You may have heard about the Japanese disease, a disease that is harrowing the developed world, a disease that sprang up in Japan and so was named accordingly. No? No wonder. It is no biological ailment like HIV or a new form of metastasis. Though, when you come to think of it it is biological after all. It is somehow biological in that people in all the richest and economically advanced countries – be it in Asia, in Europe, in North America or Australia – have long stopped multiplying. Crescite even et multiplicamini is no more an option for a citizen of an affluent society. Hedonismis. Whether it is mental or economic, controlled by the powers that be or spontaneous is not the point here. The effects are palpable and that’s what matters. Economies built on debt creation have an urgent need to grow in order to pay off the debt; growth is generated by rising consumption; consumption means demand and it is humans, especially young, who stimulate demand. The young are on the decline. With every year, every decade. True, the life expectation in the developed countries is far longer than elsewhere in the world but it is not the old people who boost demand. Old people have bought what they needed and that’s basically it. Oh yes, they create one kind of demand: for medical care, but this is paid for by the whole of society.
Few young people translate into small demand, which means no economic boost, hence no growth, all of which resulting in an ever growing debt. What is to be done? There are a few ways out of this trouble. Idea number one: import young people from the rest of the world. Idea number two: make the members of the middle-class pay through their noses to alleviate the burden that the whole society must carry. And forge an apt and convincing ideology to make all this work in the minds of citizens. Foreigners flooding West Europe and the US? Enrichment and a human obligation to help humans in distress. Negative interest rates and higher taxes? Social solidarity. Surely nobody is against such highbrow ideals?
In this Gefira issue we draw our readers’ attention to the Japanese disease mentioned above and what it entails. Effects have their causes. Once white Europeans have decided to stop having children, that’s ok, but then they must say farewell to affluent society or… or try to make up for the lost numbers the unborn scions: they must adopt the “refuse of the earth” as it is inscribed on the plinth of the Statue of Liberty. And give up on some of your accumulated riches. The West have saved a lot by not having children, an now need to give a lot away to provide for the ageing society and keep it alive. If crescite et multiplicamini had been given the pride of place on the list of the modern man’s priorities, he would not be in the present plight. Alas!