Is procreation a political statement? I guess it could be. What I'm referring to is the fact that in today's progressively overpopulating world, it could be a real political statement to have children. Maybe in the past it was considered an obvious move - I mean, of course you have children. But today, given that the world's upper limits of provisions are in view, it may certainly be in the earth's and certainly in humanity's best interests to scale back the production curve.
This is some open Malthusian pessimistic view of the future, but I think almost everyone would agree that the world has finite resources and that it won't be able to support the exponential growth of humanity. At some point the Earth will reach saturation. And at that point, the world will not be a pretty place for anyone on Earth. If the governments interfere, you'd have to see things like forced low birth rates like in China today. Or perhaps worse like forced sterilizations or forced euthanasia. Can you imagine a world where nobody was allowed to live past 55? It could happen. If the governments did nothing to interfere then you'd see fierce competition and fighting among humanity as the strongest would fight for resources while leaving the weaker, sicker, poorer and older without enough to survive. Either way, it is a terrible scenario for future humanity.
Keeping that in mind, would it not be downright selfish of us to have more than the two or three kids which is the replacement rate? Is it fair to the world as a whole for families to have five or six or ten or fifteen children? They're just forcing the overpopulation of the Earth one step further. Every additional mouth to feed means that there's less to go around for everyone and that somebody will end up hungry. That situation doesn't really affect us today, but it could in a 100 years or 500 years in the future if current rates of procreation remain.
However, on the other side of the issue is the point that the Jewish people have been severely underpopulated because of relatively recent catastrophic events. Should we, as Jews, then make a directed effort to increase world Jewry to make up for the loss? And certainly in Israel where the very existence of the Jewish state hangs in the balance of a Jewish majority, shouldn't those Jewish residents do what they can to create more Jewish citizens? I think that is clearly the political goal made by many settlers to the state.
So, the question I pose here is whether we, as Jews, hold a higher responsibility to humanity as a whole to try and keep global population to a manageable level or do we hold a higher responsibility to our own Jewish goals to further Jewish causes by increasing the Jewish population?
My view: the world hardly helped the Jews when we were being decimated sixty years ago and our miniscule numbers on the world stage have a tiny effect on the world's whole population figures. Let the Chinese worry about overpopulation.