A History of NSSM 200: Key People and Events that Led to the Development and Implementation of NSSM-200

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In some ways, the history of NSSM-200 is just a restatement of the history of the world over the course of 250 years or so.  With so much information having a bearing on the subject, we can do no more than plant some sign posts for the reader to use in doing their own research.  It should be noted that this ‘history’ often reflects points of interest that the advocates for population control themselves indicate.  In fact, in order to generate some of the most pertinent details of this timeline, we merely started with the writings of the population control advocates themselves, noted the individuals and events that they stated were formative, and worked backwards through time.   Darwin quoted Malthus, the eugenicists cited Darwin, the population control advocates invoked the eugenicists, and so on

———–

Malthus

Darwin — quoting Malthus

Eugenicists — quoting Darwin

World War 1 —  Germany in particular saw the conflict as the fitness of one culture prevailing against another.  (Until they lost!)

Period between WW1 and WW2 —  a full on push for eugenics starts winding down.  Eugenicists begin switching their emphasis to ‘population’ studies

Margaret Sanger … The Pivot of Civilization

Guy Irving BurchA staunch eugenicist, Burch founded the Population Reference Bureau in 1929 and was widely consulted on ‘population matters.’  His book, Human Breeding and Survival (also published as Population Roads to Peace or War – 1945)  cites Malthus approvingly and was well regarded by other ‘founders’ of the population control movement, namely William Vogt.  His eugenic perspective and belief that birth control, population control, and evolutionary principles go hand in hand are on display in the following passage from PRPoW, pages 73-4:

There is one tremendous value of birth control knowledge which deserves special emphasis when it is widespread instead of a class privilege.  Where contraceptive knowledge has been democratized and has reached all economic and social levels of the population the most responsible and intelligent parents have the largest families. […]

Drs. Huntington, Whitney, and Phillips have found the same trend in their studies of Harvard and Yale graduates; and Dr. Thompson found similar evidence in his studies of the fertility of Negroes in our Northern cities.  The most successful parents had the largest families.  Here we find an intelligent and peaceful substitute for the bloody and destructive laws of the jungle which can make possible the continued evolution of human life.  This is, indeed, a Vital Revolution.  References for most of these studies may be found in Dr. Warren S. Thompson’s book, Population Problems, 1935, pp. 386-387.

World War 2 — Nazis enthusiastically apply eugenics principles, albeit filtered through a nationalistic prism.

Immediately after World War 2 — overt eugenics falls completely out of favor.  They turn to ‘crypto-eugenics’, explicitly turning the direction of their efforts to the most ‘politically acceptable’ alternatives that were consistent with eugenics principles:  family planning and population control.

Fairfield Osborn

Fairfield Osborn had already spent decades in the eugenics movement before pivoting to population control advocacy, presiding, for example, over the 1921 International Eugenics Congress.  His book Our Plundered Planet is frequently mentioned by population control advocates in the decades following its publication in 1948.   Fairfield Osborn was the uncle of Frederick Osborn, a president of the American Eugenics Society and the Population Council.  In Our Plundered Planet, on page 204, Osborn thanks William Vogt for “his philosophical approach to the problem”, which is to say, he acknowledges that there is an ideological underpinning to the whole population control mindset (which he shares), and on pgs 205-206, he thanks Guy Irving Burch for providing “information regarding human populations”.  One should begin to get the impression that eugenicists, birth control advocates, and population control agitators are all peas in the same pod.

William Vogt

Vogt was the National Director of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America from 1951 to 1962.  His 1948 book, Road to Survival, was extremely influential.  Given his prominent station at Planned Parenthood for such a long period of time, and in particular dovetailing into the 1960s, when the ‘population crisis’ was a veritable froth, it is absurd to believe that he did not imprint his population control mentality on that organization.  On page 146 of his book, he uses the sub-heading “Too Many Americans.”  This may have been the inspiration for Lincoln and Alice Day’s title of their book by that very name (see below).  Vogt is a good illustration of the historical fact that there was direct continuity and perfect compatibility between ‘birth control’ advocates and population control activists and the eugenics movement itself.

His book lists Guy Irving Burch first in his entire list of references, saying that he was “indebted” to him, saying:  “Foremost among these are […] Guy Irving Burch, who not only granted permission to quote from Human Breeding and Survival (originally published as Population Roads to Peace or War), of which he is co-author, but who has also been extraordinarily helpful with advice, bibliographic suggestions, and critical discussion.”

Not coincidentally–and again, illustrating a continuity within the ideology, Vogt mentions Malthus approvingly.

Vogt’s book is introduced by Bernard Baruch, a wealthy and influential progressive, involved in making the Federal Reserve a reality, and supporting the United Daughters of the Confederacy (which may be of particular interest to modern readers who intone a one to one correspondence between racism and the Confederate flag).

Population Control imposed on the Japanese people by the United States

1950s — Eugenicists-now-turned-population-control-advocates consolidate their change of emphasis, eschewing ‘eugenics’ per se, and focusing on genetic counseling (hereditary clinics) and calling attention to ‘over-population.’

Charles Francis Darwin

Harrison Brown

“Among the more important books designed to be read by the general public are:  Our Plundered Planet by Fairfield Osborn, The Road to Survival by William Vogt,”

Grounds his arguments extensively on Evolution.  Explicit eugenicist.

Cites Charles Galton Darwin at length, approvingly.
Cites Malthus approvingly.

Frederick Osborn

Frederick Osborn was a propaganda officer during World War 2.  After the war, he first focused on advocating for eugenics, serving as the president of the American Eugenics Society.  The AES found their work to be difficult in a post-Holocaust era.  He advocated for ‘crypto-eugenics,‘ for example calling for the establishment of heredity clinics and the ‘genetic counseling’ profession to persuade people to make eugenic decisions without knowing they were doing so.  He called this ‘voluntary unconscious selection.’  Later, he served as the president of the Population Council, succeeded by Bernard Berelson (who is more directly implicated in NSSM-200).   He never stopped thinking in eugenic terms, but, like the expert propagandist that he was, was always ready to bend and twist as circumstances warranted it.  Guy Irving Burch cited him approvingly in his PRPoW in reference to linking birth control to population control:  “one of the latest and most authoritative books on the subject of population [… Preface to Eugenics … by Frederick Osborn, says] the control of births can–if we will–be used to further all efforts to improve the conditions of human life.”

It may be wondered why abortion was not more frequently listed as a eugenic or population control measure, but this is not strictly true.  It was a political hot potato and contemplating its use in these ways was only useful in theory to them, because it was not yet legal throughout the United States.  A telling quote by Frederick Osborn testifies to the ‘crypto-eugenic’ path that the eugenicists took after WW2 as well as the recognition that abortion (and birth control, of course) had ‘eugenic effects’:

“The name [of their eugenics journal] was changed because it became evident that changes of a eugenic nature would be made for reasons other than eugenics, and that tying a eugenic label on them would more often hinder than help their adoption. Birth control and abortion are turning out to be great eugenic advances of our time. If they had been advanced for eugenic reasons it would have retarded or stopped their acceptance.”

H.J. Muller

Julian Huxley

1960s — Population Control advocates are firmly entrenched in public positions, but lack the political support to enact their proposals.   Wealthy adherents launch numerous advertising campaigns to win over the public.

Hugh Moore — (see:  Lawrence Lader — Breeding Ourselves to Death)

Lincoln and Alice Day — Too Many Americans

Paul Ehrlich — The Population Bomb

Bernard Berelson — President of the Population Council (replacing Frederick Osborn)

Frank Jaffe — Vice-President of Population for Planned Parenthood

Richard Nixon — in 1969 calls for a national population policy and directs money to be spent for that purpose (eg, Title X, in 1970)

1970s

Nixon commissions the Rockefeller Commission on Population in 1972, but does not implement its findings

Nixon orders Kissinger to study how ‘over-population’ in “developing countries” threatens the U.S.  Kissinger’s highly classified report is turned in December of 1974

Nixon is impeached.

Gerald Ford signs an executive order implementing NSSM-200.

The Global 2000 Report under Jimmy Carter is released in 1979.  The report accepts every premise of the population control advocates.  Noteworthy participants include John Holdren (at present, the chief ‘science’ officer in the Obama Administration.

1980s

Ronald Reagan, in the so-called “Mexico City” policy, forbids the use of taxpayer dollars to fund any international program that promotes or finances abortions… population control advocates have a royal conniption that lasts to this very day.  Evidently, without abortion on demand, they feel they can do very little to achieve their goals.

1990s

George H. Bush re-implements the Mexico City policy.

Bill Clinton reverses the Mexico City policy.

NSSM-200 is declassified as the result of a Freedom of Information Request, which itself was spawned by suspicions overseas that certain programs were in fact population control programs.

2000s

George W. Bush reinstates the Mexico City policy.

Barack Obama revokes the Mexico City policy.

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