A writer is proposing that California abolish parenthood so that the state can "achieve true equity."
The outlandish proposal was presented in an article published in the "opinion" section of the Ventura County Star – a daily newspaper published in California. The publication is owned by Gannett – the largest newspaper company in the United States. The article, titled "California should abolish parenthood, in the name of equity," was also republished by Yahoo in its "news" section.
The author of the piece is Joe Mathews – a co-president of the Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy, which is "dedicated to those active on issues of direct democracy, participation and citizens' rights around the world."
The article touts Californians as having the goal of "equity" to be their "greatest value." However, Mathews notes that parenthood prevents true equity because "fathers and mothers with greater wealth and education are more likely to transfer these advantages to their children, compounding privilege over generations."
To combat this perceived inequity, Mathew presents a "solution" of "making raising your own children illegal."
The radical proposal calls for wealthy parents to "trade" kids with poor families and vice versa. Mathews – who describes himself as a "dad" in his Twitter profile – even suggests, "Homeowners might swap children with their homeless neighbors."
"Now, I recognize that some naysayers will dismiss such a policy as ghastly, even totalitarian. But my proposal is quite modest, a fusion of traditional philosophy and today’s most common political obsessions," Mathews writes.
Some commenters hypothesize that in that sentence, the writer is channeling his inner Jonathan Swift – an Irish satirist who wrote a satirical essay titled "A Modest Proposal" that explored impoverished families selling their children as food to the wealthy.
Mathews writes, "The left’s introduction of anti-racism and gender identity in schools faces a bitter backlash from parents." His answer to parents being against leftist ideologies being taught in schools: "Ending parenthood would end the backlash, helping dismantle white supremacy and outdated gender norms."
The leftist writer explains how abolishing parenthood would benefit Democrats.
"Democrats also would have the opportunity to build a new pillar of the safety net — a child-raising system called 'Foster Care for All,'" he says.
The writer vilifies Republicans, claiming they "take immigrant children from their parents and put them in border concentration camps." He asserts that abolishing parenthood is the same as separating children from illegal immigrants at the border and suggests that Republicans will be on board with his universal orphanage proposal.
Mathews mocks Justice Amy Coney Barrett for her anti-abortion stance and simply suggests, instead of aborting children, to hand them over to the state.
Universal orphanhood also dovetails nicely with the pro-life campaign to end abortion rights. In fact, a suggestion from Justice Amy Coney Barrett, during a recent case that could overturn Roe, inspired this column. She posited that abortion rights are no longer necessary because all 50 states now have “safe haven” laws allowing women to turn their babies over to authorities after birth. My proposal would merely make mandatory such handovers of babies to the state.
Mathews acknowledges that some people may see his radical ideas as "dystopian," but adds, "Don’t pay those critics any mind. Because they just can’t see how our relentless pursuit of equity might birth a brave new world."