Monday, April 10, 2017

The Problem of Women and Politics

One of the things that you are not supposed to notice is that the rise of big government has coincided with the enfranchising of women. Before the 20th century, government was almost exclusively in the war business. But in the last century it has been in the taking-care-of-people business as well.

This is not surprising, when you think back to our hunter-gatherer ancestors. The men were almost exclusively involved in protecting the border of the tribal territory. Then women were almost exclusively involved in taking care of everything else.

Naughty Steve Sailer refers to this in a piece about snooker. Billiards is almost exclusively a male sport, but now the champion woman snooker player is competing with men. But can she, or any woman, really play with the best men? Sailer recalls playing pool with an expert.
I had a boss in the marketing research business who was a really good billiards player. But his superiority over me was overwhelmingly mental in that he could see many shots ahead. We’d have conversations like this:

“Steve, why did you sink the 4 ball?”

“Uh, because I could, George.”

“But what does it leave you?”

“Uh [considering the question for the first time] … the 10 ball!”

“Sure. But what will that leave you?”

[Blank look on my face]

“You’ll next try for the 12 or the 2, and you’ll miss, and leave the cue ball set up for me with a slam dunk on the 9, then the 13, then the 11, then the 3, 7, uh, 5, 1, and the 8 ball. As soon as you chose to sink the 4, it was Game Over.”
Now it seems to me that this skill is exactly the skill that a military commander has to have. Military formations are sorta like billiard balls, at least in the Newtonian sense that military affairs, like billiards, are all about force, action and reaction, and so forth.

Sailer imagines that women excel in a different form of cause and effect.
I imagine there are women who can hold a similarly complex chain of social reasoning in their heads — “But if Sally tells Jane what Joe told her about Mike’s opinion of what Melissa said about Mary’s cousin Al …”
That sort of complex relationship dynamics, we all know, is not a major skill of men.

So a man's life tends to gravitate towards assembling the resources needed to defend the border, a business at which they are already well-programmed. A woman's life tends to gravitate towards assembling the resources to help her care for her loved ones. That is what she is programmed for.

So government, over the centuries, was really a male thing, and government was primarily about the problem of the border, and the problem of rebels within the border.

But women are not interested in that. They just ask: "Mr. President, is it safe?" and then return to important matters, like keeping the kids alive, maintaining her standing with the neighborhood women, and dealing with an end-of-life mother.

Now that women have the vote, it is not surprising that government has gravitated recently towards the woman's view of things, and got into the business of supplying resources for women to look after their loved ones.

You can see the problem here. A government with the resources to defend the border can use the resources to deal with troublesome regime opponents. A government with the resources to help women care for their loved ones can use the resources in a whole host of pet programs that reward the government's supporters rather than help people.

The great question of the modern age is how to keep government limited on the defense front to issues that really do involve the defense of the realm, and how to keep government limited on the domestic front to issues that really help people.

And I don't know how to do that.

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