Demography is destiny

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The Article

West is on a train heading off a cliff

Mark Steyn is Canada’s leading public intellectual who makes his home in the world’s greatest republic—south of this country’s border. Steyn is Canada’s gift to the world, though like so many other gifts this Dominion has made he has gone unnoticed by the bland Canadian mainstream media obsessed with its own mediocrity. Hence, Canadians who relish Steyn’s prose and wit ironically have to find him gift-wrapped back to Canada from abroad.

Steyn’s most recent book, America Alone, is a huge bestseller in the United States. But it has been ignored by the Canadian media except for the National Post publishing excerpts from it over a five-day period following the book’s publication.

It is a loss for Canadians to be deprived of Steyn’s razor sharp intellect and prolific writings as he explains the rotten drift of politics in our time.One of the themes Steyn has made his own is the relationship between demography and politics in the advanced and aging democracies, of which Canada is one. Apart from demographers poring over statistics, few people—and none in politics striving for high offices—ponder the effects population change will have over time on national policy across a whole range of issues from old age pension to health care, crime to national security.

It is Steyn’s wonderful ability to make this subject of great importance easily accessible for people in the West thinking about the well-being not only of their country but also increasingly of their liberal-democratic civilization.

Demography is in the most profound sense destiny. A population within any nation or culture in decline—2.1 babies per woman being the minimum requirement to maintain a population neither growing nor diminishing—is statistically doomed to disappear.

Among the advanced democracies only the U.S. is reproducing at the bare minimum needed to sustain its population through the present century. Europe with birth rates well below the statistically required level, has entered the long twilight of the Western civilization’s breakdown and demise. Canada is in the same boat.

In stalling the inevitable, European nations made a Faustian bargain to sustain their unsustainable social welfare program through an open-door immigration policy. This is the elephant in the room no politician dares discuss for fear of being labelled racist.


Everyone knows pouring water into wine indiscriminately destroys the wine and makes the water insipid. A people unwilling to reproduce have decided their present comforts—child-rearing in innumerable ways interrupts the contemporary lifestyle of people in advanced democracies—trump future needs. In other words, for a nation statistically disappearing, present is all that matters and future is for anyone’s taking.

The result of such cultural attitudes prevalent in Europe—marginalization of religion, and pacifism raised to the art of surrendering to modern day Vandals without appearing to do so—has transformed the continent of Shakespeare and Goethe, Voltaire and Mozart, in one generation into what is now being called a “Eurabia.” Whatever a Eurabia is, and will become—while old Europe’s population is reconstituted by the influx of immigrants from outside of Europe with little appreciation and respect for the continent’s history – this Eurabia in the making will soon become an alien entity to its aging population with its gradually dying memories of liberal-democracy.

After Sept. 11 the refusal of political and media elites in the West to discuss the fatal consequences of declining population and indiscriminate immigration might well be the preferred mode of those with their heads in the sand. For the rest of us concerned, as Mark Steyn discusses with irrefutable logic, it is riding a train headed over the cliff.


Salim Mansur
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