My horizon for worrying about the future is a little past the end of the century - somewhere past my grandchildrens' middle ages - putative grandchildren, that is - I don't actually have any yet. I'm not sure how much to worry about that time frame, but I think there's much to fear.
Now some worry about things like global warming and nuclear Armageddon. Such calamities don't even register on my anxiety meter. While I put the probability of global warming being a real concern at about 75%, I can't imagine that if this civilization of ours is even worth saving in 100 years that we will not have settled into a path to a clear technological solution by then - and a pretty nifty one at that. As for nuclear Armageddon, sure that's possible, but hell it's Armageddon - no point worrying about that - it's all over - at least humanity as we might recognize it. But this is a real low probability event.
I worry more about the slow, inexorable decay of civilization. I worry that my grandchildren will not live in a world governed by the rule of law; that the protection of local, state and national law enforcement will not be a fundamental fact of life. I fear a world where various gangs, tribes, factions will vie for power and control of turf; where the basic decisions of life - where to live, where to work, who to marry - will be driven by these very forces.
In short I worry that this incredible civilization of ours - a true heaven on earth by any standards that the world has ever known - will perish from the earth. I'm writing about this because I found this post
on Dennis Mangan's blog quite sobering. He points out that the infertility of the West pretty much dooms it to extinction. Then there is this projection
of the U.S. population in 40 years (via Sailer
), with "minorities" in the majority, a sure road to tribalism.
Let's consider what it is we have and what we stand to lose. What we have is a civilization where material wants are essentially eliminated. Each person has a warm, dry, comfortable bed to sleep in; dry, heated, and often cooled shelter which keeps out animals and pests (save for the occasional rodent or roach). Our clothing is easily kept clean and varied, and our sanitation facilities ensure that we need never be in contact with human waste. We have abundant food, rich in protein, so much so that too much food is a far greater health threat than too little, which as a health problem is almost non-existent. Our food and water supplies are pathogen free (with very rare exceptions), and most any disease that would have killed almost anyone 150 years ago is easily cured. The available mental stimulation is limitless, transportation ubiquitous, and miraculous labor-saving machines not even given a second thought. We have a trained police force to keep us safe and a justice system that, while flawed, typically does its best to determine guilt and innocence and send away dangerous criminals.
And now the people who created this paradise are dying out? The Japanese and it appears the Chinese (and perhaps a tiny slice of India) have caught on to how to create such a world, but others really haven't figured it out too well, and those others are the ones who would appear to be replacing the reproductively hapless Euros. Sure, in many parts of Latin America millions lead modern, affluent lives. But many more do not, and the rule of law is never very certain. It seems that some think of the wealth and safety of life in North America, kind of like oak trees and redwoods, as just simply existing within those geographic borders. But of course it's that way because the people living there have made it that way. But for how much longer?