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Thursday, May 07, 2020

Impossible? Part IV

IV. Brave New World

To carry out a successful coup, four things are needed. First, a leader; as one of my professors used to say, would there really have been a Russian Revolution without Lenin? Second, a cause or ideology that will make others rally around him. Third, a polarized and paralyzed political system that will fail to act as quickly and as decisively as it should have. And fourth, a sufficiently large number of ordinary people sufficiently disgruntled with the existing state of things to tolerate an uprising. What I am suggesting is not that such a coup is right around the corner either in the U.S or in any other democratic country. Rather that, when the time comes, restoring the balance between men and women could well be a central part of the cause in question. One for which a growing number of men, dismayed by the countless privileges women are enjoying and feeling at risk by the Niagara of often false accusations feminists are directing at them, might rally and fight.

As Ms. Atwood says, the Bible, especially the Old Testament with its strong patriarchal bias, might well be used to provide such a coup with the religious sanction it needs. That applies both to the Old Testament (“a fitting helper for him”) and the new one (“let woman in Church keep silent”). If victory comes quickly, as it did in Brazil in 1964, Greece in 1967, Chile in 1970, and Argentina in 1976, then the rest will be relatively simple. But if—and in quite some countries this is the more likely outcome—it does not, then the sequel will be about as kind and as gentle as the French Terror under Robespierre. This in turn may escalate into full-scale civil war complete with widespread destruction, countless atrocities, and heavy loss of life. As, for example, happened in Russia in 1917-20 and in Spain in 1936-39. Opponents who do not surrender will be exterminated. If necessary, as Ms. Atwood, perhaps following Lenin’s own example, with the aid of poison gas.

Having won, she goes on, the rebels will set up a dictatorial/clerical government. Living standards will drop dramatically. Civil liberties and every kind of privacy will be abolished. So will the kind of courts that are responsible for safeguarding them; in their place, we shall see the growth of bodies much more like the KGB or the Gestapo. As far as women are concerned, the most important measure the new government will put into effect will be to prohibit them from taking on high-level work outside the home. Also, from owning bank accounts, inheriting property, and generally handling any but the trifling sums needed for running a household day to day.

Children over the age of six or eight will be educated separately, just as they have been throughout most of history. It may be that Ms. Atwood is exaggerating—as a novelist, that is her good right. Contrary to what she says, I think that women may still be allowed to study for occupations such as teaching, nursing, nutrition, all kinds of therapy, and the like. However, everything they do will be under male supervision and control. To prevent feminism from reemerging women will be barred from acquiring a higher education in the humanities, the social sciences, and, above all, the law. In fact both The Handmaid’s Tale and The Testaments point to female lawyers as the new regime’s worst enemies, most likely not only to be suspended from school but arrested and shot as well.

Still loosely following in Ms. Atwood’s footsteps, every woman will be assigned a male guardian. Either a relative—father, husband, brother, son—or, in the case of single women and widows and divorcees who do not have them, a Miniwowe (Ministry of Women’s Welfare) official. In case, which seems likely, there are more such women than bureaucrats, the outcome will be a modern form of polygamy. In whatever way it is done, inevitably the best-looking young women will be rounded up for the officers’ exclusive use. Whether as wives, or concubines, or baby-bearing machines—handmaids, to use Ms. Atwood’s terminology—or elite prostitutes. Or else, in case they do not have a man or a male bureaucrat to protect them, simply as prey. Of the kind that is seduced with presents if possible and violently hunted down if it is not. As to the rest, who cares? Let the Economen, as Ms. Atwood calls them, look after their Econowives as best they can.

The doctrine of separate spheres having been firmly reestablished in this way, another measure the Junta will definitely take will be to recruit some women as auxiliaries. Not so they can rule or wield weapons, as feminists demand; never at any time have men had much need of women to help them either to govern or to kill one another. But to help control the others while at the same time gaining legitimacy and putting it on show. A few of the women in question will no doubt be given high rank, at any rate on paper. In return they will be required not to appear, or behave, in too feminine a manner. No expensive jewelry to make other women jealous. No ballroom gowns, nor cleavages, nor hand kissing, nor all kinds of wiles women have always used and will always go on using to get their way. Think of Lenin’s wife, Nadezha Krupskaya. Think, too, of Stalin’s alleged mistress Alexandra Kollontai. Not to mention Hitler’s Reichsfrauenfuehrerin Gertrud Scholtz-Klink. All three paid for what modest power they wielded, and the privileged lives they led, by serving some of the most terrifying men who ever lived.

Of the remaining women, many will be herded into a quasi-military organization and made to wear uniform. Judging by what previous totalitarian regimes have done and are doing, the uniforms themselves will likely fall into two kinds. Either such as make their wearers almost indistinguishable from men, complete with camouflage patterns, Kevlar helmets, heavy boots, and similar items that will conceal their femininity and create the illusion that they are more than just half soldiers. Or else a more feminine type with brightly colored skirts, nylon stockings, a unique kind of headgear to make them look nice on parade, and what in some cases appear to be plastic guns. As Russian, Chinese and North Korean female soldiers, goose-stepping past their invariably male, benignly smiling, superiors already do.

Amidst all this, feminists who refuse to recant will have clamps (branks as, back in the seventeenth century, they used to be known) pushed into their mouths if they are lucky and be burnt as witches if they are not. Or else they will be sent to the camps, the colonies as Ms. Atwood calls them, from which few if any of them will ever return. What makes these measures more plausible is the fact that few of them are really new; quite some were implemented in the past. Not just among illiterate tribespeople in their natural habitat, but in the democratic and enlightened Athens so many of us claim as our spiritual ancestor. And not just ages ago, but in nineteenth-century Europe and North America. In the latter, the English economist Harriet Martineau reported, the very idea of his wife working was enough to make a man’s hair stand on end.

Writing in the late 1920s, Virginia Woolf described how a beadle, or security guard, prevented her from walking on the grass at “Oxbridge” university as male students did. As I know from my own experience, it was only in the mid-1970s that, in some Western countries, married women could so much as open a bank account under their own names. Not until 1976, when Swiss women were finally granted the vote, was the process of enfranchisement complete even in Europe. As I have seen with my own eyes, even today some Muslim women wear a bit-like piece of clothing, known as a battoullah, which makes it hard for them to speak. As Mao wrote, even a journey of ten thousand miles must start with a single step. In many countries, political polarization and right-wing populism are growing and democracy is in serious trouble already.

I. Introduction
II. The Road to Herland
III. Into the Breach
IV. Brave New World
V. Conclusion

Labels: , ,

36 Comments:

Blogger Hammerli 280 May 07, 2020 10:49 AM  

I'm not sure a coup is required. The key will be to press Electoral Reform on a gradual basis, rather than all at once.

Consider: When the United States was founded, the vote was restricted to free men, 21 or older, who possessed either land (typically 40 acres) or income. That last requirement disqualified about 30% of free adult men, BTW.

But it worked. We got elected leaders like Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, and Madison.

Then they got rid of the property/income requirement. This produced leaders like Lincoln and Davis...good men, but not as far-sighted as their predecessors.

Then they let women vote. This produced Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt - outright fascists. The Democrats ran a century worth of fools, fascists, sociopaths, and criminals. The Republicans were saddled with a string of weaklings.

I'm not sure we can go direct to repeal of the franchise for women...but we CAN impose a minimum tax requirement. Those Who Pay Should Have The Say. There are a hell of a lot of taxpayers who are outraged at people voting themselves welfares from their neighbor's pocket.

Kindly note that this will eliminate the worst of the problem at one stroke. The fact that it will disproportionately impact women is incidental...but useful should it become desirable to prohibit women from voting.

Reform is possible if you're willing to take it in smaller bites. No coup required.

Blogger Hammerli 280 May 07, 2020 10:57 AM  

I will also observe that there is a reason why societies are monogamous or nearly so. Where polygamy is legal, it tends to be restricted to the upper crust.

If the Alpha Male hogs all the women, the men in the #2,3,and 4 slots gang up, knock the #1 over the head, and divide his harem. Then the #5-15 men knock the #2-4 men over their heads and divide THEIR harems.

The only stable configuration is one-to-a-customer. The #1 man gets first pick, #2 gets second pick, and so on. But it's not worth the trouble of #35 fighting #33 to move up two slots. There's usually a surplus of women, the top tier of men might pick up a mistress...but it's not the norm. A single Alpha Male hogging all the women doesn't survive the development of language...or cooperative hunting tactics.

Blogger Myopia May 07, 2020 11:02 AM  

Margaret Atwood is an unattractive woman who's spent her entire career posturizing a patriarchal State where women are the chattel playthings for their master's amusement. She's been playing the same card for decades, just to draw some male conversation to her corner of the room. She doesn't understand men, doesn't understand how the modern finance system is the heathen warrior's sword and bow, and doesn't understand her own self.

Everything she's written is an attempt to part the Red Sea before her uterus, with hopes it would attract a chorus of men to follow her. The reason she hasn't given up the ghost is because every man that has walked behind her, brought his wife or girlfriend along with him. Her only card is hammering the fear that if they stop following, the waters will collapse and drown us all.

Nobody ever tore down a poster of Claudia Schiffer and replaced it with a shot of Atwood, and they never will. For the pain this has caused her, we all must suffer likewise so that she can be understood. If that means social engineering us into a hellhole, so be it. There is no fury like a woman scorned.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd May 07, 2020 11:07 AM  

A society in which men and women have different roles is a normal human society. It is odd that van Creveld presents it as a dystopia.

Blogger lynnjynh9315 May 07, 2020 11:38 AM  

I don't pay much attention to Atwood. In a real Patriarchal society, rebellious women wouldn't enslaved and bred... they be killed or sterilized.

Blogger Jehu May 07, 2020 12:20 PM  

Hammerli,
Even just net taxpayers only for voting would require a coup. You can't get there from here through ordinary political and judicial processes, the votes aren't and won't be there. Given that, you might as well go whole hog. Given the nature of the US population, a King Trump II followed by a King Barron Trump might be the best we can actually hope for.

Blogger thethirdcoast May 07, 2020 12:38 PM  

Vote by mail fraud is the key tool the Left requires for permanent Leftist government in the US and they know it.

Watch them dig in on this particular issue when the next stimulus bill is sent to the House for a vote.

Blogger Tetro May 07, 2020 12:40 PM  

Ominous Cowherd wrote:A society in which men and women have different roles is a normal human society.

Amen. Good riddance to Democracy and Equality. It is the devil himself who demands equality and rages against God's created Order and Hierarchy. Satan seethes with rage that he will not be equal to Divinized Mankind. Feminists seethe with rage at the apparent and obvious, yet innate and unchangeable, inequalities between man and woman. The demos of Israel sought to manifest their will and not God's Will. They got King Saul. Ouch.

The first time I read the story of the first democracy, at the age of 24, I thought, "Why would anyone want to try this again!?"

Blogger American Spartan May 07, 2020 12:55 PM  

“ democracy is in serious trouble already.”


If you listen closely, you can hear men with little hats screaming in pain and fear.

Blogger Robert Coble May 07, 2020 1:00 PM  

Quote: Contrary to what she says, I think that women may still be allowed to study for occupations such as TEACHING, nursing, nutrition, all kinds of therapy, and the like. However, everything they do will be under male supervision and control. To prevent feminism from reemerging women will be barred from acquiring a higher education in the humanities, the social sciences, and, above all, the law.

Absolutely NO TEACHING by women, even for girls or other women! Look at the current educational mess where women indoctrinate little boys to be "good little (inferior) girls" and the girls are indoctrinated that girls and women are superior to boys and men in every category. Prevent stupid thinking like "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle." Failing to prevent women from teaching will result in the same mess over time.

"Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

George Santayana

Blogger Lazy Hero May 07, 2020 1:32 PM  

This is what has to happen... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FG5DifyudK8

Blogger Vaughan Williams May 07, 2020 2:05 PM  

@2 Hammerli, your intuition of "alpha male hogging all the women" isn't how polygamous societies work. I ran simulations, and discovered at a moderate birthrate, every man could have two wives easily, if the women married in their late teens and the men married in their late twenties. When I went back and looked at polygamous societies I found exactly such an age gap as the model predicted. So, yes, the alpha males may have a lot of wives, and most men only have one, but no man will have to go without. And this insight only came through running a simulation; the equations to factor time effects in are too complex for me. Further, I haven't seen anyone else do equations that factor in the time effect and age difference either. Polygamy is not unstable; and on the surface it looks pretty similar to monogamy.

I argue that feminism and female discontent is caused by monogamy. Once you know about the effect that age differential has, you realize there are a LOT of women who can't find a "suitable" mate. Feminism is the revenge of the woman scorned. Scorned how? By a society that adopted Babylonian marriage rules that priced many of them out of the marriage market.

Blogger JG May 07, 2020 2:17 PM  

I'll hold final judgment on this essay when the rest is posted, but I think MVD may be overthinking things here. The destruction of the welfare state is all that is needed to end feminism. The welfare state is going to end in 10-15 years. It is a mathematical certainty. Debt based money is not sustainable, and no amount of tinkering by any central bank is going to change that fact.

Blogger Oscar Schneegans May 07, 2020 3:10 PM  

"As Ms. Atwood says, the Bible, especially the Old Testament with its strong patriarchal bias, might well be used to provide such a coup with the religious sanction it needs.
....
....the most important measure the new government will put into effect will be to prohibit them from taking on high-level work outside the home. Also, from owning bank accounts, inheriting property..."

Ms. Atwood apparently doesn't know the Bible as well as she thinks.

Numbers 27:8 And you shall speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘If a man dies and has no son, then you shall cause his inheritance to pass to his daughter.'

Blogger Crew May 07, 2020 3:13 PM  

In many countries, political polarization and right-wing populism are growing and democracy is in serious trouble already.

Wait. So populism is bad for democracy?

Doesn't political polarization suggest that you have joined together two different countries that should be separated into their constituent countries?

Blogger weka May 07, 2020 3:41 PM  

Attwood should have read S. M. Stirling. The Draka basically exterminated dissent, admittedly requiring women to serve in the front line and training them from age 9.

The world of Gilead is calm and peaceful compared to Draka

Blogger sammibandit May 07, 2020 4:02 PM  

Thanks Vox. Money is a bit tight and republishing this is much appreciated.

I wouldn't be surprised if when this happens Germanics move back home. The "egalitarian lifestyle" in the home is a bit more present in these people. I've even begun to notice as I age that the directness often noted in Slavs like Ukrainians is also present in Germanics. It's like we start conversations in the middle and not the beginning to North American ears. Cultural differences ought to stand in relief the more "back to basics" we achieve. It's not lost on me that a lot of this crap came from Prussian Germans.

I'll let y'all to it. I'm happy lurking on this one.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd May 07, 2020 4:03 PM  

Crew wrote:In many countries, political polarization and right-wing populism are growing and democracy is in serious trouble already.

Wait. So populism is bad for democracy?

The two are antithetical.

Populism is when the people get what they want. Modern Democracy is when the people get what the elites want.

Blogger sammibandit May 07, 2020 4:25 PM  

See now I'm wondering how other Semites get the importance of uncles. It shows up again and again in Mohammadism. So I'd assume if a man has no sons he'd adopt/foster a son, or grant his inheritance to his favourite brother, even a brother in war. I kind of doubt they'd do what Jacob did as referenced in the first section of the essay. And you know what? That's really worked wonders for that world.

Blogger MaskettaMan May 07, 2020 5:16 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Steve Canyon May 07, 2020 5:24 PM  

No idea what's less surprising, the fact Atwood looks like Zelda from Terrahawks or that her thinly-veiled sexual fetish is popular with her fellow travelers.

Blogger Steve Canyon May 07, 2020 5:24 PM  

No idea what's less surprising, the fact Atwood looks like Zelda from Terrahawks or that her thinly-veiled sexual fetish is popular with her fellow travelers.

Blogger Ransom Smith May 07, 2020 5:33 PM  

I'm not sure a coup is required. The key will be to press Electoral Reform on a gradual basis, rather than all at once.
We're long since past that point of return.
At this point, decisions are based on mitigation, not avoidance.
The old world has burned down too much to salvage anything. The only means of repair is to burn what replaced it.

Blogger p_q May 07, 2020 6:05 PM  

Not even at the height of western patriarchal history was anything as brutal or silly as the things described in Handmaids tale. Women are more likely to be restrained like Pentecostals restrain their women, enforcing gender roles and banning revealing clothing.

A blowback of some kind seems almost inevitable at this point any pro-patriarchy group just has to exploit the utter disaster feminism and female rule is and how despotic and spiteful women are when granted power.

Isaiah 3:12 comes to mind when talking about this stuff.

Blogger crescent wrench May 07, 2020 6:15 PM  

@15

Yeah I winced at that as well. The more direct the democracy the more populist the policy. It's liberty that is in danger there, as the same populism that tells wall street to stuff it also burns midwives as witches due to public hysteria.

Blogger Solon May 07, 2020 6:25 PM  

@18

Then neither populism nor Modern Democracy is an acceptable form of rulership, because MPAI.

Blogger Gallant May 07, 2020 6:53 PM  

Maybe I missed the point. Are these excerpts from the 'equality' book, or something else? Is it the whole book?

Sounds like just turning Handmaiden's Tale as a 'how-to' guide :)

Blogger John Rockwell May 07, 2020 7:54 PM  

Oscar Schneegans wrote:"As Ms. Atwood says, the Bible, especially the Old Testament with its strong patriarchal bias, might well be used to provide such a coup with the religious sanction it needs.

....

....the most important measure the new government will put into effect will be to prohibit them from taking on high-level work outside the home. Also, from owning bank accounts, inheriting property..."

Ms. Atwood apparently doesn't know the Bible as well as she thinks.

Numbers 27:8 And you shall speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘If a man dies and has no son, then you shall cause his inheritance to pass to his daughter.'


I a man has no male heirs his daughters will inherit. However they must marry within their clan.


Numbers 36:6-8
"6This is what the LORD has commanded concerning the daughters of Zelophehad: They may marry anyone they please, provided they marry within a clan of the tribe of their father. 7No inheritance in Israel may be transferred from tribe to tribe, because each of the Israelites is to retain the inheritance of the tribe of his fathers. 8Every daughter who possesses an inheritance from any Israelite tribe must marry within a clan of the tribe of her father, so that every Israelite will possess the inheritance of his fathers."

"10So the daughters of Zelophehad did as the LORD had commanded Moses. 11Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Noah, the daughters of Zelophehad, were married to cousins on their father’s side. 12They married within the clans of the descendants of Manasseh son of Joseph, and their inheritance remained within the tribe of their father’s clan. "

https://biblehub.com/bsb/numbers/36.htm

Blogger ScottC May 07, 2020 8:08 PM  

Great stuff. Thanks for posting these, Vox.

Will definitely read "The Privileged Sex."

Blogger map May 07, 2020 8:11 PM  

I believe that, in The Handmaid's Tale, unauthorized sexual activity was severely punished. At minimum, a hand was severed. At maximum, an execution occurred. I don't think there is anything like a harem of women collected among a few officers.

As far as Timothy, read the diary of Alejandra Mecinghi Strozzi, a matriarch who inherited all of her wealth due to a lack of a male heir. Because of this possibility, it was fully accepted that a woman would occupy a man's station if no man was available.

Atwood sounds like she wrote a chapter in 50 Shades of Gray.

Besides, feminism's real purpose is reducing the fertility of competing bloodlines.

Blogger Vaughan Williams May 07, 2020 8:39 PM  

When female ownership of land is limited to what is outlined in the Zelophehad ruling (mentioned upthread at @27, thank you John Rockwell) women's work and education doesn't need any restrictions. Their motivations and interests will naturally fall within proper bounds, and they will be able to use their talens to the full for their own, and the benefit of their family.

Another piece of the puzzle is the Biblical patriarchs right to veto any action of his wife and daughter. Used sparingly, it keeps family interests aligned, and stops the couple from "growing apart". You can't push a rope, but you can definitely pull it.

Blogger Akulkis May 07, 2020 8:41 PM  

"Besides, feminism's real purpose is reducing the fertility of competing bloodlines."

Feminism is the theory, lesbianism is the practice.

Blogger Storm Rhode May 07, 2020 10:39 PM  

I'm with #26. Is this a validation of the Handmaid's man hating silly tale or is it something else? Is our Van Creveld a student of this Atwood creature or against her or what? It seems like an intelligent guy entertaining the flights of fancy of a self indulgent twat.

Blogger OvergrownHobbit May 08, 2020 3:12 AM  

@12 Feminism is the revenge of the woman scorned.

It makes sense then that there is a spike in feminism being accepted by women following a major war.Most women despised the suffragettes and did not want the vote. At first...

If you'd like a patriarchal future America, both better-written and more sensible than Mrs. Atwood's; see Suzette Haden Elgin's Native Tongue. It's actually good SF as well. It's main strength is that the author assumes that aside from serious misfits, most men and women will love each other.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine May 08, 2020 5:52 AM  

Creveld is building a long case. This isn't his conclusion in case you were wondering, this is just one of the nodes in his network.

Blogger Johnny May 08, 2020 11:01 AM  

@1

>I'm not sure we can go direct to repeal of the franchise for women...but we CAN impose a minimum tax requirement. Those Who Pay Should Have The Say. There are a hell of a lot of taxpayers who are outraged at people voting themselves welfares from their neighbor's pocket.

Whenever Libertarians fight the welfare state the welfare state wins. You always say "No" and try to take things away while the others side says "Yes" and offers things. You will always lose. Libertarianism doesn't work.

There have been several decades of Libertarianism being shilling by people like Koch Bros (inb4 "Not REAL Libertarians!"). There is no censorship of Libertarian ideas on the economy (You only get in trouble when you bring up things like immigration). Yet still no one wants Libertarianism.

The only path to victory is offering things to people who join your side from the pockets of your enemies whether you do it via government or the private sector. Anything else is doomed to fail.

https://imgur.com/a/koLAaqy

PS: If you want to limit the franchise then it'd ironically be easier to get rid of democracy altogether. People have an instinctive hatred of inequality. They'd rather be equal with all having no votes than unequal with half the votes.

Or you could restrict voting to only men and women of your nation who are married with children + combat vets (Military personnel who are/have been in Combat Arms or military personnel who are non-Combat Arms who have been awarded for risking their life in battle).

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