Berelson’s Response to Jaffe

The table in Jaffe’s memorandum is singled out because it distills into one page the callous mindset of the ‘family planning’ advocates, regardless of whether or not any particular proposal was eventually implemented or discarded: the fact that they were even willing to consider them at all is quite telling.  However, Jaffe was only one side of the equation.  On the other side was the recipient of the memorandum, Bernard Berelson, the president of The Population Council.

In the attached document below, “Beyond Family Planning”, as found in The Population Council’s Studies in Family Planning (and isn’t your interest piqued by a Population Control organization calling its journal after ‘family planning’?), Berelson speculates about how population growth is going to be curbed apart from family planning.   All of the schemes in Jaffe’s memorandum, including most of the sources Jaffe invokes, are recapitulated in this document.  (For example, the Days’ Too Many Americans appears to be one of the sources Berelson does not reference in his article).

But was this document informed by Jaffe’s memorandum?  At the very least, it was a response to the Kingsley Davis piece, which Jaffe references.

There is a discrepancy in the dates.  Jaffe’s memorandum is dated March 11, 1969.  “Beyond Family Planning” is in the February, 1969 edition of Studies in Family Planning.   Jaffe indicates he is writing in response to Berelson’s inquiry dated January 24.

Given the fact that Berelson’s article incorporates nearly every thing that Jaffe mentioned, it is possible that Jaffe had provided an earlier draft of the memorandum to Berelson.  Or perhaps Berelson ended up already knowing everything Jaffe was going to send his way, anyway.  Perhaps personal correspondence between the two men would reveal the truth.

At any rate, Jaffe singles out on his table Kingsley Davis, Judith Blake, Michael Young, and William Shockley.  All four are mentioned by Berelson, up to and including the specific circumstances. It is nearly identical, making it seem too striking to be a coincidence.  And yet the date discrepancy remains.

With the foregoing discussion in mind, we can at least safely say that whether or not Berelson was informed of these ideas by Jaffe, “Beyond Family Planning” was definitely cognizant of them.  Being published at practically the very same time, the article provides a good insight into the state of mind of Berelson, and the many people he referred to.

Below is a table he included where he attempted to ‘map out’ the viability of the various ‘proposals.’