Cultures are very adaptable to circumstances and opportunities, but they don’t usually have much forethought. As I wrote in my piece on strategy and tactics, we men were put in our current position because we were a ripe fruit ready to be plucked and eaten. It didn’t really take very long for a coalition to form to squeeze every bit of juice out of us, and that coalition included people who traditionally railed against one another in everything from academic journals to supermarket tabloids. Feminists launched into Marxist tirades against the “patriarchy,” while traditional conservatives insisted that their version of civilization was the best.
However, when it came to gettin’, both sides seemed to agree that the hapless, typical man owed them something. Feminists wanted taxpayer-funded women’s programs, special health care for women, jobs for women, child support and alimony. Conservatives wanted men to sacrifice themselves for their country, capitalism and civic institutions such as marriage. Men were getting pushed and pulled this way and that, but eventually both the feminists and conservatives made a series of deals that they could both live with, making them allies of sorts. This culminated in the massive change in policy in the 1990s, in which welfare was largely shifted from the taxpayer to the father (and expanded thereby), the American workforce was feminized, police forces were militarized and expanded and American men were imprisoned at world record peacetime rates.
All of these things have hit young men with full force over the past decade, and yet there is another disaster looming over the horizon: the coming retirement of the baby boomers. When that happens in big numbers, it will be like a grand piano falling on the head of the younger male taxpayer. It will be a deal breaker.
Now, instead of feeling utterly defeatist about this, it’s got to be seen as an inevitable turning point. Young men have already been squeezed almost dry. I see the market reports on TV and have to chuckle a bit as the talking heads sell stocks to all the avaricious, largely elderly stockholders. It reminds me of the real estate agents in Hong Kong getting on TV right before the PRC takeover telling everyone that the time to buy Hong Kong real estate is NOW, NOW, NOW! Of course, HK real estate tanked immediately following the takeover, and SE Asia plunged into a recession for a year or so. I was in Hong Kong in late ’97, and nobody seemed too happy there. The stores were empty and the Pakistani merchants in Kowloon were so desperately aggressive in their efforts to shake me down that I just about decked one of them.
Now that working men have been pretty much cleaned out, and many are just plain out of work, people will soon realize that we aren’t much of a target worth pursuing anymore. Wealth has been increasingly concentrated in the hands of fewer Americans, but it has also been increasingly concentrated in the hands of older Americans, many of whom are retired, widows, unhealthy, unproductive, etc. Therefore, the emphasis on wealth redistribution will have to change, or a lot of people will start running out of revenue very soon, and it will take on far more ominous overtones in the popular imagination as weaker demographics are increasingly targeted.
As commenter Sestamibi wrote on a previous post:
The reality is that the world [..] of high-wage unionized low-skill jobs in auto plants and steel mills was the aberration, not the norm. It existed only from about 1946-1973. That means a whole generation has ALREADY grown up under the return to the status quo ante, and has no experience with $75/hour to install bumpers on Ford Escorts, such guys living in comfortable ranch houses with boats, rec vehicles, and all kinds of other toys.
Yes, that world is gone. I saw it fall apart first-hand, growing up in the now vanished working-class milieu of pre-1990s Seattle, where guys working at factories could still afford houses in nice neighborhoods near downtown. Nowadays, there are far fewer of these men, and those that remain live in the cheaper suburbs because their relative wealth is far lower than it used to be. So what will likely happen is that the coercive mechanisms that were used to extract money from the once wealthy working and middle classes will no longer be worth maintaining, because the return will no longer justify the cost.
First, I expect that we will see some reduction in imprisonment for child support arrears, because prisons are already cutting back operations and these guys are not generally the kind who get politicians in trouble for letting them out on the street, as opposed to, say, knife wielding maniacs. Then, some of the social agencies that make recommendations to judges in custody cases, etc., will start getting cut, as will some domestic violence programs and investigations (these are widely known to be wasteful because so many accusations are bogus in the context of divorce). I doubt that “obligations” will be changed substantially any time soon, but enforcement and the numerous hoops men are forced to jump through by courts may be significantly reduced. It really takes a lot of money to strictly control society, and having lived abroad I can say with some certainty that American society is heavily policed and controlled.
Next, men will probably begin to withdraw their voluntary support of some of the old standbys, such as buying family houses. Fewer men are getting married, those that are have grown increasingly afraid of losing a house in case of divorce, and people don’t trust real estate like they used to, so house prices should move toward reflecting their true value, which will start to eat away at the wealth of a lot of upper income and retired people.
Of course, there is always plain old inflation, and from the looks of things that’s what we’re going to have to live with in the face of the massive debt our government has incurred. It’s really an untenable situation we’ve dug ourselves into, and the old model of the productive family has been so thoroughly gutted that there won’t be much motivation on the part of young men to pull our country out of this mess.
What we’re facing is a system that does indeed oppress us as men, but also virtually guarantees its own failure. When it has truly achieved victory, and many, many men who would otherwise have been productive breadwinners are pushed to the margins of society, barely able to support themselves, let alone a family, it will run out of gas. We can only speculate as to what will happen after that, but one thing I’m pretty sure of is that women will share the misery as well. Sadly, many of the elderly will probably have a very rough time of it, as ruthless cost-cutting measures eat away at the benefits they receive.
As I wrote in the first sentence of this piece, cultures are adaptable. Men will adapt to the harsh reality they face. If there are structural limits to their happiness, they will find ways around them. Unfortunately for women, they have become a structural problem for men, so they shouldn’t expect much cooperation from them. It will become a time when chivalry is laughed at or punished, dishonesty and manipulation of women for financial or sexual gain is common, and men skate out of their obligations to females without any feelings of guilt. If you think about it, this is clearly the expansion of the ghetto culture (which was simply an early manifestation of the same process) across the entire country, with the exception of some God-fearing remnants in flyover country.
Given the state of modern Detroit – perhaps the first and most complete example of this ongoing process – which is reverting back to wilderness in many places, one might think this is an apocalyptic scenario. Perhaps it is as far as the old, traditional America is concerned, but we have to keep in mind that the destruction will be selective. Those of us who do some damage control can survive, and even thrive after a fashion. Those who take the biggest hit will be the current beneficiaries of this rotten, dysfunctional system. I can foresee a day when many people working in all these cake jobs in government and education simply stop getting paid, and the police and first responders start taking a half an hour or more to respond to 911 calls, because there aren’t enough of them, and those that remain are apathetic and demoralized.
Men will create new communities, first amongst each other, and then they will bring in the women they trust and their children. Our old ways and communities may have been broken, and our foes may be doing victory dances, but as I see it they’re about to give us a great opportunity to start over. Instability and anarchy favor men by their very nature, so when things really fall apart, we’ll be back in the driver’s seat by default.
Sound pessimistic? Maybe it is, but I see a lot of potential on the horizon.