Monday, July 30, 2007

Thou Shalt Breed

The Russians are putting out for the greater good:

Remember the mammoths, say the clean-cut organisers at the youth camp's mass wedding. "They became extinct because they did not have enough sex. That must not happen to Russia".

Obediently, couples move to a special section of dormitory tents arranged in a heart-shape and called the Love Oasis, where they can start procreating for the motherland.

With its relentlessly upbeat tone, bizarre ideas and tight control, it sounds like a weird indoctrination session for a phoney religious cult.

But this organisation - known as "Nashi", meaning "Ours" - is youth movement run by Vladimir Putin's Kremlin that has become a central part of Russian political life....

Attendance is monitored via compulsory electronic badges and anyone who misses three events is expelled. So are drinkers; alcohol is banned. But sex is encouraged, and condoms are nowhere on sale.

I'm not going to defend widespread procreation, but this is only because of my moral outlook which is shaped by my Roman Catholicism. From an amoral governmental perspective, this isn't a terrible idea. It would make more sense to make abortion illegal, and probably contraception as well, and, though it irks my libertarian nature to say so, pay couples who have more than one child, as they do in parts of Europe such as France.

It would be a mistake to chalk up these antics as the works of a crazy person. Putin, whatever his faults, sees the writing on the wall. Post-Christian Europe is dying. Whether or not the remnants of Christendom merit saving, I am likely to think that they do, it is undebateable that without a drastic increase in rates of procreation, the civilization is doomed. Less than six hundred years ago, Queen Isabel of Spain finally sent the Moors back whence they came; but a new generation of the disciples of Muhammad are more than ready to occupy large parts of Europe as their ancestors did. Nor are the six centuries necessarily important given that the Reconquest lasted almost eight centuries. But more importantly, an even passingly militant Islam will have little trouble carving up pieces from the dying continent. The fact that Bush's stupid little war has increased the fervor of the Muslims will only serve to increase the likelihood of the prediction--and the speed of the conquest.

While it was certainly not the best book I have ever read, Pat Buchanan's The Death of the West opened my eyes in ways few other books have. He certainly wasn't the first person to note the decline in western civilization, but he was the first person I had read who had said it. It would be a mistake to underestimate my propensity to see things along Buchanan-esque lines, especially as it pertains to our dying civilization. In fact, Mr. Buchanan is almost surely more optimistic than I am. Perhaps it is because he likely has less time to live.

After being received less than enthusiastically in Nazareth, Jesus Christ remarked that a prophet is not without honor except in his native place. So it has been with Buchanan. But whether or not he is ever given the honor in this earthly life, and even whether I shall ever see my fellow Roman Catholic in paradise, it is difficult to see how Pat has been wrong. Encouraging young people to have children is not necessarily crazy, even as it may be unwise, but it is assuredly the act of a desperate nation. In the Brave New World of America, we may tune out the bad, if only for a time, but the reality of their civilization's almost inevitable ensuing death looms much larger in the minds of those who live in the lands to the east. When MTV gets in on the action, the tipping point will have been reached. But by then it may be too late.

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