Gunnar Heinsohn is director of the Raphael-Lemkin Institute at the University of Bremen and author of Sons and World Power: Terror in the Rise and Fall of Nations, which seems to taken off in Conservative circles. His deeply weird (but not necessarily wrong) contention is that a nation's military power is a function of its "demographic armament". In previous times, The West stood strong because:
For centuries, the Western world had forbidden birth control and abortion. The only sexual act that was both legal and non-sinful was procreative intercourse. The result was youth bulges. Between 1500 and 1914, the population of Europe skyrocketed from 60 to 470 million because, Heinsohn said, "people only had two choices--becoming the parents of lots of children or a celibate life. Today they have many choices. For many wage earners, who often have no land to leave to an heir, remaining childless is a logical decision. And today it's women, too, who worry their careers will be harmed by having children."
In these days of smaller families and free women, The West is afraid to see its kids slaughtered, so times ahead are going to be rough for us.
Some of his other conclusions:
- Canadians are losing in Afghanistan because, slaughter the Taliban in their hundreds and they keep coming because they are outbreeding us, and they are outbreeding us because international aid makes for stronger and healthier, but unemployed, afghan sons.
- Similarly in the West Bank and Gaza:
"Western aid has enabled Palestine--where nearly every newborn is considered a refugee and provided with food and medical care by international agencies--to defeat Israel demographically."
In other words, letting the Palestinians breed safely allows them to add to their "demographic armament". Its almost like selling them guns.
-The Muslims are gonna be trouble. They're breeding like crazy, and we can only hope that people in the great Third World democracies (Brazil, India, and Mexico) can screw faster.
Not that I think the kind of demographic issues raised by political Conservatives are entirely unreal (most of the above comes from a Weekly Standard article), but demographics is still a social science and, as such, has a pretty dismal record of predicting the future. If you recall the predictions of ten years ago, we were all supposed to warring with our parents by this time, as the last of the money for our pensions went to buy mom a diamond encrusted walker. Mr. Heinsohn's musings seem more a distillation ideological convictions than an accurate analysis of the state of the planet.