The coming Muslim population crisis

By

Spengler,the acerbic anonymous pundit who writes for the Asia Times, has Part 1 of yet another provocative essay out today, entitled "The crisis of faith in the Muslim World."

Spengler starts with the rapidly declining birth rate in much of the Islamic world, a topic he has previously covered. He speaks of the encroachment of modernity, meaning most specifically urbanization and rising literacy, especially female literacy. These factors are leading to a very rapid decline in the birth rate in much of the Muslim world. Based on United Nations data, Spengler presents a picture of already poor, slow—growth economies having to support a far higher portion of the population in unproductive years.

A similar demographic transition has already taken place in the West, but he points out that these societies are far wealthier, and can afford a large portion of their populations abosrbing resources and returning little. For the poorer countries of the Muslim world, the changed age structure spells disaster.

He cites a plan announced by Iran's new president, the same one vowing to erase Israel from the map:

In a program made public on August 15, Iran's new president proposed a pre—emptive response to the inevitable depopulation of rural Iran. He plans to reduce the number of villages from 66,000 to only 10,000, relocating 30 million Iranians out of a population of 70 million. In relative terms, that would be the biggest population transfer in history, dwarfing Joseph Stalin's collectivization campaign of the late 1920s.

A generation hence, Iran will not have the resources to provide infrastructure for more than 50,000 rural villages inhabited mainly by elderly and infirm peasants. In response, Iran will undertake the biggest exercise in social engineering in recorded history, excepting perhaps Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge.

One large is question is whether the trend to female literacy will be halted and even reversed, as these societies recognize the demographic peril they face.

Spengler also points to the long run decline in oil exports, a factor which may be partially offset by higher oil prices, as scarcity looms. However, the curret high prices are already stimulating alternative fuels, including nuclear power, tar sands exploitation, and deeper offshore drilling. In the long run, Islamic opil exporters may well see their income and political influence declining.

I am anxious to see the promised next parts of Spengler's article. Presumably, he will explain the "faith" part of his title.

Thomas Lifson   10 31 05

Spengler,the acerbic anonymous pundit who writes for the Asia Times, has Part 1 of yet another provocative essay out today, entitled "The crisis of faith in the Muslim World."

Spengler starts with the rapidly declining birth rate in much of the Islamic world, a topic he has previously covered. He speaks of the encroachment of modernity, meaning most specifically urbanization and rising literacy, especially female literacy. These factors are leading to a very rapid decline in the birth rate in much of the Muslim world. Based on United Nations data, Spengler presents a picture of already poor, slow—growth economies having to support a far higher portion of the population in unproductive years.

A similar demographic transition has already taken place in the West, but he points out that these societies are far wealthier, and can afford a large portion of their populations abosrbing resources and returning little. For the poorer countries of the Muslim world, the changed age structure spells disaster.

He cites a plan announced by Iran's new president, the same one vowing to erase Israel from the map:

In a program made public on August 15, Iran's new president proposed a pre—emptive response to the inevitable depopulation of rural Iran. He plans to reduce the number of villages from 66,000 to only 10,000, relocating 30 million Iranians out of a population of 70 million. In relative terms, that would be the biggest population transfer in history, dwarfing Joseph Stalin's collectivization campaign of the late 1920s.

A generation hence, Iran will not have the resources to provide infrastructure for more than 50,000 rural villages inhabited mainly by elderly and infirm peasants. In response, Iran will undertake the biggest exercise in social engineering in recorded history, excepting perhaps Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge.

One large is question is whether the trend to female literacy will be halted and even reversed, as these societies recognize the demographic peril they face.

Spengler also points to the long run decline in oil exports, a factor which may be partially offset by higher oil prices, as scarcity looms. However, the curret high prices are already stimulating alternative fuels, including nuclear power, tar sands exploitation, and deeper offshore drilling. In the long run, Islamic opil exporters may well see their income and political influence declining.

I am anxious to see the promised next parts of Spengler's article. Presumably, he will explain the "faith" part of his title.

Thomas Lifson   10 31 05