March 11, 2007


Thawing out from a "demographic winter" (Rebecca Hagelin, March 9, 2007, Townhall)

When societies forget the fact that families are the very basis of civilization -- that they are, in essence, society in a microcosm, reduced to its most fundamental building block -- it's from that point that they begin a slow but unmistakable decline into helplessness and despair. That's why the World Congress is sounding the alarm -- most notably at the May 11-13, 2007 "World Congress of Families IV," to be held in Warsaw, Poland. It's billed as "the world's largest conference of pro-family leaders and grass roots activists." And that's exactly what we need -- an unprecedented push from the pro-family forces -- if we're to have any hope of solving a problem of this magnitude.

For the time being, we're doing okay, fertility-wise, here in the U.S. Our fertility rate is 2.11 births per woman, right at what demographers consider replacement level. But other parts of the world are in serious trouble. According to the World Congress, the overall fertility rate for Europe is only 1.3. In Italy, it's 1.2. In Spain, 1.1.

These kinds of numbers, quite frankly, spell doom for a country if left unchecked. There's a reason that columnist Mark Steyn, who spoke at The Heritage Foundation in January, calls his latest book "America Alone" -- we're about the only Western nation not in the throes of what he calls a "death spiral." Consider Russia, with a fertility rate of 1.2. Britain is also below replacement level, at 1.6 births per woman. So is France, at 1.89 -- and a third of those births are not of the French, but of the new Muslim community that has moved into the country. Plainly put, France will very soon become a country that is not French at all.

It seems ridiculous to have to point out something so obvious, but a society that ceases to reproduce is on the road to extinction.

On the plus side, those are pretty crappy countries.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 11, 2007 8:27 AM

those are pretty crappy countries

Are you ever going to run out of venom?

What's it like being consumed by hate?

Posted by: BtC at March 11, 2007 9:18 AM

"What's it like being consumed by hate?"

It's kind of tingly.

What's it like practicing an ideology that forces you to be a hypocrite?

Posted by: Bryan at March 11, 2007 9:44 AM

Hate? No one hates the insignificant.

Posted by: oj at March 11, 2007 10:08 AM

Hate? Don't get your hopes up.

Posted by: erp at March 11, 2007 10:16 AM

You know for folks who claim to despise Darwinism, you all are very Darwinistic in your condemnation of Europe. That's rather ironic, if not blatantly hypocritical.

While we're on the subject, if it weren't for Hispanic immigrants (like the Muslim immigrants in France) America would be in a similar "death spiral" (but then immigrants of all kinds everywher have large families the first generation they arrive in a new country).

So what country isn't experiencing (or will soon experience) a drop in birth rates?

Posted by: HYW at March 11, 2007 1:01 PM

BTW, the death of France has been greatly exaggerated:

Please note that Muslim immigrants lacking full citizenship are not eligible for the secular (gasp!) financial incentives that are increasing French fertility.

Posted by: HYW at March 11, 2007 1:13 PM

HYW: We are not "Darwinistic" in our disdain for failed and failing Volker. We are Spencerian.

Darwinism is biological. What you see here is cultural triumphalism, confidence, affirmation-- not that there's anything wrong with that.

Posted by: Lou Gots at March 11, 2007 2:29 PM


Although I have some problems with immigration here, I am much more confident that Hispanic immigrants will assimilate into our society than the Muslims will assimilate into French.

Posted by: Rick T. at March 11, 2007 3:02 PM

Congratulations, H, you've stumbled into an insight. Darwinism works where intelligent beings are involved.

Posted by: oj at March 11, 2007 3:13 PM

The French are, of course, just measuring higher rates among their immigrants, a population whose size they underestimate to begin with, and confusing it with French rates.

Posted by: oj at March 11, 2007 3:18 PM

The difference between immigrants to the U.S. whether they are Hispanic or Haitian or Asian and the Moslem immigrants to France and other western European countries is so basic that eludes trolls and other lefties completely.

Our immigrants come here to find freedom, work for a better life, to become Americans and we welcome them. No such thing is happening anywhere else in the world. Certainly Moslems in France don't go there to work for a better life nor do they want to become French nor do the French welcome them.

Posted by: erp at March 11, 2007 9:37 PM