Hey! Randy

No Babies Here

Posted by heyrandy on August 14, 2012

How Civilizations Die (And Why Islam Is Dying Too) David P. Goldman, 2001

This book is an eye opener. The book’s major thesis is that civilizations have throughout history died because they did not produce enough children. The birth dearth was death. This phenomenon is evident in most developed countries. This decline in fertility is a huge problem for many western countries. It is also a problem for most of the Islāmic countries.

People do not have children because they lose hope in the future. It becomes a matter of living one’s life for one’s self. There are many factors that bring this thinking about, but religion is the main one. When people lose their beliefs, they focus upon themselves. It is a case of “Live for today because tomorrow does not count.”

Goldman cites population statistics to make his case. The fertility data track well with the decline in religion. Quebec, Canada is an example. Catholicism in Quebec went from a high of 88% Mass attendance in 1960 to 20% in 1980. Today Catholicism in Quebec is largely dead. The form remains, but it is hollow. The birth rate fell with the religion. Quebec’s birth rate is well below replacement, and declining.

It worse in Iran. There the birth rate is lower. But what makes it so terrible is the fact that many young women are financing their college education by prostitution. Iran is an Islāmic republic run by hardcore theocratic mullahs. The young don’t care. To them Islam is true, but so what?

Goldman writes a column under the name “Spengler.” Throughout the book he postulates “Spengler’s Laws.” The one that I find most incisive is “A country isn’t beaten until it sells its women, but it’s damned when its women sell themselves.” This to obtain a degree from a university Western schools regard as a diploma mill.

Education of women is the single most accurate predictor of the decline in fertility. The data are consistent in all societies. The more educated the women, the fewer children they will have. The population bomb was defused in the classroom.

It is not all gloom. The two bright spots are Israel and the United States. Here the birth rates are at or above replacement. Religion is the reason. It is Orthodox Judaism in Israel and Evangelical Christianity in the U.S. Both of these religions offer transcendence and a hope in the future.

Goldman spends some time discussing Islam’s conflict with Modernity. It is an abrasive relationship that Islam is losing and is going to keep losing.  The reasons are the structure of the Islāmic family and the attitude toward the Qur’an.

Islamic society is a copy of the paterfamilias of ancient Rome. The father was the head of state with power of life and death over the rest of the family members. It becomes a matter of family, clan, and tribe. The individual has no rights. This system works only in a largely agrarian, illiterate world. The internet exacerbates the problem.

The Muslim view of the Qur’an is the second problem. This view sees the Qur’an as being dictated to Mohammed. Therefore any disagreement, doubt, or question is not allowed. Goldman cites one Arab Jesuit as saying that it is a case of “The Word became Paper.” Muslims are against any textual or historical criticism of the Qur’an. Unlike the Old and New Testaments which have withstood several centuries of the most rigorous criticism, the Qur’an has never be subjected to such scrutiny. Scholars who attempt such work do so at physical peril.

The book is filled with historical references which the author uses to explain the current situation. He makes much of the Thirty Year’s War to explain the decline of Christianity in Europe. Read this book to understand the problem most countries are facing but ignoring.


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