Monday, March 19, 2018

A One-Way Door

     Some time ago, seized by fear over the escalation of racial hostility – 99% of which emanates from blacks toward whites – I wrote a story about the probable endpoint of the trend, should it continue unabated. If you’ve read it, you know immediately what I mean by the title of this piece. If you haven’t, I exhort you to read it before continuing on. Read the Afterword as well.

     The all-time classic one-way door is death. (I sometimes wonder whether the Grim Reaper was the true inventor of the diode, but...well, never mind.) The dead can’t affect the living, except through the influence of memory. Neither can groups, clans, tribes, or whole societies that have died, whether from plague, extermination, or by auto da fe.

     Races, nations, and generations currently stand before a one-way door. Some of them have laid their collective hands on the knob. Large groups stand behind them, ready to shove them through. You’d think it would be deemed more discussion-worthy than is currently the case.

     The future belongs to those who show up for it. – Mark Steyn

     The Industrial Revolution had many consequences for Mankind’s demographics. Most obviously, it provided Europeans of the Caucasian race with greatly increased wealth. Slightly less obviously, it conferred upon them the ability to range much farther in safety and (relative) comfort than their ancestors. And still less obviously though at least as important, as the Industrial Revolution progressed and expanded, it reshaped couples’ attitudes toward children.

     In a preindustrial society, where work is essentially a matter of manual labor (sometimes augmented by animals), children are an economic asset. They can share at least some of the labor. Moreover, since preindustrial couples produce greater numbers of children, and since preindustrial conditions of life result in a greater percent of deaths in childhood, such a society will value the lives of children less than would an industrialized one. The thought might be unpleasant, but it is so: supply and demand condition even the bonds of family and parenthood.

     As powered machinery grows and increases its capabilities, children become less economically valuable. Should the medical arts progress as well, fewer children will die of the diseases of infancy. The liberation of adults from manual farm labor will also increase their time apart from their kids, as parents use enhanced travel capabilities to work farther from home. These and other effects of industrialization will result in lowered birth rates and, over time, a transition in adults’ attitudes toward children: from economic assets to luxury goods.

     While there’s no clear causal connection between industrialization and the increase in the cost of childbearing and child-rearing, that has happened in every industrialized society on Earth. As people protect the things they value, and tend to value things according to scarcity and cost, parents will become far more protective and indulgent toward their children as time passes.

     Certain competences must be acquired young. Particular aspects of dexterity of body and mind are far more easily mastered by a child than by an adult. For example, few persons of mature years are able to master new languages, or learn how to write in cursive. Mastering the special disciplines of algebra, geometry, and analytical mathematics in adulthood is even less likely. If these skills are not acquired young, the odds are heavily against acquiring them at all.

     Developments that have become visible over the past couple of decades have impeded children’s acquisition of various skills that their parents and grandparents absorbed as a matter of course. Not many kids acquire a legible cursive hand these days. Indeed, some groups discourage the teaching of cursive as “no longer relevant.” Other groups, as incredible as it seems, have protested the traditional curricula of mathematics as unnecessary if not “racist.” If the prima facie skills themselves were of critical importance, the gravity of the matter would be far plainer than it is. However, in all candor, the ability to write neatly in cursive and the ability to find the maxima and minima of a function are of little immediate importance to all but a few Americans.

     What really matter are the meta-disciplines that lie beneath them: precise control of one’s body, the ability to learn in an organized fashion, and the ability to reason logically from postulates and evidence.

     Ironically, the decline in our fertility rate has correlated with a decline in our willingness to take up cudgels in defense of these time-honored roads to learning critical disciplines. Perhaps we’re overawed by the cultists of “educationism,” who’ve been haranguing us that they’re “outmoded.” Perhaps we figure that, considering what we’re paying for the schools, the people who run them must know what they’re doing. Or perhaps we’re simply too tired to wrench Junior away from his Xbox.

     A dear friend has often speculated about “what will happen after the crash.” He’s convinced that an event of some sort will strip us of all the technology we’ve developed over the past century or so: what we have and our ability to make more of it. Though those technologies have become self-sustaining, they were bootstrapped from far more basic knowledge, skills, and tools: pencils, slide rules, soldering irons, and extensive knowledge of the sciences. Many of those who were part of the bootstrapping are gone now; the rest will disappear in a generation or two. Should our progeny lose what we’ve bequeathed them after we’ve vanished, would the kiddies be able to recreate it?

     My friend is of the opinion that they won’t – that there will come a long Dark Age during which our posterity will have to clamber slowly up from the mud, much as the Cro-Magnons did. He has a good case for it. By indulging our children in the “right” to be ignorant of anything except how to use their smartphones and Google, we’ve denied them the bootstrapping competences that were required to produce our current technologies. Never mind that it was with the kiddies’ willing cooperation; the effect will be no less crippling for that.

     No sensible man would want to see the above trends continue. Worse, they tie into the larger demographic trends, in which the most primitive and intolerant segments of Mankind are swiftly out-reproducing the most advanced and tolerant ones. Worse still, the primitives, owing to contemporary, highly pernicious notions about “equality” and “cultural relativism,” are invading and degrading our advanced societies in the process, often with the connivance of influential Marxist and Frankfurt School activist groups.

     These processes constitute a red-carpeted path toward a giant one-way door. The legend over that door is easy to read:

Goodbye To The Christian Enlightenment

     ...but few are willing to read it.

     Some additional reading and viewing for you:

     ...and don’t tolerate anyone calling you “Racist!” for any of it.

1 comment:

Stewart said...

Don't forget "A Canticle for Leibowitz"!