Sunday, February 11, 2007

Mark Steyn’s America Alone – Second Meander

It looks like we should have had more children.

I should have mentioned in my first post using Mark Steyn's America Alone as a starting point that the book is about world demography and its implications for America. Specifically, it notes that Muslims, not only in the Middle East but throughout the world, are still having lots of children -3.5 per woman - while the western democracies, with a few notable exceptions, are having very few children - 1.1-1.7 per woman, well below the replacement value of 2.1. These numbers, coupled with the cultural aggression of Islam compared to the cultural insecurity and passivity of the west, is a recipe for disaster for Western Civilization. Steyn writes off Europe as already essentially lost, though its cultural heritage will allow it do do some good in its death throes over the next 50 years.

America he believes will not fall prey to the same evils for several reasons. But we will feel the pinch, and we will not have our traditional allies. America's problem is not that it imperialistically exports its culture, as is commonly supposed, but that it exports only the accidents of its culture: Coca-Cola, KFC, Britney Spears. There's an important point here. Though the disaster movies, Fahrenheit 911, and Lord of the Rings represent very different parts of Anglospheric culture, they are all identifiable ours, but it's not translating to other cultures. Moore slams our president, in fine American tradition. Islamic societies also learn to slam our president, instead of looking at their own governments. Not the same lesson.

I digress, sorry. All young people should read Steyn's Introduction and 1st chapter if nothing else. This is the world that they will probably live in. Steyn is not simply projecting what might happen to the population of Europe and the Arab world, he is noting the demographics of the people who have already been born. The European population between 0-20 looks absolutely nothing like the population which is 60-80. In 20 years, the former will be adults, the latter will be dead. Steyn's numbers suggest that American young people should go forth and multiply, and you've already wasted too much time. Heck, even I regretted not having more children, and I'm in my 50's.

I had said not long ago that if I had to do over again, I would have two more biological and two more adopted children, for a total of eight. My wife is less convinced that would have been so brilliant. Okay, one and one, then, making a total of three bio and three adopted. Easy to say now, perhaps. Now that they're adults and do interesting stuff and can make their own sandwiches and buy their own donuts, they're much more fun. Adding in another child between Jonathan and Ben, then tacking on a sixth child, one younger than Chris, might have been more of an emotional strain than we wanted.

Getting two more kids was one of the absolute smartest things we ever did, though. Great for America and the West, too. For Romania, not so much. We took some of their young talent, which they're having trouble keeping anyway. Not that they would have appreciated J-A and Chris, of course. But they were more valuable than they knew.


Anonymous said...

Six kids?! Are you nuts?! I'm having trouble surviving the two kids and two dogs that are enlivening our "empty nest" right now!

Anonymous said...

I got America Alone for Christmas and it's been sitting on my nightstand begging for me to have enough energy to plow in some night. I should do so soon.

Anonymous said...

By the way, your wife is right. Six kids?

Anonymous said...

Somebody has to make up for guys like me who were never able to marry and have kids.

European Infidels: One child per couple or less.

Eurabian Muslims: Five children per couple.

Project population demographics forward 2-3 generations. Can you say "Allahu Akbar!"?