Although Mark Steyn writes knowledgeably about a great many topics, he keeps returning to what he calls the biggest story of our time—the planet’s demographic death spiral.
The decline in population is a global phenomenon, but it’s happening faster in the West and in Japan. For a description of where it all ends, Steyn recommends P.D. James dystopian novel, The Children of Men.
Published in 1992, the story is set in 2021 in a world that has become literally sterile: human beings have lost the power to reproduce. Steyn points out that James’s description of a childless society is uncannily prescient:
In Lady James’s speculative fiction, pets are doted on as child substitutes, and churches hold christening ceremonies for cats. In contemporary Japanese reality, Tokyo has some forty ‘cat cafes’, where lonely solitary citizens can while away an afternoon by renting a feline to touch and pet for a couple of companionable hours.
In Lady James’s speculative fiction, all 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. In contemporary Japanese reality, toy makers, their children’s market dwindling, have instead developed dolls for seniors to be the grandchildren they’ll never have.
Moreover, in James’s novel, contrary to modern expectations, sex becomes less frequent, not more, once it has no consequences. Indeed, the authorities set up state-sponsored porn shops “in an effort to reverse the populace’s flagging sexual desire just in case man’s seed should recover its potency.” But the tactic doesn’t work.
Coincidentally, the New York Times recently published a report on the declining rate of teenagers who are sexually active. According to the report, one reason for the decline might be the widespread availability of online pornography. Some teens may even come to prefer online sex to the real thing since it is considerably less complicated than going through the awkward business of meeting and getting to know another person. One consequence of the porn habit is that it can impair one’s ability to form genuine relationships. As Jonathan Van Maren observes in LifeSite News, “It is undoubtedly true that porn addiction is impacting real relationships, and that the net effect of a generation rewiring their minds to respond to digital sexual toxins are just beginning to become clear—we are facing the highest rate of erectile dysfunction in males under the age of thirty in recorded history.”
The people in The Children of Men are caught up in a biological event beyond their control, but many today seem to be opting for what Steyn calls a “voluntary societal self-extinction.” This societal death wish is evidenced not only by record levels of abortion, but also by government promotion of euthanasia in many parts of the world including in Canada and Western Europe.
And then there’s the growing spread of the LGBT ethos. It only takes a moment’s thought to realize that LGBT sex is (with the exception of the “B”) sterile sex. It is the perfect example of “voluntary societal self-extinction.” The chief obligation of every society is the reproduction of the species; yet, increasingly, societies celebrate sexual lifestyles that have little to do with reproduction.
Take the trans craze. In the UK, the number of children and young adults who identify as transgender increased by 4,000 percent between 2009 and 2018. Moreover, according to a recent report, 8,000 teens are now seeking puberty blockers and trans hormones from the UK health system. As is now well-known, these treatments often result in permanent sterility. Sadly, today’s cultural elites and social influencers rarely bother to remind youngsters that they might one day want to become fathers or mothers. And so, the demographic death spiral continues.
There is one other factor to consider. Birth rates are declining all over the world. At current rates, most societies will eventually face extinction. But some will face it sooner than others. Societies that began the reproductive decline many decades ago will be increasingly vulnerable to defeat or replacement by societies that entered the decline only recently. For example, by some projections Islam will become the dominant religion in many parts of western Europe by mid-century or shortly thereafter. Indeed, some Muslim leaders have boasted that they will triumph over the West because their women are more fertile. But that is a subject for another time.
Another subject for another time is the possibility that governments in collusion with the medical establishment and the pharmaceutical industry have deliberately embarked on a global sterilization program through the use of Covid vaccines. For more on that topic, see Naomi Wolf’s carefully researched articles and interviews in Front Page.
In the meantime, consider investing in pet supply companies and manufacturers of lifelike baby dolls.