Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Children of Men: What about the Youth Bulge?

I liked The Children of Men about a fascist world of
the future in which all women are infertile and and in which there is a lot of violence as groups fight against the government and against each other. The movie is based on a book by P.D. James which was published in the 1990's. For James who is politically conservative and is opposed to abortion that the human sperm count went to zero is a metaphor for the collapse of the family structure, loss of faith and the dying western civilization. But in the movie the end of the human race is leading to violence, terrorism and wars, with the world looking like a huge Baghdad/Gaza Strip. So... here is my problem: According to the popular Youth Bulge theory "one of the strongest indicators of whether a country will be prone to military conflict, general destabilization or revolt, is its demographics. More specifically, if it has a large proportion of generally poor and dissatisifed, young men, the likelihood increases by a landslide." Or to put it differently, more babies, more angry young men, more violence, more wars. That fits very much with what's going on in the Moslem world, and explains why childless Europe is more pacifist. I get that. But what's going on in the movie -- as opposed to the book -- runs contrary to the theory (I think):less babies which result in less angry young men, less violence, less wars. In fact, there seem to be quite a lot of young men among both the British security forces and the various terrorist groups in the movie. Well, since Steve Sailer is a movie critic and an expert in demography, perhaps he can help resolve for me this paradox.


Dualarity said...

Wait a minute - the sperm count goes to zero, but it's the WOMEN who are all infertile?

Plus, metaphor or no, the book's thesis sounds Lamarckian. You'd think that even a conservative social critic would recognize that declining sperm counts have an environmental basis, and are not the inherited taint of bad behavior. But, hey - I'm sure Dinesh D'Souza liked it.

Now, with any luck, you'll get comments from people who've actually seen the thing.

Steve Sailer said...

You have a lefty Mexican director making a movie based on a novel by a righty English baroness. Incoherence is the result.

Global Paradigms said...

Steve, thanks! I suppose that you're right. And, dualarity, I didn't think that the book was so great (I do like P.D.James' crime novels). It was written in the 1990's in the Zeitgeist that many conservatives considered to be permissive, decadent, etc.

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