Sunday, November 13, 2005
In Praise Of Male Virtue And The Judeo-Christian Patriarchy
But I'm not so dubious that I'm not going to try. I am completely fed up with the self-delusive analysis of the riots in the international and US press. The blogging world is doing a better job of trying to come to terms with what is happening in Europe, but in most cases even the bloggers are still ignoring some basic facts about human nature.
While I disagree absolutely with Hal Lindsay's claim in this article that the rioting is rooted in Islamicism (it is very similar to the race riots in the US cities in the 60's), at least Lindsay is pointing out that Europe is demonstrating a huge blind spot:
According to the mainstream media, the rioters are "disaffected youths" who feel "alienated" from French society. The mainstream fiction is that they are rioting because of high unemployment and unfavorable social conditions.Fortunately, we don't need to consider Islamic war in this particular case. At least one-third of the rioters in France aren't even Muslims. More than half aren't acting under any delusion that they are fighting for Islam. They are gangsters who rob, sell drugs, beat and rape in their own neighborhoods and wanna-bes aspiring to be fearsome and powerful. This is just an exporting of that behavior to the broader society. It's inevitable that some demagogic Islamicists will try to claim the disturbances as a means of increasing their power, but that doesn't change the fact that these claims are idiotic.
So, why are the Europeans (and the mainstream media on both sides of the Atlantic) blaming themselves and giving Islam a pass? It's simple. If it is the government's fault, there is some hope of fixing the problem. At the minimum, it creates the illusion of empowering the people, at least temporarily.
If it is the government's fault, the people can always change governments. But if it is part of a coming Islamic war for what's been dubbed "Eurabia" – well, that is just too terrible a thought to consider.
Male teenagers are roaming through the streets in France throwing firebombs and creating havoc, which is then exploited by gangs which follow the disturbances and try to loot stores and the like. The reason is that these young males have grown up in a demasculinized sub-society inside a larger society which absolutely rejects all the traditional male virtues. It's time for everyone to sit down and admit that what we are seeing in Europe is the default setting for normal male teenagers in an anarchic society.
The instinctive drives which govern men and women who have not been taught to control their instincts differ.
Women are inherently partisan; they will fight to the last breath to defend their children and the people they regard as their own. For women, most rules are adaptable and conformable to the needs of the particular individuals involved. Women seek the best solutions for each individual. This is a great virtue of its own, because it allows women to maximize the individual potential of those in their care. But this virtue is not enough to create an orderly and functional society unless the society itself also recognizes, rewards and establishes the basic male virtues.
Men are inherently group-oriented. They seek participation and recognition in a larger male society, adopt the rules of that society as their own, and apply those rules uniformly. Men are instinctively fair, which is something that women are not. Women are instinctively loyal to individuals, whereas men are instinctively loyal to the overall group. Men will instinctively risk their lives to defend the group or to advance its welfare.
Now we come to the patriarchal structure in societies (and religions). At its best, a patriarchy will set forth a system of external, objective principles. At their best, men will be loyal to those principles even if the application of them in any circumstance is harmful to their own interests, because men can extend the instinctive drive to be loyal to the entire group into a loyalty to external, objective principles. Women have no such fundamental orientation. We can learn it, but we do not feel it. The implication is that the male habit of mind creates overall peace and order in a society. It is for this reason that the Abrahamic religions are patriarchal, and they are fundamentally patriarchal.
Now, it is possible for a patriarchal system to be abysmal in practice. The way the system works out depends on the principles that such a system enshrines. If they are good, the society will be honorable and productive. If they are bad, you get something like the Nazi philosophy or Islamic terrorism (which is a basic violation of Islam, not a logical extension of it).
But if you have no patriarchy - no externalized system of principles and rules deriving from those principles - what you get is a situation in which any young men who grow up without a strong family structure will instinctively form and join gangs. It will be from the gang that they will receive male approval and affirmation they instinctively seek. That is what you see in Europe. The youth crime rate in all of Europe is escalating. You have 12, 13 and 14 year-olds in the UK mugging people in broad daylight on the streets, and in most cases it is not the Muslims who are doing it.
Socialist Europe is a demasculinized, a-patriarchal, post-moral society. It does not instill strong objective moral rules. It does not call males to duty and it does not recognize them for living virtuous lives. This leaves them with only the pursuit of status through economic success, so wherever and whenever economic success becomes impossible for a segment of the population, you will see the outbreak of this gang behavior among the young males.
Furthermore, Europe no longer respects male virtues at all. You see such deranged expressions of contempt for males such as the Nordic drive to prohibit men from urinating while standing up and the German laws making it illegal for men to test their children to see if they are indeed their children. Men, and their inherent virtues, are denigrated and mocked by the leading edge of European social thought. But all of modern western liberal civilization is founded on the patriarchal principle of objective standards that apply to all, equally. This is a moral conception, and the liberal values of western society cannot endure without it. It is also a basically male view of the world.
Catholicism, most forms of Christianity, rabbinical Judaism and Buddhism are all based upon a fusion of the fundamental male and female world views. These systems place the moral responsibility to avoid doing harm and to help others as far as possible squarely on the shoulders of each individual. They also largely eschew active punishment in favor of social disapproval.
Taking one specific example, Jesus' demand that sinners not be punished by those who sin themselves "let he who is without sin throw the first stone" is often quoted, but the post-moral segment western society can not stand to remember the following "Now go, and sin no more". The idea is that it is a Christian duty both to avoid hypocritical enforcement of moral rules and to reprove bad behavior. Social disapproval replaces stones, but one can also be justly confronted with one's own hypocrisy in speaking of rules to which one does not adhere. Moral righteousness is an admired concept, and competing for public admiration, trust and respect largely replaces economic or physical competition.
That is what these religions have brought to society, but as religions they also reinforce the absolute standards with either the idea that God will accept or reject an individual based on the individual's behavior, or the idea that the individual's fate is determined throughout a karmic cycle by his or her own actions. It gets more theologically complicated, of course, but that is the essence. In these conceptions of the universe, behavior (process) replaces achievement (status) as the ultimate goal. This is a basic restating of the human condition with huge implications for society.
Islam can be taught (and is) in this way, but it also has an almost Calvinist/Puritanical streak of the theology of the elect in it. That can be over-emphasized to produce a fusion of achievement as a recognition of good behavior, which then nullifies half the religion and returns the individual to the idea that he or she must be part of a literal war of physical supremacy.
The Judeo-Christian/Buddhist fusion of the male and female elevates the patriarchal concept of universal rules even while it allows the matriarchal maximum of individual scope and redemption. The concept of moral redemption allows an individual to improve his or her standing in society by changing behavior. It is a very strong and vibrant formulation of an idea about what society ought to be, and the post-moral west has nothing to offer in its place which would serve the same function. Consider Pope John Paul II's appeal to the young of the west. Consider Pope Benedict XVII's reception in Germany, and you will see that the vacuum at the heart of the post-moral west is sensed by the young of our society.
Now the rather sick joke on the multiculturalists of Europe is that only a society which at least upholds the fundamental patriarchal virtue of external, universal and objective standards for behavior can be truly multicultural. Without those objective standards by which to judge each individual, society must revert to tribalism. The trivial differences of dress, language, music, wealth and cultural habits become the basis for status. We substitute recognition of the ephemeral effect for the fundamental cause, and society's judgements become skewed and irrational. That is, of course, promptly followed by individual examples of skewed and irrational behavior.
As for the predictions of impending Islamic war throughout Europe, Islamicism in most of the western countries is more likely to take root as an antidote against the moral aimlessness of the west, the societal breakdown in the public housing ghettoes of the European countries combined with the socialism that funds criminal activity, and the accompanying crime and disorder. It could then become a problem. France appears to be doomed, because it has both abandoned the patriarchal idea of absolute standards and is, for historical reasons, still in love with violent demonstrations and Bastille Day. Substituting the idea of economic rights for the idea of human rights is suicide when combined with a broadly-based admiration for storming the barricades in response to economic injustice and lopping off the heads of the aristocrats. The French establishment has failed to realize that it is now the aristocratic class.
The Nordic countries are probably small enough to reform themselves as uni-cultural societies. See Enough! Poland has decided to be itself, whatever that will take, and will probably be all right as long as Russia can control itself. The Netherlands will see street fighting between the foreign minorities and the general population. The general population will win. Belgium is not likely to survive in its current form. Germany has decided that Ordnung Muss Sein, and is cautiously rejecting French-style socialism, expelling revolutionaries, instituting workfare and arresting rioters while glumly sitting around and wondering what to do now that invading other countries (the traditional German response to unemployment problems) appears to be out of the question.
Italy and Spain will address the problem with brutality if and when they find it necessary; both of these countries have a strong streak of communo-fascism remaining in their political fabric. The problem is that they will not find it necessary until brutality will be required, and they will not defend the Jews in the run-up to a confrontation. Australia cannot afford to be confused because it is staring straight into the expansionist eyes of a billion-odd Chinese, so it will stamp out social disorder without developing any untoward guilty feelings about the matter. The UK is still standing around waiting to be introduced to the problem. In true English fashion, it will neither get religion or admit that it has been shot in the gut. Perhaps British stoicism will do the trick once again. Perhaps not.
However, every one of these countries will face the problem of redefining its own national identity. The post-moral era is over. It may be replaced with a burgerliche type of isolationism in the more northern countries, but the southern countries are likely to veer right while insisting publicly that they are still left. The near-psychosis that will result does not bode well for Europe's future. A matriarchy cannot defend itself, but a patriarchy without the underpinning of universal standards usually becomes harshly repressive.
Of those bloggers I link, The Anchoress, Ilona of True Grit and Esther of Outside The Blogway are superb examples of women who represent the Judeo-Christian fusion of the female idea of caring for the individual and the male idea of external and objective principles. Sigmund, Carl and Alfred, Jimmie of The Sundries Shack and Bird's Eye View are examples of the male side of the same coin.
Dr. Sanity and Beth of My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy are excellent examples of modern, fully liberated women who embrace the ideas of rationality and universal standards, thus proving that one need not be a MoDo to be a liberated woman. (Sorry! Gindy is a liberated male - but he does embrace rationality and universal standards. According to MoDo, Gindy does not exist!) Nato (atheist, and proud of it) and Minh-Duc (Buddhist, and proud of it) are examples of why a republic based on Jeffersonian principles is, in reality, inclusive of a broad range of beliefs but cannot accommodate a wide range of behaviors.
Howard of Oraculations, Darcey of Dust My Broom, Pedro The Quietist and Kevin of Strategic Revolution are an example of stubborn males upholding male virtues in the face of a rising tide of irrationality. Gindy can go here too.
FACT: no other sub-group in rance is ritoing due to unemploymnt. just as in the occupied territories, only islamic arabs commit terror; christian arabs do not - even though they would be just as occupied and as alienated as muslims claim to be by Israelis.
FACT: the aleination is due in large measure to the refusla of the islamothgugs of the banlieues to assimilate: they don't graudute highschool; they beat up their sisters who don't wear hijabs. etc.
many ethnic groups of many creeds and faiths have assimliated successfully in france. these folks don;t because contemporary islamism forbids this.
FACT: turkey modernized after a huge defeat and under threat bt attaturk and his secularized military. the turks did not go "sweetly waltzing" into the last century.
no muslim country has, really.
pakistan needs an attaturk
saudi arabia needs an attaturk.
and the banlieues need an attaturk, too.
his name is sarkozy.
he will end the multicultural/welfare state
and a return to a French France.
for too long the french have feared and hated America more tha Arabia.
NOT Sarkozy; he fears islamism more than america.
BTW: avian flu might make the whole GWOT moot (if it mutates as expected) - by killing most of the 3rd world - and most of the muslim world - the hajj will facilitate the communication of the virus.
But anyway, I appreciate the mention in the post, yet I found a few things problematical.
(1)"an almost Calvinist/Puritanical streak of the theology of the elect in it. That can be over-emphasized to produce a fusion of achievement as a recognition of good behavior"
Calvinism -whether of the Puritan streak or otherwise is the exact opposite of what the good works idea. Calvinism teaches the doctrine of election and of depravity in such a way that works are almost meaningless as a way to achieve righteousness. They do have their form of strictness in behavior, but I don't know that it would lead to rationale for physical war. Not that I am sure of what point you are trying to make with that. ( you can see why it was muddled for me-as I tried to figure how Calvinism factored in)
(2)Islam seems very patriarchal in form, to the extreme. Yet, it doesn't prevent rioting and mayhem of this type.
(3) While much of Europe is demasculinized, it doesn't appear that France is as much. More in the Teutonic North, less in the Mediterranean South. I would agree that the Muslim male youths are given an aimless and hopeless existance in Europe.
(4) I recognize the differentiation in approach that you explianed here,ie partisan vs. group objectivity ; I'm not sure it is strictly along gender lines, but I can see it as strongly gender oriented in expression.
Of course, you know that I believe the riots were the outcome of a culture clash that is based within(results from) the religion; my reasoning is that the deepest consenus of people is based in their belief structures, especially regarding their religion. This gives shape to everything that forms and drives the group, and the individual.
"what we are seeing in Europe is the default setting for normal male teenagers in an anarchic society"
This might be true as a subset of contributing factors, but I don't think it is the primary one.
I do think you have a strong cultural point on the importance of a vital, virile set of principles within a healthy society. I'm sure you are correct in the call that there will be a political shift to the right.
But here is the main question, MoM: what to do about the sickness of the soul? If France's secular liberalism has failed to heal it, will a firm move to the right succeed?
I don't think that has worked in the past, but then I don't believe the ultimate answer is political..not sure how many times we must cycle through before that becomes apparent.
You intimate the same, but I think you hesitate to go farther than analyze what the problems are.
I've puzzled alot over the events in France because I think they are giving us important messages to decipher. Appreciate your addition to the thinking.
The male:group relationship you discuss is dependent for its health in part on male initiation, the pubertal ordeal that takes a boy from the mother's hut, through mortal terror, into the privileged and responsible men's world, usually of warriors. In the absence of fathers, gangs and the memetic brain will try do-it-yourself, not to the benefit of the social order. Exacerbating the landscape, a welfare society traps the man with Mother, natural or The Nurturing State.
Likewise, hierarchy is hard-wired, and the female default hates it unless it privileges her children.
Thus with the conceptual feminization of the Western worldview, we reap the whirlwind.
JLH, I don't think this has one darned thing to do with color. Not one. You have a mix of people of different races, ethnic backgrounds and religions doing this. Inevitably, Islam will get into it. But Islam doesn't tell kids to run around and vandalize things. Neither does their color.
It might have something to do with culture, but a lot of these 12-15 year-olds are third generation. The culture they've got is the one they grew up with, which is the one that has evolved in these French areas.
Dilys, it seems like one bad mother of a state to me. But you are right - these people are caught. If anything, the Islamic religious figures will try to compete with the gang culture for dominance. They'll probably be shot for it, too.
I agree with you here except for one thing. I am modern, fully liberated. I embrace the ideas of rationality and universal standards (I think). But ........................a woman I am not. That is the only place we disagree. It wouldn't be the first time that happened online (funny how that can happen when blogging. Thanks for the link.
"no other sub-group in rance is ritoing due to unemploymnt."
That is the part that always bothers me when the press points to that as the issue.
Those psycho-sexual observations are very interesting... I just know if I worked on it long enough I could put it in a religious context, but I think it is beyond me at the moment.
..Is socialism, then, more maternalistic or paternalistic?
Myself excluded, of course...
By the way, great post M-O-M.
Ilona, were you using your name? It's not one of the ambiguous ones.
I'm thinking about your comment earlier, because I just don't see a feasible way out. Not one that the French would be comfortable with, anyway. They really aren't that fond of foreigners. There have been severe problems with anti-Semitism and the like, and the French have been placatory to an irrational extreme. They have abandoned streets to criminals and abusers.
But these simply are not "Muslim" riots. In one city over half of those arrested were eastern European. I should have saved the link, because now I can't find it.
But here's a rather blunt UPI article:
"You (expletives) wouldn't dare show your faces round here if it wasn't for the (expletive) cops," says one, using the slang term "keufs" for the police.
He may be right. Taxi drivers will not come here. Black adults seem cowed by the gangs of their own young people, glancing at them nervously if they stop to talk.
"We still have to live here when this is all over," muttered Bakil Anelka, who came to France eight years ago from Ivory Coast and works as a cleaner for the Metro. "The police will not stay here forever, but the gangs will still be here, back in charge of this district. As soon as I can, I'm moving. I don't want my kids to grow up here."
One of the striking features of the two weeks of rage that swept France is that so many of the rioters are black rather than Arab, though North Africans from Algeria and Morocco and Tunisia make up more than two-thirds of the estimated 6 million immigrants, their families included, in France.
What's going on is something similar to LA. A criminal subculture has taken over big swathes of these projects, the police have lost control, and they rule.
No matter what JLH says, it's not a matter of skin color either. You see the same thing in the predominantly Latino gangs in some areas in CA. It reminds me of some of the Chicago projects at their worst. Not even ambulance drivers would go in there.
You can't build large housing projects inhabitated largely by people who can't make a living, not police them, and think this won't happen. This is nihilism and a turf war, and that's all. In some other European countries it is largely Muslim. Not in France.
What happens when you combine large projects with a lot of public assistance and little policing is that year after year, anyone who can gets out. The community becomes disproportionately maternal (no matter what anyone says, two adults heading a family find it easier to survive economically) and increasingly dysfunctional. Most of the people who live there are trapped, and women can't control male teenagers.
Men come in more varieties than you might think, M.O.M. There is a definite segment of them that fit this couch potato, suds, and Super Bowl caricature. But not in any way all of them.
I don't know very much about how "inherently" we are anything, but I fairly certain that the above paragraph does not describe the man who first began to flake more flints than he really needed in order to make the one that looked nicer than any he had ever flaked before.
That is man alone. So is the man who half-buries himself in the soil of the Great Plains, crying for a vision until the visions come, transforming him forevermore, and following him to his old age and and his grave.
So is the man who is seized by his mother tongue as if seized by a fever, the words coming out on fire and ringing in his own ears with a chilling shudder as he speaks or writes them.
So is the man who must sit in silence and think, think, think until the problem he is trying to solve finally solves itself.
And, finally, so is the man who had one thing he hated worst of all, "to be interrupted as he sat outside at night looking at the stars."
Man alone is no patriarch nor needs one breathing down his neck.
But, then, man alone is terrifying, especially to himself.
Largely agreed with the philosophical underpinnings of your post. In particular, I'm sure you are familiar with C. S. Lewis's common-sense take on the male sense of the importance of justice and the female sense of the importance of loyalty (quoting from memory here): "If your dog is accused of biting the next-door neighbor's child, who would you rather have to deal with: the father, or the mother?"
Not to be aware of everything we are as human beings robs us of our ability to be the self-motivating, self-actuating entity. We are a social species and we have a lot of social instincts which are nearly as strong as the biological need to breathe.
To sum it up, one may not be dominated by reasoned principle until one first realizes that one is also ruled by instinct and physical need.
Ken - SC&A are one man. I don't remember the C.S. Lewis quote, but it sure sounds like him! He was a profoundly sensible man.
Is it really? I'm not so sure. I rather think it has been a long struggle for humankind to achieve any clear and objective notion at all of "conscience", "teaching", and "responsible".
Our basic bonding to one another is far older and less rational: me to mom, me to my dopey sibling rival, us to each other as the "real people" and not the "others" in the tribe or the clan three ridges away, me and my sibling rival to old "nana" and mom's brother who tell the stories of how we became "the real people". Stories and not "laws", shame and not guilt.
I think "man alone" came about first when some shocking event like a lighting strike of a nearby tree when no one was around knocked all those stories and all that bonding out of someone for a few days and they came back transformed, with something to say beyond the tribe--Eziekel coming far before Solomon, if you will.
When I read of the French riots I think of nothing but the post-partum sadness and frustration (which I know from direct experience from 1970 on a college campus) when, after all the destruction, nothing you were enraged at changes.
And when I read the commentary of those so fixated on the French riots I marvel at how much of it still is "us, the real people" wary and hostile to the "others" who have those tall pointed towers where they are called to prayer.
Are they bereft of "concience", "teaching", and "responsibility"? I doubt this, though when I read the writing of some of us "real people", I think my doubt is far less common than perhaps it should be.
You have a mix of people of different races, ethnic backgrounds and religions doing this." Yes, and what they have in common is anti-white resentment. The template for all this is the civil rights strife of '60s America.
Funny how all the comments here missed the main thrust of my post -- that unassimilable aliens from failed societies pouring into the successful cultures of the West is behind this crisis -- in order to attack me for "racism."
Of course not. I don't think it is any accident at all that several mosques have been firebombed during these riots. It's quite similar to Catholic priests in South America getting shot down when they preach against the drug cartels.
The point is that these young kids who are doing most of this have NOT been called to conscience and responsibility.
JLH, huge numbers of immigrants are difficult for any society to absorb, physically and socially. But I don't agree that these groups are "unassimilable".
There are also eastern European immigrant gangs in France. Look, you can take any group of people anywhere in the world. Plunk them down in a setting like this, and after a generation or two this is what you will get. Yes, one template for this is the ":civil rights riots" in the 1960's. You could also accurately compare it to other civil unrests, such as the Protestant/Catholic divide in Ireland. You could also accurately compare it to the situation among several North American populations on reservations. See www.dustmybroom.com.
Human beings are fantasists and problem-solvers. Whenever you get groups caught in a situation like this people look around and make up a story as to why and who is to blame. It's always people of another identifiable group.
But the real story is that when you set up a situation like this you will always get the same result. You have paternalistic social benefits that provide a boring, unstimulating and undemanding life. You are pretty much stuck with whatever they hand out, regardless of how you live your life. This destroys the incentive to pick a worthy life over a bad one. You have little local opportunity. You have misery, crime and disorder, so the families who can get out, do. Over decades this sorts the population so that people with very difficult circumstances are isolated in a population center.
I've been around barely a year, off and on, sometimes more off than on, due to my health.
Joseph - Sorry! I'm so dyslexic I can easily mispell my own name. I've got it now.
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