Can Our or Any Democracy Survive With 8 Plus Billion of Us?

By Donald A. Collins | 24 December 2022
Church and State


The USA stands as the world’s most powerful and prosperous democracy, but despite many smaller and quite functional democracies, the anti-freedom, dictatorships of China, Russia, Iran and the many lesser dictatorships are not likely to be supplanted by citizen uprisings or any changes from the Xi and Putin types which happily suppress their citizens while gleaning special powers for themselves and their cronies.

As world population has quadrupled in my 91-year lifetime from 2 billion to 8 billion, demographers project another 3 billion by 2100. Even with today’s 8 billion population, many billions can’t be sustained on a habitable basis, depending of course on one’s view of habitability, such as many sad examples of what to most are inhuman conditions we see every day on our media!

However, the trend is already well established that poorer populations will seek refuge in countries with perceived wealth and freedom. The appetite for freedom makes migration to dictatorships far less attractive than to democracies of all levels but especially the USA.

As that volume grows and pressures on free (and all) societies increase, can any democracy, a fragile coalition of potentially divisive individuals, somehow keep their governments providing an equilibrium of equality without slipping into chaos and then to an imposed authoritarian nation? That is the historical way freedom is lost.

The urgent actions a democratic government should take have been long delineated.

  1. Understanding that worldwide growth in population, many living under dictatorships drives unmanageable migration to democracies.
  2. Offering more government and private services such jobs (we need more workers), more healthcare including full reproductive care and abortion choice ironically makes migration more attractive.
  3. Offering carefully monitored grants to developing nations from which huge migration comes. These grants would include education about the importance of voluntary family planning options options.
  4. Strict rules insuring fair elections would be featured.
  5. Seeking from experts’ more ideas to improve living in emerging nations!

Sans such safeguards collapse of functioning democracies seems certain and a long dark age of marginal living will overwhelm our capacity to manage the human condition without unsatisfactory oppression!

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC, has spent over 50 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of “From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013”, “Trump Becoming Macbeth: Will our democracy survive?”, “We Humans Overwhelm Our Earth: 11 or 2 Billion by 2100?”, “What Can Be Done Now to Save Habitable Life on Planet Earth?”, “Vote”, “Can Homo Sapiens Survive?” and “Will Choice and Democracy Win?”.

How can 8 billion people sustainably share a planet? | DW News

How climate change is driving mass migration | DW News

Overpopulation & Climate Change: A Seat at the Table

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