Spandrall put out this interesting post THOSE WHO SHOW UP about the risks posed by falling birthrates, and possible solutions and outcomes.
That was 2013 though, and a lot has happened since. Most of it bad. Some good things too: Russia grew a spine, annexed Crimea and kicked USG out of Syria. China grew two spines, destroyed their liberal fifth-column, is forcibly assimilating their native muslims and is fast approaching military parity with USG.
Most of those things occurred between 2014-2015. I hope more than that has happened. It does sometimes seem like the stakes have gotten smaller but the internet and the media is angrier than ever. In the last decade, from 2000-2010, there was 911, a global financial crisis, hurricane Katrina and the Sri Lanka tsunami, and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a bunch of other stuff I am probably forgetting. And yet in spite of all of that, things seemed more civil, especially online, than today. Now the debate is in regard to campus protests and free speech, pronouns, and if gender exists…not exactly high stakes issues compared to the last decade, but the implications are important nonetheless.
And yes, Trump happened. That was fun. It unleashed a renaissance of right-wing memery. But Trump also failed to get anything done, he’s likely to lose the next election, and now not even the memes are safe, as the CIA has co-opted 4chan talent for export, as seen in Pepe frogs in Hong Kong and Joker thots in Lebanon. Not cool.
It also lead to a bunch of de-plaformings, too. And little progress on any of the stuff he campaigned on in 2016: immigration control, wall, returning jobs to America, etc. Many of his initiatives, such as dealing with the opioid crisis, lowering drug prices, Amazon vs. the USPS, tech censorship, etc. predictably went nowhere or stalled. It was obvious in 2016-2017 that little would change domestically as a consequence of Trump winning. Republicans are ineffectual…this is a complaint I constantly see, and probably explains the appeal of outsiders such as Trump, who . That is not to say he has been a total failure: there has been some wall construction, tax cuts, and court appointments. Foreign policy has been a bigger success. Trump is using sanctions and other economic leverage and tools to get his way, such as with Russia and Turkey.
I won’t say that Trump killed neoreaction. It wasn’t him. It was just time. 12 years have passed since Moldbug started blogging. Hell, 8 years have passed since I started this blog. Have things got any better? No, they’re getting steadily worse.
I think NRx and the alt/dissident right, in general, has been subsumed by a sort of amoral ‘nihilistic realism’ that is neither conservative nor liberal. It seeks not to impose values but to understand the world, as it is, and is related to the rise of the IDW and the huge popularity of centrism online. Over the past three years, IDW-pundits Joe Rogan, Ben Shapiro, Jordan Peterson, Eric Weinstein, to give some notable examples, have built huge platforms and huge audiences espousing moderate/classical liberalism and pragmatic conservatism, related to what I have called the rise of nonjudgmental conservatism, which is libertarian-leaning in regard to morality, drug legalization, and personal choices, yet otherwise supports government in regard to defense, the fed, police, etc. It’s pragmatic in the sense that it values outcomes over ideology. The emphasis is not so much about being pro-right or pro-traditionalism but about being anti-left and anti-SJW, which has proven to be a winning formula over the past three years especially. The emphasis is on realism, and, philosophically, is materialist, such as biological realism or economic realism or gender realism, in contrast to idealism, which is how you end up with classical liberals such as Steven Pinker being lumped with Ben Shapiro.
Conservatism, even in its most diluted and moderate form, heavily believes in the necessity and inevitability of hierarchies. Jordan Peterson talks about hierarchy a lot in his lectures, such as how hierarchies and winner-take-all outcomes (as visually represented by the Pareto distribution, which he frequently mentions) spontaneously arise in nature in the absence of the same sort of social pressures that humans impose on each other. Because conservatives value status so highly, and because LGBT people arguably have more social status now than ever before, conservatives find themselves in a bind of having to choose between traditionalism, which tends to confer low status, versus cosmopolitanism and LGBT-ism, and the latter is winning. Traditionalism, because it is ultimately divorced from the self but rather is subservient to some sort of higher power–be it religion, nationality, family, or culture–can never be high status, as status is something that is either intrinsic to or bestowed to the individual. Traditionalism and status are not mutually inclusive; you have to choose. Status is more appealing because it is scarce and can quantified, much like gold.
Follow this guy, by the way. If you ever have a good mood and feel optimistic he’ll solve that for you fast. All he does is show birth rate data across the world. And it’s not looking good. Not good at all
It’s not so much that there is a depopulation crisis but rather that there is a possible crisis among white, European populations. World population is still growing. All this hype in recent years regarding falling birthrates seems like Malthusianism in reverse. Articles about falling birthrates frequently go viral, and there is huge concern about this even among the educated class especially. 200 years ago the concern was over overpopulation, but now it’s depopulation even though world population has grown 700% since then. Rather than more people, the emphasis, imho, should be on higher quality people.
Yes, I’m a demographic pessimist. I see the above figures and see how the Western world is slowly becoming Brazil, half white, half black. But Brazil itself is not stable; white people are having less babies than black people there. Brazil is slowly becoming something like South Africa, 10% white, 90% black. But again, South Africa is not stable itself, is it? Birth rates are different, and if that didn’t suffice, blacks there are outright murdering white people and chasing them off the land. The actual endgame is actually worse than South Africa, which still has (people tell me) some very fine spots, such as Cape Town.
Like a Minions movie: a world full of short, yellowish/brownish people of ambiguous racial and ethnic ancestry.
If the primary reason fertility is low despite an abundance of resources is because people are trying to climb the latter of social status, trying to get more money and live in a better neighborhood, trying to attract the highest quality of mate, (or quantity of mates) then natural selection will act against those who play this game, promoting the genes of those who do not care about it or those too incompetent to play it well. Though the particularities of “the game” differ by culture, it can be recognizably found in many different cultures, and accounts for the fact that the correlation between fertility and intelligence is negative everywhere.
Took me about three minutes to realize why this is likely wrong. The trend has been for the past 10,000 years towards increasing technological development in spite of increasing abundance, so that counters this theory that the world must become dumber due to abundance and status-seeking. The reason is, there will ways be some proportion of people who seek status, and others who seek procreation. Also, although IQ is highly hereditary, it is also random, so even among average and even below-average IQ populations there will still be geniuses by chance, and then these smart people will tend to gravitate to each other, producing smart offspring. Even if birthrates among the highly intelligent are very low, there will always be some small proportion of smart people due to a combination of genetic variance and assortative mating.
Well not quite. Tech-comms have something to say too. Humans aren’t all dumb, not yet. What if there’s a technological way out of the demographic crisis? Well, there kinda is. And it’s a year old actually. Has everyone forgot about He Jiankui?
I think this is the most probable and desirable outcome of the three possibilities given. Negative eugenics, such as laws or policy preventing or at least discouraging people with IQs below a certain threshold, such as 90, from procreating is another possibly and is something that can be done now.