Vox Day is a Practical Conservative

Being a practical conservative means doing things that are useful and helpful to those who’d like to live normally.  One of those things is producing high-quality homeschool curricula.  While some conservatives dismiss the importance of developing such things, they are actually pretty darned important to the task of creating a parallel society of educated, conservatively reared children.  Homeschooling isn’t a cure-all, but it is certainly one tool in the tool box of practical, conservative, traditionally focused living.

Vox Day is being serious here, using his new publishing house venture to publish and develop high-level homeschool curricula.  This looks like useful stuff.  

I’m busy popping out babies left and right, so I’m years away from having to worry about schooling options, but it’s good to see more efforts to develop high-quality curricula among those who promote homeschooling.

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Peasant women find decent men attractive

Women with a peasant’s (or aristocrat’s if they come from that background) mentality find PUAs and most of the “game” playbook unsexy because it represents disloyalty and “feral” instability. Women who find loyalty and devotion to kin attractive don’t find a steady guy who takes his commitments to family and friends seriously to be unattractive. They marry those guys and it’s not settling because it’s precisely what they want in a man. And they tend to marry those guys before 30 (even in UMCland).

What I am wondering, though, is how common is that mentality among women these days? It seems like women up and down the class ladder don’t want to marry. The “white picket fence” perfection requirement is a sign that they aren’t really interested. There is something to the idea that some women are too prideful to marry. At least with some Christian women, they think they have to give up everything they think of as agency to marry even though they can usually see this isn’t true among the married women near them.

And I’ve come over the years to understand that some women don’t find loyalty in men unsexy– they find it threatening, as if his loyalty is a commentary on their life and moral fiber. So the idea that modern women are “feral” and “chasing tingles” misses a lot of the reasons why women aren’t marrying, particularly Christian women.

I refer to peasant (or very far up the class tree, aristocrat) mentality because a woman with that mindset doesn’t have a self-image that focuses on self-as-individual.  She defines herself in terms of her own kin and ethny and patrimony (where such exists).  She might join with another people through outmarriage to someone from another ethny, but she doesn’t think of the choice in individualist terms.  So unlike the meme that has infiltrated all the way into the mainstream right-wing of conservativeland, peasant women aren’t thrilled by violence with no point, by men with no loyalties and attachments beyond the next moment, by unstable sterility marketing itself as dangerous. Such women don’t like danger, they find devotion and demonstrations of loyalty to the right things (church, family, friends) to be what they want in a man.  They might well be blind to some men, but these are the women who are blind to feral men.

This is repurposed from a starter comment about some other stuff entirely and was inspired further by yet another manosphere blog post about the ferality of women as though it was in fact purely natural and not an artifact of prosperity.  I question that because it simply doesn’t make sense or match up with observed reality.

But then again, how many women are ok with hearing they have a peasant mentality?  It’s not all good.  Such a high level of risk aversion can sometimes make it hard to seize opportunities when they appear.  Still, I do wonder if it doesn’t still represent a substantial minority of women.  One can hope.

The absence of men due to war informs 20th century feminism

One klaxon-loud reason women wanted more hard economic power in the 20th century was because it was freaking hard to feed themselves under patriarchal restrictions on the type of work they could do when the patriarchs and patriarchs-to-be were all lying in pieces across various battlefields.

Patriarchy is fine when you actually have patriarchs.  When you don’t, it becomes harder to justify or enforce the strictures.  The astonishing loss of high-earning, high-status men in the Anglosphere during the World Wars had a lot of knock-on effects regarding female behavior that go utterly ignored by historically ignorant conservatives.  One of them is the whole “single middle class+ women haring about on mission trips” thing.  They went on missions because they couldn’t marry.  Their pool of men lay dead or hopelessly crippled beyond ability to produce, much less provide for a family.

One really can’t understand the grumpy feminist push for female independence without understanding the very real destruction of, well, patriarchal human capital represented by the shocking losses of the World Wars.

Leviticus And The Biblical Value of Daughters

In Leviticus, the length of purification time after the birth of a daughter is twice the length of the time for a son.  This is generally cited as proof that the Bible is anti-woman.  Having come to spend much more time in my life around birthing mothers, I see something that was always there if I could have but opened my world-blinded eyes.

The extra time for a daughter is extra bonding time and extra time for the husband as well.  Given the inheritance rules, if the times of “no-touch wifey” were the same, there would be temptation to rush things after the birth of daughters in a pursuit of sons.  But by enforcing a longer time of purification (and correspondingly time to physically recover and bond with the baby and enjoy that old oxytocin song) for daughters, this temptation is subverted and husbands have extra time to value their daughters and give their wives the reassurance of their faithfulness by abstaining for even longer than with a son.  It also, with the extra bonding time, provides a means for the very earliest sort of woman-to-woman support to happen. Thus, what looks like oppression is actually a way to establish that daughters are precious and to be valued despite the fact that their place and future follows a different path than that of sons.  Both different, but both precious and worthy of love.

Young marriage isn’t very traditional

It’s a prosperity artifact that has occurred in a handful of short-lived bursts of prosperity and then things go back to normal.  It is a fine thing to support and encourage as a conservative, but it can’t be advocated in a vacuum that presumes it is a historical norm.  The historical norm is to marry when it’s affordable, which was usually not when the girl was sixteen and the guy eighteen.  It was gasp when the girl was in her mid-20s and the guy a little older.

Funny how it’s now sooooo impossible for guys to wait until their mid-20s to marry for life and girls are dooming themselves to a river of cats and despair if they wait until after age 22 but in reality-land, it was always perfectly traditional and people found ways to deal with the lack of sex until marriage.  This mostly consisted of not having sex.  Shocking, I know.  It’s quite interesting that conservatives and liberals come together as one voice to declare that continence is impossible for humans, simply can’t be done, can’t expect it of anyone, so don’t even try.

The truth is that young marriage, if truly widespread, carries with it a higher risk of dissolution even when divorce isn’t “easy”.  All are not called to marry and conservatives really need to get back to accepting that reality and recognize just how much social pressure is necessary to prop up widespread marriage of young couples who are not necessarily fit for the institution.

Marriage is a social good, but you can have a society where 40-60% of people marry and you can have one where 75-85% of people marry, but the latter will have certain instabilities despite all the marriage that the former will not.  With the current economic and social turmoil and relentless promotion of abnormal things as normal, it’s difficult to understand the push for young marriage with no real social support or financial/economic support by conservatives all along the right-wing spectrum, from mainstream to odd internet subculture.

Marriage is traditional.  Young marriage is a nice to have, not a requirement for a normal society.

Political programs won’t restore normal life

Changes must be social, even if formal and systematized.  The politics may follow, but they won’t matter without the social backing coming first.

Thus, it is silly to focus on votes or overturning laws as long as you keep all the liberal, deracinated aspects of modern life in place.  If you won’t take the steps to live normally, you can’t expect the political changes to ever happen or be taken up by your children and their children.

It is extremely improbable that normal life can be restored in a generation, and certainly it won’t happen by the next election cycle.

The closest I get to political promotion is pushing people to demand civil service from their civil servants in their local jurisdictions.  That is something that one can see huge, major changes in and it’s something people with lots of free time can do right now.  In my region of North Cascadia, people are starting to demand this civil service and are seeing good results.  Less harassment, reduced regulatory pressure, more opportunities to run sustainable, long-lasting family-staffed businesses that enmesh themselves in their local towns and become strong, wonderful pieces of the community fabric.  That’s where political energy would best go, rather than campaigns and candidates.

 

 

Real Talk for SAHMs: Be honest about the economic fragility of marriage as a career

This one is going to be a quick list of brief points because each small point could easily be a post of its own (and probably will be a few months down the road).

Simply put, it is wrong for conservatives to encourage young naive Christian women to marry and set up as SAHMs without any understanding of the financial issues involved.  What follows are just a few of the big deals that conservatives ignore when they say things like “avoid college, girls!” and “marry young and stay home and have kids, so long as he has a job!”

  • No paying into Social Security.  Housewives are protected if the marriage lasts, for as long as it lasts.  But if it does not, well, now that SAHM is out of luck and at best dependent on her adult children and church/local community.  And that is also not nearly as common as it ought to be, just as divorce/abandonment of conservative Christian SAHMs is not as rare as one would like.
  • Risk of outliving husband (all states).  This doesn’t seem like a big deal, but having no ability to earn a living and a husband who doesn’t have a pension means big problems when his steady paycheck or his own Social Security check disappears because he’s dead.  This is further compounded by the pressure of some conservative subcultures to have men be self-employed without bothering to explain the financial ramifications of that choice.
  • General risk of divorce/abandonment at all (varies by state).  This varies not least by whether a state is community property or not (and the difference is really, really, really important from a risk management perspective).  It also varies by what I note last, what kind of husband a woman ended up with.
  • Discouraging real vetting of husbands, which is what makes the divorce/abandonment problem an especially major one in the modern era.  By this I mean that women are encouraged to simply marry a man with a job who attends church regularly, regardless of whether he is disordered in important ways that can affect his ability to provide for and maintain a wife and children.  Mostly what is embedded here is a sort of residual expectation of paternalism/tolerance of flaws towards a “hardworking family man” that simply does not exist anymore as some sort of widespread norm in workplaces.  Women can’t afford to SAHM with a guy who is constantly getting fired for anger problems just because maybe thirty years ago he would have been shunted off to a back office because “he’s got a family to support, man”.  They also are really in for it if they marry a “self-employed” man who bounces around from scam to scam, never really able to put together a real earnings path for his family.  And there is very little mention of this issue when conservatives promote early marriage and no college for young Christian women.

It is not easy street and financial security if you just marry at 19 and start having kids.  A lot of young and middle aged SAHMs are finding out the painful way that there are financial risks nobody warned them about and which nobody will help them with when they hit.

Some conservative family values, eh.