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Why America might pull through the demographic collapse (mainly religious people who raise children)
Mercator.NET ^ | 10/31/2011 | Denyse O'Leary

Posted on 11/01/2011 6:12:50 PM PDT by SeekAndFind

First, the context: Modern political science -- which readily understands imperialism, resistance, and clash of competing interests -- does not similarly understand “the wasting away of nations.” That, says David Goldman, author of How Civilizations Die: (and why Islam is dying too), is because political scientists tend to assume that people will follow their rational self-interest. In fact, they often don’t.

From antiquity, he notes, a symptom of a civilization’s decline has been the destruction of children:

Macedonian poet Poseidippus of Pella wrote: “Even a rich man always exposes a daughter.” A 200 BCE survey of seventy-nine families in Miletus, an ancient Greek colony on the Western Turkish coast, show a combined total of 188 sons but only 28 daughters.

One Greek author, Polybius, suggested as a last resort “passing laws for the preservation of infants.” But most Greek colonies were finished already.

Rational self-interest would dictate raising enough girls to keep the population going, but clearly that didn’t prevail. Indeed, it is generally believed that the Christian prohibition of abortion and infanticide was a key factor in how Christians ended up in charge of the Roman Empire 300 years after Christ’s birth. The prohibition worked, one might argue, for rational self-interest, but it was actually motivated by fear of God.

And without fear of God? If the present low fertility rate continues, three-quarters of all Japanese and half of all Europeans will be elderly dependants. That’s where the collapse comes in.

Why the current collapse of Christianity in Europe and not the United States? In Goldman’s view, Christianity had long nourished the seeds of serious setbacks in Europe. Many Christian kingdoms in Europe were not clear how much was Christian and how much was kingdom. He cites the damage wrought by the Thirty Years War (1618-1648, 8 million dead in Germany). The carnage was not, as often believed, Catholic vs. Protestant; indeed, Catholic kings who believed in their own divine election to rule would sent Protestant armies to devastate the countryside governed by other Catholic kings. “The tragedy of the Catholic Church was to believe that it could turn such patriotism to its own purposes.”

Goldman, an observant Jew, believes that an inability to establish the Church as a kingdom not of this world helps to explain both the secularism and the hopelessness of Europe today. Everywhere, traditional Catholic nations, Poland, Ireland, Spain, and Quebec (Canada), for example, are collapsing at the core because, he argues, “faith rooted in blood and soil weakens when people step out of traditional society into the modern world.” The average Polish woman now has only one child. Ireland is lost to posterity. Spain has the lowest birth rate in Europe. Even so, who would have believed that by 1982 in Quebec - once famed for its proud Catholic heritage in the teeth of opposition - more than 42 percent of men and women still in their reproductive ages had undergone voluntary sterilization, with 41 abortions for every 100 live births?

The United States is the one exception in Goldman’s view.

If a single characteristic makes America exceptional, it is the fact that American fertility has stabilized at replacement. ... In the second half of this century most of the great powers of the past - Germany, Spain, Italy, Russia, and Japan, among others - will cease to function. A century later they will have ceased to exist. What makes America utterly and completely exceptional among the industrial countries, in short, is that it will still be here in a hundred years.

It’s easy to dismiss predictions for two centuries from now, but historically, very few nations pull out of a demographic death spin. Of course they could. Double income-no kids couples could suddenly think of the future - but experience shows they rarely do. Having long since ceased to believe in a transcendent religion, they want all the toys now. Instead of buying toys on special occasions for Junior and Little Miss.

A key reason America may be spared is the persistence of personal (not national) religiosity. As Phillip Longman noted (in alarm), it is mainly religious people who raise children. Half of all American women of childbearing age say that religion is important to them, versus one in six of European women.

That in itself provides evidence that Americans will replace themselves and Europeans will not: “When children become a cost rather than an asset, prospective parents must identify with something beyond their own needs in order to sustain child-raising.” Especially in a modern welfare state where those who raise no children expect a comfortable retirement based on the labour of the children of others. Raising children then becomes an act of faith with no earthly reward. One undertaken by evangelicals and observant Catholics but not so much by mainline Protestants.

The really remarkable and hopeful thing we learn is that the vital American model of Christianity (including sustainable populations) seems to be taking root in the global South.

Denyse O'Leary is co-author of The Spiritual Brain.


TOPICS: Religion; Society
KEYWORDS: demography; depopulation; feminism; population; progressivism; romanticism

1 posted on 11/01/2011 6:12:57 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Most of the great civilizations were not conquered by invaders but collapsed from within from the weight of their own corruption. This country will be no different.

From bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to selfishness;
From selfishness to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back into bondage.

We are far down the list towards bondage.


2 posted on 11/01/2011 6:22:14 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

I think we are between the abundance and selfishness phases.

Demography is destiny.

God has inspired the Catholic Church to hang onto scripture and the teachings of the apostles. That is why faithful Catholics will reject contraception, even if the message is lost on Spain and Italy.


3 posted on 11/01/2011 6:36:02 PM PDT by impimp
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To: Blood of Tyrants

I think we are between the abundance and selfishness phases.

Demography is destiny.

God has inspired the Catholic Church to hang onto scripture and the teachings of the apostles. That is why faithful Catholics will reject contraception, even if the message is lost on Spain and Italy.


4 posted on 11/01/2011 6:36:18 PM PDT by impimp
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To: SeekAndFind

Which makes me wonder how late in life is it smart to start a family? Sarkozy is pushing 60 and his wife had a daughter recently.


5 posted on 11/01/2011 6:44:22 PM PDT by MSF BU (YR'S Please Support our troops: JOIN THEM!)
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To: SeekAndFind

Which makes me wonder how late in life is it smart to start a family? Sarkozy is pushing 60 and his wife had a daughter recently.


6 posted on 11/01/2011 6:46:49 PM PDT by MSF BU (YR'S Please Support our troops: JOIN THEM!)
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To: SeekAndFind
Rational self-interest would dictate raising enough girls to keep the population going

Not necessarily. The parents who have to bear the cost of raising daughters, only to see them marry off into another family, won't be around to benefit from the next generation. In reality, it's the sons who should want other families to have lots of daughters. However, they're not making the decisions.

7 posted on 11/01/2011 6:49:42 PM PDT by JoeFromSidney (New book: RESISTANCE TO TYRANNY. A primer on armed revolt. Available form Amazon.)
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To: SeekAndFind
I don't mind the demographic collapse as much as the cultural collapse.If immigrants will embrace the history of the United State and respect the Constitution as the law of the land then we will remain free men and women. Otherwise the tide of socialism will capsize the country.
8 posted on 11/01/2011 6:50:47 PM PDT by pterional
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To: SeekAndFind

This is happening in the Jewish community where the Leftist, secular Jews are have no children or one (possibly two) at the most while religious, Orthodox (and conservative) Jews are having at least three or more. The Haredi and other Chassidic sects have even bigger families.

The fight for this nation starts in the womb.

If Conservatives have at least three or more children and raise them to be conservative in all areas of life the odds are that most of the time they’ll be conservative, too.


9 posted on 11/01/2011 6:52:56 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

“We are far down the list towards bondage.”
_____________________________________________

Quite right.
America no longer resembles the America that I grew up in.
Add to your list a dose of The Peter Principle.

While I now live in a third world country, I know what to expect, and I do not see a deepening spiral as in America.
I am quite thankful that I left the USSA for good in 2004.

Even with defeat of the Marxist president, the country that I grew up in will not likely recover. The Marxist educational system, and the Communist MSM will see to that.

The same is probably true for much of Europe.
Britain has already become a cesspool, on top of the southern European countries.
I left central Europe in Jan. 2009.
They happen to be better off then western Europe.

I divested myself from all US financial dealings, except for social security, which may not last. Even without that, I think I can survive my final years.

I know some of the younger among you are shaking your fist at me, but as Rush says, I live in realville.


10 posted on 11/01/2011 6:53:40 PM PDT by AlexW
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To: SeekAndFind; BlackElk

Exceptional article. Thank you!


11 posted on 11/01/2011 6:53:50 PM PDT by Dr. Sivana (It's fun to play with your vision, but don't ever play with your eyes.--1970s PSA)
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To: SeekAndFind; All
“When children become a cost rather than an asset, prospective parents must identify with something beyond their own needs in order to sustain child-raising.”

Except, of course, that the above is a false statement. Children are a treasure far beyond the transient toys. People that do not have children usually end up regretting it. I know quite a few people that regret not having children, but few that regret having them.

12 posted on 11/01/2011 6:58:00 PM PDT by marktwain (In an age of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.)
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To: SeekAndFind
Why the current collapse of Christianity in Europe and not the United States? In Goldman’s view, Christianity had long nourished the seeds of serious setbacks in Europe. Many Christian kingdoms in Europe were not clear how much was Christian and how much was kingdom. He cites the damage wrought by the Thirty Years War (1618-1648, 8 million dead in Germany). The carnage was not, as often believed, Catholic vs. Protestant; indeed, Catholic kings who believed in their own divine election to rule would sent Protestant armies to devastate the countryside governed by other Catholic kings. “The tragedy of the Catholic Church was to believe that it could turn such patriotism to its own purposes.”

Ping for later

13 posted on 11/01/2011 6:58:15 PM PDT by Alex Murphy (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2703506/posts?page=518#518)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

Israel was founded as a socialist Jewish nation. Now it looks like it’ll end up as an Orthodox Jewish nation.


14 posted on 11/01/2011 7:02:31 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican
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To: MinorityRepublican

Bingo! The shift in the secular to the religious demographic is happening rapidly there. It’s also happening here with a quickness, too! This is scaring the Left like nothing else can.


15 posted on 11/01/2011 7:07:04 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

Some folks here are more optimistic than I am...I see us in the “apathy to dependence” phase.


16 posted on 11/01/2011 7:17:21 PM PDT by Azzurri
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To: AlexW

Don’t know why you would think so. I considered doing a missions trip myself, but my life has gone in a very different direction.

I’d rather spend my life fighting it out here than see America go down.

Blessings sir, and I pray it all works out for you.


17 posted on 11/01/2011 7:53:51 PM PDT by BenKenobi (Honkeys for Herman! 10 percent is enough for God; 9 percent is enough for government)
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To: Jack Hydrazine
Bingo! The shift in the secular to the religious demographic is happening rapidly there. It’s also happening here with a quickness, too! This is scaring the Left like nothing else can

As a corollary - Homosexuals and Leftists do not reproduce, which is why they seek to control education, media and the "culture." They always need new converts to their cause.

18 posted on 11/01/2011 7:59:44 PM PDT by PGR88 (I'm so open-minded my brains fell out)
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To: BenKenobi

“I’d rather spend my life fighting it out here than see America go down.”
________________________________________

I understand your patriotism.
While that is honorable, I often reference back to the founding fathers.
They left their countries for many of the same reasons that expats left America.

It is one thing when a country is being invaded by a foreign power, but totally different when taken over by its own people.

You will be fighting your own.
Who is going to take over or change the MSM?
Who is going to take over public education, when it is your very own people running it?

Nations are like people. They are born, they grow, and yes, they die.


19 posted on 11/01/2011 9:02:31 PM PDT by AlexW
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To: AlexW

Well, I’m a teacher, so. :)

I love my job wouldn’t do anything else if I had any say in it.


20 posted on 11/01/2011 9:07:47 PM PDT by BenKenobi (Honkeys for Herman! 10 percent is enough for God; 9 percent is enough for government)
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To: BenKenobi

“Well, I’m a teacher, so. :)”
_____________________________________

Well...Today, if in public education, most of your fellow teachers are Marxist, so :(


21 posted on 11/01/2011 9:14:09 PM PDT by AlexW
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To: AlexW

I teach at a parochial school. :)

I wouldn’t mind teaching in a TX public school though, marxists or no marxists.

I fought those clowns all through university, wouldn’t be anything new.


22 posted on 11/01/2011 9:20:24 PM PDT by BenKenobi (Honkeys for Herman! 10 percent is enough for God; 9 percent is enough for government)
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To: SeekAndFind

Demography is our destiny and we are teetering on the brink.


23 posted on 11/01/2011 9:31:34 PM PDT by 38special (For real...)
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To: impimp

We have long passed complacency and are rounding the corner on apathy.


24 posted on 11/02/2011 12:31:20 AM PDT by Freedom_Is_Not_Free (We be fooked.)
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