One of the more frustrating things about biological realism is that most people really wish there was no such thing as biological realism. The reason ad makers keep trying to sell stuff using little girl football players or race mixing campers is they know most white people wish all that stuff was true. Those ads and their assumptions are flattering to SWPL-ville types. The studied dismissal of human biology by our ruling elite goes largely unchallenged, because the great white middle class hopes they are right about all of it.
I’m always reminded of this when the topic of African population numbers and the world’s most important graph are mentioned. Putting the racial issue aside, the population explosion in Africa is going to be the defining issue of the 21st century. Inevitably, someone always says something like “that assumes those trends go on forever.” The implication is that population math will magically correct itself. Any effort to explain the math is met with more denial and hand waving. Most people don’t want to know about it.
The fact is, the West is struggling with a sub-Saharan population of about three quarters of a billion people. Those flotillas of Africans crossing the Mediterranean every day are causing all sorts of political and economic trouble for Europe. The number of migrants landing on the beaches of Europe are in the thousands right now. That’s thousands per day. Imagine what happens when it is ten thousand a day. In fifteen years the population of Africa will double. The migrant troubles of today will feel like the good old days.
Nature finds a way of solving these sorts of problems. Thomas Malthus gets a bad rap from history, but he gave us a great concept. It is the Malthusian catastrophe. Once population numbers reach the carrying capacity of the land, society collapses and humans fall back to subsistence level existence. It’s never happened, as agricultural technology has far outstripped population growth, but that does not mean catastrophic risk does not increase with population numbers. Risks like pandemics, for example.
Right now, Africa has a Marburg outbreak and a Madagascar Plague outbreak. The Marburg virus is the most interesting. It kills 88% of the people that contract it. There is no known treatment for it either. The outbreak thus far is limited, but Africa is not exactly a well oiled machine when it comes to managing large scale social projects, like containing disease outbreak. Talk to people who study this stuff and you come away with the sense that Africa has been very lucky and their luck is about to run out.
The Madagascar Plague is a different sort of problem. It is a combination of bubonic, pneumonic and septecaemic plagues. Modern medicine has treatments for all three and they are cheap enough to get to Africa. The trouble is, these diseases spread quickly. African medical service are like everything in Africa. They are a circus of inefficiency, corruption and ineptitude. It would not take a very large outbreak to tip over the medical system, as well as the supply chain from the West, to that medical system.
Getting back to the most important graph in the world, one possible change to it could come from a wide scale pandemic. It’s not inconceivable. There have been plenty of pandemics in human history. The Black Plague not only altered the structure of European society, it altered European DNA. There are some good arguments that the Black Death helped accelerate Europe’s cultural progress out of the medieval period. The relationship of land, labor and status were thrown over by a great die off.
There’s another angle to it. The Black Plague did not originate in Europe. It arrived by sea in October 1347 when 12 Genoese trading ships docked at the Sicilian port of Messina. Most of the sailors aboard the ships were dead, and those who were still alive were close to it. They had The Plague. Even if those ships had never made it to Europe, the strange disease that was killing people along the great trade routes of Asia was on its way. The Black Death came to Europe the same way the first people came to Europe.
Human-like animals burst out of Africa at least twice and probable three or four times in history. We know that modern humans displaced the Neanderthals, who left Africa and settled Eurasia. The Denisovans were probably displaced by Neanderthals, but that’s open to debate. There is the possibility that the out of Africa narrative is wrong in some important ways, but the available data still suggests that there have been waves of humans out of Africa for as long as there have been bipeds on earth.
Maybe that’s how Mother Nature erases the board and starts over. When one wave of humans runs its course, a new batch of humans burst forth from Africa to replace the old, outmoded ones. The new batch being raw and unformed, they adapt to the new lands they inhabit and give the old evolutionary process another shot. Because they bring new diseases or new forms of diseases, they don’t have to be more fit than the indigenous populations initially. Those invisible bugs they bring with them become the great equalizer.
That could be what we are seeing today. The people of Europe and Asia had a nice run, but they have reached a dead end in the eyes of nature. The fertility rates have plummeted, even in China. In Europe, the willingness of the natives to defend themselves and their territories has collapsed. From the perspective of nature, Eurasians are looking a lot like the giant Panda. Humans may think it worthwhile to maintain a species that no longer will reproduce, but nature is unemotional about these things.
Alternatively, a great plague that originates with the swelling populations of Africa and then spreads around the world is another option. Most people who study the current crop of diseases in Africa don’t think they will mutate into something wildly contagious that overwhelms our social structures. They could be wrong about this. It could be that some new bug alters some common bug, like the flu, which then ravages the human populations of the world. Like the Black Death, it would be carried by outsiders to Europe.
Those are all pleasant outcomes to consider, but there is another option. The population of sub-Saharan Africa could reach a point where it exceeds the capacity of the West to subsidize it. Right now, without foreign aid, Africa would fall into famine and civil war. What if as their numbers increase, the per capita aid required to sustain them increases? The ability to manage the problem could have a much shorter time horizon than Western planners assume. Economic crisis could come to the West like the plague.
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