Time To Think "Lifeboat Ethics"

Article subtitle: 
The World's Hellholes Are Fertile Enough To Provide Millions And TENS Of Millions Of Refugees
Article author: 
John Derbyshire
Article publisher: 
Article date: 
28 August 2021
Article category: 
National News
Article Body: 

Those great crowds of Afghans trying to get into Kabul airport of course make a very pathetic sight. It may sound a callous thing to say, but it's probably a sight we should get used to....

According to OCHA, the U.N. humanitarian agency: “At the end of 2000, some 3.6 million Afghans were living as refugees in other countries.”... That, to remind you, was twenty-one years ago—before 9/11....

Population of Afghanistan: 37½ million, ranked in between Morocco and Canada. Total Fertility Rate: 4.72, tied with Guinea-Bissau in the world rankings, between Nigeria and Liberia. There are 28 nations with Total Fertility Rate greater than four: only two of them are not in sub-Saharan Africa...

There are many, many nations just as tribal as Afghanistan, and most of them are poor, ungovernable, fertile, and susceptible to climatic disasters. Probably later in this decade, and certainly no later than the next decade, the desire of these nations' people to get out of their poop-hole countries into the prosperity and security of the civilized world, will be the major issue in international affairs....

So … If you think I'm being cold-hearted about these refugees, stick around. While you're waiting, feel free to look up references to the phrase "lifeboat ethics."


The Garrett Hardin Society is dedicated to the preservation of the writings and ideas of Garrett James Hardin.

Lifeboat Ethics: the Case Against Helping the Poor, by Garrett Hardin, Psychology Today, September 1974.
Living Within Limits: Ecology, Economics, and Population Taboos, by Garrett Hardin, Oxford University Press, 2000.