The Death Wish of the West

Speculation about the possible decline of the West has been going on for the better part of a century, if it may be considered as originating in Spengler’s or Valery’s famous reflections.  Obviously, the fratricidal nature of World War I triggered pessimism, but I think the very nature of our societies constitutes a reason for being pessimistic about our future.  Modern Western societies have nurtured in their bosoms the germs that stand a good chance to kill them, all the more so as standard opinion holds these germs to be the very seeds of the West’s ability to fulfill mankind’s eternal expectations.

Let us first assess the obvious: What more and more immigrants see in the West today is a reservoir of material affluence they are eager to tap, rather than a spiritual or cultural role model.  The stock of the melting pot has lost its taste.  Not so long ago Westerners considered it their mission—their glorious burden—to Westernize a world that was more or less fascinated by their achievements.  In less than a century this situation has been appallingly reversed: Though the West is usually pictured as domineering, even despotic, today it stoops more and more to those it formerly conquered.

Demographic curves graphically reveal that Western populations no longer wish to reproduce themselves; even though they supposedly bask in their pleasant way of life, they apparently don’t want...

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