by Vaughn Ohlman of Persevero News in Demographic Death
Demographic Death. The death of a society or group due to a lack of birth, or an abundance of death. Not a literal killing of everyone, or a complete cessation of births, but that point, mathmatically, where a society tips over into oblivion. Where the society is swallowed up by the surrounding societies, or destroyed by their inablity to survive with their limited population, and their upside down population pyramid.
God designed man to be fruitful and multiply and, when they don’t, evil and destructive things happen.
In order for a society to reproduce itself there must be a certain average number of children per woman. In a perfect society, where no one ever died before reproductive age, then that number would be two. One woman, two children, and the world goes round. Or, at least, it continues with the same population.
But no society is perfect. Children die. And some children are unable to have children themselves. So two won’t do. In order for a modern, western, country to successfully reproduce itself the average woman must have 2.3 children. (This is one of those cases where the average woman does something that no woman can do ). Two point three. Most have two, a third have three. Or most have two, and some have a bunch. Or, as it always is, some have none, some one, some two, some three or more… but the average has to be at or above 2.3.
Where that doesn’t happen then the population literally begins to shrink. Not immediately (since that depends on the death rate, etc.) but, in the long run, guaranteed.
So who are we talking about? What modern societies have population pyramids that point toward shrinkage? Well…
There it is. Those are the facts. I posted the colors reflecting wealthy societies but, obviously, they don’t apply to countries like Suriname or Bhutan. Their numbers do not reflect replacement. And these numbers (due to the way they are formulated) are already a bit high.
These facts reflect Demographic Death for the societies they cover. Civil society, the church, and families.
In a civil society the lack of young people is economically very destructive. A civil society depends on an upcoming stream of young workers. An economy always needs different types of workers: Older workers who know the work and are competent at it; younger workers who have more energy… and who grow into the older worker jobs.
And both of these kind of workers are needed to support those people who are too old or two young or too infirm to work.
A society with an inverted pyramid first does OK, as there are a lot of older, experienced, workers, and few older or younger people to support. But then the older workers start to get, well, older. They start moving into the ‘people who need to be supported’ age. And yet there are not younger people moving up to take their place.
This is deadly for an economy, at every level. The bottom level needs workers, and these workers are not coming to work. Those workers that were at that level are now being forced into the next higher level, many before they are ready, so the jobs will be less well done. And the society, at the very time that they have fewer capable workers, starts to call on those workers that are left to support more and more older people.
And it is not only deadly for the ‘production’ side of the economy, but for the consumption. Take houses as one example. A couple, just married, buys a small house or rents a small apartment. As their family, and their income, grows, they ‘upsize’, moving into a bigger apartment or bigger house. Their old house, in a society with a normal demographic pyramid, is then taken over by another young couple.
This process continues until the day when the couple is ready to ‘downsize’ again; to move into a smaller house because they now have a smaller family (in the further past this step would be skipped, as the children would be living in the family house even past their marriage). But, no worries, their large house would be cheerfully bought by the people below them, rising to take their place.But now? Now there are few people behind them, and those that are behind have few children. They don’t want that many-bedroomed house, they want a wide open house with few bedrooms. Or, as is even more common, they can’t upsize at all, as divorce has split their family, and their income, into pieces.
So now we have a situation where these houses literally can’t be sold. There is no one to sell them too. Or perhaps the price has to come drastically down. But even then, if the smaller and poorer couples are buying the bigger houses… who will buy and rent the small houses and apartments? Perhaps for a time the older people moving out of their bigger houses (although why they would sell them when they aren’t getting as much as they paid for them is a question.)
So two groups get hammered: everyone that has anything to do with building houses (selling them, etc.) and those that are needing to sell them. And the hammering doesn’t go away. There is no one in the next generation to come up, either. Not unless something changes in the psychology of the group and someone starts having children.
The situation is no less deadly for a church. Although the effects are very different a church cannot survive with only older members. Churches which used to be filled with growing families, and who promised growing families after them, are now filled with older members, and few of them.
The same discipleship which needs to go on in a job needs to happen in a church. The older women are supposed to be teaching the younger women, which implies that there needs to be younger women to teach.
But the crux of the problem is the family. Our modern family is under attack from every direction. Sodomy- a blasphemy which we are now told we must recognize as a valid form of marriage. Divorce- another blasphemy which we are now told we must recognize; with even fairly ‘conservative’ churches making allowance for. Child murder- a blasphemy which goes under the name ‘abortion’ or, more frequently, ‘birth control’. And even ‘birth control’ itself, the blasphemous idea that men and women should be given sexually to each other, yet somehow avoid the very reason that God puts them in that relationship!
And, even in the most ‘conservative’ part of the church, indeed, perhaps most in the most conservative part of the church, we have marriage delay and marriage denial.
These all destroy, denigrate, and deny the family. And they all contribute to Demographic Death. Each of these make the family unstable, and sterile. An unstable family is less likely to have children, and more likely to kill those they do have. And much of the time the family itself is denied. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.
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NLQ Recommended Reading …
‘Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich
‘Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland
‘Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce