Monday, July 25, 2011

Demography's misuse, or, going from Eurabia to mass murder

Demography matters so much that one man, Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik, decided to become a mass murderer on account of what demography supposedly told him.

As has been noted worldwide, the tendentious concept of "Eurabia"--a Europe doomed, via Muslim fecundity and the fecklessness or outright self-hatred of its governing elites, to become Muslim--is the single idea most responsible for Breivik's decision to kill as many future potential multiculturalist traitors to Norway and Europe as possible. Journalist Doug Saunders elaborates on this in a video post from Oslo for the Globe and Mail.

Saunders has posted at his website a collection of Breivik's comments posted at the Norwegian blog revealing the man to be preoccupied with pop demography of the least analytical sort. (No, Lebanon is not a relevant model for any plausible European future, not least because of the substantial territorial changes coupled with unprecedented history of sustained mass emigration and the numerous bloody, bloody wars.) Going into more detail, blogger P.Z. Myers noted that in his screed, Breivik was concerned with the ridiculously precise micromanagement of fertility along the misogynistic lines described by Margaret Atwood in her 1985 novel The Handmaid's Tale.

1. Limit the distribution of birth-control pills (contraceptive pills): Discourage the use of and prevent liberal distribution of contraceptive pills or equivalent prevention methods. The goal should be to make it considerably more difficult to obtain. This alone should increase the fertility rate by 0,1 points but would degrade women's rights.

2. Reform sex education: Reform the current sex education in our school institutions. This may involve limiting it or at least delaying sex education to a later age and discourage casual sex. Sex should only be encouraged within the boundaries of marriage. This alone should increase the fertility rate by 0,1 points.

3. Making abortion illegal: A re-introduction of the ban on abortion should result in an increased fertility rate of approximately 0,1-0,2 points but would strip women of basic rights.

4. Women and education: Discourage women in general to strive for full time careers. This will involve certain sexist and discriminating policies but should increase the fertility rate by up to 0,1-0,2 points.

Women should not be encouraged by society/media to take anything above a bachelor's degree but should not be prevented from taking a master or PhD. Males on the other hand should obviously continue to be encouraged to take higher education - bachelor, master and PhD.

Adds Myers, "It's all about fertility, ladies, and if only we keep you ignorant and trapped in the home, you'll start pooping out babies for us. Isn't that sweet?"

Demography's a concern of this blog, obviously, as are future population changes. The signal difference is that we at Demography Matters are concerned with fact-based linkages, writing, and research, taking a look at what actually goes on insofar as populations evolve because demography matters enough to be taken seriously. We engage with myths like Eurabia not least since these kinds of catastrophic theories do very little to create informed discussion on the subject. People are not going to talk or act in rational manners about immigration or population aging or anything of the kind of they think that the future of their country is doomed. This may especially be so if they think that their country's doom is indeed that is an intended consequence of their evil political elite.

As a co-blogger of mine over at History and Futility, Jussi Jalonen, wrote earlier today, the whole knot of anger and misunderstandings and conspiratorial mindsets surrounding Eurabia that motivated Breivik exist at the center of an increasingly influential political network.

Following the modus operandi of all publicity-seeking mass murderers, Breivik wrote a manifesto where he openly stated his motives and clarified his political opinions in detail. Published in the internet, the “European Declaration of Independence” – which can be downloaded from here – is essentially a grotesque compendium of blog posts and columns, tied together with Breivik’s own narrative. The quoted writings all have in common an openly islamophobic, anti-immigration theme. According to Breivik’s twisted, but coherent logic, the “multiculturalist Marxist establishment” is attempting to convert the European Union into a “Marxist superstate, the EUSSR”; these “cultural Marxists” are also responsible for the “mass Muslim immigration” and “islamization” of Europe. Breivik is, in other words, a true believer in the so-called “Eurabia”-predictions previously discussed also on this blog, and he also believes that an open discussion of these threats was impossible due to the pervasive European “political correctness”. In his own words, Breivik was using the mass murder as means to “send a message” to the “Marxist, multiculturalist elites”. His chosen method was to wipe out the next generation of the left-wing politicians whom he saw as the culprits of the immigration policy and the destruction of his cherished European civilization.

What’s important to remember is that Breivik’s ideology was not original, and his sick ideas were not of his own making. In essence, he was a product of the internet age, a dedicated consumer of the radical anti-Muslim political propaganda which has circulated around the websites and weblogs ever since the 9/11 attacks and the controversial Muhammad cartoon episode. Breivik maintained a lively interest in the most notable anti-Islam bloggers, such as “Fjordman”, with whom he occasionally seems to have corresponded, advertising his book project; one example of their dialogue can be found here, in the comment section. The title of Breivik’s book, “Declaration of European Independence”, is actually borrowed from a column which “Fjordman” wrote for the cultural-conservative “Brussels Journal”-blog. Breivik describes his ideology by the name “Vienna School of Thought”, which is a reference to another well-known paranoid anti-Islam blog, “Gates of Vienna”.

This internet sub-culture where Breivik spent his pastime has not been without political significance. The very same post-modern, radical, fanatic cultural-fundamentalist atmosphere which produced Breivik has made serious inroads to the mainstream politics in the Western World, basing its success on populism and fear. The writers who inspired Breivik included known Muslim-baiting hate-mongers such as Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller and Daniel Pipes, and he was fascinated by the Tea Party movement. Geert Wilders, the head of the Dutch PVV and the producer of Fitna, was among Breivik’s heroes, and his book even mentions – in one of the quoted posts from “Fjordman” – Jussi Halla-aho, a Finnish anti-Islam blogger who was elected as an MP of the populist “True Finns” party in the last elections and became the chairman of the parliamentary committee in charge of police, border guard and the immigration affairs. Breivik’s book endorses several “anti-immigration, cultural conservative organizations”, ranging from the Sweden-Democrats to the Polish PiS, all of which he saw as the possible salvation of the Continent from the supposed evils of multiculturalism and immigration. The only thing which made Breivik special was his conviction that this parliamentary political activity needed to be supplemented with direct action, and he saw himself as the man who could provide it.

Demography matters too much to be left unchallenged to the sorts of people who would use the study of population--or more precisely, what these people think counts as the study of population--to justify all manner of horrors. Beware.


Anonymous said...

There is a correlation between those 4 points and fertility. But it is negative not positive

Anonymous said...

Boy, Demography Matters has really slipped. I remember the good old days when DM actually contained top-notch articles about it's title subject. Now, it's all just weak leftist politics. Sad.

Randy McDonald said...

Sir, this isn't leftist--it's reality-based, rather.

I don't know about your ideological inclinations, but I certainly don't think that the left is uniquely accurate about everything while the right is deranged and has nothing to contribute. (Just start talking to me about cyclist organizations in Toronto to find that out.) A particular element of the right is wedded to some very dangerous fantasies, however, and needs to be called out for its fact-free and violence-inciting rhetorics.

Anonymous said...

As I said, this site hardly touches on demography. It's just another leftist political blog. If I wanted that, I ccan find it in 1000 other places.

Randy McDonald said...

Mistaken and dangerous theories about population change, decisions to limit the usefulness of population censuses, ongoing African immigration to Latin America, immigration prospects in an economically stagnant southern Europe, declining American birth rate, links between education and longevity ... none of these are related to demographics?

If you don't like the subject matter, fine. A lot of people have problems with reality, with the minutiae of life as it actually exists. Perhaps you can find a more "interesting" blog like Gates of Vienna to haunt? The Two Minutes' Hate is a feature of popular culture that isn't at all welcome here.

Tarun Kumar said...

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Randall said...

It is not Eurabia, but it is not exactly pretty.

European populations are ageing, and almost all have below replacement fertility among ethnic European populations. Younger, more fertile replacement populations typically derive from alien cultures, speak alien languages, and statistically bring higher crime rates -- look at prison populations and crime reports by ethnicity.

It is not politically correct to assert that there is anything good about western civilisation, or anything bad about primitive, tribal third world cultures such as Islam. But there will certainly be consequences to replacing populations which have been highly productive with populations which tend to be otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Utoya Island had no more political import than Columbine or Virginia Tech. The guy's a pyschopath, yes he spouts the words of the extreme right (those cool SS uniforms...) but if he had been around 40 years ago it would probably have been Red Brigades style Marxist tosh.

Trying to make political capital out of this massacre is an insult to those kids' memory.

Anonymous said...

No matter how you look at it, this incident will probably turn out bad for all these ridiculous politicans that have been promoting such drivel.

Dringo said...


Being against multiculturalism and massimmigration does not amount to being wedded to some "dangerous fantasies".
Criticising the right wing for using "violence-inciting rhetorics", has nothing to do with demographics.
Its pure leftist politics. Your attempt at associating the whole right with the Breivik terrorist attack amounts to nothing else but propaganda.

Indigenous european populations are being demographically replaced at an alarming rate. And alot of people are very angry about this fact.

No amount of manipulation and smearing from a leftist inclined demographer can hide this fact.

jemand said...


I really appreciated this post, and have found the last few articles on this blog absolutely fascinating and very reality based.

When I found the blog (Jan 2011) I pretty much went back and read nearly all the archives in a week. I'm always excited when I find there is a new one to read.

I say this now, because it appears you are getting a relatively high rate of pushback trying to dismiss this post as simply politically wishful thinking or an agenda on your part, rather than based in reality, and I figured I might as well speak up and say that you have readers who are really appreciating your writing (and the other bloggers here).

Thanks :)

Anonymous said...

You seem to be attacking his statements as fascist (as they are) but I would like to know what you think of the actual effects of the policy prescriptions he supports.

Antonio Pedro said...

I don't follow this post: there is no technical explanation why this guy is wrong. Does it mean that he has a point? Please, explain.

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Anonymous said...

For all his rantings and ravings, Brevik had no children of his own. Irony of ironies