The Asia Times, a publication based in Hong Kong and Bangkok, features a columnist who writes under the pseudonym Spengler, a thoughtful and gifted writer with a gift for seeing the big picture. Spengler has authored a review of The Empty Cradle: How Falling Birthrates Threaten World Prosperity, a new book by journalist Philip Longman.
The review is worth reading not just for its critique of the book, but for Spengler’s analysis of Longman’s thesis that the so-called “modern” world, with its rapidly declining birthrates, are being bred into minority status by fundamental Muslims and Christians:
Longman is right about the correlation between faith and fertility, but wrong about the cause. Mortal existence is intolerable without the promise of immortality. Animals breed and foster their young out of instinct; humankind does so in the hope that something of our mortal existence will survive us in the continuation of our culture and the remembrance of our children. Longman believes that the religious continue to reproduce because the Bible or Koran so instructs them. Religion in the broad sense means hope of immortality. By reducing culture to a hedonist’s shopping basket of amusements, modernity destroys the individual’s hope for immortality, and with it his incentive to create a new generation of humans.
Amen and amen.