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    Feminists Reach that Scarlett O'Hara Moment

    WE all know the moment in Gone with the Wind. After lying and cheating and manipulating her way across 300 pages of novel -- or hours and hours of movie -- Scarlett asks the departing Rhett Butler.

    "Where shall I go? What shall I do?"
    After last week, in which ageing feminist icons were embarrassing themselves for Hillary, and the brash but eternally foolish Camille Paglia was coming out for Bernie, the real walk-the-walk feminist Carly Fiorina told it like it is.
    To young girls and women across the country, I say: do not let others define you... A feminist is a woman who lives the life she chooses and uses all her God-given gifts. And always remember that a leader is not born, but made. Choose leadership.
    But even this is pure modern fantasy. Nobody gets to live the life he or she chooses, least of all women, least of all feminists. Scarlett O'Hara did what she had to do, given the facts on the ground that the South was a devastated land, defeated in war, and given her dynastic desire to save Tara. She didn't choose it; it chose her.

    Yes, yes, you say, but Scarlett lived in the patriarchal Old South. She didn't have the choices that today's young women have.

    To which I say; Bologna. In my view, young people today are brutally limited in their choices by a cruel and unjust liberal educated ruling class. Back in the 19th century young people had a much broader canvas on which to paint, mainly because the old feudal order had broken down and the New World Order of the educated and the evolved hadn't yet established its hegemony.

    Let's tell it like it is, in my language. First of all, a person needs to obtain food and lodging. So that limits the choices, for a start, because if you obtain food and lodging by working it kinda limits your choices. Work has a way of filling up the day. You can, of course, choose to live on welfare, or by living off someone else, or going to live on a commune, but I wouldn't recommend it. It helps, of course, if you have a university professor for a father, like Carly Fiorina. La Wik:
    At the time of her birth, Fiorina's father was a professor at the University of Texas School of Law. He would later become dean of Duke University School of Law, Deputy U.S. Attorney General, and judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Her mother was an abstract painter.
    So really all the guff about Carly working as a secretary is just presidential log cabin talk. No offense, but I'd call that being born on third base.

    Secondly, a person needs to mate and have children. Oh yes, you can choose a diverse lifestyle, picking one of the fifty or so gender options at Facebook. But unless you have children you are voting you and yours off the planet. I suspect this is why almost all religions are pro-natal. If you are a Shaker and don't have children or a modern liberal and you only have one kid, you and yours aren't going to be around too much longer. At a societal level the anti-natal attitudes of modernity are yielding birth rates that point to declining populations everywhere from Germany to Japan. They had a similar problem in the high Roman Empire, and look what happened to the Romans.

    Speaking of the Romans, I am reading SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by the worthy and feminist and lefty professor Mary Beard. She frequently alludes to the relative freedom of Roman women, even if it was not satisfactory to the culture of 21st century women university professors.

    But really, in a society where ambitious men proved their worth by getting an army command so they could do a spot of conquering, as Pompey did in Asia Minor and the Levant, and Caesar did in Gaul, what exactly does Beard have in mind for women? As she writes, the tombstones of the era celebrate men's glory in war, and women's glory in tending the home fires. Remember, no free person in that era did anything that we would characterize as "work;" that was for slaves.

    The reason we moderns do not continue the old culture is not that we are virtuous but that, on the one hand, we do not need many men to guard the ramparts of empire, and on the other that modern hygiene means that the average women needs to bear only about two children to continue the dance of the generations as against six or more back in the old days.

    It is notable that the cultural change affected men first. In the 19th century we invented careers and wage employment and sports. Careers amount to a sublimation of the conquest instinct, and wage work substitutes for long-service rank-and-file soldiering. And sports sublimates the war instinct, where you can root for the home team against the rascally foreigners from another city.

    Today, with modern hygiene and machine textiles, women do not have to spend their entire lives bearing and raising children and weaving on the home hand-loom. So where shall they go; what shall they do?

    The instinct of the feminists was that women should have education and careers just like well-born men. That, of course, is what Carly Fiorina, the well-born daughter of a professor and an artist, assumes.

    Just between you and me, I think that is rubbish. First of all, it assumes that the male education-and-career arc is willingly chosen by men. I suggest that men ideally would like to do nothing, but nothing does not get you money, power, and the love of beautiful women -- or even plump, pretty women -- so men go to work. Secondly, it assumes that women want to live like men, and they don't.

    I think that, over the decades, women will move to a more integrated life, weaving together the themes of marriage, family, wage-work, teaching, telling stories, and maintaining family and friendship ties. That is how I experience modern women that have grown out of the indoctrination of their youth.

    Here's an idea. Now that western humanity is more or less literate, how about we close down the literacy boot camps we call public schools, and just leave the education of our children up to the women? I predict that they will weave a dense cooperative network of homeschooling arrangements that will educate and socialize children much better than our present administrative and bureaucratic monstrosity? But what about the poor, you say? Well, how about our well-born women getting up off their duffs and opening charity schools in the inner city and getting all the neighborhood women involved? They could arrange "protection" from the local gangs.

    But is this remotely possible in the near future?

    You never know. The good thing about 2016 is that, thanks to people like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, the ruling class of the educated and the evolved is is a complete mess. With its pernicious program of internal colonization it has divided, demoralized, and destroyed a thriving bourgeois culture and brought the land of the free and the home of the brave to an angry and vindictive nadir.

    But what is the alternative? Is it Bernie or Donald? Of course not. The way forward will be blazed by men and women outside the political world slowly, by trial and error, creating a new world out of the wreckage of the old, and presenting the old ruling class with a fait accompli.  Because politics is downstream from culture. Or, if you are a Marxist, society is an economic base that raises a cultural superstructure.

    Then will come the ruling class's Scarlett moment, when they will whine: Where shall I go; what shall I do?

    And we will say to the old elite, what Lee Iaccoca said years ago: Lead, follow, or get out of the way.

    perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 02/12/16 7:15 pm ET

    Take Your Pick: Nationalist, Socialist, or Both

    IN the sore losers department, National Review is running pieces today, here and here, mourning the sad state of America today, how our prosperity and our freedom have been lost to a powerful and unaccountable government by administrative hegemony. Charles Murray, as usual was way in front on this, with his quiet manifesto of revolution, By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission. ...

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    perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 02/11/16 6:04 pm ET

    Politics Always Breaks Your Heart

    GOVERNMENT is a devil's bargain. One the one hand people need protection from pirates and plunderers. On the other, they need protection from the protectors. Think of the situation of English peasants about 1,000 years ago. They were subject to the raids of the Vikings every autumn who would sail up the rivers, kill the men, take the newly harvested grain, and sell the women and children into ...

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    perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 02/10/16 5:52 pm ET

    The Metastasizing Injustices of Liberal Race Politics

    CONSERVATIVE media sources have noted the dog that didn't bark after the Iowa caucuses. Usually, after such an historic event, the liberal media is all agog with the wonder of the First Latino to Win a Presidential Caucus. But this time, when the son of a Cuban immigrant won the Iowa caucus all we heard was crickets. Until The New York Times ran a piece that told us that Ted Cruz wasn't really ...

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    perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 02/09/16 6:55 pm ET

    |  February blogs  |  January blogs  |


    “I Want a President”

    Georg Simmel’s Sociology

    Charles Murray’s By The People

    Thomas Piketty’s Capital

    The Spirit Level

    McCloskey’s “Bourgeois Era”

    Karl Polanyi’s Great Transformation

    A Look at the Left: “Contra-deBoer”


    Download latest e-book draft here.


    A New Manifesto
    A spectre is haunting the liberal elite—the spectre of conservatism.


    The Crisis of the Administrative State
    It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

    Government and the Technology of Power
    If you scratch a social reformer, you will likely discover a plan for more government.

    Business, Slavery, and Trust
    Business is all about trust and relationship.

    Humanity's Big Problem: Freebooters and Freeloaders
    The modern welfare state encourages freeloaders.

    The Bonds of Faith
    No society known to anthropology or history lacked religion.

    A Critique of Social Mechanics
    The problem with human society reduced to system.

    The Paradox of Individualism
    Is individualism the gospel of selfishness or something else?

    From Multitude to Civil Society
    The larger the government, the smaller the society.

    The Answer is Civil Society
    In between the separated powers.

    The Greater Separation of Powers
    If you want to limit power then you must limit power.

    Conservatism Three by Three
    Conservatism, political, economics, and cultural.

    The Culture of Involvement
    Imagining lives without the welfare state

    The Poor Without the Welfare State
    Can the poor thrive without the welfare state?

    The Middle Class Without The Welfare State
    How would the middle class live without all those middle-class entitlements?

    Liberals and the Welfare State
    Liberals, the ruling class of the administrative welfare state.

    From Freeloaders to Free Givers
    The path to the future lies through moral movements.

    The Real Meaning of Society
    Broadening the horizon of cooperation in the “last best hope of man on earth.”

    conservative manifesto



    AAM Book of the Day

    Meltzer, Milton, Slavery, from the rise of western civilization to the Renaissance,

    AAM Books on Education

    Andrew Coulson, Market Education
    How universal literacy was achieved before government education

    Carl Kaestle, Pillars of the Republic
    How we got our education system

    James Tooley, The Miseducation of Women
    How the feminists wrecked education for boys and for girls

    James Tooley, Reclaiming Education
    How only a market in education will provide opportunity for the poor

    E.G. West, Education and the State
    How education was doing fine before the government muscled in

    AAM Books on Law

    Hernando De Soto, The Mystery of Capital
    How ordinary people in the United States wrote the law during the 19th century

    F. A. Hayek, Law Legislation and Liberty, Vol 1
    How to build a society based upon law

    Henry Maine, Ancient Law
    How the movement of progressive peoples is from status to contract

    John Zane, The Story of Law
    How law developed from early times down to the present

    AAM Books on Mutual Aid

    James Bartholomew, The Welfare State We're In
    How the welfare state makes crime, education, families, and health care worse.

    David Beito, From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State
    How ordinary people built a sturdy social safety net in the 19th century

    David Green, Before Beveridge: Welfare Before the Welfare State
    How ordinary people built themselves a sturdy safety net before the welfare state

    Theda Skocpol, Diminished Democracy
    How the US used to thrive under membership associations and could do again

    David Stevenson, The Origins of Freemasonry
    How modern freemasonry got started in Scotland

    AAM Books on Religion

    David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing
    How Christianity is booming in China

    Finke & Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990
    How the United States grew into a religious nation

    Robert William Fogel, The Fourth Great Awakening and the Future of Egalitarianism
    How progressives must act fast if they want to save the welfare state

    David Martin, Pentecostalism: The World Their Parish
    How Pentecostalism is spreading across the world


    How Bad Are Things?
    things are a lot worse than you think. Really

    Will the Republican Party Survive the 2016 Election?
    David Frum thinks that Republicans are tearing themselves apart.

    Feminist trouble
    Camille Paglia doesn't like the "safe spaces" feminists.

    New Words for a New World
    Newt Gingrich tries to understand the nature of the new Long War.

    The Yale Problem Begins in High School
    Jonathan Haidt encounters the bullying PC culture at a private high school.

    > archive


    cruel . corrupt . wasteful
    unjust . deluded



    After a year of President Obama most Americans understand that the nation is on the wrong track. But how do we find the right track? Americans knew thirty years ago that liberalism was a busted flush. Yet Reaganism and Bushism seemed to be less than the best answer.

    But where can we turn? Where are the thinkers and activists of the old days? Where do we find the best ideas? And how do we persuade our present ruling class to loosen its grip on power so that we can move the locomotive of state back onto the right track?

    With all of our problems it seems like the worst of times.

    In fact, this is the best of times. Under the radar a generation of great thinkers have been figuring out what went wrong and conjuring up visions of a better future. This book, "An American Manifesto: Life After Liberalism" is an introduction to their ideas, and to the great future that awaits an America willing to respond to their call.

    Although this book is addressed to all Americans, conservative, moderate, and liberal, and looks to a nation that transcends our present partisan divide, I must tell you that liberals will have the most difficulty with the book. The reason is simple. I am asking liberals to give up a lot of the power they have amassed in the last century. But we are all Americans, and we must all give up something for the sake of the greater good.


    I am Christopher Chantrill and I am writing this book in full view. I'll be blogging on the process and the ideas, and I'll be asking you, dear readers, to help. Read the blog. Read the articles as they come out on American Thinker and ponder over the draft chapters here on this site.

    Then send me your reactions, your thoughts, and your comments. You will help more than you know.


    Responsible Self

    [The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
    Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.

    Taking Responsibility

    [To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
    MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050

    Civil Society

    “Civil Society”—a complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churches—builds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
    Francis Fukuyama, Trust

    What Liberals Think About Conservatives

    [W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. “Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists,” she offered, smiling but meaning it.
    Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican

    Liberal Coercion

    [T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
    Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State

    Moral Imperatives of Modern Culture

    These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
    Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self

    US Life in 1842

    Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
    Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


    presented by Christopher Chantrill
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