In the past several days, I have been around a four month old baby. He is beginning to smile at his relations and friends, will hold on to fingers, and make attempts to grab toys. It was a surprise to all when, out of nowhere, he rolled over one day; and continues this feat of rolling, to the applause and delight of said relations and friends. His latest feats and physical performances are extremely entertaining. A person flicks on the news or television after watching this little elf, and there is nothing of interest to watch on that screen. There is simply nothing that can compare to that little face with its alert eyes taking in the new world around him.
At the beginning of the last century, the population control experts began their siren call to the masses which decried “life” by pushing the idea of “freedom.” They preached that if a family did not have children, they were “free” to do the other things they wished to do, as in, go to the movies, buy an extra car, a bigger house, go on vacations, etc; hence, they pushed what was known as population control; the “pill” and other sundry methods were invented, and sold, to get the pleasure out of the reproductive act, while eliminating the reproductive aspect of the act. G.K. Chesterton wrote at the time:
“We can always convict such people of sentimentalism by their weakness for euphemism. The phrase they use is always softened and suited for journalistic appeals. They talk of free love when they mean something quite different, better defined as free lust. But being sentimentalists they feel bound to simper and coo over the word “love.” They insist on talking about Birth Control when they mean less birth and no control. We could smash them to atoms, if we could be as indecent in our language as they are immoral in their conclusions.” (“Obstinate Orthodoxy” – The Thing)
“What is quaintly called Birth Control… is in fact, of course, a scheme for preventing birth in order to escape control.” (“The Surrender upon Sex,” The Well and the Shallows, 1935)
“Normal and real birth control is called self control.” (“Social Reform vs. Birth Control”)
“Birth Control is a name given to a succession of different expedients by which it is possible to filch the pleasure belonging to a natural process while violently and unnaturally thwarting the process itself.” (“Social Reform vs. Birth Control”)
Chesterton despised artificial birth control, because it was, and is, contrary to nature and the moral order, but also because he saw that society was traveling down a dangerous path: the path of wanting more “mechanical” objects vs. wanting what had always been considered a gift from God, offspring. He wrote:
…my contempt boils over into bad behaviour when I hear the common suggestion that a birth is avoided because people want to be “free” to go to the cinema or buy a gramophone or a loud-speaker. What makes me want to walk over such people like doormats is that they use the word “free.” By every act of that sort they chain themselves to the most servile and mechanical system yet tolerated by men. The cinema is a machine for unrolling certain regular patterns called pictures; expressing the most vulgar millionaires’ notion of the taste of the most vulgar millions. The gramophone is a machine for recording such tunes as certain shops and other organisations choose to sell. The wireless is better; but even that is marked by the modern mark of all three; the impotence of the receptive party. The amateur cannot challenge the actor; the householder will find it vain to go and shout into the gramophone; the mob cannot pelt the modern speaker, especially when he is a loud-speaker. It is all a central mechanism giving out to men exactly what their masters think they should have.
Now a child is the very sign and sacrament of personal freedom. He is a fresh free will added to the wills of the world; he is something that his parents have freely chosen to produce and which they freely agree to protect. They can feel that any amusement he gives (which is often considerable) really comes from him and from them, and from nobody else. He has been born without the intervention of any master or lord. He is a creation and a contribution; he is their own creative contribution to creation. He is also a much more beautiful, wonderful, amusing and astonishing thing than any of the stale stories or jingling jazz tunes turned out by the machines. When men no longer feel that he is so, they have lost the appreciation of primary things, and therefore all sense of proportion about the world. People who prefer the mechanical pleasures, to such a miracle, are jaded and enslaved. They are preferring the very dregs of life to the first fountains of life. They are preferring the last, crooked, indirect, borrowed, repeated and exhausted things of our dying Capitalist civilisation, to the reality which is the only rejuvenation of all civilisation. It is they who are hugging the chains of their old slavery; it is the child who is ready for the new world.” from, The Wells and the Shallows (1935)
“People who prefer the mechanical pleasures, to such a miracle (a baby, added by SF), are jaded and enslaved. They are preferring the very dregs of life to the first fountains of life. They are preferring the last, crooked, indirect, borrowed, repeated and exhausted things of our dying Capitalist civilisation, to the reality which is the only rejuvenation of all civilisation. It is they who are hugging the chains of their old slavery; it is the child who is ready for the new world.”
That is where we are now, and where we must depart in order to survive as a civilization.
Meanwhile, in the shadows of the Blue Ridge Mountains, on a winding road, down a crooked lane, there sleeps a new creation, a new universe, with a bulbous head (GKC), and solemn gray-blue eyes, who keeps the household young and attune to the First Things of life, attune to the delights of Little Things; and this “child…is ready for the new world.“
•Hail Life! link