Is a second Dark Ages a real possibility?

“The setting sun, and the music at the close, as the last taste of sweets, is sweetest last, is writ in remembrance more than long things past.” ~ William Shakespeare

Readership: All
Author’s Note: This essay is based on a conversation NovaSeeker had with LastMod. Novaseeker started drafting this post on 2021 May 29, but left it unfinished. In his absence (due to work), and given the importance of the subject matter, Jack has taken the liberty of finishing this post.
Length: 1,400 words
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Introduction

In a previous post, The Roman Life Script (2021 May 28), a comparison was made between the downfall of ancient Rome, and the current situation in the West. As we know from history (or the lack thereof during this time period), the implosion of the central power of Rome and being conquered by the Goths led to a few hundred years of historical listlessness, what has since then been referred to as the Dark Ages. Governments shrunk into fiefdoms. Religion was confined to monasteries. The recording of history stalled. The music, arts, and philosophy sputtered to a standstill. At the grass roots level, the majority of people had extremely short life spans (~26 years), and spent most of it in basic subsistence farming, localized small manual trades, and recidivism.

The comparison of ancient Rome and modern western culture inevitably leads to the question of whether the present decadence and decline will be followed by a period of hard-scrabble peasantry ruled by warlords.

What would a Second Dark Ages be like?

Cameron and Lastmod painted a picture of a bleak atomized world, but still functional on the most basic level.

cameron232 wrote,

“Predicted by some to be like the worst aspects of Brazil, India and the EU. Best guess is non-elite white people will exist as hicks in the countryside.”

lastmod wrote,

“Agree in principle. After the Roman Empire “collapsed” sure, the immediate effects were great… but many parts of the empire continued to “function” normally in practice despite the lack of central authority depending on the province, ability of the local governor and loyalty to him in that area… the startings / stirrings of the feudal system.

Even after the surrender of Nazi Germany. Many a bureaucrat still had work… most people did still have jobs. sure, cleaning the ruins of the bombed out medieval cities, cigarettes for about a year became legit currency alongside Reich Marks and the new Deutsch mark. People suffered in lack of housing, electricity, rationing… but things did stabilize… It took another decade to get to the standard of living [up before the] 1939 invasion of Poland…..

Even in Venezuela, dire situation… but the lights are on albeit sometimes partially. People are up looking for work, their daily commodities… It hasn’t become “Mad Max”.

Even the grinding to a halt of the Soviet era of Russia and Eastern Europe. Stores empty, the whole stinking mess falling apart, still food to be found… a transition… very little (if any starvation). More of a “rusting apart” if you will…

Probably more like Orwell’s “1984” in some way or ways. People housed… basics, well… holding. Elevators no longer repaired. “Take the stairs brother, its good exercise!” Ramshackled slums, there was beer and sex still to be had (that will never go away). Just a “falling apart” if you will.

There will be a more turmoil to come… open street fighting, production halted. I pray it doesn’t turn into a “Cultural Revolution” a la China 1966-1968. The suffering caused by that was a scale of an actual civil war. Millions died, and the system didn’t care. (It actually played both sides advocating it.) It was “meant” to purge the intellectuals, the middle class, the ones with some ambition, people who would be a nuisance to “the people” and of course the old, the sick, the disabled…

A total collapse of the USA on all levels would throw the world into such chaos, the elite cannot and will not allow that.

It will be a sad trapping of “what once was” but I don’t foresee a “Mad Max” world.

A technological elite, their support and layer of people who do okay and serve them… and a massive multi-colored poverty that may have food, access to beer, sex, porn, and stupid things like a lottery or “bread and circuses” type of thing. Most freedoms will be gone or so watered down…

The elite cannot have 99.99% of the population working in brotherhood on communes. They don’t want that! They know they could be easily overthrown. It will be a slow decline, weeding out, idiocracy kind of thing.”

A scene from Mad Max: Fury Road (2015).

A Second Dark Ages is Unlikely

The US certainly won’t last forever, but its demise isn’t coming very soon. There are several reasons for that.

  • No other culture is poised to take over the same global role in a cultural sense. China? Nope. Confucianism doesn’t sell outside East Asia, it isn’t attractive, accessible, popular. China is well poised to eject the U.S. from predominance in Asia, but not to replace the U.S. as the singular global hegemon. Islam? Nope. Same reason.
  • No other civilization has the military heft to unseat the U.S., and that military hefty isn’t going to simply implode, either. Someone will control the vast amount of disproportionate, raw power that the U.S. military has, whether it is the U.S. or a successor to the U.S. state, not someone else.
  • The name of the game, in terms of power, is moving beyond the “nation state” phase of the game. It hasn’t moved past it quite yet, but that’s where it’s going. States will continue to exist, but the real power will be (and in many ways already is) operating at a level above the nation-state level, and manipulating nation-states via its power. Nation-states, and the military and cultural power that they project, will be permitted to continue more or less as long as it serves the actual power holders, who are globalist/supra-national in scope and identity, for that to be the case.

Much more likely scenarios involve the internal change of the U.S. from its current arrangements, socio-politically, to a successor arrangement by means of generational change which creates a situation of far greater political consensus, and allows long-standing American “particularities” to be dismantled. This would occur in a consensual way, again by means of a stronger future political consensus, once the Boomers and most of Gen X are gone, and the U.S. military will support the changes because the succession will be consensual and evolutionary in nature. The successor entity may still be called the United States, or it may be called something else, but its internal composition will be completely different politically, constitutionally, and demographically. And the successor will remain a strong nation-state, perhaps still the strongest individual one, while no longer being an absolute global hegemon, while the emergent international order will be once again multi-polar in nature.

The successor will not be utterly different from what came before, but still identifiable as “American” in comparison to other cultures. It will not be a white, middle-class society, but a mostly brown, mostly underclass society underneath a small, mostly white and Asian, techno-expertised overclass which rules on behalf of the ownership class. The overall ordering will emphasize unity, diversity, equity and so on, as the governing ideology and framework for public morality, and will be nominally electoral in a republic/democracy vein, while the actual power is monopolized by the small expertised group on behalf of the owners — as it largely already is today. The role of moderated/influenced/controlled news, entertainment and social media in constructing and maintaining this successor will be paramount, and is already manifest in its early stages.

Christianity will persist in the successor in some form. My best guess on that is that there will be a “mainstream” form that is tolerated and an “underground” form that is technically legal and tolerated but widely and deeply discriminated against privately in the new social and moral frameworks. The latter will therefore be a small group. The former may remain a sizeable group (if much smaller than it was historically) if it is capable of adopting the new emergent social/moral paradigms — if it isn’t, it will fade in importance.

None of that is set in stone, and what actually happens will of course not be exactly like that. But some version of that is much more likely than an absolute displacement of the United States by a totally different successor civilization from another part of the world.

Related

This entry was posted in Conspiracy Theories, Culture Wars, Discernment, Wisdom, Elite Cultural Influences, Enduring Suffering, Generational Curses, Models of Failure, Prophecy, Questions from Readers, Zeitgeist Reports. Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Is a second Dark Ages a real possibility?

  1. elizaphanian says:

    Briefly, on your three points (I’ve been a reader for years, but you’ve prompted me to emerge from my lurking):

    Nobody will replace the US as a global hegemon because for some time to come — centuries — there will be no global hegemon; it will be a multi-polar world akin to Europe in the long 19th Century;

    I think you underestimate the impact of technological transitions (e.g. the recent hypersonic missile launch from China) when you talk about the excess might of the US military — a military that recently lost a lengthy war with a third world country. It feels a bit like boasting in the late 19th Century about how many ships of the line were in the navy — a decade or two later they were all obsolete, thanks to the development of the steel battleship with diesel engines. The US could still have an edge due to tech/silicon valley, but the real problem is… the nation state isn’t going away. To think that it is, is ironically (for this site) to indulge in an atheistic pattern of reasoning. I would recommend Yoram Hazony’s Virtue of Nationalism as something to ponder, which introduces some of the Biblical principles. The problem that the US faces at the moment — and continuing — is that it is essentially an imperial construct, a ‘proposition nation’ in a context when that proposition is being dismantled by the leading members of its own culture. It cannot survive on its’ present path. Which means, either there will be a reaction and restoration along the lines of Trump or similar, or else (my expectation) there will be some form of soft civil war and the US breaks up into smaller units, in just the way that the old Roman Empire broke up into what is now Spain, France, Italy etc.

    As for the overall point about whether there will be another dark age, I suspect not, for complicated reasons around cultural transmission — but it’s all conjecture.

    Thanks for the site and your writings. I learn a lot here, even when I disagree.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree that the most likely scenario is a decline and/or transition to a new regime, largely underway, rather than a collapse. I’ve been in Third World countries that perpetually circle the bowl but never totally break down as Somalia did. There’s a lot of ruin in a nation.

    I suspect the world will enter a scientific dark age, or at least plateau, as the current research system is broken. The publishing environment seems just as corrupt in China.

    To avoid an historic dark age, I encourage everyone to make records for posterity. Digital files, paper books, and objects that will be of interest in the future. They’re tearing down a lot of stuff but they can’t erase everything.

    Liked by 2 people

    • PS I reckon it would be a third dark age as there was another following the Bronze Age Collapse. Same deal – no records for centuries and we don’t really know what happened.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jack says:

        “I reckon it would be a third dark age as there was another following the Bronze Age Collapse. Same deal – no records for centuries and we don’t really know what happened.”

        Do you mean a “digital dark age”? I think computers and the internet are here to stay, but the information going around will be sensational fluff and propaganda. I imagine that important information about scientific research and sensitive historical information will be tightly controlled. It’s already going that way.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Red Pill Apostle says:

        I’ll pose a question or two on the topic of another dark age. Thinking of technology from the standpoint of how rapidly information can be disseminated, is it possible that a dark age could occur but be much shorter than previous ones? Each dark age has a component of lost knowledge and longer periods of information dissemination across geographical areas. Technology would seem to mitigate this as evidenced that we’re discussing the topic while on multiple continents.

        Is the “woke” political ideology, and it’s enforcement, a movement that will put us into the next dark age through it’s attempt at controlling speech and thought? I think that more information and knowledge is in more individual hands more than any time in human history. It will be impossible to put that proverbial genie back in the bottle, so the biggest risk of a dark age would come from a cultural gaslighting of sorts where people use power and influence to tell others that reality is not reality. A prime example is the current idiocy over gender.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oscar says:

        @ NV

        The Bronze Age Collapse is fascinating. It was probably caused by global cooling (which is a far worse problem than global warming), and the only major empire left standing was Egypt, probably because of the Nile. And, who the heck were the “Sea Peoples”?

        What a fascinating mystery!

        [Jack: For those interested, Infogalactic has an overview of the Late Bronze Age Collapse, and some theories of who the Sea Peoples were.]

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jack says:

        Since Nikolai and Oscar mentioned the collapse of the Bronze Age, I’ve been reading up on this. Here are some interesting things I’ve learned.

        — The Collapse of the Bronze Age happened within a relatively short time frame, 1200-1150 BC. 1177 BC is accepted by scholars as the definitive date for the transition from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age.
        — The Collapse of the Bronze Age coincided with the rule of the Judges Gideon and Deborah in the Bible.
        — Gideon and Deborah ruled concurrently.
        — Gideon and Deborah’s rule brought 40 years of peace. From a simple reading of the Bible, this is unremarkable, but in light of all the migration, warfare, political and economic collapse, and general turmoil that was occurring everywhere else in the world during this time, it is clearly a miraculous and merciful act of God.
        — The Philistines were not a tribe of Canaanites (as I had previously believed), but were one of the Sea Peoples who migrated to the Levant during the Collapse of the Bronze Age. They are thought to have been Greek Mycenaeans before this.
        — For the most part, the Collapse of the Bronze Age wiped out the Canaanite tribes that God charged Joshua to destroy and which they failed to do. The Philistines cleaned up whatever was left.

        The reason for the Collapse of the Bronze Age is not clear, but we are certain that several things coincided with it and probably contributed to it.

        — A volcanic eruption in Iceland caused a period of global cooling which affected agriculture.
        — There was an extremely severe drought that lasted for decades. The ground water level sank 50 meters below average! This would have also affected agriculture.
        — Tin became rare and expensive, which negatively impacted the production of bronze.
        — Iron technology developed in the Balkan peninsula (more specifically in what is now Bulgaria and Romania) and spread quickly around the world. Iron was greatly superior to bronze for weaponry.
        — Metal casting technology improved and replaced blacksmith-style forging to a large extent. Certain weapons like arrow heads, spear heads, and javelins became easier to produce in larger numbers. This changed the nature of warfare from being based on swords, horses, and chariots to one dominated by armaments and projectiles.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Oscar says:

        Thanks for the rundown, Jack.

        The fact that the Bronze Age Collapse took place during the age of the Judges should give us hope.

        Things got so bad during the Bronze Age Collapse (BAC) that — according to one source I read — many formerly literate civilizations became largely illiterate. When you’re starving, teaching your kids to read ceases to be a priority.

        Despite that, the Hebrews continued to record their history. They obviously didn’t become illiterate. In fact, the BAC may have even helped them.

        Similarly, who preserved civilization after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire? Monks did, both in the West and the East. The Eastern Roman Empire soldiered on for centuries, and when it was finally conquered by the Muslims, Orthodox monks who escaped the Muslims brought with them manuscripts that had been long lost to the West, and sparked the Renaissance.

        No matter what happens, God always preserves His people. We may have to suffer discomfort, hardship, or even persecution, but God always preserves His people.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Scavos says:

      “To avoid an historic dark age, I encourage everyone to make records for posterity. Digital files, paper books, and objects that will be of interest in the future. They’re tearing down a lot of stuff but they can’t erase everything.”

      Already on it. I’ve been archiving sites like these for the last year. Don’t want to see this stuff get lost in a digital black hole.

      Like

  3. Oscar says:

    “The successor will not be utterly different from what came before, but still identifiable as “American” in comparison to other cultures. It will not be a white, middle-class society, but a mostly brown, mostly underclass society underneath a small, mostly white and Asian, techno-expertised overclass which rules on behalf of the ownership class.”

    There may not be one successor. There may be two, or three. Americans are already behaving the way people often do before a national split. They’re sorting themselves. Although you mostly hear about “liberal” blue staters moving to red states, and continuing to vote Democrat, it’s also true that a lot of conservative blue staters are getting fed up with their states, moving to red states, and bolstering their redness.

    Covid seems to have accelerated the latter trend, as people get tired of the idiotic rules in blue states.

    Furthermore, red states are challenging Leftist orthodoxy where it hurts. Note the hysterical response to every abortion restriction red states pass, no matter how mild. The Supreme Court is about to hear another such case, this one from Mississippi.

    No matter the result of these challenges, they will likely lead to a split.

    Think about it. The arguments in favor of abortion are the same as the arguments for slavery were before the Civil war. Pro-abortion people deny the humanity of babies in the womb to justify violating their right to live, just as pro-slavery people denied the humanity of African blacks to justify violating their right to liberty. The arguments against abortion are the same as the arguments against slavery (universal dignity due to the Imago Dei).

    Slavery was not the only subject in dispute in the 1860s, but it was the wedge issue. Likewise, abortion is not the only subject in dispute now, but it’ll be the wedge issue.

    Besides, Americans in the 1860s had much more common ground from which to debate than we do now.

    What common ground do I have with people who want to teach my black children to hate my white children, teach my white children to hate themselves, teach all my children to hate me, hate God, and hate their country, castrate my sons, mutilate my daughters, or turn them into insufferable bull-dykes, or convince them to murder my grandchildren in the womb?

    Nah. The average Johnnie Reb had a lot more common ground with the average Yankee back then than we do now. This can’t last. Something is going to change drastically, and it’ll probably happen in the form of a split. How much violence it’ll take is an open question, but it’s already been a lot more than zero.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Red Pill Apostle says:

      I read an interesting book called “American Nations” by Colin Woodard. He’s a lefty journalist type, but that part of his writing is kept under wraps until the end. The first 7/8ths of the book are his theory into the different voting blocks in the US and he makes a good case that the US has been distinct cultural groups all along.

      I’ll give an example of what I’m referring to. We are Southerners, but there are very distinct variations amongst us and if you follow language and accent differences you see the differences. Around Macon, GA the accent is classic Gone With the Wind where ‘r’ is replaced with ‘ah’ very much mimicking the people of wealthy British aristocracy from which the large plantation owners descended. Head a few hours north the the GA mountains and the drawl has more of a twang to it with harder annunciation on the ‘r’ sounds, much like the English spoken by the Scotts and Irish settlers of the region. They were poor, in many cases uneducated and had been at odds with high society in the UK for centuries. Not much changed in the new world and the two segments of the South tended to not trust each other much even though they would band together against a common outside threat.

      There are similar differences between French influenced areas and Puritan yankee areas in the northeast. As long as each area was left alone by the other areas we could all go about our business and get along. There was some cultural commonality due to most people being of western European lineage and there was more control at state and local levels. What we are seeing now are leftist voting blocks telling rational people how to live and then using the power of government to try and enforce it. This type of behavior cannot last indefinitely and is why I think Oscar is correct in stating there will be a split. It would not surprise me if it falls along the lines of groups Woodard outlines in his book with those groups having sufficient enough commonality banding together.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. feeriker says:

    “The overall ordering will emphasize unity, diversity…”

    Two completely contradictory things. One cancels out the other. The current regime is attempting now to enforce these two polar opposites and is failing miserably at it, thus the current state of societal collapse in which we find ourselves. If this is a key platform of a future Globalist Deep State universal regime, it’s dead in the water before it ever starts. No amount of force will make “diverse” peoples live together in harmony. America of the future will permanently resemble the former Yugoslavia during the 1990s.

    Like

    • Oscar says:

      “No amount of force will make “diverse” peoples live together in harmony.”

      Only faith in Christ can accomplish that, and even then, it’s not easy.

      Like

    • info says:

      Meritocratic Scholar Bureaucratic State is how China keeps its grip over the various Ethnic Groups there. So I believe it will be no different in regards to keeping diverse peoples united.

      Like

  5. anonymous_ng says:

    I recommend Peter Turchin’s book Ages of Discord. He is as close to Harry Seldon of Isaac Asimov Foundation series fame as we have at present.

    His hypothesis goes something like this:
    — Good times lead to growth of the population especially the serfs/working class on who’s backs the elites live.
    — Something causes the good times to come to an end. In the agricultural world, it was family or pandemic. In the modern world, it might be recession.
    — The serfs/working class shrinks and so does its ability to support the elites.
    — At this point, there is an overpopulation of elites and they organize into blocks and fight one another for the places at the top for them, their spawn, and their toadies.
    — The immiseration of the masses continues until such time as the the number of elites has reduced to the carrying capacity of the working class, etc.
    — These times of discord can last for centuries.

    Mind, I haven’t finished his book, but I think he makes a reasonably compelling case.

    Like

  6. Femmy says:

    What about the effect of catastrophes?

    I’ve seen unity in patriotism after the 9/11 attacks, large earthquakes, etc.

    There might be a large natural catastrophe that unites.

    By the way, some predict a huge solar flare that will wipe out the electrical grid. Some predict a huge earthquake off the coast of Oregon that will set off fires and massive volcano eruptions.

    These are scientific predictions of natural catastrophes. All within the next 20 years.

    It will be monumental. Will the internet be gone? As in Dark Age?

    Like

    • Oscar says:

      Hardship tends to magnify whatever is already there. Some people will unite, others will separate, others will fight, all because of factors that were already there before the hardships come, but could be overlooked when times were good.

      That’s why people are sorting themselves. Whether they’re doing it consciously, or not, they’re gathering with people like themselves in anticipation of hardships to come.

      Like

      • Red Pill Apostle says:

        People are always sorting themselves. Think about the how language created sorting after the Tower of Babel. It has not stopped since, which is why we have Chinatown and Little Italy type places in large urban areas. It’s why I left the north as a teenager and never looked back. There is a built in element of trust that exists when you are amongst similar people. When the US was 90+ percent of western European lineage, there was enough of a common cultural and religious background that a certain level of trust was baked into the cake, because, for better or worse, we as humans use appearance as a means of quickly judging ‘like me’ vs. ‘not like me’.

        Like

      • Oscar says:

        @ RPA

        I wouldn’t say always. When times are good, people flow to places where they can participate in booming economies. That brings a lot of people into close proximity that otherwise would’ve been separated by continents, or oceans. For example, you mentioned Chinatown and Little Italy. Those Chinese and Italians would’ve been thousands of miles apart, but they sought prosperity in New York, so now they’re only blocks apart. There are friction points, but prosperity serves as a social lubricant that minimizes the friction.

        Take prosperity away, however, and those friction points start to generate a lot of heat.

        Like

  7. Lexet Blog says:

    It seems everything is falling into a state of decay in western society. Everyone is apathetic. Infrastructure is crumbling. Social cohesion doesn’t exist. Hell my doctor just looks at a checklist for each patient and can barely speak English. Professional standards are a joke. No one does any more than they are required to.

    This stagnation has turned into decline. Over night. It’s creepy

    Like

    • Oscar says:

      Get out to the rest of the country. There are still places where things work.

      Like

    • Red Pill Apostle says:

      Always look at the incentives. Since you brought up physicians, their biggest incentives are not getting sued by a patient or fined by running afoul of the ACA. It explains, at least in part, the red tape, checklists, and all the extra tests done in CYA fashion.

      I forget who I was reading on this, it may have been Heartiste, but there is something to be said about a country where the majority of the people are net contributors and those people work towards contributing to the common good. When this falls apart, at a certain point, only the suckers still believe that exists and they get milked. In the west, we’re at the point that there are fewer and fewer suckers contributing, and the logical strategy then is to get everything you can for yourself. Strategically, you have to in order to prevent falling behind. Take the PPP loan program here in the states. I know people who could survive without the loan, but took it anyway because it was forgivable (what could go wrong with handing out ‘free’ money?) and because if you didn’t, you’d risk the inflationary pressure with less cash than your competitor.

      A real life example of inflation, and the concept of doing what you can to keep up, is the used truck I bought about a year ago. It is worth more now, a year and 10,000 additional miles later, than it was when I bought it. That means that truck prices have increased enough to overcome the decline in value that should happen after a year and 10k additional miles, and then actually add to the value of the vehicle. My guess is vehicle inflation is 30%+/- a few points in my area.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jack says:

        “…truck prices have increased enough to overcome the decline in value that should happen after a year and 10k additional miles…”

        The price of cars, even used cars, and machinery in general is rising sharply these days. Not sure why, but I have a couple guesses.

        1) The loss of state side manufacturing and/or economic forces related to that.
        2) The standard technology added to cars pushes prices out of the average person’s budget.

        To give you an idea of what I mean on (2), much of the added technology (e.g. fuel injection, electronic ignition, computerized monitors and regulators, GPS, power this and power that) comes standard and is not an option. It is an unnecessary cost burden. Introducing a new model every 2-3 years is too. Automobile manufacturers could make a car on older auto technology (i.e. from the 1960s to 1980s) modified for modern suspension and safety construction, and it would sell and operate just fine.

        The way it’s going nowadays, you can’t touch a car made in the classic muscle car era for less than several thousand — in any condition! Top quality specimens are selling for more than the price of a new BMW! YouTube is filled with yokels pulling 30+ year old cars out of junkyards and the woods, and restoring them to running condition.

        Like

      • Lexet Blog says:

        At least depending on product.

        While your truck is worth more, there’s no point in cashing in on that increase in value. (It hurts everyone with taxes. Plus, congress just passed a law requiring even more tech in vehicles by 2023.)

        Food prices are up while portion sizes are decreasing, so just assume any increase is actually 2x what the price says.

        What’s weird is back in the summer, CFA, of all fast food places, stopped serving large coffee. That means they are losing money on cups, even when coffee is relatively cheap.

        On the loans and stimulus checks, they were necessary for the middle class. We haven’t received any breaks under any president until then.

        Republicans complained, but they green lighted bailouts and federal programs for them at the drop of a hat.

        Like

  8. Oscar says:

    Speaking of Western decline…..

    The 21st Century should have been another American Century, but it won’t be, because Americans squandered their Christian heritage, and are currently calling down judgment on themselves.

    However, it won’t be a Chinese Century, either.

    Foreign Policy: China’s Sham Meritocracy Has Created a Burned-Out Generation (2021-10-23)

    “The Chinese Communist Party is using the whole of its propaganda might to push a simple message: The young must throw themselves into work and life with a zest befitting China’s glorious “New Era.”

    The party has reasons to worry. There’s a counternarrative getting in the way of its determination to turn young Chinese into good producers, whether of GDP or children. Young Chinese are curtailing their expectations and ambitions. Many of them are downgrading lifestyle choices around diet, travel, and more. They fill social media with talks of the futility of endeavoring and the hollowness of desire. And they are not ready for marriage and children, and don’t know if they will ever be.”

    […]

    “And deeper trouble looms in the near future: The country’s fertility rate—the number of children a woman is expected to have over her lifetime—stands at just 1.3, one of the lowest in the world, according to the results from the latest census released in May. It laid bare the fact that the government’s move to end the one-child policy in 2016 has failed to produce the increased number of births the country desperately needs to slow the rapid aging of its population.

    But getting young Chinese to live and strive will be a heavy lift for the party. Beyond the harsh economic realities that limit their options, the pessimism and reluctance of young Chinese have deeper roots—ones that the state itself has created. An ultracompetitive, tightly controlled, meritocratic system was once a powerful engine that propelled China’s economic rise but has now run up against its own inherent limits.

    Demographics are destiny, and in a modern economy, it takes a minimum of 20 years to raise a baby into a productive adult. China’s one child policy lasted from 1979 to 2016. That means that in 20 years, people born before the one child policy will retire in enormous numbers, and there won’t be anywhere near enough young, productive adults to support them.

    Even if Chinese women had started having 3 babies each starting in 2016 (they didn’t, not even close), that CCP-created 40-year gap in fertility can’t be fixed. Chinese kids born after the one child policy ended simply won’t be old enough, or productive enough, to support the enormous number of elderly people China will have in 20 years.

    Time and biology are merciless b!tches.

    Liked by 1 person

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