Zeitgeist

Strife and Wrangling in Las Vegas

October 13, 2017

Women are indeed an important correlative to male violence, for women historically have functioned to soften men’s aggressive tendencies. Yet American women are themselves in a bad way, and therefore hardly suffice to domesticate the savage in man: Although it is revealing that taming the savage is the archetypal female romantic fantasy, even as man’s, in primordial complement, is rescuing a needful woman. American women are now married to the government and entertained by bad boys. For they bought the illusion that the dreadful workplace would make them happier than traditional roles. Now men and women, between whom “there is naturally strife and wrangling,” as Montaigne said long ago, do not suit each other: They are competitors, not so much friends as enemies, all while feminism—which, subsequent to its reasonable first wave, has been mixed at best—more and more makes a grotesquerie of womanhood, to the disgust of all men who have taste. Few men and women now find happiness in eros. It is a telling sign that the old custom that men and women are to be kind to one another, to have a spirit of goodwill and generosity, is vanishing, while flaking and ghosting correspondingly abound. Couples now go to therapists—mostly poorly educated women with an unwittingly femicentric perspective—in order to get traditional good sense in a most roundabout fashion: $300 an hour to learn to listen, to be decent, and to sacrifice for one another—this is just more of the general parody of American life. It’s not working out for the sexes, and as women’s hypergamy runs its course, more men who lack sexual satisfaction and emotional intimacy will use violence to discharge their profound frustration.

The dearth of constructive masculine activities and outlets is yet another problem for our pagan culture. Instead of playing sports, many boys now spend much of their time alone with digital distractions. This creates an excess of energy that is sometimes vented in destructive ways, which in some cases become destructive habits. Those habits may be picked up on by others. For there is a human need for fellowship, and not everyone finds it at the local church: For some, friendship and community mean the local gang, in which young men seek the masculine camaraderie they never had.

Americans worship wealth and status. This false god makes for wretchedly instrumental human relations; our interactions seem scripted by marketers. Nor can every man succeed. Some turn to video games, others to drugs, many to pornography. The worst kill people, vast numbers of them. For today the human will—no longer constrained by religion—becomes a god itself: It will answer to nothing, this sublime pagan; it will be its own law. Modernity killed God. Now it is killing democracy as well.

I have been describing a general cultural malaise. All of these issues are influenced by the new digital conditioning, which hardly promotes the nuanced understudying and adroit communication democracy requires. Digital conditioning rather produces massive incoherence and solipsism, and reinforces errors, illusions, and vain expectations. Here too our future looks dark indeed. There are many problems to deal with. And yet most Americans hardly know how to read, write, speak, or think. In interacting with millennials, I often have the sense that for them only the virtual realm will do. Life itself is not real, being too inconvenient: They wish to screen everybody through the digital buffer, reducing him to a mere instrument for their own ends.

Although I foresee greater evils ahead than those we have witnessed of late, the truth, to be sure, is that civilization itself is not what people tend to think. To a significant extent, civilization is nothing but a rationalist illusion. Conflict is the natural state of all animals, and man is the only cruel animal only because other animals are not thus advanced. Intrinsically competitive, the world is forever torn by incompatible interests. If we had knowledge of our collective motives and intentions, we’d see that human life is not meant to be peaceful and orderly. No wonder we all live in and by conflict, with ourselves, with family, with friends, with colleagues and co-workers, and on and on.

When a large number of men do not have what their nature needs, we should expect massive destruction to take place as a result. And it is only thus that the culture can get back on track, assuming that is still possible. What’s needed is a better sort of disposition. But bringing that into being is not a matter of argument. If our paganism is not the end of America, it shall produce a new Authority as we navigate rivers of blood.

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