Sunday, March 21, 2010

Traditionalism and Conservatism: Old vs Right.

I've been engaged in a bit of a debate over at Oz Conservative. As I have mentioned previously, I feel that the traditional views of female sexuality are wrong and the evo-bio approach to the subject is closer to the truth( I say this with caveats, because I thing the evo-bio crowd aren't completely right either). I think a variety of forces have combined to "beta-ize" the modern male; the law, the economic structure of society, feminism, etc. But one of the other forces has been cultural, and one of the major influences on culture is tradition. Now it's true that modern Western society is profoundly different now than say one hundred years ago, but we still are the products of a lot of traditional cultural baggage. And one of those factors is the traditional view of female sexuality.

Commentator Expatriot made the following comment:

Growing up I was never exposed to the core truths of female psychology elucidated by Devlin and Roissy. I didn’t get them from family, I didn’t get them from school, I didn’t get them from the media and I certainly didn’t get them from the church. I learned the truth about women not from reading Roissy or anybody else, but in the school of hard knocks—very hard knocks.

I think a lot of men have had a similar experience, and a lot of the sympathy for the Roissy/Devlin view comes not from a misogynous nature but practical experience. Frequently it's not the knockbacks, but the success with women that re-enforce this view.

The Traditionalists find this view of female nature disturbing and deny its existence in the much the same way liberals thought-filter away inconvenient truths. Although two mortal enemies; the traditionalist and the liberals share the same intellectual pathology:They are closed to facts which they find disagreeable. These are not the thought processes of Conservatism.

Conservatism, first and foremost is about living in the truth and about being open to the truth, closed minds are not conservative. Now the liberals may argue that they too have open minds, but difference between Liberals and Conservatives are:

1) Liberals are only open to facts which they find agreeable.
2) By rejecting pertinent yet--ideologically repulsive facts--their policy and responses are ineffective and bear no relation to reality.

Take for example a favourite liberal cause: Condoms in the battle against AIDS.

Uganda is one of the few African countries to have recorded a decline in the rate of AIDS. It's program ABC-Abstinence, Being faithful, Condoms-- but with a big emphasis on the first and second points seems to have been remarkably successful despite the rest of Africa recording higher rates. Of course, to the liberal mind these results are "confusing" and "more research" needs to be done into the matter since this policy goes against the liberal shibboleth of sexual promiscuity. It's only confusing to a man who doesn't want to see. Screwing around with less people means less risk of infection. That's logic, not ideology. But in the presence of overriding ideology: Logic be damned.

Traditionalists likewise share a similar thought process. The old ways were the best the new ways are simply wrong, end of story. Facts which were inconvenient with the Traditionalist vision were simply ignored. It's this attitude which probably explains the inability to defeat liberalism culturally. Traditionalists prefer to live in the past rather than the real world: Life is lived in the real world. Traditionalistc share some of the views of Conservatives but do so with the thought processes of Liberals.

I'm not saying the Traditionalists are completely wrong. A lot of traditionalism is worth supporting because it's right, but what Traditionalists need to recognise is that our forefathers did not have all the answers and based the order of their societies on the information available, changing their minds according to changed facts; at the same time incorporating the knowledge of the past where it didn't contradict : They had intellectual flexibility and open minds, something traditionalists in general aren't known for.

It's my opinion that the conservative movement needs to treat Game as a serious phenomena. Game does not need to be anti-family or anti-Christian. Athol Key's site gives us a glimpse into how such a synthesis could be made.(He is not Christian and I don't agree with all his points, but hey, at least He's thinking).

It's my belief that Game and its insights will eventually be part of a Conservative revival, despite the opposition to the Traditionalists. Why? Because it remasculates men and provides a antidote to the poison of Feminism. Game is not the answer to all of Liberalism's ills, only part. Liberalism is a hydra and Game affective against only one of its heads.


Alte said...

Excellent post! I absolutely agree.

Will S. said...

I completely agree, too. Feminism is simply the logical continuation of the female-dominated social movements of the Victorian era - it all began with the 'temperance' (i.e. abstinence) anti-alcohol campaign, the abolitionist movement, and the suffragist movement, not to mention the labour and Social Gospel movements - all of which began in the late 19th century, and most of which were female-dominated, and within which women began to flex their new-found political muscles to affect their desired changes. And the pedestalization of women in today's misandristic society is simply the continuation of the pedestalization of women under the Victorian code of chivalry, with the difference that our modern era doesn't even require of women that they behave like ladies, in order to have men acting like gentlemen towards them; the latter is simply expected of men, regardless of how young women today themselves act.

Far too many traditionalists simply blindly idealize the Victorian era, and fail to appraise it critically, and recognize its shortcomings.

The Social Pathologist said...


Will S.

I think the problem goes back further than the Victorian Era. The Georgian era was apparently an era of debauchery. I think there was less illusion then about the nature of women. The great spiritual awakening in England in the late 18th Early 19th Century bought religion back to the fore. I do think it was the medieval chivalric tradition was was positively viewed by religion which contributed to the great Victorian pedastalization of women.

Alte said...

But Will, aren't women usually one of the strongest forces behind most political movements? For instance, the Economist recently reported on the Tea Party movement and noted (with surprise) that the convention contained a female majority, and the headliner (Sarah Palin) was also a woman.

But this did not surprise me a bit.

Tom said...

Once again, if we're addressing reality: Over 40% of 30-35 year-olds have had 2 or less partners

If we're actually addressing reality, the statistics make it pretty clear that a significant number of women are *not* in the "bed the alpha" mode.

The perception of *having* to play games to find a mate is not true.

It no doubt helps if you're trying to find women who *are* alpha obsessed and those women are probably going to be the ones who spend their time, effort, and money make every effort to look their best.

I will admit, I find it irksome that so many of the complainers seem to demand their prospective partners have those alpha-obsessed qualities, and are then offended when they're *actually* alpha-obsessed...

Intelligent, conscientious young women do exist - and in numbers. One just shouldn't expect to find them in the same places and having the same qualities as those trolling for alphas.

Tom said...

I will say that "Game" for our host seems to equate with having a spine, and I don't think that the lack of a spine has *ever* been attractive in either a man or a woman.

Feminism (except in its most silly forms) has always campaigned for equality. I truly doubt that treating women as people is causing the wholesale destruction of male/female relationships.

Will S. said...

True enough, Alte. But not always; was the American Revolution female-dominated? Not as far as I'm aware. The French Revolution? The Russian Revolution? Not so far as I know.

I think that generally, women have tended to have been more attracted to "single issue" movements, whatever that issue may be, whereas more broad-based political and social movements, for more comprehensive changes across the board, have been more male-driven, esp. ones involving radical changes of government. Men and women are of course different, and no doubt that has been generally reflected in the types of political causes that excite their imaginations. I'm inclined to see the "Tea Party" movement as an exception to the general trend through history. But I don't find them a particularly impressive or inspiring movement; seems to me to be merely partisan and ideological politics as usual; "We don't like Obama, and we're going to loudly object!", seems to be the extent of the thought behind their cause. (Full disclosure: I'm a foreigner, Canadian, and have no stake or great interest in the outcome of American party politics.) Just the usual American "those other guys in the other party are un-American traitors / we're patriots" mentality, to which both Democrats and Republicans subscribe. {Yawn}

The Social Pathologist said...


I know that I may give the impression that I'm misogynistic but I'm not. I agree that there are women of quality(and that really depends on your standards)and that a man should aim for them. But even amongst them, a man will benefit when behaves in a masculine way. This does not mean treating women as simply sex objects, it means treating women as women should be treated, not treating women like men without penises.

I do think that there is a qualatative difference between women. Still, all women want an alpha male, the type of alpha they want is different. The psychologically coarser and more disturbed the woman, the more overt the alpha. Girls who genuinely seem psychologically stable and have some refinement want a more subtle alpha than a thug. The devilish detail thing about women is that the most physically refined women can be psychological brutes. The trick is to identify those with the bad psychology and stay well clear.

Alte said...

For clarification, most of the Tea Party types don't wish to be associated with either party and consider most politicians to be total scum.

The French Revolution? What about the storming of the Bastille?

The American Revolution was a male-led one, but I think we cannot discount the pushing, driving, and nagging that went on behind the scenes. Why did men fight for so hard for so long? They suffered horribly. For themselves? No, for their women and children, of course.

Or think about the Germanic women in the fight against Rome. When their men tried to cut and run, they attacked their own men to shame them back into the fight.

I know that American history teaches us that WWII was fought over the Jews, but most Germans didn't see it that way. For my rural relatives, it was fought for the enticing prospect of Lebensraum. Bavaria was very poor, crowded, and rural. The women all wanted to move east to have their "own plot of land". They were tired of living 3 generations to a house, being nagged by their mothers-in-law, eking out a living on one worn-out plot of land.

Don't men usually fight (and I consider social movements a fight, even if they don't include outright violence) for their women? Even when I read Obsidian, In Mala Fide, Roissy, etc. it's all about the women, isn't it? The political anger is about the women.

Will S. said...

Oh, certainly, men fight for their wives and children, too, and no doubt, a nagging wife can be a great motivator. ;) That can be a good or a bad thing, depending on why.

I hadn't paid enough attention, I guess; I had understood, maybe assumed, that most of the Tea Party types were simply Republicans, rather than against all politicians as a whole. That's actually more encouraging.

Anonymous said...

They're more Libertarians or Constitutionalists than anything else.

I'm a registered Republican, but that's just so that I can vote in the primaries. I don't feel at home in either party, and most politicians don't say much of anything that I agree with. But the Republicans at least pretend to speak for me, whereas the Democrats try to demonize people like me as elitist racists (which is especially humorous as I'm a middle-class black woman).

Alte said...

Sorry, that last post was from me. I don't know why it says Anonymous.

Mark Richardson said...

Social Pathologist,

I agree with much of this post. Even with this:

It's my belief that Game and its insights will eventually be part of a Conservative revival, despite the opposition to the Traditionalists. Why? Because it remasculates men and provides a antidote to the poison of Feminism.

I do, though, think you have defined traditionalism incorrectly.

The truth is that there aren't many people who identify as traditionalists. The group I identify with is very small. It includes people like Lawrence Auster and Jim Kalb.

We don't call ourselves traditionalists because there is some point in history, such as the Victorian erea, that we'd like society to return to. If you look at our sites you'll find no such focus.

We call ourselves traditionalists because it defines us in opposition to the dominant trends within liberal modernity. It may not be the best term to use, but no one has yet proposed a better one.

I also call myself a conservative, in opposition to liberalism, but this term too has its limitations, as it is often applied to economic liberals.

In short, there is no agreed meaning to the term traditionalist. Auster, Kalb and myself don't have exactly the same critique of liberal modernity. There are people in Europe calling themselves "new traditionalists" who seem to follow thinkers like Evola.

As a rule, most people who are political identify with either a left or right liberalism.

If they identify with the left, then they like to see themselves as dissenting outsiders supporting equality and social reform. If they are right liberals then they might think of themselves as supporting the free market and individual choice.

That's how it's been for decades. There just hasn't been a current of "traditionalists," as you define the term, wanting to restore history to some point of time in the past.

The Social Pathologist said...

No Mark, I don't suspect that you're a Traditionalist in the strict sense of the word, what I imagine is that you're a metaphysical traditionalist. as opposed to a metaphysical modern See Ed Feser. It is THE DEFINING essay on Conservatism. The difference between a Conservative and a Radical is in their metaphysics. The basis of conservatism is a belief in objective reality. That's why people like Malcolm Turnbull, who sign onto the Green Movement aren't really conservatives--Because the data is patently false--liberal bullshit.(Believing of what you want to believe in instead of believing what is true). Political correctness is an exercise in truth evasion.

The problem is though, that there are many strict traditionalists in the conservative movement. People who prefer the old to what's right The little Kalb that I have read has not inspired me. The response is always to go back, never to move forward. I mean how do you reconcile civil rights with traditionalism? Traditional Western society was hostile to foreingers and stripped them of their rights. Traditional U.S. society for instance, was wrong in its treatment of blacks. Slavery was practiced through much of "Traditional Europe". It wasn't the traditionalists who were leading the charge to change things. The problem is that the traditional view in the past was wrong on some issues and right on a lot of others. The traditionalists refuse to see any wrong in the past. That to me is just plain stupid and gives liberals the intellectual high ground. The pressing task of the conservative movement is to find out were traditionalism was wrong and right it. But righting it does not necessarily mean copying the liberal model because the liberal solutions are frequently stupid.

Socialism--and all its evils--could have been avoided if conservatism recognised that the rights of capital are not the only rights when it comes to social issues. The traditionalists stood firm, the moderns proposed something new, guess which side won? I remember reading about starving German workers who knew Hitler was a bastard but voted for him. I think the comment went something along the line of better a full belly with Hitler that starving in freedom. Dumb but understandable decision.

For example, this whole sex in marriage business. As you have mentioned in your comments section, there is a silence from conservatives on this matter. The liberals do all the talking, most of it stupid. The conservatives should be arguing that a happy marriage is a sexual marriage. That partners who deny each other are wrong and that opprobrium should be heaped on the cold fish who doesn't care for care for their other partner. Instead silence, or parroting of liberal idiocy.

Anonymous said...

"Once again, if we're addressing reality..."

Because people in the market for a future bride are out on the prowl for women older than 30?

What's more is that the GSS data obviously relies on self-reporting. I seriously don't think that most people that comment on this shit are actually out in the field, involved with the popular culture in any way.

I mean, I do know women with very few sexual partners, but I know way more that have had many. Most of them engage in lots of "doesn't count" sex, so their number doesn't increase. What question do people possibly lie about more than partner count?

I mean seriously, a full 2/3 of college aged Americans have had a FWB arrangement, but over 40% are near virgins?

Over half of the population will have an STD at some point in their lives, but almost half are near virgins?

You might lie on a questionaire, but your HPV will not.