[LMB] General rules for Governments

Howard Brazee howard at brazee.net
Sun Jun 20 02:06:16 BST 2021


Around the end of the 19th century, France had a propaganda effort pushing motherhood.   It wanted more soldiers and feared that demographics were leaving it vulnerable.   The propaganda program worked (even though lots of the kids were sent to the country to be reared).

It could be that Beta had a similar effort earlier in its history that it is trying to counter when we see it.

> On Jun 19, 2021, at 5:00 PM, Beatrice Otter via Lois-Bujold <lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk> wrote:
> 
> Like all SF/F based on the idea that the population naturally always increases and the problem is limiting childbirth to what is sustainable, it has aged ... poorly. I mean, I don't blame anyone for thinking that, in the 80s and 90s; the shift in baby trends weren't yet pronounced, and was only really showing in a few places. There wasn't enough data yet to realize that "women controlling their own fertility" + "women with access to education and career opportunities that don't revolve around motherhood" = "sharp drop in the average number of babies born per woman". And this is one of the few things that transcends culture; it's true regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, class, you name it. Which is why most European nations are working hard to encourage women to have children, and creating various incentives to encourage them to do so (long parental leaves with guaranteed getting your job back at the end, state-subsidized quality childcare, etc., etc.,).
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> Barrayar, given what we know of the culture (heavily patriarchal, women with few rights and economic opportunities) would have historically had high birth rates ... but I bet they've begun to fall, in the last generation or so.
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> Beta, on the other hand ... even with their longer lifespans, the demographic problem they would realistically be facing would be "how do we keep the birth rate high enough to maintain itself" rather than "how do we keep our population from growing too much/too fast?"



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