Demography as a discipline is resurging like geography, especially its traditional interdisciplinary emphasis as a fulcrum of politics, history and culture. Most people don’t study demography for the simple reason that its components are not measured or conformed to contemporary need for instantaneous solutions. Given how demography is similar to geology regarding time, most students are not exposed to how demography is crucial to understanding how politics, history or culture is embodied along chartered trends that are nearly irreversible.
Vienna and Washington, D.C. remain the premiere institutes for studying demographic change. I am referring to the work of Ben J. Wattenberg, Joel Kotkin, Nicholas Eberstadt and the infamous Walter Laqueur, although Lacquer is not a demographer by training his writings demonstrate the social, political impact of our political economy on the nature and meaning of the conjugal act, especially its relative standing to how each society or civilization views the family as the foundation for civilization.
At the heart of our identity politics, especially how its expression is philosophically tethered to an idealist view of radical autonomy, whether it be medical ethics or taxation, at the heart of the crisis of western civilization is a social deficit.
What plagues the west is low fertility. This is the bane of modernity and it affects policy, the lifeblood of govmint.
Never born babies are the root cause of a monolithic deficit expressed fiscally. What plagues the west fiscally and macro-economically is a dearth of working age people to underwrite the benefits of liberal political economies. Although economists and politicians like to explain away this reality by referring to either massive spending deficits or deep cuts in govmint programs, nevertheless, at the heart of this political, social, fiscal problem is an intractable philosophical reality: the meaning of human identity and personhood, and its embodied foundation in the conjugal act as marriage.
What bankrupt liberalism promises is a view of human identity and liberty completely at odds with nature and history. Although individually attractive to the impulses of an adolescent, collectively it’s disastrous.
Just ask Larry Summers. What he discovered at Harvard recently has become the norm throughout America. Women understand that fertility delayed is fertility denied. As a formidable economist, Dr. Summers refused to view reality synoptically, meaning he could not connect the dots regarding the social impact of confiscatory taxation. A young man today can never get to equity formation or capital formation with such devastating taxation. The result? Massive cohabitation. Children born out of wedlock or worse still, the undeniable reality that a women must face, infertility and aloneness.
Walter Laqueur takes a far greater swath of insight, for what he admonishes is an ideal already impending, a total crisis of the west!
Socially, we see this crisis engulfing all of Western Europe, especially in the inner cities; in Europe’s southern bankrupt periphery and the Israeli West Bank. Large Muslim populations with limited social integration, high unemployment, rapidly aging populations tied to paralyzed political economies with existential anomie.
The failure of Europeans to reproduce makes them extremely vulnerable to internal schism, a Balkanized Europe cut along racial, ethnic, fiscal templates.
Are there alternatives?
The American Conservative is grounded in limited, enumerated government because it firmly believes in individual sovereignty. A return to the moral imperatives that underwrite the Founders statesmanship is a good place to start.