When the news gets just too absurd, and for whatever reason I’m disinclined to work on fiction, I tend to return to old familiar theses and themes. This morning I got a nudge toward one of them from Ragin’ Dave at Peace or Freedom:
I think that if women were ever forced to understand just how badly feminism has screwed up their lives, they’d go on a rampage against their feminist teachers that would be talked about for centuries.
I couldn’t agree more – but the problem is larger than marriage alone and deserves a thorough examination. The essay Dave cites is a good start – but a start only.
(Apropos of nothing, if you peek at the URL for Dave’s site, you can see a hint of its origins: when it was established, it was titled “Four Right-Wing Wackos.” Today only Dave remains. What became of the other three? Committed, perhaps? More on this story as it develops….)
The “macro-stability” of a society is always a reflection of the “micro-stability” of its components: families, communities, and the organizations and institutions that serve them. Smart revolutionaries who seek to destabilize a society will attack it “from the bottom:” that is, they’ll undermine the larger structure by weakening its “micro” pillars. In the case of these United States, the Left’s target of choice appears to have been the traditional family.
In his excellent first novel The Hidden Truth, Hans G. Schantz delineated the Left’s modus operandi:
“The women’s rights movement had three goals. First, it got women into the workplace where their labor could be taxed….So, with more women entering the workforce the supply of labor increases and wages are depressed….
“Now couples need to have two careers to support a typical modern lifestyle. We can’t tax the labor in a home-cooked meal. We can tax the labor in takeout food, or the higher cost of a microwave dinner. The economic potential of both halves of the adult population now largely flows into the government where it can serve noble ends instead of petty private interests….
“The second reason is to get children out of the potentially antisocial environment of the home and into educational settings where we can be sure they’ll get the right values and learn the right lessons to be happy and productive members of society. Working mothers need to send their children to daycare and after-school care where we can be sure they get exposed to the right lessons, or at least not to bad ideas….
“They are going to assign homework to their students: enough homework to guarantee that even elementary school students are spending all their spare time doing homework. Their poor parents, eager to see that Junior stays up with the rest of the class, will be spending all their time helping their kids get incrementally more proficient on the tests we have designed. They’ll be too busy doing homework to pick up on any antisocial messages at home….
“Children will be too busy to learn independence at home, too busy to do chores, to learn how to take care of themselves, to be responsible for their own cooking, cleaning, and laundry. Their parents will have to cater to their little darlings’ every need, and their little darlings will be utterly dependent on their parents. When the kids grow up, they will be used to having someone else take care of them. They will shift that spirit of dependence from their parents to their university professors, and ultimately to their government. The next generation will be psychologically prepared to accept a government that would be intrusive even by today’s relaxed standards – a government that will tell them exactly how to behave and what to think. Not a Big Brother government, but a Mommy-State….
“Eventually, we may even outlaw homeschooling as antisocial, like our more progressive cousins in Germany already do. Everyone must know their place in society and work together for social good, not private profit….
“The Earth can’t accommodate many more people at a reasonable standard of living. We’re running out of resources. We have to manage and control our population. That’s the real motive behind the women’s movement. Once a women’s studies program convinces a gal she’s a victim of patriarchal oppression, how likely is it she’s going to overcome her indoctrination to be able to bond long enough with a guy to have a big family? If she does get careless with a guy, she’ll probably just have an abortion….
“All those Career-Oriented Gals are too busy seeking social approval and status at the office to be out starting families and raising kids. They’re encouraged to have fun, be free spirits., and experiment with any man who catches their fancy….And by the time all those COGs are in their thirties and ready to try to settle down and have kids, they’re past their prime. Their fertility peaks in their twenties. It’s all downhill from there….
“In another generation, we’ll have implemented our own version of China’s One-Child-Per-Couple policy without the nasty forced abortions and other hard repressive policies which people hate. What’s more, there’ll be fewer couples because so many young people will just be hedonistically screwing each other instead of settling down and making families. Makes me wish I were young again, like you, to take full advantage of it. The net effect is we’ll enter the great contraction and begin shrinking our population to more controllable levels….
“It’s profoundly ironic. A strong, independent woman is now one who meekly obeys the media’s and society’s clamor to be a career girl and sleep around with whatever stud catches her fancy or with other girls for that matter. A woman with the courage to defy that social pressure and devote herself from a young age to building a home and raising a family is an aberration, a weirdo, a traitor to her sex. There aren’t many women with the balls to stand up against that kind of social pressure. It’s not in their nature.”
This is a painfully accurate if compressed description of what’s been done to American womanhood these past sixty years. Be not deceived by specious “rights talk.” No genuine “right” is at issue, only the determination of the Left to weaken and ultimately destroy the nuclear family. The assault is ongoing, consistent in its aims, and does not tolerate setbacks.
I had a fictional sociologist declaim thus:
“Families are the fundamental building blocks of a stable society. Extended families — clans — are the best conceivable environment for the rearing of children, the perpetuation of a commercial forte, and the germination of new families and their ventures. A clan like yours, Miss Albermayer, conserves a brilliant genetic line and a priceless medical specialty at the same time. A clan like yours, Mr. Morelon, makes possible a benign agricultural empire and produces natural leaders one after another while connecting Hope to its most distant origins. And all healthy families, which cherish life and bind their members to one another in unembarrassed love, can find far more to occupy and amuse them than they need.”
Teresza’s mind lit with memories of the way the Morelons had enfolded her and made her one of them. No day could have been long enough for all they had to say and do and share with one another.
“When Earth’s regard for families and their most fundamental function deteriorated, her people ceased to enjoy the sorts of ties that had held them together throughout the history of Man. Without families, and especially without children, they groped for other things to fill their time, whether to give them a sense of purpose, or to distract them from the waning of their lives. Some invested themselves in industry or commerce, but without the sense of the family line to be built up and made prominent, those things failed to satisfy. Others immersed themselves in games, toys, fripperies, and increasingly bizarre forms of entertainment, which palled on them even faster. Still others made a fetish out of sex; there was a substantial sex industry on Earth, though it tended to operate in the shadows and was seldom openly discussed. They needed emotion and substance, but all they could contrive was sensation and novelty, and they pumped an ever greater share of their effort and wealth into seeking them. That’s my thesis, for what it’s worth.”
[From Which Art In Hope, which I continue to maintain is my best novel and the only genuinely important thing I’ve ever written.]
It appalls me how often I find myself repeating such ideas. It sometimes seems that our minds have been conditioned to reject them without even a moment’s consideration. But then, there’s a rather substantial propaganda industry at work among us, isn’t there? And it repeats its base messages continuously: Forget the future, live for the moment, everyone’s entitled to copious sex without consequences, if it feels good do it, what’s right is what’s right for you, there are no absolute standards…
The direct effect on women has been devastating. The indirect effect on men, children, and the nuclear family has been even worse. Cassie Jaye will tell you.
You don’t need to be a gypsy fortuneteller to read these tea leaves. A present-moment orientation, coupled to contemporary women’s horror of aging and feminism-propounded notions about “gender equality,” has led to a radical decline in the formation of families through marriage, a radical acceleration of their dissolution through divorce, and a “birth dearth” that imperils the future of the Western world.
Europe is even farther gone than are we, which is why they’ve imported their own replacements…who are proving to be the executioners of what most Americans think of as European culture. But we’re catching up to the Old World very swiftly.
Mark Steyn has been eloquent on this subject: The future belongs to those who show up for it. Without families and children, the Christian-Enlightenment culture of the United States and Western Europe will not “show up.” Our values and ideals will gutter out in a few generations. And it will largely be the Leftism-powered nonsense of “feminism” that snuffs our candle.
What’s that you say? I haven’t yet completed the incomplete sentence in the title? Hm! You’re right. I’d almost forgotten:
Sooner Or Later,
Societies, too. But do have a nice day.