Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Welcome, Conservatives

Seriously, enjoy the beer. I sincerely welcome new readers.

Allow me to re-state my arguments against Mr. Currie: He alleges that western culture is endangered by low birthrates in the western world. I read that (not unreasonably, I thought) to mean that he is concerned that the European nations where birthrate are lowest - which are also all generally defined as "white" nations. They are also all Christian nations. Worrying about birthrates in the west is therefore usually a shorthand for white Christians worrying about being out-bred by the "lesser developed countries", a label usually applied to more fields than just economics when racially minded conservatives use it.

Further, there is no reason to link the concept of "culture" to any particular "racial" group. Cultures can cross "races" either by immigration or by cultural export, something the west (and North American in particular) has excelled at.

So, when Mr. Currie argued that western culture was endangered by low birthrates, I saw three assumptions behind that argument:

1) That western culture was primarily white culture.
2) That this culture was being actively maintained by white people, and would falter or be diminished if there were fewer of us.
3) The only way Currie sees to "save" white/western culture is by increased breeding.

These are the assumptions behind Currie's argument (whether he likes it or not) absent a clear restatement of his principles.

I'm far more optimistic about western culture - the power of cultural exports, the already powerful "westernized" non-white nations, all seem to me to be very powerful signs that the most important parts of western culture - democracy, science, liberty, the whole package - are winning the war against anti-modernism. Ironically, the one place where modernism is losing the war is in America itself. Will it look exactly like ours? No. But it probably shouldn't, if there's any fairness in the world.

I'd welcome a clarification or restatement by Jay on his argument. Specifically, why are birthrates a concern if this isn't a racial argument? Also, why is cultural export of so little importance? Would it really be that bad to have a world without whitey?

I should also say that this argument is far less important point (to me at least) then the wider point in Jay's post - the freedom of women to choose their own role in society. So when Jay says (in comments) that he hopes Vicki and I have lots of kids, I appreciate the sentiment but Vicki probably doesn't. I honestly don't know if we'll ever have kids. But check it out - it's her choice, not mine.

Oh, and Jay: Yes, I've "bought into the medicalized view" of pregancy. That's us lefties for ya. Always getting uppity with our science and our book larnin. When doctors tell me that pregancy is a major strain on a woman's health (to the point that as recently as 60 years ago death in childbirth was not uncommon) I tend to bellieve them.

1 comment:

Flocons said...

Right-wing and left-wing arguments aside, I've never liked the idea of parents having to pay strangers to take care of their children. This goes for daycares, nannies, and babysitters. Raising children shouldn't be a task that you have to pay someone else to do.

The only thing I would agree with Jay Currie about is that a daycare cannot replace a loving caring parent. In an ideal world, kids would have 2 of them handy at all times, but that's almost never the case.

With single parent families or families that require 2 incomes, the stay-at-home-parent model is not possible, thus the need for affordable daycare.