The pro-natalist movement gathers momentum

Last time in this space, my summary of Pope Francis’s address to the States General on Natality in Rome sparked debate here and there. Traditionalists, though fully on board with the pro-family agenda, are troubled by his pontificate.

Let’s not be distracted from the cold hard facts that the very future of our species is on the line. Don’t quibble about survival. Preservation and perpetuation of the family is our fundamental imperative above all else.

Along those lines there is fantastic news. Momentum is building among pro-natalists. Our numbers are increasing, as is enthusiasm. Demographic data is piling up. As facts accumulate and consciousness rises, the chattering class is no longer wholly dismissing us – even as climate continues to change!

Did I say momentum? Pope Francis’s comments have global resonance. More people are getting involved. There is much brainstorming about the best way forward. A sterling example of that is right here in Virginia.

Lyman Stone strikes again  

The Institute for Family Studies (IFS) is based in Charlottesville, Virginia, the other side of Afton Mountain from me. Last week they announced, “IFS Launches the Pronatalist Initiative Under New Senior Fellow Lyman Stone.”

Demographer Lyman Stone has been awarded an Institute for Family Studies (IFS) senior fellowship to establish the Pronatalism Initiative. With governments around the world grappling for urgent solutions to a rapid decline in fertility, the IFS Pronatalism Initiative will pioneer new research to create a suite of policies to counteract global fertility decline. Stone, chief information officer of the consulting firm Demographic Intelligence, joins the team at IFS where he was previously a research fellow.

That is huge. Mr. Stone is known to Mercator readers. His work is followed by demographers and pro-family folks worldwide. On pronatalism, he’s a go-to guy:

I am delighted to be joining the Institute for Family Studies as a senior fellow. The IFS is respected by policy makers and the media for its high caliber research. The IFS Pronatalism Initiative will lead the broad and urgent interest in fertility to a clear, well-researched suite of policy solutions… Fertility rebound is not only possible, it may even be likely.

Likely indeed. I’m pulling for Mr. Stone and the Pronatalist Initiative. Avidly pro-family, he is not a demographer content with simply generating statistics:

I think economic factors delaying the life course are the dominant force shaping declining marriage, alongside marriage penalties in tax and welfare policies. Overwhelming majorities of young people still report strong desire to marry, and at younger ages than the current median age of marriage.

The long delay between adulthood and economic independence is the main cause of declining marriage.

Highly individualistic societies often still have high marriage rates. The bigger values shift is about marriage as a ‘capstone’ to personal success rather than marriage as a ‘foundation’ for couple success.

[We should] try and help people get into good marriages earlier in life. There is no societal substitute for marriage.

Emergent Ventures, a like-minded venture capital firm, is funding the Initiative.

Pronatalist momentum

Two days after the IFS post Catholic Review ran a piece aptly entitled “Virginia institute launches Pronatalism initiative to address global birth dearth.” That it comes on the heels of Pope Francis’s remarks to the States General on Natality enhances the Initiative’s impact. Funny how that works.

According to Mr. Stone, a foremost priority of the Pronatalism Initiative will be to formulate solutions to the housing crisis. Housing costs are a tremendous obstacle to family life, absorbing precious resources that should go to rearing children. That is a problem often cited but rarely addressed. Kudos to IFS for prioritizing that.

Regarding family life in the US, Stone says:

The simple fact is that birth rates in the U.S. are far below what people say they want; they’re far below what women say they want for themselves, personally. That is a problem of reproductive autonomy.



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The tide is turning

Just last month Stone and coauthor Erin Wingerter made a compelling case for governments to implement pronatalist policies in their report Is There Hope for Low Fertility? 'Demographic Rearmament' in Southern Europe. Their research delved into government family policy in several European countries, and how such policies can have a positive impact.

“Demographic Rearmament” was coined by French President Emmanuel Macron, who has done little in that regard. But as J. P. De Gance, founder of the pro-family ministry Communio, said: “The church and the state each have roles to play here. Lyman Stone and IFS believe they have found evidence of [government] policy increasing birth rates. That’s huge.”

In our corrupt epoch, the rise of secular humanism has fostered a post-Christian ethos. This sad state of affairs manifests in the monetization of everything, including life itself. Thus endless wars-for-profit, cheap labour immigration and the anti-life “healthcare” industry thrive. Temporal ambition and material priorities steamroll all else. Moral relativism imbues government policy, education and popular culture. This fuels victimology, cancel culture and embittered anti-white racism.

All this contributes to demoralization, widespread discontent and loss of social cohesion. But therein lies hope. People are weary of mammon-worshiping globalism that makes a fulfilling family life prohibitively expensive. Families desire more children but cannot afford them. Lyman Stone calls this the “problem of reproductive autonomy.”

It may take a while, but “demographic rearmament” is in the cards. Globalism is running out of gas. Look at the political earthquake in the European Parliament elections. Change is inevitable. How and when this comes about will be the interesting part.

Keep faith.  

Does the world need more people? Does the United States? Tell us in the comments box below.  

Louis T. March has a background in government, business, and philanthropy. A former talk show host, author, and public speaker, he is a dedicated student of history and genealogy. Louis lives with his family in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

Image creditPexels


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  • David Page
    commented 2024-06-15 09:37:12 +1000
    I think a good place to start would be to stop supporting a political party that makes it increasingly difficult for a single earner family to even exist. Conservatives want it both ways. They want a system where most of the wealth is hoarded by a few, and they want women to have more babies. It ain’t gonna work. laissez-faire capitalism is incompatible with a financially stable single earner family.It simply can’t work.
  • Paul Bunyan
    commented 2024-06-15 09:31:23 +1000
    Thank you, Ms Usher, for showing us why religious people should not be making public policy. You care more about the afterlife and your god than you do about alleviating suffering and making life better for people in this life.

    People deluded enough to believe in an afterlife should be in mental asylums, not controlling the laws by which we live by.
  • Maryse Usher
    commented 2024-06-15 09:20:12 +1000
    A wise old priest told me there was no point trying to point apparitionistas (false and unapproved but condemned by heretical content) to evidence showing the dangers of shonky visions, locutions, “revelations” etc. I have also found the same obduracy and sheer blindness in people who promote or defend contraception and abortion. When I was much younger, I backslid attending Mass and my Faith evaporated like a morning mist, leaving me philosophically and theologically blind, stupid and very self-destructive. I empathise with people who simply are incapable of seeing the truth and beauty of the natural law because the implications of “seeking” are frightening when you “find” and “see”. The truth (about God and everything else which matters) will set you free, but ripping off the masking tape is painful to the ego.
  • mrscracker
    Thank you for sharing that link Mr. Bunyan. I’m sure that not every single thing promoted by the UN should be suspect, but quite a few UN supported projects have turned out badly. So they’re not my to-go source of info.
    Rice is grown not too far from where I live & yes, it’s generally doing quite well. That goes for sugar cane also. Some things grow better in the heat. What adapts to change survives.
  • Paul Bunyan
    commented 2024-06-12 21:44:14 +1000
    mrscracker. There is no future if we plunder the planet and make it uninhabitable. At the rate we’re going, the soil won’t be able to produce anything edible.

    “Countries in the Northern Hemisphere, especially Scandinavian countries, are currently experiencing some positive effects from climate change in terms of crop yields. This is due partly to the CO2 fertilisation effect where increased amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere aid plant growth, but mostly because low levels of warming extend the growth duration of mainly perennial crops such as grass pastures, but reduce the duration of the staple annual crops, such as wheat, maize and rice. However, these effects are not permanent and will not balance the global negative effects of climate change. There is no doubt in the evidence and conclusions of more than 1,000 global and regional studies, that a temperature rise of 1 to 2 degrees Celsius will generally mean a loss in yield of a number of crop varieties, both in the tropical and the temperate regions. An increase of 3 to 4 degrees later on in this century will have very severe consequences for global food security and supply. However, it is remarkable to see that the rice plant is coping a lot better with the changes than other crops.”

    It would appear that you and Mr March are not concerned about this, because you will die likely of old age long before this becomes a problem. Your children, however, will likely die from starvation, disease or war.
  • mrscracker
    Mr. Bunyan. Planning for the future has to begin in the present.
  • Paul Bunyan
    commented 2024-06-12 18:22:59 +1000
    They’re not pro-natal. They’re pro-suffering. High birth rates always lead to more poverty, crime, and misery. It fuels drug lords, human traffickers and terrorists.

    If we were rational creatures, we wouldn’t even think about increasing the population until everyone is fed, clothed, sheltered, educated and safe.
  • Louis T. March
    published this page in The Latest 2024-06-12 18:09:34 +1000