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Thursday, July 17, 2003

On the Perils of 'Repopulation'

Joerg is not happy with me today, yesterday I used an expression which in his country (Germany) is definitely not politically correct. The expression: repopulation.

I cannot even begin to tell you how detrimental the linguistic misstep evident in your latest post is. You even sort of underlined it by declaring you didn´t want "to mince words". Apart from the government, there are only two groups in German society that support expanding immigration: the churches and the trade unions. However, they certainly wouldn't stand for the language you used. That is due to the fact that you employed a phrase that was once very popular among German National Socialists. The Herrenmenschen were very much intent on practicing in the Slavic parts of Europe what you just suggested as a recipe for economic dynamism in Germany and, presumably, elsewhere in Europe: "systematic repopulation". That kind of terminology is probably only o.k. with the fascists in Germany. I don´t think you can count on their support, though. They are still hell-bent on racial purity and Aryan domination.

Now I am glad to have provoked a response, this obviously was my intention. The expression used by the UN is undoubtedly softer: replacement migration . However in the final analysis it boils down to the same thing. So, as I said, why mince words? The point is this: Europe's population is set to decline, and with this decline there will inevitably be a decline in the level of economic activity, and with this a decline in all those institutions and cultural values which Europeans hold dear. In addition we can witness an untold quantity of elderly people living out their last years on extraordinarly reduced pensions, with minimal health cover. We can accept this as a price, if we choose, to protect the integrity of our culture (whatever that might mean). Or we can go down another road, and try to find at least a temporary buffer, and by buffer I mean here immigration. What is not really well understood is that we are going to live the confluence of two phenomena: in the first place a reduction in the working age population, as we age, and in the second place a transition from PAYGO pension schemes to fully funded ones. This means we have to find a solution to the problem of the 'gift' generation, or rather to the problem of the generation which paid for the gift generation, namely the 68 baby boomers. This means we are going to hit a double whammy, and we need at least some makeshift solutions. Here I feel the UN prosal is entirely legitimate and more intelligent and forward looking than the majority of other suggestions currently on the table. Now I go one further and talk of 'repopulation' to try to provoke a response so we can really see what is at issue. Europe's population is not in danger from any 'ethnic cleansing' style process, but from its own internal dynamic. The repopulation is necessary to maintain the economic system from which we all benefit. If we don't like this idea, I think it is at least worth taking the time to ask ourselves why. How much reduction in living standards are we prepared to accept as tolerable to try to maintain something which may always have been a convenient fiction: our national uniqueness? What exactly is it we are trying to preserve? Of course I am using the old language in reverse, for precisely what we are talking about is a de-Aryanisation process. It would be a hard stretch to call this racist, more a pragmatic accommodation to a changing reality. Take your choice.

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