“In our time all Greece was visited by a dearth of children and generally a decay of population, owing to which the cities were denuded of inhabitants, and a failure of productiveness resulted, though there were no long-continued wars or serious pestilences among us. If, then, any one had advised our sending to ask the gods in regard to this, what we were to do or say in order to become more numerous and better fill our cities,—would he not have seemed a futile person, when the cause was manifest and the cure in our own hands? For this evil grew upon us rapidly, and without attracting attention, by our men becoming perverted to a passion for show and money and the pleasures of an idle life, and accordingly either not marrying at all, or, if they did marry, refusing to rear the children that were born, or at most one or two out of a great number, for the sake of leaving them well off or bringing them up in extravagant luxury.”Polybius ~ 208 - 118 BC
Sound familiar? – that’s the rhyming of history. It is a pity the Ancient Greeks didn’t have a version of the Ireland 2040 Migration plan, or had their own Simon Coveney, then they could have invited various tribes into their lands solving their demographics problem with no negative consequences.
The Irish 2019 CSO Figures related to births showed a roughly 10% decline year on year in the Republic of Ireland. Decimation. This is hardly surprising news under the new liberal abortion laws, 6,666 abortions were performed in the Republic during the year (only 124 of which performed for medical grounds or Fatal Fetal abnormalities as was the major pretext). A further 375 unborn from the Republic were aborted in England and Wales in the year bringing the total north of 7,000. This brought the lifetime fertility rate for 2019 to a record low of 1.7, 0.4 points below the standardly cited breakeven rate of 2.1. In the 4th Quarter of 2019, it fell again to 1.6. That’s 1.6 kids expected for each mother during her lifetime. “Unsustainable” as the Greens would put it.
58.3k births occurred in 2019, looking at prior government statistics as regularly reported by the Media, a fifth to a quarter of the births in recent years would have been to foreign-born mothers, ahead of the foreign-born share of the population if we are to believe the census. The bulk of the growth of the population recently is due to inward net migration, not births and certainly not births to Irish mothers. A paltry 600 Irish people in net terms returned in the 12 months to April 2020 while a net 28k non-Irish entered. Irish people do not return for Deliveroo or Meatpacking jobs or for unaffordable housing and crazy commuting it appears.
Between 2010 and 2017 the Net number of Irish people who left these shores was ~140,000. This is barely registered in the public consciousness and certainly not highlighted in any great deal by the media. Court economists and the like may make sterile remarks on the matter but they write as if observing mere weather patterns or writing financial reports.
2020 marks three decades of the Irish people not reproducing themselves. The birth rate is the lowest since records began 150 years ago. As abortion, and the promotion of economic individualism becomes more normalised one can see this rate dropping further. After all, if the mainstream idea of the good life is pursuing a career, delaying family into your thirties while maintaining an individualist consumerist outlook, this is inevitable.
The Government policy of preventing people buying homes until they are in their mid-thirties plays a role too as does lack of tax incentives for family formation. The media is a longstanding factor too in depressing fertility, characters in popular TV dramas all the way back to shows like “Dallas” in the 80s pushed a particular kind of individualism and elevation of the professional working woman trope and belittlement of the “desperate housewife”. Writers and activists played no small part too.
No elected political party in Ireland can address any of this as each holds in their core beliefs the interchangeability of people; “We can just import people if we don’t have enough”. There’s nothing special about people in say Cahirciveen or Lisdoonvarna or Mohill, we can import more and put them to work in say one of Larry Goodmans meat plants. The nature of ’mé féin-ism’ means not having to worry too much about problems arising in the future, after all the typical politician will be pensioned off by then and with their resources can simply live well away from the consequences of their actions. Many of us have often heard another refrain when talking about the future; “Sure what do I care, I’ll be dead!”. Short term thinking is a big problem with Western democracies.
A study commissioned by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation on population recently laments:
“Japan, Hungary, Slovakia, the Baltic states, and others are facing substantial declines in population but have not adopted immigration as a compensating strategy. In these societies, so far, the desire to maintain a linguistic and culturally homogeneous society has outweighed the economic, fiscal, and geopolitical risks of declining populations. “
The choice here is having a diverse fractured population of workers for global monopoly capitalism to exploit or having a “culturally homogenous society” with the government supporting the people. Guess which one woke capital prefers? Capital likes us all to be consumers in bubbles focused on the next new product and certainly not organising for our own interests. Having ten languages spoken in your factory is great for breaking worker solidarity with the added benefit of being able to claim anti-racism points for having a “diverse workforce”. Our government favours of course the serving globalism route rather than serving the nation route.
A morally absent government isn’t going to solve our problems, child rearing has to be raised up as an economic good, held in as much importance as GDP. It shouldn’t be seen as a chore or a “lifestyle choice” and certainly not something seen as inferior to “Career”. Memories of your time in the wage-cage while you decay in some migrant staffed care-home is no substitute for having a legacy. No-body should want that.
What is clear over the past decades is the terrible governance we in Ireland are experiencing is in fact accelerating, each new government speeds up the Irish people’s decline and replacement. Major surgery is required. Taking no action means further rises in the pension age and a continual decline in the Irish people and its particular culture and influence as a presence in the world. While acting now can lead to a confident happier nation, knowing Irish grandchildren yet to be born will inherit something recognisably Irish which they will be proud to have ownership of.
The current parties would all agree that envisioning the future of Ireland explicitly with Irish people in it is an outdated idea at best, racist at worst. Even having a discussion on the subject would be out of bounds for our “leaders”, this has to change.