Monday, February 10, 2014

Harming Russia

In 1999, the Russian birth rate was 1.17. The replacement rate is roundabout 2.1, from what I understand. Much like Japan and a good share of western Europe, Russia is trying desperately to increase its birth rate for reasons of economic security, social stability, the cohesion of the nation, etc.

Is Russia harmed by its low birthrate?

Let's say the answer is yes. If so, is it in principal possible to locate social or cultural trends - and people promoting or taking part in this trends - and assign blame to them in some way? Can you say "X is harming Russia / the Russian people"?


BenYachov said...

Abortion is off the hook in that country. I read many years ago during the USSR period many women averaged about 8 abortions in her lifetime.

Who knows how bad it is today.

Crude said...

Sure, abortion definitely plays a role. But abortion is an act that people choose. So why are they choosing it? Why aren't births taking place at such a rate to overwhelm the abortions?

Charlotte B said...

This is my guess.

I think all countries with a low birth rate or ones heading down that lane have "women working" to blame. Sounds crazy right?

But let me explain.

A "working woman" is a new measuring stick of society that judges the worthiness of a woman. Society sees a woman very favorably if she is independent and successful at her occupation. One simply does not give the same respect in these societies for a mother who raises children to be good men and women. After all, the sense of "good" men and women is already somewhat distorted in these societies. So a woman is naturally less likely to desire children in this society because the children can only hamper her freedom to succeed.

Secondly, a working woman feels less of a need to enter in to a marriage. She loves independence more (because of the encouraged individualism in our culture) and therefore looks at marriage as hesitantly as men used to look at it back in the day. So nowadays a man is more likely to find a woman they feel attracted to that just wants to have a casual relationship than really settle down. This is starkly different from the old days where social pressures and the woman he falls in love with will want to get married first before anything. This brings us to the other point.

With the sexual norms of our society, both the working woman and a man just tend to go forward with relationships just for pleasure and without much thought. Such activity only makes it difficult to later contract a stable and healthy marriage.

Confession forgives sins but all that fooling around means a person carries a lot of psychological baggage with them that doesn't just magically go away. So that can cause marriage problems later on too.

(Even when a working woman gets married, they are likely to have less children and have a hard time passing down any values to them. So usually grow up to become even more disconnected from traditional values)

All of this contribute to lower rates of marriage (putting off marriage or not getting married at all) and increased rates of divorce (relationship baggage and work vs. home clashes).

I think this is why the decline in birth rate happens so organically and naturally and not many people notice it till its late. Abortion is merely a symptom of this culture. Contraception is also merely a tool used in such a culture. It's difficult to turn things around because the driving force of the declining birth rate are rooted deep in culture. Women from a young age just don't want to be stay at home moms because they think they must succeed at the workplace. With that desire begins a journey that only leads them and society far away from the possibility of a stable marriage.

This is my best guess as to why the birth rates decline and why it's not so easy to change it.t

Charlotte B said...

You know, after some thought, I would also add that the unhealthy "success" driven mentality of even working men is probably another factor :)

They too are likely to be against raising children and having their wives work for increased income.

Simply put, it might just be that we Westerners and the Russians have simply got our priorities set on all the wrong things. We value success, pleasure, personal freedom, independence over God, family, sacrifice, submitting to our spouses, and children.

So as a result, we end up at declining birth rates for myriads of reasons.

Crude said...


Greetings and welcome. I actually have seen evaluations similar to yours before - I think Vox Day insists on something along those lines.

Regardless, I wasn't really expecting an exhaustive evaluation, though I thank you for your input there - very interesting. I was simply going for the question of whether we could reasonably class such a thing as 'harm' - and of course, if it is harm, then 'social / cultural factors' are the culprit.

As you said, 'symptom of the culture'. But deciding that the culture is ill, and taking steps to address that, is one hell of a big step.