Chapter 5 – Demography
Why are the people thus busily moving?
For food they are seeking, children they fain would beget, feeding them all as they can.
Traveler, mark this well, and when thou art home, do thou likewise!
More can no mortal effect, work with what ardor he will.
(Johann W. Goethe, 1790)
With the decline of Europe during the Great War, the multiethnicUSAsurvived as the only counterweight to the overwhelmingly racial homogeneous countries of the East – Han inChina92%, Japanese in Nippon 99%, Koreans in Korea 99% and the Soviet empire of 450 million people. During the next few decades of reconstructingEurope, all major Eastern cultures, often driven by political utopian dreams, increased their population so dramatically as if to prove Malthus (1766-1834) wrong:
The massive population ofChinais our greatest good. Even a further increase of several times the population is entirely possible, possible through productivity.
(Mao Zedong, 1960 Vol. 4)
Thomas Malthus, English philosopher, made his famous prediction in An essay on the principle of population (1798) that population growth would at some point in time outrun food supply, and hence that the world population must have a maximum limit – anything between 9-12 billions. Naturally, until that overall, final limit is reached, some nations would try, almost fanatically in case of Mao’s China until the early 80’s, or not try at all, in case of post-war Germany after the 50’s who officially discouraged children, to outperform each other, for instance by means of forbidding contraception, ruling out gay communions, encouraging matchmaking, rewarding ‘patriotic’ baby-making, or discouraging women from joining the labor force (Heinsohn, 2003 ). Nippon increased from 60 to 127 millions, India from 550 to 1100 millions, China exploded in population from 600 to over 1,350 million, the citizens of the Soviet Union grew from 100 to 450 million (by assimilation), and finally the entire Arab/Moslem population almost tripled to now 1,400 million (with Indonesia from 75 to 220 million, Pakistan from 39 to 167 million etc.) (geohive, 2008; ciaFact, 2008).
As I write this paper, the populations of Chinaand Indiahave each increased by 20 million in the last 18 months, close to the size of that of Australia. That is of course a far cry from back in 2000, when Chinareported 36 million ‘millennium babies’ (Chinadaily, 2007/10/10). For modern European standards, such figures are utopian and utterly mind-boggling. And it does not stop here: In 2007, in just one of its 22 provinces, Henan, China saw a birth-rate of roughly 1,2 million Chinese babies, some 500,000 more than entire Germany in that same year, let alone that 28% of the ‘German babies’ were of non-German ethnic background (destasis, 2006). Tens of thousand million babies is a post-modern sin, even for a proud and wise civilization likeChina. So, Henan local authorities, reminded of their outrageous high birthrates of 1,6 million annually during the 90’s, had to vow to Beijing not to exceed the province’s projected population of 110 millions before 2020 (Chinadaily, 2008/04/20). Hurray to that. To put this into perspective: During the Olympic Year in Beijing 2008, 20 million Chinese were born in mainlandChina. And this, despite the ‘One-child policy’ from 1971, although heavily relaxed, still being in place (there are many exceptions to the policy, and minorities and rich folks are exempted anyway, but we won’t go into that here). Growing at this rate, the world’s entire WWII war dead (roughly 72 million people, including all casualties of famine [!]) are replaced by China alone in a little under 4 years; adding the babies from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the WWII losses are remedied in just under 1 1/2 years by our Asian partners. In a mocking way, it isDarwin not or perhaps deliberately not knowing for whom else he is speaking:
In this case we can clearly see that if we wished in imagination to give the plant the power of increasing in number, we should have to give it some advantage over its competitors. (Charles Darwin, 1859 )
However, in the short run between 1950 and 2000, the doctrine ofDarwin(and, in politics, Marx) had disappointed its people, and so did the practice of Social Darwinism as a nominal imperative: Numbers (and mind you, it is always about numbers!) of citizens did not immediately translate into global dominance. Something rather counter-intuitive happened, as the believed outcome of the struggle for survival against the West failed to materialize:
If two great regions had been for a long period favorably circumstanced in an equal degree, the battle would be prolonged and severe; […]. But in the course of time, the forms dominant in the highest degree, wherever produced, would tend everywhere to prevail. As they prevailed, they would cause the extinction of other and inferior forms, […] (Charles Darwin, 1859 )
WhatDarwinhad anticipated for the plants and animal kingdoms – that biological mass or discipline (instinct) of a group leads to victory – seemed technically absurd: Although the Caucasian population in theU.S.A.,Britain,GermanyandFrancedeclined in relation to most other great Asian nations, these countries assimilated quite well the mass-migration from East to West. On the contrary, the West was able to profit from its newly won diversity, calling it ‘multiculturalism’, the only “minor” problem being that of successful integration: Already in 2007, inAmsterdam, the capital of The Netherlands, 47% of its 750,000 inhabitants were ethnic minorities, 60% of children in primary schools were of non-Dutch background (van Antwerpen, 2007). The influx of Asians and other Orientals, and also Eastern Europeans and Africans) had left a great impact (read also: pressure), on the US, EU, Canada, Australia and other Western countries for example, as they are chosen by foreign diasporas, who have for various reason often more children than the domestic populations (Heinsohn, 2005).
Soon, commentators picked up clichés such as ‘moral conquerors’, ‘spiritual invasion’ (Freytag, 1940/2004) ‘Counter-Colonialism’, ‘the Gradual Orientalization of the Western Culture’, a ‘Pacific Century’, meaning that the 21st century will be dominated by the Pacific Rim states surrounding the Pacific Ocean, including China, Japan and the United States (Gibney, 1992; PBS, 1993, Borthwick, 1998), ‘The Chinese Enlightenment to the West’, ‘Eastern take-over’ or ‘Clash of Civilizations’ (Huntington, 1993, 2000, 2004) – all these notions supported by popular academic data saying that conformist East Asians and individualistic Westerners – apart from having shaped two entirely different civilizations, one inductive-based, the other deduction-based, indeed seem to produce different general cognitive styles too; the members of the latter tend to reason more analytically, the members of the former tend to reason more holistically (Masuda and Nisbett, 2001).
The demographic changes in Europe are irreversible, and the former feelings of Western superiority – the analytical mind, the linear approach to time and history, the soul of the conqueror, the deductive ways – over the time will proportionally decrease in favor of a newly felt Eastern superiority – the intuitive mind, the holistic approach to time and entangled history, the soul of the sage, the inductive ways.
As a matter of perception, till today, the Western ways are universally associated with ‘war’, ‘aggression”, and ‘exclusiveness’, while the Eastern ways are associated with ‘peace’, ‘tranquility’, and ‘inclusiveness’; notwithstanding both hemispheres showing the tendencies to project their own psychological outlook onto the other. For the vast majority of Americans and Europeans,Asiais a place for all those fanatics, dictators, terrorists, and immature cultures. For the Asians, the West – despite it cruelties and flaws – is often seen as the savior who brings stability, happiness and peace to the world:
As a consequence of ‘psychological projection’, the West does not see clearly its own vices, and the East does not see clearly its own virtues.
Due to current demographic developments,Europeis going to change and will have to accept more of the Eastern inductive ways. Or does it? It will take some time, to say the least. The non-integrated, spiritual Muslims inGermany,Austriaand theNetherlandswho still feel as second-class citizens: as a minority they are not alone inEurope(Times, 2008/07/27; taz, 2008/02/12). In Britain, France, Spain, Italy too, most of their Muslim, Asian or East-Asian counterparts (may it be Turks, Algerians, Chinese, Sikhs etc.) – who will anyway represent 53% of the European population by 2100 – still report a hard time to adjust to the – from their perspective – very limited way of Western thinking. Many of Eastern immigrants, including most of the Europeans themselves, believe that European culture has killed the Indians, developed slavery, colonized and exploited the Third World, brought war and misery to the human cause, and, in its most extreme form of expression: thus should be cleaned from the surface of the world, obviously not by war but by silent assimilation. In Berlin, it is not uncommon for a white German woman to be labeled ‘snobbish’ or even plain ‘racist’ just because she chooses a white German partner, instead of, to show her “tolerance” and, yes, common-sense, choosing a non-white spouse. It has become, in the language of the youth, “hip” inEuropeto “go non-white”.
The new spiritual conquerors’, with their Eastern religions, Eastern values, Eastern world views, and their inductive ways demand for more power and influence in their host countries of choice and they are lobbied by approximately three billion other Indians, Chinese, Muslims, South-East Asians etc. While Europe and the USA are volunteering to ‘transform’ their indigenous cultures, China, India, Singapore, Hong Kong etc. are all happy to assimilate those few (relative in numbers) ‘Western runners’ (Westerners hardly ever call themselves immigrants, they prefer the exclusive, high-status term ‘expatriates’ or ‘expats’ while abroad) who turn their back on their deconstructed, seemingly dying civilization, and search for refuge into the strong and massive Eastern hemisphere, but, alas, although finding themselves extraordinary and useful with their deductive, analytical ways and deconstructive skills, as lone individuals with an impact no less but also no greater than a water drop seeking depth into the vast sea of Eastern inclusive ‘harmoniousness’ and universal ‘oneness’.
In the short run, the few young indigenous Europeans who have not yet immigrated into the Anglo-Saxon world (Heinsohn, 2003; Breithaupt, 2000) or found some purpose in the East, will stay on their home turf and indeed benefit from their continent’s accumulated wealth, with ever fewer people sharing that wealth. In the long term, however, their parents, companies, and governments will have to make a painful but crucial financial decision:
There is nothing complicated about finance. It is based on old people lending to young people. […] Never before in human history, though, has a new generation simply failed to appear. (aTimes, 2008/05 [Spengler])
The aging European’s search for their “next generation”, may it be citizens for their cities, tenants for their houses, consumers, students, employees, spouses, or just new ideas, has already begun – they look to the East.
Whoever said that “victory makes you liberal while defeat makes you conservative” must have deeply understood the laws of sociology. The European people in the 21st century suffer from their childlessness, defenselessness, and dependency, and thus developed a pervasive fear of everything Asian. Does this new 21st century existential ‘angst’ resemble that old 20th century existential angst, so accurately portrayed in images of the ‘Yellow Terror’ such as: Wilhelm II.’s painting Völker Europas, wahrt eure heiligsten Güter (People of Europe, safeguard your most valuable goods) which depicts the European nations standing on a cliff guarding against a mighty Buddha and his thunderstorm (wikipedia, 2008); or such as the short stories written by Matthew Phipps Shiel, in 1898, who brutally frankly familiarized Westerners with the term The Yellow Peril? How about the fear for Islamic Extremists? Or about the fear for mass-immigration out of Africa and the Middle East? Is there anything in this 21st century that Europeans are not afraid of? Does this new 21st century existential ‘angst’ resemble the old pessimistic sorrows of an Oswald Spengler or an Arnold Toynbee, both of whom successfully summarized ‘angst’ in their The Decline of the West (1918) and Civilization on Trial and the World and the West (1958)? How about the paranoid ‘angst’ of a Willhelm Marr in his Finis Germaniae, a manifesto about the decline of the Germanic race(s) (to which also the Anglo-Saxons belong) (Marr, 1879; Heihnson, 2006; Fülberth, 2007). If ‘angst’ still reigns over Europe, it does not come as a surprise to me when the CDU/CSU Bundestagsfraktion of Germany published its ‘Asia-strategy-paper’ on the 23rd of October 2007, officially calling China a “threat to European values, economic and political development” (Schröder, 2008; Spiegel, 2008/07/15). Is that paper reflecting mere diplomatic ‘foolishness’, the insecurity of its authors, or does is just smell like honest, genuine ‘fear’? Presumably, it is a bit of all and shows that Germany is on her retreat, emotionally and spiritually, and that she is not prepared to compromise on her (Western) values, no matter how eminent the fact that 98% of humankind is not German, would not want to join Germany or be labeled German, and already sees the Chinese as valuable economic and political partners to Europe, not as a threat. But the above example gives us an idea about the ‘psychology of failure’ (in this case, two world wars) and the wish to stand up for something meaningful again, in this case for ‘Western values’ while at the same time discredit or even deny such a thing as ‘Asian values’. That this, consequentially, also means to render all non-Western societies as inferior or immature, does not and will never come naturally to Germany’s cultural mind, if you recall European history – and especially 18th, 19th and 20th centuries’ German orientalism (Pattberg, 2009). Anything close to a “revolution of the spirit”, a turn of attitude toward China in the case of Germany (just like any other European society for that matter), must come first and foremost from within the heart. In this case, from the blending of Eastern spirit and Western spirit that slowly sinks into the minds and hearts of the European people; in reality it’s all happening by physical migration of more and more Easterners into the European heartland.
In the latter half of the 20th century and in this century, the new spiritual strength of the integration-based Orient derived from the explosion in population translated into a new self-confidence and assertiveness and the re-affirmation of (superior) Asian values and pan-Asianism, the old notion that Asia indeed is the unifying ‘one’, while the West is the destructive other:
(…) that broad expanse of love for the Ultimate and Universal, which is the common thought-inheritance of every Asiatic race, enabling them to produce all the great religions of the world, and distinguishing them from those maritime peoples of the Mediterranean and the Baltic, who love to dwell on the Particular, and to search out the means, not the end, of life. (Okakura Kakuzo, 1904)
(…) no description of Hinduism can be exhaustive which does not touch on almost every religious and philosophical idea that the world has ever know…
(M. Monier Williams, 1894)
(…) It is all-tolerant, all-compliant, all-comprehensive, all-absorbing. (S. Radhakrishnan, 1929)
(…) European culture has the ability to master energy and mechanics, but has only elementary knowledge regarding the human body and the concert of mind and brain. The Middle and theFar East(however) have an advance of thousand years on the West. (Claude Lévi Strauss, 1952)
The modern idea of ‘pan-Asianism’ and the slogan “Asia is one” were first discussed in Okakura Kakuzo’s groundbreaking book The Ideals of the East (1904), but became really popular again in the 90’s during the academic discourse on ‘Asian values’: ‘Asian values’ is a vague concept of certain religious and spiritual tendencies, traditions and virtues like filial piety, love for learning, collectivism, and inner-world dependency that are shared by most Asian (some say only Confucian) cultures, but not – or not equally – stressed in most Western societies (Lee, 1998). But definition Asian values form a self-affirming psychological counterpoise, and thus source of conflict to those Western values of disregard for the elderly, liberalism, individualism, and outer-world dependency.
Another major blow to Western over-confidence was the genetic challenge. According to The Wall Street Journal: “American-Asian minorities (3.5%) account for more than 20-30% in American top universities” (wsj, 1999/11, 2006/11), and since the 1920s it is known, and has been proven independently by J. P. Rushton and A. J. Jenson (2006), A. J. Herrnstein and C. Murray (1994), J. R. Flynn (1980, 1994), and I. J. Deary (2001) etc., that East-Asians on average do score six to seven points higher than Anglo-Americans, and twenty points higher than Afro-Americans on most (Western-) standardized IQ-tests (Rushton et. al, 2006; Herrnstein et. al, 1994; Flynn, 1980, 1994; Deary, 2001; Steinberg, 1994). This is ready available science; no one is in the dark any longer. Indeed, the cognitive pre-eminence of East-Asians in several intellectual and artistic disciplines is as fascinating and terrifying to look at as, for instance, watching the awesome dominance of Afro-American basketball players in the NBA (Flynn, 1994; Ledderose, 2005).
Combining the high test-results of Asians with student numbers and things are getting even more impressive: In 2005,China, still a developing country, announced it had 19 million undergraduate and graduate students enrolled on the mainland, without Hong Kong andTaiwan(CNET, 2005/08/30).Britain, in the same year, had hardly 2.3 million students, of whom 300,000 were foreign nationals, over 51,000 of them Chinese nationals anyway (BBC, 2007/03/27).
The cultural and economic penalty for not recognizing East-Asian talent is immense, and unsurprisingly in this century we have witnessed in particular the Anglophone world recruiting Chinese students and immigrants in unprecedented numbers. In 2005, 65,000 Chinese and 75,000 Indians studied in the US; 60,000 and 20,000 in Britain(IIE, 2006; People Daily, 2006/04/05). For comparison, only 6,800 US students came to China, most of them American ethnic Chinese or ‘hai gui’ (海龟, sea turtles) (Chinadaily, 2005/12/20). With this trend came ‘political correctness’ and the need to talk about culture and cultural values (e. g. Fukuyama, Huntington etc.), rather than races and phenotypes (e. g. Herrnstein, Flynn etc.):
Genetic differences among individual human beings account for up to 85 percent of the entire genetic spectrum, while the genetic differences in the world population are only about 15 percent. No matter which ethnic group you come from, we’re all pretty much the same. (Jin Li [金力], 2006)
To conclude, in discussing demography, ‘Cultural evolution’ is so much better in explaining group differences than her abusive father, ‘Biological evolution’ and her damaged mother, ‘Social evolution’: The huge transformation of Western key societies into fissiparous, multicultural hubs fits the equation of the East-West equilibrium as a global theory: Migration is in direct reciprocity, for the greater good, a strategy of mutual cooperation and – unconsciously, but we’d rather say voluntary – the natural response to any human demographic shortcomings on this planet. Without having to care about race, by carefully only talking about culture, Western ranks are slowly but steadily filled with the over-surplus of human capital produced by Eastern societies – as diverse as possible, please. It serves both hemispheres, thus benefits the equilibrium: The analytical-based, deductive West increases its diversity, tendency for devolution and multiculturalism and is thus profiting from Eastern ‘overproduction’ of human capital that is required to keep Western culture breathing, while the integration-based East increases its ethnic dominance and geopolitical reach (politicians call it soft-power), thereby forcing ever greater levels of peace, tolerance and harmoniousness onto the West.