Saturday, December 6, 2008

Demographic Winter

The Beetle Blogger is in the house once again. Boy this lady is in-the-know. This video is a must see and the commentary that follows is right on target. Thanks Beetle Babee.

The Decline of the Human Family
How the road to self fulfillment led us to the perfect storm
Of all of the causes we have in the world today, many of which particularly capture the time and space of the media and academia, it is singularly peculiar that the disintegration of an institution as important as the human family should want for attention. Perhaps it is because the family is made up of individual people, and we have become a society obsessed with a focus on the self. Be that as it may, we have ignored this institution to our great detriment. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights got it right when it declared that “the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society”. Implicit in this inclusion in an international founding document declaring universal human rights, is the recognition that stable society’s very survival rests on the strength of this fundamental group unit.
The years have not been kind to this most important institution – the family, particularly the last four decades. Worldwide, families have broken down at a historically unprecedented pace. There are certainly records of how now-extinct societies have experienced similar declines before their demise, but what we now face is unique in that it has a global spread. This has ominous portent.
The family’s importance to basic social structures has perhaps been more explored and discussed than its importance to other aspects of our world, and certainly deserves continued study. What is probably less obvious, and therefore less examined, is the family’s impact on such things as the rule of law, democratic structures, societal and even technological advancement, education, successful commerce and economic structures. Society depends on these in order to remain stable and the family’s impact on them is profound.
When the great social experiments of the 1960’s were launched, and when concern over a “population bomb” loomed large, we did not have the social science and economic studies we have available to us today. So the world embarked unknowingly on a self-destructive course.
Demographic Winter: The Decline of the Human Family seeks to reawaken society to the importance of the stable, intact family, and engender a discussion and greater focus in the media, in academia, in the halls of policy makers, in religious circles, in the committees of civil society and in households around the world. Our hope is that all of these circles will bring to bear on the problems facing the family the tremendous contributions each can uniquely make. In this way, we hope to avert the storm that is now most surely coming on.


  1. Oh man. If that video doesn't make obvious the need for traditional, healthy marriage and family, I don't know what will. Homosexuals seem to always bring up the broken homes, victims of divorce, that plague our society today. As if the crumbling family unit and committed, loving marriage will be saved by allowing gays to marry. Bringing same-sex marriage into the equation will only worsen the plight of marriage and family. We need to champion it and strengthen it against not only SSM (legalized gay marriage can only serve to speed up the ticking population bomb since it is sterile from the get-go), but divorce and abuse as well. Bravo on this find, Kingfisher. This was definitely eye-opening. It gave me the chills.

  2. I've heard about this before. Not enough children to grow up and support old people in their retirement. Plus people living longer through advances in medicine means a future with heaps of old people but very few middle aged workers to support the economy.

    This is once of the reasons why I have had seven children of my own. Life is good plus it is good for western society.

  3. linking back to this and putting the trailer on my blog too.

  4. Oh good heavens.

    I think evidence that the family unit is in good shape and committed, loving marriage is as strong as ever is found by looking at the number of people who demonstrated against the passing of Prop8 in the past month.

    Naturally people who don't care about supporting families and who don't believe in committed, loving marriage are going to oppose the freedom of gay and lesbian couples to marry. But why side with them, if you do care?

  5. The Washington Post has an article in the Saturday (12-06-08) paper that the Netherlands are closing many of the marijuana clubs and brothels in Amsterdam. This lesson, that licentious and dissolute activities breaks down social norms and promotes unwanted behavior, has been learned and incorporated by all successful societies. Despite the historical evidence of which social arrangements produce the most benefit to the most people, there is always a segment of the population willing to experiment-----only to relearn the lessons which have already been taught. There is truly no education in the second kick of a mule. After several kicks the Dutch government is beginning to adjust.

    For 10,000 years societies have experimented with the social institution of marriage. Everything under the sun has been tried------from polygamy, group marriage, trial marriages, and even the complete nationalization of women as practiced in some Polynesian cultures.

    The best marital institution developed is two heterosexual reproducing mates in a divorceless monogamy. That is the ideal. The fact that it works only half of the time doesn't diminish the fact that when it does work it works very well. The marriages from the half that do work, produce the highest degree of successful, productive, and well-adjusted adults than any other social arrangement. It is important to have both the influence of both a mother and father in raising children. Both provide role models of a completely different nature.

    The most violent, degenerate, and destructive groups on earth are populated by young heterosexual males. It is the task of society to channel this energy into order and regulation. The institution of marriage is one of these order-producing regulations. The more this particular institution is promoted to, and respected by young heterosexual males the more harmony we will have in society. We need to promote fathers staying with the mother of their children and be an influence in the lives of those children.

    Marriage has been weakened by no-fault divorce and the general acceptance of cohabitation and adultery. Will gay marriage serve to strengthen the desire for marriage in the eyes of young heterosexual males? The mule is about to kick again.

  6. Scrap, your comment reminds me of Libertarian Jane Galt’s post on the consequences of gay marriage. She doesn’t come out for or against it, but basically points out that people have no idea what they’re doing when they fiddle with societal standards and ethical mores.

    “My only request is that people try to be a leeetle more humble about their ability to imagine the subtle results of big policy changes. The argument that gay marriage will not change the institution of marriage because you can’t imagine it changing your personal reaction is pretty arrogant. It imagines, first of all, that your behavior is a guide for the behavior of everyone else in society, when in fact, as you may have noticed, all sorts of different people react to all sorts of different things in all sorts of different ways, which is why we have to have elections and stuff. And second, the unwavering belief that the only reason that marriage, always and everywhere, is a male-female institution (I exclude rare ritual behaviors), is just some sort of bizarre historical coincidence, and that you know better, needs examining. If you think you know why marriage is male-female, and why that’s either outdated because of all the ways in which reproduction has lately changed, or was a bad reason to start with, then you are in a good place to advocate reform. If you think that marriage is just that way because our ancestors were all a bunch of repressed bastards with dark Freudian complexes that made them homophobic bigots, I’m a little leery of letting you muck around with it.”

    It’s an excellent post, and here it is happening, just like she said. I hadn’t thought of it applying to this before, thanks.

  7. thanks for the video, i'm linking

  8. Truly, reading this column makes me sad. What separates human relationships from animal breeding? Love does. And you wish to separate people who love eachother simply because they cannot produce children when they are physically intimate.

    Would you stop a man and a woman, one of whom was infertile from marrying? I very much doubt it. That, for those of you who have studied history, is exactly what the world's most power-hungry and homicidal dictators the world have ever seen did.

    Of course I am not saying you are homicidal- I know that many of you who have such opinions are, the majority of the time, gentle and loving; that is why I beg of you, please consider that the relationships that you wish to legislate belong to good, kind people whose emotions and love run just as deep as yours. The world isn't a science lesson, and if it becomes a place where love is replaced by legislation, I'd rather not be her at all.

  9. anon,

    thanks for you comment.

    government has never regulated marriage because of love. that's simply not the reason.

    the opine editorials actually have a good discussion about this, it might be helpful to your understanding of the issue:

    go here

    It's a whole discussion about this exact topic.

    No matter how much people love each other, kids need a mom and a dad.

  10. I am the child of two lesbian women. My father was a sperm donor. I have never missed out on anything; I have parents and role models coming out of my ears. I have not been affected except for the better by having two mothers; I have no issues with understanding men, I am no less "feminine" (though so what if I was), and thankfully I will always be open to any type of family.

    Let's look at the facts. It's hard for same sex couples to have or adopt children. It's a long, arduous process that it only gone through by those really willing to stay the course. Each child is loved and wanted. Surely this is just as good a base, if not better, for a well adjusted and happy person than a family with two adults who just so happen to have differnt genders.

    Besides all that, I'm afraid I fail to see how legislating that two people of the same gender cannot marry will miraculously give every child a mother and father. What about single parent families? What about families in which parents divorce and children are left with only one parent? Would you like to outlaw these families?

    I love my parents. Sometimes having a diverse family has been hard, but this has never been because of my mothers, but because of those in society who seem to think they know what's best for every xhild and every relationship.

  11. anon,

    i'm happy that you have had a lovely upbringing. i think it's wonderful that your moms provided male role models for you.

    (i'm not sure what adoption has to do with the i'm skipping, forgive me).

    i'm in no way suggesting that it is the government's responsibility to force everyone to have a mom and a dad. you are right, there is nothing the government can do for death, divorce, bad choices etc.

    but what it can do is say: this is the model we are going for, because it is the most stable, the most healthy for children (in every study ever done). Whether or not you participate, we are going to give it separate recognition with some privileges.

    i don't think outside male role models equal the influence of a dad. you turned out great, but are you the model for all cases?

    there simply is not enough evidence to prove that you are the norm for this parenting situation. the current studies have huge flaws (including comparing single parent straight moms to single parent lesbian moms).

    anyways, as a citizen i think it's okay for me to vote to uphold an institution that is the best for children. i think society should take every precaution to ensure them stability.

    you may want to read this article:

    jane galt article

    liberty posted it above, it's really interesting.

  12. anon,
    did you go over to opine editorials, because the link goes to a guest discussion with a lesbian parent.

  13. I read the links. Thanks. Couldn't find that thing in the Opine Editorials though.

    Adoption was only relevant in that it's one of the main ways same sex couples have children.

    I was interested in your claim that marriages are the best way for children to be brought up. However, I am not sure what measures were used to decide which relationships produced the "best" children. I also don't think that that these studies are necessarily representative.

    Anyway. It so happens that I am involved in an organization for children of LGBT parents. Typically, all the children I have met are empowered, confident and love their parents- maybe it comes from having to defend our families so often. Many of the problems that we face are a direct cause of homophobia- should this no longer be an issue, perhaps these studies you mention would show something completely different.

    You comment that you think "society should take every precaution to ensure [married couples with children] stability". I have several questions about this.
    - Why would allowing gay marriage/ families threaten conventional marriage? Why would it threten the children?
    - Surely if your main concern is the wellbeing of the children, who I think anyone would agree are innocent parties, you ought to be attempting to protect gay families, and therefore the children within them, rather than victimising their parents?

    Although that turned into a bit of a rant, I think those are valid points. I look forward to reading your response.

  14. anon,

    the whole thread at the opine editorials is really long, but stick with it--i really think you might be interested in it.

    there is also this one:

    post about donor children that turns into a discussion of children and same gender parenting

    just thought you might be interested because they are WAY smarter than me. and express themselves better.

    okay to your concerns:
    1. i agree, many same gender parents are really great at being aware of their childrens needs, and i think it's awesome that they provide stability for many children that may not have hope for a stable home.
    I do not ever doubt that children love their parents. i didn't mean to imply that same gender parents are less worthy of love. but this does not change the fact that there are things children learn from fathers that is difficult to learn from mothers because it is learned in context. (i'm not talking about taking out the trash, i'm talking about inherent emotional, psychological, and physical differences in gender.

    - Why would allowing gay marriage/ families threaten conventional marriage? Why would it threten the children?

    okay, this is discussed in the jane galt article. basically, extending the definition of marriage makes the institution less meaningful (literally, it says that gender doesn't matter). This will have affects we cannot judge right now.

    One affect might be that less people will bother getting married. This creates instability for children, because marriage is the best place for them (this is shown by all studies). Divorce is an issue right now that I think we need to be concerned about as well. But I don't think we should throw our society into a social experiment when we aren't certain of the outcome (even if it means some people feel discriminated against. society is worth sacrificing for)

    Surely if your main concern is the wellbeing of the children, who I think anyone would agree are innocent parties, you ought to be attempting to protect gay families, and therefore the children within them, rather than victimising their parents?

    While I think same gender parents should be provided the same protections (ie tax breaks, etc. (ie. domestic partnerships), I don't think the situation should be encouraged for the purposes of bring children into this world.

    I don't think the wants of adults supersede the rights of children to be born with a mom and a dad in the home. I will argue this for all situations. Our society should be more concerned about the problem of unwed mothers, single parents, marginalization of fathers etc.

    While the studies on same gender parenting are not reliable, all studies on the married, in-tact, heterosexual family show it to be the best for children. I think society has a responsibility to encourage the best for its children. keeping the marriage definition is one way we can do this.

    anyways, thank you for your kind and respectful commentary, forgive me if this comment goes into the rambling department.


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