Sunday, June 1, 2008

Maggie Gallagher on China's one child per family policy


Today (June 1) The Washington Times, on p B3 in the Commentary Section, carries an op-ed by Maggie Gallagher than I can definitely agree with. Actually, I do get where she is coming from in some of her past pieces (as in the Weekly Standard) on gay marriage. But today, she shows that it only takes a post-totalitarian state to establish the link between the right to life and what we normally talk about as civil rights. Yes, I notice the rehearsal of Sharon Stone’s remark about “karma” and the Dalia Lama.

China, in the wake of the earthquake, is oh so generously allow grieving parents who lost their only child to have another child. “The government will give you a certificate so you can have another child. How big of them!”

She goes on to describe a Muslim woman in the western provinces who “illegally” had a second child in the 1990s. There is some confusion. Ethnic minorities sometimes had exceptions carve out to the one child policy. But her work group had to approve of the birth and tried to pressure for a legal abortion. Life is so communized that any sort of organic experience of normal emotion is denied. It is hard to say what is “the people” and what is “the state” that is supposed to take care of everything.

A couple decades ago, many commentators welcomed China's one child policy, which is said promote young people to grow into "little emperors". Now, as noted by Philip Long and others, the whole question about population demographics comes into question with occasional pieces about "demographic winter."

The Washington Times, by the way, in undergoing some changes. It increased the newsstand price and now is cutting out a Saturday print edition, but its website has a new look. I could not find her commentary there yet today; just keep looking for it.

Also, today, the New York Times has impressive slide of the total destruction of many coastal villages in Myanmar (another totalitarian government, and after North Korea, one of the world’s most despotic). Look under "World" and graphic on June 1.

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