01 June 2024

Parents of the Corn

Grauniad* writer Jenny Kleeman did an interview with "Pronatalist" advocates Malcolm and Simone Collins, and came away profoundly unsettled, and not just because their philosophy is clearly motivated by eugenics and racism.  

It appears that their parenting is a toxic mix of narcissism, indifference, and neglect.

First a brief primer, pronatalism is the belief that people should have as many children as is physically possible, because the world is facing a population collapse as a result of declining birthrates, which will result in an economic collapse, and grandma and grandpa will starve in their apartment.

It's a big thing with a lot of the Silly Con Valley tech bros, most notably Elon Musk. (11 kids and counting)

There are a few problems this philosophy:

  • The world's population is not falling, it is increasing, and the fertility rate is still well above replacement levels.
    • The unspoken bit by folks like the Collinses is that they are worried about inferior people, meaning non white people, are outbreeding folks like them.
  • The best historical data point for the effects of a population reduction is the Black Death, where the death of 50% of the population resulted in a skyrocketing standard of living, reduced inequality, and increases in productivity.

Truth be told, they do not have that many kids, the 4th one is on the way, and they all have been IVF, because Simone Collins cannot get pregnant the normal way because of eating disorders.

Here a few highlights (lowlights?) of their profile in The Guardian:

  • Malcolm Collins smacked his two year old across the face for kicking a table leg at a restaurant, and then said that it was OK, because tigers do it.
  • They gave their kids Pads as a way to keep them occupied. (Babysitting)
  • Not heating the house in the winter because it is a, "Pointless indulgence."
  • A f%$#-ton of guns, including an AR-15 hanging on the wall.
  • They have named their kids, Octavian George, Torsten Savage, Titan Invictus, and the expected girl on the way will be named Industry Americus.
  • They have money to burn, "They bought this house and the one next door for $575,000; they allow their neighbours to live in the second house rent free, in exchange for childcare." (Malcomb is literally a trust fund baby)
  • Believe that genetics is more important than parenting in the development of your kids.
  • Genetically screen the embryos before IVF implantation to select for optimum genetics.  Actual quote, "We are the Underground Railroad of ‘Gattaca’ babies and people who want to do genetic stuff with their kids." (They do not realize that the genetic manipulators were the bad guys in the movie)
  • Believe that, "Pronatalist parenting is intrinsically low-effort parenting." 

As an aside the female half of the Silly Con Valley Duggars is running as a Republican for the State House in Pennsylvania, because she will have so much free time, I guess.

It's not like she is planning on having 7 children.

*Grauniad was a satirical coined by Private Eye magazine. They applied this to The Guardian newspaper, because of its reputation for typographical errors. It has been said that The Guardian would misspell its own name.


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