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Culture War Roundup for the week of April 29, 2024

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Antisemitism is definitely increasing in the US on the left and right. But I don’t see it becoming central to politics for a few reasons.

The first is that the last time there was major antisemitism in European countries (including the US) Jews were the most ‘visible minority’ with any political power. Blacks in the US had no political power and this was in any case before the majority of the great migration to the northern cities had occurred. Today whites are far more likely to have issues with other minorities than Jews.

The second issue is that the right and left approach antisemitism from completely different angles. As the speech you quoted from the AmRen conference down thread suggests, the problem the hard left has with Jews is that they’re too white, and that this quality is what makes Israel an ‘apartheid state’ and ‘white supremacist’. The problem the hard right has with Jews (if they have a problem with them) is that they’re not white enough, that they advocate against ‘white interests’, undermining European civilization from within.

These views are fundamentally opposed; black nationalists and white ones can agree on their contempt for Jews but will quickly disagree on what is owed to black people. Islamists and white nationalists can agree on hostility toward Jews but will quickly disagree on the status of brown and black migrants from Islamic countries in the West. And white nationalists and some far leftists may agree that some wealthy or influential Jews support progressive policies in America but ethnonationalist ones in Israel, but their desired resolutions to this hypocrisy are literally diametrically opposite to each other.

The only theory that makes sense is the argument, advanced in some white nationalist circles, that without the leadership and financial contributions of Jewish people the organized left and center-left would crumble. I don’t find this persuasive; progressivism in the West was a powerful force long before the large scale involvement of Jews in politics and many European countries with very few Jewish people involved in political life still have large, influential, gentile left-leaning political factions that also support all the stuff that angers reactionaries.


What’s the point of the weird opinion canvassing you do here? You’ve been banned like ten times for hmmposting as @sarker said yesterday. I don’t even mind your presence because I think you post some interesting discussion points, but I wish you’d be honest about why you’re doing it.

FWIW I’m grateful to you for these thoughtful responses each time.

I always ignored him, but is he interesting at all? That's a pretty strong endorsement from rightwingwatch

I find him interesting personally. He’s a troll to some extent, I think he was literally fifteen or sixteen when he started doing it and it was essentially reading out smug /pol/posts in front of a camera. The issue for him now is that he can’t do anything else, there is no off-ramp for him, and competition in the DR grift-verse has intensified dramatically, so he’s kind of stuck. I think the difference between him and a lot of other people in the same space is that he didn’t really have time to develop much personality as a young man beyond his internet persona.

If you mean intellectually, if you’re here probably not, his content is essentially boilerplate /pol/ third-worldist collage posting and his voice and shock jock radio host affect are (in my opinion) annoying, like a very smarmy teenager’s. If you’re interested in those views they can be restated with more complexity in all the usual DR places online and a lot of what Fuentes does is rephrase this stuff for his zoomer audience anyway.

He is almost certainly cooperating with the FBI. He's done more than enough on J6 to warrant prosecution-

I agree that many figures in all radical movements (almost certainly including Fuentes) have some kind of relationship with law enforcement / intelligence, because the FBI/CIA can ruin the life of pretty much anyone if they want to. I doubt he’s consciously repeating what they want him to though. It’s more that he’s at a dead end, he can’t become respectable again like Hanania, he isn’t funny enough to go back to being a cool edgy comedian like Hyde, if he moderates on any position his base will call him cucked and abandon him.

I doubt he’s consciously repeating what they want him to though.

I think you're not serious.

His followers are effectively a horde of shit-flinging monkeys, a staple of jokes "name the jew" types. He sometimes says sensible things, and then tars them by 'jokingly' talking about holocaust denial, which while might be attractive to lower IQ Americans incapable of understanding human nature, is laughable to people with more experience or people who lived in the region, like Europeans.

Yeah, there's a remote possibility that his ego doesn't prevent him from just fading away, changing his name and not harming his cause, but I rather think he's playing a role for the FBI because they need him to play a role.

Short of the kind of extreme plastic surgery that exists only in movies, he can't leave the life. I'm not defending him, and in any case he directly wishes me harm, hates me, and is an asshole. But I think he's realized his only option in life (other than subsisting off the most menial labor jobs anyone can get and hoping his coworkers never recognize him) is this from now on. It's clear he has some kind of relationship with intelligence since he can somehow still travel and use bank accounts, I presume he's feeding them stuff about other people in his movement, possibly about violent threats or people he thinks may be capable of political violence. That's usually a trade-off these people take.

Why? He's a Mexican. You think if he grew a beard and went into Mexico and became a normal person with a normal job, he'd be in trouble ? Or you know, that he'd be widely recognized in the US offline if he changed his looks a bit ? Guys can always grow a beard. If it worked for a war criminal who was actually a fugitive, in a country one fiftieth the size of the US, not just out of favor, it should work for Nick.

Or that he couldn't get hired in the US in a red state by someone who isn't affiliated with America's ideological police, the misnamed 'EEOC' ? , so any small company ?

I can’t help but feel that Elon purposefully drew attention to Fuentes, by posting multiple replies about him. Yeah, he can say “well akshually I’m philosemitic”, and maybe he is, but by his actions he is making hundreds of thousands check him out. I also find the Andrew/Tristan Tate interactions notable; it’s hard to overstate how influential Andrew Tate is for, like, 9-16yo boys of diverse backgrounds. Tate essentially stamping approval on Nick Fuentes is a strange phenomenon which is leading impressionable young boys to his influence. It’s also pretty funny how the ADL has negligible public support: The ADL’s tweet about Nick Fuentes and Nick Fuentes’ first tweet had the same views for a time, but Fuentes had 80x the likes (adjusted for his persona non grata status among normies, maybe 120x the likes?). The ADL is the arm of wealthy donors — it has no backers among the common folk.

It's funny how the loud and obnoxious groypers got Fuentes back but all the more-sophisticated rightists have been petitioning to get Jared Taylor back on twitter, to no avail as yet. Maybe Musk is trying to weakman the far-right? Fuentes and Tate-tier figures aren't especially dangerous to anyone IMO, they have no political sway. You need to be working with adults, not children, you need a certain level of respectability. Tucker for instance is worth 10 Fuentes.

Fuentes is entertaining, funny at times, and has a social media army of teenagers. This can be influential in the same way that the 4chan --> Elon Musk pipeline was influential. Charisma is important (why Musk’s persona is more influential than Zuckerberg’s, why Trump won the presidency). Jared Taylor is too old and outside the current memeplex to affect culture now; maybe he is the most well-spoken person on the far right, but being well-spoken doesn’t really do much. Remember how influential Jon Stewart was? Stephen Colbert? These were dumb personas that made jokes but IMO were vastly more influential than their knowledge or raw intelligence should allow. Fuentes has 10 more years of being a “youth influence” (going by Asmongold’s age) and putting him back on Twitter is a way to grow his audience.

I disagree that Tucker is 10x more influential. IMO Tucker is more like 50x more influential.

You need to be working with adults, not children, you need a certain level of respectability.

What time horizon are you working with? The reason people are so concerned with what is taught in school is because working with kids has a big impact on the long term. Working in children's entertainment is probably even more powerful. I remember blowing a lot of things off in school (especially high school) because it was mandatory and I had to be there, but this is what kids are seeking out in their own time.

I guess I am pretty short-termist: AI and a looming showdown in the Pacific may well decide the fate of the world soon. If everyone's pieces aren't developed soon, they might as well be taken off the board.

I just don't think Tate and Fuentes have such a big effect. Some groypers embarrassed some Turning Point USA event IIRC, that was Nick Fuente's claim to fame. But who are the key players, which are the most valuable pieces? Adults: policymakers, policy enforcers, officer corps, party cadres, elite businessmen, academics. They also have the power to beat down the youth, they can force you to put your pronouns on a badge or make you affirm your commitment to DEI. They can take your job prospects away if you support unapproved movements. Where is Tate right now? In jail. The way to achieve political change is to demoralize enemy elites and mobilize friendly elites, growing a power base, rewarding supporters with sinecures and power... Popular opinion is important but secondary to the key actors.

Furthermore, Tate and Fuentes aren't team players, they're bad pieces. Fuentes had this huge feud with BAP, I don't really know the details. That's not really productive from the point of view of the rightist world-spirit. Neither of them are prophet-tier activists like Muhammed, Hitler or even Trump. Trump's a deeply, deeply flawed prophet but he does have the power to rally armed men, he has serious pull with charisma alone.

Tweet likes are probably a bad metric. Twitter doesn't have a downvote button. Outrageous posts that are net unfavorable can get massive amounts of likes.

But agree that support for ADL among non-Jews, non donor class rounds to zero.

If Fuentes was smart, he would say he opposes the secular Jew but loves the Orthodox Jew. It renders the claim of anti semitism hollow while allowing him to say he appreciates the ethnic enclaves created by the ultra orthodox and wants something like that for white people.

With that said, for the first time in a long time Jewish support is up for grabs. The republicans would be silly to not dismiss Fuentes quickly. The one thing they should say though is “welcome to be hated — just like whites have been for awhile.”

He doesn't care about the claim of anti semitism. Why would he? He's anti semitic and that's a good thing

Why would conservatives ally with people who have a culture fundamentally opposed to European/western values whose lobbying groups have been solidly against the interests of western conservatism? The natural relation between western conservatives and jews is one of antagonism and it has been the case for 2000 years. Israel is a massive waste of tax money and AIPAC is a major foreign influence on politics.

The ADL got conservatives banned off twitter and now they are supposed to suck up to them?

The British Jews have been solidly conservative since like, forever. Continental European Jews also tend to be right wing.

I'm pretty sure American Jews vote left wing because the American right has a history of racial discrimination, which Jews pattern match to Nazism.

The (global) Jews aren't opposed to western civilisation. The anglosphere left is opposed to western civilisation, and the American Jews have integrated into that.

Solidly Conservative, not solidly conservative. The Conservative Party has enthusiastically advanced mass migration along with the Labour Party, just like the Democratic and non-Maga Republican party, or the Australian Labour Party and the Australian Liberal/National Party.

If you define conservatism as Judeo-Christian values, mass migration, globalization, regime change abroad and so on... then sure, US Jews, British Jews are conservative. George Soros is nearly a conservative, albeit insufficiently supportive of police and dangerously opposed to Israel. If you define conservatism differently, conserving national identity and demographics, conserving national industries, conserving traditional values... then they're absolutely not conservative.

There's a distinction between traditional values and Judeo-Christian values: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judeo-Christian_ethics

The latter is a kind of Orwell/FDR/Lyndon Johnson idea of innate human equality and social democracy pressed into service for the ideological struggle of WW2. The former is far older, stricter and embraces distinctions. Consider the 30 year old single mother on a dating app looking for a real man to support her - Judeo-Christian values would say something like 'man up, we're all equal in God, love your neighbour's children as yourself' whereas traditional values would probably scold you for being on Tinder in the first place and exclude the woman from polite society.

Consider the 30 year old single mother on a dating app looking for a real man to support her - Judeo-Christian values would say something like 'man up, we're all equal in God, love your neighbour's children as yourself' whereas traditional values would probably scold you for being on Tinder in the first place and exclude the woman from polite society

Traditional morality has no prohibition on marrying a single mother, and indeed encourages it. Mohammed himself (at least according to the Sunnis) married first a woman who had had children by two previous husbands, and married several other widows with many children between them. Remarriage was historically much more common because of widowhood; it's likely that fewer men have a wife with prior children today than at any previous time in history.

Even if we say that the single mother was not widowed and merely divorced, Muhammad and ancient Christians and Jews also married divorced women, and again this was religiously satisfactory in most cases and (in Islam especially) considered an auspicious act for one's chances in the afterlife. Indeed in Judaism, the only man who must marry a virgin is the singular High Priest, and even then only if he marries once in office, rather than before it.

Even if we go one step further and say that our single mother is neither widow nor divorcee but actual whore in the biblical sense, it is unclear how bad this is. Prostitutes being forgiven, even exalted, feature heavily in the New Testament and the Quran and Hadiths. Except for the prohibition for Kohanim, and a line in the Quran about how a 'fornicator' must marry a 'fornicatress' (which if anything is a limit on male promiscuity, but is widely interpreted by scholars as not applying literally for some reason). The only additional Christian prohibition I'm aware of is that if she was married and was divorced for something that was not adultery, she would not be able to remarry.

If you define conservatism as Judeo-Christian values, mass migration, globalization, regime change abroad and so on... then sure, US Jews, British Jews are conservative. George Soros is nearly a conservative, albeit insufficiently supportive of police and dangerously opposed to Israel. If you define conservatism differently, conserving national identity and demographics, conserving national industries, conserving traditional values... then they're absolutely not conservative.

Possibly, but then only a very small percentage of even the native population would be considered 'conservative'. Since there are only two major parties in FPTP systems, the only information we have is about whether some population tends to vote for the more or less leftist one.

I'm pretty sure American Jews vote left wing because the American right has a history of racial discrimination, which Jews pattern match to Nazism.

Secular urbanites, which is what most self identified Jews are in practice, vote left wing. Religious Jews either block vote as part of machine politics or vote republican.

The British Jews have been solidly conservative since like, forever. Continental European Jews also tend to be right wing.

Is that correct? If so, it would be pretty remarkable. As much as I hate it, the educated class tends to be left wing pretty much everywhere, and Jews are highly educated.

Would be interested in a source.

I'm pretty sure American Jews vote left wing because the American right has a history of racial discrimination, which Jews pattern match to Nazism.

This doesn't seem to parse. Surely the German right wing has a much stronger history of racial discrimination?

American Jews vote the way they do because it matches their identity and status signalling, just like everyone else.

'Since forever' was hyperbole on my part, but this article suggests that Jews have been conservative for most of the post-war period. While they started off as poor, Eastern European immigrants (and voted left), they moved up the class pyramid and switched to voting right. This report suggests that the preference for Conservative voting was well established by 1995 but I couldn't find any data from earlier.

Plus the Victorian Britains elected the extremely Jewish-sounding Benjamin Disraeli as Conservative Prime Minister in 1874, although he had converted to the Church of England as a child so his Jewishness was ethnic if not religious. The end of (limited) legal discrimination against Jews is usually dated to 1858, when they were allowed to become members of Parliament without taking a Christian oath of office.

The big difference between British and American Jews is religion. Per Wikipedia, 46% of American Jews are synagogue members, but only 22% of the 46% are Orthodox. 56% of British Jews are synagogue members, and 69% of the 56% are some flavour of Orthodox. (The difference appears to be even higher based on survey data, but I think the synagogue membership numbers are more reliable because maintaining synagogue membership is a costly signal).

British secular (and Reform, although there are not enough regular synagogue-going Reform Jews in the UK to matter) Jews are as left-wing as American ones - the most significant secular Jewish family in the UK at the moment is probably the Milibands, where Ralph was a WW2-era Polish Jewish refugee who became a famous communist academic, and his sons David and Edward were respectively the leading centrist and left-wing candidates for the Labour leadership after the 2010 election defeat. (Both are also visibly happier living in the US - this is consistent with my experience of my school/university social circle where secular Jews who had the opportunity mostly moved to the US.) But Orthodox Jews are much higher percentage of the Jewish population, and they are right-wing for the obvious reasons.

Both are also visibly happier living in the US

Ed Miliband doesn't live in the US, he's still an MP! He will likely be energy minister when Labour wins.

this is consistent with my experience of my school/university social circle where secular Jews who had the opportunity mostly moved to the US.

I would put it differently. Secular American Jews often retain some aspects of their particular ethnic identity because we don't live in a society with as much of a monoculture as the UK. The same was historically true of other groups in the diverse East Coast cities, like the Irish and Italians.

Secular British Jews assimilate very rapidly (even though the overall intermarriage rate is lower because of the higher level of Orthodoxy as you note). Those great Anglo-Jewish families of the 19th and early 20th centuries, the Rothschilds, the Goldsmiths and so on, are pretty much entirely gentile now - the younger Rothschilds were raised and baptised in the CofE. Even the 20th century secular Jews of more recent shtetl heritage assimilate quickly - look at how quickly Gerald Ronson's and Philip Green's (who himself married a gentile iirc) children have deserted the faith. And Ronson is a committed Jew! He donates to charities, sat on the board of various things and so on. But even then, it wasn't enough.

There is almost a kind of standard assimilatory narrative for British Jews who make some money. The parents send them to Eton or Harrow or Cheltenham and then Oxbridge, they do well in the city (perhaps in a Jewish firm, perhaps not) or in the arts or something else, then they marry a gentile Sloane Ranger (or a male aristo in the case of the women). In two generations, any residual Jewishness is a family memory, they celebrate Christmas, they have essentially fully assimilated into the British upper-middle or upper class.

The same happened in a different way with working class secular Jews, who largely joined the white exodus out of East London and headed toward Essex. Those who remained religious still exist in large numbers in places like Gants Hill, but many who weren't had within one generation fully assimilated into normal southeastern working class English culture. An example of that is Katie Price's family, or even Stacey Solomon's to some degree. The secular Jewish intellectual culture that exists in the US doesn't exist in Britain. Jews who stay Jewish are overwhelmingly Orthodox, those who don't become English very quickly.

From 2019:

In the 2017 election, 67% of Jewish voters backed the Tories and 11% supported Labour, according to figures supplied by JPR. A poll this autumn suggested that Jewish support for Labour in next week’s election could fall to 6%.

The first and as yet only Jewish Prime Minister was Disraeli in the 1860s and 1870s.

I would think the 2017 result is an outlier due to Corbyn's antisemitism.

But that is indeed remarkable. American Jews have been thoroughly captured by the Democrats. I expect Jews will continue to be big supporters in 2024 despite the vibe shift.

I suppose this speaks to class differences between the UK and the US. In the US, the Democrats are the "posh" party whereas the Republicans are for the proles. In the UK, it's more complicated.

Doesn’t that likely have something to do with the Labour Party under Corbin being pretty openly antisemitic? The numbers might have been different otherwise.

Even in 2015 the Tories won the Jewish vote 50-29, and that was when the Labour candidate for Prime Minister was Jewish.

Jews voted more for Labour in the mid-20th century because many were poor recent immigrants from Eastern Europe and voting at that time in England was still very class-and-region based.

I think you don’t know a lot of religious Jews if you think they are opposed to western values. Go to an orthodox (but not ultra orthodox) and they sound a lot like your average Republican voter.

The Modern Orthodox skew strongly Democratic, though not as much as other non-Haredi Jews.

Talk to them. Understanding their beliefs. They don’t fit with progressives.

Lots of Democrats are not progressives.

Too bad for them that their elected politicians are. Or stated differently there is a chance for a realignment.

They still vote for the Democrats. And will continue to, because voting Republican (to a large and increasing extent) Just Isn't Done.

A January 2020 survey regarding Orthodox political views from the Nishma Research institute found that 53% of Modern Orthodox Jews identify as Democrat, liberal, progressive or left-leaning compared to 37% who describe themselves as Republican, conservative, right-leaning or libertarian.

They do skew Democratic, although the reason for this given by the head of the polling company is:

As a possible explanation for the overall leftward lean of the Modern Orthodox, Trencher pointed to additional 2015 polling data from the Pew Research Institute that found roughly 40% of the subset’s members to be ba’alei teshuva — those who adopt a fully observant lifestyle after having been raised not religious...When [those ba’alei teshuva] are asked if there’s anything that they do hang on to [once they start leading a more religious lifestyle], they say ‘liberal political views,'” Trencher said.

It's likely that as the born Modern Orthodox population expands significantly those politics will shift over time. There have also been some questions about Nishma's data on some Orthodox forums. There's other stuff like:

NEW YORK — An overwhelming percentage of Orthodox Jews in the United States plan to cast their ballots for President Donald Trump come November, according to a poll published Wednesday...The survey from the community’s Ami Magazine found that a whopping 83 percent of Orthodox Jews said they will vote for Trump, compared to just 13% who said they’d support the Democratic Party’s nominee, Joe Biden. Four percent of respondents are undecided, with just 20 days remaining until the election

Ami leans Chareidi but isn't exclusively so. It's a mixed bag, as the poll shows many people who call themselves Modern Orthodox are liberal Jews who were hooked by Chabad and started being religious later in life. They're not suddenly going to drop all their progressive politics because they become more faithful with age. But certainly it is true that being more religious is by far the single biggest predictor of conservative politics among Jews (as it is among whites and hispanics in many cases for that matter afaik).

The far right has little knowledge of how ultra orthodox communities operate, which is a shame because it’s the perfect discursive weapon: either you must defend the orthodox practices (and then approve of similar white aspirations), or you must criticize them (and then ask, “how did they steal one billion dollars in public funds and not be prosecuted”)? It is a win-win discursive tool.

I don’t see why that would be. I find a lot to admire about heredi Jews, the Amish, Mennonites, and other similar groups. I think as a model for forming stronger communities these groups while different share common features that could be easily adapted to creating enclaves of traditional culture for those who wants that. The secret sauce seems to be a strict set of community rules, dress and sometimes language that differs from the mainstream, and a focal point in religious beliefs and practices.

heredi Jews, the Amish, Mennonites, and other similar groups.

Two very different models. The Haredim have a social model based on parasitism (both in Israel and the US) and the main source of income in Haredi communities is fiscal transfers. The Mennonites and Amish (which are descended from the same Swiss Anabaptist sect) are probably slightly fiscally negative at the margin but social model values economic self-sufficiency at the community level.

I think language is a key enough part of the puzzle that it’s not export-able. Language revitalization is generally a failure and so I wouldn’t think that creating enclaves on their model would work.

Language definitely creates a strong barrier to departure although most Haredi communities still teach their children passable English. Not to any kind of secular world standard, but they still speak it better than plenty of first-gen immigrants who do fine in the lower levels of the economy.

Right, but — if you are a critic of Fuentes(?) — you now have to argue that his doing that is bad, while asserting it is okay for Hasidim to do it in the middle of Manhattan; and you have to argue the latter while Fuentes cites stories about billion-dollar tax evasion, discrimination, whatever. Or, if Fuentes doing it is bad and Hasidim doing it is bad, Fuentes can press on why you and other ostensible progressive organizations do not seem to care about their enclave or crime. I’m just saying that it’s surprising the far right hasn’t latched onto this discussion point.

why you and other ostensible progressive organizations do not seem to care about their enclave or crime

In NY state and in NJ it’s often secular Jews at the forefront of anti-Haredi policies. Every charity and organization designed to ‘deconvert’ (essentially deradicalize) Chareidim is funded by secular Jews, in many cases literally by George Soros. Consider that this is in marked contrast to, say, Islamist deradicalization efforts, which in the West are pretty much entirely funded by non-Muslims. It’s secular Jews who are most aggressive about lobbying the Israeli government to take away more privileges from the ultra orthodox too. In Haredi circles there are extremely common ‘conspiracy’ theories that secular Jews (who among other things they low key blame for the Holocaust) are trying to destroy their communities, both in the US and in Israel.

One of the reasons the ultra-orthodox have shifted so aggressively to the GOP in recent decades is precisely because the NY and NJ Democratic coalitions, which have a lot of senior Jewish politicians and leaders, have a fundamental contempt for them and their way of life, view them the way elite white northeastern Episcopalian progressives view Southern redneck trailer trash. They in turn spread this attitude to their Italian, Hispanic and black associates, which is why the most common complaint in Brooklyn 770 circles is that wealthy secular Jews said and did very little when eg. black people were attacking the black hats. Recently they’ve accused secular Jews of coming after the ultra-Orthodox by targeting the landlords/slumlords who finance a lot of the community.

Hasidim and Chabad have alliances with non-Orthodox Jewish groups and leaders. Some non-orthodox Jewish billionaires will help fund Hasidim or Chabad organizations. ADL and other Jewish advocacy groups never touch the Haredi issue. Chabad also has close ties with the Israeli state (Mossad finds them to be a key ally), and thus the secular Jews who promote Israel politically. Secular Jews may want some of the Haredim to become more secular, but by and large they are allied politically, culturally, and religiously with them, and do zero to combat their corruption. Meanwhile, Chabad houses are becoming the center of religious life for non-orthodox Jews in America.

secular Jews at the forefront of anti-Haredi policies

This statement is the oppose of evidenced. They were nowhere to be found when Kiryas Joel, Ramapo, or Monroe were dealing with issues of Hasidim. The campaigning, journalism, and documentaries were almost exclusively driven by white Christians.

secular Jews said and did very little when eg. black people were attacking the black hats

That’s again not true. Their secular advocacy groups made it a national news story. There were statements made by every politician. Their politicians secured them more security grants. They have a constant security presence outside. Task forces on antisemitism were made. The attacks entailed a younger black pedestrian punching one out of nowhere — this literally can’t be “policed”. They policed it maximally by actually releasing footage and dedicating police units to the area.

Recently they’ve accused secular Jews of coming after the ultra-Orthodox by targeting the landlords/slumlords who finance a lot of the community.

Okay, so are you referring to the slumlords that have gotten away with corruption / discrimination so far? What helped them get away with it for so long?

Secular Jews may want some of the Haredim to become more secular, but by and large they are allied politically, culturally, and religiously with them, and do zero to combat their corruption. Meanwhile, Chabad houses are becoming the center of religious life for non-orthodox Jews in America.

Who do you think funds efforts like this (given an extensive write-up by a Jewish journalist for NPR), where non-Haredi Jewish journalists are hired to dig up stories on political and financial corruption, sexual abuse and so on in that community, founded by an ex-Haredi guy who hates them?

Moster says the stories on the Shtetl website aim to present what's often missing in the Haredi press: stories about contentious issues such as corruption, white-collar crime and sexual abuse. One recent Shtetl feature details how Haredi Jews took over a village in the Catskills by claiming it was the primary residence of Jews who spend most of their time living in Brooklyn. Another, written by Hakimi, describes a series of anonymous ads for a family court judicial candidate in one of the Haredi towns in the suburbs north of New York City.

I see how secular Jews (not just leftist or even progressive ones) talk about the ultra-orthodox. Many advocate Xinjiang-level re-education, completely unironically. They hate them, especially those that live near or alongside them. In New Jersey, the reality of state politics and the fact that the Democrats don't have a supermajority means that the ultra-orthodox can ally with the state GOP to stymie legislative measures against them.

Okay, so are you referring to the slumlords that have gotten away with corruption / discrimination so far? What helped them get away with it for so long?

NYC slumlords have always gotten away with it, the occasional lawsuit etc excepted, especially when it comes to simply having poor conditions rather than discriminating based on race. All these guys were sued dozens of times, pursued by the city. Again, that's true for all slumlords historically, including the many, many gentile ones. The aggressive pursuit now is arguably because the largely progressive Jewish donors who funded Bragg's DA campaign care about it a great deal.

That’s again not true. Their secular advocacy groups made it a national news story. There were statements made by every politician. Their politicians secured them more security grants.

The ADL lobbies harder about a swastika on an elite university campus than they do about dozens of attacks by black people on Jews in NYC. The biggest complaint is typically that they don't even, uh, 'name' the perpetrators, so to speak.

What exactly am I supposed to glean from the rare cases of non-religious Jewish journalists investing Haredi? When I know that billionaire Thomas Kaplan, the billionaire Guma Aguiar, the billionaire Kushners, the billionaire Lev Leviev, the billionaire Ron Perelman, the billionaire Tevfik Arif, the billionaire Israel Englander, and even the Ukrainian former billionaire Kolomoisky, are all either funding ultra orthodox schools and organizations, or have funded them in the past? You wrote “it’s often secular Jews at the forefront of anti-Haredi policies” — no, they are at the forefront of funding them. And a journalistic website is not a “policy”. You are showing me a puddle in the concrete and telling me that it’s the forefront of water in the area, while I look behind you and there’s an expansive ocean with waves crashing against the pier.

Did you mean to write, “some Jews write about things against the ultra orthodox”? Well, sure. You’ve missed the best ones though, like the guy who writes the FailedMessiah blog, or the writer who wrote “Postville: A Clash of Cultures in Heartland America”. But these guys don’t matter when they are a puddle, and the ocean = secular Jewish billions and literal Mossad.

The aggressive pursuit now is arguably because the largely progressive Jewish donors who funded Bragg's DA campaign care about it a great deal

If you have a source I would be interested in reading it. When NYT “aggressively” wrote a front page piece on ultra orthodox corruption in schools (which was honestly great journalism), nothing actually came from it.

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Is fuentes encouraging people to move to the country and form a community? I don’t think I’ve ever heard of him saying something like that. I wouldn’t have a problem with people advocating that they and people like them form close knit communities in the country and adopt whatever they consider to be the ideal lifestyle. I’d only really object to people imposing that lifestyle on other people.

I’m not even convinced language revivals in such isolated communities is as hard as you think. The issue is getting enough fluency that the next generation is raised speaking that language, rather than speaking the language of the broader culture.

The Irish and Welsh have aggressively tried language revival for decades to little avail. Billions spent on little-watched TV and other media in those languages, extremely regular classes for all grades in schools starting from a young age, all official documentation, forms, street signs etc in Welsh/Irish.

All it does is create a small middle class of true believer left-nationalists (common in Europe see Scotland or Catalonia) who subsist of taxpayer funding and are paid to act as a kind of living museum.

It only worked in Israel because at that time even most educated Arab and Shtetl Jews did not speak English as a common language, so they could pick their (re)invented language. If most early migrants to Israel had spoken English or Yiddish, one of them would have become the language. Actually, if the later wave of 70s to 90s Soviet migrants had moved to Israel in 48 the de facto official language would have been Yiddish.

and then approve of similar white aspirations

Don't people tend to employ infinite "Appeal to +power" arguments in these cases? Well it's different for white people, because they hold the power, or so it would go.

I think the argument would fail in this case, because there is clearly no greater evidence of power than the ability to steal billions for your group and go unpunished — indeed to have your reputation unstained. Only the most propagandized progressive would fall back to the “powerful tautology”, if you will — so about 5% of them.

I do sometimes wonder what the total Jewish balance of funds regarding US public finances is. If you count all tax contributions including capital gains, income taxes and so on, subtract all welfare and other spending (including aid to Israel), is it positive or negative? I suspect it is still positive in the long term, but I can see that being incorrect.

Are we counting the downstream effects of Jewish-led organizations and the policies that have resulted from those?

No, because I think in that case you’d also have to consider the downstream effects of all Jewish innovations in technology, science, medicine, engineering and other sectors of the economy, which would make it too difficult to calculate.

I recently heard of yaslighting, which is where instead of convincing someone their true beliefs are delusional, you affirm their delusional beliefs and convince them they're true.

Seems to apply to a lot of things (especially transgenderism) but what I have in mind is college degree choice. Plenty of female-oriented degrees such as psychology, behavioral science, speech pathology, etc. require a Masters in order to really start working in the field. Seemingly, most of the people who study those majors just aren't aware of this.

I'm unsure whether these women just haven't googled the most basic facts of the career they'll spend their next 4-6 years pursuing, or whether they're semi-deliberately deluding themselves. My guess is the latter. If you're going to college to get married, you need to look like you have your own ambitions. Pursuing a highly-educated mate just isn't a respectable goal for women anymore.

My mother is one of these women. The way she describes it, she finished her Psychology bachelors and only then realized it would take another couple years to make a career out of it. She's extremely smart, conscientious, and logical. I can't imagine her as someone who would just forget to look into these things. During that time she married a man who would go on to become very successful, and I think that (marrying a good man, that is, not necessarily a rich one) must have been the ultimate goal all along, whatever she told herself in the process.

I'm starting to see a similar phenomenon among my siblings. My brothers have laid out step-by-step plans for college and their eventual careers. My sister just wants to study Psychology because it's interesting. None of them would breathe a word about the different expectations between the genders--the topic is somewhat taboo--but they nevertheless have Gotten the Message and are all pursuing seemingly effective strategies optimized for their gender.

My wife and I have broached the subject of Psychology careers a couple of times with my sister, and she seems actively disinterested in thinking it through. I expect she, like my mother, will get married sometime during or just after her Bachelor's degree, and claim she was unaware she needed a Master's to turn the major into a career.

This is all well and good. I find myself continually amazed at how good normies are at unconsciously separating reality from social reality and smoothly living by them both without acknowledging the contradictions. The problem arises when someone doesn't get the message and thinks the social reality is the reality, that men can "study what you enjoy" for 4 years in college with no lasting impact to career prospects or marriagability, or that women can do the same without searching for husbands and things will work out for them.

My wife is a teacher. Most of her coworkers fall into these categories. Some are men who pursued useless degrees and now work as aides. Others (the school's speech pathologists, behavioral interventionists, psychologists, etc.) are women who didn't end up getting married during their Bachelor's, and now are working very slowly towards Master's degrees while working.

American culture gets a lot of things wrong, but imo nothing so badly as gender roles. We encourage women to overeducate, in the process aging themselves out of the possibility of having children, and depriving the next generation of those who could have been their smartest and most capable mothers. It is seen as empowering and feminist to socially pressure women into denying one of the most natural human impulses, that of having and raising children, so that they can get more educated and make more money.

Telling men to pursue fun degrees (creative writing, film, political science, etc.) rather than lucrative ones is like telling them to wear makeup and wait to be asked out by women. It's a fundamental denial of reality. Those who follow such advice will generally have drastically reduced romantic success. Their prospects will be fewer, worse, and less happy to marry them than they would have been otherwise.

Telling women to not look for husbands in college, and focus on education, is similar, though its results manifest in different ways. Such women will (as they get more educated) grow increasingly unable to find comparably "impressive" partners. Many will remain single, sleeping around but never committing, while a few will "settle" many years down the road. Neither situation is great for raising a family.

Sometimes the people in the middle are hardest hurt--those who haven't bought into the modern secular ideology or the trad religious one. Women who don't go all-in on their careers, but also don't actively seek out husbands in college, and so end up in dead-end jobs with whatever mediocre husband they end up with.

American tfr fell to 1.62 in 2023, its lowest rate ever, and is even lower among our most intelligent and conscientious. Financial incentives meant to correct this in places like Finland and Turkey have accomplished very little overall. The problem is not financial, it is cultural and legal. People need to think of advice like "study your hobby and things will work out" as a malicious lie meant to signal a luxury belief. Motherhood needs to be far more prestigious than any career. Couples need to be allowed to mutually agree to contracts incentivizing them to stick together.

The truth is and always has been the truth, but more people need to be made more consciously aware of it. If women want large families, they need to start before finishing their Master's. I burned a lot of credibility with my immediate family getting married as young as I did, and sacrificing my social life and physical health to be financially ready for children quickly. This was the right decision, but it pains me to say I probably won't be able to convince them to do the same until after the crucial window has passed. I hope to convince you, though, or if you are already convinced, to offer you some ammunition convincing those you care about.

For the vast majority of people, the quality and quantity of their children will have far more of an effect on the future than anything else they could do. If you like being alive, and/or find it meaningful, it is likely your kids will too, and bringing them into the world to experience the joy of existence is an enormous gift you have the power to offer them. Less important, but still significant, 71% of Americans are happy with their decision to have children, or wish they had more, while only 10% wish they had less.

Whether for selfish or selfless reasons, having children early is the right call for most people, but our culture has conducted an enormous yaslighting campaign to prevent this from happening until it's too late.

There is a critical flaw with your advice.

The definition of luxury belief is beliefs you can afford to have. "Study your hobby and things will work out" is a luxury belief for exactly this reason, because you can get away with studying your hobby and things will work out for you in the end (if you have additional options to fall back on or money is not a concern at all). Why would you ever broadcast that you can't afford to have these luxury beliefs? What are you, poor?

The problem isn't that these beliefs are wrong, it's that America is the land of temporarily embarrassed millionaires. You see this all the time because it is a culture obsessed with broadcasting their success. Some woman wrote a book in coffee stores and made a billion dollars, why can't you do that? She proved it's possible! What are you, stupid? Kids see streamers their age making six figures a year. Why would you study hard when you can stick your face in front of a camera and make money for acting like a moron and playing video games! What are you, stupid?

What they don't see are all the failures. Failures are invisible. For every JK Rowling there's millions of writers, even published ones, who can't pay a power bill with book royalties. For every Mr Beast there's a thousand people humiliating themselves on Twitch for pennies in the name of Content.

If you're going to college to get married, you need to look like you have your own ambitions. Pursuing a highly-educated mate just isn't a respectable goal for women anymore.

You can, in fact, combine the two- study education and 'need help' with your math homework in the engineering commons, you'll get that MRS degree in no time. It was what my grandfather recommended my sister to do, although she met a law student with a trust fund before she could execute that plan.

Of course, that's what I'm saying. You pretend to be getting an education while dating intelligent, conscientious classmates.

It's not that the education side of the strategy is fake necessarily, but even if you don't care about it at all, pursuing it as your explicit goal is probably the most effective way to find a husband.

Telling men to pursue fun degrees (creative writing, film, political science, etc.) rather than lucrative ones is like telling them to wear makeup and wait to be asked out by women. It's a fundamental denial of reality. Those who follow such advice will generally have drastically reduced romantic success. Their prospects will be fewer, worse, and less happy to marry them than they would have been otherwise.

My guess is that straight men who do creative writing and screenwriting get laid much more than straight men who do software engineering or physics. Even political science, as @Bartender_Venator says below.

They're around (vastly) more women, will have largely female social circles in many cases, meet more women in the course of their professions and have jobs that women would (in many cases) like to speak to them about. That easily cancels out the engineer's larger paycheck.

If you want to get laid as a man, studying English literature and spending your 20s and early 30s being a bum in a band and working part-time bartending gigs in Brooklyn is far superior as a sexual strategy than literally any white collar profession will be. That isn't a recommendation.

The main problem with creative writing and screenwriting is how extremely difficult it is to get jobs in those fields. The average creative writing major should expect to get a mostly-unrelated job or need more education. The average screenwriting major should expect to essentially not get into the film industry at all.

And I'm talking about getting married and having kids, not finding sexual partners.

(Though, if you want to get laid as a man, getting married is statistically by far your best bet).

The average creative writing major should expect to get a mostly-unrelated job or need more education. The average screenwriting major should expect to essentially not get into the film industry at all.

But most people in almost every field except STEM, don't end up working in their degree field anyway right? A lot of white collar jobs are gated behind a degree, but it doesn't really matter what degree you have, as getting the degree is the signal. There simply are not many actual psych jobs or politics jobs, so most people getting any of these are going to end up an office manager or something similar. Might as well study something you are interested in at university level unless you have a very specific plan, and even in a lot of those instances there are simply not going to be enough jobs in that field and you will end up doing something else. And my experience (and I work in academia) is that applies to most of both men and women.

Once you realize the majority of people are going to end up working in a field unrelated to their major then creative writing isn't much worse off. The truth is the vast majority of graduates are going to end up in some kind of mundane office dronish position, unrelated to whether they want to become a writer or an astronaut or a journalist.

This might be true, but for most non-humanity majors, they have a degree that signals a marketable skill and therefore they can often get a job that pays decently enough without the need to go and take a second degree to avoid working at Starbucks or something. Humanities don’t teach you skills businesses need or want. And on the art end, it’s almost anti-career skills. Nobody will ever ask you to write a screenplay or make an oil painting in an office. At least the psych degree requires researching and producing reports, often presenting findings to the public or peers.

The other negative of an artist is that quite often they don’t understand just how unlikely success is in their field and thus some will spend a decade or more “trying to make it” and keeping a low wage job that doesn’t make demands on their “art”. I know a guy who was still spending hundreds every month booking himself studio time to make cds of his music into his thirties. He’d spend time on the weekends playing gigs for free as well. Everyone knew he was wasting his life on this — he’d never actually have a career even as a local artist. But at the same time, he wasn’t moving forward in an actual career until well into his thirties.

Most of the office people in my local government and private business days had humanities degrees, I think you underestimate how little most bog standard employers care about whether the degree is humanities or not. A degree is a degree (with the exception of STEM). As long as you can signal enough that you can sit down, follow instructions for 3 or four years that is good enough.

Now that is seperate from people who think they will succeed in industries which are famously hard to break into.

most non-humanity majors, they have a degree that signals a marketable skill and therefore they can often get a job that pays decently enough without the need to go and take a second degree to avoid working at Starbucks or something.

Depends on the humanities degree, doesn’t it? Like history majors are doing fine on the job market, and that’s a humanity.

Intellectually rigorous humanities study teaches skills which are valuable in the workplace (rapid assimilation of unstructured information, critical evaluation of qualitative arguments, persuasive writing). I learned to write in history class, not by writing lab reports as part of my physics degree, and definitely not from preparing for the compulsory essay questions in the capstone physics paper.

The problem is that humanities courses are the easiest to grade-inflate without it being obvious what you have done, so most students with high GPAs in humanities majors never actually engaged in intellectually rigorous humanities study. Employers will only hire humanities graduates if they are sufficiently clued in to know which are the intellectually rigorous schools and programmes. Harvard philosophy majors are as hireable for a MBB or Wall Street analyst role as the STEMlords.

Employers will only hire humanities graduates if they are sufficiently clued in to know which are the intellectually rigorous schools and programmes.

Again this may be true for very high end employers but for most all they look for is a degree and they don't care how rigorous that degree was. I did recruitment for both private and government organizations, and while the civil service did care, no-one else did, including blue chip communications companies and local government. And the reason for that is they are not getting to pick from Oxford or Cambridge or Harvard grads or wherever in the first place. Your middle of the road office manager type can easily get a job with a non-intellectually rigorous humanities degree. Sure they might not get into Wall Street or quant jobs, but they were never going to. Your point only applies for the very top slice of jobs, for all the others, just need to have a degree to tick a box on the form, you will be fine with a degree in basket weaving or creative writing or musicology.

Of course, but even if your failed-out creative writing major becomes an English teacher making a modest salary, he's still surrounded by women, many of them young and attractive. Even if they'd rather a doctor, an average-to-good looking male teacher won't have trouble dating or getting married. Male nurses are a himbo profession and always seem to do well with women.

I think creative writing majors becoming teachers is one of the good endings. More often I see them continue to pursue the dream of becoming an author long after it makes sense, only starting a family years down the line. I don't have creative writing friends but this is what is happening with my friends who went into film.

Of course you could argue this is due to the person and their goals, not the major. Maybe. I think people are happiest when they can directly apply the things they learned in college to jobs, and hit the ground running with some pre-built competence in their field. Making the pivot even to something like teaching can be a humiliating decision men especially aren't prepared to make right away.

In the era of contraception, getting laid is at best correlated with reproductive success; I suspect engineers have a higher TFR than roadies and bartenders, although probably not by as much as one would think.

With the exception of the very poor and very rich (which even most highly intelligent and conscientious people will never be), income and tfr aren't really correlated much among secular Westerners.

Sure, income isn't, but stability of income probably is. Male teachers make unimpressive salaries but probably have a good TFR compared to similarly paid servers(and high end servers routinely make teacher money in the US because tips, it's just not very steady). Every butcher I've ever met has had a wife and usually kids if over 30, despite unimpressive salaries, because it's a very stably-paid position. Roadies, bartenders, and other such drifters might have a far-above-average number of partners because they move from social circle to social circle regularly. But I'm skeptical that any of these partners have a kid with them.

I think we’ve by and large started yaslighting because of mistaken notions like being nonjudgmental and being supportive. In short, being polite, thus defaulting to whatever media and friends put out in the culture. Telling a kid that his art sucks hurts him and makes you feel like a mean person. Telling him how few people make it in professional art feels mean. And especially in the USA, being nice and polite no matter what harm may come from it is the norm, no matter what the consequences are. I don’t see this as true kindness because it’s often a lie that will eventually come to hurt that person as they make very expensive mistakes or otherwise give up on things they might want. Truth is freeing, and knows that the hobby isn’t going to feed them on the outset is going to allow them to make better choices.

Regarding the hobby-as-career thing, the culture is pushing it in large measure because the older contract isn’t true anymore. Any old job doesn’t give you even a working class life, raises are pitiful, and the cost of living is climbing. One way to keep people from rebelling is to subtly change the contract in the mind of the public. Don’t think about your job in terms of money, think about your job as a calling something that you were born to do. Then you won’t ask for the money or at least not as much.

Plenty of female-oriented degrees such as psychology, behavioral science, speech pathology, etc. require a Masters in order to really start working in the field. Seemingly, most of the people who study those majors just aren't aware of this.

I'm unsure whether these women just haven't googled the most basic facts of the career they'll spend their next 4-6 years pursuing, or whether they're semi-deliberately deluding themselves.

Do you have any statistics here? It looks like 82% of men and 70% of women are employed full time after college, and 3% of both are unemployed, so it's weird how gendered you're choosing to frame this. In my personal experience, suppressing/repressing your future after college is quite common and pretty ungendered.

That 12% gap seems pretty large to me (presumably it's mostly driven by motherhood). But OP was talking about working in a particular field, not employment more generally. We should expect college graduates (who are smarter than average) to mostly be gainfully employed. That's different from studying Psychology and actually getting a job as a therapist or whatever.

I agree it'd be nice to have a "job in your field" statistic. It'd be nice if OP would provide one before baselessly claiming that one gender is delusional.

"Job in your field" is the wrong metric - there are a lot of jobs which require "any degree" which are clearly graduate-class jobs with the social standing that implies but which are not "in your field" for most of the people doing them. The relevant test is "Job which requires a degree".

The social contract was that university guaranteed a white-collar job and middle-class status, not that it guaranteed that you could follow your dream. Middle managers at Proctor & Gamble (back in the days when that was the typical non-specialist graduate career path) were not chasing a dream, other than the two-car suburban lifestyle.

It's not that women are delusional. My point is that there's a social reality we all claim to believe in, and an actual reality, and men and women who mistake one for the other get hurt. The social reality is that college is purely about education and pursuing your dreams. Women who buy into this fail to get married quickly enough, and men who buy into it pick suboptimal careers.

I'm unsure whether these women just haven't googled the most basic facts of the career they'll spend their next 4-6 years pursuing, or whether they're semi-deliberately deluding themselves. My guess is the latter.

Being evenhanded with "both genders that fall into this trap are negatively impacted" is fine. When you claim that women are the ones who predominantly actually fall into the trap, you are making an inflammatory claim made without evidence.

You didn't understand my post at all.

The cited text describes women who didn't fall for the trap.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides some "jobs in field of degree" statistics here. For example, among workers with psychology degrees, the top occupation groups are "management" (15 %), "community and social service" (13 %), "educational instruction and library" (13 %), "healthcare practitioners and technicians" (11 %), and "office and administrative support" (9 %).

Well I can't speak for psychology majors, but as someone who was dumb enough to major in history there are virtually zero jobs in history outside of actually teaching history (either in grade school or university). I majored in history but went on to become a software dev. My dad majored in history but spent his whole career doing insurance claims adjustment. My grandpa majored in history and spent his whole career as an electrician. My older brother was dumb enough to get a whole ass PhD in history, and somehow managed to land one of the tiny, tiny number of actual history jobs that aren't teaching jobs.

I've always thought of this as a class issue. The educated class imparts the knowledge of which degrees are ok to their kids while the working class gets taken for a ride by the education industrial complex, ending up with useless or unfinished degrees, a bunch of debt, a sense of failure and missed earnings.

I've always thought most psychology degrees(and communications etc) are backup plans for when more rigorous degrees don't work out, not a first choice.

Recalling college: many young women's first and only choice is a psychology degree.

It isn’t merely which degrees but which schools, how to get into schools, etc etc.

Uh, the USA doesn’t have a job market which strongly discriminates on the basis of where your degree came from- everything that isn’t an Ivy or a state flagship is basically interchangeable until you get to the very bottom.

  1. There are schools that don’t meet either of those definitions that matter (eg Chicago, Georgetown, Duke, Vandy, Northwestern).

  2. Good schools also matter to getting into professional school.

I'm not even sure what I would be looking for. I've known quite a few women who claim to have been taken by surprise by Master's degree requirements for their desired jobs, and no men. These women generally finish with a Bachelor's and enter the workforce doing something only somewhat related to their major.

I looked for surveys asking about how well people understood the educational requirements for their chosen careers and didn't find any.

Regarding not having a plan for a career, I have to say this was always the case for me. I am finished school because it seemed the default thing to do, then studied physics because I thought it was interesting (and to keep my options open with regard to kinds of jobs), then went for a PhD. Me being in Europe, living a modest life-style and being supported by my parents meant that I came out without debt at least. I am not sure if I would have been more careful about my career choices if I felt that I was less employable.

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Another thing which you touch is that it takes money to raise kids, especially if one wants more than one kid, at least by contemporary Western expectations (i.e. one room per teenager). Typically, there are places which have affordable rents and places which have jobs. In previous centuries, a husband in his twenties could start working and earn enough to feed his family and eventually even buy a house. Today, plenty of people feel they need two post-grad incomes to even consider kids, and few have delusions of being able to afford to own a house from the money they will ever make.

Regarding not having a plan for a career, I have to say this was always the case for me.

I truly don't understand this--what you study has such a large impact on the rest of your life. It's probably the single biggest choice you'll make! If there is anywhere you should exercise judgement it is there.

In previous centuries, a husband in his twenties could start working and earn enough to feed his family and eventually even buy a house. Today, plenty of people feel they need two post-grad incomes to even consider kids, and few have delusions of being able to afford to own a house from the money they will ever make.

I can't comment on Europe, but in America most people have similar beliefs which, to my eyes, are obviously wrong. I have friends constantly complaining about how poor they are and how they can't make rent, but also literally never cook, choosing instead to eat out for every single meal. They spend more than their rent weekly on food, but prefer complaining to budgeting. It seems to me that most who complain about such things have really not put much effort into finding solutions.

Personally, I did have parents who would would probably have talked me out of philosophy or medieval German. But with STEM, the assumption is that you find a job other than taxi driver. Physics is kind of good because it keeps your options open between software development, labwork and a zillion other occupations. If anything, I might have spent more time thinking about the if, why, what field and what school regarding a PhD. I am still okay with how it is likely to work out, though.

Regarding housing, I know of few tenants who spent more food/eating out than on rent. Typically, the rent is more than half of your paycheck. Again, in Germany, most of jobs (in, say, IT) and most of the infrastructure are in the big cities, where housing is crazy expensive. For people living in the big metropolitan areas the decision 'let us have three kids' would necessitate finding another job somewhere else where rents are cheaper, dropping out of their social circle and all that.

How does that work if they can't make rent? Are they getting kicked out? Are they fat?

It means they're consistently getting financial help from their parents. And somehow they're not fat.

Inflation adjusted housing costs in Stockholm have risen +500% in the last 30 years, and its not like it was some thirdie shithole before.

I'm skeptical that it's even possible to measure this. Many things, including housing, have gotten more expensive, but also improved substantially in quality, a factor not really reflected in the inflation-adjusted numbers.

Stockholm has I'm sure grown and become more urbanized as well, meaning that apartments which would previously have been in residential areas are now basically in the city center. So you can probably get by (and access comparable jobs to what was available 30 years ago) living much further from the center of the city than you could before.

Nowadays rural and remote jobs are better too, so in one sense it's easier to live entirely outside the city than ever.

You might think that but you would be wrong.

What has happened is very limited construction, large population growth and a massive credit expansion, leading to a price spiral. Cost increases in housing almost all exclusively comes from increases in land prices. Building is relatively cheap.

The vast majority are living in housing that was built before the 35 year price rally, not a single subway station has been added during that entire period.

Some people, like my family, have won big and are now (dollar)multimillionaires, due to no effort of our own. Others, like people from out of town or their children are just fucked.

The "yaslighting" thing is cute.

It seems like a case where something can be good enough advice at an individual level, while also not being very useful systemically, or in a way that's relevant for fertility rates. To the extent that a trend is effecting America, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, etc, it's unlikely to be primarily a matter of personal or subcultural choice.

Sometimes the people in the middle are hardest hurt--those who haven't bought into the modern secular ideology or the trad religious one. Women who don't go all-in on their careers, but also don't actively seek out husbands in college, and so end up in dead-end jobs with whatever mediocre husband they end up with.

Maybe they are themselves mediocre? Not everyone, nor every job can be above average. Thinking of that as a harm is a large part of the problem. A civilization where people won't have kids because their house and job and man are average is not in a good place.

I think one angle missing here is why women want the ability to have their own careers, income streams, etc. This post seems to reduce it to a kind of cultural brainwashing which is far too simplistic. Women want the ability to have their own careers and income streams for the same reason men do: they want to have some control over their lives. They want to be able to mitigate the downside risk that comes with being completely financially dependent on someone else. Imagine you're a woman. You give up your career, education, etc to become a homemaker for a man. Half a decade in (perhaps with two or three children) he becomes an abusive alcoholic. What kind of options do you have for protecting yourself and your children? For exiting the relationship? I know, as a man, I would be pretty uncomfortable being completely dependent on someone else due to the potential for abuse. it seems totally rational to me that women feel similarly. I suspect many women have heard stories from family members or friends about such relationships and so the concern seems especially salient to them. How prestigious does motherhood have to be for women, as individuals, not to care about that downside risk?

I think that you are correct but it is also a broader cultural change that is path dependent. The institution of marriage is unrecognizable to what it was in the past, shaming no longer works and family support is not there. Also in the past the situation was symmetric - being put together man who had quarrelsome wife who constantly created drama and conflict with neighbor was terrible for a man with no way out either. Even if he made all the money it is not as if he could just have a parallel life not supporting his family without massive reputational damage to the extent of destruction. Plus the wife also had family and brothers or uncles and so forth - deadbeat man could end up in a very sorry state if he overstepped his bounds and did not fulfil his family duties.

A similar phenomenon came to be after the advent of the pill. If a young men impregnated a young women, everybody knew that he was responsible to marry her shotgun wedding style. After invention of the pill and access to abortion, suddenly it was all on woman. Are you pregnant? Then it is your fault for not taking pill properly, but you can go and have abortion. You still want a baby? Okay, feel free to be a single mom while the man just leaves and does what he wants.

So yes, maybe women being "independent" and doing some clerical work for government with no husband and no kid is the next best thing in current reality where all the norms are obliterated. But it does not mean it is actually good for them or the society.

I don’t think women entered the workforce en masse as a form of insurance against spousal abuse. I think it was to access a higher standard of living by having two incomes, and that husbands were active participants in encouraging this process.

When raggedyanthem was still active on the forum she liked to make the point that normally when the ‘become a stay at home mom’ question comes up, it’s usually the husband who’s opposed. This speaks to the main reasoning for the lack of stay at home moms being mostly economic factors, which men are typically more sensitive to, and not risk-based factors that women tend to be sensitive to. There’s probably external economic factors involved as well; taking the standard of living cut is simply easier when smaller houses and crappier cars exist as a thing that middle class people have access to, and the story of the past few decades in America has been steadily rendering those things more and more the domain of the poor.

Yes, this fits my observations better as well.

A lot of women think most men are abusive and that they'll be nearly as fertile in their 40's as they are in their 20's. Our culture is extremely uncomfortable telling women that they need to get started with having kids relatively early, to the point that many women don't get that message at all and are shocked when they learn how female fertility actually works.

I would also be very uncomfortable trusting my finances to someone else. There's not just physical abuse to worry about--you also need to hope that they won't quit their careers to pursue a pipe dream, run away with a woman they meet on a business trip, or just get fired and fall into eternal unemployment due to depression. Getting education, and being capable of providing for yourself, is one way to deal with this possibility. Finding a good husband in the first place, one less likely to do any of these things, is another.

Ideally all women do both--getting sufficient education and selecting good husbands. As a culture, though, we refuse to acknowledge that at some point these strategies trade off against each other. Pursue a challenging and time-intensive degree and the best husbands will probably have already married other women. You may not have the time and resources to find a good spouse in time while dealing with educational demands.

I'm not saying women shouldn't get educations. Speaking as someone with no more than a high school diploma, I think a Bachelor's is probably the sweet spot for most women, but individual circumstances vary. I just think it's a shame so many people, men and women, operate off of faulty information and narratives when choosing how much education to get.

Ideally all women do both--getting sufficient education and selecting good husbands.

...? To the extent that there's any selection going on, it can't be done by all women? Do you just mean the women you personally know and like or something?

If everyone's following my advice now, then I'll tell all women to get married immediately and all men to be good husbands. Problem solved.

Really, though, selection is actually a thing that all women can do. If nobody marries deadbeat men, then deadbeats and the corresponding bottom X% of the female population just never marry. This probably leads to some good effects--the marginal deadbeats realize they need to shape up to have a chance with a woman and do so.

It's good general advice to ask people to be selective about choosing spouses because it encourages everyone to shape up.

And yeah, some husbands will still be deadbeats, but I did say women should do both--be selective and get good educations.

Yeah. 'Pass' is a valid selection.

I feel very confused by the way this is often talked about.

Women need jobs for the same reason men need jobs. Hardly anyone marries a well-off man at 18. It's not really an available choice for that many women, even in very conservative communities where it's theoretically ideal. Someone might say that they can go be a waitress or barista or something at 18, and sure, that's not that bad. But then unless both partners have really bought into the homeschooling lifestyle, most couples aren't all that happy about a woman who's just at home by herself or spending her husband's money with her friends 8 hrs a day. That was the issue in the 50s -- taking nicer and nicer jello casseroles and sewing unusually pretty aprons is not any more fulfilling than even quite a dull job, and husbands are not impressed by their wives chilling with their friends all day while they're at work. And then their kids grow up enough to take care of themselves, so what are they going to do? Running a non-profit for fun is for the rich, and costs money. and it's not great to be a waitress at 50. Maybe some women can take 10 years off to raise young kids, but there's another 30 years or so there where most of them will have to work, or face resentment and very tight finances. And for what? Lots of leisure is only enjoyable if you have money or similarly situated friends and neighbors.

But then unless both partners have really bought into the homeschooling lifestyle, most couples aren't all that happy about a woman who's just at home by herself or spending her husband's money with her friends 8 hrs a day.

I read this, and think of my parents, who don't really match the picture you've drawn here. Mom was pretty much fresh out of high school when she married Dad — who was about as far from "well-off" as you'd expect a functionally-illiterate high-school-dropout handyman to be. Mom didn't homeschool me and my younger brothers, and yet she still found ways to fill her day — and, in fact, be frustrated by time pressures getting things done — that weren't "spending her husband's money with her friends 8 hrs a day" (being as she had little in the way of money or friends), and only went out into workforce once my youngest brother was off to college. Part of this, I suppose, comes down to a standard element of living on the poorer end of the socio-economic scale (to which I can also attest personally) — that is, doing yourself what others pay to have done, those with more money substituting said money for time. I remember Mom, particularly when we were younger, doing a fair bit of sewing. Lots of cooking. Smoking or canning salmon. Thursdays and Fridays spent packing for weekend trips out of town — hunting, fishing, or just spending weekends at the cabin (and Mondays spent putting everything back). Gardening, once we were no longer in apartments. Shopping trips to Costco. Laundry (lots and lots of laundry). And, of course, plenty of cleaning up after three messy boys and a man with ADD and no ability to organize his collection of work tools and spare parts.

Much of this sort of thing — the "idle 50's housewife" and such — seems to be dependent on class, and not so much a thing down at the bottom of the economic ladder.

Growing up, my family was a good bit more suburban and less rural. Gardening for fun more than sustenance. Sewing to mend the odd item rather than maintain everything. Dad had a somewhat more technical job, and if we were ever desperate for money, they were able to hide it.

With that in mind, like you, I can't think of my mother as idle. Cooking for a family of six is the obvious time-sink. Cleaning, too, even once we were old enough to be useful. She managed most of the groceries, but also all of the clothes, furniture, Christmas presents, road trips, and other intermittent expenses. Not to mention the actual bills. Somehow she also juggled four kids' worth of extracurriculars and social groups while (apparently) managing to bond with her peers.

It's not like Dad was checked out. He loved us and took on his fair share. But the minutiae of raising kids was always Mom's full-time job.

Go back a generation, and both my parents had extremely rural upbringings. I can't imagine their day was any less full.

That makes sense, closer to a preindustrial household economy, where cooking, cleaning, and textiles/crafting were much more important and harder to replace. I think it was CanIHaveaSong who used to write sometimes about (her?) mother hand washing everything and growing up without running water.

On the other hand, the original context was about the kind of woman who might get a degree in psychology but not take her eventual career path too seriously, since ultimately she's more interested in meeting a future husband at college, which to some degree higher status than I am. My grandmother was of the Mrs Degree class, and went to university to get a BA in stage or something before settling down to raise her four children in the 50s and 60s, and even when she lost her husband and became the head of household, I'm not entirely sure what she did, actually. Which isn't judgment on her as a person, and seems to have been appropriate to her class.

So I suppose I was thinking of a socioeconomic situation somewhere between my grandmother's and your mother's, the kind of lower middle class woman who's certified as a teacher or nurse or something. I personally get summers off and spend the time going on road trips with my family, reading Motte posts, and painting in the garden, and would absolutely be a poor candidate for an actually useful stay at home mom. This is related to why old female novels make such a huge deal of women, especially, dropping classes -- they won't necessarily know what to do or have any useful instincts for it, having been trained mostly to read books and paint (or whatever) for their entire childhood.

most couples aren't all that happy about a woman who's just at home by herself or spending her husband's money with her friends 8 hrs a day. That was the issue in the 50s -- taking nicer and nicer jello casseroles and sewing unusually pretty aprons is not any more fulfilling than even quite a dull job, and husbands are not impressed by their wives chilling with their friends all day while they're at work. And then their kids grow up enough to take care of themselves, so what are they going to do?

That's true, but you could also say the same about working a job. Most jobs, even well-paying ones, just aren't that interesting as far as self-actualization and giving meaning to your life. It's an existential struggle that we all face, in this modern age of atheism and material abundance. If she's chilling with her friends, at least that might provide some real community and social circle, compared to the career woman late at night, too tired to do anything except order takeout and watch TV.

This is one reason why teaching is a popular career for women who want to take time off to raise kids. It is easier to get back into teaching compared to other careers as there isn’t as much technical changes.

This is a post in itself but a substantial reason why so many work outside the home today, and why women working outside the home is correlated with wealth and technological development, is because having access to labor saving devices heavily shifts the economic calculus in favor of women working outside the home. It requires far fewer hours today to achieve what would have been a full time job providing goods for a household historically. One of the few areas where this is not true is child rearing and i s part of why daycare is so expensive and why people sometimes quit work to care for children. Otherwise we have largely automated the tasks of homemaking, freeing people's labor up for other productive uses. Related to this is the idea of a "gold digger." A woman interested in a man for his wealth but who does not proportionally contribute. It's much harder to proportionally contribute without a job when technology can automate most of the things you're supposed to be contributing!

Sure.

But then you probably can't just advise a young woman to get a frivolous degree and hope to be a housewife, because even if it works out to get married, start a family, and be a stay at home mom from 22 - 35 or something (big if), she'll still either need to develop a very substantial hobby that might as well be a job, but without burning through all their disposable income, or have a plan to get a job that's sustainable as a middle aged and older mom, both of which take some amount of forethought.

One of the few areas where this is not true is child rearing and i s part of why daycare is so expensive and why people sometimes quit work to care for children.

There is no way that daycare costs aren't artificially inflated. If you're already taking care of a kid full-time, you can throw in a couple more, and barely see the difference (it's the whole reason it's even possible for daycare to work). The reason your SATHM neighbor can't offer daycare as a service is that she's not allowed to, not that it wouldn't be cost effective.

I think part of it is government regulation but another part is that we often have higher standards for entities we outsource these things to than we have for ourselves. Compare home cooking to eating out a restaurant. I generally want the restaurant food to be at least as good as what I could make or I wouldn't bother going. On top of that the restaurant has to comply with a bunch of food safety regulations I probably don't abide when cooking at home. This makes things more expensive!

On the parenting front, I suspect a lot of parents who would be fine giving their kid an iPad or some other device for entertainment would be mad at a daycare they pay for doing the same.

I was formerly the board chair of a local non-profit daycare. Even with free facilities, only a couple of full-time staff, a bunch of part-time high school and college students making barely above minimum wage (this was pre-Covid), and zero excess funds most years, we still were barely cheaper than many of the other local daycares. At least where I live, childcare is a highly competitive field. Any conspiracy to artificially inflate costs would need to include every daycare run by a non-profit, university, church, stay-at-home mom, large employer, etc., including every new entrant into the business, of which there are many. A sinister cabal is just not possible.

A little-discussed phenomenon is that since 2011 or so, low-wage pay has skyrocketed in major urban areas. People who were making $8 an hour in 2008 make $30 an hour today. Meanwhile, white collar workers who made $50 an hour (converted to hourly pay) in 2008 may make $75 an hour today, a much smaller increase.

The cost of childcare, fast food, hotel rooms etc for white collar professionals (ie. the upper middle class) has therefore increased much faster than their own incomes.

Oh, you’re absolutely right. I remember raising the minimum wage for the part-timers to $8/hour ten or twelve years ago. The last I heard, the new starting wage at the same daycare was something like $15–$17/hour, and this isn’t even in an urban area, let alone a major one. I don’t know of any white collar jobs that saw a 100% increase in salary over the same time period.

The downside is half the kids I know making $19/hr are paying $1.5k/mo in rent, $5.60/gal in gas, and there are hardly any used cars for under 10k.

Friends with a guy who drives 25 miles each way to do 2.5hr shifts at $18/hr. $37 after tax, minus $14 for gas. And he needs to save some of that $23 to buy a new car when his '89 with the doors held closed by baling twine finally dies.

I don't know if the math has really sunk in for him.

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"Good news everyone! Income inequality has really decreased in the past few years. Bad news: everything is now really expensive relative to your inflation-adjusted wage."

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If you're already taking care of a kid full-time, you can throw in a couple more, and barely see the difference

This doesn't appear to be true. It's extremely complicated to get a stay at home mom to watch another mom's kids even for a couple of hours of babysitting. I have heard of it happening now and again, or in an emergency, but it is absolutely not a regular thing, and I could definitely not pay my stay at home mom friends to watch my kids reliably, all day, at any price that I would be able to pay. I grew up around stay at home moms, it was definitely not illegal to watch each other's kids, and it also very rarely happened at a greater scale than very light occasional babysitting.