Saturday, January 11, 2014

Catholic Magazine Treats Negative Population Growth in West

Rest in Peace Ariel "Arik" Sharon. 1928 - 2013.

Like him or not, the man was a lion in every sense of the word.

His amazing war record aside, the Left never allowed him even the tiniest shred of credit for forcefully evacuating Israelis from Gaza, which was promptly turned in to a rocket-launching and terrorist tunnel base by the ever-grateful Palestinians. Worse than that, he was stricken by a catastrophic stroke shortly after that move and spent his last years in a mostly comatose state.

As the Catholic Church has not lately been an enthusiastic supporter of the culture and civilization in which she was able to develop free of Islamic rule and also contributed greatly to her formation, I found this artciel to be a pleasant surprise.

As Patrick J. Buchanan aptly noted in his 2002 work The Death of the West, Western Europe is facing a population crisis which is the doing of the very people who benefit the most from a culture for which having children had a very high priority. In order to continue to prosper, a society must grow. If the indigenous will not have children, the (mostly Muslims) will.

In the case of Italy, Buchanan flatly stated that she is in serious danger of becoming nothing more than a theme park. His remark reminded me of the Little Italy section of Manhattan, which exists only as a facade of restaurants and storefronts. Largely taken over by high-end businesses, the great city of Venice has so few actual Venetians that they not only find it difficult to reside in the neighborhoods of their predecessors, they also have trouble shopping for groceries.

A culture or civilization (I side with the Germans in differentiating between the two), the nails in the coffin begin to be driven in when the heirs of the prosperity that was bequeathed to them decide that they will do nothing that will diminish any amount of enjoyment that they demand. They will have one or two children, both of which guarantee negative population growth ( not all babies grow up to have children) or even decide to live their lives free of any burdens of child-rearing at all.

Oswald Spengler, in The Decline of the West, labels this phenomena (referring to females) as the "Ibsen Woman". Intentionally avoiding a mammalian (I believe that he he uses the term "peasant") bodily function, she lives for herself and herself alone. if she marries, it is for the relationship and nothing more. She and her similarity-thinking male partner live their lives as permanent teenagers; going out on dates and vacations, living carefree lives at home, buying cars and other toys at-will, and contributing little to society other than their taxes, a revenue source that dries up upon their retirement and later passing.


"Tourism, as anyone with a passport can tell you, has become a very big business, particularly in places that no longer thrive in the customary practices of industry and commerce. Take Genoa, for instance, one of Europe’s largest cities along the Mediterranean coast and still the grandest seaport in all Italy, whose bright and shiny brochures advertise an array of attractions from castles to cuisine, beaches to basilicas. There is even a museum or two containing works by such great Flemish masters as Rubens and van Dijk. Then, having slaked one’s appetite for art, one can always wander through the alleyways of the ancient city in search of the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, who long ago left Genoa to go in search of a New World.

.............I will tell you that there is at least one fun thing that hasn’t been done for a very long time in Genoa. And that is to hear the laughter of little children, whose disappearance from the streets and courtyards of this once flourishing city is the real untold story behind all the tourism hype.

So where have they all gone? That shouldn’t be too hard to puzzle out. The fact is, as a direct result of too many couples deciding not to have children—or at most only one—they have never been conceived. The Genovese, by the way, appear to be not the least bit sheepish about the matter, their refusal to welcome new life the obvious outcome of a mindset that emphasizes pleasure at the expense of progeny. “In Italy,” as one observer wryly put it, “they don’t have children. They have dogs and cats.”........

Do the women of Genoa not have breasts? Or are they too busy baring them on the beaches to remember exactly what they are for? How on earth did our ancestors ever survive without government subsidies for baby formula?

Of course we Americans are hardly in a position to boast since our own fertility rates are far from bullish. Indeed, the birthrate over here has plummeted to the lowest levels in U.S. history, rivaling even the most dismal days of the Great Depression. From 2007 to 2011, which is the period where the latest hard data exists, the fertility rate fell by 9 percent. Another way of putting it is to compare the rates of maternity-free American women from the 1970s, which was 1 in 10, with those of today, which are twice that number, which is to say, 1 in 5. And while the change is perhaps not yet as catastrophic as in Italy, where nearly one-fourth of childbearing women will never give birth, it is nevertheless a pretty dramatic and disturbing trend. Across the Western world, in other words, a looming demographic winter is taking shape.

Not that there aren’t babies being born in the West, only that more and more they tend to be the offspring of immigrant women, whose openness to new life stands in striking contrast to the ennuithat characterizes the resolutely childless. And who are these immigrant women whose children more and more provide the numbers that keep the life force going? Would it surprise you to know that many of them are Muslim? And that the fertility missiles leaving the launching pad are fueled largely by faith? The English philosopher Roger Scruton, in a moving piece from his book Gentle Regrets, puts it in chilling terms: “The Muslims in our midst,” he writes, “do not share our impious attitude to absent generations. They come to us from the demographic infernos of North Africa and Pakistan, like Aeneas from the burning ruins of Troy, each with an old man on his shoulders, a child at his feet, and his hands full of strange gods. They are manifestly in the business of social, as well as biological, reproduction. They show us what we really stand to lose, if we hold nothing sacred: namely, the future.”
And to whom, finally, does the future belong? It belongs to those who show up, which is to say, to the fertile. Provided, that is, they remain tethered to life, to fruitfulness. What happens to a society prescinded from that procreative urge, a society in which the full meaning of eros has been either thwarted or trivialized, is a kind of suicide. That men and women will no longer do what the animals do without having to think about doing it? What else can that be but an invitation to extinction. A state of entropy entirely self-inflicted, too........

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