It’s very, very hard to have a society or culture or civilization with no people. This one cuts close to home:
Greece’s population has declined by 360,000 in the last seven years and is projected to drop by a further 770,000 people over the next 12 years if birthrates remain at today’s levels, according to recent data collected by experts at the National Center of Social Research (EKKE) and a special parliamentary committee on demographics and social affairs.
More ominously, Greece’s population could plummet by up to 50 percent in 35-50 years if nothing is done to tackle the low birthrate, the aging population and the brain drain sparked by the migration of young people to foreign lands in search of a viable career.
As a result, Greece’s workforce will shrink even further and analysts fear this will have a devastating impact on the economy and the country’s already severely burdened social insurance system.
Critics also point to a lack of initiative from successive Greek governments to tackle the problem and cite the fact that the last time the issue was seriously discussed in Parliament – apart from a House debate in 2018 – was nearly three decades ago.
Noting that Greece does not have a specific policy on demographics, analysts say that handing out benefits to large families is not enough to stem the rapid population decline and that immediate measures are needed – such as the creation of powerful body made up of representatives from all political parties.
The only attempt at tackling the issue was the creation in 2005 (on the recommendation of the EKKE) of the Institute of Demographic Policy – under the auspices of the Health Ministry – which, however, never operated.
Mind you, there are only some 11 million people in Greece, and only an estimated three to seven million in the diaspora. So we’re taking a maximum of 18 millions Greeks in the entire world, with over half of us living in the old country.
It’s weird to know you’re a part of a dwindling population. Anecdotes aren’t the best evidence, but in our community here in the U.S., Greek people have lots of kids. We also, of course, don’t have the same problems they’re having in Greece.
We see several key factors in the Greek situation, which can serve as a warning to the United States:
- Brain drain. Greeks have always been a traveling people, setting up colonies wherever they go. If there’s no work or opportunity at home, as much as it pains a Greek to leave their community, they go out and make opportunity elsewhere. America, then, seemed like a natural place, and Greek-Americans do quite well across the board. Australia, Canada, Germany, and England are also popular destinations. The effect of this, of course, is that these people use their talents elsewhere instead of in service to their own nation. I spoke with students at the University of Athens business school in 2015 who decided to stick it out in Greece and help their motherland instead of going abroad. I wonder where they are now. I sincerely hope they’ve succeeded.
- Denigration of motherhood and the push to work. For a culture that, at least in the American diaspora, remains almost shockingly traditional compared to the rest of the United States, in Greece its more modern in its attitudes and behaviors about family and work. Women are expected to work and kids are an afterthought, especially in urban areas. The people who do have multiple kids can’t make up the difference. And men can’t be let off the hook either–Greece is European, which means you go and have a good time. Hedonism trumps family.
- Diminishing role of the church. Greeks aren’t as pious as Greek-Americans. I think superficially they are, especially compared to much of the rest of Europe, but a lot of churches in Greece are empty save for Easter and Christmas. Kind of like most churches in the U.S. This clearly has an effect on how people view children.
- Socialism. The thing that gets the most blame, but is only a part of it. Greece had had economic hard times since the Ottoman occupation. Four hundred years of being a vassal state, followed by two world wars and a civil war will do that to you. The Renaissance skipped Greece, as did the Enlightenment (though this might be a good thing), as well as the industrial revolution. Greece rejoined the rest of the modern world down three games to two, with two outs, the bases empty, and an 0-2 count, down by 10 runs somewhere in the middle innings. You try catching up by playing fair. Socialism always seems like a good idea to desperate people. But we sadly know how that ends. Greeks actually work more than several of their European counterparts. Trouble comes when there is no work, and the government pays you enemy. Socialism ruins everything it touches.
- Cultural cantankerousness and an ineffective, corrupt government. Check the end of the article. The Greek Government was supposed to do something about this, but didn’t. Because they were probably fighting about other stuff. I also fail to see how “the creation of powerful body made up of representatives from all political parties” will do anything beneficial. Anyway, while the government fights, the Greek people rightly decided to treat their government like the corrupt bunch of chumps they’ve proven to be. How? By simply not paying taxes. This makes it hard for the government to do anything, good or otherwise, yet the pension payments and benefits keep coming, even though there’s no work, and much like in America the Greek people protest any attempt at reigning in benefits, so many leave, diminishing the tax base . . . you see how these problems are interconnected?
- The European Union. Joining the EU and adopting the Euro have been disasters for Greece. As such, they blame Germany and England for all their woes. Forget that the Greek government cooked the books to meet the requirements for membership . . . Now, they’re forced to take in migrants from Turkey and God knows where else, which has ruined several islands whose only real industry is tourism, spiraling many of the problems we’ve already talked about out of control.
The end result is a nation full of people, while industrious and generally happy and family oriented, being turned into a cynical, hopeless mess. This is what it boils down to: Children are a manifestation of hope in a fallen world. Ceasing to have children is tantamount to giving up.
A cynic would say this is the globalist plan: Utter population replacement in Europe to guarantee cheap labor in perpetuity. Getting rid of Europeans, and their churches, is an added bonus.
There are parallels to the situation in the U.S. Like America’s elite, Europe’s similarly believe Europe has no culture, or any culture with saving, and that being Greek or French or Polish is a matter of having the right paperwork, and that open borders are the future.
Any thinking person knows this is bullshit. The powers that be are banking on you letting them do the thinking for you, lest you face intense social ostracism for your wrongthink (which is actually correct).
Yes, this story hits close to home. But it hits close to home in both my ancestral homeland and my current homeland, because these same forces that have wrecked many European nations are trying to wreck the United States, and largely succeeding.
Countries like Italy and Poland, and France with its Yellow Vest protests, have shown us the way out of it: fight back, take it to the streets of need be, embrace your religion and culture (the way all non-European nations do), and elect nationalists (the way most non-European nations do).
Otherwise, as Douglas Murray points out in The Strange Death of Europe, the continent will be little more than an extension of the Islamic world, just with colder weather. Something always rushes to fill a vacuum, whether it’s in Greece or anywhere else.
My novel, A Traitor to Dreams, involves Greek-American culture, as well as Ancient Greek mythology. Enjoy it while there are still Greek people on this earth.