From Polybius’ Histories, 202-220 BC
The fact is that the people of Hellas had entered the false path of ostentation, avarice and laziness, and were therefore becoming unwilling to marry, or, if they did marry, to bring up the children born to them; the majority were only willing to bring up at most one or two, in order to leave them wealthy and to spoil them in their childhood; and in consequence of all this the evil had been spreading rapidly before it was observed.
Where there are families of one or two children, of whom war claims one and disease the other for its victim, it is an evident and inevitable consequence that households should be left desolate and that states, precisely like beehives, should gradually lose their reserves and sink into impotence.
On this subject there is no need whatsoever to inquire of the gods as to how we are to be saved from the cancer. The plain man will answer that, first and foremost, we must save ourselves, either by changing our obsession or alternatively by making it illegal not to bring up every child that is born.
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Other posts on this topic
- Another front in the geopolitical struggles shaping our world (3 June 2008)
- “The Return of Patriarchy“ – a classic article about demography (5 June 2008)
- More news about Russia’s demographic collapse (6 June 2008)
For a wide range of studies and articles see the new archive of major reports about demographic change.