Posted on | February 14, 2017 | 2 Comments
Spain is dying. The total fertility rate — average number of lifetime births per woman — is 1.49 in Spain, and this is nearly 30% below replacement level. In December 2015, demographers noted that Spain had passed a crucial milestone — more deaths than births, a harbinger of population decline. Before a nation dies, it first grows old, and the graying population of Spain creates a heavy burden on the country’s pension and health care system, as there are fewer and fewer younger workers to pay taxes.
What Spain is now facing is demographic winter, and a Spanish businessman named Alejandro Macarrón Larumbe has created an organization called Renacimiento Demografico (Demographic Renaissance) to spread awareness of this looming social problem.
“Demographic winter is an uncomfortable truth for radical feminism,” Macarrón said in an interview with La Contra TV this week. The Google translation of an article about his interview is a bit uneven — e.g., using “majors” where a better translation would be “senior citizens,” and using “bigger” where “older” was intended — but I’ll adjust it a bit and you can still get most of what he was trying to say:
Alejandro Macarrón, director general of the Demographic Renaissance Foundation, gives an interview to La Contra TV in which he describes the causes and consequences of the demographic winter that is living Spain. He defines this situation as a “suicide” of our country since, he says, “we are going to die as a people because we do not want children”.
During the half-hour interview, the director general of the Demographic Renaissance Foundation [says] that the fall in the birth rate in our country will cause a deterioration of pensions, “which will increasingly be worse and more painful to pay for active workers”.
Alejandro warns that movements in favor of euthanasia are going to exert more pressure on our society “because there are more and more [retirees] who are very expensive.” “The [elderly] are going to [become] a great percentage of voters, it is the decisive segment for the vote. When the population is smaller and the people are [older], the economy logically goes down,” he assured. . . .
In addition, Macarrón has denounced that before “the woman worked at home. Most of them now work outside the home and it seems that the one that does not is second, one late. Incentives are now given only to those who work outside the home, and that goes against the birth rate. It is discriminatory, the state must be central.”
“Birth is not only a woman’s thing, it seems that the figure of the father has disappeared, in abortion this is very much. Incentives are being given only to mothers. If we think only of women, it favors the absence of family,” he warned. . . .
Finally, Macarrón has pointed out that this situation “is an uncomfortable truth for radical feminism, which discredits traditional women. Also for the environmentalism, which defends that the human being is the problem, since, the less people, the less pollution.”
If you are fluent in Spanish, you may want to watch the video interview:
(Hat-tip: Pete Da Tech Guy on Gab.) Macarrón’s remarks about women working outside the home and the disappearance of the father’s role in families deserve more explanation. This sounds too much like “back-to-the-kitchen” male chauvinism, but motherhood is not incompatible with wage earning. Anyone who looks at demographic data knows that birth rates are actually higher in working-class families than among the affluent college-educated elite. So the idea that careers and motherhood are an “either/or” choice is a false dilemma. More important factors are the decline of marriage, the delay of childbearing, and the rise of the DINK (double income, no kids) lifestyle among upscale professionals. When divorce and unwed motherhood become commonplace, when young couples are discouraged from marrying, when materialism is promoted in popular culture, when young women are led to believe that postponing motherhood until they are past 30 is a good idea — well, these are core factors in the “demographic winter” Macarrón warns about.
Get me started on this topic, and I could go on for thousands of words, but the crucial question is, what kind of messages are young people getting from parents, from schools, from churches and from media?
While I don’t know what’s on TV in Spain, popular culture in the United States celebrates the illusion of eternal youth, the idea that everybody can be like the cast of Friends or The Big Bang Theory, eschewing the most important responsibilities of adult life, marriage and parenthood. We can laugh at the character of Sheldon Cooper, a brilliant scientist with the temperament of a petulant toddler, but such entertainment has the effect of idealizing a lifestyle of perpetual adolescence. Similar messages are reinforced by many other TV shows and movies, so that young people exposed to this incessant media bombardment develop beliefs and attitudes that are incompatible with becoming the kind of adults who make good husbands and wives, good fathers and mothers. Only if parents recognize that the cultural sewage spewing out of Hollywood is toxic, and do what they can to limit its impact on their children’s belief system, can there be hope to avert demographic winter. Parents must exercise a counter-cultural influence, or else their children will believe the deadly lies that Hollywood is selling. Public schools are doing nothing about this problem, because the schools are part of the problem. Our government education bureaucracy is now run by left-wing “progressives” who are anti-Christian, anti-capitalism, anti-marriage and anti-motherhood. Schools now teach young people that babies are bad, abortion is good and promiscuity is harmless. The public school curriculum systematically attacks Bible-based moral beliefs, and schools employ atheist teachers who ridicule Christianity in their classrooms.
There is a connection between belief and behavior, you see. Parents who allow their children’s beliefs to be scripted by Hollywood (and “educated” by government bureaucrats) should not be surprised when the results are catastrophic not only for their children as individuals, but for society as a whole. More than 15 years ago, Jim Sedlak of the American Life League looked at Europe’s demographic decline and warned:
“The ‘success’ of the population controllers in Europe is now taking its toll,” said Sedlak. “The average number of babies per woman has fallen from 1.95 to 1.65, and there is no end in sight.”
“In order to turn things around, four things are necessary,” Sedlak said. “First, the world has to understand that there is not an overpopulation problem, but a problem of too few children. Second, everyone in our society must accept large families and stop using peer pressure to convince people not to have more children. Third, governments and rich philanthropists must stop giving money to population control programs. Finally, young people getting married have to be thinking of having four or more children.”
“We have one generation to turn things around,” Sedlak said. “After that, it may be too late.”
That one idea — promoting “four or more children” as the ideal family size — struck me at the time as the only possible basis of hope. It just so happened that my wife and I already had four kids then, and we subsequently had two more. Our youngest is now 14, president of her eighth-grade class at a Christian school, in the 99th percentile on standardized tests. Just this morning I overheard her talking to a friend, explaining that when she has children, she wants to homeschool them.
You can’t beat something with nothing.
That is to say, pro-family Christians cannot hope to prevail against the toxic ideas of the Culture of Death — which celebrates abortion, divorce, promiscuity and homosexuality — if we are unwilling to be specific in describing what the pro-life alternative could look like.
When we behold the desperate situation of countries like Spain, which are far down the road toward demographic winter, we ought to understand how important it is that we act now to counteract this evil.