Is feminism ruining the West?

Apr 2018
355
Upland, Sweden
It's a real issue, I don't deny it, but consider. In a broadly "masculinized" system, outliers will occur, but because all other "players" have maintained an aggressive posture and tracked one another in terms of force-projection capability (not just militarily, but also economically, technologically, and so forth) to the extent reasonably possible, the broader community of "players" should be well positioned to deal with an outlier by forcibly subduing them. By contrast, in a broadly "feminized" system, outliers will still exist -- nothing you can reasonably do can eliminate the possibility of a statistical outlier, after all -- but the same community of "players" will have a much more difficult time effectively responding, because they will have largely disavowed the strategy in question. Indeed, the very existence of these statistical outliers is one of my concerns with the "feminized" approach.
I would counter that the logical endpoint for the "feminine" system I am describing is that there would (ideally) not be any "players" with sufficient influence to affect one another in the ways you describe. I.e. all conflicts will be internal, in the broadest possible sense. Is this realistic though? That is a very good question, and to be honest all of human history seems at first glance to speak against such a possibility (I am not convinced by overly teleological "whiggish" views that we are somehow reaching ever greater heights of centralization etc.). Still, internal conflicts are still conflicts, and as demonstrated by more than a few examples throughout history they can also be quite disruptive. A strong case could also be made that getting to such a "harmonious" end would necessitate means that in and of themselves would be just as if not more destabilizing than the status quo of the current, more decentralized system of conflict management that you describe - as you seem to be touching on below...

I want to add one more potential objection and a response to it. One clear economic benefit of the non-adversarial "feminized" approach is increased economic interconnectivity, which in turn means increased and increasingly efficient access to global resources, both material (energy sources, minerals, food, goods etc.) and human (labor and knowledge). This comes with a fairly big payoff, so one might reasonably ask, "Why not optimize around this payoff, and trust that the economic incentives will overcome the instinct to "defect" in a prisoner's dilemma sense?" There's some sense to that; it's not absolutely correct due to the (correct) mention of statistical outliers above, but there's a lot of sense to it. Or more precisely, there would be a lot of sense to it if not for the fact that "feminization" seems to go hand-in-hand with ever-increasing hedonistic consumption that tracks with the resources available, which in turn produces an entirely separate threat: the possibility of global resource collapse. Historically it seems clear that at times, individual societies have experienced troubles or collapse based on exhaustion of important local resources, but if you engineer a society which is genuinely global in character, its economy will certainly end up tracking towards the utilization of resources globally, meaning that any collapse is similarly likely to be global. We already see hints of this with overfishing, ocean acidification, alterations in global climate, increasing food (and even water) insufficiency in urbanized societies, and so forth. Aggressive insularity -- an unwillingness to open your resources to utilization by other "players," and an unwillingness to rely too heavily on resources owned by other "players" -- acts as a check upon this tendency, and that check still exists, but "feminization" logically erodes it, and sufficient erosion is likely to increase the troubles in question. Yes, such an approach would offer many short-term benefits, especially for an individual interested in maximizing hedonistic consumption, but the long-term costs seem toxic, and that's just speaking about environmental costs. Add in the actual human costs -- i.e. the massive drop in fertility which has accompanied the advent of globalized hedonistic consumption, which means that not only do we consume at the expense of our environment, but also at the expense of our society's continuation, especially if the xenophilic character of "feminization" causes a society to respond to low fertility by engaging in population importation -- and it seems like an even worse strategy from a long-term view.
Ah but this is the crux of the matter isn't it. Very interesting thoughts about natural resources... I have to admit, that aspect of the argument hadn't struck me, but you seem to be right. Dumbed down you could say that a centralized system will also have much more limited ways of self-correction than a more decentralized "masculine" system does. This is perhaps the biggest longterm weakness of the "feminine" strategy" - any disruptions will end up having such drastic effects that they can be just as systemic as the "flux" caused by the more decentralized system.

And of course, the increased radical uncertainty which is really the cliff upon which my entire argument is balancing does not have to be there... It all depends on the nature of the decentralized system of conflict resolution that you are proposing. I think for such a system of ritualized combat to work in the longterm, you will need some set of common norms for it to function - norms that are positive, relatively static, and also enforcable somehow, and I believe these norms will have to be increasingly comprehensive than the ones you have persuaded me currently exist, to deal with things like AI and other technological/ social issues we will be facing in the future.

Something like Feudal Europe, or the Ancient Greek City states I think could work in the way you describe, but that is precisely the point - we don't have the kind of cultural commonality globally for such a system to be workable, or at least I don't think we do. Perhaps we will in the future though, and that is indeed what we are seeing happen at the moment (as there is a case to be made that there is some sort of global cultural convergence). We shall see. I think my side of the argument contra yours really boils down to how radical and how fast you believe the future changes brought by technology are likely to be and happen, as well as how much faith you have in humanity. We shall see. You have nonetheless made me a bit less morose, unwittingly or not, and provided a much less dystopian future view than the one I sketched out. I appreciate that.
 
Apr 2018
355
Upland, Sweden
That said, what constitutes a "good" or "bad" strategy is ultimately qualified by what one's goals are. If we define a "winning" society as one which continues or expands, and a "losing" society as one which diminishes or vanishes, then we can speak of winning or losing strategies, but it is not necessarily inconsistent for someone to say, "I deem this 'losing' strategy to be 'good,' because it achieves my desired ends." Indeed, there are some people of European descent -- not many, as they are an extreme fringe, but some -- who openly profess a desire to see "White people" go extinct. From their perspective, a "feminization" strategy would probably be very appealing, as it not only promotes their individual comfort during their lifetime, but also is likely to work towards their long-term goals as well. For my part, I'm fairly neutral, though I do admit I'm slightly desirous to see how the experiments Europe and the USA are running play out, so on some level I hope they continue.


Could you clarify this? I'm not exactly certain what you mean by being "equivalent to the amish of the protestant reformation," and I don't want to misinterpret it. You're a Swede (right?), so I'm quite interested in your views on the topic.
Well, good point - in a way. I am of the opinion though that for an argument about these kinds of things to be taken seriously your own survival has to be part of the equation, otherwise - what point is there in my listening to such an argument? Why should I care about what someone believes, if they are willing to extinguish themseles through that belief? There's no point in listening to someone who won't be here to argue for their point, is there... but I suppose I have a more longterm as well as pragmatic view than many. I certainly agree with you that there is such an extreme fringe of Europeans who want just what you describe, but I also think there is a much greater group who have unwittingly internalized and are "acting out" such values.

I just can't hold such a dispassionate view of the whole matter to be honest, contrary to my apparent pessismism. I am curious, are you a Westerner yourself? You feel like an American expat in Korea, but that is just the "vibe" I am getting though. If so, are you of the opinion that not much can be done anyway, so might as well watch the whole spectacle and bring out the popcorn? I can't fault you for that to be honest, given the situation... but I have a hard time looking at it that way myself.

The analogy with the Amish was a bit far fetched. Essentially it went something along the lines of Sweden being an "unlycky" kind of early adopters that in the end turns out to be not very successful (contrast the Amish with the Dutch or Swiss Calvinists for example). As for the situation with Sweden generally...

Yes, I am a Swede - albeit with some recent Baltic ancestry on my father's side, but yes, I consider myself and am considered overwhelmingly Swedish, but perhaps a slightly atypical one in my values. As for my country - where to begin... Sweden is a quite unusual place. I think the prospects for Sweden remaining a flourishing, functionally "Western" (whatever that will mean in the future) and culturally European country are on the surface not very good. The extreme iteration of the values we have been discussing here have been very successfully implemented in the public education system, and the public debate on matters of immigration, feminism, multiculturalism and so on are generally characterised by fear, ambiguity and obsequiseness on the part of most voices that are heard, even the national populists. The real problems of increasing ethnic and therefore social division, dept, lack of productivity growth, outsourcing and foreign acquisition of our companies, lack of a credible defence policy etc. don't have to be mentioned.

Some problems are not as grave as are commonly thought though. Are fertility is among the highest rate is among the highest in Europe - yes, this is artificially heightened by non-Western immigrants, but I still think the Swedish/ European TFR is somewhere along 1,6-1,7, according to the estimates I've seen (which are all in Swedish unfortuantely) - not much less than American whites in other words, and quite a lot higher than that in some more ethnically homogenous and patriarchal Asian countries, as well as Eastern Europe. (Something about the virtues of feminism, perhaps ;)). Furthermore an increasing part of the population (especially the male subset, and here the late middle aged/ old and 18-25s like me tend to meet) just does not care about establishment opinion. I believe Sweden is the country in Europe where "alternative" media is most prominent. Many, if not most of the people who outwardly profess politically correct opinions also don't hold the opinions they do out of any deeper conviction but rather a product of pure social pressure. So, if the social pressures change I believe they might well change their sloganeering and turn into nationalists. Not all of them of course, but many - perhaps most.

This touches upon an aspect about Sweden that is often lost in foreign depictions of "the situation". Frankly, Sweden is not your run of the mill Western liberal democracy. In many ways political as well as economic power in Sweden is more centralized than in any other Western country I can think of. Some have used the term "soft totalitarianism", and while perhaps a bit extreme nonetheless captures part of the essence of modern Swedish politics. For example, we have a unicameral parliament where the government does not need a majority to form a government (they just need not to have a majority against them), our judges are all chosen by directly by an administrative board put together by our prime minister and his cabinet ever since the Social Democrats created our current constitution back in the 1970s. For a long time there was no possibility at all of judicial review - the government was always right (there are a couple of absurd cases from the 80s that I could mention). This has ironically enough changed a somewhat for the better with our EU-membership (one of the reasons our center right parties are as internationalist as they are), but our entire tradition of public administration is still very much "obey the legislator/ executive". When courts have trouble interpreting legislation in Sweden it is customary they look at the "stated will" of the executive (who in 99% of cases is responsible for the law, due to the unique ease with which parliamentary minorities can form governments), for example.

As for economic centralization, well: "By the 1990s the Wallenberg Family was estimated to control roughly 40% of the Swedish stock market" - a share that, to be fair, has decreased since then, but still remains substantial. The Social Democrats might have created equality among the working and middle classes, but they also explicitly favoured certain established business interests for reasons of social stability (although I am sure other interests to do less with the public good also played a part...).

What I am driving at is that Sweden is, at its heart has been somewhat like a nordic version of Prussia ever since the 1600s, irrespective of its current feminist and multicultural veneer. Social change has been very rapid during the 1900s, and usually centrally comandeered: when the ship turns it usually does so all at once, usually because the more responsible parts of our executive understand that "the party is over" and you can't bribe the electorate with their own money anymore - or, God forbid, they might actually want real political reform, limiting the scope of government influence! This is as you can guess not something I personally approve of, and I would much prefer if we were more like Switzerland or the English - which we used to be, back before the advent of the Swedish military state in the 1600s (our Riksdag is practically just as old and as continous as the English one, although it was a bit later to modernize and take command of political developments): and the remnants of that still echo in public memory and some of our institutions. During the 1900s the more "centralizing" tendency has, broadly speaking, had the upper hand however. These two strains have co-evoled though, and a widespread belief in the benevolence of government (for very particular historical reasons) is probably partially why the population have gone along with this madness to such an extent that they have.

To finish, I can't emphasize enough that our governing classes are among the most ruthlessly pragmatic and opportunistic I can think of in the West. Consider for example, that what had for three decades strait been a nominally "social democratic" Sweden had lower tax rates than the US as a percentage of GDP up until the early 1960. Consider our top position in the league of arms exports per capita together with our dedication towards human rights etc. I am not saying that we can (or will) get out of the mess we've put ourselves in, but I do believe that if we ever do we will likely do so with a Bismarckian ruthlessness and determination that will shock the outside world.
 
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VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
3,975
Where Pica hudsonia thrives
The feminization of western civilization. The civilization that spawned the Spartans, the Romans, medieval chivalry, and the British Empire is fast becoming one both governed by and filled with self hating weaklings.
Then, were these civilizations sustainable? The Spartans and the Romans might have left some legacies; their civilizations are no more.
In the animal kingdom, ironically, carnivores often suffer much more than herbivores.
Rabbits, hares and pigeons thrive much more than raptors and tigers.
Note that my avatar is a rock dove, one of the most adoptable and cosmopolitan of avian dinosaurs.
 

Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
4,865
US
I think it is deeply ingrained in many societies; women and chidren first, sugar and spice, wooing, courtship, pedestal, etc. I think most folks are deeply invested in it and can't see clearly.
There does seem to be a mindset among some that females acting out physically is, perhaps - while not justified, "understandable," while males are stigmatized for such behavior.
 

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
3,975
Where Pica hudsonia thrives
Well, good point - in a way. I am of the opinion though that for an argument about these kinds of things to be taken seriously your own survival has to be part of the equation, otherwise - what point is there in my listening to such an argument? Why should I care about what someone believes, if they are willing to extinguish themseles through that belief? There's no point in listening to someone who won't be here to argue for their point, is there... but I suppose I have a more longterm as well as pragmatic view than many. I certainly agree with you that there is such an extreme fringe of Europeans who want just what you describe, but I also think there is a much greater group who have unwittingly internalized and are "acting out" such values.

I just can't hold such a dispassionate view of the whole matter to be honest, contrary to my apparent pessismism. I am curious, are you a Westerner yourself? You feel like an American expat in Korea, but that is just the "vibe" I am getting though. If so, are you of the opinion that not much can be done anyway, so might as well watch the whole spectacle and bring out the popcorn? I can't fault you for that to be honest, given the situation... but I have a hard time looking at it that way myself.

The analogy with the Amish was a bit far fetched. Essentially it went something along the lines of Sweden being an "unlycky" kind of early adopters that in the end turns out to be not very successful (contrast the Amish with the Dutch or Swiss Calvinists for example). As for the situation with Sweden generally...

Yes, I am a Swede - albeit with some recent Baltic ancestry on my father's side, but yes, I consider myself and am considered overwhelmingly Swedish, but perhaps a slightly atypical one in my values. As for my country - where to begin... Sweden is a quite unusual place. I think the prospects for Sweden remaining a flourishing, functionally "Western" (whatever that will mean in the future) and culturally European country are on the surface not very good. The extreme iteration of the values we have been discussing here have been very successfully implemented in the public education system, and the public debate on matters of immigration, feminism, multiculturalism and so on are generally characterised by fear, ambiguity and obsequiseness on the part of most voices that are heard, even the national populists. The real problems of increasing ethnic and therefore social division, dept, lack of productivity growth, outsourcing and foreign acquisition of our companies, lack of a credible defence policy etc. don't have to be mentioned.

Some problems are not as grave as are commonly thought though. Are fertility is among the highest rate is among the highest in Europe - yes, this is artificially heightened by non-Western immigrants, but I still think the Swedish/ European TFR is somewhere along 1,6-1,7, according to the estimates I've seen (which are all in Swedish unfortuantely) - not much less than American whites in other words, and quite a lot higher than that in some more ethnically homogenous and patriarchal Asian countries, as well as Eastern Europe. (Something about the virtues of feminism, perhaps ;)). Furthermore an increasing part of the population (especially the male subset, and here the late middle aged/ old and 18-25s like me tend to meet) just does not care about establishment opinion. I believe Sweden is the country in Europe where "alternative" media is most prominent. Many, if not most of the people who outwardly profess politically correct opinions also don't hold the opinions they do out of any deeper conviction but rather a product of pure social pressure. So, if the social pressures change I believe they might well change their sloganeering and turn into nationalists. Not all of them of course, but many - perhaps most.

This touches upon an aspect about Sweden that is often lost in foreign depictions of "the situation". Frankly, Sweden is not your run of the mill Western liberal democracy. In many ways political as well as economic power in Sweden is more centralized than in any other Western country I can think of. Some have used the term "soft totalitarianism", and while perhaps a bit extreme nonetheless captures part of the essence of modern Swedish politics. For example, we have a unicameral parliament where the government does not need a majority to form a government (they just need not to have a majority against them), our judges are all chosen by directly by an administrative board put together by our prime minister and his cabinet ever since the Social Democrats created our current constitution back in the 1970s. For a long time there was no possibility at all of judicial review - the government was always right (there are a couple of absurd cases from the 80s that I could mention). This has ironically enough changed a somewhat for the better with our EU-membership (one of the reasons our center right parties are as internationalist as they are), but our entire tradition of public administration is still very much "obey the legislator/ executive". When courts have trouble interpreting legislation in Sweden it is customary they look at the "stated will" of the executive (who in 99% of cases is responsible for the law, due to the unique ease with which parliamentary minorities can form governments), for example.

As for economic centralization, well: "By the 1990s the Wallenberg Family was estimated to control roughly 40% of the Swedish stock market" - a share that, to be fair, has decreased since then, but still remains substantial. The Social Democrats might have created equality among the working and middle classes, but they also explicitly favoured certain established business interests for reasons of social stability (although I am sure other interests to do less with the public good also played a part...).

What I am driving at is that Sweden is, at its heart has been somewhat like a nordic version of Prussia ever since the 1600s, irrespective of its current feminist and multicultural veneer. Social change has been very rapid during the 1900s, and usually centrally comandeered: when the ship turns it usually does so all at once, usually because the more responsible parts of our executive understand that "the party is over" and you can't bribe the electorate with their own money anymore - or, God forbid, they might actually want real political reform, limiting the scope of government influence! This is as you can guess not something I personally approve of, and I would much prefer if we were more like Switzerland or the English - which we used to be, back before the advent of the Swedish military state in the 1600s (our Riksdag is practically just as old and as continous as the English one, although it was a bit later to modernize and take command of political developments): and the remnants of that still echo in public memory and some of our institutions. During the 1900s the more "centralizing" tendency has, broadly speaking, had the upper hand however. These two strains have co-evoled though, and a widespread belief in the benevolence of government (for very particular historical reasons) is probably partially why the population have gone along with this madness to such an extent that they have.

To finish, I can't emphasize enough that our governing classes are among the most ruthlessly pragmatic and opportunistic I can think of in the West. Consider for example, that what had for three decades strait been a nominally "social democratic" Sweden had lower tax rates than the US as a percentage of GDP up until the early 1960. Consider our top position in the league of arms exports per capita together with our dedication towards human rights etc. I am not saying that we can (or will) get out of the mess we've put ourselves in, but I do believe that if we ever do we will likely do so with a Bismarckian ruthlessness and determination that will shock the outside world.
Many things are at stake here.
With the fairly massive immigration, Westerners may fear that the current Western values are threatened by cultural values from elsewhere.
What do you think of Westerners who adopt Daoism or Buddhism? Secular atheist Confucianism also exists; one of the major proponent was a later Han philosopher, Wang Chong (王充).
Daoism, Buddhism, and secular atheist Confucianism are relatively non-militant and peaceful; the school of Dao was atheistic and naturalistic to begin with.
Then, even these are considered threats to traditional Christian values.
Islam is considered a greater threat, and is it a fair evaluation?
How difficult is the act of balancing in contemporary politics?
 

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