Bad times to have children.

Looking through Ferdinand’s Link roundup I noticed Gorbachev has a post included titled Bad Times:

It’s always terrible. Now is always the worst time.

Actual worst times?

ca. 1300-1200 B.C. General collapse of Bronze-age civilizations; Sea Peoples and pirates and waves after waves of invaders washing over societies in the Mediterranean; whole ethnicities and nations exterminated; the Minoans devastated and dispersed; the Great Collapse, as it was called. 500 years of chaos, loss of literacy, etc. It became part of the “age of Legend” for later civilizations.

Upshot, though: The groundwork for classical Greek civilization 1000 years later laid. The whole civilizational calendar was reset. The Middle East retreated from the center of power.

Other worst times…

His point is something I have been considering while reading the frequent doom and gloom posts in the manosphere.  It isn’t that I deny many of the problems we face, but from what little I know of history Gorbachev is right.  There is almost always something very frightening going on.  The question is, what can/should you do about it?  Some will elect to enjoy the decline.  This isn’t my personal preference but still a valid choice.

Often the question which comes up is why would anyone want to have children in a time like this?  But as Gorbachev addresses in his post (worth a full read) there has never really been a good time.  Echoing Dr. Roy Baumeister, we are descended from the men and women who experienced times of great economic and social upheaval and had children anyway.

I wouldn’t presume to tell anyone else whether they should marry and have children.  For men there are additional risks with marriage which we have already discussed, so they of course need to take that into consideration and plan accordingly (no small task).

But what I would say is that it makes no sense to make this decision based on a current assessment of the national or global situation. There will always be some national or global catastrophe looming on the horizon. For as long as I’ve been alive, we have been:

1) On the brink of running out of oil (cue the peak oil posters…).
2) On the brink of war (more or less).
3) Involved in major economic transition/disruption.
4) On the brink of catastrophic warming (or cooling).

None of this is to say that the issues others bring up aren’t real. But one thing I’ve figured out in the last 20 years is that the events in your own life will far overshadow the impact of global events. So be generally prepared for difficult times (have some food, water, savings, means of personal/family defense, diversify financially, etc) and vote according to your beliefs; but don’t put your life on hold or worse give up on it because of a bad global prognosis.

When I was in High School many would have said “why have children to have them grow up in the post nuclear apocalypse”? Everyone knew that cowboy Reagan was going to start WWIII. By the time I finished college everyone had forgotten about this worry.  Consider your own parents and grandparents. How much of what they would have worried about on a national or global level even has any relevance any more?  My maternal grandfather was a sharecropper during the great depression when my mother was born.  Shortly before my father’s birth (also during the depression) my paternal grandfather was fortunate and found a temporary job as a butter maker.  This allowed them to include the father’s occupation on the birth certificate.  My wife’s maternal grandparents were in Hungary during world war II when they had their first child.  Her grandfather was drafted by the Nazis and sent to the Russian front.  Their first child died while still an infant due to some unknown disease (he had a fever and coughed a great deal).  In a better time with ample food, heating and access to medical care he would likely have been just fine.  After the war they fled the Russian occupation of Hungary and started their lives over in war crushed Germany.  Her grandfather had a degree in engineering but it wasn’t recognized in Germany.  Still they tried again and had my wife’s mother.

If you want to marry and have children, marry well and move forward. Live a rich and fulfilling life.

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28 Responses to Bad times to have children.

  1. Country lawyer says:

    While I agree that one should live, when the collapse finally comes to western civilization, I think it will be worse than any prior collapse ever.

    It will be the actual worst time in recorded history.

    Why?

    Technological backsliding and there will be a significant amount of it when the times come. There always is.

    We are extremely dependant upon technology for our food suppy. We couldn’t feed half the population we have now without the fertilizers, farming technology, refridgeration and transportation system we have now, to name a few things.

    Diversify you money? Into what exactly?

    Savings? Fine but don’t count on it being worth anything.

    Food and home defense? Unless you’re rural, expect it to be taken from you by force.

    Enjoy the decline is the logical choice.

  2. Tarl says:

    In the past, people generally could not choose not to have kids.

    Even in the worst of past times, most people lived on farms, and having kids was a plus (more hands helping).

    Of course neither of the above is now true.

  3. The problem with the original article is that those of us in the manosphere forgoing children are doing so not because of global or national situations as described in the article but due to something that affects us more at the “personal” level. I doubt any of us is thinking, “I’m not going to have children because of peak oil destroying civilization”. What are the reasons that men in the manosphere list for not getting married and having children? It’s things like anti-family courts/divorce, paternity fraud, subjecting boys to an anti-male education system, etc. You’re not going to hear anything about civilization being destroyed due to peak oil or post nuclear wastelands.

    While feminism is a national/global problem, it affects men personally in such a way that is different from any of the previous worst times. There’s also the problem that getting married and having children feeds the feminist system and makes it stronger which is also different than any of the previous worst times. If during the 1300-1200 BC collapse of Bronze Age civilizations getting married and having children made the invaders stronger then people would be trying to not get married and not have children (Tarl’s excellent point about not being able to choose not to have kids notwithstanding).

  4. Hang on while I remove the knife from my back.

    JUST KIDDING! 😉

    I would point out if you are white, male and your potential mating partner is also white, your child will be at a huge disadvantage. This isn’t to say minority children won’t have a tough go, but (before the money runs out to fund socialist utopia) they will have an advantage at least in the short to medium term.

    Whatever approach you want to take, a child NOW is a liability, regardless of your race or ethnicity. And a child in a collapsing society is not only a liability, but a risk. I can cover 20 miles on foot if I need to in a day. I can avoid detection. I can hunt for enough food for myself.

    I cannot do half of that with a crying child that in the end is ultimately a parasite on my resources and a handicap on my abilities.

  5. Dalrock says:

    @Pro-Male Anti-feminist Tech
    The problem with the original article is that those of us in the manosphere forgoing children are doing so not because of global or national situations as described in the article but due to something that affects us more at the “personal” level. I doubt any of us is thinking, “I’m not going to have children because of peak oil destroying civilization”.

    I agree with you on the distinction, and marriage in our current legal climate is a real risk. I’ve set that aside for this particular post, but as I mentioned I have addressed that in many other posts. With that said, there are men making the case for not having children for entirely different reasons. I believe Country Lawyer and Captain Capitalism are both making such a case in their comments to this post.

  6. Dalrock says:

    @Captain Capitalism
    Hang on while I remove the knife from my back.

    JUST KIDDING!😉

    Hey, any linkage is good linkage, isn’t it? 🙂

  7. RED says:

    Whatever approach you want to take, a child NOW is a liability, regardless of your race or ethnicity. And a child in a collapsing society is not only a liability, but a risk. I can cover 20 miles on foot if I need to in a day. I can avoid detection. I can hunt for enough food for myself.

    I cannot do half of that with a crying child that in the end is ultimately a parasite on my resources and a handicap on my abilities.

    Oddly enough your hunter gather ancestors where able to handle the kids in the same situation. The future only exists because if you show up for it.

  8. Lavazza says:

    I think that both peak oil and peak credit have the potential to disrupt “The World As We Know It” in a major way. All depends on our ability to handle these disruptions in an intelligent and orderly way. Concerning peak oil there is a lot of “low hanging fruit” in the Western world, but in poor countries a lot of people will die due to famines, lack of water, diseases and so on. I really think population will arrive at a plateau quite soon (2-5 years) and then decline slowly or rapidly.

  9. Lavazza says:

    RED: “Oddly enough your hunter gather ancestors where able to handle the kids in the same situation. The future only exists because if you show up for it.”

    But for the moment we don’t have the same skills and infrastructure, and it will take some time to acquire it.

  10. Lavazza says:

    Cheap energy really has changed the world (the population explosion has followed cheap energy closely) and if the decrease of cheap energy is rapid, we will see turmoil.

  11. Amirantes says:

    It might perhaps bear mentioning that feminism itself might only be capable of existing in a cheap energy regime … without energy-fuelled prosthetics, everything starts to get down and dirty , and a certain sexual division of labour might make sense again.

    We the next 50 years could look like the last 50 but run backwards, in some ways.

  12. Hermit says:

    Sometime after we had our first kid, I was talking to my Grandma (who grew up during the Depression). I mentioned how we were thinking of having another baby, but because of X, it wasn’t really a good time. She said something to the effect of: “There is never a best time, there’s always a reason not to. If you keep waiting, you’ll run out of time”. We’ve had 2 more since, and we plan on having at least 1 more, despite many, many (valid) reasons not to.

    Considering the inevitable collapse, we plan on moving to a more or less self-sufficient farm. Where, if all goes well, we’ll be spared most of the negative effects.

  13. Opus says:

    By good fortune on both sides of my genetics I can trace my families back over countless generations ultimately to about 1550. Many ancestors died childless and indeed unmarried but there is not one single divorce, yet when I leave this earth the line will come to an end; the name will die with me. Perhaps it is my fault in some way, but I have no wish to act as a sperm bank creating another profligate single-mother, nor have I ever met anyone (whom I as sufficiently attracted to, and did not rule herself out by reason of her past behaviour or stunts she pulled whilst dating me) who had any interest in Matrimony. Even had I met such a person, I would have been very nervous about committing myself for fear of financial ruin or emotional distress. I doubt my ancestors had these concerns when marrying. I have of course to conceed that the world’s population continues to expand so my problems do not amount to ‘a hill of beans’ in the grand totality of things.

  14. Herbal Essence says:

    I support fathers and I support those who choose not to, I just hope he makes his decision based on sober reasoning.

    IMO, a man’s legacy doesn’t rely on one of his sperms making up one-half of a kid. We can have children through reproduction and parenthood. Or we can have “children” by inventing & building worthwhile things, creating art, and supporting noble causes.

    Of course, many people do some combination of all these things.

  15. Never, ever, bet against technology.
    Not even after the fall of the Roman Empire technology was lost. Not technology needed to produce food, weapons or other. They ware improved anyway.
    Who that leave technology usually is reduced to beast level and, when meet someone with technology die at his hands. Look at the Tasmanians.

  16. sestamibi says:

    @Opus
    “Many ancestors died childless and indeed unmarried but there is not one single divorce. . .”

    If they were childless, how could they be your ancestors?

  17. Eric says:

    Dalrock:
    Anti-Feminist makes an excellent point. The world is in a crisis now, but it didn’t stop people from having children during worse crises than this. The birthrate in Europe didn’t even decline as badly as now when the Roman Empire collapsed!

    Marriage and family are declining, especially in the Anglosphere, from a sheer lack of suitable wife/mother material. There are plenty of capable and willing men ready for familial responsibilities, but a huge lack of capable and willing women. Women prefer instead to have abortions—and when they do want kids, to get knocked up by some thug and go on as single mothers.

    The quality of women today is so bad that some MRAs have advocated changing the child-custody laws to favor men—and show examples that fathers are more necessary now than mothers. This wouldn’t have been true a few decades ago.

  18. Lugo says:

    Another point worth mentioning. Until as late as the early 20th century, there was no such thing as pensions, retirement homes, or assisted living. “Elder care” consisted of parking granny in an extra bedroom until she croaked. A good reason to have kids was so that there would be someone to take care of you when you got old. Elder care today relies to a great extent on government support. If the system crashes, there will be no such support, and we’ll be back to the “granny in the extra bedroom” style of elder care. If you don’t have kids, that option won’t be open to you.

  19. I agree with you on the distinction, and marriage in our current legal climate is a real risk. I’ve set that aside for this particular post, but as I mentioned I have addressed that in many other posts. With that said, there are men making the case for not having children for entirely different reasons. I believe Country Lawyer and Captain Capitalism are both making such a case in their comments to this post.

    Yes they have but the “personal” level of the problem is connected to the national/global level of the problem. Why is there decline or the possibility for global catastrophe? It’s because of feminism and nothing else. Any other problems such as peak oil are solvable. They only reason such problems aren’t solvable is because feminism is destroying men who would be working on such problems.

    The reasons why getting married and having children are a net negative in a modern catastrophe situation for men is the same reason it’s a liability for men to get married and have children even if there’s no collapse. In those collapsing societies of the past marriage and children weren’t the liability they are now. In the worst case it was not a net positive but not a liability either. Marriage and children have become a liability for men, and a societal collapse isn’t going to get rid of the reasons that marriage and children are a liability for men.

  20. Opus says:

    @Sestamibi

    Most amusing.

    Amongst my ancestors who did propagate, I also supect that there were no abortions and probably no STDs. Never let it be forgotten that my ancestors (and yours) – the ones who survived – had the genes to avoid the plague!

  21. The reasons why getting married and having children are a net negative in a modern catastrophe situation for men is the same reason it’s a liability for men to get married and have children even if there’s no collapse.

    Moder catastrophes are not different from ancient catastrophes. There is a break down of laws and society. Feminism is based on laws and social norms imposed by men over other men. In a catastrophes this will disappear very fast. So the only chain preventing males to put misbehaving female at their place is their mental chain.

    Who will provide for them (females)? Males.
    Who will force them (male) do to so? No one.
    Females can choose to go out and forage for themselves and protect themselves from predators (two or four legged) or accept the protection of males and submit to them.

    If they live in some place with a cold winter (it don’t need to be very cold) as the temperature fall and their hunger grow, they will see the positive sides of the bargain.

    In ancient Scandinavia, there are evidence that young girls that married older men were better feed than young girls that married young (their age) men. This because the older men were better hunters and more able to feed their family.

  22. Dalrock says:

    @Pro-Male/Anti-Feminist Tech
    Yes they have but the “personal” level of the problem is connected to the national/global level of the problem. Why is there decline or the possibility for global catastrophe? It’s because of feminism and nothing else. Any other problems such as peak oil are solvable. They only reason such problems aren’t solvable is because feminism is destroying men who would be working on such problems.

    I think we are making different foundational assumptions (which is fine). Either way I’m not arguing that someone who doesn’t think marriage & children would be beneficial to them should marry. I’m not the one who will benefit from someone else’s successful marriage, and I’m not the one who will pay the cost if it is unsuccessful. All I am saying with this post is I don’t think it makes sense to forgo this option if you want it based on general concerns about the economy, global warming, potential for wars, etc.

  23. Anonymous Protestant says:

    Someone who confesses Christianity and who is married should have children, or be earnestly trying to do so. I do not know if there is “never a good time to have children”, but am sure there is never an ideal time. In the personal life there is always something that children will interfere with one way or another. As Christians we have certain duties, and the fact that duty is scorned now by the common culture does not matter.

    Anyone who genuinely embraces traditional culture who is married should have children. The baby of today is the voter of 18 years from now. The child of today is the functioning church member of 10 years from now. Have a child, two or more even better, and participate in the future.

  24. grerp says:

    The last 60 or so years have been about increasing comfort, convenience and entertainment for the people of the West. I think we are looking at scaling back in those areas because of looming lack of funds. No one really wants that. The flip side, however, is that an increase in comfort, convenience, and entertainment hasn’t really produced happier, healthier, more creative or productive people, and it’s possible that some of the scaling back may have some unintentionally good side effects. More expensive oil may keep people closer to their families instead of moving all over the country every few years for their jobs and flying back to see the fam at Christmas and during summer break. It will have us walking and exercising more. We will have to cooperate with people which will require us to get to know them more and isolate ourselves less. I don’t want to idealize the lifestyle of the early twentieth century. Quite a lot of people really struggled just to make it. My ancestors did, certainly. But they still had happy times and they made it through. Or they didn’t. There are no guarantees. Any era is a bad era for someone on the earth.

  25. blather says:

    If we enter a world in which the wealth of energy and savings and currency is destroyed, children will be the new wealth that ensures our individual survival. Children represent more hands that work to bring in food and production for the family. Children grow up to take care of their parents and elders. This is how it was in the past in old times. If peak-whatever hits hard and changes the world, it will be this way again. So… do you want to get to old age, trudging around on the streets or wilderness, wishing you had had children to help you in your old age? You will not be young or physically capable forever. In 10 years you’ll be less physically capable than you are today. In another ten years, you will be even less physically capable. In another ten… you get the point. Old age and death comes to everyone and you are no exception. Grown adult children can help make the transition easier, if you did your job as a parent right.

  26. Lovekraft says:

    There’s optimism, which many people cringe at. Those bubbly lovesongs, while around us is so much fixing to be done.

    So, if one decides to shun this superficial denial, and instead delve into serious, deeper matter, they would then be better able to analyze, process and deal with the woes of the world.

    This way of thinking always gets disparaged, and a feminist society would be more apt to keep this in check. Instead, we should be shaming the Britney’s and Cyruses and instead seek more realistic art.

  27. Pingback: Linkage is Good for You: Lazy Edition

  28. The Stranger says:

    I realize this thread is probably a little dead now, but leaving aside Dalrock’s point to address Pro Male/etc…

    If indeed society as we know it falls to pieces (and ultimately it always does), then the more people who understand the ills of the previous age, the better the next might be.

    Not an argument against avoiding personal harm via the current system. Just pointing out that those who do want to marry and have kids are best positioned to define the nature of the *next* system. That is one of the many reasons I so enjoy the “Wisdom of a 4/5/6 Year Old” posts.

    Honestly, I think the best long-term strategy for reforming the system is to find a good wife, start cranking out babies ASAP, and train ’em yourself. It may be hard to pull off, but the Feminist agenda is anti-reproductive. Teach your kids at home and you’ve removed a source of power from them.

    Maybe not enough. Then again, public school is designed to create sheeple. Non-sheeple armed with strong knowledge and skill-sets stand a good chance of making a disproportionate difference, especially in times of crisis. Just my two cents.

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