For many of us, it is clear that Western Civilization has been in trouble for quite some time. The past thousand years of internal power struggles and the slow abolition of any sense of purpose are signs of the decline, and over the past 229 years, the decay has accelerated to the terminal point.
We have finally reached the stage where we are dying out because we are miserable in the condition of modern life:
According to research by both the CIA and the U.N., every single member of the European Union has a birthrate significantly below the replacement rate of 2.1 births per woman. In the CIA World Factbook, Germany had a birthrate of 1.36 children per woman in 2007, and Spain and Italy had birthrates of 1.29. At such low levels of fertility, within 100 years, those three nations would have populations 80 percent lower than they are today. And Germany, Italy and Spain are far from alone: Every single industrialized country in Europe has a birthrate below 1.9 children per woman. The average birthrate of the European Union as a whole is approximately 1.5 children per woman â€” and that number is artificially inflated by the presence of millions of highly fertile non-European immigrants in the major urban centers of Europe.
…By the year 2150, barring a major shift in either native European fertility rates or immigrant nationality, Europe will be a largely Muslim continent with whites and Christians as minorities composing less than 20 percent of the population.
…It seems that Europe has decided that it wants to do something about this perceived problem, but is unwilling to do the one thing that would resolve the long-term demographic situation in a manner that would benefit both native Europeans and immigrants: reproduce.
The same is true of the USA, if you know where to look: the old school Western Europeans are marrying later, having difficulty maintaining those marriages, and very few of them are having children. Among my generation, most people are childless.
Obviously, we should tackle the elephant in the room. Something is causing these people not to breed, possibly in conjunction with the disorder created by sexual liberation and other brilliant Leftist policies. More likely, people are existentially miserable, which means they have doubt about the value of the life they are leading.
When people are joyful, they take on ambitious projects and have large families. When they are not, they camp out in slacker jobs and live quietly in city condominiums. Technology has enhanced this as now, we do not need to leave home at all in many cases, but can work and order in food, living single or perpetually “dating” until death.
Modernity is killing us. As Plato intuited, the problem with bad systems is not solely that they are inept, but that this ineptitude shapes people. It causes people to despair. They then die out, much as Western Europeans are in Europe and North America. Why strive if life is fundamentally empty, miserable, and filled with neurotic worry?
Just as with animals, when we are in a good environment, we thrive; when we are confined, hopeless, cornered, despairing, miserable, or in pain, we will ourselves to death. Western European people worldwide have been living in a state of constant hopelessness since the end of WW1, but our doubt about life itself goes much deeper.
Modernity arose with the French Revolution. Away went the little villages ruled by gentle lords, the customs and culture, and the sense of purpose and faith in life itself that quelled our existential suffering. Before the Revolution, we knew we were doing the right thing if we lived according to our tradition.
After the Revolution, in came bureaucracy. Cities replaced the towns. Mass culture and mass mobilization replaced intelligent leadership. There was constant infighting, from the politics of elections to the churn among companies trying to decide who would control large swathes of the economy.
Our once-intelligent society had become shocking dumb. Not only did the stupid but obedient thrive in the age of managerial control, because every manager loves a low-risk worker even if that worker is not particularly good at anything, but all public opinions had to pander to a crowd with the collective intelligence of the audience for an amusement park.
Spread by social coercion, this stupidity quickly absorbed every institution in the West so that they got dumb together. Government got dumb at the same rate that the church, art scene, schools, professionals, corporations, and non-profits did. We kept pace as we rushed into the abyss.
By the time 1968 came around, ready for the coup de grÃ¢ce, the West had given up on itself for three generations. They had nothing to believe in because modern life was really not all that much fun. Sure, it was prosperous, but everyone spent their time in mindless unnecessary jobs, maintaining glitchy gadgets, babysitting third world or low caste labor, dealing with government and our crazy fellow citizens, filing paperwork, and otherwise being forced into confronting the tedious, ugly, and faith-crushing every day.
This delighted the Left, who are fundamentally neurotics that are motivated by a desire to destroy everything beautiful, good, and true because they do not detect those things in themselves. Solipsism, it turns out, is a form of neurosis where we mistake ourselves for the source of reality itself, when we are really only mirrors.
Our modern world makes us hate life. We spend way too much time working in jobs that are jails, then must live in ugly cities where most people are neurotic or otherwise low-grade mentally disturbed, and participate in a process of life that is designed to humble, humiliate, bore, and subjugate all of us. No wonder people are not reproducing.
Finally, a century after the end of WW1, people are noticing that they are exhausted by the constant lack of meaning, boredom, frustration, isolation, loneliness, and perhaps most of all, worry:
Take a look at your friends and families. How many do you know who are sleepless with worry? Bleary-eyed from watching our favorite (and, too often, partisan) cable news outlets as pundits explain, blame and offer everything but what we want: More sleep and stress-ending solutions.
Indeed, 63% of Americans say the future of the nation is a very or somewhat significant source of stress for them, according to the recently released “Stress in America” report by the American Psychological Association.
…Decades ago, there was another year that left people feeling much as they do now: 1968, the year of the Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy assassinations, the year when police brutally clashed with protesters at the Democratic Convention in Chicago, the year of the Tet offensive in South Vietnam, of violent conflict in Northern Ireland, of riots on campuses and inner cities. Many, by December, felt that the world was coming apart.
Modern life is based on instability. Democracy means constant changes in power; mass culture means no consistent standards, and that instead your culture is defined by cryptic hipsters; the presence of economic systems means that we are constantly burdened with having to demonstrate our worth at worthless tasks.
It does not matter whether one chooses socialism. The European socialist states, who brag about their high level of benefits, are not reproducing any more than the Americans are. Capitalism at least provides more opportunity, but when paired to a managerial-administrative state and mass culture, it too becomes a method of destruction.
If we drill down through all of the problems of the West, from diversity to creeping Leftism, at the heart of them we see a fundamental confusion about purpose in life. We need something solid and consistent to inform our actions so that we know we are doing what is right and living the best possible life.
The West has no purpose. It lost that sense of direction long ago when it replaced its original way of doing things — monarchy, aristocracy, feudalism, caste, reverence, standards, customs — with mob rule. That in turn came about after the church destabilized the aristocracy. That in turn came about after ethnic diversity in Europe spurred a number of early wars, based essentially on the difference between the coarse and the fine, with the more numerous coarse hoping to dominate more than their own region so that they would not be threatened by the presence of those with higher standards who would make them look bad.
Currently, those of us who are descendants of the original West face a difficult choice. We have to decide to thrive, and if we do that, we have to throw away all of the ugliness of modernity. That will offend many people who find egalitarianism mentally comforting, even if they hate living in the society it produces.
Do we have the guts, balls, and brains to overthrow a popular illusion and replace it with a better plan? So far, no one has wanted to rise up to the be the next sacrifice as happened in WW1, and very few will challenge a Soviet-style ideological regime that will fire us, impoverish us, and ostracize us for not agreeing with it.
At the same time, it becomes clear that this is do-or-die time. We either choose a direction that avoids the existential malaise in which we find ourselves, or we die out from failure to breed. This requires us to face the most difficult of all questions, “How do I know that I am valuable?”
The neurotics who inhabit the modern time specialize in inversion, or making values into their opposites to to spread confusion and doubt. Neurotics find power in destroying others and take great delight in it, especially if they can do it indirectly. Their inversion of values has made people question whether the West was ever great.
Our only answer should be to laugh at that one. Like most mental viruses, it infects your brain when you take it seriously. The Left has spoken in inversion: 90% of humanity has done nothing but screw up, and parts of the West broke away and did much better, and that is why the neurotics hate us.
We did great things in the past, we have some lurking greatness now, and we can be great again in the future. However, we must overcome our existential depression and rediscover our purpose, in the process coming to appreciate ourselves and the possibilities of life again, before we can rise to that state.