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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The decline of Revolutionary Iran

Spengler cites observations that appear to contrast directly with the conventional wisdom:

Iran is dying. The collapse of Iran's birth rate during the past 20 years is the fastest recorded in any country, ever. Demographers have sought in vain to explain Iran's population implosion through family planning policies, or through social factors such as the rise of female literacy. But quantifiable factors do not explain the sudden collapse of fertility. It seems that a spiritual decay has overcome Iran, despite best efforts of a totalitarian theocracy....

Two indicators of Iranian morale are worth citing. First, prostitution has become a career of choice among educated Iranian women. On February 3, the Austrian daily Der Standard published the results of two investigations conducted by the Tehran police, suppressed by the Iranian media. "More than 90% of Tehran's prostitutes have passed the university entrance exam, according to the results of one study, and more than 30% of them are registered at a university or studying," reports Der Standard."

Second, according to a recent report from the US Council on Foreign Relations, "Iran serves as the major transport hub for opiates produced by [Afghanistan], and the UN Office of Drugs and Crime estimates that Iran has as many as 1.7 million opiate addicts." That is, 5% of Iran's adult, non-elderly population of 35 million is addicted to opiates. That is an astonishing number, unseen since the peak of Chinese addiction during the 19th century.

This is interesting, although as Spengler notes, it's also dangerous. Anomie is not reserved to the West; it may be that Western Islam has taken on an increasingly violent aspect due a sense of cultural weakness and desperation rather than cultural confidence. Spengler's statistics are startling, but his conclusion doesn't surprise me too much, as whenever the short-sighted intellectual herd starts babbling about the inevitable long-term consequences of the current trend, I take that as a sign to start looking around for signs of a peak. Longtime readers will recall my similar skepticism of all the "Permanent Majority" chatter on the part of the Republican commentariat upon hitting the party hitting its high-water mark in 2004.

This highly visible generation of European Muslims are only the second generation; remember it's usually the third generation that is most susceptible to decadence and decline. If the Islamic Republic is overcome by this spiritual decay, I think it's more likely than not that European Islam, which has tended to follow the radical arc of Khomeini's Revolution, will eventually do so as well. This is especially true in light of the economic chaos that should dominate the next decade or two, as it will almost surely see the end of the continent-wide collection of multiculti-promoting governments.

Spengler previously commented upon these developments with a memorable aphorism: "A nation is never really beaten until it sells its women."

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