The following brief news item from AGI shines a spotlight on what has the West has done to itself over the past fifty or sixty years. The Italian bishops have inadvertently revealed the rationale — at least the original rationale — for the mass immigration that has been imposed upon us against our will:
Immigrants in Italy Will Reverse Falling Birth Rate
(AGI) Vatican City, Nov 6 — The Italian Episcopal Conference, in its annual message for the Day for Life conference to be held on Feb. 1, 2015, with the slogan “Support for Life”, has emphasized the devastating effect of falling birth rates and how children born today will be the point of an inverse social pyramid, carrying the overwhelming burden of previous generations. Italian bishops also emphasized how immigrants are playing the greater role in terms of new citizens.
The demographic crisis that is unfolding now has been expected for at least forty years. I remember reading the predictions back in the 1970s, and then later revisions in the ’80s and ’90s. Businesses and government agencies for whom actuarial information was important — insurance companies and the fiduciary bodies for pension funds come to mind — were well-motivated to make reliable projections of the demographics of the West for several generations into the future. By 1980 it was obvious that the birthrates in the European diaspora would not be sufficient to sustain existing welfare states for more than another half-century or so.
There were several reasons why Europeans and their cousins in the former colonies were not procreating fast enough:
|1.||The welfare state itself. When the state is responsible for taking care of you in your old age, you don’t need to have children to fill that role, which was the traditional strategy.|
|2.||The welfare state imposes high taxes to pay for itself. As a result, having children becomes a more expensive proposition. People are rational economic actors, so they have fewer children.|
|3.||The availability of cheap birth control. This makes #2 possible for ordinary citizens.|
|4.||A hedonistic popular culture that encourages self-gratification and discourages the postponement of pleasure. Narcissism and live-for-the-moment cultural memes make parenthood and family life seem boring and passé, something to be ridiculed and avoided.
The obvious solution was to import a new cohort of young, productive workers who would do the jobs and pay the taxes that all the non-existent children of the natives would otherwise have been doing and paying.
A great idea, right?
The Catholic bishops of Italy must be the last of the cultural elite that still believe that immigration is a panacea for the demographic implosion. They seem to think that the old Italy will somehow continue the same with a cohort of new, swarthier faces inhabiting it. Vineyards, wine, prosciutto, and buxom young women in low-cut dresses strolling down the streets of Rome or Milan. How could all this ever come to an end?
The politicians, of course, have long since realized that their brilliant strategy has failed, and failed miserably. But they continue with their lies and prevarications, because they have to — their little game has gone past the point of no return.
Twenty years ago they could say that they “didn’t know.” That is no longer possible. None of the major parties in currently existing governments can acknowledge their mistake, and still survive.
So they double down. They continue to sing the praises of Multiculturalism, tout the “benefits” of immigration, and crack down on any uppity citizens who dare to disagree with them.
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in’t!
— Lines spoken by Miranda in The Tempest, by William Shakespeare
Hat tip: C. Cantoni.