According to Kathryn Joyce, sneer-and-smear artist for The Nation,
those who are concerned about the worldwide decline in birthrates
are -- to put it mildly -- racist, neo-Nazis, who have a hidden
agenda and (under the guise of demographic winter) are engaged in our
age-old quest to control women's bodies.
The Nation is this nation's oldest and largest-circulation
left-wing journal (outside of The New York Times, of course).
Joyce's screed, "Missing: The 'Right' Babies," will appear in the March
3 print edition, but is currently available online.
Joyce believes -- with the faith of one immune to facts and
logic -- that those sounding the alarm about plummeting fertility
rates care only about the inability of white Europeans to replace
themselves. We're trying to whip up xenophobia against the continent's
rising Muslim tide. Thus, demographic winter is the invention of a vast
Christian conspiracy to get Europeans to start making babies again.
Joyce has religion on the brain. (As a child, perhaps she was bitten by
a Gospel singer.)
One of the
grand conspirators cited in her piece, Steve Mosher, is described as
"the president of the Catholic anti-contraception lobbyist group,
Population Research Institute." Christine de Vollmer of the Latin
American Alliance for the Family is "Catholic activist de Vollmer,"
while Austin Ruse is "head of the ultraconservative Catholic UN lobbyist
group C-Fam." Not just a Catholic, but an ultra-conservative Catholic?
That's pretty serious.
Joyce further notes that: "The last two popes have involved themselves
in the debate, with John Paul II pronouncing a 'crisis in births' in
2002 in an anomalous papal address to Italy's Parliament and Benedict
XVI remarking on the 'tragedy' of childless European couples." As if
papal involvement was enough to discredit the concept.
the conspiracy spans the religious spectrum, making it all the more
sinister, Joyce informs us.
and Barry McLerran --respectively the director and the producer of the
new documentary "Demographic Winter: the decline of the human
family" -- "are among hundreds of Mormon pro-family activists
(They're everywhere. They're everywhere!) who have made common
cause with conservative Catholics and evangelical ideologues."
envisions little Katie as Dorothy in a lefty version of "The Wizard of
Oz," treading fearfully through a creepy family-values forest
whispering: "Catholics and Mormons and evangelicals -- oh,
There's little to support her fantasies in "Demographic Winter." The
documentary's experts are overwhelmingly academics -- demographers,
sociologists and a Nobel laureate in economics -- from institutions
like the University of Chicago and University of Virginia.
Most of the scholars don't
think of themselves as particularly
Another focus of Joyce's paranoia is the World Congress of Families,
which held its fourth Congress in 2007 in Poland, "a heavily Catholic
bastion (there she goes again) of conservatism amid the gay
friendly EU." According to the author, under the leadership of the
"extremist Kaczynski brothers," Poland has "shifted to the far right,
embracing a social conservatism that aggressively targets gays, Jews,
women's rights and foreigners."
my two visits to Poland, I saw no signs of anti-Semitism. For a
feminist like Joyce, a nation that does not encourage partial-birth
abortions in the ninth month and celebrate transgenderism in the public
schools is a bulwark of bigotry.
Joyce finds the World Congress of Families -- a gathering of pro-family
leaders, scholars, activists and parliamentarians -- particularly
ominous. She quotes Jennifer Butler (author of "Born Again: The
Christian Right Globalized") who "has tracked the rise of the
international Christian right with apprehension." Butler tells Joyce,
"You can't underestimate what they can do" -- as if the latter needed
It's alright for American feminists to use the United Nations to force
the left's social agenda on the developing world. It's OK for
"progressives" from this side of the pond to work with the European
Union to advance homosexual rights. But for U.S. social conservatives to
talk to pro-family forces in Europe is sinister and manipulative -- the
dreaded globalization of the Christian Right.
World Congress of Families is the holy alliance pushing a pro-family
agenda, demographic winter is the nativist wedge issue conspirators are
using to drive cosmopolitan Europeans to start rocking cradles
Joyce contends that "the baby-bust," "the birth dearth," and "the
graying of the continent" are "modern euphemisms for old-fashioned race
panic as low fertility rates among white 'Western' couples coincides
with an increasingly visible immigrant population across
Joyce shamelessly engages in guilt by association, when she notes that
"Mussolini's fertility project... attacked bachelors, rewarded mothers
of many children, criminalized abortion and banned contraception." Along
the same lines, she cites Nazi efforts to raise the birth rate in the
Third Reich as a further indictment of advocates of large
course the Nazis wanted more little Aryans. Wars aren't won by nations
with shrinking populations. If Roe v. Wade and the pill had
been around in the 1920s, we would have been lucky to land a platoon on
Nazis also wanted to depopulate conquered lands. The Slavs, who the
Nazis despised as untermenchen, were a special target. To imply
that a desire to raise fertility rates is somehow comparable to Nazism,
is like saying that because China has a one-child-per-family policy,
Planned Parenthood is part of the politburo.
racists, but they're the ones flooding the Third World with
contraceptives and pushing abortion, which, alas, do not depress the
Nazis, Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, their prophetess,
considered non-Aryans "a great biological menace to the future of
why blacks, who comprise 12 percent of the population, account for 32 percent of all
abortions? (For Hispanics, the figures are 13 percent and 20 percent.) Might it have
something to do with all of the abortion clinics conveniently located in
"Demographic Winter" documentary, which Joyce hasn't seen, (her critique
is based on viewing a 3-minute online trailer) has only the briefest
mention of emigration -- as a negative for developing countries,
which are seeing their youth siphoned off to provide labor for the lands
of the childless.
Immigration or emigration has never been a topic of discussion at a
World Congress of Families, which draws participants from Africa, Asia
and Latin America as well as Europe and the United States. World
Congress of Families III was held in Mexico City. One possible location
for WCF V is Nigeria.
Europe is frequently the focus of discussions of demographic winter
because it's there that the effects are most stark. But proponents are
quick to note that birth rates are falling everywhere.
In less than
40 years, the world's total fertility rate (the number of children the
average woman will bear in her lifetime), has dropped from 6 to 2.9. By
the middle of this century, worldwide fertility will hit 2.05 --
well below replacement. That forecast is from the United Nations
Population Division (UNPD), which -- at last report -- had not
been co-opted by the vast Catholic-Mormon-evangelical
More interesting than what's in The Nation article (innuendo, ad
hominem, paranoia) is what's missing. In a piece running several
thousand words, Joyce mentions exactly one statistic -- in
paragraph 3, where she notes that 2.1 children per couple is the
"estimated 'replacement-level fertility' for developed nations." That's
someone trying to debunk demographic winter, statistics aren't just
inconvenient; they're intimidating. So Joyce simply avoids any
discussion of the evidence.
Smart move on her part. How do you argue away the fact that (again,
according to the United Nations) 59 countries with 44 percent of the world's
population now have below-replacement fertility?
the European Union as a whole, the birthrate is 1.5. Population-wise,
the continent is disappearing so fast that even mass immigration can't
save it. The EU estimates that, if current trends continue, there will
be a shortage of 20 million young workers by 2030.
the face of this looming catastrophe, EU bureaucrats are engaged in a
relentless campaign of promoting same-sex marriage. Ah that "gay
friendly EU." What is the fertility rate of homosexual couples,
Back in the real world, Russia is losing roughly 700,000 people a year.
(Motherless Russia now has more abortions than live births each year.)
Its population of 143 million is expected to shrivel to 112 million by
the middle of this century. With that number, it will be impossible for
the Russians to hold the largest land mass of any nation, which will
result in a free-for-all land-grab that throws the entire region into
It's not just Europe where children are disappearing. In the 1970s, the
average Filipino woman had 6 children. Today, the number is 2.8 --
expected to decline to 2 by 2030. Mexico has only a replacement level
fertility rate of 2.1. (Where will The Nation's readers find
their future gardeners and cleaning ladies?) Iran is the first nation in
the Middle East to achieve below-replacement fertility.
Most Third World countries are still growing, but it is here that the
fall in birth rates has been most pronounced. Egypt's birth rate went
from 7.3 in the 1960s to 3.7 today. It too will be below replacement by
the middle of this century.
UN estimates that by 2050 there will be 248 million fewer children in
the world than there are today. Those children who never were in turn
won't have children of their own, and so on, leading to accelerating
population decline in many areas.
you've decided not to deal with reality, because to do so might cast
doubt on your cherished isms, you don't have to consider the
consequences of the world that's coming -- a world where the cries
of babies and the laughter of children fade away.
Take Japan. Remember back in the 1980s when we were calling it Japan,
Inc? The Japanese were an unstoppable economic juggernaut, the coming
superpower. They'd bought Rockefeller Center and were well on their way
to owning everything else.
Japan Inc.'s stock soared for a time -- until the Rising Sun began to
shuffle off into the sunset of Banzai Retirement Community. During the
1990s through 2005, the Japanese stock market fell 80 percent from its all-time
high. At the same time, the Japanese real estate market lost 60 percent of its
has economic decline hit Japan so fast? Unlike America, the Japanese
never had a postwar baby boom. Their birth rate now is an anemic 1.25,
among the 10 lowest in the world.
1989, 11.6 percent of Japan's population was 65 or older. By 2007, the
percentage of seniors had risen to 21.2 -- the highest in the
world. Thriving economies aren't propelled by rapidly aging
the developed world, the population is growing gray and slow of gait.
Today, 20 percent are over 60 years of age. This is expected to rise to 32 percent by
2050. UNPD tells us that then there will be two elderly for every child.
Schools will be turned into nursing homes. Playgrounds will become
questions we're not supposed to ask are these: How can pensions for a
growing number of retirees be financed by a shrinking workforce? Who
covers their increasingly pricy medical bills? How long before
euthanasia -- voluntary and involuntary -- becomes
average child born in Italy today -- without brothers and sisters,
aunts, uncles and cousins. The self-indulgence (bordering on
self-obsession) of this generation has bought loneliness and economic
decline -- perhaps the twilight of civilization -- for those who
will follow us.
Nation is shorthand for what's led us here: women and men
sacrificing families for careers (delayed marriage, no marriage,
cohabitation), easy divorce, abortion (each year, worldwide, a woman's
"right to choose" wipes out the equivalent of the population of Italy),
and materialistic lifestyles.
Nation's readers sit with their sterile wombs or male
non-reproductive organs, seething because someone (Catholics? Mormons?),
somewhere wonders who's minding the nursery.
Joyce calls the effort to awaken a slumbering humanity "a 'clash of
civilizations' to be fought through women's bodies, with the maternity
ward as the battleground." Cute.
Rather than a clash of civilizations, it's the left's worldview against
civilization -- an old story.
squawk about manmade global warming, and demand sacrifice for the
planet, they rail at those who are trying to warn the sentient beings
who inhabit the planet that their future is increasingly bleak --
due not to SUVs but IUDs, and the rest of a contraceptive,
This column originally appeared on GrassTopsUSA.com and is reprinted here with the author's permission.