Childlessness 22

Environmentalists – adherents of the religion of Gaia – want the population of the world to shrink. Some of them want the human race to become extinct. (See our post Earth Day: ideally celebrated with human sacrifice, April 22, 2012.)

In many countries – all of Europe, Russia, and Japan being notable examples – indigenous populations are shrinking rapidly.

In the United States, the birth rate keeps the population stable and immigration increases it. But there is here, as elsewhere in the developed world, a high abortion rate, and advocacy for infanticide among the leftist self-appointed elite. (See our post The Nazi ethics of the left, March 5, 2012.)

People who have no children save themselves a large expense. They are less tied down. Through their active years they are freer to please themselves.

But what happens to them when they grow old?

This is from an essay by Nicholas Eberstadt, in the Spring issue of the Wilson Quarterly, titled Japan Shrinks:

In 2006, Japan reached a demographic and social turning point. According to Tokyo’s official statistics, deaths that year very slightly outnumbered births.. … Japan is now a “net mortality society.” Death rates today are routinely higher than birthrates, and the imbalance is growing. The nation is set to commence a prolonged period of depopulation. …

Japan’s historically robust (if perhaps at times stifling) family relations, a pillar of society in all earlier generations, stand to be severely and perhaps decisively eroded in the coming decades. Traditional “Asian family values” — the ideals of universal marriage and parenthood — are already largely a curiosity of the past in Japan. Their decay has set in motion a variety of powerful trends which virtually ensure that the Japan of 2040 will be a country with far greater numbers of aged isolates, divorced individuals, and adults whose family lines come to an end with them.

At its heart, marriage in traditional Japan was a matter of duty, not just love. … Unshackled from the obligations of the old family order, Japan’s young men and women have plunged into a previously unknown territory of interpersonal options. … Even as young Japanese increasingly avoid marriage, divorce is further undermining the country’s family structure. Just as being unmarried at prime child-rearing age is no longer a situation requiring explanation, divorce now bears no stigma. Between 1970 and 2009, the annual tally of divorces nearly tripled. The number of new marriages, meanwhile, slumped by nearly a third. …

As the flight from marriage and the normalization of divorce has recast living arrangements in Japan, the cohort of married fertile adults has plummeted in size. … Nowadays, the odds of being married are barely even within this key demographic group. And marriage is the only real path to parenthood. Unwed motherhood remains, so to speak, inconceivable because of the enduring disgrace conferred by out-of-wedlock births.

In effect, the Japanese have embraced voluntary mass childlessness. …

Rates of childlessness have been generally rising throughout the industrialized world since 1945, but Japan’s levels were high to begin with. …

Though it can be represented in cold statistics, the human flavor of Japan’s new demographic order may be better captured in anecdote:

• Rental “relatives” are now readily available throughout the country for celebrations when a groom or bride lacks requisite kin.

• “Babyloids” — small, furry, robotic dolls that can mimic some of the sounds and gestures of real babies — are being marketed to help older Japanese cope with loneliness and depression.

• Robot pets and rental pets are also available for those who seek the affection of an animal but cannot cope with having one to look after.

• In a recent government survey, one-third of boys ages 16 to 19 described themselves as uninterested in or positively averse to sexual intimacy.

• Young Japanese men are, however, clearly very interested in video games and the Internet: In 2009, a 27-year-old Japanese man made history by “marrying” a female video game character’s avatar while thousands watched online.

• Japanese researchers are pioneering the development of attractive, lifelike androids. Earlier this year, a persuasively realistic humanoid called Geminoid F was displayed in a department store window, appearing to wait for a friend.

These random facts may not reflect the full spectrum of everyday life in modern Japan, but like anecdotes about any country, they reveal things that are genuine, distinctive, and arguably meaningful about it today—and perhaps tomorrow as well.

What will all of these unfolding demographic and familial changes mean for the Japan of 2040?

Generally and probably, a poorer, harder, lonelier, drearier life for a perishing nation is the answer. For details read the whole article here.

  • Harold

    Reply to George.  You may be surprised to hear that I agree in principle to you classification of different types of feminism.  To my mind, true feminism is that which seeks equal treatment, and there are some that you call “gender feminists” who are extreme.  I suspect that we may differ a bit in where that boundary lies. 

    You say that custody is mostly granted to women – I don’t know if you 2% is accurate, but the point is valid.  But is this not a reflection of the amount of childcare that women provide?  It is a bit of a chicken and egg situation.  I feel we should be moving to a situation where men provide more childcare, and men get custody more often.  Society has clearly made huge moves in this direction, but it is still overwhelmingly women who give up career to provide the childcare.  This may be a reflection of their choice, but if so it is no surprise that women get custody in the overwhelming majority of cases.

    • George

                             Harold , I said that the stated percentage rate varies according to jurisdiction .  In  some  jurisdictations women are getting custody 98% of the time and in others around 85% of the time. That feminist propaganda piece claiming that men get custody 70% of the time when they ask for it is patently untrue and was an orchestrated feminist propaganda ploy.  I have several  files with the accurate national percentages as that has been a specialty field of study for me.   The terms [ equity feminists ] and [ gender feminist  ] are not terms originated by me ( I got it from the writings of a  feminist leader herself who exposes what is really going on in the feminist movement today ) and they  are terms chosen by  a  feminist leader and a few others in the circuit.  This has nothing to do with any  [ chicken and egg situation ] at  all.   It was the overwhelming amount of discrimination regarding child custody , forced payment of alimony , and being forcibly separated from their children ( and reduced to mere visitors in the lives of their children ) that forced men to launch the men’s movement to begin with.   Nothing in the movement was anti-woman but simply addressing  the concerns and needs that the family courts , media and society ar large was either ignoring or discriminating against. 
                              In cases of custody , men are often told that he has to prove the woman was an unfit mother but SHE is not required to prove that he ( the father ) is an unfit father.   Women say that they do most of the work INSIDE of the house , but men say they are still the ones doing most of the work  OUTSIDE  of  the house .   I have seen SOME women complain about changing  pampers , putting a TV dinner in the microwave ,  and driving the family SUV to the local supermarket while hubby is mowing the lawn , shoveling the snow, pruning the trees  &  hedges , trimming the driveway , sweeping the drive & sidewalk, doing handi-man fix it chores, maintaining the cars, wiring/plumbing etc. and this is overwhelmingly ignored in this supposedly modern day society.
                       While many women say that men look upon them as sex objects , many men say that women look upon them as money objects.   Please pardon the expression but while he is trying to get a piece of ASS , she is trying to get a piece of ASSETS.  While he is trying to get into her pants , she is trying to get into his wallet.  While women complain that they feel like objects for sex  , men complain that  they feel like “walking wallets” or ATM’s with legs.   There is enough blame to go around on both sides and  I could write a book on this topic.

      • Harold

        Issues relating to custody will always be very difficult and complex.  I think that an automatic presumption that the mother should have custody is wrong, and I also think that courts tend too far towards this view.  Areas that have 98% custody for women seem to have this view almost entirely.

        However, you describe a split in the labors of men and women.  This may (or may not) well be an equal split in terms of effort, and can work very well for a couple.  But when there is a split, it turns out that the best way for them to utilise their talents in the interests of the children is for the woman to have custody, and the man to give her money.  If they were to do it the other way, the man’s earnings would drop and the woman could not increase hers.  So in this type of relationship, where the man is the main earner, it is very likely that custody will go to the women.  This is not a punishment of the men, just a reflection of how the children can be best cared for.

        If men want to have custody, then they must ensure that women can earn as much as them, and they can provide domestic care as much as women.  This does not generally happen now.  If the child is ill, how often is it the man who stays off work to look after them?  When children arrive, it is almost exclusively women that take a career break.  It is of course necessary that women take some break, as they bear the children, but it would not be impossible for men to share the career break.  At least, it would be possible to construct such a society.  Our current society will punish a couple that chooses this option by reducing the career options of both partners.  A man who chooses to take a career break will often be viewed as declaring a lack of ambition.  Please note that the above is based on anecdotal evidence and personal experience.  It may be wrong – I would be interested to hear if you disagree.

        So with society as it is today, it is inevitable that women will get custody more than men.  I don’t know what an appropriate level would be – 98% is far too high, 85% may be too high – off the top of my head I would think perhaps 75-80%, but that is speculation. 

  • WmarkW

    The experience of the last 50 years is demonstrating, that the more options you give someone about how to spend their life, the fewer will choose raising multiple children.  The highest birthrates are among the world’s least-empowered people — Muslim and sub-Saharan African women. 

    Liberal secular women need to open their eyes that equi-culturality is their greatest threat. 

    • George

      Thats correct , but they have been so brainwashed and indoctrinated to such degree that’s it’s almost impossible to reverse their warped mentality and manipulated mindset.    The big question is how do we “reach” them to correct this ?  How do we reverse their indoctrination ? How do we un-indoctrinate them from their self-destructive culture and teachings ?  How ?    I’m all ears ?

  • rogerinflorida

    For an interesting, if somewhat different take on this:
    From David Goldman, writing as Spengler.

    • George

      I’ve read about this ( or rather a similar report ). Much of what is in tyhe article is indeed true , however quite a bit is also seixist in reverse towards men. The article asks  to the effect — [ If women can’t control men by bearing their children , what other means do they have to control them ].    This is also a very volatile sexist propaganda construct.   The notion that if a man isn’t married and has children then he will be a mindless out of control animal  that needs women to control them.   If a man had stated such in reversze that woemn need men to control them , women galore will be screaming their heads off with charges of “sexism” anti-woman bigotry ” and misogyny  non stop.   men and women naturally compliment each other and neither should be CONTROLLING the other in an sense.
                       I read an article that stated that men are getting increasingly sick & tired of sexist women calling us sexist and by the same token as an ethnic minority , we have decent whites who are sick & tired of racist blacks calling white people racist.  It works both ways. There are people who stereotype in all groups and we also have prejudiced bigots in all groups.   The “Stockholm Syndrome ” is another comparative example when we have women who have no problems with covering themselves with nothing but eye slits and consider that normal and will defend it .  It’s like the former black slaves in the south who spoke up for and defended th slave master on te plantation. Malcolm X referred to him as the —-“house negro” a form of brainwashed ” Stockholm Syndrome ” of the day. Look how so many liberal Americans are capitulating to the enemies of America and are even trying to justify it. It’s madness and insanity . 
                          The article about what’s going on in Japan is old news to me as this haas been going on for awhile now but steadily  increasing.  American society appears ( IMHO ) to be following in the footsteps , but too many people are silent publicly on this and the sad part is that it may get worse  before it improves if it ever does. Only time will tell.   Look at the massive out of wedlock childbirths in the inner city ghettos of America  which is compounding the crime and poverty problem .  Immigranst are flourishing into indigenous nations and taking over because THEY are having many multiple childbirths while the  original “native” indigenous ethnic groups are only having on an average one child ( sometimes two ) and there goes the demographics of the culture and when the immigrant groups incrementally take over ,  and before you know it the original nation and society is transformed into the society of the invading immigrant group which was planned and orchestrated in the beginning . Thank’s for the link  Roger. 

    • Jillian Becker

      Welcome back, rogerinflorida, and thanks for the interesting link. 

  • Interesting article, Jillian.

    Speaking for myself, I come from a happy and stable married family so I grew up what you could call a pretty traditional childhood. Even so, modern complexities did complicate things considerably compared to the “good ol’ days”: my father worked pretty long hours including weekends, my mother sometimes took on employment too (especially as I entered my 10s), and I did not go to church on Sundays (glad I dodged that one!)

    To be honest, I am not crazy about marriage, nor are many people my age – but to say this represents a catastrophe, I say, would take this one step too far. I hear more of my friends talk about having children or starting a family than getting married. We are talking about an institution where children rarely had any say until about 60 years ago, frequently being arranged by their parents as teenagers or otherwise experiencing heavy pressure from their elders to settle down and make the next generation. Nowadays, it is not uncommon for people to wait until their 30s to have children, sometimes with a same-sex partner and sometimes just by themselves as single parents!

    I would not call this a catastrophe. I’d call it a paradigm shift. Among the bountiful benefits of our modern medicine system is the opportunity to postpone our child-rearing days until we have achieved some semblance of maturity, which I consider vitally important given all of the other technology which surrounds this current world. To say that we are spelling our doom simply because the population growth experiences a minor setback strikes me as a little hasty. Our society is merely asking itself – again – what it really means to have a family, and whether two opposite-sex parents stuck together for several decades is the best arrangement for their children.

    I need not answer this question for you because it seems like you are a wonderful grandmother of your own biological children, but my nascent parental instinct has to make its own decision. Even if I do not marry, which I would consider likely, I would be overjoyed to have the opportunity at raising an adopted child or three from another part of the world. This matter still vigorously churns in my mind, but I do feel a new urge to leave an unmistakable personal legacy beyond my mere life achievements.

    • Liz

      I agree that we’ve improved on the era of arranged marriages, and I’m sure that waiting until one is mature enough to handle child-rearing is good, but the danger in that is that many wait until it’s too late.
      Personally, I nearly fell into the trap of being convinced that a “career” was a better goal than raising children.  Luckily I got “sidetracked” by marriage and children, and only after having a child realized what I would have been missing if I hadn’t stumbled into it.  
      Women are taught that they should have the same goals as men, but in my opinion that is sadly misdirected.  Like it or not, women evolved to be suited to child-bearing and rearing, and I’d be willing to bet 9 out of 10 will find that that’s what makes them the happiest.
      I find the idea of “single parenting” very lacking.  Raising children is a big job, and no matter how much feminists remain in denial, few women really enjoy having two full time jobs – one in the home and one outside the home.
      Hopefully the pendulum will swing back in favor of “motherhood”, not only for women’s happiness, but for the survival of civilization.

      • Harold

        I agree liz, that the pleasures of children are difficult to appreciate before you have them.  It is easy to count the negatives – the costs in time and money-but hard to appreciate the positives because you do not see them as positives when you are childless.  I used to see that parent having to go off to read a bedtime story as a burden, but did not appreciate the pleasure of it.

        Men are able to get benefits of children and outside lives.  They traditionally go to work, come home, read the story.  Feminism to me seems to be about allowing women to do the same, and to allow men to share more in the child-rearing.

        I believe that men and women do differ in their preferences – women are probably more attuned to child-rearing.  I also believe that some of this is cultural, and it is possible to arrive at society that will better suit both men and women. 

        In the 1950’s, women often had to leave work when they got married.  This is in keeping with the idea of women as “home-makers”, but today seems anathema.  I think that there are some aspects of our society that are a bit like this.  They stereotype womens and mens roles, and both could be happier if freed from these steerotypes.  Whilst in the 1950’s, many would have argued that it was right that married women should not work, but today we see this as oppressive,  Similarly, some attitudes today may well appear repressive when viewed from a more enlightened future.

        • George

                               The problem with feminism today is that it has taken on a more virulent form . There are two kinds of feminists  :  (1) Equity feminists and (2) Gender feminists .   The equity feminists are the ones who simply want women  to be treated fairly and not be discriminated against and that is the way it should be. Then you have the gender feminists . These are the real die-hard man haters who bash men perpetually and blame men for all the ills of  society and stereotype and find fault in everything masculine.
                                  In many jurisdictions today (2012 ) in America men still only receive custody of their children in divorce about  2%  of the time ( and that  figure varies as to the various district locations ).  Men are still overwhelmingly discriminated against in divorce where she gets the children , the house and most of HIS income while he gets the bills and the blame and is ejected forcibly out of the lives of his children ( being reduced to mere visitors —given visitation rights only every other weekend ) by biased courts that are venemously anti-male.   When we had a draft that drafted only males in the service to go to war , the feminists never screamed that it was unfair that women weren’t drafted also.  No one who is sane likes war. When the Titanic was sinking and the crew shouted — ” Women and children first ”   no woman on board shouted — ” That’s not fair –you’re discriminating against the  men ” .  They only believed in    “fairness”   when it was to THEIR advantage .  In one major feminist organization ( that will remain nameless ) 60% of their membership was reported to be consisting  of lesbians , all were radical left-wing liberals and all were pushing the abortion on demand agenda  and bashed men perpetually .    Go figure !

        • Liz

          I agree that women should  not be forced to stay at home – (either by law or by societal peer pressure).  On the other hand, we now have a societal peer pressure created by the “Gender feminists” George mentioned (thanks George – good point!) that attempts to force women to abandon child rearing in favor of working outside the home.  I think the result of this (in general) is alot of stressed out, unhappy women.  I guess misery loves company, in the case of the Gender feminists.

  • Harold

    There is no particular reason to think that we have the optimum number of people right now, so I seee no reason necessarily to say fix the population at current levels. 

    There are two separate issues relating to population and family size that often get mixed up.  One is optimum family size for the benefit of the members of the family, and the other is optimum family size for the world.

    Economies can settle into one of two broad types.  Large families, where lots of children are needed to provide for the parents old age.  Investment in education is not worthwhile, the children need to work to feed the family and child mortality is high. 

    The other is where there are relatively few children, investment in education is worthwhile, and the children do not work.  Most people think that the latter is best, and therefore we try to encourage developing economies down that road.  This can be done by breaking the equilibrium at different points – anti child-labor regulations, subsidised education etc.  Smaller families are “a good thing” in this context.  If all countries had this model, the population would tend to stabilise anyway.

    Where there is already the latter system (in developed countries), there is no good reason for thinking population decline would be a good thing.  It will make little difference to world population, and will ceate many problems for the countries concerned.

    When it comes to use of resources, population numbers are irrelavent in the short term compared to wealth.  If all the world was wealthy enough to use the resources like the developed nations do, we would be in deep trouble.

    This poses a bit of a dilemma.  We want everyone to be able to enjoy the fruits of wealth, but the Earth cannot sustain the way we currently use resources for everyone to be wealthy.

    This leads some to conclude that we need to have far fewer people.  This is not necessarily the right response.  It would be better to use resources more wisely.

  • DoJ

    To the extent that this is driven by voluntary individual decisions, it’s self-correcting, and indeed, a trend that should be embraced.  Explicit desire for kids (as opposed to that for sex, or other things) is being strongly selected for today, and barring some catastrophe (*cross fingers*), in a few generations populations should start growing again.

    The trend that needs to be fought is institutionalized transfer of resources from the young to the old.  Fortunately, the old are not physically capable of defending themselves so if they demand *too* much, the young will eventually refuse.

    • George

                                     In SOME cases you’re right DoJ and yet in other cases I have seen just the opposite.   I see people who want marriage and a stable family and yet I see just as many who say ” forget it ” .   I’m not going to even begin to compare percentages . I see people who want to continue the tradition of a stable intact family ( wife , husband and kids )  and then I see just as many who want simply to have sex and have fun and act wild * “free”  with no obligations, responsibilities , or   “attachments” .    That’s their choice or decision and yet we must look at the bigger picture of where this is headed. I try to imagine what the world will be like 50 years from now —although I will be dead and gone , I wonder about the future of our children , grand-children and future generations to come.   College students  are graduating from college with a ton of student loan debt that will take them a life-time to pay and even that isn’t guaranteed because they aren’t guaranteed a life-time good paying job to begin with.  Now that  college graduate starts out life in overwhelming depression and legal obligation.  
                          An out of control population explosion on our planet is not a good thing.  Also, the depletion of many of natural resources is also not a good thing as well as overcrowded living and thriving conditions is not a good thing.  It has been rumored by many that many wars have started as a means of population control  ( in some cases that is BS and in some cases some tyrants and dictators have actually asserted such and  alleged such and there  is indeed a grain of truth in some of the  asserted intent ).  
                            I have never liked the term [ institution of marriage ] .  Marriage should not be an INSTITUTION but a natural mating of family . Much of marriage situations is controlled by the church and governent regulated family courts and laws.  We do need laws for a stable and safe society.  Some have been good and some have  been disastrous.
                               Our current economic crisis has had  a devastating effect on family and marriage relations.   Recently I have done much independent study on marital and relationship breakups of today and many “experts ( there we go with that term again ) have acclaimed that many marriages are ending today as well as dating relationships because of our economy. Our current job crises has been reported to have produced an increase in divorce, relationship breakups, alcoholism-drug abuse, domestic violence , over stress  /depression and a multitude of stress related and financial related problems.   There is no “magical” —   [   pull a  rabit out of the hat   ]  answer but  rather a compilation of answers. These problems could be resolved more easily and faster if people would simply stop sparring with one another and come together for the betterment of society as a whole. 

  • Ralph

    Sticks, stones, arrows, spears, bullets and bombs have all failed to destroy the human race, but our self hatred may eradicate our species. What fools some of have become.

    • George

                           The people who engage in such hatred are fools  and the people who remain silent and allow it to exist and go on are even the worst fools  , because they CURRENTLY have the ability to stop it and fight back but adamantly refuse to do so.     We are indeed a self-destructive species.      If there is some form of alien race of people on another planet ( or planets ) ,  I’m sure they consider us as parasites who are a blight  on interplanetary  communal cooperation.
                              I remember when I first saw the TV movie — ” The Day The Earth  Stood  Still ” and the flying saucer landed in the open field and a man and robot emerged . He said to the effect that he was sent as a warning  by the space federation of planets to warn Earth , since the people of earth couldn’t get along with themselves and had built destructive weaponry and were now intending to venture into outer space and were now viewed as a threat to other planets and their societies.   The warning was that if they did not cease and learn to get along then the earth would be destroyed .     There was a basic theme behind the movie .      The way that humans are so hateful toward one another today , we woluldn’t need some space alien species to destroy us —-our human species are stupid enough to destroy ourselves .  Here we are so advanced in technology  and yet so regressed with no common sense and true intelligence.   Sickening , isn’t it ?

  • Liz

    It’s bad enough to see adults treating pets like their babies, but robots? 
    If I were childless and depressed and someone gave me one of these, I think that would be just the thing to drive me over the edge to suicidal.

    • George

                                    In Europe and the  USA ,  the modern day ” pop culture ” embraces childlessness—.   After all      ” girls just wanna have fun ‘       and guys just wanna        ” hit it and beat it ”  .     This is why groups like invading  immigrants have 5 or more kids and indigenous ethnic groups of a nation are only having only 1 child ( somerimes 2 ) and then the immigrating group eventually out numbers the indigenous group and then out-votes the indigenous group in their own nation’s elections  , and as such , the immigrating group passes laws to subjugate the original indigenous group within  their own country.   
                         So called “advanced ” societies are advanced technologically and industrially but when it comes to using common sense such as protecting their borders , limiting or halting out of control immigration , and protecting their soverignty , they are the most inept backwards fools imaginable.   Genious in one sense and stupid  fool morons in another.  Abraham Lincoln was right when he said we ( America ) will never be destroyed from the outside but from within ,  and we will have  done it to ourselves because of gullibility ,  ignorance , selfishness ,  arrogance and sheer stupidity.  China is pushing it’s women to have no more than one child because of overpopulation concerns .     They have enough land territory to feed the world . Africa hass enough territory to feed the world also but it’s a continent run by ruthless dictators and tyrants that are now subjugating it’s own people.     The ruling classes of the world  known  this but are only concerned with protecting their own lot and amassing more wealth and everyone else can drop dead as far as they are concerned.  And this is considered to be advanced civilization in the technical world.   

      • Frank

        For a prime example of what you are saying just look at what Muslim immigrants are doing in some European countries.

        • George

                                They should immediately close their borders NOW and all the trouble maker immigrants should be immediately expelled out of the nation. This is what they  get for being so trusting , foolish and stupid in the first place  and now they are paying the price for being so gullible–sad to say.  This is what “political correctness ” does.
                              It’s not just Europe.  Africa was totally destroyed ages ago and has not even yet recovered and won’t with all the tyrants, dictators and religious theocracies within it’s continental borders and it’s theocratic nations within .   At first we could blame the invaders but now the people themselves are so brainwashed that they have now contributed to their own wretched condition and still are. 
                                    Instead of religion being the civilizing force or integrating catalyst for unity and peace , it has proven to be the most destructive, devisive , hateful , oppressive, subjugative, enslaving, mass murdering , anti-human belief system , social system and political force that has wreaked total havoc on the entire world.