Category Archives: America

About American politics, our spirit, and our soul

Love in the new world, after the gender wars

Summary:  It’s vital to understand not just what’s happening in the gender wars but why. Here Allan Bloom explains the beliefs and goals of the social reformers leading the restructuring of American society. They’re quite frank in writings amongst themselves, but speak to the rest of us in more gentler and comforting terms.  {2nd of 2 posts today.}

Snow White fights sexism

Excerpt from Allan Bloom’s Love and Friendship (1993):
“The Fall of Eros”

The new program to reform society

Now there is a new illiberal tendency that strangely both contradicts and supports liberal tolerance and easygoingness: the imperial project of reform promoted by radical feminism. It wants to enter the bedroom and much more the psyche in order to alter male sexual taste and behavior. It is not so much acts but the meaning of those acts and the disposition of those who perform them that now count.

The new discussion of male sexuality — for it is almost exclusively males who are the subjects of this — produces a distinctly unlovely vision of erotic relations. Male lust, male treatment of women as objects — in general, machismo — are the themes of this new sexual education. It is an education directed not to the sublime or sublimation, but to control. The object is not the relatedness of male and female, but liberation from male oppression, or nature’s oppression, in order to provide women with power or choice, the great word of the movement, choice to make oneself whatever one wants to be, free from the patriarchal structures that are said to have kept even what appeared to be the freest women imprisoned.

Male and female are no longer to be reciprocal terms, and the male habit of supposedly forcing women into such reciprocity is what must go. Of course, rape was always forbidden, and there was a codicil to the liberal formula that limited the right to do anything in your own bedroom to “consenting adults.” But now we are alleged to have a much higher consciousness of what rape and consent mean. What used to be understood as modes of courtship are now seen as modes of male intimidation and playing on the weaknesses and anxieties of women.

The education of male sexual desire in the past was intended to make men into gentlemen, a term reciprocal to lady, a person whose chastity was priceless and needed protection. The new feminist women make no claim to chastity and even ridicule it. It is an affront to raise the question of chastity as a part of the criminality of rape. Whether it be a prostitute or Mother Teresa is unimportant, although not all juries have yet been persuaded of this. Rape is considered bad no longer because it assaults a weak and defenseless person’s modesty, which is necessary to her exclusive attachment to the man she loves. Rape is now bad because it deprives women of power.

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Should we panic at the many warnings about domestic terrorism?

Summary:  Since 9/11 the security services have repeatedly warned about domestic terrorists of the Left and Right. The  important conclusion from these — and the numbers — is that domestic terrorism is probably a relatively small problem, one that our security agencies might give too much attention. This diverts attention and burns resources that could go to bigger and more likely risks.  (2nd of 2 posts today.}

Keep calm and carry on

Contents

  1. 2007: Islamic terrorist attacks in the next 3 years!
  2. 2009: right-wing terrorist attacks in the next few years!
  3. What do state and local police think?
  4. Again warning about domestic terrorism.
  5. Rise of the Lone Wolf Terrorist!
  6. Conclusions.
  7. For More Information.

(1)  Islamic terrorist attacks coming to the Homeland!

The July 2007 a summary was released of an National Intelligence Estimate about “The Terrorist Threat to the US Homeland“.  This alarming forecast proved quite wrong, but that has not slowed the gravy train to the security services. Excerpt:

We judge the US Homeland will face a persistent and evolving terrorist threat over the next
three years. The main threat comes from Islamic terrorist groups and cells, especially al-
Qa’ida, driven by their undiminished intent to attack the Homeland and a continued effort by
these terrorist groups to adapt and improve their capabilities.

… We are concerned, however, that this level of international cooperation may wane as
9/11 becomes a more distant memory and perceptions of the threat diverge. … As a result, we judge that the United States currently is in a heightened threat environment.

(2) Rightwing extremists might attack the Homeland!

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Good news about the fear epidemic: we’re learning!

Summary: Today’s post gives good news (too rarely found here). ! I have long warned about the fear epidemic where our elites use fear as the most effective way to mold public opinion. That explains the near-constant fear barrages. But our ruling elites (and me) might be wrong about us — and the effectiveness of fear as a tool to rule us.  {2nd of 2 posts today.}

The brave man is not he who feels no fear,
For that were stupid and irrational;
But he, whose noble soul its fear subdues,
And bravely dares the danger nature shrinks from.

— Joanna Baillie’s Count Basil (1798).

Fearful faces in the dark

America overflows with fear. Both Left and Right rain daily fear barrages on us, warning of a multitude of certain dooms ahead. Countless foes foreign and domestic. Ten percent of us suffer from a hundred or more serious diseases. So many of our foods are poisonous, as are the chemicals we drink, eat, and breathe — from industrial pollution, contact with our consumer goods (soda bottles), or waste (hormones from birth control pills). The very weather threatens to destroy us, as our society disintegrates.

As I have shown in scores of posts, our elites increasingly attempt to influence by appeals to fear — rather than to higher qualities, or even other low traits. I assumed they were correct to do so, but now suspect I am wrong.

A paradigmatic fear barrage was the early 1980’s “nuclear winter” campaign to force unilateral disarmament by the US. It gained wide support in academia, on the Left, and among journalists — but failed to gain traction with the public.  It did not fail because of its shaky scientific foundations, or its somewhat fraudulent marketing (a theory unveiled in Parade magazine rather than peer-reviewed journals) — but because the public didn’t believe.

Fast forward to the fear campaigns of today, such as the Right’s crusade against Obamacare and gays and the Left’s crusade against global warming (rebranded as climate change). These have been conducted with skill and professionalism, supported by lavish funding. All have failed.

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Women have won the gender revolution

Summary: This post on our series about the gender roles revolution looks at the result of the social and tech trends — women have won. They now have a competitive superiority in a wide range of factors, which is bringing them to dominance in US society. Changes take time to upset existing hierarchies, but the trend is unquestionable.  {1st of 2 posts today.}

Gender equality

They talk about ‘a woman’s sphere’
As though it has a limit;
There’s not a spot on sea or shore,
In sanctum, office, shop or store,
Without a woman in it.

— Anonymous, from Jennie Day Haines’ Sovereign Woman Versus Mere Man (1905).

In 2009 I wrote a series about the coming gender role reversal — women on top of men (links below). There were also others seeing this coming. This insight went mainstream with “The End of Men” by Hanna Rosin, The Atlantic, 8 June 2010:

Earlier this year, women became the majority of the workforce for the first time in U.S. history. Most managers are now women too. And for every two men who get a college degree this year, three women will do the same. For years, women’s progress has been cast as a struggle for equality. But what if equality isn’t the end point? What if modern, postindustrial society is simply better suited to women? A report on the unprecedented role reversal now under way — and its vast cultural consequences.

The more interesting fact is that this was seen first on the street — the wisdom of crowds at work (emphasis added):

… In the ’90s, when {biologist Ronald Ericsson} looked into the numbers for the two dozen or so clinics that use his process {sex selection}, he discovered, to his surprise, that couples were requesting more girls than boys, a gap that has persisted …  In some clinics the ratio is now as high as 2 to 1. … A newer method for sperm selection, called MicroSort, {has} girl requests … at about 75%.

… “It’s the women who are driving all the decisions,” he says — a change the MicroSort spokespeople I met with also mentioned. At first, Ericsson says, women who called his clinics would apologize and shyly explain that they already had two boys. “Now they just call and [say] outright, ‘I want a girl.’ These mothers look at their lives and think their daughters will have a bright future their mother and grandmother didn’t have, brighter than their sons, even, so why wouldn’t you choose a girl?

Her article is well-stocked with data and logic, which I will not repeat here. Read it. Better yet read her book The End of Men: And the Rise of Women. It’s not just that women are doing better (that’s a good thing), but that the absolute condition of men is deteriorating. People have been pointing that out for a decade, but it’s been shouted down by feminists until the numbers have become too dark to easily ignore (we’re still ignoring them; it’s just more difficult to do so).

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Books to help us see the strange new world following the revolution in gender roles

Summary: To understand the strange future that lies ahead it helps to better understand our present and past. We can do that by turning to people who have written about these things. Here are some recommendations, books about our strange world to prepare us for an even stranger future.  {2nd of 2 posts today.}

This isn’t our future, although we might have the flying car:

The Jetsons: a 1950s family of the future.

The Jetsons: a 1950s family of the future.

Books should be our first stop on our journey to see the future. They can help clear away the underbrush of falsehoods about our situation. They can explain the inescapable biological basis of gender in humanity. They can show us the mind-blowing range of sexual practices and family structures in world history (however strange the future, there are always precedents). They can point us to literature, where artists explore both the reality and dreams about our lives. Here are my recommendations, places to start amongst the vast body of work about this most interesting of subjects.

Book Recommendations

  1. The Myth of Male Power: Why Men Are the Disposable Sex
  2. The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature
  3. Love and Friendship
  4. Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty
  5. Sex in History
  6. Pink Samurai: Love, Marriage and Sex in Contemporary Japan

(1) The Myth of Male Power: Why Men Are the Disposable Sex

By Warren Farrell (1993) — So many of the assumptions of feminists are factually incorrect. Farrell gives us a list. You might not agree with every one, but this point is incontrovertible.  Summary from Publishers Weekly:

“Readers of this significant study will find that they haven’t lost the ability to cry after all. While some feminists may assert that it is an attack on women, the book attempts to show areas in which males operate at a disadvantage without claiming that women are responsible for their plight. Psychologist Farrell stresses economics, pointing out that the 25 worst types of jobs, involving the highest physical risk, are almost all filled by men. He also considers warfare, in which virtually all of the military casualties are men; the justice system, where sentences for males are customarily heavier; and sexual harassment, which has become a one-way street. He concludes with helpful advice on “resocializing” the male child, adolescent and adult.”

The Myth of Male Power: Why Men Are the Disposable Sex is available at Amazon.

(2) The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature

By Matt Ridley (1993) — despite all our ever-growing technological power, we are anchored to our humanity by a billion years of evolution. Ridley doesn’t ask what happens when we can tinker with the biological essentials of our design.  Summary from Amazon:

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A look ahead at the New America, after the gender wars

Summary: Before we start this series speculating about our new society as gender roles change unrecognizably, I’ll reverse my usual procedure and give the conclusions at the beginning. The early signs of these things have already appeared, but most readers will be shocked — and many will be horrified.  {1st of 2 posts today.}

“Always in motion is the future.”
— Yoda, Jedi-Knight.

Gender Roles

An outline of this series

A combination of social evolution and technology — with complex feedbacks between them — has greatly changed gender roles during the past 150 years, and the process has just begun. We can only guess at possible outcomes ahead from trends already running, which is what we’ll do in this series.

I believe that women will continue to outperform men in education and therefore taking an increasingly powerful — and eventually a dominant — role in the professions, business, and politics. Accelerating this trend will be their natural advantages in bureaucratic organizations (from classroom to boardroom) as the weight of sexism fades.

In such a world fewer women will be able to marry up (aka hypergamy) as the balance of power shifts in their favor, putting further stress on the institution of marriage and the nuclear family structure.

As patriarchy dies marriage will offer ever fewer benefits to men. They’ll compare the  consequence-less sex so easy available without marriage — with the burden of marriage, raising children, doing half the housework — and the high odds of one’s wife initiating divorce, taking the kids, and levying a decade or two of child support payments. At home paternity tests might increase their cynicism about the institution, as 2-3% of men discover that they’re not the biological father of their children. These things will wreck the already decaying structure of the nuclear family.

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Our response to California’s drought shows America at work to enrich the 1%

Summary: The California megadrought shows America’s public policy machinery at work. Dysfunctional for us; highly functional for the 1%. It’s the price we pay for our apathy and passivity. Today we review California’s latest response to this crisis.  {2nd of 2 posts today.}

California drought

Contents

  1. Summary
  2. How Growers Gamed California’s Drough
  3. “California Goes Nuts”
  4. Apocalyptic Schadenfreude
  5. For More Information

(1)  Summary

Here’s the tale in brief, told by journalist Mark Hertsgaard in “After Warmest Winter, Drought-Stricken California Limits Water But Exempts Thirstiest Big Growers“:

There are a lot of Californians who are suffering right now, especially farm workers. There are communities out in Central Valley, the poor communities where a lot of farm workers live, that literally don’t have water coming out of their household taps anymore. That is not the case for Mr. Stewart Reznick {billionaire} and a lot of bigger farmers. In fact, my story in The Daily Beast started with a conference that Mr. Reznick and his pistachio company, Paramount Farms, held just last month, where they bragged, literally bragged and celebrated about the record profits that they are making on pistachios, on almonds, and not only the profits, but the record production levels, and the record acreage levels, which means that as the state has been going into drought, nevertheless agricultural interests are planting more and more acreage, new almond trees — we are growing alfalfa here which is a very thirsty crop and gets exported over to China.

There are all kinds of examples of this. But, the pain is not being felt equally here. The growers at that conference, they literally trooped out of that conference listening to Louis Armstrong saying “it’s a wonderful world,” and I think the mood was captured by one grower who said, “I’ve been smiling all the way to the bank,” and they played a clip from that Tom Cruise movie, “Jerry Maguire” where Cruise yells out “show me the money.” Well, they are making plenty of money, some of the big farmers here, and that’s largely because they are still getting plenty of water, and, as I say, the experts say that this water is underpriced. If that if we did price it properly, which means a little bit higher, that there is enormous strides that California could be taking with water efficiency.

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