"MINDWARS: The Battle for Your Brain" by Ian McFadyen, Allen and Unwin, St. Leonards 2000 (ISBN 1 86508 316 X)
McFadyen's book looks at how doctrines and their tenets develop and spread, exerting an enormous influence over individuals and societies. Doctrines are defined as complex systems of belief. These include religions, political ideologies, philosophical ideas and even commercially constructed youth culture.
What of the theories taught in universities, especially in areas like sociology, education, economics and politics? These too are considered doctrines, spread by university courses but in many ways the same as other doctrines that have existed through the centuries. Many ideas taught in our universities are not subject to empirical evaluation as in the physical sciences and students are expected to accept them uncritically. Educability and indoctrinability become the same thing.
Different doctrines compete and the competition can be brutal. Doctrines have to become self-replicating to last and those that survive are the best replicators. McFadyen gives a long list of rules by which doctrines replicate and compete.
McFadyen's book is interesting and controversial, and certainly gives a new perspective on human behaviour.
Following are a few quotes from the book:
"Similarly, in the mid-20th century feminist writers exposed the inequalities suffered by women in society. An examination of the causes and remedies of this situation has given rise to far-reaching analyses of society in terms of gender politics. Any attempt, however, to question the validity of a gender-based approach in any given area runs the risk of being labelled conservative, unreconstructed, reactionary, sexist or, most damning of all in academic circles, uninformed. We might also note that, in the latter part of the century, the same emotional protection is afforded to all issues regarding indigenous people. Any attempt to question the beliefs, practices, aspirations or rights of indigenous peoples by members of the dominant culture, is regarded as tantamount to colonial and cultural oppression. Note that all of these doctrines rely on underlying propositions relating to liberation and social justice that state, as an axiom of social policy, thou shalt not oppress. This axiom is, of course, relatively new in the world and stands as a direct contradiction to the belief, held throughout most of human history, that it is not only beneficial but essential to oppress people in all sorts of waysThe fascinating thing about the tenet though shalt not oppress is that, superficially, it seems to resist the process by which doctrines impose themselves on people and yet it has been instrumental in spreading many doctrines, including socialism, which have themselves become oppressive. This is another important reminder that, in analysing the effect of a tenet. What a tenet says and what it does, are vastly different things." (p181-182)
"No person should ever feel that they are not qualified to question the prevailing wisdom of the times. The notion that the commonsense of ordinary people and their observations of the world are inferior to the intelligence and knowledge of the educated and the expert is simply one of the myths promoted by doctrines to maintain their domination of the human species." (p206)
"TO THE LAST RIDGE" by W.H. Downing, First published by H.H. Champion 1920, this edition published by Duffy & Snellgrove, Sydney 1998 (ISBN 1 875989 65 X)
Although the campaign fought by the Anzacs at Gallipoli in 1915 caught the nations imagination and the annual commemoration of the landing there has become, not only a day of remembrance for those who fought for this country, but a de facto national day, many more Australians fought and died at the Western Front in France and Belgium.
"To the Last Ridge" is a chronicle of the experiences of one of the Australians, namely Walter Hubert Downing, who fought on the Western front and participated in some of the largest battles of the war. The first battle described is Fleurbaix (or Fromelles) in July 1916, the A.I.F.s first big battle in France. Others where Downing fought wereYpres, Bullecourt, Messines Ridge, the recapture of Villers-Bretonneux, and the offensive on the Somme in August 1918 which effectively ended the war.
Downing does not shrink from describing the brutalities of war or the terrible conditions the troops suffered under. The book has been described as the Australian equivalent of "All Quiet on the Western Front" but in important ways it is vastly different to Remarque's work. Downing seems to never lose his optimism despite the harshness he describes; the book is not an "anti-war" diatribe. In fact the book tends to the chauvinistic. A quote from page 28:
"A double red rocket was fired by the lieutenant. That meant Get back for your lives. So we did, with a dozen prisoners. Men were exhibiting bloody bayonets and crying, I've christened the ----. Others carried rifles with smashed butts which told their own tale. All were grinning through the blood and burnt cork that covered them. The whole thing had lasted ten minutes. Our casualties were two killed and a score of slightly wounded."
Nevertheless the book does have its lighter moments with stories of what went on behind the lines and after hostilities ceased. We are fortunate that Downing managed to survive the war and put together an intimate description of an Australian soldier's lot on the Western Front.
"HASLUCK VERSUS COOMBS: White Politics and Australias Aborigines" by Geoffrey Partington, Quakers Hill Press 1996 (ISBN 0 646 27245 4)
Dr. Geoffrey Partington's book gives us a controversial but honest look at Aboriginal policies and two important personalities behind those policies.
Dr. H.C. "Nugget" Coombs was a strong proponent of the separatist policies which governments have followed over the last two decades.
Coombs considered that the settlement of Australia in 1788 was an invasion and the start of a ruthless genocide. Even modern day development of remote areas is a continuation of "white aggression against Aboriginal". The coming of the white man is seen as having a totally negative effect on Aboriginal society.
Sir Paul Hasluck on the other hand supported the assimilationist policies as practised in the 1950s and 60s. He also believed in ending, as soon as possible, all exclusions and discrimination against Aboriginals.
He thought that reconciliation and absorption had already begun, as had the inevitable mixing of the races. He was not against some forms of positive discrimination to assist Aborigines but considered these as temporary expedients only. If such discrimination continued permanently it would work against Aboriginal interests as well as the wider community.
Real assimilationist policies came into effect only after the war but by then many people of Aboriginal descent had already passed over into white society. A small number of Aboriginals had even entered university in the inter-war years. The Aboriginal population had reached its nadir in the late 1920s or 30s and has been increasing ever since.
The difference in attitudes between Hasluck and Coombs is curious as both had a strong commitment to the well being of Aboriginals. They also came from very similar backgrounds.
Hasluck and Coombs were both born in Western Australia and were of similar age. Both men studied at the University of Western Australia.
Perhaps it is significant that Hasluck went to school with Aboriginal children and got to know them quite well. Coombs on the other hand had little, if any contact with Aboriginals during his early years. His knowledge of them appears largely theoretical and a little detached from reality.
Nevertheless, it's been the sort of separatist policies advocated by Coombs that have been followed over the last twenty years or so. The results of these policies appear very disappointing.
Many of the problems indicative of Aboriginal disadvantage have actually worsened. Their communities have been characterised by increased levels of violence, suicide, homicide, drunkenness and child abuse. Some have become notorious for high levels of self-mutilation. Teenage pregnancies are now much more common.
Education may have been seen as a panacea for Aboriginal problems but attendance rates at schools in remote communities have declined dramatically. The dropout rate is very high.
There seems to have been a dramatic decline in values and cohesion within the communities after two decades of separatism.
On the basis of what evidence we have, it would seem that the now abandoned policies of assimilation were more effective that the current polices of separatism. A revision of these policies may be in order.
In fact the book provides a strong case for a return to a one nation policy. Aborigines and other Australians should be able to flourish in a unified country.
Geoffrey Partington was born in England but migrated to Australia in 1976. He seems to have developed a much more realistic perception of Aboriginal affairs and welfare than many of our native born academics. His book is highly recommended to anyone with an interest in Australian politics or Aboriginal policies.
"THE COST of MULTICULTURALISM" by Stephen Rimmer, self published, Belconnen, ACT 1991
Although published back in 1991, Stephen Rimmer's book is a sound reminder of how an apparently innocuous policy such as multiculturalism can become an excessive burden to the taxpayer and the economy in general.
Rimmer estimates that the direct cost to governments of a variety of multicultural programs is about $2 billion. The indirect cost to the country as a whole are probably much higher. The lack of English language skills is probably costing $4.8 billion a year. The total costs are probably over $7 billion with no evidence for any benefit that may accrue to offset this.
"THE BELL CURVE: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life" by Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Free Press, New York 1994 (ISBN O O2 914673 9)
The idea of objectively measuring intelligence was first suggested by Sir Francis Galton back in the nineteenth century. There has been considerable controversy ever since. The most heated controversy surrounds the "nature versus nature" debate, particularly when the wide variation in scores of different races is discussed.
One of the most important books on this subject in recent years is "The Bell Curve" by American academics, Charles Murray and the late Richard Herrnstein.
While the authors look at the "nature versus nurture" debate they also take a broad look at the relationship between cognitive ability and society.
They see for instance the emergence of a cognitive elite in American society. This has come about largely due to the use of aptitude tests to determine entry into colleges and universities.
This has reversed the situation from what it was early in the twentieth century when social class rather than ability determined an individuals likelihood of gaining a tertiary education.
Nowadays the brightest American students are virtually assured a place in college. These young people will associate with others of similar intellect both at college and in the workplace. They will tend to live in the same neighbourhoods and marry people of similar ability.
At the other end of the intelligence scale we see the less able living together in the poorer neighbourhoods, working in similar jobs (if they can get a job), and marrying each other.
The result is a class system where a person's place on the social hierarchy is largely determined by cognitive ability.
Not surprisingly there is a strong correlation between intelligence and income. The smartest people will tend to make the most money. The dullest will make the least.
The problems of the less intelligent do not stop there. They will suffer disproportionately from unemployment, poverty, poor school results, family break-up and accidents. They are more likely to be on welfare or involved in crime. Teenage pregnancies are more common.
None of these problems are anywhere nears as common among those of high, or even average intelligence.
Others have suggested that crime is largely caused by poverty. The evidence presented by Murray and Herrnstein suggests however that poor intelligence is strongly related to crime but that socioeconomic background is largely irrelevant.
Possibly the most controversial part of "The Bell Curve" is the section dealing with ethnic differences in cognitive ability.
Testing over the years in America has revealed a substantial difference in the scores of blacks and whites. White people tend to score on average 15 I.Q. points higher than blacks.
Black Americans also suffer more from the problems associated with low intelligence such as poverty, crime and unemployment.
The question as to whether these differences in intelligence arise from environmental or genetic factors is the basis of the "nature versus nurture" debate. The evidence in "The Bell Curve" indicates that, while environment does play a part, the cause of the difference is substantially genetic.
This would explain why programs at schools or pre-schools aimed at raising I.Q. have had disappointing results. The one thing that does work is adoption at birth from a bad family environment to a good one. Even then the results are not spectacular and eventually wash out.
The authors also bring up the controversial matter of dysgenics. This results largely from the fact that those of lower intelligence tend to have more children and have them at a younger age than those of average or higher intelligence. If this carries on for a number of generations it stands to reason that the average I.Q. will drop.
The authors also see dysgenic tendencies in Americas immigration program. They believe that present day immigrants have lower intelligence than native born Americans and hence could lower the average I.Q. in America.
If dysgenics is a problem in America how is Australia faring? Our welfare and child support system is considered more generous than Americas. Those on the lower income levels, and presumably lower levels of intelligence, receive the most in benefits.
We also have the situation in this country where a number of migrant groups have unemployment rates many times higher than the rest of the community. As unemployment has been shown to be related to low intelligence this is a worrying situation.
Both the welfare system and the immigration program are probably sources of dysgenic tendencies in Australia.
Another point to ponder is our relative decline in living standards. If wage and salary levels continue to fall behind other countries we will have difficulty in attracting the smartest migrants. Even the best of our native born are likely to head overseas in search of greener pastures.
Murray and Herrnstein are not supporters of affirmative action in education. They point out that the number of blacks entering college was rising back in the 1950s, well before any affirmative action programs. Nowadays many are only getting into college due to quotas for minorities. Under this system middle class blacks are often favoured over poor whites. This results in black students having a lower average I.Q. than white students, and a much higher dropout rate.
"The Bell Curve" has not caused quite the controversy in Australia that it did in the United States. Over there the debate was such that books were published about it, such as "The Bell Curve Wars" edited by Steven Fraser.
"The Bell Curve" is not the easiest book to read but fortunately the most technical sections are relegated to the appendices in the back.
While it is a highly controversial book it is a very important one and its message is just as important for Australia as it is for America.
"WHAT WILL WE TELL OUR CHILDREN?" by Jeremy Lee, Pickford Productions, Toowoomba 1997
Jeremy Lee, in his well researched book describes how Australia is losing its economic independence and sovereignty, and how the Australian people are virtually being dispossessed of their own country. In the name of globalisation and economic rationalism our duly elected parliaments are losing their ability for economic and political decision making.
An example of this dispossession is the loss to the people of the Commonwealth Bank. Opening for the first time in 1913 the Commonwealth Bank financed Australias war effort during the Great War, charging only nominal interest but still making a profit. It also financed important industries, especially in the primary sector. The rot set in by 1924 however when the government changed the Act so that the power of the banks Governor was transferred over to a Board of Directors drawn from the private sector. The bank thereafter was no longer a serious competitor with the private banks.
Although there were at times moves to restore the original charter of the Commonwealth it never regained its former position and was finally sold off by the Keating government. The sale of the bank also exemplified the radical changes that had occurred in the Labor Party since the days of Fisher and Hughes, or even Curtin and Chifley. The party was no longer run by nationalistic working class people but by those who had often never done a practical days work in their life. They looked favourably on the inter-nationalisation of the Australian economy and the dilution of national sovereignty.
Meanwhile Australia had joined the United Nations and its associated bodies. According to Jeremy Lee the real power in the UN lies not with its general assemblies but with its agencies like UNESCO, UNCTAD, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. It is through these bodies that ideologies were condensed into action. These ideologies include the belief that the transfer of power from national governments to supra-national governments is desirable and inevitable. The international banking fraternity had no trouble adapting to this idea, money treads lightly over national and ideological boundaries.
The United Nations organisation itself became noted for waste, inefficiency and corruption. In 1972 it spent $10 million just on social events. By the end of the seventies the UN was costing $2.5 billion to run and had 44,000 staff. Jobs were filled, not on merit, but on a quota system. Many countries sent people to work in the organisation because they were not wanted in their home countries.
The UN's agencies were not much better. The FAO could not keep track of how many people it employed. The World Health Organisation spent $8 on administration for every $2 it spent on health. Waste and graft was costing millions. Nevertheless Australian politicians still treated the UN as beyond criticism.
In 1993 three events happened in rapid succession that could be seen as steps towards global government. Within twenty days the European Maastricht Agreement, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Asia-Pacific Economic Community Agreement (APEC) were signed. The Maastricht Agreement in particular was seen as moving away from national sovereignty towards an internationalist system In fact it has been pointed out that Adolf Hitler proposed a unified Europe, not unlike that being formed under Maastricht.
APEC has so far not been as much a threat to our sovereignty as Maastricht has been to the sovereignty of nations like Britain. A more serious threat, so far, has been the huge number of so-called multilateral agreements that Australia has entered. This includes agreements and conventions on may matters including human rights, racial equality, anti-discrimination, indigenous rights, labour laws and trade. There are hundreds of these agreements, most of which were not openly discussed before being signed, even though they affect the rights and lives of many ordinary Australian citizens.
Jeremy Lee goes into the touchy subject of non-white immigration, noting that people like Graeme Campbell, Pauline Hanson or Geoffrey Blainey who question the current policy are automatically branded and vilified as racist. While those who support so-called multiculturalism call for tolerance they in turn show themselves to be hopelessly intolerant of other points of view.
The book looks at the matter of foreign debt. It points out that during the time of the Second World War our total overseas debt was actually falling and our balance of trade was in equilibrium. Nowadays we have the biggest per capita overseas debt in the world. We are de-populating our rural areas and we have a terrible youth suicide problem. The number of farmers in Australia has fallen from 251,881 in 1970 to 100,000 in 1996, while rural debt has risen to a massive $18.7 billion.
Many of our problems seem to stem from an adherence to the Lima Declaration and GATT whereby protection of our local producers is discouraged and industries move off-shore to Third World nations. Lee sees this as similar to the old socialist fallacy of believing that we can help the weak by destroying the strong. It caused Australia to lose much of its manufacturing industry and the jobs of thousands of workers.
Needless to say Australian society was not becoming more equal, in fact the gap between rich and poor was growing. Under Keating we suffered the worst unemployment rates since the depression. Large numbers of Australians came to rely on welfare. The ownership of assets is grossly distorted with the wealthiest 1% of the population owning almost 20% of the nations wealth, and 10% owning over 52%.
Foreigners increasingly own what is left of Australian industry and our debt is, on a per capita basis, one of the highest in the world. Literally billions of dollars flow out of Australia each year by way of profits and interest. Most of the foreign investment is not in new industry but is used to acquire existing industries.
Australia is literally being sold out and so is our national sovereignty and independence. We are losing control and to make it worse, too few are showing any concern about it. Fortunately people like Jeremy Lee are showing that some of us still have the courage and intelligence to perceive the problem and make our voices heard. His book is highly recommended.
"THE SAGE of SAN DIEGO SAID CHOOSE QUALITY and REASON" by Malcolm Dalgliesh, published by A New Enlightenment, New York (ISBN O-9646438-0-4)
As the author, Malcolm Dalgleish points out we are in an advanced technological age with an astounding amount of information available but social problems like crime and poverty are worse than ever. The reason, according to Dalgleish is unreason. Vital information is distorted for religious or ideological reasons and wrong answers are provided for important questions.
Truth has been suppressed by religions, Marxism or the dogma of egalitarianism (otherwise known as equalism). Free thought and questioning are under attack but now there is, at least according to Dalgleish, a growing awareness that this should change.
Utopian-universalisms are being seen as an illusion. Alien immigration is being questioned. Homogenous societies with shared systems of belief enjoy cohesion, generally acceptable institutions and unique culture.
Wasau in Wisconsin was, a few years ago, one of Americas whitest and most homogenous communities. There was little crime or unemployment. Local church people invited a few Asian refugees into the community. These few sponsored relatives and shortly the community had thousands of Asian residents. They now make up 11% of the citys population; most of them on welfare and crime has risen enormously. White residents now pay more taxes to support the increased pressure on education resources and there has been a "white flight" from certain parts of the city.
Nevertheless white residents of Wasau do not as yet voice the heretical notion that their community would be better off if it became racially homogenous again.
Wasau is not unique. Seattles population is now 12% Asian and Vancouver in Canada is 30% Asian. On the other side of the Atlantic, the United Kingdom has seen a flood of people from India, Africa, and the West Indies over the last fifty years. No doubt the generosity of the welfare system has encouraged this migration, as has the phoney white guilt and equalist dogmas.
There is another worrying perspective to consider. In most white societies, particularly those of Western Europe the birth rates are barely above replacement levels. In other words whites have almost reached zero population growth.
A few years ago a frozen body was found in the Tyrolean Alps in Europe. The body was of a man who died 5,300 years ago and he appears to have frozen to death. Scientists tried to match the mans DNA with that of 1,246 people from all round the world. There was no match with anyone outside Europe but a number of Germans, Danes, Britons and Icelanders were found to be genetically similar. The closest match however was with a woman named Marie who had been born on the west coast of Ireland.
Marie, unfortunately had no children and did not plan to have any. Hence two hundred generations of genetic inheritance could cease when Marie dies. She, like many others in western societies, has been conditioned to believe that matters like racial continuity and ancestry are of no importance. Low birth rates and miscegenation (interbreeding of races) does not bode well for the future of the white race.
The problem is more than one of maintenance of the race however. The most immediate problems are that enlightenment conquers darkness, that rationality overcomes dogma, and that learning gets the better of indoctrination. Dalgleish's short but radical book is a step in the right direction. Whether it can stand up to the indoctrinating effects of the media and current educational practices is another matter.
"GRUESOME HARVEST: The Costly Attempt to Exterminate the German People" by Ralph Franklin Keeling, originally published by the Institute of American Economics 1947, second printing by Liberty Bell Publications 1978
Since the Second World War there has been a plethora of books concerning the Holocaust and other atrocities attributed to Nazi Germany. Now and then one comes across a book that looks at the atrocities suffered by the Germans at the hands of the Allies. One of the earliest of such books was Ralph Keeling's "Gruesome Harvest" which was first published in 1947.
After years of bombing by the Allies, most of Germany was devastated by the end of the war. Factories, homes and infrastructure lay in ruins and millions had been killed. More devastation was to come, however as Germany's enemies exacted revenge and exploited her people.
At the end of the war the Soviet Union moved her border westward and took a large part of Poland. Polands western border also moved so that a large part of Germany now became Polish territory. The German homeland was therefore cut down by almost a third. German speaking people in the areas lost by Germany were then forced out in one of the greatest acts of ethnic cleansing in history. Many lost all their possessions and a million or more lost their lives.
The Soviet Union used the opportunity to press a large number of Germans into forced labour or virtual slavery. It was not only the Soviets who exploited Germans like this. Many German prisoners held by the United States, Britain and other Allies were not repatriated at the end of hostilities but kept for months or even years to be exploited as slave labour. To add to the infamy some prisoners were beaten or starved.
In Germany looting on a massive scale occurred with the Soviets the worst offenders. Everything from watches and household goods to farm animals and industrial machinery was stolen. Even German assets held abroad were taken.
Perhaps the worst excesses were those taken against German women. As the Soviet forces fought the war westwards, thousands of women were raped. These included pre-adolescent girls and the elderly. Many were raped and quite a few committed suicide. Any who tried too assertively to fight off her attackers, or any German male, who tried to protect a woman, were murdered.
In those parts of Germany occupied by the United States, the sexual abuse and exploitation did not generally involve rape but it occurred in a different form. Many of the women were impoverished and starving and hence cheaply exploited by American troops. In addition there was the racial angle. There were a disproportionate number of Negroes amongst the American servicemen. They were poorly trained and disciplined, and suffered from venereal diseases at a rate five times that of white troops.
Areas under French occupation were as bad or worse. In Stuttgart 1,200 women were raped by French Moroccan troops. On the night the French evacuated the city a nine-year-old and her mother were raped and murdered by Moroccans.
Meanwhile the food situation for the German populace was desperate. People were underfed and there seems to have been a deliberate policy to keep them this way. The ones to suffer most were the very old and the very young. Malnourished children were prone to disease and the infant mortality rate was 16 times what it had been during the war.
All the time this was going on the Allies carried on a "de-Nazification" program. The hypocrisy exhibited here verged on the ridiculous as the Germans were subject to repression and maltreatment on a level as bad, or worse, than what the Nazis were accused of. Furthermore, as historical studies have shown, the Germans were far from the bloodthirsty warmongers depicted in Allied propaganda. Germany has, over the centuries been less inclined to be involved in war than most other European nations.
Keeling's book is short but illuminating. Unfortunately the mistreatment of Germany and other Axis nations has been understudied. There are thousands of books on the misdeeds of Germany but far too few on the misdeeds of the Allies.
"DYSGENICS: Genetic Deterioration in Modern Populations" by Richard Lynn, Praeger, Westport Connecticut 1996 (ISBN 0-275-94917-6)
Charles Murray and the late Richard Herrnstein raised a lot of controversy with their book, "The Bell Curve". Amongst other matters raised in the book was the problem of dysgenics. Dysgenics refers to genetic deterioration in a population arising when those of high intelligence have fewer progeny than those of low intelligence.
Murray and Herrnstein were not the only ones worried by this problem. In 1996 Richard Lynn produced "Dysgenics", one of the most important books on the subject.
According to Lynn, dysgenic tendencies have been working in Britain since the start of the Nineteenth Century and are now present in all industrial societies. In earlier times, higher levels of infant and child mortality, together with strong social controls against sex outside marriage tended to restrict population growth in the lower classes. Illegitimate children, generally born to those of low intelligence and poor character, had a particularly high mortality rate. Social mobility allowed the talented in the lower social orders to rise up to the higher and more fertile classes. There was a natural eugenic tendency.
With the coming of the Industrial Age the situation changed. The declining mortality of the lower classes meant that they now had a higher fertility than upper classes. Social mobility of the talented now had a dysgenic rather than a eugenic effect.
With the development of intelligence tests, evidence of dysgenics became apparent. Studies showed that children with a large number of siblings had lower average intelligence than children with only one or two siblings.
Other studies compared the I.Q. of parents with the size of their families. By and large, those in the lower I.Q. bands had the most children.
With each successive generation we could expect the median I.Q. level to go down. This has not occurred as yet. In fact average I.Q. has tended to rise over the years. This phenomenon is known as the Flynn effect.
The tendency for intelligence scores to rise is probably a result of better nutrition, which in turn reflects rising living standards. This tendency will not continue forever and its quite likely that at some stage in the future average I.Q. levels will start to fall.
Genetic deterioration is not restricted to intelligence. Modern medical technology has allowed those with genetic diseases and disorders to survive where once they would have died early in life. The diseases and disorders are hence becoming much more common.
Similarly there are now dysgenic tendencies apparent for conscientiousness. The least conscientious, criminals and psychopaths, tend to have more children. There is evidence that criminality is, to some extent, inherited. This could explain some of the increase in crime over recent years.
It would seem that sometime in the future the populations of Western nations will become duller, less healthy, and more prone to crime. The alternative would be a humane eugenics program. Such a suggestion would upset the politically correct, but it may head off the likelihood of a serious decline in Western societies.
"WORLD DRUG REPORT" United Nations International Drug Control Programme, Oxford University Press 1997 (ISBN O-19-829299-6)
The "World Drug Report" gives a number of country profiles. The following is based on the profile for Australia.
In Australia in 1992, drug related deaths per 100,000 people numbered 4.6. This was more than twice the average annual homicide rate. Expenditure on consumption of illicit drugs (cannabis, cocaine, heroin and amphetamines) has been estimated at anywhere between US$2,045 and US$4,389 million (1988). Expenditure on heroin alone was somewhere between US$546 and US$1,172.
A survey in 1995 found that 39% of Australians aged 14 or more had tried at least one illicit drug (including non-medical use of prescription drugs, hallucinogens and inhalants). About 17% had used an illicit drug in the previous twelve months. Except for barbiturates, drug use was higher for males than for females. Younger age groups tended to be more likely to use drugs than the over 40s.
Cannabis is the most commonly used drug with about a third of the population having tried it at one stage in their lives. Of persons aged 14 to 39 at least half have tried cannabis. Other drugs used commonly were analgesics, hallucinogens, amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) and cocaine. The most active drug user is the 14 to 24 year-old group.
One survey found that 35,000 to 51,000 people were undergoing treatment for drugs at any one time of the year. The survey, done in 1995 found that there were 16,906 methadone program clients as of 31 March 1995. A total of 39% of substance abusers had injected drugs in the preceding twelve moths. The injected drugs included opiates, ATS, cocaine and benzodiazepines. More than two fifths (43.4%) of the people being treated were unemployed and 18.4% were employed, the rest being pensioners, employed at home, retired, students or prisoners.
One survey looked at drug use by street children aged 14 to 19. It found that they had tried on average 9.8 types of drugs, while children of the same age in the general population had tried 2.9 types on average. Heroin use among street children was at twenty times the rate of that among other children.
The consequences of drug use include over 10,000 hospitalisations a year. In 1990, 527 deaths were due to illicit drug use. Surprisingly, by the end of 1991 only 3.6% of all notified AIDS deaths were drug users. In 1992, 84% of federal and state government expenditure due to illicit drug use was allocated to law enforcement, 6% to health care and 10% to public awareness campaigns and research.
"POPULATION" by John I. Clarke. Phoenix, London 1997
John Clarke's little book, virtually a monograph, is one of a series in which academics attempt to forecast the future. As Clarke admits, predicting future world population is extremely difficult. In the middle of the century, population was growing at an unprecedented rate. Technological advances in communications, medicine and family planning, together with catastrophes such as AIDS have made many previous predictions redundant.
The rate of population growth is in decline. Currently (i.e. 1997) the rate is 1.5% or 81 million people a year. Within a year or so, the worlds population should reach six billion. The decline has not been even throughout the world. Some European countries have reached zero population growth, although Sweden has seen babies come back in fashion. Some developing countries have seen a decline in fertility levels. Fundamentalist Iran for instance has seen a halving of fertility since 1979. Most East and West African countries still have very high birth rates.
While fertility rates in general are falling, life expectancy is rising. In fact it is rising by two years every decade. The proportion of the population over 65 years of age is increasing. In twenty years time 20% of Italians, 22% of Germans and 24% of Japanese will be over 65. Recent profound mortality declines in East Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean will see a similar pattern develop in those regions.
It is a little worrying that those countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, that have made little economic progress, have the highest rates of population growth and will make up an increasing proportion of the worlds population.
(Note that since Clarke wrote this book the fertility rate in Sweden has plunged and is now lower than Australias fertility rate.)