Tagged: Matt Ridley
TW16 Très Grand Débat National
Septembre-Décembre 2018 FR & EN
Pour un technocrate tous les sujets techniques sont des sujets « majeurs » et « sensibles », et c’est en exprimant ce point de vue mesquin que le technocrate prouve son absence totale d’envergure et même d’humanité.
Were technology to create the conditions of limitless affluence, the human milieu would not be competitive. To think that, in these conditions, communism would breed a ‘primitive type’ is to believe that primitive societies lived and/or live in affluence.
What I call “(Jack) London’s illusion” is that the “price tag” attached to a man of status today has absolute value. Yet one’s genes are worth looking for in this but not that milieu. Change the milieu and women’s preferences will change accordingly.
Healthiest is the milieu where status depending on means of livelihood has vanished, as long as there is the slightest discrepancy between gene value and status valuation. Where a genetic cripple can be rich, women still look for status as “price tag.”
1/ By definition, affluence describes a milieu where the means of livelihood cannot entail discrimination between individuals. 2/ For this one reason is affluence the healthiest human milieu. 3/And affluence, by virtue of 1/, means communism.
It is scarcity that makes prices and statuses necessary to orient agents’ choices. If you don’t believe in communism, you simply don’t believe that capitalism is a force of material progress.
Are “limitless needs” bound to thwart affluence? Needs are limitless in a “red-queen race” only, where variations in relative status are detrimental in absolute terms. In consequence, where there is no status as price tag, limitless needs is a meaningless notion.
By the way, that Sir Matt Ridley, the very exponent of red-queen race, regularly praises capitalism for the ‘absolute’ rise in purchase power over the last decades, is amazing, as if he had never read the books he wrote: Under capitalism this absolute rise is absolutely thwarted by variations of relative status!
It is a logical statement and no irrational bias that vested interests (i.e. conservatives) are deficient in prognosis (as they only see the future as the present perpetuated).
“Resist” is the cry of people confronted by an overwhelming force.
Une dictature n’a pas de leçons à recevoir de régimes qui interdisent Mein Kampf.
Le Comité des grands érudits d’Arabie Saoudite : « L’Islam est une religion propageant la paix dans le monde, elle préserve la vie, les biens, l’honneur de l’être humain et interdit fermement tout ce qui va à l’encontre de ces trois principes fondamentaux. » (Saudi News FR)
Que c’est beau, on dirait du Barbara Cartland : « Le baiser qu’il lui donna rouvrit toutes grandes les portes du paradis, là où leur amour trouvait cette perfection qui vient du cœur, de l’Âme, et de la bénédiction de Dieu. »
Libérez les érudits saoudiens emprisonnés ou personne ne prendra plus jamais au sérieux les « grands érudits » d’Arabie Saoudite. Je le dis pour votre bien.
Imam Al-Kartland (إمام الكارتلنض) d’Arabie Saoudite
La polémique sur les migrants entre le ministre italien de l’Intérieur, Matteo Salvini, et le ministre luxembourgeois des Affaires étrangères, Jean Asselborn, s’est aggravée au cours du week-end, le second ayant traité le premier de « fasciste ». (24hinfos)
Le point Godwin ne représente jamais une escalade (une aggravation) mais au contraire l’embourbement infini qui caractérise le débat démocratique.
Les socialistes réformistes sont obligés de faire croire que les réformes socialistes sont bénéfiques à l’économie capitaliste. Ce qui est choquant pour un socialiste. À bas le capitalisme !
Une Maison du peuple dans le 7e arrondissement de Paris
Maison du peuple, l’Assemblée nationale, dans le 7e arrondissement de Paris, l’un des deux ou trois quartiers les plus bourgeois et les moins populaires ? Maison du peuple, mon col !
Comment ? C’est du populisme ? Du moment que c’est pas du bourgeoisisme…
La « Maison du peuple » (nom que certains donnent à l’Assemblée nationale) est dans un arrondissement comptant 603 logements sociaux, le nombre le plus bas de Paris. Avec 57.000 habitants, et une moyenne de 2,3 habitants par logement en Île-de-France, cela fait 24.780 logements, soit 2,5 % de logement social. Il en faudrait dix fois plus pour respecter la loi SRU !
Le 7e arrondissement de Paris, où se trouve la Maison du peuple, n’a plus qu’à construire environ 5.500 logements sociaux pour respecter la loi SRU sur le logement social votée en 2000 par la Maison du peuple…
By calling oneself an Antifa one takes no risk, because the people who call themselves fascists aren’t influential and the influential people you might want to call fascists aren’t likely to take it amiss, so absurd will the label sound to everyone.
By calling U.S. imperialism ‘fascism’ you’re fooling yourselves: While U.S. imperialists were embargoing Cuba, Cuba had diplomatic relationships with Franco’s Spain, the closest regime to fascism I can think of.
[Source : « Pour La Havane, peuvent s’instaurer des relations bilatérales, économiques et culturelles, entre États de régimes politiques différents. Le cas bien connu des relations, jamais interrompues, entre la Cuba castriste et l’Espagne franquiste en est un exemple frappant. » (Jean Lamore, Le Castrisme, Presses universitaires de France, 1983)]
Aujourd’hui ciel dégagé, température extérieure 15°C. 29.9.2018
Legalize It (i)
It’s time the Netherlands lobby for tolerant laws among their European neighbors or that European legislation allow national courts of law to grant European citizens the freedoms of the most advanced laws among European countries on any subject.
“Freedom is the rule, restriction the exception.” Dutch citizens having legal access to substances, European courts should not tolerate that other E.U. citizens be deprived of the same freedom. We are all equal European citizens entitled to the same freedoms, as freedom is the rule.
European citizenship is inscribed in the E.U. Treaty and common citizenship has always meant that citizens enjoy the same freedoms. Hence I can claim Dutch freedom against French national law, as Dutch and French share E.U. citizenship.
Yes, unless one’s to understand that the Treaty is filled with empty words.
Legalize It (ii)
This debating of legalization [of cannabis, psilocybin…] as medicinal is bunk, submission to the control freaks who want to decide who’s to be allowed to use it. I’m against linking legalization with medical issues. It’s a freedom issue, and in secular states it’s a religious freedom issue (prohibition being proof that so-called secular states discriminate against some religions).
During Prohibition (Volstead Act) U.S. authorities granted Catholics and Jews quotas of wine for their rituals. Yet they never granted quotas of weed to Rastafarians nor of shrooms to Shamans! (Because those are religions of coons and spics, no doubt…)
– Je suis indigné.
– Indigne et quoi ?
On Twitter, using English, international cosmopolitan language, and then shifting back to one’s own (French) is like when you live in the city and go spend a few days in the small village where your grandparents live. You just don’t want to stay there.
Impartial ne veut dire ni sans opinion ni centriste.
La #proportionnelle ne peut pas avoir l’effet que les Gilets jaunes en attendent car il faut une majorité pour gouverner, et en proportionnelle un programme de gouvernement ne se construit pas sur des propositions électorales mais sur des accords entre groupes parlementaires.
– Comme aujourd’hui, quoi !
– Je n’osais pas le dire…
Pas d’#Acte5 ! Sois citoyen français et tais-toi.
Le meilleur moyen pour qu’un gouvernement devienne auteur de complots, c’est de criminaliser les « théories du complot ».
La liberté d’expression a été inventée par et pour des gens capables de penser et notamment d’avoir de l’esprit critique. Le larbin n’en fait pas grand cas et ce n’est pas à lui que l’on pense quand on défend la liberté d’expression.
Le JT de France3TV efface tranquillement une partie du slogan d’un manifestant pour ne garder que le « Macron » et non pas le « Macron dégage ». 16 décembre
Compte tenu de la politique répressive du pouvoir depuis les dernières élections, FR3 a sans doute craint d’être poursuivie pour « offense au chef de l’État » si elle montrait la pancarte telle quelle.
Sinon la loi de liberté de la presse on en parle ?
Peut-être pas assez, quand des manifestants restent 12 heures en garde à vue pour « offense au chef de l’Etat », un délit tombé formellement supprimé en 2013. (Le Canard enchaîné du 21.11.2018)
Le délit d’« offense au chef de l’Etat » ayant été supprimé en 2013 à la suite d’une condamnation de la France par la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme (CEDH), qui peut prétendre que le délit d’« injure au Président de la République » s’applique toujours ? C’est la même chose avec des mots différents !
Très Grand Débat
#GrandDébatNational [en réponse au mouvement des Gilets jaunes] dont 5,7 millions de fonctionnaires sont exclus en raison du DEVOIR DE RÉSERVE !
Tu es fonctionnaire et tu souhaites participer au grand débat national ? Pas de problème : crée-toi un compte Twitter ANONYME et tweete comme un malade, le tour est joué !
Qui a le droit de parler au pays des droits de l’homme ? Pas les fonctionnaires : devoir de réserve. Pas les salariés : le patron pas content trouve un prétexte pour licencier. Tous anonymes sur Twitter.
On doit voter dans un isoloir pour éviter les pressions et représailles du pouvoir. Le grand débat national se tiendra-t-il en isoloir ?
Aux Gilets jaunes qui veulent participer au grand débat national : vous n’avez pas d’immunité parlementaire et vous avez vu que ce gouvernement engageait des poursuites pénales à la moindre critique. Attention danger ! Pas de débat sans immunité !
Convocation au rectorat de Dijon d’une enseignante pour avoir critiqué Macron sur internet… (Article L’Humanité 19.12.2018 : « Au rectorat de Dijon on peut croiser Big Brother »)
Le #GrandDébatNational s’annonce ouvert et décontracté… 😦
Amazing. Leading into a maze.
Under-stand. See what is under.
Woful = woeful, woe + ful => woman, woeman (wretched man, the wretched one, the wretched sex)
In managerial economies like ours, high remuneration tends to accrue to positions held in depersonalizing organizations (cf. The Organization Man by W.H. Whyte). It is therefore surprising that few intelligent people, if the concept of meritocracy is accurate, are facing a motivation obstacle that prevents them from sacrificing personality to remuneration.
The concept of meritocracy ought to be further reviewed. For one thing, it may not be true that a degree is a sure sign of intelligence, insofar as we are now seeing women widely outperforming men in academic achievements while IQ testing does not predict it. – All in all, those who take in earnest the Pygmalion effect (the influence of expectations on performance) are implicitly rejecting the concept of meritocracy as they claim school results depend on third parties’ expectations rather than IQ.
Which, by the way, makes John Stuart Mill’s idea of granting plural voting to intelligent people as deduced from education – ‘The distinction in favour of education, right in itself, is further and strongly recommended by its preserving the educated from the class legislation of the uneducated’ (Considerations on Representative Government) – nonsensical. Do the Millists of our days, then, advocate weighting votes according to IQ?
Veil Down in the West: A Woman’s Convenience
A couple of more quotes from literary documents supporting the thesis of my essay Le Voile en Occident here (en français).
She took those rooms for the pleasure of going there with her veil down, and imagining she was a heroine. She had a passion for secrecy, but she herself was merely a sphinx without a secret. (Oscar Wilde, The Sphinx Without a Secret)
Though it was midsummer Hetta entered the room with her veil down. She adjusted it as she followed Ruby up the stairs, moved by a sudden fear of her rival’s scrutiny. (Anthony Trollope, The Way We Live Now, 1875)
May I not ask you to lay aside your veil, so that we may look at each other fairly? (Ibid.)
The Veiled Lodger, in The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes (1927) by A. Conan Doyle: The lodger keeps her veil down at all times to spare people the sight of her scars.
‘A machine-like footman.’ (The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes) ‘Tis how a footman ought to be. Anything beyond machine-likeness would be obtrusive.
It is not being misanthropic to prefer being served by machines. Do not let the condition of our present feudal society think of yourselves as misanthropes.
Drop man from service. The habit of dealing with humans for purely monetary-functional transactions erodes our humaneness.
In terms of service Chinese dealers are closest to the perfection of the machine. This is why I patronize their businesses.
Amusement and recreation are necessary to relax from work; they are not leisure, which is an end in itself.
In Thomas More’s Utopia, the workday lasts six hours. But everybody works. Whereas, for Thomas Aquinas, the surplus of work for some (above, say, six hours) allows others to live a contemplative life (vita contemplativa) – in other words, a leisure life (See Sebastian de Grazia, Of Time, Work, and Leisure, 1962). It is this very notion of leisure life that has vanished from Western conscience, which disappearance makes the idea of the slavery of machines for the sake of living a leisure life sound quite… utopian.
Time-starved and as good as dead.
In our society many a man has no place intended to him as a man – only as manpower.
London subway, Dec. 24, 2014. A prerecorded female voice tells you to ‘alight here for the museums.’ But all museums are closed Dec. 24, 25, & 26 each year – you know why.
According to Marshall McLuhan, colonization has detribalized Africa through the introduction of the written medium. According to Cheikh Anta Diop, colonization has retribalized Africa, where great unified empires existed.
Old-fashioned vs mass-fashioned.
The great man’s mistakes are closer to the truth than the little man’s exactitude.
The craving for dignity, in a deterministic world, leads to absurd work ethics – to an unproductive show of make-feel-worthy.
On a plane with x-axis capacity and y-axis wealth I say we shall find a bell-shaped curve, because mediocre individuals are capacious enough to unite against the highly capacious and prevent them from competing. Not allowed to compete! [However, the main problem, as hinted above, is motivation – motivation obstacles. Competition is time-consuming and its rewards unlikely to compensate great minds for the time lost away from enjoying the company of other great minds through books, and their own inner dialogue, thinking, contemplation, leisure.]
According to Kant, it does not take intelligence to know one’s duty, i.e. the moral law, whereas it takes intelligence to thrive in the world, to be worldly wise. Kant thereby disqualifies this kind of self-serving smartness (Klugheit) as in no way being a noble virtue and in no way central in mankind’s calling. As to Schopenhauer, he considers true intelligence as unselfish, as he posits a trade-off between Wille (will) and Vorstellung (‘representation,’ insight). The genius is detached from nature’s pursuits, finding no higher enjoyment than his own insight at representing the world in his mind, that is, in his own genius.
Perverted into compliance.
What best characterizes the present age of information is that it’s not an information age.
There must be something wrong with the so-called ‘extraversion-dominance’ dimension of psychology (one of the Big Five), as the organization man must be both extraverted/other-oriented and dependent/submissive in his life as a hierarchical team worker. Or it shows the dramatic extent of the strain the organization exerts on our nature.
Cities are no less pestilent than villages. Yet in cities one’s relationships are limited to people one cares to see, whereas in villages one is expected to socialize with all other villagers; the pestilence of social life is thus transferred from interpersonal relationships to some holistic crowd effect, in which the injury comes from unknown passers-by.
Most pets are castrated, sterilized by their owners. Remember we are a domesticated species. A self-domesticated species.
Ubiquitous mass media pornography is externalized delectatio morosa.
Assignment: Carry out big-data survey on scholars’ writings in scientific journals compared to their published books in order to assess the extent of publishers and editors’ intervention in the latter.
The specialized scientist’s worldview is unbalanced. As his worldview manifests itself even in his work as a specialist, the specialist’s work itself is unbalanced. The cold objectivity of facts and figures, so much flaunted by the specialists, is imbalance.
The specialist is an unbalanced man. His activity is knowledge as toil. Toil is what unbalances man’s development. Leisure ensures the balanced development of man’s faculties.
Morals has been replaced by priming, but the latter does not escape the objections addressed to the former, as scientists inevitably sneak priming in their writings.
In developing countries the role of the importune beggar is played by the street peddler.
‘All men are equal’: the legal axiom defies science. It is based on purely moral grounds and at the same time the recognizance of this moral axiom as being the fundation of the civil compact has become, or is becoming, though history, universal. Literally it only means that ‘all men are equal before the law’ but the qualification is immaterial for that the law should treat as equals people who are unequal according to nature is at defiance with nature. Where is the scientific evidence that ‘all men are created equal’? By opposing the civil state to the state of nature, Hobbes stressed the necessary humbling of natural urges before the civil law for the maintenance of civil order and peace, which, in religious terms, compares to the humbling of the natural man before the law of God. As it imposes an absolute restraint on nature, the law may be called moral and any breach of compact is abhorrent to the moral law. The restraint is absolute in the sense that if one is free to contract with others in the way that best suits his own interest, he is not free to violate, in his interest, a contract. The latter is incompatible with civil order. A person caught in the act of breaking his word is not allowed any longer to pursue his interest until a sentence has been served.
If science primes us (psychologically) to indulge in tendencies that are being surmounted by progress, then science becomes an impediment to progress and will be left behind.
When work is through, status via work will be no option anymore.
What is the ultimate cause (vs proximate cause, i.e. sudden rush of air in the lungs or whatever) of human babies being the only species born crying?
Civilization means psychoticism because mass media conditions maladaptive sexuality, and the psychotics, according to H. Eysenck, are the least conditionable.
Admission of the naturalistic fallacy (the tendency to grant indicative statements the value of injonctions) implies that our aims are determined outside natural life. Darwinian theory, thus, gives no account of our aims, and Darwinists who warn against the naturalistic fallacy downgrade their own work and pursuit. And those among them who, like R. Thornhill, do the same while insisting on applying the experimental test to all propositions are inconsistent in the bargain.
I have a doubt on Ronald Fisher’s ultimate explanation of equal sex ratios. Fisher’s principle states that, when females are scarce, siring a male will be selected against as more males will not mate, and vice-versa. It is the vice-versa that disturbs me, because males are polygynous. ‘Whichever sex is in excess will have lower reproductive success, in average,’ yes: for two sexes having equal reproductive strategies…
I have a doubt also on some claims about parasites and evolution. Predators do not weed out the genetically slower individuals but those individuals that are made slower by parasites (for instance, susceptibility to predation is increased thirty times for infected fishes, according to one study). Being free from parasite indicates a better immune system, but I should think parasite infestation has a random dimension too: in some cases it depends on where the individual has been (the wrong place at the wrong time), what he has eaten, etc. If randomness is high, how can selection mechanisms, in the predator-prey interaction, generate adaptations?
The world is not within man’s reach – the world in the physical sense: stars and galaxies. Our thriving on a speck of dust lost in infinity cannot conceal its (our thriving’s) indecorum. We must leave room to a one better suited than us to explore and know the world: Der Geist.
Biology will become anecdotal because the most important for Der Geist will be to know Itself. In biology Der Geist will find what It is not, not what It is.
The profound meaning of political freedom is that political ideas do not matter in the least. The program will apply and Der Geist will awaken.
Subsidizing children amounts to a windfall. It is because children are one’s highest stakes in the system that governments subsidize reproductive success while burdening all other forms of success.
Crime novels are read by practical people who have no time and no patience for things remote from their self-interest. Not because these novels are easier to read – they are not – but because practical people always keep in a corner of their minds the more or less conscious idea that one day to kill someone will be necessary to safeguard their interests.
Lucretius’s ‘unalloyed empiricism’ (Milord Matt Ridley): yet the idea that the world is made of two things only, atoms and void, was not empirical but speculative.
In business they’re always talking about having ideas, but the ideas they have in business are of the kind a thinker would be ashamed to have.
How to pronounce the word ‘read’ when reading it is at times impossible to know before the end of the sentence.
It seems that scientific marketing has been so efficient that only those who underwent some religious conditioning (in part inconsistent with mass marketing) are now capable of being critical toward the current state of the society.
When I was young I was feeling a need for religious belief and I would see the scientist who lacked that need as a defective mind, same as I would see a man without sexual needs as unmanly.
I remember very well that when I used to be an avid reader of classic philosophy I couldn’t shift to more recent material without being highly disappointed by their content, I mean by the thinking evidenced in it. No matter how noted the authors were, Ivy League professors and all, they couldn’t rise any high in my estimation.
Love eternal: about the fourth or fifth time it comes in your life you start wondering. Women as transient objects of love eternal.
Google has decided they wanted to help you search things on the Web. So you start typing a name and their engine completes it, with the closest Hollywood star or soccer player, when you’re looking for a biologist… Am I the only one to think this will reinforce herd mentality?
Mexican film La sexorcista (Satánico Pandemonium) (1975) by Gilberto Martínez Solares takes place in a convent during Mexican colonial times (there are still black slaves, some of them escaping from slavery into convents and monasteries, where they are hardly treated better, and there is plague in the country too). Although the title is a bit of a ‘catcher,’ the film, about a nun falling into sin and consequently becoming a serial murderer is subtle and profound. Once one devotes her life to God in the way a Catholic nun does, that is, relinquishing the most demanding urges of nature, the slightest slip can lead one astray and into the deepest regions of despair and madness via a terrifying logic. If she loses in the slightest the firmness of her faith or faith in her firmness, and realizes in what grave she has buried herself alive, she becomes demented – a demon. Yet the apparences can be preserved, including through murder, and the horrible irony of the film is that by accepting to live in utter deception of others the criminal nun is offered the highest honors, the leadership of her community, whereas the confession of her crimes would have brought her into the hands of the Inquisition and to death after atrocious abuses. It is made plain, however, that her reward will corrupt the whole community and beyond: under the guise of devotion and unbeknownst to them, the believers will be paying honor to Satan, into whose sheep they have been turned.
‘Israel does not suffer from rape’
About the fantastic claim that Israel does not suffer from rape (made by Tobias Langdon, in his essay Fake Jews: Deceit and Double-Think in Britain’s Hostile Elite, Unz Review online, May 16, 2017)
According to Tobias Langdon, as an ethnostate Israel’s blessings include Israeli women’s being spared from rape.
According to A Natural History of Rape (2000) by Randy Thornhill and Craig Palmer, rape is at least two different things, 1/rape by a sexual predator (his victims being unknown to him), 2/rape by a relative (including incest on children) or by a known person, that is date rape; and the second category is the commonest by far – very far. Yet rape by migrants is of the sexual-predator category.
(I also believe that the first category has always been more reported than the second one, and if it is found that a statistical increase in rape is due in part to more victims reporting, we will also find that this reporting concerns in large part family or date rapes.)
Rape, being a sensitive issue, comes handy for propaganda. Shock value of violent murders and rapes can cloud the reasoning and then one would swallow anything unsupported by statistics. And I don’t find statistics as much as shock-value cases in anti-migrant internet literature.
As to the fantastic claim that ‘ethnostate’ Israel ‘doesn’t suffer from this crime’ (rape) as she does not allow third-world immigration, it is preposterous, on three counts:
1/The claim assumes that family and date rape does not exist in Israel.
2/That there is no third-world immigration in Israel is not true, as Black Ethiopians and other third-world nationalities have immigrated to and settled in Israel.
To be sure, the numbers of Black people and third-world immigration in Israel may be considered negligible. But as Langdon notes, there are 20 percent non-Jewish Arabs with Israeli (however second-class) citizenship: hardly an ethnostate! Israel is not as ‘sane’ as Langdon likes to, perhaps craves to believe.
3/& finally rape rates in Israel are said to be rather high. [There are problems with international rape statistics, however. For instance, in the article here (wonderslist) about ‘Top 10 Countries With Maximum Rape Crime,’ I can see no reason why Canada has 14 times (!) more sex assaults than similar country USA. Canada: 460,000 assaults each year for a population of 36M =1277 per lakh; USA: 293,000 assaults/year for a pop. of 323M =90.7 per lakh…]
Tobias Langdon is one case of delusional thinking about Israel, combined with an ingrained repulsion toward colored people – that same repulsion that led one of my Twitter contenders to make, in the heat of an exchange, the fantastically preposterous claim that all rapists in Israel are Blacks (see Tweet Anthology 2 here).
Nor was ever the U.S. an ethnostate, as the economy of the South was based on slavery (on the paper, however, it could be said it was, yes, as slaves were not citizens). Neither slavery America nor apartheid Israel are ethnostates. Both are exploitative caste states.
Of course, that ruthless exploitation could be a political aim is not considered proper today, except perhaps to the most unabashed supremacists. For all others, an unarticulated desire to enslave a whole class of people in order to make one’s own life easier would translate as a perceived need, an actual anxiety to defend one’s civilization – where there’s nothing to defend but a heritage of exploitation and misery for the greater number.
It is because of the earnest possibility of such a collective desire for enslavement and exploitation that academia tends to reject IQ studies, as inferior IQs would be deemed a sufficient reason to enslave, say, the Blacks, however shocking this is to our moral sense. Liberals are often snubbed as moralists, but morality is no more to be dismissed from the fabric of man than are man’s lower instincts.
If there exist statistics that demonstrate high rate crimes of Black and other people of color, then I’d like to see them. What some are wont of doing on the internet is tweeting shocking cases of rape and murder, say once every week or two, when heinous crimes happen in the U.S. alone at the rate of dozens a day. So as these highly motivated militants can’t bring more than such numbers of cases to my attention, then I say to myself, wait, I am deeply nauseated by these Black on White crimes, but what about the figures now? Again, if there are figures…
The figure I know is Black inmates in American prisons. There’s no reason to suppose, like many liberals, that this high percentage is per se a proof of racism in American society rather than, say, the criminal nature of the Black man, as the opponents of those liberals would have it. Once this is being said, I have heard that the greater part of these inmates have been sentenced for drugs and I think that changes everything, because even if that might prove one of the Black man’s natural tendencies, I wouldn’t exclude that Blacks are being targeted on purpose by pushers having all the means of scientific marketing at their disposal, especially knowing that they are working in prison, that is, are just like the slaves of old and just like the Black peons of the Jim Crow regime (where they were not allowed to diversify their crops, to take just one instance). This is a pattern.
Some thoughts after reading Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After (2006) by Bella DePaulo, PhD.
For a ultimate cause of ‘matrimania’ (marriage mania), I’d be tempted to look into evolutionary psychology. Bella DePaulo uses a meaningful phrase: ‘intensive coupling,’ or ‘intensive nuclearity,’ and I think it is key to understanding matrimania. Intensive coupling is the current form of mate guarding. Women’s emancipation has made it necessary that both partners couple more intensely than ever in the past, when the relative social isolation of the woman would guarantee some stability to the couple, as mate poaching would be obstructed by women’s reclusion and minority status.
The corollary of intensive coupling is the emotional value attached to coupling, which, as DePaulo observes, has not always been so exclusive in the past. Another corollary is the delusions she describes under the word ‘singlism.’
What she says about the fifties in America (‘Consider … the Americans who were newly wedded in 1956. No Americans on record married at a younger age than they did, before or since. Half the 1956 grooms had not yet reached the age of 22.5, and half the brides were 20 or younger’) also triggered various reminiscences. I see the American fifties as an era of profound change marked by ‘hidden persuaders’ (Vance Packard), ‘affluence,’ ‘reversed sequence’ and the rise of the ‘technostructure’ (Galbraith), ‘managerialism’ (Burnham), and I am led to hypothesize the intervention of technocratic power (more efficient than that of churches!) in normalizing marriage in the American society. There may have been two incentives in that direction for these technocratic ‘persuaders.’ One is social control, as by and large single males would be seen as sexual predators and single females as feebly-inhibited nomads (from eugenicist Charles Davenport – and my understanding is that eugenics was still okay at the time). The other is consumption at the levels required by the newly achieved affluence. DePaulo stresses the response already made to Japanese scholar Masahiro Yamada’s contention that ‘single parasites’ consume less, yet I am not quite convinced that singles consume as much as couples; data should not be too hard to find on that score.
Yamada’s indictment of singles based on their consumption patterns or consumption levels is revealing of a tendency of capitalist societies toward ‘democratorship’ (from German Demokratur: Demokratie-Diktatur).
Evolutionary psychology postulates that we are replication machines for our genes (Dawkins): the goal of life is reproduction. EP scholars insist that the phrase ‘struggle for life’ is actually a misnomer, since survival is in fact at the service of reproduction. The phrase ‘reproductive success’ is key to their understanding of social relations. Now, as DePaulo says, some singles have children (and more and more people with children are singles); but this is still a way to maximize/optimize one’s reproductive success, if one’s partner turns out to be abusive, violent &c. She underlines that many singles and their children are better off single than in pair. But then they are in a typical EP pattern, whereas childless singles are not, and are rather, in that view, well, if the former are successes, then the latter are – the contrary of successes (and unhappy).
One EP scholar (Kanazawa) has come with an ‘intelligence paradox,’ trying to explain why intelligent people tend to commit ‘the greatest crime against nature’ (in his own words), namely voluntarily not to reproduce. Having read his book, in fact I can say this doesn’t even describe intelligent men by and large, only (or more likely) intelligent women. Still, in one other book (Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters, 2007, Kanazawa & Miller), he points to a productivity peak for scholars happening later in life in the case of singles than in the case of marrieds. He sees it as a confirmation of the EP view that once you reproduce you’ve done what you were called for in this life (by your genes) and you now concentrate on giving your children the opportunities to reproduce in the best conditions in their turn.
For a more thorough discussion of Kanazawa’s intelligence paradox, see here.
With Singled Out, Bella DePaulo almost made me think good of Oprah Winfrey (I can’t say I know Oprah Winfrey well, it’s just I have no warm notions of TV personalities generally speaking). But I have just been reading she is involved with a cult called A Course in Miracles (a course allegedly dictated by Jesus to a female medium, starting in 1965) and has put her large notoriety at its service. No doubt this has contributed mightily to the cult’s affairs.
In Order by Accident (2000), Miller & Kanazawa claim that, faced with unemployment, women evidence a tendency to join cults. I am pretty sure that cult membership also counts singles in larger proportions.
DePaulo sends a pique to those Americans who see themselves as adventurous and yet dare not go alone at the restaurant. Well observed!
In my experience, in restaurants that ambition to be fashionable, service to singles is extremely poor and as customers abandon themselves to the goodwill of the waiters the experience can be quite unpleasant. It’s as if these restaurants have an anti-single policy that they implement through bad service. They do their best to spare their ‘normal,’ or ideal, paired customers the inconvenience of being seated near a single – looser by definition in the dictionary of singlism.
Alternately, it may be no policy from the management but come from the staff themselves. As union is strength, waiters might hesitate to be inconsiderate and mean to pairs, while it’s fair game with singles, and they release it! If the waiter intends to be mean with a pair, Madame will insult him in soft voice while talking to Monsieur and making sure the waiter hears and his pride is hurt, while the single remains silent, doesn’t even whisper, because then they’re looked upon as having bats in the belfry.
Try the burger parlor.