Saturday, November 28, 2015

"The End of Academic Elites"

This is from the American Thinker and was written by Mike Konrad.

The internet has changed everything, so much so that even I, a man who has been online for 19 years, am constantly amazed at the pace of accelerated change. The printing press changed the world in a few decades in the 16th century. The internet is even more revolutionary.

Even more so than the press, the internet has evaporated prior means of didactic instruction. The printing press created change, but only the rich could afford to buy one. For less than $100 today, one can get a domain and start a media empire on the web.

Kids now get their news from the internet. Prior to YouTube, news came from "respected" media sources. Now any kid with an iPhone can break a story. In America, videos of police brutality have become a cottage industry, with attendant consequences. I could have used an iPhone when I was a teen.

Craigslist has done a runaround on newspapers by offering free advertising, thus cutting their revenues. Newsprint is collapsing. Paper after paper has gone broke. The Media Elite are gone. Little mammals, like American Thinker, have overtaken the "venerable" dinosaurs of the liberal establishment.

The most noticeable change has been reporting from the Mideast. Until 15 years ago, Jews, by virtue of education, and presence in the media, could wield a moderating -- critics have claimed a suffocating -- influence. However, today every Arab in the contested areas seems to come equipped with an iPhone, ready to video every supposed Israeli "outrage." Anybody with an anti-Israel bent can open up a website. No one listens to Wolf Blitzer any more. The borderline anti-Semitic site Mondoweiss now has the new media's ear. There are more smartphones in the hands of Muslims than Jews available to contest the narrative. Horror or improvement, this is the present reality.

Beyond the death of the Mainstream Media, the value of a journalism degree has evaporated. So much for six years to a masters at the Columbia School of Journalism. Save yourself a fortune and open a YouTube channel. On the job training. Make money from adding commercials.

With the free Word Press platform -- a user friendly content management system -- anybody can open up a news site in a few hours, and soon compete with the BBC, which also uses Word Press, as well as the New Yorker, and the NY Times Blogs. The rise of Mondoweiss -- also run on Word Press -- is a glaring example of how the media has been overtaken by the technology. If you want to counter anti-Semitism, then ask Ted Belman. Israpundit runs on Word Press.

YouTube now outflanks, and scoops cameramen with 20 years of experience. Kids with a 16-megapixel Samsung smartphone camera are now obsoleting experts with ten thousand dollar rigs. Satellite uplinks have given way to snapping and shooting off to the cloud. Every teen is a star.

With Photoshop, high end photography has changed. Apple's Final Cut Pro, and Sony's Vegas have placed professional editting into the hands of people for less than a thousand dollars. If one is broke, Gimp and Kdenlive are quite capable freeware alternatives. Teens can outperform studied experts.

If one needs instruction in these software packages, they are available for free on websites and YouTube. Where then is the value of a film degree that cost tens of thousands?

In the 1960s, green screening chromakey required hundreds of thousands of dollars in a camera and rig. Now, a $50 webcam, some borrowed furniture, lights, and a green towel, with some freeware, can produce the same effect. With Audacity, and a used, cheap mixer, who needs training in audio engineering?

One can self-educate her or himself up to a Masters degree in civil or mechanincal engineering on the internet. Indeed, the only thing truly provided by schools today is a space for lab work. All else can be acquired online at little or no expense.

I taught myself HTML, CSS, PHP, and jQuery about nine years ago. Had I gone to school at that time, it would have cost me thousands of dollars. I learned them for free from a few websites.

Eight years ago, there was a great demand for the mid-level coder, who wrote individualized websites. It was heavy with teens who needed spending money. Now, coding is only useful for the back end of design platforms, where elite expertise is needed; and those experts are often non-degreed, but self-taught. With WIX, a computer illiterate can now design fancy sites in a few minutes. The mid-level profession has evaporated. So much for that training.

Even Word Press is now being assailed by simpler platforms like Weebly, which are making websites so easy that web design is now officially dead. A whole sub-industry was birthed, grew, and died out in less time that it took to even learn the skills.

The New Boston website offers complete courses in computer science, coding, math, and physics. The owner started the site when he realized that college was now a pointless waste of time. The Khan Academy is a free university. Other World Computing was teaching Apple computer repair -- and quite well –- until Apple started soldering parts a few years ago, probably in response to IFIXIT and DIRECTFIX, whose repair kits cut into Apple's profits.

Medical Degrees, which require training, will survive, but not without severe pruning of required attendance. Who is going to pay hundreds of thousands to go to Columbia Med School for a degree when he or she can learn many of the skills for free. What is needed is apprentice/intern training, not fluff courses. More time as an intern, less time in redundant classes.

True, research has to be centralized, but everything up to a bachelor's can be achieved gratis. Entrance to graduate school will be solely by exam, along with a small syllabus of lab courses, and nothing more. To the enterprising student, this can be accomplished with home study, and a year in commercial labs in capacity as a trainee; an arrangement once familiar to medieval guilds, only this time defined by the net rather than tradition.

For budding clerics, the Blue Letter Bible is an online bible college, complete with interactive Greek and Hebrew interlinears, which give pronunciation. Aquinas and Luther would have killed for such tools.

Unlike the revolution started by the printing press which soon stabilized, internet changes are not merely drastic but continually accelerating.

In the liberal arts, one can practice Spanish with a native speaker in Argentina on Skype for free. No need for four years in college with an American professor who never learned how to trill an r. No need for a community college degree in graphic design, when Roberto Blake does a far better job of it for free on YouTube.

Academia will soon die out. The relic courses designed only to make work for obsolete professors will no longer be tolerated. The debt, and the social bloat, will have to collapse. Education has now become truly democratized. Only Engineering, the Sciences, and Medical Education will survive -- and these in only an abbreviated form.

This has the advantage of removing the last holdouts of a vestigial intellectual aristocracy which distorts our Republic with claims of expertise, and high salary requirements. However, the downside, as evinced by YouTube reporting, will be the total lack of responsibility. We will happily lose the Ivy League elite; but alas we may pay for this liberty with BDS coming out of every pore.

For those who say the servers can be shut down, you can learn how to set up your own for a few hundred dollars. In fact, older computers are perfect for such servers.

It will be interesting. I, for one, feel that it will be good to see ossified, overpriced universities disappear. I would rather exercise my own discretion than have choices made by some elite dinosaur. Academia was the last vestige of medievalism. Good riddance! Long live the internet.

I'm Always Amused by Dipshits

I still get people telling me that "well-regulated" means firearms being regulated by the government. You have to look at the historical content. In those days "well-regulated" meant "well-practiced" and "well-maintained" - the people, not the firearms. People who were well-practiced and well-maintained when it came to firearms - with a group of them being known as a militia.

My experience has been that leftists always lie - and they don't even know they're lying.

"Psychologists now know what makes people happy"

Enough is a good as a feast. - Old saying.

I've pointed out several times before the ancient Greeks noticed that eudamonia (well-being) is achieved through arete (excellence) - doing what you're good at doing (they also noticed that the opposite of hubris - overweening arrogance - is sophrosyne (humility or understanding your strenghs and weaknesses - to "know thyself").

As for gratitude, you can't be envious and grateful at the same time. That, too, has been noticed for thousands of years. I can do no better than to quote Meister Eckhart: "If the only prayer you say is 'thank you' it will be enough."

And perhaps to also quote Ray Bradbury, who once wrote that he was immensely grateful for merely being alive, even with all the horror that is sometimes inherent in this wonderful and bizarre circus known as life (for that matter, how often is anyone truly grateful for anything these days?).

Of course, bravery (fortitude) is one of the Four Cardinal Virtues, along with Prudence, Justice and Temperance.

Concerning altruism, it's probably the main reason the demented Christianity-hating Jew atheist, "Ayn Rand," makes no sense, with her destructive philosophy of pure selfishness (which is always related to hatred and envy - and Alice Rosenbaum, which was her real name, was a hater and envier if there ever was one).

This article is from USA Today and was written by Marilyn Elias.

"The happiest people surround themselves with family and friends, don't care about keeping up with the Joneses next door, lose themselves in daily activities and, most important, forgive easily."

The once-fuzzy picture of what makes people happy is coming into focus as psychologists no longer shun the study of happiness. In the mid-'90s, scientific journals published about 100 studies on sadness for every one study on happiness.

Now a burgeoning "positive psychology" movement that emphasizes people's strengths and talents instead of their weaknesses is rapidly closing the gap, says University of Pennsylvania psychologist Martin E. P. Seligman, author of the new book, Authentic Happiness. The work of Seligman and other experts in the field is in the early stages, but they are already starting to see why some people are happy while others are not: The happiest people spend the least time alone. They pursue personal growth and intimacy; they judge themselves by their own yardsticks, never against what others do or have.

"Materialism is toxic for happiness," says University of Illinois psychologist Ed Diener. Even rich materialists aren't as happy as those who care less about getting and spending.

Because the December holidays are friend- and family-oriented, they painfully reveal the intimacy missing in some lives, Diener says.

Add in the commercial emphasis — keeping up with the Joneses and the Christmas enjoyed by the Joneses' kids — "and it's a setup for disappointment," he says.

And yet some people manage to look on the bright side, even if they lose their jobs in December. Others live in darkness all year for no apparent reason. A person's cheer level is about half genetic, scientists say.

Everyone has a "set point" for happiness, just as they do for weight, Seligman says. People can improve or hinder their well-being, but they aren't likely to take long leaps in either direction from their set point.

Even physical health, assumed by many to be key to happiness, only has an impact if people are very ill. Objective health measures don't relate to life satisfaction, but subjective feelings do.

Plenty of healthy people take their health for granted and are none the happier for it, Diener points out. Meanwhile, the sickly often bear up well, and hypochondriacs cling to misery despite their robust health.

Good feelings aren't "all in the head," though. Actions matter, just not in the way often believed.

Life satisfaction occurs most often when people are engaged in absorbing activities that cause them to forget themselves, lose track of time and stop worrying. "Flow" is the term Claremont Graduate University psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced cheeks-sent-mee-hi) coined to describe this phenomenon.

People in flow may be sewing up a storm, doing brain surgery, playing a musical instrument or working a hard puzzle with their child. The impact is the same: A life of many activities in flow is likely to be a life of great satisfaction, Csikszentmihalyi says.

And you don't have to be a hotshot to get there.

"One of the happiest men I ever met was a 64-year-old Chicago welder with a fourth-grade education," he says. The man took immense pride in his work, refusing a promotion to foreman that would have kept him from what he loved to do. He spent evenings looking at the rock garden he built, with sprinklers and floodlights set up to create rainbows.

Teenagers experience flow, too, and are the happiest if they consider many activities "both work and play," Csikszentmihalyi says. Flow stretches someone but pleasurably so, not beyond his capacity. "People feel best when doing what they do best," he says.

Everyone has "signature strengths," Seligman adds, and the happiest use them. Doing so can lead to choices that astound others but yield lasting satisfaction.

That's what happened to Greg and Tierney Fairchild. He was a Ph.D. candidate at Columbia, and she'd already earned a Ph.D., when they learned that the child she was carrying had Down syndrome, along with a serious heart defect requiring surgery.

In the Fairchilds' intellectual circle of friends, some viewed having a retarded child as unthinkable — and let them know it. Lots of people, including some family members, assumed they'd opt for abortion. After thoroughly exploring all the angles — medical, practical and emotional — they decided to keep their daughter, Naia.

"We're pro-choice, so it's not that we wouldn't get an abortion under some circumstances, or think that others could make a different choice here," Greg says.

They were leading with their strength. An interracial couple, they both had long histories of taking bold, less traveled paths rather than following the parade.

Greg was the first black on his high school track team at a Southern, mostly white school; he became student body president.

Tierney was the only MBA student at her university also getting a Ph.D. in education because she wanted to train executives.

And they chose each other, despite all the stares of bigots they knew they'd face forever.

"We haven't shied away from tough choices," Greg says, "and we've been able to persevere through some difficulties other people might not have been able to."

Tierney says, "We thought having Naia would be a challenge, but we really wanted her, and just because something's a challenge, I'm not the type to turn away."

Their struggles are depicted in the new book, Choosing Naia by Mitchell Zuckoff.

That was a few years ago. Now Naia is a 4-year-old people magnet with a great sense of humor, the first Down syndrome child to be "mainstreamed" at the preschool for University of Virginia staff. (Greg teaches in the business school.) She walked late, talked late and is potty-training late—just as her parents expected. "And so what?" Tierney asks. "She's brought us a huge amount of joy because she's such a happy child."

Tierney, who is manager of executive education at United Technologies Corp., feared she'd have to quit work to care for Naia, but that wasn't necessary. Tierney and Greg gave Naia a baby brother, Cole, 22 months ago. "We're so grateful for these kids," Greg says.

Gratitude has a lot to do with life satisfaction, psychologists say.

Talking and writing about what they're grateful for amplifies adults' happiness, new studies show. Other researchers have found that learning to savor even small pleasures has the same effect. And forgiveness is the trait most strongly linked to happiness, says University of Michigan psychologist Christopher Peterson.

"It's the queen of all virtues, and probably the hardest to come by," he adds.'More fun, less stuff'

There's also evidence that altruistic acts boost happiness in the giver.

That doesn't surprise Betsy Taylor, president of the Center for a New American Dream, a Takoma Park, Md., non-profit that favors simple living and opposes commercialism. "The altruism part is worth keeping in mind over the holidays," Taylor says. "Our mantra is 'more fun, less stuff.' Do for others, we say."

Karen Madsen, 51, of Everett, Wash., is a believer. For several years, she's organized local families to buy holiday gifts for needy foster children. Madsen sinks in about $1,000 herself, often trimming her own kids' Christmas haul to do it. "You'd see these notes from foster kids, 'I don't really need anything, but my little sister needs a coat because she's cold.' "

Her son, William Shepherd, a high school senior, doesn't mind. "It's a lot of fun to go shopping for their toys," he says. "I have enough, and it feels good to make sure other people can enjoy the holidays, too."

Many parents would be amazed that a kid could be happy to get less, but surprise is the name of the game with happiness. People aren't very good at predicting what will make them happy, cutting-edge research shows.

Even Seligman, the happiness maven, tells how he wanted no more children — he already had two grown ones — and his current wife wanted four, "so we compromised at four," he says. His book reveals he's besotted with these kids and marvels at them daily. "I just didn't know," he says.

None of us knows, says Harvard University psychologist Daniel Gilbert. "There's a reason why Euripides said, 'It would not be better if men got what they wanted.' " People expect that events will have a larger and more enduring impact on them — for good or ill — than they really do, Gilbert's studies find.

People tend to rationalize bad things, quickly adapting to new realities. They also visualize future events in isolation, but real life teems with many experiences that dilute the impact of any one.

This means winning the lottery doesn't make people's lives stellar, but they recover from romantic breakups much quicker than expected.

"If you knew exactly what the future held, you still wouldn't know how much you would like it when you got there," Gilbert says. In pursuing happiness, he suggests "we should have more trust in our own resilience and less confidence in our predictions about how we'll feel. We should be a bit more humble and a bit more brave."

"I enjoy every sandwich. - Warren Zevon

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

"Is Technological Responsibility Possible?

"Machines are amplifiers" - Cooper's Law

Machines amplify our natural powers, for good and bad. The trick is to figure out the good and bad before it happens. And good luck with that! Because we'll need it!

This is from the Citadel Foundations.

There is a problem that those favoring Traditional modes of society face, pointed out by various thinkers. Technological advancement, particularly technological advancement as it pertains to international competition.

It cannot be denied that many ideals that we are fond of were undermined by new technologies. This wasn't the primary force driving changes (this was a spiritual alteration which set in among Occidentals during the 'Enlightenment'), but it was absolutely a catalyst. In several areas, because human beings have been able to develop more advanced methods of production of goods and later services, life for people has been radically altered. Not only do we face man's 'liberation from labor', but we are also seeing new technologies exploited by those with power to ensure the propagation of false memes and the perpetuate of the Progressive agenda.

For the longest time, the technologies of civilizations provided innovative ways to do things that would not be possible otherwise. In agriculture, we see things like Archimedes' screw and grain storage methods going back thousands of years. Civilization has a higher capacity to innovate than nomadic tribal society because it has to innovate to support a larger population which must necessarily specialize to produce more of life's bare essentials, food, drinkable water, and shelter from the elements, in addition to things that people naturally desire such as grandiosity.

However, once we reach the Modern era, technology begins to change. With the introduction of the firm as a key market unit in place of the guild, economic competition takes on a much greater role in larger society, aided by the collapse of religious significance for Occidental life. It is now imperative to spur creative destruction, that is the removal of market agents who refuse or are unable to innovate and provide either better or cheaper products and services. More often than not, this process has served Progressive ends. Media devices such as televisions and the printing press have allowed religious ideas to be disseminated without the use of a temple, and so have their true intentions cloaked as supposed 'news'. Household appliances have played their part in allowing women access to the labor market, a source of nothing but grief for both sexes, not to mention its detriment to children. Even more remarkable than these, our technological advancements which have made material life much more gratifying than at any other point in history, give us the illusion of that central dogma of the Cult of Progress, which is progress itself. People are seeing, from their limited vantage point, a linear change of improvement. Its like witnessing a miracle in terms of its religious confirmatory power.

But we forget of course that there are far more important factors that determine the outcome of civilization than material. Man is numb to these, and lives only for tomorrow's innovation. He has become 'homo economicus' with a Progressive operating system. His primary directives are to accrue as much economic material as he can, working within the religious confines of the dominating occult motivator which underlies his entire world.

What can be done? It is no solution to simply say the Reactionary is a Luddite: he sees technology's hideous effects on the fundamental constitution of man and wishes it done away with. If true globalism was desirable or even possible, then this might find purchase, but in a world where nations necessarily look for every advantage over other nations, the Luddite finds himself on the light end of a balance of power. It's a rat race we are in fact forced to run. No matter the moral cost, no matter how it might mutilate our internal society, we must compete because if we do not, then our neighbor will. Always, somebody somewhere will be willing to saw their foot off in order to escape the bathroom, even if we aren't. That person lives. We die. Someone mentioned this to me in the context of genetic engineering, now possible due to the advances in science over the last decade or so. Like many, I find this idea abominable. Not only do I think its a moral perversion (which carries its own set of consequences), but practically I can see looming dangers of such technologies, Our smartest scientists are like newborns at God's great computer, ready to get stuck in to an incalculably complicated code. Our instinct is to pull them away and say "don't touch that, you fool!", but if we do what will be our fate? We know the Chinese or somebody else will do it instead, and while it might lead to their utter ruin, in the short term it could very well lead them to be our masters.

So we have a dilemma. I call it the Dilemma of Technological Competition, that is, how can we maintain good societal health when the technological rat race forces us to develop technologies which may not be healthy?

It is a dilemma that I don't think has been well-addressed by any contemporary thinkers. There are some trains of thought which definitely engage with it. One says that technological advancement to a singularity is inevitable, but that its destructive power must be managed by Reactionaries if we are to survive at all. Another puts forward that technological advancement is a good means to bring about the end of Modernity in an actively pursued cataclysm, that we should accelerate this advancement to bring forth the next stage of humanity, which will end up being Reactionary.

These are very clear-cut answers. Either future technology is something we can harness and in fact must harness for a more responsible future, or technology will be the default death of Progress itself due to unforeseen consequences worldwide.

I'd propose the answer is not as easy. It seems self-evident that the death of entropic Liberalism will end in catastrophe rather than transition. There are ethnic, religious, military, and economic factors which ensure this on a global scale, which both enhance dangers and spread them over wide areas. Technology amplifies the amount of influence individuals have on this future 'event' by an incalculable magnitude. Put simply, our technological abilities allow what would previously have been insignificant portions of society to have a big impact. The problem is, this is in the hands of so many that where it might produce order in the hands of one, it produces further chaos instead. It is impossible to say what the earth will look like in fifty years time, but I would argue we are going to see increasing irresponsibility with regards to technology, as it becomes more widely available, and moves through radical stages of development with increasing velocity.

What does the aftermath look like? Unknown. It seems that technology could fall prey to the survival instinct. Can factories be maintained when civil order unravels? Can companies justify continuing the production of goods to populations in no position to buy them? I have made clear that from what has been written and what can be observed, we are gradually moving towards a point where Liberalism breaks under the weight of its own contradictions, but the scariest thing is our reliance on technology, and technology's ties to Liberalism itself. If Liberalism disappears, what of technology? Where does it land? We may end up in a world where technology unthinkable today exists for us in one area, but in another we are reduced to a subsistence level. The question remains terrifyingly open-ended.

I've spoken before about Reactionary policy prescriptions. What does the government of a Reactionary State do, with regards to marriage for example. Can a similar proposal be developed for technology? I believe it can, so long as we hold true the idea of a destiny component, that where history lands next will in fact inherently favor the success of Reactionary ideas as man will return to his organic state. By assuming this, we can say that there may not exist the international competitive pressures which drive technological advancement today.

If so, consider the following:

1) Technology is good insofar as it may improve the lives of the state's subjects within the limitation of their immaterial requirements. Technology that eliminates all manual labor from the lives of men is therefore maladaptive, for example. Such considerations should always be in play when decisions are made about which technologies are pursued in knowledge of our limited resources.

2) Technology ought not serve the ends of heteronomic or theonomic authorities in illegitimately expanding their spheres of authority. The Reactionary deplores totalitarianism, which can only be possible through the select use of particularly surveillance technologies.

3) No technology should be pursued without first taking into account its long-term social consequences. Extending the lives of a nation's people through advanced medicine is not a sound policy when these periods of extended life are periods of infirmity during which such people become unable to take care of themselves in any capacity.

4) All technologies should be passed through a moral lens. Just because we can do something, does not mean we should, and rather than viewing morality as the Modernist views it, a series of values judgments based on our subjective feelings, we should see it as a rigid guide with profound consequences for violation, not just for individuals, but societies at large.

5) It is perfectly reasonable to suspect that technologies can be justly limited to caste if there is sound practical justification for this to be the case. Certain technologies, while highly beneficial if held by the warrior caste, may be horribly detrimental if held by the merchant caste.

Beyond the fog of the future, it is hard to comprehend exactly what trials await us in the realms of technology. Which will rear their ugly heads, and which will vanish with a soft refrain of "what is a microwave?". General principles are useful to postulate in such a dilemma, so that they may be flexibly applied to any given situation which may confront the Reactionary State. Politics trumps any technological interest there is. If it is politically more appropriate to have man live no longer than 60 years of age, then technology must submit to this demand. Machines are not here to serve our personal purposes, but to serve our greater collective mission which is the maintenance of a healthy, responsible, moral, and stable society. It is error to think that greater technological prowess in all areas serves these ends. History says little to support such a notion, and plenty against it.

"Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should." Ian Malcolm, Jurassic Park

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Why Women Damage and Destroy Everything in Which They Meddle infinitum, ad nauseum.

When there are too many women in a field, they always damage or destroy it. Why? There are only a few reasons.

One, many women are natural socialist/fascism. Two, they are ruled by their feelings first, reason second. Three, they think they are always right. Four, they place security above freedom. All four of them, when together, are very bad things. And in a woman, they are always together.

Being natural socialists, they think everyone should be equal. That is one of the basic tenets of leftism, which is why leftism is feminine even if a man believes in it. Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, who everyone should read, defined leftism as "the murder of the Father."

When you apply leftism to society, you always get a collapsed society.

When you apply leftism to education, you get female teachers (and their mangina supporters) trying to turn little boys into little girls, usually through the use of extremely dangerous psychiatric drugs such as Ritalin. That way, everyone will be "equal," although the female teachers define equal as "everyone acting like a girl."

Having a few female teachers is fine, but having too many female teachers is not only not fine, it is dangerous, mostly because they have no idea how to handle little boys. Which, sweethearts, ain't that hard.

Second, women are ruled by their feelings first, then by reason. It's a brain thing. An illustration of that is the classic line in As Good as It Gets, when Melvin Udall (Jack Nicholson) says he understands women so well because he thinks of a man and "takes away reason and accountability."

Any woman who is honest with herself knows she is ruled by her feelings, so if she has any sense she will wait a few hours and try to reason out whether or not she is right. Or, she can just ask one of those Awful Things known as a man.

As for women always thinking they are right, Carl Jung that was women's greatest flaw. Which is is. The other side of that coin is "It's somebody else's fault." If you think you are always right, then somebody else must be always wrong, so they have to be the cause of every problem.

This is why women always blame their problems on men, even when it's clearly the woman's fault.

The late humorist Stephen Leacock wrote this about a hostile woman who thought she was always right and blamed all problems on men: "She went on to explain instead that when women have the vote there will be no more poverty, no disease, no germs, no cigarette smoking and nothing to drink but water. It seemed a gloomy world." You betcha. Does that female world sound familiar today, with male females like the former mayor of New York banning too-big bottles of soda pop?

There is a famous comedy performance called "Defending the Caveman." Rob Becker, who created it, said that in one performance, when he commented that while men find women mysterious, women think men are always wrong, a woman stood up in the audience and shrieked, "They ARE wrong."

Four, women place security above liberty. This also is dangerous. Men created civilization, society and science and technology. They did it by being innovative, by exploring and doing dangerous things. You will never see a woman jump out of a balloon 23 miles up, as Felix Baumgartner did.

Women created none of these things because they don't have the ability. This is not due to thousands of years of oppression. It's because men and women have different brains.

There has never been a matriarchy, contrary to the hallucinations of those who think one has existed. There has always been patriarchy. Because, whenever any society gets close to being a matriarchy, it collapses before it gets there. That's why our society is close to collapse.

I'll close with something else Leacock wrote: "Let the reader remain agonized over that till I write something else."

Monday, November 23, 2015

“The Patriarchal Family in History”

"As I have pointed out, it is the Christian tradition that is the most fundamental element in Western culture. It lies at the base not only of Western religion, but also of Western morals and Western social idealism." -Christopher Dawson

This was written by Christopher Dawson and is from 1933.

I've seen what happens when men devote their lives to seducing women and it ain't pretty at all (which is why I point out that such frauds and liars as "Roissy" and "Roosh," for all their lip service to traditional morality, marriage and family, are ultimately offering very bad advice). The same applies to "Vox Day" and his childish delusions about "alpha" and "beta" and the rest of that Greek soup nonsense.

I've also seen what happens when men devote their lives to nothing but making money and it too is not a pretty thing.

I’ve also seen Briffault quoted extensively by those in the Manosphere who don’t know their history. (Briffault's Law: "The female, not the male, determines all the conditions of the animal family. Where the female can derive no benefit from association with the male, no such association takes place. — Robert Briffault, The Mothers, Vol. I, p. 191)

As I and many others have pointed out several (and more) times, women on their own can’t do much of anything. In reality they’re 100% dependent on men for support, culture and advancement, with men being 100% on them for children (This is one of the reasons Briffault's Law applies to animals, not humans.)

I find it bizarre that leftist governments (which is what most of them turn into) are consistently trying to destroy families, even though families predate all governments. If the families go, the governments certainly are going to go, too.

As for spiritual leaders belonging to the celibate class, I will again strongly urge you to read Walter M. Miller, Jr.’s wonderful novel, A Canticle for Leibowitz.

This article was written in 1933 but lo and behold! it could have been written today.

The article starts here.

The traditional view of the family was founded on a somewhat naive and one-sided conception of history. The knowledge of the past was confined to the history of classical civilization and to that of the Jews, in both of which the patriarchal family reigned supreme. But when the European horizon was widened by the geographical discoveries of modern times, men suddenly realized the existence of societies whose social organization was utterly different to anything that they had imagined.

The discovery of totemism and exogamy, of matrilinear institutions, of polyandry, and of customs of organized sexual license gave rise to a whole host of new theories concerning the origins of marriage and the family. Under the influence of the prevalent evolutionary philosophy, scholars like Lewis Morgan elaborated the theory of the gradual evolution of the family from a condition of primitive sexual promiscuity through various forms of group-marriage and temporary pairing up to the higher forms of patriarchal and monogamous marriage as they exist in developed civilizations.

This theory naturally commended itself to socialists. It received the official imprimatur of the leaders of German Socialism in the later nineteenth century, and has become as much a part of orthodox socialist thought as the Marxian interpretation of history. It was, however, never fully accepted by the scientific world, and is today generally abandoned, although it still finds a few supporters among anthropologists.

In England it is still maintained by Mr. E. S. Hartland and by Dr. Briffault, whose vast work The Mothers (3 vols., 1927) is entirely devoted to the subject. According to Briffault, primitive society was purely matriarchal in organization, and the primitive family group consisted only of a woman and her offspring. A prolonged sexual association, such as we find in all existing forms of marriage, except in Russia, is neither natural nor primitive, and has no place in matriarchal society.

The original social unit was not the family, but the clan which was based on matrilinear kinship and was entirely communistic in its sexual and economic relations. The family, as we understand it, owes nothing to biological or sexual causes, but is an economic institution arising from the development of private property and the consequent domination of women by men. It is “but a euphemism for the individualistic male with his subordinate dependents.”

But in spite of its logical coherence, and the undoubted existence of matrilinear institutions in primitive society, this theory has not been borne out by recent investigations. The whole tendency of modern anthropology has been to discredit the old views regarding primitive promiscuity and sexual communism, and to emphasize the importance and universality of marriage. Whether the social organization is matrilinear or patrilinear, whether morality is strict or loose, it is the universal rule of every known society that a woman before she bears a child must be married to an individual male partner. The importance of this rule has been clearly shown by Dr. Malinowski. “The universal postulate of legitimacy,” he writes, “has a great sociological significance which is not yet sufficiently acknowledged. It means that in all human societies’ moral tradition and law decree that the group consisting of a woman and her offspring is not a sociologically complete unit. The ruling of culture runs here again on entirely the same lines as natural endowment; it declares that the human family must consist of the male as well as the female.”

It is impossible to go back behind the family and find a state of society in which the sexual relations are in a pre-social stage, for the regulation of sexual relations is an essential pre-requisite of any kind of culture. The family is not a product of culture; it is, as Malinowski shows, “the starting point of all human organization” and “the cradle of nascent culture.” Neither the sexual nor the parental instinct is distinctively human. They exist equally among the animals, and they only acquire cultural significance when their purely biological function is transcended by the attainment of a permanent social relation.

Marriage is the social consecration of the biological functions, by which the instinctive activities of sex and parenthood are socialized and a new synthesis of cultural and natural elements is created in the shape of the family. This synthesis differs from anything that exists in the animal world in that it no longer leaves man free to follow his own sexual instincts; he is forced to conform them to a certain social pattern. The complete freedom from restraint which was formerly supposed to be characteristic of savage life is a romantic myth. In all primitive societies sexual relations are regulated by a complex and meticulous system of restrictions, any breach of which is regarded not merely as an offence against tribal law, but as morally sinful. These rules mostly have their origin in the fear of incest, which is the fundamental crime against the family, since it leads to the disorganization of family sentiment and the destruction of family authority. It is unnecessary to insist upon the importance of the consequences of this fear of incest in both individual and social psychology, since it is the fundamental thesis of Freud and his school. Unfortunately, in his historical treatment of the subject, in Totem and Tabu, he inverts the true relation, and derives the sociological structure from a pre-existent psychological complex instead of vice versa. In reality, as Dr. Malinowski has shown, the fundamental repression which lies at the root of social life is not the suppressed memory of an instinctive crime — Freud’s prehistoric Oedipus tragedy — but a deliberate constructive repression of anti-social impulses. “The beginning of culture implies the repression of instincts, and all the essentials of the Oedipus complex or any other complex are necessary by-products in the gradual formation of culture.” The institution of the family inevitably creates a vital tension which is creative as well as painful. For human culture is not instinctive. It has to be conquered by a continuous moral effort, which involves the repression of natural instinct and the subordination and sacrifice of the individual impulse to the social purpose. It is the fundamental error of the modern hedonist to believe that man can abandon moral effort and throw off every repression and spiritual discipline and yet preserve all the achievements of culture. It is the lesson of history that the higher the achievement of a culture the greater is the moral effort and the stricter is the social discipline that it demands. The old type of matrilinear society, though it is by no means devoid of moral discipline, involves considerably less repression and is consistent with a much laxer standard of sexual behavior than is usual in patriarchal societies. But at the same time it is not capable of any high cultural achievement or of adapting itself to changed circumstances. It remains bound to its elaborate and cumbrous mechanism of tribal custom.

The patriarchal family, on the other hand, makes much greater demands on human nature. It requires chastity and self-sacrifice on the part of the wife and obedience and discipline on the part of the children, while even the father himself has to assume a heavy burden of responsibility and submit his personal feelings to the interests of the family tradition. But for these very reasons the patriarchal family is a much more efficient organ of cultural life. It is no longer limited to its primary sexual and reproductive functions. It becomes the dynamic principle of society and the source of social continuity. Hence, too, it acquires a distinctively religious character, which was absent in matrilinear societies, and which is now expressed in the worship of the family hearth or the sacred fire and the ceremonies of the ancestral cult. The fundamental idea in marriage is no longer the satisfaction of the sexual appetite, but, as Plato says: “the need that every man feels of clinging to the eternal life of nature by leaving behind him children’s children who may minister to the gods in his stead.” This religious exaltation of the family profoundly affects men’s attitude to marriage and the sexual aspects of life in general. It is not limited, as is often supposed, to the idealization of the possessive male as father and head of the household; it equally transforms the conception of womanhood. It was the patriarchal family which created those spiritual ideals of motherhood and virginity which have had so deep an influence on the moral development of culture. No doubt the deification of womanhood through the worship of the Mother Goddess had its origin in the ancient matrilinear societies. But the primitive Mother Goddess is a barbaric and formidable deity who embodies the ruthless fecundity of nature, and her rites are usually marked by licentiousness and cruelty. It was the patriarchal culture which transformed this sinister goddess into the gracious figures of Demeter and Persephone and Aphrodite, and which created those higher types of divine virginity which we see in Athene, the giver of good counsel, and Artemis, the guardian of youth. The patriarchal society was in fact the creator of those moral ideas which have entered so deeply into the texture of civilization that they have become a part of our thought. Not only the names of piety and chastity, honor and modesty, but the values for which they stand are derived from this source, so that even where the patriarchal family has passed away we are still dependent on the moral tradition that it created. Consequently, we find that the existing world civilizations from Europe to China are all founded on the tradition of the patriarchal family. It is to this that they owed the social strength which enabled them to prevail over the old cultures of matrilinear type which, alike in Europe and in Western Asia, in China and in India, had preceded the coming of the great classical cultures. Moreover, the stability of the latter has proved to be closely dependent on the preservation of the patriarchal ideal. A civilization like that of China, in which the patriarchal family remained the corner-stone of society and the foundation of religion and ethics, has preserved its cultural traditions for more than 2,000 years without losing its vitality. In the classical cultures of the Mediterranean world, however, this was not the case. Here the patriarchal family failed to adapt itself to the urban conditions of the Hellenistic civilization, and consequently the whole culture lost its stability. Conditions of life both in the Greek city state and in the Roman Empire favored the man without a family who could devote his whole energies to the duties and pleasures of public life. Late marriages and small families became the rule, and men satisfied their sexual instincts by homosexuality or by relations with slaves and prostitutes. This aversion to marriage and the deliberate restriction of the family by the practice of infanticide and abortion was undoubtedly the main cause of the decline of ancient Greece, as Polybius pointed out in the second century B.C. And the same factors were equally powerful in the society of the Empire, where the citizen class even in the provinces was extraordinarily sterile and was recruited not by natural increase, but by the constant introduction of alien elements, above all from the servile class. Thus the ancient world lost its roots alike in the family and in the land and became prematurely withered.

The reconstitution of Western civilization was due to the coming of Christianity and the re-establishment of the family on a new basis. Though the Christian ideal of the family owes much to the patriarchal tradition which finds such a complete expression in the Old Testament, it was in several respects a new creation that differed essentially from anything that had previously existed. While the patriarchal family in its original form was an aristocratic institution which was the privilege of a ruling race or a patrician class, the Christian family was common to every class, even to the slaves. Still more important was the fact that the Church insisted for the first time on the mutual and bilateral character of sexual obligations. The husband belonged to the wife as exclusively as the wife to the husband. This rendered marriage a more personal and individual relation than it had been under the patriarchal system. The family was no longer a subsidiary member of a larger unity - the kindred or “gens.” It was an autonomous self-contained unit which owed nothing to any power outside itself.

It is precisely this character of exclusiveness and strict mutual obligation which is the chief ground of objection among the modern critics of Christian morality. But whatever may be thought of it, there can be no doubt that the resultant type of monogamous and indissoluble marriage has been the foundation of European society and has conditioned the whole development of our civilization. No doubt it involves a very severe effort of repression and discipline, but its upholders would maintain that it has rendered possible an achievement which could never have been equaled under the laxer conditions of polygamous or main-linear societies. There is no historical justification of Bertrand Russell’s belief that the Christian attitude to marriage has had a brutalizing effect on sexual relations and has degraded the position of woman below even the level of ancient civilization: on the contrary, women have always had a wider share in social life and a greater influence on civilization in Europe than was the case either in Hellenic or oriental society. And this is in part due to those very ideals of asceticism and chastity which Bertrand Russell regards as the source of all our troubles. For in a Catholic civilization the patriarchal ideal is counterbalanced by the ideal of virginity. The family for all its importance does not control the whole existence of its members. The spiritual side of life belongs to a spiritual society in which all authority is reserved to a celibate class. Thus in one of the most important aspects of life the sexual relation is transcended, and husband and wife stand on an equal footing. I believe that this is the chief reason why the feminine element has achieved fuller expression in Catholic culture and why, even at the present day, the feminine revolt against the restrictions of family life is so much less marked in Catholic society than elsewhere.

In Protestant Europe, on the other hand, the Reformation, by abandoning the ideal of virginity and by the destruction of monasticism and of the independent authority of the Church, accentuated the masculine element in the family. The Puritan spirit, nourished on the traditions of the Old Testament, created a new patriarchalism and made the family the religious as well as the social basis of society. Civilization lost its communal and public character and became private and domestic. And yet, by a curious freak of historical development, it was this Puritan and patriarchal society which gave birth to the new economic order which now threatens to destroy the family. Industrialism grew up, not in the continental centers of urban culture, but in the most remote districts of rural England, in the homes of nonconformist weavers and ironworkers. The new industrial society was entirely destitute of the communal spirit and of the civic traditions which had marked the ancient and the mediaeval city. It existed simply for the production of wealth and left every other side of life to private initiative. Although the old rural culture, based on the household as an independent economic unit, was passing away for ever, the strict ethos of the Puritan family continued to rule men’s lives.

This explains the anomalies of the Victorian period both in England and America. It was essentially an age of transition. Society had already entered on a phase of intense urban industrialism, while still remaining faithful to the patriarchal ideals of the old Puritan tradition. Both Puritan morality and industrial mass economy were excessive and one-sided developments, and when the two were brought together in one society they inevitably produced an impossible situation.

The problem that faces us today is, therefore, not so much the result of an intellectual revolt against the traditional Christian morality; it is due to the inherent contradictions of an abnormal state of culture. The natural tendency, which is even more clearly visible in America than in England, is for the Puritan tradition to be abandoned and for society to give itself up passively to the machinery of modern cosmopolitan life. But this is no solution. It leads merely to the breaking down of the old structure of society and the loss of the traditional moral standards without creating anything which can take their place. As in the decline of the ancient world, the family is steadily losing its form and its social significance, and the state absorbs more and more of the life of its members. The home is no longer a center of social activity; it has become merely a sleeping place for a number of independent wage-earners. The functions which were formerly fulfilled by the head of the family are now being taken over by the state, which educates the children and takes the responsibility for their maintenance and health. Consequently, the father no longer holds a vital position in the family: as Mr. Bertrand Russell says, he is often a comparative stranger to his children, who know him only as “that man who comes for week-ends.” Moreover, the reaction against the restrictions of family life which in the ancient world was confined to the males of the citizen class, is today common to every class and to both sexes.

To the modern girl marriage and motherhood appear not as the conditions of a wider life, as they did to her grandmother, but as involving the sacrifice of her independence and the abandonment of her career.

The only remaining safeguards of family life in modern urban civilization are its social prestige and the sanctions of moral and religious tradition. Marriage is still the only form of sexual union which is openly tolerated by society, and the ordinary man and woman are usually ready to sacrifice their personal convenience rather than risk social ostracism. But if we accept the principles of the new morality, this last safeguard will be destroyed and the forces of dissolution will be allowed to operate unchecked. It is true that Mr. Russell, at least, is willing to leave us the institution of marriage, on condition that it is strictly demoralized and no longer makes any demands on continence. But it is obvious that these conditions reduce marriage to a very subordinate position. It is no longer the exclusive or even the normal form of sexual relations: it is entirely limited to the rearing of children. For, as Mr. Russell is never tired of pointing out, the use of contraceptives has made sexual intercourse independent of parenthood, and the marriage of the future will be confined to those who seek parenthood for its own sake rather than as the natural fulfillment of sexual love. But under these circumstances who will trouble to marry? Marriage will lose all attractions for the young and the pleasure-loving and the poor and the ambitious. The energy of youth will be devoted to contraceptive love and only when men and women have become prosperous and middle-aged will they think seriously of settling down to rear a strictly limited family. It is impossible to imagine a system more contrary to the first principles of social well-being. So far from helping modern society to surmount its present difficulties, it only precipitates the crisis. It must lead inevitably to a social decadence far more rapid and more universal than that which brought about the disintegration of ancient civilization. The advocates of birth-control can hardly fail to realize the consequences of a progressive decline of the population in a society in which it is already almost stationary, but for all that their propaganda is entirely directed towards a further diminution in the birth rate. Many of them, like Dr. Stopes, are no doubt so much concerned with the problem of individual happiness that they do not stop to consider how the race is to be carried on. Others, such as Mr. Russell, are obsessed by the idea that over-population is the main cause of war and that a diminishing birth rate is the best guarantee of international peace. There is, however, nothing in history to justify this belief. The largest and most prolific populations, such as the Chinese and the Hindus, have always been singularly unaggressive. The most warlike peoples are usually those who are relatively backward in culture and few in numbers, like the Huns and the Mongols, or the English in the fifteenth century, the Swedes in the seventeenth century, and the Prussians in the eighteenth century. If, however, questions of population should give rise to war in the future, there can be no doubt that it is nations with wide possessions and a dwindling population who will be most likely to provoke an attack. But it is much more likely that the process will be a peaceful one. The peoples who allow the natural bases of society to be destroyed by the artificial conditions of the new urban civilization will gradually disappear and their place will be taken by those populations which live under simpler conditions and preserve the traditional forms of the family.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

More on "Cosmos and Taxis"

This is written by by William R. Luckey and is from the Acton Institute.

Many people cannot get the idea into their heads that society was not created nor is run by a single authority. Now someone objected to this idea once by saying that since God created everything, He is effectively the creator of society as well.

That is true in a sense, but one thing I have insisted on, along with the late Pope John Paul II, is that God made man a co-creator with him. This applies not only to creativity in the commonly understood sense (inventions, art, literature) but to society and the market as well. John Paul II held that we humans have self-possession and self-governance, which give us self-determination. Men are in control of their actions (assuming they are not slaves to their passions, public opinion, or something else), and therefore are responsible for those actions.

This self-determination includes the setting up of institutions, usually occurring over long periods of time and resulting from trial and error. These institutions serve the function of human flourishing. For example, look at the way universities have evolved since the later middle ages. They began as monastic schools, gradually opened to others, developed into universities in major cities, and are now represented by the innumerable and diverse institutions we see today. Are they perfect? Of course not -- nothing man does can be so. But one cannot argue that they have not been centers of great learning and progress for the benefit of the human race.

The same is true of the growth of markets. Agricultural inventions in the middle ages allowed more than minimal food to be grown, thus allowing people to travel. They traveled to the chief trading centers and brought back things never before available to people in the medieval non-coastal areas. They erected bazaars, where consumers visited and bought things that enhanced their quality of life. These turned into towns when the patterns of trade became habitual, and some towns eventually became cities.

Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek used the Greek terms "cosmos" and "taxis" to describe the difference of worldview between those who see the spontaneous order of society and the market and those who do not. Cosmos indicates the self-governing order of things--like the universe. Did you know that the Andromeda galaxy and our Milky Way galaxy are on a collision course and there is nothing we can do about it? This is an example of cosmos in the area of space. Think of taxis in the sense of hailing a taxi cab, and then telling the driver where to take you. In the first instance, the cosmos is self-directing; in the latter, you are directing the cab.

Society and the market conform to the cosmos rather than the taxis. Both are self-generating, a function of billions of interactions between thinking human beings all over the globe -- and those interactions are based on the interactions yesterday, and those are based on the interactions on the day before that. No one controls this.

This does not mean that large institutions can't influence society and market, but control eludes even the most powerful forces. With respect to President-elect Obama's economic "stimulus" plan, for example, no one is really sure how the market is going to react to it. How did it react to the original issuing of money to free up loans? Well, Donald Trump put it this way the other day: "No matter what your credit rating or your track record, you still can't get a loan."

The implications are clear. Those who say that they can fix this, that, or the other thing, in the market are blowing smoke. Even if they can influence things, this influence might not be for the better, because of the Law of Unintended Consequences, which is founded on the fact that people will act in their own perceived best interest, regardless of what a government program will try to accomplish.

This is why it is better to let the economy deal with circumstances than to try to tweak it. It was constant meddling with the economy that caused the problems in the first place. More meddling can remedy the results of the original meddling only in the world of our dreams.