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April 01, 2007

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Syd Webb

Thank you, Doug.

Doug (not Muir)

IIRC, 40 Days is the novel that Werfel promised that he would write as thanks for his deliverance from the Nazis. Unless that's The Song of Bernadette. Hm.

In answer to the last post, one of the reasons nobody was noticing rising nationalism in the USSR is that it didn't fit with any of the paradigms at the time. Certainly didn't fit with the militaristic bent of the Team B people, and it probably fell between the cracks of CIA-type observers. I was but a college-age stripling when the Monument Too Ugly for Google Images was built, and even in a class on comparative communist systems (now sold to the history department, I am told) we looked mainly to Moscow center. Certainly there was a lot to take in with perestroika and glasnost and all of that. It makes me wonder what important periphery is being ignored today...

Carlos

I remember reading alarmist tracts on the rise of Islamoradistas in Soviet central Asia, which would somehow cause the whole rotten structure to come crashing down, as in Iran. Shame I purged my library of bizarro futurology, but I needed room to sleep. Though I should probably pick up a copy of Kahn's The Year 2000 again at some point.

Of course, it wasn't the Central Asian republics which did for the Soviets.

RWE

The Armenians are not so much upset about the Genocide itself as by the fact that modern Turkey (and its apologists) continues to deny that it occurred so vehemently. One of the interesting things about Musa Dagh (Musa Ler in Armenian) is that it is located in Cilicia on the Mediterranean Sea far from eastern Anatolia which is where Turkey claims the Armenians revolted.

Armenians had been subjected to pogroms under Sultan Abdul Hamid in the 1890s (200,000 killed) and in Adana in 1907 (30,000 killed) so it would not be surprising that weapons had been hidden.

As far as the warships, several attempts had been made to contact Allied forces prior to the rescue.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musa_Dagh

Perhaps you could ask the former U.s. Ambassador to Armenia, John Marshall Evans, about it as he was fired by the State Department for actually calling it a genocide.

http://www.armeniapedia.org/index.php?title=John_Evans

Mike R.

> It makes me wonder what important periphery is being ignored today...

Randy McDonald

The Rise of Christianity in China. There has been a huge rise there, and while it very well may level out, it might not and if so you and I could live to see a China that is 1/3rd Christian. Big change that.

Something like South Korea, then? Speaking entirely off the cuff, there do seem to be some common threads in their religious histories, with the discrediting/undermining of traditional religions preceding the two countries' opening to the West.

What else? The growing scale of Latin American immigration to Europe, maybe, or large population movements from poor to rich areas in East Asia (foreign-born mothers apparently produce a double-digit percentage of births in South Korea and Taiwan), or the impending population crash in the Middle East.

Mike R.

>Something like South Korea, then? What else? The growing scale of Latin American immigration to Europe, or the impending population crash in the Middle East.

Mike R.

>Something like South Korea, then? What else? The growing scale of Latin American immigration to Europe, or the impending population crash in the Middle East.

Randy McDonald

Mike:

"Yep, I think that's a possibility, and it wouldn't surprise me if I see a Christian-majority South Korea within the next generation too."

Or perhaps a simple Christian-majority Korea? A news report a while back claimed that Christianity, with its talk of forgiveness and mercy, appealed to many North Koreans tired of bloodthirsty rhetoric. That's one news report, but still, one wonders.

"Speaking of LA, the rise of Protestantism in Latin America isn't getting noticed much either, but that's another big change too."

Less prevalent in the Southern Cone than elsewhere, it seems. Fernandez-Armesto wrote once about the religious convergence of the two Americas. He might well be right.

> or the impending population crash in the Middle East.

"Given how much talk is going on about the Middle East it's surprising how this doesn't get mentioned enough."

Birth rates are high enough and death rates low enough that actual population decline won't be in the cards for a good long while, while in the Maghreb at least immigration from sub-Saharan Africa might well be a growing feature in decades to come. Even so, the combination of constrained standards of living along with highly conservative mores seems ready-made to produce some sort of fertility crash.

Mike R.

"Or perhaps a simple Christian-majority Korea?"

I think that's a bit much. I've no doubt that Kim would crush any growth of Christianity in the North with much bloodshed, so I doubt there are very many of them right now. When the collapse comes (and at this point I'm pesimistic enough to think it could be decades away), Christians will likely have a lot of successes in the North but converting an entire country doesn't happen overnight, even in the best of circumstances.

Say NK collapses in 2020 (rough simple pop of 25M non-C, 0M C), at which point SK is 45% Christian (rough simple pop of 27.5 non-C, 22.5 C). That means that united Korea is now only 30% C. So we have to convert 15M more Koreans (assume stable population) before United Korea is majority Christian. Have all the "easy" conversions been done in the South? I don't know, but I can't see North Korea converting at a rate more than 2x as fast as it took SK to turn Christian in the 1945 - 2007 period. So say fNK becomes 30% Christian in only 30 years after the collapse of 2020. That would give us 7.5 of the 15M we needed so we'd need another 7.5M SK conversions in the 2020 - 2050 period. Will non-Christian South Koreans begin resisting conversion better over the the next 40 years than they have over the previous 40? Historically sometimes conversion rates just keep increasing until they are a super-majority, and other times the would-be-converts figure out an effective "defense" against conversion and what once appeared to be an unstopable trend is . . . stopped. You'd really have to look at the specifics of how non-Christians in SK are resisting conversion right now, and even then the future of it is contingent as hell.

Mike R.

"Birth rates are high enough and death rates low enough that actual population decline won't be in the cards for a good long while,"

True, but you don't need total population decline to get significant social effects from falling birthrates. For one thing, quite a few nations are set to enter the "golden period" when they have a higher worker-to-dependent ratio (not many young people to support and plenty of working age folks) than they had in the past or will have in the future. Economic take-offs are easier in that phase, and while I hope they make the best of it, I also kind of doubt it.

Randy McDonald

Mike:

I think that's a bit much. I've no doubt that Kim would crush any growth of Christianity in the North with much bloodshed, so I doubt there are very many of them right now. When the collapse comes (and at this point I'm pesimistic enough to think it could be decades away), Christians will likely have a lot of successes in the North but converting an entire country doesn't happen overnight, even in the best of circumstances.

True. One factor specific to the case of North Korea might be the resiliency of other Korean spiritual traditions in the north. I can't begin to claim any relevant knowledge on this topic, and so ...

True, but you don't need total population decline to get significant social effects from falling birthrates. For one thing, quite a few nations are set to enter the "golden period" when they have a higher worker-to-dependent ratio (not many young people to support and plenty of working age folks) than they had in the past or will have in the future. Economic take-offs are easier in that phase, and while I hope they make the best of it, I also kind of doubt it.

Tunisia and Turkey seem to be making it so far, but yes, the overall picture isn't encouraging. What's worse is that emigration as a safety valve doesn't seem to exist--the fact that Maghrebin immigrants in Italy and Spain are so badly outnumbered by counterparts from elsewhere speaks volumes about the success of the EU in limiting migration from the southern Mediterranean.

Hmm. A quieting of political turmoil in MENA, maybe, as the relevant age cohorts shrink?

Mike R.

>One factor specific to the case of North Korea might be the resiliency of other Korean spiritual traditions in the north. I can't begin to claim any relevant knowledge on this topic, and so ... Tunisia and Turkey seem to be making it so far,

I have decent hopes for Turkey. There was a Simpsons episode once that had a Gay Republicans meeting have the slogan of "A Gay Republican President by 2048" and the GR response to this puzzeled looks being, "Eh, we're realistic."

In a similar vein I propose, "Turkey, in the EU by 2038!"

> Hmm. A quieting of political turmoil in MENA, maybe, as the relevant age cohorts shrink?

Randy McDonald

Mike:

"I have decent hopes for Turkey. There was a Simpsons episode once that had a Gay Republicans meeting have the slogan of "A Gay Republican President by 2048" and the GR response to this puzzeled looks being, "Eh, we're realistic."

In a similar vein I propose, "Turkey, in the EU by 2038!""

This makes sense. Turkey, for all of its progress, is economically in a rather weaker position relative to the EU-15 than (say) Poland in the late 1980s to say nothing of the rather unsettled frontiers of the Turkish nation and the Turkish state. (The idea of a Polish Republic of Eastern Lithuania is a non-starter, and Poland lost the Galician Ukrainians and their rebel armies back in '39.)

If we're optimistic, perhaps we can look forward to a Black Sea expansion of the European Union in the 2020s, taking in both Turkey and Ukraine and assorted smaller states in the region.

Carlos

Gentlemen, I think you've hit the is-ought problem.

Going back to Doug Not-Muir's question -- and understanding it as not asking about future demographics, Mike -- I'd say sub-Saharan (but not southern) Africa and central Asia, simply because these areas have miserable news coverage in the world press, which is a prerequisite for being overlooked, I think.

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