A strong authority is necessary to stop a society-wide race to the bottom and tragedy of the commons, especially when the internet gives every individual actor highly accurate information.
Some problems are pretty obvious. A lot of the dysfunctions with European-American flight and the hand-wringing over “good schools” can be solved by simply allowing freedom of association. If neighborhoods can decide what kind of people belong in their territory, millions of people are suddenly free to become more stable and rooted, giving trust and social capital a desperately needed boost. Sometimes, an inept or malicious state can break what naturally fixes itself. This has been a main theme of Western politics since the 1960s cultural revolution. Fixing this problem no doubt would also help with low Western fertility but that problem is more complex.
Even countries like Japan that experience minimal pressure from the expansion of hostile outgroups have some of the lowest fertility rates in the world. There is a measure of altruism involved in having children but if it’s all headaches and sacrifice, no one wants to bother if they can avoid it.
If the state wants more kids from its core polity, it must take measures to make the prospect of fecundity more tolerable.
Western countries are extremely punitive towards men in every aspect of life while women have very little responsibility. Women work, but they generally get first dibs on part-time middle-paid jobs in safe air-conditioned offices. If they don’t want to work there is always state assistance, sex work, or a man who supports them.
In the inherently unstable modern mating market, men cannot continue to be held to 19th century expectations.
Draconian child support laws make it so even the horniest men above 90 IQ are going to be very thorough about using condoms or making sure she really is on the pill. This is a recipe for underclass dysfunction and eventual idiocracy.
There’s millions of men and women holding out until they start to turn grey for the “right one” by the standards of a society that no longer exists. The fields of the first world will remain barren and cracked so long as cooperating men are expected to make lifelong commitments to partners who can leave them at any time while plundering their assets. The problem with going back to traditional marriage is in an urban, wired society, people have too much information to be easily content with one partner their whole lives. Men crave variety. Women always want to move up or at least diversify the genes in their child portfolio to hedge their bets against nature.
The way forces and incentives are aligned, it may make more sense to ease up on male penalties rather than mandate Sharia law. Perhaps cooperating men get a slap on the wrist or no penalty for knocking up women, so that the anti-natal equilibrium becomes defect-cooperate rather than cooperate-cooperate. If one side has little incentive to care about contraception, there will be more babies. Perhaps there would still be state assistance for single mothers, but the amount would depend on who the father is. If her drug dealer gets her pregnant, not a single penny of taxpayer money is forthcoming and perhaps she gets paid to get the abortion.
And of course, we must understand that marriage is a 5 year dating arrangement below the upper middle class in modern society. There is no need to take half of a man’s stuff when it goes sour as it typically does. If she wants to leave, she leaves with her stuff. Period. And the man gets some kind of guaranteed access to the kids if he wants it. Maybe she even has to leave them behind with him. Furthermore, in a promiscuous modern society with little means of enforcement, DNA tests need to be a default made mandatory under law before a man invests one penny in a child that may not be his.
Without some form of guaranteed paternity and freedom from state punishment for men, first world fertility is certain to continue its downward spiral. And it’s our fault, not that of any other group.
I mentioned schools earlier but that is another area where the competition of individuals has gotten out of control. First of all, the corrupt state gets a huge population addicted to public daycare for 12 years so both men and women can work full time. This gives the economy a short term boost at the cost of cannibalizing future generations. By age 18 a young person should be ready for adulthood. There should be no such thing as a “teenage” state of limbo, a bizarre pathology that only emerged in the 20th century. Since the dawn of time, the mission of young people has been to learn from adults, not to spend all day in an insane asylum full of other kids taking pointless classes about things that serve no use and which they will never remember.
Worse, schooling has only continued to become more bloated as many now spend 16 or even more than 20 years in school. For those older workers making good salaries, it is always tempting to keep the young warehoused for as long as possible in an already over-saturated economy bombarded with illegal immigrants and H1-B visas. College tuitions have been spiralling now for decades. It is a dysfunctional race to the bottom that only the virtuous state can bring to a stop and which the corrupt and evil state aids and abets.
Contrary to the rhetoric of libertarian shills, corporations are happy to have a taxpayer-funded system that churns out certified conformists with a ball and chain of debt around their ankles to doubly ensure their meek compliance.
This undeserved support needs to be torn away and the monasteries dissolved.
The solution here is to limit compulsory education to reading, writing, and arithmetic for most people. In the 19th century, most kids could be taught these skills in a few months here and there at minimal public cost when they were not needed for the planting and the harvest. How far we have fallen.
Then, further education must be limited to people who are genuinely curious and able to learn. In my own time in the public education system, nearly every class was packed to capacity and any attempt at teaching was sabotaged by kids who did not want to be there, all in the sacred name of Equalism.
College must be limited to the best of the best and the aristocracy only. This way the righteous ruler can arrest a race to the bottom while nurturing geniuses who will shape history. For hobbyists, there is always the internet and perhaps some of them will rise to the highest level on their own.
Health care is another area that has suffered from “cost disease.” It’s the same problem as college tuition, really. If everyone can get college loans, prices adjust to assume everyone has a loan. If everyone gets health insurance, prices adjust so you can’t afford healthcare without health insurance.
The solution here is more obvious.
Populations at the first world level do pretty well with a single-payer system. Mixed populations do well with both systems in effect. If you are a cooperator who pulls your own weight, you can tap into the single-payer free system. If you are underclass, you have cash for your treatment or you die. That’s how it works in many countries with high levels of stratification. The US has just had enough wealth so far that it has managed to avoid facing reality with stupid schemes like trying to have mass subsidies for health insurance.(Affordable Care Act.) The inevitable result of this disastrous policy is even higher prices.
As you can ascertain from this essay, most of the solutions to these seemingly intractable problems are not that complicated if the ruler has an accurate understanding of reality and human nature.
The root cause is a fundamental misunderstanding of what it means to be a ruler and what duties that exalted social position entails. The people must be protected from self-destructive game theory equilibria as zealously as they must be defended from outside invaders.