The merits of properly liberal education.

Define it and explain why it’s important  and why it got tied to a career, it is certainly not because it proves you can show up reliably for 4 years.

A properly liberal education is important and it is beyond my tired self today to explain how it got tied to a career and college attendance (the oddly common view among conservatives that “college proves you can show up for four years” is not why).  So I will link to a not-great essay advocating for basic universal income but lamenting the lack of status currently attached to the life of the mind.

The essay isn’t perfect, but it touches well-enough on some of the relevant aspects of liberal education to be worth saving the link so, so that’s what I am doing for future reference.  Read it and let me know what you think of the approach that author takes.


The IT industry is subversively conservative

This is why wages are pushed down, if all those married nerds with 4 kids were making twice or three times the money, it would be game changing in American society.  It’s not solely why wages are pushed down, but don’t think it’s not part of the game.  IT remains family supporting and male and continues to have a disproportionate share of conservative (personality-wise) men in it.  This is true even with IT guys totally bought-in to the whole “social justice” racket.  The conservative personality tendency still trickles out.  There’s also a ton of modelling traditional gender roles in their personal lives, even if they are married to a fellow techie/nerd.

Incidentally, this is why guilds would actually not be a bad idea in the long term, but that can be left to someone else.

Conservatives could start their own lower-cost construction companies

Conservatives, instead of complaining about Latin American immigrants taking all the jerbs, could be developing a possible alternative approach to the current Latin American immigrant domination of construction (mostly Mexican, but increasingly other countries such as Guatemala and El Salvador).  One way to go would be to take all those young homeschool guys who need to figure out some way to earn a living and have them do it up collective style.  Many of those young men come from families of 5 or more and are used to the rack and stack approach in a household.

Since a lot of the complaints among the commenters to that blog are about undercutting and working cheaper, one could utilize one of the few existing pools left of American whites who are used to living more densely and achieve many of the same cost efficiencies.  In fact, one could potentially get it classified as a ministry and have third parties eat the workers’ comp expenses and still get the benefits of the lower hourly wages.

Or one could keep complaining on dissident right blogs while sitting at a cheap desk made in China using a computer also made in China from parts mined in politically unstable countries in a house built by those horrible, horrible Mexicans and El Salvadorans.

I’m not saying this suggestion is flawless, it’s a suggestion after all, but it’s got more practical meat to it than the endless whining and zero action that is pretty much the sine qua non of the dissident right.  The regular right’s sine qua is ineffective and almost exclusively political action.  Doing for self wasn’t just a slogan, it was a way to think about clan and ethny and effective collective action in an individualistic, atomized society that was already too far in that direction decades ago.

Not quite what I was thinking would be my 100th post, but that’s ok!


How homeschooling could be more effective and practical in application

Co-ops could be structured more effectively.

Paid staff are important.

Merry bands of roving tutors!

Specialization!  This is why you need merry bands of roving tutors. And also household services for homeschooling SAHMs.  Business opportunity!  Way to employ single mothers and older women!

Basically, stop expecting women to do five jobs poorly and then boast about how this will be a way to retake society.  Not gonna happen.  Early homeschool successes and stories were the result of massive selection bias and in a number of instances outright lying.  Many of the people promoting homeschooling via their popular monetized blogs have household help and private tutors for some subjects.  But Americans are obsessed with a Walter Mitty worldview where it really is possible in a single 24 hour day to homeschool effectively, clean a 2000 square foot house, cook three full gourmet meals and pay all the bills and do four loads of laundry a day.

So there’s the biggest way homeschooling could be more effective and practical– stop freaking buying into the SuperMom Myth.  You can’t do it all and it is ridiculous to even contemplate.  Do one thing well and truly.  Outsource the rest within your local community.

Become and support your local seamstress!

From a previous comment, a great example on localism that makes sense.  The era of ultracheap textile production is rapidly fading away and we are already at the point where local production even of cloth is on the table.  Those skills are not entirely lost, for all that it may seem so when glancing around at people very proud of their uneven wool mittens on etsy.

Anyway, all women shouldn’t do it, but the women who have a talent and a flair should be supported by their fellow neighborhood peers.  I’ve supported local seamstresses in the past and plan to do so in the future.  The problem with the mostly-liberal promotion of localism is that everything has never been local once humans figured out how to travel elsewhere.  Some local production makes more sense than other local production, even if it costs more upfront.  This is a real tradeoff that conservatives reliant on endless supplies of cheap goods at thrift shops and big box stores like to handwave in their idolatry of frugality achieved by exploitation and poor treatment of workers.  It’s not pure goodness that socks are cheaper (for now) to replace than to darn.  Shipping abuse of workers to other countries wasn’t a win, either.

And yeah, you can have less than fabulous working conditions without exploiting the workers.  A lot of (white) workers still do fiber mill production for small-batch wool goods and it’s dusty and dirty and hard work, but they are generally treated decently by the fiber mill employer.

Clothing being mostly local is not necessarily a bad thing, if the quality can be maintained.  And there is much more precious than rubies.  Keeping respectable, traditionally female trades viable for women with drafting, cutting, sewing knitting and weaving talents should be worth owning fewer clothes of high quality, durability and pleasing cut.

Promote apprenticeships and certifications rather than college degrees

The fixation on college degrees is endemic among conservatives, for all that they claim to not be like those wacky liberals on the matter.  This is especially true among homeschoolers, who are just as wedded to the SWPL-liberal notion of college as crucial to financial success as any Tiger Mama.  But promoting apprenticeships and certifications is a way to sidestep the entire college cargo cult and provide economic opportunity for even not-bright men to save up and build a life and support a family.

At present in America, about the only groups promoting apprenticeships or certifications successfully are a few old-line heavy trades unions (who remain white-ethnic to a degree that is astonishing in modern America) and a few highly abstract professions like actuaries and accountants.  The key is to have either or both of apprenticeships and certifications be directly relevant to the industry work in question.  IT failed to do this, so those certifications lost value over time and are now not as reliable or useful to acquire.

Conservatives, then, need to look at developing useful apprenticeships and certifications on a formalized scale for other industries and then hiring based on those.  Will there be disparate impact and legal issues?  Honestly, probably not.  Disparate impact is determined by what kinds of jobs the mandarin class wants to keep open for their own mostly white adult children.

This is one way to sidestep the college treadmill but still employ the men (and widows, for that matter) so they can support families and offers a robust approach that can last for generations to come.