Friday, February 12, 2016

Feminists Reach that Scarlett O'Hara Moment

We all know the moment in Gone with the Wind. After lying and cheating and manipulating her way across 300 pages of novel -- or hours and hours of movie -- Scarlett asks the departing Rhett Butler.
"Where shall I go? What shall I do?"
After last week, in which ageing feminist icons were embarrassing themselves for Hillary, and the brash but eternally foolish Camille Paglia was coming out for Bernie, the real walk-the-walk feminist Carly Fiorina told it like it is.
To young girls and women across the country, I say: do not let others define you... A feminist is a woman who lives the life she chooses and uses all her God-given gifts. And always remember that a leader is not born, but made. Choose leadership.
But even this is pure modern fantasy. Nobody gets to live the life he or she chooses, least of all women, least of all feminists. Scarlett O'Hara did what she had to do, given the facts on the ground that the South was a devastated land, defeated in war, and given her dynastic desire to save Tara. She didn't choose it; it chose her.

Yes, yes, you say, but Scarlett lived in the patriarchal Old South. She didn't have the choices that today's young women have.

To which I say; Bologna. In my view, young people today are brutally limited in their choices by a cruel and unjust liberal educated ruling class. Back in the 19th century young people had a much broader canvas on which to paint, mainly because the old feudal order had broken down and the New World Order of the educated and the evolved hadn't yet established its hegemony.

Let's tell it like it is, in my language. First of all, a person needs to obtain food and lodging. So that limits the choices, for a start, because if you obtain food and lodging by working it kinda limits your choices. Work has a way of filling up the day. You can, of course, choose to live on welfare, or by living off someone else, or going to live on a commune, but I wouldn't recommend it. It helps, of course, if you have a university professor for a father, like Carly Fiorina. La Wik:
At the time of her birth, Fiorina's father was a professor at the University of Texas School of Law. He would later become dean of Duke University School of Law, Deputy U.S. Attorney General, and judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Her mother was an abstract painter.
So really all the guff about Carly working as a secretary is just presidential log cabin talk. No offense, but I'd call that being born on third base.

Secondly, a person needs to mate and have children. Oh yes, you can choose a diverse lifestyle, picking one of the fifty or so gender options at Facebook. But unless you have children you are voting you and yours off the planet. I suspect this is why almost all religions are pro-natal. If you are a Shaker and don't have children or a modern liberal and you only have one kid, you and yours aren't going to be around too much longer. At a societal level the anti-natal attitudes of modernity are yielding birth rates that point to declining populations everywhere from Germany to Japan. They had a similar problem in the high Roman Empire, and look what happened to the Romans.

Speaking of the Romans, I am reading SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by the worthy and feminist and lefty professor Mary Beard. She frequently alludes to the relative freedom of Roman women, even if it was not satisfactory to the culture of 21st century women university professors.

But really, in a society where ambitious men proved their worth by getting an army command so they could do a spot of conquering, as Pompey did in Asia Minor and the Levant, and Caesar did in Gaul, what exactly does Beard have in mind for women? As she writes, the tombstones of the era celebrate men's glory in war, and women's glory in tending the home fires. Remember, no free person in that era did anything that we would characterize as "work;" that was for slaves.

The reason we moderns do not continue the old culture is not that we are virtuous but that, on the one hand, we do not need many men to guard the ramparts of empire, and on the other that modern hygiene means that the average women needs to bear only about two children to continue the dance of the generations as against six or more back in the old days.

It is notable that the cultural change affected men first. In the 19th century we invented careers and wage employment and sports. Careers amount to a sublimation of the conquest instinct, and wage work substitutes for long-service rank-and-file soldiering. And sports sublimates the war instinct, where you can root for the home team against the rascally foreigners from another city.

Today, with modern hygiene and machine textiles, women do not have to spend their entire lives bearing and raising children and weaving on the home hand-loom. So where shall they go; what shall they do?

The instinct of the feminists was that women should have education and careers just like well-born men. That, of course, is what Carly Fiorina, the well-born daughter of a professor and an artist, assumes.

Just between you and me, I think that is rubbish. First of all, it assumes that the male education-and-career arc is willingly chosen by men. I suggest that men ideally would like to do nothing, but nothing does not get you money, power, and the love of beautiful women -- or even plump, pretty women -- so men go to work. Secondly, it assumes that women want to live like men, and they don't.

I think that, over the decades, women will move to a more integrated life, weaving together the themes of marriage, family, wage-work, teaching, telling stories, and maintaining family and friendship ties. That is how I experience modern women that have grown out of the indoctrination of their youth.

Here's an idea. Now that western humanity is more or less literate, how about we close down the literacy boot camps we call public schools, and just leave the education of our children up to the women? I predict that they will weave a dense cooperative network of homeschooling arrangements that will educate and socialize children much better than our present administrative and bureaucratic monstrosity? But what about the poor, you say? Well, how about our well-born women getting up off their duffs and opening charity schools in the inner city and getting all the neighborhood women involved? They could arrange "protection" from the local gangs.

But is this remotely possible in the near future?

You never know. The good thing about 2016 is that, thanks to people like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, the ruling class of the educated and the evolved is is a complete mess. With its pernicious program of internal colonization it has divided, demoralized, and destroyed a thriving bourgeois culture and brought the land of the free and the home of the brave to an angry and vindictive nadir.

But what is the alternative? Is it Bernie or Donald? Of course not. The way forward will be blazed by men and women outside the political world slowly, by trial and error, creating a new world out of the wreckage of the old, and presenting the old ruling class with a fait accompli.  Because politics is downstream from culture. Or, if you are a Marxist, society is an economic base that raises a cultural superstructure.

Then will come the ruling class's Scarlett moment, when they will whine: Where shall I go; what shall I do?

And we will say to the old elite, what Lee Iaccoca said years ago: Lead, follow, or get out of the way.

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