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Go Forth Multiply And Replenish The Earth

Economics / Demographics Aug 25, 2014 - 06:38 PM GMT

By: Andrew_McKillop


And Inherit The Debt of your Parents
A supposedly alarming national population simulation commissioned by South Korea's National Assembly and published this week says that by 2750 (perhaps that was a typo for 2075) the country's population would be extinct. The report said that South Korea's extreme low fertility rate (about 1.25 children per female in her reproductive life) is outpacing the decline of neighboring Japan's population but the report admitted that Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau and Singapore have even lower fertility rates. Several EU28 countries, including former “big family” Italy and Spain have fertility rates close to Japan's 1.40 children per female, far below the 2.2 to 2.3 needed to simply maintain the present population.  

In fact to prove it was not a typo for 2075, these present fertility rates, if maintained would produce an approximate halving or 50% reduction of current national populations by about 2080 and a 60% reduction of South Korea's population by 2099. More dramatic in economic terms, they would also produce extreme rapid ageing of the population, with large segments of the total population not simply older than current retirement ages of about 65, but over 85 years old.  Japan's population of centenarians or the over-100 reached 50 000 in 2012.

Most certainly related to the fertility crisis, opinion polls in Japan paint a stark picture. Around 40% to 50% of Japanese below the age of 45 regard sex as “uninteresting” or even “degrading”. They do not want sexual partners, marriage or children. An impressive number of polled persons add the claim that the human instincts of love, sex, marriage and childrearing are unknown to them.

Population Growth - Economic Growth
In Europe, the only two major countries with either small or significant growth of their national populations – the UK and France – have put an effective media blackout on the subject, for the simple reason their growing populations are almost entirely due to immigration and the fertility of new immigrants. The “national core” or in French the “souche” population of Britons and French have fertility rates close to that of Japan or South Korea. Without mass immigration, both these countries would have declining populations but talking about the subject is “sensitive” due to accusations of racism or sectarianism.

Even more so, the typically extreme high unemployment rates for children of recent immigrants, herded into de facto ghettos where street crime rules, is another “forbidden subject”. In France it is the regular  speechmaking and debating topic of Marine Le Pen and her National Front, attracting about 25% - 33% of total voter turnout in French elections. Her National Front derides the government's claim that increasing France's population by about a half-million every year “is good for growth”. The National Front asks: Where are the figures which prove that claim?

They do not exist.

France's National Front unlike parties such as UKIP in England (which will have to call itself England IP if Scotland votes independent) has a fully-developed platform on the now-negative role of population growth relative to French economic growth. The period in which both immigration, and indigenous or national “core population” growth contributed to economic growth, in Europe, can be placed at well before 1975. The best example is Germany with a steadily and continually declining population, despite immigration. Few or no Europeans can claim that Germany is an economic basket case because its population is shrinking!

The major problem is simple. Due to received wisdom or “the dominant social paradigm”, dating from the 19th century when life expectancy was rarely above 60 years and world population was less than one-seventh of today's, there is still residual belief that a growing population – whether due to immigrants or the core population – will automatically favor growth. In Europe, this paradigm has been especially favored by French elites since World War II. To be sure and certain these elites do not have to live in the racially-sorted and segregated ghettos surrounding each large French city, where youth unemployment is typically 50%, and recruiting “the jihadis” for atrocities in Syria and Iraq is easy.

Setting the Paradigm - The Biblical Reference
Genesis 1:28 tells that God said unto the people: Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the seas, the fowl of the airs, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. However, Genesis (1:22) also said: Be fruitful and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply on the earth, let them increase and be fruitful on the earth!. The fish and the fowl therefore also needed “lebensraum” like the multiplying human beings. Later on in Genesis, God tells Noah how to empty his Ark when the Flood has diminished (possibly due to falling CO2 emissions?). Noah is told to let “every creeping thing” leave his Ark because they are all necessary and useful, and must multiply.

The real creeping thing, we can say, is that the Biblical reference is taken only as natalist and only in favor of population growth when it can also be called an environment-and-ecology paradigm long before it was fashionable. For reasons as simple as low or very low historical world population relative to the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries – the world's first city with more than 1 million population dates from 1760 – the demographic growth paradigm ruled.

However, even by the start of the 19th century and to a possibly large extent incorporated by Charles Darwin in his 1859 theory of evolution, Robert Malthus claimed that the size of a human population like that of any other species was only limited by food supply and space to live in. He said that any human population could “multiply by 1000-fold” and with David Ricardo foresaw total overpopulation of the planet by about 1860, with a world population of 1 billion. Another part of his theory was that whilst a population of humans or animals could not easily grow beyond what he called their “original number”, it could grow by taking the resources and the space of other living species.

This created the Social Darwinist paradigm (developed by English sociologist Herbert Spencer) of a social competition-exclusion principle including competition by outgrowing the population of inferior classes and races. At the time in English Victorian middle class families, the ideal family size was 6 or more children – that is surviving children after the then-high infant mortality, requiring at least 8 to 12 births per female during her reproductive lifespan.

Defeat of the Saturation Theory
The theory of evolution of Charles Darwin however excluded any continuous or 'runaway growth' of either human or animal populations, despite his incorporation of Malthusian theory, because he saw the potential of 'runaway growth' being limited by the de facto tiny original populations of humans and animal species. Darwin was, we can say, a “demographic pessimist” because he saw extreme high loss rates operating on faster-growing populations, curbing their final size.

He did not develop that theory but due to Biblical precepts, he probably accepted the “Mitochondrial Eve” belief, or myth of the Abrahamic religions, the concept that all human beings on the planet, today, are descended from a single mother. The major problem is that genetic science – and not recent science but scientific fact established for over 100 years – shows that massive growth from a single parent will inevitably lead to massive numbers of low-survival hybrids, mutants and cancer victims. The growth process will become genetically self-limiting.

To be sure this has little or nothing to do with declining national populations in East Asia, Russia and Europe. Why population is still growing so fast in most African countries, India, Pakistan and some but not all Arab countries can likely be traced to the same cause as their decline – economic.
When China introduced its one-child policy in 1979 Chinese leaders did not expect it to work. However since 1979 this policy (which has been 'diluted' or reformed in recent years) has likely prevented the growth of China's population by an additional 250 million according to several estimates. This is one-half of the total population of the EU28 countries today and is quite close to the total population of the USA.

This again refutes the saturation theory of Malthus which firstly claims it is impossible to limit population growth – except by crisis, famine, epidemics and war. It also refutes the tenet of the Malthusian runaway growth paradigm, that there are no such things as long demographic cycles in human history and society, but recent long-term world population forecasts by the UN PIN point to the world's population in 2099 (around 6.25 billion) being almost identical to its population in 1999.

By Andrew McKillop


Former chief policy analyst, Division A Policy, DG XVII Energy, European Commission. Andrew McKillop Biographic Highlights

Co-author 'The Doomsday Machine', Palgrave Macmillan USA, 2012

Andrew McKillop has more than 30 years experience in the energy, economic and finance domains. Trained at London UK’s University College, he has had specially long experience of energy policy, project administration and the development and financing of alternate energy. This included his role of in-house Expert on Policy and Programming at the DG XVII-Energy of the European Commission, Director of Information of the OAPEC technology transfer subsidiary, AREC and researcher for UN agencies including the ILO.

© 2014 Copyright Andrew McKillop - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisor.

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