No Flood Needed This Time Around

Birth rates are plummeting globally, so that even in countries where fertility is above replacement, it soon won’t be. In 150 years or so, the only people around will be religious conservatives, because other sorts of people with looser morals aren’t reproducing (thanks to the Pill, and all its knock-on social and economic effects, noticed in this video).

We have to step back and realize that what is happening to man right now is a pervasive and radical winnowing, comparable almost to the Flood. It’s natural selection at work, weeding out liberalism from the gene pool, and via co-evolution from the meme pool.  Put another way, liberalism is a lethal intellectual mutation. Whether it takes 50 years, or 1,000, liberalism is doomed, because it is at war with reality. Not only is it not nice to fool Mother Nature, it can never, ever be done in the first place. The Logos of the world is not mocked, no matter how amusing our petty pranks at his expense seem to us.

Fortunately for those who are deleting their own ilk from the world’s future, this winnowing may not involve catastrophic war, plague, or economic collapse. The autophagy of liberalism need not destroy civilization in the process. Civilization, even the West, might just squeak through and prevail in the end, preserving some of the best bits of what it has so far achieved. We might get through this winnowing with very little pain and suffering: no mass death, just a series of successively smaller, successively more traditional generations, as liberals die off after long, entertaining, meaningless lives.

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33 thoughts on “No Flood Needed This Time Around

  1. I don’t think I agree with the premise. Liberalism does not act like a genetic defect but more like a contagious disease. Even the children of devout Christians can end up turning into the largest moonbats out there.

    Overall, there are very few physical solutions to spiritual problems (liberalism being the spiritual equivalent of AIDS).

    American liberalism has been around since before 1776 and instead of dying out over the ages, it seems to have become much more malignant to Western Civilization.

    • The analogy with AIDS is pretty interesting. It seems correct. The logic of human reproduction insulated us from a full implementation of the moral nihilism of liberalism for a long time. Then, with the Pill, that inhibiting factor disappeared, and things went downhill very, very fast. Ironically, AIDS was one of the consequences. It’s poetic justice at its most acute: extreme moral depravation leading directly to a physical sickness unto death.

      The physic for this spiritual auto-immune disorder is crashing fertility. As Bruce Charlton has pointed out, a society’s failure to reproduce indicates a death wish among its members, arising from a conviction that its life as informed by its values is unworthy. The illness deletes itself.

      The infection can strike anyone, as you say. And the disease works slowly, so that those infected can live a long time and infect many others. But this means only that the present winnowing will last a long time, and go very deep into our culture, deleting all but the most righteous and prudent ideas about how to live. It will be like the Flood, but slower and perhaps – with a bit of luck – gentler.

      • “But this means only that the present winnowing will last a long time, and go very deep into our culture, deleting all but the most righteous and prudent ideas about how to live. ”

        Don’t you think that’s already the case? How many Christians think like the way that we do? Even amongst the very devout Catholic and Protestant types? How many have bought wholesale the idea of Americanism?

        The seed planted in 1776 has taken root and has infected all aspects of civilization to where it has gotten to the point where even the most radical Thomas Payne type would balk.

        “It will be like the Flood, but slower and perhaps – with a bit of luck – gentler.”

        I hope you are right, but I fear that you are too optimistic. The more likely end scenario would be that outlined by Spengler and the Perennialists: a few more centuries of complete and utter decadence leading to a horrific and bloody collapse.

  2. I grin as I think of my conservative Lutheran pastor, aged about 60, with a fine wife, 12 children, and about 32 (yes) grandchildren.

  3. Pingback: No Flood Needed This Time Around | Reaction Times

  4. @Kristor –

    I have several disagreements with this perspective!

    If you look at the actual numbers (and it is the actual number of people that is primary – and rates of change are secondary)

    http://charltonteaching.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/the-modern-world-is-selecting-for-pure.html

    You can see that there are about two billion more people expected to add to the existing seven billion people – in the next thirty years. (If they survive – this is about how many they expect to be born).

    If people are not fed and watered they will die pretty quickly, and I see no indication that our civilization can even sustain present levels of per capita productivity (with the productive population unrelentingly persecuted and robbed, and the dependent and parasitic proportion of the population such a large majority – and so short-termist in voting itself an ever bigger slice of the pie) – and innovation is drying-up relentlessly.

    So I fear that some billions of people will die, quickly, one way or another – over the next 25 years (maybe starting today, who knows?). It would be far and away the largest catastrophe in the history of the world, because for most of its history the world had only one billion or fewer people.

    Also, the only religious population which has been growing really fast as a proportion of the world population is Christianity’s most formidable rival – and most of the highly fertile population are having children because they are ignorant and impulsive and cannot prevent them – rather than for positive religious reasons. Only a few religious groups such as the ultra-Orthodox Jews and to a lesser extent Mormons are actually choosing to have above replacement numbers of children.

    In sum I don’t see any grounds for optimism – at least no rational grounds – although we can always hope that there are factors we have left out (perhaps divine interventions). So I personally do not (yet) feel as pessimistic, and I do feel more hopeful, than would be implied by the trends – why this should be, I don’t know.

    • Professor Charlton, I don’t agree with your focus on the absolute number as opposed to the fraction of increase. It’s hard to believe that the world can’t come up with enough basic resources for 28% more people, particularly given that virtually all of them will consume at third world rather than western levels and that Western people commonly consume several times as many calories as they need, use much more fuel than they need, etc. Even if genius is waning, things like modern technology and agricultural science aren’t going away. And there will still be an innovative “smart fraction” to deal with new problems.

      • Technology and agricultural science mean the r-selected produce more r-selected. I think eventually the smart fraction figures out (if they haven’t already) that technological advance is enabling dysgenic reproduction. In the future, I can easily see sterilization imposed as a condition of public welfare and foreign aid. It’s that, or r-selected populations drag everybody else down with them.

      • It’s hard to believe that the world can’t come up with enough basic resources for 28% more people,

        Indeed. One pound of oats contains about 1800 calories. This will keep an average adult alive. If bought in quantity, oats cost less than $1 per pound. For example, oats currently sell on the commodity exchanges for less than $4 per bushel (32 pounds), and I have no difficulty finding rolled oats in grocery stores at around $1 / lb.

        Up until five minutes ago, lots of Europeans had diets like “a pound of oats a day, plus odds and ends I scrounged up.” When you see, in various international charities’ promotional materials, that it costs pennies a day to keep someone alive in some poor country, they are telling the truth, more or less.

        We in the modern developed world are so fat, so spoiled, so mentally and physically distant from the edge of survival that utterly crazy stuff—like the claim that we are near the human carrying capacity of the Earth—sounds reasonable to us. It was silly back in the seventies when the chattering classes were enamored of Ehrlich’s *The Population Bomb,* and it is silly now.

        Obviously, incompetent or venal governing elites may allow or cause starvation, but there is no technical reason for starvation to be a problem in the contemporary world.

      • @ Dr Bill

        But do you really think that the land can support that many people? 1 pound of oats is only $1 now, but will it be that much with 28% more people?

        Back when Europeans subsisted on oats and odds and ends, how many people were on the face of the Earth?

      • This is beside the point, but I read that lots of medieval Europeans survived on little more than dried field peas. If I had to eat peas and oats every day I wouldn’t be miserable. I like both.

      • @ Svar

        I’m confident that the Earth could easily support ten times its current human population. I’m confident it could do so without any land in cultivation at all. We don’t much use hydroponics only because growing stuff on the land is so much cheaper.

      • @ Dr. Bill

        I agree that we are not on the verge of some Malthusian limit. Never the less Charlton has a point in that current (Western) standards of living are fleeting and cannot be maintained. The US for instance consumes nearly 40% of the world’s resources despite being only 10% of the population. Now granted this can be accounted for by the fact that the US was and is still one of the largest economies in the world, but the fundamental utopian flaw of economic liberalism is that as a theory it is predicated on the limitless expansion of productive forces in a finite world.

      • @ ISE

        I agree with you that the US standard of living is likely to fall in the intermediate term, at least on average.

        OTOH, the growth in per-capita income in European societies has been going on for a long time, certainly since the fall of the western Roman Empire. It could stop any time. It isn’t like the sun rising in the East. But I wouldn’t bet on it stopping at any particular time.

    • Also, the only religious population which has been growing really fast as a proportion of the world population is Christianity’s most formidable rival – and most of the highly fertile population are having children because they are ignorant and impulsive and cannot prevent them – rather than for positive religious reasons. Only a few religious groups such as the ultra-Orthodox Jews and to a lesser extent Mormons are actually choosing to have above replacement numbers of children.

      According to the CIA, fertility in dar al Islam is falling to below replacement levels right this minute. Replacement fertility is higher in those countries – around 2.5 to 3 births per woman – than in the developed world – 2.1 births per woman – due to war and higher child mortality. Fertility is significantly higher than its replacement level only in Sub-Saharan Africa, where it is also falling precipitously.

      This page at fastestgrowingreligions.com is full of interesting analyses of the differential growth of world religions, pulling data from several sources. Christianity is the largest religion in the world by far, with almost as many adherents as Islam and Hinduism (the next largest) combined. Every year, Christianity gains 25.2 million adherents, while Islam gains 22.6 million. Christian converts number 2.5 million per year, while Islam gains 0.86 million converts per year. In 2000, 33% of the world was Christian, and 19.6% was Moslem. Projection of current trends to 2050 puts Christianity at 34.3% of the world, and Islam at 25% (mostly at the expense of “Other”: atheist, New Age, agnostic, “spiritual but not religious,” and so forth).

      • That’s a really cool page. Do you know what the deal is with Zoroastrianism? I know I have read articles reporting on Zoroastrians wailing about how their faith is becoming extinct, but that page seems to say the opposite.

      • Their growth rate is very high because they are starting from such a small base. If I have a sect of five people, and I convert five more in a year, my growth rate is 100%. That doesn’t mean things bode well for my faith.

  5. Unrleated but someone at West Hunter mentioned Palmer Amaranth as a future food source. I hadn’t even heard of it.

  6. Are we not promised a series of chastisements and by The Lord Himself, the likes of which the world has not yet seen? And in which the righteous will perish side by side with the wicked? The best we can hope for, perhaps through the intervention of Our Lady, is that perhaps the first disaster, or even a subsequent one, might shock the greater mass of sheep who have been ill-led into reversion on a no-atheists-in-fox-holes basis. I strongly object to Anti-Gnostic’s eugenics. It is not dysgenic reproduction that will drag people down, it is moral degradation which will destroy communities far more quickly and profoundly than any genetic dysfunction. How much more stable and self-sufficient was the American Black population before “civil rights” and its attendant freedoms?

  7. The conflict in the Middle East shows, that even a decadent minutely small and isolated liberal-secular enclave can still handily defeat and dominate more numerous religious opponents. Until the elites are thrown off or converted there is no hope.

    • Actually, the conflict in the Middle East shows that a small enclave of disciplined and committed Westerners who believe in their culture can easily beat a much larger adversary that is Mohammedan.

      Agreed about the elites. But not because they are so very strong, but because they are such pansies. Islam is a paper tiger. But so long as our elites are so very nihilistic and timid, it will be able to stay in the fight.

      • Actually, the conflict in the Middle East shows that a small enclave of disciplined and committed Westerners who believe in their culture can easily beat a much larger adversary that is Mohammedan.

        I guess in a sense they have discipline else as you noted they would not have survived for long, but doesn’t that also challenge the conservative narrative? Israel has an intricate and expansive welfare system a system that surpasses many Western European countries. Israel has extremely liberal abortion and homosexual laws. It seems like contra the conservative narrative a hard left-liberal country with social and economic policies on par with a country like Sweden could not only survive but also thrive in a hostile world if it needed to.

        Islam is a paper tiger.

        What makes you say that? To borrow and modify Bismark I’d say the Ummah is never strong as it looks but the Ummah is never as weak as it looks. I suppose that holds true for all great powers. The Muslims played a major role in toppling the Soviet Union this despite the fact that the Soviets had no problem in engaging in mass slaughter of its Muslim subjects. It was not just the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The Soviet Union could not hope to keep control of it’s growing Muslim populations post-Iranian revolution indeed that was a major impetus for their Afghan invasion in the first place. By 2045, Islam will be a majority religion in Russia.

      • Islam is a paper tiger.

        What makes you say that?

        The fact that even tiny, decadent, socialist Israel can defeat the lot of them.

  8. The fact that even tiny, decadent, socialist Israel can defeat the lot of them.,

    Hard to argue with that.

    • Well, if I was a small, decadent, socialist country but with the financial and military support of the entire West, I could easily keep down a small number of Palestinians who have no support from neither the Gulf States nor from Arab nationalists nor from the West.

      On top of that, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is more of a tribal war not a religious one considering the fact that Israel is basically a Jewish Sweden.

      • The Palestinians get only clandestine support these days from the rest of the Moslem world, because that world was repeatedly thrashed by Israel, every single time they had a match up. It’s bad PR in the West for them to attack Israel openly, especially if they then lose badly, as they always always did – even when they were open allies and clients of the Soviets – only rescued from total annihilation by the restraining intervention of the US. So they keep the Palestinian question burning, arm and fund the Palestinians, etc., but never get *officially* involved. And we keep the whole thing simmering, too, for our own purposes, rather than letting the war finish with a definitive Israeli victory. I wonder what those purposes are? Cui bono?

        The Palestinians themselves, as pawns in this game, are its chief victims. They’d be far better off today if we had just let Israel conquer Cairo, Beirut, Amman and Damascus – as Israeli Merkavah tanks have several times been within a few miles of doing – and become the superpower of the Middle East, with an oil-rich empire. I’d throw in Mecca, Baghdad and Tripoli, just for the sake of finishing the job. One way or another, the job will be finished some day. If we had let it finish in ’68 or ’72, the Palestinians today would be much more Christian than they are, much wealthier, and much more pacific. So would the rest of the Arabs. Islam would have been definitively humbled, demonstrated to be the weaker horse, and so discredited in Arab eyes. As much more prosperous thanks to Israeli rule, dar al Islam would have been far more attractive to her own young over the last forty years, and more of them would have stayed home instead of looking for work in Holland.

        “It’s bad PR in the West …” Funny how it *still* comes down to that, no? This tells us how weak the Moslems are, in comparison even to our vitiated, decrepit civilization. It’s public opinion of their actions among our hoi polloi that guides their policy. Pathetic.

      • “The Palestinians themselves, as pawns in this game, are its chief victims. They’d be far better off today if we had just let Israel conquer Cairo, Beirut, Amman and Damascus – as Israeli Merkavah tanks have several times been within a few miles of doing – and become the superpower of the Middle East, with an oil-rich empire. I’d throw in Mecca, Baghdad and Tripoli, just for the sake of finishing the job. One way or another, the job will be finished some day. If we had let it finish in ’68 or ’72, the Palestinians today would be much more Christian than they are, much wealthier, and much more pacific. So would the rest of the Arabs.”

        In all honesty, do you really think it is prudent to trust the Jews with treating the Arab Christians and other non-Islamic Arab minorities fairly? I think it would have best if Britain still controlled the Palestinian Mandate. The Jews have been known to be antagonistic towards Christians throughout history. Obviously this is not true of ALL Jews(Jews like Larry Auster or Paul Gottfried) but many.

      • Not exactly. Israeli Jews may have some similarities with the deeply secular and misguided Swedes, but demographics in the Jewish state are changing rapidly. 1/3 of all children in schools now are ultra-Orthodox Jews. These are the Jews so hardcore traditionalist they refuse to use elevators on Holy Days. By 2050, it is predicted more than 50% of Israeli Jews will be ultra-Orthodox.

        By 2060, there may be a situation where perhaps homosexuals can get married in Tel Aviv, but they may be getting stoned in Jerusalem. Certainly interesting as a study for neoreactionaries. The Ultra-Orthodox have a very admirable retention rate on their youth, and unlike the Amish, they are starting to use their political clout.

      • Hopefully, you are right. I respect and admire the Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox Jews while I have little respect for the whiny, obnoxious secular, reformed or conservative Jews who really all worship at a cult of Jewish victimhood, not YWWH.

        Right now on Facebook, all of the Jews, all a bunch of Lunatic Leftists, are posting diatribes against Palestine schnitzing on and on about anti-semitism. That is the secular/reformed/conservative Jewish version of those Christians who post Biblical quotes on Facebook.

  9. I agree with the assessment since it is not some right wing fantasy, but has raised alarms among certain left wing demographers. It is by no means fool-proof. We all know how children become ‘infected’ with liberalism, and the governments of the west are becoming even more dictatorial in response to more parents taking their kids out of public education.

    This is why it is important for neoreactionaries to recruit and breed, as well as retain the youth in the ideology

  10. Well, it would be easy to say it is weaning out liberalism, but I know a great many intelligent conservatives childless at 28 or so, so they are going to end up with 2 kids at most. It is entirely different to have an intellectual understanding of why the modern world is wrong vs. to have that level of courage, self-sacrifice, hope and faith to start makings kids at 25 when your career and ability to support your family is nowhere near defined. And you need to start at 25 (for men) to end up with 4-5 kids I think. Because you will need a 2-3 year break to rest yourself out after the terrible first year.

    So anyway, it is not just weaning liberalism, but I think it is weaning a great deal more. It is also weaning the conservatives who are hesitant or fearful, and it is even weaning the old-schoolers who are a bit too materialist (looking at Russia, definitely not liberal, yet poor birthrate, largely due to materialism).

    And it looks a bit scary to me. If there would be only conservatives in 3 generations that would be great, but I think there will be only a subset of conservatives, and precisely the scariest subset, those who have little doubts, little hesitation, little of that self-doubt that characterizes book-worm people like myself, but a form of fiery dedication, less intellectualism, and more action coupled with confidence and strength. This… looks a lot like a powder keg. They are a bit dangerous people. They are the kind of people who don’t look for compromises when they have a conflict, they just fight it out. They need someone more head and less heart to keep them calmer, not necessarily liberals, but the skeptical, doubtful, hesitant type of conservatives, the Michael Oakeshott types. And they, too, will be missing.

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