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Quick Overview

Here's the situation: your species, under directive of your friendly world government, has been informed that all "natural" (aka reproducing like your normally would and having a child that way) birth is now going to be "phased out" (made progressively illegal/impossible) in favor of mandatory genetic engineering. Why? To eliminate any and all genetic defects, select for only beneficial genes ala GATTACA, and secretly control reproductive freedoms under the guise of progress. The end goal is to have all future children born in government gene clinics only, meaning it should be effectively impossible or inconceivable to have a child outside this method.

Some sci-fi tech is available to this species and government, gene modification being the obvious one. Identification microchips are widespread in first-world countries, cybernetics are as common as smartphones, and general AI is being used by the WG (world Government) to maintain its otherwise byzantine bureaucracy, design its laws, and automate federal industries so logistics and budget are not as serious of an issue here.

Assume global mass surveillance tech is feasible via drones and recognition software, but that it would take some time to implement and scale to that level.

However, there are a few serious problems that this civilization will have to overcome that are immediately apparent to me.

Paging Dr. Bureaucratic Nightmare

  1. There are approximately seven billion people on this planet, a vast majority of whom not genetically modified or modified in small ways. Genetic modification was entirely up to the individual before this measure, though very expensive.

  2. Despite there being a "world government" it does not hold total sway over all nations in terms of sovereignty due to a wide variety of politics, cultures, development, and religions influencing members (which makes mandatory genetic modification a difficult sell, especially in religious areas). However, some utilities companies (water, electricity, etc) around the globe are directly WG-owned and provide necessary and life-saving assistance for millions, especially in undeveloped regions. There is a gene-modded secret police branch in almost every developed country, but undeveloped ones do not have one.

  3. There exist many, many ways of life for families, especially in undeveloped countries that lack modern infrastructure to connect distant villages and other rural areas.

  4. The internet is still a thing and access to information is not as limited as it could be. Dissenters will be an issue, and protests are inevitable if this operation is too overt.

The Question

If this government is going to succeed in its end goal, how would it go about doing so? I'm open to any answers, though I'd prefer ones based on relevant science concerning reproduction, childbirth, etc. If there is anything I'm missing or should clarify, let me know!

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    $\begingroup$ (1) Lift all the people out of poverty. (2) Provide a sufficiently high standard of living. (3) Advertise, advertise, advertise. (4) The people will then by their own desire switch to assisted reproduction. (5) Except of course the vast number of unplanned preganancies. $\endgroup$ – AlexP May 18 at 10:40
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    $\begingroup$ @Erik: Practice shows otherwise. (Mainly because proper sexual education, like any other kind of proper education, doesn't really work reliably for the masses. Or, at least, it never worked wherever it was tried. Half the people have substandard intelligence, some people just don't like school and don't pay attention, and all that.) $\endgroup$ – AlexP May 18 at 11:34
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    $\begingroup$ I don't know what you're considering "vast numbers", but the amount is not that high for countries with proper sexual education. Comparing stats here in the Netherlands with those in the US suggests that the difference is about a factor 30. (16 vs 450 per 10.000) $\endgroup$ – Erik May 18 at 12:05
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    $\begingroup$ @Erik: I had no idea that the U.S. was so out of this world... $\endgroup$ – AlexP May 18 at 15:27
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    $\begingroup$ @AlexP Your words, quoted, 'I had no idea that the U.S. was so out of this world..'... 'Half the people have substandard intelligence, some people just don't like school and don't pay attention, and all that.)' $\endgroup$ – Justin Thyme the Second May 18 at 17:59
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Social engineering

Firstly, expect this to take at least three or more generations to take full effect, you're in for the long game here.

Step 1. The medical service

Many of the groups more reluctant to move socially with the times also suffer from recessive genetic conditions. They do make use of genetic testing to ensure that both parents aren't carriers, but you're now providing a service where the children definitely won't have the condition. All you have to do is use our gene editing service and you can be free of this concern.

Along with this you're aiming to replace IVF and other similar services, child without the same problem guaranteed. The guarantee being free use of your services if it turns out the child does have related difficulties, but that's all part of the plan.

Step 2. The lifestyle service

Too posh to push? Goodness me no, I'm too posh to carry the baby at all. For the busy executive who wants to have a baby. Don't worry about the pregnancy, we'll deal with that while you carry on with your life. Collection in 40 weeks. No birth defects guaranteed! No genetic abnormalities guaranteed! Above average intelligence guaranteed!

Now you're on a roll

The rich and powerful are now seeking out your services, as are those having children later in life.

Step 3. Aid for disadvantaged countries

We're back into medical services here. Our target is to completely eliminate maternal mortality in the developing world simply by encouraging every woman to use the service along with the free lifetime contraceptive supply. No more risk of dying in childbirth, who could ask for more?

It's only later that you start making things hard

You're now established both as a medical necessity and a lifestyle choice for the wealthy and aspirational. You're embeded as an essential service in minority groups and across the developing world. Only at this stage do you start making it difficult for people to go about things the natural way. Anyone can use your services, given the risks, why would they not?

At this stage you start limiting access to "normal" maternity services, fining or otherwise socially penalising people who have natural children, but use of the service must be entirely normalised before you take this step as must free lifetime contraception for all. Can't be having any accidents.

And we've only openly offered two very small groups the genetic services. The wealthiest and the most needy.

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure I fully understand step 1). What exactly are you screening for? A genuine condition? Or are you using the clinical screening as a cover to flag kids as "has a dangerous condition" to stimulate certain genetic traits? $\endgroup$ – Erik May 18 at 10:53
  • $\begingroup$ @Erik, these conditions are well known within the communities affected, but they're not so well known outside them. In some communities you just don't marry without both being tested for risks first. $\endgroup$ – Separatrix May 18 at 10:56
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    $\begingroup$ Engineered babies, now with a free ID chip! (Regular cost: exorbitant.) Oh, and you need an ID chip to get a job, qualify for any sort of government aid (including medical care), et cetera, et cetera. Sure, there will be black markets (story fodder!), but making "natural" born humans into second class citizens will certainly put a crimp in that sort of thing. $\endgroup$ – Matthew May 18 at 14:44
  • $\begingroup$ @Matthew, aftermarket ID chips available at reduced cost (ad supported, direct to your optic nerve) $\endgroup$ – Separatrix May 18 at 14:58
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    $\begingroup$ @Millennium, On one hand you've made reproductive management much easier, on the other hand you've removed the primary limiting factor on the rate at which people can reproduce. Population growth may remain exactly the same, it may go up in areas where it's currently low due to the reduction of the burden on women through pregnancy and childbirth. Your bigger problem is going to be regions where they prioritise having sons over daughters, you could have a demographic time bomb on your hands. $\endgroup$ – Separatrix May 18 at 16:01
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Expanded Child Abuse Laws

The best way to get these new measures into law is to NOT make your goals clandestine. When you start trying to hide your intentions, you put yourself into a position to have your activities exposed as 'evil' which will strengthen your opposition. Instead your goal needs to be to shift public opinion to agree that this is what is best.

There was a time not long ago, that hitting a child was not just okay, it it was expected. The old adage "Spare the rod, spoil the child" comes straight from the Bible and a large portion of the religious community opposed anti-child abuse laws believing that corporal punishment was a necessary part of God's plan to raising good children. As such, nobody really saw it as abusing a child because people believed the benefits outweigh the harm. So, to overcome this, opponents of corporal punishment made two seperate pushes. One to appeal to the secular population by publishing scientific studies to show how children who were not spanked so much turned out better as adults. And another that appealed to the religious population by citing contradictions and vagities in scripture to show how it could be seen as the will of God not to hit your children. This two pronged approach created a lot of attention to the concept and stigma of "Child Abuse" making what was once seen as necessary a modern taboo.

To push your Eugenics laws, you need to first prove to the secular community that natural childbirth is bad for the parents. Eugenics laws can be seen as improving one's freedom of reproduction by making it the parent's right as a citizen to choose how and when they reproduce. Sterilization with the option to reproduce when you are ready for it could become the final compromise between prolife and prochoice. No babies have to be aborted, and no woman has be be forced into an unwanted maternity. So, state healthcare stops covering abortions (because these are murder after all), and instead covers sterilization and artificial post sterilization pregnancy.

Once optional sterilization becomes normalized, people will begin comparing the lives of those who chose when they give birth to those who do not. Studies will flood in showing greater successfulness of people who get to choose which will lead to the inevitable conclusion that not getting your children fixed is bad for them.

This is when religious opposition will become your big hurdle. Each religion will need thier objections overcome individually, but in general, once people WANT this control, they will find ways to make thier faith work with what they want to be true. If you take Christianity as one possible baseline, the initial opposition will say that God made the human reproductive system and that we have no right to interfere with it, but those who want to interfere will step in and talk about how we were made in his image and given dominion on Earth and that it is part of his plan that we progress to be more like him as we mature as a species. It will take a generation or two, but after your religious communities live alongside the secular communities who are clearly doing better, they will come to want what they don't have.

Once you have enough support from religious communities to atleast make the case you are not being plainly heretical, you can transition from Eugenics being the suggested way of raising kids to to the required way. At this point you are not taking away a parent's right to choose how many children they have or of what kind, but you are declaring that having natural children or too many deprives the children of opportunities. This in turn is labeled a form of child abuse which you outlaw.

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  • $\begingroup$ I am not sure that the OP's objective could ever occur in a religious society that even approximated orthodox ideologies, except in some exotic cult. Recall that China's one-child policy was implemented in a country that is almost devoid of any religious ideology except Humanism - the belief that the only thing that matters our life here on earth and our duty to other humans. I am not sure one could ever make the case to religions that putting the outcome of a child in the hands of the state would ever be a good thing. Religions themselves reserve their right to shape the child exclusively. $\endgroup$ – Justin Thyme the Second May 18 at 19:59
  • $\begingroup$ Okay, I hit the word limit and the qualification 'in the hands of the SECULAR state' got left out. $\endgroup$ – Justin Thyme the Second May 18 at 20:03
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    $\begingroup$ @JustinThymetheSecond Religions evolve a lot more quickly than most people realize. Even highly organized ones like the Roman Catholic Church which does everything it can to remain consistent has seen over a dozen distinctly different epochs. People view thier God(s) through the lense of the society they live in. Preachers maintain consistency only as far as they parrot each other. If you can convince just a small handful that Eugenics is good, it can be popularized in a church very quickly. $\endgroup$ – Nosajimiki May 18 at 21:33
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    $\begingroup$ @Fred Stark Religion per say was never specifically outlawed in China, it was the Catholic Church that was outlawed, I believe, around the seventeenth century. There was never a need to outlaw religion in China, because it was and still is not needed in the Chinese culture. Humanism/Confucianism met and meets all of their needs just fine. $\endgroup$ – Justin Thyme the Second May 19 at 2:30
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    $\begingroup$ If that's true, why are there so many abandoned temples surrounded by barbed wire? China used to have a wide pantheon of local gods that varied from region to region. It was the communist ideology that banned religion because it creates divisions among the working class $\endgroup$ – Fred Stark May 19 at 2:40
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Make yours better first, eliminate other later

Your first goal is to build enough GCs (Gowerment Clinic) to be able produce the right quantities of childs. (If you want decrease population, you will do it later. Now you want to be able satisfy all requests - or at least nearly all)

Those childs would be genetically enhanced in the process, to be more successful (inteligent, pretty and more resistent to illness) - if you are starting this technology, there would be not much enhancement first, but as it will widespread, it would became better. This would them make more attractive to parents, than natural one (no problems with pregnancy, better results in school and life, less hurden with child illness - so better life quality for parents).

You will start to offer it as a priviledge to rich, bussy, celebrities etc. and actively promote it in press - less "she is pregnant" titles, more "She get the perfect child" and "The child is soo much wonderfull". Also hire someon from Apple PR section for the campain :) Not all would opt in, but many would and your capacities at first are limited anyway. (On the dark side you secretly support movement "Why only rich can get all the best, we want too".) Once you can mass produce childs, you go down with the price (at public request ofcourse) and even subvent it, so the middle class could affort it easier. (You need more requests, than you are able to fullfill just now, to be able pay for increasing production capacity and justify it - you still support the first movement too. You start also opposing movement "It is unnatural" and put the right figures in it - such, that would be easy denounce and keep huge stream of scandals about them - to discreditate the "unnatural" idea with its protapagators. And you also secretly support antivaxers. Also make some vaccine scandals and as consequence request more testing, more burocracy and more effort to prove, that new vaccine is really-really safe.)

At the start simple media manipulation, curiosity and beneficity of results would create the demand. Once you are near to be able supply enought to satisfy the natural demand, you need to go futher and decrease the prices again (yes, you are allready selling below the cost, but you want to offer it cheap and later totally free). Some funds could be drawn from common medical support (well GC are medical too, just redirect more funds their way). Let independent sources notice the fact, that the new childs are more healthy and less prone to illness (not totally imune, but less prone and have lighter symptoms in case of sickness - support such reports, discourage opposite one).

This can be reached in one or two decades and many of your childs are in school already, much more growing up to this age - they became seen as "normal minority", not just something "experimental". Even poor families can now affort to have one and there will be some allowances to rise one (under many exuses as "medical research data" and "right child care" and "propagation of better health for everyone (well it goes just to those, who have it engeneered from birth so guaranted)" ) (and you would tolerate abuse of the system, because you want to have as much of such childs as possible - even in you ideal world would be need for garbage-collectors).

With growing antivax movement, lower clasic medicine funds (and maybe even with little dark support) more normal illness would spread, and also their little more agressive variants. Superiority of your childs is visible and "common knowledge" (well even when not "vaxed", they was getting some "immunisation" while was created from the start and as part of the process), while widespread of disseases is also nothing new. Your milestone is about 1/10 of new population in developed countries came from GCs (or some similar sources - you cannot totally suppress concurecy now, but at least they have to stand to some "quality standards", including full immunisation. And well your prices are really dumping, so only rich would choise alternative source). Even in undeveloped countries there are GSs and your childs are at least tolerated.

When first vawe of your childs is mature and good portion of them is successful in their jobs and planing to settle and create families, some pandemy occurs. Say like COVID-19. Youre childs are good, usually does not affected at all, the rest have just little problems. Their position in society is hardened and they will opt for GCs childs more, then for "natural". Yes, even their natural childs would be better than average, but it is not problem now, you are good with it - even you push it in media as much as possible. At this scale it is clear, that your "new race" is better, but still is everything fully optional and now everybody have a choise - natural or GC - and can get what he/she want. Finally pandemy is over, your "race" is still minority, but really successfull minority and for more and more people is going to give their offspring the best they can - born in GC and be one of those successfull new people. As usual their are conspiration theories everywhere (as they are in Real World today), but it is normal. And well, some of new childs was affected too, after all. Some even died. (Well mostly those with unhealty life and preconditions, but propaganda does not care - they died after all.)

Normal desseases are more and more common now (antivaxers still get their support and new vaccines are stil harder and harder to develope and take longer - all for "public safety"). GSs are still delivering for free (or just nominal price) and are everywhere. The population is growng much more, than before - as you produce your growing share, but natural born is still common too. Time to reduce it a little. Time to next pandemy, just little more lethal - lets 1/10 of total population die. Mostly those normal born and so even more problem for developing countries and religionar people, who are natural-born strict. It is bad, but world will goes as usual, 9 from 10 people survived (or 7 from 10 in some localities), so it could go the normal way. And we have medially survived second pandemy. Yay!

Now is time for even more media push on how the GC born did a more better, then average population. Get more customers, get more share and prepare for future. Normal dissesases gets their toll on natural-borns, it is something normal. Now more than 1 of 4 newborns are GC originated. For next decade we finally came with our secret card. This time the conspiracies will became true, but as it was proven false before, nearly nobody would trust it. We really have (be it from start or developed in last 60 years with growing GC born population) artifical virus designed to be mostly lethal for those without specific gene sequence and nonlethal (but still infectious) for those, who have it. And it would also hit at fartility of anyone infected. Not fatally yet, but hard.

As the normal status is to have a lot disseases around and sometime pandemy, it is just bad case this time. And all are hit on their fertility, even GC borns, so it is harder to multiply naturally and more work for GCs to fill the missing population. In next generation GC borns will be majority and you are big step nearer your goal. And with a lot and constant decimation of population, it would slowly change to work in such situation too. Couple of decades is long enought time for that (compare life now and before WW 2).

Your GC borns are able to carry all the work somehow, at the worst, but there is still a lot of natural born around. Also many are fertile (both Nb and GCb), but now it is time to reflect the situation and slowly modify the law to more and more propagate GCb - for critical positions it would be "high recomended" to hire GCb as there is better chance, that next pandemy would not paralyze the life as much as previos three (or four). The natural born is now officially presented as worse choise (as smokig, or drinking for example) and so some penalties are applied, some allowances are withdraw and each iteration it is more and more restricted.

And nobody yet realised, that from some point all GCb are created infertile - they are too young yet, fertility was affected by many desseses and mainly by last pandemy and GCb usually opts for GC anyway.

You are nearly there. You can build-in new sequencies in GC for next generation, you can select on that sequence in pandemy later and erase all those fertile yet from the first "not-so sofisticated" GC borns from times, when infertility may be seen as "issue", (and erase all natural born too - if they are not in constant quarantine, their are dead, if they are in, they do not matter anyway - they not have resources to multiply adequatly).

With regular updates to genetic sequencies you get not only better workers (at your choise mor inteligent, obedient, whatever) but also marks to target, if you need erase older models.


And for start you need "just":

  • genenetic technology
  • unlimited funds
  • global influence

  • one totally hidden and isolated virus laboratory with few mad genius scientists inside (this is only addition to your question - and military of all superpowers already have some today )

And 100-300 years of time.

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  • $\begingroup$ You just pretty much wrote a short story yourself.:) $\endgroup$ – Justin Thyme the Second May 18 at 23:47
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You're not thinking evil enough

As has been said by other writers "anything is possible when you just stop giving a [expletive] about the well-being of other people". So let's turn off our empathy and common sense for a moment and think of the simplest, most easily implementable solution to the problem.

There are a lot of problems with ending natural reproduction across the board all together. Cost, inequalities in the access to genetic engineering and contraceptives across the world, the fact that the world is full of varying opinions and beliefs on any given practice, the fact that humans have never been good at avoiding sexual contact in general. It's a lot of factors to consider and makes it really difficult if you want all seven billion human beings on planet Earth to never have a natural born child ever again.

This is the exact problem faced by the World State in Brave New World. In the history lesson at the beginning of the novel the speaker portrays the formation of the World State as social "progress", but also mentions global war and pro-World State governments putting contraceptives in other countries' water supplies, along with the well-known plot point of almost the entire population of Earth being in-vitro designer babies. This leads to some rather unpleasant implications. Rather than people converting to the World State ideology because it was better in some way or because it offered things that other governments could not, it implies that the proto-World State government just killed everyone, bred a new batch of humans and told them that the World State won because it had the superior ideology. War doesn't determine who is right, but who is left.

There's your solution: kill and/or sterilize everyone (or at least everyone that isn't thoroughly indoctrinated into your ideology) and then breed a whole new population of humans to replace them that is born sterile and genetically/socially engineered as you see fit. This is also the way to deal with issues in maintaining status quo (just breed all your new humans to be sterile), logistics (because instead of seven billion people you just have to worry about however many you whip up in your lab), public backlash and difference of opinions (because they're all dead). This is also one of the few ways you will be able to make sure no babies are ever born outside government clinics in any country (especially in places like the Third World where people are harder to track as your question states), because otherwise someone is going to disagree with your mandate (see: anti-vaxxers) and try to have babies naturally off the grid. The only way to maintain complete homogeny on a certain topic with no freedom of belief whatsoever in any population, much less one that spans the entire world, is through totalitarian, draconian measures.

Is this an evil, nightmarish solution that would make even the most heartless social engineers wake up in a cold sweat? Yes. But you're a dystopian government, caring about other people's lives and freedom of choice over your own policy was never a high priority of yours.

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  • $\begingroup$ Slightly less evil version would be just mandatory sterilization at birth - no need to kill or sterilize anyone currently living yet. Most births take place in regulated environments (hospitals or clinics), so you could enforce it that way. Some people (especially in poorer countries with less access to organized health care) might still birth the natural way, but you'd phase that sort of thing out in a few generations. $\endgroup$ – Darrel Hoffman May 19 at 13:59
  • $\begingroup$ But this begs the question be asked, why have humans at all? In fact, would they even be able to be called 'humans'? $\endgroup$ – Justin Thyme the Second May 19 at 14:06
  • $\begingroup$ I was just about to post the same answer. To make this a reality, you could make all designed babies not only sterile but also asymptomatic carriers to a very contagious and very deadly virus (but don't infect them just yet!). When you have a sufficiently large population of sterile and asymptomatic people, release the virus and everyone else will die. $\endgroup$ – Blueriver May 19 at 18:56
  • $\begingroup$ @DarrelHoffman That’s the problem. OP specified no natural reproduction anywhere, not “make it the prevailing social norm and make natural birth taboo” or “enforce it within one country and allow anyone who doesn’t like the policy to leave”. You have to stop everyone from doing it. The only way to monopolize an unpopular stance like that is through morally repugnant, draconian measures. Even behaviors that are currently considered nigh universally repugnant like slavery are still practiced today, it's just illegal and those who do so are punished. $\endgroup$ – user2352714 May 19 at 19:00
  • $\begingroup$ Right, but they did say that was their ultimate goal, and talked about natural reproduction being progressively "phased out", not just immediately stopped. If you're willing to stretch out the timescale a bit instead of just putting in a hard cut-off, it's far more feasible. $\endgroup$ – Darrel Hoffman May 19 at 19:11
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If it truly is a total world government, with total dictatorial control, then the easiest first phase solution is to make birth control mandatory. And I am not talking about voluntary birth control. Mandatory birth control additives to all water supplies, for instance, or all grain supplies.

Then, once the average normal female is unable to conceive, all future generations are 'artificially created'. They would be fertilized, and the effects of the birth control reversed, only in specified government facilities. This, of course, would cause the world population to drop dramatically and significantly. I can not imagine that the government, no matter how big, could implement a test tube breeding program large enough to maintain the global number of births today - 53 million in 2020 as of May 18, 2020.

Once the government has full control over the genetic composition of the embryo, the next phase would be to eliminate all genes that result in 'lust' or 'desire to have sex'. Once the sex drive is eliminated from humans, there is no further need for universal fertility control. Females would see conception and birth as just a medical procedure, and if the government is content with the population size, it may be 'just another paid job' for them. That is, females would have no desire to be mothers, nor would they have any desire to have sex to become mothers.

However, under the Law of Unintended Consequences, there might be three that I can foresee.

First, there would be no need for males and the far inferior Y chromosome. There would be two 'sexes', one that is strictly for maternity, maybe even specially bred, and the other just for labor (like bees).

The second unintended consequence, is that given the dramatic drop in fertility and births, fringe populations such as extreme orthodox groups who have established their own water or grain supplies just might become the majority. Groups that have 'caught on', and are resisting the government initiatives, could become the largest population group. They would, of course, oppose the existing government. The world is a very big place. It would take a few generations for the government to completely eradicate any 'independence gene' and turn humans completely into a herd animal through rigid social engineering. It just might require genocide and infanticide at a massive level, or mandatory forced sterilization, to completely eliminate the non-compliant sub-species among humans, even with strict fertility control. This, of course, would come at a great cost to implement on a global scale.

The third would be a very skewed population pyramid, as China has suffered with their one-child policy. The elderly would far outnumber the younger generation. Would this result in massive social upheaval, as the elderly became aware of the lack of young people to continue their 'family line'? How innate is it in the human psyche to expect your family tree to continue to grow? How innately embedded in our mind is the need for the survival of our own personal lineage? Once the elderly, the 'old guard', die off, the less this becomes a problem, but with life spans of 80 to 100 years, it would take at least a century and a half for this unconscious drive to be completely eliminated through genetic and even social engineering means. Again, there would probably be the need for actual culling of the existing population to achieve the goals. Would there be a large enough critical mass of population to overthrow the government?

EDIT

Another unintended consequence would be a lack of genetic diversity. I can imagine that, in order to mass produce enough designer embryos or whatever to maintain a population size that would be economically sustainable (labor demand vs supply, consumer demand vs supply), they would have to be selected by the 'consumer' from a standard off-the -shelf base model, much like cars are. You select the make and model, like hundreds of thousands do, perhaps to match your ethnicity, religion, or culture, and then add options like hair color, height, eye color, future occupation skills, and so on. So, eventually, you end up with 'every car, errr I meant child, looks the same'. A new fashion industry. New baby models change from year to year. Even Cabbage Patch Kids were duplicated.

Second EDIT

It occurred to me from another answer that one consequence, intended or not, is the ability to genetically engineer a resistance to some new absolutely fatal disease, be it a virus or other pathogen. The pathogen could survive in the genetically modified person, but would not in any way effect them, but to non-genetically-modified people, it would be absolutely fatal and untreatable. Thus, all genetically engineered people would have this immunity, but non-genetically-modified people would not. Once this pathogen is introduced into the general population, you would be certain to pretty much wipe out all of the non-genetically-modified people. Of course, it could also work the other way, for a plot twist. The genetically modified could be 100% susceptible, and the non-genetically-modified be immune.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your answer and the possible drawbacks of such a massive program, I’ll have to brainstorm ideas to prevent the problems you mentioned. Will probably have to use the first answer I got to figure all that out $\endgroup$ – Millennium May 18 at 15:36
  • $\begingroup$ I added a fourth Unintended Consequence in an edit $\endgroup$ – Justin Thyme the Second May 18 at 18:11
  • $\begingroup$ The Y chromosome is not vastly inferior if you aren't trying to maximize reproduction (males just become worker bees). I suspect reduction in population might be a goal along the way, but that isn't explicit to the question - it could be an unintended consequence if the government isn't ready for it's plan. I like the no-sex thing, it's very "junior anti-sex league/1984" $\endgroup$ – DWKraus May 18 at 19:24
  • $\begingroup$ @DWKraus The Y chromosome would be the first to go in genetic cleansing for health reasons. ' Although it carries the “master switch” gene, SRY, that determines whether an embryo will develop as male (XY) or female (XX), it contains very few other genes and is the only chromosome not necessary for life.' theconversation.com/… $\endgroup$ – Justin Thyme the Second May 18 at 19:44
  • $\begingroup$ While the Y chromosome may be potentially degenerating in geological time, it doesn't represent an 'inferior' genetic step. The only real disadvantage of the Y chromosome is in exposing recessives on the X chromosome (arguably selecting against negative traits on the X chromosome), and with GATTACA gene manipulation, this would be insignificant because you wouldn't allow negative traits. Militaries and police states would desire the male phenotype for strength and aggression, if nothing else. It admittedly COULD be done away with, if desired. $\endgroup$ – DWKraus May 18 at 20:38
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A lot of what I had to say is already said by user2352714 but I think he makes it harder than it would be.

Culling feral humans would be most economically done with engineered disease, for which the state has effective treatment that it generously shares with any who come in out of the cold. Part of the treatment would inevitably involve sterilisation but you don't have to tell them that. If you don't sterilise a random few they'll probably never work it out.

If you set up like this you don't have to suffer a bad image.

While I'm not keen on having anyone else's ideology foisted on me, I'm not convinced that this is any less ethical than attempting to fill the world with squalling spawn.

I'm not interested in being a henchman, but if you need someone to run a secret island base staffed by top-heavy women in gold lamè bikinis then I promise you that I will have Mr Bond shot on sight, without discussion, double tap, then headshot after a mugshot is taken for verification.

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  • $\begingroup$ Actually, just make the 'cure' for the disease a genetic modification, so only the genetically modified would not be susceptible to the disease. $\endgroup$ – Justin Thyme the Second May 19 at 14:07
  • $\begingroup$ If you do that you will rapidly evolve subcultures that have social injunctions against the treatment, similar to JWs refusing transfusion. Since refusal will speed their population growth they will initially succeed as a group. But I suppose after 30 or 40 years you can truthfully claim they are pathogen reservoirs and have public support for rounding them up and treating them against their will. Just wait for a wave of disease traceable back to them, which is inevitable. $\endgroup$ – Peter Wone May 21 at 8:17

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