Monday, January 5, 2015

Piety, Wit & Tears

It's early dawn, my love, open your eyes and arise
Gently imbibing and playing the lyre;
For those who are here will not tarry long,
And those who are gone will not return.

--From Omar Khayyam's Rubiyyat,
translation by Karim Emami
The entire globe is in the grip of an epochal shift in demographics, culture and society. It is a natural evolution that began at the dawn of human history, ebbing, flowing, and sometimes surging.

Advances in technology and communications mean there are few isolated pockets left in the world, and this in itself has brought quantum leap change to societies, and will continue to do so for good and for ill.

The post-WWII global political order is moribund.  We live in a multi-polar world, and the US has lost the ability, the credibility and moral authority to control and contain unfolding events. International rules and norms set up at the dawn of the UN no longer apply, and nations are rightly acting in their own interests, larger international community be damned. Sophisticated weapons and other technologies are easily available to even the poorest groups and nations, so its a more level playing field, again, for good and for ill.

Demography is Destiny 

Go here to see birthrates by country, and you will see that Japan, Korea, Canada, Australia, all European countries and the US are in demographic death spirals. Any country below 2.1 is shrinking, not growing.  Western countries maintain growth via immigration; Japan does not.  One can extrapolate out to extinction, but circumstances can change: Wars, famines, diseases, people deciding to have children because of government incentives or cultural shifts.

If trends do continue, US and European natives will die out and Africans and Central Asians will burgeon. What this spells for the world is anyone's guess, but from my own biased perch, it spells global conflict and misery unless the people in these fecund but benighted lands can achieve unprecedented economic and educational advances, or build upon those of the western nations they emigrate to.

Regardless, Europe and America as we've known them in the 20th Century are dying, and they won't come back. Immigration is changing us, and deportations will not happen, so we go forward with what we have. What we will morph into is anyone's guess.

Who knows? The waves of immigrants could take the continents to even greater heights.

People in Britain will tell you that the muslim troublemakers are a small percentage, and that the preponderance of good ones who assimilate will overcome the bad ones. We'll see.

Same here. Hispanics are good, hard-working people. Have you read how they revitalized a dying Ottumwa, Iowa?

So, no doubt we are in a state of societal and anthropological flux, but it doesn't have to end badly, even if by our lights the signs seem to point to a bad end. Anyway, a vapid culture so self-loathing, myopic and me-centered that it has lost the will to propagate itself deserves its death.

We can't change it back.  Time moves only forward.  We should focus on preparing our progeny to survive and thrive in the brave new world.

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