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I know that this is a sensitive topic, so I will try and tread carefully.|
Let me pose just one question "Should Japan have a one child policy?"
My figures are taken from here;
Japan has a debt to GDP ratio of 220% and population density of 836 per square mile. The population density is quite high, but not as high as South Korea (1,288) or India (954). Compare this with China that current has a debt to GDP ratio of 17.7% and a population density of 365.
Japan is currently reliant upon nuclear energy to sustain its economy as it has very few (if any natural carbon fuel resources). Despite the Fukushima disaster, the government is not seriously engaged in relocating those affected, nor is it intending changing its dependency on nuclear energy. To sustain its existing economy it has very little choice other than to continue its existing policies, as its government debt levels are too high. What if its population was considerably lower, and it could sustain itself on renewable energy? With increasing population there comes a point where it becomes increasingly difficult to sustain the population without degrading the environment.
Future wars may not be manpower intensive. With ICBM's, drones, and the development of robotics and artificial intelligence, military effectiveness may not be limited by manpower, only by technology and the economic base to support it.
It is not obvious that a countries best interests lie in high population densities. Neither is it obvious that future wars are dependent on manpower alone.
Obviously every individual wants reproductive freedom. This is only natural. Individual rights, and the policy of the state ( and common interest ) are not always aligned.
Once a population level is reached that is sustainable without excessive consumption of resources ( or over-dependence upon foreign sources of energy ) is reached, a 2 child policy would be sensible to maintain those population levels. Maybe this is the compromise between state and individual that may serve both the common interests and those of the individual, since the maintenance of state independence is also an important to the long term interests of the individual.
I am not advocating that China should have a one-child policy, and the rest of the world should not. Ultimately I think that all states may have to adopt policies that reach a balance between the rights of the individual and the needs of the state.