The greatest crisis humanity will confront in the 21st Century isn’t global warming, or scarce resources, or nuclear proliferation or a super-virus which will ravage the planet or any of the other disasters – real or imaginary – that national governments and international bodies agonize over.
If current trends continue, we won’t run out of energy or other resources in the foreseeable future. But we will run out of people. This catastrophe will be the result of rapidly declining fertility, the Demographic Winter.
The fertility rate refers to the number of children the average woman has in her lifetime. In developed nations, a rate of 2.1 is needed just to replace current population. More, and you have population growth; less, and your population declines.
Worldwide, in 1960, the average woman had 5 children. Now, that number is 2.6 and falling. Every industrialized nation has below-replacement fertility. In Western Europe, the fertility rate is 1.5. According to the World Bank, Georgia’s fertility rate for 2012 was 1.82 – better that the European average, but still below replacement.
All other things being equal, with a fertility rate below 1.3, a nation will lose half its population every 45 years.
The Demographic Winter did not happen in a vacuum. It is a direct result of the Sexual Revolution — a phenomenon first manifested in the late 1960s, not coincidentally, about the time fertility rates began to fall.
The dogma of the Sexual Revolution – which has become ingrained social wisdom in the West – can be summed up as follows:
- Sex is the most important aspect of existence.
- When sex is consensual, it’s always good.
- The primary purpose of sex is pleasure, not procreation or spiritual connection.
- The primary purpose of life is pleasure
- Inhibitions lead to neuroses and must be overcome.
- Sex has nothing to do with morality or values and
- Sex should not only be guilt-free, but free of consequences – hence contraception and abortion.
My wife and I were in Montreal a few years ago. In a store window, we saw a T-shirt that said “Make Love, Not Babies.” That could be the slogan of the Sexual Revolution — except, it’s not even making love anymore, but what’s called “having sex.”
The prophets of the Sexual Revolution include “researchers” (who were more like missionaries) Alfred Kinsey and Masters and Johnson, pornographers like Playboy founder Hugh Hefner and feminists like Margaret Sanger.
The effect of the Sexual Revolution on fertility has been far-reaching and possibly irreversible.
For the first time in history, just under half the world’s population of child-bearing age uses some form of birth control. This year, the global contraceptives market will generate an estimated US$17.2 billion annually.
Generally this is financed by governments, corporations or international agencies. Many species have become extinct. Ours may be the first to finance its own extinction.
Worldwide, there are roughly 42 million abortions a year. That’s more than twice the number of military deaths in World War II – the bloodiest conflict in human history – except that, instead of a country’s soldiers killed in battle, these are casualties a nation inflicts on itself.
From a demographic perspective, we’re not just losing 42 million people annually, but also the descendants they would have had if they’d lived – children, grandchildren and so on. We are, quite literally, aborting our future.
The decline of marriage has affected fertility even more profoundly than abortion or contraceptives.
In the United States, in 2009, 41 percent of all births were out-of-wedlock. As these children mature (most in single-parent homes), they’re likely to continue the family tradition of not forming families.
Childbearing does not thrive in a climate of uncertainty. In 2008, in the U.S., 40 percent of all marriages ended in divorce.
And fewer and fewer are marrying in the first place. In France, in 2010, more people began living together than married.
In 1960, 72 percent of all US adults were married. By 2008 the figure had dropped to 51 percent. Among 18-to-29-year-olds – prime childbearing years – 59 percent were married in 1960, compared to only 20 percent today. Once a central reality of existence, marriage is now optional. Not surprisingly, fewer marriages result in fewer children.
Just as declining birth rates are the result of the Sexual Revolution, the later is a product of something called Cultural Marxism – a movement associated with Antonio Gramsci (of the “long march through the institutions”) and Georg Lukacs and the Frankfurt School, especially Herbert Marcuse. Cultural Marxism was their answer to the failure of worldwide revolution after the First World War.
Gramsci believed that family and church gave workers a “false class consciousness” that made them immune to the appeals of Marxism. In other words, they were proletarians who behaved like bourgeois.
So Cultural Marxists set out to destroy family and religion – and what better way to do that than to foster promiscuity and a society oriented toward mindless pleasure – movies, sports, food, fashion — rather than childbearing, family formation and the search for higher meaning.
While there’s no proof that dramatically declining fertility is what Cultural Marxists wanted, if you think about it logically that’s the natural consequence of undermining faith and family and a highly eroticized society where family ties are viewed as an obstacle to self-fulfillment and children as a burden.
We won’t find our way out of the forest of demographic winter until the Sexual Revolution is overthrown — its premises rejected, its prophets exposed and its dogma debunked.
Ultimately, the Sexual Revolution is about death — death through abortion, contraception (preventing life from happening), sexually-transmitted disease, pornography and promiscuity — in place of monogamous marriage and child-bearing.
To combat Demographic Winter, we must embrace a philosophy of life. The Bible says: “I have set before you this day life and death, blessing and curses. Therefore choose life, so that you may live, you and your children.”
Don Feder is Coalitions Director and Coordinator of Regional Conferences for the World Congress of Families. This is a speech he made recently at a WCF conference in Belgrade, Serbia.