Saturday, August 24, 2013

Why aren't the Germans having children?

There has been a bit of discussion on the web about Germany's declining population. According to one study, 23% of German men believe that the ideal number of children to have is zero.

So what's gone wrong? I think the big picture looks something like this. The liberal culture we live in tells us that we should focus on those areas of life that we can self-determine as individuals. But what kinds of things can we choose for ourselves on a purely personal basis? Well, we can choose a career; we can choose travel destinations; and we have various consumer, lifestyle and entertainment choices.

Of all these options career is the most serious commitment that is left to us and so liberals tend to treat a professional career as the telos  of life (the purpose of life we develop toward). This aim is strengthened by the fact that liberal opinion makers tend to be ambitious people who have relatively creative and high status careers, within academia, the media and politics.

And so elite liberal opinion tells us that career comes first rather than family. Young Germans have picked up on this message: according to one survey 81 per cent of young Germans believe that their society values professional success over family.

Like elsewhere this leads to 20-something men and women putting most of their effort into education and career, to the point that a commitment to family can seem like one burden too many. 79 per cent of childless Germans believe that "daily life brings enough stress without children."

So what can then be done to lift fertility rates? The liberal solution is to accept that professional life comes first and will take most of the time and energy of young people. Therefore, family life has to be made to fit in with a busy corporate lifestyle, largely through investment in formal childcare, paid maternity leave and so on.

There are even conservatives now who are accepting that this is the way to go for family life. The Australian Liberal Party, our right-wing party, has committed itself to this liberal model of the new family.

But there are problems with doing this. First, there is not much evidence that the massive investments in childcare and paid maternity leave actually raise fertility rates significantly. In Germany the fertility rate is 1.4; in countries like Sweden and France which have pioneered the childcare and paid maternity leave policies it is just a little higher at 1.7 (for native Frenchwomen it is 1.7). That's still a long way below replacement fertility levels.

And that's hardly surprising. If you accept a culture in which individual fulfilment via career is the leading principle, then why would people choose to have large families? Most people will choose to have just one or two children and some will choose to be "childfree". That makes it very difficult to get to a replacement population level.

In the newer model of family life there is supposed to be a unisex model of parenting, one that is focused not on gendered roles but on an equal division of labour in meeting the practical burdens of looking after children. This too undercuts a reason for committing to family life, as it disconnects our identity as men and women from distinctly important roles within the family as fathers and mothers. It makes parenthood a matter of practical work rather than an expression and a fulfilment of self and identity.

So what's the alternative? I believe that we have to continue to insist that family comes first. In other words, our role as fathers and mothers is a more significant one than our particular work role. Admittedly that won't be an easy sell to those young women who are geared up to career achievement. We may not do as well amongst that particular demographic. However, in my experience many women do eventually become more open to scaling back career commitments once they've had a lengthy experience of the sacrifices demanded at work and once they've married and had children. So the women we lose at age 22 we might well win back by age 35.

Second, it's unreasonable to put tremendous education and work demands on women in their 20s and still expect them to take on an even greater workload by having children. In most cases, the best answer is to get young men into good jobs and to make affordable housing available, so that young men can get back to performing one of the basic tasks of manhood, which is to create a space for their wives to have children. That should continue to be the basic model within a traditionalist culture.

Most women will not ever have high status and creative careers and will most likely readily accept such a model. And there can be flexibility for those women who do want a role outside of the home. Could we not offer such women, to take just one example, some experience on a woman's magazine, then a period of time having children, then a return part-time to the creative role at the magazine?

As for men, because we believe in the importance of the fatherhood role we should be committed to improving the work/life balance for men, so that they have the opportunity to be not only providers but also to fulfil the important mentoring work that fathers should ideally perform within a family.

48 comments:

  1. "And so elite liberal opinion tells us that career comes first rather than family. Young Germans have picked up on this message: according to one survey 81 per cent of young Germans believe that their society values professional success over family."

    You are trying to extrapolate the Anglosaxon culture and values to Germany which has an entirely different culture with different values. The percentage of German children attending university and developing professional careers is much lower that that in Anglosphere countries. University education is for a minority and the professions which are valued are the large number of engineers required to power the huge manufacturing industry of Germany, medicine, law, finance and accountancy. Media and politics are not particularly esteemed and academic posts have declined in financial and social status.

    The majority of Germans have jobs and not careers and the majority enter apprenticeships and not university.

    Germany places a lot of value on professional and financial success especially since the culture of hard work ad thrift was inculcated into the population after the Second World War. However Germany is not the only culture which emphasises this. Many others do to.
    Hence falling birth rates cannot be attributed simply to the factors that you list.

    There has to be some coercion to enter marriage and family life to over come the selfish nature of humans. As a general overview of human cultures and civilizations, a degree of coercion is required to make any group stick together and hold to common rules. And those societies which have normal marriage and birth rates are those in which family and social pressure on young people compels them to marry and have children.

    A society in which marriage and family life are voluntary will inevitable mean the large scale collapse of the family.


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  2. Anon,

    It's not true that the culture and values of Germany are entirely different to those of the Anglosphere. Although it's legitimate to point out shades of difference between the Western countries, all of these countries are following a similar pattern of development along the lines of a liberal philosophy.

    Anon, it's true that in Germany as elsewhere most people have jobs rather than careers. Some of these people will follow through by prioritising finding a spouse in a timely way and taking a break from career to have children.

    But the larger social trend is toward a new model of family life in which family is considered secondary to career, and in which there is a unisex model of parenting focused on an egalitarian division of ordinary parenting tasks rather than a fulfilment of gendered roles of mother and father.

    The point of my post was to argue that it is very difficult to lift fertility rates to replacement level under such a model of family life.

    As for coercion, it's true that a society that is serious about replacing itself will have all sorts of incentives towards family formation. But I don't think human nature pushes entirely against reproduction. Until recently at least most Westerners still wanted to marry and have children - they just didn't succeed in doing so.

    (I should point out too that I don't think the arguments I put forward explain everything about fertility levels. It seems, for instance, that modern urban lifestyles have a role in depressing fertility levels regardless of the prevailing culture.)

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  3. I'd suggest that we think of contraception as a sort of pathogen to which large parts of the population are susceptible. In a generation or two, the genotype that is disposed to use contraception will disappear and the philoprogenitive will inherit the earth.

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  4. Mark you state "
    It's not true that the culture and values of Germany are entirely different to those of the Anglosphere" - have you ever been to Germany? Have you ever traveled in Europe? If you take a flight from Melbourne to Berlin you will find yourself in a very different type of country from Australia inhabited by people of a very different temperament.

    Although there are certain trends being imposed upon the countries of Western Europe, each country has a very different culture, economy, institutions and values. There is a certain degree of similarity of religion and culture to the European countries but there are profound differences. The greatest difference in culture is between the Anglo Saxon culture and the rest of Europe.

    The liberal philosophy you talk of is imposed by the European Union and the media with various degrees of acceptance and resistance depending upon the country. Greece and Poland have not followed this to the same extent as other countries.

    Similarly the model of the family being promoted - the nuclear family - is the liberal model of family. It was pointed out by the philosopher Alastair McIntyre in a lecture in the USA that the nuclear family as the dominant type of family in the USA ( and now much of the West), could not fulfill the traditional role of the family in child raising and care of the sick and the elderly. He asked the audience to define the role of an aunt. They could not. His definition was that of a mediator in the family. What is the role of grandparents and do they have any role to play in raising children? What happens if the parents are killed in a road or air accident?

    The traditional family is not the nuclear family of husband, wife and children working as a team but the extended family of grandparents, parents, children, aunts, uncles and cousins. Essentially a tribe of people working as a team. A tribe can handle conflict, trauma and disaster with greater resilience and success than a small family which is easily destroyed by threatening events.

    The nuclear family, as promoted in the West, is too fragile an organism to survive in a complex world and no amount of financial inducements will build up a significant amount of resilience into this inherently unstable alliance.

    In many traditional societies parents are forced to seek work far from home and parenting models are not along gendered lines. Grandparents and aunts and uncles can play a major role but this does not create the collapse of the family.

    Mark you are essentially taking a liberal model of family and making some changes to external conditions in the hope of shoring up the liberal model in the same way the liberals may make some exceptions to multiculturalism. However, this is not workable as the family model is itself flawed.

    In order to support and strengthen the family, internal changes need to be made to the family model to go back to the traditional extended family. The liberal nuclear family leads to fragmentation of the family and a disconnect between generations.

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  5. You state "As for coercion, it's true that a society that is serious about replacing itself will have all sorts of incentives towards family formation. But I don't think human nature pushes entirely against reproduction. Until recently at least most Westerners still wanted to marry and have children - they just didn't succeed in doing so. "

    Of course human nature does not push against reproduction but humans do not always select the best course of action.

    For example school has many benefits and can be enjoyable but without truancy laws which can be enforced against the parents then many children would not maintain a
    regular attendance at school.

    Things which are important for the common good and society cannot be left entirely to human volition. There needs to be coercion. Those who deny this are liberals and not traditionalists.

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  6. You state "The point of my post was to argue that it is very difficult to lift fertility rates to replacement level under such a model of family life."

    Human fertility will always remain low in the nuclear family. The nuclear family is inherently fragile and unstable and its vulnerability will always make people fear for its break up and limit family size as a risk reduction strategy.

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  7. You forget that the median age of German men is already quite advanced. What is the median age of men in the survey? Asking 45+ year-old, childless men if they want kids is sort of pointless. Few German men are in the child-making age anymore, tendency decreasing, and those that are, are often too underemployed or overworked to marry. And look at the apartment situation in German cities like Munich. Pay a fortune to live in a soulless, 2-room (that's 2 room, not 2 bedroom!) apartment block.

    Most of the childless men I know stuck with the same career-minded woman until her ovaries shriveled up, and then he resigned himself to their elegant automobiles and vacations in Tenerife. The rest married younger women, often foreigners or ethnic minorities.

    And with the harridan, frivolous divorce, and child-support horror stories German men hear, do you wonder why they've lost interest? German men are sensible and practical and not inclined to put up with any feminist bullshit in their homes, and prostitution is rampant, legal, and cheap as dirt.

    This choice has negative consequences for my Heimat, but what are you going to do? Force the men to marry and reproduce with unsuitable women? You can't pay them enough, apparently.

    What I will say, which I've seen over and over again IRL, is that when well-employed German men meet a feminine, fertile non-German woman, they marry and reproduce faster than you can say lickity-split. So take the survey with about 5 lbs of salt. They haven't necessarily lost the will to reproduce, they've lost the will to reproduce with the women they're sleeping with, or they're too broke to even entertain the idea.

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  8. The German population isn't actually worse off than the Swedes and French. It's that our foreigners are mostly Turks and Eastern Europeans, who tend to have a lower birthrate than their foreigners (lots of Africans and Asians). Once you strip out the native birthrates and compare, Germany is similar to the others.

    You can see this with research into sickle-cell anemia rates among French newborns.

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  9. Agree that the nuclear family is not the traditional family model. Those Germans who do have replacement-level fertility tend to be out in the country, with close communities and churches, and often living in the same house or neighborhood with their relatives. This is what we do, and I'd have gone mad trying to raise two kids essentially on my own, what with my man having to travel and work long hours.

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  10. Also, what do you do when the children are older and the wife needs to go back to work? We leave the kids with relatives when we need someone to mind them outside of school hours, but others demand state child care because they have no family nearby. State child care is the direct result of the nuclear family. As if we all live in the prairie, instead of in the Dorf.

    All of this childcare debate is the result of the decline of the traditional German family, which is an extended family.

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  11. Productivity increases were supposed to allow us to work less hours with more time for traditional family. Instead the responsible, non-vibrant members of society have been forced to work ever longer and harder just to keep their noses above water, while their incomes are taxed ever higher for forced transfer payments to blacks, feminazis, and immigrants. When it inevitably dawns on people that they are slaves of the almighty out-of-control State, then who would want to reproduce?

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  12. Instead the responsible, non-vibrant members of society have been forced to work ever longer and harder just to keep their noses above water

    Yes, that's a good point. Even so, the greatest financial burdens for middle-class people here in Melbourne are the costs of housing and education. If we move forward to try to establish a traditionalist community there's not a lot we could do about taxation levels, but we could tackle the cost of housing and education for young families. That's what our positive focus could be.

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  13. "we could tackle the cost of housing and education for young families"

    How do you propose to do this? House prices are driven by demand which is exacerbated by immigration and outwith the control of small pressure groups. Education is dependent upon various costs which include buildings and teachers' salaries. How do you propose to control this?

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  14. The liberal philosophy you talk of is imposed by the European Union and the media with various degrees of acceptance and resistance depending upon the country.

    Fine, but the young German women I speak to are more of the "full on feminist" mentality than the Australian women. They aren't so much different as more intensely indoctrinated.

    I asked one German woman what she thought of the fact that 23% of German men thought the ideal number of children was zero. I obviously hit a very sore spot with her and she said "Yes, and the rest will refuse to give up their work to look after the children".

    So part of the problem is the sense of opposition and bitterness between the sexes that occurs when society is defined as a competition between men and women for the "ultimate prize" of a professional career, money, status etc.

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  15. we could tackle the cost of housing and education for young families

    Well, that depends on getting enough people together into a movement.

    But in theory if you had, say, 10,000 people - you could buy some land cheaply in the countryside, subsidise the cost of building through community donations and then lease the houses to keep prices fixed rather than dependent on supply and demand. That's just an idea off the top of my head, to show what is possible once you have the resources.

    As for education, you could once again fund the building through community donations and then perhaps subsidise the wages of teachers via some sort of economic activity (perhaps the profits of the local supermarket could be used to fund the local school - again that's just an idea).

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  16. and prostitution is rampant, legal, and cheap as dirt.

    Yes, I saw an article abut that in the Daily Mail and it surprised me.

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  17. I obviously hit a very sore spot with her and she said "Yes, and the rest will refuse to give up their work to look after the children".

    This is true. Most German men who want children expect the woman to stay home to care for them. This is what the government is trying to change in the mentality, but I hope they fail to change it. It's one major reason why Germany is still a relatively nice place to live.

    Let the feminists die out. It's just natural selection. We should concentrate more on increasing the fertility of the more traditional women with family-friendly policies. Housing is the biggest one, IMO. The housing situation is atrocious when you want to live someplace with jobs that pay enough to feed a family.

    We move there in a week, and we're already dreading the search for an apartment.

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  18. There's no way you can even exaggerate the prostitution situation over there. It's become so atrocious, and it's even in the residential areas.

    There's so much of it that it's starting to attract hordes of male tourists for flat-rate bordellos. 100 Euros or less for the entire night for all of the women there. No need to go to Thailand anymore. 30 Euros for sex with a foreign whore is cheaper than paying for a date with a native.

    Of course, this is doing wonders for the understanding between the sexes, as I'm sure you can imagine. If it's a gender war, the men are starting to win it.

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  19. On the issue of the traditional family a couple of points:

    i) The last historical research I saw concluded that in the Anglo-Saxon tradition, at least, the nuclear family was the basic unit, i.e. a husband and wife formed an independent household.

    ii) However, I agree that having an *isolated* nuclear family is not conducive to large families. There needs to be additional support. Ideally grandmothers will be able to provide assistance and I know of cases where aunts have also provided important assistance. Perhaps where this support is not available someone like an "adoptive aunt" can step in.

    iii) We have to be very careful about claiming that "it takes a village to raise a child" since that slogan is being used by left-liberals to shift the raising of children from the family unit to the state.

    iv) When I use the term "traditional family" I do so to refer to a husband, wife and children as the basic unit of family life. This unit is under attack by liberals not because they prefer an extended family but because they do not want a gendered pattern of parenting; nor do they like an exclusively heterosexual pattern of parenting; nor do the like the lack of choice such a model offers for those contemplating single motherhood.

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  20. We should concentrate more on increasing the fertility of the more traditional women with family-friendly policies.

    Agreed. We need to provide the setting for more traditionally minded men and women to have 3, 4 or more children, whilst the feminists have their 0, 1 or 2.

    There's no way you can even exaggerate the prostitution situation over there.

    Yes, it's striking. By way of contrast, Alte, we do have legal brothels in Melbourne. I just looked up the price charged at one and it's $250.00 per hour. It's not something that has ever appealed to me, but I imagine that even for those men who are tempted $250 would seem a lot of money to fork out for an hour. But the brothels in Berlin charge a very small amount for a whole night smorgasbord option. It must be having some sort of social effect.

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  21. Mark where do you do your historical research? In Anglo Saxon culture the nuclear family was a relatively recent development, particularly in the UK. The husband and wife setting up a home was never truly independent as there was always considerable and strong ties maintained with other family members who often lived in geographically close areas and there were defined roles played by grandparents and other family members.

    As one commentator said the extended family is the traditional German family.


    You state that the nuclear family is not conducive to large families. Evidence has demonstrated in all countries where it has become the dominant mode of family formation that it is not capable of sustaining even small families. The nuclear family has proved incompatible with the maintainance of a society and culture.

    Who has said it takes a village to raise a child? You are distorting the comments made and you evidently fail to Understand that the failure of the nuclear family actually leads to the state getting involved as the only backup when the extended family has disappeared. In societies where the extended family is strong and functional then the state has no role to play in the raising of children except for education.

    When you use the term traditional family to mean the husband wife and children then you are using the liberal model and therefore your referring to that as a traditional family is wrong and misleading. Liberals oppose the extended family as its strength does not permit them to gain power over it and their attacks on it seek to drive a wedge between the generations of family which weakens historical memory and cultural transmission. Liberals aim to destroy culture and tradition and this is the most important part of their attack.

    The issue of gendered parenting and homosexuals and single mothers is not hugely important as the aim of destroying the family is to weaken the resistance to tyranny and turn the population into cattle. The major onslaught was to attack the traditional family and breakdown its structure and hand over its welfare functions to the state: benefits, sickness payment, child are, free medical care. Once these functions were state controlled for all the but the wealthiest then the nuclear family imploded by itself.

    In a traditional family unit single mothers are rare and are looked after by the family, homosexual unions do not exist and gendered parenting is not a major issue.

    The main line of action for traditionals is to let the true traditional family reclaim the roles usurped by the state. This may happen forcibly in future due to the harsh cuts which the economic crisis Iis inflicting upon societies.


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  22. Mark your ideas about controlling the cost of housing and education are not workable or clearly thought out. The purchase of land still requires the construction of houses and roads which need to be paid for and when houses are sold the supply versus demand equation reappears. People want to own and not lease houses and it is not possible to force asset prizes below market rates .

    It is feasible to set up self sufficient communities but they need to be sustained by an economic system of strong independent family businesses independent of the major corporations. And so these need to be developed first.

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  23. Mark where do you do your historical research?

    Here is the research I was talking about:

    Peter Laslett

    Laslett studied family size and composition in pre-industrial England. From 1564-1821, he found that only about 10% of households contained kin beyond the nuclear family. This is the same percentage as for England in 1966. Laslett found no evidence to support the view that the classic extended family was widespread in pre-industrial England. He claims:

    "There is no sign of the large extended co-residential family group of the traditional peasant world giving way to the small, nuclear conjugal household of modern industrial society."

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  24. I bet he didn't count servants, which would explain a lot.

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  25. Mark your ideas about controlling the cost of housing and education are not workable or clearly thought out.

    Anon, I never claimed you could provide a house for nothing. But you could certainly provide it for less than the $600,000 which is currently the median in Melbourne.

    You could do it by:

    i) Building in an area where land can be purchased more cheaply than on the urban fringe

    ii) Subsidising the building cost through donations from a sympathetic movement of people.

    iii) Taking out the element of speculative investment. The idea of selling leases is just one option for doing this. Basically you would buy a lease which would be renewed each year. If you wanted to sell the lease you could do so for the same amount you purchased it for.

    If you could get good quality housing for $200,000 this way, rather than for $600,000 the normal way I bet some people would think it an option to at least consider.

    The current system is great for the banks - it forces people to take out the highest possible mortgage they can afford - but it then means you go out to work for 40 years to pay off interest on a loan.

    I would much rather a system that gives the ordinary man some opportunity not only to support a family on his own wage but to see the point of saving and investing and building up some independent wealth.

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  26. When you use the term traditional family to mean the husband wife and children then you are using the liberal model

    I'm not sure that liberals ever had to confront the extended family. Did it exist in any Anglosphere country during the period of liberal hegemony?

    Liberals only turned against the family since about the 1850s at the earliest. That's when a liberal culture began to erode a culture of family life, and it did so in the name of an autonomous individualism. The model of family life liberals turned against was the nuclear family.

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  27. "We have to be very careful about claiming that "it takes a village to raise a child" since that slogan is being used by left-liberals to shift the raising of children from the family unit to the state."

    Left-liberals always co-opt conservative rhetoric. Fact is that people used to be blood relatives with their neighbors and German extended families often live in the same house together.

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  28. I agree I don't think because radicals co-opt phrases that means they are dirty.
    Village life is healthy for human beings. I also agree with Mark and have thought for a long time that affordable housing should be available for everyone.
    How does this differ from Liberal socialists? Well they usually want to strip the people of their privacy and turn free accommodation into a social science experiment stripping away the humanity of the people caught in it.
    Seems to be a constant trend this social experiment perversity.

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  29. It is difficult for me to understand why people wouldn't want to have children. I understand it intellectually, but not emotionally. When I think about what my parents went through to have an raise me its amazing how bad they wanted it. The idea that someone would choose drinks, trips, and dating over something like creating life...I get it but I don't get it. It's a preference I have to acknowledge because I observe it but I can't really understand it at the core. Having achieved much of the liberal dream life its just so pointless and unsatisfying I don't understand the appeal.

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  30. Germany places a lot of value on professional and financial success especially since the culture of hard work ad thrift was inculcated into the population after the Second World War.

    Just FYI hard work and thrift were part of German culture LONG before the Second World War.

    I'd suggest that we think of contraception as a sort of pathogen to which large parts of the population are susceptible

    Liberalism is the pathogen. Plenty of conservatives use contraception, but have 2 or more kids anyway.


    Human fertility will always remain low in the nuclear family. The nuclear family is inherently fragile and unstable and its vulnerability will always make people fear for its break up and limit family size as a risk reduction strategy.


    That's not why people limit family size. The most common reason is "expense and aggravation" not "one of us might die".

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  31. Want to change men's attitudes?

    1. Eliminate no-fault divorce.

    2. Reverse the custody assumption that women almost automatically get custody. If there is divorce, the man gets custody unless he is completely insane or destitute.

    3. Eliminate alimony. (Child support is eliminated because the man gets custody and is automatically supporting the kids.)

    Right now getting married and having kids is an automatic bum deal for the man. The above changes alter the terms of the deal.

    If a man feels like he owns his wife and kids, and they can't be taken away from him at her whim, he will be more inclined to sign up for that deal.

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  32. Asdf, a lot of people have no real interactions with children now. Childbearing has become a huge intellectual leap that only the dumbest, the bravest, and the most devout are going to make. I was terrified, myself. Babies were alien beings to me and I just didn't feel capable of raising any.

    A lot of this has to do with the way a declining birthrate naturally spirals down. It's like a train you can't stop. You can't bump the birthrate back up above replacement level once it hits about 1.3 because the society can't recover. History tells us that the best bet is to gather the more fertile remnants together in a smaller geographic area and start over.

    That would be southern Germany, in this case. Eastern Germany is just completely screwed because you can't get women to stay monogamous when they're in such short supply. Northern Germany will be dominated by foreigners.

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  33. You have to remember that the TFR of 1.3 masks a native rate closer to, or even BELOW!!, 1.0. That's an exponential collapse that can only be reversed by crowding everyone together and ensuring that there are enough women to go around. You need, in fact, slightly more women than men to get the interfemale sexual competition up to the level where women will even bother to marry anymore. Without marriage, women hardly reproduce. (That, incidentally, is why Asia is even more screwed than Europe.)

    Here's a sex-ratio map of Germany. As you can see, you can stick a fork in the east, as it's done. There's just no way to get the birth rate back up when there are only 85 women for every 100 men. No wonder the guys over there are starting to go a bit bonkers. No amount of protesting, marching, or fighting is going to turn that boat around. The Bavarian Forest is also a dead zone, which is a personal sadness for me, but facts is facts. West of there, in the southern half, there is still potential. But only if you can get the most fertile population to pack up and move closer together, and if you can keep prostitution down. Perhaps the Islamic movement will actually aid a resurgence in Germanic fertility, in a strange twist of fate, as German-flight starts up and sharia ends the rampant whore-mongering.

    But then we'd be dominating a smaller portion of the land, which would be a huge blow to the German psyche and increase the number of foreign borders we'd have to police. I think people would prefer to stay put and fight, but the math doesn't work out in their favor.

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  34. I get a bit frustrated with the German men on the right, as they obviously don't understand the demographic math and harbor all sorts of fantasies about a Germanic resurgence. They think that if they just kick out the foreigners, then *magic happens* and everything is wonderful again. But even if you do that, you're still doomed. It's quite simple, really, if you consider the exponential decay, the sex ratios, and the delayed reproduction (longer generations exacerbate the decline).

    And then there's the sheer and absolute madness of the left, with their insistence on importing foreign men, sending women to the workplace, and bringing prostitutes to Germany. The last thing the Germans need is more men, career women, and whores. Germany needs more fertile homemakers. A lot more. Tens of millions more. Or they need to crowd the few they have left into a smaller area and breed them like crazy. That's it.

    More Beutefrau or more Breeders, or both. Germany is doing the precise opposite right now, as if the government has completely lost its mind.

    Look at Britain. Look at France. Look at Sweden. All these countries giving us "well meaning" advice. Do we really want to end up like them? We should look eastward, instead, at the countries fighting back against the progressives.

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  35. Mark you state "
    "There is no sign of the large extended co-residential family group of the traditional peasant world giving way to the small, nuclear conjugal household of modern industrial society."

    The traditional extended family does not mean everyone living under one roof nor in the same town. It means an extended family working as a team and taking responsibility for each other in terms of care of the elderly, the sick and the young and support during periods of unemployment and business failure. Similarly it means looking out for each other and promoting the family interests in business and professions.

    The collapse of the extended family has lead to the state take over of these functions and created the present situation in which the state is funding care of the elderly in state and private run homes, child care, unemployment benefit and a host of additional services which should be provided by families.

    Similarly the lack of family connections has lead to the take over of family business and economic consolidation within large multinational companies and loss of control of the professions.

    The present situation is financially unsustainable and Governments are slashing welfare and promoting euthanasia and so people are going to have to return to more collaborative relationships or face destitution.

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  36. Think about that sex ratio. Once you factor in that some men are too low IQ or physically deformed/disabled/old to be in the reproductive running at all, you can see that you'd have 8 women for every 10 men. Factor in, also, that the women in the east have a higher median age (young women tend to head west after finishing school). Even if every fertile woman settled down with someone, he'd still have all of the leftover men roaming around his home.

    Slightly more men than women increases marriage rates and fertility, but that sort of dramatic imbalance is counter-productive. For some strange reason, the sex-ratio has never been a political discussion topic in Germany.

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  37. "The traditional extended family does not mean everyone living under one roof nor in the same town."

    Actually, that's precisely what it means. If you look at the demographic trends. Most people lived physically close to their relatives, and multiple-family houses were/are commonplace. Germans were never a particularly mobile bunch, and it's the increase in mobility that leads to the concept of the "nuclear family". I.e. that there's a nucleus that you take with you everywhere, with satellites spread around further out. It's darned near impossible to maintain the traditional structure if you spread the people further apart. They can't help and support each other unless they live near to each other, especially as the cost of travel increases and wages collapse.

    The traditional family was inherently tribal. It's still like that in the villages I've lived in. Everyone is related to everyone else. Hundreds of people and only ten surnames.

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  38. Here's a sex-ratio map of Europe. You can see how bad off eastern Germany is, even in international comparison.

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  39. Mark you state "I'm not sure that liberals ever had to confront the extended family. Did it exist in any Anglosphere country during the period of liberal hegemony?

    Liberals only turned against the family since about the 1850s at the earliest. That's when a liberal culture began to erode a culture of family life, and it did so in the name of an autonomous individualism. The model of family life liberals turned against was the nuclear family."

    The extended family in Britain was the source of most employment (most businesses were family owned and inter generational until the 1960-1970s) and most professional and managerial jobs were obtained through family connections and networks. The family looked after the elderly and the young and sick (before the NHS most people had to pay for medical care in cash) and the unemployed.

    The liberals waged war on the extended family by taking over these roles (now, however, these look financially unsustainable). They started the NHS to provide universal care and elderly care (mush elderly care was later privatised)then came universal welfare benefits which allowed the individual to free himself from the family and become dependent upon the state.

    The welfare cuts in the UK are forcing some people to return to family connections.

    Liberal assaults on the family before the welfare state was implement were not serious as the majority of people lacked the means to pursue individuality without either family or state finance or employment.

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  40. "Here's a sex-ratio map of Europe. You can see how bad off eastern Germany is, even in international comparison."

    Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Greece and Spain look pretty bad, too.

    Did all the women in the former DDR just pick up and move somewhere else?

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  41. Yes, they all moved to western Germany. 20% of each graduating class, often the cream of the crop, disappears westward each year. Similar effect in the other regions you mentioned, but it's especially dramatic in eastern Germany.

    This also creates problems in the western section by giving men so many women to choose from that they lose interest in marriage. Imbalance. Women should ideally be slightly scarce, but not desperately so.

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  42. Alte,

    It's a very interesting map, but not easy to interpret. Why, for instance, so many regions in France with a surplus of young women?

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  43. Surplus of women - probably areas of high unemployment with men leaving to look for work elsewhere and women left behind looking after the family.

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  44. Yeah, it's usually something like that. Eastern Germany had a lot of construction jobs after reunification, but not much else. The men stayed and the women headed off to the urban west to find work.

    That's actually the main reason for the typical sex-ratio imbalance between urban and rural areas. The Bavarian Forest is also extremely rural and Regensburg is a thriving college town. I've been to both places and the behavior of the men is like night and day. I have the same surreal experience when I'm in the east.

    On the one hand, all of that male attention is extremely pleasant. On the other hand, there were no jobs for me there. Everything was in the city, so that's where I ended up.

    German politics is oddly silent on how sending women out to work limits their marriage options. Urban men are in short supply and underemployed, and there's no suitable apartments.

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  45. Here's the Wiki page on the German sex-ratio, but it's unfortunately only available in German. Says the same thing I have.

    The politicians are obsessed with getting women to "decide to have children" and "get back to work after childbearing", but they show zero interest in the underlying issues that make this a difficult act for most women. Totally ignoring the obvious fact that academic women (those with the lowest fertility rate, a rate below their self-reported desired fertility rate) will almost only find suitable work in the cities, and assortative mating means that the men who want them are going to be physically separated by distance, or stuck in the cities with them, neither of which is conducive to having a bunch of babies. But if they give up their job to travel out to the countryside, rent/buy a larger home, and settle down to be a homemaker, then it's going to be darned near impossible for them to reenter the workforce after childbearing, no matter how free the childcare is. There's no work out there for them, as I've discovered, and mothers with young children don't want a long commute.

    So, they stay in the city, usually in a crowded home and with no family around to help them. This depresses the birthrate dramatically. Lots of single moms, lots of divorce, lots of women marrying unsuitable men. And, at the same time, the more rural areas have great guys with good jobs who would die for a date with them. It's a ridiculous situation, and my own experience made it plain to me a decade ago.

    I only married so young because I kept going to visit my aunt in the country and met a country boy. :-) All of the male-dominated industries tend rural, you see, whereas the female-dominated ones tend urban.

    But I really did have to give everything up to marry and have children, and spent years struggling with depression, and a lot of women are loathe to do that. Understandably so.

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  46. The thing is, that if the brightest women all go off to study and work in the cities, if one goes out to the country to live, she'll be incredibly lonely and friendless and bored. No one to talk to, no one to hang out with, no one to bond with. It's like psychological torture because women are such communal animals.

    It's taken me five years to make any female friends, where we live now. I've had to search high and low. I didn't really miss working as much as I missed the conversations, but the women I would like most to converse with are all off in the city. Even when I do meet women I connect with here, they tend to be significantly older than I am or they live so far away that it's just not practical to meet up very often.

    When I suggest to young women that they move out to the country and marry a nice country boy, they're like... er... no thanks. It's because they dread that social isolation. No one to talk to, and nothing to do all day but change diapers and decorate cakes for the church bake sale. They'd have a nervous breakdown. Men don't mind because they have their work to keep themselves intellectual occupied and socially connected to people of similar intellectual ability.

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  47. Not quite as dramatic as "not having children"
    Germany in 2012
    673,544 births, 869,582 deaths

    But this in context of Germany's overshoot:
    footprint c. 400 m. gHa (hectares)
    national biocapacity c. 150 m. gHa

    One way to close that gap is for Germany
    to achieve some population shrinkage.

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  48. Not quite as dramatic as "not having children"
    Germany in 2012
    673,544 births, 869,582 deaths


    Well gee we are not talking about absolute numbers but the fertility rate needed to replace a given level of population. In Germany's case, that number of births is a sub-replacement fertility rate, meaning that "not having children" is essentially accurate.

    One way to close that gap is for Germany to achieve some population shrinkage.

    Gee, what a surprise you should think that, Dr. Critic-of-Pronatalists!

    I am surprised you had children, given that this increased the pressure on Britain's biocapacity. Better have them sterilized for the good of the planet.

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