"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you odd." ~Flannery O'Connor

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Blackmailed for existing

It would appear that the Chinese Government's one-child-per-family has had two major effects beyond population control. (See the Zenit story.) One has been fairly widely noted by sociologists: because of the traditional preference for boys, the number of men in the rising generation will be markedly greater than that of women, thus leaving many decent men all but unmarriageable. Large numbers of unattached and unattachable men is by itself a recipe for considerable social unrest. But another effect has gone virtually unnoticed: many children of both sexes who are not their parents' first are born but, given mandatory legal abortion for any conceived children beyond the first, are left entirely unregistered with the authorities. Their very existence is illegal. That has begun to create an underclass easily exploited through blackmail. Taken together, the two classes of rejects cannot but constitute a powderkeg.

That may well have far more lasting and far-reaching effects than the religious persecution and bureaucratic corruption that also characterize the current regime. I used to worry that China would establish itself as a superpower to rival or surpass the United States. I now worry that it may do so in terms of social disintegration.

A bright spot: At least the number of Christians now outstrips the number of Communists.
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