Tag Archives: Political Philosophy

More on Rights

Phineas has responded to my response. It seems that we are mostly in agreement in the whole:

Ordinarily, in any other case outside of gender relations, I’d agree with Free Northerner’s post more wholeheartedly. But the original text was about the relationship between men and women and must be dealt with in that light. With the warped and twisted way life is right now, the only proper thing is that any discussion regarding men is out-of-hand if it doesn’t exclusively involve rights. Conversely, any discussion involving women is out-of-hand if it doesn’t exclusively involve responsibilities. As long as the rights/responsibilities pendulum is being held to the side and not allowed to rest at equilibrium, this must be the case.

Nowadays, men are given responsibility without the right to the fruits of their efforts, while women are given rights to the fruits of men’s efforts, without the responsibility of working for it. I agree, and I also think it is deplorable. So maybe, some imbalance in the discussion to the reverse may be necessary.

But I still stand by my original assertion, but I’ll expand based upon his criticisms. Nobody, neither men nor women, have natural rights, and nobody, neither men nor women, has a natural obligation to most other people.

By natural obligations, I mean that people owe the provision of something to other people. People do have God-ordained obligations to God (which take the form of being rendered to other people), to specific people (ie: parents), and obligations to not commit certain actions against others.

In this case, I am using natural rights as an abstract theological/philosophical concept. Not as a practical concept. People do have ‘rights’ as a practical matter, but these are social and political creations, no more, no less. It is necessary for a society to develop a list of rights and freedoms (and corresponding responsibilities), as inviolable freedoms lead to the healthiest societies.

But these rights are not granted to you by God, these rights are not something inherent in being born, these rights are social creations.

Despite our general agreement, I’ll talk to a few other points:

Rights are exhibited in the form of laws, and God has His own laws. “Right to life”“thou shalt not kill”. “Right to private property”“thou shalt not steal” and the like.

The duty to not kill does not necessarily imply a right to not be killed. The duty to not take others property does not necessarily imply a right to private ownership. I agree fully that every society should have both a right to life and a right to property, but neither of those are inviolable gifts from God. Given that God has seen fit to let almost one in three people die as infants throughout the majority of history and often personally commanded mass genocide and executions, it is hard to see where a right to life is guaranteed.

Those that go around claiming “rights don’t exist” will at the same time cry about their rights or the rights of others when the government comes to take their guns, or someone robs their home, or even claim a “right to life” when it comes to the issue of abortion.

One can discount natural rights, yet still believe in societal rights, or simply desire to be left alone. An American can say they have a right to a gun, because the right to a gun is societally accepted in their constitution, and non-Americans can desire a societal right to own a gun. Neither implies a natural right. There is no fundamental contradiction.

This leads into responsibilities undertaken willingly, which addresses Col 3:22 and Matt 16:24-27. People can willfully trade responsibility for responsibility. This is not a proof that rights don’t exist, but that people have the right to negotiate an exchange of goods and services. It, however, is a proof that responsibilities come from rights and not the other way around. Undertaking all things have a cost, and even Jesus warned of counting costs in such things. The misapplication of these Scriptures involve the fact that a choice was made to undertake a vow. Let your yes be yes and your no be no. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. This is not a proof that rights don’t exist.

I highly doubt most slaves had a choice in the matter and willfully traded their freedom for the care of their master.

Christ does not bid anyone come by force. This is obligation. The nature of men is to turn something that should be out of love into a forced obligation and something that should be given out of grace into an entitlement.

Absolutely agree.

This brings us back to the silly and absurd statement that “rights don’t exist”. When this is said in the context of the manosphere, it usually meant to mean “Rights Don’t Exist for Men.” In traditional practice, this is a true statement. This is readily seen by the practice of chivalry, which takes all rights away from men and all responsibilities away from women. This is akin to the statement that “Responsibilities Don’t Exist For Women”.

When I say it, I mean it for both sexes. I have written a number of times on the double-standard of rights, including chivalry. What society enforces and what is natural are not one and the same.

****

Also, this got linked on Reddit, where I was accused of subverting the red pill for Christianity. I will simply say the same conclusion must be reached by atheists. What natural rights do accidently evolved bags of water that happen to have certain electrical and chemical interactions occur within them have? Where do these natural rights come from?

The answer is they have none and they cannot come from anywhere. Any atheist proclaiming the existence of natural rights has simply failed to review his presuppositions. I thought this was obvious enough to those in the alt-right to not need mentioning.

Advertisements

A Respectful Response: Rights Don’t Exist

Ballista has responded to one of my more recent posts:

Related to this matter is the blog post here. While men need their gardens to tend and need them to bear fruit, the problem with Free Northerner’s premise is that it is couched in terms of responsibilities and not rights. Any responsibility undertaken without the complete freedom of choice (a right) amounts to slavery. This is the usual mistake of frame that the feminist man-hating traditionalist “Christians” make to justify their warped and twisted profane view of marriage. It is these same people who are producing the man-up rants when their man-slaves run off the plantation and deprive a woman of her rightful divorce and fabulous cash and prizes. As Antz writes (the first comment):

Ballista’s mistake here is simple, there is no discussion of rights without responsibilities.

Contrary to popular mythology, there is no such thing as a natural right. God does not grant anyone a right to freedom, a right to life, a right to happiness, or any other such silly thing. The existence of natural rights is simply the delusion of the liberal. On the other hand, the legal fiction of natural rights is a useful political tool, as it establishes a basis for a free society, the most effective form of social organization man has yet attained, but it is still extra-biblical.

True rights come from responsibilities. A right to something comes from man’s earning it. He who works not, eats not.

The delinking of the rights and responsibilities is one of the largest causes of societal dysfunction. From it flows the entitlement society.

True freedom is responsibility is simply the absolute responsibility for self. Man is only truly free when given the absolute responsibility to act for himself and bear the consequences and reap the rewards of said actions.

That being said, Ballista is right in this:

The lack of the freedom to choose (i.e. “you MUST marry, and I don’t care if it’s a land whale, slut, womyn, boy claiming to be a woman or otherwise, you WILL man-up and marry it you piece of scum”) – and yes it’s Scriptural, is the essence of the definition of slavery.

The ultimate end of the issue is that men need to be freed to undertake what is good, beneficial and right before them and before God.

Marriage is not a command, it is a gift from God. Men should be wise in choosing a wife and anyone who tries to pressure a man to marry, especially to a women in rebellion of the natural order, is to be condemned.

Also, men do need to be freed, but not because they have some natural right to it, but because only in their freedom can they find true responsibility. Only a man free to find his own way will find what he truly should be responsible for.

Ballista, if you reply to this, I’m busy and won’t be able to reply for a few days at least.


Anarcho-Monarchism

Over at the Neckbeard Chronicles, I came across the term anarcho-monarchism. This is a very small ideology that doesn’t even have it’s own wiki page and I don’t know much about it, but it really appeals to me.

There’s no big analysis today, just some quotes on it from other sources:

The individual person has the self-evident, God-given rights of life, liberty, and property. These rights are best exercised in a capitalist-libertarian, Stateless society.  However, this does not mean that a form of government and authority is not required.  For any civilized culture, order must be maintained, and thus, authority is indispensable.  But it is essential to understand that there is a difference between the State and authority, and how authority is natural and good, whereas the State is evil and unnecessary.  Natural government and authority only has one purpose: to secure these individual rights.  Acceptable forms of a minimalist government, as laid down by such intellectual giants as Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas, include traditional monarchies, aristocracies, and republics.  The plan envisioned by the Anti-Federalist Founding Fathers, in which the rule of law is bound upon a Constitutional republican confederation in which there is a strictly limited, weak, and anti-centralistic federal government alongside weakened, yet sovereign, independent states (in the colonial American sense), with respect for jury nullification, peaceful secession, and of Natural Law, is possibly the best man-made governmental system ever devised.  Regardless of the form of government, the objective of good government should be to promote the common good, individualism, liberty, order, and free markets.

This synthesis of anarcho-capitalism with respect for monarchism, Christianity, traditionalist values, and proper authority is what I call ‘Anarcho-Monarchism.’  It is an anti-collectivist, anti-democratic, anti-statist, anti-nationalist, and anti-totalitarian, conservative-libertarian Rightist movement that stresses tradition, responsibility, liberty, virtue, localism, capitalism, civil society and classical federalism, along with familial, religious, regional, and Western identity. It celebrates in the diversity that God has created among man, and believes in the maxim of ‘Universal Rights, Locally Enforced.’

Some may scoff at an attempt to reconcile these influences, but I believe it is quite logical, and indeed absolutely necessary, to synthesize cultural conservatism with radical anti-statist libertarian-anarchism.  I view the modern Nation-State as an unnatural outgrowth of conquest and modernity — not of social contract (the classical liberals were wrong in this regard)— that inevitably foments decivilization and cultural decay as a means toward perpetuating its own parasitical existence at the expense of family, locale, and transcendent spiritual values.  I categorically and fundamentally reject the modern democratic, egalitarian, and majoritarian State in favor of natural libertarian hierarchy, polycentric law, paternalistic society, and private-property anarchism.

An article from First Things:

One can at least sympathize, then, with Tolkien’s view of monarchy. There is, after all, something degrading about deferring to a politician, or going through the silly charade of pretending that “public service” is a particularly honorable occupation, or being forced to choose which band of brigands, mediocrities, wealthy lawyers, and (God spare us) idealists will control our destinies for the next few years.

But a king—a king without any real power, that is—is such an ennoblingly arbitrary, such a tender and organically human institution. It is easy to give our loyalty to someone whose only claim on it is an accident of heredity, because then it is a free gesture of spontaneous affection that requires no element of self-deception, and that does not involve the humiliation of having to ask to be ruled.

The ideal king would be rather like the king in chess: the most useless piece on the board, which occupies its square simply to prevent any other piece from doing so, but which is somehow still the whole game. There is something positively sacramental about its strategic impotence. And there is something blessedly gallant about giving one’s wholehearted allegiance to some poor inbred ditherer whose chief passions are Dresden china and the history of fly-fishing, but who nonetheless, quite ex opere operato, is also the bearer of the dignity of the nation, the anointed embodiment of the genius gentis—a kind of totem or, better, mascot.

As for Tolkien’s anarchism, I think it obvious he meant it in the classical sense: not the total absence of law and governance, but the absence of a political archetes—that is, of the leadership principle as such. In Tolkien’s case, it might be better to speak of a “radical subsidiarism,” in which authority and responsibility for the public weal are so devolved to the local and communal that every significant public decision becomes a matter of common interest and common consent. Of course, such a social vision could be dismissed as mere agrarian and village primitivism; but that would not have bothered Tolkien, what with his proto-ecologist view of modernity.

And from another site:

Philosophically speaking, anarchism has a strong anti-democratic tradition that, far from seeing anarchism as being democracy carried to its logical conclusion, is actually far closer to being instead aristocracy universalised. Monarchy can be reinvented as a concept to serve a distinctively libertarian ethos, if one can see in the monarch a symbol of sovereignty that is reflected in the absolute sovereignty of the free individual. The word ‘king’ is derived from the word ‘kin’ – so kingship denotes kinship, the king or queen being a symbolic guardian of the people’s freedom and self-determination. Thus handed down generation to generation, the monarch carries the genetic inheritance of the people in a bond of mutual co-inherence. This is beautifully and poetically proclaimed in the tradition of British mythology that refers to King Arthur and the quest for the Holy Grail, in that the concept of kingship that is envisaged in the Arthurian mythos is interpreted as one of service and humility towards the people whom one ‘rules’. A similar theme is found in the Christian Gospels where Jesus says to his disciples ‘Whoever shall be considered the greatest, let him first become the least and the servant of all.’ (And in this mythological context, Christ is the fulfilment of all archetypes such as Arthur, as well as the indigenous British and Norse mystery traditions such as druidism and Odinism in particular.) The scriptures appear to suggest that at the end of time Christ will abdicate his throne, having maintained a reign so beneficent that all humanity is brought into such a state of spiritual perfection that the need for restraints and for government vanishes (1 Cor Ch. 15 vv. 24-28) – an eschatological realisation that transcends kingship and monarchy into an enlightened theocratic anarchy.

The most contemporary proponent of anarcho-monarchy has to be the fantasy novelist J. R. R. Tolkien, whose book Lord of the Rings has become the international best-seller of the century. Concerning his political leanings Tolkien said: ‘My political opinions lean more and more to anarchy (philosophically understood, meaning abolition of control, not whiskered men with bombs) – or to ‘unconstitutional monarchy’. Further on, he said some years later: ‘I am not a ‘socialist’ in any sense – being averse to ‘planning’ (as must be plain) – most of all because the ‘planners’ when they acquire power become so bad.’

‘Middle Earth’, the imaginary world Tolkien created, was based on north European mythology; it functioned as what Tolkien himself described as ‘a half-republic, half-aristocracy’ – a sort of municipal decentralised democracy (as opposed to a representative democracy) based in a holistic conception of the integrity of the local place and idiom. The emphasis in Tolkien of tendencies towards some kind of hierarchy, however libertarian, and of self-government only being consistent with kinship and loyalty to a particular place, has made Lord of the Rings popular and required reading amongst the radical-decentralist right.

Lord of the Rings is having a profound influence on the contemporary green and environmental movements in that, seen in our present historical context, it provides a coherent and inspirational critique of the modernist unholy trinity of state power, capital and technology. (For an excellent book on this very subject and more see Defending Middle-Earth – Tolkien: Myth and Modernity by Patrick Curry, Harper Collins 1998.) Tolkien, with keen prophetic insight, foresaw that at the close of this millennium the struggle for humanity and nature would be between the diversity of local distinctiveness, place, identity, and culture against the globalist unity and monoculture that turns everywhere into the same place. Also, it turns everyone into the same person with the same status as a passive ‘consumer’, where once they may have been an active citizen or ‘member of the public’.

Something to look into.


Evolutionary Psychology, Politics, and Bad Science

Came across a Slate XX article from last week on evolutionary psychology.

The article essentially boils down to: evolutionary psychology research that supports my preconceived biases is good, evolutionary psychology that argues against my ideology is bad.

The article starts with the author complaining about evo-psych, leading into this:

There’s nothing inherently wrong with evolutionary psychology—our thoughts and behaviors have been shaped by millions of years of hominid evolutionary history, and it’s worth studying how natural selection acted on traits that we still express today. But too often, evolutionary psychology is a force for social conservatism.

The reason evolutionary psychology is usually a force for social conservatism, is because social conservatism is the inherited wisdom of thousands of years of adaptation by human society to biological reality.

Evolutionary psychology will inherently be socially conservative, because (true*) social conservatism is inherently about man controlling its biological nature so society can function. (Religious conservatives will refer to man’s “fallen nature” and political philosophers will refer to the “state of nature”, which are the same thing for all practical purposes).

Left-liberalism (from which most of feminism springs) is not about managing the biology of man, it is about using reason and/or morality to overcome the “state of nature” for the benefit of all.

Left-liberalism usually derives from either (or a combination of) Rousseau’s amoral, self-interested, animal-like state of nature or from Marxian ideology where human nature does not exist as a fundamental concept, but comes from social relations and man’s relations to his work. (Conservatives usually work off Hobbes’ violent and warlike state of nature; libertarians and classical liberals generally work off Locke’s  anarchic, fully free state of nature and of war.)

From the Rousseauian state of nature, men come together in cooperation and submit to the general will as designed through a social contract for mutual benefit. By uniting under the social contract a man can be ennobled, and his corruption comes only through failures of the social contract. By bettering the social contract, man may be further ennobled. Under a human nature based on social relations, the improvement of social and economic conditions will lead to an improvement in human nature and behaviour.

Left-liberal thought is essentially about the perfectibility of man through changing social conditions so he can better himself beyond the limitations of human nature.

In social conservative thought man cannot be perfected and will always be controlled by his human nature. His nature can only be constrained by social instructions, but never altered.

This is the essential and primary difference between the two ideologies.

This is political theory 101. If our education system even remotely resembled a traditional classical liberal education, the author would know this.

If she knew this, she would not be arguing against evolutionary psychology (when it supports social conservatism) or for it (when it supports feminist ideology). She would know that her ideology is one where social and economic relations are shaped through cooperation (the general will ) to create a society based on the common good, overcoming the limitations of man in a state of nature.

Know this: evolutionary psychology will always support (true*) social conservatism, because social conservatism is simply the attempt to control the state of nature so society can function.

To the liberal or leftist, this should not matter. Whatever evolutionary psychology will say, it can neither support nor discredit left-liberalism, because left-liberal ideology exists independently of human nature. It exists as an ideology of social relationships overcoming the limitations of human nature (or it simply rejects human nature, and therefore evolutionary psychology outright).

The only way evolutionary psychology can matter, at all, to left-liberal ideology is if it eliminates the possibility that changing social relations can possibly be used to improve mankind’s lot. If this occurs, the entirety of liberal-leftism will be intellectually unsustainable and void of any claim to truth.

In other words, the only way evolutionary psychology can have any impact on the truth claims of left-liberalism is to entirely overthrow it.

By even considering evolutionary psychology’s impact on the truth of ideology, the author is fundamentally undermining her own.

****

Researchers identify a pattern of behavior, usually some stereotypical sex difference (in part because it’s easy to measure whether men and women score differently on a standardized test), construct a scenario in which that behavior would have been adaptive in the distant past, and say the behavior is therefore evolutionarily selected and encoded in our genes.

It’s tricky to disprove the notion that some human trait is the result of evolution. The logic is circular: if some trait exists, it must not have been fatal to our ancestors and it may have helped them reproduce. To critique a claim of evolutionary privilege, you have to show that the trait has no genetic component and therefore can’t be inherited, or demonstrate that the trait is instilled by culture, not necessarily biology.

Partially correct: it’s impossible to disprove the notion that some human trait is the result of evolution (if it’s genetic in origin).

To show that a trait is not a result of evolution requires that the trait is not genetically based.

If a behaviour is genetic in origin (and is not a random mutation or transcription error, such as Down’s Syndrome, or exceedingly rare/recessive, such as Tay–Sachs) it must have not have been fatal to humans prior to reproduction and, in highest likelihood, either is beneficial to reproduction or is linked to a trait that is beneficial to reproduction.

Any genetic trait is a product of evolution and therefore, evolution must have produced said genetic trait. Any genetic trait evolution produces must have been adaptive; the explanatory reason of why it is adaptive may not be correct, but it is impossible that the trait was not adaptive (or at least not harmful).

It may be somewhat circular, but, if you hold to Darwinian evolution, it is logically necessary. The only way to not accept evolutionary psychology is to deny Darwinian evolution.

****

You’re supposed to want someone stronger, smarter, and richer than you. Someone who would sire healthy offspring and protect them from saber-toothed cats on the Pleistocene Epoch savanna.

Not “are supposed to”: “do”.

Evolution (and evolutionary psychology) is not prescriptive, it is descriptive of the large statistical trends of human society.

Just because evolutionary psychology says that something evolved in most humans does not mean you have to follow it (although, you statistically will) and it does not mean it applies in every case (some individuals will always be genetically aberrant and display behaviours and traits outside of what is statistically normal).

This is the kind of logic used by fourth-tier intellects arguing creationism in Youtube comments (IF EVALUTIAN IS RONG, Y U NOT SUPPORT HITLER AND SURVIAL OF TEH FITIST!?! HIPOCRIT!!!… durr). How a middle-brow publication like Slate allows this kind of stupidity through is beyond me. If it was somebody from the Discovery Institute arguing like this, he’d be laughed out of the room.

****

The first few paragraphs of her post are complaints about what she believes to be “bad” science in evolutionary psychology. So, what does she list as the study that redeems evolutionary psychology:

And that’s why my favorite paper of the week is “Stepping Out of the Caveman’s Shadow: Nations’ Gender Gap Predicts Degree of Sex Differentiation in Mate Preferences.” Marcel Zentner and Klaudia Mitura of the University of York, U.K., asked more than 3,000 people in 10 countries what they valued in a mate. On a four-point scale, people rated the importance of various qualities: chastity, ambition, financial prospects, good looks, etc.—all identified by Buss and his likeminded peers as being qualities that only men or only women are evolutionarily predisposed to seek out.

Wonderful. A self-selected internet survey based on self-identified preferences somehow overturns all the carefully designed studies using brain scans, monitoring of biological functions, priming, and so on that support the conclusions of evolutionary psychology. That’s some good science.

The researchers used a World Economic Forum measure of gender equality to rank the 10 countries as (a) relatively gender-equal, (b) backwards but improving, or (c) screamingly sexist (my  terms, not theirs). And the results were clear: The more egalitarian the country, the less likely men and women were to value traditional qualities that Buss and co. believe to be innate. In Germany, women said they’d very much like a man who is a good housekeeper. In Finland, men were more likely than women to prefer a mate a bit smarter than themselves. In the United States, women ranked chastity as more important than men did. At the other end of the scale, in Turkey and South Korea, women wanted mates with good financial prospects and men valued good cooks.

Essentially, the survey finds that when asked about sensitive and potentially controversial topics over the internet, a self-selected group of people will give strangers the socially-approved answer. Thank you Slate for pointing out this stunning observation.

In case your sarcasm detector is malfunctioning, the study is complete and utter crap and drawing any conclusions about evolutionary biology from it is idiotic.

As the manosphere says repeatedly and consistently, look at what people do, not what they say.

****

So, in conclusion, this article is mostly bunk. It’s a mishmash of a person’s ignorance of her own ideological underpinnings, wishful thinking, fourth-rate logic, and a person determining “good” science based on her own ideological biases.

In other words, it’s typical feminism.

****

* I say true social conservatism, because a fair amount of what we call social conservatism now, is simply the repackaged liberalism of the last century. Actual social conservatives would generally be called paleo-conservatives. ie: Being against gay marriage, but believing in marriage for love does not a social conservative make, it only makes a liberal who doesn’t like homosexual marriage; to be a social conservative requires a traditional view of marriage as an economic, sexual, and (possibly) religious relationship based around the creation and raising of children.