Without a vision, the people perish. I don’t quote Spengler as much as I used to, but he pointed out that a woman has to see hope to consider having a family, or starting one. When there is hope, a sense of safety, then women feel it is reasonable and right to have children.
On closer inspection, something extraordinary marks it out: babies. Yuki Fukuda is one of many local mothers with three children. The bump under her winter coat indicates that another is on the way, part of a baby bonanza that has seen the town’s fertility rate double since 2005.
Mrs Fukuda will receive a “celebratory” gift of ¥300,000 ($3,530) when she gives birth. A subsidised baby-sitting service is available for just ¥1,800 a day, along with subsidised carseats and other baby accessories. When her children reach secondary school, she will receive ¥90,000 a year for each one who attends. In theory, this stipend is to cover the cost of getting children to school, especially for people who live relatively far away. And whereas usually all but the poorest and the old in Japan have to pay 30% of their health-care bills (with the national government picking up the rest), in Nagicho the local government pays the 30% for children.
Other initiatives are more creative. The town relies on a network of volunteers to help keep its two nurseries open. Businesses that move to the town receive rent-free land—a gesture that has lured at least three companies since 2014, says Yoshitaka Kumagai, a local government official. The city is also offering a clutch of refurbished or newly built apartments and houses for rent at subsidised rates.
Could Nagicho be replicated elsewhere? Hiroko Kaihara, who moved to the town years ago with her three children and works in one of the nurseries, thinks not. There’s a slowness to life that is attractive, she says, and a sense of community. “Mothers feel safe having more children; it’s not easy to create those conditions.” Mrs Fukuda says she also struggles to put her finger on why families are larger. The money helps, she admits, but that is not the main reason. Perhaps there is something in the water after all.
What is it in the water? It is not subsidies. They stop working over a certain income: the domestic purposes benefit will encourage the very poor to have babies, but… this can be reversed by making it only available to those who will accept training and employment. We found that out in NZ, and then wonder why our birth rate is now below replacement.
The economist, being an organ for those materialists who can only think economically, does not understand. That there needs to be a sense for a better future, or, if not that, that there will be good. In a slower environment that honours women as mothers such exists.
When mothers are discriminated against (and they are) then it does not.
I was thinking about the trinity of divine transcendentals: the true, the beautiful, and the good, and in particular their diabolical opposites: lies, ugliness, and evil. I think in every age there are lies, ugliness, and evil, but one of the marks of the modern age is that there are powerful apologists who make it their vocation to call evil good, ugly beautiful, and lies truth.
Identifying and discrediting those apologists is a good place to start to helping unwind the whole diabolical modernist project.
But that would require, courage and sanity. Our current politicians lack both. The remove the confidence of the people, and the new nations they report to replace us continue to behave as they would in their own nations.
The ancients knew better. They said that people still walked under the old stars even if they crossed the sea. They bring their culture with them, for good or ill.
When did our politicians first go mad? When did they begin to think it was their job to solve the problems of other countries. Exactly what problem did Australia have that importing twenty thousand Sudanese refugees could solve? The rot set in after Menzies. Of course, it was a general malady among the political class worldwide. Enoch Powell nailed it in 1968. God knows what he would think now.
Globalism, starring multiculturalism and diversity, is an apt blurb for the malodorous movie in which we as citizens have bit parts. The plot: throw us to the wolves to save the world. And this, disastrously, includes bringing in people from societies which have singularly failed to make progress and yet who wish to bring their own grossly inferior standards, values and cultures with them.
But, without safety, women will choose not to raise children. Without hope, no one will marry. They will enjoy the decline.
There is nothing magic in the water. There is something magic in traditional community. But this is now forbidden.
The decline is being managed.
And declines generally end very badly.