Friday, February 10, 2012

For your declinist reading pleasure

From a wiki article on articulate and experience British curmudgeon Theodore Dalrymple, whose articles I have been reading for years. His most recent book is about toxic sentimentality.

His writing has some recurring themes.[12]
  • The cause of much contemporary misery in Western countries—criminality, domestic violence, drug addiction, aggressive youths, hooliganism, broken families—is the nihilistic, decadent and/or self-destructive behaviour of people who do not know how to live. Both the smoothing over of this behaviour, and the medicalisation of the problems that emerge as a corollary of this behaviour, are forms of indifference. Someone has to tell those people, patiently and with understanding for the particulars of the case, that they have to live differently.[13]
  • Poverty does not explain aggressive, criminal and self-destructive behaviour. In an African slum you will find among the very poor, living in dreadful circumstances, dignity and decency in abundance, which are painfully lacking in an average English suburb, although its inhabitants are much wealthier.[14]
  • An attitude characterised by gratefulness and having obligations towards others has been replaced—with awful consequences—by an awareness of "rights" and a sense of entitlement, without responsibilities. This leads to resentment as the rights become violated by parents, authorities, bureaucracies and others in general.[15]
  • One of the things that makes Islam (or, more accurately, Islamism) attractive to young westernised Muslim men is the opportunity it gives them to dominate women.[16]
  • Technocratic or bureaucratic solutions to the problems of mankind produce disasters in cases where the nature of man is the root cause of those problems.
  • It is a myth, when going "cold turkey" from an opiate such as heroin, that the withdrawal symptoms are virtually unbearable; they are in fact rarely worse than flu.[17][18]
  • Criminality is much more often the cause of drug addiction than its consequence.
  • Sentimentality, which is becoming entrenched in British society, is "the progenitor, the godparent, the midwife of brutality".[19]
  • High culture and refined aesthetic tastes are worth defending, and despite the protestations of non-judgmentalists who say all expression is equal, they are superior to popular culture.[20][21][22]
  • The ideology of the Welfare State is used to diminish personal responsibility. Erosion of personal responsibility makes people dependent on institutions and favours the existence of a threatening and vulnerable underclass.
  • Moral relativism can easily be a trick of an egotistical mind to silence the voice of conscience.[23]
  • Multiculturalism and cultural relativism are at odds with common sense.[24]
  • The decline of civilised behaviour—self-restraint, modesty, zeal, humility, irony, detachment—ruins social and personal life.[25]
  • The root cause of our contemporary cultural poverty is intellectual dishonesty. First, the intellectuals (more specifically, left-wing ones) have destroyed the foundation of culture, and second, they refuse to acknowledge it by resorting to the caves of political correctness.
  • Beyond and above all other nations in the world, Britain is the place where all the evils summarised above are most clearly manifest.[26]


Anonymous said...

»The Anglo-Saxons, who once bestowed commands, consulships, legions, and all else, have now abandon'd will-to-power, and crave eagerly for just two things--semiotics and porno!«
—Juvenal, Satires, X, line 79, adjusted for us

Anonymous said...

P.S. Herbert Marcuse didn't impose repressive desublimation on us because he thought that it would be an easy task. Ruining a civilization is hard work.

A merely Calvinist work ethic is entirely inadequate to the demands of releasing the bent bows of magnificent Western tension (BGE preface) in a volley of arrows-eros aim'd at the repetitive lifestyle dumpster and then carrying one's ashes to Jezebel.

Anonymous said...

St Paul warns against the path of loveless desublimation:

»But I would have you without carefulness. But he that is married careth for the things that are of desublimation, how he may displease his wife by calling her bitch and trying to give her facials.

»And there is difference also between a partner'd woman and a single woman. The free woman can care for the things of the world: but she that has an opposite-sex partner calleth him loser and a waste of time and energy that had been better put to pleasing her Lord at work.«
(1Corinthians 6:32f Revised Desublimated Version)

Anonymous said...

Ruining the economy of the West especially for those without post-graduate degrees helps make sound the only realistic viable advice the message that one may as well live honestly for one's kicks because morals have no value.

A population that concludes that morals have no value is utterly lost. No government programme can rescue them. Not even a return to 1960s expanding economics can rescue them. They would only be affluent strippers and delinquents who despise marriage and family.

But new immigrants to the West from destitute countries do not draw this conclusion. No doubt they would prefer a high-wage union job assembling cars, as at Detroit until the 1970s. Yet they don't consider running a store in a depress'd neighborhood to be hardly better than confinement to a refugee camp, so one may as well sell reefer or manfacture crystal meth instead.

They do not conclude from the reality that women can work for incomes in the West that family life is meaningless. They do not conclude that bearing and raising children is a waste of time and energy compared with career prestige. Work outside the home for men and for women is for the sake of the family. The availability of porno does not induce them to conclude that a wife who won't do porno sex with her husband must be at least fantasizing about some 'alpha male' at work.

America and the West generally is not first of all an increasingly failing production system. America like every other country has always been a valuation system. America has ceased transcending her values, and is now only devaluing her values. ... I wonder if even a Caliphate _could_ rule us. Shariah seems too good a future promise to be true.

Anonymous said...

It's astonishing, really, what blogging etc can do -- e.g. override the constant pressure of commercial advertisements and movies etc and induce girls to feel that they aren't likely to be much less attractive at age 34 than at age 21, and-or that a guy who finds 21-year-olds more attractive than 34-year-olds for marriage is a guy not worth marrying or even being in a relationship with. And so on.

Therefore, girls ought to use their 20s for giving sex away (declaring that they enjoy doing so, because it's essentialist and therefore inaccurate stereotyping to say that girls' sex drives aren't like guys' -- or at least that unique individuals prove that generalizations are meaningless and irrelevant, apparently including even for women who don't enjoy sex relationships that may or may not roll into a marriage).

Maybe I'm being gas-lighted by girls, including post-secondary educated ones, who remark with puzzlement that the sort of interesting guys who wanted to travel with her, be in marriage-irrelevant relationships with her when she was in college, suddenly aren't in her life now that she's 30-something and looking to get marry'd and maybe even have a child.

IMHO, if guys nowadays want to use their 20s for play (windsurfing, video games, travel, whatever) before settling down and marrying, maybe, in their 30s, girls in their 20s should marry older guys who are ready for marriage and family. To the extent that looks matter, a 21-year-old will be able l to marry better than a 32-year-old (with the exception of extremely versatile women, the sort who do feminst blogging, and whose careers' prestige and inrterestingness means they aren't bereft if marriage and family "don't happen for" them).

A ten-plus-year age gap between wife and husband isn't ideal, but reality has seldom been ideal, eh?

Play is an intelligible lifestyle option for guys who can do marriage and family later than girls, and who perhaps can marry better when they have a career really doing in their 30s than when fresh out of college.

"Why should women have to not use their 20s for play, but instead focus on marrying?" They don't. If they don't mind diminish'd marriage options. Women's compensation is that children will mean more to them than children will mean to men. For one thing, women have a lot more oxytocsin -- which is a real rip off. Testosterone makes one edgy and unhappy -- useful for career drive and other ambition, but not for happiness.

Besides, if guys who want to use their 20s for play suddenly find that they have to do so celibately, unless they're gay, may find that they are more ready for marriage than they had originally supposed.

(Statistically, marriages form'd c. age 21-22 are the most stable. And the stats for marriage failure for young marriages must be evaluated by factor analysis: low-class marriages, sc of persons less intelligent and less interpersonnal versatile, happen younger, and last less long. Right now there is tremendous shame pressure vs marrying young, especially in the educated class.)

Using one's 20s for play wouldn't seem quite so necessary without the obligation now prevailing in the educated class of total immersion in one's child's extracurricular life, including making sure that that extra-curricular life is extensive and intense. No wonder there's a tremendous birth dearth among intelligent white people! ... Where did this obligation come from? it is exactly the sort of motherhood (and fatherhood) condemn'd by Betty Friedan in THe Feminine Mystique.

Anonymous said...

Closeness with children -- women's compensation for 'having to' take a mommy track career path.

Another marvel of blogging: babyboomers grew up with the awareness that total celebrities get tons of sex for free from dynamite girls. We never concluded that therefore mediocre girls should give us tons of sex for free.

This phenomenon is now described in terms of the attractiveness of the "alpha" male. Alpha male can be described variously, but in terms of 'game' (getting sex for free, or at most for the price of a dinner), 'alpha' means getting sex for free and from 'hot' women. Whether he is a bank president or a cable guy or even unemploy'd.

The reality evidently is that women enjoy free sex relationships (flings) only with a very elite-in-looks guy. Usually only the most dynamite girls have a chance with such guys. There is no evidence that mediocre guys are a turn-on for mediocre girls, but by way of semi-logicking, evo-psych implications, etc, the conclusion is arrived at that mediocre girls ought to enjoy giving sex to 'beta' males for free.

The lack of seriousness of 'game' as a way of getting mediocre girls is proved by the pervasive implication that any guys with a mediocre girl ought to feel ashamed -- sc should prefer porno, rather than having a relationship with such a girl.

So even though many a 'game' site is link'd with websites complaining of the decline of the West, 'game' theory is used to make marriage more and more difficult. On grounds that women will have wild [porno] sex with alpha males during a fling (whether or not sucha fling would be endurable to her as a marriage), women can't and don't respect beta males. Women respect only males who are alphas, and will merely exploit any and all beta males -- and try to sneak around getting knock'd up by alpha males and trick a beta male into financially supporting the progeny.

Theorists who use anti-Christian evo-psych to promote an interpretation of homo sapiens only as a hypocritical sort of wolf pack complain that Western civilization is declining because of "equalist" feminism etc!

Evo-psych is a worldview and supported de facto by every condemnation of creationism (sc Darwinism must be endorsed by Christians as how God did creation). Some evangelical Christians offer a different interpretation of love and marriage and family, but the better sort of Christian has given up interpreting the text "man" in the world and is involved only with insisting on marriage equality, demanding more health care for the population etc. Their condemnation is just. ...

Feminist ostensibly refute game theorists by pointing to known or rumour'd exceptions -- e.g. a woman written up in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology for having a sex drive just like a guy's. Which is to prove that generalizations inconvenient to feminists are false, whereas feminists generalizations about women and men as intelligible categories or classes are valid despite exceptions.

Anonymous said...

Yet the 'game' theorists' emphasis on women's desire for status in their sex partners is worth out attention. Women have little direct sex drive of the sort that men have. But what they have seems trigger'd by higher status men. "Game" posturing etc seems intended to suggest to women that one is in control of vast resources -- one walks and talks as having high status, etc, even if one is unemploy'd.

I would note that formerly the charisma a guy had in his wife's eyes by virtue of his income does not happen when the woman has as much income and worldly prestige as he does. "Looking up to a man" for his moral qualities etc doesn't trigger sexual arousal.

The free sex "carousel" at Ivy League colleges seems to concern a few lothario 'alpha males' who get tons of free sex from these young women at their peak of attractiveness. If a woman is going to give away sex, she may as well give it to a guy who is a total turn on, even if he is a jerk who would be unendurable to live with in a relationship or marriage.

Most guys at these colleges are looking to get free sex. A guy thinking to get marry'd when he graduates would be dismiss'd as a loser, and perhaps anyone so out of step with his community is socially maladjusted. But obviously the 'dating scene' is set up for the sexual satisfaction (and academic ruin, no doubt) of the alpha males. And at least the women get a fling with a sexual exciting guy (which their mothers have never experienced).

No surprise, then, that we see so much educated-class journalism (in the Atlantic, e.g.) describing the erotic disappointingness of men today. Even when a guy isn't a slacker but has his workday act together and is ready to really do a lot of the childcare, sex with such a guy -- one's status equal -- seems to be a total chore right from the beginning. One would much rather have a fling with an alpha male jerk, than have to do any sort of routine sex with a male of one's own status.

The move of women into workaday life seems an improvement for them in terms of interestingness. I would not like to see that taken from them, even though obviously Friedan's project for every woman making a substantive contribution to science, politics or the arts is absurd (not many men do this). Career work is busywork. The highest prestige careers seldom produce a good or a service (not even 'creative intellectual product' such as software or computer games).

But I wonder if there is some way to restore prestige status to men so that we wouldn't be erotically unendurable to women.

The status advantage of men seems balanced by the value advantage of women. There are almost no men who are somehow 'beautiful' enough in women's eyes that they can get sex for free. Free sex from 'high value' (sc beautiful-sexy-young) is forthcoming to a guy only if he somehow has a status aura. Men's beauty still means almost zilch. (I'd say that we have no beauty except that gay men would vigorously dissent.)

P.S. re the need to compensate women in terms of the status of their male sex partner for accepting devaluation by male intrusion and jouissance: men should be able to understand this readily. We don't marvel that in prisons the recipient of intrusion and jouissance ipso facto degraded, devalued, etc. Genet has some interesting insights, and Socrates vis-a-vis Callicles is worth remembering on this matter. But that a woman is 'hetero' doesn't establish a more or less constant wish for intrusion and jouissance from the guy she lives with officially defined as husband or boyfriend.

Anonymous said...

P.S. I wonder if Mr Dalrymple argues disingenuously at the Brussels Journal when he suggests that Islam isn't stable enough to provide the valuational authority Britain needs on grounds that Islam doesn't have a pope. Someone should remind him that British Christianity provided valuational stability without papal authority from the time of Regnans in excelsis (1570).

He states furthermore that Islam doesn't recognize a separation of church and state. This too could be an advantage to the church -- the state can't have dominion founded in grace over an institution that it doesn't recognize. And besides Islam has no doctrine of grace.

An Islamic Britain sounds ideal for Britons who detest their history -- Chaucer, Shakespeare, the BCP and the AV, the founding of the 13 Colonies, Trafalgar, the Raj in India, the Battle of Britain. Let dry wit be replaced by incessant citations from the Hadith.

1066 and all that be thrown in the garbage because in fact according to Dalrymple one needs only "a sense of the transcendental."

I don't hear this sort of thing Thomistically excoriated, let alone Chestertonianly mock'd by RC recusants who used to enrich English religious life.

Maybe the anti-papists were right and the recusants have always been no more than a traitorous social basis for Jesuit assassins landing from foreign shores.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...