[This is the final post of a four part series, orignally posted as Shame, Aggression and Demographic Suicide. The references and comments are to the original series from the Spring of 2006.]
In the first three posts in this series (Part I, Part II, Part III), I have attempted to show how Gudrun, a German woman who entered therapy many years ago, was able to understand some of the ways in which her parents' (especially her mother's) experiences in Germany during WWII led to her inability to enter into a healthy relationship with a man and ultimately led to her decision not to have children. I then suggested a similar dynamic may be involved in Europe's current demographic collapse.
AVI has put together some statistics about European demographics that are illustrative, though it is worth wondering if some of his numbers aren't skewed by the fecundity of the substantial Muslim communities in a number of the countries listed (especially France, where the Muslim birthrate is extremely high compared to the non Muslim French population.)
A number of commenters, and the comments have been uniformly thought provoking, made some excellent points. Maxed Out Mama, in particular (who is under the weather, perhaps as part of her exemplary and ongoing efforts to help us understand the Avian Flu; keep her in your thoughts), wrote about her own family's brush with the "evil at the core" (in the comments to Part II):
I was just brushed by this, and it left a huge mark. You've got no idea of what it is like to, as a child, be in a public park and watch visitors from Europe stiffen at the sight of a park guard in uniform. These, btw, were victims and not perpetrators. You've got no idea what it is like to be forbidden to ever correspond with a number of relatives.
My grandfather was born in Germany, was drafted into the German army as a teenager at the end of WWI, became a socialist, was almost killed by a band of vigilantes after the war, got out to France and eventually made his way to the US. He enlisted at the age of 42 in the US Army for WWII. My father was born here in 1929. After the war, my father's parents brought my great grandmother over from France.
Anyway, one day the police were making the rounds to tell people that the health department was giving free vaccinations. This old lady opened the door, saw the uniform, and ran in screaming hysterics into her bedroom.
David, most Americans can have NO idea.
For those who lived through those evil times, even as passive participants, the fear was ever-present and corrosive. She also offered this: