If you've been reading the works of people like me for any significant length of time, bemoaning as we do the very real threat of the collapse of Western civilisation, you will almost surely be familiar with the term, "Demographic Winter".
1. A Unique Time in History
2. Weak Men Create Hard Times...
3. There Is Only War...
The Death-Spiral of the West
Birth rates across the developed world are in the tank- this has been known for years. Just how bad the problem is, though, takes seeing to believe:
And even that doesn't quite tell the full story. To see that, you have to go back farther in time than 1990. Here, using the same World Bank dataset, is developed Europe's fertility rate dating back to the tail end of the Baby Boomer generation:
Now, fertility statistics are all very well and good, but there is one statistic that is more important than all of the rest:
That, based on historical evidence, is what we might call the "event horizon of birth rates". We might as well call it that because no civilisation in recorded history has ever survived a birth rate lower than this number.
Think about that for a moment, and you will realise what an appalling future awaits most of Eastern Europe and the southern Mediterranean nations. They are not merely aging, they are doomed.
Our Damned Fate
Their mission, should they choose to accept it- and why wouldn't they- was to come back to Lakonia and impregnate the most nubile young women of the land, so that a new generation of Spartan citizen-soldiers could be raised.
That is one way to solve the problem. I rather doubt it would fly in the current political and sociological climate, but one cannot deny that it would be pretty damned effective.
There is, in all of the gloom and doom, one piece of good news: religious folks apparently have not lost the desire to "go forth and multiply".
As David P. Goldman pointed out in his rather good book on the subject of civilisational collapse, Orthodox Jews, traditional and evangelical Christians, and (unfortunately) devout Muslims all enjoy much higher birth rates than their secular counterparts.
It doesn't matter whether you agree with their religious beliefs or not. It doesn't matter whether you like the idea of having 19 children. All that matters, in the end, is the unbreakable law that the future belongs to those who show up for it.
And the data tell us that the future will belong to much more traditionalist, more conservative, more K-selected types than are currently in charge.
That is not necessarily a bad thing if you think like we do. The problem is that the transition from where we are right now, with an aging population that is increasingly parasitical upon a shrinking base of caretakers and producers, will necessarily be filled with extreme hardship and considerable chaos.
Those, then, are the inescapable facts of our current predicament. What, then, is a self-aware man to do about this situation? Well, that is for Pt 2, if and when I get around to writing it.