Saturday, July 28, 2012

Do liberals lack masculine instincts or pervert them?

Perhaps the core masculine instinct is to form the outer wall behind which a family or a community can flourish in security and prosperity.

Liberal men don't follow this instinct. They leave communities and families without any such protective wall. So what happened to the masculine instincts of these men?

No doubt some of the more radical of liberal men are too alienated from family and community life to want to take up a protective role; they are rancorous and want to tear things down in the belief that something better will then fill the space.

And no doubt too there are left-liberal men who explain inequality as being a result of patriarchy or whiteness and who therefore believe that families and white communities are too morally stained to deserve protection.

But I think as well that there might be another reason, which is that the protective instinct is channelled to different ends. It's still there, but it's not directed toward the same objects. I'm speculating, but it's possible that some liberal men believe that the important thing in life is not the community or the family but the unfettered individual in pursuit of personal ambitions (especially career or lifestyle aims).

If that is your mental horizon, then perhaps you'll believe that you are serving people (protecting their interests) by focusing on removing impediments (whatever is thought to impede "opportunity" - discrimination, inequality, traditional social roles etc) to the pursuit of individual ambitions.

The problem is that career and lifestyle aims are only one part of what goes to make up a human life. Going out to work, shopping and entertainments can't be all of what matters to us. After all, these are not goods which touch deeply on issues of identity, or which create a sense of connectedness, or which form objects of love and affection, or which create a sense of what is spiritually meaningful in life.

The liberal mental horizon is too narrowly focused: it sees the individual man and woman in his or her daily routine, but not the man and woman deriving identity within a family and a tradition of their own, or the typical loves and attachments which sustain a life, or the sense of meaning that is found from being connected to something that exists outside of our own selves.

Better for us to return to that traditional understanding of the core masculine instinct, in which men work together to protect the larger structures - the families and communities - within which our individual lives are most fully expressed.


  1. In Kenneth Minogue's book The Liberal Mind, he likens liberals to St. George and says that they are always going out in search of dragon's to slay. Their protective instinct is not employed in defense of hearth and home, but in salvation of persons in what Minogue calls a "suffering situation." As we know, liberals are so eager to rescue victims, they often invent them.

  2. JMSmith,

    Interesting comment. Traditionalists want to protect the whole society, liberals those who they see as suffering.

    There's something to that. It brought to mind the comment by the South African liberal I blogged about recently who redefined solidarity as "compassion and care for others" and who quoted Richard Rorty as follows: "Solidarity is...created by increasing our sensitivity to the particular details of the pain and humiliation of other, unfamiliar sorts of people."

    So I can't define solidarity as being loyal to a group of people I am closely related to and who are functioning well, but only as a sensitivity to those I am not related to who are in a "suffering situation".

    If that is part of the psychological profile of liberals, then all that I can say is that it is way too partial in its scope.

    A traditionalist can be compassionate to someone who is down and out whilst still taking care of the well-being of society as a whole. Liberals cannot encompass a concern for society as a whole.

  3. Liberal men who excessively talk about compassion sound like women -- feeling good about themselves because they feel bad about others. And then demanding some greater power (dad) step in to solve the situation.

  4. I should add that this applies to the rank-and-file; those who hold power know who benefits from the increase in state power.

  5. Liberal men who excessively talk about compassion sound like women -- feeling good about themselves because they feel bad about others.

    Good point. And I think this works in another way too. To get attention in a liberal society you have to present yourself as being part of a suffering, oppressed, disadvantaged group. But it goes against the grain of men to want to present themselves as objects of compassion in this way. That's one reason why the mens movement has fractured a bit - some want to emphasise men as objects of compassion, others want to buck the whole system and reassert the value of traditional manhood.

  6. I think that liberals pretend to care about those that they consider to be "oppressed" as a way of attempting to stifle the remorse of conscience that they suffer as a result of their depraved & dissolute lives. They have perverted wills, hardened in sin, they have determined to never give up fornicating, snorting dope up their nose &c., & so they think to themselves that although they are vile in so many ways, they nonetheless care about the helpless whales, or whatever the celebrated cause of the moment happens to be. This helps to allay the gnawing fear of punishment, which they know they deserve as a result of wilfully transgressing the natural law written on their hearts.
    As far as the insuffiency of temporal goods & worldly pleasures in giving sustenance to the souls of men, the moderns neither know, nor want to know about anything else but these things. They are wilfully ignorant, they revel in an ignominious self-imposed stupidity, in combination with a low moral character. Knowledge is now more freely available to those who truly seek it than ever before in history, there are so many books & articles that can be printed off of the internet that it is astounding. But rather than read Joseph de Maistre, or learn German, or something that is of real value, they prefer to watch some mindless filthy film or television programme, & then to engage in other acts that are better not named. They are like the eloi of H.G. Wells's The Time Machine, their own self-indulgence, sensuality & materialsim have made them helpless slaves of their morlock-like masters. They will go on giggling mindlessly as they are carried off to be slaughtered. They think, insofar as they can bring themselves to engage in an activity which they find hateful in the exreme, only of entertainments & pleasures. There is no hope for them humanly speaking, for they have in a manner of speaking, put out their eyes, out of hatred of the light.

  7. Anon,

    That could well be true for some liberals. But it doesn't describe most of my liberal work colleagues. They are quie sedate when it comes to lifestyle. They're mostly suburban/inner suburban married mums and dads. They ought to be traditionalists and in their personal lives they mostly are. But they've picked up on a liberal culture, absorbed it, so that they don't identify with their own tradition but try to show that they are good people by how much they are willing to prove that they have broken with it in favour of identifying with the other.

    One thing I haven't mentioned is that this, in some respects, means abandoning their own children. Of course, they don't do this literally - they're solid middle-class people who want their kids to do well at school etc. But at the public level, in the kind of society they're creating, they are abandoning their own children and acting for others instead.

    I presume that they are assuming that their own children won't be too badly affected - that there will still be places in a decent future society for them. Or maybe they're just not thinking that far ahead.

  8. This is interesting Mr. Richardson, I don't deal much with the public anymore, I mostly sit in the house & read my books, so it's rather easy for me to get one archetype fixed in my mind, so that when I read the word liberal I immediately picture a libertine. The sort of person that you have described is certainly harder to explain. Perhaps these people were not brought up in any particular religion, as is the case for so many from the generation of '68 onward, & so they seek to satisfy the religious impulse which is natural to man, having been given by God, by adopting a kind of pseudo-religion based on what they perceive to be the generally accepted ethos of their society.

    As far as their evidently assuming that their children won't be too badly affected, it may be magical thinking at work. I've seen many persons over the years, that simply refuse to face the truth if they find it to be specially unpleasant. I'm sure that you've seen this quite often as well. They'll say to themselves, "oh that'll never happen, it'll all turn out all right" &c &c. I can only suppose that the unspoken subconscious inner monologue is something along the lines of "this is horrible, how can this be happening to my country, how can they do this to me & my children, I can't admit any of it, if I do I'll go mad." & so they delude themselves because they find that preferable to admitting how bad things really are.

    It used to be that women were more given to this sort of thing, which I suppose is only natural, since their thinking, is normally heavily influenced by whatever their current emotional state happens to be, but it seems that with the ever increasing feminisation of men, via the state schools, the cinema & television, chemicals in the food & water &c, that they also have become given to living in a fantasy world, wherein all will be well in the end, regardless of any evidence to the contrary.

    The people that you describe may also know instinctively that those who govern them are tyrants, & so they do & say whatever they think their rulers want them to do & say, out of fear. Already one may lose one's job, simply for daring to disagree with some part of the party line, to someone who is irreligious, & therefore lives only for this world, that is in & of itself a terrible threat. This is why those who run things want to get rid of religion. They know that a man who is willing to die for what he believes is much harder to cow than someone who is willing to do & become anything for either worldly pleasure in the case of the libertine, or else a perceived "respectability" in the case of the staid, but irreligious bourgeois. (No deprecation of the middle class intended in using this word, I use it only as a descriptive, not a pejorative, as many now-a-days seem to do)