Wednesday 20 November 2013

The big problems (usually) cannot be averted - but that does not mean we should continue to make them worse


Yesterday's post was an attempt to describe the problem of overpopulation - which is not something that can be understood by focusing purely on population: indeed the bulk of the problem arises from the mind-set which sees 'population' statistics (numbers of people) as as isolate-able concept.


But over-population is linked to differential population reproduction - such that the average individual in The West is in the mid forties, while in other parts of the world in their late teens.

(Just think about that! Some places where half the population is above 44; others where half the population is below 18!)

And differential population growth/ decline is related to massive recent and current population migrations.

And both population growth/ decline and movements are linked to massive cross subsidies from developed places and people to undeveloped places and people.


The general perception of this whole thing is embedded in the weird world view of the New Left secularism - so that in the first place people are unaware of what is happening, in the second place they are not allowed to discuss what is happening, in the third place insofar as they have any opinions on what is happening they are either wrong or irrelevant...

At the end of the day - if the reality of the world situation can be communicated - then it is simply too much for people to take on board; because the problems are so vast, and probably - very probably - some kind of vast crisis seems unstoppable.

So often this is the case: the people who advocate looking at the Big Picture are either dishonest about what they see; or if they are honest, their heads explode.


My angle is that it is not up to us to look at the Big Picture and solve all problems before they arise; but to try and be sensible and prudent - in particular to try and stop making things worse.

What is happening nowadays, in terms of population, is very bad indeed; not just because of over-population, but because of the changes in the composition and distribution of over-population; because of what fuels over-population - the unrealism, the inability to acknowledge the consequences of short term action, the inability to make tough decisions which are worse in the short term in order to be better in the longer term - and an hysterical perspective which has it that dumb, selfish, short-termism is the only compassionate way to behave...

The current situation is that people continue to do almost everything possible that makes the population problem worse - now and into the future; and they do this (in a sense) because they cannot see a way of curing the problem.


Because we cannot altogether prevent disaster, people continue making the situation worse; in effect people refuse to stop behaving badly, because to behave properly would not be a complete answer.

We thus have a public, and increasingly private, ethic of helplessness; based on dichotomous thinking of an all or nothing kind - characterized by the set-up that because 'all' is impossible, therefore we must chose nothing; because behaving as sensibly as we can does not solve all the problems and may not avert disaster, then we might as well do nothing - indeed, the reasoning goes that we therefore might as well continue to make matters worse...

I don't think this is a caricature: I think this is how people so things nowadays; how people excuse themselves from even trying to behave sensibly.


Across the board we see a pattern of denying that there is a problem until the point when it becomes so big as to be undeniable; at which point its size becomes a reason for doing nothing - not even changing the direction of our efforts - because 'it is too late'.

This is a sickness, a state of sin, at the heart of our secular hedonic Leftist civilization - it is a product of profound existential despair, and the cowardice of demotivation - it is permeating a lot of people, right into their hearts - and it will be fatal unless cured.



Ingemar said...

I started imagining what the die-off scenario would be, barring an unexpected natural catastrophe (major geological movement or an asteroid).

--The First Worlders will die off first due to any one or combination of the following scenarios: (1) Hastening suicide (2) Being overwhelmed by migrant populations (3) Simple lack of replacement.

--The Third Worlders will lag a generation or two due to fecundity, but their numbers will level off due to lack of First Worlders to exploit (in terms of resources, infrastructure, delivery and technological advances).

Bruce Charlton said...

@I - sounds plausible; but I would expect the picture to be like a patchwork, with break-up of large nation states.

Al. said...

My angle is that it is not up to us to look at the Big Picture and solve all problems before they arise; but to try and be sensible and prudent - in particular to try and stop making things worse.

This reminds of me of what Francis of Sales allegedly said when asked how to pursue holiness: start with closing the door quietly. I've never been able to find this quote but heard it often in homilies.

Ingemar said...

I don't know if you've already covered this, but the First Worlders are getting old with few or no youngsters of their own ethnicity to care for them.

For as long as I can remember the talking heads all said that nursing and elder care are the hot professions due to the aging Boomers.

However it seems to me that it's easier in the Anglosphere to import English speaking Third Worlders.

I smell an Eloi/Morlock dynamic in the works