The West’s Baby Bust

With the exception of Israel, not a single Western country currently has an above-replacement-level fertility rate. American births have been in steady decline since 2008, and hopes of a coronavirus-induced resurgence of births have turned out to be misplaced. Wilfred Reilly comments:

As I noted in a recent article, . . . many members of Gen-Z seem to reject conventional dating and romance totally. Today, only 30 percent of senior high-school students have ever had sex even once, and only 21 percent are currently involved in a “sexually active” love relationship. About 20 percent identify as gay or otherwise “queer.” There are several possible reasons for the objectively rather-astonishing rise of childless celibacy as a trend among America’s young. Religiosity, which brought with it endless “moral” rules but also the formal duty to “be fruitful and multiply,” is on the wane—the fastest-growing religious identity in the United States if not the world is “none.”

But one additional and very obvious factor has received far too little attention in most past analyses of this topic. Almost certainly, one reason that many Americans—perhaps particularly urban liberal white women—are not having children is that they have been told throughout their entire lives that it is immoral or evil to do so. The extent to which this is the case almost cannot be overstated.

A recent large-[sample-size] survey found that fear of such variables as “climate change” influenced the child-bearing decisions of 53 percent of respondents. . . . [O]ne strongly suspects the people occupying Western civilization will figure out a solution to a problem like “higher sea levels”—rather than simply staring dully at the rising waters until we all drown. However, we may not as easily survive the downstream effects of our current fear of the rising waters.

Can the United States continue to lead the world? Sure. . . . But, to keep growing our population and retain our economic pole position while we do so, we will have to try something that we have not tried for decades—convincing our own citizens that having families is good. Suggestions on how to do that are welcome!

Read more at National Review

More about: American family, American society, Fertility

Universities Are in Thrall to a Constituency That Sees Israel as an Affront to Its Identity

Commenting on the hearings of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on Tuesday about anti-Semitism on college campuses, and the dismaying testimony of three university presidents, Jonah Goldberg writes:

If some retrograde poltroon called for lynching black people or, heck, if they simply used the wrong adjective to describe black people, the all-seeing panopticon would spot it and deploy whatever resources were required to deal with the problem. If the spark of intolerance flickered even for a moment and offended the transgendered, the Muslim, the neurodivergent, or whomever, the fire-suppression systems would rain down the retardant foams of justice and enlightenment. But calls for liquidating the Jews? Those reside outside the sensory spectrum of the system.

It’s ironic that the term colorblind is “problematic” for these institutions such that the monitoring systems will spot any hint of it, in or out of the classroom (or admissions!). But actual intolerance for Jews is lathered with a kind of stealth paint that renders the same systems Jew-blind.

I can understand the predicament. The receptors on the Islamophobia sensors have been set to 11 for so long, a constituency has built up around it. This constituency—which is multi-ethnic, non-denominational, and well entrenched among students, administrators, and faculty alike—sees Israel and the non-Israeli Jews who tolerate its existence as an affront to their worldview and Muslim “identity.” . . . Blaming the Jews for all manner of evils, including the shortcomings of the people who scapegoat Jews, is protected because, at minimum, it’s a “personal truth,” and for some just the plain truth. But taking offense at such things is evidence of a mulish inability to understand the “context.”

Shocking as all that is, Goldberg goes on to argue, the anti-Semitism is merely a “symptom” of the insidious ideology that has taken over much of the universities as well as an important segment of the hard left. And Jews make the easiest targets.

Read more at Dispatch

More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus, University