Bloody Shovel 3

We will drown and nobody shall save us


It's hard to argue that modernity sucks when people are so mesmerized by their iphones and air conditioners, but there are some aspects of modernity which are quite easy to argue against. One being the aesthetic violence it inflicts on all of us with ugly architecture and the public promotion of sexual deviancy. And the other being low fertility. Funny how we live in the greatest era of all time, we are the smartest and holiest and happiest people the earth has ever seen, yet people can't seem to be bothered to have children.

Now the problem of low fertility is like the fall of the Roman Empire, everybody discusses what caused it, and there are hundreds of theories out there, yet none seems to fit quite right. And that's a problem, because we're supposed to to do something about it. The causes of the Fall of Rome aren't really that important (unless you think they might be useful to avoid the collapse of Western Civilization), but measures to raise the birthrate are a common policy problem in all modern countries. And yet we don't really know what's causing it, so most policy measures to raise the birthrate simply end up being a way to signal support and issue pork to whatever group has the upper hand in representing women with the bureaucracy.

The country most affected by low birthrate is Japan, not because it's the lowest in the world, although it's close, but because the process started earlier, so Japan is already losing population (although I think Germany is losing native population too). The Japanese government has been discussing the issue for decades, which of course hasn't helped a bit to solve the problem, but has produced tons over tons of studies and graphs and statistics of all sorts. The official population forecast graph is this:

What is says up there is that with current birthrates, by 2050 Japan will have a total population of 95 million, 8.2 million young, 49.3 million middle aged, and 37.6 million old people. And while 95 million people is still a whole lot of people for a country with barely 100k km2 of inhabitable land, well having 8 million youngsters against 37 million elderly is not good. Not good at all. Especially when those 37 million get pensions and free healthcare, and have a tendency to live up to 90 years old.

Now my first instinct is say: well stop paying the damn pensions. Especially when right now 60% of the assets in the country are owned by old people (at present 20% of the population). The average savings for an elderly household today in Japan is over 30 million yen. Yes I know they paid their money to the pension fund but they don't really need the money. And while it's grossly unfair to deny them a pension which was promised to them because the government spent it in pork for their cronies, surely it's more unfair to tax the dwindling young generation back to the stone age. All to raise funds to pay for the n eye surgery for 85 year old grandma.

But of course all politics are local, bureaucratic gridlock is what it is, politicians and bureaucrats are themselves increasingly old so nobody will touch the sacred pensions and healthcare. But the question remains: how do we pay the damn thing. To their credit, the bureaucracy has started to cut pensions and is talking on rising the retirement age. But of course they are also raising taxes everywhere they can. And then there's the big project. Raise the population!

To raise the population you need to: 1. Bring immigrants, 2. Put unemployed people to work, or 3. Raise the birthrate. As you might expect, the American embassy, the business community, the QUANGO lobbies et al. are extremely busy in trying to promote immigration to the country. "Japan is not for the Japanese", said the infamous Hatoyama Prime Minister, the son of a billionaire, Stanford educated, self-proclaimed freemason. Thankfully he didn't last long, and the bureaucracy has been very prudent about bringing immigrants. In the heyday of Japanese manufacturing, factory labor was lacking so Japan started a Gastarbeiter program to find workers. But instead of muslim Turks they had the sense of bringing back Brazilian Japanese, the descendants of Japanese emigrants who were sort sorta pushed out of the country in the poor postwar days.

It didn't work out very well, as many non Japanese Brazilians got in, and even the purely ethnic Japanese Brazilians had absorbed Brazilian culture all too well. It's a known problem in the country that the Brazilians refuse to learn the language and manners, are not stellar workers and pretty much a pain in the ass. Once Brazil started booming again a decade ago the government was fast in getting them to go back home, with mixed success.

After Japan run out of foreign kin to bring back to work, well it could only look for real foreigners. The bureaucracy pretty much delegated the whole idea to the business community, whose idea it was from the beginning. So Japan started a "training visa" system, which bring foreigners to work in farms or factories across the country with a special visa which ties you to your workplace, where they pay you whatever they want, not subject to minimum wage laws. As it I've heard of average wages of 300 yen per hour, which is between half and a third of the local minimum wage.

What's funny is that officially the system is not a guest worker system to help local industry. It's a "skill training project", which ostensibly teaches Japanese technology to third world people, so they can go to Japan, learn the stuff and get the fuck back to their countries. So they will introduce all those marvelous Japanese methods they have learned and promote goodwill with Japan in their countries. Right. As it is most people under this system were Chinese, but with higher wages in their homeland and bad relations between the countries the Chinese have been decreasing precipitously, and with Abe anti-China foreign policy, the focus is now on building friendship with Southeast Asia, so it's all Vietnamese and others coming now.

Still the numbers are quite small, with around 150k in total. They are trying to bring some more to build stuff for the Olympics, but there's this little problem with over 10% of the "trainees" going "missing", i.e. going to work in the underworld, usually employed by local mafias. Many are forced to, to pay for the mafias who arranged their going to Japan in the first place. And you can't pay the mafia loans working for 3 bucks an hour in a farm.

I used to get very riled up about all this talk on bringing immigrants to Japan, but I reached the conclusion that there's not that much to fear. The Chinese aren't coming anymore, so they can't take over, and who the hell is going to come anyway? Most of Southeast Asia has sub-replacement fertility already, so it's not like they have that many people to spare, and the working conditions in Japan aren't that spectacular. Working in Japan is notoriously harsh even for the locals, imagine how they treat a Vietnamese or Indonesian 85 IQ peasant. It seems the Japanese nation might be saved by the sheer nastiness of their business community and the very fortunate distance from Africa. Maybe the Japanese Islands were chosen by the Sun God after all.

Anyway so migrants aren't paying the pensions, what about the unemployed? Well there's a million hikikomori who are either autistic, borderline autistic or so messed up emotionally they just won't leave their rooms. So who else can we use? Well who but Japanese women! Again I guess the American embassy has been telling the Japanese bureaucrats that the 70% of Japanese women are working. Only 70%!! How dare Japan not put 100% of all its women to work? And so it sent the Huffington Post to create a Japanese version to shame the Japanese bureaucrats into putting their wives into offices so they can have sexual fantasies with their bosses. And young Japanese women are even more willing to stay at home than their elder sisters, no doubt because they have seen how pathetic the life of the working woman usually is.

Still, Mr. Abe needs American support for his militarization program so he has to play ball with American feminism, and he has announced a Great Plan to put woman to work. They are also pushing for a law to put a quota of women in corporate boards, so big bosses can give their wives and mistresses a job and double their vote power. What's not to like? Of course the problem is that women don't work because they don't want to work, and the usual policy to put them to work is to put more money into public daycare. Because mothers are just craving to leave their fluffy tiny babies to some education major dumb girl and go sit their asses in an office for 12 hours a day. The good life.

And anyway, just do the math. How many foreigners, and women working does Japan need to be able to pay their pension obligations? At least 10 million foreigners and 200% of women. Not gonna happen. It doesn't add up. It's just stupid American pressure and excuses for pork. The only long-term way out is raising the birthrate. And raising it big. Japan has very extensive stats on the problem, and the fact is that the overwhelming majority of married couples have 2 children.

So why is the birthrate in the 1.30s? Because 30% of people never marry. The herbivores and their spinster counterparts are legion, and growing. Now making those people have sex, marry and have children is a whole different problem from setting incentives to raise the birthrate. I won't go there, although most of you might imagine what should be done about them.

So the issue is how to get married couples to have more than 2 kids? Now that's a problem. It's a huge problem. First because the average age of marriage for woman is now 29. And children out of wedlock are still taboo in most of society here. Are people supposed to have 5 kids starting at 30? Not very feasible. So the issue is getting women to marry earlier. Which means that men would also marry earlier. And that isn't a very good sell.

Still, when you see all the stats on fertility rates around the world, any objective analysis tells you that the best indicator for low fertility is women education. Even Kuwait, Iran or Saudi Arabia have seen their birthrates plummet once they took their girls to school. While Afghans who treat their women like cattle while they bugger 10 year old boys have their womenfolk churn 7 kids on average.

One can imagine many mechanisms for women education lowering the birthrate. Women reading too many books doesn't seem conducive to them marrying early and submitting to their husbands. But then there's a deeper psychological reason which I just came upon while seeing my wife with my kid. I have a lovely child which is cute and fluffy and adorable and the best-thing-that-ever-happened-to-me, I won't bore you with the details. My wife is staying at home as she always wanted, and I'm happy she does.

Still for all our conservative inclinations the fact remains that babies are a huge pain in the ass. It's still totally worth it and I hope to have many more pains in the ass like this one, but it's a lot of work. Not just a lot of work but it's just disrupting of all the life rhythms you have grown accustomed to (the darn thing insists on going for walks every morning, in winter). Of course you could just call me and my wife lazy (as my mother does), and you'd be right. People always tell me my baby is the best behaved and best slepeer they've ever seen and that I have nothing to complain about. Still sometimes it just gets into your nerves.

I came back home one night and gave my wife some work of mine I wanted her to help out with. I expected her to complain about being tired and all, but to my surprise she accepted eagerly and was instantly focused on the computer. Then without looking back she just said: "you play with the baby" and put herself to work. Now as I was telling you she loves staying at home and has no intention of ever going back to work in an office, but she cherished that little piece of office work I just gave her. She was at ease. It surprised me how comfortable she just seemed.

Then it struck me: it shouldn't surprise me at all. My wife had gone to school for almost 20 years, then worked in an office for several years too, doing office work which isn't that different from school work. For 20 years her brain changed its wiring to optimize itself to do what it was asked to: work with a piece of paper or a computer screen and process information. And if you're good at school, as my wife was, means her wiring got very deep. Doesn't mean she enjoys it, but she's good at it. Aren't we all?

Now compare that same stuff we've been routinely doing for 20+ years of our time with taking care of a baby. Yes that's supposedly also hard-wired in women's brains, and it's quite a sight to see how naturally it comes to them. Still many parts of child rearing go against everything you've been doing for a very long time. Is it a wonder that some women prefer work to marrying early and having babies? It's probably just inertia.

Now compare that to a woman 200 years ago, or probably an Afghan today. You have a bunch of siblings, some of whom may die but most of whom will not, and since you starting walking and talking sense you've been put to work in the household. Ever since you can remember there have been babies in the household, and as a girl you've also taken part in taken care of them. You might have gone to school to learn your letters and numbers but you're much more familiar with babies than you are pencil and paper.

Then in your teens if you're in Asia, or your mid twenties in Europe you are married off, and have babies right away, which is what is expected of you. You take care of your babies with some other women helping out, but still you know what do you because you've been doing it your whole life. That's what women do. You're hard-wired for it and soft-wired too.

Compared to that the modern woman is far more accustomed to writing bullshit papers for school and having fun in her free time than she is about playing with babies 24 hours a day without any real leisure at all. I guess that's part of the rationale behind the bureaucratic push for expanded daycare worldwide. But the fact that your baby is annoying on occasion doesn't mean you're willing to leave it 12 hours a day with some complete bureaucrat stranger who is likely to have some weird theories from her days in university.

Any reasonable calculation to get Japanese (or any industrialized country in a few years) population growing again would need the average married couple to have 4 children. It's not going to happen. Not even Mormons do that. And yes I know the optimistic evolutionary theory that people who like babies will inherit the earth. I'm sure they will given a 500 year timeframe, and that's assuming the heritability of "liking babies" is very high. But mid term we're going to hell before we solve this.


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  • An ad has been playing on television imploring for donations to educate girls in third world countries. The ad asserts that if girls don't get educated, they will marry young and start churning out babies, which the ad writers evidently regard as a fate worse than death.

    I don't know if they have any direct evidence for this claim, but it is plausible - plausible that they will get married young and start churning out babies, not plausible that this is a fate worse than death.

    Here is a conjecture - that the default female expectation is that their job, on growing up, is housekeeping, sex, and baby making, "oh, boobs, time to make some babies and place them on the boobs"

    School teaches them something different.

    No school: What to do now? Sex and babies!

    School: What to do now? coursework!

    • To the extent that they churn out babies, those babies become liabilities for the Western NGO complex. Their countries won't be able to service their loans, and it'll be harder to expand any industries to those areas and actually get a self-sustaining return from all the infrastructure investments there.

      That's at least the rationale for the policy, and for the efforts by Gates-like philanthropists. This actually counts as reform compared to what the mainstream used to be. This will also fail, like the previous generation of aid-o-crats failed. If the West can't uplift its domestic African population through education, it most certainly cannot uplift foreign African populations through education. One would think that this logic ought to be obvious, but desire for moral preening has a way of overpowering rational thought processes, even among the best and brightest.

      The correct solution is to end aid, and not intervene when plague and war skim off the enormous quantities of people that have been kept alive by inane misplaced charity. After the conflict returns the populations to manageable levels, bringing back colonial management could make Africa and the rest actually habitable.

  • Amish had one hell of a fight with progressives over education. They absolutely did not want universal education beyond eight grade, which is to say, beyond age fourteen, beyond female puberty.

      • They won. Kids stay in Amish-run schools until eighth grade, then that's that, and their fertility rate is as high as ever.

        • They won… for now. However, I've held for a while that it's just a matter of time before Wisconsin v. Yoder is overturned. In support of that, see here [PDF], here, and the discussion here. (Also, this is tangentially related.)

          • Part of the reasoning here is that Amish laid off from their factory jobs can't compete in the labor market. The thing is, a high school education won't offer any sort of real advantage over an eight grade education with regard to most jobs (setting aside any sort of bureaucratically mandated preference for high school graduates). The evidence for this is pretty plain in that the Amish were able to obtain these manual labor jobs in the first place. The only thing that is different is that having joined the wider economy the Amish are subject to business cycles and a high school education probably won't do much to alleviate this. It's kind of absurd when you think about it: "The economy is down but don't worry I have an ace up my sleeve, my high school diploma! Who read Chaucer? This guy!" *points both thumbs at self*

  • Well, there's ONE first world country with universal literacy and high female employment where birthrates are not plummeting, and families with five or more children are quite common. Why do you think that is?

    As for why Western birthrates are plummeting, there are two reasons I can think of. First, people measure their enjoyment of life not on an absolute scale, but from peak to trough. For most people in the Western world, the lows just aren't that low, and the highs mostly involve a good jerk session to the internet. I mean, they live in a sort of aquarium where there is no privation. Shades of Calhoun's Rat Heaven ensue, because our minds are calibrated by evolution to functioning with extremes, feast or famine, violent death or starvation or disease never too far out of sight, and we are not adapted to the aquarium existence.

    The second is that once you've explained to everyone that god is dead, there is no real reason to seek suffering or glory. In fact, this life is now just a pointless jail term. Perhaps hanging yourself to make it end faster is a bit scary, and there are lots of temporarily exciting pastimes to occupy yourself while waiting for the end, but there is certainly no reason to make a bunch of children with all that implies.

    • Good old big theories are fun and all but I was looking for a closer, more mechanistic explanation. Doesn't mean you're wrong, but not very inviting to discussion.

      While I hope the best for your tribe and hope you make many babies, but are college educated, full-time working women really having 5 children? My understanding the fertility and the female employment are done by different sects so to speak. How can you possibly work with 5 children at home?

      • You're not going to get a more mechanistic explanation because this has to do with a part of the human being which is not mechanistic (I suspect that even those parts that are considered mechanistic are anything but that when you look at them closely.) Shades of the AI discussion at Jim's Blog right now.

        Yes, college-educated women who work are having 5 children or more. Examples: my neighbor's wife is working on her second Master's (the first one was in physiotherapy, this one is in neuroscience) and her fifth child. I assume they will have a couple more. Another neighbor's wife teaches and is working on her doctorate in education-they have 4 kids. Another friend of mine has a wife and six children. They are both coders, worked for Microsoft and freelanced over the last 15 years.

        What is needed to be able to sustain something like this is 1) the internal desire (which you need Judaism for-at least, Christianity and Islam seem to have completely collapsed in the presence of universal comfort,) and 2) either economic or social capital. Meaning, you need to be able to give your kids to the grandparents/day care/school without worrying too much that they will be abused or learn nothing. I know some people home schooling in the US, which is great, but requires some decent income or a self-sustaining lifestyle.

        In general, we have had our women working for about 1000 years, and have adapted pretty well.

        • So, in your sect, what proportion of women go into mainstream education after puberty. And of those that do go into mainstream education, how is their reproduction rate?

          • I don't know what "sect" means in this context. Orthodox Jews? Modern Orthodox Jews? Religious Zionists in Israel? The people in my immediate community?

            Of the latter, all women go to high school. Some drop out. Probably 90% get high school degrees, 60-80% finish their bachelor's. I haven't really noticed education correlate with reproduction rates.

            • I just wonder who's taking care of all those babies given that the mothers aren't really nurturing their baby caring instincts since childhood. Unless school doesn't take that much time.

              And don't just say "grandparents", if you have kids in your 20s your parents are working too.

              • Not sure I understand your question. Who's taking care of those babies when? There is day care, there are babysitters, there are older siblings, etc. Of course, for several months after birth, the mother is out of circulation, or at least not able to work/study full-time, and even normally might only be pulling 20-30 hours a week-but that's fine. The point is that we have a system where we can keep up near-Afghan growth rate without the downsides of the Afghan setup.

        • 60% of Israel's population, including 40% of the Jews, are ~90 IQ non-whites, breeding this demographic is no great accomplishment. The fraction of white Israeli's that do breed belong disproportionately to sects that discourage female education and employment. I suspect that the percentage of Israeli women that are both university educated and have over 2 children is not wildly divergent from that of the west.

          • I remember reading somewhere -- maybe in a Spengler column -- that secular Israelis are reproducing at well above replacement-rate, but of course that might be largely the effect of non-Ashkenaz fertility, as you suggest. But what if B's anecdotal evidence points to a real phenomenon -- a society in which educated women have babies? This would be worth thinking about. The fact that it's a warrior-society whose non-religious males generally have (it seems to me) ultra-Alpha personalities might suggest an explanation.

            • Secular Israelis are much more religious than secular Americans or Europeans, because they live, serve and work with religious Israelis. In the last 20 years, the active opposition of the Israeli Cathedral franchise to religion has not quite collapsed but has significantly fallen off.

              Non-religious Israeli males have ultra-Alpha personalities only in the movies. In reality, it's a spectrum, with plenty of non-Alphas (thankfully-a society of Alphas is Haiti.) But since serving in the military is the default, a certain basic standard of manliness is expected. Of course, most of the people who serve in the military do so in non-combat positions, but still. Judaism is definitely a religion which supports basic gender roles.

              • Secular Israelis are much more religious than secular Americans or Europeans, because they live, serve and work with religious Israelis.
                That's the biggest non-sequitur on 2 years of this blog. In most cases familiarity breeds contempt. If secular Israelis aren't as secular as they used to it's not thanks to proximity with the Orthodox.

              • > In most cases familiarity breeds contempt. If secular Israelis aren’t as secular as they used to it’s not thanks to proximity with the Orthodox.

                What I mean is that after the Orthodox endured the decades-long Cathedral assault on themselves* and flourished, the pendulum started swinging the other way. Once the secular Zionist project floundered, the Orthodox worldview started percolating over to the other side. And this includes having lots of children. It's like guerrilla war-in order to win, the guerrilla just has to not lose, and be seen not losing by everyone else.

                In other words, when your typical secular 28 year old woman with a master's or doctorate lives next door to big Orthodox families and sees the Orthodox woman with lots of happy kids every day, it's a big and constant stimulus to get married and have a few of her own. Maybe she will have 4 and not 8, but that's a lot more than she would have had if she just lived in a secular SWPL bubble. Add to that the fact that every Orthodox family has secular relatives and vice versa, and relations are generally not hostile, you start to get the picture.

                * -for instance. Whether the allegations are true or not, the reason they are believed is that this was entirely in keeping with the secular Zionist government's reasoning and behavior during those times.

              • But since serving in the military is the default, a certain basic standard of manliness is expected. Of course, most of the people who serve in the military do so in non-combat positions, but still. Judaism is definitely a religion which supports basic gender roles.

                The Cathedral regards masculinity as a discipline problem in schools, and a form of exclusion of women in the workplace.

                Could be that lack of masculinity and femininity are caujsing the problem. If this is the case, we would expect that white secular Jews in America would have a very low and rapidly falling reproduction rate, as indeed they do, while white secular Jews in Israel would have a reasonable reproduction rate.

                Do white secular Jews in Israel have a reasonable reproduction rate?

              • Depends on what's reasonable. 2.6 births per woman, up from 2.1 in the last generation:


        • In general, we have had our women working for about 1000 years, and have adapted pretty well.

          We're not talking about this kind of work. Women have been "working" everywhere else as well by this definition.

          • The Chofetz Chaim's wife ran the grocery store or whatever it was while he studied Torah and wrote. This sort of thing was fairly common, I think. Maybe this is what B means.

            • Working in the family encourages fertility, family restaraunt, family store. Working outside the family - and thus continually exposed to males higher status than one's husband, reduces fertility.

              • Only in a society where sexual liberty is considered acceptable. In other words, a tribe of bonobos. And once you've decided god is dead, a tribe of bonobos is what you've got.

        • That's... impressive. Freelancing with 6 kids... you gotta have them very well disciplined of u wanna get any work done.

          But yes extraordinary claims need detailed data. I'd love to see some stats.

          • Chartism!

            I can only tell you what I can see around myself. Stats tend to mislead, because they lump by superficial similarities. For instance,

            How do you freelance with kids? Well, the older ones take care of the younger ones (which is natural,) and if you have a community as opposed to an atomized society, they can all go play outside at all times when the weather supports it. Homeschooling or a decent school/daycare system allows you to send them off for most of the day.

            This is actually the way a normal human society has worked for most of the last several millennia. Most women did some kind of labor all day, and the kids helped out. The boys apprenticed to their father or entered some kind of education system as soon as possible. The girls generally helped around the house/with their mother's work. Sewing/knitting and coding are not that different as far as freelance work goes, assuming the woman involved has the necessary brains. Incidentally, task-oriented education works wonders when it comes to getting the necessary skills for employment without filling someone's head with unfalsifiable and maladaptive bullshit, and it's the core of traditional education.

            The current system is deeply toxic to family and society. It was designed this way. I recommend you read the Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto for the details.

            • Chart's are cool unless they are misleading on purpose. Like everything in life, I guess.

              I mean just basic data on average number of children for high school grads vs. bachelor vs. grad school, stuff like that.

              Last time I checked the Israeli average was 3, if you fellas are having 6 on average somebody's not having that many. Also rural vs. urban would be interesting to see, unless you're denying Sailer's theory of affordable family formation.

              • This is a highly charged issue in Israel, so I suspect any chart will be somewhat misleading on purpose. I haven't seen any data which is granular enough for my tastes. If I were you, I would contact the Technion-they seem to have some decent researchers on the subject.

                Some non-granular stuff (I would caution against drawing conclusions from it):


       Education/Compelling Content/Eye on Israel/Demography/Education as contraception.htm

                Sailer's theory is fine in the cultural, economical and demographic window where it applies: post-1950s American/Americanized societies with SWPL values and comfortable wealth levels. When it comes to people with non-Cathedral values, it breaks down. For instance, Mea Shearim and Bnei Brak are Haredi neighborhoods in Jerusalem and a suburb of Tel Aviv. Property values are extremely high. People still have as many children as they can, because they and their society see children as a blessing.

    • Those aren't the reasons at all. There's plenty of survey data suggesting that men want to have families and kids. The "death of god" itself is irrelevant as well. Plenty of non-monotheists have had lots of children. People can cook up any rationalization for having kids without god.

      What has happened is that the patriarchal social environment sexist enough for most men to be able to have kids has been destroyed, and large swathes of the male population have been effectively castrated.

      • I don't know man. I know plenty of men with feminine wives who respect them, but the guys refuse to have children. They'd rather have their leisure.

        • Average men today have less respect, power, dominance, and social status than they did before under a more patriarchal social environment.

      • >People can cook up any rationalization for having kids without god.

        while maintaining a civilized society in the presence of wealth? Good luck.

        • Men are less "wealthy" today in terms of the cost of reproduction, which is what's relevant here, than they were under a more patriarchal social environment.

          Monotheism itself is irrelevant. What's relevant is socially imposed monogamy. You can have monotheism without socially imposed monogamy, and you will not have high average fertility. You can have polytheism, paganism, secularism (cf. ancient Roman Republic) with socially imposed monogamy and you can have high average fertility.

          • monotheism without socially imposed monogamy, and you will not have high average fertility

            There's a whole lotta Muslims who serve as a counterexample. Unless you mean female monoandry.

  • Its very hard to find an h^2 under 0.5, and I think the selection strength is like 5-10x that seen with lactase persistence (itself a hell of a selective sweep). So I think the breedophiles take over in more like 175 years. Which still leaves time for a demographic meltdown in Euros and NEAs. I wouldn't be surprised if a heavy-handed state intervenes though at some point. What else are N-Eurasians going to do? dwindle and age until they submit to 90-IQ Southern empires with hardly more than AK-47s? Dumber things have happened, but I think the odds tilt against that one.

    Most of these new people will be very pious, so I would like to see more reverence directed toward the experienced world rather than towards hypothetical experiences after death, also more 'always be first & best' and less 'lame shall enter first'. If Christianity is to be a net positive it needs to refocus towards those healthier impulses.

    Barring cold fusion I think the economic world we know may be over by then (2214). Known uranium reserves are not that much greater than fossil carbon ones. There is quite a lot of thorium, but that is somewhat experimental, and synth-ing liquid fuels from its energy, en masse, might be extremely inefficient -- I know that using energy to free H from H2O is an ugly business -- so it may yield chiefly electricity. Which would be quite the adjustment to make. I still hope we can use it to reach the stars but I don't know. If we are stuck here, the world could still, at least potentially, be better than ever before with eugenesis.

    Strong AI is not in my story because I'm a strong skeptic, largely by intuition I admit.

    • One escape is genetic modification - synthesize good genes rather than breeding them. We have the technology map to get there, but it is running into the same diseases as killed Moore's law.

      (And no, Moore's law did not fail because it ran out of low hanging fruit. The low hanging fruit was 80 nanometer free electron lasers, direct write masks, and direct contact masks. If it was lack of low hanging fruit that ended it, they would have tried those things and failed. What we had was more akin to the space shuttle disasters, where we had failures from known, predictable and readily curable problems.)

    • A northern European society that does not go gently into that good night would be unimaginably different from today's society, where schools contemptuously denigrate reproduction, mothers, and home making, and continue to do so even when the government makes ineffectual measures to encourage reproduction.

      You would have to purge the left from Academia, which is the core step of the reactionary program.

    • What about sens like healthspan extension? If that technology starts becoming available then people can have children into their 60s without any trouble.

  • The short-term solution for Japan would be to just replace democracy with a powerful aristo-statism that can set BIG incentives for breeding.

    But we all know there are some pretty heavy prerequisites for that kind of thing ever happening.

      • So what changed at that time? The decline in TFR was quite precipitious: from 4,5 to 2 in ten post-war years.

        • I don't know for sure, but I suspect the expansion of higher education and the Americanized leisure that accompanied strong economic growth.

          • In the seventies TFR was already below 2 for a decade. It's actually interesting because if your observations and my reading of the stats is correct, and further drops in TFR were chiefly due to the rise in the numbers of childless/never-married people (I updated my stats post recently with Korosho's data on household composition — mean number of children per household has held almost constant at about 1.7-1.8 at least since the 80's), we have a case to study what changes don't drop TFR of those who actually bother to reproduce. Like Americanized leisure, maybe.

          • This tells me it's higher education then.


            • Um. 1960 is what, Showa 34? Take a look at the table here: I don't buy it that an increase in girls' high school graduation rate from 35% to 50% (and note that university entries only went up in the 70s) could drop TFR from 4.5 to 2. To me it feels much too drastic for a relatively small change. By the way, I bet there's been reams written on this topic in Japanese, but how to sort out the goods from the rubbish?..

              • I meant it to explain the recent increase in spinsters, not the 1947-1957 fertility drop.

                Best guess is that the economy was expanding like crazy, and rapid urbanization cut the old rural clans people relied for childcare.

                • Japanese and German fertility drops under occupation USA fertility booms in the same period Does prosperity and leisure have opposite effects in the USA than in Germany and Japan?

                  Looks like an intended effect or side effect of anti fascist social engineering. Subsequently the social engineers apply the same things in the US.

              • Prosperity and leisure does not reduce baby making. It increases baby making.

                Japanese fertility plunged to low levels earlier than the US, It plunged a few years after occupation. So, if it plunged as a side effect or intended effect of US social engineering, it is plausible that they would have applied those measures earlier and more vigorously in Japan.

                We know that the US intended a major cultural change in Japan - not to prevent babies, but to prevent fascists. Could be preventing babies was a side effect. Herbivores do not attempt to conquer the pacific. Neither do they make babies.

            • This tells me it’s higher education then.

              I don't believe it is higher education. Rather, higher education by social engineers.

              One symptom of the program to raise female self esteem and lower male self esteem is artificially inflated female grades. This program, carried out by a variety of means, naturally has the effect of making males less attractive, and thus baby making less attractive.

              I think higher education is only primary in that that is the primary power center of the social engineers - which is particularly visible in Iran

          • Can't you see social engineering in front of you? What I see was that in the early sixties "in loco parentis" was replaced by "Sodom and Gomorah", and, later in the sixties, affirmative action education, grades, and degrees to build female self esteem (and depress male self esteem)

            I am not sure when adult masculinity came to be denormalized, that was after 1970, so possibly a bit late to be a causal factor.

            • Failed to read context. I was talking about what happened in the US in the sixties. I should have been asking about what happened in Japan in the late 40s.

  • Jonathan Last's recent book, 'What to Expect When No One's Expecting," discusses the fertility issue in detail. He mostly agrees with what you're saying, but is more moderate on the female education issue.

    You may be interested to know that the fertility projections you're quoting are actually pegged to an overly-optimistic projection by the UN, per Last, and that the demographic die-off in Japan and Germany is likely to be far more severe.

    I reviewed the book here:

    Your observation about your wife is apt: for a few generations now, the state has optimized for extracting resources from female labor in the present at the expense of their aptitude as mothers and home-makers. There are also of course many industries, like that of Divorce Inc., that makes money by encouraging women to loot their families, damaging the future value of their children in an economic sense, and further mutating society towards a short time orientation.

    • Both where I'm from and where I live, alimony and child support is a non-issue. There's no no-fault divorce in Japan for example. Doesn't happen. Yet fertility is even lower than in the US. So it can't be that.

      Unless my math is very mistaken the official stats are just an extrapolation of the present 1.30 rate. It's been picking up slightly so it's unlikely to drop further, and losing 30 million in 35 is quite severe indeed. Time to short real estate companies.

        • China has no democratic package but their gender relations are as bad as anything in the west. Fertility in the big cities being 0.8 or so. And kids go to their fathers in case of divorce!

  • The Japanese situation is merely a variant on the same theme in the West and in wealthy countries: Young men can't afford to form a family and society disintegrates starting with the bedrock of society in all sexual species.

  • It simply is not plausible that an increase in the cost of real estate, as certainly occurred post-1973, would have virtually no impact on the total fertility rate -- all else being equal. The "McMansion" argument, while appealing, really isn't adequate. People have been paying huge sums of money, in real terms, for houses no more luxurious than the Levittown "boxes made of ticky tacky", relative to the prices for those homes in the 1950s.

    An alternate explanation, more in line with "feminism", as well as being in line with the data presented, is what might be called "household patriarchy" which takes on two basic types:

    Environmentally imposed patriarchy and socially (culturally) imposed patriarchy.

    Basically, if the social status of the male in the household is high, the female will tend to become pregnant by him. This has the benefit of not only explaining the data, but also of plausibility:

    Starting in the 1960's the social status of males started declining substantially -- even more so for white males in the West. Certainly television had a role to play here -- perhaps THE major role. And, certainly, a rise in a woman's TV commercial-driven expectations of her husband's earning power would tend to lower his status in the household. But there were other forces lowering masculine household status and some of those forces were also coming over the TV from indifferent and hostile elites located thousands of miles from the affected household.

    The data most interesting here are the by-State fertility rates in the US topped by Utah and Alaska. Utah's Mormonism imposes patriarchy in the household socially by declaring as a matter of religious principle, the husband to be the moral equivalent of Christ in the home. Alaska's harsh environment imposes patriarchy in the household. Of course both of these states are increasingly subject to the fertility suppressing influences, but relatively speaking they've tended to best.

    • The Mormons tend to reverse the general trend by having higher fertility rates among the college-educated women (if I recall, the rank ordering of births per women is something like some college > college degree > high school degree > advanced degree.

      Religiosity and fertility rates is a chicken-and-egg problem, but here it makes sense that the more educated women are buying more into the Mormon package of doctrine.

      • Yes, good point. It's not female education per se that reduces fertility. There are Mormon women who are highly educated and still have lots of kids. It's the type of indoctrination that characterizes education that's critical. There are Mormon women who are educated while still being under Mormon patriarchal indoctrination. For most people these days though, "female education" involves being indoctrinated into non-patriarchal ideology.

        • Exposure to western soap operas has an effect similar to higher education for women. Therefore it is not mathematics and Shakespeare causing the problem.

  • The mechanism involves the destruction of socially imposed monogamy/polygyny suppression. With agriculture and civilization, there is a caloric surplus introduced that changes the environment which previously had an ecologically imposed monogamy/polygyny suppression. A hunter-gatherer lifestyle in an environment with winters has an ecologically imposed monogamy/polygyny suppression as males can't afford polygynous or heavily polygynous lifestyles. The caloric surplus of agriculture changes this, and a socially imposed monogamy/polygyny becomes necessary as a cultural adaptation to replicate the older environment. This cultural adaption involves patriarchy, whereby the primordial group—the family—is rendered stable by the civil authorities deliberately portraying, through any means necessary, the male of the heterosexual pair bond as worthy of reproduction in the female’s eyes and the male is provided sufficient paternal certainty and resources to honor his role as sovereign to his family. Family formation and reproduction when this adaptation is attacked or destroyed.

  • Monogamy, or more accurately, the suppression of of polygyny, is an artifact of technology which allowed us to expand into other climates (i.e. harsh climates with low carrying capacity) where female dependence on male technology for reproduction was a fact of life.

    So if the individual male is no longer the primary provider, then it's Africanization time.

    The pressure toward de jure polygyny is actually from the females although they would never admit it. Many women simply cannot maintain a fertile relationship with a man who they perceive as genetically a dead end—which, in the current vicious environment, is any so-called “nice guy”. But neither can they admit to themselves what, exactly, is bugging them. So many end up with no children at all. Moreover, many women who end up being kicked out of their positions as concubines to the managerial state—usually right around the age they are starting to run a risk of "difficult" pregnancies—would be far better off if they were in a real harem with relationships with fellow concubines and their children that are not going to be terminated just because they are no longer fertile.

    • Africans breed plenty so Africanization isn't depressing the fertility rate. Nor is real estate prices: controlling for income real estate isn't more expensive than in 1900s when dirt poor malnourished people had several kids per couple.

      People just don't wanna have them. I could have provided for 5 kids already at my age if I'd really wanted to. Didn't cross my mind though.

      • Africans relatively flourish in Africanized social environments. Those are the social environments they are adapted to and evolved in:

        Real estate prices have gone up. Real estate prices are a component of the cost of reproduction, which has gone up significantly. The cost of reproduction was much lower in the 1900s when dirt poor malnourished people had several kids per couple because of the patriarchal social environment.

  • Education reduces fertility in several ways:

    By indoctrinating women with anti family, anti home maker, and anti fertility views - progressivism being a religion inherently hostile to fertility.

    By giving women entertaining interests other than sex, status building activities other than motherhood, and work less stressful than babies.

    By raising the status of women relative to their husbands - a woman is reluctant to get pregnant to a relatively low status male.

    What evidence do we have to disentangle these factors?

  • High status and freedom for women leads to low birth rates.

    A bit of background on it:

    The basic mechanism is female desire is either a man is higher status than her, or the man is violent and savage. When the normal order has been reversed and women are equal or higher status than most men there are very few men suitable to be her mate. Leading to a state where women have few if any children because they can’t find a high enough status man or they have children with the most savage men they can find.

    Japan can solve their problem the same way Sparta did. Reduce women’s status, revoke their rights, and return to patriarchal families and the population would start increasing immediately. Romania under the communists discovered similar problems with women rights and did a flip flop on the issue when the birth rate dropped like a stone.

    Education is the tool used to implant feminism (women’s rights and freedoms) into young girls minds. Which is why cultures that want to continue to existence fight so hard against female education.

    Please delete my dupe post.

    • Dude, I know. I don't understand why you people would think I don't know. I'm not talking about the big ideological background. That might explain why 30% of Japanese women are unmarried.

      It doesn't explain why married women have 2 children but not 3. I know plenty of savage psychopathic men whose women aren't having 5 kids either. It's not that simple. The Afghans aren't having 7 kids either because they LOVE their pederastic husbands.

      Any link on the Romanian stats? How much did it increase?

      • In your post you note that even the 70% who marry do so late and therefore couldn't have 5 kids even if they wanted to. So if the lower-male-status thing contributes to late marriage then it would lower the birthrate in this way as well. (By 29 a woman who wants a kid is willing to settle for a lower-status male.) But this still leaves open the question of why men whose wives seem to "respect" them (as you put it in a reply above) don't want to have more kids. Maybe the answer is that they can't assume that their wives will be the primary kid-caretakers and, being normal men, don't want to end up in a motherly role?

        • Well what do you see around you?

          I tell you what I see: I don't see patriarchal men who crave large families but find their feminist wives won't submit to them. No. I see men who are put off by child rearing, who resent their wives losing the old flirtatious sex appeal before having kids and who would rather spend their money in a flashy car than in having more kids.

          I think on average it's women who push men to have the 2 kids, and men reluctantly go on with it. The 3rd is just too much trouble for both, for different reasons.

          • In my social circle, I see white couples getting married and proudly proclaiming that they're never having kids. These are not people for whom having children would realistically change their lives in a radical way, aside from obviously the pregnancy and birth itself. There's definitely anti-natalist cultural programming going on. However, your point about conditioning is a good one although you need to disaggregate the two effects. Education conditioning does not necessarily preclude assisting in childcare (except obviously for the part of the day spent in school).

            • Yes, of course, I know religious families with 10 kids, and they go to school all the same. But being raised in a small-ish family without babies and spending most of your day in school does reinforce the alienness of childcare.

              I also see plenty of couples who are just too addicted to being in love and travelling the world and won't let a baby spoil their fun. At least my acquaintances don't get married though, so they're consistent at that. I think it's mostly a European thing though, the American obsession with marriage is quite bizarre.

              • How many days a year do these people spend travelling? I know some people who cite their love of travel as a reason not to have kids, but it seems to be mostly theoretical - these people travel maybe a week once every two years.

            • Europeans have long vacations so 1 month a year is quite common. Hey I'd like to be surfing in Thailand too. But I'd rather have a family.

            • In my social circle, I see white couples getting married and proudly proclaiming that they’re never having kids.

              And they say it with a consciousness of being holier than thou, similar to people claiming to be vegan. (Actual vegans are physically ill. If they are not ill, they are lying about being vegan)

              That is progressive religion, pure and simple. Schools teach it, people conform to it. That is compelling evidence that the decline in fertility is largely religion, and that religion is our official state religion, progressivism.

            • These are not people for whom having children would realistically change their lives in a radical way, aside from obviously the pregnancy and birth itself.

              Oh, please. What changes with having kids isn't about the money, it's about time. I have two kids. I have had to scale back a *lot* on most of my social activities because of that. Admittedly, I could probably spend more time socializing with other couples with kids than I currently do, but that's not the same thing.

              I'm in the San Francisco Bay Area, and mostly, the educated people I know who get married are at least planning to have kids soon thereafter. A few have failed to do so, but I know very few couples who got married while still fertile not intending to have at least one kid.

  • No more Joo talk please.

    To the extent that the Orthodox Jews have a functioning high fertility society which works in a modern society, i.e. no Amish medieval farming, I'm all ears.

    • Are you going to delete the Jewish Supremacist's comments too then, or just those who dispute his claims?

      • That Islamic countries fertility has been declining precipitously is a known fact. And I have a personal antipathy towards non-western Christianity so please don't mention it.

        You can contest all claims you want, but don't just yet another fucking thread on Jews poisoning Western culture while they enjoy their Nazi paradise in stolen land. It might be true for all I care but it doesn't belong to this post.

        If you're gonna tell B that there's plenty of minority Christian churches who are plenty fertile, and plenty of Jews who aren't having much kids, so fertility is not about the superiority of Judaism, hey you have a great point. But no need to go further. I'm happy having hedonism as our common enemy, even if we disagree about its causes.

        • Well I don't know about hedonism, but I think it's worth looking at what Israel is doing because Jews outside of Israel are obviously following the trends of whites in Western countries. I think having an official government-sponsored culture focused on the supremacy of the Jewish Race and the desirability of the continued survival and growth of the Jewish Race is the most important thing they're doing. You can blame hedonism, but if you got rid of hedonism what would you replace it with? You need some kind of pro-natalist message, and that needs to have some aspirational purpose to it. We Need More Kids To Pay Old Peoples' Pensions doesn't seem like it will light a fire in people.

          Also, I am skeptical about hedonism because I'm a believer in Brian Caplan's "Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids". The question is, how did we get to be a culture where children are seen as a boring drag on life when actual parents overwhelmingly find them to be a source of profound joy?

          • Fertility rates in Israel seem to follow membership in hardcore Orthodox sects, rather than allegiance to the supremacist Jewish state. I'm sure having your government promote the ethnic purity of the country does help to some extent, but I don't think it's the dominant dynamic. Haredis in NY are breeding mighty well, and AFAIK not few of them think the state of Israel is a devil-brought heresy.

            Of course I know what to replace hedonism with:

            I've seen plenty of parents who find their kids a boring drag, chains that blocks their aspirations of higher status, a burden that prevents them from chasing better romantic partners. Doesn't mean they don't find them a source of joy too sometimes, but the extent to what children bring you joy also depends in your basic assumptions. The fact is people could have 3 kids but overwhelmingly choose to have 2.

            • Fertility rates in Israel seem to follow membership in hardcore Orthodox sects, rather than allegiance to the supremacist Jewish state.

              The problem is that there is not a supremacist Jewish state - and there should be. According to B., secular Jews in Israel are doing OK, while secular Jews in the US have drunk more of their own poison than anyone.

              It could well be that the reason that secular Jews in Israel do OK is that Israel gets a little bit of slack from the Cathedral.

            • Thanks for the link; now I know what you're thinking about. But can you wrap the no-theological-pressure problem together with the pork theme of the last post and the weirdness of the progressivist ideological movement (especially feminism), into a neat package? Have you done so in a previous post?

              • Mmm I don't that package would be that neat to be honest. And my views on the effect of theological pressure have changed somewhat.

                And progressivism is evil but I don't see how it's weird. Though it does produce weird specimens.

                • And progressivism is evil but I don’t see how it’s weird. Though it does produce weird specimens.

                  It is a strange belief system, and steadily getting stranger. The natural consequence of phariseeism. If ever lefter, how left can you go? You have to invent new ways to be more left.

        • It's actually a legitimate point in this context, because Orthodox Judaism is not a self-sufficient, self-sustaining culture. It's a parasitic culture that depends on other populations, whether in Israel or outside it:

          Unlike the Amish, who work their own lands and are self-sufficient and self-sustaining.

      • Are you going to delete the Jewish Supremacist’s comments too then, or just those who dispute his claims?

        I don't see B. is any more Jew supremacist than Anarcho Papist is Roman Catholic supremacist.

        B. thinks Judaism is the one true religion, and should be the state religion of Israel. Unfortunately Progressivism is the state religion of Israel. I think states should be ethnostates, and each ethnostate should have an official ethnostate religion, with outsiders tolerated, but not allowed into senior government jobs or the best universities, let alone affirmative actioned.

        So Jews being supreme in Israel is just fine by me.

    • Alright, roger, 14/88.

      Since I'm getting a bit longwinded, I will try to summarize. To fix a disease, you need to understand its pathology.

      What you've got was predicted by Nietzsche when he went on about The Last Men. Then it was modeled in rats by Calhoun. Now you have the pleasure of living it. If you want to know how to beat it, you have to look at the original source document where its cause and remedy are laid out.

      I will put up a post on my blog talking about it with source quotes.

  • Islam certainly has not collapsed.

    Some variants of Islam have suffered collapse of birthrates, others have not

    Meanwhile, Christian populations in non-Western countries continue to have high birthrates.

    Phillippines, which has old style divorce laws and high fertility- the Phillippines being good evidence for the centrality of divorce law to the collapse of fertility.

    Israel and the Phillippines have comparable divorce laws, and comparable fertility.

    People may be reluctant to invest in children too much if they cannot trust that their partner will stick around.

    • You gotta be kidding. Phillippines is the closest thing to Africa in Asia. I'd like to know how many Filipinos actually provide for their children. My bet is less than the Japanese suckers who marry the Filipina whore migrants who take their money to send it home.

      Japan and Korea have old style divorce laws, low divorce rates, and the lowest fertility on earth. People aren't rational enough to make life decisions according to the legal framework. It's not the law. And it's not religion.

      • People aren’t rational enough to make life decisions according to the legal framework. It’s not the law. And it’s not religion.

        When did the fertility rate drop? In the US, from 1960 to 1980 - feminism and the sexual revolution. No fault divorce both caused and was caused by these changes.

        • Japan had sexual revolution without no fault divorce, the birthrate declined all the same. Philippines is the whorehouse of Asia so it's obvious it had it's own sexual revolution, although the birthrate didn't decline as much because of its primitive mating system.

  • Meanwhile, Christian populations in non-Western countries continue to have high birthrates.

    Uganda? South Korea? Paraguay?

    Black Christianity is subhuman, South Korea is not really Christian, and to the extent that they are, their Christianity is progressivism, and Latin American Christianity is two fifths Marxism and one third paganism. However, Filipino Christianity is doing OK.

    • Whatchoo know bout twerkin in church?! Whatchoo know bout The Reverend Creflo Dollar?!!

      The South Koreans I grew up around were quite seriously Protestant, which didn't get them reproducing. It is true-Latin American Christianity has lots of ported characters from pre-Christian pagan religions. Much like European Christianity has lots of ported characters from pre-Christian European religions. Quetzalcoatl, Baldur, whatever-none of it seems to make a difference when it comes to getting those numbers up.

      Feminism and the sexual revolution are only logical outcomes of god being dead. If god is dead, never was alive, we are flesh machines, then the logic is Epicureanism. Maximum enjoyment is the only purpose for life. Since most people's enjoyment involves eating delicious foods and having sex with exciting partners, any limitation of these constitutes an assault on their very existence

      • Feminism and the sexual revolution are only logical outcomes of god being dead.

        Timing seems off: Darwin killed God in the late nineteenth century. Sexual revolution was 1960 to 1980.

        One explanation of the sexual revolution was improved contraception technology, but this does not fit the case of Japan, where the improved variants were delayed by the medical bureaucracy.

        I would say that in 1960, progressivism adopted a policy of equality inside marriage thus, divorce laws changed to alter the threat point in favor of women, the invention of X-rape, where X can take an ever growing range of values, the television and movie assault on husbands and the denormalization of masculinity.

        The world official religion strengthened its anti marriage, anti birth position, and lo and behold, marriage was delayed and births fell.

        • It takes time for these things to filter down. The sexual revolution was just the final mainstreaming of attitudes held by the elites like the Oneida Community in the late 19th century.

          Darwin, by the way, did not kill god. Utilitarian Universalism killed god. Utilitarian Universalism is the natural outcome of Protestantism, Protestantism is the natural outcome of Christianity, therefore, in an inevitable dialectic process lasting millennia, Jesus killed god. Which was apparently Christianity's historic mission.

          • It takes time for these things to filter down. I agree with this in general. You usually see the extent of a paradigm shift when the first generation that grew up immersed in it since birth reaches adulthood. It can be something trivial like the invention of the butterfly style in ice hockey goalkeeping or something significant like the sexual revolution we're discussing.

            Without taking account the exact historical causes of it, I'd see the sexual revolution from the 60's onwards as being the paradigm shift, and the topic of this post as one of its effects now that the chickens have come to roost.

            therefore, in an inevitable dialectic process lasting millennia, Jesus killed god. Lol, nice lawgic trap.

      • Those South Koreans became more monotheistic while they became less traditionally Confucian and the patriarchal social environment relatively declined.

  • I think you're on to something with the last paragraphs of this post.

    The effect of cultural imprinting is sometimes neglected when we focus on the genetic essentialism in the HBD worldview. While women do have a strong innate nurturing instinct, it is also clearly affected by the cultural environment they grow up in. In a culture that does not actively boost motherhood and childrearing, that nurturing instinct will atrophy or manifest itself in destructive ways. If a large, healthy and steady family is the definitive measuring stick for a woman, she'll be more inclined to gravitate towards that. If the measuring stick is altruist universalism and emotional fulfillment, she'll be more inclined to direct her misfiring nurturing instinct towards teaching the alphabet to some Korean Negroes in the middle of Amazonas.

    Foseti once loosely quoted his wife remarking that no one ever - or at least during the impressionable college age years - told her that there's a chance she'll really enjoy having and taking care of her children. It was always framed as a burden, something that shackles you down, the standard feminist view, really. I've seen this with my GF as well. Until her 20s, she wanted no part with children at all, until she actually spent a significant amount of time with a relative of hers who had two toddler daughters at the time. That planted a seed that fully burst recently when one of her closest friends had a baby and my GF spent one afternoon pushing the stroller around town with her friend. Now it's a foregone conclusion that if I wife her up, we'll have kids.

    You've probably noticed that pregnancies are contagious within a social circle (as are divorces, unfortunately). Women are malleable that way.

    But yes, there's a shitload of other factors as well. I believe there's something to the flipped man-woman status angle, especially in the sense that the inflated status of women makes them more unwilling to get married when they're at the top of their game in their early 20s, and unless they're impulsive and careless, they won't get pregnant at that time either.

    I'm probably around your age, spandrell, and while I could also have had 5 kids by now, this is the first time in my life that I'm dating someone I see as a reasonable bet to start a family with. The option has been on the table previously with previous girls but I've always bailed out, which was the correct decision to make in hindsight. Getting hitched to a knife-edge alcoholic is a losing proposition, and if that's what you can attract from the opposite sex, the right play is to fold and try again later. Life's tough for a late bloomer but that's how it is.

    As for why the couples that do get married have the 1-2 kids instead of 3 , here are some ideas off the top of my head: * The severed link between children and future support. When welfare is outsourced to the state, other peoples' children fit the bill just as well. That's what a lot of welfare programs amount to, right? Kicking the can to the next generation. * General anomie, ennui, lack of pride, whathaveyou about the larger society people live in. If god is dead, our nations just lines on a map, and our history a litany of oppression, what's the point of anything outside aimless hedonism? For me, wanting to have children is obvious because I'm proud of my lineage and what I am. I also both want to, and feel a duty towards continuing that legacy to the next generation. But that's an iconoclastic view these days. * The lack of tradition towards childrearing. This is a bit of a rehash of my earlier paragraphs but it affects both men and women. When we are 'liberated' from the obvious life script of growing up, getting work and having kids, it turns out not so many actually want to do that after all. Not that their choices are necessarily any better. This can be tied down to one of your main insights: that most of what we 'decide' to do is mostly determined by what's going on outside our rational and conscious thought processes. I'm fine thinking that the vast majority of us are heavily influenced by what we pick up to be prudent through social osmosis. * Overpopulation. Doesn't seem to have much effect in the r-dominant tropics, honestly, so probably not much of an universal factor. Maybe susceptibility to overpopulation would be restricted to more K-selected temperaments, and maybe even then only in eras of internal cohesion. If inter-tribal conflict returns and the commons start to get tragedized, you want your tribe to pick the largest piece of whatever is left, consequences be damned.

    • I hear you, I hear you. It's never too late to get 3 kids though, so get to it already.

      I hear a lot the idea that "children are too expensive", and they are if you want to get them into Harvard of course. But that's also part rationalization: I just think most modern mothers just don't want the extra trouble that a third kid means. It's the Margaret Thatcher mindset: I'm happy I had twins so I could finish childcare soon and get back to business.

      • KK's point about people being "'liberated' from the obvious life script of growing up, getting work, and having kids" joins together with the "death of god" theme in an interesting way: religions motivate people to follow this script, a script that belongs to the larger idea of Natural Law. People do have a natural desire to connect with eternity in some way, the idea of conforming to Natural Law seems to offer a way to achieve this connection, and religions make the idea of Natural Law plausible enough to act upon. Thanks for emphasizing that feminism can't explain the reluctance of men who already have women to make babies with them. Disbelief in Natural Law due to an absence of religious reinforcement seems to be the key factor here, as I believe you've been urging. But I don't think that fear of hell (which you seemed to emphasize in your 2011 post, linked above) has ever played a large role in motivating men to follow KK's "life script"; rather, a desire to connect with eternity, or to join the eternal flow, has been the main factor. The image of joining eternity is continuous with the image of a happy afterlife, but the image of a happy afterlife need not be the focal point. This is why religions that emphasize a historical Plan unfolding through a succession of many generations rather than an individual happy life (although the latter may be a supplementary feature) can successfully motivate people to have children.

  • Regarding Orthodox Judaism, it's not a sustainable general model for everybody because it's a parasitic culture that depends on feeding on other populations, both in Israel and in diaspora:

    Everyone and every group can't behave parasitically, otherwise there won't be any hosts.

    • For all I know they're supposed to take advantage of gentiles. How parasitic are they in their own land?

      I know plenty of 8 child families in Europe. Weird Catholic thing. Don't seem parasitic to me. I don't think the Orthodox family model is very different.

    • I am not sure why I'm bothering to answer, but Kiryas Joel is not at all representative of Orthodox Jews in America, let alone Israel.

      First, Kiryas Joel is a Satmar enclave in upstate New York. Next door to it, there is Monsey, which is three times bigger and just about as Orthodox Jewish, with a median household income of $45K per year. KJ is atypical, but it makes for a great stick to poke the Jews with, so, it's famous.

      Second, the same Satmar Hasidim who inhabit KJ have a sizable population in Israel. Here, they take nothing from the government as a matter of principle, considering it an immoral entity.

      • One of the measures taken by KJ (perhaps to increase fertility) is that male children are never under female authority other than their mothers. Female bus drivers cannot drive male schoolchildren. (This is a Pauline directive, so Christians should do it, rather than Jews.)

        This is consistent with the theory that feminization of males (see herbivores) is a major factor depressing fertility.

        • This measure is not enacted by many other Orthodox communities, with no matching effect on fertility.

          It is probably a good measure, but not essential for this parameter.

          • Yet the KJ community has substantially higher fertility than other communities, so I would say it likely does make a substantial difference.

            Psychologically, it seems likely to make a large difference. Consider the Japanese herbivore for the opposite extreme.

      • Kiryas Joel is just one of the most egregious examples of a general parasitic culture that's not sustainable for everyone to adopt. Such a culture depends on there being other people not behaving in such a way.

      • As I understand it, Kiryas Joel and similar communities are "ultra-orthodox", not just Orthodox. In the U.S., regular Orthodox Jews tend to be economically similar to Conservative and Reform Jews, except with more kids. Though not as many as the ultra-orthodox.

        Again as I understand it, in Israel, the ultras (Satmar, Lubavitch, etc) use being Talmud scholars to avoid military service, and are over-represented in the settlements in the Palestinian-occupied territories, which means they're getting government subsidies of some sort, too. It's become a political issue, but most Israeli governments need the support of the ultra-orthodox parties, so they don't fix the problem.

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