Review of Reviews

Underpopulation

World Supremacy of White Race Threatened by Lowered Birthrate, Affirms Mussolini

December 1 1934
Review of Reviews

Underpopulation

World Supremacy of White Race Threatened by Lowered Birthrate, Affirms Mussolini

December 1 1934

Underpopulation

Review of Reviews

World Supremacy of White Race Threatened by Lowered Birthrate, Affirms Mussolini

THE WHITE RACE is dying, states Benito Mussolini in Les Annales (Paris), and Magazine Digest gives a condensed translation of his article as follows:

Way back in 1926, when I first began to denounce the grave, perhaps irreparable dangers of the demographic decadence of the white races, my warnings were ridiculed by a great many people who considered them untimely, inopportune and grossly exaggerated.

Eight years have elapsed since that time and the evil has continued to spread to such an extent that warnings are now sounded not in Italy alone. In Hungary, the best minds are openly deploring the increasing fashion of the one-child family. In enormous Argentina, where from eighty to 100 million jieople could live comfortably, the birthrate is declining so rapidly that by 1939 the population will probably become stabilized around the figure of twelve millions, meaning that these twelve millions will soon become twelve million old men and women.

The terrible dangers which are threatening France are voiced with great frankness in the dramatic appeal launched by twenty eminent political, scientific and artistic personalities, among whom we find two exPresidenta— Poincaré and Millerand—Marshal Foch, Cardinal Verdier and many others.

The French birthrate has fallen by 40,000 in one year and has dropp'd to 682,000, as against one million before 1870. If this state of affairs is allowed to go on much longer, it is mathematically certain that in ten years there will lie not more than 550,000 births annually, so that the number of deaths will be greatly in excess. The depopulation lias already impoverished many districts, where entire villages are disappearing and once flourishing farms are left in a state of utter abandonment.

The evils that will inevitably follow in the wake of such a situation are obvious. As time goes on the State will become less and less able to co[X‘ with them. For lack of taxpayers it will be unable to meet the necessary expenditure, and for lack of soldiers it will lx* unable to defend the country against foreign invasions. The day when these sinister prophecies may become reality is not so far off as many people are inclined to believe. It is not only the future but also the present generations that are endangered by the prospects of war and ruin.

No time must be lost to devise remedies, the appeal states. It is time to launch an energetic campaign. The moral and material measures adopted by Italy and Germany are already giving good results. Under pain of death France must follow their example.

Other national and patriotic associations have joined forces for this campaign and launched appeals which call attention to the fact that France already has a larger proportion of old people than the other nations— fourteen per cent, as compared with nine per cent for Germany and seven per cent for Russia.

“There are,” states the appeal of the National Alliance for the Repopulation of France, “thirty-eight million Frenchmen in France, that is as many as there were in 1870, but their distribution is different. There are many more old people and fewer children. In Germany there is an abundance of children and in Italy there are four million more children than in France." The evil economic, financial and social effects of the declining birthrate are likewise stressed in this appeal.

There should have been ten million more Frenchmen bom between 1870 and 1914. As it is, France's deficiency has created the fatal disproportion and the dangerous imbalance between the military forces of Germany and France which made the military co-operation of so many nations necessary in the World War.

Even in Great Britain the decline of the birthrate is beginning to cause serious alarm. It is indeed difficult to rule over a great empire when the population of the mother country is growing old and disappearing.

The saddest aspect of the whole problem is the age of the population. While in some French districts many schools are closing for lack of pupils, in others they are frequented almost exclusively by the children of alien immigrants.

The financial burden of the senile population grows heavier from year to year. There are nations where one is adolescent at fifty. If this continues, toward the close of this century, the population of France will be lower than that of Spain. But there are countries in Europe with a birthrate lower even than the French one.

Nor is it true that the decline of the birthrate is determined by the economic situation only, for it is a universal phenomenon that wealth and sterility march hand in hand, while the poorer classes of the population are the more fecund ones, owing to the fact that they live in a healthier moral atmosphere. The well-to-do classes destroy the meaning of life with their egoistic cerebral speculations and calculations.

The reality of the past decades has, moreover, destroyed the validity of Malthus’s prophecy that the increase of the populations would in the end cause a universal famine, because of the lack of foodstuffs and other commodities. The world is large enough to lodge and feed twenty times more people than its present population. The resources of the United States are sufficient for five times more people than its present population. Canada is so vast that its population could well increase twenty times. There are enormous virgin districts in South America, Africa and Australia, and to a certain extent the same is true of Europe and Asia.

Our present depression is not an effect of under-production. It is a crisis of superabundance due mainly to the decrease of the population in all great industrial countries. Even more serious is the fact that in most countries the so-called cultured classes are the less prolific ones. They are content to have one or two children if they don’t choose to remain altogether childless.

The analysis of statistical figures shows that the people with academic training, scientists, professors, men of letters, do not do their duty by their respective countries. They do not contribute to the improvement of the intellectual level of their peoples because they refuse to assume the responsibility of giving their countries new citizens.

Such is the situation which more or less all countries are now facing. The measures to be adopted and the fruits they may be expected to bear will form the subject of discussion for centuries to come. But the situation is so big with danger and, in a way, so mysterious that the greatest sin would be to let things take their course.

We see for the rest that no government is remaining indifferent toward the problem.

We in Italy began the struggle in 1926 but it is as yet too early to judge its results.

In view of the continuous numerical increase and the growing territorial expansion of the yellow and black races, one is induced to doubt whether the white man’s civilization is not after all doomed to disappear. This is the question.