Politics Here we go again: Right wing nationalism on the rise again in Europe

This is a typical argument of religious person, and it covers all world's problems perfectly. Together with fall of Roman Empire. The true reason for declining birth rate is wide acceptance of birth control methods in last 50 years or so. Even in Bangladesh, poor and very religious country (think, great moral compass), birth rate dropped by half to 4 kids per family just during one generation. This after introducing cheap contraceptives. Otherwise people have sex and kids are popping up like daisies! Simple like this. Sex=Baby People never made kids by choice in the past. They had sex, and vuala. Unlike these days when young families only have kids by choice.

Even in Saudi Arabia, which could hardly be more officially religious and conservative, the fertility rate dropped in less than 40 years to less than 3 children and is soon going to be slightly below the replacement rate of 2.1! But in my opinion NO country reaches the absurdly low levels of some Eastern and Southern European countries, as well as nations like Japan and South Korea, without some social and economic problems encouraging people to postpone or even avoiding procreation as much as they can - and not for good reasons and completely free choice, but because of narrow opportunities, extreme loss of social and family cohesion, and especially (mostly economic) anxiety about their future. The majority of the world is not experiencing rates as absurdly low as 1.1-1.3 as you can see in some of those nations, and in some nations of Eastern Europe that is coupled by another problem, which is that the extremey low fertility rate is not partly compensated by a very high life expectancy and very good health conditions for elders.

I do think that countries experiencing abnormally insufficient fertility rates are amidst a true demographic crisis and face structural problems that are probably at the background of this demographic consequence, but of course the trend toward low birth rates (low but still at least near to the replacement rate in order to allow a sustainable demographic transition) is unavoidable almost everywhere where modern urban civilization arrived - whether the country is religious or irreligious, conservative or progressive, or whatever.
 
Let's think logically, would republicans call Clintonas evil for 20 years if they weren't evil?

Are you continuing your wicket sarcasm or your comments are that stupidly shallow?
 
Even in Saudi Arabia, which could hardly be more officially religious and conservative, the fertility rate dropped in less than 40 years to less than 3 children and is soon going to be slightly below the replacement rate of 2.1! But in my opinion NO country reaches the absurdly low levels of some Eastern and Southern European countries, as well as nations like Japan and South Korea, without some social and economic problems encouraging people to postpone or even avoiding procreation as much as they can - and not for good reasons and completely free choice, but because of narrow opportunities, extreme loss of social and family cohesion, and especially (mostly economic) anxiety about their future. The majority of the world is not experiencing rates as absurdly low as 1.1-1.3 as you can see in some of those nations, and in some nations of Eastern Europe that is coupled by another problem, which is that the extremey low fertility rate is not partly compensated by a very high life expectancy and very good health conditions for elders.

I do think that countries experiencing abnormally insufficient fertility rates are amidst a true demographic crisis and face structural problems that are probably at the background of this demographic consequence, but of course the trend toward low birth rates (low but still at least near to the replacement rate in order to allow a sustainable demographic transition) is unavoidable almost everywhere where modern urban civilization arrived - whether the country is religious or irreligious, conservative or progressive, or whatever.
Yes, it is a problem, at least for a short timescale. This is a new paradigm, and humanity would need to wrestle how to solve it. Our technological revolution brought quite few changes, and some of them turned to be challenges. Choice of having kids, became existential problem of shrinking nations. Oversupply of food made societies obese, which shortens life and lowers its quality. Transportation shrank the world and opened borders, scaring many with multiculturalism and invasion of immigrants, the others, and rise of nationalism. Etc, etc, etc.
I'm not sure what should be done with low birthrate. Should we wait and let evolution bring a solution. There are always people who love to have many kids and will have them more than others. With time they will populate countries with people who love kids and have many. Who knows, in few hundred years we might face again overpopulation problem.
Of course, at least the quick solution should be helping new families with social assistance to encourage having kids. Long and paid maternal/parental leave. Free daycare and education including free university. Free Disneyland maybe. :)
Though, this approach will ruin natural selection option. ;)
 
As to lower birthrates, I think it's all of the things mentioned, but it's also that children changed from being an economic asset into being an enormous economic drain. The way we believe we should or are taught to raise them nowadays also necessitates an equally enormous investment of time and energy.

Some people just aren't willing to make the sacrifices required. They prefer to spend their money on themselves. I'm not saying they're necessarily more selfish innately than people of prior generations: it's just that they now have options.

In terms of Southern European countries, this is not a new phenomenon. In my mother's family and many others couples even in the thirties, before artificial birth control, were limiting the size of their families. My father's family, with eleven births, was an anomaly, and my paternal grandfather suffered a lot of criticism for it. After the war, the rule was already one child. My mother was soundly taken to task by her family members for having a second child. The considerations were not just economic either. It was also a feeling that you wanted to do so much for them that you just didn't have the resources of any kind to do it for a lot of children.

In individual cases it's also a function of temperament, and whether both partners want to pursue careers. Given the stresses of raising children in the modern world, and my own personality, I absolutely didn't want more than two or three children. There was also no way that I could see managing a large family with a career of my own: I already made a lot of sacrifices in that regard even with just two.

To circle back to the main topic, the fascists were aware of the problem in the thirties in at least some areas of the country, and were offering incentives to families to have more children.
 
As to lower birthrates, I think it's all of the things mentioned, but it's also that children changed from being an economic asset into being an enormous economic drain. The way we believe we should or are taught to raise them nowadays also necessitates an equally enormous investment of time and energy.

Some people just aren't willing to make the sacrifices required. They prefer to spend their money on themselves. I'm not saying they're necessarily more selfish innately than people of prior generations: it's just that they now have options.

In terms of Southern European countries, this is not a new phenomenon. In my mother's family and many others couples even in the thirties, before artificial birth control, were limiting the size of their families. My father's family, with eleven births, was an anomaly, and my paternal grandfather suffered a lot of criticism for it. After the war, the rule was already one child. My mother was soundly taken to task by her family members for having a second child. The considerations were not just economic either. It was also a feeling that you wanted to do so much for them that you just didn't have the resources of any kind to do it for a lot of children.

In individual cases it's also a function of temperament, and whether both partners want to pursue careers. Given the stresses of raising children in the modern world, and my own personality, I absolutely didn't want more than two or three children. There was also no way that I could see managing a large family with a career of my own: I already made a lot of sacrifices in that regard even with just two.

To circle back to the main topic, the fascists were aware of the problem in the thirties in at least some areas of the country, and were offering incentives to families to have more children.

Very enlightening comment, Angela. As you say, this is not a sudden challenge that appeared out of nowhere, it's been slowly building more and more until it reached a really worrisome level in some countries (and probably many more are to come in the near future). I also believe that you nailed it when you mentioned that, apart from their being an economic drain, we "believe or were taught" to raise children in a certain way that honestly I think sometimes veers on obsessive perfectionism.

Parents are expected to be and do too much for their children, whereas I know numerous stories from older people who tell me how they, after some age, grew up virtually "on their own" with their parents just supervising them and helping here and there. And, simultaneously, people - including parents - expect way too much from their children nowadays, almost as if they are training them for extreme competition of the modern capitalist world since they. In some way, I also think that the consumerism of the present world has also meant an increasing amount of stress and guilt for the parents, for they are expected to or themselves think that to be good parents they need to give their children the best comforts they can afford. And of course this sacrifice will more often become too much for some people than in the past, when - at least here where I live - you were regarded as a good parent if you just managed to give enough food, clothes, school and a good bed to your children, period.

What's worse, as I have noticed with some of my younger married relatives, is that they were told to give their children everything and 24/7 limitless attention, but at the same time they don't have enough time and resources themselves, and unlike previous generations they have a much smaller and loser social network (cousins, friends, neighbors etc.) that in the past usually were virtually co-participants in the upbringing of a children.

I think all these things have created currently a pretty toxic family environment full of stress, anxiety, guilt, unrealistic ambitions and expectations that they can never meet even for 1 children, let alone for 2 or 3 (for those parents aren't just parents, they are also professionals, husbands and wives, and other social roles, and of course they at some point will be fed up with the idea that they have to make everything they can to guarantee the success of their kids, lest they become future losers in an increasingly competitive society).
 
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This is a typical argument of religious person

I believe much more in sin than I do in God, let alone Jesus Christ. That said, Dante's Purgatorio is on my list of 20 books to read before the end of the year. The medieval mind had a much better understanding of lust and such related sins as acedia/despondency/sloth than we do today. But since I am anonymous here, I will say that I have suffered from a sexual fetish for as long as I can remember. I think that the Freudian theory of the fetish has a lot to be said for it (with Masud Khan having the most penetrating insights). I believe that the incidence of fetish complexes among men in modern societies is much greater than in traditional societies, and that this is tied to the decline of the father's authority. Men no longer learn how to tend fields or execute a craft from their fathers. They go to school instead to learn abstract skills for an increasingly abstract world. The decline of parental authority can be traced back to Christianity, to the desacralizing of the paterfamilias figure. Modernity has compounded this by depriving the father of his practical authority as well. The result is that young men do not model themselves on their fathers. This is what I mean by sex role confusion. The fetish, once unfurled in whole, is an avoidance of conjugal sex. The fetish is a substitute for sex, the de-virilization of the modern man. This is a major reason for the epidemic of pornography addiction in modern societies. People used to have sex. Now they watch porn. There are of course other reasons. Isolation, atomization, anomie, so on and so forth. But the root cause is the decline of virility and the rise of the fetish complex.

The true reason for declining birth rate is wide acceptance of birth control methods in last 50 years or so. Even in Bangladesh, poor and very religious country (think, great moral compass), birth rate dropped by half to 4 kids per family just during one generation. This after introducing cheap contraceptives. Otherwise people have sex and kids are popping up like daisies! Simple like this. Sex=Baby People never made kids by choice in the past. They had sex, and vuala. Unlike these days when young families only have kids by choice.

I think people are also having a lot less sex than in the past. At least in modern Western societies. Married people have sex. Single adults with lonely lives do not have very much sex. They have the occasional one-night stand.
 
I am happy to report that I agree with the comments of Angela in post #45 and Ygorcs in post #46 of this thread.
 
Yes, it is a problem, at least for a short timescale. This is a new paradigm, and humanity would need to wrestle how to solve it. Our technological revolution brought quite few changes, and some of them turned to be challenges. Choice of having kids, became existential problem of shrinking nations. Oversupply of food made societies obese, which shortens life and lowers its quality. Transportation shrank the world and opened borders, scaring many with multiculturalism and invasion of immigrants, the others, and rise of nationalism. Etc, etc, etc.
I'm not sure what should be done with low birthrate. Should we wait and let evolution bring a solution. There are always people who love to have many kids and will have them more than others. With time they will populate countries with people who love kids and have many. Who knows, in few hundred years we might face again overpopulation problem.
Of course, at least the quick solution should be helping new families with social assistance to encourage having kids. Long and paid maternal/parental leave. Free daycare and education including free university. Free Disneyland maybe. :)
Though, this approach will ruin natural selection option. ;)

let's get back to the old system
those who don't have kids should save for their own pension, they don't get one from the state
those who have kids who pay for pension, their parents get a pension from the state
the pension is a return of investment in children
 
In individual cases it's also a function of temperament, and whether both partners want to pursue careers. Given the stresses of raising children in the modern world, and my own personality, I absolutely didn't want more than two or three children. There was also no way that I could see managing a large family with a career of my own: I already made a lot of sacrifices in that regard even with just two.

the fact that women now also have a career is certainly a new factor in low birthrates
 
Very enlightening comment, Angela. As you say, this is not a sudden challenge that appeared out of nowhere, it's been slowly building more and more until it reached a really worrisome level in some countries (and probably many more are to come in the near future). I also believe that you nailed it when you mentioned that, apart from their being an economic drain, we "believe or were taught" to raise children in a certain way that honestly I think sometimes veers on obsessive perfectionism.

Parents are expected to be and do too much for their children, whereas I know numerous stories from older people who tell me how they, after some age, grew up virtually "on their own" with their parents just supervising them and helping here and there. And, simultaneously, people - including parents - expect way too much from their children nowadays, almost as if they are training them for extreme competition of the modern capitalist world since they. In some way, I also think that the consumerism of the present world has also meant an increasing amount of stress and guilt for the parents, for they are expected to or themselves think that to be good parents they need to give their children the best comforts they can afford. And of course this sacrifice will more often become too much for some people than in the past, when - at least here where I live - you were regarded as a good parent if you just managed to give enough food, clothes, school and a good bed to your children, period.

What's worse, as I have noticed with some of my younger married relatives, is that they were told to give their children everything and 24/7 limitless attention, but at the same time they don't have enough time and resources themselves, and unlike previous generations they have a much smaller and loser social network (cousins, friends, neighbors etc.) that in the past usually were virtually co-participants in the upbringing of a children.

I think all these things have created currently a pretty toxic family environment full of stress, anxiety, guilt, unrealistic ambitions and expectations that they can never meet even for 1 children, let alone for 2 or 3 (for those parents aren't just parents, they are also professionals, husbands and wives, and other social roles, and of course they at some point will be fed up with the idea that they have to make everything they can to guarantee the success of their kids, lest they become future losers in an increasingly competitive society).

I think that those who don't have children should abstain from commenting those who raise children.
Furthermore each child is different and needs a different approach.
We should also allow again for older children to grow 'on their own'.
 
That's fallacy of thinking. Everybody wants to belong to majority, because it feels better and vindicates one's point of view. Trump was sure that majority voted for him, and he was wrong.


Wow, the world is burning, run for the hills. I would guess that democracy had a great times in Europe after WW2 in the west and collapse of Soviets in the East. When did democracy worked in Europe for you? IN WW2, or maybe during imperial times before WW1? "Make Europe Great Again!"


I didn't know that city folks don't belong to the nation!

If you think that there will be ever a political system to make everybody happy, think again. Regardless, basic human rights need to be protected.


Use your eyes today, not your ears, for example look at London, typical of most European cities today.
 
let's get back to the old system
those who don't have kids should save for their own pension, they don't get one from the state
those who have kids who pay for pension, their parents get a pension from the state
the pension is a return of investment in children
Oh, this is "my way", the independent way. I don't even care if my kids pay for my retirement. I'm that independent. It is working for me, and maybe for you. But you can't run the whole society this way. The solution you porpoising won't work on big scale, unless you are ready to see people dying from poverty in the street every day. Unless you are ready spend your retirement money and bigger taxes to build more prisons, because from poverty of the unfortunate the crime will skyrocket. Then you will ***** about the crime, telling us that we should also "get rid of" the useless scum of society.
And yes, these ways were very popular in Europe in many countries in between wars period.
 
Use your eyes today, not your ears, for example look at London, typical of most European cities today.
The booming and successful metropoly of millions of people? Love it. If only we could get rid of the imperialistic relique, the monarchy...
 
Very enlightening comment, Angela. As you say, this is not a sudden challenge that appeared out of nowhere, it's been slowly building more and more until it reached a really worrisome level in some countries (and probably many more are to come in the near future). I also believe that you nailed it when you mentioned that, apart from their being an economic drain, we "believe or were taught" to raise children in a certain way that honestly I think sometimes veers on obsessive perfectionism.

Parents are expected to be and do too much for their children, whereas I know numerous stories from older people who tell me how they, after some age, grew up virtually "on their own" with their parents just supervising them and helping here and there. And, simultaneously, people - including parents - expect way too much from their children nowadays, almost as if they are training them for extreme competition of the modern capitalist world since they. In some way, I also think that the consumerism of the present world has also meant an increasing amount of stress and guilt for the parents, for they are expected to or themselves think that to be good parents they need to give their children the best comforts they can afford. And of course this sacrifice will more often become too much for some people than in the past, when - at least here where I live - you were regarded as a good parent if you just managed to give enough food, clothes, school and a good bed to your children, period.

What's worse, as I have noticed with some of my younger married relatives, is that they were told to give their children everything and 24/7 limitless attention, but at the same time they don't have enough time and resources themselves, and unlike previous generations they have a much smaller and loser social network (cousins, friends, neighbors etc.) that in the past usually were virtually co-participants in the upbringing of a children.

I think all these things have created currently a pretty toxic family environment full of stress, anxiety, guilt, unrealistic ambitions and expectations that they can never meet even for 1 children, let alone for 2 or 3 (for those parents aren't just parents, they are also professionals, husbands and wives, and other social roles, and of course they at some point will be fed up with the idea that they have to make everything they can to guarantee the success of their kids, lest they become future losers in an increasingly competitive society).

Sorry, Ygorcs. I didn't edit your comment. I wanted to respond.

I agree with all of that. I think that ideally there should be a middle ground between being a "helicopter" parent and a laissez-faire one, the kind about whom my mother used to say that cats were better mothers than some human mothers. It's just that it's a difficult line to maintain. It is indeed a very competitive world, and as you love your children, you want them to be equipped to compete. You're also bombarded with messages about how everything that goes wrong with a child is the mother's fault, and that brings additional pressure. Add to that the fact that nonna and nonno and uncles and aunts are not around to help out.

Economic insecurity, pessimism about the future, mothers who work outside the home etc. etc. are also factors. Let's also not forget that people see all around them the terrible problems among young people due to drugs, sometimes leading to criminality, the young girls getting pregnant and bringing the baby home for the parents to raise and on and on. One of my best friends is childless. Just recently she was saying to me that after years of being anguished by it she is now grateful, because she doubts she would have been able to handle the situations in which some of the people she knows find themselves.

Whether some government subsidies would actually help, I don't know. I doubt it.
 
Just recently, I was reading an article that talked about the neurological changes that happens in parents after having children. It's pretty interesting:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/brain-waves/201804/how-parenting-is-hard-wired


Kohl, Johannes, et. la. "Functional circuit architecture underlying parental behavior." Nature (2018). (link is external)http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-018-0027-0

Something definitely changes, and I do think it's hard-wired. My husband really had no burning desire to have children. He certainly wanted to put it off for a good long time, and would have been perfectly ok with not having them. Yet, once that baby was in his arms, he was hooked for good.

You can't explain to people who have never had children what it feels like at least for some of us. It's a tidal wave of emotion: nothing and no one in the world is as important to you as this tiny, squirming, red faced, screaming little being. You'd give anything, do anything, absolutely anything, to protect them and ensure their happiness.

The thing is, you can only experience it after the fact. Heck, I had baby fever every once in a while for years after my second, and that's what it is: almost a fever.

Hard-wired indeed.
 
Oh, this is "my way", the independent way. I don't even care if my kids pay for my retirement. I'm that independent. It is working for me, and maybe for you. But you can't run the whole society this way. The solution you porpoising won't work on big scale, unless you are ready to see people dying from poverty in the street every day. Unless you are ready spend your retirement money and bigger taxes to build more prisons, because from poverty of the unfortunate the crime will skyrocket. Then you will ***** about the crime, telling us that we should also "get rid of" the useless scum of society.
And yes, these ways were very popular in Europe in many countries in between wars period.

the biggest abuse is that - at least in Belgium - we went from a capitalising system to a repartition system, which means the working generation now works to pay the pensions of the retired generation
the capital is gone, politicians turned the national pension funds into a Ponzi scheme - yet nobody ever went to jail for that
but that is not the point I wanted to make
raising children is an investment, it costs a lot of money and time, you even have to adapt your lifestyle in order to raise them properly
those who don't make those costs should at least be able to save enough to provide for their own pension
 
the biggest abuse is that - at least in Belgium - we went from a capitalising system to a repartition system, which means the working generation now works to pay the pensions of the retired generation
the capital is gone, politicians turned the national pension funds into a Ponzi scheme - yet nobody ever went to jail for that
It is the same around the world. This problem will pass easily when robots will work for your pension. Robot will stop emigration too (work emigration), when they will make every country prosperous.

but that is not the point I wanted to make
raising children is an investment, it costs a lot of money and time, you even have to adapt your lifestyle in order to raise them properly
Well, we have to invest in new generation, no doubt there, however the end goal is perpetuation of human species, and for me, constant advancement and betterment.
 

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