Meet the Advertising Expert who Inspired Today’s Anti-Population Propaganda


    by Peter Jacobsen, Activist Post:

    Billboards have begun to pop up throughout Portland with a surprisingly personal message: stop having kids. While the idea itself is a bad one, as I’ll discuss later, one interesting question to ask is, where did this sentiment come from?

    I’m not interested in diving into the history of the particular organization behind this campaign. Instead, a more interesting question is where and when did this sentiment in the United States originate?

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    To understand the roots of this misanthropic movement, we need to meet the advertising expert who used his fortune and expertise for the primary purpose of decreasing the number of humans: Hugh Moore (1887–1972).

    Although not all roads lead to Moore, a significant portion of anti-population activities are connected to him. Moore’s most well-known claim to fame is his founding of the Dixie Cup Company, but he was aided by years of working in advertising.

    Moore worked as an advertising solicitor for various publications including The Reform in Kansas City and then for The Packer where he was promoted to ad manager while in his second year of attendance at Harvard. Moore left the advertising business to run the Dixie cup company, but he never gave up on his interest in advertising. In fact, he channeled it elsewhere: anti-population propaganda.

    Moore was inspired by William Vogt’s book Road to Survival which convinced him population growth would lead to the spread of wars and communism, among other calamities. So Moore got to work using his money and power to influence population discourse and policy.

    Arguably, Moore’s most important influence was over Maj. General William Henry Draper Jr. General Draper’s influence on President Nixon was particularly important. Draper, a friend of Moore’s, was convinced of the dangers of population in part by Moore.

    Moore’s influence through Draper began with the Draper Committee formed by then President Eisenhower. The committee itself was noted for being “top heavy with military men,” in the words of Senator William Fulbright.

    The day after the committee was assembled, Hugh Moore sent his friend a lengthy wire which concluded, “If your committee does not look into the impact and implications of the population explosion, you will be derelict in your duty.”

    The Draper committee made three recommendations:

    a) assistance to “developing” countries in establishing programs to check population growth

    b) increased assistance to maternal and child health programs

    (c) support for research programs on population, including research by other countries and the United Nations.

    According to the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), this report and the conclusions were central to USAID (the international aid branch of the US government) establishing an Office of Population under President Richard Nixon.

    Nixon wasn’t the first president to be influenced by the newly forming population lobby. His predecessor, Lyndon Johnson, was also influenced by Draper. In 1965, Draper and other members of the population establishment began to work on changes to the “Food for Peace” law which would give additional funding to countries which utilized population policies.

    Outside of government, Moore worked diligently to tie aid success to population control. In 1969 he sponsored newspaper advertisements with the heading, “Latin American Aid Nullified by Population Explosion.”

    And throughout his presidency, LBJ was thoroughly convinced of the relevance of population to aid. In a call with an advisor on famine in India, Johnson argued the country should be withheld aid because of their population.

    “I’m not going to piss away foreign aid in nations where they refuse to deal with their own population problems,” Johnson said.

    Over the next decade, India would take on one of the largest forced sterilization campaigns in history. The UNFPA went on to give India (and China) an Award for the population program in 1983.

    As previously mentioned, Draper’s report was extremely influential on Richard Nixon as well. During Nixon’s administration, a new report was commissioned which would become one of the most infamous pieces of US population policy history.

    In the early 1970s Nixon commissioned a report later made national policy by President Ford—National Security Study Memorandum 200. The report is surprisingly candid. NSSM 200 states,

    “The U.S. economy will require large and increasing amounts of minerals from abroad, especially from less developed countries… That fact gives the U.S. enhanced interest in the political, economic, and social stability of the supplying countries. Wherever a lessening of population pressures through reduced birth rates can increase the prospects for such stability, population policy becomes relevant to resource supplies and to the economic interests of the United States.”

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