Imagine a fantastic scenario similar to that shown in the movie “Children of Men”: the devastating effects of our neglect of the world ended up making women no longer able to conceive; the human race is in a countdown to extinction. In my scenario, the problem is even worse — all but the children die suddenly.
At first, children would mourn the loss of their parents and would be invaded by a feeling of loneliness to the point of being paralyzed with fear. The world would be silent, peaceful, depressing. But soon they would be too hungry to stand still. They would have to get up and feed themselves.
They would first consume the resources already at their disposal. Those children who lived in the countryside, and therefore knew much better how to deal with nature, would quickly begin to farm and raise cattle as their parents did. The complex life of cities, however, would be impossible for the city’s children to maintain, and all essential services (and non-essential, for that matter) would stagnate. Without anyone to keep the industry running, there would be no more electricity and eventually there would be no more fuel. Even before all the matches and lighters were used, the brightest boys would find a way to designate others to maintain a perennial fire, but even then, the food in the city would soon be over, as well as anything that could burn.
This weaker breed of city children would eventually migrate to the countryside, where they knew there would be firewood and, they hoped, food. And they would take their toys with them, the only source of joy at a time when sex was still something that only adults did (or would do, if only they were alive) and did not interest them at all.
Once they reached the farms and settlements in the countryside, they would be welcomed by the rural children. Those had always felt quite alone — and even quite derelict — living so far away from the colorful high-tech lives of big cities. They would be happy to enjoy the company of their new friends, with their sophisticated way of speaking, and, of course, all those extravagant toys. Life would reach a new equilibrium, a blessed equilibrium. The essence of life — shelter, food, water, and relish — would be guaranteed. Soon, the memories of their parents would disappear into a warm feeling from a distant era, almost like a cozy dream on a summer afternoon. Happy villages like the first Jewish kibbutzim would spread throughout the land, and just as in them, dance and music would go on even under a shower of enemy artillery. But there would be no enemies this time. The innocence of children would dominate life — a utopia tempered by humanity’s natural ability to survive. They would be living the antithesis of combat.