The aim of the Foundation is to consolidate and improve the quality of life of all legal inhabitants of the Netherlands.
The Foundation finds that this quality is under threat from the increasing pressure of population, also on a global scale, especially with regard to the generations to come. A catastrophe seems inevitable, unless government policies are changed.
The foundation aims to press for a reduction in the number of people living in this country, to be achieved in due course, while at all times observing the generally accepted norms and values towards life as it exists, and laws and regulations currently in force. The Foundation’s provisional aim is ten million, as opposed to the nearly seventeen million at present.
The Foundation will seek to achieve its aim by fostering the awareness of our common responsibility, on a collective as well as on an individual level.
The Foundation acknowledges that a global approach to the problem is equally necessary, and is eager to co-operate with organizations in other countries with an aim similar to its own.
The declaration of principles is supported by the following arguments:
Having children is a basic human right. However, there are various reasons for people to want to exercise that right. Some of these are irrelevant to the safeguarding of the human species, and to the interest of the child itself. Political, religious, financial, social and/or psychological motivations may come into play. One of the common arguments against a policy aiming to restrict the birth rate is the increasing average age of the population. Allowing the population to multiply yet further may indeed solve that problem, but at the price of far more serious social pressures for future generations to cope with than the ones that we are facing now.
The quality of human life goes hand in hand with adequate space being available for the continued development of other forms of life. In this country, man has appropriated too much space, at the expense of nature. Man and nature are seen to be at odds with one another. That rift needs to be mended if we are to preserve the quality of human life.
A further increase of our numbers will mean that the congestion on our roads and airports is bound to become even worse. Wider roads and larger airports mean less space for nature, and for people to live in, and also mean more noise and pollution.
Continued growth will lead to the further enlargement of scale throughout the economy: transport of goods, production of waste, and yet more damage to the environment.
Public security, a sense of well-being, as well as opportunities for individual development are all coming under threat from the sheer mass of people who need space to live, work and play. People’s inability to escape from one another is bound to create stress, which may manifest itself in phenomena such as aggression, racism and general intolerance.
Small towns and villages, which to many represent the most agreeable scale of human settlement, are being swamped by the addition of huge housing estates and the attendant infrastructure. The culture of small-town life is going downhill, along with the beauty of these historic towns themselves and their surroundings.
Our natural resources decrease in direct proportion to the number of people that are being supplied from them. We need to exercise moderation with a view to the needs of generations to come.
The Foundation’s principal aim is a reduction in the number of population of this country to a sustainable level. This should be seen as a long-term aim, to be achieved while at all times observing the generally accepted norms and values with regard to life as it exists. The figure that the Foundation has in mind is a provisional one: ten million, as opposed to nearly seventeen million at the present time.
It is evident that an improvement in the quality of life in the Netherlands cannot be achieved by a reduction in the population figure alone. The policies needed for that purpose shall not have any immediate effect. It will take many years, indeed generations before people are likely to notice that effect for themselves.
Meanwhile, the Foundation intends to pursue a number of subsidiary aims that are compatible with its principal aim, and which, if and when translated into policy, will have a rather more immediate effect.
The Foundation acknowledges that the increasing overpopulation is the greatest threat to the quality of life, but that, even if the reduction of the number of people gains momentum, the quality of life is not automatically guaranteed. The optimalization of the quality of life will therefore require wide attention and vigorous efforts, long before a responsible number of inhabitants has been achieved.
One of these subsidiary aims is to establish a rapport with organizations that seek to improve the quality of life by other means, and to support these wherever possible.
- the Foundation is in favour of a re-allocation of space within the Netherlands whereby a large and uninterrupted part of such space as we have will become available for the preservation and further development of nature, and for amenities to be used by man in a manner compatible with the environment.
- Such a re-allocation inevitably means that less space will become available for agriculture, and that eventually, as the proposed policies towards a reduction of the population take effect, redundant urban space will also be restored to nature.
The purpose of all the Foundation’s activities will be to further the aims formulated above. Such activities will also comply with a number of general rules or conditions with regard to society at large, such as:
- Existing norms and values pertaining to life, human and otherwise, will be respected.
- Compulsory measures must be avoided if at all possible.
- Measures that may conceivably lead towards racism and/or discrimination of any sort will not be proposed nor supported.
- Reduction of the rate of births in the Netherlands needs to be put into effect among all ethnic minorities, religious denominations and other groups, to an equal extent.
The Foundation will seek to achieve its primary aim by making people aware of the seriousness of the threat that overpopulation constitutes towards society, and towards all individuals making up that society. The object is not to frighten, but to induce people, individually and collectively, to behave in such a way that the birth-rate reduction that is imperative will come about without measures of a far more draconian character.
With an eye to individual responsibility, the Foundation will try to inform as large a section of the Dutch population as possible of its aims and motivations. Certain groups among the population will be targeted with priority, notably women of a childbearing age and those about to reach that age, and their (prospective) partners.
Efforts to increase collective responsibility will be concentrated on the national Government, and such institutions as may be involved in matters of population density and distribution. Political parties and religious groups may also find themselves on the receiving end of such efforts.
The Foundation will seek to work together with other organizations that have aims similar to or compatible with its own, and that pursue their aims under rules similar to the above.
Part of the current increase in the Dutch population figure is caused by immigration from developing countries. This migration, however, does not contribute in any way to a solution of the problems in those countries. If the birth rates in such countries were reduced, and living conditions improved, people might feel less compelled to emigrate, or, worse, become illegal immigrants. An obvious course for Western governments to pursue is to render the granting of developing aid subject to the introduction of an effective policy towards birth control. Focusing on the observance of human rights in general would add another dimension to this strategy.
Refugees should, in principle, be given shelter within their own regions, where they find climate and living conditions more or less similar to the ones they are familiar with. The expense involved in transporting one refugee to Europe and catering to his needs here would pay for food and shelter for a considerable number of refugees, if they were to stay in their own regions.
The Netherlands is one of the world’s most densely populated countries. To render development aid subject to birth control policies, as we need to do, will not be credible unless this country will be seen to have an effective policy in place with regard to the reduction in the size of its own population.
Elements of the strategy to be aimed at the individual
These elements have not yet been fully determined, and cannot be determined until the sections of the population to be targeted have been defined with precision. Among the options are:
- Motives for people to have children
- The need for family planning and the methods to be used
- The public acceptance of contraceptives, particularly for and by males
These, too, have to be determined as soon as the groups and organizations to be targeted have been defined. A few of the options have been listed below, and should be seen as proposals to be put forward by the Foundation:
- Part of an active government policy towards a reduction of the population should be an official campaign setting forth objectives and informing the public of the purpose of that policy. People must be made aware of the implications that this will have for themselves, in particular in connection with things such as child allowance.
- Current rules that determine what makes people qualify for child allowance need to be overhauled. The granting of such an allowance to the mother should be restricted to their first two children only. The progression in the amounts paid for first and second children should be abolished.
- The purpose of child allowance should be re-defined as giving children optimal opportunities for development. In other words, funds are to be re-allocated; the Foundation would be very critical towards a government trying to use a modification of child allowance regulations as outlined above to disguise a mere cut in their expenses.
- The granting of developing aid to foreign countries should be made subject to an active policy of birth control being in place in those countries. Due attention should be given to human rights. Humanitarian aid should be made available, first and foremost, to refugees within their own regions.
- The presence in this country of a group of illegal immigrants, some of whom even avail themselves of social security funds and education facilities, will frustrate all policies towards a reduction in our population figures.
- Places of natural beauty, or of value as a habitat for animals or for plant life, must not be sacrificed to housing.
Elements of a global strategy
- Some of these elements, such as the one connecting development aid with birth control measures, would coincide with those indicated above. In pursuing its aims on a global scale, the Foundation is ready to co-operate with like-minded organizations in other countries, and to assist wherever possible in getting these off the ground.