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Culture War Roundup for the week of January 1, 2024

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A couple weeks ago I had an argument with people on here about the Sexual Revolution, and its terrible effects on society, or lack thereof. Just about everyone except me was in agreement that the SR was a bad thing.

My thoughts and responses to objections were scattered throughout the thread, so I decided to collect them and make a brief and incomplete case as to why the SR, and the social revolution of the 60s in general was not a bad thing, and most of its purported deleterious impacts are overstated, wrongly attributed, or nonexistent.

Did the social revolution of the 60s make everybody unhappy and miserable?

Straightforwardly, yes. American self-reported happiness rates have been on a fairly steady decline since the 70s. With regards to women in particular, there is a phenomenon referred to as the ‘paradox of declining female happiness’, the observation that even as women have attained greater legal rights and generally been raised in status relative to men, their self-reported happiness has declined. This is often used by social conservatives to argue that women were happier as wives and mothers and that forcing them out of their ‘natural’ roles and into competition with men was a mistake.

I am generally skeptical about self-reported happiness, because it’s not clear if measurement invariance holds over time. Does the question “are you happy?” mean the same thing to someone in 2020 as it does in 1970, let alone 1900?

But suicide rates have also been rising in the US for a long time, so it’s fair to say people becoming unhappier is a real phenomenon. The trend is actually worst among young-ish adults. Here’s a tweet from middling right-wing e-celeb Indian Bronson blaming this trend on the usual right-wing bogeymen.

The problem with the “everyone is depressed and killing themselves because we aren’t based and trad anymore” story is that it doesn’t hold internationally.

It’s pretty undeniable that Western Europe underwent the same social revolution as the US. On many metrics like irreligion, illegitimacy, and rates of people identifying as LGBT, what a social conservative would probably call ‘the decay’ is actually significantly more advanced than it is in the US.

Yet over the past several decades in Europe, self-reported happiness has tended to either hold steady, or increase.

Suicide rates back this up. Over the same time period that suicide rates have spiked among Americans, especially American youth, they’ve declined in western Europe

It seems that everybody being atomized gay atheists hasn’t made Europeans more depressed or suicidal.

What about the dreaded epidemic of single motherhood? Well, as noted above, multiple European countries have single-parenthood rates (and as in the US, the vast majority being single mothers) equivalent or greater than those of the US, without the associated social dysfunction.

There’s not as much research as one would like, but from what I have found, the children of widowed mothers do not tend to differ much on outcomes from the children of biological, two-parent households, so “growing up without a father” doesn’t seem to be that important net of other factors.

What about the supposedly meteor-tier impact on the ‘sexual marketplace’? This is honestly worthy of its own post, but the short answer. Is, no, the idea that the upper 20% (or 10% or 5% or 1% depending on how blackpilled your interlocutor is) of Chads hoarding all the woman while ordinary guys starve is very thinly supported on the ground.

Last year a headline proclaiming “most young men are single. Most young women are not.” went viral. Specifically, GSS data showed that 63% of young men reported themselves as single while only 34% of young women did. This was of course immediately seized upon as proof that a huge proportion of girls are in “chad harems.” Since nobody bothers to read beyond a sensationalist headline, not many dug deep enough to discover that this proportion has been roughly the same for over thirty years, so if the chadopoly is real, it’s been going on for a long time.

As for the “divorce rape” the manosphere has spent the last fifteen years insisting is endemic under our gynocracy, only 10% of divorces actually result in any actual alimony paid.

I add this cautiously, because it’s the only study I could find to treat the question, and it’s about the UK, and it’s about twenty years old, but there is at least some evidence that men actually end up richer long term post-divorce. Which makes intuitive sense to me. Most men are breadwinners, so naturally when you don’t have to support a whole other human being, you’re going to have more disposable income on hand.

If you’re a conservative, then you think single motherhood, divorce, people being gay, and promiscuity, are bad in and of themselves, so from a conservative perspective, the social revolution of the 60s was tautologically a bad thing since that revolution was explicitly an anti-conservative one. But that is not likely to convince anyone who is not already a conservative.

When I have this argument elsewhere someone always hits me with “oh so you think everything is great, huh? You think this degenerate feminist deracinated hellscape we inhabit is a paradise, don’t you?” People on here are not generally that abrasive but anyway, no, I don’t, I think there are plenty of problems in the world. but I also don’t think there’s much evidence for “everything would be better if we RETVRNED” thesis.

This is all besides the fact that I don't think it's POSSIBLE to retvrn because I think the massive social changes of the past two centuries are down less to the Frankfurt School indoctrinating everyone with Cultural Marxism and more to the seismic shifts in the actual underlying material basis of society, which could not be undone short of some kind of totalitarian anti-technological world dictatorship (which of course would have to make significant use of modern technology to impose itself) enforcing the law of Ted Kaczynski upon the earth, but that is another story and I am tired of writing.

Someone tell me if my intuition is completely off here:

Could it be that the traditional, pre-1960s lifestyle (single earner household, woman takes care of the home and raising kids, man makes all the important decisions etc.) is more able to adapt to different economic environments?

You can live this lifestyle when fabulously rich as is demonstrated by any number of "old money" type families. But you also see the poorest people on the planet live like this. Yes you have less total income compared to two people working full time but that is not factoring in children. In agrarian societies children are an economic bonus pretty early on, so you benefit from being able to have a constant stream of kids that are getting raised and can then contribute to the family farm. In modern society children don't work but children in households where both parents work full time accrue significant costs for nannies and other services. Whereas if there is a stay at home (or part-time) mom in the picture children are much less expensive and in many european countries the state will offset the difference in income. So if we accept that children are a necessity the traditional family copes better when income goes down.

Meanwhile the modern, atomized, atheistic, gay lifestyle also works wonderfully when you have loads of disposable income and time. You can have a rich social life, decadent parties even while being a single parent, at least in theory. However if there is an economic downturn and you suddenly can't pay your nanny anymore and you don't have enough free time and money to go out to socialize and keep your status high... You quickly become lonely, overworked, miserable and a bad parent to boot. The couple with two full time workers can adapt by having the woman give up her career (realistically) as soon as she produces more value for the family when she stays home vs when she works and has to pay for a nanny, cleaning person etc. But the single parent really is screwed.

Last year a headline proclaiming “most young men are single. Most young women are not.” went viral. Specifically, GSS data showed that 63% of young men reported themselves as single while only 34% of young women did. This was of course immediately seized upon as proof that a huge proportion of girls are in “chad harems.” Since nobody bothers to read beyond a sensationalist headline, not many dug deep enough to discover that this proportion has been roughly the same for over thirty years, so if the chadopoly is real, it’s been going on for a long time.

Not sure I'm following. If the claim is that the sexual revolution made the chadopoly worse, why does the fact that it's been the same for over 30 years refute this? Examining the period from 1986 does nothing for this, either way you look at it. We'd have to examine the rates over the period from like 1950 through 1990 or something, because that's when the sexual revolution happened, so you'd have a before rate and an after rate.

Generally the claim is that it's been "super-charged" as of late because of dating apps and our ever-worsening gynocracy.

But I'm just saying that if I'm reading your original post correctly, the main thrust of it is that the sexual revolution didn't have terrible effects on society. I guess I was thinking that the paragraph I quoted above was meant to be in support of that thrust. But that doesn't make sense to me, since examining the period from 1986 until now tells us nothing about whether the sexual revolution exacerbated the chadopoly. I'm probably just misunderstanding your post, with regard to how that datapoint you bring up is supposed to fit into your main thesis.

I guess it just doesn’t seem plausible to me that all of the exacerbation in sexual inequality would have taken place immediately in the first decade or two following the 60s with little to no change afterward.

Specifically, GSS data showed that 63% of young men reported themselves as single while only 34% of young women did. This was of course immediately seized upon as proof that a huge proportion of girls are in “chad harems.” Since nobody bothers to read beyond a sensationalist headline, not many dug deep enough to discover that this proportion has been roughly the same for over thirty years, so if the chadopoly is real, it’s been going on for a long time

When I looked into this, I found that, across all age groups, the implied number-of-non-single people was roughly equal in both sexes. This strongly suggests the factor driving this are a large number of younger-woman-older-man pairs.

Small note on happiness surveys. I do they they can be useful in principle. I couldn't get the archived WaPo article to load so I found a 2017 longitudinal Gallup article, with some more granular data.

TLDR: since 1950 roughly 94% of of Americans said they were "very" or "fairly" happy. There was a slump and rebound centered around 1990 +/- 4 years. The final gradual slide to began around 2007, sinking to the 2019 all time low of 86%.

2007/08 seem to be where the interesting things began. People didn't get unhappy everywhere. Basically, post 2007 non-whites became far less happy (-13), HS or lower education (-10), and Democrats/Independents (-6).

so “growing up without a father” doesn’t seem to be that important net of other factors.

I'd suggest there is a modest difference between "My mother is a single mother because my father died" and "My mother is a single mother because her boyfriend/partner broke up with her", and a much greater difference when it's "My mother is a single mother because she has a string of boyfriends and is not sure who my biological father might be/the baby daddy also has a string of girlfriends and multiple kids he is not helping to raise".

Widowed household may be more similar to stably-married household for that comparison, as the marriage was not ended by choice or conflict leading to divorce/separated because never married.

There’s not as much research as one would like, but from what I have found, the children of widowed mothers do not tend to differ much on outcomes from the children of biological, two-parent households, so “growing up without a father” doesn’t seem to be that important net of other factors.

The whole point is to estimate the causal effect of single motherhood, not correlational.

Looking at widows makes more sense than looking mothers who are single because of a break up, since the relationship of the latter with life outcomes is presumably more confounded by more variables.

Specifically, GSS data showed that 63% of young men reported themselves as single while only 34% of young women did. This was of course immediately seized upon as proof that a huge proportion of girls are in “chad harems.”

IIRC this phenomenon is mostly driven by, as Dave chappelle puts it ‘I don’t have a girlfriend, but there’s a lady who’d be very upset to hear me say that’(or something to that effect), not ‘Chad hoarding’.

don’t, I think there are plenty of problems in the world. but I also don’t think there’s much evidence for “everything would be better if we RETVRNED” thesis.

The norms between the two sexual revolutions are not a stable equilibrium, and no one wants to actually go back to them anyways.

And that’s the rub- there were two sexual revolutions, one in the roaring twenties and driven by courtship moving outside of the woman’s family settings, and one in the sixties and driven more by feminism and the decline of censorship. The second sexual Revolution could only have occurred in an environment where the first had happened already, and would have been driven by something if it wasn’t for feminism and declining censorship.

You can, if you want to badly enough, go back to pre-first sexual Revolution norms. It doesn’t work great for the conservative Christians who insist on calling it courting instead of dating, but probably a lot of that is because it needs to be updated to modern social technology(after all, it works a lot better for Orthodox Jews). But most people don’t want to do that, so we’re stuck where we are.

‘I don’t have a girlfriend, but there’s a lady who’d be very upset to hear me say that’(or something to that effect), not ‘Chad hoarding’.

Aren't those pretty similar categories? Guy dates two or three women casually (from his perspective), while the women each consider him their monogamous boyfriend.

I think most of the disparity between young men and women is driven by women dating older men, for what it's worth. In a highly simplified model, if women all date two years older, and you've got an age cohort that's twelve years wide, you immediately get a 17% gap, as the men in the bottom two years have no eligible partners. That does assume that men can't date women younger than 18, but it does a good job of explaining why the large gap in the youngest cohort pretty much disappears in the next youngest cohort.

Aren't those pretty similar categories? Guy dates two or three women casually (from his perspective), while the women each consider him their monogamous boyfriend.

From the little I see online, it's as likely to be "couple are dating for a few years but not living together, woman is sure this is a relationship and maybe leading to marriage, guy just thinks of it as 'yeah I'm seeing someone but we're not, like, boyfriend and girlfriend or anything'".

Reminds me of the joke, "it takes a woman to fake an orgasm, but it takes a man to fake an entire relationship."

Men will often complain that being nice doesn't land them a shot with the ladies, despite being raised with the understanding that good and ethical conduct correlates with varying degrees of success in the different spheres of life. It's a shocking revelation to most of them when they learn that not only is that not true, all too often, the exact 'opposite' of that was true.

Women on the other hand don't understand that sex isn't some kind of vending machine, wherein you offer it up to an attractive dating prospect and a relationship is expected to fall out of it. Women have sex for many more different reasons than men do, but the only valid one to be concerned with is where there's mutual attraction between both parties, otherwise it's a letdown when women give it away, only for them not to have gotten out of the act what they were trying to manipulate their partner into doing by giving it away in the first place. Mutual attraction on the other hand, satisfies both parties.

Aren't those pretty similar categories? Guy dates two or three women casually (from his perspective), while the women each consider him their monogamous boyfriend.

I think a lot of these guys are actually being monogamous, they’re just not offering the kind of commitment we associate with it.

Would it be possible for you to elaborate? Most of the guys I know who have been in such situations are only monogamous in so far as "having a sexual relationship with only one partner at a time" could be stretched to only mean "someone who does not partake in group sex."

I think there are a lot of guys who women think are in a relationship, but the guys aren't having sex with anybody else because nobody is directly approaching them, and the woman is good enough. Ironically, this is far more likely than what many online MRA/incel/PUA types are worried about, which is a chad swooping in and stealing your girlfriend via Instagram DM's or whatever.

atomized gay atheists

Homosexual behavior is more prevalent in the US for some reason. Also true for LGBT identification.

Determining the number of men who have ever had sex with another man is difficult. Worldwide, at least 3% of men have had sex at least once with a man.[9]

In the U.S., among men aged 15 to 44, an estimated 6% have engaged in oral or anal sex with another man at some point in their lives, and about 2.9% have had at least one male sexual partner in the previous 12 months.[10]

You are comparing the US to countries were homosexuality is forbidden, sometimes leading to death penalty, while the original comparison was with Europe

Well, consider me blackpilled and my motivation to learn Russian increasing by 20%. Most of it is identification, which is pathetic.

What are the numbers on homosexual behavior in Europe?

Really hard to find, google scholar is absolutely swamped with STI cases when I try to search for it. Found this but it's not very helpful with absurd ranges etc.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2576725/

HIV is lower though, apart from Russia where it spreads a lot among addicts.

https://www.cdc.gov/travel-static/yellowbook/2014/map_3-07.png

But there is at least some evidence that men actually end up richer long term post-divorce.

I can see this long-term. Not having to support the spending habits of a female partner (high-end travel, dining, clothing) is a massive financial advantage. Especially when the male has reaped the rewards of being partnered early in their career where the females has helped managed your household and establish social credibility.

It doesn't detract from the un-fucking-believable, hilariously unfair lopsidedness of the average divorce settlement. I have yet to see one without a shitty, late-game money grab as part of the female playbook. In a golden age of feminist empowerment and advanced degrees, the legal system is configured exclusively to assume 50's housewife scenarios.

OP claimed

only 10% of divorces actually result in any actual alimony paid.

Is this wrong?

I didn't read the study, but I can assume it's true, and it changes nothing. As pointed out in another comment:

When the Manosphere discussed the phenomenon of ‘divorce rape’, they didn’t just mean the issue of alimony payments, they also meant the ways child support payments are calculated, the way those are enforced, and the way child visitation rights are decided.

This is just the tip of the divorce-industrial complex iceberg.

  • The allocation of assets like houses, in which even if both parties contributed evenly to, is held hostage during divorce negotiations, or provided entirely to the female
  • The responsibility to maintain or pay taxes for those assets, which is assigned entirely to the male
  • The division of retirement accounts, including individually named ones when both parties are high-earning white collar professionals but one person didn't contribute
  • The delaying of remarriage (despite long-term cohabitation) to extend alimony payments when they're applied
  • The delaying of high school graduation to extend child support payments
  • The total disregard of value provided from one spouse to another prior to the divorce when determining alimony (my favorite anecdote - a friend paid for 4 years of his wife's post-grad degree as a full-time student to the tune of $150,000. She sucked her professor's dick at her graduation party, then ground out the extraction of his credit card points before the end of the divorce! Also received massive alimony payments since she delayed actually starting a job with her nice degree)

@Unsaying mentioned:

Then again, I'd expect high-earning men to also have good legal teams and/or hidden assets, so, who can say, really?

I can tell you firsthand that when shopping around for someone to help with a basic, equitable prenup: Family lawyers generally have some combination of either A: Genuine misandry or B: No desire to advocate for a client who's already predisposed to lose.

Sure you can bill the same amount as when you're representing women, but it's a near certainty you'll be left with an unhappy customer. Why bother?

my favorite anecdote - a friend paid for 4 years of his wife's post-grad degree as a full-time student to the tune of $150,000. She sucked her professor's dick at her graduation party, then ground out the extraction of his credit card points before the end of the divorce! Also received massive alimony payments since she delayed actually starting a job with her nice degree

I've worked enough in divorce law to say straightforwardly: this is retarded. The fact that your friend couldn't argue his way out of a wet paper bag is not an indictment of the adversarial legal system. Literally every aspect of that should have gone differently, and routinely does.

The majority of stories like this are the result of one party or another failing completely to argue their case, or walking into court totally unprepared to argue, or blowing off the court and being subject to a default judgment. These things just don't happen if you don't fuck up somewhere.

I've literally heard the same beer-rants of guys who claimed they'd been divorce raped in cases I knew intimately enough to know what he was leaving out.

For reference, here is a common trick where men who "got fucked in the divorce" fumbled the ball.

Wife's Attorney: You have three children, correct?

Husband: Yes.

WA: What are their names?

H: Kaylee, Kayleigh, and KaeLieh

WA: What are their ages?

H: Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

I'm serious. This happens all the time.

I am sure there's more to the story and/or my buddy kept walking into proverbial rakes.

To circle back to my original point, he's now on a great upward trajectory 4 years later. Alimony timed out after something like 2 years?

The most baffling part of all of it is that they had no kids. I couldn't see the justification for any of it.

Another victim made the "mistake" of moving out after his wife cheated on him, so she got the house by default.

I'd still maintain that I don't understand how a court can arrive at these judgements, not matter how braindead a man's lawyer is.

Basically you're facing impenetrable just-worlding with a touch of refuge in audacity. There's no way it can be that bad therefore it must not be and the people who got screwed must have brought it on themselves.

Out of curiosity, what are other common tricks?

This is nightmare fuel for me.

I've heard you can get "bulletproof" prenups in the "his/hers/ours" vein. But then I hear horror stories about how because of one slip up in where a certain check went, all of a sudden all accounts have equal claim.

Question: Are there any states that don't have in effect common law marriage for long term cohabitation. If I had my druthers, I'd like to be long term monogamous but with ZERO POSSIBLE involvement from the state.

Alternatively, marry a good woman and don’t let your marriage go to crap.

I mean I know that’s easier said than done, but I would be very surprised if divorce for no apparent reason was common at all. Most of the time it’s either 1) you shouldn’t have married her, and it was obvious at the time 2) you shouldn’t have become an addict or 3) shouldn’t have let the marriage fall apart. The frequency of all three varies along the usual clines.

Seems like Common Law marriage is actually in a minority of states. Even so, someone cohabiting with you and splitting a mortgage will get them a lot of leeway in court to make things messy for you.

I don't think you can eliminate the risk. You need to do a ton of work upfront in picking a partner, then sign a great contract where both folks have legal representation, then still learn to live with a gun to your head.

No idea, but I bet it would be interesting to break that down by the net worth of the people involved. I suspect that maybe only about ten percent of men getting divorced are worth shearing, as it were. I do know that divorce is often initiated (by the woman) upon a man losing his job or suffering some other substantial curtailment in his earning potential.

Then again, I'd expect high-earning men to also have good legal teams and/or hidden assets, so, who can say, really? Maybe a wife who can afford her own good legal team and competently prosecute a divorce is also more interested in getting her slice of assets than hounding him for alimony, as she'll more often have her own solid income.

Did the social revolution of the 60s make everybody unhappy and miserable?

I don't care about individual level self-reported happiness. You agree with this later in your post. I care about generative social functioning in a free society.

This is often used by social conservatives to argue that women were happier as wives and mothers and that forcing them out of their ‘natural’ roles and into competition with men was a mistake.

(First of many "don't put words in a conservative's mouth" notes). No, it's not that "women belong in the kitchen." It's that life is about tradeoffs and with ability comes responsibility. Women are more than free to work the demanding careers they chose. If they find themselves in male dominated fields, they have to compete. They cannot ask for a separate set of rules. As a society, we shouldn't trade new options for old ones; being a stay at home Mom should be viewed as well as it was before, not as a traitors action to the Boss Babe lifestyle.

The problem with the “everyone is depressed and killing themselves because we aren’t based and trad anymore” story is that it doesn’t hold internationally....It’s pretty undeniable that Western Europe underwent the same social revolution as the US. On many metrics like irreligion, illegitimacy, and rates of people identifying as LGBT, what a social conservative would probably call ‘the decay’ is actually significantly more advanced than it is in the US....Yet over the past several decades in Europe, self-reported happiness has tended to either hold steady, or increase.

Apples and oranges. Europe, until the last decade, was still interconnected pockets of monocultures. The U.S. was not. Which leads me to....

What about the dreaded epidemic of single motherhood? Well, as noted above, multiple European countries have single-parenthood rates (and as in the US, the vast majority being single mothers) equivalent or greater than those of the US, without the associated social dysfunction.

Yes, because in a monoculture with massive social safety nets, it's a lot easier to comfortably raise a child as a single parent. Before the knee-jerk "well maybe american social safety nets should get larger!" Please look at real European growth rates. Socially, look at the social-mobility history of Europe vis-a-vis U.S. since end WW2. Social dysfunction is, indeed, rare when social authoritarianism and stagnancy are the rule of the day.

There’s not as much research as one would like, but from what I have found, the children of widowed mothers do not tend to differ much on outcomes from the children of biological, two-parent households, so “growing up without a father” doesn’t seem to be that important net of other factors.

APPLES AND URRNGES. Massive difference between a woman who loses her husband to unexpected death versus a woman (or man) who makes a bad mate-pairing decision early on. It's about choices, risk, and commitment.

What about the supposedly meteor-tier impact on the ‘sexual marketplace’? This is honestly worthy of its own post, but the short answer. Is, no, the idea that the upper 20% (or 10% or 5% or 1% depending on how blackpilled your interlocutor is) of Chads hoarding all the woman while ordinary guys starve is very thinly supported on the ground.

I would argue that this is a point in favor of pre-SR norms. The entire concept of permanent monogamy in marriage is that it moves past the natural order of one male impregnating a whole bunch of females. It prevents the Hobbesian state of the sexual marketplace from occurring. This stabilizes society. It is impossible (as your own statistic clearly state) to deny that the number of sexless and single men has gone up since approx 1980. I see this as a slow regression back to the wild and brutal state of the sexual marketplace.

Last year a headline proclaiming “most young men are single. Most young women are not.” went viral. Specifically, GSS data showed that 63% of young men reported themselves as single while only 34% of young women did. This was of course immediately seized upon as proof that a huge proportion of girls are in “chad harems.” Since nobody bothers to read beyond a sensationalist headline, not many dug deep enough to discover that this proportion has been roughly the same for over thirty years, so if the chadopoly is real, it’s been going on for a long time.

It has, was, and always will be real. The whole point is to minimize it.

As for the “divorce rape” the manosphere has spent the last fifteen years insisting is endemic under our gynocracy, only 10% of divorces actually result in any actual alimony paid.

Difference alimony being paid and judgement rendered. "Actually, too many dudes are too poor to pay anything. They're getting off scott free!" Isn't the counterpoint you want to lead with.

I add this cautiously, because it’s the only study I could find to treat the question, and it’s about the UK, and it’s about twenty years old, but there is at least some evidence that men actually end up richer long term post-divorce. Which makes intuitive sense to me. Most men are breadwinners, so naturally when you don’t have to support a whole other human being, you’re going to have more disposable income on hand.

I appreciate you stating your caution upfront. Single study, old etc.

If you’re a conservative, then you think single motherhood, divorce ... and promiscuity, are bad in and of themselves.

Sure do.

people being gay

("don't put words in my mouth" volume 2) Sure don't. Small-c conservatives don't care about sexual orientation at all. Sexual behavior is different, and that's independent from orientation.

the social revolution of the 60s was tautologically a bad thing since that revolution was explicitly an anti-conservative one.

Yup.

But that is not likely to convince anyone who is not already a conservative.

The SR itself, no. The 40+ years of obivous societal decay ... I'd say that's more .... convincing.

but I also don’t think there’s much evidence for “everything would be better if we RETVRNED” thesis.

Agree! Which is why I'm not actually a reactionary (despite their often above average memes). Anyone who recommends a direct, linear, return back to the actions, rituals, even dress of traditional pre-SR society is looking to break-off to start their own communitarian organization. The Amish have been owning the game on that from the jump (play on, players). What conservatives / tradtionalists today are trying to do is (1) Get people to admit that the SR was on-net bad and (2) Devise ways of using traditional / conservative values to devise ways of change for a more stable society. (In the American context, this has to respect individual liberties etc. which is why I'm nowhere near the pseudo-fascist American torysits etc.)

This is all besides the fact that I don't think it's POSSIBLE to retvrn because I think the massive social changes of the past two centuries are down less to the Frankfurt School indoctrinating everyone with Cultural Marxism.

Yep. It isn't possible to "retvrn."

...and more to the seismic shifts in the actual underlying material basis of society, which could not be undone short of some kind of totalitarian anti-technological world dictatorship (which of course would have to make significant use of modern technology to impose itself) enforcing the law of Ted Kaczynski upon the earth, but that is another story and I am tired of writing.

Conservatives / traditionalists have not provided an adequate response to technology. I will grant that. It is interesting, however, that most of the breathless "social media is the devil, tech companies are the new overlords, AGI needs to be hyperregulated right NOW!" comments find their origin the the modern liberal/progressive left.

I don't care about individual level self-reported happiness. You agree with this later in your post. I care about generative social functioning in a free society.

That’s fine. But these statistics are often marshaled to make a conservative point. That’s not to say you, individually, have done that.

As a society, we shouldn't trade new options for old ones; being a stay at home Mom should be viewed as well as it was before, not as a traitors action to the Boss Babe lifestyle.

It is an article faith among some that modern society shames or devalues motherhood, but is that actually true beyond the extent to which women’s entry into the workforce inherently devalues motherhood? I’m not sure the mass-shaming of SAHM is actually real. If traditional motherhood is viewed as inferior to being a career woman or whatever, I think that’s simply a consequence of the fact that women’s work and the woman’s ‘sphere’ in general has pretty much always been considered inferior to that of men. The ‘women aren’t less-than men, they just have different roles’ line that is common among modern conservatives is really itself a historically recent anti-feminist rear-guard action. For centuries most thinkers had little compunction about saying simply that, yes, women are just inferior to men. It’s why historically, women who distinguished themselves in primarily male fields such as science or statecraft were often lauded (often specifically by being compared to men) while overtly feminine men received very much the opposite reaction.

Apples and oranges. Europe, until the last decade, was still interconnected pockets of monocultures. The U.S. was not. Which leads me to....

So the real cause of self-reported unhappiness and suicide rates is racial diversity? That would be a different argument, since you can have social/sexual libertinism without racial diversity and vice versa.

APPLES AND URRNGES. Massive difference between a woman who loses her husband to unexpected death versus a woman (or man) who makes a bad mate-pairing decision early on. It's about choices, risk, and commitment.

Do you think it’s the case that the children of single mothers do poorly without a father but would do fine with one, while the children of widows do fine either way? That’s certainly possible, but I can’t really think of a way to test it.

I would argue that this is a point in favor of pre-SR norms. The entire concept of permanent monogamy in marriage is that it moves past the natural order of one male impregnating a whole bunch of females.

It’s debatable this is really the “natural order.” Polygamous societies are actually not especially common, even among hunter-gatherer tribes. And where they exist, they’re generally the result of male sexual preferences being enforced upon women rather than vice versa. Very few women want to be in a harem.

It is impossible (as your own statistic clearly state) to deny that the number of sexless and single men has gone up since approx 1980.

Maybe? Slightly? It’s certainly not clear there’s some inexorable trend towards mass inceldom.

It has, was, and always will be real.

It empirically isn’t.

Difference alimony being paid and judgement rendered. "Actually, too many dudes are too poor to pay anything. They're getting off scott free!" Isn't the counterpoint you want to lead with.

The number is for alimony awarded.

Small-c conservatives don't care about sexual orientation at all. Sexual behavior is different, and that's independent from orientation.

If someone is secretly homosexual but never acts on it and stays in the closet his whole life then he might as well not be homosexual. When I talk about “people being gay” I mean people being gay in a way that is apparent to you and society at large.

The 40+ years of obivous societal decay ... I'd say that's more .... convincing.

Can you be more specific?

What conservatives / tradtionalists today are trying to do is (1) Get people to admit that the SR was on-net bad

Plainly I don’t think it’s true.

Devise ways of using traditional / conservative values to devise ways of change for a more stable society.

What would this look like, concretely?

That’s fine. But these statistics are often marshaled to make a conservative point. That’s not to say you, individually, have done that.

Not the person you replied to, but really the only people I see framing it this way are afraid of conceding to their political opponents that they've been on point on a fairly pressing matter for quite a long time now.

Conservatives (and yes, I could myself among that camp) are simply 'factually correct' about the worries surrounding the SR. Ideology need not come before statistics or pragmatism on this point, it just finds itself more at home under the conservative umbrella because they're often the only side that's even willing to acknowledge it's a problem in the first place.

It empirically isn’t.

Not sure how long your time horizon is here, but he's pretty easily vindicated on this point. What's your empirical evidence to the contrary? Because it 'certainly' isn't obvious to me...

Plainly I don’t think it’s true.

Well if the Soviet Union was any indication, I don't think that turned out very well. Their SR was even more libertine than the American one was.

What would this look like, concretely?

In Iran you can get executed for adultery, so at least there's a start.

Not sure how long your time horizon is here, but he's pretty easily vindicated on this point. What's your empirical evidence to the contrary? Because it 'certainly' isn't obvious to me...

Studies that try and infer historical reproduction rates from facts about the Y chromosome have an obvious flaw: that chromosome can only be here today as the result of an unbroken chain of male reproducers. Contrast this with females who pass an X chromosome on no matter the circumstance. There is naturally going to be less genetic variation among Y chromosomes than X chromosomes because any variations from men who had only female children are not going to be present to examine, even though these males had children! So we're comparing genetic variation among the men who had an unbroken series of male children back into history with the genetic variation of women who had any children at all. Obviously there is more diversity in the latter than the former.

Right. I'm aware of over-relying too much on such aged and inferred models. But what other data is there to trust about that timeline? It's better than trusting mine or anyone else's independent and unqualified speculation.

But what other data is there to trust about that timeline?

If there's a lack of reliable data to form an estimate, then the rational response is agnosticism, not using unreliable data.

In absolute terms, sure. In a shade of gray and probabilistic sense, no. Just because some data is unreliable doesn't mean it's completely unreliable. If you can't make 'any' use of it, fine.

In this case, I think the worry is that you should expect apparent divergence between the data for the two populations (men and women) to be different because of a selection effect, so there's no reason to infer that the divergence is actually a property of the populations (rather than your samples). It's like estimating the number of bats in two forests, but measuring one forest at night and the other in the day.

APPLES AND URRNGES. Massive difference between a woman who loses her husband to unexpected death versus a woman (or man) who makes a bad mate-pairing decision early on. It's about choices, risk, and commitment.

I believe this was intentional, since it’s a better way to tease out the causal/marginal effect of divorce than looking at average outcomes.

My understanding is that it can sometimes be dicey to cross-compare happiness rates across countries due to different cultural understandings of happiness.

There are also...some important differences between European and American culture and geography. Just as a couple examples: my understanding is that part of the criticism of the Sexual Revolution (in the US) is that it expanded the sexual marketplace considerably in distortionary ways. But one would expect that this would be less of a factor in Europe due to national and language barriers that don't exist to nearly the same degree in the States. One would also expect Americans to be much better at committing suicide – it is worth asking if the decrease in European suicide rates is due to better lifesaving technology, just as the decrease in US shooting deaths is partially due to better medical practices. Of course, it's much harder to save someone who has OD'd than it is to save someone who has shot themselves in the brainstem, so suicidal Americans are, all else being equal, probably going to be more successful.

Setting all that aside, though, my superficial understanding is that Europe has always been further along the slippery slope than the United States (at least for certain metrics valued by the RETVRN crowd). I remember reading about a conversation between Ralph Waldo Emerson and Dickens where the latter said that most British men weren't virgins on their wedding night (prostitution being widespread in England, or at least in major cities at the time). Poor Ralph (a transcendentalist who had had Puritan ethics hammered indelibly into his psyche) was shocked and appalled. It seems entirely plausible that

  1. Europe has always been more sexually libertine than the United States, and
  2. ergo, Europeans are better adjusted to a sexually libertine lifestyle than Americans at any historical point

This hypothesis is entirely consistent with sexual liberation being bad or with it being good or with it being a null value - it simply suggests that major cultural changes would 1) cause distress, and 2) that society would adjust to them over time. I think that both of those seem intuitively true.

I think you're right. Part of it is that Europe is both less religious and much more dense than most of the US. So there's just a lot more nightclubs, discotechs, etc in Europe that make it suited for that sort of sexually libertine lifestyle. In rural or exurban US, you often have to drive a long distance just to get to one really shitty dive bar that closes early.

As I mentioned in the post, I don't really put that much stock in self-reported happiness rates either. But they are routinely used to demonstrate the failure of feminism/liberalism/whatever, so it's worth checking whether they support that argument, even at face value. With regards to the possibility that the European suicide rate is distorted by Europeans being worse at killing themselves and advancing medical technology saving overdoses but not gunshot suicide victims, it seems to add an extra wrinkle. "Americans report being unhappier + they kill themselves more often" and "Europeans report being happier + they kill themselves increasingly less" is suggestive.

As I mentioned in the post, I don't really put that much stock in self-reported happiness rates either. But they are routinely used to demonstrate the failure of feminism/liberalism/whatever...

What 'do' you put your stock in then? You ask me how I rate my life satisfaction in the country I live and I give you an answer, you're telling me I'm an unreliable source on my own happiness?

I wouldn't use 'happiness' alone as the appropriate barometer for gauging the health and well-being of society at large, but that's a bit of a different question. Whether or not feminism/liberalism brings happiness to a large number of women is ultimately irrelevant if it comes at the expense of some other part of society. Declining demographics, lack of family formation, dysfunctional men being raised by single mothers, sending women off to war, bending other important norms to reduce everything to a woman's private advantage, etc.; none of these are worth the cost that has to be paid, for women's fickle and relative sense of short-term happiness. It leaves 'everybody' worse off.

... so it's worth checking whether they support that argument, even at face value.

Everything's a success by sufficiently low standards, and a failure by sufficiently high standards. If running through and enumerating the long list of problems doesn't suffice in convincing you there's something rotten about the way we practice and act out the lifestyles that bring us happiness, then the only thing left at that point is to dispute the standards you bring to bear. But my reflexive reaction is to evoke Jiddu Krishnamurti's axiom on this:

"It isn't a measure of health how well-adjusted someone can be to a profoundly sick society."

Not sure how long your time horizon is here, but he's pretty easily vindicated on this point.

"More women than men have surviving descendants" is not necessarily the same thing as "more men than women reproduced." This doesn't really matter though, what matters is there's no good evidence in the modern, post-sexual revolution west for a minority of men monopolizing a majority of the women.

What's your empirical evidence to the contrary?

What's the evidence for it? As extensively discussed in the link I provided, it's not backed up by partner counts, it's not backed up by virginity rates, it's not backed up by STD rates.

Their SR was even more libertine than the American one was.

For five years in a handful of big cities, sure.

In Iran you can get executed for adultery, so at least there's a start.

Iran has a TFR of 1.7, is regularly roiled by massive anti-regime protests, and religious affiliation is sharply declining among the nation's youth. Not much of a start.

What 'do' you put your stock in then? You ask me how I rate my life satisfaction in the country I live and I give you an answer, you're telling me I'm an unreliable source on my own happiness?

Even if you take this statistics at face value, the conclusion isn't borne out, which is the point.

Declining demographics

Will be rendered a non-issue by the end of the century at the absolute latest, almost certainly sooner.

lack of family formation

What is the argument for this being a bad thing that doesn't begin with the premise, "family formation is good."

dysfunctional men being raised by single mothers

Is there good evidence for the causal impact of single motherhood on male dysfunction?

sending women off to war

This is a non-issue. Why should I or anyone else care?

bending other important norms to reduce everything to a woman's private advantage

I don't know what you have in mind here, so I can't answer.

If running through and enumerating the long list of problems doesn't suffice in convincing you there's something rotten

So much conservative critique of modernity boils down to waving one's hands and shouting, "look how horrible everything is!" with the listener left to draw the conclusion that things would be less horrible if we were more conservative. When I try to quantify things I usually find that the horrible things are A) much less bad than they're painted to be B) have no causal relation to conservativeness or C) are only horrible if you assume the conclusion that conservatism is good.

"More women than men have surviving descendants" is not necessarily the same thing as "more men than women reproduced." This doesn't really matter though, what matters is there's no good evidence in the modern, post-sexual revolution west for a minority of men monopolizing a majority of the women.

Eh, I'm not sure you read that correctly.

What's the evidence for it? As extensively discussed in the link I provided, it's not backed up by partner counts, it's not backed up by virginity rates, it's not backed up by STD rates.

Per the link I provided, historically it's been backed up by reproductive rates. Seems to me to be quite clear.

For five years in a handful of big cities, sure.

A documented case is a documented case. It's one of the things you're asking for, right? There you go... seems like you're trying to now move the goalpost.

Iran has a TFR of 1.7, is regularly roiled by massive anti-regime protests, and religious affiliation is sharply declining among the nation's youth. Not much of a start.

Okay. And? That's unrelated to what you originally asked for. I don't know what this response is supposed to make me think in light of what I quoted.

Even if you take this statistics at face value, the conclusion isn't borne out, which is the point.

And your ultimate conclusion is what? We have 'zero' data that's worth absolutely 'anything'? A hard sell if you ask me.

This is a non-issue. Why should I or anyone else care?

It's most certainly not a non-issue to those women who value their freedom and emancipation getting sent off to die for a narrow set of political interests. It's also quite hilarious that feminism's best argument for 'not' sending women off to war in bulk is the anti-feminist argument.

So much conservative critique of modernity boils down to waving one's hands and shouting, "look how horrible everything is!" with the listener left to draw the conclusion that things would be less horrible if we were more conservative. When I try to quantify things I usually find that the horrible things are A) much less bad than they're painted to be B) have no causal relation to conservativeness or C) are only horrible if you assume the conclusion that conservatism is good.

And so what should they be concerned 'with' in your view? The entire project of politics is about competing visions of society and the group trying to impose their way of life on the community. I think you're being quite disingenuous here, if you're actually suggesting that conservatives writ large should be able to look out the window and say to themselves "there's nothing else left that's worth improving, onto the next unspecified problem that has no tangible impact on the world in which we live." Because that's my takeaway from what you're saying right here:

  1. Much less bad than is made out to be.

Says you and only you. And tell me. Just how 'bad' does it have to get before you start paying attention to it? Because this kind of attitude only has you constantly putting out fires all over the place and never actually addressing the issue 'before it becomes' a problem. Society requires maintenance and upkeep, just like everything else. Civilization isn't spontaneously kicked up by mother nature every few hundred years.

  1. Has no causal relation to conservativeness

I have no idea what this even means, or why "conservatives" should care.

  1. Are only horrible if you assume the conclusion that conservatism is good.

And likewise, my previous riposte is applicable:

"It isn't a measure of health how well-adjusted someone can be to a profoundly sick society."

Per the link I provided, historically it's been backed up by reproductive rates. Seems to me to be quite clear.

If, of the human population 8000 years ago, only 1 man has surviving descendants today for every 17 women, that doesn’t actually mean that 8000 years ago, only one man had children for every 17 women.

A documented case is a documented case. It's one of the things you're asking for, right? There you go... seems like you're trying to now move the goalpost.

Sexual libertinism did not cause the collapse of the USSR. Nor did it cause the famines, the mass executions, or any of the other bad things that happened in Soviet Russia.

Okay. And? That's unrelated to what you originally asked for. I don't know what this response is supposed to make me think in light of what I quoted.

It means Iran’s reactionary dictatorship has completely failed to arrest the demographic decline or general secularization of the country.

And your ultimate conclusion is what? We have 'zero' data that's worth absolutely 'anything'? A hard sell if you ask me.

The conclusion is that the data doesn’t support the thesis that the sexual Revolution was a bad thing.

It's most certainly not a non-issue to those women who value their freedom and emancipation getting sent off to die for a narrow set of political interests.

We don’t have conscription in the west so anyone, male or female, who doesn’t want to die for a narrow set of political interests can just stay home.

And so what should they be concerned 'with' in your view? The entire project of politics is about competing visions of society and the group trying to impose their way of life on the community.

Conservatives are entirely justified on rejecting the sexual Revolution based on their own conservative premises, but they have no real argument to convince anyone who doesn’t buy into those premises.

I have no idea what this even means, or why "conservatives" should care.

To simplify, the things conservatives hate about modern societ are either good or aren’t the fault of modernity/the sexual Revolution/liberalism/whatever.

If, of the human population 8000 years ago, only 1 man has surviving descendants today for every 17 women, that doesn’t actually mean that 8000 years ago, only one man had children for every 17 women.

I'm honestly scratching my head here and am wondering how you strangely seem to admit the point I'm making with simultaneously denying it's significance. I think there's some profound illogic going on here.

Sexual libertinism did not cause the collapse of the USSR. Nor did it cause the famines, the mass executions, or any of the other bad things that happened in Soviet Russia.

No single factor explanation was ever the cause for anything out there. What you do in any responsible analysis is to examine what it's contribution to the problem was. I'm granting that you're arguing in good faith here, but if it's a body of historical research that you're looking for, the work has been done. And sexual libertinism continues to haunt Russian demographics today. It wasn't responsible for the casualty rate of the Eastern Front. What it 'is' responsible for on January 5th, 2023, is privileging an independent and selfish lifestyle over the continued survival of the community you live in.

It means Iran’s reactionary dictatorship has completely failed to arrest the demographic decline or general secularization of the country.

And so you'll suggest in one breath SR played no role in weakening the USSR, but (conservative) Islamic theocracy is singularly to blame because they haven't reversed their demographic trend? Seems to not be the case in Afghanistan, which certainly isn't a bastion of liberalism in the Middle East. Wasn't the case with General Franco in Spain, certainly not the bastion of liberalism in Europe. I don't get what this is supposed to prove in your view.

The conclusion is that the data doesn’t support the thesis that the sexual Revolution was a bad thing.

The only way I see that someone can conclude that is that they haven't read the data or are indifferent to it. I think this is a good place to leave this conversation.

We don’t have conscription in the west so anyone, male or female, who doesn’t want to die for a narrow set of political interests can just stay home.

That wasn't the point I was making.

Conservatives are entirely justified on rejecting the sexual Revolution based on their own conservative premises, but they have no real argument to convince anyone who doesn’t buy into those premises.

This is exactly the attitude many conservatives have taken. It's also the same reason why religious factions like Conservative and Reform Judaism will be looked at as a historical footnote in upcoming generations. Precisely because it's the ultra-conservative ones that are reproducing themselves. It definitely isn't the alternative. Even the most cynical conservatives I've known here have told me it's a mistake to insist that their liberal/progressive political opponents be concerned with their own reproductive fall off. They'd prefer they all die off in a generation or two. I'm not saying 'every' conservative solution to the problem will be guaranteed to work. I'm saying that 'only' a conservative solution in nature will be guaranteed to work.

To simplify, the things conservatives hate about modern societ are either good or aren’t the fault of modernity/the sexual Revolution/liberalism/whatever.

If you require no further examination of data, I can see why you would support this conclusion. I see little value in continuing it. Be well.

I'm honestly scratching my head here and am wondering how you strangely seem to admit the point I'm making with simultaneously denying it's significance. I think there's some profound illogic going on here.

There are 100 men and 100 women. A a thousand years later, 50 of those women have living descendants, while only 10 of the men do. This does not mean only 10 of those men ever reproduced, it means only 10 of those men established lineages that persisted for 1000 years and were not wiped out at some point over the centuries. It does not mean that, of those 100 original men, 95 died childless.

I'm granting that you're arguing in good faith here, but if it's a body of historical research that you're looking for, the work has been done.

Having never read the book, what kind of historical data does Unwin work with to establish the sexual continence or lack thereof of pre-modern civilizations?

but (conservative) Islamic theocracy is singularly to blame because they haven't reversed their demographic trend?

I have no point except that theocracy in Iran manifestly does not keep fertility above replacement, and I only brought it up because you suggested Iranian adultery laws as a model.

The only way I see that someone can conclude that is that they haven't read the data or are indifferent to it. I think this is a good place to leave this conversation.

I spent my whole OP discussing data.

That wasn't the point I was making.

What point was it?

It's also the same reason why religious factions like Conservative and Reform Judaism will be looked at as a historical footnote in upcoming generations. Precisely because it's the ultra-conservative ones that are reproducing themselves.

If life was going to continue pretty much as it is today for the next century, then the “Haredim and Amish will inherit the earth” people might be right, but it almost certainly isn’t.

Iran has a TFR of 1.7, is regularly roiled by massive anti-regime protests, and religious affiliation is sharply declining among the nation's youth. Not much of a start.

Okay. And? That's unrelated to what you originally asked for. I don't know what this response is supposed to make me think in light of what I quoted.

This response is supposed to make you grasp that the most thorough effort in current times to force tradition and religion at gun point failed as thoroughly as it could fail.

Where did ayatollahs go wrong? Were they too soft, were they too concerned about human rights, should they imprison, torture and kill more?

This response is supposed to make you grasp that the most thorough effort in current times to force tradition and religion at gun point failed as thoroughly as it could fail.

This isn't true. In western society that remark is hyperbole and we all know it, because nobody here is forcing tradition and religion down people's throats at gunpoint. Do you know what kind of societies 'are' doing that? Afghanistan. Somalia. Not even Russia or China are doing what you're suggesting, and it's the latter that are facing these problems most intensely.

Where did ayatollahs go wrong? Were they too soft, were they too concerned about human rights, should they imprison, torture and kill more?

He asked what a more traditional solution sounded like. Well, I gave him one. Current trends and demographics seem to be making the case that the latter is the more attractive long-term option. The only problem with my solution isn't the content of the policy, it's that it's too piecemeal and unfortunately lacks the strength and extremism that seems necessary to reverse current trends.

This is why I've repeatedly said in this community, when nation's get caught in a death spiral like this, there's 'zero' historical evidence to suggest that they reform their way out of it. The more severe the problem becomes, the more extreme the solutions become. The more extreme the solutions become, the more unacceptable they become to the population, etc., and you end up stuck in this self-reinforcing negative feedback loop. What history suggests happens is that these nation's die off or get conquered.

This isn't true. In western society that remark is hyperbole and we all know it, because nobody here is forcing tradition and religion down people's throats at gunpoint.

This subthread is not about Western society, it is about Iran.

He asked what a more traditional solution sounded like. Well, I gave him one. Current trends and demographics seem to be making the case that the latter is the more attractive long-term option.

Iran - society with all drawbacks of modernity and none of its benefits - is not attractive at all.

If your solution is Iranian one, it is unsatisfactory.

More comments

just as the decrease in US shooting deaths is partially due to better medical practices

IIRC this is as much about switching to smaller bullets(the ones progressives ostentatiously hate are actually less lethal than what they replaced, old timey criminals used sawn off shotguns, magnum revolvers and .45s. Today they use 9 mm handguns and ar-15s, which shoot smaller less lethal bullets) as it is improving emergency room medicine.

Interesting, although I am skeptical that the .223 is less lethal than a .45, and if the ".45 more dangerous than 9mm" debate had finally been concluded, I must have missed it. I definitely do not think that bullet diameter is the be-all end-all of firearm lethality (for instance, the 5.7mm proved very lethal during the Fort Hood shooting, but the perp survived 4 9mm rounds.)

I also would have thought the old timey criminals (at least in the cities, maybe not moonshiners and the like) would have been more likely to use a lower-powered cartridge like a .32 or a .380, say, 40 years ago, before the rise of the 9mm.

However I suppose it's possible that at the ranges most shootings happen, the 9mm and .223 tend to over-penetrate compared to the .45 or a magnum revolver.

ar-15s, which shoot smaller less lethal bullets

ARs are actually quite a bit more lethal than their most common size of projectile otherwise suggests due to the cheapest rounds being inherently able to fragment. Those who criticize ownership of them are directionally correct they're more powerful but for exactly none of the reasons they claim.

It's not a great choice for hunting for that reason (well, that and those rounds are generally illegal to use for hunting, but for a completely different reason), since the entire goal is to preserve the body and one jagged hole is easy to cut out of meat.

For defensive applications that obviously isn't a concern, so you want a bunch of holes rather than one big hole since that increases the chance you hit something important. Machines, including biological ones, don't meaningfully malfunction until you sever an electrical connection (parts downstream stop working), a hydraulic connection (parts downstream stop working; other parts lose functionality due to lack of working fluid), or physically destroy the CPU (but only if you destroy the specific parts responsible for executing either the main program or the other two); fragmentation increases the number of holes, thus increasing the chances of those things happening. There are also vital components that run off that fluid- damaging parts closer to its source, the main pump for example, tends to break the machine faster.

Another way to increase the number of holes if you're using a thing designed to punch holes is to use a punch that can make more holes faster; if I have 17 chances to punch a 0.36" hole and 0.25s to re-point the punch vs. 7 chances to punch a 0.45" hole and it takes me 0.5s to re-point the punch (or in the AR's case, 30 chances to punch 1x 0.2" hole with 0.1s to re-point vs. 20 chances to punch 1x 0.3" hole with 1.5s to re-point), obviously more chances are better provided the hole is punched sufficiently hard to break the stuff in the target (which .32/.25 guns from 1900 are not quite powerful enough to do consistently unless you're using the "I can punch more holes" trick- shotguns with 00 Buck are ballistically identical to 10 .32s taped together so they fire all at once; #4 buckshot is identical to taping 25 .22LR rifles together in the same way- or shooting the CPU).

as it is improving emergency room medicine

Modern trauma medicine is really good at patching holes in machines so long as there aren't too many of them, the machine still has hydraulic fluid in it and the CPU isn't shot out (it's not great at fixing electrical connections, but the top half will probably remain fully functional). If a criminal is focused on body count they tend to only put one or two holes in the machines' center mass (for pragmatic reasons)- which is why doctrine for dealing with those criminals is "kill it as soon as possible" and not "wait for the hydraulic fluid of the casualties to run out" or "give the criminal time to consider shooting CPUs".

Comparing a .45 to an AR-15 (assuming standard 5.56mm chambering) isn't straightforward. The 5.56 cartridge weighs much less, but has about 3 times the muzzle velocity, resulting in cavitation of wounds. Both deliver enough force to induce shock even if they strike bone and don't destroy essential organs. Other features of the relevant weapons (e.g. carbines vs. revolvers) are much more salient than the ammunition.

The archetypal "Saturday Night Special" was a shittyass .32 (or even .25!) revolver for a hundred years -- magnum revolvers were expensive and thus a good choice for Dirty Harry but not for somebody who probably needs to throw the thing in the river every so often.

was a shittyass .32 (or even .25!) revolver for a hundred years

True, but being limited to card-table guns (in a 400-dollar budget) impose 3 important limitations on the average gangoon:

  • Firepower for drive-by shootings is significantly limited; you have 5 rounds, not 32-33 (you can kind of conceal that but not really)
  • Street shootouts are more viable at longer distances simply due to ergonomics being better; larger magazines also helps with this, especially if they're heavy enough to naturally encourage a proper grip and not that one-handed sideways crap
  • Targeted hits necessitate "dump the entire cylinder and maybe not even then" tactics due to insufficient power; while .25/.32 are still plenty deadly if shot placement is questionable it's still more survivable than the same number of holes from modern expanding 9mm

The fact that it's always the Tec-9 specifically being targetted by "assault weapon" legislation isn't entirely out to lunch, because it was the first gun ever to hit the market that solved all of those issues at once for the average criminal- 200 dollars, 32 rounds, concealable enough, was completely impractical unless it was held properly, and in a caliber of sufficient power to actually take advantage of modern hollow-point projectiles (note also that the vast majority of legislation targeting this pistol came a few years before one of the most famous crimes would be committed with them, though that gun didn't really enable that crime in the same sense it did the average late-80s criminal).

Technically speaking, since the average affordable crime gun is currently either a shitty Taurus or Kel-Tec semi-auto (if you actually care about concealment) or a Hi-Point (if you don't; this is the famous "Glock 40") these restrictions did actually set the average affordable crime gun back quite a ways. The modern service handguns are generally more effective than these, but they're also twice the price on the legal market; likely more on the black market. And when you don't have 1000 dollars to your name to afford one it's essentially unattainable.

(The counterargument is that "average affordable crime gun" is also necessarily "the best self-defense option available for the poor", but reducing firepower for both criminal and poor alike is... politely, something about which bipartisan consensus can generally be achieved. More charitably, if criminals have less then the poor, who are overwhelmingly the target of criminal activity in the first place, "need" less to be on equal footing.)

The point being that swapping some five shot Webley knockoff for a Hi-Point or a Tec-9 as a common crime weapon is unlikely to have been responsible for a decrease in shooting deaths -- I think that we agree?

a Hi-Point or a Tec-9

My point is that the two are not quite the same class of weapon- I think the criminal stock of the latter ramping up may have added a confounding increase at the time it was prevalent, so a decrease after that (when the common weapons for criminals downgraded to Hi-Points instead- if you consider that a downgrade I guess, heh) might not be as completely due to modern medicine.

I'm skeptical. I doubt shotgun use has varied all that much, and I'm pretty sure the average crime gun has been a non-magnum handgun for the last hundred years at least. Handgun lethality has definately increased over that time, but I am pretty sure most of that lethal advantage (high-performance hollowpoint/frangible ammo, mainly) has actually seen general adoption by criminals.

I would bet that massive improvements in trauma medicine heavily outweigh shifts in weapon preference among criminals.

Tangential: It's no longer about caliber, but about shot placement.

Stay strapped or get clapped. Don't skimp on range day. Sight picture and trigger control.

When the Manosphere discussed the phenomenon of ‘divorce rape’, they didn’t just mean the issue of alimony payments, they also meant the ways child support payments are calculated, the way those are enforced, and the way child visitation rights are decided. Yes, I speak of that sphere in the past tense because I think it’s warranted, and yes, I’m aware that all of that can affect unmarried men as well, but I think it’s fair to say they mostly affect divorced men.

The presumption in Western courts has long been shared custody. I think MRAs have always had some reasonable points on this issue, especially with courts willing to believe mothers over fathers on some questions. But in general, many complaints about ‘divorce rape’ happen when the father understands that he can’t reasonable split weekday custody with the mother (almost always because he works full-time) and so voluntarily relinquishes this possibility, and then resents the fact that his ex-wife or baby momma is the homemaker (part or full time) on his dime.

Also, while payments are often a substantial part of a poorer man’s income, the only times they’re “ridiculously” high (often an MRA complaint on this issue) is in a handful of cases a year where super rich people get divorced, which is very far away from most divorces, concentrated as they always are among people who are poorer and have fewer resources.

In general, men ‘benefit’ more from divorce than women because a single dad’s romantic market value is much higher than a single mom’s. Single mothers almost always have to ‘date down’, often much older men who are divorced with kids of their own. Single dads - provided they’re young-ish and otherwise somewhat attractive - can often find a childless woman a second time.

Divorce sob stories are mostly just people whining because they fail to realize a fundamental and obvious truth. Divorce sucks because it is negative sum. At the end of a divorce, neither party can afford the lifestyle they could afford together.

Marriage, or household consolidation more broadly if we want to bring in things like multi-generational households or communes or whatever, are ceteris paribus positive sum for the participants. The difficulty of chores doesn't scale on a linear basis, doing better than twice as much laundry for my wife and I takes me 15-25% longer than it takes to do my laundry when I lived alone. Cooking a bigger plank of salmon or pan of chicken breast adds negligible time to my cooking prep. Before you even get into any complementarity, living together is good.

Now you take that and smash it, and suddenly both parties are worse off.

Another major thing is housing which is very hard to compensate for.

If you live in high cost of living area living alone is really expensive.

Even if both parents are working you're going to be much poorer after a break up.

You hit it on the head when you said "a single dad's romantic market value is much higher than a single mom's." The only place where this isn't necessarily the case (although, mostly still is) is in the PMC, wherein divorces are so common, along with professional single women running the household, that single motherhood is seen as no-big-deal to almost-a-badge-of-honor.

Very different situation for a working-class woman with children trying to date/re-marry.

This is another reason in favor of the theory that many products of the sexual revolution (no-fault divorce, abundant and common contraception) disproportionately benefited an upper-class that we now call the PMC, while disproportionately penalizing the working-class. You have a whole group of highly educated 1960s women who've tricked themselves into thinking they're oppressed, aided and abetted by the sexually and ethically incontinent Don Draper types. The latter now has no conflict of responsibilities in sleeping around, because the baby no longer has a say. The former can pursue endless responsibility-free self expression and simply jump in and out marriages when the flavor's gone.

All this happening just when the poor (of any color) were able to develop more solid family structures and starting to enjoy the benefits of escaping an agrarian hand-to-mouth existence. Emphasis, there, on family instead of individual.

Within a decade, it all get's ruined for them. Then, by the 1980s, those just above them (the mythical steel / auto factory workers and longshoremen types of the Rust Belt and industrial Northeast) become tragic characters in Bruce Springsteen songs because it turns out they weren't that far ahead. 2023: "Rich Men North of Richmond"

PMC people don't divorce much. You are right that single motherhood isn't seen as bad in the PMC but if we go by a comment above this may well be because two parent households are still the norm in the PMC, so the protective societal effect that single mother's children get from being surrounded by intact families lessens the negative impact of it on them.

Of course the PMC people then take this observation about how single motherhood is not so bad for them and those they know of and apply it to the whole of society, large portions of which don't have the protective societal effect, thereby promoting single motherhood elsehwere in regions less suited to handle it, leading to a twofold hit to the other sections of society, firstly to women directly who are now single mothers and wouldn't have been in the counterfactual, and then again by degrading the environment of these women so the single motherhood hurts them even more now.

is in the PMC, wherein divorces are so common, along with professional single women running the household, that single motherhood is seen as no-big-deal to almost-a-badge-of-honor.

Interesting, I'd expect the opposite: more divorces in the lower classes and more tolerance of single motherhood too.

The latter especially, since lower class people may be less likely to get married.

I'd say the difference is in perception and, unfortunately, what's termed "mood affiliation." Excuse the squishyness of my reply:

Lower class single motherhood is, now, seen as an inevitable reality and par for the course for a huge amount of young women. I wouldn't say it is "approved" of, but, accepted the same way physical injury on the job is assumed / accepted for working class men (every construction worker / roofer / tradesman who's been working longer than 10 years has a dozen scars from accidents, probably a bad knee or shoulder, and maybe some eye damage). Divorce perception is very similar; "Y'all tried, sometimes it doesn't work out. Gotta keep movin on."

Contrast with PMC divorce mood affiliation. It's usually a long, drawn out process (partially because there's more money involved and, therefore, more incentive to use the legal system to divide the pie) full of emotionalized soul searching ("how could it come to this?", "we were so in love"), followed by some semi-established period of Second Singledom (divorced dudes dating bimbo-ish ladies 20 years their junior, divorced women getting "glow ups" and having trysts with "interesting" men of almost any age. High likelihood of European or California temporary relocation), maybe followed by a second marriage (or just long term dating partner) that's really more about mutual companionship than family.

Throughout all of this, however, is the conception than the divorce wasn't a failure or an unfortunate reality of the times, but that it was simply a "stop along the way" to your truer, better, more You-er self. Going back to the idea of scars, how many pop songs and instagram poetry posts essentially say "our physical or emotional scars are what makes us beautiful!" Contrast this to the welder who can plainly state, "No, I really do wish that falling I-beam hadn't smashed off my two little toes. It hurt a lot, I couldn't work for some time, and I still don't quite walk right" or the Appalachian single mother, "It is fucking hard to feed and raise my kids without a man in the house. I do not have the time to "get an education" to try to increase my wage. My eldest keeps getting arrested but, because he's a 17 year old boy, there is no way I can physically intimidate or control him. Very few men will consider dating me because they do not want to help raise a family that isn't theirs - and I wouldn't want to do that in their position either."

Dealing with suffering and failure is part of any life. When it's your own damn fault, you ought to use it as a learning experience and an impetus to better choices and behavior. Other times, it is utterly random or, worse, cosmically unfair. That's when you exercise some sort of value/faith/anti-fragile/discipline system and decide whether or not (or how much) to descend into cynicism or existentialism or just undirected anger and frustration. Nobody's perfect or even very good at this, you just do as good as you can.

Far, far worse than any of those choices, however, is turning personal failure or even random chaotic unfairness into purely joyful and self-reverential deterministic positive affirmation. It's an insane (literally, not correctly functioning cognitive system) level of delusion that can only lead to repeated poor decision making and/or distorted risk appreciation, to say nothing of the personality and character defects it will likely nurture.

Before anyone jumps in with "but a conservative Christian world view doesn't prevent this." Yes! I agree. One of the things I detest the most about pop-culture mainline American Protestants are copes around hardship that are the same "purely joyful and self-reverential deterministic positive affirmation."[^1] You just lost your job and can't pay your bills, "The Lord is just testing me. But I know it's all part of the plan!" Maybe think why you lost the job? Were you bad at it and failing to perform? (Your fault). Has the economy taken a downturn and it wasn't your fault? That's cosmically unfair. What steps did you take to manage such a risk? Or, more forward looking, do you have a concrete plan to regain employment?


[^1]: Intra post self-quote. I am so.fucking.cool.

The presumption in Western courts has long been shared custody.

The practice has been that child support will be enforced by any means necessary, but father's visitation rights will not be enforced at all.

I mean, even if this is true, the main reason isn't some evil feminists being in charge, it's that it's far easier to garnish a person's wages than to pay enough people to make sure all visitation rights are followed to the letter. You could put this message board in charge of America, and guess what, you'd still see this.

No, they don't stop with garnishing wages. They suspend professional licenses and drivers licenses for unpaid child support. They put "deadbeat dads" in jail, in one of the few remaining uses of debtor's prison in the US. For women who don't co-operate with visitation the system gives a Gallic shrug and admonishes the fathers that they still have to pay child support or else.

I’ve heard of quite a few cases where mothers have been charged with kidnap for denying visitation or moving to eg. another state or country to be away from their kids’ dad.

On some level it’s a underclass problem, too. I assume your sympathy for single mothers who don’t get child support from their exes because they’re in jail/unemployed/etc is limited too, so why wouldn’t it be for those men who married women so ratchet/psychotic/etc that they illegally deny their exes visitation?

I’ve heard of quite a few cases where mothers have been charged with kidnap for denying visitation or moving to eg. another state or country to be away from their kids’ dad.

There was a famous case some decades ago where a woman moved the kid out of the country and was held in contempt, and they changed the law to get her released... without, of course, getting her to comply.

I can be sympathetic for single mothers who don't get child support from their exes because they're in jail/unemployed/etc, but you still can't get blood from a stone.

so why wouldn’t it be for those men who married women so ratchet/psychotic/etc that they illegally deny their exes visitation

Because I refuse to accept that women don't have agency, and shouldn't be held responsible for their exercise of it. If they really are so psychotic that they can be effectively said not to have agency, they sure as hell shouldn't have custody.

I think being honest about the depression bit, the huge difference is the difference in expectations that Americans tend to have, especially middle to upper class white Americans. We are often told that hard work always pays off, that college will land you a good job, and that work should be fun and that everyone gets their “dream job”. It’s fantasy for 99% of the population— increasing population, globalization, and the absolute glut of college graduates makes it ever more difficult for a college graduate to land a good paying job out of school without having really good connections and internships. So what happens when you see lots of people doing exactly what you’re being told is the way forward and struggling to make it? When you watch and read about people making $16 an hour and owing $100K, giving up on owning a home and having kids because they can’t afford it?

The difference between the narrative and reality is depression inducing.

In which case maybe the Americans should get a taste of reality and come back down to earth. Billions of people around the world would kill to be in a situation where they are an American citizen making $16 an hour and owing $100k. If these complainers had any special talents then maybe they would have a point but these people tend to be bog standard "generic human units" with nothing going for them at all.

There's nothing "American," about being an economic migrant. Very few of the people who would work hard to get here, come for the unique American identity and experience. They're seeking a material quality of life that isn't comparable to what they currently have. Those that have it where they are, don't look with so much envy to the US.

I think we’re mostly on the same page here. The problem isn’t necessarily the reality being horrible and tbh if you’re willing to live in a lower cost region it’s probably fine. But when you put that next to what TV told you you would have, it feels like a let down because vulture has told you lies, basically. You are sold fantasies about the world of the adult. Doing what you like, for 99% of the planet is a delusional idea because unless you are extraordinarily talented you won’t even get through whatever the front door is. The vast majority of people who want to do anything related to the arts have a hobby. You won’t be paid for it, and everyone with a brain knows it. Every once in a great while there’s a unicorn, someone who manages to break through enough to make enough to quit the day job. It’s not sold that way, but it’s true. Likewise the idea of what you will have as a lifestyle in adulthood is wildly skewed. The median income is 50K nationwide. You cannot buy a large house and take lavish vacations and wear fashionable clothing on that income.

The problem isn’t the reality. The problem is that we tell everyone that they are awesome, that they will have an upper class lifestyle, doing a job that they’re passionate about, have time off and all kinds of bells and whistles. Most people won’t even come close. And then they feel miserable because they don’t understand that they’re doing just fine. If they were sold on something reasonable (a small apartment, a shitty job, and an occasional trip to a nearby campsite) they’d probably be fine with that. But the difference between the narrative and reality (on most fronts tbh, as the guy pointed out with dating) makes reality seem terrible.

What's worse is that even if you understand it, you can't make other people understand it. I may understand that I have a great lifestyle by historical and international standards, and that even by national standards my lifestyle is at worst average. My family don't, and are disappointed that I am not the kind of average that is depicted in media. Women sure as fuck don't understand; they are resentful of a husband that does not make at least six figures and takes them out to expensive restaurants and exotic vacations.

Billions of people around the world would kill to be in a situation where they are an American citizen making $16 an hour and owing $100k.

Happiness is a function of relative status, not absolute economic utility.

For the billions around the world, $16/hour in an unglamorous job would increase their status relative to their neighbors. For an American, $16/hour in an unglamorous job feels perilously low status compared to one's (fictional, learned from advertisements and social media) neighbors. You criticize them harshly as wanting special privileges, but in their mind they are mainly seeking to clear to a respectability threshold.

The problem underlying a great many problems in society — education, purchasing decisions, family formation — is the dangerous gap between the popular perception of average and the reality of average.

One thing I always thought was pretty funny on Reddit, was the way conversations devolved into hurling insults after it was clear one side of the discussion was losing the argument.

I effectively checked out of American society a long time ago, and looked with envy to other countries that were considerably less rich (i.e. Russia, Southeast Asia, pockets of Latin America), as a place where I was happier and lived in relative conditions more suitable to my lifestyle. When it came to laying that out on the table and why other countries might have more to offer and have other advantages over the US, the mockery always ensured with, "what, you gonna' b a broke Ruski gettin' sent to the front lines of Ukraine!," to which my response was always, "... as opposed to what? Paying $4,000 a month to live in a shoebox in the progressive heartland of the Bay Area, where you're persecuted for your political views?" I'd willingly go to war for a tribe and homecoming that's uniquely absent from a homeland that willfully hollowed itself out and transitioned into becoming a marketplace.

There's more to one's happiness than money at the end of the day.

and looked with envy to other countries that were considerably less rich (i.e. Russia, Southeast Asia, pockets of Latin America), as a place where I was happier and lived in relative conditions more suitable to my lifestyle.

have you migrated to either?

It seems to me that you are shitposting for shock value. You mention paying $4,000 a month for rent, that is enough to buy a plane ticket. Note: I am not recommanding doing this.

And you mention conditions more suitable to your lifestyle, not just that you would prefer to be born there.

"what, you gonna' b a broke Ruski gettin' sent to the front lines of Ukraine!," to which my response was always, "... as opposed to what? Paying $4,000 a month to live in a shoebox in the progressive heartland of the Bay Area, where you're persecuted for your political views?"

I will take shoebox over trench, thank you. (as described, neither is nice but it sounds to me you underestimate awfulness of war)

note: I would be willing to take part in war in defence of something I value

And you mention conditions more suitable to your lifestyle, not just that you would prefer to be born there.

Seems more to me like you have a hard time comprehending that some people don't think the US is all it's cracked up to be.

I will take shoebox over trench, thank you. (as described, neither is nice but it sounds to me you underestimate awfulness of war)

I'm curious, do you think most Africans still live in mud huts too?

Seems more to me like you have a hard time comprehending that some people don't think the US is all it's cracked up to be.

No? As evidenced by fact that I am nor trying to move there.

I am just asking how seriously you believe your own claim that trench in Ukraine is superior to renting room in Bay Area.

I think you are trolling/shitposting/lying and you do not actually believe that Russia or trench in Ukraine is superior to your life in USA. But if you are taking steps to emigrate to one of places you mentioned I could admire consistency at least.

(it is hard to take seriously someone who considers trench on frontline being superior place to life in USA, even Bay Area)

I'm curious, do you think most Africans still live in mud huts too?

Construction materials used in Africa have no relation to how awful war is (especially drone/artillery flavoured trenches).

And no, I am not expecting mud to be dominating material nowadays.

No? As evidenced by fact that I am nor trying to move there.

Except for when you criticized me for "not preferring to have been born there." A statement I never made, hinted at, or even remotely gestured toward.

I am just asking how seriously you believe your own claim that trench in Ukraine is superior to renting room in Bay Area.

And I'm saying the reason you're confused is because you missed the principle the example is meant it illustrate and took the example itself too literally and ran with it.

I think you are trolling/shitposting/lying and you do not actually believe that Russia or trench in Ukraine is superior to your life in USA. But if you are taking steps to emigrate to one of places you mentioned I could admire consistency at least.

Which wasn't the point I was making.

Seems more to me like you have a hard time comprehending that some people don't think the US is all it's cracked up to be.

Still the ratio between people coming to US and people leaving speaks for itself.

Seeing people voting with their legs is about the only objective measure of oppression that exists. Genuinely oppressed people are running away from their persecutors (if they have the opportunity, most oppressed people in history had nowhere to go).

I'm curious, do you think most Africans still live in mud huts too?

Not anymore, most Africans now live in favela style housing in mega cities. Hellish by our standards, paradisical by standards of their previous village life.

Still the ratio between people coming to US and people leaving speaks for itself.

Considering it's much harder to be an economic migrant in other countries, this is unsurprising. Sounds like parasites found an easier target.

Seeing people voting with their legs is about the only objective measure of oppression that exists. Genuinely oppressed people are running away from their persecutors (if they have the opportunity, most oppressed people in history had nowhere to go).

In a country where it's significantly easier to immigrate to? This is one of the things native born Americas cite in favor of the declining QOL of this country, of which I happen to agree. It's pretty strange why I should see this as a net benefit to living in this country.

Not anymore, most Africans now live in favela style housing in mega cities. Hellish by our standards, paradisical by standards of their previous village life.

Yeah, that one went right over your head, didn't it?

If you never found your tribe and home in USA, what makes you think Russia would be any different? I can tell you from experience there isn't any more magical sovl in Russian people than the Westerners. Not obvious, at least.

Because I've got quite a good rapport and camaraderie with Russian people that I've known my whole life?

And none with Americans? Or is it that your rapport with Americans left you with the impression that they can't be your tribe?

From where I'm standing, one may convince themselves to think they're "fighting for the Russian tribe". They may even die happy. However, this worldview won't be aligned with reality.

Well let's be fair. This country gave up on me long before I did on it.

And no, I've got plenty of friends who are Americans, who are every bit as disillusioned with the country as I am. But I'm quite curious to know what the best self-aggrandizing vanity pitch for the US is, since it's one of America's favorite pastimes. I doubt it'll be any better than mine, which is also an abject failure.

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$4000 gets you a lot more than a shoebox even in the Bay area (depending on which town exactly), and it sure beats getting exploded by a quadcopter in a frozen shithole you don't care about.

The US has it's problems but contrary to popular belief you don't have to live in the Bay area. I can't help but notice that you are posting on the motte instead of sitting in a trench in eastern Ukraine so it seems you didn't find that option too appealing either.

$4000 gets you a lot more than a shoebox even in the Bay area (depending on which town exactly)...

$4,000 couldn't even get you a run down crack house in San Francisco.

... and it sure beats getting exploded by a quadcopter in a frozen shithole you don't care about.

Whoever's doing that isn't doing it right. You can live rich in a poor country or live poor in a rich country. That's if money's your only concern. There's little pride I have in being American in 2023.

The US has it's problems but contrary to popular belief you don't have to live in the Bay area. I can't help but notice that you are posting on the motte instead of sitting in a trench in eastern Ukraine so it seems you didn't find that option too appealing either.

I don't live in the Bay Area anymore. And unlike plenty of Americans, I've experienced the world, and lived abroad. The world does exist outside the shadow the mainstream media loves to cast over other nation's.

$4,000 couldn't even get you a run down crack house in San Francisco.

  1. The Bay area is not San Francisco.

  2. $4000, 1000 square feet, not a crack house. https://www.zillow.com/apartments/san-francisco-ca/one-henry-adams/9NJvHk/

Why make easily falsifiable claims with no basis in reality?

There's little pride I have in being American in 2023.

How much pride do you have in being Russian in 2023? Keep in mind you will never be a real Russian and the Russian elite is just as degenerate as the West.

The world does exist outside the shadow the mainstream media loves to cast over other nation's.

It's weird to read this when you equated the entire country to San Francisco.

Why make easily falsifiable claims with no basis in reality?

Ah. I stand corrected. I can find two, one bathroom shoeboxes for $1,000 less, right now. Further inventory is currently unavailable until later this year.

Is that better?

How much pride do you have in being Russian in 2023? Keep in mind you will never be a real Russian and the Russian elite is just as degenerate as the West.

I'm not Russian, and yet they still have more reasons to be prideful then I currently see in much of the west. And believe it or not, Russia today isn't 'as corrupt' as you think it is for the average citizen. And saying it's only as bad as the west is quite sad, truly.

It's weird to read this when you equated the entire country to San Francisco

What's wrong with placing the focus on the trendsetters of the country? Would you prefer NYC instead which is even worse?

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I think it’s very damning when critics-of-critics of the sexual revolution rely on the same flawed arguments.

  1. “The alternative is women not working or very young marriage (as in 1950s America)”. Countries in Islamic North Africa and - as @self_made_human says below - India have both high numbers of young women working and comparatively much more conservative sexual morality than the West. Women worked in substantial numbers outside the home in Western countries since the middle of the Industrial Revolution, a hundred years before the sexual revolution. The idea that female labor force participation automatically generates liberal sexual mores simply isn’t as obvious as some people seem to think. Similarly, the Saudi birth rate collapse of the 1980s and 1990s happened while native female labor force participation was extremely low (suggesting, again, that women working was not the primary cause of falling birthrates).

  2. “It’s not that bad”. Yeah, but it’s not that good, either. As I’ve argued before, and as more ‘feminist’ critiques of the sexual revolution by people like Louise Perry discuss, women don’t really get anything out of casual sex. They get neither status nor (in almost all cases) pleasure, so why do they do it? For the same currency (male attention) that women have always received, except previously they didn’t have to put out for it. That, not “women in the workplace”, is the sexual revolution. What benefit did 13 year old girls passed around between adult rockstars as groupies in the 1970s get from this glorious state of affairs? Again, seemingly very little.

  3. There is something to @BurdensomeCount’s occasional suggestion that some people (typically smarter and higher status than usual, although they are not close to a majority even among that group) are able to successfully decouple sex and relationships. It would be unfair of me not to say that I’ve met women (and of course men) like this. But it’s also clear to me that they’re far from the majority, and policy around vices must take into account how most or many people respond to a thing. There are long term functional heroin users able to maintain some semblance of a ‘normal’ life, but they are in the minority. I won’t speak for men, but most women I know who’ve had lots of casual sex with strangers don’t seem to have benefited from or enjoyed the experience, and many regret it and say they would advise their own daughters against it.

  4. These don’t seem to be imaginary problems. Data on things like how promiscuity affects relationship success and satisfaction lead detractors of the sexual revolution to often note the fact that many young people today probably would be happier getting married in their mid twenties to an exclusive partner. I think this is what most women want. Men’s desires are more debatable, since a large part of the incel phenomenon is (as you correctly suggest) anguish that they’re not ‘chads’ rather than actual discontent with the dynamics of the wider system. But even many men suffer from the emptiness of single life, and men seem to, as @Questionmark says below, struggle on their own too.

More generally, a lot of modernity serves the interests of a small minority of happily atomized PMC ‘decouplers’ who want to maximize their individual freedom at the expense of the institutions that allow for a more broad-based happiness. “I can gamble without getting addicted, so why shouldn’t I be allowed to? I can smoke mountains of 20%+ thc weed without losing all motivation and sitting on my couch watching SpongeBob all day, so why shouldn’t I be allowed to? I can find meaning and happiness in hedonism, consumption and career success, so why shouldn’t we abandon traditional forms of spirituality? I can have casual sex with many people without any physical harm or psychological damage coming to me, so why shouldn’t I be able to without condemnation?” The problem comes if freeing these people from the chains of tradition and obligation actively damages the lives of many others, and I think it does.

Most people (and yes, I include myself in this) don’t particularly desire a great deal of individual liberty. They want a clear, well-trodden path, a route that works, a comfortable life, ‘traditional’ happiness in the form of a stable community and family. They don’t want to have to set out in the world on their own without a map and to figure out everything for themselves.

Look at the interminable number of TikTok and Instagram gurus. The Tates and the Female Dating Strategists. The Hustle Bros and the Girlbosses. What are their (often very young) audiences looking for? Someone to tell them exactly what to do and how to do it. They represent an organic rejection of personal freedom, of individualism, which is aberrant and dysfunctional.


Have you watched the show Fleabag? One of the reasons it resonated with so many young women is that it’s about this. Of course its creator is a liberal feminist, she doesn’t even really understand the implications and the true theme of her own work (this is not unusual of course). But there’s a scene in the second season where the protagonist, who has wasted her twenties and early thirties doing nothing and having endless casual sex with strangers, is sitting in a confession box at a church begging the priest, begging God, to tell her what to do, to give her a path, to free her from the atomized and empty and depressing nature of her existence. Here’s the monologue.

Of course, the scene is subverted (she later sleeps with the priest); I consider it unlikely the writer even consciously understood the impulse she was describing. But I also think that in the moment it’s so, so real, more than the creator knew while writing it.

More generally, a lot of modernity serves the interests of a small minority of happily atomized PMC ‘decouplers’ who want to maximize their individual freedom at the expense of the institutions that allow for a more broad-based happiness. “I can gamble without getting addicted, so why shouldn’t I be allowed to? I can smoke mountains of 20%+ thc weed without losing all motivation and sitting on my couch watching SpongeBob all day, so why shouldn’t I be allowed to? I can find meaning and happiness in hedonism, consumption and career success, so why shouldn’t we abandon traditional forms of spirituality? I can have casual sex with many people without any physical harm or psychological damage coming to me, so why shouldn’t I be able to without condemnation?” The problem comes if freeing these people from the chains of tradition and obligation actively damages the lives of many others, and I think it does.

Agree with this analysis, although I'm not sure what to do about it. Virtually all progress comes from this group, and I find their arguments coherent and compelling. Yet at the same time, I cannot deny that for many, this does not work and is not what they want. This is most apparent in free speech advocacy. Back when tech was not just created by but run by nerds, there was no censorship or moderation. You could say whatever you wanted - getting banned wasn't even a thing. But once the plebe hordes arrived, they demanded that the internet not be that way, and now you have some longhouse marm listening in on your teamspeak when playing Overwatch, making sure you don't say any mean words or you get a banslap. And the plebes like this! They think it's progress and celebrate it! To the extent that there's any disagreement among them, it's not over the censor button itself, but slapfighting over who is the one in charge of the censorship.

While my disdain is not exactly concealed, I do acknowledge that for many, freedom doesn't work that well. You let them eat whatever they want and they just stuff themselves until they're like a fn balloon. You let them buy opiates and they turn themselves into a zombie infestation on the streets. It's completely ridiculous, but I cannot deny that this is objectively what happens for a good chunk of the population. Whatever I may think of their epistemics and philosophy, the results speak for themselves: being denied the freedom to fuck up objectively improves the lives of many. Further, whatever elegant philosophical foundation high-decoupling freedom advocates have, de facto their policies are Darwinian accelerationism: "If the plebes want to eat until they bust, well then so be it, let them bust." But judging by the fertility stats, we've already accelerated to a degree that may well crash the entire species. However beautiful I may find the philosophical underpinnings of liberalism, I am at least clearheaded enough to concede that the collapse of the species is a bad thing, and whatever caused that should probably be reconsidered.

Where this leaves me, I don't know, other than to say annoyed and unsettled. I don't want to be subjected to their petty nonsense, but I also don't want humanity to collapse, so... I don't know, maybe stuff them back in their matrix pods while I walk free? But of course there's little room for that in my philosophy, and advocating so is a stain on my soul.

Maybe if we could set it up in such a way that they're technically putting themselves in the matrix pods while I walk free... ponders

Does your ideology support the notion that it's better for billions to have lived free than -illions to have spent their lives in chains?

But judging by the fertility stats, we've already accelerated to a degree that may well crash the entire species. However beautiful I may find the philosophical underpinnings of liberalism, I am at least clearheaded enough to concede that the collapse of the species is a bad thing, and whatever caused that should probably be reconsidered.

This leads me to something I've noticed. Plenty of people, when confronted with this sort of conflict between political system and population, rather than rethink the former, instead set out to "fix" the latter. Once, there were the Communists attempting to create the New Soviet Man. Now, I see plenty of people looking at what you've pointed out above, and arguing that we need only keep papering over the cracks and spinning the plates just a little while longer, until Inevitable Technological Progress allows us to "fix" humanity to be long-term compatible with our political system — whether that's by replacing human governance with a godlike AI singleton, Aubrey de Grey making us nigh-immortal, or using CRISPR and exowombs to engineer the New Soviet Liberal Man Person of Self-Determined Gender (as a Tumblr mutual keeps insisting is just a few years away). No matter which way, it seems that for them, Man is made for The System rather than The System being made for Man (a view which, as I've previously noted, goes back to Plato at least).

Maximum individual liberty is alienation from others.

Countries in Islamic North Africa and - as @self_made_human says below - India have both high numbers of young women working and comparatively much more conservative sexual morality than the West.

I was actually less precise/nuanced than could be desirable in the response you're pointing at. That is, to an extent, unavoidable when discussing such an enormous country.

In a sense, the Sexual Revolution is here/ongoing in India. If you average over the entire place, then of course it's going to be very conservative compared to the West.

If you average over major cities, it's going to be significantly more liberal. Dating and casual sex is hardly unheard of, and in more liberal places like college or uni, entirely unremarkable. I speak VERY broadly, there are colleges, down in the south, where you can get expelled for holding hands with the opposite sex, even off campus.

It might be slightly frowned upon, but for the average middle/UMC Indian, be it a boy or girl, your parents won't disown you for bringing a new partner home, and as an independent young professional living in a city, you're largely immune from any negative consequences of sleeping around.

Quite recently, my ex of many years unblocked me, and I discovered she's going through what could be described as a belated hoe-phase, and I had to treat her for STDs (no judgment, I broke her heart, I'm more miffed at her terrible taste in new partners and what that might say about her dating me), and she's experienced some of the downsides of the SR as might be entirely unremarkable from examples in the CWR thread. Such as a fling with a 35 yo dude who asked her if she was amenable to poly/an open relationship.

Another point of pushback is that India has liberalized, especially since women began entering higher education, and were enabled to work independently in most of the same jobs as men. We simply began from a nadir in terms of gender equality, but going from Victorian norms to 1950s America in the same period America went from the 50s to uh, whatever the date is now, is still an enormous change, and smaller exclaves have achieved total parity.

The directional trend is robustly liberal, the future is already here, it's just not evenly distributed. So if you ask whether the empowerment/employment of women lead to loosening of sexual norms, then India should not be taken as a counter-example, we started from a more conservative position and we still moved left.

*Illustrative observations:

Tiny village in bumfuck nowhere? If you get caught dating, you're getting yelled at, or punished, or potentially beaten up (or very rarely honor-killed).

Middle class or UMC in a major city? Dating is frowned upon before college, because it distracts from your studies, once you're there it's no big deal, at most you are discouraged from sleeping around too much as a girl, for reputational concerns. Not even that big a deal, my slag of an ex from med school won't face any real issues when she's looking to settle down. Her mom didn't, and she was infamous as the class pony if the muttered complaints from my parents are factual, and she ended up marrying a judge. (Different exes)

Rich? Do whatever the fuck you want, and unless your family is hidebound, it doesn't matter.

To your second point, I see this argument get bandied about endlessly, and it almost always fails to take seriously the way I see critics of the SR conceptualize the matter. This is the same error feminists always make against those who advocate a return to the 1950's, when they castigate men by saying that it was never a utopia. A claim I never saw any man ever make. The choice isn't necessarily between good and bad. It's between bad and 'worse'. The common error is to assume to there's some kind of 'solution' out there that we simply have to get to, that appeases all parties involved, and there isn't. You simply have to 'tolerate' certain things. Women aren't exactly the happiest they've ever been either, living in the richest and most emancipated society that's ever existed in the history of the human species. That either goes to show that:

  1. Their happiness isn't very stable and shouldn't be shown too much regard.

  2. If they're going to be unhappy no matter how you have it, there are better ways to structure society and better uses to put them to.


More generally, a lot of modernity serves the interests of a small minority of happily atomized PMC ‘decouplers’ who want to maximize their individual freedom at the expense of the institutions that allow for a more broad-based happiness.

This is why I've always looked at liberal/progressive ideology (and indeed Leftism broadly construed) as a snake that eats its own tail. A lot of these kind of freedomhead's espouse values such as "unity!" and "solidarity!" in their philosophical lexicons, but it rings hollow on the inside.

"Solidarity!," doesn't carry with it the same intimacy with others as the spirit of "nationalism!" and love of one's country does. Saying "let's all go to the community center!" doesn't have the same ring to it as saying, "let's all go to Church on Sunday!," and be told about our place in the cosmos.

Data on things like how promiscuity affects relationship success and satisfaction lead detractors of the sexual revolution to often note the fact that many young people today probably would be happier getting married in their mid twenties to an exclusive partner. I think this is what most women want.

Too bad they've been priced out of it by factors mostly beyond their control (yet they're quite obviously still fans of it, as indicated by their politics). If we took a hatchet to the educational-managerial complex and levelled it hard enough that it resembles what it was in 1950 [so that you were considered an adult by your society far closer to when it biologically occurs, with all the financial opportunities thereof, without needing to even graduate high school and university was only for the actually smart people] , you'd see men and women getting good jobs then married in their late-teens-early-twenties again as was normal in those days ("high school sweetheart" isn't a meme from that time for no reason).

But we don't have that, and said education system currently forms a massive form of "corporate" welfare for women-as-population, so apart from being able to offshore those lower-skill jobs to China- like we did to men in the '80s- good luck clawing that back from an electorate wholly dependent on it. (Same thing for HR positions- it would take a significant amount of legal reform to pop that bubble.) It'd probably take a war that explodes most of China for that to happen in the US again, but half of the male Chinese population dying overnight would probably end up causing 500 years of Chinese world domination 50 years later so maybe that's not great for American interests.

The problem comes if freeing these people from the chains of tradition and obligation actively damages the lives of many others, and I think it does.

Thus the obvious conclusion: the need to impose taxes on the excess amounts of virtue those people have. Anyone who wants to freely exercise that intrinsic power deserves to get shot up just as surely as those who make more than an average amount of money do should they get any idea to keep it. The liberal argument is the same as it's always been- lower taxes on virtue has had massive economic benefits and given us basically everything in the modern world- and the traditionalist-progressive argument that we should not have that if it gets Society further away from the moral fashions (usually one's parents' conception of God, but in the last 400 years it's been capital-P Progress carrying the day) is convincing to some people who... have also been on the back foot in terms of dictating socioeconomic policies for 360 of the past 400 years (that said, almost all of those 40 years have been within the last 100- 1920-1940, 2014 to today, and the other one was 1800-1810 confined mostly to Europe).

Considering society at large has been effectively continually inflating punishments for Outer Party members (the section of society most likely to need this as a release valve), this is another "it could work, but prices are too high now". Fines were good enough proxies for taxes (though it's worth noting people don't see fines as such), not sufficiently ruinous, and inconsistently-enforced enough that this way of levying them was probably OK, but fines have far outpaced inflation and State capacity has grown to such an extent that being able to make a case is a few clicks away (extended to the average citizen by means of Twitter mob), and the temptation to do this is pretty obviously there (considering all Western states spent the last 2 of 3 years overusing exactly that ability).

As always, the problem is that society itself (and its governments, charged with executing its preferences) has shown itself to be an incredibly untrustworthy judge of what should and shouldn't be taxed- it is probably not an accident that, for those 360 years, the states with the lowest such taxes were the most prosperous compared to the rest of the world; the worst one could say is that it's coincidence.

I just want to say that I really enjoy your writing and your perspective.

Most times on the Motte people only respond when they are in disagreement (often about one detail of a long post). On rare occassions I think it could help to simply say "good post". So... good post!

The idea that female labor force participation automatically generates liberal sexual mores simply isn’t as obvious as some people seem to think

It's less that female labor force participation automatically generates liberal sexual mores than that technological advancement undermines the property relations upon which traditional marriage and patriarchy in general was built, which in turn creates an environment conducive to liberalization of sexual mores and to increasing participation of women in the labor force.

Yeah, but it’s not that good, either.

Is it worse than what came before? I don't think so.

women don’t really get anything out of casual sex.

Women don't have to have casual sex, and in fact most women don't have casual sex. Average number of life sex partners is something like 6, and those tend to be long-term partners in a relationship, not bar or tinder hook-ups. Casual sex is more common than it was in the 50s, but it's not really that common.

Data on things like how promiscuity affects relationship success and satisfaction lead detractors of the sexual revolution to often note the fact that many young people today probably would be happier getting married in their mid twenties to an exclusive partner.

This data is naturally very confounded. I can't find the stats at the moment so I guess you should have lower confidence in what I say next, but promiscuity sex only leads to lower satisfaction among those who believe promiscuity is wrong. So if you think promiscuity is wrong, don't be promiscuous. It's true that married people generally report being happier than unmarried people, but that is also extremely confounded, the evidence that it's a long-term effect is shaky, and the effects are small anyway.

But there’s a scene in the second season where the protagonist, who has wasted her twenties and early thirties doing nothing and having endless casual sex with strangers, is sitting in a confession box at a church begging the priest, begging God, to tell her what to do, to give her a path, to free her from the atomized and empty and depressing nature of her existence.

What does it mean for married life with kids to be more meaningful or less empty than the contrary? I'm not religious, so I don't think Jehovah or Allah or anyone else has prescribed that as the "correct path." What do I have to believe in order to believe that there is some kind of real 'meaning' or 'fulfillment' in traditional life that is not found elsewhere? When e-trads talk about the meaning, happiness, fulfillment etc. of getting married and having kids I just have to wonder what they're talking about. I don't live in a cave. I have seen married couples with kids, many of them close up. Some of them are happy, sure. Some of them are hilariously miserable. 50% of marriages end in divorce, and I highly doubt 100% of the other 50% are happy. It seems like most people who get married aren't actually satisfied with the way their life turns out.

I say all of this as someone who does not live a particularly hedonistic life by most standards. I don't drink or smoke weed or use any harder drugs. I like reading books, hanging out with my friends and family, exercising, and arguing with people online, most of which would be unobjectionable to even the most conservative conservative. But I still think I have benefited from the revolution, because if it hadn't been for that, there's a real chance I'd be married with kids on the way by now, and if not now, then almost certainly within the next decade, which is something I don't want in the slightest.

Men’s desires are more debatable, since a large part of the incel phenomenon is (as you correctly suggest) anguish that they’re not ‘chads’ rather than actual discontent with the dynamics of the wider system.

I'll reply in a separate comment because it's a subject that deserves more scrutiny.

Can you please explain why you keep repeating this ludicrous claim with no basis in reality? Have you ever even seen an incel in your life, either online or offline?

What benefit did 13 year old girls passed around between adult rockstars as groupies in the 1970s get from this glorious state of affairs?

I swear this is like the 50th time you’ve brought this up on this site since it started, because you’re eager to bring it up whenever the repercussions of the Sexual Revolution are discussed. Ok, I get it, or at least I think I do – you’re a feminist woman after all, and that entire cultural hellscape in question just disgusts you to the core. But let’s look at this objectively.

Based on what accounts are available on the ‘baby groupie’ phenomenon, it appears it was pretty much confined to the Sunset Strip area, and 99% of all the attention it ever got was due to two of these groupies being willing to give interviews about their activities in order to get their 15 minutes of fame. And according to the Wikipedia articles on them, even these accounts are contradictory, which raises the obvious question of how far these girls were actually willing to go sexually, and just how much they lied and embellished. Either way, I’d be very surprised if the number of these baby groupies ever exceeded 100 in the entire US, in other words, it was completely negligible. (‘baby’ is an important qualifier here obviously)

On the other hand, if I want to play sociologist and give a reasonable explanation as to why all this even happened, I’d say this: there were numerous veterans returning from World War Two and the Korean and Vietnam Wars suffering from PTSD, which, combined with the overall decrease in parental supervision in general due to social upheaval, drove many teenagers to run away from dysfunctional and traumatizing households, permanently or intermittently. Also, pop music turned into a huge and commercialized cultural phenomenon, plus rebellious behavior and drug use was socially normalized in the ‘60s. It was also much easier to have a transient lifestyle before the digital age. But again, none of this is directly related to the Sexual Revolution.

I think the teenage groupie phenomenon is overstated for sure, but it's an interesting slice of history.

There was an incredibly brief period of history (basically the 1970s) when premarital sex was destigmatized but upper-middle class children still had freedom from helicopter parents.

I agree, but I doubt these baby groupies came from upper-middle class families.

I swear this is like the 50th time you’ve brought this up on this site since it started, because you’re eager to bring it up whenever the repercussions of the Sexual Revolution are discussed. Ok, I get it, or at least I think I do – you’re a feminist woman after all, and that entire cultural hellscape in question just disgusts you to the core. But let’s look at this objectively.

I’m so non-feminist I believe that women shouldn’t have the franchise and their college attendance should be capped at some low percentage of the total, and ‘13 year old groupies getting passed around as communal toys’ is disgusting and enraging to me. So throw out the accusation if you’d like.