The affluent peoples of the world have all the bread they need, but have lost the appetite for life.

Americans are ill-quipped to emphasize with the existential fears of other nations. America is the great exception to the demographic collapse sweeping the modern world.  As an immigrant nation we regenerate ourselves.  We bear no baggage from a tragic past.  The glue that holds us together is a common concept of justice and opportunity.  The United States is what John Courtney Murray called a “propositional nation.” In our benevolence and optimism we assume that all peoples are like us, forgetting that we are or descend from people who chose to abandon the tragic fate of their own nations at the further shore and selected themselves into the American nation.  But we have learned that our capacity to influence events in the rest of the world, even in the absence of a competing superpower, is limited, and that dissipation of our resources can be deadly for us.

Our strategic thinking suffers from a failure to take into account the existential problems of other nations.  We think in the narrow categories of geopolitics, but we need to study theopolitics- the powerful impact of religious beliefs and aspirations on world events.  Even we exceptional Americans must come to grips with the collapse of faith and fertility, especially in the rapidly and dangerously declining Muslim nations, in order to prevail in a world in which tragic outcomes are more common than happy endings.

From How Civilizations Die (and why Islam is dying too) by David P. Goldman

David Goldman writes under the pen name Spengler for the Asian Times.  His book focuses on the decline in fertility and its impact on world affairs.  Contrary to what we have heard the fertility rate in the Muslim world is declining rapidly, especially in Iran where prostitution and drug abuse is becoming widespread and Turkey.  They face an aging population without the new born, the social and political structure to support the sharp growth of seniors, or the productivity to support what is needed.  Unfortunately this awareness of their cultural demise makes them more belligerent and less accepting of any peaceful solution.

I highly recommend the book.