Take a culture. Any culture (or sub-culture, really).
Deprive them of choices. Stuff them into ghettos, literally or figuratively. Punish them just for the simple act of being who they are. Make their identity the subject of scorn and abuse within the larger society. Actively denigrate their traits, their identity – their being. Lather, rinse and repeat for a few generations.
What do you get?
Cultural pathologies. The world’s full of them:
- Russians, with over a thousand years of rule by strongmen and monarchs who used systematic abuse as a fundamental tool of power, have the most exaggerated sense of cultural Stockholm Syndrome imaginable. It’s been quipped by not a few Russophiles that Russia is generations away from being comfortable with western-style liberal democracy; the peoples’ cultural memory is as utterly tied to abuse as any battered spouse after leaving a thirty year marriage; as awful as it is, they keep finding more of it.
- Jews the world over exhibit all sorts of stereotypical cultural traits – insularity, fatalism, and on and on – that sociologists have linked to the centuries of segregation, pogroms, and mass-murders epic and small that they’ve endured.
- African Americans are still showing the cultural ills bred during 400 years of slavery; the black male, in particular, is still fighting with the marginalization he suffered under slavery, which lives on in far too many black families (and is glorified in way too much of the current popular culture); after 400 years of seeing signs of “uppityness” – education, initiative, individual thought – punished ruthlessly, it’s not hard to see why the culture’d have a hard time recovering in between 47 and 146 years.
- White Trash, too; southern white working-class non-land-owners were treated little better than serfs until the civil war, and not much better after. Most of the ills that affect the white south – rural crime rates that in places like Louisiana and South Carolina overtop most urban areas, poverty, the Cyrus family, limited regard for education, the general sense of low expectations – trace back to the Antebellum period, where poor non-land-owning Scots-Irish crackers were expected to be cheap labor and foot soldiers.
And now, a full 49% of American society.
We’ll come back to that.
A couple of stories popped up on the radar the other day that led me to a topic I’ve been stewing over writing for quite a while now.
Author Kay Hymowitz is the author of the best-seller Manning Up, which argues that twenty and thirty-somethings today are putting off adulthood, preferring instead to remain in a sort of arrested adolescence she terms “pre-adulthood”.
The Wall Street Journal published excerpts; she got some feedback. And she wrote about it in the Daily Beast by way of defending her premise:
But a lot of the responses unwittingly proved my point—and another one: Men are really, really angry. Consider: “We’re not STUCK in pre-adulthood, we choose it because there aren’t any desirable American women. They’ve been bred to abuse men.” This fairly typical response that appeared at the Seattle Post Intelligencer website: “Sorry ladies. In the age of PlayStation 3s, 24-hours-a-day sports channels, and free Internet porn, you are now obsolete. All that nagging, whining, and stealing our hard earned cash have finally caught up to you.”
Shocked? I wasn t. During the last few years researching this age group, I’ve stumbled onto a powerful underground current of male bitterness that has nothing to do with outsourcing, the Mancession, or any of the other issues we usually associate with contemporary male discontent.
Hymowitz focused largely on “men as potential mates for women” and the dating lives of the age group, of course, and her observations reflect the scope…:
No, this is bitterness from guys who find the young women they might have hoped to hang out with entitled, dishonest, self-involved, slutty, manipulative, shallow, controlling—and did I mention gold-digging?…Women may want equality at the conference table and treadmill. But when it comes to sex and dating, they aren’t so sure.
…but I think she missed a much, much bigger point. Men, especially younger men, are angry – and it’s not just about dating, mating and sex.
She gets ever so close to the real point, too:
So, is this what Susan Faludi famously called the backlash? Is it immaturity, as my own book seems to suggest? Is it the Internet as an escape valve for decades of pent-up rebellion against political correctness? Or, is it just good, old-fashioned misogyny?
(Hymowitz’ theory is it’s a little of all of the above, plus the “men aren’t used to competition” slur, plus a broad upset over dating/mating gender roles, which have changed, partly, for women but not for men, in case you’d rather not read the whole thing).
Hymowitz missed the real story – or perhaps the real story was outside the scope of a book and article whose purpose seemed to be to reassure a generation of jaded younger women that they’re OK, it’s all those guys who have the problem.
There was another bit of news last week that is interesting to juxtapose with Hymowitz, though.
Earlier this week, a Texas non-profit announced it was going to start giving scholarships for white guys.
The “Austin American-Statesmen” reports a Texas nonprofit group called the Former Majority Association for Equality is behind the scholarships.
Texas State University student Colby Bohannan says he launched the group after returning from the Iraq war to find there were college scholarships for women and minorities, but white males were left out.
Bohannan and his friends will start giving out 500-dollar scholarships this summer.
It’s a stretch to call it “racist”; applicants need to be 25 percent Caucasian, so the skinheads who fret about “mud people” aren’t likely to be much assuaged. It’s certainly politically-incorrect, of course – a point in its favor. Our self-appointed elites are tittering, of course – not just the giggly bit from the Daily Beast’s Lloyd Grove, but the inevitable droning jeremiads from the Southern Poverty Law Center, whose stock in trade is finding hatred in every box of Cheerios:
“It looks to me like a simple provocation,” says Mark Potok, who monitors hate groups for the Montgomery, Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center. “These people have fallen directly into the ever more popular myth of white oppression in America. The reality is that whites, to this day, have enormous privileges in landing scholarships and have real advantages in finding places at good schools.”
Potok says he isn’t impressed by the Former Majority Association for Equality’s avowed benign intentions, pointing out that professional racist David Duke, of the European-American Rights Organization, has used similar anodyne arguments while making a big show of sending money to poor whites in Appalachia. Potok also cited one of Duke’s favorite tracts, racial theorist Wilmot Robertson’s influential and wildly popular 1972 book, The Dispossessed Majority, which argued that the relative population decline of the United States’ white founding stock, compared to rise of non-Caucasians and immigrants, was allowing the nation to fall under the pernicious influence of foreign interests and Jews.
Potok is doing the SPLC’s usual voodoo, finding correlation and claiming causation, and doing a poor job even of that. Is “White Oppression” an absurd case to try to make? Sure.
But Potok, Bohannon and Hymowitz all came —-> || <—-that close to hitting an actual point.
Are white males oppressed? Not in any meaningful way.
Are young males of most races angry, and perhaps reacting to that anger detrimentally? Very likely.
Is it because they face changing gender roles in dating? Maybe, but then so did my generation. If anything, the change was more radical thirty years ago. when the entire change in gender models at home, at work and in society was both brand new and being taught as a crash course. Today, young men express puzzlement that women their age can have sex without guilt just like they (purportedly) do; thirty years ago, it was that women could earn a living without guilt.
But guys in my age bracket, and not a whole lot after, had one huge advantage over today’s young men.