Sunday, October 31, 2010

Spearhead Column Is Up

Go thither and peruse.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Article Review: The Fate of Empires

Ed's note: This article first appeared at the Spearhead on October 25th, 2010. 

Sir John Glubb's Fate of Empires and Search for Survival is a fascinating read for students of history and for those who wonder what the future will hold. In other words, nearly everyone who reads this post. While not a long read, we are all busy people, thus I will summarize the article below and offer an observation or two about its implications.

Key Quote: "The simplest statistics prove the steady rotation of one nation after another at regular intervals".

Executive Summary: Glubb notes an eerie pattern emerging when it comes to the durability of human empires: From the Assyrian Empire (859 - 612 BC), to the Arabic Empire (634 - 880 AD), to the British Empire (1700 - 1950), each seemed to last roughly 10 generations, or about 250 years. Glubb posits that each empire goes through six predictable phases, outburst/conquest, commerce, affluence, intellect, and finally decadence and fall. This rise and fall pattern is independent of governmental system (despotism, monarchy, republic, democracy), and the idiosyncratic qualities of the race that begat the empire (African, East Asian, European, Central Asian). This pattern is not affected by the technologies of the time (the wheel, horseback riding, seafaring, gunpowder, electricity, etc) and, while the pattern of the rise of great nations appears to be uniform, the pattern of their breakups is diverse, meaning that while all empires are birthed and live in roughly the same manner, how they die varies greatly.

Discussion: Glubb makes much use out of the word "emprire' in his tract. As 'empire' and 'imperial' are words that carry with them some significant semantical freight these days, Glubb defined his use of the term 'empire' to refer to a great power, one that we would today consider a superpower. Said empire may or may not include overseas possessions, and most did not, as most of the empires in history were land empires, not naval powers.
Click here to enlarge. Source.

Glubb observes that all empires throughout history travel in roughly the same arc, go through the same stages, and last roughly the same time: ten generations, our about 250 years, give or take.  This duration appears to be driven by human behavior, surprisingly uniform across cultures, and also surprisingly independent of the available technologies of the time (transport, communication, and warfare).  The six sometimes overlapping life stages of empire are outburst/conquest, commerce, affluence, intellect, decadence, and fall.

Phase I: Outburst and Conquest. In the first phase of great empire, small nations, thought to be insignificant by their neighbors, explode to dominate large swathes of land. This initial explosion is characterized by extraordinary displays of energy and courage; the people, accustomed to hardship, are poor, hardy, entrepreneurial, and above all, aggressive, and little will dissuade them in their desire to rule. The decaying empires or minor states they subsume are comfortable and wealthy, but are hobbled in their timid and defensive attitude.  This lends the advantage to the aggressive upstart nation, the members of which can be bold and aggressive in their outlook; they have little to lose except their lives. But it is not just military advantage this up-and-coming nation this conquering nation enjoys; rather, because they are hungry, because they are not bound by staid tradition, but by an intense focus on their goal, the outbursting nation exhibits great dynamism across the entire spectrum of human endeavors: science--technology, government, cultural. Nothing breeds success like success, and the outbursting nation's self-fulfilling confidence leads them to be believe that they are meant to rule and rule forever, perhaps even chosen by their god(s) for dominion over man.

It is interesting to note that it is here, in the beginning, where the seeds for imperial destruction are sown, as each nation, upon its ascendancy, attributes its good fortune to its hereditary and natural superiority. Having become dominant, this nation thinks itself naturally better than those they conquered or those foreigners they employed as slaves or soldiers. Yet it is this hubris that becomes the catalyst for the society's own destruction, as the culture does not guard itself against the coming diversity that will wreck the stock that built the nation.

Phase II: Commercial expansion. Merchants and the whole of the people benefit from the peace and security and streamlined bureaucratic processes that such a large empire secures. The transition from outburst/conquest to commerce is marked by a shift in attitudes, in that a premimum on martial glory and honor gives way to an emphasis on boosting the bottom line. However, as the memory of where they came from is still fresh, the people and the culture is still hard.
The first half of the 'Age of Commerce' is particularly splendid...virtues of courage, patriotism, and devotion to duty are still in evidence. Boys are be manly, [and] boys' schools are intentionally rough.
The age of commerce is also marked by exploration for new forms of wealth, and the securing of wealth is the catalyst for the transition to the 'Age of Affluence'.

Phase III: Luxos. The abundance of wealth and comfort begin to injure the qualities that made the nation successful. For example, the pursuit of individual success replaces honor and adventure as the objectives of the best and the brightest of the youth. Gradually, this pursuit of gold displaces the pursuit of duty. Furthermore, education undergoes a similar shift in priorities, as educational institutions focus not on producing brave patriots but minting those who will command high salaries. This phase represents the apogee of a society; it's all downhill from here, as the people transition individually "...from service to selfishness", and the nation as a whole shifts from offensive aggression to defensiveness, interested not in acquiring more wealth but in hanging on to what it has.

This shift in national attitudes toward greater dovishness and pragmatism during this phase is reflected in the nation's foreign policy stance : being in better supply than courage, subsidies instead of weapons are employed to buy off enemies
Various psychological devices are employed to deem this shift noble, not cowardly:
Military denounced as primitive and immoral. Civilized peoples are too proud to fight. declared to be immoral. Empires are wicked. 'It is not that we are afraid to fight', we say, 'but we should consider it immoral'. Nations who proclaim themselves unwilling to fight are liable to be conquered by peoples in the stage of militarism."
Also, during this phase, prosperity and wealth also bring an influx of foreigners to the urban centers of the empire. Native Romans complained about the multiplicity of Asians and Africans in Rome, as did denizens of Baghdad, which itself endured a huge influx of Persians, Turks, Arabs, Armenians, Egyptians, Africans, and Greeks. Today, London is known in some circles as "Londonistan", New York long ago ceased to be peopled chiefly by Angles, and Washington DC itself features quite an international population (one need only hail a cab in that area to convince themselves of this).  The result of this migration is that the stock that created the empire is relegated to the hinterlands, the frontiers, and the rural areas, while the foreigners come to dominate the cities and eventually the politics of the entire realm. Thus we see that there is really, truly, nothing new under the sun, as this "diversity" repeats itself over and over again in history, and the solidarity and comradeship that comes with ethnic and cultural homogeneity--the qualities that built the empire in the first place--first erodes, then disappears entirely. This diverse polyglot mass is peopled by (im)migrants that often fail to assimilate fully, leading to issues of in-group/out-group loyalty and an overall unwillingness to sacrifice for the host country when the wave of prosperity gives way to hard slogging. Grubb notes:
[W]hen decline sets in, it is extraordinary how the memory of ancient wars, perhaps centuries before, is suddenly revived, and local or provincial movements appear demanding secession or independence
This lack of cultural coherence combines with the aforementioned shift in values from fighting to rationalization, and eventually a feeling of moral superiority, to set the stage for the infighting that is characteristic of the next stage, the 'Age of Intellect'.

Phase IV: Intellectualism.  The Beginning of the End.  The people, no longer martially minded and, their lives not often visited by privation, become unconcerned with the acquisition of wealth and being to fancy themselves intellectuals. This period is marked by the proliferation of institutions of learning and a rapid expansion in the knowledge base. Intellectualism leads to discussion, debate, and argument, and as such the culture loses its homogeneity.  Internal political rifts between camps ossify and become unbridgeable. With many captains vying for control of the helm, the ship of state begins to drift:
Thus public affairs drift from bad to worse, amid an unceasing cacaphony of argument...amid a babel of talk, the ship drifts on to the rocks. Internal differences are not reconciled...internal rivalries become more acute, and the nation becomes weaker
It is important to note here that the empire is still strong at this time and enjoys a sort of Golden Age. But the exterior sparkle and shimmer obscures a rot on the inside, as the empire hollows itself from within. In essence, the empire is living on borrowed time--no longer producing, conquering, expanding, it instead feeds off the stored fat of its own past greatness. Still thinking themselves exceptional, the nation relaxes and enjoys the fruits of their labors; this latent voluptuousness results in more and more time spent in leisure.

Furthermore, an empire in this stage, while no longer acquiring territory, still fancies itself smarter than its neighbors and continues to sponsor cultural expansion of its empire. But the motivation for this expansion is not military--which is 'evil'--but is for the welfare of others, which is deemed 'good', and thus excused, the empire continues to extend its influence. This shift in motivation is the head (reason) comes to dominate the heart (passion), the great empire wants to 'help' those less 'fortunate' to share in its prosperity. Glubb, however, takes a dim view of this shift:
Perhaps the most dangerous byproduct of the Age of Intellect is the unconscious growth of the idea that the human brain can solve the problems of the world
This idea leads the empire to over-extend itself, as there is literally no limit to problems to be solved in an effort to enhance the welfare of foreigners. Thus exhausted, the rusted, neglected socio-cultural-economic scaffolding supporting the edifice of the State begins to break down. The center fails to hold.

Phase V: Decadence.
[D]ecadence is a moral and a spiritual disease, not a physical one, resulting from too long a period of wealth and power. The citizens of such a nation will no longer make an effort to save themselves, because they are not convinced that anything in life is worth saving
An empire in decline is marked by several characteristics, first among them a strong prevailing (and self-fulfilling) sense of pessimism among the people, frequently accompanied by frivolity, where the people exchange their hopes and future orientations for a focus on the now...a "let us eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die" sort of attitude. Grubb also notes that the empire's heroes change in declining civilizations according to this focus on frivolity...the actor, the singer, and the athlete--all entertainers--replace the general or the statesman or literary genius as role models for the young.

Another characteristic of the decline is degeneracy and a generalized laxity of discipline during this time. An increasing materialism, the retreat of morality, the advent of feminism, and the appearance and influence of women in public life are all hallmarks of a civilization in decline. An indifference to religion also appears among the culture and, as Glubb attributes to (expansively defined) religion the motivating force for the desire to expand, conquer, subjugate, or extinguish, the spirit of service, of heroic self-sacrifice for the cause also disappears.

A third characteristic is one for which the foundation was laid in the Age of Intellectualism...the Age of Decline is associated with philanthropy, generosity, and sympathy for other races and nations. The culture assumes an attitude of 'noblesse oblige' toward those less fortunate; the notion that it will be always be rich impels the imperial state to spend lavishly, to confer privileges and rights and benefits on all comers. Citizenship rights, once a sign of status, a valued asset, are debased as the State gives them some cases sells them for revenue...again to confer the benefits of prosperity to all. State assistance to the poor is equally generous. At least until the economy collapses, that is.

What are the causes of decadence? Glubb lists these four: (1) too long a period of wealth and power, (2) selfishness, (3) love of money, and (4) the loss of a sense of duty.

Glubb does not discuss Phase VI, the end or fall of empires, because such ends vary widely and his study of them yielded no regular pattern meriting discussion.

It is interesting to consider that Glubb wrote these words nearly 35 years ago; he could be describing the trajectory of the present-day United States to a tee. The decadence, the indifference to religion, the focus on materialism, the swollen welfare state, living (literally) on borrowed time and money, all are there. Applying the 250-year rule of thumb to the USA, it seems that the approximate end of our imperial life span is somewhere around 2025. What fate awaits the USA come that time, I don't claim to know, nor can I hazard a guess. It could die from violent overthrow, fractured by internal political division from within--as in the case of Rome I transitioning to Rome II. It could break up more or less peacefully into more politically manageable components, along religious-cultural-ethnic lines, as was the case with the British empire, or it could be subjugated by a culturally more aggressive invader(s), as was the pattern followed by the majority of empires in the past.

Some would be tempted to split hairs and claim that the USA will not follow historical precedent, noting that America's outburst period was spent not consuming the remnants of a pre-existing empire, but on acquiring vast swathes of largely uninhabited land across a single continent. "America is exceptional", they may claim, "she's different" they may object. Glubb pre-emptively pours water on that notion, noting:
The United States arose suddenly as a new nation, and its period of pioneering was spent in the conquest of a vast continent, not an ancient empire. Yet the subsequent life history of the United States has followed the standard pattern...the periods of the pioneers, of commerce, of affluence, of intellectualism, and of decadence
According to Glubb, the USA is following the same pattern as before--he even places the Wilson administration as our national apogee, when our country's trajectory peaked in the Age of Commerce and started downward into the Age of Intellectualism--and there is no reason to believe that America will be the exception to the pattern. In fact, there is plenty of evidence to the contrary...consider the present-day political strife, the swollen welfare state, the far-flung military adventures conducted not for territorial acquisition but for the 'good of the invaded' and/or for American cultural expansion (installing British-style parliamentary democracy and American-style feminism at the point of a gun). Consider also the post-Christian, secular humanist polity, the focus on material acquisition, the normalization of sexual immorality, and the prominence of women in public affairs, and the reducing prominence of men in domestic affairs. All point one way: that America is marching inexorably toward the same end as those who have gone before.

I was also struck by the similarities between the America of the late twentieth century and early twenty-first century and the Arab decline in the last half of the ninth century, as described by Glubb. The Arab historians at that time, just as many hand-wringing curmudgeons in the conservative commentariat do today, deplored the indifference to religion, the increasing focus on material acquisition, the spread of sexual immorality, and the extraordinary influence of popular entertainers, singing lewd and suggestive songs, amongst the youth. Even more interesting to me as an MRA was Glubb's finding that feminism is a key and telling marker of a civilization in decline, for both the Roman Empire and the Arab Empire in their latter stages featured deep female penetration into spheres and occupations previously closed to them. Perhaps the appearance of women in the public spaces is an objective symptom of the nation's growing political defensiveness, a sign that the nation valued comfort and security over uncomfortable risk-taking.  Whatever the reason, the appearance of women in politics counter-intuitively did not result in an increase in societal security, for "soon after [these periods]", Glubb notes, "government and public order collapsed...the resulting increase in confusion and violence made it unsafe for women to move unescorted in the streets". Given these historical examples, it is not difficult at all to imagine the coming disarray that will afflict the feminism-afflicted West when the levees give way and it is every man and woman for him-/her-selves.

Seeing feminism called out in this way may warm the hearts of some. But while I suspect Glubb is correct in identifying feminism as a sign of a great civilization in decline, he does not offer perspective on how long it lasts until feminism kills its host culture. Clearly, in some cases, the feminist-infected feminized empire is snuffed out by a more aggressive masculine culture. In other cases, the defensive, feminized, and feminist culture merely withers away and is slowly subsumed by a resurgent, more masculine one. However it goes, Glubb is clear that an irreligious culture of intellectualism and dissipation is replaced by a renewed sense of mission, purpose and zeal:
[A]t the height of vice and frivolity the seeds of religious revival are quietly sown. After, perhaps, several generations (or even centuries) of suffering, the impoverished nation has been purged of its selfishness and its love of money, religion gains its sway and a new era sets in
The cliche says that the kanji character for crisis is a mash-up of the characters for opportunity and danger. In the dangerous and tumultuous times we have ahead, we men may have the opportunity to make the world anew in our image as the American empire craters and potentially breaks apart...a weak and alienated government located in the swamps of Virginia cannot hope to maintain control over the culturally heterogenous states further west or south, particularly those with options and resources, and especially those with coastlines and ports.  One thing is clear to me, as I consider Glubb's words: that we men will suffer longer if we sit on the sidelines and do nothing in an attempt to "wait out" the feminist train wreck, with an eye toward picking up the pieces afterward, for we could be waiting a very long time. Better, I think, to attempt to shape our future in a manner agreeable to us, our brothers, and our progeny.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Palin the Riveter

A reader over at VD's place wonders why the Tea Party is so chock full of women. My theory is that, at the grass roots, the TP is manned by women with lots of time on their hands because their hubbies work for a living and they themselves are underemployed. Thus they have the time for activism; they don't have to support themselves. This incidentally happens to be the very same sort of bored hausfrau lifestyle that spawned Betty Friedan, and we know what sort of evil was wrought by those idle hands.

But it could also be that the TP has become one big sewing circle/support group/girl's club for less-left-wing feministas, a group of liberated yet abortion- and immorality-hating women.  Women who also happen to be vaguely dissatisfied with the overt and over-the-top sexualization of their more lefty sisters but otherwise largely agree with their politics of female sexual liberation and personal autonomy.  Perhaps a better term for them would be a la carte feminists.  But make no mistake, despite their outwardly conservative politics, they have declared open rebellion on the word of God and erected a golden calf out of their self-actualization and personal-is-political power. Take a gander:

I rest my case.

The question is, now, why are so many socon men excited by this woman's candidacy, when she represents a bunch of empowered mama grizzlies who would have no truck with publicly de-balling any man, even using realmannspracht while doing so, who dared stand in their way? If you doubt me, just ask Harry Reid.  I personally can't hazard a guess, except that maybe it's good to see a female public figure who's attractive on the outside and isn't a snarling man-hater on the inside.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday Tomfoolery

Today's tomfoolery features a couple of scanned pages of a mailer that MIL received recently.

Used to be that mailers, such as the one sent to my MIL, hawked comfy slippers and knick-knacks to homemakers; evidently they've expanded their product lines to match the low-brow tastes of the generation of women maturing into their target demo.  Specifically, interleaved amongst pages for Snuggies, brassieres, nippled bra pads, towels and bath linens, totes, socks, kitchen appliances, and footwear are several pages"personal care" products.

Take a look at a (NSFW...those offended by images of battery-powered mechanical pelvic refreshment devices and c*ck rings--or whose HR departments take a dim view of such imagery--are advised not to click) pair of pages I scanned from the 2.  These pages are not the sum totality of such adverts, several other pages exist of the same sort of widgets.  Apparently just in case a bored homemaker turned past the ads inadvertently, she/he's sure to stumble across them, more or less randomly, later in the catalog.

What makes this amusing in a sick, dark kinda way is to consider the juxtaposition of the nature of the catalog and the recipient of said catalog, my mother-in-law, who is a pretty morally straight and conservative kinda gal.  Pretty sad, really, when images of things that my MIL would rather not expose herself to are drug in front of her eyes, intermixed as they are with products that the infirm woman she care-gives for is interested in.  Such unwanted visual spam stands in stark contrast to the deliberate choice made by patrons of their website, to which one generally has to choose to click to find such things (link NSFW).

Monday, October 25, 2010

On 'Marriage Striking' and the New Marriage Economy

Zed published an article on the Spearhead this past Sunday, making the case that, in not so many words, that the so-called 'marriage strike' is a misnomer easily disproved by the data and that a small minority of men are hard-core marriage avoiders. You may read the article here.

I made the following comment to Zed's article, which was of sufficient length to warrant publishing here at EW. Enjoy:
...the 'marriage strike' is a poor term to describe what is going on. For, as you and Nova have both pointed out, marriage is still going on. It is called cohabitation. And the trend of the law seems to be to capture that behavior and award women with all the benefits previously assigned only to marriage. If there were a true 'marriage strike' going on, there would be none of this cohabitation stuff; yet as we know cohabitation rates have skyrocketed in tandem with the decrease in rates of both marriage and divorce.

Some women are avoiding marriage...but only temporarily, until they reach their mid-thirties, when their biological clocks starts ticking. Their avoidance also appears transparent in its means-to-an-end focus: the lack of a man in their lives is felt only when they realize that pursuit of material acquisition but meaningless chasing after the wind and is meaningless. Then they decide they require a man to make a baby and provide for them. Thus their frustration when he doesn't magically appear to provide sperm on demand--after all, they are accustomed to a life of having a surplus of male attention--to fulfill their childhood dreams and biological inclination and training (viz all the baby dolls marketed to little girls) to care for a baby.

I am a marriage true believer. That is evident in my behavior, for after I had been nuked by my ex, had my kids stolen from me, worked over hard in the divorce to the tune of nearly half a million dollars over an 18-yr time span, and after flirting seriously with adoption and/or surrogacy to fulfill my calling for a family, I spent a year searching the Western US for a Believing woman to be my wife. Yes, I am a true believer, but only (a) in the sense that marriage is the bedrock of a complex and free society, and (b) the Believing man must marry in the sight of God and the community if he is to enjoy sexual activity with a woman. I do not think that the mandate to marry applies to any other man and, despite my firm belief in (a), counsel my non-Believing brothers to avoid any sort of domestic set-up with women.

Marriage/shacking up is only a viable option for Believers (clarification: I do not believe it necessary or sufficient to be legally married to be married in the eyes of God), or only very wealthy/very poor men (the only groups that can afford to get married). Consequently, fertility rates have plummeted, as men and women delay childbirth until their late 20s or 30s and have fewer children overall. The culture that does not reproduce itself signs its own death warrant. That is where this culture is right now, the culture that freed women from the need to keep their sexuality in check and severed men's investment with their children.

This culture needs to die. We men are presented with two non-mutex options that will hasten its already-in-progress demise:

1. Believing men seek Marriage 1.0 with Believing women, reproduce early and often, and make Believing little progeny. Over time, Marriage 1.0 will make a comeback.

2. Non-believing men must studiously avoid situations where feminist-infected wom(en) and/or the State can lay claim to the fruits of your labors. Unfortunately, as some here have suggested, the femmatrix is getting quite good at finding ways to latch on to the property of men; the only sure-fire way to avoid the 'noid is to eschew feminist women entirely and endeavor to generate as little tax revenue as possible. This is a very radical option that very few men have the discipline to do. For those that do not, there are a spectrum of options available, to include permanently expatting to a more patriarchal culture.

Troll wrote:
There seems to be a feminist upsurge in restricting porn. Several years back it was the push for female centric porn or feminist porn = good and male oriented porn=bad…today they are worried about the effects on womens emotions as men prefer visual stimulus and women can’t keep up with the digital hotties. At the same time they are anxious because feminism is losing relevence and mens rights are gaining momentum so they are constantly trying to reappropriate and colonize mens rights. Now they are focusing on how porn culture causes girls to supposedly be sexualized at earlier ages while also telling men that porn will harm them
I agree, and unfortunately, this is another area where the socons will be the femmatrix's useful idiots.

Porn hurts both men and women, and inhibits both sexes from forming and maintaining useful relationships. This is true. And unfortunately, socons will vote unwisely to suppress the freedom of men to inflict harm upon themselves through porn (note the similarities between the anti-porn crusade and Prohibition) thinking it will make things better. It won't, it'll just drive the only legitimate sexual outlet for single marriage-avoiding men underground.

The unfortunate part is that, rather than recognize that it is women's unfettered sexuality that is responsible for the race-to-the-bottom sexualization of young girls--training them to ride the alpha carousel for attention--I'm willing to bet that no steps will be taken whatsoever to contain women's destructive behavior and instead men's sexuality will be suppressed instead.

Zed wrote:
What is the real advantage of being married if you have to constantly “pull” your own wife?
There's no advantage whatsoever. But then again, under Marriage 1.0, the wife had an affirmative duty to shag her husband and only her husband. Just like he had a duty to look after her needs and cover her. Anything else is a breach of the Marriage 1.0 contract.

Her desires really had (and have) nothing to do with it.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mexican Narco-traffickers Challenge US Govt for Hegemony

For years, we have been fighting a narco-trafficker insurgency by proxy in Columbia, Peru, Mexico, and other Central and South American states, as a result of (narcotics) Prohibition. Seems that this war has now arrived on American soil full-tilt, first in So Cal, NorCal, also in Texas, and now Arizona, as Mexican naro-traffickers employ snipers on American soil against other narco-traffickers bent on stealing their product:
Drug-smuggling gangs in Mexico have sent well-armed assassins, or "sicarios," into Arizona to locate and kill bandits who are ambushing and stealing loads of cocaine, marijuana and heroin headed to buyers in the U.S., the Department of Homeland Security has warned Arizona law enforcement authorities.

In a memo first sent in May but widely circulated since, the department said a group of "15, very well-equipped and armed" assassins complete with body armor had been sent into the state to identify, locate and kill the drug thieves, who are thought to be independent operators.

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, whose county includes the valley, told The Washington Times earlier this month that Mexican drug cartels have posted scouts on the high points around the valley to control movement in the area. He said they have radios, optics and "night-vision goggles as good as anything law enforcement has."

"This is going on here in Arizona ... 30 miles from the fifth-largest city in the United States," he said.

The sheriff said he asked the Obama administration for 3,000 National Guard soldiers to patrol the border, but got 15 signs along Interstate 8 instead.
Nature, as we know, abhors a vacuum, and this is what you get when a government's inability or unwillingness to exert control over its territory permits narco-trafficking gangs to roam loose over the countryside.In this case, the people's demand for mind- and mood-altering substances creates the drug economy, the nanny state makes this demand illegal, and then the nanny-state under-resources the effort to support this latter-day Prohibition.  Result: fighting kicks off to protect trade routes for this lucrative commodities trade from depredation by other narco-traffickers or by the government. Eventually, it becomes a struggle for governmental legitimacy, as the narco-traffickers gain strength and openly challenge governmental forces for territorial control...right now the people cower in fear; all that would be left would be for the narco-traffickers to openly provide governmental services, a la Hamas, and the bid for the people's loyalty and therefore legitimacy would be complete.

Why our government insists on spending billions per year (~$USD 172B in FY10) making the environment conducive for secular equalitarian evangelism in Southwest Asia, when our homeland is literally being invaded by enemy combatants, illicit narcotics, and flooded with millions illegal migrants, is a mystery to me. Are we, through our government, voluntarily surrendering our right to rule our own country to Mexican narco-traffickers? Sure seems like it. The question is: why?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Needed: Male Leaders

Ed note: this post first appeared at The Spearhead on October 15th, 2010. 

Welmer's recent post, "Stop Looking for a Wife, You Won't Find One" was an excellent, if somewhat depressing, accounting of the present state of women and their inability to become wives in the fullest sense of the word. The evidence of their failures as a sex are all around us: stratospheric female-initated divorce rates, high crime rates, rising rates of autism, the ever-expanding welfare state, underperforming boys, and promiscuous girls. Clearly, not only in Welmer's article but in many of our own personal experiences, we see that women have fallen quite short of the wifely ideal in their discharging of their family, home, and childrearing responsibilities, their deeds and misdeeds fomenting not a little earthly misery. Clearly, I am being blunt in my indictment of their performance. Clearly, they have failed to uphold their end of the social bargain. All this we know, and the objective evidence overwhelmingly supports this conclusion.

To such an indictment, the feminists--who, as credit to their tactical/strategic skill, have assimilated nearly the whole of the female sex--would surely object. "What about you men?" they would surely cry, in a predictable attempt to divert attention from the failings of women to the defects of men. They would surely claim that divorce rates are high because we men are insufferable as marriage partners, that crime is high because we men are out-of-control monsters, rapists, murderers, and wife batterers. They would surely claim that the state is large because men control it and men love power above all else, that underperforming boys underperform because they are undisciplined, and that promiscuous girls are victims of male attempts at slut-shaming or are victims of predatory older men. Clearly, they would say, men are such poor performers that women would do better to 'do family' on their own.

It would appear, then, that MRAs and feminists are at loggerheads, that we will have to "agree to disagree", if our two camps are to get along at all. They will not help us change things for the better; they are quite happy with the status quo, a status quo that we men quite rightly wish to overturn because it is harmful to our interests and that of our children.

So overturn we must. Our own individual welfare, as well as that of our children depends upon it. How do we do that, though, when the problems of of marriage 2.0, of virulent feminism, of a culture that devalues, degrades, and destroys men and steals their labors, even enslaves them, seem to big, too intractable for just one man or a small group of men to change?

MGTOW is an outstanding start. At its core, MGTOW encourages men to strike out on their own, to chart their own paths, to be self-contained. To ignore the beseeching of a society that cares little for male welfare except where it bolsters female welfare. To spurn the diktats of those that seek to exploit men for their own purposes. MGTOW encourages men to tend their own gardens, and ignore the weed-choked gardens that are outside of their control. However, MGTOW, while it trains men to free their minds from the boxes society constructs for them, is insufficient to sustain the sort of change that we men wish to see. It too easily defaults to narcissism, to selfish hedonism. Something more is needed to sustain a movement, to secure the changes that we seek.

That something is a revolution. A revolution in values, of culture, of conduct. A revolution that seeks to restore men's rightful place in the home and in society. And it starts with us. From the bottom up, a narrow focus on getting our own houses in order. Thus while the gardens of our neighbors are overrun with thistles and vines, we focus on the world we can affect. We train ourselves--and our sons and daughters, if we have control or influence over them--to be the change we wish to see in others. we men must cultivate the skills and characteristics that make good husbands...which happen to also be the same characteristics that make for good men and good citizens. Integrity. Courage. A work ethic. Righteousness. Ethical treatment of others. Chastity. Restraint. Responsibility. Faith. Leadership. These values define what men were intended to be, the ideal toward which each of us should aspire.

Note that this revolution would likely mean an end to socially sanctioned PUA behavior. Sorry all you footloose and fancy free players.  The Roissyites have served us very well by demonstrating to all--MRAs, feminists, Joe Sixpacks--that women did not deserve their pedestals, their "pussy passes", their "sentencing discounts". The Roissyites have done a superb job in demonstrating that women can be just as depraved, as rakish, as promiscuous as men. In fact, women as a sex have shocked many in how quickly they have demoted themselves to mere animals in both thought and deed. However, while the Roissyite set has provided an invaluable social service with their education of the manosphere and the culture at large of the evo-psych nature of the female sex, I do not think that revolutionary men can any longer can tolerate their immoral and unethical behaviors, as we endeavor to re-train our brothers (and later, our sisters) in what it means to conduct oneself in a civilized manner.

A key feature of this revolution in leadership, men returning once again to the masculine, is where women figure into the picture. Contra feminists, even more introspective ones like Camille Paglia, masculinity does not come out of femininity, or result from rebelling against the feminine. Authentic masculinity is independent of women, and can--maybe even should, in some cases--be cultivated without a woman in sight, in spite of social scaffolding that not only inhibits its development and employment but actively attacks it and seeks to substitute feminized masculinity for the real thing.

Please note, reader, that this call for men to reclaim true masculinity so that they may then become better leaders, husbands, fathers, and citizens is not a call for men to meekly submit to the yoke of exploitation by alpha males, their harems, the matriarchal State and its harem, feminists, and beta male enforcers of the alpha hegemony. Far from it; one can prepare himself for leadership, live righteously, and still be wise as a serpent about the burdens he voluntarily assumes. In fact, I think it critical that revolutionary men be quite discriminating in the obligations that he takes on, given the socio-political facts on the ground. If called to marry, he may acquire a bride-cum-wife if he finds one qualified for the job. Children if he is called to do so. A house and all the consumerist trappings if he desires them. Otherwise, the revolutionary-restoration man would be well heeled to avoid entanglements with women (avoiding chilimony and sexual harassment, rape, and IPV charges), with possessions (avoiding debt slavery and taxation) and, by living uprightly, avoiding entanglements with the State and its enforcement apparatus. His freedom is his most prized possession, and righteous, upstanding living--to include, first and foremost, keeping his zipper closed--is the best way to guarantee it.

Welmer's "Wives" article decisively made the case that wives are difficult to find, so hard to locate that we fellows may not find it worth our while to even look. To his thesis I add that that wives are often beside the point, when the real struggle, the real search is for each of us, is to reclaim masculinity for ourselves and, more importantly, transmit it to our brothers and to our children.

Below are the lyrics to a song titled "Lead Me" by Christian band Sanctus Real (HT Laura Grace Robbins for bringing this song to my attention) that I think succinctly summarizes the call to action for us men:

I look around and see my wonderful life
Almost perfect from the outside
In picture frames I see my beautiful wife
Always smiling
But on the inside, I can hear her saying

"Lead me with strong hands
Stand up when I can't
Don't leave me hungry for love
Chasing dreams, what about us?"

Show me you're willing to fight
That I'm still the love of your life
I know we call this our home
But I still feel alone."

I see their faces, look in their innocent eyes
They're just children from the outside
I'm working hard, I tell myself they'll be fine
They're independent
But on the inside, I can hear them saying

"Lead me with strong hands
Stand up when I can't
Don't leave me hungry for love
Chasing dreams, what about us?"

Show me you're willing to fight
That I'm still the love of your life
I know we call this our home
But I still feel alone."

What this world needs is the same thing our families need--for us men to lead, if not explicitly as husbands and fathers, then as those who do their parts to clean up the social ecology around us by acting in a manner befitting of men, with integrity, courage, and righteousness.

I'll close with this prayer that my brothers read and internalize this post in the manner that it was a constructive critique meant to encourage introspection and critical self-assessment, and not as a spear thrown by someone on the outside with no skin in the game and who doesn't necessarily have our best interests at heart.  I exhort each of us men to set our eyes on the prize: a prize that each of us should seek to achieve and bequeath to our heirs: a world better than that which we presently find ourselves.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesday Tomfoolery

I recently upgraded my company from a Walther PPKS to a Taurus .45.  Let's just say that staring down the business end of the latter is way scarier than having the former pointed at you.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Product Review: BMW K1300GT

Author's note: this post first appeared over at The Spearhead one year ago, today.

I had the opportunity to demo-ride a 2009 BMW K1300GT at the BMW-Duc dealership in Fort Collins for a couple of days, while I was getting some PM done on my '99 RT. I had demoed a K1300S from the same dealership previously (read my review here), this was my chance to get acquainted with other bikes in the BMW stable. What follows are my impressions of this steed:

(1) Size. Not too bad. Tipping the scales at about 620 lbs wet, this is an average sized mount. The saddle height was very reasonable, again a nice change from the sky-high saddle height of the RT which forces this 32" inseam fellow to barely be able to get the balls of my feet down on both sides. Stock saddlebags and a good sized pillon seat turn this bike into a capable weekend getaway machine. Guys doing long cross-countries, particularly with l'esposa, may want to look to the larger RT for more space, a larger chassis, and more bells and whistles like an intercom system.

(2) Body position. Still cranked over compared to the larger tourers, the GT featured adjustable handlebars that would allow one to hunch over, practically fetal, to sitting up ramrod-straight, just by breaking out an allen wrench. Feet are still directly underneath the rider in class BMW style, so road pegs for the long trips are de rigeur.

(3) Controls. Reasonably wide handlebars give a good feel and permit firm confident control through turns. Instrument suite was pretty much the same as that found on the S, where one can toggle through outside air temp, fuel remaining, fuel economy, range, and oil temp. The GT comes standard with cruise control--a must for distance riders--but I found the switchology for the cruise counter-intuitive and the switches themselves felt fragile. Same with the Japanese style turn signals. Ick. Also a design in common with the S, I hope they go away in future incarnations. Moreover, the turn signal switch was chintzy feeling, something I would dislike greatly if I'm shelling out $22,000+ (ouch) for a bike. Bike comes stock with ESA II, which permits on-the-fly adjustment of the suspension. Other pluses include adjustable windscreen, seat heat, and heated grips. Yahoo.

(4) Performance. Same displacement engine as the S, but less HP due to a different intake box and exhaust system that robs it of a little power. The bike also weighs in at 75 more pounds than the S, so while I found the power margin to be healthy, I found the power deficit relative to the S to be significant. Result: going full-open on the throttle on the interstate was fun, but not as deliciously fun-factored as on the S.

The GT was extremely stable going through turns, very much a confident and tolerant and forgiving cornerer. The narrow front tire gave me some unnerving wobble on the lightly grooved concrete going into Wyoming, which I didn't appreciate. Fuel economy was great; the GT sipped gas at the rate of approx 44 MPG while doing the speed limit and taking 20 knots in the face, giving the chassis an "apparent" speed of close to 100 mph. No real buffeting was felt at this speed, and the fairing and the adjustable windscreen conspired to keep it fairly quiet.

(5) Shifting. Thumbs down. Same as the S. Gears too short. I started out in second from intersections, shift up to third and wish I had gone straight to fourth. Six speed tranny, so that was nice.

(6) Brakes. This girl slows down like you wouldn't believe. Grab a fistful of brake lever and stomp on the rear brake pedal, you'll damn near jerk to a stop with nary a chatter from the ABS. Good stuff there.

Overall: I assess this bike as a sport-bike "plus", kinda like the FJR, its closest competitor and a bike that has its own dedicated and enthusiastic following. It deftly splits the middle between its eat-your-lunch 1300S stablemate and a larger, more bells-and-whistles RT or luxo-cruiser 'Wingnut wannabe LT. It comes stock with some extra baggage for distance riding, but not really built for long-distance touring. So while the GT is technically a "sport tourer", it's more "sport" than "tour", so plan accordingly.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Worship, and the Religion of the State

John Whitehead over at MND has sussed out a subtle cultural campaign to re-orient the foundational and oftimes uncomfortable American (and natural) right of freedom of religion to a less potentially offensive and far more politically correct freedom of worship.  The distinction is small, but crucial, as Whitehead illustrates:
[A]ll Americans—whether or not they subscribe to a particular religious belief—should be worried that the expansive right to “freedom of religion,” the bedrock of the First Amendment, is systematically being dismantled by the courts. Indeed, in recent years, the federal courts have chipped away at religious freedom to such an extent that even non-verbal forms of expression in public have been deemed to be illegal (a coach bowing his head out of respect while student athletes offer a pre-game prayer; a student wind ensemble’s choice of an instrumental arrangement of “Ave Maria” at their high school graduation ceremony, etc.). Consequently, we have gone from a nation where religious freedom was highly prized to one in which religion is being privatized and forced out of public institutions and public life.

As Christopher Lasch details in his book The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy (1995), an educational and governmental elite (which includes the courts) in American society that views religion as irrelevant has come to predominate:
Public life is thoroughly secularized. The separation of church and state, nowadays interpreted as prohibiting any public recognition of religion at all, is more deeply entrenched in America than anywhere else. Religion has been relegated to the sidelines of public debate. Among elites it is held in low esteem—something useful for weddings and funerals but otherwise dispensable. A skeptical, iconoclastic state of mind is one of the distinguishing characteristics of the knowledge classes. Their commitment to the culture of criticism is understood to rule out religious commitments. The elites’ attitude to religion ranges from indifference to active hostility.

Those who have adopted this secular outlook frequently cite the “wall of separation between church and state” as justification for censoring, silencing and discriminating against religious individuals, especially in the public schools. The threat posed by this extreme secularism is that religion and religious people are not merely kept separate from the school system but are instead forced into a position of utter subservience.
Rest assured, if this trend continues unchecked, it will not be long before “freedom of religion” is done away with altogether and replaced with a more restrictive, government-sanctioned “freedom of worship” that limits people of faith to worshipping in the privacy of their church, synagogue or home.
I join Whitehead and Lasch in their criticism of the incredible shrinking right to freedom of religion and its forcible conversion into a much more diminutive (and much more easily marginalized) right to freedom of worship. I go further than they, however, and point out that this narrowed scope of freedom of religion into freedom of worship is symptomatic of another, more sinister phenomenon: religious subversion.

The process Whitehead and Lasch describe is precisely what naturally occurs when another competing belief system asserts control and marginalizes rival ideologies, even suppresses them. In this case, this other belief system is the religion of liberalism, a religion that, like Islam, sees little to no distinction between church and state, and views one as the arm of the other (and vice versa).

How do we know liberalism is a religion? Let me enumerate a few ways:

1) Liberalism has its own deity--the State
2) Liberalism has its own clergy--the judiciary, public school teachers, and university profs
3) Liberalism has its own creation story--the myth of evolution
4) Liberalism has its own saints--women, and non-whites
5) Liberalism has its own sacraments, usually associated with sexuality--abortion, choice mommyhood, and fornication are but two examples
6) Liberalism has its own tithing--taxation
7) Liberalism has its own houses of worship--courts and the halls of Congress
8) Liberalism has its own 'sunday schools'--public schools, in which students are educated in liberal catechisms
9) Liberalism has its own mutaween, or those that enforce the edicts of the liberal state
10) Liberalism has its own dogma--and punishes heresy with vigor

This competing religion has been stomping through the culture for decades, and has now only recently amassed enough power to push aside whatever expressions of Christianity remain in post-Christian America in its bid for hegemony. The hegemony of liberalism has arrived, the majority of Americans now achieve personal eternal salvation through the political process and the application of political force, and freedom of worship is the consolation-prize bone thrown to Christians and other alternative religious adherents who lost the contest for political and cultural hegemony.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tuesday Tomfoolery

Not much tomfoolery here today, but a reminder that there are consequences when someone takes what they are doing for granted. Like DWT...driving while texting.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Globalization and the Future State of Men, Part II

An article in which I temper my predictions of social catastrophe with a silver lining. Perhaps.

Author's note: this article first appeared at The Spearhead one year ago, today. 

In the first half of this two-part post, I discussed ways in which men will probably not welcome the changes that globalization brings. At least in the short term.

Thus far, in this two-part post, I've been quite pessimistic. Certainly the situation calls for a level of concern. The economic forces pushing on our society with their invisible hands seem unstoppable, and these forces appear to be teaming with demography and matriarchy to create a hopeless situation. Yet there is cause for hope, in that those factors have not stripped men of a degree of control over the trajectories of their lives. For instance, men can assert control by educating/training themselves and by adopting a more entrepreneurial spirit. Americans are way behind in training themselves to compete in the global economy; the man who buckles down and develops both his right- and his left-brain talents will find himself in an advantaged position relative to his foreign counterparts and, importantly, his sisters, who tend to eschew the hard sciences for the chick ghettoes known as the social "sciences" or other marginally applicable fields of knowledge and study.

Another way that men can effect their futures positively is through putting themselves on track to joining Jefferson's the natural aristocracy of talent and virtue. They're already well on their way to joining the former, if not by natural gift, then by blood and sweat and hard work. But there remains the aristocracy of virtue where, by living upright and moral lives of integrity, by being the husband of only one wife, by avoiding excess and vice and avarice and dissipation, and by associating only with others who behave similarly, a man can drastically improve his lot in life and his ability to compete well on the global playing field. What's more, he positions himself to transmit the twin gifts of virtue and talent to his children, traits that will increasingly become hereditary as such a man transmits civilization from himself to his children in a in a self-reinforcing cycle.

Referring back to the dating pattern of the ghetto and the savanna for a moment, where many-to-one hypergamous women compete for the attention of one-to-many alpha males, there is another, third cause for hope: the metaphysical certainty that the matriarchal state that we are presently enduring cannot last, at least not in its present form. For a matriarchy cannot progress past a hunter-gatherer state; any form of social organization more complex than that is too incompatibly inegalitarian. The specialized social roles that enable agriculture, vertically integrated societies, and industrialization cannot exist in an egalitarian world. This is because women in such an egalitarian environment as we have today in the West will instinctually leverage their biological advantage in the family to invade the social spaces set aside for men. Having been displaced in such a manner, such societies fail to gain and/or retain the investment required from the builders and maintainers and transmitters of civilization--incidentally, those same guys dispossessed of role and family and investment by women--and the society as a whole will devolve to a more primitive level of social organization or be absorbed and / or replaced by another. In other words, a state that disinvests, even imprisons, vast portions of its male population, cannot hope to compete against more organized, integrated, and socially cohesive societies that harness the productive energies of its men. It will regress socially and technologically.

Added to this, in a flatttened, globalized world, societies as a whole will be forced to "compete" in the same manner as its individual people and companies do. The governments of societies that impose onerous burdens on its people, capital, or businesses relative to other governments will find that its people, capital, or businesses will be tempted to relocate elsewhere. Assuming the existence of some societies that do not tax its peoples to "provide" health care, an expansive (and expensive) welfare state (one such society that does not is the PRC), and / or heavy environmental requirements, there will be pressure, not only from the marketplace, but also from lobbying activity, to keep social costs down or eliminate them entirely. We see this phenomena already, in that companies are tempted relocate economic activity to the lowest-cost areas they can find, from high-cost Europe to lower-cost America, and from moderate-cost America to low-cost Mexico or even lower-cost China, Malaysia, or the Philippines. Each company that moves away deprives the government of the former society of money, power and influence--things that governments care about--and "grants" those gifts to the receiving society. We see this played out today: the movement of commercial activity has been from highly burdensome societies, in other words, highly matriarchal societies, to the less burdensome societies which are much more vigorous and agile and patriarchal in nature. In fact, one can say that globalization as a whole is bad news for governments in general, not just fat lumbering matriarchal ones, since the mobility of capital, labor, and knowledge erodes government control over citizens and economic activity. Furthermore, under globalization, peoples are likely to interact directly with others, forming networks of common values and interests. These networks...a throwback to tribalism in a back-to-the-future kind of way...bypass the vertical hierarchy of government and thus displace government in the social space and deprive it of power and influence as well. Such a nextwork is exemplified by the success of Moslem Sharia in the UK. A network of people, joined by a common interest and culture, that has all but displaced the "legitimate" government. The British government's power inside that network is greatly diminished, and that of the religious figures that lead that network is greatly increased. With this example in mind, it is easy to see how globalization re-enables society independent of the established hierarchical government. And in competition with it too: if the British government wishes to retain what power it has, it will take steps to make itself more appealing to a larger portion of the population.

Thus we men can look forward to the eventual obsolescence of the present matriarchal state, and the re-adoption of the patriarchal form of social organization. I foresee this happening one of three ways.

In the first scenario, our society becomes patriarchal again as an adaptive response to market pressures. The flattening effects of globalization will expose the deficiencies of the less efficient matriarchal model to the strength and vigor of the more economically and socially efficient patriarchies. Moreover, since the scourge of political feminism requires a large, powerful state, economic plenty, and heavy social burdens to subsidize and support an inefficient social structure, its power will wane as the beast is starved of resources.

The second possibility is the re-adoption of a patriarchal model, either suddenly as our society picks up the pieces from the aftermath of complete social collapse, or gradually as men find like-minded women to marry and start families with. As the greatest predictor of a person's politics is the politics of their parents, and that patriarchal families are more fecund than matriarchal ones, in this slow-but-sure manner the patriarchs will eventually breed out the matriarchs.

In the third alternative, our society could be invaded and assimilated by a stronger culture, one that not only competes better on the world stage economically but one that has enough faith in itself to reproduce.

Any way one looks at it, I see the return of patriarchy, for matriarchal or egalitarian societies seldom if ever survive contact with a patriarchal one. This re-adoption of the technology of patriarchy and the rejection of the reactionary, more primitive technology of matriarchy is a good thing, not only for men, but for women as well, as both sexes live better when men are invested in society and the female libido is checked.

Unfortunately, this silver lining has a tarnish to it that I cannot polish and buff away, and that tarnish has to do with those fellows who fall in the left tail of the IQ mean and/or those fellows who fail to develop socially constructive behaviors and habits. What to do with these guys, the people whose parents failed to bequeath to them the genes or the habits that reserve for them a spot in the Brahmin caste? What do to with the guys who, despite their best efforts, not only fail to be inducted into the knowledge economy, but may not even qualify to participate in the service one either? In a pure meritocracy, they will constitute either the lower end of the beta class or, if their IQ/habits are poor enough, the gamma class. In any case both populations will more than likely be overrepresented in the criminal classes and consequently in the prisons, just as they are today. Also similar to the present state of affairs, chances are that there will be a strong correlation between the prison population and race and ethnicity and, absent a world where every employer in every country all around the planet employs AA-like policies to compel companies to permit them to participate where they would otherwise would not or could not, there will always be economic incentive to exclude them from participation.

Thus, the temptation for race- or ethnic-based social disorder will remain as long as this problem remains unsolved, as flat-world globalization fails to address--in fact, it exacerbates--issues of social inequality and the friction that results.

In my travels across the blogosphere, I read somewhere recently (don't recall where...maybe Ferdinand Bardamu's place) that the challenge for our society is how to guarantee the beta male a place in society where he can contribute in a meaningful manner. Presently, he has been denied a seat at the table, first by gynocentric laws, then by female hypergamous dating, and now, increasingly, by globalization. These three prongs of the Morton's Fork for Men will have to be removed if our society is to survive.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Repost: Single Christian Women*

...unable to find a man. For some, it is understandable that they remain so, for critiques as articulated by MLV and MarkyMark most certainly apply. Many Christian women make good sport of spurning good men, have impossibly high expectations that lead to the Eligible Bachelor Paradox, lust after bad boys, or are feminists (overtly or latently). They may also be already wedded to their careers, completely committed to their children (and as such have no room in their hearts for a first or subsequent husband), or have a record of initiating divorce suits.

Other women, the reason for their singlehood isn't traceable to the above defects and therefore isn't quite so clear.

My sister in law is one of these latter ladies, and for the life of me, I'm unable to understand why it is so hard for her to find someone to marry and settle down with. She is from a traditional family in which dad was the patriarch and which mom followed his lead (I presume that SIL intends to submit to her husband in a similar fashion). She's still a virgin at 28, so a ho she is not, and is working at a minor administrative job that barely suffices to pay the bills, so the moniker-epithet career woman doesn't apply. She's mildly overweight, but not much more than the average weight for American women these days, so while her weight may be a superficial detractor from her dateability, given the weights of the rest of the women in the dating population, it is not a significant strike against her. And, if her sister is any indicator, she'll make a fine, faithful wife for a good Believing man. Moreover, she wants kids, so if family is his object, she has no objections to that.

Is she still single because of the men don't wish to commit for fear of getting hosed? Maybe, but I'm not so sure. For all my and my blog-brothers' bluster about marriage strikes and how marriage is a bad deal for guys, with ~1.5M marriages each year, there are still a whole lotta guys out there who are still brave (or stupid, or hopelessly optimistic depending on your POV) enough to commit.

So what's the problem? Is is because her social network isn't big enough? Possibly, but she's already enrolled in eHarmony, with a wide (300 mi) search radius that extends well south of San Fran, east to Reno, and north into Oregon.** Is it because she lives in a college town in NorCal and that there just aren't that many eligible, sufficiently aged, bachelor men around? Maybe she just needs to move away from cities--where women concentrate--into more rural areas, where the guys are. Is it because she is counterproductively indecisive, as this Slate article surmises about the female sex? I don't think so, because she has made it known that she's open to a relationship, and has already had one engagement fall through. Perhaps she's looking in the wrong places--churches these days repel many single men--the question is, if not church (and bars/nightclubs are right out) then where should she look?

I'm genuinely perplexed as to the difficulty SIL has been having. SIL seems like a very high-quality woman who should be very attractive for a marriage- and family-minded Believing fellow. After all, Mrs Wapiti took a chance on a divorcee with two kids and one helluva nasty ex wife problem that costs a lot of money each year. If a schlub like me can get married, I can't fathom why guys with far less baggage aren't available for her to pair off with.

There are a few ladies that visit this blog from time to time. Would like to hear what you think in particular. Why would it be so hard for a good woman to find a good man these days, since my sense is that both are available in roughly equal amounts?

* By popular request, I reposted this article, which first appeared here at EW on October 9th, 2008.

** With only a 3% 'conversion rate', eHarmony isn't that much more effective than other forms of dating.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Globalization and the Future State of Men, Part I

An article in which I detail how globalization isn't so swell for the average Joe.

Author's note: this article first appeared over at The Spearhead one year ago, yesterday.  

I've been reading a lot about globalization lately. Friedman's World is Flat. Scheve and Slaughter's New Deal for Globalization. Haass' Age of Non-polarity. Diamond's Democratic Rollback: The Resurgence of the Predatory State. And Mandelbaum's Democracy Without America. All have been interesting. All have done well to paint a picture of an America that is declining, if not in absolute power (denoted, crudely, by the volume of guns, money, and ideas that a society has), then certainly in influence. A picture of an international system set up, by, and for America and her co-travellers that is in jeopardy. A mental image of how the technology of democracy...thought by some Neo-Kantian theorists like Fukuyama and Friedman to be the magic bullet that brings peace and prosperity to the whole world, if the unwashed would just accept stopped in its tracks, and in some places is being rolled back in favor of less disorganized and more coherent (and authoritarian) political systems. And a picture about how international upstarts are gaining in a world that is most certainly not going to be unipolar or mutli-polar but apolar, at least for the short run. What will the world look like when the American Empire, must like the Athenian or Roman empires that preceded it, collapses under the weight of the infrastructure needed to keep it all together, and multiple competitors emerge each with their own ideas of what the new world order should look like? More pertinently for many of my readers, what will such a world look like for us as mortal, solidly beta guys?

One feature of the new world we are entering is that the heyday of our fathers, that featured good-paying jobs for (comparatively) not much labor and fat defined-benefit pensions, is no more. The last gasp of that old-school system died when GM, the daddy rabbit of big-name industrial behemoths that, in its later years, was derided as a health care company that made cars, was finally nationalized earlier this year. The IT revolution that ushered in this economic transformation that killed GM and Chrysler and scores of other staid, lumbering American industries, has accelerated to breakneck pace now that the relatively closed economic systems that characterized the post WWII era and much of the Cold War era have opened up to market competition. As a result, the high standards of living enjoyed by Americans, by virtue of their status of being the only survivor of a worldwide Thunderdome deathmatch in the 1940s and consequent exporter to the world, have been arbitraged away to places like China and India, which are full of 3 billion educated workers hungry for a bite of the good life. Friedman documents this process well...for as long as protectionism is out of style, the best American workers, mostly men, must compete head-to-head in Drucker's knowledge economy with the best that Brazil, Russia, India, and China have to offer, to say nothing of lesser economic powers who will each claim their own pounds of flesh: Israelis, Irish, Finns, Estonians, and Singaporeans.

The result of such a competition will be rude and uncomfortable for many, I think. Perhaps not in this corner of the blogosphere, which allegedly boasts much higher than average IQs, but our less gifted brothers across the country will fail to reap their proportional share of the wealth as more talented Jews, Northeast Asians, and Nordic whites occupy the highest rungs of the social ladder, condemning a majority of NAMs to lower economic strata. Scheve and Slaughter in their article document rising income inequality in the country, something that I think is an excellent symptom of this globalization process that snuck up on us all while our country was sleeping. As the reader can see from the graph drawn from the Scheve article, incomes have only risen for the top few percent of the population, while those who have foolishly bought into the education industry's marketing pitch have suffered from the double-whammy of falling incomes and heavy student debt. Interestingly, those that didn't attend college at all have not seen their incomes fall, which suggests that non-portable service jobs which do not have high barriers to entry (i.e. marginally useful yet expensive sheepskins) such as plumbers and automotive technicians have remained steady. If those people kept their financial portfolios clear of debt from unnecessary consumption, they probably do okay. HS dropouts, of course, fall in the bottom of the pile, forced as they are to compete with Pedro for stoop labor jobs in places like the Imperial Valley or in the meat-packing plants of Colorado, Iowa, or Nebraska.

Speaking of Pedro, one thing I noted is that the majority of the pro-globalization, free marketeer literature features a blithe promotion of open borders. While those folks probably have the free movement of labor across borders in mind when they promote this concept, I suspect they don't think much about what happens when third world laborers come to the US and stay, the social costs they incur (welfare, ER visits, crime, food stamps), the wage scales they lower, and the not insignificant adverse cultural impacts that is inevitable when mass migrations of aliens are injected into a host culture. If they had paid some heed to this issue, they may rethink their support, as this diversity of cultures reduces social cohesion, which then undermines the civic institutions that authors such as Mandelbaum cite as vital to the creation and sustainment of a free society (the thinking being that the government can't be everywhere, and the government that tried to be everywhere--as would be the case when parallel civic institutions are ineffective or nonexistent--would erode freedom indeed). In other words, their support of open borders undermines the very economy that they are trying to "help" with an open borders policy. Therefore the debate really isn't economics vs. security, as Scheve and Slaughter derisively dismissed critics of globalization's impact on homeland security. No, it's security and governance first, upon which all else rests, as Diamond pointed out.

Another men-impacting feature of globalization to consider is that globalization tends to benefit alphas and other apex-dwellers the most, while leaving betas and other lesser classes of men behind. We can see this phenomenon by noting who globalization selects to reward with the best incomes. It grants money and wealth to those who, in the global marketplace, add the most to the value chain of their corner of the knowledge economy, commensurate with their contribution.* Those who cannot or do not contribute to the knowledge economy on par with their peers are pushed lower on the pay scale, maybe even banished from the knowledge sector entirely. Manufacturing, according to Drucker, will eventually be nearly entirely performed overseas and, according to Friedman, will shrink radically as capital replaces labor and labor becomes more and more productive, meaning progressively less and less of it is needed. Those displaced by the shift away from manufacturing, or those who note the complexion of the knowledge-service divide, will likely be quite unhappy about their newfound lower standard of living and drop on the social scale. This will have the effect of exacerbating the already marked income inequality that Drucker warned us about, which I contend will inevitably lead to calls (such as that made by Scheve and Slaughter) for more progressive taxation policies and forced income redistribution to balance the condition of the haves to the have-nots. (Given how some of the rich are fleeing New York and other high tax places, somehow I don't think that such a strategy will work.) The end result of all this displacement is that many traditionally "male" jobs will disappear, the good jobs somewhat predominantly occupied by alpha men, and the really good jobs occupied nearly exclusively by alpha men. The rest of the men, and nearly all the women, will sell their labor for cash in the service sector.

Demographically, the haves and have nots will tend to split along class lines, which is to say that they'll tend to split along racial lines (and to a lesser extent, sex lines, but more on the gender factor later). The resulting black/brown vs. white social instability will be a terribly difficult problem for the government to handle, for in a global economy, American industries can ill afford the parasite drag from inefficiencies induced by government-sponsored anti-white, anti-Asian racism. They simply cannot afford, in the pure meritocracy that is a free market, such social overhead, in addition to the other onerous social burdens that government is wont to place upon companies. Companies will try to for a time, but the inevitable result is that many of those companies will eventually move offshore to places that do not require such burdensome practices. I don't know how this will play out, but I do not think that the eloi will be tolerated well by the descamisado morlock underclass they dominate, not when obvious racial and ethnic differences only serve to accentuate and sharpen the envy and covetousness of those less wealthy than they.

Women, for their part, will benefit disproportionately in the globalized economy by the confluence of two phenomena: the glass floor, through which women rarely fall to the basement, and a gynocentric society optimized for females at the expense of males. One consequence of said gynocentrism is to retard academic development for men, which will artificially depress their ability to compete in the globalized economy with foreign men or women. Another consequence, alluded to earlier, is government-sponsored sexism that artificially infuses the labor market with underqualified women who displace better-qualified men for coveted high-paying jobs. That said, while their participation in the upper strata of society is unnaturally skewed upward, a larger proportion of women, compared to men, will occupy the service sector. But here's where things get interesting. The present dating market is optimized for the pleasure of hypergamous many-to-one women and for promiscuous one-to-many men. The trend of globalization will tend to reinforce this primitive social ecology to the detriment of beta men, producing steadily more disaffected and disinvested men who will feel, not without some justification, that the blessings of the globalized economy have passed them by. Unfortunately, the one institution that would go a long way toward alleviating their condition, enduring marriage and family, is completely off the scope of all of the writers I've read thus far. While a few, notably Haass, warn of the hazards that unintegrated, alienated men and women pose to the stability of a society, all overlook the family, the fundamental building block of a free society, the pre-eminent and first-order civic institution and "counterweight to the machinery of government" that Diamond and Mandelbaum emphasize so much.

When all these factors are taken into consideration, the future for non-apex men looks rather bleak indeed.

Stay tuned for the next installment: A Couple Reasons for Optimism and A Conclusion.

* Now I'm not talking about the money-changers or the parasitic executive class. When I'm talking about workers, I'm referring to those who exchange value for value, who trade an honest day's labor for an honest day's pay.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Window Into Green Minds

Leftists in the US and in other countries have long exhibited a sort of cozy comfort with totalitarianism, no doubt due to their conceit that they are smarter than anyone else in the room and their desire to rule over the rest of us is for our own good.

A good example of this is environmentalism, a movement in which quite a few good Communists sought refuge when Communist politics shifted from fashionable to fringe.  When one couples the messianic complex inherent in trying to save the planet from humanity with the strong tendency toward utopianism, you get the video below, which is little more than a peek into the craniums of those who fancy themselves wiser than we and who are quite frustrated with our inability or unwillingness to get on board with their program.  Watch teh below video for a brief peek into the fever swamp that is the left-wing mind (warning -- video has gore):

Apparently it's not enough for left-wing political activists to demonize, dehumanize, and marginalize their political opponents; no, they have gone so far off the rails that it has become internally acceptable to publicly fantasize about liquidating those who disagree.  This then becomes exhibit A in any argument that these clowns must be kept as far away from the levers of power as possible, for history, particularly in the twentieth century as secular leftism stormed to power worldwide, is littered with examples of governments ruled by people such as these. People who, if given the opportunity, have no moral qualms about breaking some eggshells to make their omelets.

Agree with me. Or else. No pressure, though.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Jobs With the Lowest Risk of Divorce

At Overcoming Bias, I came across this spreadsheet documenting the divorce race by occupation. I found it quite interesting, and you may too. 

For instance, here are the top 10 most divorced occupations, in descending order of risk:
1. Massage therapists
2. Bartenders
3. Dancers / choreographers
4. Health diagnosing and treating
5. Physicians and surgeons
6. Gaming services workers
7. Mathematicians
8. Fish and game wardens
9. Pile driver operators
10. First-line supervisors / managers of gaming workers

Contrast these with the top 10 least divorced occupations, in ascending order of risk:
1.  Agricultural engineers
2. Religious activity and education directors
3. Transit and railroad police
4. Clergy
5. Optometrists
6. Shuttle-car operators
7. First-line enlisted military supervisors / managers
8. Audiologists
9. Religious workers, all other
10. Conservation scientists and foresters

The first thing I note is that jobs with the highest amount of mixed-sex contact and intimate settings present a much higher risk of marital disruption.  Actors, dancers, and the health services industry are those that jump out at me when I peruse the dataset.  This makes intuitive sense; risk is merely the product of exposure and hazard, and these types of occupations are very high on exposure to the opposite sex and, due to the close physical intimacy involved, are quite high on the hazard scale as well.  I suppose Gray's Anatomy has some validity when it comes to art imitating life.

Looking at the second list, I noted the protective effect of religion on the institution of marriage. Again, this makes intuitive sense as the structure presented by religion tends to at least pay lip service to monogamy and faithfulness, if not outright promote it.

Both lists probably have quite a large selection effect that affects dissolution rates; that is, conservative fundies are probably less likely to become massage therapists and professional dancers, while those that gravitate toward religion and church are probably not secular humanists and / or moral relativists with loose attitudes toward sexuality.

The data surprised me in some ways, in some ways defying conventional wisdom about which occupations had a higher risk of divorce while confirming others.  For instance, police officers and sheriff's deputies and their supervisors had a 0.85 risk of dissolution (1.0 being center of mass), somewhat contradicting the stereotype that police officers have a higher incidence of marital disruption than the general population.  In addition, military special operations officers are a mere 0.64, while the military in general is a 0.57.  There does, however, seem to be a split between officer and enlisted in the special operator community, for enlisted special operators suffer from a 1.14 risk of marital disruption; it is perhaps this latter group (which makes up the bulk of the special operations community) that gives the military its reputation for higher rates of marital disruption.  Moreover, I do wonder what role selection effect has on the military; for officers are more highly educated, are more highly compensated, and in general enjoy more perks than the enlisted population. They (officers) may also have been socialized into better social habits than the enlisted population, thereby selecting themselves for marital success, lending some credence to those who argue that social class is a predictor of marital success.  That said, given that the military in general is a 0.57, tends to undermine the notion that the military lifestyle is harder on marriages.

I also noted that the gaming industry was quite overrepresented in the data, as were blue-collar occupations such as construction and heavy manufacturing.  I cannot offer any confident speculation as to why these conditions exist, apart from the gaming industry being positively associated with exposure to immoral / overtly sexual environments, while blue-collar occupations may be peopled with beta providers with lower rates of education. The former heightens the risk of emotional alienation and infidelity, while the latter presents a higher risk of female hypergamous dissatisfaction.

Lastly, I note that the dataset appears to be normally distributed, with the bulk of occupations clustered around the mean.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Father's Rights Are Wrong According to Amnesty International

Author's note. The following column first appeared at The Spearhead on September 26th, 2010.

Earlier this year, four Swedish high school students, two girls and two boys, created a short film about fathers and how Swedish courts routinely take their children away from them. The students submit it to an Amnesty International-sponsored film competition.  The film makes it to the finals, the creators are invited to the final competition ceremony in Gothenburg, and then the film simply...disappears.  It is never shown. A day later, the film is removed from AI's video channel.  No explanation is given. Just *poof*, it's gone.

A short time later, the story goes, one of the students obtains an email purportedly sent from the feminist activists that run an Uppsala women's shelter thanking their followers for answering their call to protest AI's plan to show the film and taking credit for having the film removed from AI's lineup. Of course, AI denies that the group's protest resulted in the removal of the film, but given the content of AI's own website regarding violence against women, I am skeptical. A more credible explanation is that AI (a) sincerely believes in snuffing out violence against women, (b) believes that men are perpetrators of said violence against women, and (c) believes that any propoganda that advances the cause of men and fathers detracts from the struggle to end violence against women.  Is this explanation simplistic? You betcha. Is it accurate? Well, I think it nicely summarizes the hobgoblin thought processes inside the little minds of feminist activists.

Here's the 8-minute film for your viewing pleasure:

To be honest, I'm surprised that it took this long for AI to be thoroughly infected by feminist ideology, given how AI swims in the same pool as other left-wing activists and their penchance for proliferating "rights" awarded by the political process.  And now we see AI, rather than agitating for human rights for all, is aligning itself with those who desire to squelch the rights of others in a perverse zero-sum contest for dominance, as Stephen Baskerville explains:
In recent years Amnesty has become a mouthpiece for the radical feminist agenda, to the point of pushing programs that violate human rights. Amnesty’s campaign against "domestic violence," for example, is a prescription for criminalizing the innocent on a huge scale.

Even on its face, "domestic violence" is a matter not of human rights but of crime. No one suggests that ordinary theft or assault, when not perpetrated by government agents, are "human rights" violations. They are crimes for which the criminal justice system either provides or it does not. If not, the system is dysfunctional, but it has nothing to do with "human rights."

But this is precisely what is wrong with the trumped-up hysteria over "domestic violence" (and most accusations are indeed trumped-up): It exists precisely to circumvent the legal safeguards and protections for the rights of the accused that make free countries free. Newfangled gender crimes like "domestic violence" exist to punish those who cannot be convicted with evidence.

Why can alleged assailants not be charged and tried according to standard laws against violent assault? Because domestic "violence" criminalizes almost anything, even if it is not violent or even physical. In domestic violence cases there is seldom a trial, almost never a jury, and no one is ever acquitted. One study published in Criminology and Public Policy found that everyone arrested for domestic violence receives some punishment. Special "domestic violence courts" now exist for the express purpose of processing more convictions.

It is based on this presumption of guilt that Amnesty can claim that in the US "a woman is battered every 15 seconds." Amnesty provides no documentation for this preposterous figure, because none exists. We also learn that "Amnesty International considers domestic violence a form of torture," demonstrating an Orwellian willingness to redefine words and cheapening their own campaign against real torture.

Amnesty is quite clear that it is stretching the meaning of "human rights" into a backdoor penal instrument. "A human rights framework...enables Amnesty International to use international human rights standards and hold governments accountable if they fail to meet their obligations to protect women." [Note: the source of the quote may be found here, at AI's website] In other words, far from limiting government reach and repression, Amnesty is working to expand them.

This in turn points to a larger problem in the trajectory of human rights law. When you accuse people of violating human rights – of crimes – you raise the question of protecting their own human rights at the most basic level of due process. Protecting the human rights of those accused of human rights violations is something for which "human rights" groups have shown little concern [emphasis mine]. On the contrary, they seem far more concerned with erecting an assortment of grand-sounding conventions, monitoring committees, and pseudo-tribunals, whose mandate seems to be to convict anyone who is accused.

It is quite unfortunate that an organization that once opposed totalitarianism and governmental abuse of its citizens has now become a proponent of it. And I really must marvel at the ability of the feminist octopus to insinuate its tentacles into every level of government and NGOs worldwide.  It is really quite extraordinary.