We have heard and read so much recently about nuclear war, the arms race, acid rain and the inevitability of ecological disaster, that it is a relief to wake up in the morning and find that the world is still with us! I do not wish to deny that these are all serious dangers but I am not so sure about their inevitability. To take just one – nuclear war. Somewhere in the back of my head (or perhaps in the depth of my soul), there is a feeling that Almighty God is not going to allow some political nut to press a button which will wipe out His world and everything in it.
The real problem
If we are voting on what is the biggest problem facing the world today, my vote goes to population. Not the population “explosion” but the population “implosion” if I may coin a word.
Here are a few demographic facts which should arrest our attention. It takes an average of 2.1 children per woman to replace the population of any country over time, excluding immigration. This is obvious. If John and Mary have two children, they are just replacing themselves – provided the two children live to adulthood. But countless children die in infancy and childhood, so we need the “point one” of a baby extra to make up for the losses.
A grim spectre
But there is a spectre haunting Europe and the rest of the industrial democratic world. It is the spectre of “birth dearth.” The key fact of our era is that the important, free, powerful nations of the world are not producing 2.1 children per woman – not even coming close. In the United States the present rate is 1.8 children per woman; England is the same; France is 1.9; Japan 1.7; Italy 1.6; West Germany 1.4; Canada 1.7 going down to 1.5.
We’ve had all kinds of “firsts” in this century: first man in space; first man on the moon; first heart transplant, etc. Well, here is another first: this is the first time in history that a collection of nations has deliberately opted to drop below the necessary reproduction level. The Western World is refusing to reproduce itself. Consider the devastating effects if such rates continue.
West Germany’s present population is 62 million. At its present reproduction rate, by the year 2000 it will be 59 million; by 2050 it will be down to 38 million and by 2100 there will be only 20 million West Germans left. Other nations will dwindle in proportion. Apart from gigantic immigration from the Third World, this is inevitable.
You might say, “So what?” The answer is, “So plenty!” If present populations continue to decrease, as they must if there is not a dramatic reversal in the birth rate, there will be a mammoth and harmful social-welfare effect. A nation with very few children ultimately finds it impossible to pay its pension bills to the elderly. That means sharply higher taxes (or sharply lower benefits) resulting in social and political turbulence of a high order.
Is immigration the answer?
Immigration from other, more populous nations might appear to be the solution. But is it? I don’t think I am being racist when I say that I don’t believe the West Germans, or any other nation for that matter, would welcome their country being “taken over” by another nation – be they Polish, African, Chinese, etc. For instance, because of her diminishing birth rate, France has encouraged immigration from her former colonies in North Africa to keep up the work force. But most of the immigrants are Mohammedan from North Africa. Professor Tremblay, a French university professor mathematically estimates that by the year 2035, France will be virtually a Moslem country. At present there are more Moslem children in the French schools than Christian. The Moslems don’t believe in contraception, the French do!
The final solution
What is the solution to the dwindling population? Of course the obvious one would be a return to a “child-wanting” society and, consequently, a turning away from contraception and abortion. But I’m afraid that is not going to happen in the foreseeable future. I have a very uneasy feeling – this time in the pit of my stomach – that the solution will be sought in the murder of innocent human beings.
We began by refusing to have children. Then, when the “unwanted” children insisted on coming along, we killed them by abortion. Between abortion and contraception the cupboard has been rendered almost bare – not enough young people to provide for the older folks. This result is inevitable – more inevitable than nuclear war. “The mills of God grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly fine.”
Yes, euthanasia, man – and woman – can be very logical when it suits. If we have succeeded in rationalizing the killing of unborn babies by abortion and born babies by infanticide, why stop at granny? In a materialistic society she doesn’t count. She is just one of those “useless eaters.” And it is expensive to maintain her – so comes the inevitable query, “Why not?” That was the first question ever asked. And it was asked –and answered – in the Garden of Eden!