Saturday, October 21, 2006

Very interesting/scary article

http://www.macleans.ca/culture/books/article.jsp?content=20061023_134898_134898

People better start having babies.

9 comments:

Tom Shook, RKC said...

Rif, as a student of sociology I have a hard time buying this author's story fully. True, fertility is in decline in the industrialized nations. This is a product of our economic structure, pure and simple. In an industrial or post-industrial society, children are an economic liability. (I'm not arguing for/ against this..its just reality). In the third world, economic viability is much less diversified and much more agrarian in nature, ergo the need for a lot more children. Division of labor is egalitarian and work starts at a much younger age. The author contends that "cultural relativism" is partly to blame for the rise of islamc jihadisim taking hold in the middle-east and then in turn attempts to link it to some sort of indemnification of social democracy which he seems to think is our governing structure (it isn't, corporate capitalism is , but that is for another debate).
Perhaps a bigger question, and one many sociologists agree about, is why we (industrialized nations) continue a policy of neo-colonialism that keeps the third world largely impoverished and reliant on foreign aid? If we really wanted stability and peace, wouldn't it make better sense then from both a political and economic stand-point to work toward bringing the third world nations into the post-industrial economic era? If a person has no hope of a better future he/ she is inclined to feel that he or she has nothing left to lose. It becomes easy for ANY fanatic to step in with a promise of a better life in the here-after. This sort ideology is not restricted to Islam. It becomes much more difficult to perpetuate insanity when someone has an education, guranteed human rights and a full rice bowl.
OK..maybe I have exposed my true colors by chiming in, and I don't aim to offend, but this is an area that I have spent a significant amount of time studying and if I didn't sound off I could, in good conscience call myself free.

Mark Reifkind said...

tom,

all good points and I agree that the neo colonialism is a problem and one the contributes to the problems of pverty and frustration for the impovershied of the second and third worlds.
BUT the cold hard reality of the numbers might just overwhelm any other aspects imo.
If europe slowly dissolves into even more non competiveness and the non white population keeps advancing it seems like just a pure numbers game as to who will have control.
If in 30 years or so 60% of italians will have no brothers sisters or cousins where will the work force come from in italy? or france or spain? it will come from the immigrant populations that have more connection with their religious affiliation than their national identity.

when social security was formed the age of retirement was 65 and the average life expectancy was 63! most never would use the program and they had 42 people paying in for every one user. not it is three for one and soon to be two for one. If the population growth continues to slow who will support the aging population and grow the economy?

If the immigrant populations adopt the national identities and choose that over religous affliliations that is one thing but if not......

interesting topic for sure.

check out this womans story, jsut saw her speak on c span yesterday, very very interesting woman with an amazing history

http://americancongressfortruth.com/

Tom Shook, RKC said...

Rif, the decline in fertility in the west is a reality, for sure, as is the increase in life expectancy. Any nation must address these issues if it plans on maintaining economic viability into the 21st. century. But having more children is an upside down way of thinking. Our own nation was founded on the backs of immigrant labor: Chinese, Italians, Germans, Poles, Irish, etc. A bigger issue isn't who is going to be around to do the work, but where the large corporations are going to outsource our jobs to. We have seen a decline in the per-capita earning power in our so-called middle class over the last 35 years. Wages reached their acme in 1967 and, making the required adjustments for inflation, etc. have been in a slow decline ever since. Corporations are posting record profits and the richest 1% of Americans has gotten comparatively richer during that same time period. All the while we are being sold a bill of goods about how much immigration is hurting our social programs. OK, I'll grant you that illegal immigration must be kept in check, but you must admit that if we really wanted to we could lock our borders down as tight as a frog's ass. Why don't we then?
Secondly, outsourcing jobs to cheap foreign labor markets only helps that wealthy 1% make a larger profit selling their products to...that's right us. It only seems to be a problem when somebody is trying to scare the shit out of us to further an agenda and win an election based on emotion rather than facts. I question some of the stats this author uses, as being just plain inaccurate.
Now, I agree that immigration isn't the problem, per se, but what ideology is espoused in the process. There are plenty of nuts on both sides of the fence, no doubt. My counter to that is that there are way more level headed people who want to see a better world for themselves and their families. If we keep bustin' heads we are never going to make any real progress towards understanding the needs of our (world) population. It is my contention, and that of many people much smarter and more educated than I am, that ethnocentrism is the root cause of most strife and conflict. Notice how I didn't say racism. Being somewhat ethnocentric is neccessary for the survival of a society but it cannot get in the way of communication. Here's one last point to consider before I hit the road, and its related to what we're talking about in a very real sense. Why is there hunger and starvation in the world? It is a known fact that there is enough food produced to feed every man, woman and child on the planet a diet of 3,500 Kcal./ a day! So production isn't the problem, distribution is. Who controls that and why do they not make the resources more globally available? Who benefits from starvation? More importantly, who decides what is important and what is not in terms of economic aid throughout the world? Do some people have more worth than others? Are you sure?

Tom Shook, RKC said...

OK, I checked out American Congress for Truth's website, because I'm open minded. I 100% agree that we have to take a stand and defend ourselves from any foe that aims to do us harm. Our current enemy is a tencious and competent one and we must not loose focus. My more philosophical question is: Why? Why do they hate us so much? Surely we must accept a degree of ownership for that hatred. I don't say we should roll over, but if we don't seek to understand where it comes from we can never truly eliminate it.
We as a nation must be more guarded as well. Now is not the time to be asleep at the wheel. We have to be alert to anyone who would harm us. Read this passage from our own Declaration of Independance and then read "The Power Elite" by C. Wright Mills and while you are at it, read president Eisenhower's farewell speech. Then ask yourself one question: Are my interests really being served?

-Let Freedom Ring...


"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

Mark Reifkind said...

tom, first off, my tongue was partly in my cheek when I wrote the "have more babies line". and I agree with you that the middle class real income has been taking a beating for the last ten years while the wealiest get way wealthier.
and I agree that busting heads ,especially pre emptively is not the way to go about things( didnt anybody know ANYTHING about the arab culture and history before we went in their and tried to change their culture?)

BUT they want to kill us pure and simple because we are infidels. nothing deeper than that. when God gives you a commandmenta nd you are a faithful follower thats what you do.

as far as whats keeping the world starving its not supply or distribution; it's politics. the greed and power of a few powerful leaders who want to stay that way.

Africa is a good example if how tribal societies havent chosen to unti into a Pan Africa or even just African Nation. Still trying to kill each other over stupid decades old prejudiuces and hates. BUT thats whats there. What to do? ignore the reality?

unfortunately it all comes down to power which comes down to money, one way or another. I am much more cynical than you Tom I think.

Tom Shook, RKC said...

Rif, sure it comes down to power and politics, hence my questions about the motivation for distribution.
I disagree that the hatred is spawned from pure religious ideology alone. Nothing, it seems, occurs in isolation.
Africa is a fantastic example of the aftermath of colonialsim. The tribal warefare is the same sort of thing that has ensued everywhere once colonial rule ended, and communist rule for that matter. Some scholars actually believe that this tribal/ ethnic warfare is the Third world war already in progress as cultures re-divide along ethnic, cultural and tribal lines. I don't entirely disagree with this theory.
With regard to Africa, the fact is that there are not the type of natural resources worth exploiting in sub-Saharan Africa that a lot of the Middle East has. Before you paint me an idealogue or worse still a liberal, I will capitulate to two and only two labels: 1. a patriot, 2. a realist. In as much as I know how things "should" be but I see them for how they are, and my eyes are wide open so I can see pretty well;).
Thanks Rif...you have proven to me that you aren't just a pretty face.

Mark Reifkind said...

tom, unfortunately the motivations for distribution are not good ones and stem from a desire to control others and created and maintain power( if we are talking about africa- if we are talking about china its another story eh?)

I do beleive that the radicalized version of islam that is being taught all across the muslum world( where it is taught jews are pigs and apes) and backed by saudi money( whether they admit it in public or not) is the root cause.

It is a clash of civilizations and goes further back than any of us probably realize.

the tribal warfare that ensued after the colonialists left was a re emergence along the trical lines that were there BEFORE they were colonized.Back to the ugly future.

and I dont disagree that we are not in the beginnings of the third world war JUST for the reason ms brigette cited.We could leave the middle east and they would still keep coming.


it is our culture that they hate becuas it is the antithesis of their beliefs and threatens to corrupt their goose stepping youth with ipods and porn.oh yeah and freedom, that too.

it's a flat out mess, that's for sure. but they arent going away.

and damn, I just wanted to be a pretty face to you man!

Chim said...

I've seen families here in the U.S. who don't make alot of money and have a ton (7-12) of kids. They are always much happier than the people I know with big bank accounts and 1 kid. Children are hardly econonomic entities, in my experience.

My second is on the way, Rif, so I'm helping in what way I can.

Mark Reifkind said...

chim! long time no hear. hope things are well.congrats on your second kid. all politics aside I've been raising kids for 25 years and I am tired! Very happy they will be done with school and ME with homework,lol!

But if these cultures dont have above a 2.1 rate of fertility they wont reproduce enough to continue their lineage.
Majority rules.