Public Journal:

Once again, being a progressive/liberal has never felt so boring and dry as this first entrance into Rawls via The Laws of the Peoples. A lot of it feels like being told what I already intuited in some rather dry almost mathematical language. I did, however come across a point that gets me beyond myself:

“The last cause [for immigration] is population pressure in the home territory, and among its complex of causes is the inequality and subjection of women. Once that inequality and subjection are overcome, and women are granted equal political participation with men and assured education, these problems can be resolved.”

In this, I believe we can see a crucial element in our evolution as a species from the competitive model (in which our baser impulses put our higher cognitive functions in their service) to the cooperative one: in which our baser impulses see it in their interest to act in tandem with our higher cognitive functions. And let’s be very clear about this: the inequality and subjection of women is an expression of the competitive model. We only need look at Islamic societies to see that. They claim that it is about women being sacred. But ultimately it shows itself to be an expression of fear and the patriarchal need for power and dominance. And this need for power and dominance is what is, in third world countries, driving an unsustainable population growth that lies at the bottom of every other problem we are having: such as manmade climate change and the unwillingness of high wealth to share resources.

We can get some confirmation for this as well as concerns the problem of immigration in America from South American countries. In Mexico, for instance, it is customary for men to keep their women barefoot and pregnant so that they’ll stay home while the men visit the brothels. What results from this, as Rawls points out, is a population pressure that drives Mexican immigration into America. The hypocrisy among American conservatives on this issue is their obliviousness to the issue and tendency to attach gag orders on birth control to foreign aid. And we see that same kind of patriarchal nonsense in such reality TV shows as 19 and Counting which, if you set aside the scandals that surrounded it, was already despicable since the idea was for us to fawn over such a big tight-knit family when all it should have inspired in us was the elimination of the child tax credit after the second or third child. Our population growth (whether it comes from third or first world countries (is unsustainable.

Rawl’s point seems perfectly and profoundly correct in that as long as we delegate women to the role of baby making machines, we will only perpetuate the problem of an unsustainable population growth. However, if we allow women to participate in the power structure on equal terms, we give them an incentive to defer childbearing while being more selective in their role (as one social Darwinist pointed out to me (as genetic gatekeepers.

In other words: when women win, we all win.