Exploring the implications of the Baby Scoop Era

Yes, your parents were lying to you about everything, your life was a big fake production, and this happened with the extensive support of dozens of people you knew in your local town.  The conspiracy was real and focused entirely on keeping you from knowing who you really were.

It is very popular these days to pick on Boomers and younger Silents as the vanguard of all that is wrong in America today, but the Baby Scoop Era not only happened, it formed a substantial subtext in the lives of many Boomers and their parents.  It’s not even possible to know how exactly many babies were scooped precisely, because destroying or falsifying birth records was part of the process.

And their parents were the Greatest Generation mostly.  “Great” white mothers having babies or conceiving out of wedlock at rates that supposedly didn’t exist before The Great Society, at rates that supposedly were only ever the bane of the black community.  Due to the length of time, some of the oldest Boomers were themselves relinquishing mothers on top of things, so there are layers upon layers here.

This is just a little piece of the context for “the Narrative” and the idea that lying is fine if it’s for a bigger social justice good.  This was not driven exclusively nor primarily by leftists, even if there is a heavy technocratic element involved in much of the Baby Scoop reasoning pushing mothers to relinquish infants.

There really are historical periods, some extremely recent and within living memory, where socially conservative people played fast and loose with the truth, abused and coerced people and were not very honorable people.  And the results weren’t so great either.  This is also part of the subtext behind wanting women to have more economic power and be able to be “strong independent single mothers”.  That didn’t come out of nowhere.

This has interesting implications as well for those who skew heavily towards nature over nurture.

 

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A Very Neoreactionary Christmas

If I had given the matter much thought, I’d have assumed that our friends in the neoreaction community spent Christmas time pretending to enjoy single malt scotch while burning a yule log and promising themselves that they’ll spend the next year sacrificing a horse to Thor and/or performing the blood eagle on an NPR listener.

How sad I was to find that instead of celebrating a tradition, or spending time with family, they decided to tweet each other about an old article I wrote a year ago about Bronies (who are kind of like Moldbug fans, but motivated to action by their fandom.)

Alas, it didn’t even provide a traffic boost.

But for them, it meant the lures of modernity were more important than even a tiny genuflection in the direction of hierarchy, proper authority and folk traditions of the West.  They went against all the stuff they are presumably into regarding tradition and family to jibberjab about some old post on a housewife’s blog.

 

(Proper) Catechesis is love

What it says on the tin.

Proper catechesis is missing from most Christian practice, and it’s one of the reasons well-off Western Christians seem so hypocritical and awful to non-Christians looking in.  There are many ways to properly catechize people smart and stupid alike, but mostly they aren’t done or even considered important by all too many Christians, but it is important for Christians to receive proper catechesis and it is, simply, love.

Real Talk for SAHMs, Honest DITL edition

A Day in the Life, or DITL, is a cutesy internet phenomenon where people post the events of their day in timestamped fashion, often illustrated with pictures.  It is very common in the parts of the internets where “mommies” blog.

This has been sitting in the hopper for about a year because I keep trying to do one and fail, as I’m still so sleep deprived I can’t keep track of my day well enough to list it out with timestamps.

I spent most of this year pregnant, and the rest breastfeeding a mighty warrior.  And that also wears me out.  Breastfeeding can really yank the old calories out of a mother, and I haven’t got them to spare these days.

Today is a good day, I am not going back to bed for a good hour after being up all night with a, well, mighty warrior.  Usually I am back to bed by now and make up for some of the sleep I don’t get at night by doing so during the day.

That’s my life when I’m less than six months postpartum–up every hour or two at night and sleeping a large fraction of the day.  If I have the strength and energy, I get a little cooking or housework done before the sitter leaves, or maybe something more complicated like bills/budget/admin.  Once the sitter goes home, a good evening is either me or T.W.O. cooking while the other wrangles the littles, or taking the whole brood out on the town by getting some groceries.  Yes, our wild nights on the town are buying milk and carrots at 7pm.

This isn’t a very good DITL, sorry.  But I don’t do much postpartum until at least six months after the birth.  When I only had one infant, I just lived like an infant, eating and sleeping mostly the same times the baby did.  T.W.O. and sous vide did all the food prep so I didn’t starve that first six months.  And with that infant it was closer to nine because I seem to grow them mighty and warrorish when I’m not also growing them in pairs.

I am going to do some agrarian lifestyle stuff, and/or get Christmas presents out, and then sleep until 4pm, when it gets dark.  And then the cooking/wrangling combo until bedtime for the oldest kids, and then my day in the life ends with me staying up with the newest addition to our family, as I can’t sleep when the waking is more frequent than every two hours, which is the current deal.

So there’s my day in the life right now.  I’ll try this again in a few months.

Notes on Letters from a Woman Homesteader

So I got diverted from my original 2014 reading list by yet another bit of old writing that doesn’t quite match up to the myths around frontier and pioneer folks.

It’s some letters a homesteading woman from about 100 years ago wrote to a former employer she’d maintained cordial relations with.  She’d worked for the employer as a laundress.  What is fascinating about the letters is that yet again, she didn’t do all the work alone, but routinely had other women helping her, or she traveled to help them.  It is clearly normalized in these letters for the women to go around to each other and spend days or weeks assisting with, well, homesteading for each other, along with the demands of hospitality.  When parties and social events are undertaken, it’s just assumed that everyone (including men) will pitch in to help the individual household tasked with hosting duties.  There is, despite the fact that they all live ten and twenty and thirty miles away from each other, not actually that much rugged individualism.

Also, this woman’s body broke down having lots of babies (six, more or less, according to other information about her life elsewhere on the internet) and working hard.  The letters Mrs. Stewart writes detail multiple instances of being unwell and struggling physically due to pregnancies (and infant deaths/miscarriages) and the work of homesteading. Her marriage was a mail-order marriage, but it lasted and as noted above produced quite a few surviving little bundles of joy out of it.

Mrs. Stewart promotes homesteading aggressively, feeling strongly that however hard that labor is, it still beats being a laundress in an urban metro area in the early 20th century.  She really felt that women should get out there and grab a piece of land for themselves, with or without a husband.  That sort of feminine self-determination is American to the core, being in regular currency prior to the 19th amendment.  I continue to have my own preconceptions about traditional America rocked by the knowledge that everything old is new again.  And in this case what’s old is American women waving a flag of securing financial independence through earning income rather than marriage.

It’s a short read, plus she’s a capable and engaging writer.  There’s a reason her employer sent the letters to be published in a magazine.

Biblical Theocracy

A book review from The White Oppressor T.W.O.
tankMan

It was June 5th 1989, less than thirty-six hours after the historic “Beijing massacre”, when the People’s Army complied with the Chinese government’s order to roll the tanks down the Avenue of Eternal Peace and through Tiananmen Square, to clear all debris from the nation’s political heart, whatever the cost. I was in the student canteen at Hong Kong Baptist College, picking at my rice box, sitting across from one of my students. Mee Mee had just struggled through a final exam on a day when many of the students, still in shock, had stayed home, unable to think about school­work when their homeland’s future was hanging in the balance. We were discussing whether or not the college should postpone the remaining exams until the political crisis cooled.
About six weeks earlier, near the beginning of the forty-nine day stu­dent protest that ended in tragedy, four well-meaning students had come to my office trying to persuade me to cancel my classes in support of the democracy movement in China. They were quite surprised at my rather unorthodox response, and went away perplexed at the idea that there should be a Westerner, a U.S. citizen no less, and a teacher of religion and philosophy, who actually claimed not to believe in democracy! Until then, I had normally kept to myself the political ideas which had been brewing in my mind over the past ten or twelve years, since voicing them usually met with just such reactions of offence and disbelief.

But here was Mee Mee, her heart torn in two over the recent events in China, not knowing whom to support. Her parents thought the Chinese government was in the right; she disagreed, yet found it hard to accept the equally extreme belief of the recent tendency in Hong Kong to view democ­racy as the final answer to mankind’s political quest. I bared my heart to her, telling her how I have always been the sort of person who is naturally in­clined to grasp his rights in the name of freedom and justice, and yet, how the results of such grasping rarely satisfy me. For if my struggle to defend my rights succeeds, I am often left with a strange sense of empti­ness or guilt; and if it fails, I am left with bitterness at having been treated unfairly. As our conversation developed, I realized that what she was so interested in discussing, others might also find challenging in this time of crisis.

Thus begins Biblical Theocracy, the most important book on politics and Christianity since Augustine’s City of God. (You can read it online for free in poorly formatted HTML.)

This is my favorite passage:

If we wish to adopt a form of Christianity consistent with the Bible, then we must seriously consider whether or not we are perhaps being deceived by our society and culture-and perhaps also by our own human selfishness-when we preach democracy as the panacea for all political problems. Aside from offering the citizen certain legal rights, most versions of democracy tell us we have the power and authority to claim for ourselves certain “inalienable rights”, such as “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. Yet this is one of the greatest political lies ever told! Christianity is a religion of the cross, a religion whose founder taught that true life comes only to those who are willing to die [see e.g., Mat. 10:38-39; 16:24; cf. 1 Cor. 15:31]. Among other things, this means Christians are called to give up all rights: not just the basic right to “life”, but also rights such as “liberty” and “the pursuit of happiness”. For the Bible repeatedly says Christians are to be “slaves of Christ” [e.g., Eph. 6:6; Rom. 6:22] and are to endure all manner of suffering for the sake of a future glory [see e.g., Rom. 8:18; 1 Pet. 2:18-4:19; and Chapter Six below]. How, then, can a Christian defend a political system which encourages its citizens to stand up and de­fend their “basic human rights”?

How indeed? If you are wondering in what sense this is practical:

And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.
1 Samuel 8:18

Why the alternative right are the right wing’s poor urban blacks.

They kick it ghetto style, leaving women defenseless and whining about how white men need to come bail them out and give them jobs.

They promote what is essentially all the worst aspects of matriarchy (women have to generate most or all the income and also do all the housework and kinder care while they sit around getting into twitter and blog wars) with none of the benefits of existing in parallel with a wealthier patriarchal society next door (since they dunwanna do any of that responsibility and care of others stuff).

That they blame poor urban blacks for their inability to live in whatever loopy 1950s/1960s/1840s version of whitopia they’ve created in their minds is just bitterly funny projection.

Oh yeah, both groups also blame Jews for why they ain’t rich.

Usually at this point examples are demanded, but does anyone really want to see fifteen or thirty comment-links from Steve Sailer’s blog, Taki’s Mag, or Dalrock’s blog, to name just a few alt-right gathering spots?  Probably not!