There was an article I read yesterday about how child benefit (a payment made by the government to parents with children in full time education up to the age of 18 here in the UK) is being considered for discontinuation for most children with parents on what is an average salary for a lot of people these days.
However, when most of the general public, political commentators and child welfare groups are up in arms at this possibility; one voice rings out that it’s wrong to give parents, even hard up ones, any cash as that incites them to have children.
The author in question said under a picture of a typical 2.4 family “wrong priorities: Child Benefit incentivises having children, but the state should only encourage having children in circumstances which are advantageous for society".
Actually it should only encourage having children in circumstances which are advantageous to the child; it's the child who is important here, not the 'state'. It was Hitler who insisted that the "individual is nothing, the State is everything" - do we really want to walk that road again?
Do we really want people telling us that the mass is better than individual? That the collective doesn’t need the singular? Hitler truly believed this; he honest to God believed that the State was the one who should control everything. He felt the mass collective of people in his country could only function properly and at full potential if they were told how to act, dress, think and speak by those in charge.
In Hitler’s world women should stay home and produce copious amounts of children to keep the war machine working; both by producing weapons, but also by going out and dying for the ‘State’. Any child not fitting the ideal was disposed of; certainly the sick, mentally ill and disabled were when Hitler came to power - he considered it a 'mercy'.
Of course Nazi Germany wasn’t the first to come up with this idea; the Spartans had an even harsher way of ensuring only their best and fittest survived and reproduced. A priest would hold up the infant near a cliff at the top of the island; if he thought the child was good enough it would be handed back to its parents – if not, it went over the cliff into a thousand foot drop.....
But ultimately this mindset always leads to the downfall of the State that originally instigates it. The main reason is the bloodlines become too closely linked and health problems increase. Therefore the people sow the seeds of their own destruction even as they seek ultimate perfection.
The author of the article states that financial incentives should be turned towards marriage and keeping marriage partners together; that there are too many single mothers out there and it’s all the fault of child benefit payments. Of course this ultra right wing viewpoint is not, thank God, the view of majority of society today.
The removal of Child Benefit, carried out to purely limit the ability to reproduce just to those that would carry some sort of ‘approval’ from the State (and a big bank balance), is only the first step on an extremely slippery road. Having a child is not, and never will be, about aiding the State or society, or even aiding the parents. It should be done because having a child is more than a biological urge, it’s actually the desire to give another human being a life that’s better, full of love and fulfilment than anyone else’s.
Ironically it is through such a supportive childhood that many children grow into adults that aid the State and society anyway. Many of them are, contrary to the implication made by the ultra right wing author of the article, from single parent families.
The Child Benefit here in the UK is hardly a king’s ransom; but it does help families that are currently struggling to make ends meet. To make the statement that women shouldn’t have children unless it somehow benefits the State, or they were married, is a worrying comment to hear.
What’s next? Offering single mothers money to be sterilised or to have abortions if they already have a child? Perhaps forcibly make teenage girls have birth control implants, imprisoning them (or their own parents) if they try to refuse or resist?
I understand that these sound ridiculous scenarios; but it’s holding the notion that such ideas are impossible that ultimate makes them accessible. Many German Jews refused to believe the Nazi’s would do anything more than harass them – they were tragically wrong, and millions paid with their lives for this error.
However, the article itself, to me at least, seemed to be really about how the State should ultimately control who had children; that the newspaper in question put the article on its website two days on the trot is in itself somewhat alarming. The amount of people who commented seemed to be equally split between those like me who were horrified at what she’d written; and those that agreed with her.
Most were, surprisingly, the elderly who felt the world was too crowded and they were suffering because of children. Yet without children coming into the world, growing up and working to pay taxes there would be no NHS, no pensions, no anything for these elderly people who still get a State pension. Their taxes paid for the elderly to retire when they were young; and the young now pay for them to retire.
Without children in the world there would be no new doctors, nurses, police officers, firemen, paramedics, dentists, vets coming into the workplace as the elderly ones retired or died; the list is endless of the expertise that would no longer be available. Life is an unending circle; if we cut it, then what comes next? we might find the options too horrifying to contemplate.
This is Simi, thanks for reading....