In the past two years, many observers have comically predicted a baby boom in Western countries as governments adopt the rules of closure and social distancing as part of their policies to confront the Corona pandemic.

But, contrary to inaccurate expectations, it seemed that the Western world was suffering from a birth crisis in conjunction with the fog of economic stagnation that hangs over large areas of the world.

According to the data of the independent American World Population Organization, the global average fertility rate was 2.4 children per woman in 2019, which is almost half of what it was in 1950, and more economically developed countries such as Australia, most of Europe and South Korea, record rates lower than other countries least developed or low income.

With many economic and cultural reasons for this, analysts warn of the population contraction that may affect economic growth, and open the way for extremist right-wing ideas such as the "Great Replacement".

The forecasts of 2022 show that all countries of Europe will fall under the global fertility rate, and that many countries of the old continent will fall under the population replacement rate necessary to maintain the current size of society.

While South Korea has the lowest fertility rate in the world, many countries in Africa (such as Niger, Chad, and Mali) have the highest birth rates in the world.

2022 data show that North America, Europe, Russia, China and Australia fall below the global average fertility (websites)

Repercussions of numbers

These numbers and statistics are sparking a growing wave of cultural and intellectual debate, and many Western intellectuals (particularly from right-wing currents) warn of the repercussions of these rates, and the idea that non-white immigrants can displace Western-born white Europeans is rooted in the French ethno-nationalist currents that emerged In the 19th and 20th centuries.

The term "Great Replacement" was first coined by French writer Renaud Camus in the 1990s in a small village in southern France, where he was observing "change in suburban populations". .

Talk of the "Great Replacement" theory has returned to the spotlight in the wake of the attacks launched by the Western extremist right-wing militants in various Western countries.

Before his crime in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March 2019, the Australian terrorist echoed the slogans of "replacement" that Camus coined, considering that European countries and their white Christian culture were being replaced by the indigenous white population with new arrivals of Africans and Muslims.

In its coverage of the attack that took place in a shopping center in Buffalo, New York, in mid-May, which left about 10 African Americans dead, the American magazine Melmagazine addressed the motives of racist crime, and linked it to the "Great Replacement" thesis. held by the proponents of white supremacy.

The editor of the article, Eddie Kim, explains that the perpetrator of the Buffalo crime spoke - in his message, which he published on local communication sites before committing the racist attack - about birth rates and demographic shifts within the United States as indicators of the progress of the "white replacement" path in America.

The perpetrator had said in his letter that "what everyone should understand is that white birth rates must change."

demographic winter

Eddie Kim, the author of the report, explains that the perpetrator of the Buffalo crime also talked about broken families and high divorce rates, and the choice of Western youth to abstain from marriage at all, and expressed his concern about the current "sexual pleasure", bemoaning the "Western man" who was weakened in the face of "enemies" Faith, culture, tradition, fertility and superiority.

And the perpetrator of the Buffalo crime found in these "indications" a logical justification for calling for violence and terrorism as a kind of heroic reaction, and he said in his message, "It is a matter of survival, we destroy them first," according to the American magazine.

The writer explains that the concept of "dream demographic winter" is not new, as it was used by economists and social scientists and even by the Pope during discussing the potential harms of declining population growth, but the danger lies in the fact that it has become the preferred tool for the work of the religious right and violent extremists, as well as for conservative politicians. .

According to the author, this organized obsession is no longer associated with scattered individuals and groups here and there. Rather, these groups are intertwined with other organizations that can be described as "more secular", such as institutes and research centers that provide cover for extremist forms of discourse that work to make the white race the dominant, He gave an example of the American teacher Harry Laughlin (1880-1943), one of the pioneers of "eugenics", who was inspired by the "Nazis" with the ideas of enacting forced sterilization laws for "unsuitable people" and tried to pressure the introduction of legislation in 31 states, wanting to tip the scales for white births in them. .

The writer reveals that the extreme right's obsession with the principle of "fertility" has always been one of the manifestations of polarization in American political discourse, and quotes Alan Abramowitz, a professor of political science at Emory University, in a previous statement to the New York Times, in which he revealed that racial attitudes have become It is increasingly linked to disparate issues, including social welfare, gun control, immigration and even climate change.

The writer says that the racist right sees itself as part of the last elements of the "resistance" that keeps screaming that racial diversity will destroy America.

The advocates of this theory raise a number of intellectual conflicts by blaming abortion legislation and feminist currents that support women's independence, for exacerbating the polarization over social and cultural issues that fuel division in American society.

The Great Replacement Theory

In summary, this theory has two main components: The first is demographic expectations that, due to mass immigration and high fertility rates, people of non-European descent are on the way to outnumbering the natives in Europe, and this would help them impose their culture and religion on the continent.

On the other hand, Camus believes that the "Great Replacement" will occur as a result of a conspiracy carried out by a "hidden power", the ruling elites of capitalist pro-globalization that support mass migration processes in order to build a new world in which all national, ethnic and cultural peculiarities disappear, and become capable of being controlled and shaped to meet needs of a globalized economy.

An episode of Al Jazeera's "Outside the Text" program highlighted the book "The Great Replacement", which talks about Europe's exposure to the invasion and demographic change by immigrants. The writer believes that the "Great Replacement" is not just a theory, but a concept that embodies another phenomenon.

Camus says in the program that he was terrified after the media referred to him, and he sees that two types of people do not read what he writes, they are journalists and mass murderers, and “the perpetrator of the mosque crime (in New Zealand) did not refer to me, did not read my books, and if he knew well what I write about why he acted the way he did, because the central concept of my political thought is based on innocence and harmlessness.”

He continues that France is colonized by Africans, and not only by Muslims, but Islam is prominent because it is the most organized and solid bloc, unlike Christianity, which appears dispersed.

A report by the French newspaper “Le Monde” indicates that Renault Camus publicly defended this theory for the first time in his book “The ABCs of Innocence”, which was published in 2010, before he developed it and changed its name to “The Great Replacement” the following year. He was the first to invent this theory, and it appeared at the end of the 19th century with Maurice Paris, one of the founding fathers of French nationalism.

In an article on the membership of the National Youth Association dating back to 1900, Paris laid the theoretical foundations for this idea, saying, "Today, the new French have penetrated among us, whom we do not have the ability to integrate, and they want to impose on us their way of thinking."