Sunday, February 26, 2006

To be, that is the answer

This is only here because the text recognition thing is (temporarily, I hope) preventing me from posting comments on my own blog.

The article mentions the models, but doesn't describe them except in vague emotive terms, so I can't tell you which one I subscribe to! Put me down for whatever the Guatemalans are doing.

Quoth Marco: Let me try another tack. This other article Cupidity mentions four competing yet incompatible models for the economy of the baby "industry". Which do you subscribe to and how would the caliphate fit into a world with other models in play? Could desparate parent wannabe's travel there to buy a spare to make profit for the Mahdi? Could desparately poor parents sell their babies for cash they need to feed their macadamia nut habits? Could parents whose children are in the mujahideen's army change their mind and get them back? Could youngsters have unprotected sex with gay abandon because the fedayeen would foot the bills for any resulting children and forced sterilisations? What happens if the burden of dependants overwhelms the system? Or the opposite - if youngsters become risk averse and birth rate drops through the floor? What cracks first?

To answer your questions: Yes, yes, yes, and no. Remember, these are supposed to be good Muslims, or good members of traditional dhimmi religions with decent values. The burden of dependents won't become too great because they will be supported by the productive labour of the older generation of dependents- this is not quantitative, but it would definitely be an improvement on the situation where both the young unwanted underclass *and* the working-age unwanted underclass form a welfare burden on society.
The birth rate is unlikely to fall through the floor, because the prevailing ideology of the society is optimistic and philoprogentive- it is societies without such ideologies, overcome by mindless nihilism and despair, like Europe in the 3rd and 21st centuries, that suffer such calamities.


Marco said...

There are a couple of reasons why think the caliphate should be set up first, and the reinterpretation of Islam vis value of life as a separate clerical issue.
1) The problems of the black market in abortions.
2) The lack of systems to reliably register pregnancies, and gauge and control fertility overall.

I have at times thought that two of the problems with regards to fertility - People having children they can't afford, and people wanting childen they can't have is for the latter to buy the former's baby. A free market (luxury model I suspect like the Guatemalans) in babies or options on babies in advance of birth, may come part way to resolving that issue in an economically flexible (but ethically dubious) way.
This still won't resolve the slippery issue of - "a parent not wanting a baby, but if the choice is wanting it or losing the future chance of having them, wanting it without *really* wanting it, and forever having issues about what might have been"

winstoninabox said...

Dr. Clam, you've got to get out of the West to a place more suited to your ideologies - "it is societies without such ideologies, overcome by mindless nihilism and despair, like Europe in the 3rd and 21st centuries, that suffer such calamities" - this bitterness will eat you up!

Again I look to the example of Japan. Neither nihilistic nor wracked by despair (except at the loss of the bubble period), it has a birthrate that has left a big gapping hole through the floor within which it has dropped.

Dr. Clam said...

I'm not so bitter, just addicted to hyperbole! I shall try to curb my weakness for extravagant exaggerations. 'Nihilism' to me means 'not believing in much of anything', which seems to fit some of your earlier descriptions of Japanese society. And by 'despair' I mean 'not having a sense of confidence about the future', which (from the outside) seems applicable to post-bubble Japan. What do you see as the reasons for the collapse of the Japanese birthrate?

Marco said...

Don't stop at the reasons. The demographic long term *effects* of a low birth rate are pretty severe. Its not so much that I think Japan is destined to be doomed, but destined to become irrelevant. The symptom of deflation and low growth has a probable demographic cause (increasing dependancy ratios). Compare to Ireland which has had strong growth for over a decade, with also a demographic cause to explain it (decreasing dependancy ratios). Of course it is a little dubious to extrapolate too far into the future, but I'm betting on the US remaining in the top spot as "leaders of the free world" to give it a name.

winstoninabox said...

I'd attribute it pretty much to the empowerment of women.

Career opportunities are now open for them more than ever before. Of course this is may not look like it from the outside, but I think this is mistaken. Empowerment for women just takes a different form here than what we're used to.

Many foreigners complain about how there are still women serving tea to their bosses while wearing a short-skirted uniform.

But that women is probably able to support herself and live away from home, which is a relativally new thing. But if she's cash savvy, she'll live at home, pay her parents almost no rent, and surround herself with brand name goods. Why would she want a baby to mess up her 20-something years? She can now work until her early 30s then catch that upwardly mobile young exec, who'll keep her in the life she spent a decade becoming accustomed to. I think they've never had it so good!

Of course then we're back to your nihilism, Dr. Clam.

Marco said...

There's a useful extension to your static example of a typical Japanese female. However, what of the guilt she feels about her parents as they become old and dependent, after having been supported by them. How are the old faring under recent times?