March 24, 2008

PEOPLE PAY SO LITTLE ATTENTION TO DEMOGRAPHICS AND UNDERSTAND THE IMPLICATIONS SO POORLY...:

Speech row rocks multi-ethnic Canada (Henri Astier, 3/24/08, BBC News)

The Canadian equivalent of Denmark's cartoonists, or the Netherlands' Ayaan Hirsi Ali, is the outspoken conservative columnist Mark Steyn.

In a 2006 article he used demographics to suggest that the West would succumb to Muslim domination.

The piece, entitled "The future belongs to Islam" and published by the Toronto magazine Maclean's, argued that Europe was "too enfeebled to resist its remorseless transformation into Eurabia".

Mr Steyn summarised the presumed global advantage of militant Islam with a stark equation: "Youth + Will = Disaster for whoever gets in your way."

To some, he had crossed the line between vigorous polemic and Islamophia.

The notion that Muslims should be feared by virtue of their numbers and purported militancy is "quite inflammatory", says Toronto law student Khurrum Awan.


The future belongs to Islam: The Muslim world has youth, numbers and global ambitions. The West is growing old and enfeebled, and lacks the will to rebuff those who would supplant it. It's the end of the world as we've known it. An excerpt from 'America Alone'. (MARK STEYN., Oct 20, 2006, Maclean's)
[T]he salient feature of Europe, Canada, Japan and Russia is that they're running out of babies. What's happening in the developed world is one of the fastest demographic evolutions in history: most of us have seen a gazillion heartwarming ethnic comedies -- My Big Fat Greek Wedding and its ilk -- in which some uptight WASPy type starts dating a gal from a vast loving fecund Mediterranean family, so abundantly endowed with sisters and cousins and uncles that you can barely get in the room. It is, in fact, the inversion of the truth. Greece has a fertility rate hovering just below 1.3 births per couple, which is what demographers call the point of "lowest-low" fertility from which no human society has ever recovered. And Greece's fertility is the healthiest in Mediterranean Europe: Italy has a fertility rate of 1.2, Spain 1.1. Insofar as any citizens of the developed world have "big" families these days, it's the anglo democracies: America's fertility rate is 2.1, New Zealand a little below. Hollywood should be making My Big Fat Uptight Protestant Wedding in which some sad Greek only child marries into a big heartwarming New Zealand family where the spouse actually has a sibling.

As I say, this isn't a projection: it's happening now. There's no need to extrapolate, and if you do it gets a little freaky, but, just for fun, here goes: by 2050, 60 per cent of Italians will have no brothers, no sisters, no cousins, no aunts, no uncles. The big Italian family, with papa pouring the vino and mama spooning out the pasta down an endless table of grandparents and nieces and nephews, will be gone, no more, dead as the dinosaurs. As Noel Coward once remarked in another context, "Funiculi, funicula, funic yourself." By mid-century, Italians will have no choice in the matter.

Experts talk about root causes. But demography is the most basic root of all. A people that won't multiply can't go forth or go anywhere. Those who do will shape the age we live in.

Demographic decline and the unsustainability of the social democratic state are closely related. In America, politicians upset about the federal deficit like to complain that we're piling up debts our children and grandchildren will have to pay off. But in Europe the unaffordable entitlements are in even worse shape: there are no kids or grandkids to stick it to.

You might formulate it like this:

Age + Welfare = Disaster for you;

Youth + Will = Disaster for whoever gets in your way.

By "will," I mean the metaphorical spine of a culture.


...that simple factual statements are indeed inflammatory, because the subvert the conventional wisdom so thoroughly. Confront the Brights with the fact that their lack of a culture is suicidal and you can't expect them to take it well.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 24, 2008 7:27 PM
Comments

But unlike Brothersjuddblog, Mr. Steyn thinks this is a bad thing.

Posted by: Ibid at March 24, 2008 9:34 PM

Ibid, ibid.

Posted by: PapayaSF at March 25, 2008 12:51 AM
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