Human Colony Collapse Disorder
Families are Dying Out Everywhere. Yours Wont.
Today’s transmission has two messages.
You are in the middle of an unprecedented human extinction event.
Don’t worry, be happy.
Our [social] cancer makes us intensely anxious, depressed, and lonely. It makes us simultaneously morally incontinent in our personal lives, and morally hysterical in public life. Its consequences are so far-reaching and mutually reinforcing that they’re hard to quantify, but the most important consequence is straightforward: it drastically reduces human fertility.
The way it cashes out is more complicated than this, but the current generation of college-educated, native-born American women have an expected lifetime fertility of between 1 and 1.3 children per woman. That means that, excluding immigration, their childrens’ cohort will be roughly half the size of their own — with twice as many elderly dependents.
It’s difficult to find a historical comparison for the sheer destruction of human genetic lines that will unfold over the next century.
The Black Death killed one-third of Europe, but by the time this memetic contagion has run its course, we’ll be lucky if a third of the population is left standing. Depending what you believe about the pre-contact population of the Americas, the initial ravages of European disease in the 1500s probably comes close
Read the whole thing. Its wide-ranging, engaging, intelligent, and intellectually curious. Then run the numbers and extrapolate the trends. These estimates are not wild exaggerations. They do not seem to be exaggerations at all.
Steading is not just about family. Nonetheless, that has become our attention because the human ecology is the biggest single sustainability crisis of our time. While various bad practices are leading to destruction of biological species and natural environments, exploitative and unsustainable social and family practices are leading to a radical destruction of the complex human ecology even faster.
Every day hundreds of human strains go extinct. As you read this, a woman or a man who was her grandparents or even greatgrandparents last living descendant has just drawn the last breath. The extinction rate is only going up. Country after country is experienced the same demographic equivalent of human colony collapse disorder.
How you personally can make your family more generationally sustainable in the face of this toxic social environment is of the utmost importance.
You can be shallow and stuck in the present. Or you can live in deep time.
If having children or grandchildren or great grandchildren interests you—you are ill if it doesn’t—you should subscribe. You should also post relevant tips, stories, links, or questions in the comments to this or any other post. We are all going to make it together.
It is Easy
It is frightening to be in a mass extinction event of your own species. This good news is that survival is easy. Generational sustainability is easy. It is all easy.
No one can guarantee success, kids have free will, insert caveats here, etc etc. But no, really, it is easy. It is easy to have 4+ healthy kids on almost any income. It is easy to raise them in a way that makes your family just a joy for you to be around. And it is easy to get them to do the same.
All the people you know who are having problems with their kids, including the conservative Christian families, have f’ed up in some common, easy to fix ways.
In western countries we are richer than at any time in history and we still have vestigial cultural and legal practices that subsidize having kids. It is financially and physically easier to have kids now than it ever was for the vast majority of your ancestors. Some argue that it was even easier during the golden age of the 50s - 80s. That’s debatable. For every thing that has gotten worse, such as housing costs, you can point to counteracting influences such as home schooling, the school choice voucher revolution, or remote work. Either way, you are currently in one of history’s most ideal and resource rich environments for being able to physically bear and provide for children. Most times and eras had it nothing like so good.
As for raising the kids themselves you basically just have to 1) have a lot of kids, 2) be explicitly and repeatedly pro natalist in your raising 3) take steps to make sure your family has a distinct identity separate from the general culture and 4) have your home experience be rewarding and happy for the children, so its something they are drawn to repeating for themselves when they are grown. None of these are very difficult.
#1, conceiving kids, is called sex and it’s awesome.
#2 just means pointing out what’s important to you and why to your kids. Don’t hide the plot. Repetition matters more than eloquence.
#3 is super easy to do these days now that the culture is rapidly going bonkers, there is a huge “overhang” of prior cultural commitments from any time past 10 years ago that you can effortlessly cannibalize. We also have lots and lots of Steader transmissions on the subject.
#4 is also easy. Happiness is the default state for a family, especially for the kind of intelligent, thoughtful person reading this. Having a happy family is what you and your kids were meant for. Yes, there’s lots of cultural headwinds right now. But on the other hand human nature is going in your direction. Your bodies and your souls want to be part of a happy family. Your kids want to be well behaved and polite children in a thriving home. They want to feel like their family is special. They want to adopt your values and wisdom. They want to carry on the torch. Techniques can help you accomplish this better , but your family will be happy together if you spend time together no matter what you are doing. Play, work, games, sports, gardening, dinner are all good choices. We know one extremely tight knit family of book nerds who talk about how happy they are together when what they do together consists of them reading in the same room.
The only real difficulty right now is at the beginning of the cycle, where you are trying to get married if you aren’t already, or at the beginning of the next cycle where your kids are have reached the marriage age. There is a need for fixing the broken mating system so your kids, once grown, can find like minded mates. But lowered search costs and technological advances makes us confident we will defeat this problem soon. Dating apps don’t work to make marriages because they are deliberately not designed for that purpose and because the users are often partially broken people who don’t understand what they are looking for. Neither of these problems need to apply to the solutions we find for us and our children.
The path is easier, and smoother, and far more rewarding, than you can think.