There’s a forbidden emotion I feel when I observe what’s happening in China right now. That emotion, is joy. It’s not a nice thing to say, but then again, when you tell people things that are nice, you are generally lying to them. When you tell people something they benefit from hearing, they tend to get upset. I prefer to tell you something you benefit from hearing.
The first thing you need to hear is that all of the big problems in this world are caused by the excess number of people who crowd this world. Every big problem we face becomes smaller with fewer people. Animals are locked up in cages where they spend their entire lives, to produce food for human beings. Generations of human selection has deformed their bodies, they grow so fast that they are unable to stand on their feet, or they have udders that fill with puss and begin to hurt when they aren’t milked continually. Their burps are warming up our planet, their poop is poisoning our oceans, the food they’re fed originates from tropical rainforests that were chopped down.
That’s your human legacy. Not Versailles, not the Sistine Chapel, but a pig somewhere in a factory farm wih an open infected wound that’s being eaten alive by all the other pigs, or a deformed dog bred to look “cute”, with a skull so small that it suffers in constant pain as fluid presses up from the spinal column against it brain. Cull the human herd by ten percent and their misery is reduced by roughly ten percent. The net impact of a single human being on this world is misery.
A small minority of people are genuinely capable of seeing the world as it really is. The rest of you are afraid of them, so you put labels on them. “Oh she’s depressed.” “Oh he’s autistic.” “He’s an extremist.” And yet the suffering continues. It doesn’t matter to you of course, it’s nicely shielded away from you. The people in the Amazon killed by ranchers don’t show up on your radar. The tortured animals in factory farms are kept hidden from you, your elected representatives invent laws that make it illegal to film the suffering.
“If that’s how you feel, why don’t you kill yourself?” It’s a fair question, but the answer is pretty obvious and was already given by full-time Finnish troll and ecophilosopher Pentti Linkola. What influence does my individual existence have on the misery in this world? You can’t measure it. But if you gave me the option of taking away a billion other people with me, I would sacrifice myself without hesitation.
The living world would happily continue its course without us. Chimpanzees would dance beneath the waterfalls, beavers would merrily build their dams, elephants would get drunk on fermented fruit and feral pigs would bathe in the mud. But take away one billion of us and what is lost? A cattle ranch in Brazil is abandoned as small trees invade the premises again. The permafrost in Siberia takes a few years longer before it unleashes hell on Earth. The last wild Orangutan lives a year longer in the rainforest before he is captured for a breeding program.
And perhaps the bigger taboo is that a good plague doesn’t just make life easier for non-humans, it makes life easier for human beings too. After the Black Death, salaries went up because aristocrats couldn’t find enough peasants to work for them. Peasants spent their days lingering and doing nothing special, because life was easy. When humans live well below their carrying capacity, life is easier. We don’t need to fire up that coal plant, the river dam provides enough electricity. We don’t need to build new houses, the existing houses suddenly go down in price by 50% or more. If you’re rich, you need a constantly growing supply of poor people to work for you. Hunter gatherers figured this out long ago, they had special dietary taboos for young women to make sure their body fat percentage stays low and they don’t get pregnant.
We’re faced with huge problems in the decades ahead, but every billion people we manage to get rid of would make our problems much easier. That’s the important thing to consider. It’s nice if we could stabilize our population rather than continuing to grow our numbers, but that doesn’t make our situation sustainable. Cut our population in half? Now a lot of the problems we face become manageable. Places with fresh water shortages suddenly have plenty. Peak oil? We’ll manage.
We can simply stop having children of course, but nobody is looking forward to that scenario because then you end up with a nation full of sickly elderly people who become a burden on society. Those elderly people end up owning all of the property and positions of power, leaving young people with no real opportunity to start a life for themselves. In addition, being old sucks. Here’s a question: We’re going to transform your body to your preferred biological age. What number do you pick? You probably picked something somewhere between 15 and 25. Nobody wants to be stuck in an old body.
So, if a virus pops up in Wuhan that preferentially kills old sickly people, what do you expect me to say? People who are stuck in malfunctioning bodies and whose entire existence depends on a vast chain of suffering for non-human animals leave this world. It sucks if you’re one of those people and it sucks if you’re related to them, but overall it’s the best outcome we could hope for. I don’t know if this is the “big one”, but the simple fact that the Chinese government imposes quarantine on 60 million people suggests to me that it very well might be the “big one”.
I have no issues with Chinese people in particular. In fact, if it were up to me this virus would spread to the Netherlands first. The Netherlands is so overpopulated that we don’t even have sufficient physical space for the solar panels we would need to power our electricity grid. We don’t have space for houses. If I want to buy a remotely decent house in my town, I would have to pay almost 300,000 euro. Most of that money would go simply towards paying for the soil beneath my feet. Consider how stupid that is. The average Dutch person now has to spend most of his life working, just to be able to get a few square meter of soil that you’re legally allowed to sleep on.
When rabbits began to cause ecological problems in Australia, we released a virus to reduce their numbers. But look at the sort of problems humans are causing in Australia and the damage caused by rabbits pales in comparison. One billion animals died in the fires caused by climate change. The animals could not flee from the fires, because the land is divided up with fences. If this Chinese virus spreads to Australia, do you think the Australian animals would be upset? I think you would be seeing footage of Koalas uncorking bottles of champagne.
Deep down most of you already know I’m right. Every big problem we face becomes smaller with a big epidemic. Climate change becomes easier to solve as abandoned farmland starts to suck up carbon. Endangered animal species get a breathing pause. Houses become affordable to young people again, pension funds become sustainable again, food becomes affordable again, Indian aquifers are replenished again. Retards like Bolsonaro and Trump would be forced out of office because their core electorate would be rotting away in the ground.
“But we would just replenish our population eventually!” Well no, we wouldn’t. The average South Korean woman has 0.9 children. Most people don’t want to reproduce, the reason we have so many people today is mainly because it took us a long time to give everyone access to contraception. Get rid of a lot of people and our population will simply start to shrink more rapidly. If I’m wrong? Then a big plague would still help, by giving us all a big breathing pause.
“But there are other ways to solve our problems!” Yeah, we can live in shanty towns and call them “tiny houses” to convince ourselves we’re bourgeois hipsters instead of overeducated proles. We can grow food in bacterial vats. Every solution that doesn’t involve fewer people is a solution that involves isolating us further from nature. You know what I want? The same thing as every other normal person. A big house in the middle of the forest, with plenty of land for me to grow my own food and cultivate special plants. But that’s only ever going to be possible for a minority of the seven billion people who inhabit this planet.
The ecomodernist crowd will tell you we can have lab-grown meat, self-driving cars and live together in overpopulated cities and thereby save the world. I say screw all of that and unleash some genetically engineered plagues instead. The above image is of Cairo. Do you think people voluntarily live like that? Of course they don’t, they live like that because they have no other option, they don’t have a lot of money and they don’t own farmland so they end up renting some shitty apartment.
It’s not exactly the case that you have to feel sorry for people. “But people are nice to me!” Yeah, they’re nice to you because it makes their own lives easier. If I go through life making smalltalk to people and waiting for my turn in lines and smiling when you gaze at me and doing all the other little social rituals human beings engage in, other people will treat me better and therefore my own life will be easier.
Does that mean someone who performs these rituals is somehow genuinely a nice person? Not really. These are the same people who would give you lethal electric shocks despite your begging and pleading because a guy in a white coat tells them to continue the experiment. Basic human psychology experiments like the Milgram experiments demonstrate that human beings are dicks who will simply do whatever makes their own lives easier. If the context was slighly different, those people nicely smiling at you now are the same people who would commit genocide against you. Put all those people who operated the concentration camps in Germany in a modern context and you wouldn’t recognize them, because they’re simply perfectly normal people in a different cultural context.
But people commit cruelty against each other, even in our modern context. What do you do for a living? How much of the stuff you learned in high school is knowledge you still use today? What’s the Latin word for head? What year was the Crimean war? How do you use the cosine? You don’t have a clue. You spent the best years of your life being taught stuff you’ll never use again. You managed to memorize it barely long enough to get a good grade. I’m still angry about the fact that I had to go to school and learn stuff I would never use again. Worst of all is the fact that society now expects you to enter debt to get a college degree, for menial office jobs where all of the knowledge you acquired is completely irrelevant.
What’s something people could have taught me that would have actually been useful knowledge to me? How about “earn as much money as possible so you can stop working as quickly as possible”? How about “make sure to keep your vitamin D levels high at all times to prevent cavities”? How about “psychedelic mushrooms can cure depression”? How about “this Bitcoin thing is going to get pretty big one day”? How about “MDMA makes social interaction with strangers easier”? Anything genuinely useful I know is something I had to teach myself at some point or learn from a friend.
The reason for all of that is simple of course. Adults have to work, children and teenagers can’t contribute to society, so we have to keep them occupied. We invent school to keep them occupied and even though they don’t like it, they have no assets and no political power so we can simply force them to go to school. Some children recently figured out they can use climate change to avoid attending classes, so they happily grab the opportunity, but most would happily grab any other opportunity too.
And you can pretend of course that this is a non-issue, but it’s not a non-issue when you’re young yourself. But try looking at the suicide rate for teenagers, particularly in societies like India and China, before judging. People jump off the roof of their school, because they failed some petty exam. If I could tell them one thing, it would be that school is bullshit. I’m 29, dropped out of college, spent years living as a NEET and yet I’m richer today than most people my age, simply because I figured out how to take care of myself. What I will never do however, is forgive a society that took away the best years of my life, a society that sought to convince me I’m utterly useless unless I get some petty certificate. That society is long overdue for a plague.