Posts Tagged ‘Willingness to Fight’

Fighting men and fertile women

June 10, 2022

The darker the red, the greater willingness to fight.  Click to enlarge.

A people that cannot defend itself, and reproduce itself, will be replaced.

Historically most societies have said that it is the duty of men to bear the hardship and danger of war, and the duty of women to bear the pain and danger of childbirth.

A poll, taken back in 2014, showed that only a minority of Americans and citizens of many other countries refused to say that they would fight for their countries.  At the same time the fertility rate in the USA and many other countries has fallen below the replacement rate.

On one level, I’m pleased at these trends.  Being an old-time liberal, I’m glad the world’s population increase is starting to level off, and I oppose U.S. military interventions of the past few decades.

Also, it is a mistake to read too much into these trends.

Just as it was wrong to think that population increase would never level off, it is wrong now to think that population decline would never bottom out.  And the fact that many Americans are reluctant to be shipped overseas to fight doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t defend our country if it really were in peril.  So maybe there is no real cause for alarm.

But still.  Having children and rearing them to be responsible adults requires great sacrifice.  Serving your country in time of peril requires great sacrifice.  What happens to a nation whose citizens decide individually, on a cost-benefit calculus, that these sacrifices are not worth making?

Click to enlarge

I wondered whether there was any correlation between a nation’s willingness to fight and its fertility rate.  I took the nations in the 2014 poll and looked up the World Bank’s most recent estimates of their fertility rates to see if there is some correlation.

If there is a correlation, it is a weak one.  

With one exception, all the surveyed nations with fertility rates above the replacement rates had more than half the population expressing a willingness to fight.  But some nations with low fertility rates also had a relatively high willingness to fight. 

Ukraine, Russia and China all had lower fertility rates than the USA and a greater percentage saying they’re willing to fight.  

I provide the numbers below.  Make of them what you can.  

Notice that fertility rates are estimates, and estimates differ.  The map above, the figures below and the figure for India in a previous post were drawn from different sources.  Also notice that most of the nations with the highest fertility rates were left out of the survey.

The minimum fertility rate needed to replace the current population is 2.1 children per woman.  The global average fertility rate is 2.4 children per woman

UNITED STATES.

Willing to fight:  44 percent.

Fertility rate: 1.64

RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Willing to fight: 59 percent.

Fertility rate: 1.50.

UKRAINE

Willing to fight: 62 percent

Fertility rate: 1.22

CHINA

Willing to fight: 71 percent

Fertility rate: 1.70

INDIA

Willing to fight: 75 percent

Fertility rate: 2.18

JAPAN

Willing to fight: 11 percent

Fertility rate: 1.34

GERMANY

Willing to fight: 18 percent

Fertility rate: 1.53

UNITED KINGDOM

Willing to fight: 27 percent

Fertility rate: 1.56

FRANCE

Willing to fight: 29 percent

Fertility rate: 1.83

CANADA

Willing to fight: 30 percent

Fertility rate: 1.40

AUSTRALIA

Willing to fight: 29 percent

Fertility rate: 1.58

BRAZIL

Willing to fight: 48 percent

Fertility rate: 1.71

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Who are willing to fight for their countries?

February 24, 2017

The darker the red, the greater the willingness to die for one's country

The darker the red, the greater the willingness to fight.

Only 44 percent of adult Americans are willing to tell pollsters they’d fight for their country.

The percentage is even less for some U.S. allies, such as Canada (30%), France (29%), the United Kingdom (27%), Italy (30%), Germany (18%) and Japan (11%).

In contrast, 71 percent of Chinese and 59 percent of Russians say they’d fight for their countries.

This is the result of a public opinion poll of more than 1,000 people in each of 64 countries in late 2014 by WIN / Gallup International.   The complete results are below.

I’m not sure what to make of this.  I think it partly depends on people mean by “fight for country”.

I think almost all Americans would be willing to fight to defend our nation from an invader.  I think only a minority are willing to go to some foreign country to fight to increase U.S. geopolitical power.

The problem for us Americans is that someday U.S. power will begin to slip, and countries that now fear to go against the United States will become our enemies.

When that backlash comes, our nation will need the patriotism that our leaders now exploit and abuse.

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