Thursday, April 18, 2024
HomeDemocracy in DecayTime's up for the West

Time’s up for the West


UNLESS you have been living under a rock you will be aware that it is the end of the world as we know it. Eventually. It is one thing for the couple down the road to go childfree but when the entire West decides that they are ‘childfree and lovin’ it’, we have a problem.

From the US to the European Catholic south to the feminist utopia of Scandinavia a lot of people have said, thanks but no thanks, to the idea of having children. As a result, the fertility rate in the West is collapsing. Long term it is a global phenomenon. ‘The total fertility rate in Western Europe is projected to fall from 1.53 [per female] in 2021 to 1.44 in 2050 and 1.37 in 2100. Italy, Spain, and Andorra were projected to have the lowest fertility rates by then.’ In developed countries, a rate of 2.1 births per woman is necessary to sustain population levels.

So long to the Italian bambino!

The collapsing fertility rate must be understood in that the babies not being born now are the missing parents of the future. If the birth rate is bad now, it will be catastrophic in 30 years. It will not matter what government policies you put in place – there will not be enough women of child-bearing age to produce children, so the game really is up.

Italy is approaching a Children of Men scenario where nurseries and primary schools are beginning to close. ‘Empty cots in maternity units had already become the haunting symbol of Italy’s dramatically declining birth rate. The number of births reached a historic low of 393,000 in 2022. Now classrooms are emptying across the country as the demographic crisis moves up the age brackets.’ 

So what has caused all this? Janice Turner in the Times would like to know ‘how motherhood became such a dirty word’. How indeed? In this piece she attempts to explain the joys of motherhood, but she can’t really help giving it a good kicking either: ‘Women rightly detect they have much to lose. If I were approaching 30 today, I’d delay motherhood too.’ And ‘For earlier generations it (motherhood) was depicted with soap and sentimentality: euphoric housewives with smiling babies. No hint at the boredom, drudgery and loneliness that put thousands on antidepressants.’

Keep talking, lady, you are really selling it to me. She also asks,
‘Why does no one say anything positive about being a mother now?’ Turner herself had very little to say that was actually positive. The best she can say is that motherhood is tolerable but it might turn you into a monster. There were certainly very happy times but also ‘Motherhood is neither an unremitting horror show nor a cosy idyll. It doesn’t make you a better person. (It turns some women into monsters.)’ This is the pro-motherhood piece, remember. 

Back to the question of how motherhood became a dirty word. Could it be that the propaganda campaign carried out by the feminists against motherhood in the last 40 years has been very successful?

This piece in the Times written ten years ago by someone also named Janice Turner is a sample. It is positively spiteful against mothers: ‘maternity has become absorbed into all-conquering female narcissism.’ The job itself is very easy: ‘The martyrdom of motherhood was terminated absolutely by online grocery shopping and CBeebies.’ Because that’s all you need these days to raise a child to adulthood, online grocery shopping and the TV. 

That article celebrated non-mothers the day before Mother’s Day because having one day in the whole year that celebrates the sacrifices made by mothers isn’t fair! So happy non-Mother’s Day to you, even though every other day of the year is a non-mother’s day. I think we have our answer to why motherhood became a dirty word.

So we will just leave that one there. In the scheme of the diatribes against motherhood, it was a drop in the ocean. Here are just a few books celebrating how great it is not to have children.This is on top of the mother of them all, The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan published in 1963. Don’t expect young women to be happier about all this change though. They are not. 

Anyway, it is a waste of time asking now, after 40 years of relentless anti-child and anti-motherhood propaganda, why women are not having children. They can’t be doing with the hassle of it all. It’s that simple. Young people like to travel, work, make money, spend the money on themselves and sleep. Having a child will indeed interfere with all these things, so they have concluded: why bother. I have said before there is nothing you can do about it now.

In the meantime, if you like experiencing Spanish culture and French culture and Italian culture my advice is to go and experience it now as there won’t much left of it in a few decades. We can look forward to child deserts, villages and towns where children will not exist.

In the two most dystopian novels about a post-child world, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood and The Children of Men by P D Jamesboth female authors imagined a world where fertility was wiped out by some unknown cause or disease. Neither thought that the fertility collapse would be voluntarily chosen. That would be too unbelievable, unthinkable! What kind of civilisation would do that? Only a crazy one! Only a civilisation that relentlessly savages mothers could do such a thing, and that simply would not happen. But it did, and now we will have fewer children (depressing in and of itself), fewer workers, and lots of lots of old people.

It seems the lack of workers will be solved, as ever, by immigration. Also in the Times, Trevor Phillips when discussing the extraordinary rise in immigration states: ‘The OBR reckons that while EU migrants have drained away, migration from west Africa, India and other non-EU sources has risen to more than 750,000 annually. Workforces are inevitably going to be blacker, browner and more Muslim. As the playwright Max Frisch remarked about immigration: “We asked for workers and people came.” Suck it up, says Phillips, and I tend to agree with him. 

The big question to ponder while sitting in your child-free village (quieter and calmer, what’s not to like?) is what you will do with all the people who enter pensionhood to be entirely dependent on other people’s children. The few that remain, that is.

They will not have come anywhere close to paying into the system over the course of their lives what it will take to sustain them in their childfree old-age. We all know pensions are a Ponzi scheme, and when there is no one at the bottom to pay into that scheme, there is a problem. A big problem.

But don’t worry: Matthew Parris has a solution. Some Times readers in the comments section thought it sounded a bit like the Final Solution but here it is. It is to do with assisted dying but he didn’t seem that eager to discuss safeguards. Parris points out: ‘We in Europe and North America (and, for instance, Japan, Australia and South Korea) are increasingly weighed down by low birth rates and high longevity. It’s more than a decade since in Japan sales of nappies for the elderly overtook sales of nappies for babies. One Japanese town is now recycling used incontinence pads into fuel for heating. Here in Britain it has become a common joke that our country has become a massive health service and attached care homes sector, with a state as a mere appendage, rather than the other way round.’

He asks, ‘how are our economies going to pay for the ruinously expensive overhang that dare not speak its name: old age and infirmity?’ How indeed. He concludes, ‘If I’m right, our growing interest in assisted dying may reflect a largely unconscious realisation that we simply cannot afford extreme senescence or desperate infirmity for as many such individuals as our society is producing. ‘Your time is up’ will never be an order, but – yes, the objectors are right – may one day be the kind of unspoken hint that everybody understands. And that’s a good thing.’

Well, it’s solution that’s for sure. Not a very nice one, but it sure does cut to the chase.

So there we have it. The feminists have won. There are fewer children and fewer women ‘chained to the kitchen sink’. Motherhood has been so attacked and stripped of all nobility and understanding that caring for another tiny human being, someone completely dependent on you for their very survival, is not just a private pleasure but a public and moral good.

Indeed, failing to acknowledge that guiding and raising that child to a be a valuable and responsible citizen that cherishes their history, is attached to their land and values their way of life, is not just a private matter or one lifestyle choice among many but a noble vocation, has proved disastrous.

Feminist trashing of mothers and their children has been incredibly successful but ruinous. In sum, the failure to call out the childfree for their obvious selfishness will result in massive immigration, an exploding tax burden, and most probably huge social pressure for the old to understand that ‘their time is up’. But I’m sure it will have been worth it.

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