Death of the West redux

In the most basic ways, “Western Civilization” no longer works. Some illustrations: More Englishwomen staying childless to advance their careers, while Sweden looks for social policies to boost the birthrate while keeping female labor fully and equally available as an economic resource. The policies just don’t work—after a brief rise Sweden’s birthrate is back in the cellar as in other advanced countries. How, after all, can self-seeking manipulation solve the basic problems of life and death? And what kind of world is it in which men’s concern for a 25-year-old pregnant women subjecting herself to the demands of a national political career is seen as something intolerable that must be rooted out?

3 thoughts on “Death of the West redux”

  1. According to the story, the
    According to the story, the 25-year-old pregnant member of Sweden’s parliament, Mona Sahlin, is also the country’s Minister of Industry. I have to assume that’s an error by the reporter.

  2. I assume that she is now
    I assume that she is now considerably older than 25, but underwent a radicalizing experience at that age when she was brought face to face with the brutal realities of sexism and discrimination (some men expressed the concern for her situation as a young pregnant woman exposed to the difficulties of public life). The article recounts that harrowing experience to explain her current efforts to find ways to ensure such things can never happen again.

  3. Some months ago in Australia
    Some months ago in Australia feminists were demanding that we follow the Swedish model and institute paid maternity leave (which is actually 15 months in Sweden, not six).

    To my frustration, they tried to argue for it on conservative grounds, that it would help lift the birth rate, support family life etc.

    I actually got a letter printed in Australia’s largest circulation newspaper pointing out that by 1997 Sweden’s birthrate had become negative, with more deaths than live births, and that it had the third lowest percentage of children in its population of any country in the world.

    The letter also pointed out that claims that the Swedish model helped women to integrate work and family life were also demonstrably false since the divorce rate in Sweden hit an unprecedented 65% in 1997.

    About a week later the government decisively rejected the Swedish model on the same grounds, although the opposition Labor Party has made it the centrepiece of its platform.

    The Swedish Government runs a good website in English called Statistics Sweden where this kind of information is freely available.


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