Friday, September 18, 2009

Take that, Ratzy.

The welfare state is perhaps the greatest altruistic system the animal kingdom has ever known. But any altruistic system is inherently unstable, because it is open to abuse by selfish individuals, ready to exploit it. Individual humans who have more children than they are capable of rearing are probably too ignorant in most cases to be accused of conscious malevolent exploitation. Powerful institutions and leaders who deliberately encourage them to do so seem to me less free from suspicion.

Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene, chapter 7. On why the welfare state must be accompanied by access to contraception.


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