Days of Change

The Buddha and Pat Buchanan

August 18, 2014
1 Comment

It is truthful to say that although kids and adults have gotten worse with each generation, the same things were said as far back as Socrates about the kids of his day. The danger is not in the end of human existence, but the end of Western culture. Pat Buchanan has remarked on this for decades and in the generation since, the family unit has gotten weaker and the influence of other cultures has gotten stronger. Buchanan wrote about the death of the West over a decade ago, pointing out that modern cultures are not replacing their current population levels, while Muslim countries are growing in population. In fact, Europe and the US populations are being back filled by non-Western cultures.

I’ll use myself as a case in point. One side of my family is made up of five living generations going back almost 100 years. The oldest were a set of siblings born in the second decade of the 20th century. Two out of the six children died, as was all too common in that time. Of the four adult children, all were married, but only two had children. One had children late in life. His children are in their 30s and unmarried, no children.

His sister had two daughters, one of whom had no children. The other had two children. One is in her 40s and unmarried, no children. The other, however, now has five children. One of his children has a child, but no husband. In some ways, this side was ahead of the curve, with many branches not having kids. The other side of my family all married and had children in their 20s, even if the marriages didn’t last.

My speculation for the why has to do with the essential nature of human beings. Agenda 21 was a book where humans faced with an intrusive government could no longer conceive children at an effective rate. My observation is the opposite. It seems that the greater hardship is, the more family becomes a refuge from the world. Going head to head, life in Egypt or Saudi Arabia sucks ass compared to the United States, but they are having more kids.

Buddha wrote about the nature of suffering. Life is suffering, but the burden is added to by the desire for things and new experiences instead of life, work and duty. Earlier generations could look forward to having children and seeing them have children. They might see and do other things, but family was their life. Three generations of my family used to live in the same house, now I get antsy spending a few hours with relatives.

America exists (Europe is already past this point) in a state where it is considered desirable to leave home after high school, go away to college, move to another city to start your career and see your parents a few times a year. Parents are supposed to retire on their pensions and go on vacations and do crafts for their rest of their lives, leaving their kids the house when they die.

The definition of a career is to do so much work that you are on-call all the time. Getting married is something you do after your biological urges get the best of you and you’ve had a child or two beforehand. It’s also okay not to have kids, because you can go on vacations and adventures without having to take care of a child. Just make sure you have enough in your retirement account to not end up eating cat food in a run down tenement.

If Western culture dies, something will take its place. There is no guarantee that the replacement will be more fair or enlightened. We should think about the legacy we’ll leave our children, but fewer of us are in that situation anymore.


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