South Korea is in the midst of making demographic history, with the country’s population itself declining. While other countries have seen the same process unfold, South Korea is unique in that the fall is part of one of the best family planning policy reforms the world has seen. The positive impact on the climate crisis, and on improving each citizen’s role in the democratic process, is astounding. South Korea is showing that nations can break the suicidal collective action problem of a permanent birth and population growth race, to instead help move the world towards an optimal and sustainable world population level.
The State Pushing Women to Have Kids
Forces at the top of the population exploitation pyramid Nobel Laureate Stephen Chu once pointed out are fighting back, sounding alarms about South Korea heralding the end of the world. They do not care about the impact falling populations have on values like welfare, nature, and equity. They care that the pyramid – atop which they live – is changing and the free money of unsustainable population growth might be disappearing. These forces said the same about falling population in Japan years ago and impacts on quality of life – and were wrong.
Unfortunately, South Korea is caving to forces at the top of the wealth and population pyramid, and paying and pushing women to have more kids. In this way, South Korea is a battle ground for whether we stick to unsustainable, nationalistic and pre-constitutional replacement fertility models, or transition to Fair Start family planning systems that use nature as a baseline, and are truly compliant with human rights.
We should choose the latter, and rather than prop up the wealthy, we should constitute new democracies where each person matters.
What can we do in this fight for human rights and the future?
It’s time to change the discourse. This is not about numbers. This is about people, and the first human right – the right to a fair start in life. It’s time to find the wealthy entities and their mouthpieces in the media pushing unsustainable growth, the people driving the exploitation rather than investment in future generations.
It’s time to take the resources they took, the wealth, and instead invest it in future generations. We have the right to take what is necessary for the Fair Start right by all means effective because it comes before – and overrides – property rights. We are before we do. The wealthy collected their power in violation of that right; they never paid the costs they should have. It’s time for them to pay now.
Step one in this transition?
The United Nations and Secretary General Antonio Guterres are obligated by the international bill of human rights to support Fair Start, and our just demands, prior to our engaging targets at the top of the wealth pyramid. They are obligated to speak truth with us to the power at the top, and support the just actions to come.