It is a striking fact, which took many years to creep-up on my awareness, that socialism/leftism is wrong about almost everything.
I can still recall the bombshell effect it had on me when Gregory Clark remarked in a conversation that the industrial revolution had been a much greater advantage for the poor than for the rich. Exactly the opposite of what I had been taught, and what every reformer and philanthropist has believed to be the case since the mid 1800s.
In the modern world, biologically speaking, the poorest have the greatest reproductive success; and in economic terms, the trend has for several generations been towards a situation in which the poor are the real rulers.
Now it is factually the case that it is the poor majority who 'exploit' (i.e. live-off, reproduce at the expense of) the rich minority.
If the industrial revolution began to bite from about 1800 in England, then this was when the survival of the children of the poor became above replacement levels - and the population began rapidly to grow from the bottom-up for perhaps the first time in human history - or, at least, the first time in a couple of thousand years.
At pretty much the same time, the wealthier classes began to reduce their fertility. For a while, the wealthiest families would still have reared (on average) more children to adulthood than the poorest, but pretty soon the poor began to outstrip the rich, as fertility among the wealthiest declined and declined without stopping - to well below replacement levels.
The point I am making here is that in industrial society (since c1800), the transfer of wealth goes from richer to poorer - until nowadays, people who are net economically unproductive and indeed net consumers of resources, who do little or no productive work, who are able to raise all the children they may choose to have, or have by accident; at the expense of the rest of the society.
In pre-industrial societies such people and their children would have died en masse, - despite working productively all the hours God sent- mostly from starvation and disease, plus high rates of accidents and violence.
So, in the agrarian past, the usual pattern was for ruling classes to extract more resources than they generated, and they used these resources to raise most of their numerous children. Each new generation of adults mostly had 'higher class' parents in a world of overall downward mobility.
Meanwhile the poor, whose resources had been taken from them, were so poor that they raised on average almost no children to adulthood. The children of the poor were 'culled' from each generation. No matter how many children the poor produced, only very few survived.
With the industrial revolution these tendencies reversed.
So, what I was wondering is whether there is some kind of underlying, fundamental cause, operating from about 1800, which links the loss of resource-extractive power (or will) of the upper classes with their decline into sub-fertility.
Why do the upper classes since c1800 'allow' most of their resources to be extracted from them; and does the answer to that question also explain why the upper classes have (pretty much) stopped having children?
This passivity looks like decadence - exhaustion, disease, dysfunctionality.
Indeed, since the mid-1960s, the upper classes have taken an ever more active role in increasing the transfer of both resources and child-rearing away from themselves and onto poorer and ever-poorer sections of the human population.
This goes beyond decadence - and looks like deliberate self-destruction, willed suicide