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THE KEY TO DEMOGRAPHIC quantity reveals itself as quality, with the family as the unit of measurement. Beyond the creation of “powerful emotional reasons to want children,” the patriarchal attitude provides males with powerful reasons to love the children they sire. The male ego is channeled constructively, not destructively, from himself into the acculturation of his offspring. This is the key to successful male leadership of the family. Sons unloved by fathers are destroyers; daughters unloved by fathers are destroyed. For the male, the process of acculturation itself is the transference of the constructive ego from father to son. Longman’s “powerful reasons” accrue not just to the male himself, but to his family and to society at large. This is how men have been civilized.
Patriarchy sustains family power by changing the social measure of attractiveness to suit the ends of family. Only in tyrannies of patriarchy (which Longman rightly identifies as weak, collapsing societies) are women forced to create families with men to whom they are not attracted. The woman liberated from that tyranny should be society’s quality control: she can afford to be picky, selecting men based on their attractiveness as potential fathers.
Instead, to our doom, too many of our liberated girls seek at random from unworthy males the most basic kind of approval, the approval of last resort — sexual. And our boys, from whom the responsibility of patriarchal training has been stripped, lose the capacity to select women based on their attractiveness as potential mothers. To ever grow up — to become parents — girls and boys must be primed and conditioned to function in mothering and fathering roles. It has always been more burdensome to civilization to accomplish this for the male. This is why men have been civilized. Now we have taken on the unbearable burden — of decivilizing our men while assaulting even the female capacity to love and to nurture.
Contrary to the cult of sexiness that makes a worship of that assault, physical attractiveness is only a single piece of the whole. Naturally, nobody wants an ugly mate — but the physical beauty of youth is, just as naturally, a fleeting condition. The only permanence plastic surgery can achieve is Duck Face. The requirements for family success, by contrast, are enduring but not monstrous. They must last longer than physical beauty in order to work — and, indeed, measure beauty at the family, not the individual, level. Young beauty serves a key role in initial attraction, of course, but that role is one that must be mediated by social norms in order to make will, not luck, the source of accomplishment.
WHAT THIS MEANS is that patriarchy as a tool of civilization is incredibly capable of conditioning and making useful all but our most radical of radical losers. It is harder to make an orderly and pleasant man than it is an orderly and pleasant woman, but the results are vital to a thriving civilization. The needs and desires of the humble man are powerful but few, and under the right conditions of cultural order they can be satisfied to the benefit of the whole society. The more civilized our men — that is, the better they lead families — the more true freedom of choice our quality-controlling women enjoy. Everybody wins — individual like family, family like society.
One of the most important roles of patriarchy, therefore, is its cultural antagonism against radical loserhood — call it, by antonym, the production of conservative winners. It’s the hard work of minimizing male losers, and maximizing the extent to which they deserve, from a social standpoint, to be marginalized as such. This is a less fashionable definition of social justice, one that used to prevail. From a moral or spiritual standpoint, no one “deserves” to be in the gutter of the commonweal — but the perceived legitimacy of the patriarchal cultural order is a social requisite for the charitable sense: “There but for the grace of God go I.”
When a culture reaches agreement that the social stations of its constituents are just, the status quo becomes a foundation for cultural accomplishment. Today, unfortunately, we must remind ourselves of such simple truths. We skip the basics at our peril. The first step in the success of a civilization is survival, and in that department, the demography of family, and fatherhood, is our bread and butter.
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