John Derbyshire has up an insightful post about Japan, wherein he surmises that the 21st century might belong to Japan since Japan appears to hold steadfast in avoiding Third World immigration and to be solving internally its own demographic transition. History suggests that labor shortages (tight labor markets) often lead to greater efficiency and innovation. David Frum wrote recently along these lines about robotics undercutting the “need” for immigrants.
Nonetheless, it has become a mantra in the West that declining birthrates and an aging population will lead to catastrophe — unless we open our borders to the Third World. These warnings, though, often seem greatly exaggerated. Dennis Mangan wrote, “Russia’s population today is about the same as it was in the early 80s. That constitutes a crisis?”
History doesn’t really bear out this supposed demographic crisis. The Malthusian and pre-penicillin West often saw great population vicissitudes that worked themselves out. The Black Death might have killed off 1/3 of the European population, but the end result was tighter labor markets, increased efficiency, and an eventual increased standard of living. Europeans and North Asians are resilient and can respond to changing circumstances.
How the chattering heads could be so wrong about the need for more immigration reflects a central problem with Western democracy today: no effective feedback system. Nick Land writes,
The result is that every effective discovery process — whether economic, scientific, or of any other kind — is subjected to ever-more radical subversion by political influences whose only ‘reality principle’ is internal: based on closed-circuit social manipulation…. Democracy is thus, strictly speaking, a production of collective insanity, or dissociation from reality….
In short, Western democracies believe and promulgate Immigration is Good, and that’s all that matters. Everything else is inconsequential; the Cathedral Hive Mind says so.
Interestingly, a hive mind in nature is generally adaptive. For instance, in a hive of honey bees, various worker bees perform dances demonstrating the location of food. The information of some scouts might be wrong, so the hive mind eventually is able to discern the reliable from the unreliable information, which results in the creation of more honey, an absolute necessity for the survival of winter. If this feedback system fails, the hive dies.
Our Cathedral hive mind, however, figured out how to make honey for multiple winters in one season, which provided immediate benefits, but now results in living off stocked-up capital and inaccurate signaling feedback. The Cathedral has become a closed system, and it no longer receives signal feedback from nature; it is at war with nature.
But in the end, my money is on nature.
Helian Unbound on Derb & Demographics.