“Shocking Stats Reveal Decline of American Men” – with reflections on the implications thereof

You hear a lot in America about the “war on women,” but it’s men in America who are failing. We have some shocking statistics…

Souce: Shocking Stats Reveal Decline of American Men | Tucker Carlson Tonight

This informative and disturbing report confirms what observation has suggested to me for years: we who are men are in trouble. As Carlson points out,

“Something ominous is happening to men in America. Everyone who pays attention knows that. What’s odd is how rarely you hear it publicly acknowledged. Our leaders pledge to create more opportunities for women and girls, whom they imply are failing. Men don’t need help. They’re the patriarchy. They’re fine. More than fine…”

Statistics, however, tell a different story. When you actually look at what’s going on, it becomes all too sadly apparent that

“American men are failing, in body, mind and spirit. This is a crisis. Yet our leaders pretend it’s not happening. They tell us the opposite is true: Women are victims, men are oppressors. To question that assumption is to risk punishment. Even as women far outpace men in higher education, virtually every college campus supports a women’s studies department, whose core goal is to attack male power. Our politicians and business leaders internalize and amplify that message. Men are privileged. Women are oppressed. Hire and promote and reward accordingly.

“That would be fine if it were true. But it’s not true. At best, it’s an outdated view of an America that no longer exists. At worst, it’s a pernicious lie.

“Either way, ignoring the decline of men doesn’t help anyone. Men and women need each other. One cannot exist without the other. That’s elemental biology, but it’s also the reality each of us has lived, with our parents and siblings and friends. When men fail, all of us suffer.”

University of Toronto Professor Jordan Peterson, Carlson’s guest, while not the most dynamic speaker, nonetheless has some very good things to say on the subject. He rightly decries the “ideological world view that sees the entire history of mankind as the oppression of women by men,” which he sees – again, accurately, in my view – as “a very dreadful way of looking at the world, a pathological way of looking at the world.”

It is indeed. But thanks to the dismaying success of the radical Left’s “long march through the institutions,” it is a worldview which is mostly dominant in today’s culture, in the U.S. and in the West, generally, deeply enshrined in our intellectual and political elites, and particularly in academia – both public schools and institutions of higher learning – and in the equally-influential media.

As a result, it has become in many respects the animating mythos of our contemporary world, and plays itself out in all sorts of often damaging ways: pitting men and women against each other, denigrating any past achievement that can be seen as “masculine” or “patriarchal,” and discouraging boys and young men from seeking excellence for fear of being accused of “toxic masculinity.”

Is it any wonder that many men have become embittered and disillusioned, and dropped out – from relationships (see MGTOW), and even from active engagement with society – in anger or despair?

Yet this dropping out, while on one level entirely understandable, is ultimately counter-productive and damaging, both to society and to men ourselves. To be healthy and whole, a culture needs a balance between male aggressiveness and female nurturing (and yes, I know some men are naturally nurturing and some women aggressive, but we’re talking trends, here), between the typically male drive to expand and explore, and the typically female drive to settle and put down roots.

And while this may be more controversial yet, I believe that for our psycho-emotional health, men and women must be willing and able to embrace – in a constructive, and therefore necessarily real, way – their own distinct and complementary natures. Again, I am quite fully aware that some men are more nurturing (I tend to fall somewhat toward that end of the spectrum, myself) and some women more aggressive.

But by insisting that (all) women should take on the aggressive tendencies of men, or that (all) men should take on the nurturing qualities of women, there are a large number of both who are being repressed, and even bent and twisted, psycho-emotionally. And that is exactly what is happening, in today’s “interchangeable parts” environment of gender-bending social theory.

It’s no wonder that transgenderism is a major issue these days, because transgenderism is simply the (il)logical extension of an extremely prevalent ideological viewpoint: that women should be more like men, and men should be more like women. Of course, the dirty little secret here is that there is something essentially or fundamentally “man-like” or “woman-like” to become, but no one on the Left wants to talk about that…

While I am in no way justifying or rationalizing them, is it possible that today’s rash of school- and other mass-shootings are on some level a cry for help – or at least, a manifestation of a deeply diseased society? As Carlson points out, they are almost exclusively a male phenomenon (one shooter did have the help of his wife). Is it at least possible that if masculine aggression is consistently and aggressively repressed and not allowed productive and constructive outlets, it will fester, and eventually explode in socially and culturally unproductive, unacceptable, and even horrifying ways?

I am going to go out on a limb, here, and suggest that one of the prime motivators (or perhaps I should say, de-motivators) of our contemporary Western malaise is the devaluation and repression of just about everything that has traditionally served as spurs to pride, greatness, and accomplishment. Among these are race, nationality, sex (in the sense of male and female, not the sexual act!), and religion.

In other words, pride in one’s “roots” is the essential motivator for accomplishment in the future.

If one is no longer allowed to take pride in one’s ancestors, one’s country, one’s sex, or one’s religion, and be inspired by their achievements to accomplish still more in the future, if everyone and everything is to be viewed as not only equal-in-principle, but fundamentally equivalent (even identical) in principle, with nothing and no reason to prefer one over the other, then one has no impetus to preserve one’s heritage or to care about one’s descendants: it’s all the same, after all, so what does it matter?

And that is not only destructive of culture in and of itself, but leaves us acutely vulnerable to being invaded and subjugated by those who still do take pride in the past accomplishments and present identity of their people, who laugh at our low birth-rate (if we have no real hope or inspiration for the future, why bother to bring new children into the world?) and scoff at our unwillingness to actually stand up and defend those few values we still claim to hold.

As I have commented before, there’s a reason those on the far-right refer to the “liberal” Leftists, social-justice warriors, and cultural Marxists – and their acquiescent followers – as “cucks” (short for cuckolds): they are willing to simply watch passively as what should be their “beloveds” – their patrimony, their ancestral and cultural heritage – are violated, taken from them, even raped before their eyes, and do nothing, either out of sheer passive compliance, or because they take a certain sick pleasure in the act, due to persistent and pernicious indoctrination that everything Western is evil.

If that is truly the best of the West, in this age, then perhaps we deserve our fate. Those who are unwilling to defend what is valuable surely do not deserve to retain it. But I do not believe that is all we have left. And we have a responsibility, both to our ancestors and to our descendants – if any! – to pass down our patrimony, our heritage, unstained, undiminished, and intact, to the best of our ability. If we fail, we have failed them, and even the God that made us, and gave us our distinctiveness.

Men of the West, will we go silently and meekly into that dark night, passing into history with barely a whimper? I hope and pray we will not!

What we have lost

What we are losing, and too-often, have already lost:

Solid, cohesive, integrated families, joined by ties of blood, heritage, and culture;

Religion (and preeminently, the Christian faith) as central and determinative for the life of that family and its members, exemplified by regular, devout, and participatory church attendance at least weekly (and undoubtedly religious instruction at home as well);

An instinctive awareness that equality does not mean identicality, embodied in knowledge of the sexes – male and female – as distinct and complementary to one another (*); and

Parenting in which both parents were a) married to one another, and consistently present in the lives of their children (**), b) participated in child-rearing, but in different and complementary ways, and c) that focused on passing down valued traditions and cultural ethos/mores to the next generation.

As I have said many times before, a tree cut off from its roots withers and dies, it does not grow and blossom and bring forth good fruit. So also with a culture and a society.

 


* Yes, I know there have always been a tiny minority of genuinely intersexed people, and with all the synthetic hormones and other environmental toxins floating around, that number may be growing. But you don’t base a culture off less than one-half of one percent.)

** Much is made of the fact that fathers, in earlier generations, were often absent due to long hours at work, leaving women with the task of raising children almost single-handedly. Well, true. But that absence was both qualitatively and quantitatively different than fathers who are absent because they’re “deadbeat dads,” or simply “baby daddies” who are un-involved in the lives of their children, and in some cases, may not even be known for sure to the mothers.

They were absent because they were working hard providing for the material needs of their families, and in the process, setting a good example of the importance of hard work to their children. Ideally, both parents should be able to work at jobs that allow them to spend much of their time at home with the family, as was the case for the majority of humans for the majority of history. But we do not live in those times anymore, unfortunately.

In fact, nowadays, it is often necessary for both parents to work – and not just to afford luxuries (making that assertion borders on victim-blaming, at times), but often, to afford necessities. But that is no reason to beat up on the people of the past; rather, we should use them as exemplars and role models for the direction we should be trying to steer our society.

Hope Not Hate: anti-fascist authoritarianism | Free speech | spiked

Hope Not Hate: anti-fascist authoritarianism

“There has always been something paradoxical, even ironic, about so-called anti-fascist and anti-racist groups… These anti-fascist bodies are a reminder that people with unshakeable good intentions on their side are always the most dangerous.”

Source: Hope Not Hate: anti-fascist authoritarianism | Free speech | spiked

Online columnist Patrick West notes that

“There has always been something paradoxical, even ironic, about so-called anti-fascist and anti-racist groups. While ostensibly promoting peace, understanding and tolerance in the face of nasty and intolerant far-right groups, they have always seemed to contain an essence of authoritarianism and intolerance themselves – and even an undercurrent of menace…

“These anti-fascist bodies are a reminder that people with unshakeable good intentions on their side are always the most dangerous. People who believe they are fighting evil impose no boundaries upon themselves, because in their battle in the name of good, anything is permitted.”

Now, it seems, “the latest anti-fascist group, Hope Not Hate, which sounds caring and innocent enough… latest campaign has been to urge major booksellers Waterstones, WHSmith and Foyles to stop profiting from selling ‘dangerous books’ with ‘extreme hate content.'” Correctly noting that “the concept of ‘dangerous books’ is both babyish and ridiculous,” Mr. West points out, accurately, that

“It should strike us as ironic that anti-fascists are seeking to ban books in the name of promoting tolerance. What next? Burning books? But this shouldn’t surprise us. Paternal, power-crazy, anti-fascists have a long track record of self-righteous censoriousness. They’ve always feared the ill-educated, unwashed masses of people who might have had too much to think. They always mean well. And that’s what makes them so dangerous.”

Dangerous indeed! Referencing a number of recent cases of authorities in the UK tagging people for anti-PC “thought crimes,” Mr. West continues,

“Free speech means standing up for people you don’t care for, because if your enemies aren’t safe from the encroaching powers of the state, then you and you friends won’t be safe, either. You don’t have to be a libertarian fundamentalist to be worried about the state now prosecuting people for jokes.”

It has until recently been seen as self-evident, here in the U.S., that free speech is meaningless unless it also protects unpopular, even offensive speech. This consensus seems, sadly, to be fading even here, and it appears already to have gone by the wayside in the U.K. (which used to have a robust tradition of free speech, but sadly never one protected – as ours still is, however tenuously – by a written Constitution).

I am, in any case, reminded of C.S. Lewis’ famous dictum:

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

Unfortunately, at the moment it seems that the tyrannical “omnipotent moral busybodies” are very much in the ascendant in today’s public square, aided and abetted by inaction on the part of those whose greatest fear is to be seen as being “intolerant.” But as the late great G.K. Chesterton observed, “Tolerance is the virtue of a man without convictions.” Sadly, there seem to be many such men in the present age of the world.

Christians In The East Lose Their Lives, But Christians In The West Are Losing Their Souls | Daily Wire

About 215 million Christians face what is called “extreme persecution” for their faith. It’s estimated that around a million have been slaughtered since 2005. There is no way to know exactly how many. What we do know is that Christianity has been dramatically reduced in parts of the world where it had existed for nearly 2,000 years.

Source: WALSH: Christians In The East Lose Their Lives, But Christians In The West Are Losing Their Souls | Daily Wire

A sobering – and, to be honest, rather damning – indictment of where our priorities are, here in the West, compared to where they could and should be:

“We — myself included — spend far more time, and spill far more ink, on these issues [Hollywood sex scandals, Twitter disputes, whatever controversial thing Trump said this week, etc….] than we ever have on the coordinated genocide of our fellow believers in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Why?

“I have come to believe that our disinterest stems not only from the general apathy that defines western society and the western church, but from moral cowardice. To face the plight of our brothers and sisters is to face ourselves. To see these Christians who would rather be shot dead in the desert than renounce their faith is to see our own faith as a shabby, pitiful, hollow imitation. To see Christians who would risk their very lives to go to church and preach the Gospel is to question why we will do neither of those things, even though we are perfectly free and able [emphasis added]. We cannot confront these truths of ourselves, so we will not confront the truth of Christian persecution.”

I wonder if there will be anyone at Chapel with me, tonight…?

That author, Matt Walsh, goes on to say,

“Christians in the East forfeit their lives rather than forfeit their souls, and we forfeit our souls even though we could quite easily retain both. The Church overseas has been under violent assault, yet the enemies of Christ have not won. They have diminished the Church in numbers by killing its members, but it is strong and resilient where it still stands. Our situation is exactly the reverse.

“We have submitted to the forces of darkness. We have bent our knees in homage to Satan, and the enemies of the faith haven’t even fired a shot to induce our surrender. Satan does not beat us with a stick; he dangles a carrot. He lulls us to sleep. He distracts us. He tempts us. Kill us? Why would he do that? We are no threat to him. A Christian in Afghanistan is a threat. He must be destroyed. It’s the only way. But a lazy, soft, equivocating Christian in the West? There is no need to persecute him. He is not worthy of it. Just give him a television and the internet and let him damn himself.”

Bread and circuses. Both secularism, and the more active enemies of Christianity such as militant Islam, have figured it out. Give us bread and circuses, make sure we’re reasonably content (or at least that our vague discomfort is just that: vague) and well-distracted, and we’ll slip, all by ourselves, into a peaceful, lazy, apathetic dhimmitude. We can be conquered without breaking a sweat.

Is that what we really want? Because that is assuredly the direction we’re headed!

Up to Two-Thirds of Sub-Saharan Africa’s 1.1 Billion People Want to Migrate to the EU, U.S.

An African migrant flashes the victory gesture after disembarking following his rescue from off the coast of Zawiyah, about 45 kilometres west of the Libyan capital Tripoli, at the dock at the capital's naval base on March 10, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD TURKIA (Photo credit should read MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP/Getty Images)

Researchers found that it is not just poverty or terror… that is driving mass migration, but because Africans want to imitate their friends and relatives who have already successfully illegally immigrated to Europe.

Source: Up to Two-Thirds of Sub-Saharan Africa’s 1.1 Billion People Want to Migrate to the EU, U.S.

We have GOT to stop thinking of this as a “humanitarian issue,” and start understanding it as what it is: an invasion!

And then, begin responding accordingly.

If we do not, the West is doomed.

Middle School Reading Lists 100 Years Ago vs. Today – with musings on the implications for our culture and its future

Middle School Reading Lists 100 Years Ago vs. Today

“I recently dug up a 1908 curriculum manual in the Minnesota Historical Society archives. It provided instructions on everything from teacher deportment to recommended literature lists for various grades…”

Source: Middle School Reading Lists 100 Years Ago vs. Today | Intellectual Takeout

Writer and educator Annie Holmquist compares 7th & 8th grade readings lists for 1908 Minnesota with one from 2016. What she found may not surprise many readers of this blog, but it may sadden us: the idea that the curriculum has been “dumbed down” over the last century appears to be all too true.

Noting the disparity in age of the literary works on the 1908 list compared to the 2016 one, she points out,

“Older is not necessarily better, but the books on the first list suggest that schools of the past were more likely to give their students time-tested, classic literature, rather than books whose popularity may happen to be a passing fad…

[Nota Bene: C.S. Lewis had some good things to say on the subject of reading old books.]

She then goes on to add,

“A second striking difference between the two book lists are the themes they explore. The first is full of historical references and settings which stretch from ancient Greece (Tanglewood Tales) to the Middle Ages (Harold, Last of the Saxon Kings) to the founding of America (Courtship of Miles Standish). Through highly recognized authors such as Longfellow, Stevenson, Kipling, and Dickens, these titles introduce children to a vast array of themes crucial to understanding the foundations upon which America and western civilization were built.”

I would like to highlight her statement, quoted above, that the books on the 1908 reading list “introduce children to a vast array of themes crucial to understanding the foundations upon which America and western civilization were built,” because that is a big piece of what we have lost over the last hundred years, in my opinion.

Education nowadays seems to have as one of its core values the elevation of the wonders of multiculturalism… and a subsequent, and consequent, devaluation of “the foundations upon which America and western civilization were built.” Is it any wonder that our children are graduating from grade school, and later college or university, with little knowledge and less appreciation for America, and Western civilization?

And it it any wonder that the foundations, left thus untended, or even undermined, are becoming more than a little shaky?

Moving along: to be honest, she is a bit too generous in many aspects of her assessment of the contemporary list for my tastes. But you can read that on your own, and make your own judgements. However she is square on the money, I think, when she writes,

Unless we give our students challenging material to dissect, process, and study, how can we expect them to break out of the current poor proficiency ratings and advance beyond a basic reading level?

Quick answer: we can’t.

Or as they say in computer lingo, “garbage in, garbage out.” That is not to say that everything our children are being taught today, literature-wise or otherwise, is garbage. But the percentage of low-quality selections is too high. As in so many other areas of life, the concern is more for making sure that students are exposed to works that are contemporary and multicultural, rather than time-tested and substantive.

Anyone who is paying attention cannot help but notice an overall decrease in literacy and erudition over the past century. But what really brought it home to me was the opportunity I had, some years ago now, to pore over a stack (actually a shelf) of old yearbooks at my alma mater, the former Western Maryland College (now “McDaniel College”), that went back at least to 1912, that I recall.

Some years were missing, and I didn’t have time to skim through them all, but the decline (dare I say, degeneration?) was clear to see – and particularly in the years following World War Two. The early ones were indeed erudite! And that at a level one would never even think to expect of a yearbook, nowadays. Articulate, polished, witty, and replete with plays on words and classical references, they were an embodiment of what college education used to stand for, back in the days of its glory.

There hadn’t been too much slippage by my mother’s time there (she graduated in 1949), but they still weren’t quite up to the standard set by those earlier volumes. By the time of my brother’s college years (he graduated in 1975) the rot was well on – the references weren’t to classical heroes and classical philosophy, but to football, beer, and girls.

And by my time – I entered in 1983, left in 1985, and returned to finish up from 1989-91 – it was about what you’d expect: the “Animal House” approach to the college experience (with a side of incipient political correctness, even at the beginning, and especially during my second tour there). I don’t know what they’d be like now, and I’d almost prefer not to imagine…

But of course, college doesn’t happen in a vacuum. The seeds are sown at home, naturally, but the sprouts are tended and watered (or not) in grade school. If the early school curriculum is dumbed down, it’s no wonder that colleges and universities must spend so much time remediating that lack, to even get students up to where they can function at the “college level” – and why so many seem to have given up on academics and what used to be called “higher education,” being content to function as glorified (and expensive) trade schools.

It’s really quite sad, and one of the many factors (whether symptom or cause being one of those chicken-and-egg questions that may not be wholly answerable) in our overall cultural and societal decline. If there are two institutions which have done the most to preserve, foster, and transmit Western culture and civilization over the last millennium, they are the Church and the University. If both are failing, as it appears they are – whither the West?

“What happened to America?”

This came across my newsfeed today:

What happened to America

It is a good question – one to which I have at least a partial answer.

What happened is that we are dealing with a decades-long (centuries-long, if you trace its origins back to the Enlightenment) dominion of Jacobins – or as some call them, cultural Marxists. Anti-Christianity, anti-family, and anti-tradition are their stock in trade. Islam is their battering-ram to break down what bastions of tradition still remain.

But Islam is an un-trusty weapon that can turn in the hand, and an ironic choice for people who are radically secularist and opposed to tradition. They appear to think they can control it, but they have about as much chance of that as Gollum did of controlling the One Ring of Sauron. They do not realize – or perhaps prefer not to admit, even to themselves – that they’d be among the first to be beheaded, if Islam ever did take control in the West.

Then we have the horde of otherwise well-meaning people who are not – quite! – Jacobins, but who have made an idol of “multiculturalism.” That means that Islam is not only okay, but admirable because it is a “non-Western” culture, while anything that smacks of tending to support, promote, and preserve the solidity, cohesion, and tradition of Western culture is at least suspect, if not anathema.

I pray the pendulum may swing back, before it is too late! There are signs that it is swinging. But will it be in time? Only God knows. Thankfully, He is in charge of history, and ultimately, His will shall be done. But that’s ultimately. His time is not our time: let us not forget that the Reconquista of the Iberian Peninsula took 700 years!

I hope and pray we are given the sense and the determination to defend the culture, history, and heritage of Western civilization, a.k.a. Western Christendom, so that our descendants do not need to spend the next seven centuries, or more, trying to get it back.