The West at sunset 5

Is the human species choosing extinction?

Mark Steyn writes about P. D. James’s novel The Children of Men:

The Children of Men endures as a meditation on the west at sunset. It is a quick read – a short book on a bigger question than anything roiling the news cycle …

Baroness James’s tale is set in Britain in the near future, in a world that is infertile: the last newborn babe emerged from the womb in 1995, and since then nothing.

Pets are doted on as child-substitutes, and churches hold christening ceremonies for cats.

The unneeded toys are burned, except for the dolls, which childless women seize on as the nearest thing to a baby and wheel through the streets. …

Sex itself becomes a bit of a chore. The authorities frantically sponsor state porn emporia promoting ever more recherché forms of erotic activity in an effort to reverse the populace’s flagging sexual desire just in case man’s seed should recover its potency. Alas, to no avail. … A bold conceit, at least to those who believe that shorn of all those boring procreation hang-ups we can finally be free to indulge our sexual appetites to the full.

[The] novel is set in the near future – very near in fact, next year, 2021 – in a world that is impotent, literally. The human race can no longer breed. The last children, the “Omega” generation born in 1995, are now adult. Schoolhouses are abandoned and villages are dying as an ever more elderly citizenry prefers for security reasons to cluster in urban centers. As the narrator writes:

The children’s playgrounds in our parks have been dismantled. For the first twelve years after Omega the swings were looped up and secured, the slides and climbing frames left unpainted. Now they have finally gone and the asphalt playgrounds have been grassed over or sown with flowers like small mass graves. The toys have been burnt, except for the dolls, which have become for some half-demented women a substitute for children… The children’s books have been systematically removed from our libraries. Only on tapes and records do we now hear the voices of children, only on film or on television programs do we see the bright, moving images of the young …

In one of the most striking scenes in the book, a fawn is seen happily loping round the altar in the chapel of Magdalen [pronounced Maudlin – ed] College in Oxford. … “Bloody animals,” rages the Magdalen chaplain. “They’ll have it all soon enough. Why can’t they wait?” It is an image of utter civilizational ruin … all lost to the beasts and the jungle:

In the [James] book, the “Warden of England” … knows an aging population wants “security, comfort, pleasure”, not untrammeled liberties. One discerns something similar in the west’s acceptance of Covid impositions: elderly societies will tend to be risk-averse, even if it means obeying orders to stay inside for six months.

P. D. James’s short novel is about loss of societal purpose in society: the symptoms are already well advanced in ours – convenience euthanasia, collapsed birth rates, [routine abortion, legal infanticide, sterilization by transgendering – ed], wild animals reclaiming empty villages on the East German plain, the rejection of the past that necessarily accompanies the abandonment of a future… It is a world of the middle-aged and old, a society on its last waltz.

So is the human species choosing extinction?

Unlikely? Impossible? Mark Steyn describes how Japan is already very like the society P. D. James visualizes. And it is not even a socialist country.

Socialism is the fast lane to despair and death.

If America chooses socialism this coming November, then certainly there is a Death Wish epidemic that will wreck our marvelous civilization.

Will it also put an end to the Human Age?

Posted under Commentary, Japan, Socialism by Jillian Becker on Friday, August 21, 2020

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