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.