The Amish have the highest living standard in the United States

If you define standard of living increases in terms of an individual having more opportunities to enjoy private experiences and consumption of individual goods, you get one kind of society.  If you define standard of living increases in terms of local-level collectives (families, towns, cities) having more opportunities to enjoy shared experiences and consumption of individual and collective goods, you get a whole nother kind of society.

If technological benefits are communally shared and not solely focused on individual gratification, you get a very different picture of improved living standards over time.

To put it another way, a four bedroom, two bath house of 2000-2500sq ft is considered just right for a family of four, but it’s not at all unpleasant or crowded to have eight people living in such a large home.  But the relentless march of progress always portrays the choice as “cram 20 people in” or “have 3-4 people knocking around a giant house” when one could have an intermediate situation where one enjoyed the benefits of modern technology with the benefits of accountability due to living with what has typically been a bit more than nuclear family in your home.

Related, this family lives “off the grid” in terms of energy use, but is very much tightly interwoven and connected into the grid of real community:

That couple is raising their children with teachers and adults they knew and liked, among people who know their parents, among blood kin and friends who also have long-standing multi-generational roots in that particular region.  They aren’t nearly as isolated despite their lack of public utilities as the modern SAHM living in a suburb far from both sets of relatives, in a town nowhere near even distant kin or college friends.  A lot of people think it’s limiting or provincial to spend your life living among multiple generations of blood and soil, but it’s natural, it’s normal and just because it’s not American* doesn’t mean it’s not something to be pursued in America.

*American: traditional American living is this, if there’s no religious aspect as with the Amish.  For all the right wing vitriol towards that kind of music and, uh, black people, that’s the real American essence, distilled.  Money, money, money, getting wealth, getting a big chunk of land far away from other people to lord over, these are a few of (white) America’s favorite things.  One of the reasons the social institutions conservatives love are failing is because of that GetRich aspect of Core America (h/t one Mr. Sailer).  It combines with individualism to be ultimately not that predictive or productive of wealth in the amounts desired by nearly all the individuals, but it has created a nation with wealth that none will likely ever see again.

But the Amish and that couple have a higher standard of living than the people with bigger houses on giant lots with a car for mom and dad and junior and sally precisely because the former two are less traditionally American than the latter household.



Viking masculinity and the evolution of Scandinavian feminism

Viking men were so masculine they were totally relaxed about the fact that their women could beat up the men of other, lesser races. I am exaggerating a little for effect, but the simpler theory is that some male cultures are secure enough in their plundering and etc that they are happy to grant a comparatively large amount of power to their women. They lose nothing in their own eyes and it just proves how superior they are as a people. Some of the sagas lean in this direction.

There are plenty of other plunder-happy cultures where women don’t build up status even though the men are gone for months/years at a time. There needs to be something more within the culture that defines feminine nature in ways that make women having hard power socially acceptable.

Iceland is a pretty good modern example. The women run a lot of stuff, and the men are free to go do things like walk on lava in 24 hour shifts.

I started this post a while back in response to seeing someone comment about Scandinavian feminism in a way that really didn’t reflect much connection with the history and personality of the Scandinavian peoples.  T.W.O., being Nordic, has been dropping the knowledge about his people and it turns out to not really be quite lined up with either liberal or alt-right ideas of “Northern Europeans”.  Shocking, I know.


Obsession with physical virginity and purity is preChristian, not Christian

Historically, in American society, it’s led to a Gnostic denial of the importance of the body.  Separate from that problem, it leads to things like (WARNING VERY DISTURBING SEXUAL CONTENT CONCERNING CHILDREN AT THOSE LINKS) rampant sexual assault of young girls.  Christian sexual morality is unique.  This doesn’t mean non-Christian societies or subcultures don’t have sexual morality, but it does mean that it’s important to understand when traditional sexual mores are stemming from non-Christian or pre-Christian traditions vs. Christian traditions.

In fact, one problem American conservatives have is believing that only Christians have sexual morality.  This is very much not true.  It’s just very different than Christian sexual morality, which is grace-filled.

Economic defensiveness isn’t a good look

There are plenty more, but they all boil down to “Cheaping out is better because it makes me feel better about not having moneys.”

Needless to say, this is not as compelling an argument as people think.  I don’t think people who make these arguments about cheapness being superior parenting are conscious of the implication, but I can assure them, that’s what average people are thinking.  They are thinking “defensive about being POOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRRR”.  They are not thinking such people (disproportionately conservatives) are brilliant geniuses for not spending money on their beloved children.

A while back I looked up food stamp data and found that (proxied) conservative families were avoiding meat so they could avoid food stamp use, while non-conservative families were getting food stamps so they could have meat regularly.  Yeah, people don’t think you’re superior or better or wiser for avoiding access to high-quality protein out of ego-defense issues.  Tangentially, the lethargy that low protein causes probably makes having a larger family easier in fairly obvious ways, but that’s just a side effect.