"History is philosophy teaching by example." (Lord Bolingbroke)

New Email Address:

Friday, March 24, 2006

Right to Life or Right to Consign One's Country and Culture to the Dustbin of History?

We will have to make a choice.

Mark Steyn: Salute Danna Vale

Demography is destiny, the theme that Spengler of AsiaTimes keeps hammering is being painfully brought home by others who are noticing that there are "fast-growing and culturally confident Muslim populations in Scandinavia" and other unexpected places in the world.

Demography doesn't explain everything but it accounts for a good 90 per cent. The "who" is the best indicator of the what-where-when-and-why. Go on, pick a subject. Will Japan's economy return to the heady days of the 1980s when US businesses cowered in terror? Answer: No. Japan is exactly the same as it was in its heyday except for one fact: it stopped breeding and its population aged. Will China be the hyperpower of the 21st century? Answer: No. Its population will get old before it gets rich.

Check back with me in a century and we'll see who's right on that one. But here's one we know the answer to: Why is this newspaper published in the language of a tiny island on the other side of the earth? Why does Australia have an English Queen, English common law, English institutions? Because England was the first nation to conquer infant mortality.

Why are we reading this and other publications in English? Why has English become the world's lingua franca, the language of mass transportation and mass communication? Why is English now the langauge of the educated and the sophisticated rather than...Cree, Moldavan, or even Arabic? The answer will surprise you:

By 1820 medical progress had so transformed British life that half the population was under the age of 15. Britain had the manpower to take, hold, settle and administer huge chunks of real estate around the planet. Had, say, China or Russia been first to overcome childhood mortality, the modern world would be very different.

The concept of conquest by population has been noted by another culturally confident group. Look at these numbers:

What country today has half of its population under the age of 15? Italy has 14 per cent, the UK 18 per cent, Australia 20 per cent - and Saudi Arabia has 39 per cent, Pakistan 40 per cent and Yemen 47 per cent. Little Yemen, like little Britain 200 years ago, will send its surplus youth around the world - one way or another.

Danna Vale, Australia backbencher, "unsensitively" pointed out the obvious: "Australia is aborting itself out of recognition and that therefore Islam will inherit (Australia and the world) by default. Her remarks were termed: "outrageous," "insensitive," "offensively discriminatory," and "bigoted."

Here we walk in a minefield for to opine on abortion, one way or another is an invitation to blow one's self up.
Look at the evidence. Earlier generations of women concluded that personal ambition, her "right to choose" was most important. They didn't consider beyond that consequence. They didn't consider the possibility of conquest by demographics, national bankruptcy, or cultural annihilation brought on by the power of other women's wombs.

... given that today's wee bairns are tomorrows funders of otherwise unsustainable social programs, all responsible governments should be seriously natalist. The reason Europe, Russia, and Japan are doomed boils down to a big lack of babies. Abortion isn't solely responsible for that but it's certainly part of the problem...seventeen European nations are now at what demographers call "lowest-low fertility - 1.3 births per woman, the point at which you're so far down the death spiral you can't pull out.

In theory, those countries will find their population halving every 40 years or so. In practice, it will be quicker than that, as the savvier youngsters figure there's no point sticking around a country that's turned into one big undertaker's waiting room: not every pimply burger flipper is going to want to work himself into the ground to pay for new shuffleboard courts at the old folks' home.

And here's the nitty gritty:

In 2005, some 137 million babies were born around the globe. That 137 million is the maximum number of 20-year-olds who'll be around in 2025. There are no more, no other sources; that's it, barring the introduction of mass accelerated cloning (which is by no means an impossibility). Who that 137 million are will determine the character of our world.

The shape's already becoming clear. Take those Danish cartoons. Every internet blogger wants to take a stand on principle alongside plucky little Denmark. But there's only five million of them. Whereas there are 20 million Muslims in Europe - officially. That's the equivalent of the Danes plus the Irish plus the Belgians plus the Estonians.

You do the mathematics. If you want the reality of Europe in a nutshell, walk into a supermarket belonging to the French chain Carrefour. You'll be greeted by a notice in Arabic: "Dear Clients, We express solidarity with the Islamic and Egyptian community. Carrefour doesn't carry Danish products." It's strictly business: they have three Danish customers and a gazillion Muslim ones. Retail sales-wise, they know which way their bread's buttered and it isn't with Lurpak.

For retail sales, it's "strictly business," but for real politick and for real culture, the shape of those "outsourced reproducers" does matter. It's a hell-of-a lot-more-than-business!!

Greek, Vietnamese, Korean, Ibo, Italian, Mexican, and so on, are all tribes and nationalities that have come under scrutiny and eventually have eased themselves into society. But, and there is always a but, for Islam, the "shape" is different. As Steyn points out while paraphrasing Vale:

But Islam is a religion, and an explicitly political one - unlike the birthplace of your grandfather it's not something you leave behind in the old country. Indeed, for its adherents in the West, it becomes their principal expression - a Pan-Islamic identity that transcends borders.

But Islam is a religion, and an explicitly political one - unlike the birthplace of your grandfather it's not something you leave behind in the old country. Indeed, for its adherents in the West, it becomes their principal expression - a Pan-Islamic identity that transcends borders.

When the fastest-breeding demographic group on the planet is also the one most resistant to the pieties of the social-democratic state that's a profound challenge...

"That's a profound challenge" is understating the problem. Steyn points out the condition of the aging populations of uni-cultures such as Japan and bi-cultural Europe, he also reminds us that multicultural London, Gaza, and a Bali are in a "literal baby boom" as they did not fall victim to those "silly books about overpopulation," and I would add, those books on self-actualization that created the mindset of postponing or forgoing parenthood that have caused the problem in the first place.

The Americas, Australia, and Southern Africa will be the beneficiaries of the fleeing European talent, but as Islam has arrived to those shores as well and Muslims are beginning to play the same tricks that made them so successful in Europe and other parts of the world, these societies don't have the luxury of time to figure out how to reverse the effects of "me culture" and at the same time neutralize and thwart Islam and the Muslims on their shores.


  • At Mon Mar 27, 10:42:00 AM PST, Blogger George Mason said…

    Spengler and Steyn write a lot of good stuff, and Eleanor has excerted, abstracted, and integrated valuable thoughts from each writer. My "beef" with both Spengler and Steyn comes from their stopping their explanations prematurely.

    The cause of the rise of population in early 19th century England was much more than their getting a handle on infant mortality. WHY did they get a handle on infant mortality? The cause was CAPITALISM and its practical expression of the Industrial Revolution. Wealth was reaching the masses who could buy food, clothing, and better creature comforts such as heat in winter and even baths.

    Where did CAPITALISM come from? It was the child of the Enlightenment. More correctly, it was the child of REASON, turned loose from the anti-reason grip of religion.

    Demography explains some things but not 90%. WHY do birth rates fall? Particularly why do birth rates fall in prosperous times? I freely confess to lack the full answer, but I will bet it can be found by looking at the prevalent culture's philosophy and its derivative, the sense of life. Things just do not happen for some accounting practices, like falling birth rates.

    Humans live by ideas, whether they know them explicitly or not. They can not not do so. Find their ideas, and you find the explanations.

    I just wish Steyn and Spengler would dig deeper rather than leave their thinking at some deterministic non-explanations.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home