Malthus, Eurabia, and the vagaries of mathematical projections

The English demographer and economist TR Malthus became famous by being wrong. He pointed out in 1798 that populations can increase at a geometric rate, while food production increases at an arithmetic rate. If you project the lines out for a couple of generations, the result is starvation. He was spectacularly incorrect of course, but he gave people the gift of having a great issue they could obsess over without being able to do anything about it. In that sense, he is the father of environmentalist hysteria, the overpopulation fanatics, the global warming crowd (and the global cooling crowd) — as well as daytime television and cable news.

The coming of Eurabia in a couple of generations is among the latest projections of the Malthusian sort. Originally conceived as a political term, Eurabia has taken on a flavor of demographic inevitability in recent years, with the mathematical projection of ever-increasing European Muslim populations and declines in the Christian population. This has led to well-credentialed commentators warning of a “Muslim Oxford” and such things sometime in this century. No doubt if present trends continue unabated, Eurabia will emerge as predicted. The question is whether the straight-line projections are accurate.

We would do well to treat such projections with skepticism for a couple of reasons. For one thing, a cheery reason, as Spengler has pointed out, Muslim birthrates tend to decline sharply everywhere when women’s literacy rates rise. For a darker reason, consider that the Muslim populations of Germany, France and England are pretty small at present. How might the Christian and secular populations of Europe react at some point if economic conditions in Europe plummet, jobs become scarce, and these populations feel far more put upon than they do today?

There are no guarantees in life, and there are no guarantees in mathematical projections either. The vast secular and Christian populations of Europe are not uniformly represented by their vapid and cowardly elites, as Alexander Solzhenitsyn pointed out almost three decades ago at Harvard: “The Western world has lost its civil courage, both as a whole and separately, in each country, each government, each political party and of course in the United Nations. Such a decline in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling groups and the intellectual elite, causing an impression of loss of courage by the entire society.” Neither are the populations of Europe entirely represented by the images of the MSM, who are the lickspittles and vassals of the elites. There are soccer thugs and soccer thugs in-waiting all over Europe — remember: virtually no one in Germany in 1930 imagined Germany in 1940.

The vast secular and Christian populations of Europe appear pretty docile at present. But how much of that is an illusion, or a result of the unsustainable welfare benefits of the decaying European economic machine? What happens if times get tough?

You see, there are some mathematical facts that are worth paying attention to, and they underscore the possibility of a very different future. For many years now, Europe has taken on characteristics of an economic fantasy land. Structural unemployment has increased to terrible levels, and vast sums of GDP are channeled through government (57% in France — 3x USA) in order to maintain huge welfare benefits to the people of Western Europe.

So far Europe has been bailed out of its coming problems by the massive productivity increases of the last several generations, the willingness to live with unsustainable levels of government spending, and the importation of cheap labor. Projecting that trend indefinitely is risky. As we have pointed out regarding the US’s own Social Security system, it has precisely the structure of a Ponzi scheme — what happens if the bubble bursts, or the wheel stops, even if only for a few years? It’s happened before; don’t say it can’t happen again — discontinuities are the hardest things of all to forecast, but they happen all the time.

The projections of Eurabia are based on assumptions about the underlying docility of the supposedly enervated populations of Western Europe. That assumption of docility is in turn, in our view, based on potentially questionable projections of economic growth and prosperity. Our point is this: Europeans have among the nastiest histories of brutality, barbarism and genocide on the planet. From the 1790’s in France, through the 1930’s in Germany, and, to pick a tiny example, 1290 – 1656 in England, Europeans have shown themselves to be every bit as bloodthirsty and ruthless as anyone on the planet. It is unwise to assume that these characteristics can be bred out of peoples so quickly, no matter what the doddering elites and their court jesters in the MSM seek to portray.

Eurabia may well emerge. It is, however, our expectation that upheavals far worse than anyone is currently forecasting lie ahead for Europe and America in the intervening years.

8 Responses to “Malthus, Eurabia, and the vagaries of mathematical projections”

  1. jeff burke Says:

    For the first time I really must disagree with your assessment of Eurabia

    1) I believe that the literacy rate of Muslim women living in Europe will increase greatly over their sisters living in the Arab world but I do not believe that they will turn against the culture of their communities not to have a van of children. Despite whatSpengler says,he should come to my neighbourhood in Montreal and tell me not to believe my own eyes. Furthermore even if i am wrong and they only have three children, that is still greater than the average Euro female.

    2) Their populations are not so small; they tend to gather in cities not rural areas. Cities dictate policy due to votes. Politicians will seize on that to stay in power and maintain their own pensions. SO to compare their population with that of the population of the country in which they inhabit is misleading as Daniel Pipes and BatYe’or may pointed that out.

    Take a trip to Copenhagen or Marseille, you might change your view.

    3) Despite Europeans’ brutality in the past – this was done by their ancestors. Can you point to any real brutality in Euroland in the past 70 or 50 years?

    No I believe that like North America, being forcefed liberalism, sensitivity, femininity, metrosexuality, an education focusing on humanities and social studies AND the fact that the best European genes were massacred in WWI & WWII, ie, those that survived centuries of brutal wars, the best of the European male has been decimated. Now they have feckless leaders from Norway to Italy, who exploit the Arab masses for votes through marketing campaigns and double speak; Prodi, Zapatero, Chirac, and even Blair.

    I cannot think of one Euro leader or journalist that could even disagree with me.

    Perhaps you are reading the Economist which rather poo-pooed the threat of Eurabia as well.

    BTW, I have been to Europe several times, I go to many European language websites for their insight and I do believe in what I say.

  2. Ding Fod Says:

    I like Spengler but think this time he is wrong. Fertlility rates may drop among Muslim women in Europe, but that doesn’t include the multitudes that will continue to swarm in. Mark Steyn says that in France, there is already a Muslim baby being born for every white baby. As for the “soccer thug”, there are legal barriers to his rise to power. Hitler had freedom of speech to organize and persuade. Anyone trying to organize to oppose Muslims will be hauled up before the courts on Hate Speech charges. Organized opposition will never get off the ground. Hitler also had the benefit of a weak government and national economy. Finally there are the pensioners who just want to collect their pension checks and don’t want trouble at any cost. These are tough obstacles to overcome. Maybe Europe will wake up when the individual sees that it is in his interest to do so, but as long as the government checks keep rolling in, I doubt they will.

  3. Sergio Says:

    Wow, I’m so happy I found your site. Wish I’d known about you all along.

  4. David McCune Says:

    I’d add one point to the list that Jeff made: emigration.

    Over the past 200 years, a low-to-middle class European who is bright, innovative, and risk tolerant has had to make a choice between living in a society which is averse to change and very class-conscious or moving to the United States. While I agree that extrapolating numerical trends can lead to foolish conclusions (Paul Ehrlich, anyone?), I think the same can be said for projecting the capacity of Europe to grow a pair. That is also a projection based on that population’s prior tendencies, but the fundamental demographics of the population have been changing over time. I think it is entirely possible that most of the potential ancestors of the fighters moved out, leaving mainly the sons and daughters of the submissive.

    I certainly hope you’re right, Jack. Either way, it won’t be pretty.

    David

  5. Nahanni Says:

    Great post, Jack! I have to agree with your assessment of Europe, people tend to forget just how bloody European history can be.

    Jeff,

    “Can you point to any real brutality in Euroland in the past 70 or 50 years?”

    Here are just some of the big ones….

    World War II
    Hungarian rebellion
    The forced “assimilation” of the Roma in Bulgaria and Czechoslovkia
    Coup in Greece which brought George Papadopoulos to power
    USSR invades Czechoslovakia
    Cyprus
    Poland
    Yugoslavian civil war

    Let us not forget the separatist/terrorists such as Bader-Meinhoff, the IRA, the ETA etc.

    And let us not forget the riots that can break out at a moments notice. Just in the last couple years we have seen violent riots in Paris, the midlands of Britain etc. Riots that have the same thing in common-violent “Asian or African immigrants” (they are all Islamists but that never seems to be mentioned) and the native populations.

    With the terrorists and the riots the governments in Europe have the ability to use policies and tactics that would cause the LLL’s, the MSM and the ACLU in the U.S. to have a stroke.

    “BTW, I have been to Europe several times, I go to many European language websites for their insight and I do believe in what I say.”

    I was married to a Royal Army officer and actually lived in Europe for years. We lived in London, Berlin and Rome. I hate to break this to you but taking “several trips” to Europe does not give you any special insights, hun. You gotta actually live there.

  6. Nevada Says:

    Sorry, I don’t buy this for three reasons:

    1) Europe has already experienced all too many spectacular terrorist events, yet their response is still supine. If that doesn’t get the revenge juices flowing, nothing will.

    2) Jeff Burke above is right. I hadn’t thought about it, but it seems plausible to me that the most aggressive males and their gene pool are long gone to North America and Australia, and the remainder being too feminized to do the job necessary.

    3) And furthermore, fertility among white Europeans has been so low for so long that there aren’t really enough belligerent aggressive “soccer hooligans” among them to do the job either. Who’s gonna do it then, 75-year old women with canes and walkers?

  7. Dominick Says:

    I’ve always thought that the French had the greatest chance of turning violent against their Muslim immigrants. They have a strong history of government repression and violent suppression of dissent. The Algerian revolution and recent activities in Africa lead one to believe that they haven’t changed much. They also have an openly fascist party that is actually doing quite well. They don’t have enough traction to get a significant number of seats in Parliament, but they are getting more and more each year. I also think that the French emphasis on the cultural superiority of being French will cause them to eventaully snap.

  8. DJ Says:

    On one hand there may be great potential for each socialist nation, once it feels really threatened, to quickly turn into something much like the National Socialists.

    On the other hand look at the Scandinavians. For 300 years they were Vikings who terrorized Europe, raided as they pleased, colonized big chunks of Russia, France and Britiain. Then they became Christianized and pacified. Then the more aggressive people left Europe and moved to Texas. The ones who stayed behind became socialized and they seem happy to live in a welfare state. Can anyone imagine Danes, Swedes or Norwegians going into battle against Isalimists?

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