Cultures rise and fall: Geo-political game-changer
Following World War I, Great Britain could no longer afford a navy large enough to provide freedom-of-the-seas for the world’s maritime commerce. When the Royal Navy passed its historic sea-control mission to the U.S. Navy, Great Britain ceased to be a superpower and the United States became one.
Today, under Mr. Obama, our Navy has 278 ships – a reduction of 46.3-percent from the Reagan years. Now, Mr. Obama proposes to cut another $400 Billion from the defense budget. Recently, Admiral Michael Mullen, Mr. Obama’s Chairman of the Joint Chiefs-of-Staff, said his major mission is “diversity,” and protecting gay servicemen from snide comments. No mention of combat readiness.
Losing the ability to perform the sea-control mission we inherited from Great Britain would be a major game-changer. Well, Candidate Obama pledged to reduce our high profile. That would do it.
When our troops returned from World War II, they set off a baby boom. By 1965, we had the highest number of youngsters between ages 17 and 20 ever – the so-called “trouble-making” ages. The baby-boomers were and still are enormous game-changers.
Another important game-changer in the 1960s was the Boeing 707 passenger jet. With its high speed and passenger capacity, the 707 made all nations virtual next-door neighbors. The 707 linked the world into a global economy while, at the same time, spreading diseases which, otherwise, might have stayed put.
Also, in the 1960s, the advent of the Pill, of penicillin, and the Drug Culture, set off the Sexual Revolution. The combination of the unruly baby-boomers, the Sexual Revolution, and a war in far-off Southeast Asia prosecuted by inept and indecisive politicians in Washington, D.C. made a game-changing impact on American society.
Today, three more major events merit our attention because they, combined with the on-going influence of the baby-boomers of the 1960s, are having a profound impact on the United States now and into the foreseeable future. The Communications Revolution, the Revolution of Rising Expectations, and Muslim reproduction.
Because of the Communications Revolution, people in the most remote corners of the world are seeing how "the other half lives," which leads, quite naturally, to the Revolution of Rising Expectations. And, if one cannot meet one’s rising expectations where currently located, the obvious and understandable solution is to move to where those rising expectations are more likely to be met.
That takes us to the emigration of Muslims from their traditional lands into Western Europe, the United States, and Canada. This population shift, combined with the high fertility rate of Muslim couples, and the historically low birth rates among the Judeo-Christians of the West, portends to be the biggest game-changer of them all.
For a culture to survive, demographers say each couple must reproduce 2.11 children. Based on 2007 figures, here are some European birth rates: France, 1.8; England, 1.6; Greece, 1.3; Germany, 1.3; Italy, 1.2; Spain, 1.1, and Russia, 1.42. The combined rate for 31 European countries is: 1.38. Muslims living in Europe are reproducing at a rate of 8.1 children per couple.
Recently, the Vatican announced that Islamists outnumber Roman Catholics. The Federal Republic of Germany predicts, by the year 2050, the majority of Germans will be Muslims. On June 4, 2009, in Cairo, Mr. Obama claimed "the USA is home to almost 7 million Muslims." If so, that would rank Islam right after Christianity. But the Pew Research Center says the number is 2.5 million. The CIA says the number is 1.8 million. Take your pick.
According to the CIA World Factbook, the U.S. fertility rate is 2.06 children per family. Factor in the influx of largely Roman Catholic Latino families and the rate rises to 2.1l. But will that sustain Christianity as America’s majority religion?
Wait. Demographers have been wrong before. In 1798, Thomas Malthus predicted world starvation. Yet, in 2011, obesity is a problem in some cultures. Go figure.
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the George Washington University, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University.
©2011. William Hamilton.