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Lessons of Russia's Depopulation Disaster
NewsMax.com ^ | Thursday, Feb. 6, 2003 | Carl Limbacher and NewsMax.com Staff

Posted on 02/06/2003 7:44:17 PM PST by friendly

If Russia's sharply declining birth rate is any indication, depopulation, and not an overabundance of humans straining Earth's resources, is the real threat humanity faces.

Russia, writes Dr. Herbert London, president of Hudson Institute and the John M. Olin Professor of Humanities at New York University, is providing a lesson for the world of the dangers of depopulation.

And the problem of depopulation isn't merely Russia's - the whole Western world is facing a crisis of declining populations. Canada's National Post columnist Mark Steyn recently wrote that Italy's population decline matches Russia's.

"Because the state needs a birth rate of 2.1 children to maintain a stable population," Steyn revealed. "In Italy, it's now 1.2. Twenty years ago, a million babies were born there each year. Now it's half a million. And the fewer babies you have today, the fewer babies are around to have babies in 20 years.

"Once you're as far down the death spiral as Italy is, it's hard to reverse. Most European races are going to be out of business in a couple more generations."

Noting the Wall Street Journal's prediction Jan. 24 that "The world's population could decline by nearly 500 million people by 2075," London wrote in the Hudson Institute’s American Outlook, "As notable as this statistic is, it pales in comparison to the demographic condition in Russia at the moment.

"The most recent predictions indicate a decline in the Russian population of twenty million people in the next decade due to an excessively low birthrate of 1.2 children per family (well below replacement level) and a rise in the death rate because of widespread alcoholism and the spread of disease.

"According to one Professor Antonov, 'Two thirds of Russian territory is settled now as sparsely as it was in the Neolithic Age: less than one person per square kilometer. In other words, east of the Urals, a demographic wasteland is superimposed on the geographic wasteland.'"

London blames "a dramatic decline in the desire for reproduction among the younger generation," explaining that "the prevalence of one-child families, the decline in the number of recorded marriages, the increase in cohabitation, and the rise in divorce are all symptoms of this condition."

London ascribes much of the problem to "the virtual breakdown of the traditional family." Another source, he warns, is an emerging belief "virtually unchallenged in social science that divorce and 'only-children families' are actually desirable conditions that must be protected. An undeclared war is being conducted against those who identify a crisis in the family and a resulting demographic implosion."

As a result of all of this, "if nothing dramatic occurs in Russia, to encourage larger families, the retreat from childbearing will continue and accelerate. Two children in a family will certainly no longer be the norm and, as a consequence, Russia could become a nation of only one hundred million in thirty years (it is about 149 million today)."

This sharp decline, London predicts, "could decide Russia's geopolitical fate. A decline of fifty million people could undermine the territorial integrity of that vast nation." The decline could also "undermine any effort to create industrial market capitalism, which depends on mass production and mass markets."

Accompanying the collapse of the family, London said, is a social atmosphere that produces "a revision in cultural perspectives has led to an unprecedented level of prestige bestowed on homosexual behavior as well as evidence of an increased rate of suicide."

Such conditions, he warned "not only threaten the familial foundation of civilization, but human self-preservation itself."

Russia, along with much of the West, "is in the midst of an historic revolution that is weakening the family, devaluing the role of children, and threatening depopulation ... It is no exaggeration to contend that Russia's future, and perhaps the fate of other nations, depends on the restoration of family- and child- centered lives. A relentless drive for consumer gratification and self-fulfillment have taken us down a path that threatens societal well being," he wrote.

Steyn's outlook is even gloomier, and he blames abortion as on of the prime causes of depopulation. "A society whose political class elevates 'a woman's right to choose' above 'go forth and multiply' is a society with a death wish," he wrote. And "today we're the endangered species, not the spotted owl. We're the dwindling resource, not the oil."

Steyn recommends: "Next time you're in a rundown diner and the 17-year-old waitress is eight months pregnant, don't tut "What a tragedy" and point her to the nearest Planned Parenthood clinic. Leave her a large tip instead. She's doing the right thing, not just for her, but for all of us."


TOPICS: Activism/Chapters; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; Russia
KEYWORDS: abortion; depopulation; fertility; russia
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Why is it that so often that the wonderful decent, good, people of America are infertile?
1 posted on 02/06/2003 7:44:17 PM PST by friendly
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To: friendly
Why is it that so often that the wonderful decent, good, people of America are infertile?

Because they've bought in on the notion that they can only have one kid, or they get married too late, or they are both employed (two-income families tend to find the breadwinners too stressed to boink each other--which IS a precondition for having kidlets), et cetera, and so on, and so forth, and the beat goes on...

2 posted on 02/06/2003 7:47:35 PM PST by Poohbah (Beware the fury of a patient man -- John Dryden)
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To: friendly
Why is depopulation a disaster?
There is absolutely no need for more than a billion people. Land is finite. Less people makes more land available for the ones left.

So9

3 posted on 02/06/2003 7:48:07 PM PST by Servant of the Nine (Republican's for Sharpton)
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To: Servant of the Nine
Why is depopulation a disaster?

You planning to kill yourself before you need assistance in your old age?

There is absolutely no need for more than a billion people.

Fine. Lead by example, good sir...

4 posted on 02/06/2003 7:49:52 PM PST by Poohbah (Beware the fury of a patient man -- John Dryden)
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To: friendly
Russia's population is dropping - as the article alludes - because in the post-Soviet era men in general feel they cannot afford a family, and are also managing to kill themselves off at a faster rate. It has very little connection or relevance to why birthrates are dropping in Western Europe & America.
5 posted on 02/06/2003 7:51:14 PM PST by AntiGuv ()
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To: friendly
Here are two interesting charts. One shows the top 15 countries by population in 2002. The other chart shows the projected top 15 countries by population in 2050 - based on today's birth/death rate trends.

Note that India passes China as the most populous country while the United States stays at number three. Meanwhile, Russia nearly drops off the chart and Germany and France are nowhere to be found.

World’s Largest Countries in 2002

Rank Country  Population (millions)
1 China 1,281
2 India 1,050
3 United States 287
4 Indonesia 217
5 Brazil 174
6 Russia 144
7 Pakistan 144
8 Bangladesh 134
9 Nigeria 130
10 Japan 127
11 Mexico 102
12 Germany 82
13 Philippines 80
14 Vietnam 80
15 Egypt 71

World’s Largest Countries in 2050

Rank Country Population (millions)
1 India 1,628
2 China 1,394
3 United States 413
4 Pakistan 332
5 Indonesia 316
6 Nigeria 304
7 Brazil 247
8 Bangladesh 205
9 Congo, Dem. Rep. of 182
10 Ethiopia 173
11 Mexico 151
12 Philippines 146
13 Vietnam 117
14 Egypt 115
15 Russia 102


6 posted on 02/06/2003 7:52:26 PM PST by SamAdams76 ('Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens')
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To: Servant of the Nine
True, but very rapid population decline does pose some serious problems (just as rapid population increase does).
7 posted on 02/06/2003 7:52:46 PM PST by GovernmentShrinker
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To: friendly
According to Dr Paul Erlich depopulation would be a good thing.
8 posted on 02/06/2003 7:53:09 PM PST by oyez (Is this a great country...........Or what?)
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To: Poohbah; All
Good points. And let us not forget the contribution of the vermin lawyer industry. American divorce is a journey to hell that utterly destroys lives, and has ruined the institution of marraige.
9 posted on 02/06/2003 7:54:13 PM PST by friendly
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To: SamAdams76
I note that europeans are pretty much on the road to voluntary extinction, a unique lemming like phenomenon in response to a grotesquely evil culture and mass media.
10 posted on 02/06/2003 7:57:35 PM PST by friendly
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To: SamAdams76
Too many people in China + Declining Russian population and excess Russian land = Chinese annexing some Russian land.
11 posted on 02/06/2003 7:59:18 PM PST by StockAyatollah
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To: friendly
There are few things that p!$$ me off more than the "Down With People" movement. Grrr
12 posted on 02/06/2003 7:59:56 PM PST by Constantine XIII
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To: Constantine XIII; All
NARAL and the abortion industry are proud of their work. Blood money is lucrative I guess.
13 posted on 02/06/2003 8:08:50 PM PST by friendly
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To: oyez
Paul Erlich is a socialist/leftist who has made a career out of being wrong. None of the predictions that he made twenty and thirty years ago have come true, yet he is still considered an 'expert' by die-hard liberals who continue to hang on his every word.
14 posted on 02/06/2003 8:20:12 PM PST by flushed with pride
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To: StockAyatollah
Too many people in China + Declining Russian population and excess Russian land = Chinese annexing some Russian land.

= room for more factories filling my Wal-Mart with $8.00 shirts and $11.00 blue jeans.

15 posted on 02/06/2003 8:20:40 PM PST by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty" not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: friendly
bump .... looks like this just might be the asian century then.
16 posted on 02/06/2003 8:31:10 PM PST by Centurion2000 (Chance favors the prepared mind.)
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To: Centurion2000
Big families are needed (4-8 kids+). Bring back stay at home moms!! (Wish I had one)
17 posted on 02/06/2003 8:54:06 PM PST by friendly
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To: SamAdams76
Mexico doesn't move up? They'd be number three if the US wasn't on their northern border.
18 posted on 02/06/2003 9:04:59 PM PST by Archie Bunker on steroids (Edith, another beer.)
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To: Archie Bunker on steroids
Can't tell you how many times I have been laughed off this site for stating that Mexico's population is over 100 Million.

Please also notice that this is what they admit to. There's a damn good chance there are far more Mexicans than this ... in Mexico, that is.

19 posted on 02/06/2003 9:17:02 PM PST by Kenny Bunk
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To: Archie Bunker on steroids
Archie I forgot to add that the 126 Million increase we pick up will be more than half Mexican!
20 posted on 02/06/2003 9:18:18 PM PST by Kenny Bunk
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