Of Mice and Men
Mice are not only useful for drug experiments, they also can tell us something about the society we live in.
In July 1968 four pairs of mice were introduced into the Utopian universe. The universe was a 9-foot (2.7 m) square metal pen with 54-inch-high (1.4 m) sides. Each side had four groups of four vertical, wire mesh “tunnels”. The “tunnels” gave access to nesting boxes, food hoppers, and water dispensers. There was no shortage of food or water or nesting material. There were no predators. The only adversity was the limit on space.
Initially the population grew rapidly, doubling every 55 days. The population reached 620 by day 315, after which the population growth dropped markedly. The last surviving birth was on day 600. This period between day 315 and day 600 saw a breakdown in social structure and in normal social behavior. Among the aberrations in behavior were the following: expulsion of young before weaning was complete, wounding of young, inability of dominant males to maintain the defense of their territory and females, aggressive behavior of females, passivity of non-dominant males with increased attacks on each other which were not defended against. After day 600 the social breakdown continued and the population declined toward extinction. During this period females ceased to reproduce. Their male counterparts withdrew completely, never engaging in courtship or fighting. They ate, drank, slept, and groomed themselves – all solitary pursuits. Sleek, healthy coats and an absence of scars characterized these males. They were dubbed “the beautiful ones”.
The conclusions drawn from this experiment were that when all available space is taken and all social roles filled, competition and the stresses experienced by the individuals will result in a total breakdown in complex social behaviors, ultimately resulting in the demise of the population.
—John B. Calhoun, Wikipedia [my emphasis]
Now the genocidal Malthusian pseudo-intellectuals will use this experiment to advocate population reduction, but its not the large number of population or even the lack of resources that causes the demise; the mice were provided with enough food and water, but not enough space. Mice are hard-wired to demand a certain space to sustain themselves, the failure to get this space causes stress even if enough food and water is available.
People in India or Egypt who live in poor overcrowded cities do not seem to exhibit the symptoms of the experiment above, however Japan, one of the richest countries in the world, exhibit almost identical symptoms:
As of March 2009, Japan’s total population stood at just over 127 million, but that figure is projected to decline to 95 million by 2050. And if more drastic measures fail to encourage people to have sex – and hence children – then there will be a mere 47.7 million Japanese at the turn of the next century.
According to the survey of 671 men and 869 women, issued by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, 35.1 per cent of men aged 16 to 19 said they are not interested in or averse to sex, more than double the 17.5 per cent of men in the previous study in 2008.
—Third of young Japanese men not interested in sex, The Telegraph 13 Jan 2011 [my emphasis]
What is lacking in Japan is not basic necessities (the food and water), nor the basic minimum space for physical needs; they lack a social space to live a social life. This is very much the result of more than a twenty years of economic stagnation coupled with a Vichy government designed and nurtured by an occupying force and since been totally co-opted by the entrenched social and economic interests.
(source St. Louis Fed)
While the Japanese GDP grew 150% in the two decades between 1970 and 1990, it only grew 20% between 1990 and 2010. A 19 old Japanese boy would have known nothing but stagnation all his life. As Calhoun writes in the conclusion of his paper on the experiment:
If opportunities for role fulfilment fall far short of the demand by those capable of filling roles, and having expectancies to do so, only violence and disruption of social organization can follow.
How different the Japanese youth are to their Egyptian counterparts. Egypt suffers from over-crowding, poverty, high unemployment and yet the youth are alive to the point of starting a revolution against a police state renowned for its heavy-handed tactics against its foes. Clearly this is not a poverty or lack of resources problem, the problem is the lack of social space and thus it can only be a social problem.
The social, political and economic superstructure in Japan is slowly strangling and killing the population just as the box ultimately killed the mice population; this is an important distinction as it is not the lack of space that is causing the problems, even Japan has enough space to provide actual space for its inhabitants, but most people are forced to live a crowded life due to economic and social restrictions. Not all are affected or respond in the same way. The rich and the poor would experience the stagnation differently and respond accordingly, the rich in Japan enjoy golf courses while the poor break social (and legal) restrictions more easily than an average person would. The most affected and those who powerlessly suffer are what the Americans call the middle-class, i.e. the working class.
Since the financial crisis of 2008 the working class in the US and Europe have been going through the wringer economically. The state (in all Western countries) has been clearly co-opted by entrenched interests and now show a clear preference to heavy-handed tactics against political opposition to the state, which is different than opposition to the government (Western official Opposition are pro-state, the second face of the same coin kind of opposition).
Spanish and Greek youth are immigrating in droves, an option not available to the mice, as youth unemployment in their countries hit fifty-percent. German and Dutch youth immigrate to North America if an opportunity to do so is available. American youth join the army or a gang. Russia and Japan will soon have no youth to demand a place under the sun.
Boys, be ambitious!
—William S. Clark farewell advice to young Japanese men.