Two highly-recommended recent blog posts on a critical issue: The demographic calamity of modernity. One by Peter Frost, the other by One Irradiated Watson. (It’s a perennial topic, for obvious reasons.)
Now for the bucket of cold water. NRx has almost nothing to say about it. Of course, it can remark on the problem, insistently, and even diagnose it with some definite precision. What it has yet to do is to cross from urgent policy recommendations to anything remotely approaching a road map for implementation.
The way stations on the hazy track into the future that NRx generally follows — this blog very much included — tend to include a more-or-less comprehensive phase of social collapse, and subsequent restoration of comparatively non-demotist, authoritarian models of governance. (It leads, roughly speaking, through the Jackpot.) Is there any solid basis for the assumption that a regime coming out of this — perhaps Neocameralist / Monarchist in character — would vigorously pursue the pro-natalist policies advocated by contemporary reaction? It is at least questionable, given that the actually-existing states presently closest to this type have proven to be — despite public expressions of concern — entirely incapable of doing so.
The problem of time-horizons at the root of the modern fertility crisis is easily trivialized, as if it were merely a product of adjustable degenerate attitudes. The deep problem — partially tractable to game-theoretical apprehension — is that, under the conditions of the modern state in an environment of intense competition, suppressed natalism is a short-term winning strategy, and if you don’t win in the short-term you’re not around to play in the long term. If the world becomes increasingly Hobbesian in the decades ahead, this dilemma becomes more acute, rather than less so. It presses no less heavily upon a monarch than a democratic leader. Continuing industrial advance means that the (strategic) opportunity cost of subtracting smart females from the work-force becomes ever greater. Any ideal of ‘long-term thinking’ that ignores all of this is incomplete to the point of utter dysfunction.
The condescension really ought to stop. Modernity crushes fertility because it sees ahead better than you do — you just don’t like what it’s seeing.
ADDED: Alrenous on fertility and purpose.