One of the most endearing characters in the Lord of the Rings is Gimli, son of Gloin, the plucky dwarf of the race of Durin. Gimli’s resolve to help save the world is temporarily dampened when he discovers that the ancestral Dwarf city, Moria, along with all of its inhabitants, has been utterly destroyed. He presses on, however, in service to the “free peoples of Middle Earth.”
According to actor who played Gimli, John-Rhys Davies, Western Civilization is also in a “precarious” state because of a “collapse” in population.
“Western Europeans are not having any babies,” he recently pointed out, in a candid interview with a group of reporters, including Steven D. Greydanus of the National Catholic Register. “The population of Germany at the end of the century is going to be 56% of what it is now. The population of France, 52% of what it is now. The population of Italy is going to be down 7 million people.”(1)
Rhys-Davies' projections are right on, in keeping with the UN Population Division's (UNPD) low variant projection, which history has shown to be most accurate.
The population of Western Europe has peaked and already has started to fall. By 2050, Western Europe will have 26 million fewer people than it does today (183 million). Europe's population is also getting older, and rapidly dying off. European women aren't having enough children. The birthrate of Europe has been falling for the past several decades, and is currently well below replacement, at 1.5, and continuing to fall. Europe's overall population by 2050 will be 171 million less than it is today (727 million). Fifty years from now, 40% of Europe's total population will be over sixty years of age. The median age in Europe will be 52.(2) In 2050, the total number of women of reproductive age will have been cut in half from about 370 (today) to 185 million. By 2100, if Europe's indigenous population is to rebound to current levels, each woman of reproductive age, beginning in 2050, will have to give birth to about five children on average throughout her reproductive age.
Mr. Rhys-Davies also warned of a kind of cultural invasion threatening Western Civilization. “There is a demographic catastrophe happening in Europe that nobody wants to talk about,” he said, “that we daren't bring up because we are so cagey about not offending people racially. And rightly we should be. But there is a cultural thing as well. By 2020, 50% of the children in Holland under the age of 18 will be of Muslim descent.”(3)
Currently, about 50 million Muslims are living in Europe,(4) accounting for the biggest ethnic influx into modern Europe. These two events combined, Europe's birth-dearth and Muslim in-migration, leads Rhys-Davies to warn not of a racial threat, but of a threat to western culture.
“There is a change happening in the very complexion of Western civilization in Europe that we should think about at least and argue about,” he said. “If it just means the replacement of one genetic stock with another genetic stock, that doesn't matter too much. But if it involves the replacement of Western civilization with a different civilization with different cultural values, then it is something we really ought to discuss. . . . True democracy comes from our Greco-Judeo-Christian Western experience. If we lose these things, then this is a catastrophe for the world.”(5)
Reflecting on Tolkien's intended meaning of The Lord of the Rings, Rhys-Davies said: “I think that Tolkien says that some generations will be challenged, and if they do not rise to meet that challenge, they will lose their civilization.”
To Mr. Rhys-Davies, we at PRI say: “The courage of Gimli is reflected by your words. Thank you for publicly proclaiming the truth.”
1. “Not Goblins and Orcs This Time: 'Gimli' Defends Western Civilization,” by Steven D. Greydanus, National Catholic Register (NCR), 15 December 2003. 2. U.N. Population Division, “World Population Prospects,” The 2000 Revision; includes extrapolations.
3. Ibid., NCR.
4. “Muslim Population Worldwide,” Islamicpopulation.com, 2001-2003.
5. Ibid., NCR.
Steve Mosher is the president of Population Research Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to debunking the myth that the world is overpopulated.