Wednesday, February 09, 2005

CATASTROPHIC INSURANCE. I've been wondering why this Administration seems so eager to fuck up Social Security. Ancient animus against FDR? Fulfillment of an old Skull and Bones fraternity prank? Plain evil? But I think I have found a clue.

Attend Stanley Kurtz at Policy Review. He is concerned with underpopulation in the West. He worries about cultural pollution of the West from outside (Theo van Gogh is mentioned) if we don't get those rates up. But there are serious obstacles -- "Secularism, individualism, and feminism," as Kurtz has it. They have reduced childbearing to "a matter of sheer choice." And given the choice, many of us have opted out.

This won't do for Kurtz. As he sees it, we can either have modernism or we can survive. This is "an ultimate choice between feminist hopes of workplace equality with men and society’s simultaneous need for more children."

After considering various economic incentives to advance procreation, Kurtz seems to agree with Philip Longman, author of The Empty Cradle, that "the endless downward spiral [of population] cannot be reversed without a major social transformation." The hope is that people will be driven into accelerated childbearing by social forces.

Here Kurtz turns hopeful. If the safety net is shorn away, citizens may adopt a frontier memtality that forcibly shifts reliance away from society and back to the family. "What will happen if the economy and the welfare state shrink significantly?" he asks. "Quite possibly, people will once again begin to look to family for security in old age — and childbearing might commensurately appear more personally necessary... Widespread contraception, abortion, women in the workforce, marital decline, growing secularism and individualism — all seem here to stay. Looked at from a longer view, however, the results are not really in."

Gaze upon Kurtz' repopulationist utopia:
It wouldn’t take a full-scale economic meltdown, or even a relative disparity in births between fundamentalists and secularists, to change modernity’s course. Chronic low-level economic stress in a rapidly aging world may be enough. There is good reason to worry about the fate of elderly boomers with fragile families, limited savings, and relatively few children to care for them. A younger generation of workers will soon feel the burden of paying for the care of this massive older generation. The nursing shortage, already acute, will undoubtedly worsen, possibly foreshadowing shortages in many other categories of workers. Real estate values could be threatened by population decline. And all these demographically tinged issues, and more, will likely become the media’s daily fare.

In such an atmosphere, a new set of social values could emerge along with a fundamentally new calculation of personal interest.
Well, at least it wouldn't "take a full-scale economic meltdown." But things have to get bad. Our "sheer choice" must be sheared away from us -- and if it takes a little prevarication, talk of "saving" a system the mad doctors of the Right have already decided has got to go, well, you can't make an omelette without piercing a few ova.

These people are mad and must be stopped.

UPDATE. Mouse Words gives Kurtz a closer read, from which he does not benefit.

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