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SA Greens want fewer South Australians

By Malcolm King - posted Tuesday, 11 March 2014

You might think that the internecine warfare between a micro-party and the SA Greens has no place in the news – and you'd be right – except for one small but important development.

In an Australian first, the SA Greens have adopted the Stable Population Party's (now called the Sustainable Population Party) anti-population platform, including their slogan, which the former will take to the state election on March 15.

The SA Greens quietly added the new anti-population policy on its website just after Christmas.


This shackles the SA Greens to the SPP's sociobiological policy position. In this paradigm, ecology is used as a lodestone to re-engineer society to reflect the population dynamics of nature, to create Zero Population Growth (ZPG). Humans are considered impure vandals when compared to the kind of nature idolisation that one would normally find in a William Wordsworth poem.

The Greens have given their first preferences at next Saturday's state election to the Stop Population Growth Now party, a small local party. SPGN has a central policy to "strongly discourage families of more than two children, while continuing to welcome one or two-child families". It supports massive cuts to immigration, which may find favour with hardline right wing voters.

I support the Greens pro-environment stance although it appears that ideological purists have won the day in the SA Greens by adopting ZPG. The rise of misanthropic, anti-growth, anti-technology elements alienates middle class voters.

Last year I wrote an article for New Matilda on the reemergence of sociobiology in political and organizational life and the theoretical thinking behind the anti-population and anti-growth movements. The SA Greens are the first 'major party' to adopt this position.

My article published in Green Left Weekly before the SA Greens adopted a 'sustainable population policy', points to why these movements are getting in to bed with racist elements offshore.

The concept of 'purity' has historically found some small but fertile ground in Australia. Whether it's support of Fascism before World War Two, the more recent rise of the Australian Liberty Alliance backed by Dutch MP Geert Wilders and their anti-Muslim manifesto or the anti-population push. All three believe(d) that Australia would be better off with less people or people of a certain kind (no Muslims, blacks, etc).


Population growth in South Australia, like the economy is flat, in fact, comatose. Domestic consumption, especially of power, is falling. If a stagnant economy is good news for both the SA Greens and the anti-population movement, then in South Australia, they have hit the jackpot.

It is unusual that the SA Greens have adopted an anti-population policy at a time when the complex issues facing South Australia's economy are ripe for a more vibrant and productive left wing analysis. Exposure to international competition and globalization has made clear serious flaws in the local economy.

The leader of the SA Greens, Mr Mark Parnell, was quoted in The Australian recently, said it was not up to the Greens to say how its anti-population policy would be achieved.

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About the Author

Malcolm King is a journalist and professional writer. He was an associate director at DEEWR Labour Market Strategy in Canberra and the senior communications strategist at Carnegie Mellon University in Adelaide. He runs a writing business called Republic.

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