The Great Replacement Theory: There’s nothing new under the sun
I’ve been teaching about the Great Replacement Theory all of my teaching career.
It wasn’t called that back then, but, in essence, that is what I and others have been doing since at least the early 1990s. When I first started teaching introductory classes in Geography, almost 30 years ago, one of the major, standard areas of coverage was Demography, or Population Studies. I taught classes at 4 different colleges and universities in Indiana and Texas and broached this topic in-depth in all classes relating to human geography.
Even back then, we were teaching about the Replacement Rate, which states that it takes, statistically, 2.1 children per couple to replace their parents and keep a society growing. We were also teaching that the white population in the USA and Europe had not been hitting that number for a while, being then somewhere down between 0.8 and 1.5 on the whole.
I can remember having discussions with students about how this would work in the future, how immigration was going to be key to keeping European societies afloat; how immigrants were going to be the ones taking care of the elderly. Immigrants were going to have to be brought in formally, as rich nations require young workers to keep society functioning at the most basic level.
Fast-forward to Now.
The problem and difference between the United States and Europe, is how this burgeoning reality has been handled.
30 years ago European nations were taking care of mothers, offering paid maternity leave for years, free daycare, education, things that supported their population. These nations still do this today. Even though rich nations are typified by their class-based cohorts having fewer children — ostensibly because they’re expensive, but more realistically because people are more selfish — demographic trends continued to show that these efforts did not result in substantial upward changes in the replacement rate over time.
In the United States, on the other hand, racism has kept this nation from taking care of its whole population like the European nations did after WWII. The reality has been, that the majority of the white populace has not want to include melanated people fully in the social compact. They have not wanted to compensate black and brown people for the work they’ve done in “taming” this continent during and following slavery and segregation, which…