Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What is Behind the Collapse of Civilization?

What if the sympathy for terrorism and the drive toward socialism, the falling birth rates and cultural bankruptcy in civilized countries, the economic decay and decline of the family all had a common cause? What if that common cause lay behind the multitude of ways that we can see civilization collapsing around us. Following that cause will require a brief journey, not into the realm of geopolitics or global economics, but into the human spirit.

They say that the child is father to the man. But what becomes of the man when the child never grows up? That is the unfortunate question that civilization as we know it, is confronted by. That is the question it will have to answer if it wants to survive.

The journey from child to man occurs in three stages. ADULATION. REBELLION. INTEGRATION. The child looks up to the parent. Then as the adolescent is forced to begin transitioning into the adult role, he responds with rebellion. When he takes on into his adult role, integration occurs.

Generally speaking, this cycle occurs individually within families, but it also occurs on a generational level, as a generational rebellion gives way to its integration into the larger cycle of a nation, a group and their history. And just as the rebellion of the adolescent helps him discover his talents and leads to his integration, a generational rebellion helps define a generation's ability to join with and contribute to their country. What happens however when this cycle is aborted at the Rebellion stage, is a perpetual adolescence or a case of arrested development, in which there is a constant rebellion driven by a compulsion to see the world in childish ways in order to maintain the constants of childhood.

Welcome to the world today. But not just today. We are living in a First World that is in a state of arrested development. We are surrounded by a culture that is a product of arrested development. We are surrounded by the politics of arrested development. To read the newspapers, to turn on the television and to look at the level of debate in society after society today, is to see the effects of generations that are in a state of perpetual adolescence, producing children who are born into a culture where that is the default state. While there are still plenty of adults around, the loci of cultural and political impact centers around those trapped in the Rebellion stage, and sizable numbers of the population in every First World country carry on their worldview.

Let's take a closer look now at what the Rebellion stage looks like. This is vitally important, because we're living in it now

The Rebellion stage is the transition between childhood and adulthood. It's a reaction to the child being forced to discover what the adult world is really like, and to begin taking on adult responsibilities. (The Mid-life crisis is a somewhat similar event.) The Rebellion stage is marked by the aggressive imposition of a childish worldview on the adult world in order to maintain childhood's premises for those who are no longer children.

The Rebellion stage often features the embrace of idealistic politics that are short on realistic plans, but emphasize idealistic global solutions. (Seeing the world's problems as a child sees it.) The Rebellion stage often sees a rejection of conventional adult authority and rules, in favor of alternative systems that are either anarchic or benevolently totalitarian. (By rejecting conventional authority, the child also rejects the possibility of taking on an adult role, and instead searches for maximum freedom from responsibility through either a complete lack of rules, or a complete lack of rules backed by the security of a nanny state.)

At the Rebellion stage, cultural value is placed not on achievement, but on creativity itself. Art is detached from actual artistic accomplishment, but valued as an internal expression of self. (To a child, finger painting is important for the joy of creating, not necessarily for the objective value of the results) Film, theater and novels are valued purely for their shock value, which means breaking taboos becomes the highest form of drama or comedy. (The child has a short attention span and is captivated by that which startles him and thereby gains his attention.)

In the Rebellion stages, there is no grand system of ideas, only contextual values. Morality is relative, because objective rules are too confining and seem to lack empathy and space for the expression of individual impulses. (To the child, rules are emotional, not rational. Contextual, not eternal.) The Rebellion stage results in the romanticizing of one's own emotions of confusion, oppression and disenfranchisement, and projecting them on the outsider, who is considered "closer" than members of one's own group because he too is an outsider. The outsider comes to seem like a pathway to a form of natural vitality, both physical and spiritual, that has been denied to him by his own "conformist" upbringing. (The child yearns for the natural order and the natural impulse as a defense against the artificial and abstract rules of the world.)

It's easy enough to see all of these elements around us, in our institutions, in our culture and our politics. To actually see the flash frozen Rebellion stage worldview in action, consider the cultural stereotypes in the United States of the contrast between the 50's and the 60's. Reduce them to their most cliched. The oppressive workplace vs the open air concert. Working for the man vs Doing your own thing. Being passionate about the world vs. Believing what everyone else does. The three piece suit vs The free spirit. These stereotypes even at their most negative embody a very simple contrast, between Civilization and its Discontented.

Just as the adolescent rebels against having to take on adult roles, by trying to return to childhood. Generationally speaking, those who reject taking on the adult roles of a civilization, instead try to drag that civilization back to a juvenile stage. And juvenile in terms of civilization, is just another word for primitive or savage.

To romanticize the primitive and the backward, whether it's hanging up Jackson Pollocks in place of Rembrandts, cheering on whatever bunch of Third World thugs wants to destroy us this era or rejecting monogamy and marriage, or arguing that we need to restrict technology in order to protect the environment-- all stem from the same hostility of civilization's children... to the civilization that gave birth to them.

Let's take a look at Hollywood for a moment, which switched from serving up celluloid fantasies in which the forces of order slaughter the representations of primitivism to celluloid fantasies in which the forces of primitivism slaughter the forces of order. While critics label the former as jingoistic, and the latter as safely politically correct, both are cultural expressions of a struggle between civilization and primitivism. The shift marks the cultural ascendancy of those whose sympathies are wholeheartedly against civilization and to whom the emotional resonance of a return to a simpler and more primitive way of life is stronger, than the emotional resonance of protecting civilization. These films represent the rebellion against civilization by those who see it to be poisonous and threatening to their "natural impulses", in its implicit demand that they stop acting like children and grow up.

This of course brings us to the Noble Savage. To the rebellious children of civilization, he points the way back to a simpler and more natural way of life. While former generations wanted to justify their way of life by "civilizing the savage", their angry children wanted the "savage" to justify their way of life by teaching them to be savage too. Both approaches are of course racist and ignorant, but only one is safely politically correct.

The romanticization of the "Other" as the "Noble Savage", who in this stereotype is closer to nature, impulsive, generous, pleasure seeking, innately vital and spiritual-- has allowed emotionally adolescent First Worlders to transform numerous minorities into "avatars" for their own arrested development. And in always being on the lookout for someone to play Jim to their Huck Finn, for their own adventure down the river, and into a perpetual childhood away from the challenges and demands of adult civilization. Who will teach them how to find the "savage" in themselves, by showing them to discard civilization and become more generous, spiritual and natural.

In the process, they've practiced a racism just as pernicious as anything they've campaigned against, but it is a racism that they cannot let go of, because it is also the only reason that they are against racism in the first place. And in the process it will also destroy them, because their worst miscalculation has been to adopt the Muslim as the latest in their line of "Noble Savages". And the rising amount of Muslim violence only makes them cling harder to the newfound "savages" whom they hope will show them how to take care of that pesky civilization thing once and for all. Which indeed given time and power they will. However at the other end of civilization will not be some lost primitive eden, but slavery, oppression and death.

Let us look now at the birth rates. The birth rate has dropped drastically in just about every civilized country. But that is not surprising because adolescents are not particularly interested in having children. It is generally the more traditional sectors of a country that maintain the childbirth rate, and incoming immigrants. Meanwhile in the cultural centers, couples marry later and give birth to children much later, and in smaller numbers, if they bother with that at all. Children after all require parents to take on an adult role. Many First World couples instead decide to focus on themselves. As one European couple explained in an article, they could either have a car and an annual vacation or children. And so they made their choice. And so have so many others, without the newspaper headlines.

Arrested development means delayed maturity. The educational system has expanded to accommodate that, with larger numbers of young people maintaining their higher education as late as their late twenties. Lowered sexual mores also means delayed marriages or no marriages at all. A Me First culture also helps insure a higher divorce rate. Together all these help keep the birth rate down. But the overriding factor is the escape from adult roles by instead focusing on self-fulfillment and pleasure seeking, over taking on adult responsibilities. That means a Rebellion culture is also a low birth rate culture (an ironic contrast to the Noble Savage whom they strive to emulate.)

Adulthood requires transcending the self. By contrast perpetual adolescence never does. Instead it makes the self, the focus of everything. Politics, art, culture, institutions and the whole world become nothing more than projections of the self. Politics is reduced to reduced to supporting politicians who mirror your anger or promise to take care of you. Art is reduced to self-fulfilling creativity without actual creative accomplishment. Institutions operate by either making rules for everything or having no rules at all. Moral relativism and anecdotal evidence dominate public rhetoric. There is a great deal of wealth, but it is spent as fast as it appears. Such a culture cannot survive for very long, because what it builds cannot hold its own weight.

Generational rebellion, like adolescent rebellion, plays a very important role in regenerating a culture. A brief period of rebellion uses a child's viewpoint to shake up a culture and introduce new ideas and perspectives. Some of these new ideas and perspectives are then integrated into the existing system to enrich and strengthen it. This cycle can help take a civilization to new levels and heights.

However when this cycle is aborted, the rebellion stage never ends. Instead it stagnates. New ideas become old, but there is nothing to replace them, because the ideas have never become integrated into anything greater than themselves. Instead the next generation, which has nothing to rebel against but rebellion itself, rebels by finding new extremes to go to. Politics becomes increasingly more abrasive, even as it becomes more devoid of actual content. High culture transforms into random trends of the moment. Low culture simply panders shamelessly to shock value and spectacle.

The cult of youth dominates the culture, which makes Carpe Diem the only moral law, as social and economic activity becomes centered around everyone scurrying to deny the march of time by fulfilling their own selfish needs. Religion collapses, except for cults and mystery religions which offer secret ways to be immortal. The birth rate drops sharply and family life, the center of any civilization, collapses as well. Industry dies away and is replaced by personal services. No one wants to do the dirty work, and in any case a falling birth has created numerous openings at the bottom, and so migration brings in a new lower class, which a bored upper class sees as exotic and exciting. The worship of the Noble Savage eventually ends with the sack of civilization.

We have gone down this road before, and it always leads to the same place. The failure by a civilization to continue the cycle by integrating into adulthood, will mean its destruction... if left unchecked. Just as a man, who insists on remaining a child cannot survive on his own... so too a civilization that insists on running away from itself, will perish in the flames of its own making.

The Rebellion stage transitions into the adulthood stage through Integration. With Integration, the adolescent models and accepts the adult role and the responsibilities that come with it. Through Integration, the student comes to see himself as the teacher, the son as the father, the daughter as the mother, the worker as the manager... and a generation takes the next step in the history of its people. The creativity and new ideas it brings with it, becomes integrated in constructive ways and forms the next chapter of the great story of their civilization.

However the modern day educational system helps take the child in the Adulation stage, when he still looks up to and respect adult roles, and its teachers and professors who idolize the Rebellion stage, teach him that this form of arrested development is the highest wisdom. Integration is then delayed or aborted, and the modern intellectual dialogue becomes centered around Rebellion stage ideas.

Adult role models are of course key to that integration. The decline of the family, both in personal and public life, makes integration much more difficult. Particularly if the culture insists on degrading adult role models, and presenting negative models instead. A culture's myths and stories help guide the adolescent into adulthood. As do the tasks he has to perform. When a culture's stories become rebellion stage oriented and the tasks involve participating in an indefinite educational program, this too makes the transition to an adult role that much more difficult. Overlay all this with a nanny state that is itself the symptom of a Rebellion culture looking to create substitute parents to take care of them-- and it becomes harder for the next generation to become adults.

Adulthood means transforming the Resistive Creativity of the Rebellion Stage into the Constructive Creativity of the Integration stage. Resistive Creativity is creativity that exists in defiance to some form of restriction. Where Resistive Creativity was once a symptom of youthful rebellion or bohemian attitudes, it has become ubiquitous in the First World today. By contrast Constructive Creativity, which is additive creativity that focuses on craftsmanship and creating a final product that benefits people, rather than simply expressing a resistance to rules, has become harder to find. As a result of this, America has begun suffering a decline in non-theoretical sciences, as well as in its culture. And we are burdened with politicians who are creative in terms of being able to come up with all sorts of big ideas, but not constructive in terms of being able to see them through.

Socialism. Dhimmism. Low birth rates. The breakup of the family. The decline of the West. The rise of the Nanny State and the fall of human freedoms. The adoration of anyone willing to upend civilization-- all have a common denominator. And this is it.

The adolescent rebels against adulthood by trying to function as a child, living without fear or consequences, embracing idealism rather than ideas, and self-fulfillment over responsibility. A culture rebelling against civilization tries to function as they think primitives do, by trying to be children again. And the results are all around us.

They have turned the State into a nanny to care for them. They have worshiped the murderer for being impulsive. They have discarded the family and children, as obstacles in the way of their egotistical pleasure seeking. They have declared war on industry and technology as antithetical to their worship of the primitive. They have based their culture around the things that shock them the most, and their politics around that which they are cued to find inspirational. They have turned their backs on civilization, trying to escape the adult responsibilities it demands of them. But the past offers no escape from the future, and the man cannot become a child again... he can only mimic a twisted parody of a child.

The Rebellion stage cannot continue indefinitely. It has long ago become stale. Yet by failing to move on, it has trapped generation after generation in its broken cycle. And the only way out for the First World is to put aside childish things and make the decision to at last grow up. If we cannot do that in the face of the Jihad... we may never do it at all. In the aftermath of 9/11, there was a flash in which a culture that had been taught to forget adulthood, suddenly experienced what it was like to be adults. Some reverted back again. But many did not. Year after year, the knife is moving closer to our throats. Technology alone cannot turn it back. Only the adult mind, the adult determination and the adult will to defend ourselves at any cost can do that. And by finally taking on that long neglected adult role, the First World's perpetual adolescent cultures may finally become adults again.


Anonymous said...

Outstanding article, an eloquent analysis of the current state of the West. I for one doubt that the West can be saved, it's a question of time now. Marxism I believe has destroyed it purposefully, I wonder if the aim is establish the socialist utopia after a chaotic clash with Islam?



Analytical Adam said...

The declining birth rates have mostly to do with woman liberation and the gov't taking care of women (though tax dollars that men pay more into). This exists in every Western country. There are many area's to blame men for but when it comes to birth rates the women are more responsible (and the people that brainwash them) since their age and health and even taking contraception has much more of an impact then the men on these three area's.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

men and women both choose to conduct less serious relationships and to marry later

Benjamin said...

Intriguing article, I'd just like to know what sources you used when writing it. The theories are new to me but seem highly logical.


Anonymous said...

Amazing analysis. The question is why? Can it be that having too much wealth and choice is detrimental to development? Not having to fight for survival infantilized the generations coming after the WW2?

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...


I haven't altogether tackled why yet, but I suspect that a combination of a lack of challenges and too many comforts, as you said, combined with the increasing complexity and dehumanization of a more complex system that required a steeper learning curve, all play a major role.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...


I essentially took a simplified model of human development and applied it on a generational scale. Most of the ideas are not new, but they've been applied in a different way. The Model is a fairly simplified one, as most theories of developmental psychology tend to get bogged down when adding complexity in looking at development, they get stuck in a single perspective.

Keli Ata said...

Fabulous article, Daniel! Fabulous! An article you are well-qualified to write:)

There could be some hope on the horizon. I heard on TV that more and more men are doing away with very casual attire/dressing down and returning to the style of dress of the 1940s-1950s in which virtually all men wore hats (not baseball caps) and long coats and looked very daper.

Men in hats look very handsome IMOP.

It could be a start in the right direction albeit on a superficial level.

(Stay warm and bundle up if you go outside)

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Thank you, retro trends though may suggest a hankering for the image of adult roles, but often not the substance

they signal a discomfort with the sterility of the present, more than a willingness to grow up

I went out into central park during the blizzard for some photos, it was fairly intense

DP111 said...

Excellent analysis.

Essentially it is the dissing of the family that has led to all our woes.

Once the family steps back into the central frame of society, parents will have to take on the role of adults, provided the nanny is sent packing.

Anonymous said...

Great insight Daniel! However, you failed to mention sex. As long as women are willing to give themselves freely without the benefit of marriage, they will be taken. As an older women, I marvel a the 30 something women around me that cannot understand why they cannot find husbands. Perhaps if they collectively became more sexually discriminating they would see how quickly the men will give up the adolescent life and turn into married adult family men.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...


Yes, as the family is a transcendent institution, since it requires one to invest his efforts into something superseding himself.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...


While that might prove to be an incentive for some men to marry, someone marrying for such a reason is not an adult, even if he happens to be the holder of a marriage license.

Keli Ata said...

Please post your pictures of teh blizzard.

They are indeed intense and always remind me of artic explorers and the survival instincts in all of us.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

you can see a few up at New York Minute

PsihoKekec said...

This infantilisation of society is going to doom us all. Nobody wants to carry responsibility or do the hard work anymore, but only to live carefree life preferably on their parents support.
Yet this is our future and it looks grimm.

vdavisson said...

I am completely serious about "what is behind the collapse of civilization" - it's Satan. Satan is the original rebel, and permanent rebellion serves its purpose.

Michael said...

This article sounds like the fall of Rome. Also to you, Sultan? did you look into it? are there parallels between our time and then?

yammi333 said...

Anonymous said..."As an older women, I marvel a the 30 something women around me that cannot understand why they cannot find husbands. Perhaps if they collectively became more sexually discriminating they would see how quickly the men will give up the adolescent life and turn into married adult family men.


I can only speak for myself(approaching middle age) that your suggestion doesn't resonate with me. in the least.

I think for many of the under 35's the whole idea of marriage is anachronistic. Couples today can cohabit, share in material accumulation but not be psychologically or legally fettered. This generation I think more than all before it has become the ultimate hedonistic ego and nihilism trip. Nihilism seems to be the growing philosophical underpinning of this generation.

In a Hobbesian world, man's actions are taken to avoid a violent death or rather the fear of a violent death. . . . Gone is the notion that man's actions are based upon rationally derived or divinely inspired fundamentals leading toward the fulfillment of his purpose.


As truth became a relative concept based upon the understanding of the individual at a given point in time, the notion that man evolves within his lifetime from many men allowed for the ever changing, i.e., creative power, of man himself. Man was to overcome himself by redefining and recreating who and what he is.


Consequently; When all ideas are equal because man as the maker constantly seeks to remake himself, no ideas are "significantly" better than others.

With the aid of modern social science, the relative nature of all things is fully established as the grounding of modernity.

Truth is an obsolete concept unless applied in the most relative terms of "my truth" and "your truth."

Cultural interpretations are explained as the diversity of understandings, whose meanings are the byproduct of environment and culture. The modern thinker is required by doctrine to reject absolutism in the sense that any single "truth" or understanding is of greater value than another.

What must be understood is that the impetus for modern western culture was indeed the transformation of the Jewish G-d into the self-creating deification of man. Modern apostasy is the modern western culture in the guise of true enlightenment.

Modern apostasy has replaced moral certitude with the "if it feels good, do it" ritual. Man is made void of a nature; for it is the greatest of mistakes to confuse what "feels" natural or nice with purpose. Man's lack of purpose leaves him stilted as the beasts of the field "doing" without cognition.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Rome and not just Rome either. The cycle has passed again and again.

ronny said...

There is one problem with this article.

You imply that the Muslims are not "noble savages". The trick here is that the term "noble savage" simply hasn't been defined by the people who use it.

I would argue that the Muslim is in fact a "noble savage". Not only that, I would say we should be quite grateful that this noble savage exists. He will most certainly kill and slaughter his way across the world if he gets the opportunity and this is a good thing.

Because until now our civilization has been dying slowly. We've been murdering ourselves, not only with bullshit liberalism but with what I call bullshit capitalism (as opposed to the Free Market). That is, Freedom only works with a responsible citizenry. For years, it has been less and less responsible handing off what is right for what is convenient. That is what I mean when I say bullshit capitalism. A pretend Free Market that has little in the way of self restraint. Instead passing laws that pretend restraint but really do very little.

We should be grateful to the Noble Savage. He is not playing games, he is quite serious. He seeks nothing less than absolute dominion and obedience. He reminds us that there are things worth fighting for, things worth killing for, things worth suffering for.


Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

they are indeed savages, just not noble, the savage is more primitive not simply in techniques, but also in morals and in his understanding of the wider world

Anonymous said...

Great article, I like to look at Man's behavior and discern the motive or explanation if you will for actions. But I was intrigued by your application on a societal level and corresponding dysfunction. Erikson's developmental theory came to mind while reading your article. So I understood completely your analysis. What we are seeing in today's world is man without GOD, nothing more than a sophisticated, cunning and ruthless animal, who happens to be at the top of the food chain.But I do believe that everything is going along within the realm of God's allowance, he is not surprised. As one of your other readers said, Satan is pretty busy down here, it took me a long time to understand the Book of Job. So what is going on now reflects the fact that Satan knows he has but a short time. And there are many doing his bidding.

Greg RN

generalschmeneral said...

Awesome writing Dan. If I can speculate, I think one key element missing in our educational institutions is the old concept of Civics. That is; the teachings of how our society works, as well as the rights and (most importantly) responsibilites of those living in our civilised society.

Many of the people I speak to who cling to childish ideals and policies direct their anger to the wrong arm of government, the wrong jurisdiction or simply fail to grasp WHY things are the way they are. They don't know where money comes from, and how their parliaments are elected. They think things like socialism are the answer because they simply have no basis for comparison.

Being an adult can only realy come from fully knowing oneself, one's culture, and one's society. Only then can one constrast the vices and virtues of our society against those of the barbarians at the gates.

Yehuda said...

You're analysis very much parallels things that have been mulling in my head since 9/11.
As a former American living in a kibbutz I have had the benefit of seeing the pros and cons of both Capitalist and Socialist ideologies. I have come to the conclusion that the Rebellion phase mentality makes both ideologies untenable. For any healthy nation and culture to work there has to be a level of consensual civic responsibility. A common understanding of what makes a nation healthy and work well and the willingness to bend you back in order to make it work.Any Ideology taken to its extreme interpretation and is not tempered by simple pragmatic common sense is doomed for tyranny in one form or another.
Pure Socialism is based on the human need for stability. Pure Capitalism is based on the human need for promoting self interest. A healthy society takes both needs into account. Too much stability leads to Big Brother. Too much self Interest leads to Big Business.Both of these extremes derive from an arrested development mentality and leads to the opening of the doors to the barbarians at the gate.

firedinrichland said...

Wonderful. As a teacher, I have witnessed this happening before my eyes. Those of us who work on teaching adolescents to mature are quickly noticed and chastised by administrators and parents. We continue in a stealth way, but it can result in bad evals or even losing your job.

I am unemployed right now because I believe in in consequence for disruptive, rude, or indolent student.

Even simple correction --- of improper grammar, of an disrepectful tone of voice, can get you in trouble. Parents go to the administrator, who then meets with you and tells you how that child must be treated.

My husband, also a teacher, was told recently that he had been wrong in advising a work-study student that his clothes were dirty and unappropriate for the out-front job he had. His adminstrator believed this correction hurt the student's feelings -- and the number one thing parents will get angry with schools for is hurting a student's feelings.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Yes, unfortunately feelings trump reason in a culture dedicated to the joy of perpetual adolescence.

SFMEDIC said...
This is what happened all over the US over the Memorial Day weekend and its just the tip of the iceberg.

Anyone in USA who doesn't yet understand that TEOTWAWKI has already occured has either got their head up their arse or is among the class who support the destruction of the the last remaining bastion of freedom in this world. All in the name of "redistribution of wealth and political correctness". Our European cousins should not think they are exempt,
you will be the first to fall.

EriK said...

can we repost this, mr. Greenfield? on a university website, for example?

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

yes certainly so long as a link back s provided

Anonymous said...

If I may, I would like to highlight another major factor contributing to the perilous state of the First World, as you chose to label it. Our society has been remarkably successful at reversing physical evolution - the very process which enabled homo sapiens to dominate the planet Earth. The weak and the stupid have been, and still are, procreating much more rapidly than the strong and the intelligent. Add this evolutionary regression - and a little bit of time - to the inordinate control of politics by Big Business, and the combination is simply lethal. These ideas are eloquently, albeit indirectly, supported by the following books:
1. "The Closing of the American Mind" by Allan Bloom
2. "The Selfish Gene" by Richard Dawkins
3. "Londonistan" by Melanie Phillips
4. "Future Human Evolution" by John Glad.
Unfortunately, Islam is only one the problems we face today. In fact, it is probably the easiest to solve. On the other hand, climate change, rampant pollution of "island Earth" and overall degeneration of human intelligence are much more formidable enemies. For example, the epidemic of autism, which is sweeping the First World, is a direct result, and an unintended consequence, of indiscriminate application of modern medical techniques (antibiotics and vaccines).

Alan Lake said...

Daniel, I think you are missing her point. The process of maturation is not a one-step process, nor is it a one tool process, but involves carrot and stick and logistics and many other things.

Of course, if men are denied sex that will not make them mature; but it will make them knuckle down to whatever is required to get that sex, which means marriage, which means having the credentials to get the marriage in the market place, and that process will make them mature.

I agree with anon. The easy availability of sex is a key part of the prolongation of immaturity. Why are we even disputing this? Surely we can agree that if deprived for only a short time, men will do anything to get sex. And there is another aspect she didn't mention. Every marketplace trades in swaps around asset values. The woman has an asset - her body. What does she now get for the swap? It was, formerly, supposed to be 'commitment'. Doh.

Anonymous said:
Great insight Daniel! However, you failed to mention sex. As long as women are willing to give themselves freely without the benefit of marriage, they will be taken. As an older women, I marvel a the 30 something women around me that cannot understand why they cannot find husbands. Perhaps if they collectively became more sexually discriminating they would see how quickly the men will give up the adolescent life and turn into married adult family men.

Daniel Greenfield said:
While that might prove to be an incentive for some men to marry, someone marrying for such a reason is not an adult, even if he happens to be the holder of a marriage license.

Joseph Dooley said...

I can see clearly how the utopian thinking that drives so much stubborn rejection of the laws of nature, especially of human nature, and belief in the remaking of the world in our own image, fits into this Adolescent/Assimilated paradigm. Interesting post!

mmercier said...

it is the nature of people to identify pattern in order to establish a point to understand that which manifests about them.

the truth is more terrifying than any attempts to reconcile reality with rationality.

the order of the universe is chaos... interspersed with periods. of stasis...

Anonymous said...

Brilliant analysis. Has there ever been a more adolescent, immature government than the one we are suffering through right now?

nightowl said...

Very interesting piece, Daniel...well worth reading, and pondering. Thank you.

One question: Who is responsible for the dystopian photos? The overall effect is very good (in the sense of "expressive"). Did you do them?

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