily avoid adding more of us.

*Formula for finding number of interactions: n(n-1) over 2. n = number of people. As n increases arithmetically, the number of interactions increases exponentially, as does the need for control.

Natalism vs. Freedom

Out of the mouths of babes come some of society’s strongest indoctrinations.

First comes love,

Then comes marriage,

Then comes (your name here),

With a baby carriage

Maybe if we question everything we learned in kindergarten, we’ll get to the roots of all that prevents an anarchistic society from emerging.

Procreation automatically entangles us in government bureaucracy. That fresh social security number is only the beginning. Required immunizations, mandatory education, and suspicion of child abuse or neglect may be used as excuses for interfering with our lives.

Fear of our children revealing confidential information at school may restrict our freedoms at home.

“One child can raze a whole village.” ~Anon
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Cartoon at top by Nina Paley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

See also: Green Anarchy and VHEMT

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