13. The role of women
Only a few years ago the British Government and Tony Blair in particular were telling the British people that it was necessary to create a highly educated working population so that the UK could earn its way in the world. However it is now quite apparent that the Chinese and the Indians are well able to train graduates who are of at least the same if not a higher standard than those coming out of British Universities. Interestingly 90% of all children who have parents of Chinese origin and who live in the UK go to University as oppose to the national average of about one third. Is it likely that the British will be able to compete with the Chinese with their deep rooted views on the importance of education? The latest mantra from the Government is the need for more vocational training which is pointless when the technical education infrastructure has been largely dismantled to save money and when there is a stream of cheap foreign workers entering the country.
During the last war millions of men entered the armed forces. To keep industry going millions of young women took their place. After the war these women were returned to the home to so that men, returning from the war, could go back into full time employment. Then suddenly in the early 1980s women were encouraged to develop as full time professionals. This was what the Government needed at the time as it meant that a large number of intelligent, educated people were able to secure full time employment so maintaining the level of employment while men were shed from semi-skilled or manual jobs in traditional industry such as the docks, ship building and mining.
There have always been women in the workforce and to a much lesser extent there have always been women training for the professions but historically the numbers were always small. Even in the late 1970s most women who went on to further education trained as nurses, teachers and secretaries. It was taken for granted that they would get married shortly after they finished at college, would work for a few years and then start a family. When their children reached their teens they would go back to work. In other words society still saw the primary role of women as that of being a wife and a mother. It was also taken for granted that a man would be able to support his wife while she raised the children. Even in the late 1970s it was possible for most men to support a wife and children. In 2008 it is a rare exception to find a man under 40 who can earn enough to support himself, a partner and two children. Here is one reason for the drop in the number of people who get married.
Women are well aware that having children is expensive even at a sub-conscious level. As a result many women have put having a career in front of having children. What is interesting is how quickly British society has changed from a nation where women saw their role as mothers, in say 1975, to today when so many see themselves as career women and who put off motherhood until it is too late. This trend also mirrors the increase in the cost of accommodation and the ability of a man to support and to care for a woman and the children that she bears. This decline in the birth rates almost directly follows the increase in the number of elderly and dependant people in society. Ever increasing quantities of societies resources are being used to care for the elderly, the unemployed, the socially disadvantaged and to maintaining the apparatus of Government. Most of the good accommodation and society's resources are now used to support these groups so that there is little available for young working adults. A study of all biological systems shows that when resources become limited the outcome is a fall in birth rates followed by a collapse. The current decline in the birth rate in Western Europe is the product of a mature ecosystem.
All across Europe there are large numbers of single women who will never form part of a nuclear family. This is partly because of increasing life expectancy and also having a large amount of free time. When life was a struggle people had to learn to make things work even if the relationship was not ideal. Today people can move in and out of relationships with ease. Only thirty years ago people got engaged and married whilst still in their early twenties and then learnt to live together. The whole cornerstone of a nuclear family was mutual dependency. The man brought in the money and the woman managed the home and reared the children. This was a basic plan that had worked since mankind first evolved. It is also much easier to adapt to the idiosyncrasies of another person when you are young as the neural network is still forming. Today women are encouraged to have careers so that they can be independent. Anyone who interferes with such a basic cornerstone of any society does so at their peril.
The apparent solution to the pension crisis is to have more people in the working population. The problem with this argument is that most of the children that are born today will make little or no contribution to the Exchequer. The type of women who have always lived off the State will continue to bear children at the same high rate. It is those who have the inbuilt desire to ensure that their children are well cared for that have restricted their fecundity and it is these children that society needs.
Most of the population take out more than they put in. What the country needs is a lot of intelligent highly motivated people. Unfortunately the economic realities of the last thirty years has seen a dramatic reduction in the number of intelligent motivated people who are available to keep society moving forward. It is a simple matter of biology. An intelligent educated woman today will tend to have her children in her mid 30s and will usually have one or at the most two children. Assuming that her children behave in the same way then her genes will be passed on three times in a century. In other words her genes will pass into 2 x 2 x 2 or 8 offspring. A less gifted woman will have say four children and start bearing before the age of twenty. In a century her genes will be passed on 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 times or 256 times. This gives a ratio of 1:32. Even if this ratio is incorrect and the figure is in fact 1:10 the prognosis for the future is not good. Another serious factor is the number of intelligent educated women who will pass the age of 40 without having children. Never in the history of mankind has so much good genetic material been lost to society. Any biological system that dilutes its gene pool in this way will fail within a few generations. The long-term consequences of having so many intelligent women who are not producing children or who are producing only one or two very late in their lives has yet to be fully considered. The consequence of this has to be very serious. The process has already started to have an impact on the functioning of society which is one of the reasons why the Government has established skilled migrant programmes.
This factor also explains some of the inexorable rise in crime. The number of less gifted children is rising every year. Man evolved as a hunter gatherer. The philosophy of such a life style is you find something that you want and you take it. Many of the less able young people in society are reverting to the role of hunter gatherer. They have been told that they will have a good life with easy access to consumer goods. They will not be able to legitimately access sufficient money to purchase these goods. They have no other way to obtain them other than to steal. Even though this current recession has only just started the number of burglaries is already rising. As the economy winds down over the next thirty years so the level of crime will rise. Living in a country that is in decline will not be pleasant for the young and there will be considerable resentment as they are forced to remain in a juvenile form. Although it has not been spelt out to them most young people know that they have no real future and that many of the opportunities that their parents had will not be available to them.
Published: August 2008