It appears that those who wish to run or help shape the world, or their little corner of it, must fling themselves out in some fashion and be a part of the action. But there is a fuller truth about the matter: the full truth is that those who run the world — eventually — are those who have the most babies. History confirms that there are no exceptions to this claim.
I understand that most Americans are busy making a living and raising families, but how I wish that we could pause long enough to realize that history is happening right under our noses.
Whether the heavy hand of time is pressing down on us with troubles and trials or leading us through the sunny uplands of life, it is still sweeping gently along. While history is happening, some are oblivious to it, others prefer simply to watch, it, while braver souls show up and dare to direct its path.
One thing that is happening now is that certain people groups are having lots of babies and other people groups are not. Americans are not.
In an article titled “Too Busy to Have Babies” in Spectator Magazine, Eleanor Mills recently wrote, “The fact is that girls like me — healthy, hearty, middle-class women all in their 20s — are just not breeding.” And why not? Because, Mills continues, “My generation’s twin preoccupations are, unfortunately, looks and money.” Mills’ outlook is now prevalent in North America, Europe and even Japan. The more advanced nations are having fewer and fewer babies.
What happens when a nation’s or a civilization’s population begins to stagnate or fall? What is the effect of writers like feminist Toni Morrison, whose writings are required reading in virtually every college freshman English class in the country, and who once scornfully declared, “The little nuclear family is a paradigm that doesn’t work?” What happens when there is a bias against babies? The findings of every major sociologist indicate that nations die.
To approach the issue conversely, consider some historical examples of nations that did breed and thereby improved their station in life, if but for a while.
For 300 years, the Romanov dynasty ruled Russia. It was the Romanovs whom the Bolsheviks (Communists) overthrew in 1917. Over their 300-year reign, the Romanovs allowed not a hint of political participation. (It was safer not to show up then.)
At the pinnacle of this wealthy family’s reign, peasants made up 97 percent of Russia’s population. Lenin and the Bolsheviks overcame the Romanovs in large part because peasants had populated the land and given Lenin their support.
Of course, Communism lasted only 75 years, failing to produce either groceries or liberty, but the point is that peasants like Stalin and Khrushchev were the result of a massive population. Like the Israelites during their 400-year stay in Egypt who must have often cried “How long?” Russian peasants for 300 years must have bewailed their status as well. Also like the Israelites, Russians were having children.
Medieval England is another example of babies winning out. During the early Middle Ages England was a tri-lingual/tri-cultural country: kings and government spoke French, the church spoke Latin, and peasants spoke English.
But in demographics, mathematical certainty prevails. There were far more peasants than palace dwellers, priests, and popes. The peasants had babies, peasant English became England’s language, and England, an island-nation the size of the state of Alabama, gave her peasant language to the world.
At a National Prayer Breakfast in 1994, standing before a pro-choice president, a pro-choice first lady and their guests, Mother Teresa spoke of “the war against the child.” She decried the Western world’s antipathy toward reproduction itself. She came close to mocking the expression, “reproductive rights,” arguing that if abortion is not wrong, nothing is wrong.
Mother Teresa was concerned about the moral aspect of de-population, and so am I, but another thing to remember is that population has always been a component of power, progress, and prosperity. When a nation dies, its principles die as well.
If the Western world wants to perpetuate its values, particularly individual liberty, it will have to produce more babies than those who don’t care about liberty. Pure and simple.
Roger Hines of Kennesaw is a retired high school teacher and former state legislator.