If it is not enough to just love the name of this book/movie-you will love the book/movie.For any of you who spent your teens wondering if the shiny happy people over there were really so much shinier and happier than…
Another day, another Hollywood split. The latest victims: actors Diane Lane (48) and Josh Brolin (45) . They are calling it quits after 8 years of marriage and have issued this all-too-familiar statement: "Diane Lane and Josh Brolin have decided to…
|World Birth Rates, 2008, Wikipedia. Blue is bad.|
Demographically speaking, and leaving aside all other issues, Western Civ is committing suicide. We have almost stopped making babies.
What is to be done? Some argue that, on the basis of all past history, we are already past the point of no return. But there are some obvious steps that might be taken. Most of them are steps that should be taken on grounds of human rights, equality, or humaneness in any case.
First, and most obviously, make abortion illegal. In the US, for example, this would boost the number of births by about 30%. Besides, of course, the matter of a right to life. Almost solves the problem by itself.
|Number and rate of abortions in US to 2005. Wikipedia.|
But we also have fewer marriages than we used to and a less stable family life. Without these, children are less likely and less advisable; a man, in particular, could find himself with huge liabilities and nothing but loneliness to show for it. Even if born, children from non-intact families are not going to get as promising a sendoff in life.
To support marriage, the first and most obvious step is to make adultery illegal. Indeed, we probably should make all sex outside of marriage illegal. As it everywhere used to be, until quite recently. We need to end no-fault divorce; if we do not, marriage is an unenforceable contract, and in an unenforceable contract, the innocent parties are always the ones who suffer. We need to outline the responsibilities of husband and wife under this contract, so that neither can be held to ransom; and these responsibilities must be fair and balanced. Sort of like they were in traditional marriage. If individuals want to enter into alternative agreements by mutual consent, fine.
We need to reform laws on child custody; at present, the wife always gets the children and the house, and the husband always gets the bills. This is obviously unjust, and an obvious disincentive to men to ever marry. It borders on the classic definition of slavery.
What would be fair? Either, whoever pays the bills gets to decide custody—“user pays,” natural justice—or the Muslim practice, in which the mother automatically gets custody up to a certain age, and the father after that age. Say seven–the traditional age of reason.
“Affirmative action,” aka systemic discrimination, besides being inherently unjust, is also harmful to the family specifically. We know, for example, that the supposed “pay gap” between men and women is really a marriage gap. Without affirmative action, employers gave family breadwinners higher pay than either single men or women. This made good sense for the employer—married, single-paycheque workers are more reliable, more inclined to take orders, can put in more hours, and are more committed to staying on. We need to end all affirmative action programs to permit this to return. As with all discrimination, it must and will end as soon as government gets off the field. A free market ensures this.
|The oppression of women by patriarchy in the traditional marriage. “Married life,” 1918.|
It should be obvious by now, if it wasn’t from the start, that the greatest cause of the demographic decline of the West is, in a word, feminism. By its nature, it is destructive to family life and to the interests of children; leaving aside entirely the interests of men. Because of this, it is detrimental to the overall interests of society, to the greatest good to the greatest number, even if it has been advantageous to women in particular (itself a debatable question). Yet the proponents of this doctrine have been heavily subsidized by public money all along. This is madness, as well as being obviously unjust. Public money should be pulled from all feminist organizations, and at the same time from all other special interest groups lobbying for one particular segment of the population. Any time the government funds such groups, it is discriminatory.
For my part, I would also want to pull all public money from the social sciences, with the possible exception of economics. The social sciences by their nature seem to always become no more nor less than lobbying groups for this or that special interest; and they generate no real knowledge.
We also need to deregulate daily family life. At present, the web of complex, illogical, and unpredictable regulations makes having a child a serious legal liability. Child seats, bicycle helmets, bans on spanking, social workers pulling children because their parents smoke or belong to the wrong political party. Getting rid of social workers is a start—removing public money from the social sciences would mean the government hires no social workers. But most of these regulations also should go. Parents may or may not love their children, but they are far more likely to love them than the state is. Giving advice should logically be the limit of the state’s involvement; if funds permit, giving out free car seats, bicycle helmets, or nutritional lunches to the poor. And help for runaways.
Finally, some parents may be deterred from having children because of the growing costs of, and growing need for, higher education. This does not actually seem to be a major factor—Germany has free post-secondary education, and its birth rate is still cratering. But it also makes sense on grounds of sheer equality and of ensuring that the nation maximizes its productive potential. Post-secondary education should be fully covered by vouchers at public expense, at least for the brightest students.
Might this be too expensive? No. First because you can limit the number of vouchers to match the funds available, and second because the increased earning potential over a lifetime of those students who receive the vouchers should more than return the public investment in future taxes.
Is any of this going to get done? Probably not. No politician dares to go against the desires of organized interest groups for the sake of the common good. If he does, he is most often weeded out at the next election, lacking election funding and volunteers and facing bad press.
It would take a moral revolution first.