“What to Expect” Update
March 25th, 2013

Two very thoughtful reviews today. The first is Michael Rosen at The American, who is very, very nice to the book. (And who isn’t fooled by Chapter 9–he notices how thin my ideas on How to Fix Everything are.)

The second is Part Deux from Scott Yenor at The Blue Review, in an essay titled “What to Do When No One Is Expecting.” It’s everything you could hope for in terms of applying philosophical seriousness to the bigger questions of policy. Sample awesome:

What is it about religious practice that makes the faithful more likely to resist the modern technological thrust? At least when it comes to life and death, the faithful are more likely to appreciate the limits on human power and to appreciate the gifts that they have been given in life and to see the modern project of controlling nature as much more limited. They may delay pregnancy, but not practice “birth control.” They may plan, but also recognize the limits of their ability to plan. The intractability of children and the burdens of parenthood do not stand as a reproach to the faithful because they do not expect a burden-free life. In fact, the “burdens” of parenthood foster loving, responsible human beings. This view is much more accessible to those who believe, but it is not inaccessible to those who seriously think about the limits of human power and the nature of human life.

Studies show, as Last points out, that parents are generally less happy than non-parents and that their happiness declines with each succeeding child. “Having children,” Last writes, “makes parents less happy” (p. 160). David Hume had said that happiness relates to fecundity, while Last says that fecundity diminishes happiness. I am suggesting that we must understand the poverty of what we often mean by happiness—we seem to mean something like “doing what I want” or “being free from unchosen burdens.” Last concedes (in a footnote) that happiness is not the “virtue to be prized above all others.” Here we need more than a splash of Aristotle. Happiness is indeed the prize, but it must be happiness properly understood. Our poets, aided by our philosophers, must show the poverty of contemporary happiness and the beauty of a more virtuous, responsible, loving happiness.

Any long-term reversal of population decline or, what is more likely, a reversal of the birth dearth depends on the cultivation of such a perspective—an appreciation for the limits of human freedom to redefine our world.

Teh hotness.

  1. Jeffrey S. March 26, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    Speaking of “teh hotness”, what’s up with that new book cover?!

    I love it!!!

    As a serious fan of all things Last, does that mean I now have to get another copy of your book with the new cover…and will there be additional covers I can expect? Collector’s editions? Special holographic covers?

  2. REPLY
  3. Sunny March 30, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    All this does is PROVE that the post I put a few weeks ago is TRUE. The GOVERNMENT is accomplishing what they have set out to accomplish. ALSO, I’m sure that the 50,000,000 babies murdered have contributed to this decline. ALSO, the plan of Sanger, a racist of the first order, who was given accolades for her plan to murder minority babies, is steadily being realized. 🙁

    For anyone who needs PROOF that our government PLANNED(along with the United Nations) to REDUCE fertility and goodness KNOWS what else, here it is again. EDUCATE YOURSELVES!!!! THE LINK TO OUR GOVERNMENT’S DECLASSIFIED OFFICIALS DOCS IS LINKED BELOW THIS PARAGRAPH. “How about this, where our government works with the UN for population control….and people think Agenda 21 is nonsense….THIS document is FROM OUR OWN GOVERNMENT ARCHIVES…on our OWN government’s website….and THE PEOPLE STILL REFUSE TO BELIEVE… I QUOTE, “31. The World Population Plan of Action and the resolutions adopted by consensus by 137 nations at the August 1974 U.N. World Population Conference, though not ideal, provide an excellent framework for developing a worldwide system of population/ family planning programs. We should use them to generate U.N. agency and national leadership for an all-out effort to lower growth rates.” and “There is an alternative view which holds that a growing number of experts believe that the population situation is already more serious and less amenable to solution through voluntary measures than is generally accepted……A number of major actions in the area of creating conditions for fertility decline can be funded from resources available to the sectors in question (e.g., education, agriculture).” WHAT THE CRAP DOES THAT MEAN???? Check it out if you can’t believe our US government would WRITE/PLAN something like this….and it IS on our government website….it was DECLASSIFIED in 1989. Read it….there are LOTS more offensive things in there….wonder why these documents aren’t taught in schools?”


    and how about this lovely statement, ” “It holds that, to prevent even more widespread food shortage and other demographic catastrophes than are generally anticipated, even stronger measures are required and SOME FUNDAMENTAL, VERY DIFFICULT MORAL ISSUES NEED TO BE ADDRESSED”. (emphasis mine)