The causes of this demographic implosion are obviously complex. In any case, there is one that merits emphasis. In order to make contraception, sterilization and abortion acceptable in the Third World, Europe had to "give the example" itself. The message Europe addressed to the poor countries would not have been credible if it hadn't itself begun to adopt and legalize these practices. Since 1973, the agronome René Dumont wrote: "Authoritarian measures for limiting birth... are going to become more and more necessary, but they will not be acceptable unless they begin in the rich countries and through education of the others." 1
European example did bring about its effect of imitation in the Third World, but in addition it had a boomerang effect in Europe. This is a new version of the case of a trick backfiring: Europe had been, and continues to be, the first victim of the "anti-life" practices it wanted to export to the Third World to ensure the maintenance of its control.
1 René Dumont, L'Utopie ou la mort (Paris: Seuil, 1973) 49 f., emphasis in the text.