August 8, 2017 § 74 Comments
Diversity fideism has taken another scalp, thereby proving the victim’s point.
Any subhuman oppressor who attempts to politely discuss inclusiveness and open sharing of all opinions within a diverse modern high tech organization must be ejected from polite society, deprived of voice and income. Young intelligent twenty-something lightly pigmented men who very gently and apologetically notice that men and women are — despite stipulated wide individual variation and the occasional surgical adventurer — generally different qua populations, pose a terrible threat to billionaire masters of the universe who also happen to be young intelligent lightly pigmented men.
What constitutes ‘fact’ doesn’t depend upon empirical reality: it depends upon narrative-established victim status. That over 90% of work related fatalities are men is not a relevant fact at all: nobody is lobbying to close the dirt nap gap.
That individual women who accomplish the same things as men in the same position make the same pay is not a relevant fact. (That they actually shouldn’t be paid as much for the same work is something which must never be proposed at all. That is even worse than noticing that importing a pliable Mexican underclass harms the prospects of a more darkly pigmented and less pliable American underclass).
That women as a population earn less than men on average is a relevant fact; but only inasmuch as it is founded on the idea that women are not moral agents making their own decisions. The observation that women qua population might be making free choices which affect average pay is not a relevant fact. White men are awful oppressors and the reason they dominate Fortune 500 boards is unfair bias.
These are foundational propositions in the Current Year version of the modern creed, dogmas not subject to empirical falsification and set in opposition to transcendent evil. Blind faith in the ruling class religion of total open-mindedness and the nonexistence of authority must never be questioned, no matter what your lying eyes may tell you.
March 28, 2017 § 38 Comments
Liberalism – making freedom a political priority – is, at bottom, rationally incoherent. But it is easy to see how folks committed to it might come to see having more options – independent of whether those options are or are not of any objective value – as something to be encouraged and pursued. Doctrine abstracted and analyzed in itself is one thing. As an active social force in a population of real people it is another. Under liberalism authority and tradition come to be (selectively) seen as something to be overcome, so the number of available options tends to proliferate in direct proportion to the amoral trivial banality of those options. You can live in any kind of city you want as long as it sports modern architecture, Starbucks, gay pride parades, and its own vibrant Little Somalia.
Against my better judgment I got into a combox back and forth with a commenter on donalgrame about whether modern men have a harder time pursuing the good in marriage and family than modern women: whether women, objectively speaking, have better options available than men when it comes to pursuing the good in sex and marriage. I’ve noted before that modern people can get as much sexual stimulation as they want: what has become increasingly difficult is pursuing the good in sex and marriage, not pursuing ultimately self-destructive and unsatisfactory hedonism.
One of the things that constantly comes up is that, because men and women are different, the kind of immoral sexual stimulation available to women differs from the kind of immoral sexual stimulation available to men. Sure, men can immerse themselves in pornography and masturbation all they want, and can even go to a strip bar or hire a hooker. But the average woman has greater empowerment to fornicate specifically than the average man, because in modern hookup culture 80% of the women are fornicating with 20% of the men.
It follows (!) that men have a harder time pursuing the good in sex and marriage than women.
But at the end of the day, this is like arguing that meth heads have it so much better than heroin addicts. Modernity does indeed produce a marketplace of all sorts of degenerate choices; but anyone who can’t see that making good choices has become harder for everyone is living under a rock.
December 3, 2015 § 30 Comments
I am sure everyone is relieved to see my post “Whitey knows best” move down the screen, with crickets chirping in the combox. Race just isn’t a central concern of mine and never has been. That isn’t to downplay it — for all I know my ambivalence has been bred into me and is a bad thing. I’ll never be a friend of white nationalists or white supremacists though, or of anti-racism activists (oddly, also a kind of white supremacism). My heart just isn’t in it.
But if folks actually do want an honest discussion of race – people are always saying that they want an ‘honest’ discussion of race, by which I think they mean that they want to hear their own views or at least views with which they are comfortable expressed in other peoples’ voices – I’ll give ’em what I’ve got.
I actually do like and appreciate diversity. Thugs and jerks come in all shapes, sizes, and colors; and so do gracious hosts and friends. Sometimes a helping hand comes from where you least expect it, and hostility comes from where friendship should be presumed. That’s just my experience of the world as I have actually found it. Statistics may tell us what to expect on a sociological level, but persons are not statistics. It is kind of like environmental conservation or male friendship: liberalism has destroyed a lot of what is lovely about the world by turning it into pretext for political opposition. But I do love nature, camaraderie among men, and the delight of meeting folks who are quite different from myself. Life is too short to let liberalism rob it of its richness.
Sorry, racial reactionaries, but modern people really do engage in a lot of racially motivated injustice: racism. By the same token, racism is probably one of the most abused concepts out there. That’s what liberals do: they start with a basically legitimate injustice – otherwise it would have no anchor in reality – and redefine it past the end of crazy in a postmodern frenzy of self-hatred. They are doing the same thing with rape, and only a tomfool postmodern would claim that rape is an anti-concept. The irony is thick, but that isn’t going to stop me from trying to see things as they actually are.
Liberalism proposes to promote diversity but in fact it promotes uniformity: you are either absorbed into the uniformity of the free and equal superman through the principle of fraternity, which in practice means actual physical inbreeding with liberal stock to create one master race; or you are on the list of subhuman oppressors to be put on the trains and sent to the camps. Your name may be near the top of the list or it may be near the bottom, but make no mistake about it: if you are not part of the breeding stock for the master race you have a train ticket. If you will not be my brother I will crack your skull.
July 2, 2014 § 34 Comments
44 Then [the demon] saith: I will return into my house from whence I came out. And coming he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.
45 Then he goeth, and taketh with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is made worse than the first. So shall it be also to this wicked generation. — Matthew 12:44-45
Suppose you are someone who has taken the red pill and realized that feminism is false and women are not attracted to obsequious nice guys. Or you’ve realized that there are differences between the races that cannot be managed out of existence by an ever-escalating regime of mandatory tolerance. All your life you thought otherwise, but now you realize that you were wrong about something that was manifest right in front of you. The emperor was parading around naked but you actually believed he was wearing clothes.
You’ve obviously learned some things. But what is the most important thing you have learned?
You have learned that you can be deceived your entire life about something extraordinarily unsubtle: that you can be taken in for years or decades by a naked emperor paraded right in front of your lying eyes.
October 15, 2013 § 25 Comments
A common cultural theme is to blame hedonistic immoral behavior on a sheltered upbringing. The idea is that once the homeschooled or private-schooled child grows up she is inevitably overwhelmed by twerktastic “reality” and goes feral.
This cultural theme serves two purposes. First, it provides a ready-made excuse for people of weak character who were given all the advantages of an orthodox upbringing and squandered it. Second, it blames the parents and shames the communities who dare to attempt to bring children up in a healthy environment.
September 3, 2013 § 37 Comments
Part of the jargon of the manosphere is the notion of maintaining “frame”. As with many ideas this one has both a good incarnation and a bad incarnation when it encounters the world of Internet discourse. In its good incarnation maintaing frame on the Internet means that you don’t allow someone else to change the subject out from under you and declare victory. In its bad incarnation maintaining frame means becoming that well known paleolithic Internet creature, the ferrous cranus.
What brought all this to mind was a horrendously long thread at the blog Sunshine Mary. The blog hostess posts in reaction to a guy who claims to be an authority on female psychology – his main credential being that in the past he (by his own account) opportunistically used large numbers of women as a sexual toilet. Mr Tomassi made the (apparently unintentionally) ironic statement that “men love idealistically, whereas women’s love is rooted in opportunism.” This contrast statement is patently false under any reasonable, unequivocal interpretation of the words “love”, “idealistically”, and “opportunism”. Any sane person would simply retract it, and move on to crafting true and valid points. But I won’t rehash all that here — it is in the thread, and masochists are welcome to explore it in all its glory.
What occurred to me in the course of watching some folks defend the statement despite its … well, despite an irony so thick you could cut it with a knife, is that, as with “Game” more generally, there is an aura of acting, of playing pretend in the face of contravening reality, in the notion of “maintaining frame”. I frankly hope to “maintain frame” when I am right, and make course corrections when I am wrong. When it comes to attitude, authority, etc in real life I suppose I do “maintain frame” in a sense – but there really actually will be Hell to pay if I am crossed when I shouldn’t be in a domain where it is important, so there isn’t any play acting involved. Standing your ground is good, when — well, when it is good.
That picture in the frame might look nice, but it is just a picture. If you’ve set your frame up to reveal what is true, to reveal actual reality, the frame falls away. The only true frame is no frame.
But as jargon “frame” is still useful shorthand for “don’t change the subject, wise guy”.
April 6, 2013 § 48 Comments
There is all the difference in the world between pity and contempt. The former expresses caritas for someone who suffers from a disadvantage or is lower in the social hierarchy. The latter treats someone as an outcast from civilized company. There are times and places for both; but the time and place for the latter obtains only when the person has brought it upon himself.
Parents of illegitimate children have brought it upon themselves. The children themselves have not. To express contempt rather than pity for the latter is, itself, contemptible.
Egalitarian modernity struggles with the difference between pity and contempt, because to be “in” society at all just is to be equal. To egalitarian modernity anyone who isn’t an equal isn’t anyone at all. He is worse than contemptible: he is subhuman.
March 7, 2013 § 20 Comments
It is no secret that children raised in broken homes have more problems than children raised in intact homes under the leadership of a competent father. Illegitimate children tend to do worse academically, they get into more legal trouble, they are more likely to divorce, they tend to be angrier at the world and more self-centered — the list goes on.
But the cluster of characteristics surrounding illegitimacy are a stereotype; which is why, just because someone happens to come from an intact home, it doesn’t follow by logical or ontological necessity that he isn’t a pathetic bastard.
And the converse is also true. Bastard is as bastard does.
UPDATE: The context for this post is the off-topic comment thread below this post.
February 1, 2013 § 42 Comments
Stereotypes are an interesting subject because they represent a significant cultural dividing line in our society. They are considered a transcendent evil by most kinds of liberals, and it is perfectly understandable why this would be the case given the liberal or modernist understanding of reality. It isn’t just that stereotypes imply inherent inequalities among groups of people, although they certainly do that. And it isn’t just that a stereotype frequently tends to be unfair when it is ‘particularized’ into expectations about and interpretations of individual persons, though that is also true.
Stereotypes are considered a transcendent evil to the modern mind because the modern mind knows only atoms and the void: because if an individual falls into a category, a stereotype legitimately bears truth about that category, and philosophical naturalism is a given, then we might as well all be Nazis.
But none of that represents a reasonable view of stereotypes. As I’ve written before, while stereotypes are generally valuable truth-bearing high-level insights into what to expect out of groups qua groups, they tend to break down and certainly become less useful as we get to the HD pixel resolution of particular individuals. The microscope gives a different view than the binoculars, but it doesn’t follow that the one falsifies the other.
One of the reasons stereotypes are of limited value on the Internet specifically when it comes down to personal interactions between individuals is because of all the inside baseball. I am sure non-Catholics encounter this all the time, for example, when they run into Catholics on the net. A non-Catholic often has a particular view of Catholics as such and very little visibility into the multifarious intramural disputes which inevitably arise in any group of ten people, let alone a billion or so. A very wise man of my acquaintance told a new convert to just deliberately ignore all of that and concentrate on the basics: Mass, Scripture, the Sacraments, prayer, fasting, and works of mercy. Very wise advice.
But those individual divisions begin to matter at certain resolutions. A stereotype of my own has been my rather uniform perception of people who refuse to send their children to public schools for moral and religious reasons. It hadn’t occurred to me until recently that there might be, for example, homeschoolers who stereotype private Catholic or Christian schools as an enemy, an Other, rather than as another at-least-sometimes countercultural Christian option for at least some people: something to be encouraged, not envied or disdained.
When I went to Parochial school in the 1970’s the banners were felt and the big controversy surrounding our Confirmation Mass was whether we were going to sing the (naughty) “Stairway to Heaven” or the (nice) “Bridge Over Troubled Water”. We ended up singing the nice hippy song not the naughty rocker ballad, because the latter was a ‘drug song’ and the former wasn’t. (Sail on, Silver Girl). But in Health class we were taught unflinchingly by the very same teacher that masturbation, fornication, adultery, and abortion were moral wrongs; this contrasted starkly to Health class in public school a few years later. Possibly of note is that our family got financial assistance to go there: if the school had taken on some other burden of charity instead of us we would not have been able to attend.
So I don’t understand if and why homeschoolers should be the enemy of private schoolers, and I’m pretty sure that homeschoolers reserve to themselves pretty broad rights as to who they invite into their homes to tutor their children and upon what moral standards they condition the invitation. I don’t actually know if this is a significant divide. But the possibility of a significant divide here has been raised.
January 12, 2013 § 16 Comments
It is hard to believe that it has been fourteen years since the publication of Jim Kalb’s seminal essay on stereotypes. Contrary to the demands of the zeitgeist, stereotypes are inevitable. It doesn’t really matter what one thinks of them: being morally opposed to stereotyping is akin to being morally opposed to oxygen. Human life isn’t possible without them:
What is to be done? The simple and obvious answer is frank acceptance of stereotypes and discrimination. Such things are often oppressive, just as government, private property, social standards, individual self-assertion, and many other things are often oppressive, but in one form or another they are necessary and inevitable. Treating women as different from men, taking ethnic kinship into account, and treating a judge with special consideration should all be acceptable as expressions of legitimate principles of social organization. Abuses can be dealt with piecemeal; to reject stereotype and discrimination in principle, however, is useless, since we will rely on them in any case. The attempt makes serious political thought impossible, and benefits only those with something to conceal.
At the same time, it is important to understand that our various modes of thought have limits. In the manosphere, the term “apex fallacy” is just a specific invented label used to object to how women stereotype men without realizing the inherent limitations of the stereotype.
Now I could be a good conservative/reactionary and point out that this is not substantively different from feminists griping about the stereotyping of women, and I actually did point out that the more radically anti-women elements in the manosphere are engaged in their own version of the apex fallacy.
But the reality is that people who object to stereotyping (including the men who gripe about women committing the apex fallacy) do have a valid point: not that stereotyping is objectionable or avoidable, but that it does have its inherent limits.
One of those limits is that a stereotype loses its usefulness as one gets to know individuals better. I’ve pointed this out before: when talking about hypergamy or the Meyers-Briggs test or any other social model we are basically creating stereotypes. These are useful in understanding what things are happening in aggregate, and, absent more specific information, they are additionally useful in personal encounters with people, places, and institutions you don’t know (or don’t know very well). But that usefulness has limits, and it decays as specific knowledge replaces the stereotype. If I have worked with you for ten years and am still relying on knowing that your Meyers-Brigges evaluation categorized you as an INTJ it is probably a sign of something wrong with my ability to learn.
A second limitation on the value of stereotypes is the one called out by the apex/trough fallacy: that the stereotype is typically constructed based on the most visible members of a group, and therefore will provide a false reading about the less visible members of the group. Those less visible members will inevitably feel unfairly pigeonholed or ignored, and not entirely without justification.