Ten years ago this month – January 2006 – The Wall Street Journal and The New Criterionpublished my first draft of what would become the thesis of my bestselling book, America Alone. The Journal headline sums it up: “It’s the Demography, Stupid.” Opening paragraph:
Most people reading this have strong stomachs, so let me lay it out as baldly as I can: Much of what we loosely call the Western world will not survive this century, and much of it will effectively disappear within our lifetimes, including many if not most Western European countries. There’ll probably still be a geographical area on the map marked as Italy or the Netherlands–probably–just as in Istanbul there’s still a building called St. Sophia’s Cathedral. But it’s not a cathedral; it’s merely a designation for a piece of real estate. Likewise, Italy and the Netherlands will merely be designations for real estate. The challenge for those who reckon Western civilization is on balance better than the alternatives is to figure out a way to save at least some parts of the West.
The argument was straightforward. The western world is going out of business because it’s given up having babies. The 20th century welfare state, with its hitherto unknown concepts such as spending a third of your adult lifetime in “retirement”, is premised on the basis that there will be enough new citizens to support the old. But there won’t be. Lazy critics of my thesis thought that I was making a “prediction”, and that my predictions were no more reliable than Al Gore’s or Michael Mann’s on the looming eco-apocalypse. I tried to explain that it’s not really a prediction at all:
When it comes to forecasting the future, the birthrate is the nearest thing to hard numbers. If only a million babies are born in 2006, it’s hard to have two million adults enter the workforce in 2026 (or 2033, or 2037, or whenever they get around to finishing their Anger Management and Queer Studies degrees). And the hard data on babies around the Western world is that they’re running out a lot faster than the oil is. “Replacement” fertility rate–i.e., the number you need for merely a stable population, not getting any bigger, not getting any smaller–is 2.1 babies per woman. Some countries are well above that: the global fertility leader, Somalia, is 6.91, Niger 6.83, Afghanistan 6.78, Yemen 6.75. Notice what those nations have in common?
Scroll way down to the bottom of the Hot One Hundred top breeders and you’ll eventually find the United States, hovering just at replacement rate with 2.07 births per woman. Ireland is 1.87, New Zealand 1.79, Australia 1.76. But Canada’s fertility rate is down to 1.5, well below replacement rate; Germany and Austria are at 1.3, the brink of the death spiral; Russia and Italy are at 1.2; Spain 1.1, about half replacement rate. That’s to say, Spain’s population is halving every generation. By 2050, Italy’s population will have fallen by 22%.
Enter Islam, which sportingly volunteered to be the children we couldn’t be bothered having ourselves, and which kind offer was somewhat carelessly taken up by the post-Christian west. As I wrote a decade ago:
The design flaw of the secular social-democratic state is that it requires a religious-society birthrate to sustain it. Post-Christian hyperrationalism is, in the objective sense, a lot less rational than Catholicism or Mormonism. Indeed, in its reliance on immigration to ensure its future, the European Union has adopted a 21st-century variation on the strategy of the Shakers, who were forbidden from reproducing and thus could increase their numbers only by conversion.
That didn’t work out too great for the Shakers, but the Europeans figued it would be a piece of cake for them: “westernization” is so seductive, so appealing that, notwithstanding the occasional frothing imam and burka-bagged crone, their young Muslims would fall for the siren song of secular progressivism just like they themselves had. So, as long as you kept the immigrants coming, there would be no problem – as long as you oomphed up the scale of the solution. As I put it:
To avoid collapse, European nations will need to take in immigrants at a rate no stable society has ever attempted.
Last year, Angela Merkel decided to attempt it. The German Chancellor cut to the chase and imported in twelve months 1.1 million Muslim “refugees”. That doesn’t sound an awful lot out of 80 million Germans, but, in fact, the 1.1 million Muslim are overwhelmingly (80 per cent plus) fit, virile, young men. Germany has fewer than ten million people in the same population cohort, among whom Muslims are already over-represented: the median age of Germans as a whole is 46, the median age of German Muslims is 34. But let’s keep the numbers simple, and assume that of those ten million young Germans half of them are ethnic German males. Frau Merkel is still planning to bring in another million “refugees” this year. So by the end of 2016 she will have imported a population equivalent to 40 per cent of Germany’s existing young male cohort. The future is here now: It’s not about “predictions”.
On standard patterns of “family reunification”, these two million “refugees” will eventually bring another four or five persons each from their native lands – or another eight-to-ten million. In the meantime, they have the needs of all young lads, and no one around to gratify them except the local womenfolk. Hence, New Year’s Eve in Cologne, and across the southern border the Vienna police chief warning women not to go out unaccompanied, and across the northern border:
Danish nightclubs demand guests have to speak Danish, English or German to be allowed in after ‘foreign men in groups’ attack female revellers
But don’t worry, it won’t be a problem for long: On the German and Swedish “migrant” numbers, there won’t be a lot of “female revelry” in Europe’s future. The formerly firebreathing feminists at The Guardian and the BBC are already falling as mute as battered wives – saying nothing, looking away, making excuses, clutching at rationalizations… Ten years ago, I wrote:
The problem is that secondary-impulse societies mistake their weaknesses for strengths–or, at any rate, virtues–and that’s why they’re proving so feeble at dealing with a primal force like Islam.
“Multiculturalism” was less an immigration policy than an advertisement of our moral virtue. So the really bad thing about New Year’s Eve is not that Continental women got groped and raped by coarse backward “migrants”, but that all these gropes and rapes might provoke the even more coarse and backward natives. I did all the gags a decade ago:
The old definition of a nanosecond was the gap between the traffic light changing in New York and the first honk from a car behind. The new definition is the gap between a terrorist bombing and the press release from an Islamic lobby group warning of a backlash against Muslims.
And so it goes ten years on. We’re beyond parody now. A decade back, I noted:
At the Cologne railway station on New Years there were 3 rapes
In the USA we average 500 EVERY day but that is because we are a Christian country
@john: Once again, instead of simply throwing a number you like out as a statistic, how about backing that one up?
And you knowingly lie about only 3 rapes.
This when we have seen the reports of the incidents being covered up by the Germans.
@Bill: Bill, why don’t you just let him lie? Those of us here who matter know he has only a few brain cells left if there were any to begin with!
You must love apples and oranges.
You take a business area on one day with a total population of 280,000 travellers per day and compare it to the stats of an entire country of 330,000,000.
Seems a tad unequal as a ”comparison.”
Here’s a better one: Newark, NJ.
Same population: 280,000.
Rapes for a YEAR 110.
Rapes per day: 1/3rd.
But, speaking of population numbers, I was totally impressed by the ”family reunification,” aspect of Germany’s problem.
For EVERY ”refugee” imported by Merkel, another 5 – or more – will HAVE to be invited in under the German family reunification policy…..unless the Germans change it and soon.
Where would the US numbers be today if Roe v Wade had been judicially legislated by the SCOTUS.