Sunday, February 22, 2009

Decline of the West: Why Part One

Nearly every conservative commentator agrees on the West's decline. Whether it is Ann Coulter, or Victor Davis Hanson or Mark Steyn, Belmont Club or the lesser-known but just as well written Takuan Seiyo and Fjordman, who also posts at Gates of Vienna, all agree the West is beset by specific ills.

Among the ills are, multiculturalism, political correctness, statism, socialism, a spineless response to Islam and Jihad, phony "Green" scams and Global Warming humbuggery, and a general collapse of total standards in culture, morals. Theodore Dalrymple, who wrote "Life at the Bottom," and writes at City Journal as well, has written often of the total collapse of all standards and morals in modern Britain, from the underclass to the Upper Class, as part of this collapse of the West.

But hardly anyone understands WHY the West has declined. Declined so rapidly, so thoroughly, and so completely. The few who have tried to analyze the "why," mainly Seiyo and Fjordman, have gone astray. It is their belief that a few cultural Marxists have seized control of society, and created in Seiyo's words, a group of "Pod People" (from the movie "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" and it's many remakes). Obviously, Cultural Marxists exist, and they can be found in your nearest University faculty, in various NGO's connected to government, and even as a recipient of Bill Gates $2 billion in grants, such as Rick Ayers, brother of Bill Ayers and himself a fugitive from justice for seven years.

But these cultural Marxists don't have magical powers of "evil." If people find their ideas deeply attractive, something must be deep at work all over the West, to transform society so clearly and completely in less than fifty years.

Rather than some magical powers of persuasion, unstoppable, or deep conspiracy, or anything of that nature, what has happened all over the West, from Japan and Coastal China to Italy to Norway to the United States, is a broad set of changes, mostly demographic, that have tilted the West towards Multiculturalism, political correctness, and general weakness in all areas along with a general cultural collapse in music, arts, entertainment, and morals.

These broad trends are:


  • A huge increase in wealth, through global manufacturing, spurring a global consumer environment

  • The collapse of manufacturing in the West

  • The so-called "Gentry" of Western nations becoming impossibly rich, and therefore influential outside their limited numbers

  • The decline of the middle and working classes in the West

  • The Pill, Condom, increased female earning, and anonymous urban living, leading to the death of the nuclear family

  • The fragmentation of unifying mass communication institutions and media

  • Consumerism, advertising, marketing, and mass media becoming a gay and female ghetto

  • Lack of "affordable family formation" leading to hedonism instead of old Western cultural values



Let us examine these factors, and see how they created the decline of the West by undermining the West's fundamental advantage: how people cooperate, in high-trust networks, stemming from widespread nuclear families. Since the secret of the West's advance for nearly a thousand years, from 1000 AD to 1965 or so, is the story of the spreading and deepening of the nuclear family and the resulting cooperation among people in nation-states, driving ever greater increases in wealth, technology, and military, social, and cultural power.

Wealth


As in my post The Bailout, America and the West has since 1945 experienced an exploding GDP, even with intermittent recessions, as the graph below from the St. Louis Federal Reserve makes clear:



Oil Prices have remained mostly low for most of that period, not only in the US but globally:



Source: WTRG

The low oil prices allowed the export of manufacturing jobs to the lowest cost labor (and safety and environmental standards) nations. First, Japan and South Korea in the twenty years following World War Two, and then later to Taiwan, then China, Vietnam, and finally India. Textiles, consumer electronics, computer chip manufacturing, cars, whole classes of manufacturing where the lowest cost labor and least regulations meant lower cost, moved overseas. First from the US, then from Europe and even Japan. Indeed, Pioneer is considering closing it's production of televisions. Nissan will slash 20,000 jobs, but industrial output and employment in Japan has been declining for decades.

Cheap oil prices meant that producers with lowest labor costs could produce "disposable" products such as $25 DVD players, often at big-box retailers such as Wal-Mart and Best Buy, with minimal transport costs. Companies like Komatsu and Caterpillar, which produce expensive, relatively long lasting, and complex earth moving equipment, were still competitive with lower labor cost Chinese and Indian manufacturers. But for the most part, the story of the Post-War global economy has been a growing abundance of cheap, disposable consumer goods of no particular value, but easily affordable. Enabled by cheap oil and relative peace and stability world wide. No submarines sinking cargo containers and ending global shipping.

The US Navy's dominance, and protection of world-trade, and cheap oil fueling massive cargo ships, created the global consumer economy. This global consumer economy in turn created a tremendous amount of wealth, among shippers, manufacturers, companies contracting out manufacturing under their labels, marketing professionals, and so on. With this wealth, naturally, came power. Political power, resting not in Western countries, but in many cases across their borders or entirely outside it.

It's easiest to see this effect by comparing the world of 1955 and 2005. In 1955, the economy was mostly American, the rest of the world still recovering from WWII and much of it Communist, outside global trade except for basic commodities. The world economy was dominated by GM, Ford, Chrysler, Motorola, Philco, and so on. Cars, televisions, radios, office machines, clothes, and so on were mostly manufactured in America, with the exception of a few cheap imports from Japan or Germany. In 2005, very little was manufactured in America, and even Ford, GM, and Chrysler had half or more of the content of their automobiles manufactured and assembled abroad. Nearly all consumer electronics and computers were imported, mostly from China, and of cheap quality. In 1955, most consumer goods, particularly electronics, were expensive. In 2005, most consumer goods, especially electronics, were cheap.

This global consumerism is not limited to America, or Europe either. Ford plans to sell it's Fiesta model in China mainly to young, affluent, and female consumers. This at a time when 70,000 factories are closing and there is 20 million unemployed in China. Not surprising, either, since global consumerism like all massive global trade systems, creates winners and losers.

The winners are those who can act as middle men in various trade systems, or have pursued the lowest cost strategy by moving production to the cheapest nations. It is not surprising that the vast amounts of wealth created by Nike, or Apple, or Microsoft, which has also moved production (software development) to India, have resulted in massive gains in political power. Middle men like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, or Nike's Phil Knight, replaced old-line moguls at GM, Ford, and Boeing. It's worth noting that neither Apple, nor Nike, nor Microsoft actually make anything in the US. Merely act as branding middle men, and hip designers.

Even less surprising is that this political power is expressed in support of soft multiculturalism, of the sort Bill Gates expresses (releasing mosquitoes into a ballroom conference on aid to the Third World, explaining that First World people should fear being infected as well). [The mosquitoes, he assured his audience later, were sterile.] Power and political influence shifted towards Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, whose fortunes depend mostly on a cheap labor force overseas, and good relations with repressive and anti-American foreign governments. It is no surprise at all that both men are substantial donors to Barack Obama, and various left-wing causes. Nor is it shocking that the fortunes of Nike, or Google, or other major international companies, depending on foreign labor almost exclusively, have embraced political correctness (Google famously refuses to celebrate most American holidays on their home page, particularly Veterans Day or Memorial Day, while celebrating the birthdays of Edvard Munch and Arthur Conan Doyle). Hardly anyone at Google is American, and the few who are embrace the culture that depends on cheap foreign labor, either the H1-B variety or actually outsourced. Microsoft is no better, having been rapidly transformed by the falling stock price (and Sarbanes-Oxley requiring the expensing of stock options) from American born, relatively well compensated software engineers, to Indian and Chinese H1-B Visa holders, with the notorious habit of squeezing out the few remaining American developers once Indian or Chinese program managers are hired in a division.

While America offers fertile ground for examining the money shifts to globalist businesses and figures, the similar rise in Germany of Adidas, in Britain of Saatchi and Saatchi, and the collapse of say, Triumph, BSA, and Goldstar Motorcycles, and Germany's Leica, offer the lesson that this process repeated itself over and over again in the West. Globalist middle-men like Britain's advertising giant won and manufacturers based locally like Triumph or Leica lost.

Collapse of Manufacturing in the West


Along with the rise of global trade based on cheap consumerism, and the massive money shifts to the winners like Microsoft, Nike, and Apple, has been the decline of manufacturing in the West. Takuan Seiyo in a recent article notes the decline of the San Francisco of Hitchcock's films, set in 1957-1963, including Vertigo and The Birds. But I want to refer to an earlier film Dark Passage, made in 1947, when San Francisco was a mostly working-man's town. A town of mostly White, Blue collar workers. A vanished San Francisco when US manufacturing, and it's labor force of mostly (but not exclusively) White men wielded considerable power. What's astonishing about this film is how ordinary and belonging working class White men are, in San Francisco. A town on film at least, of cheap boarding houses and apartments, of no great beauty and charm, of no glamor and excitement, of utter ordinariness.

One of the unseen, but huge transformations, has been that of what Joel Kotkin called the Gentrification of the Democratic Party, and the decline of blue-collar, lunch bucket unionism (which itself was mostly a White male affair). It's astonishing now, to look back upon "liberal" politics of Hubert Humphrey, Pat Brown, Harry Truman, and Lyndon Baines Johnson, and see how oriented it was towards White Working Class union men. Not because these politicians had some innate orientation towards the working class "goodness" of that group, but because that is where the balance of power existed.

Harry Truman beat Dewey on the strength of that White, Blue Collar unionism. Which itself rested on massive employment at places like Ford Motor Company, or Bethlehem Steel, or Lockheed, or McDonnell-Douglass. Jobs that paid good money, and created a large class of men who wanted stability, continued high wage employment, and the kind of American exceptionalism that drove the success of their employer.

As money and power shifted away to low-cost manufacturing countries, and with it employment and power, we could see many Pat Brown types succeeded by well, Jerry Brown. Tribune of the Marin County Gentry. Pushing the obsessions of those with inherited wealth, a concern to run other people's lives (for their general moral improvement of course), and constant status-mongering which is a feature of life among the wealthy, Brown (the very lesser) has been a fixture of California politics since the 1970s.

This is why Pat Brown built the state of California, with it's freeways and (then) world-class university system, and Jerry Brown presided over the start of it's demise, with political correctness, fawning over murderers and criminals, "small is beautiful," and other concerns of the Gentry. Neither were saints or sinners, and both politicians were arrows pointing directly where the power and the money were. For Pat Brown it was the dockworkers and autoworkers of the day (yes, once upon a time cars were manufactured in California). For Jerry Brown it was Silicon Valley millionaires to billionaires, and the old money of San Francisco.

This process, to one degree or another, played itself out in Britain, Italy, Germany, Japan, and pretty much all of the West.

Decline of the Middle Classes


That the middle classes are in decline in the United States (and across the West) cannot be doubted. Housing affordability is part of that, which in turn is driven by two factors: price of housing, and income.

Housing prices all across the West, from Ireland to France to the UK to America, have risen. They have risen the most in coastal or capital cities, with severe constraints on expansion, and lots of relatively educated, young, and ambitious people flooding into them. New York, Boston, Chicago, Washington DC, and Los Angeles typify these job centers in the US, and London, Paris, Rome, and Barcelona typify them in Europe. Housing is less expensive in regional centers, away from the big money, and larger groups of young people. Cities like Dallas, Atlanta, and Salt Lake City have all grown through this appeal of cheap land. But the cheap land comes with lower salaries, and less opportunity to meet particularly younger, educated, professional women.

Meanwhile, real income has declined as a measure of housing affordability. Wage increases have not kept pace with inflation, and outside bubble occupations, such as software engineers in the Dot-com bubble, or real estate people in the housing bubble, actually declined in real purchasing power excluding consumer electronics (and before biofuel idiocy, food). It does a prospective husband no good to have a closet full of X-box equipment and no ability to purchase a house.

Even with the decline of housing prices, most properties remain without buyers, because income is so uncertain. The ability to buy a home, after all, is a bet that earnings for thirty years or so will be stable enough to provide enough money to cover the mortgage. Since the 1970's, the economy has been on one bubble after another, without sustained productivity growth and industrial production and exports that drive broad wage increases and thus wealth across the broad spectrum of the populace.

In short, the West has gotten poorer, mostly, in the most important things: the ability to buy a house and start a family. The move away from broad industrial production is the reason why.

Death of the Nuclear Family


Along with the lack of affordable housing, has come a profound shift in the way men and women relate to each other and form families. Or rather, fail to form families.

First off, women are increasingly having children as single mothers, as the 2006 US Census Survey on women and fertility shows. Depending on how you add things up (note page 6 of the PDF) "not married" can mean living with an unmarried partner or not, and can be either 36% or 41% of all births within the last twelve months of the Survey. I incline to the 41% figure (adding up the 35.5% of not married and 4.8% of "living with unmarried partner"). But to each his own. As noted in the report and elsewhere, births to Black women are 70% illegitimate, and 90% in the urban core, and among Hispanics it is approaching 50%.

The "good news" is that the Census Bureau is responding to these numbers by redefining "legitimacy" as a member of the opposite sex who resided in the household for at least a week. So if Mom's boyfriend stays over that long, the birth is reclassified as "legitimate" or with a claimed father. Political Correctness at it's finest.

Men and women used to get married far younger in the West. At far higher rates. See my posts here for example. Now, the trend is the opposite. Children are delayed, and when they come single motherhood is often a choice.

The typical path for a young woman in 1960, say, was to graduate from college, work for a few years, marry a man, probably 6-7 years her elder, have two kids, return to the workforce at some point. Now for a young woman, in 2009, it is to graduate from college, work for twenty years, a great many love affairs but no real desire to pair off with a "good enough" man rather than the perfect guy, and one designer eugenic yuppie baby, through IVF, or adoption from China.

The Pill, the condom, rising incomes for women, anonymous urban living, as Roissy in DC has noted [Don't let the Pick Up Artist stuff scare you off, he has startling insights into how dysfunctional the male-female relationship has become] enable women worldwide to achieve a seeming utopia, what City Journal writer Kay Hymnowitz has termed the "New Girl Order" of consumer goods, control over their own fertility and sexuality, fashionable clothes, independence, and all around fabulousness! Just look at how Ford in China is targeting "Mei" (the personification of their customer) for sales of the Fiesta. Even in the land of "Little Emperors" and male preference, Ford would believe that sales lie in the New Girl Order.

But like every other utopia, there is a catch. Falling Total Fertility Rates, in countries wherever there is enough female earning power, urban anonymity, and availability of the pill and condom, are the result. Italy, Spain, and Greece have point of no return TFRs. Around 1.1. White Britain and the US have under 2.1, the replacement rate, around 1.9 or so. Even places like Algeria, Tunisia, and Iran, of all places, certainly no feminist paradises, have TFRs of 1.7 or so. The rates are available at the CIA World Factbook, you can look it up!

This happens because women often delay marriage until well into their thirties, when excess baggage on both parties, rather limited attractiveness, and the dilution of the effect of bonding hormones released during sex make a high divorce or break-up rate (for those never marrying but cohabitating) a near certain thing. A man or woman with many, many sex partners will not have any practical hope of bonding with one partner. Certainly not when both have far less limited attractiveness compared to their salad days, when sheer physical attraction could get them over inevitable bumps in the relationship. Even worse of course is the pairing of a woman with many, many sex partners, and a man with relatively few.

Women spend most of their time single, and as a consequence care intensely about what their peers think of them. This bleeds over into men's relationships as well, any young man who is single knows well the importance of looking the "correct way" for whatever fashion holds, and having the "correct" opinions and accessories to have any success in the dating market.

I submit for your amusement: Victoria Beckham hates Straight Guys (most young White women do), Young British Women more promiscuous than men (not sure I believe this one, but data to back up Roissy's general first-hand observations about the dating scene), Britain the most promiscuous nation (this one I believe), same here, the Death of Dating, Certain women regard Drew Peterson as a Catch, and my all time favorite NY Times Redefines Family.

Now, by no means should these links be taken as endorsement that women are somehow "bad" or that they hold responsibility for the decline of the West. But I don't think any casual observer can say that the lack of social institutions, mores, and limits on women's (and men's) actions, sexual expression, and behavior has been a positive result. We see in these links the expression of hatred towards straight White men, general promiscuity that prevents any possibility of a happy marriage, the death of dating and judging the opposite sex on behavior, decorum, character, and other things other than pure physical animal attraction, and murderous thuggishness as the attractive markers of men for women. To round everything out, we have Single Motherhood by choice.

No single factor other than the collapse of how men and women relate to each other, and the inability to form even the nucleus of a nuclear family (lacking only the capital to start having children in a house of their own), explains the fall of the West.

Women live in a constant status competition, for fabulous clothes and pecking order. No article encapsulates this than the recent Marie Claire article "Why I Left My Beta Husband"

A few years ago, my husband, Mark, and I were at one of those hip downtown restaurants sipping mojitos and nibbling on lime-spiked seviche when one of my bosses appeared from a cloud of Cuban-cigar smoke and patted my shoulder. When I introduced him to Mark, he naturally asked what he did for a living. We both froze.

"I do some freelancing," Mark said.

"He studied film at NYU," I said at the same time.
Mark looked at me and shrugged. "I stay home with our daughter," he said, as my colleague quietly balked.

"He makes it possible for me to do my job," I said, laughing. But inside, I was mortified. Technically, I had it all back then, including a gorgeous toddler and a cool job.

What I didn't have was a husband I felt proud of.


Which is the social landscape women inhabit, all the time, of the constant pressure to be hip, cool, trendy, and of course with the correct accessories, Apple computer laptop, fair trade latte, and husband that impresses your boss.

This forms the social landscape of the culture at large, as appeals to women dominate the consumer products industry and the dating market of course. Seeing as how there are more men pursuing single women than single women pursuing men.

Women of course, hate Beta men. See Roissy's blog for more details, especially the comment on top by T AKA Ricky Raw, on the attitude of women towards the Mo Rocca types. Women really do hate most men, because after all, most men are indeed "Beta." Victoria Beckham might be extreme, but most women would share at least some of her attitudes.

It's easy to see why. Beta guys with no social dominance and status hit on them on all the time, and when they don't hit on them, they stare at them or other, unwanted attention. They also provide competition for the limited amount of high paying "cool" jobs that women either occupy or hope to move into, and worst of all, don't excite them. "Boring" is basically a synonym for White Guy among women. Gay men are "fabulous" without having any desire for them, don't block the access of the Alpha man, and are "interesting" in a way that boring guys who work in the office without status just are not.

These two measures, the constant unwanted attention from guys "beneath" them, and competition for scarce top jobs and status, account for how White women are always keen to sign up for a good dose of anti-White male bashing and discrimination. Not just Robert Reich, but most White women, would agree that "No White Men Need Apply" for bailout money, or much of anything.

If there was a process designed to create an alliance of women, gays, non-Whites, in attacking the traditions, cultures, and political alliances of the West as it was before 1965, it would be hard to top the current arrangements. Dear readers, please do not take my words for this. Check out yourself any of the following sites, and explore the attitudes of women towards Barack Obama, traditional Judeo-Christian culture, traditional morals, White men, the military, political correctness, and more therein. Explore: TMZ.com, Televisionwithoutpity.com, and Dlisted.com .

Do not just take my word for it, see for yourself.

Once you understand, most women will be single their entire lives, their social and emotional lives fed by a bunch of Alpha men, who decrease in frequency and duration as they age, and are transient in any case, and "friends" who are nearly all female, and replace the nuclear family, but require a constant struggle to maintain status-pecking order, things become clear. The dominance of political correctness, a fashion in opinions, mirrors that of fashion in shoes. Wacky fads, including "Green" mania and Global Warming, and the hatred of the White guy it all makes sense.

Even the desirable nature of men such as Bill Clinton, John Edwards, Drew Peterson, Chris Brown, and Roman Polanski becomes clear. Women, no longer needing to, on their own account, and not having social institutions and mores forcing them to, do not judge men by what they do and the content of their character revealed by action. Rather, they judge them based on how much status and social dominance they possess. A Roman Polanski, who drugged and raped a 13 year old, can be lionized by a female documentary director. Because he's famous and other famous people think he's cool.

This represents, by the way, a radical shift in how women viewed men. Enabled by the pill, condom, anonymous urban living, and the ability to live their own lives free of integration into a stable community (and fearing censure of same). Take away any two of these and women would revert back to what they were before. And such men would have much to fear from women on any jury.

Nor can the male sex escape censure. Britain's New Year looked like this. The inevitable result of men competing for women on social dominance quickly degenerating into pure thuggery. Just as bad were the drunken women falling apart into stupors on the sidewalk, and being left there, defenseless.

The failure to defend women, in either the Virginia Tech shooting (healthy young adult males did not feel their female classmates were worth dying for, and simply sat passively waiting to die) or the Montreal Massacre years earlier, are canaries in the coalmine. They along with the spate of horror movies showing young women killed (instead of young men killing the monster and well, marrying them or what have you) are part of the disconnect between men and women.

Increasingly, men are defaulting to a passive, disconnected mode when it comes to women. This is worthy of a separate post, but in brief men are largely unable to compete with the few "Alpha" types and women, increasingly, will share the Alphas among themselves, in a "soft" polygamy and choose single motherhood if they have any children at all. This is the downside of the "New Girl Order" and the changes wrought by contraceptive technology and urban living.

Women are not "bad" or responsible for the fall of the West. But the massive shifts in their behavior and lack of nuclear family formation due to the collapse of how men and women related, are indeed a large part of the decline of the West. Ann Coulter was right in that Single Mothers, and the general pain they create in poverty, early sexual contact, teen motherhood, promiscuous behavior, do indeed on average create crimes and misery. For a Black Blogger's take on this, do not fail to check out The Myth of the Ghetto Alpha Male at the Rawness.

Since this is a very long post, I will add my thoughts on how fragmentation of the mass media, consumerism and the capture of marketing and advertising by and for women, and the rise of hedonism to replace the nuclear family, have contributed to the decline of the West.

But in short, I think massive technological changes have created the decline of the West. The pill, condom, urban anonymous living, great mass consumerism wealth accruing to middle men elites, decline of industrial production in the West, and status mongering among single men and women account for pretty much all the decline of the West.

55 comments:

stratomunchkin said...

I don't have the time right now to read this with the attention it really deserves, but I do think you are onto something with the points you have listed at the start of your article. They coincide nicely with each other within the time frame of the decade of the 1960ies.

I have not read your article fully yet, and will thus comment more in detail later, but just off the bat I find the combination of these factors in a rather narrow time frame to be of great importance:
- the maturing of the first post-war generation & its relentless and vicious attacks on the societies of its parents;
- the start of the "march through the institutions";
- the sudden drop in births due to the pill;
- the final death throes of the colonial empires;
- the change in the mindset regarding the appliance of military force;
- the insertion of a small, but vocal group into the political, education and media systems;

As far as social change goes, I see this as a massive and anormal convergence.

More later, when I've read it all.

stratomunchkin said...

Well, Whiskey, not much to add here on my behalf except applause.

I cannot add anything of substancial value to your discussion about what others might euphemistically call female self-empowerment other than that I believe Fjordman once metioned that universal suffrage usually entails a gradual social shift to the left. However, I cannot find the exact quote at the moment.

With regards to the Gentry as well as the matter of de-industrialization I think you have hit a nerve, and not only with the industrial gentry, but also the political. Jerry Brown as an inadequate caretaker of his inheritance is symptomatic for the people ascending to the upper strata of power and society once the war- and post-war generation handed over the reins. Despite all their faults, I doubt the average politician from 1970 on could compare to the intellectual and leadership qualities expressed by his pre-1960ies peers.

As for de-industrialization, the truly staggering aspect to is that even when presented with almost complete control over the situation politicians gnerally chose inaction over taking the initiative despite available data showing the painful and dangerous developments that de-industrialization entails (Thatcher after the de facto destruction of the unions, Kohl after the German re-unification).

Two further, unrelated points:
- Great mirrored version of the "Marie Claire" article from Roissy;
- given the still more traditional nature of Chinese society and the demographic situation with females being the minority due to the effects of the 1-Child policy, Ford's campaign is a failure in the making

A_C said...

Good post. One caveat: in your rush to document the spread of power from the blue collar types to the rich globalization-based elite, you leave out the experience of everyone else in between. What is going on with the fairly prosperous middle manager or the professional? These people still exist in large numbers, are still living fairly well, and presumably have some cultural power.

a_c said...

I'd also be interested in your analysis of the demographic collapse of Iran:

http://atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/KB24Ak02.html

DP111 said...

There are several reasons for the collapse of a traditional society, and Whiskey points out some of them. For instance, Laurence Auster believes that universal suffrage had a lot to with its collapse.

But all this is not going going to continue. Times are getting tough. Jobs of any sort will be hard to come by, specially the sort that women like. For these tough jobs, the natural general aggressiveness of men will come to the fore. In addition, random violence by disaffected men on women will increase even above what we see now. That women are left to be battered and even murdered by a man, while fit young men sit idly by, is not a situation that "beta" women, and they are the majority, will accept. They too will have to come up with survival strategies.

We've lived through a small period of time of social irresponsibility, brought out by the factors highlighted in the above article - but they are ending, and traditional society, the mainstay of the Western civilisation will assert itself. We are already beginning to see this, as this article tangentially acknowledges, and the latest pronouncements of a British cabinet minister.

DP111 said...

Another reason for the collapse of male morale in the West, is that many western governments provide a social welfare net for women when they are pregnant or have a family to look after. Thus women do not need to rely on a man as a wage earner. But times are changing, and I wonder for how long western governments can afford to provide a comprehensive welfare net.

We may also be looking to a major war in the near future.

Zenster said...

Another excellent expository essay, Whiskey. While I agree with much of what you have posted, there is an even more important aspect to your work.

The due diligence that you clearly exhibit in your writing obliges all but the most casual readers to take note and consider what you have put before them. I would wager that even those who disagree with you are still taken aback by the depth and constructive nature of your investigations.

That you so competently engage the reader while simultaneously challenging or instigating careful re-examination of one's own strongly held views and do so in such an entertaining fashion is no mean feat.

Keep Up the Good Work,

Zenster

PS: I really think that Takuan Seiyo, Fjordman and you should collaborate on a serious effort to detail "The Rise and Fall of Western Civilization".

Anonymous said...

Whiskey...here's a website you might find interesting: A Theory Of Civilization

Also, what do you think about the New World Order Conspiracy Theories? The ones that purport to trace the vast, rapid cultural changes to the machinations of a power elite who effected these changes in large part through the funding by tax exempt foundations like the Rockefellers, Carnegies, Ford et al, that deliberately funded Women's Studies programs, and dumbed down public education and taken over college curriculum, as well as the deliberate degeneration of mass media entertainment to mold society to deliberately create the social chaos and population decline?

PS - logged in as "anonymous," but this is "Dave from Hawaii" from Roissy's blog.

Anonymous said...

I think the decline of the West is in part attributable to morons like yourself. Why don't you go find a productive job rather than pushing your politically motivated garbage?

Anonymous said...

Do you ever post actual statistical trends? Or do you rely on innuendo and misrepresented statistics from right-wing trash websites? Whiskey, you are a mediocrity, throwing temper tantrums at your perceived lack of status.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, do you think your whining is going to improve your low-status life, Whiskey? You are the epitome of "beta", endlessly complaining about your loser status, while not doing anything about it, like a real man would do. Why don't you look at yourself in the mirror, and figure out where you went wrong? Maybe you didn't study enough in school; maybe you let yourself get fat; maybe you are a malignant bore who squeezes the life out of everyone you spend time around. I truly feel sorry for you.

stratomunchkin said...

So now we've come to the point where considering the reasons for a dramatic decrease in power and relative social cohesion ... is beta? You know, under these circumstances I guess I prefer to remain beta...

Lawful Neutral said...

Anonymous 6:18:

Please don't pretend that any statistics Whiskey presents could possibly convince you of anything. He provided plenty of numbers in the piece above; and if you bother to look up, say, housing prices vs. wages over the last 50 years you'll see he's 100% right.

When losing an argument people will demand a citation for the assertion that the sun rises in the east.

Anonymous 6:21:

Now you're whining about Whiskey's whining, so what does that make you? Nyah-nyah-nyah.

Nine-of-Diamonds said...

"Another reason for the collapse of male morale in the West, is that many western governments provide a social welfare net for women when they are pregnant or have a family to look after."

Precisely. This ties in with some pretty convincing commentary I have read re: 0bama's status as a surrogate head of household for single and/or radical feminist women. He is the apotheosis of the exotic, well-mannered, handsome "magic negro" type that liberal white singles love to fawn over. Unlike a real husband, he imposes no true obligations upon them. He is a distant authority figure and does not display the foibles that married couples must learn to live with - rather, he is a distant, idealized "marble man" upon whom they can project unrealistic expectations. Millions of women in industrialized welfare states are "married" to governmental bureaucracies. That is, the state imposes heavy taxes on the productive class to support a growing contingent of single mothers. I imagine that this process of state-induced dependency is best facilitated when the head of state induces such a sympathetic response from his female "beneficiaries". Contrast 0bama's impact on the female psyche with that of McCain (unattractive, elderly war hero) and Palin (attractive female - hence a competitor).

Nine-of-Diamonds said...

Some pointed commentary at Vox Popoli re: liberal Western women's unfulfilled expectations:

http://voxday.blogspot.com/2009/02/why-do-women-feel-so-angry.html

Afonso Henriques said...

Wonderfull piece, Whiskey. Great one!

I think the major idea one must retain is that "the West" "is falling" due to two main factors: Multiculturalim and Feminism;
Even more interesting, is the thought that these particulat two "factors" derive from a defranchising of the Western production.
We shall not forget also the colapse of colonialism and stuff. In the end, your thesis is not incompatible with the "mainstream" of Fjordman and Takuan Seyo. You merely deepen a little longer.
"Marxism/Gramscianism" is always at the very core of all this destruction. I keep fighting against my big four and admiring the Gramscian strategy: (the big 4)
*Communism
*Socialism
*Multiculturalism
*Feminism

The funny thing is that if there is a possibility of a return "to the normal", literally a revolution, from the latin "re-volutio" (coming back again / reborn), it will be through force of the "beta" white western men, only if they are educated enough.
And how many men will "we" need to fight for us? 20%? 30%? 10%? 5%?
If Castro and Che did it in Cuba...

Also, what's up with that of putting Japan and "coastal" China in "The West"?? I understood what you intended but... come on!

I cannot say I didn't like your article. I just think that London New Year Evening thing was not necessary and had little to do with anything.

Congratulations, what a fine piece of reading you provided to the world! I learn a lot with you, man.

Anonymous said...

Whiskey, this is 'z' from Roissy's website.


I agree with pretty much everything you wrote in this entry. Its spot-on and correctly identifies the "whys" as to how the West's birthrate's are failing.




A few notes I'd like to make that may stir the water in the next two decades:

1) Men, because of the loss of manufacturing, construction, and programming jobs, will be turning to traditional "female" employment and competing directly with women in the work force. There was a time when real estate, retail-level finance, office-work, bank-teller-working-their-way-ups, cosmetics and beauty (hairstyle, etc.) were more female than what they seem to be becoming as of late. If x-amount of factories close in a city, men start applying for jobs in these lines of work. Many men look to do "what dad did" for a living. The next generation of men will have many more working in "soft" professions indoors that are NOT factory work, thus bringing them into direct competition with females.
What the fallout of this will be is anybody's guess. Will the single gals see the single guys as people just trying to make a living, or as hateful competition? More supply means less demand, so wages for these jobs will fall due to men being willing to do them en masse, but I dont see any way around it happening, do you?

(Related anecdote: I bought the laptop Im using at BestBuy and was assisted in the purchase by a bald, middle aged man who was extremely knowledeable about computers. I asked him how he knew so much, and he told me that he WAS a programmer. He was either moonlighting for extra money, or BestBuy paid him more than what programming would do in my part of the country. Its amazing what HI-B has done to eviscerate young people in this nation from even going into IT----I hate Bill Gates and Michael Dell).

2) Young women are going to be seeing "Old Aunt Peg" at family get-togethers more and more. You know Peg Whiskey, the one who is 44and still fairly attractive, but who never got to have any kids. I think many girls will see Aunt Peg as a cautionary tale. Peg will be crazy-earth-gaia-PC by this age and complaining about men full-time as the reason she wound up alone and childless and it will ring very very hollow to the teen-aged girls in the family. "Dont wind up like Aunt Peg" will be a statement emblazoned in their brains. No matter how much "Dove" commercials try and convince young women of "Ageless Beauty", seeing real cougars out at singles bars, pathetically trying to compete with 21 year olds, is something that needs to be SEEN YOURSELF to really be afraid of. I imagine the next, smaller generation, will get an eyefull of it and *know* that one might start looking to *settle* in the later 20's. Aunt Peg is pathetic (most families now have one of these), and everyone feels sorry for her, but nobody wants to be around her. Buying her a gift is a pain-in-the-ass.

3) For whites in particular, getting outnumbered physically is probably going to engender a primal response to want to breed MORE. Being picked on as a kid by non-whites on the pure account of race, might galvanize white females to want to breed more than their mom's did.

4) The coming multi-culti-media will disabuse white females of the "princess effect" that they have suffered from. Its inevitable that more movies, television programs, talk shows (Tyra, Ophrah) are going to be directed to non-white-GIRLZ in the future. There may be reprecussions to this.
White GIRLZ have been superior in number heretofore and their social position dominant by default, what will their response be when they are not and the long-smoldering resentments of non-white girls are voiced ALOUD? Will it engender a sense of ethnic identity among them? Remains to be seen, as they have never been criticized personally.

5) Birthrates and their low numbers are now being talked about ALOUD at family gatherings for the first time. "Getting outnumbered" is something that is being spoken of, and birthrates in general are being discussed privately, if not in the classroom.

6) The internet. People can search for things that interest them and bypass the mandarins of TV-land. Even satellite and cable, which offer non-PC programming, can be refuges from PC-brainwashing-moonbatism. Every teenage developmental hour not watching PC tripe, is an hour devoted to learning something else, perhaps about how the world really works.



I think the generations of people born in the West who are white, from roughly 1950-1985 have been subjected to the most thorough self-hating propaganda of any on the face of the earth in history due to the television media. There are alternatives out there now however.

Afonso Henriques said...

"This bleeds over into men's relationships as well, any young man who is single knows well the importance of looking the "correct way" for whatever fashion holds, and having the "correct" opinions and accessories to have any success in the dating market."

As a "young man who is single" I have started to pay attention to this recently...
I cannot say it is the dictatorship of Political Correctness as you seem to be implying but it crushes you if you walk out the line anyway.

However, despite everything, only now I could see this is so clear cut as you said. Really, it is clear cut. Damn!

--------------------------------

I also think I discovered a "fault" on your logic. You talk of women as if all of them had the power to do all that. You divide men in Alpha and Beta but believe all women are "Alpha" or something.
Is this correct? What women are targeted when you speak of "women"? The "top" 10%? 25%? 50%? 80%? What is it?

Anonymous said...

Lawful Neutral:

Yeah, and what else? Housing prices vs. Wages is non-partisan, yet everything else he claims is from partisan sources. Also, his argument about housing, manufacturing, etc. has been done by liberal commentators like Michael Lind. So that issue is bipartisan. Somehow, the crime rate has been coming down since the early 90s and he claims that the sky is falling. Anybody who takes Ann Coulter seriously as a "conservative" commentator needs to have their head checked.

Lawful Neutral said...

Anonymous 2:30:

I've got a better idea: why don't you list and number every claim Whiskey makes in the piece above and its source, then using your own neutral sources please demonstrate that each and every one of his sources is "partisan."

Anonymous said...

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog, although it does have it's own goals, but there is nothing unbiased, there is no one truth to satisfy the masses. Ironically we and the rest of the world have a more informed population then ever before but unfortunately for us, not as well educated. So in essence we have well informed idiots, and I mean that in a good way.

Back when I was in school we studied the rise and fall of the Roman Empire and were taught about all the same mistakes each great civilization has made leading to it's demise. You touch on many of them in your article, apparently they do not teach it anyore based on some of the responses you've received.

But to put it a little more harshly and less democratically then you did, we have become a civilization of spoiled brats who believe that we are owed way too much for doing way too little.

Based on the last crop of College Grads we hired, they want x-dollars just to show up to work and if you actually want them to do some work, you'll need to double that.

There is no personal responsibility anymore and no accountability anymore, just witness the back to back fiasco's perpetrated by the rich white people you mentioned that have brought the economies to their knees because of theft and deception. But they had some killer parties, huh? Now all that money went somewhere, yet no arrests, no trials, no kidding!

Now this isn't the first time and won't be the last time before we fall into anarchy, and it will be no ones fault but ours when it happens.

Because all those once-middle class people who keep being pushed down and have forgotten that this is a country that was started by a bunch of rich White Men who didn't want to pay taxes and is still owned by them, will see that nothing really happens to you if you commit a white collar crime as long as you have enough other people to cover your back and they will do it as well.

Eventually it will all work out though because we will all become so lazy that it will become too much work to thieve or anything else and the society will decline and become much like Brittan, although what country will be our task master is yet to be determined, although one of the Asia's seem most likely.

The thing most needed is a plan to reverse it. And it's not women not working or men being more masculine. It is very simple.

Either get rid of all the lawyers or lets have some real tort reform so that people can be held responsible for their actions; ship everyone we don't want to some other country (isn't that what they do?) and get back to basics. What little actual freedoms we do have will soon be invading the freedoms of someone else and will be legislated against very shortly, or so it seems. We need to start looking at the "Greater Good" instead of the good of a few.

Or we could just lynch all the rich white people?

Whiskey said...

Stratomunchin makes a good point, like the Old West Frontier, colonialism provided an important outlet for young men on the make willing to take great risks in return for wealth, and thus a social safety valve.

It's worth noting that China is dealing with it's excess population of Young Men, "the Bare Branches" by various resource extraction schemes in Africa, mostly mining, that employ Chinese men. I will address that in the later post.

A_C: good points and I will address the fate of the middle class. It has not been happy, to say the least.

Iran's population implosion is similar to Algeria's and Tunisia's. And in some cases to Italy's and Spain's. Traditional family formation no longer works, in Iran there is a missing generation of men due to the Iran-Iraq War, akin to that of France in WWII, and the impact of modernity (personal mobility and anonymity) even in repressive Muslim societies seems anti-natalists. Note: Algerian, Tunisian, Iranian, Spanish, and Italian women are not just not having kids in a traditional family, but not having them at all.

I suspect that Iran and Algeria and Tunisia mean that what is happening is broader than just a pure Western malaise. To misquote Jimmy Carter.

Dave from Hawaii -- I see the same things happening in various degrees all over the world, including Iran, Algeria, Coastal China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, including cultural collapse, low birth rates, lack of traditional heroes. I think this is just far too broad for any conspiracy or even local affect of elites (my main dissent from Fjordman and Seiyo).

PA said...

Whiskey - you are a good diagnostician but tunnel-visioned. Your biggest fallacy is looking at a signle trend and assuming it will not change. This tends to make a writer like you fatalistic and something of a despair-monger.

chic noir said...

DP11 Thus women do not need to rely on a man as a wage earner. But times are changing, and I wonder for how long western governments can afford to provide a comprehensive welfare net.
How can a woman depend on a man as a wage earner when there is a good chance said man will be without a job a few times during there lifetime. Good forbid one of the twp fall ill after Cobra has run dry. The better option for women is an extended family model. Who needs daycare when grandma,grandpa or auntie can take care of your children.

Chic Noir said...

I think the generations of people born in the West who are white, from roughly 1950-1985 have been subjected to the most thorough self-hating propaganda of any on the face of the earth in history due to the television media. There are alternatives out there now however.

Please explain. you aren't blaiming movies like Roots for this are you?

stratomunchkin said...

I think the generations of people born in the West who are white, from roughly 1950-1985 have been subjected to the most thorough self-hating propaganda of any on the face of the earth in history due to the television media. There are alternatives out there now however.

I concur with chic noir, even though I do so because I believe this warrants a post of its own.

Whiskey said...

PA --

The prescription for Western renewal is largely economic, and technology based. Since both drive social and cultural trends. I do think things will get far worse than better because there is a basic "class" or economic struggle between what Joel Kotkin calls the "Gentry" and others the "New Class" (Mickey Kaus) and that of the broad populace.

If I sound depressing, it is because the reality is depressing (though not irrepairable). You'll get far worse from men on the Left (Kotkin, Kaus) and those of the Right (Dalrymple, Steyn). I think only Kotkin has cut to the economic basis for cultural/social changes, few have looked at sexual selection / gender conflicts.

Chic --

The flaw in that assumption is that an extended family requires YOUNG-ish grandparents, with enough middle class resources. That does not exist, what you get is elderly, burdened grandparents who are sick and old, raising the kids of their irresponsible children, mostly in the Black and Hispanic communities, but now increasingly among Whites.

The Palin family model worked because Sarah Palin MARRIED a blue collar earner, with disparate sources of income, in a state with high wages and cheap land, and the ability to supplement food by hunting. Her brothers and sisters were still close by, as were her relatively young-ish parents, still vigorous enough to help with child care. This requires a nuclear family which in turn requires limits on female and male sexuality and choices. Particularly the requirement to put kids first ahead of self-fulfillment and freedom.

The extended family model of what Hillary called "it takes a village" results in very little time, money, and effort invested in children, who are mostly used as adjunct labor. The social record of societies employing this model is not particularly good to say the least.

chic noir said...

Whiskey- Youngish grandparents are better but older grandparents can do a pretty good job if they maintain their health (diet and exercise). Plenty of people are in good shape up into their 70's.

The most important thing for an extended model to work is having family members respect each others need for time alone and some seperate material possesions.

WarAgainstTheMiddle said...

Whiskey, I agree with you about how this is way too broad for any conspiracy or effect of local elites. The only difference between European fertility rates and say Tunisian is that Europe is slightly ahead on this trend than Tunisia. It's not a meaningful difference except as immigration/emigration.

I also agree with you that the prescription for Western renewal is largely technology based. I think the three most important technologies here are:

1. Sex bots
2. Artificial wombs
3. Anti-aging technology

The first two techs allow men to completely bypass women when desired. The third is important in the short term so that we don't lose our best and brightest who aren't reproducing much. In the longer term its also important since the most important element to amassing wealth is time and this will allow the middle class to amass so much wealth that a lot of the problems we discuss will be eliminated through attrition.

alfin2100 said...

I like War Against the Middle's appeal to technology, as part of a solution. Artificial wombs, artificial women, and extreme longevity will give men more choices in finding fulfillment.

On the problem side, we shouldn't overlook the dumbing down of education and the prolongation of adolescence combined with the postponement of adult responsibility for both men and women.

The lack of meaningful preparation for responsible adulthood combined with the absence of significant rites of passage, virtually guarantees the cultural mediocrity that society has fallen into -- which is a huge part of the problem you describe.

Templar said...

I like War Against the Middle's appeal to technology, as part of a solution. Artificial wombs, artificial women, and extreme longevity will give men more choices in finding fulfillment.

Those seem rather doubtful proposals at best, with regards to likelyhood of succesful implementation, rather than inevitabilities as you seem to be assuming.

alfin2100 said...

Those [al fin: sex bots, fetal incubators, multi-century lifespans] seem rather doubtful proposals at best, with regards to likelyhood of succesful implementation, rather than inevitabilities as you seem to be assuming.

Not an assumption of inevitability, but rather an expectation of high likelihood based upon a careful observation of technological and societal trends. There are many millions to be made in machine sex surrogates, while we're waiting for realistic virtual reality.

Women want artificial wombs much more than men, to facilitate the ability to "have it all" without losing the schoolgirl figure.

And suddenly since Aubrey de Grey research into radical extension of human lifespan has grown progressively respectable in scientific circles.

Concerning the war of the sexes and its regrettable impact on the status of ordinary males, anthropologist Lionel Tiger (The Decline of Males) anticipated the problems Whiskey ennumerates long ago. TDOM is quite worth a read.

Templar said...

Not an assumption of inevitability, but rather an expectation of high likelihood based upon a careful observation of technological and societal trends.

Which works out to the same thing, effectively.

There are many millions to be made in machine sex surrogates, while we're waiting for realistic virtual reality.

Again, this seems naively optimistic at best. Such a construct would be prohibitively expensive to the degree that only those men wealthy enough to have whatever real women they wanted could afford them, and then there's the issue of the uncanny valley.

Women want artificial wombs much more than men, to facilitate the ability to "have it all" without losing the schoolgirl figure.

Much like women want rainbow-crapping unicorns more than men, one presumes.

And suddenly since Aubrey de Grey research into radical extension of human lifespan has grown progressively respectable in scientific circles.

I'm not too concerned about it, personally. The oncoming Greater Depression we appear to be headed into should cause the prosperity-driven insanity of the last few decades to implode in on itself, and the state of things will even out again.

WarAgainstTheMiddle said...

Again, this seems naively optimistic at best. Such a construct would be prohibitively expensive to the degree that only those men wealthy enough to have whatever real women they wanted could afford them,

They would only be very expensive at first. Like with any technology, it will come down in price. Real dolls are expensive as well, but there is a large enough market to support the corporation making them. Plus, real women are only getting more expensive when you consider divorce, false rape charges, etc. What's your freedom worth? A lot more than whatever you will end up paying for a sex bot.

I'm not too concerned about it, personally. The oncoming Greater Depression we appear to be headed into should cause the prosperity-driven insanity of the last few decades to implode in on itself, and the state of things will even out again.

I don't know what you really think will even out.

Besides that, at least for now the current economic situation isn't even as bad as the early 80s recession. It's nowhere near a "Greater Depression". Regardless, technology moves forward and it moves faster. The inventors of these technologies will end up being trillionaires. That's real motivation for people to make these technologies happen.

Templar said...

They would only be very expensive at first. Like with any technology, it will come down in price.

That's like saying cars will only be very expensive at first. You're discounting the issue of material costs, not to mention power sources and the potential shelf-life of units.

Real dolls are expensive as well, but there is a large enough market to support the corporation making them.

That sounds an awful lot like conjecture.

Plus, real women are only getting more expensive when you consider divorce, false rape charges, etc. What's your freedom worth?

Enough to find a woman who will not divorce you, file false rape charges and so forth, one would think. I'd suggest converting to the Mormons or one of the Evangelical sects.

A lot more than whatever you will end up paying for a sex bot.

Do you have the math to back that up?

I don't know what you really think will even out.

I thought I made it fairly clear.

Besides that, at least for now the current economic situation isn't even as bad as the early 80s recession. It's nowhere near a "Greater Depression".

Give it time.

Regardless, technology moves forward and it moves faster.

That's what they used to think way back in the 1960s. The pace of technological progression over the 20th century was actually somewhat anamalous, historically speaking.

WarAgainstTheMiddle said...

That's like saying cars will only be very expensive at first. You're discounting the issue of material costs, not to mention power sources and the potential shelf-life of units.

Cars have gotten cheaper over time especially when you consider all of the technology added to them. (Everything from power windows to GPS units) This is the trend with every technology out there regardless of material costs. Long term both new energy sources and new materials are invented so even those costs go down.

That sounds an awful lot like conjecture.

Unless you are claiming that the corporation that makes RealDoll is receiving government subsidies it must be at least breaking even or believe that product to be a loss leader. In either case, that means there is a market for it. Did the any part of the bailouts or the stimulus go to RealDolls?

Enough to find a woman who will not divorce you, file false rape charges and so forth, one would think. I'd suggest converting to the Mormons or one of the Evangelical sects.

Divorce rates are just as high among Mormons and Evangelicals as any place else.

Do you have the math to back that up?

I don't know what a sex bot would cost yet since they aren't on the market. Even assuming $100K USD for a sex bot (in 2009 USD), all that means that if you have a net worth of $200K and lose half of it in a divorce, you break even with the sex bot. Of course I haven't added in lawyer costs which at $250/hr will add up quickly. I also assumed that a man would lose only half of his net worth. With the way divorce courts are, a man could lose more.

If we really want to talk about costs, what about the costs of paying for dates. Or for a wedding. That adds up.

It's very easy to break even or even come out ahead financially with the sex bot. We haven't even discussed things like women you have never met randomly naming you as the "father" of her children for child support. The case for sex bots just grows.

Give it time.

Maybe, maybe not, but saying its a "greater depression" right now is nothing but mindless hysteria.

And even if this is the "greater depression" so what? Worst case scenario, it takes 10 more years for these technologies to appear.

That's what they used to think way back in the 1960s. The pace of technological progression over the 20th century was actually somewhat anamalous, historically speaking.

You have no basis to say something so silly. How do you even know the the 20th century was an anomaly? The 20th century fits the curve of technological development of the last 5000 years of human history.

Templar said...

Cars have gotten cheaper over time especially when you consider all of the technology added to them. (Everything from power windows to GPS units) This is the trend with every technology out there regardless of material costs. Long term both new energy sources and new materials are invented so even those costs go down.

I rather doubt that. They may come with more gadgets but how much cheaper have cars actually gotten relative to average income and inflation over the last 50 years?

More to the point, cars can be purchased used and passed around to defray costs to some degree. Do you seriously believe teenage males are going to be looking at purchasing someone's used sex toy on the secondary market?

Unless you are claiming that the corporation that makes RealDoll is receiving government subsidies it must be at least breaking even or believe that product to be a loss leader. In either case, that means there is a market for it.

What kind of market? How many men are blowing $7,000 on an expensive mannequin? How long does one unit last before it has to be disposed of? How many buyers would be willing to upgrade to a more complex, far more expensive and messy model? How many of them are going to be able to overcome the uncanny valley effect?

Divorce rates are just as high among Mormons and Evangelicals as any place else.

Nice try. I meant finding someone who takes religious prohibitions against divorce seriously, obviously.

I don't know what a sex bot would cost yet since they aren't on the market.

I might point out that you also don't know if these will ever be produced, or if anyone other than a minority of very wealthy perverts would buy them.

Even assuming $100K USD for a sex bot (in 2009 USD), all that means that if you have a net worth of $200K and lose half of it in a divorce, you break even with the sex bot. Of course I haven't added in lawyer costs which at $250/hr will add up quickly. I also assumed that a man would lose only half of his net worth. With the way divorce courts are, a man could lose more.

How many men can afford to blow $100K on an expensive toy?

If we really want to talk about costs, what about the costs of paying for dates. Or for a wedding. That adds up.

So does owning a car, but the issue of costs is a bit of a red herring. It would be much cheaper to simply live as a monk in the Mojave desert.

It's very easy to break even or even come out ahead financially with the sex bot. We haven't even discussed things like women you have never met randomly naming you as the "father" of her children for child support.

Nor have we discussed DNA testing to disprove such allegations.

The case for sex bots just grows.

The hole you dig for them grows deeper and deeper.

Maybe, maybe not, but saying its a "greater depression" right now is nothing but mindless hysteria.

I didn't say it's a Greater Depression right now, I said we seem to be heading into one.

And even if this is the "greater depression" so what? Worst case scenario, it takes 10 more years for these technologies to appear.

Your optimism for technophilia knows no bounds, it seems.

You have no basis to say something so silly.

Sure I do.

How do you even know the the 20th century was an anomaly?

It seems fairly obvious.

The 20th century fits the curve of technological development of the last 5000 years of human history.

No, that's the 21st century.

David said...

Whiskey, this is pretty intriguing stuff. The Roissy site, with its emphasis on superficial attractiveness, got me thinking about the American Pragmatist, Frederick Turner's, thesis in Beauty, the Value of Values. His conviction is that we lost track of beauty as a consequence of the changes wrought by the French Revolution, and primarily by the emphasis on aesthetics and the rejection and avoidance of shame. The Roissy site wreaks of the terror of shame, although it's not clear whether that's inadvertent or deliberate. But the point is that we can't really know beauty or ugliness without knowing shame, and since beauty is the key to understanding most other human values it's not surprising that we're lost.

The book made a lot of sense to me, and the contribution of American Pragmatism to philosophical thought (perhaps more Peirce than Dewey) has been robust. Turner relies a lot on the science of cognition to get us out of the jam. It's a pretty optimistic approach, actually. We're lost, but we're not far from getting back on track.

WarAgainstTheMiddle said...

I rather doubt that. They may come with more gadgets but how much cheaper have cars actually gotten relative to average income and inflation over the last 50 years?

Yes, not only are cars cheaper now (relative to incomes), pretty much everything is except for houses and things that are extremely government regulated (i.e. college educations). In the case of houses, the collapse of the housing bubble could take care of that one.

The process continues. Car manufacturers are looking at possibilities that the electric car opens up to make cars even cheaper. That's what happens as technology progresses.

What kind of market? How many men are blowing $7,000 on an expensive mannequin? How long does one unit last before it has to be disposed of? How many buyers would be willing to upgrade to a more complex, far more expensive and messy model? How many of them are going to be able to overcome the uncanny valley effect?

I don't have access to the internal financial numbers of the RealDoll corporation, but given the amount of money men spend on dating women it wouldn't be hard for most (1st world) men to afford sex bot if they weren't dating women.

Nice try. I meant finding someone who takes religious prohibitions against divorce seriously, obviously.

I know and know of thousands of now divorced men who were certain that the women they married took the religious prohibitions against divorce seriously. They still don't know why their now ex-wives left them. Unless you're a telepath you aren't going to know if any woman actually is against divorce or not. This might not be an issue, but given how anti-male the divorce courts are no man can afford to not be a telepath in this area. Since there is no such thing as a telepath, then that means no man really should be getting married.

I might point out that you also don't know if these will ever be produced, or if anyone other than a minority of very wealthy perverts would buy them.

We have heard the same arguments about every advancement in technology, cell phones, electricity, cars, airplanes, etc. Your arguments always ended up being wrong each and every time.

Nor have we discussed DNA testing to disprove such allegations.

And courts can and HAVE thrown it out under the grounds of "best interests of the child".

I didn't say it's a Greater Depression right now, I said we seem to be heading into one.

Until things get at least as bad as the early 80s recession, saying this is heading into a "greater depression" is hyperbole. I know the media keeps repeating the lie that this is the worst recession since the great depression. Maybe it will be, but until that happens there's no reason to engage in such hysteria. I have no idea why you and so many others seem to want a "greater depression".

Your optimism for technophilia knows no bounds, it seems.

So what? It's not like that is an insult. New technologies has improved my life just like they have done for hundreds of millions of people.

If you're so against new technology, what are you doing on the internet? Shouldn't you be busy churning butter?

It seems fairly obvious.

No, it's not obvious unless, you mean you are obviously wrong. Human technological development has been an exponential curve. It explains both the increases the rate of technology increase in the 20th century and the lesser rate of increase in previous centuries. The curve has still held for the first decade of the 21st century. I see this with my job every day.

Even if a "greater depression" really does happen, that will just be a speed bump like the great depression was. The fact is technology continues to advance along the exponential curve, and its going to help liberate men.

arthur said...

Uhm,we have sex bots already. Theyre called mexicans!

Realist said...

The West is declining because it has externalized an image of itself that it prefers to manipulate, instead of facing reality. Collapse of traditional values and lack of common goals and direction mean we are fractured and weak.

Anonymous said...

"This happens because women often delay marriage until well into their thirties, when excess baggage on both parties, rather limited attractiveness, and the dilution of the effect of bonding hormones released during sex make a high divorce or break-up rate (for those never marrying but cohabitating) a near certain thing."
If it is so, why don't all marriages end in divorce after the couple reach their 30's? What does prevent a 10-year marriage from ending when the man and the woman are not so attractive anymore?

Anonymous said...

children and mortgage payments

Novaseeker said...

This is a well-done piece.

I do very much agree that we are slouching towards a kind of "soft" polygamy whereby women share alpha genes and raise kids themselves. The "family" is trending to be rewritten as a dyad of mother and child, with a father being completely optional, and increasingly abnormal.

The trend line leads away from civilization, in my view. This is a re-institution of primitive mating, albeit done up in contemporary garb.

I am less sanguine than you are about letting women off the hook for this, however, particularly women who are strident advocates of feminism. Surely feminism is not the only factor, but it is a major one, and it isn't as though women have not supported the changes that lead to these trends.

Anonymous said...

I am in complete agreement with
War Against the Middle regarding sex-bots.

They are already in the making.

At a price of $100K, I would say they are affordable if we compare that cost to the maintenance cost of a "woman in the flesh".

Maybe marriage between a man and his robotwife would allow for income tax deduction, making the acquisition of such a wife more affordable.
I have calculated out that income tax returns would pay for the sex-bot in about 15-17 years if it becomes tax deductible.

As far as the collapse of Western civilisation is concerned, I do not believe we should worry: it took quite a number of years for Rome to collapse.
If the West collapses, it will certainly not happen in our lifetime.
And then another civilisation will take its place: it always happens that way.

We are living in very interesting times.
Since Mesopotamia, twenty two civilisations have risen and fallen but relatively few people were lucky enough to witness it.

Every civilisational collape has been accompanied by a long period of easy life.

Anonymous said...

Interesting post. While I disagree with some aspects of your perspective, I have to admit you are on to something. And perhaps, actually, perhaps only just touching the tip of the iceberg.

One can argue that the West has been in twilight for, say, at least a century. Many people, in particular we Americans, haven't noticed this because of our nation’s recent decades of outward success. It would do well to recall the long lingering and glorious senility of past nations, such as Rome. Hegemony and Imperial reach often cloak inward dry rot. In reality, things have been downhill in Western culture for a while.

"Nearly every conservative commentator agrees on the West's decline.."

And they are damn late in noticing it, all of them. And I suspect that much of what they mention is simply superficial symptoms (though de souza shows some depth of thought) In general, they should be handed late passes, the lot 'o them. They fail to impress me.
The modern Right and Left both are full of ideologues and shallow thinkers. Writers and Thinkers with far greater insight than Coulter et al., noticed the decline of the West over 100 years ago. Jose Ortega Y Gasset's work on the rise of the mass man, from Junger, Nietzsche , Spengler, Evola, Guenon.

Lysander Spooner’s analysis of our constitutional republic prior to the civil war revealed certain matters for the astute. Spooner wrote over 150 years ago and most “political thinkers” haven’t even bothered reading him.

I contend that the republic is dead. One can emotionally react to this, and cling at an illusion.. or one can accept reality, recognize what the republic, as an ideal, actually once stood for, its principles, and life those principles in his life and community.
The decline Buchannan notes in his well reasoned work on WWII pre-dated both great wars by generations, and what decline we see now, be assured that 20 years from now this decade we live in will seem almost like the last gasp of a golden age.

Basically things will continue to get worse, and those few who even realize the perpetual decline will invariably misidentify some of its most vital causes, and cling not to essentials, but rather to sentimental and contingent forms that themselves are symptoms of the decay. Such as the 1950s nuclear family. One would do well to read the criticisms of the decline of the family prior to that decade. That post war ideal was, to some people living then, itself a decline and a sign of decadence.

Such ideas will not be taken well. I have profound disagreements with this particular thinker, but he had profound analysis of many things that simply missed other writers then and now: I really, really, recommend the following chapters in Evola’s opus “Ride The Tiger”

“The Sickness of European Culture.”
“Society – the Crisis of Patriotic Feeling”
“Marriage and The Family”
And finally chapter 28 “Relations between the Sexes”

These 4 chapters explore interesting ideas on the subject of Western decline and even if you find yourself in disagreement, it is good to be well read and understand other perspectives.

Kamal S.

Anonymous said...

Sexbots suck and are completely contra-nature.
Sterile. Dear god, a whore's a better choice. They taste and smell real. Sexbots are beta to an absolute degree.

Kamal S.

Anonymous said...

The idea of sex-bots reminds me of that episode of the Twilight Zone where the dead gambler thinks he's in Heaven because he keeps winning, but then finds out that gambling is no fun without the chance of losing.

Given the choice between jerking off and wearing myself out thrusting at some artificial pussy, I'd choose the former.

Anonymous said...

Evangelicals might be at population levels but LDS divorce rates are very low.
http://www.adherents.com/largecom/lds_dem.html

It's about 5% (about half way down the page). My anecdotal history backs that up, I grew up in a mormon area of Washington and didn't know any LDS kids with divorced parents.

karachi khatmal said...

i suggest this in all fairness and seriousness...

why don't all you (single white male) guys move to pakistan. you will be treated like gods due to our inferiority complex and legacy of colonialism. you can have all the women you want, and attractive ones at that. you will be able to make a bucketload of money. and most of your social values (such as views on family, abortion, marriage, homosexuals, single women) are already in vogue here, and in fact even more entrenched than any other place you can imagine. your middle class incomes will be enough to allow you to buy mansions here, and have an army of servant slaves. you can do all kinds of masculine work as well, and best of all you will NEVER be the beta male.

well?

Patri Friedman said...

I came in with an open mind, but you just don't know WTF you are talking about as far as America being all middlemen and not producing anything. Comments like:

Hardly anyone at Google is American

reveal your ignorance of the facts. I worked at Google for 3.5 years, and while there are many non-Americans there, the majority of Googlers (like any big tech company) are American. And (again like any other big tech company) Google has a substantial libertarian minority.

The question of whether the West has declined, why, and how it can be reversed is of enormous importance, and I am bummed that you aren't more accurate in analyzing it. Your overall thesis would be much more solid if you let yourself be driven more by facts and less by sweeping generalizations.

(Which can be very difficult when one is making sweeping historical claims, I have always had the same problem. I just resign myself to being wrong a lot, and am happy that I have lots of smart commenters who tell me when my sweeping generalizations are bullshit)

Patri Friedman said...

Another boner:

Wage increases have not kept pace with inflation

Total compensation, however, which includes medical insurance, bonuses, etc, has risen faster than inflation. Looking solely at wage increases is a bogus metric, since more and more compensation is now in the form of health insurance. Compensation for the middle class has not done very well for the past few decades, but anyone who tells you that it has been flat has not done their homework. (It's a typical shrill liberal anti-business thing to say, I know that isn't how Whiskey is using it, but hopefully he finds it embarrassing to be repeating a false liberal rallying cry)

Anonymous said...

Ho hum. The usual culture war boilerplate. Ann Coulter. Really?

escort espaƱa said...

This can't work in reality, that is exactly what I suppose.

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