Thursday 27 February 2014

Self-extermination by sub-replacement fertility


All the secular populations of the developed world, plus a lot of religious people, are self-exterminating by sub-replacement fertility.

This is probably why there is zero practical resistance to Western populations being replaced by mass migration from the fertile parts of the world -


My reading is that, at some deep and barely-conscious level, the secular Western world hates itself so powerfully, that it believes it deserves to become extinct and be replaced; and The West is covertly yet swiftly working to achieve self-extermination.


Sub-replacement fertility is made possible by multiple, widespread and cheap reproductive technologies - contraception and abortion - which allow people to have sex without procreation.

Therefore, most babies born in the West (expect for the offspring of those to unintelligent or feckless) are nowadays chosen - and en masse the secular West is choosing the path of self-annihilation.

The exceptions, those with chosen above-replacement-level fertility, are devout and monotheistic religious groups.


The implication is, I think, that to avoid nihilistic despair, modern Man needs:

1. To be religious

2. To believe in a personal deity

- because 'Eastern' style religions and spiritualties (including New Age), which lack a personal deity, are not able to sustain above-replacement fertility - and therefore, like secular groups, impersonal religions exhibit apparently high levels of existential self-hatred with consequent slow-suicide at the population level.



Unknown said...

Where does above replacement fertility end?

Japan (and some European countries) are already over crowded or at least crowded enough that they don't really "need" more people.

Sub-replacement fertility is not, in and of itself, self-extermination. If everyone has one child, the percentage of genes within the population of the country remain the same.

That's an unrealistic scenario, but Japan for example, is not really annihilating itself, it is merely reducing its population to a level that is more commensurate to a happy and healthy life for humans. It'll still be Japan.

It only becomes self annihilation when the sub-replacement fertility is combined with mass immigration.

It seems like sub-replacement fertility is actually kind of a good thing, in that societies are managing their population and not ruining the planet by having six children per woman, it has just been perverted and turned against us, just like everything else.

Bruce Charlton said...

@NVP - You are talking like a planner. What matters is what really happens. Japan really IS annihilating itself.

Unknown said...

How is Japan annihilating itself? Japan's population is going to shrink but it already had an exceedingly high population density and it is not accepting mass immigration, so it will remain Japanese.

Britain is annihilating itself, Japan is not.

What is the alternative to the demographic transition? We can't have six (or even four) children per woman forever. If it keeps on too long, we'll force everyone to live in urbanized, high population density environments, which breeds its own kind of social pathology.

I guess you could say that we should all stabilize at 2.1 children per woman (replacement), but some countries are more crowded than others.

Bruce Charlton said...

@NVP -

You just have to stop thinking that population can/ could/ should be planned. This is a religious issue of the greatest profundity - we can't mess with it in the way you are talking about - it is not a matter of utilitarian calculation.

Bill said...

Bruce, you say:

"You just have to stop thinking that population can/ could/ should be planned. This is a religious issue of the greatest profundity - we can't mess with it in the way you are talking about - it is not a matter of utilitarian calculation."

And in your previous post:

"Eugenics gives primacy to secular economic priorities such as power, prosperity and efficiency."

These are two of the clearest and most profound statements of a non-secular, non-modern take on these issues. I literally have to step back and think on this...

Unknown said...

Keep in mind that the replacement number is 2.1 only because the mortality rate is very low,250 years ago with such low replacement number the population would be declining catastrophically.

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

The only predominantly white countries in the world with above-replacement fertility (>2 children per woman) are Israel, Argentina, Albania, the United States, and Iceland. In Israel and the U.S., most of the fertility is presumably from the non-white element, and Albania's high fertility can be attributed to the religion-that-must-not-be-named. I'm not sure what the secret of Argentina and Iceland might be.

Bruce Charlton said...

WmJas - Israel is an excellent example of what I mean - the secular Jews are committing slow suicide, Western style; while the religiously observant Jews are expanding *very* rapidly - roughly-proportionately to the degree of orthodoxy:

Bruce Charlton said...

@JP - Exactly. The normal situation is for humans to have at at least twice as many births as can be reared to adulthood *on average* - with high child mortality rates, and high differential child mortality rates.

Bruce Charlton said...


I think you get it.

In a world of contraception and abortion, an unprecedented world, is it or is it not each *government*'s job to decide how many babies are born, of what type, to which people? (Governments which are going to be at least as bad as the ones we currently have.)

Is it government's job to ensure that every child born, anywhere in the world, and to anybody who actually has a child for whatever reason, is supported to adulthood (and that child's descendents supported to adulthood etc) by coercive extraction and distribution of resources?

That is pretty much the world we are in NOW.

Bruce Charlton said...

BOOKSLINGER - has left a new comment on your post "Self-extermination by sub-replacement fertility":

Nguyen: my understanding of Japan's situation is that they are about to go over a population cliff. There are three things, and all have to do with not only total population, but are more about the population _at each age level_.

The problems in Japan are apparent when you examine how many people there are at each _age level_, and then understand what those numbers, or percentages, mean.

1. There are not enough youngER workers to support the economy or even society, when all their baby-boomers retire. A "too big" percentage of workers (as a percent of the total population) are being, and will be, taken out of the work force/

Implications: Every industry will suffer a decrease in leadership and experience as the most experienced/skilled workers retire (or die off, if they work until they die), and there have not been enough new workers (due to shrinking population at the lower age levels) rising up the ranks over the years to replace them.

And... There will need to be shift of workers to the elder-care industry, which will put a drain on other industries. (...)

2. When their baby-boomers die off, their population will decrease markedly. Implication: Economy will slow down due to sharp decrease in number of consumers.

3. Japanese culture is likely not prepared to change _back_ to the 2.1+ birth rate which is/will be required to stabilize the newly shrunken population. If Japanese women of childbearing age, 19 to 30 essentially, and their husbands, don't collectively change their minds, and collectively start having babies at an average of 2.1 each, Japan's population will _continue_ to shrink.

The thing about demographics is that it takes a generation or two, 25 to 50 years, to effectuate course corrections. In regards to low level workers, there is about a 22 to 25 year _minimum_ delay between baby-making decisions, and when those babies become productive workers, even at the lowest levels. In terms of economic and political _leadership_, there is a 45 to 50 year delay between the decisions to make a babies, and the time those babies are available for leadership positions either in private industry or in politics.

Now consider how government or societal leaders can convince people of child-bearing age to have more babies. Well, they can't, at least not directly. By the time people are 19 to 30, they've formed their ideas of family life, and how many, or even if they want to have, children.

A national "baby making machine" is not something that can be turned on like a switch.

For a society to have influence on people as to how many children to have, that influence has to be applied throughout their formative years. Anyone who has already formed opinions and their life plans will resist.

Therefore, add _another_ 21 or so years (the number of years a person is subject to gov't education, assume starting at birth) to the 1 to 2 generation delay mentioned above. 43 to 46 years to create a bigger generation of 'worker bees', and 66 to 71 years to create a bigger generation of leadership (technical, economic, political).

Given Japan's current low number of women of child-bearing age, and given Japan's current low number of babies and small children, they are _far_ past the point of a "graceful" decline in population. Even if they could somehow magically convince all those women of child-bearing age to have 2.1 children, and then inculcate the idea in those children of having 2.1 children themselves, they can't alter the societal and economic upheavals that will accompany the sharp drop in population when their current seniors and baby-boomers die off.