“It’s frowned upon to say so, but if we’re being honest, come on—please. There are currently billions of humans. Even allowing for some repetition, are there billions of reasons for being?” from Mermaids in Paradise, by Lydia Millet
It is always risky when a writer with environmental bona fides like Lydia Millet broaches the topic of too many people. Quick will come the accusations of social Darwinism (which is a false construct) or Malthusian-inspired eugenics.
Although “too many people” is the guiding principle for the U.S. Republican Party, and especially the Texas GOP—why else would they discourage people from wearing masks during a pandemic and create an electric power grid that catastrophically fails when it gets cold?
Still, fair point to Millet: “you look at a person from just about every side there is—except for from the inside, obviously—and there just doesn’t seem to be a good reason for them.”
Especially when you see it side by side with this quote in Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84:
“There is no one in this world who can’t be replaced. A person might have enormous knowledge or ability, but a successor can almost always be found. It would be terrible for us if the world were full of people who couldn’t be replaced.”
So there is no good reason for any one individual, but the human population is in excess of billions due to an overly aggressive backup plan. We are all just filling time and space, in case we need to step up for one of our analogues … or as Alice Cooper would say, “Clones (We’re All).”