It’s not just European secular types who are failing to replace themselves. Every region on the planet that is not already hovering at or just below replacement rate is suffering a precipitous collapse of live births per female. Third World fertility is plummeting, much faster than it did in the developed world. If current trends continue, the whole world will be at or below replacement levels in just a few years.
Google apps has a great interactive chart that allows the user to look at demographic trends from any country or region on the globe, using data from the World Bank. This link will take you to a version of the chart that shows female fertility by region; it tells the story of the demographic collapse. It’s a pretty cool app. Be patient with it, as every request for a change in the data displayed takes about 15 seconds to render (this may account for our inability to embed the app here at Orthosphere).
I don’t think this portends the end of the species. All it means is that in a century the only people alive will be those born to parents who *intended* to have children, or else were really stupid. At that point, female fertility will have begun to soar again.
Falling birth rates have usually spelled poverty, as the pool of able-bodied young workers shrinks and the population of aged retirees grows. But it needn’t be so. Manufacturing technologies now coming on line bid fair to increase labor productivity by an order of magnitude, so that we can keep getting more prosperous even though we have fewer workers.
But if there is no economic collapse, how will liberalism ever be repudiated? If we keep getting more prosperous, despite a collapsing population of workers, how will we ever feel enough economic pain to abandon modernism? Never fear: even when high technology enables fantastic prosperity, corrupt fools governing corrupt fools can arrange for horrific catastrophe. Look at agricultural technology, for example. In technological terms, we have been perfectly capable of feeding everyone on the planet a healthy diet for several decades now. But we don’t; basically because people are sinners.
Sinfulness, of which corruption and foolishness are departments, will produce disaster no matter how wonderfully clement the objective circumstances. So, count on liberalism to generate a totally unnecessary economic collapse, which will prompt people to question liberalism. That, coupled with the fact that liberals are not replacing themselves, so that religious trads will sooner or later inherit the earth, should dispose of the problem posed to man by secular modernism. When that eventually happens, I guess we’ll find out what big problem we shall next impose upon ourselves. It’s always something.