One of the greatest errors of thought (usually associated with the Left) is the belief that you can tinker endlessly with one side of an equation without wreaking havoc on the other side. This is exemplified by this quote from the most arch of snarky Liberal New York Jews:
“In real life, I assure you, there is no such thing as algebra.” ~~Fran Liebowitz
If you want to know how poorly someone understands the nature of reality just ask them how they feel about Algebra.
This of course is the problem with centralized economies–the inability to understand that even the most well-meaning attempt to set a price, a wage, a production quota would have a ripple effect of unintended consequences that effect the entire economy. Everyone who has an interest in economics understands these market distortions and their consequences, but a similar phenomenon takes place in human CULTURE when a distortion is caused by an attempt to regulate human interactions by fiat without regard to all sides of the equation.
A prime example from the Left was when Feminism discovered that girls were being “shortchanged” in schools while boys were doing great. Their solution? Redirect all aspects of education and its resources towards girls without giving boys a second thought. Of course, boys “inexplicably” began to suffer immediately–no one could understand why. Certainly the people who wanted to “help” girls hadn’t intended to simultaneously harm boys, why did it end up that way?
Humans appear to have a bias that convinces them that what ever is at the moment is how it always has been and always will be and is simply just “the way things are”. So, when we see the equation “Boys thrive + Girls Suffer=Schools as is” we think if we multiply “schools as is” by some random X factor in order to specifically effect ONLY girls we can do that–why? Because we hate algebra. We THOUGHT if we did (Boys thrive + Girls suffer)(X)=(Schools as is)(X) we’d get “Boys stay same + Girls thrive too=Better Schools for ALL”
But we got a new equation:
Boys thrive(policy good only for girls)+Girls suffer(policy good only for girls)=Boys that PREVIOUSLY THROVE suffer + Girls Thrive=Schools utterly destroyed, massive male disengagement and drop out rate, violence, school as sex and fashion show. Oops!
Just as in economics, the “knowledge problem” renders it impossible for even the smartest brain trust to really know what the result of all of this tinkering will be. If you can’t even properly identify the causes of civilization, how can you tinker with them without inevitably destroying it?
Now, I didn’t bring all this up to bash the Left for a change, but to explain how Social Conservatism is faulty reaction to this tinkering with the social equation , trying to preserve the factors that have been inevitably destroyed by the tinkering of the Other in the face of the changes wrought by their bad Calculus.
Social Conservatives are attempting to preserve a set of human behaviors that arose in RESPONSE to the harshness of a reality that no longer exists, that response is called “Civilization”. “Family Values” aren’t an immutable fact of Nature–they WERE the “Safety Net” before the advent of statism. That was it–no Welfare, no Social Security, no Unemployment, no Down Payment assistance, no family to help you out in a jam? You better hope your religion stressed charity or you were quite simply screwed.
What Social Conservative fail to realize is that Progressive policies have so successfully altered the “harsh death” consequences of Man’s behavior that as long as ONE ASPECT of the Welfare State exists, no return to the salad days of tradition can come about.
Similarly sexual mores weren’t handed down on high, but arose organically in response to the harsh consequences of reality. How did a pregnant woman with a 3-year-old child in tow survive alone? How many such women and children died horrible lonely deaths on the veld and the steppes before traditional values of sexual continence, female monogamy and male investment arose? What we see as immutable tradition is merely the tips of evolution–like forebrains and opposable thumbs on humans, the LAST developments, not the first.
So, a series of human behaviors arise to protect us from the consequences of reality–thrift, future time orientation, sexual continence, monogamy, etc and THESE “tinkerings” have a ripple effect on the equations of life. monogamy, for example, by guaranteeing almost all but the most defective male at least SOME woman did away with the lifelong competition for women that would have made it impossible for males to cooperate for long on a grand scale. Intramale trust + lessening of violence + ability of males of differing talents to survive and ply skills = civilization, a fortuitous oops!
When the Progressives and Rousseauvian Romantics began to play their word games and then sought to put their fantasies into action by legislation, no one had any idea what would happen. The Conservatives, of course, thought their Family Values were handed down by God etched in stone, they didn’t appreciate the evolutionary, survival of the fittest nature of their mores. While they were able to see the advent of the Welfare State eroding their cherished Civis, they failed to correctly identify WHY this was–Algebra, again.
Traditional sexual mores + Thrift/work ethic as protection from harsh death = Civilization. This was the equation of Life.
By removing the “harsh death” consequences to ones actions with the Welfare State AND the “harsh death and starvation” consequences of loose sexual morals with birth control and abortion–Progressive Statist thereby unexpectedly removed the NEED FOR CIVILIZATION. But of course, again, bad calculus–the Welfare State can ONLY arise when Civilization hits a certain level of effectiveness and prosperity, so it’s an ouroboros, a snake eating its tail. Under Tradition mores males are freed from incessant competition for mates to calm down and cooperate and build a civilization that protects and feeds and serves women to such an extent that the women become empowered by their own misunderstood prosperity, begin chopping at the roots of it immediately which leads to inevitable decline and darkness and “harsh death” and on and on and on…this is the true cycle of decadence.
How to break this cycle before crisis point is reached? Here is where the Social Conservatives are most wrong and where it becomes apparent that they are also engaging in a Cargo Cult of values from a preindustrial age–they try to tinker with the wrong side of the equation. If the Family Values arose as a response to the harshness of reality, and a WEAKENING of that harshness erodes those values–then how does merely ASSERTING the merit of those values in the ABSENCE OF THE FACTORS THAT LED TO THEM solve anything? Obviously the solution to the problem is to bring back the harshness of reality.
This is why Minarchy is the Social Conservatives best friend and why they must let go of THEIR Cargo Cult values and focus on the root cause of the decadence they so abhor–the Welfare State that insulates individuals from the consequences of their actions on every level.