Monday, January 09, 2006

It's All About Sex and Babies

Mark Steyn had a longish, must-read article called "It's the Demography, Stupid" at WSJ.com a few days ago. None of it was new to me, but it was still well worth reading. It starts off frightening:

"Much of what we loosely call the Western world will not survive this century, and much of it will effectively disappear within our lifetimes, including many if not most Western European countries."

And it doesn't get any less so as it goes on, so if you like to be frightened, you can pop a bowl of popcorn and sit back to listen to someone read this aloud instead of watching yet another tedious slasher movie.

Some points Steyn makes: Islamism is not metaphorical HIV, but the pneumonia that endangers the patient who already has HIV; our demographic crisis "ought to be the left's issue" because "[w]ho, after all, are going to be the first victims of the West's collapsed birthrates?"; and "A society that has no children has no future."

Today's Townhall has an answer to Mark Steyn, "It's the Sex, Stupid" , from Jennifer Roback Morse--not a disagreeing answer, but an elaborating answer. Morse says, "The modern view of sex [sex as a consumer product] has created the demographic collapse of the West, and the human void into which Islamic fertility is rapidly flooding." And she tells us who can help most to preserve the West:

"What women do and want will be decisive in determining whether the West survives the demographic clash with Islam....stay at home moms, don’t let anyone tell you that you are wasting your talents. Without your contribution of a healthy, functioning next generation, all the strength of the U.S. military won’t be enough to protect us from the primal force of Islam that believes in itself enough to replace itself."

These things need to be said and heard. I hope more columnists respond to Steyn's essay.

2 comments:

The Conservative Realist said...

The danger in all this will be the tendency to use married women and their children as means of controlling the Muslim takeover, rather than loving them as individuals in their own right.

All married couples who plan to have kids and who see them as blessings should have them when they are ready and should be honored for raising them, not just those who have a certain number and right away.

Suzanne said...

I certainly agree that children should be loved as individuals, not as a means of preventing a Muslim takeover. And I would object to any effort to use women in this way. But I don't see that happening, do you? I can't imagine contemporary US or European governments coming out with new "Children, Church, Kitchen" posters, urging the "right people" to have babies (much less doing it while they exterminate the "wrong ones", as Hitler did.) I can't imagine other groups, religious or secular, promoting having babies just to shore up the non-Muslim population, either; encouraging more babies so we continue to have a future, maybe, but not just so we beat the Muslim numbers.

And I trust no one will mistakenly conclude I think there is a correct number of children for a married couple to have or correct time to have them. I don't presume to bother in the individual family's business in that way, but mothers of large families say that they often get people--including complete strangers--presuming to do just that by making critical comments about their family size. I think it would be better for the West in the long term if Westerners started having more children (look what having none did to the Shakers), but I'm very far from meddling in others' personal decisions or thinking that only families of a certain size should be honored. I would be a hypocrite if I did, because I've been married over a decade and I don't have children.