Skip to comments.Western culture: Is it death by fertility rate?
Posted on 12/11/2006 10:22:42 AM PST by NYer
In Macleans magazine last month, Mark Steyn wrote a plaintive piece about how his new book, America Alone, was unavailable in Canadian bookstores an apparent victim of a fear of militant Muslim reprisals.
The Chapters-Indigo chain subsequently insisted it wasnt giving Steyns book the Mein Kampf treatment (banned from being sold in the chain by the boss, Heather Reisman), but that they hadnt anticipated the popularity of America Alone (a best-seller) and hadnt ordered enough copies.
Last I heard, the book was in its fourth printing and, happy to say, a phone check with Chapters indicates theyve now got plenty of the books. Good news, because in my view, America Alone is not a polemic against Muslims in the way that the late Oriana Fallacis The Force of Reason or Melanie Phillips Londonistan are.
Rather, Steyn seems to be saying the rise of militant or extremist Islam is partly our fault the non-Muslim worlds passivity or acquiescence to outrageous acts or intemperate demands.
True, he sees Europe being overwhelmed by Muslims not because of violence, but because of Europes declining birthrate and the high fertility rate of Muslims. Thats a far cry from legions of jihadists sweeping over the continent, intimidating all in its path.
For a stable population that is, no growth a country has to have a fertility rate of at least 2.1 live births per woman. Of all developed countries, only the U.S. meets that standard. Canadas fertility rate is 1.48 while Europe as a whole is even lower at 1.38. Japans is 1.32, Russias 1.14, and so on throughout Europe. Steyn calls it the self-extinction of civilization. In other words, there is no population bomb that many saw threatening the world and its resources.
But Muslim countries have a live birth rate ranging from five to seven per woman that already has had a dramatic effect on Europe.
For example, 10% of Frances population is Muslim.
Yet of citizens under the age of 20, 30% are Muslim.
In the cities that ratio rises to 45%. So when the youth of Paris and other centres erupt in violence and burn cars, rampage the streets, rape and vandalize, statistically its mostly young Muslims.
In Britain and Europe, around 15% of the population is under 15 years old, while in countries like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, 40% to 50% of the population is under 15. Its going to be a huge problem for all countries when the grandparents outnumber the grandkids.
Demographically, Steyn feels groups with soaring birthrates will eventually dominate todays developed world. Without a shot being fired.
With the U.S. about the only country with a viable birthrate that will keep its population from stagnating, the developed world has virtually surrendered to Muslim militancy.
As a people, we may fret that moderate Muslims are reluctant to speak out against Muslim terrorism and intimidation when they occur, for fear of reprisals.
But non-Muslims are even more loath to risk controversy. So how can moderate Muslims be blamed for their silence?
Steyn is more hawkish than many, especially in the media. Generally, most of the media dont want trouble, or to appear insensitive or intolerant. After 9/11, most media tried to keep things in perspective, and not incite vengeance or reprisals on Muslims.
Fair enough. World leaders made pilgrimages to mosques to set an example.
While that discouraged anti-Muslim hysteria, it didnt alleviate anti-West passions. Rather, it increased intimidation witness scurrying for cover over the Danish cartoons fiasco, which was never about religion, but about politics and ideology. Today, not much has changed.
We still try to show sensitivity and understanding.
Often, cowardice is camouflaged as principle. Its also a rule of nature, that if you can be intimidated, you will be intimidated.
That doesnt affect the demographic reality that the worlds population will peak before 2050 and then start to decline. Read Steyns book for his answer to the worlds most aggravating problem.
Things get expensive when people have more money to spend on stuff. The median price of a house would be lower if there were more demand for affordable housing. Why do you think developers are focusing on building McMansions? Cuz that's where the demand is (because the leisure culture takes its free schools and drops junior off at the free school in an SUV he/she cannot afford).
Know why medicine is expensive? Because, in a culture of leisure, insurance policies have to cover Viagra as well as flu shots. Because people of leisure worry about every little ache and pain and want to be poked and prodded by a doc at your expense.
Veblen was right.
Sorry if you are being pulled along in the tide of the culture so that, even if you want affordable housing or medicine, you can't find it. If you want to know how to reverse this, start by wanting to fight the cause, which is a self-absorbed materialistic West. And be ready to fight more and whine less.
Oh, I know how to reverse it. It IS all being reversed.
Lationos are breeding their way to superiority, and America remains a democracy. How will they execute their majority?
By voting for a more comprehensive social safety net: pre-school, schools, Medicare, Social Security, and public assistance for housing.
That's the future, because that's where the birth rate is, obviously.
The silver lining in it all may be that Hispanics might carry forward enough of their Catholicism to start blocking abortion (which is illegal everywhere in Latin America except Cuba).
I accept these things as a given. Certainly it is eminently possible to undo it, but the only force in the country that can muster the power to do THAT would be government, and Americans are too divided and disagree too sharply with each other to have any prospect of actually harnessing government to move a comprehensive agenda.
So, Hispanics will come to power and move THEIR agenda, which will be based on directly addressing their needs in their poverty. At least it will be an honest and straightforward agenda.
You know, it occurs to me that all of us married Freepers ought to step away from our computers, into the arms of our spouses, and do something more...ahem...productive this evening.
For the good not just of the Republic, but for Western Civilization itself!
Go for it!! May God bless you abundantly.
Blaming others is easy. Be an independent and follow your own conscience; not the government issued one. And that goes for your children as well.
If this true, the Eldest Daughter of the Church is mortally wounded.
We are more than serious about home schooling here. Our two girls, 12 & 14, are both doing at least college-level work and have been offered a research job with a peer reviewed paper at the end.
RESPONSE: That is certainly one factor; which is merely a sign of a death wish, which flows from a love of vice. See the Romans.
My wife and I just had a boy--I quit telling people she was pregnant 'cuz all I ever got was:
"Oh, your life is over...."
"I guess you'll going to give up golf."
"Oh, you're going to have to get rid of your motorcycle."
"Get used to not sleeping."
"Are you going to quit the National Guard?"
Heck, that was from my friends and co-workers! Some of whom have kids!
It was unrelenting negativity from people. I think it is a wonderful, wonderful thing, but I don't even tell people I have a young kid for all the crap comments I get....
In New Mexico, in the Hispanic community, everybody is crazy about kids and shows them off.
In the Hispanic community, a man's life doesn't begin until he's a father, in my dopey white society, a man's life is over when he becomes a father....
If working women gave up on the brand new cars stayed at home and homeschooled they could afford to have 4-6 kids feminism and materialism is death of the west.
Maybe some working MEN should do the same. Why does it have to be the women who stay at home?
I did for 14 months and did a great job at it.
'Cuz I can't breast feed....
"That means that there MUST be public schools, and there MUST be medical insurance programs or safety nets for people to have the number of children they have to have for the population to remain stable and to grow."
Uhhh, no. Most of the large families I'm familiar with home educate their children. While I'd agree that Government schools are necessary, that's in the same way that I'd argue that prisons and lunatic asylums are necessary. Not desirable, but a fact of life.
As for medical insurance, we're already 3/4 the way to socialized medicine. We just aren't seeing any of the alleged benefits.
As for safety nets, the fact that we are paying the level of taxes we do and have so little to show for it speaks volumes about why socialism does not work.
"For the good not just of the Republic, but for Western Civilization itself!"
I'll be sure to remind my wife of that. :-)
We have plenty to show for it.
We have life expectancies practically in our 80s, versus in the 50s last century before these programs began.
We have older people still fully independent, because of Social Security payments, as opposed to being thrown on the mercy of their children, and a tremendous burden to their children too, as back then.
We have not had a Great Depression, nor anything approximating it, in the 70 years since we regulated banking and the stock market, vice the cycle of severe depressions every 25-30 years in the 19th Century, culminating in the Great Depression.
Most large families in the USA are Hispanic, and use the public schools.
People live longer, are healthier, and as a whole, the country is better educated than before we did these things.
"White people are afraid to have kids. The entire culture is anti-child and the media makes it seem like an extreme sport."
Our society is incredibly anti-child. From the cultural norms to tax policy. I'm surprised we manage to have as many of them as we do.
That'll change, though. In 50 years those segments of society who are choosing not to have children simply won't be around to matter.
Oh and congratulations on the birth of your little boy! I hope you'll choose to have more in spite of the knuckleheads who are choosing demographic suicide.
"Maybe some working MEN should do the same. Why does it have to be the women who stay at home?"
It doesn't and I know of several men who have done exactly that.
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