Skip to comments.Can Europe Survive Its Population Plunge? (Auto-Genocide -- or Geno-Suicide -- of a Civililation)
Posted on 08/21/2010 7:02:54 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o
Europe is dying. The Washington Post, among others, reports that, within a hundred years, there will be the rare German in Germany or Italian in Italy. Some demographers believe it is too late to correct Europe's plunge into extinction. "The fall in the population can no longer be stopped," reported Walter Rademacher of the German Federal Statistics Office.
Replacement fertility rates are 2.1 children per woman in developed nations. No nation in Europe can claim that rate, and most fall under 1.6. At those levels, each generation is barely half the number of the preceding one. The working-age population is reduced by 30 percent in just 20 years, having a devastating impact on economies. Today, European Union and United Nations experts are sufficiently alarmed to call councils to address the population crisis. The irony is that this is a crisis of their making.
In the 1960s, futurists painted a dire picture of population explosion and its concomitant depletion of resources. As recently as ten years ago, the UN's own Millennium Summit Declaration insisted, "We must spare no effort to free all of humanity, and above all our children and grandchildren from the threat of living on a planet irredeemably spoilt by human activities, and whose resources would no longer be sufficient for their needs" (22).
Global policy planners set about crafting a means to curb world fertility. Contraception and abortion as social policy necessarily pitted planners against Christian teaching and traditional families. Predictably, these policies led to tacit devaluation of marriage and the acceptance of divorce, cohabitation, and single parenthood in the developed nations. Worse, a militant secularization of Western culture deprived two generations of the foundational reasons for family formation. Sociological tinkering as part of the Human Potential Movement sought to detach people from "religious superstitions" and apply scientific methods to the management of human beings. Their mistake was a crucial misunderstanding of the nature of family: Is there an inherent, ontological basis for families, or can the nature of a "family" be recast at the whim of international governing bodies?
In March, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) released the "Policy Brief on Ageing #5," which stated, "Populations in the UNECE region are ageing rapidly. To maintain economic growth and standard of living, people would need to work longer before they can retire." Left unsaid is the root cause: "Because we have aborted or contracepted a large percentage of our future generation, the current aging generation can expect less support in old age from the children they did not have who cannot now contribute to the GDP, thereby threatening our standard of living."
Yet another effort to address the European crisis is the cheery sounding formal paper "The Happiness Commonality: Fertility decisions in a low fertility setting." The paper gushes with false hope and a bald assertion that children are a valuable consumer commodity:
The main idea of this article is that the quest for happiness, and the compatibility between happiness and childbearing, is the "commonality" that may bring an understanding of fertility differences in contemporary advanced societies in Europe and North America. . . . In this framework, the decision to marry, to divorce or to have a (nother) child is taken when we expect to be in a better position (in other words, happier) when comparing the status after this decision (to have a child) has been taken with the current status. If children are considered as "consumption goods", we have children because we derive utility from having them. Despite semi-hysterical attempts to reassure the remaining European population that having children could lead to greater happiness, there are very powerful social and political forces that cannot be turned around quickly enough.
First is the addiction to the oft-stated "standard of living." Child credits or family-friendly economic policies are insufficient -- around 4 percent of GDP in the best case, Denmark. Tax or direct credits are less in other nations, and in any case the incentives have not proven effective: It has become a strong cultural norm to have fewer children, and monetary assistance is simply not enticing. Italy's "Bambini bonus" did not result in a measureable uptick in birth rates. Simply stated, even where the nation is willing to make the social and economic investment in the next generation, its individual citizens often are not. Why is this?
Economic analysis reveals that a disproportionate percentage of the retired population leans on its ever-fewer young citizens. Their tax burden is too great (spread over too few taxpayers), couples end up postponing or foregoing children altogether, and the depopulation spiral gains speed. Further analysis shows that a woman who interrupts her productive working years for an aggregate of ten years in order to raise a family loses 20 percent to 25 percent of her lifetime earnings. Government birth credit policies are no match for this monetary and professional loss.
Additionally, quality commercial care for young children can cost 10,000 Euros per year. Southern Europeans are faced with the choice to sacrifice children to career or career to children. (In the Nordic nations, government subsidy is far higher and is partially borne through a compulsory daycare attendance from 13 months.)
Studies show that American men are more likely to assist their wives with domestic tasks; European men, meanwhile, especially in Mediterranean countries, are less likely to tackle child care and domestic chores. For dual-income couples in Europe, one predictor of a second birth is the degree to which the father has assisted with the first child. Added responsibilities, such as care for elderly parents, means a second child is a rarity.
Conversely, for Europe's intentionally childless couples, freed of child-care obligations, the standard of living can be quite high. And, as they age, they will draw on the productivity of younger citizens, though they produced none themselves -- a free ride of sorts.
In the final calculation, couples, especially women, feel no obligation to contribute to the nation's demographic health. Her free choice and personal fulfillment are devoid of concern that her nation's future is in peril because, quite simply, she will not be around to endure the consequences. An egotistic, nihilistic message underpins this lifestyle: "This is all there is. Get what you can, because soon it will be over." Commitment beyond my immediate need is of no consequence to me. Even the very concept of national community is reduced to an exchange between citizens and their state where tax revenue is pooled; and education, health care, and infrastructure maintenance are consumed by citizens in the pool.
As secularization systematically erases all reference to cultural tradition, religion, and transcendence, it removes the anchoring identity of the people. What does "nation" mean to postmodern men raised in a history-erasing state school? High-worth citizens (educated and possessing specialized skill sets) may shop for the "nation" that offers the best exchange of services for joining its tax pool.
Secularized elite Westerners who imagine they will have the luxury to exchange skills for a life lived within the political arrangement of their choice have gravely miscalculated. The United Nations Security Council's permanent seats are on course to be dominated by Muslim-controlled nations. The European seats of Britain and France, as well as Russia's seat, are already compromised: As their percentage of immigrant Muslim citizens rise, they dare not risk a Security Council vote against another Muslim state, lest their own citizens riot. If Islam ascendant inherits the reins of the EU, toleration of postmodern lifestyles will not be its distinguishing feature.
In Habermaus's term, "post-metaphysical" secular Europe intentionally and legally eliminated Christianity as a recognized foundation of European culture -- all in the name of freedom. When the European Union drew up its new constitution, Pope John Paul II and then-Cardinal Ratzinger futilely urged leaders to acknowledge the Christian contribution to the making of Europe (see "The Dark Side of the European Union," from the June 2003 issue of crisis). The Christian worldview is the genesis of the very idea of human rights, yet this foundation was casually swept aside. Many reasoned voices echoed Hillaire Belloc, warning that a people without the intimate knowledge of their common origins cannot perdure as a cohesive society.
Secularists realize, but do not publicly admit, that that loss of Christian moral foundations has plunged Europe into a depopulating death spiral. What secular moderns omitted from their war-gaming gambit for population control was that the huge physical and spiritual vacuum of a post-Christian, depopulated Europe would leave them prostrate before an intolerant Islam. In the halls of international institutions where "global governance" has been methodically planned for more than 50 years, the assumption has been that those who lived to see this dream come true would be other "post-metaphysical" elite. Instead, the global system they planned may be delivered by population default to the nations of Islam, China, and India.
Did anybody notice?
Link to one of the article referenced by the above post, here, where demographers discuss the probable demographic disappearance of most of the "developed" world.
And while we're at it, Sayonara, Au Revoir, Aufwiedersehen, Hasta la Vista.
And a voice from a dark, infernal region cries, "Inshallah!"
They’ll be Muslim countries in the future... but hey, one generation got cheap labor and 30 day holidays... nice trade-off for killing off countless wonderful cultures...
The low birthrate trend has been cheered by Euro “environmentalist” who will be swamped by the tsunami of muzzie births... along with the rest of Europe.
When I was stationed in Germany, the birth rate was below the replacement level , less than 2 kids per family, because most Germans felt that they couldn't afford children due to the high cost of living and taxes. I might point out that everything was expensive partially due to the value added tax (VAT). The dims have suggested that here.
We have plenty of Liberals, Welfare Queens and illegals to spare. I wonder if they would take them.
One more proof that Liberalism is not only a mental disease but can destroy a civilization.....
I wonder why European countries do not land dozens of jets in Mexico City everyday and just take anyone who will get on them. At least then they would have hard working Christians who would repopulate the European countries. And God only knows it would improve their culinary choices.
I was stationed in Berlin from 1974 to 1977 as a 20 something young man looking for female companionship and finding few in my age group. At the time I put it down to the fact that West Berlin was isolated in East Germany surrounded by the Wall. We soldiers called West Berlin, “The St. Petersburg (Florida) of Germany.” A large scale retirement home.
I can see now in retrospect that the problem was common to Europe in general.
Thank, Mrs. Don-o. I will be pinging later today.
I was too busy the last time you pinged me to a couple of good articles. Pretty much back in working order for now!
And the 'replacement population' being engineered by the Ruling Classes are absolutely and completely governed by non Christian values.
Muslim births will lead to muslim societies which are 8th century throwbacks. Considering the goal of the environmentalists is to move us back to the 8th century pristine earth, I’m sure the enviro-whackos will be happy with that result.
In more ways than one.
Muslim countries like England and France are in no danger of depopulating.
The problem is that Europe has no tradition like we do of taking in immigrants and turning them into “Frenchmen” - “Germans” - “Britons” etc. When I was stationed in Germany in the 1970s I knew more than a few Americans who had married German women and stayed in Germany. Even after decades they were still considered foreigners and second class even if they had obtained German citizenship, which was very difficult to do.
I’ve often wondered if China will face the same fate. They have survived for thousands of years but their relatively new policies around 1 child per family, which in turn has created a massive number of Males (Well, who survive) will create what I believe will be a pandemic of similar proportions.
That many males with so few females will likely become (Female like), and the few women may want to look outside of their own pool of candidates. It’s like a continual chain of events.
Search for “Muslim Demographics” on youtube. I’d urge everyone to watch the top link. Very interesting.
My post 15: 7:42:55
Your post 16: 7:42:55
Muslims are like the “Borg” in Star Trek - They will take over the planet unless we stop them somehow.
As Whitey steps down the Muzzies will stand up and replace them by having many children per family per generation.
That Video is the BEST most IMPORTANT video in existence. Unless you do not know Christ. Then it falls to #2.
But the China question is worse.
They have 250 MILLION males who have NO HOPE of a Mate, No Hope of a future.
They are going to DIE. ALONE.
Better on the field of battle while they are still young and idealist.
China, in another thread, was said to be the same type of culture and mindset of Japan in the 1930s.
When the stock market falls, this year or soon, and America retreats from the international contest and Iran has Nukes, expect China to move in Asia, expect Iran to move in the Middle East.
A new AXIS power will emerge. And WWIII will begin in days.
That, actually, is our only HOPE.
If it doesn’t not go BANG SOON.... then the Poet will be right... not with a bang, but a whimper.
As Patrick Henry said: Let it come!
Mark Steyn did an excellent analysis of this in his book “America Alone.” Highly recommended. He convincingly ties the reduction in birth rate to the marxist takeover of Europe — all the benefits it provided created a hedonistic people only interested in themselves and not their progeny. In addition you have employment permanently stuck at 10%+ and nobody wants to bring a child into such a miserable world.
Coming soon to a country near you!
As the great civilizations fade, there is a world-domination movement cleverly disguised as a religion ready to step in and take over.
Exactly. And not just “ready to step in.” Already in tenancy.
When the population of any given nation reaches an economic plateau unique to that nation, suddenly their birth rate drops from strong growth to maintenance levels of between 2.1 and 2.3 children per family. This is natural.
However, culture and most especially government, while they cannot raise this rate, can most certainly lower it further, by making parenting harder. This can be done in several ways.
High taxes, increasing commercial labor demands on women, demands for higher quality of life and education for children, dowry, parental debt such as student loans, high productivity demands from business, and lack of family oriented residences and recreations, as well as lack of religious or cultural acceptance of larger families.
Only in one situation was an industrialized nation that had reached its economic plateau, able to increase its birthrate beyond sustainability.
These were the almost unique circumstances of the post-WWII baby boom.
New towns and cities full of mostly childbearing age parents, with plentiful employment and prosperity, tolerably low taxes, and ample boredom. Having children was almost recreation, was expected of young couples, and was conformist, because that was what their peers were doing.
Importantly, most parents were still *trying* to have just two children, because an “only child” was seen as disadvantaged. But the growth occurred in the margins, with some parents having four or more children skewing the birthrate up significantly.
Until “women’s liberation”, most women were homemakers, with lots of time and energy to raise their own children, and help out with the raising of other children, which significantly improved parenting performance and ease of having children.
At first, the idea of a working mother made sense, especially if she worked during school hours, because she could contribute to family income, increasing family prosperity. However, government immediately interceded to raise taxes so high that to *keep* their current level of prosperity, the wife *had* to work just to pay the new taxes. Thus the family lost the labor of the wife.
Working also took so much energy that there was much less to go for making and raising children. This strongly encouraged parents to have fewer children. Then the culture demanded increasing levels of materialism, to show that parents were “good” parents, which also cause more decline in the number of children.
And the process continues unabated in the western world, and even in the far east.
Just yesterday, it was announced that the “freedom from taxes day” had become August 19th. This sort of thing kills the birthrate.
And in America, we see some trends like this too.
A hundred years from now, people may look back and see that declines in western civilization were caused, in part, by using contraception, and rejecting cultural norms such as marriage and family.
Or to look at another way, some of those who are curtailing their fertility are those who are the most industrious, and most energetic in society. Some of those who have the most children do not have the “work ethic” or “values” which we might like to see more of. So then, critical masses of society unfortunately are being raised without the values which society needs to continue and prosper.
Somebody said that demography is destiny.
God always forgives.
Man sometimes forgives.
Nature never forgives.
Very possibly, it might interest you to read Guns, Germs and Steel. The author discussed the implications of poor decisions taken in the past by a single large country (China) versus numerous different ideals tried by Western Europe. Using the specific example of naval development, his conclusion was that completion between various middle sized countries ensured that, eventually, better concepts won, while because of China's size, and then strength, it to continue down bad paths much longer.
They’re not even taking over Africa. There the fastest-growing religion is evangelical Christianity. When the African Christians decide to move north into Europe for work and opportunity, it will inject some energy into a dying civilization.
Over thousands of years Europe’s population has been decimated by wars, plagues, famines etc. again and again. It’s population today is higher than at any time in history.
Gone in 100 years? Kinda sucks when the only math you know is linear extrapolation...
Good points...I would advice seeing the DVD “Demographic Bomb”. It covers a few of these points as well as a few others.
As a father of a single income, family of nine (wife, seven children, and myself) I would agree that our culture over all does not accept larger families...but it is neat to see the reactions of people in the stores. If we go to the larger cities we will normally get some nasty stares but in the more rural areas we will normally have some older couple that will come up and tell us how glad they are to see a large family again.
The DVD I was thinking of is “Demographic Winter”. The one I mentioned in my first response “Demographic Bomb” is the sequel to it...both are interesting viewing.
Two points: first we're not doing so well at 'the melting pot' anymore either. Most of the new generation of Mexican and Central Americans aren't interested in becoming Americans. They hold onto their language, citizenship, culture, and habits. They are here purely for economic reasons. Blacks appear to actually be regressing into a more seperate culture than we had 30 or 40 years ago. Think about how few whites have any familiarity with the black television networks, like USA and BET. Rap, ebonics, gangs, baby-mamas ... not exactly main stream USA.
Second point: Germany, with the poor treatment of immigrants did manage to survive as a nation for 1000 years. (And this despite near-constant warfare). What needs to be looked at now is what has changed post 1950, to make the population decline like this?
It is a proven fact that nations based on kinship, culture, religion and land can survive tremendous hardship. Poland was taken off the map twice in the last 300 years, but the Poles refused to be assimilated or destroyed. The held onto their language and culture, and eventually recovered their land. The Jews held onto their language and culture and survived almost 2000 years without a nation-state of their own.
It is an unproven assertion that a completely homogenous nation made up of dozens of ethnicities, with different languages and cultures, often times in opposition to each other can survive for centuries. A century, maybe. Rome did not long survive the integration of the Germanic tribes, nor the fall of the ancient Gods of Rome.
Nations have staying power, empires have less. In so far as America has embarked on the great experiment of being a "propositional nation" and an empire, and is no longer a nation based on blood and soil it's prospects for longevity are greatly decreased. I would be shocked if the USA still exists in anything like it's current formulation in 2110.
It gives us the opportunity to show our children what a real "counter-culture" looks like. One of the key points we like to make (in public, if possible ;-) is that many of our culture's "imperatives" are actually conscious choices about values and priorities. When most people say, "I couldn't have more children," they really mean, "I made the choice to value something else more."
I sometimes think that recognizing yourself as a person who is deciding priorities and making choices, rather than as a person who is the Victim of Mysterious Forces, is THE KEY to being a contributing person rather than a drone.
You will note a distinct lack of anything approaching the grandure of the great cathedrals, the beauty of Paris, Milan, Florence, Warsaw, Berlin and the other great European cities, the art of Michalangelo the great philosophers and writers of the west, the scientists who have invented the modern world flowing out of Kenya, the Congo and Nigeria!
It is far more likely that a flood of central Africans into Europe would result in human sacrafice, albinos being used for witch doctor medicine, gang warefare and mass amputations, rampant rape and polygamy and other cultural markers of African presence than that Europe could be saved.
The idea that Christianity can somehow transform low intelligence tribal people into Flemish and Dutch literate merchants is silly.
Very well put. A great lesson to give your children. Thanks for sharing.
GAB-1955 my post 1937 was directed to WorldviewDad’s comments, not yours. My apologies.
You’re welcome. Credit goes to my parents, especially OldTax-lady, who insisted that I begin sentences with, “I decided to ...”.
It is a matter of deciding priorities...and unfortunately most choose “stuff” over children.
Now that you mention it, we weren't exactly swamped with attractive, 20-something female companionship, either. The locals were mostly in their 40's or older, it seemed.
And Europeans were not low intelligent tribal people at some point in their history...they were always highly educated and intelligent...interesting
Very well said, Mrs. Don-o.
The problem is the typical 1.2 -1.6 white European fertility rates, when the society's median age edges up past menopause. Historically, no known society has every recovered from that. The number of those not in the workforce based on age or disability inexorably outnumbers new workers coming into the worksforce, which puts increasingly big costs onto the potentially childbearing generation. They bear the burden of provide the upkeep for their elders, and thus they keep delaying and deferring their own childbearing.
The new factors here, are the universal distribution of the means to effectively stop childbirths (contraception, sterilizxationa nd abortion) coupled with a much longer life expectancy (~80) prouducing a huge elderly class plus a childless young adult cohort simultaneously.
This did not happen during the Black Death. This did not happen during the Mongol Invasions. A few years ago Italy became the first nation in history where there are more people over the age of 60 than there are under the age of 20. Germany, Greece and Spain as well as Japan and other Asian Rim nations, have now crossed that same divide.
Don't forget that the potential for childbearing is pretty much limited to about ages 15-35 years old for the females in each age cohort. Fertility declines drastically after that. If you have a situation where the females basically aren't coming anywhere near replacing themselves (think Bologna, Italy, where the fertility rate has been under 1 --- more like 0.8 --- for 20 years), you have a pretty near irreversible problem.
As I said, no known society has ever recovered from this. I didn't do the calculations, anyway. Did you check the links?
Sigh. If I believed that, I'd have fourteen children when I reached 52.
Although it's not really relevant to population-wide reproductive outcomes, I believe that the "loss," as it were, of around 15 years of fertile time for women is almost entirely the result of lifestyle choices, not nature. In modern industrial societies, we're actually seeing a longer period between menarchy and menopause than has ever previously been observed. If most women can't have a child at 40, it's often because they spent the previous 25 years trashing their reproductive systems.
There is a big difference between raw intelligence, such as IQ tests measure, and education.
You can pour a lot of energy into trying to educate people with IQs of 75 and not achieve much. This is known among liberals as the mysterious “achievement gap”, which to them is completely mysterious.
Europeans started inhabiting Europe somewhere between 25,000 and 50,000 years ago. Among other factors the ice age probably increased the intelligence of the proto-Europeans, by forcing them to find new ways to survive.
The facts outlined above remain: most European nations are not reproducing themselves.
. (Funny, he includes Japan in his category of "the West".)
Exactly. Women who have spent 25 years blocking, sabotaging, and hormonally confusing their their sexual physiology, and then at age 40 change lanes and start into some panicky reproductive project, are likely to have as many kids as Unitarians have Divine Persons: zero, with gusts of up to one.
You’re right; I was making a peripheral point. I’ve noticed among my acquaintances, though, that women who marry later than average (late 30s) having been chaste up to that point are often surprised at how quickly and easily they conceive. (Not my cousin who was 57, though ;-).