UPDATE: This translation contains errors. Lars Hedegaard has since made a revised translation. See our newer post, “A Continent of Losers”.
Below is a translation of an interview
by Lars Hedegaard of the German sociologist Gunnar Heinsohn, from the May issue of the online magazine Sappho
. The article was translated from the Danish by Zonka
, who deserves our thanks for undertaking such a Herculean task.
Dr. Heinsohn elaborates on a theme that Mark Steyn has made familiar: the impending demographic collapse of the West, particularly Europe, and the accompanying threat from a surplus of angry young Muslim males.
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Interview: Tabernes kontinent
While the European populations are shrinking, and the best-qualified young people are leaving, we continue to allow mass-immigration of unqualified Muslims, who will soon make our welfare society collapse. Add to this the fact that the Muslim world has built up a surplus of youths, which according to experience will lead to mass-murder, and the effect cannot be helped by foreign aid. The originator of these bleak predictions is the German sociologist Gunnar Heinsohn, who believes that the game is over for Europe.
By Lars Hedegaard
BREMEN: If the leaders of the American-led “Coalition of the Willing”, had known Gunnar Heinsohn’s research, they most likely never would have left their troops in Iraq or Afghanistan. They would probably quickly abandon any thought of intervention in Sudan’s Darfur province. They would tell the Palestinian 10-children-families that the West no longer will pay for their unrestricted childbirth. Western opinion-makers and politicians would also abandon their pet theory that virtually any act of violence in a belt from Northern Africa to the Philippines in addition to miscellaneous acts of terror all over the world are caused by the unsolved Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
And worst of all seen from the prevalent political consensus in Denmark and the rest of the West: Heinsohn does not believe, even for a second, that economic aid and hunger relief in countries plagued by large youth populations can prevent wars, social unrest, terror or killings. On the contrary he is convinced that the material aid in some cases can start the killings. This is because starving people do not fight, they just suffer. However, if you give a lot of young men enough to eat and a certain education, in a society where there are too many young men so that not all can get the recognition and position that they feel entitled to, it can lead to violence.
About this the 63-year-old professor of sociology at the University of Bremen, in 2003 wrote in his sensational and quite politically incorrect book Söhne und Weltmacht: Terror im Aufstieg und Fall der Nationen [Sons and World Domination: Terror in the Rise and Fall of Nations]. The book became widely known and talked about, after the prominent German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk characterized the work as being as groundbreaking as Karl Marx’s Das Kapital. Sloterdijk thought that the book could pave the way for a new realism with in the field, one that could be called “Demographic Materialism”.
Heinsohn is not concerned about the absolute size of populations, rather the share of teenagers and young men. If this share becomes too big compared to the total population, we’re facing a youth bulge. The problem starts when the individual family puts three, four, or more sons into the world. Then they start fighting for access to the positions in society that give power and prestige. Then you have a lot of boys and young men running around filled with aggression and uncontrollable hormones. Then we get the killings, until sufficiently many have been killed and their number matches society’s ability to provide positions for them.
According to Heinsohn, 80% of world history is about young men in nations with a surplus of sons, creating trouble. This trouble can take many forms — a violent increase in domestic crime, coup d’état attempts, revolutions, riots, and civil wars. Occasionally the young commit genocide to assure themselves of the positions that belonged to those they killed. Finally, there is war to conquer new territory, killing the enemy population and replacing it with one’s own.
But, as Heinsohn emphasizes again and again, the unrest and the violent acts that the youth bulge causes have nothing to do with famine or unemployment. In his book he described it in this way: The dynamic in a youth bulge — it cannot be emphasized too often — is not caused by the lack of food. A younger brother, who as a stable hand for the firstborn son can be well-fed and perhaps even fat, does not seek food, but position, one that can guarantee him recognition, influence and dignity. Not underweight, but rather potential losers or the déclassé are pushing forward. (p. 21)
Unfortunately, the Western world in recent years is facing a gigantic youth bulge in large parts of the Muslim world. This bulge is created by a Muslim population explosion. In just five generations (1900-2000) the population in the Muslim countries has grown from 150 million to 1200 million — an increase of 800%. As a comparison the population of China has grown from 400 million to 1200 million (300%). The population of India has risen from 250 million to 1000 million (400%).
Sappho has visited Gunnar Heinsohn at his office at the University of Bremen, where he was awarded a lifelong professorship, to ask him to elaborate on his sensational views.
Youth Bulge and Violence
What is the definition of a youth bulge?
“There is no ordinarily accepted definition. The Frenchman who first used the notion in 1970 said that a youth bulge existed when 30% of the men in a population were between 20 to 24. I changed it to 30% between 15 and 29. This means that if you take 100 males from a country, then 30 of them will be between 15 and 29.
“But remember that this 30% group of young men will not pose any danger if they are hungry or without education. To be dangerous they must be in good physical and mental shape.”
Heinsohn emphasises that there are lots of wars and killings in history that don’t spring from a youth bulge. The Hitler movement and the Mussolini movement in the 1920s can be explained as youth bulge experiences. The early Nazis and Fascists had an average age a bit below 30. The Bolshevik movement in the period around the 1917 Revolution can be described in the same way. But by the time Hitler started WWII many German families were down to only one son. So Hitler’s attack in 1939 wasn’t a youth bulge phenomenon. Neither was the Holocaust. The killing of the Jews wasn’t caused by the young German men wanting to take their positions, even though there are theories that claim so.
Neither do the killings started by the later Marxist-Leninist regimes — that may have killed 100 million people — have anything to do with youth bulges. The Bolshevik revolution in 1917 was driven by millions and millions of farmers’ sons without land — that was a youth bulge; however Stalin’s gulag doesn’t fall into this category.
What about Mao’s killings in China?
“Again, in the 1930s Mao’s movement was carried by a youth bulge, but when he took power in 1949, and started his great purges by killing landowners, the youth bulge was already over.”
So the predominant ideology of the West, namely that we can fight war and violence by fighting hunger and create jobs in the third world, is wrong?
“Every year five German peace-research institutes publish an annual report, and every year it has the following conclusion: If we win the struggle against hunger, we have defeated war. On the contrary — the youth bulge research shows that if you’re successful in eliminating immediate material poverty and hunger in a country with a youth bulge, violence starts to escalate.
“In Europe we have just celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Rome Treaty, and in all the newspapers we could read that this treaty ended war in Europe. This is absolutely wrong. If the Germans after 1945 had procreated as they did between 1900 and 1914, then we would have had a German nation with almost 500 million citizens, and we would have had about 80 million German men between 15 and 29. In reality we have 7 million. And then we can ask ourselves if these 80 million would have been as peaceful as the present 7 million, or if they instead would have been bombing Breslau or Danzig.”
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“This brings me to something that I call ‘Demographic Capitulation’. It has a very simple definition: Take all the men aged 40-44 and compare them to the boys aged 0-4. Demographic capitulation is when you have 100 males aged 40-44 compared to less than 80 0-4 boys. In Germany the number is 100/50, in the Gaza-strip it is 100/464. I have compared some numbers for you, and these show that Denmark is on the verge of Demographic Capitulation. Your numbers are 100/80.”
Heinsohn’s statistical overview shows that if Denmark had procreated at the same rate as in the Gaza Strip (from 240,000 to 1.4 million from 1950 to 2006), then we wouldn’t have had a population of 5.5 million (compared to 4.3 million in 1950), but 25 million, thus more than New Zealand and Australia combined. In that case the median age of Danes would be 15 (in reality it is 39), and there would be 3.6 million men in battle-ready age (15-29), while the real number is only 470,000. (Median age must not be confused with average age. The median age of 15 means that there are as many people below 15 as there are above 15).
Compared to countries which, like Germany and Japan, have capitulated, are countries that are characterized by “Demographic Rearmament”. Apart from Gaza there are amongst others the three Muslim countries Afghanistan (100/403), Iraq (100/351) and Somalia (100/364). It is thus not random that they are marked by widespread and extreme acts of violence, and will be for several more years into the future. This also holds for Gaza and the Palestinian people in general.
So you don’t believe that the so-called “Peace Process” between Israel and the Palestinians is realistic?
“No, and the main reason is the big mistake that was made in Oslo in 1991, when the secret negotiations between Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin started. The error was that nobody took any notice of the Palestinian population explosion. The Palestinian population has grown almost 6 times as large within the last 50 years. We should have done two things: Israel should have stopped their settlements, and the world community should have said to the Palestinian people: Every child in Palestine will be fed by the world community as before, because by accepting that every Palestinian child is a refugee, the world community have a responsibility for the number of children born. But from January 1st 1992 you will have to pay for your own children, just as a woman does in Lebanon, in Tunisia, and in Algeria. That’s what they should have told the Palestinians. Why am I mentioning these three countries? Because in those societies a women has fewer than two children on the average. Had we done that 15 years ago, we would have seen a generation of young Palestinian men with few reasons to commit violence against each other or against the Jews. But we didn’t, and therefore I do not believe in the peace process, even if Hamas should decide to sign everything. Their youth will tear such agreements apart.”
Heinsohn points out that it is the USA and EU, and particularly the Scandinavian countries, that pay for the enormous child production of the Palestinian people. We must cease this support, so that the Palestinians pay for the children they bring into the world after a certain point in time.
Why can’t the Palestinians just work like everybody else and earn their own keep?
“Palestine is a special matter. They never had any chance to develop, because they have always been on international support.”
Poverty and Religion
From your book one gets the notion that youth bulges creates poverty, while we in the West have seen the relation in the opposite way and seen youth bulges as a result of poverty?
“If a youth bulge changes a state to a failed state, then one will see a breakdown of the market and the production, and it will lead to poverty. If we look at a case in which we now see an escalation of violence — Pakistan and Bangladesh — we can see that they both have a steady increase in the average income per citizen — and even a significant growth. Thus we have created the primary conditions for making the young men both well-fed and well-educated, which leads to them becoming unruly. If these young men successfully destroy the infrastructure of the country, it will result in poverty. I have followed this process closely in the West African state Cote d’Ivoire. Here they had a system with seven children for every woman, and at the same time the average income grew. When the killings started to rise, so did the average income.”
How do you explain the fact that the Muslim Middle-East was deeply underdeveloped, before there was any sign of a youth bulge, even before the Europeans — who get the blame for most things — had set foot in the Middle-East? Isn’t it necessary to add religion to the explanation?
“Let’s look at the small countries in Europe that were capable of conquering and colonising large parts of the world after around 1500, starting with Portugal and Spain. Our explanation is usually that there was a pressure on resources because of overpopulation. The opposite was the case. When Spain started their conquests in 1493 with Columbus’ second expedition, Spain had a population of six million, but in 1350 it had nine million citizens. Spain wasn’t overpopulated. On the contrary there was a sudden a growth in childbirths, because pope Innocent VIII in 1484 had decreed that birth-control was punishable by death, which caused an immediate explosion in births. In the Middle Ages the average number of children per family was 2-3; now it was suddenly 6-7. That caused the median age in the population of six million to be 15, while it in the nine-million population in 1350 had been 28-30. So there wasn’t a lack of land or food. However, there was a sudden scarcity of positions. Earlier one had raised one or two boys in the family. One could take over the farm and one could start a new one. Now they had three boys who had food, but no positions, and these boys started the conquests and the colonising. The Spaniards call these secundones, the “secondaries”.
“Where does the religion enter the picture? These young men — 95% of them — were normal, good boys and saw it as a sin to kill or mistreat the conquered populations in the colonies. They knew the difference between themselves and a psychopath or a common murderer. So when they went into action, they had religion to tell them that they weren’t murderers, but people who with an honest heart killed infidels, sinners and unjust people. One executed orders from a higher power, since one wouldn’t want to be seen as disobedient.
“Thus I don’t call these conquerors and colonisers — Spaniards, Englishmen and Danes — Christian, but Christianists. The same distinction as with a Muslim and an Islamist. These young Spaniards weren’t Christian, but Christianists, who needed this ideology to justify their terrible killings.”
New Religions arise in no time
Heinsohn is also hesitant in ascribing a core cause to which one can later refer acts and patterns of actions. As an example he mentions the movement of 1968, which he belonged to when young.
“When the time comes, then new religious pamphlets and books will be written on the spot and in no time. One manipulates one’s religion in such a way that one takes from ones holy books — The Qur’an, The Bible, The Communist Manifesto — the sentences that fit with one’s purpose. One knows that one is going to use violence, but wants a justification. Because one is a just man. But when the youth bulge is spent, these books that were distributed in millions of copies will not even be sold in second hand shops. Everybody knows that they are full of rubbish. But while the movement is on the move, these young men are impervious to arguments. So the false ideas do not arise from holy scripture. The young originate them themselves. Because they need the wrong ideas to justify their actions. Thus one cannot stop them by explaining that their ideas are wrong. Thus it is not the wrong ideas that create the movement, it is the movement that creates the wrong ideas. Islam doesn’t create Islamism, the young Muslims do.”
According to Heinsohn’s calculations there will be approx. 300 million young Muslim men in 2020, but not all of them will be angry. A growing number of Muslim nations — Algeria, Lebanon, Tunisia, Iran, Turkey, and the rich Emirates — have all fallen under the replacement production limit. Iran now has a fertility rate of 1.7. That is the same as in Denmark, but less than France. These countries still have a youth surplus from earlier, but in a few years they will no longer have a surplus that makes them pose any danger.
Thus he doesn’t believe that the Iranian masses will put the whole region into flames. This scenario is a projection of the situation immediately before the Islamic revolution in 1979 and during the war between Iran and Iraq from 1980 to 1988, where Iran could send hundred of thousands of boys out into the minefields. These teenagers no longer exist.
A class of losers
Wouldn’t it be a solution to bring the superfluous sons to Europe?
“What happens in Europe is that all the nations — there are no exceptions — are ageing nations which do not fully reproduce themselves. Thus they are entering into a process where they eat each other’s talent. Why aren’t they looking for the talent in Africa, where the population has grown from 100 million in 1900 to an estimated 2 billion in 2050? Why not in Islam, where we have a similar population explosion? Why is America looking for talent in Germany, why is Denmark looking for Polish people? Because the Third World countries don’t have the educational level that is needed in the developed countries, which can only maintain their position through innovation. For that purpose they need young people who have grown up in a high-tech society. It is not because Africans or Muslims aren’t as intelligent as others, they just aren’t socialized in a way that makes them useful in our societies.”
In Demark we now have a number of highly-educated immigrants, and their descendents, from Muslim countries — doctors, lawyers, etc. But many are not as interested in our society as the large number of uneducated. Are they just as extreme and Islamistic as others?
“I will leave the evaluation of Danish conditions to the Danes; however we have the same phenomenon in England. There we have a population within the population, namely the Pakistanis, who have the highest birthrate in the country, and who are most dependent on social system. In Western countries we have a social system which is hardly being used by the local population. In contrast to this we have in immigrant population whose women cannot compete in the local workforce. For them the social benefits that are too low for Danish and German women are particularly attractive. So what we see in England, France, Germany and the Netherlands are immigrant women who take some low-paid jobs, which they supplement with public benefits. It is not a fantastic income, but sufficient for them. And they are creating a career type, which is for women only, and which their daughters continue.
“But the sons don’t have these possibilities. They grow up on the bottom of society, and don’t have the intellectual skills they need to improve their social position. It is these boys that burn Paris, that burn parts of Bremen. Some of them make it to university, and become leaders of the others — not poor, but young men with low status, who believe that they are suppressed because of their Islamic faith, but in reality it is the welfare-state itself that has created this class of losers.
“If, on the other hand, one goes to Canada, where I have lived part of each year for the last 20 years, they have a completely different policy. They say: Our immigration policy has a simple base. Every newborn Canadian and every new Canadian who comes from abroad, has to be more intelligent than those who were here before. Because only through innovation can we keep our position in world competition. Therefore I want my son to be smarter than me. And believe it or not: Of 100 adult Canadian immigrants, 98 have work skills higher than the Canadian average. In Germany and France the corresponding number is 10%. So we went for quantity, and they went for quality.
“And why? In Germany because everybody was afraid of being called racists, and it looks like all European nations suffer from the same fear of making choices.”
The Fifth Village
Might some of it also be explained by the left-wing importing their voter corps?
“In France we have seen that Africans and Algerians have voted for Ségolène Royal. Add to that another phenomenon that we can watch in Germany, among other places. Here we have those whom we now have begun to call “ethno-Germans”, which comprise 85% of the German population, starting to emigrate. Annually about 150,000 Germans emigrate, most of them to the Anglo-Saxon world. Canada, Australia and New Zealand are ready to receive 1.5 million well-educated immigrants yearly, and they are doing everything to ease the way for them.
“It is not strange that young, hard-working people in France and Germany choose to emigrate. It is not just that they have to support their own ageing population. If we take 100 20-year-olds, then the 70 Frenchmen and Germans also have to support 30 immigrants their own age and their offspring. This creates dejection in the local population, particularly in France, Germany, and the Netherlands. So they emigrate.
“Europe just finalized their immigration principles in January 2007. And they are quite different from the Canadian ones. Our first criterion for letting people into the EU is whether the person has been victim of discrimination. Next principle: If the person already has family in EU, then he has privileged access. Third principle: People who are already illegally in Europe should be legalized. And finally, only as principle number four do we have the Anglo-Saxon principle that the immigrant should fit into our workforce.
“The purpose is to make Europe look stronger than the Anglo-Saxons, when its about ‘soft force’.
“I view the future very pessimistically. Europe’s situation reminds of the principle that is called ‘The Fifth Village’ in Brandenburg and Mecklenburg. They have experienced a thinning of the population, so four villages are being abandoned and the remaining population is moved to the fifth village; however, that doesn’t increase the population growth in the fifth village. And after some time the fifth village as well is populated by old people, and there are no young people in the vicinity to work for their pensions.
“The same will happen to the approximately 40 nations between Brittany and Vladivostok. Some of them will become Fifth Villages and will have a new lease, others will just implode. I predict that all the Slavic nations will implode. Same thing with the three Baltic states and all of the Balkan states. The question is whether Germany and France will become Fifth Villages. I see Scandinavia as a Fifth Village. The same thing with the Iberian Peninsula. The same with Ireland and England. But I’m not sure the rest of the Continent will make it.”
The Young Are Leaving
But will we even deal with nations in the future? If Europe gets a Muslim majority, it isn’t certain that Danes, Germans, Frenchmen, etc. will bow to Sharia. Could the result be that the indigenous population withdraws to their own enclaves, from which they will try to defend themselves, as we have seen in Bosnia?
“That is of course a possibility, but one must ask oneself, who is it that will stay and fight? It is possible, that I would, because I am more or less forced to stay here. But if I was a young 18-year-old ethnic German, done with high school, then I would do like most others are already doing. I would want to study in the Anglo-Saxon world, and then I would emigrate. I wouldn’t want to stay and fight. The Anglo-Saxon world needs 50 million well qualified immigrants within the next 30-40 years, so well qualified young people from Western Europe will have every incentive to go there instead of staying and fighting.
“A possibility is to aim for Chinese immigration. If we in Germany had the same number of Chinese immigrants as they have in Canada, we would have had 3 million. But immigration from China has not even been considered in Europe.
“China is the fastest-ageing nation in the world after Germany, Japan and South Korea. We usually view China as a sleeping giant. I on the other hand see China as a source, from where the Western nations can skim the best. And they will get them. Currently, rich Chinese are preoccupied with moving their riches to Switzerland, because with the few children being born in China, people in their 40s have no chance of ever getting a pension. China is down to a fertility rate of 1.6 children per woman. Already today China loses 500,000 of their best. The young see no hope of ever being able to build a pension plan in their home country. Therefore they settle in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada, etc.
“In East Germany they have just decided to demolish an additional 400,000 apartments. There are no people for them, and the empty apartments ruin the banks by pressing the rents and the housing costs upwards. Also in West-Germany we are losing population. We have to stop taking the least-adapted immigrants. To attract young and competent people, we could give them a house. That was the way Brandenburg secured the French Huguenots in the 17th century. But I doubt it will work today.”
Would it be possible to imagine that Europeans might suddenly start to procreate more as a moral obligation to maintain the people and the culture? It was what happened after the British had conquered the French Quebec. Then the priests pressed to get the families to put up to 15 children into the world, and this demographic effort was successful.
Gunnar Heinsohn, doesn’t give much of a chance to such a strategy. It would require draconian measures, which the Europeans wouldn’t accept. Promises of money don’t work, except on those with a little education and status — which just makes the situation worse.
“If you look at the Polish people,” says Heinsohn — who was born in 1943 in the city now known as Gdansk, but which he still calls Danzig, a son of a German submarine captain who lost his life near Newfoundland five months before his son was born — “here is a nation with proud traditions. Poland saved Europe from the Mongols, the Turks and the Bolsheviks and ended up bringing down Communism. And yet their birthrate is lower than the Germans. They are down to 1.2 children per woman. In addition they have already in the last 15 years lost 2 million of their best people. Perhaps they tell their parents that they’re coming back, but they won’t. That’s why I’m saying that countries such as Poland, Latvia and Lithuania are doomed. They have no attraction for immigrants. The same thing is happening with Russia. Who wants to move to Russia? And look at the newest members of the EU, Bulgaria and Romania. Romania is the first country in the world where there are more retirees than active workers, and we gave them access. The same with Bulgaria, which has the fastest-dwindling population. The young are moving out, and with a clean conscience, because they believe that tomorrow Brussels will pay for their parents. So the EU has accepted 27 million people, who wanted to get inside to secure their pension. And in the European center they are still overjoyed to have gotten millions more than the USA. That will make us strong, they believe.
“So I see few possibilities. Though as I mention in my book the example of California, which experienced a turn-around around 1990, which meant that even the white population — excluding the Latinos who have a much higher birthrate — went from 1.3 to 1.8 child per woman. It is not full reproduction, but anyway a significant improvement. It was a huge surprise, because California is the world’s most advanced region. In the end of the 1980s the prognosis was for continued falling birthrates, but in the beginning of the 1990s new studies found that the women no longer were satisfied with just working, and shortly afterwards the birthrates went up.
“In Europe it was dismissed with the explanation that Americans are so conservative, but that’s not true in California, which in many ways has been the pioneer of the West. However, I cannot see a similar change in Europe. Of course France has 2 children per woman, but out of five newborns, two are already Arabic or African. In Germany it is already true that 35% of all newborns come from a non-German background, and non-Germans commit 90% of violent crimes. As I’ve said — mothers get money to put children in the world, the daughters do the same, while the men lean towards crime.
“Or take the Tunisian example. A woman in Tunisia has 1.7 children. In France she may have six, because the French government pays her for it. Naturally, it is not the intention that money should flow to the Tunisian women, but French women won’t touch this money, while the Tunisian wants to.”
Then we need to discriminate?
“That won’t work. It’s too late. In the moment you start, you will be dragged into each and every international court in existence. This is what the Anglo-Saxon world has escaped by discriminating at the border. Not based on race or ethnicity, but based on qualifications. They are discriminating against the unqualified. Yet they are friendly towards them, when rejecting them. When a person has been rejected in Ottawa or Canberra, they are being advised by the friendly authority to go to Germany. Because they have a different system there.”
The end of the welfare state
How do you see the political situation in Europe in twenty years? Is the welfare state gone, is democracy gone?
“Concerning the European continent apart from Scandinavia, Ireland and England, I believe that the even the pessimistic population prognoses will turn out to be too optimistic. They assume that the young people will stay in Europe and bring up their own children, but it won’t turn out that way. A study in Germany from 2005 showed that 52% of the Germans between 18 and 32 wanted to leave. They might not mean it but they’re entertaining the thought. The really qualified are leaving. The only ones who are truly loyal towards France and Germany are those who are living off the welfare system. Because there is no other place in the world that offers to pay for them. America, Canada and Australia count on receiving our best-qualified youth, and they will get many of them. That will put an end to innovation and put a damper on economical growth in Europe. In Germany this is already so that we miss billions upon billions in revenue because we lack qualified people to take on the jobs. On one hand we have two million positions that we cannot fill, on the other a welfare-dependent population of six million, and there is no exchange between the two. The welfare group grows each year because of new babies, but the vacant job slots are not filled.
“You can talk about two different states which are radically closed to each other. The welfare state cannot continue. We cannot hope to cover the demographic holes through immigration from China either, since the Chinese don’t want to immigrate to a welfare system, where they will have to pay for an ageing population’s pensions in addition to a welfare population of millions.
“We have to say that there is only one category of people who can count on help from the government, and that is the mentally or physically handicapped. Nobody else should expect help. This sounds cold and cynical in the beginning, but our welfare states were founded the 19th century, when families had 10 children and when the father fell down a scaffold, somebody had to look after the family. This is not the situation we’re facing today.
“If you go to Australia, you don’t get money to have children. You can get a slight tax-relief. On the other hand a citizen of Australia can keep 80 out of every 100 dollars he earns.”
How could it go so wrong in a Europe, which otherwise had these grandiose plans about peace, cooperation, and prosperity, and in the beginning had unlimited trust in their own abilities?
“It started to go wrong around 1980. But the great turn in Germany came as late as 1990. It was when we opened the gates for a mass immigration of roughly speaking unqualified people. In the period between 1990-2002 Germany allowed an immigration of 13 million. At almost the same time it started to go wrong in France. We can only stop this burden on the welfare state though the law. We have to pass a bill that declares that new children born after a certain date will have to be paid for by the parents. It will be a revolution. But it isn’t even being discussed here in Europe.”
Clinton’s social reform
“But let me point out what happened in the USA. During the election campaign in 1992 Bill Clinton promised with a famous pronouncement to end welfare as it had been previously known. In 1935 the USA had issued a bill by the name “Aid to Dependent Children” (from 1960 known as “Aid to Families with Dependent Children”, ed.), which guaranteed every mother with small children help from the public. There was again the question about the father who had fallen from the scaffold, and very few received support because of this bill. However in 1965 the morals had changed. Until then it would have been unthinkable to a mother — whether she was white or black — to be pregnant, hide the identity of the father and then let the public pay for her kids. Now she didn’t even have to push the father out of a tall building. This caused an explosion of the number of welfare-dependent American families. From 1965 to 1995 the share of these rose to 10% of all American families and 15% of the children. That was the reality that Clinton had to face.
“Most of these welfare-dependents were blacks, and that made racists claim that the problem was in the black genes. But the Republicans and the Democrats worked together on a new law, “Temporary Assistance for Needy Families”, which was a smart law. It told American women: We will give you welfare up to five years. You decide whether it should be five years straight, or whether you want to divide the five years into shorter periods. The new law was passed in 1996 and took effect on January 1, 1997. It caused several top officials in the Clinton administration to walk out in protest, stating the law was a racist attack on the weakest — single mothers and their children. They had made a prediction for 1997-98, which showed that the number of children affected by this law would grow from 12 to 14 million. As it turned out, it was these well-meaning people who were the racists. The black girls were smart enough to go on the pill with the result that the welfare-dependent population shrank from 12 million to 4 million. It was the most successful social reform in history.
“In Europe we haven’t even begun to discuss such a reform.”
Leave the youth bulges alone
Lately there has been a discussion about whether we in the West have anything to do in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan or with populations as the Palestinian. Thus a pessimistic message that, we have let them fight against each other, if they want, and it isn’t something that we should or ought to interfere in?
“Among American strategists some are beginning to question whether the USA with its one-son families can send out troops to fight populations with many sons. That is the mistake we have committed in Iraq and Afghanistan. If you have to go in because you have been attacked, then you have to do it, but as soon as the danger has been defeated, it is necessary to withdraw. The Iraqis and the Afghans have to ensure the balance between the populations and positions in society themselves. And as far back in history we look, we can see that this balance has been created by young men who have killed each other. We have done it in Europe, and it have happened elsewhere. We cannot allow then to send their young men over the borders to kill others.
“My personal view is, that when faced with a youth bulge, then the phenomenon must be allowed to play out with the consequences we know. We should stay away. If we interfere, we cannot avoid having to side with one party and then help kill that party’s opponents. And then you end up in a situation where you appear to the population as the ones who do the dirty work for one side in different conflicts. Instead one can arm the most sympathetic side, which was what the French did in Algeria, after the Islamists started their killings of the secularists in 1992. France then sent weapons aid to the secularists. Back then there was nobody who said that we had to send money and food for the families of the Islamists, as they do in Palestine.”
Hat tip: Steen