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Issue 04 – Septuagesima 2021

Nunc Dimittis

Deep Blue Air

On high windows


Like the late L. Brent Bozell, I tend to regard any talk of demography with suspicion, if not hostility. There seems to me something almost uniquely wicked about viewing the human race as an undifferentiated mass of statistics, to say nothing of reducing childbirth to a figure with a decimal following it. Nor am I especially sympathetic to so-called “natalist” politics that treat birth rates as a kind of full employment problem, the solving of which requires us to invest our (as it were) reproductive capital wisely in the interest of gross domestic fecundity.

Still, it is impossible to overstate the significance of recent projections suggesting that by the end of the present century the population of most “developed” countries will be halved. At any earlier point in the history of our species, such drastic reductions in the size of a community could only have been the result of some enormous and largely unforeseen catastrophe: war, famine, pestilence, or, most likely, some combination of the three. Instead, it appears to be the case that we are the first people seeking voluntary extinction.

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About the author

Matthew Walther

Matthew Walther is editor of The Lamp.