Monday, 25 June 2012

Offbeat Cranks or Mainstream Commentators? The Men’s Movement Examined

The argument that manosphere writers merely parrot each other’s opinions and live in a conceptual bubble apart from the ‘real world’ is common currency among our opponents. David Futrelle, for example, has an obsession with anti-feminist Reddit commentators (hardly MRA titans, it has to be said) and continually claims that MRA events attract ‘two or three divorced men’.

Is he right?  How do MRA arguments stack up against research by conventional scholars? Are they a meaningful corpus of theory or mere ‘tales told by an idiot, signifying nothing’?

I have long been fascinated by the writings of Charles Murray. As well as popularizing the concept of the underclass, his negative social prognoses tangentially reflect MRA perspectives. His recent book, Coming Apart: the State of White America 1960-2000 contains a good deal of rigorous research that supports many MRA precepts. However, this interesting study also raises serious questions about other aspects of MRA thought.

In brief, Coming Apart chronicles the moral decline of the white working class. It also describes the widening divide between America’s ‘cognitive elite’ and the broad masses. By focusing on whites-only, he avoids the racial controversies that marred public reception of his earlier books.Murray broadly argues that the white working class has lost its moral compass over the past fifty years. He cites the fact that only 48% of working class whites are married in 2010, compared to 84% in 1960. By contrast, 84% of the American upper-middle class are married today compared to 90% in 1960 – a much smaller fall.

Murray argues that the upper-middle class (and above them, the new elites) are increasingly detached from the mainstream in how they eat, drink or spend their free time. For example, most Americans spend 35 hours a week watching TV – the new elite spend less than five hours a week. He also identifies a geographical distinction, too – the elite live in ‘Superzips’ denuded of all working class citizens. Common experiences define the new elite – principally, private schooling and an Ivy League education.  In short, the American experience is becoming steadily more ‘British’, sans the elaborate welfare programs and swingeing taxation.

All very interesting stuff, to be sure. What is happening to Anglo-American gender relations in this time of change?

Roissy in DC describes modern America as a ‘post-marriage’ society. Women supposedly threw off the shackles of monogamy in the late 60s in order to mate exclusively with high-status, ‘alpha’ males. This created a ‘rump’ of sexually-disenfranchised ‘gamma’ males, a group that were much rarer in the old, monogamous order.  By learning to mimic 'alpha' behaviour, however, the student of Game can confound female hypergamy and get his share of the sexual action presently monopolised by a small elite of men. In this view Marriage, traditional courtship and other monogamous institutions have fallen by the wayside and have little meaning in the 21st century. Likewise, feminism has failed – smashed on the rocks of female hypergamy.

Murray’s research, however, largely refutes this picture. Roissy seems to be describing life in the working class, not the middle class or the elite. 84% of Murray’s upper-middle class sample-citizens are firmly married, even today. Perhaps Roissy is himself working class, not the ‘alpha’ he claims to be. This is probably true of other PUA scribes, too. Most of them ply their trade in and around the student counter-culture, hardly an 'alpha' arena.

Let us move from American PUAs to the Men’s Movement proper. American MRAs broadly argue that, since the early 1960s, American Women have shunned decent males in favour of anti-social ‘alpha’ thugs. This has created a surfeit of dysfunctional, single-mother families. Such shaky kinship groups are seen as being especially damaging to boys (‘we are a generation of men who have been raised by women’), contributing to male educational failure, social anomie and the emergence of a riot-prone underclass. As with the PUA perspective, this scenario is true of the working class but not the upper or middle classes, most of whom still marry. Since the American working class only constitute about 40% of the population, it is premature to speak of ‘widespread social collapse’ in America – the decision-making, wealth producing classes remain more or less intact in terms of functional gender-relations.

Similarly, Murray’s figures refute MRA claims of a universal Marriage Strike. While working class males are indeed eschewing Marriage, this is not true of the middle class. Even if they get divorced, most middle class men seem to remarry. Besides, working class males may not be rejecting Marriage, as such – in a hypergamous culture, they may simply lack the resources to realise or maintain one.

So, in the simplest sense, the MRA world-view presents a fairly accurate picture of life in the working class – but only that class. It does not apply universally to Anglo-American society. However, the Anglobitch Thesis stacks up very well against Murray’s evidence. While the middle-classes still marry, they are increasingly marrying women from outside the Anglosphere. So while middle class marriage rates remain stable, the nature of Marriage – that is, who marries whom – is changing somewhat.

Traditionalist MRAs have long taken issue with my belief that the ethno-cultural composition of the Anglosphere will undergo dramatic change if Anglo feminism continues unchecked. However, there are now more non-Caucasian children being born in the US for the first time in history. Further, I contend that the ethnic complexion of the elite will also undergo rapid change. As more middle class males with intelligence and self-awareness marry and interbreed with non-Anglo women untainted by the Anglobitch meme, their children will come to occupy ever more elite roles.

Further, Murray fails to address the pivotal role of white, working class women in creating the new white underclass he so detests. He airily invokes ‘cultural change’ as an autonomous transformational instrument. Culture, however, changes for other, more primal reasons. Perhaps as an Anglo socon Murray cannot accept that women can create social problems. The British socon Theodore Dalrymple also falters in this regard. He tirelessly excoriates the brutish mates of lower class women but never explains their obvious preference for such men. However, allowing the Anglo female’s preference for shiftless thugs to reign unchecked is primarily responsible for the recent decline of the Anglo-American working class. This reflexive preference allows genes associated with criminality, low IQ and emotional instability to proliferate in communities afflicted by it: so in a couple of generations a proud working class becomes a degenerate underclass.

And there are other issues at work. Anglo American women are essentially misandrist – in general, they don’t like men. This attitude derives from the parent culture which, with its puritanical obsessions, reflexively vilifies men as sexual beings. The ‘trickle-down’ of libertine middle-class values began in the early seventies, weakening the twin stigmas of illegitimacy and singleness among the masses. The rise of female employment coupled with the generous expansion of a pro-female welfare state enabled lower-class women to exclude men from their lives altogether, if they wished it. Once the thug donated his sperm, he was no more welcome than the fawning ‘nice guy’ in the lower class woman’s bed. Simply put, the underclass male can provide no more than the State. The State, however, has the added advantages of not expecting regular sex, not setting behavioural boundaries for children or expecting basic personal responsibility from the woman – in short, of not being a human male. Welfare dependence is therefore a win-win situation for the lower-class female. Murray often talks about white working class males refusing to take the jobs available. He seldom mentions that most working class women reject industrious working males for the State’s financial favours.

In conclusion, a new world is unfolding around us. Murray’s research supports some aspects of the classic MRA world-view, but only in a limited way. The changes occurring are more subtle and complex and fit my own theories rather better. Anglosphere Caucasians are experiencing two things predicted by the Anglobitch Thesis: limited ethno-cultural replacement at the elite level and chronic dysfunction at the mass level. Perhaps the frantic hysteria of White Knight bigots like Tommy Fleming is fired by this realization. However, Tommy fails to grasp that the woman-worship, sexual repression and casual misandry he holds so dear has caused the social malaise he so despises. Allowing pedestalized women to act irresponsibly – the linchpin of Tommy’s White Knight philosophy – has ruined his own agenda. And the same contradiction applies to other ‘conservative’ MRAs like Angry Harry. Sadly, few Anglo-American conservatives possess the self-awareness to acknowledge this.