Mar
09
2006

The Return of Family

There is an excellent article published on ForeignPolicy.com meditating on the inevitable consequences of a 1-child culture. Phillip Longman points out a number of different truths that seem like no-brainers.

Single-child families are prone to extinction. A single child replaces one of his or her parents, but not both. Nor do single-child families contribute much to future population. The 17.4 percent of baby boomer women who had only one child account for a mere 7.8 percent of children born in the next generation. By contrast, nearly a quarter of the children of baby boomers descend from the mere 11 percent of baby boomer women who had four or more children. These circumstances are leading to the emergence of a new society whose members will disproportionately be descended from parents who rejected the social tendencies that once made childlessness and small families the norm. These values include an adherence to traditional, patriarchal religion, and a strong identification with one’s own folk or nation.

Longman goes on about how important it is for fathers to have a role in the formation of family. With very scientific logic, he makes the argument that population is much more of a deciding factor of the progression of civilization than any other factor. He is responding to the epidemic of a population decline in Europe (this is a European site), a decline he proposes will bring about undesirable outcomes. Consider:

Many childless, middle-aged people may regret the life choices that are leading to the extinction of their family lines, and yet they have no sons or daughters with whom to share their newfound wisdom. The plurality of citizens who have only one child may be able to invest lavishly in that child’s education, but a single child will only replace one parent, not both. Meanwhile, the descendants of parents who have three or more children will be hugely overrepresented in subsequent generations, and so will the values and ideas that led their parents to have large families.

Perhaps Longman’s boldest argument is given in his conclusion. There is a lot here, and you’ll have to read the entire article to really grasp the profoundity of it:

Societies that are today the most secular and the most generous with their underfunded welfare states will be the most prone to religious revivals and a rebirth of the patriarchal family. The absolute population of Europe and Japan may fall dramatically, but the remaining population will, by a process similar to survival of the fittest, be adapted to a new environment in which no one can rely on government to replace the family, and in which a patriarchal God commands family members to suppress their individualism and submit to father.

This article has not been buried in the stack of a dominant media who would rather ignore such logical claims. Brit Hume of Fox News picked this up and reported it:

Demographic Switch?

Conservatives may soon be taking over the country… literally. That according to Foreign Policy magazine‘s Phillip Longman, who argues that a rise in birth rates in a small, culturally conservative segment of society could usher in a return of old-fashioned family values.

Longman writes that with more Americans choosing to have fewer children or none at all, those with conservative values are reproducing at a much higher rate than the rest of society and he says the “conservative baby boom” may have already begun.

Longman notes that fertility rates in states that voted for George Bush in 2004 are 12 percent higher than in those that voted for John Kerry.

Phillip Longman is Bernard L. Schwartz senior fellow at the New America Foundation. He is the author of The Empty Cradle: How Falling Birthrates Threaten World Prosperity and What to Do About It. I am ordering a copy today.

About Chris & Wendy Jeub

The Jeub Family live in Monument, Colorado. They encourage couples to love God and love one another, building an atmosphere of love in their homes.