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Is "Social Justice Warrior" a Pejorative? Dems Reach Out to the White Working Class

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Is Hillary Clinton Ready for the Real Story of the Patriarchy?

by Christopher Chantrill
April 21, 2015 at 12:00 am

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BACK WHEN BARACK Obama was first elected President of the United States a liberal woman friend told me how excited she was to have elected the First Black President. I should have replied: Oh really? Isn’t the idea of a First Black President straight up racism?

Likewise with Hillary Clinton. Isn’t the idea of a Time for a Woman President just straight-up sexism?

I’d say that the reality of this mindless identity politics that it really doesn’t matter who is the First Bureaucrat of the nation’s civil and military bureaucracies. The state apparatus goes on, although not so well these days.

And don’t give me your feminist rubbish about the patriarchy. If we had a patriarchy in the bad old days, it’s because women needed the protection of a powerful male warrior figure: otherwise they were fair game for any aggressive male on the planet.

A good way to look at the patriarchy in action is to read Homer’s Iliad. The story revolves around an argument between Agamemnon and Achilles over who gets to keep a high-born woman, Briseis, captured in the sack of a city. For a modern like me, properly indoctrinated in the true modern faith, it is jarring to read about Achilles offering as a first prize to the winner of a chariot race, a “woman skilled in all useful arts.” Second prize was “a six year-old mare, unbroken, and in foal to a he-ass,” which just shows the relative value of things. It is shocking to read about the women of Troy bemoaning their fate in captivity if Troy were to fall to the Greeks.

Here’s another window into the Homeric culture: old King Priam of Troy bemoaning the death of his sons, including the hero Hector.

I had fifty sons when the [Greeks] came here; nineteen of them were from a single womb, and the others were born to me from the women of my household.

Notice what he doesn’t bother to mention, girls? His daughters.

This Homeric depiction of ancient human life isn’t that different from the life of chimpanzees depicted in Nicholas Wade’s Before the Dawn. Female chimpanzees rear the young and the males protect the troop’s territory in constant border wars. All males are higher in the pecking order than all females. Wade doesn’t make clear whether male chimpanzees prize females “skilled in all useful arts.” More research is needed.

Let’s talk about slavery a thousand years ago and more. In the old days a typical large farm “household” included relatives, servants and slaves. In the Roman Empire the slaves were housed in barracks and, according to Pieter Spierenburg in The Broken Spell, “large landowners tried to prevent them from reproducing.” But when the supply of slaves dried up, then the tables turned, and the landowners started to let the slaves live in separate dwellings. Get this:

[T]he scarcity of labor power resulted in a stronger position for the slaves; as a consequence lords became obliged to recognize the slaves’ sexual bonds. A patron’s recognition of such a bond primarily implied that other male slaves had to refrain from sexual activity with the woman in the new relationship.

How did we get from the old patriarchal culture to the modern individualist culture? It wasn’t heroic marching and demonstrations by Social Justice Warriors. It was first of all the King’s Peace provided by the growth of the state. That meant that people need not seek protection in the household of a great lord; they could make it on their own. The other thing was that the rise of commerce in the last millennium has meant that

the importance of inheritance has declined considerably. In most cases, a person’s wealth stems from the proceeds of his or her own labor rather than what he or she inherits.

We are talking about the rise of the bourgeoisie and its cult of responsible individualism, where ancestors and inheritance don’t matter as much as what you can do for other people right now. We are talking about the rise of privacy, of companionate marriage, and the democratic idea of one man, one woman, one vote. We are talking about the replacement of the patriarchal “household” with the little house in the suburbs.

It is, of course an irony that Hillary Clinton and her minions, claiming to make war on the patriarchy and making the sexist argument for a woman president, are in fact campaigning for a neo-patriarchy, where special-snowflake Julias will be protected from the big bad world in the liberal “household” by magnificent bureaucratic administrators providing microaggression-free “safe spaces.”

Hold that. We are really talking about a nulliarchy, the rule of the nothings. President Obama is a nothing president; Hillary Clinton is a nothing candidate, and the SJWs are nothing activists.

I dream of something better.

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

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Responsible Self

[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.


Taking Responsibility

[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050


Civil Society

“Civil Society”—a complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churches—builds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust


What Liberals Think About Conservatives

[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. “Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists,” she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican


Liberal Coercion

[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State


Moral Imperatives of Modern Culture

These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self


US Life in 1842

Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


Society and State

For [the left] there is only the state and the individual, nothing in between. No family to rely on, no friend to depend on, no community to call on. No neighbourhood to grow in, no faith to share in, no charities to work in. No-one but the Minister, nowhere but Whitehall, no such thing as society - just them, and their laws, and their rules, and their arrogance.
David Cameron, Conference Speech 2008


Faith and Politics

As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable... [1.] protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death; [2.] recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family... [3.] the protection of the right of parents to educate their children.
Pope Benedict XVI, Speech to European Peoples Party, 2006


Never Trust Experts

No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by the experience of life as that you should never trust experts. If you believe doctors, nothing is wholesome: if you believe the theologians, nothing is innocent: if you believe the soldiers, nothing is safe. They all require their strong wine diluted by a very large admixture of insipid common sense.
Lord Salisbury, “Letter to Lord Lytton”


Conservatism's Holy Grail

What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph


Class War

In England there were always two sharply opposed middle classes, the academic middle class and the commercial middle class. In the nineteenth century, the academic middle class won the battle for power and status... Then came the triumph of Margaret Thatcher... The academics lost their power and prestige and... have been gloomy ever since.
Freeman Dyson, “The Scientist as Rebel”


presented by Christopher Chantrill

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