Monday, November 27, 2006

Outbred by Eurabia

I want to have a big family. How big? Well, I always figured I'd start with three kids and see where things went from there. I'm not in any sort of position to be talking about future children for the time being, but that's been my general line of thinking.

Why do I bring this up?

This interesting "discussion" popped up over the weekend. Mark Steyn, an author noted for his pessimism on the direction of Europe in terms of Islam and the War on Terror, has something of a back-and-forth with Ralph Peters on how this is going to affect the growing "Eurabia."

Mark actually discusses this separately in a recent Chicago Sun-Times article. His general point: We talk about influencing the world, but given the ridiculous difference in birth rates between Muslims and the Christian/Secular West, we may find ourselves vastly outnumbered in a few decades.

I'm not very knowledgeable when it comes to demographics, but this is a good point. Most families in the US have 1-2 children anymore. We may have technological advantages as a culture and country for many more decades, but I'm not sure how much it will matter if the young, fighting-age men of our country are outnumbered 50:1.

Unfortunately, I don't see our country suddenly deciding to breed like rabbits on speed, even if people were agreed on this being a problem. I also worry that the solutions to such a problem won't be largely agreed upon either. For example, my father (jokingly) suggested that the only two solutions were to either forcibly sterilize Muslims or start humping everything in sight. A joke, yes, but it does bring up the valid question: How do you fight demographic trends?

Unfortunately, it seems that there are too many who would be happy to see the West fade into history. I hope that such attitudes don't carry the day when this turns into a real problem in the next few decades.


Hal said...

Perhaps I should elucidate, in case you don't read the articles.

I have no problems with Muslims breeding. More power to them.

The problem is that the radical, "death to the West" ideology is prevalent amongst the people that are reproducing so quickly, and that world view often transfers between generations.

Case in point in Steyn's article, the grandmother in question had 41 grandchildren. How many of them will become radicals or even terrorists? It's hard to say, but competition for US women in comparison makes for a scary picture.

Anonymous said...

If you want people to respect your faith, then you have to respect theirs. its in The Constitution, which doesn't make exceptions for extreme faith. Sorry.

Hal said...

Well nonny, I think your knowledge of the Constitution is lacking. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof is the exact phrase.

I'm not sure what your point was, that we don't respect Islam or that Islam doesn't respect us?

Melissa said...

So, I guess, if it helps the country...people should just start having anonymous unprotected sex. WOO HOO!!! Hal, you're a genius! (By the way, I'm totally not making fun of you. This was NOT the point you made, but I have a sick mind. What can ya do?)

Hal said...

Take away abortion and that just might work.

Anonymous said...

Im pretty sure churches aren't taxed, so the congress has made a law respecting establishment of religion. Sorry your wrong.

The point is, either you both get practice your religions how you want to, or neither of you do.

Hal said...

Sorry Captain Anon, but that provision has been historically interpretted to mean that the government can't create or appoint a national religion. The idea was to avoid any attempts at favoritism.

The US has always been pretty good about religious tolerance, except when religious beliefs mandate breaking the laws. This encompasses a variety of people, such as those who don't want to pay taxes, those who practice polygamy, and those who advocate killing Jews/Blacks/Infidels, etc. (Insert your favorite political/religious/ethnic group). "Respect" for religious beliefs has never translated to "permitting violation of the law."

Not that that matters. What you have is known as a non sequitur. Your conclusion and arguments are unrelated and irrelevant.

Thanks for trying, though.

Anonymous said...

I bow to the spinmaster. Way to avoid the "churches are not taxed" issue, which clearly destroys your whole argument. As far as I know, if you don't pay your taxes, you have broken the law. Either churches are getting special treatment, or they are breaking the law. Which is it?

Spin that!

By the way...your idea of breeding so that you can fight off muslims seems to suggest that you don't really care about laws.

Hal said...

Spin? No no, you give me too much credit. I simply see the "churches aren't taxed" point as being irrelevant to the point in general. Exactly what is your point in noting it?

Churches are treated the same as any other non-profit organization. If you want to tax the churches (and with it, all other religious organizations), then you also have to make the argument for taxing NPOs. That's a non-starter politically, of course, since you're not going to successfully convince an electorate that the government should take money away from charities to spend on . . . well, take your pick.

You said:
your idea of breeding so that you can fight off muslims seems to suggest that you don't really care about laws.

You're really going to have to unpack that one. I have no idea what you mean or where you're going with it.

Perhaps you missed the point in the original article. Consider the Shakers. They were a Christian sect that practiced strict celibacy. No sex, no procreation. According to wikipedia, at their peak they numbered ~6000. Today, there are four of them. You know why? Such a group can only recruit by conversion or adoption.

Four people. Do you think the Shakers wield any sort of power or influence today? Numbers don't automatically translate into power or influence, but they certainly play a factor.

Consider again the general idea. Is Western civilization worth preserving? In some places, the West has a negative birthrate. On the other hand, the places where Anti-Western ideologies fluorish are also the places where birthrates are many times our own.

So the question is, if Western civilization has anything worth saving, what are the consequences of becoming vastly outnumbered by a world that could become increasingly hostile towards us as it grows?

Alecia said...

I'm going to assume that you are pretty much kidding about actually increasing birth rates to avoid destruction (as it seems unlikely that shear numbers play the biggest role in the west's current world dominance), but just in case I thought I'd throw in another arguement. The population growth caused by high birth rates (both in the population discussed as well as in other parts of the world), if continued at current rates, will cause an inevitable environmental collapse at some point in the future. According to E.O. Wilson the appropriation of productive land for our current population is already 1.4 times the sustainable capacity of the earth, meaning that we've already lost our capacity to regenerate. Moreover, we're likely to exceed our ability to produce enough food (to use a surrogate measure for the carrying capacity of the environment) by the end of the century (if grain production stays contast, population growth decreases slightly, and we all convert our diets to mimic East Indians, since we've already exceeded the capacity of the earth to provide a Western diet to everyone). Just some food for thought- and just so you don't write this off as liberal/enivironmental b.s. it does come from one of the "greatest biologists of our time". Feel free to check out more in his book The Future of Life.
Cadence said she saw you today on the metrolink, so I thought I would check in and see how you were. I tried to pick posts that I thought wouldn't make me too mad- and either I picked well or you've chilled a little... I neither yelled or laughed at my computer this time. Hope you're doing well and enjoying being back in St. Louis.

Hal said...

Mmm . . . I actually haven't seen any of the "overpopulation" arguments in a while, so I'm a bit rusty.

Still, I do remember two of the problems of food production being the actual movement of excess product from one region to another and the implementation of modern farming techniques/technology in non-western nations.

I guess I'm not in a position to criticize that take on the subject because I don't know much about it. Still, I do think it's kind of beside the point. No, I'm not exactly suggesting that America should triple it's population, but the demographic showdown should be at least worrisome.

Good post selection or am I chilling out? Eh, probably a bit of both. Hope school's treating you well.