RE: draft abstract Sex, Drugs and Cults

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Mon Feb 18 2002 - 15:32:46 GMT

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    From: "Grant Callaghan" <>
    Subject: RE: draft abstract Sex, Drugs and Cults
    Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 07:32:46 -0800
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    >Subject: RE: draft abstract Sex, Drugs and Cults
    >Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 13:23:17 -0000
    > <There was a time when children *were* wealth. You could use their
    >labor to have more children yourself and to make the tribe resistant to
    >being attacked.
    > > Times have changed.>
    > >
    > They have but not that dramatically. A few months back on the list,
    >I believe we touched on research suggesting that the social investment in
    >ensuring a child reached an acceptable level of social standing was behind
    >the small number of children had by the most highly developed nations. The
    >same principle is at work- the average middle class parents can't afford to
    >send 6 kids to law school, so better just have one or 2, but if they get to
    >law school, they'll be able to to look after the parents in old age, and
    >provide for any children they may have at the same standard of living. In
    >subsistence existence, as millions of people still find themselves in all
    >around the world, more kids makes sense due to low survival rates etc. etc.
    > Vincent
    In farming societies (most of what's left of the third world) more children
    mean more hands to till the fields and help with the endless work that
    farming requires if the farmer is to survive. The children are also the
    social security of the farmer. They will take care of the farmer and his
    wife in their old age.

    In industrial societies, the children are more of a burden than a help.
    They use resources rather than produce them. The state provides what social
    security is available, if only in the form of an environment where one can
    survive with few or no resources of one's own. Children, when grown, go off
    and establish their own households wherever work can be found, rather than
    staying home to develop the family farm.

    Thus, all the reasons a farmer had for producing a crop of children is lost
    when a small portion of the population produces most of the food and family
    farms no longer dominate the structure of society. Japan is the prime
    example of a society struggling with this problem today. Farmers still
    dominate the government because they have unfair political rights compared
    to the rest of the population. But they are a smaller and less significant
    portion of that population with each passing generation.

    As the poorer countries become more industrialized, the tide will turn on
    their child bearing, too. In the end, even farming will become
    industrialized, as it has pretty much done in the U.S. already. But who
    will take care of the people after the robots take over? It will have to be
    the robots and the motivation for having even two or more children will be


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