Originally posted at the jVerse
Apparently, you can be an atheist and scientist and still be held in sway by cultural fairy tales. Sam Harris recently blurged about the wealthy and how they should Pay Their Fair Share. This has been a party hack point of late since tax increases on the rich can supposedly eliminate the need to end the military occupation of the globe or to remove the remaining threads of the social safety network.
Sam and his ilk labor under the illusion that “the rich” and the state are independent entities. In Sam’s worldview: “Many people have amassed fortunes because they (or their parent’s, parent’s, parents) created value.”
In reality, very, very few people have amassed fortunes (at least the of the magnitude he’s talking about taxing) based on value they’ve created. Their fortunes are based on favors showered on them by the state. I’ve gone over the list of benefits before, and urged the reading of Kolko, Chomsky, and Zinn–refer to them if you doubt me. The institution to which Sam Harris and others are applying for taxation of the rich is the body that, for 245 years has taken money from everybody else and shoveled it to the rich. That is the function and purpose of government.
It’s almost impossible to amass a great fortune “creating value” because everybody else can “create value” too. You need to have somebody with police power mandate the purchase of your products, or criminalize the purchase of your competitors’ products. You need to make sure that immigrants will be arrested for doing the same thing that you do. Better yet, make it illegal for anyone to replicate the goods or services you provide. Then the poor stay poor (or go to jail or are deported) and you’ve got a leg up on fortune amassing.
And if you’re good–if you’re really good, you can get flat-out paid, of billions of dollars for no reason at all.
Trying to recover money from the super-wealthy via the state is like trying to blow up an air mattress with a vacuum cleaner.
The party hack doesn’t provide reasonable solutions. He says whatever is required to keep his party in power. The idea that the baton wielding, tank driving thugs that cruise around beating the crap out of helpless peaceful people would, by executive fiat, roll up on Wall street and take all the loot and apply it to granny’s medical bills is appealing. It will keep millions of democrats occupied–along with mocking Rick Perry–while more wars are declared, the currency is inflated, jails are filled, bankers are paid and the already rich get richer.
The absurdly wealthy are not so because they are under-taxed by the state, but because the state takes the wealth of the other 99% and hands it to them.
By: Jad Davis | Aug 20, 2011 Featured
Originally posted at the jVerse
One of the many things that swing out of the mainstream from time to time to knock a bit of reality into my delightful pocket of anarchism is the political left’s inability to abandon, or even critisize, capitalism.
Capitalism, corporatism, crony/state capitalism, call it what you will–I’m referring to the economic system that has always obtained in these glorious united states. In this system, concentration of capital–purchasing power and means of production–use the legitimized violence of political institutions* to increase their wealth in ways that would otherwise be impossible**.
This, in turn allows capital to concentrate in greater amounts and at a greater rate providing additional resources to create favorable monopolies, governing/regulating bodies, tax structures, and foreign policy (i.e. war). Which, in turn results in further abnormal and absurd profits, and so on and so forth.
Eventually, the oligarchs of accumulated wealth in this country have even won control of the printing of money and the issuance of debt (at interest rates set by their own cartel!). They’ve been awarded mineral rights around the globe by puppet regimes–mineral rights protected by the largest and deadliest military the world has ever seen. Their property and means of production in the home country are protected by a legion of police only slightly less well armed than the hordes sent abroad.
The reason they can do this is that they get it all for free! Certainly they pay some taxes, but in return they have access to assets on the order of trillions of (public) dollars to protect “their” property, mineral rights, even the pictures, sounds, words, and ideas that their workers develop for them.
Their employees’ retirement pensions and eventual healthcare are paid for, not by them, but by the public. The people that work for them are educated by the public. Goods flow in and out of their warehouses on public roads. Their merchant fleets shuttle cheap goods from poor countries with brutal leaders installed with public dollars to keep their people poor and compliant and working for nothing. Those fleets are protected by an awe inspiring navy under the watch of thousands of navigation and communication satellites. None of which is purchased, built, or placed by the majority beneficiaries.
Capitalism is the way by which the wealth and well-being of the 99% are trapped, extracted, and collected to benefit the interest of the tiny remainder. The entire nation-state is bent toward taking money and labor stolen from the workers and building armies, police, infrastructure, and regulation that benefit the people who built the nation-state for just that purpose.
As the inestimable Dennis Perrin points out:
Liberal groups bemoan the class war, but do little to oppose it. For one thing, they’re not opposed to capitalism — though what we’re enduring is beyond supply-and-demand definitions. Modern capital has its own language, its own currency, its own country. Liberal commentary rarely touches on this. They believe that modern capital can be bent in a progressive direction. By who or how is fuzzy. But it can be done. First, we need to elect better Democrats; and then etc. etc.
The democrats, individually and as a party, benefit mightily from serving accumulated capital. They will not take actions that threaten their share of power; if that means supporting wars, prisons, torture, a police state, the slashing of social spending, so be it.
The hacks on the political left benefit from the trickle down from the democrats. They can make a living reading, writing, speaking, and anlyzing as long as their conclusion is that:
- The structure of capitalism must remain unchanged and unchecked***.
- The democratic party, not a third party, and certainly not an alternative social structure is the means to social progress using the structures of capitalism; as Dennis says, “by who or how is fuzzy, first we need to elect democrats.”
This puts the party hacks in a weird and convoluted position. All of the traditional left-wing recommendations for real improvement in people’s lives and society at large–legalizing local organizations to compete with corporate monopolies, absolving bogus debt and laughable absentee property claims, the closing of prisons, the ending of wars, and the end of legal statute enforcing morality and social norms. . . the party hacks can’t really use any of it. They’re left cheering when the stock market goes up because maybe some of the newly appropriated corporate billions can be used to buy catfood for the elderly; or trap children in the mind-numbing prison camps of public education for 10 more days a year, or create jobs by increasing the ranks of homeland security.
It’s a testament to their intelligence that they can form a cohesive narrative and defend it at all.
* After, if necessary, creating said institutions.
** If you’re unfamiliar with that what of I speak, I recommend Gabriel Kolko’s The Triumph of Conservatism, or anything by Howard Zinn or Noam Chomsky.
*** Other than, perhaps, regulation further insulating some corporations against competition from some others; enshrining political favorites as indefinite rulers of a sector of the economy.
By: Jad Davis | Aug 18, 2011 Featured
Originally posted at the jVerse
I remember being shocked when I found out, as a young lad, that “bobbies”–british cops–didn’t carry guns. Even Barney Fife*, in the entirely non-violent town of Mayberry, had a gun with a bullet for the one-in-a-million chance that he would need to protect somebody with deadly force.
The narrative of police service–in Mayberry, USA or London, England circa 1950–is that it was a relationship between a corp of caring persons of integrity and a population that occasionally needs some protection or a helping hand. “Peace officers” were a combination of AAA agent, google maps, responsible friend (in alcohol related scenarios), occasional therapist and only in very rare circumstances, a body guard.
I have read and heard countless stories that fit with this model: flat tires changed by a cop; rides home provided by a cop; high-speed escorts to hospital provided by a cop; barroom scuffles broken up by a cop. I have no doubt that these stories are true and that, historically, police service meant that (some) people were served by police. I don’t doubt that, even today, police exist who really want to serve others on their “beat**.”
However, during the same historical era that Andy Griffith was providing homespun wisdom and good natured dispute resolution to the town of Mayberry and that baton twirling bobbies were helping old ladies carry their groceries home in Tottengham; ghettos in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Northern Ireland were crawling with heavily armed, abusive state thugs who were terrorizing the minority inhabitants.
The police in these areas were an instrument of social control. They violently upheld the existing economic order, attacked organizations that the ruling class perceived as competing for loyalty, and beat down any resistance to institutions of central authority. The techniques employed were savage and dehumanizing and robbed great number of human beings of life, health, freedom and possessions.
Now, when baton charges and water cannons are unleashed on Her Majesty’s Loyal Subjects in the Home Counties, it’s not a new form of policing, it’s simply expanding the relationship between police and subject formerly reserved for the Catholic minority in Ulster. When highly militarized police roll up to a house in working-class suburbia and kick in the door, it’s an expansion of policing policies that have been in government housing projects in every major US city since the 1960s.
As the minority inhabitants of western countries have been shouting all along, the police “protect and serve” the rulers, not “the people”. When Britain was largely middle class and all of the “troubles” were caused by enemies of the monarchy in Northern Ireland, local policing was friendly and public opinion turned a blind eye to the brutal policing across the Irish Sea. When suburban and rural communities were largely middle class, local police provided a “service” and nobody raised a fuss about the virtual military occupation of black communities in decaying urban cores.
With the western economies in free fall, the middle class has and will continue to evaporate. Formerly loyal subjects of the monarchy and the nation-state will find themselves in the same plight that 2nd, 3rd, and lower class citizens have been facing lo these couple hundred years. The policing tactics that previously happened “over there” will increasingly be applied “over here.”
Yet the pundits and the rulers clamor for more. On the political right, there can’t be enough cops being brutal enough to enough people; even on the political left, in the name of “job creation,” Rachel Maddow advocates the increase in the number of police nationwide.
Demographics that have traditionally been exempted from police are now experiencing life as “perpetrators.” All but the most privileged are increasingly subject to arbitrary police violence. Sites like CopBlock, The Agitator, Injustice Everywhere, Gangsters in Blue, and Photography is Not a Crime, attempt to keep up with and report on all manner of crimes conducted by the police.
The police are not here to protect and serve you. They’re very likely to, accidentally or intentionally, hurt, cage or kill you or someone around you should they be called for assistance. Their job is to control you and to assist their masters in extracting money and obedience from you in all cases. The police of the mythological past are no longer with us–if they ever were–the today’s police are not to be trusted by anyone under any circumstances.
Update: And then of course, there’s Syria
*This post is premised on your knowledge of The Andy Griffith Show a quick glance at the Wikipedia article should suffice.
**Even these hypothetical “good” cops are still required by the policies of their governing institution to make unjust arrests of non-violent offenders of arbitrary statues and ordinances; there’s only so much even a well-intentioned cop can do.
The evolutionary psych story about humanity is that war, genocide, and the divisive “-isms” that keep humans in a perpetual state of conflict are inevitable expressions of an “us vs. them” tendency that is simply a part of our biological makeup.
It’s indisputable that people can adopt an identity that is essentially oppositional to another nation, race, religion or ethnic group, but how much of this tendency is nature and how much is nurture?
Only one human trait is truly immutable: adaptability. Children learn very quickly what they need to do to ensure their physical safety. In our dominance based society, a major element of required adaptation is siding with proximal agents in society vs. outsiders, real or–primarily–imagined.
In fact, examining the volume of propaganda that is directed at Americans, from the cradle to the grave it’s unsurprising the kinds bizarre and absurd expressions of xenophobia that crop up whenever the “enemies of America” (or of “real” America) come up in conversation.
Take, for example, this stream of . . . just really weird comments that popped about on Facebook and Twitter after the last month’s earthquake/tsunami/nuclear meltdown in Japan. Citing Pearl Harbor (Pearl Harbor? Seriously?) as the counter-balance in some twisted version of karma is really, really fucked up.
Where did this enmity come from? There can’t be more than a dozen people alive on the planet that participated in the fighting at Pearl Harbor. Japan has been a more than cooperative American colonial forward base in East Asia for over 65 years. There are very few who derived their prejudice against the Japanese from lived experience, but a quick glance at “educational material” and popular culture should give a clue about where the animosity comes from.
The facts, which one has to dig a bit to find, paint a different picture. The popular depiction involves a ruthless and brutal empire[ref]no argument there, btw[/ref] that, in an attempt to enslave the entire pacific strikes out at a peaceful merchant republic. This depiction, crafted, as always, by the victors served to put the United States on a war footing. Pearl Harbor was a story meant to ease the resistance to conscription going into the war, and to ease the collective conscience after Japanese cities were incinerated by fire bombings and, finally, annihilated in nuclear blasts.
The truth is less useful. Objectively, two empires, one small and resource starved and the other vast, expanding and reaching the height of its powers met in the western Pacific. A faction of the leadership of the United States, including large parts of the executive branch, wanted to go to war in Europe and intended to do so by drawing Germany’s Pacific ally into a conflict.
This bikecast/post isn’t intended to address this issue in depth. It requires the kind of care and attention to detail that I can’t generally muster. Luckily, the issue has been researched to death by just the kinds of minds by which one wants important issues researched to death. The evidence is overwhelming and the objections, as far as I can find, are few and feeble (and rebutted). This page of links from the Independent Institute has alot of good starting points for the interested.
In any case, the nature of the war, fought thousands of miles from California against an island nation far and away the technological and economic inferior of the United States required an enormous amount of propaganda. In retrospect, as each new generation of Americans confronts the nightmare of history’s only nuclear strikes, the tale requires an arch-enemy so lunatic that no alternative was conceivable but to vaporize hundreds of thousands of people to bring the war to an end.
And that is the legacy that is echoed in the comments about Japan today. Jingoism generated by a ruling class to support their decisions and those of their predecessors three generations ago.
If we have to demonize the Japanese in order to distract from the reality of the war in the Pacific, how much more demonization is required to justify the enslavement of a race?
The answer is, “quite a lot”–11 on a scale of 10 and we see the evidence for this in Western bigotry against blacks. This may be especially true in the United States where racial policy has been an political issue for three hundred years.
How does one justify the perpetual enslavement of a people? They have to be animals, unfit for a place in civilization, unable to control their impulses and desires, a danger to advanced society. If abolition is on the table, a strong and reliable political move is to drive into the public consciousness the most gruesome and horrifying stories of what will happen when the black race is freed.
If integration is on the table, the wise move is to tell these stories again. To create and fund “science” that supports racist conclusions, to integrate racism into every possible aspect of society: education, religion, community organizations, etc. The politician willing to do so and support others in doing so can have a long and prosperous career, since no one pays any heed to the wars he starts and the money he shunts to his supporters and allies.
The legacy of nationalized racial policy is what we see around us today. Racism isn’t a biological inevitability. It’s the result of an explicit policy of centuries of fear mongering for political power and financial gain.
The Entire Non-Christian World and The non-English-speaking Americas
Nowadays, our attention is turned to (at least) two new enemies who, we are told, seek to despoil our country. The muslims (or islamo-fascists) and spanish speaking central/south Americans and carribean islanders (aka mexicans or illegals).
Popular stereotypes of these people differ radically between 1900 and today. I go into some hand-waving detail in the podcast about my perception of these changes. Suffice it to say that the fanatical muslim and job-stealing mexican are inventions of the last 40 years. They were created specifically to allow monstrously inhumane treatment of human beings and vast appropriations of stolen money to the military-industrial-prison-security-congressional-comlex. The amount of energy and effort being put into the new stereotypes assure us that, in 100 years, people will still be clinging blindly to these beliefs.
And why the energy and effort? Greater fear and anger associated with these groups means more power given to the police, military and surveillance state and votes for anyone who promises protection from these “threats.” Nobody can speak against this most destructive of enemy imagery and hope to be taken seriously by the corporate media much less have any chance at political office.
To sum up, the quantity and ferocity of enemy-making propaganda has to be such that virtuous choices like withdrawing western troops from the middle east, allowing free travel over the southern border (or not going to war in 1941 or not owning black persons before 1865) are unthinkable.
We’re still reeling from the propaganda of the past, and new bullshit is being constantly heaped on top of the old. The perpetrators and agitators are those that benefit from hatred–those whose actual crimes: mass theft, kidnapping and murder, necessitate the creation of unfathomably evil foes. Only by projecting their own wrongdoings onto others can the perpetrators escape from scrutiny. Not only can they commit the most horrific crimes against humanity, they can do so in the name of protection people from the harmful other.
In the podcast, I reference Lloyd DeMause who makes a similar argument with regard to enemy imagery historically directed at children. Here’s a page of his online books. I’ve read much of http://www.psychohistory.com/htm/eln00_preface.html The Emotional Life of Nations and listened to some of the Origins of War in Child Abuse. Also, here’s a current example ad hoc ratcheting up of enemy imagery in wartime as various minorities are targeted as foreign mercenaries. Oh, and the movie I was trying to think of was Lawrence of Arabia
By: Jad Davis | Mar 26, 2011 Featured
“Reasoning in midstream*” is a common phenomenon in public discourse that typically starts right around the time that bombs start dropping or legislation starts being penned in response to a “crisis”. It is the monotonous focus on the present state of a problem–a pending genocide, a health or financial emergency, or a security threat–disregarding the history or context in which the event takes place. In addition to discouraging discussion of root causes, reasoning in midstream also allows for attention to be drawn away from parallel dangers that are still in earlier stages.
By way of an analogy, imagine a society whose diet consists of only Snickers and Coke (a-cola, that is). After forty or fifty years, the toothless, diabetic and morbidly obese nature of the elder generation forces the society to examine the ailments of the worst off and explore possible solutions. Radical dentistry, amputation of gangrenous limbs and liposuction are proposed and touted as the only way to address these epidemics which, apparently, arose from nowhere. Perhaps an underemployed nutritionist suggests a change of diet, but the idea is dismissed as ineffective against the immediate problems faced by the older population.
Of course, without a change in diet, however insufficient against some of the immediate dangers facing some of the population, the problem can’t be checked in any meaningful or sustainable way. There’s most likely not much that can be done to help those that have been eating the lethal foodstuffs for 50 years. In this example, it’s plain (for us) to see that efforts would be most profitably invested in changing the diet to avoid the same problems in those that are currently 5, 15, 25, and 35 years old.
If this society limits itself to reasoning in midstream, however, solutions that aren’t directed at the immediate and spotlighted most critical cases are disregarded entirely. No ultimate causes of the current problem are sought and no thought to preventing future problems of a similar nature is given.
Leaping out of my flimsy analogy and into harsh reality, the most recent example of reasoning in midstream (let’s call it RIM from now on) that I’ve experienced has been around the topic of Libya.
Here, for the first time since Clinton and NATO decimated and subsequently occupied the Balkans, we have a progressive war for progressive goals lead by a progressive administration. This has caused tremendous cognitive dissonance on the left and lead to somber and thoughtful defenses of the necessity of aerial butchery. Where there is hesitation, progressives are plagued by the programmed question: “What possible alternative exists?”
What alternatives indeed? There are no good answers in the moment, because it’s the last 60+ years of malignant foreign policy in the region that have brought us to this terrible, yet easily predicted, outcome. Yet no discussion exists of the historical context of western intervention in North Africa. And so the policy is more of the same–remove the leader and arm some new “legitimate government” that will guarantee the continuity of the status quo.
Whatever happens, say proponents of RIM, don’t let’s think about the other dictators and puppet states, in Yemen, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Pakistan, Jordan, Colombia, Bahrain, Oman, Morocco, Geogria, El Salvador, Djibouti, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, etc.–I left out the countries that don’t seem to be in immediate peril of revolution–who continue to receive the very same western military aid that has allowed Gadaffi to commit this most recent democide.
The goal of the imperial state and it’s licensed, regulated, and wholly corporately owned mass media is to push aside such radical questions and return us to the case at hand–to RIM. Surely we can’t let this moment pass, this horrible thing happen, surely something must be done . . .
When “something must be done,” we immediately know that we are being asked to support a heaping helping of more of the same upon a people that have had their enemies propped up by western imperialism and their countries and wealth sold out from underneath them to western interests.
Nothing should be done. The violence must end which necessitates not adding to it. The dictators past and future should not be armed by money expropriated from the western working classes. As I discuss in The Winding Up of Violence, places like Libya, and much of the rest of the western controlled world, are like pots of water (two metaphors in one blog post! Noooo!). As long as they are exposed to heat, armaments and violence, from outside the system, they will remain in a turbulent state.
Foreign perturbance must cease, and the region will settle in to a stable state governed by the will of the people living there. This will happen at some point. The amount of harm, destruction and dislocation that will have to be endured is a function of how long it takes for the west to withdraw and cease interference, which is an economic inevitability at this point.
The sooner we cease to reason in midstream, and to see the calls for increased intervention for what they are, the sooner the people of Libya, the Middle East, and the entire world will have an opportunity to craft a peaceful existence for themselves.
* Wes Bertrand describes the process more abstractly in the first chapter of his book Complete Liberty
- In case you’re still plagued by the pseduo-practical question of the merits of intervening, Justin Raimondo’s going to explain why it’s a bad idea.
- Same gist, a little more in depth at The American Interest.
- On the immergence of a “new western militarism” (welcome back France!)
- Humanitarians of the Year: Pithy, funny, truthful and to the point–or is that just pithy again . . .
- Unreported Facts about Libya from Freedomain Radio (video)
- The Daily Show explains America’s various “Freedom Packages” (video)
By: Jad Davis | Mar 21, 2011 feminismCross posted from my website, jad-davis.com (hence the odd seeming self-reference to Gonzo Times). Below, I’ve combined the Introduction with the follow-up post, Marriage, Monogamy, and Violence to save on page real estate.
The next several posts will (barring sidetracking) be related to a discussion going on at the Gonzo Times. I’ve always liked the Times because they address issues that a number of other anti-authoritarian sites seem to overlook in the name of expediency. One of these issues is gender. As I documented in the previous post/podcast and as is summarized (along with subsequent developments) by Punk Johnny Cash in this recent post, a number of misogynists, some self-described, have predictably sprung up to attack those voicing questions and concerns about the treatment of women in pro-liberty circles.
Of course, there are alot of ins, alot of outs, alot of what-have-yous involved, but I tend to think that this sort of development is “a good thing.” Occasionally, it’s time to introspect and make sure one’s house is in order, both as an individual and, metaphorically, as a collective. On the rare occasions that reactionaries, especially those that are so obviously poisoning the well, pop up, it provides the rest of us a chance to state our position clearly to said reactionaries and to the rest of the world.
In this case, the world clearly needs to hear the liberty perspective spelled out. Virtually all casual observers believe that libertarianism is a post-hoc political conclusion based on anger towards and fear of government takeover by non-white and/or non-male people. This conclusion is based on the media amplification of a few conservative voices that, in fact, hold that position in ways subtle and obvious.*
What we shall look at over the next few posts is a flurry of activity on the Gonzo Times website by one of the bloggers there, Jay Batman (one of the aforementioned self-described misogynists). His case, stated most comprehensively in an initial post can be addressed in a dozen ways that have sprung into my mind. I haven’t even finished reading it. Maybe he ends the entire thing with a retraction, in which case, my bad for not finishing before responding.
In any case, these issues deserve addressing as they will doubtless arise again (and again) in the future. I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep at it until each and every failing is revealed, but I will do my best.
Marriage, Monogamy, and Violence
Jay begins his post with the following premises:
. . . societal conventions that deny a man’s natural and innate inclinations to preach some false idea of domestication as the ideal are the creations of a matriarchal tyranny.
We men are not naturally inclined toward monogamy or marriage. Societies that promote such end results are clearly the product of male hatred on the part of the women who drive such values. Women have appropriated the state and religious institutions to systematically de-masculinize men and relegate us to a less virile, less potent existence.
One would think a libertarian would understand that a tyranny of any sort cannot exist without the use of force. I’m not clear on what, exactly, is preaching the idea of monogamy and marriage as ideal–I guess the Abrahamic religions (why not the Sarahtic religions?) are usually interpreted as endorsing these things–but whatever the source, it’s pretty clearly using non-violent persuasion to get the job done in the western world.
This conflation of verbal pressure with violent aggression seems to be a trend among misogynists. In another, follow-up post, Jay paints the following picture
Think of the man like the Gadsden Flag bearer, and you get the picture: he’s got it in his head that striking back is the way to go, but the female standing in front of him, though half his size, has a mouth like a Gatling Gun and can tear him to shreds with it. It’s emasculating, but it’s what women do.
This echoes a similar sentiment expressed by a commenter on a Punk Johnny Cash article.
Add to this, women who can’t keep their mouths shut, who use their words as surrogate baseball bats to bludgeon their man into submission; or women who stand in doorways to prevent the man from leaving the room/house so as to DE-escalate (caused mainly by the rise of “Feminism,” another statist invention). . . they kind of deserve what they get.
At least Jay pretends to live in a world where a verbal confrontation results in the powerful man gently weeping in response to a discussion with a woman. The second commenter seems more closely connected with reality, where 4 million women apparently can’t keep their mouths shut each year and get what, apparently, they “deserve”.
It’s important to frame a verbal confrontation in physically violent terms so that men who initiate aggression against people can be let off the hook on a pseudo-self-defense clause.
In the good old days, of course, even this nonsensical veneer of legitimacy wasn’t needed, and this brings us back to the topic of marriage.
Until the tyrannical matriarchy appeared on the scene, marriage was simply a legal claim to human property. If a woman was beaten, raped, killed, or forced into labor, the legal question was restricted to which man, typically a father or husband, owned her. If the perpetrator was the owner of the woman, the issue went no further. If, he wasn’t, restitution was owed to the owner and the attacker and often the victim were further punished by the legal authorities.
This arrangement varied slightly from place to place, but was always essentially a transaction among men:fathers and sometimes would-be husbands as part of an often much larger exchange of property.
Women, for their part, were kept by in a dependent state by the inability to own property, conduct business, travel unescorted, etc. The skill set they were consequentially raised to develop was that of a domestic servant, taking care of the children, the sick, the elderly and maintaining the household. They were raised to be obedient and submissive and were therefore amenable to religions, which praise obedience, submission and forgiveness as virtuous–more on this in a future post.
In the last fraction of human history, state capitalism has subsidized the movement of women into the workforce by taking over some of the traditional roles: care of children, the sick and the elderly primary among them. This isn’t, as Jay posits, a result of an emerging and powerful state-feminist alliance–such an idea is laughable when one compares the numbers of men and women among the captains of industry and social engineers that constructed the state welfare system–but as an entirely predictable corporate-state alliance that always seeks to subsidize inexpensive labor for the owners of capital.
Jay’s other point in the passage is that the women force men, through the apparatus of the state, I guess, into monogamous relationships. Again, this is absurd. Men have never been held to a standard of monogamy, certainly not in the modern west. Women on the other hand have always been held to an exacting standard with phenomenally inhumane penalties for adultery.
The fear of raising another man’s child factored into both the control of women’s freedom to move, to associate, and to own property as well as the devastating penalties exacted on women for sex outside of marriage. Men never faced anywhere near the same degree of retribution for non-monogamy.
As to what is “natural” for either sex, the point is moot and largely unknowable. In a few hundred years, when women have absolute and unchallenged control of their reproduction and face no physical threat from partners, it might be possible to determine what sexual behaviors are natural and which are a result of violent institutions. My guess is, nature being what it is, that people will tend towards a wide variety of arrangements that will overrun any modern predictions.
In any case, the current situation is rife with violence and the threat of violence as well as the historical hangovers of sexual repression and institutional dis-empowerment of women–reasoning about the future of human sexuality is like predicting the future course of technology at the point that the catholic church ceased systematic interference in the conduct of science.
Overall, the extraordinary claim that women are secretly controlling the agendas of institutions that have always been overseen and staffed by males and have always relegated women to a “less virile less potent existence” requires a tremendous amount of evidence. While Jay provides a number of anecdotal instances of women who act less than honorably toward men, by any metric and at any time and place in history, men have used their physical superiority and their political privilege to completely dominate women. This isn’t a matter of “reading the right books” as Jay complains he is always asked to do. It’s a recognition of very rudimentary and basic fact of human history.
To blame women for perpetuating the institutions that have always assisted men in maintaining dominance is the height of chutzpah. To pity men that can’t willfully beat their “mouthy women” and then wonder why females avoid one’s ideology of freedom is willful callousness. To blame women in general for the behavior of the women that one chooses to associate with the definition of bigotry.
We’ve got alot more to cover folks, so if you have any desire to direct the conversation, please drop a comment.
* An compelling discussion on how ideology is used to provide psychic cover for prior trauma can be found in Freedomain Radio’s Bomb in the Brain series.