Arthur Cordell has sent me an article in the Wall Street Journal (11 August), “How Global Elites Forsake Their Countrymen”, by Peggy Noonan which makes the case that in the advanced countries a population separation is happening. This is no surprise to me — nor any regular readers of this website — because it’s a theme that I’m constantly discussing.
But the phenomenon is evidently a mystery to Peggy Noonan as the sub-heading of her article shows — “Those in power see people at the bottom as aliens whose bizarre emotions they must try to manage”. Nor does she attempt to discuss — or even to guess — why a population separation exists or what may happen to it in due course.
The separation used to caused by the ownership of land or not. Since the industrial revolution, it has been whether you are sufficiently educated or not. If you are, then you are able to join the new social elite which came along since 1785, when cotton spinning left the village home and went into the city factory as an automated machine.
And if you are a member of the social elite — which is a financial and investment elite also, of course — you will be remaining in charge of instituting yet more automation from year to year until almost all jobs done by the majority of the population requiring personal effort can disappear.
And what may happen to the present population divide? The majority part will continue in its present trend towards voluntary extinction as it has been for 50 years in Europe. The fertility rate is always subject to what parents design it to be — whether in hunter-gatherer or in modern times — so that the number of their children doesn’t compromise their own enjoyment of life.
So Peggy Noonan needn’t worry too much. The social elite part of the human species will survive — at least the 1785 economic shock when it’s fully played out.