- Apr 2018
- 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 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.
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.