The alternative right movement is a complicated phenomenon which is best characterized within the vein of Fascism and how it primarily evolved as a through refutation of Classical Liberalism and Communism. In this guise, the Alt-Right is, in my opinion, adequately thought of as neo-fascist. It is built as a refutation of the modern forms of Liberal and Communist materialism and proclaims a pathway for future human development as a ‘third way’. That is, a return to traditional hierarchical forms of social organization which were more ‘natural.’
The current legal and cultural changes regarding the status of women in society plays into this narrative directly.
The principal argument I want to address is this one, the status of females in society is a biological pre-ordained imperative and so the modern ‘regression’ of women liberalization is a destined for societal bankruptcy. The sources of Alt-Right blogs and messages boards using this argument are many, but I’ll focus on Social Matter for now. Here are some choice quotes I’d like to address
In a roundabout way, the feminist is correct. She generally lays blame on patriarchy for the tribulations of civilization, yet without patriarchy, there would be no civilization at all, and we would remain a primitive species in an obscenely primitive “horde of promiscuity.”
Even further, the influence of patriarchy has an enduring multi-contextual impact on human conduct. As many behaviors are inherited, our behavioral biology was taken on a new course of selection. Strictly enforced monogamous customs genetically select for males who are both altruistic and loyal, offering more opportunities for them to pass on their genes. Estranged are those with selfish, unproductive, or disloyal traits, all increasingly prevented from reproducing. It therefore, to a certain extent, selected for impulse control, though there are still plenty of cads and deviants about.
Selflessness is a key component to understanding Western Civilization and Christianity, the religion of self-sacrifice. It is embodied in the unselfish Western pursuit of a greater good, whether for God, country, science, or family. This pressure has driven us on a path to great heights. But the higher one ascends, the further one may fall.
This thought experiment is being parroted on many Alternative right wing forums and blogs and it has many logical problems. I want to go through the challenges as they come along.
Social Darwinism and Civilization
1: I will assume the presupposition is true
The theory being espoused here is that altruism, loyalty, etc. are all biologically passable traits. This also has an unfortunate corollary with regards to women, namely, if we have 6,000+ years (ancient Egypt is 3100 BC and we have ancient Sumerian cultures prior to this) of societal pruning why did we all the sudden, in the 1800s and 1900s get a spur of strong willed females and weak men? That is, it apparently only took 200 years to destroy 6,000 years or more of this social Darwinian reformation. This argument requires the reader to believe that females are consistently ‘untamable’ whereas men are the opposite. That women behave on the biological spectrum as a wild card which cannot be predicted, frequently behaving against their own self-interest whereas men can be bred into civilization’s arbitrary constraints.
1a: The ‘Tabula rasa’ Solution
Not only does this theory have problems with regard to the physical biological make up of males and females, namely that females have less genetic defects than males do due to the double X chromosome (one reason for their superior life expectancy), but also because it also requires the contradictory belief in the ‘Tabula rasa’ view of human beings to reconcile. That is, a human at birth is a ‘blank slate’ whose nature is almost entirely determined by societal upbringing. The reason this blank slate is required is because you need an explanation for how it only takes 200 years to completely erode 6,000 years of human ‘evolution’.
However, the alt-right movement is fervently against any framing of the blank slate theory. They are perpetually enforcing the viewpoint of nature over nurture similar to the Fascist arguments of the past. If the ‘Tabula rasa’ solution was to be accepted by the Alt-Right it would destroy any attempts at arguing for the ‘natural’ and ‘morally correct’ theories of hierarchical societal organization, namely the return to monarchy (in the extreme variants) or primarily strict patriarchy. Human beings, it is argued, are naturally better served while under the yolk of strict authoritarian hierarchy due to our innate nature. If every child at birth is a blank slate, the solution to our societal woes could be cured through different rearing and cultural practices, lending credence to the Communist and Liberal.
1b: The ‘Ideological Corruption’ Solution
The Alt-Right movement recognizes this problem and has an answer, it is to say Liberal ideology convinced men to give up power because they were bred to be ‘altruistic’ and ‘loyal’ whereas women remained conniving and destructive. This is despite the fact that the same factors of biological selection (women who are selfish and traitors) would have worked in the same fashion for the selection of female mates, otherwise the family unit would crumble.
Otherwise, for 6,000 years of human civilization we have had altruistic men who have single-handedly kept the monogamous family unit together despite innately rebellious females. It takes two parties to keep a family unit together, one cannot use the argument that a society can kill off 50% of its selfish males and use the other 50% to build families in this case. If the female in question is equally rebellious (and does not experience this 50% cull) then the family will not function without some sort of 1984 Orwellian control scheme which certainly has never existed. Men traditionally worked away from the home allowing females to form strong social networks within their community. Yet there was no collusion in 1400s France with city dwelling women like we see in 2000. Are women biologically pre-disposed to promiscuity and societal destruction? Apparently we require the social Darwinian framework to ignore females entirely to justify this claim. Their lot in life is as a breeding pod which has, by 6,000 years of good fortune for human civilization, lacked any aspirations or rational self-interest (something any ‘realist’ framework requires).
Furthermore, peer policing of innately rebellious women would be impossible because, as the argument goes, women are innately rebellious and promiscuous. Why would they not support each other in their desires to undermine civilized society? So it must follow, if we assume the premise is correct then women would be selectively bred to be loyal and altruistic. This is especially true with regard to the strict ancient laws regarding adultery and promiscuity from females, leading to death in most cases. So females are the same as men yet simultaneously contains none of these ‘higher’ traits when it comes to maintaining the modern family unit. The Feminist, it is said, is purposely unraveling the very fabric of society which has been weaved for over 6,000 years; and while the social Darwinian framework was used to explain how we got to the 1700s, it is incapable of explaining its inability to resist this rapid unraveling. 3.3% of history is responsible for the utter destruction of the remaining 96.6%, all on the back of an ‘evolutionary’ framework.
The ideological corruption argument does not work with the social Darwinian presuppositions. Therefore the Alt-Right requires the Communist and Liberal arguments for the ‘Tabula rasa’ to function, something which would unravel the entire edifice.
But let’s ignore these problems for a second and address something more glaring. The corrupted ideological argument, as well as the ‘Tabula rasa solution’ has further issues with regard to the history of human society within cities. Namely, it completely ignores ‘progressive’ ideological behaviors within them which are well documented.
1c: The ‘Historically Conservative’ Narrative
This is found in Pompeii, this is a Satyr having sex with a goat.
The great civilizations in human history had one thing in common, densely populated urban cities. From Ancient Egypt’s Thebes, to Rome, to Ottoman Istanbul, and London, our traditionally hierarchical societal examples of glory and grandeur all have another thing in common; sexual promiscuity and the erosion of the traditional family unit. Especially with regard to the male.
Homosexuality, state sponsored prostitution, tolerance for group sex and more was rife, particularly in Ancient Rome and to varying degrees in Ancient Egypt, the Ottoman Empire, ancient Sumeria, and 1600s London. The general trend of history seems to be, the more densely populated the urban center the more liberal the sexual ethics. The Alt-Right enjoys painting the ‘good ol days’ of ancient societies with strict marriage laws in contrast to our now decrepit society which has gone off the rails, but in truth the erosion of the family unit from the male perspective has been actively promoted for thousands of years. It is only in rural areas that we see the strict monogamous family unit as holding any form.
This is also found in Pompeii, two men having sex with one female. Traditional values indeed.
The right will then say, ‘see what happens to societies with rampant, unrestrained male and female sexuality? They descend into moral degeneracy and the society collapses!’ This is a pleasant narrative which ignores the fact that almost all societies collapse, the only difference between the urban empire and the rural farm is that the urban empire falls spectacularly in a puff of fire; our rural farmer is captured and enslaved by neighboring tribes or starved to death via poor farming practices, left to be ignored footnotes in the annals of history.
Turning back to sexuality and ignoring the fact that adultery was a crime punishable by death in most of the ancient world (for women only, making you wonder why women weren’t selectively bred to be LESS promiscuous than men), the issue of state sponsored male promiscuity flies in the face of the ‘altruistic and selfless’ family man trained by social Darwinism. It seems men have been going through an ebb and flow of being encouraged to destroy civilization by obliterating the ‘traditional’ family unit, yet, by some fluke extraneous to sexual deviancy we still made it.
I have taken the argument as face value and accepted the presupposition, namely, that the social Darwinian framework is true. The argument for why social Darwinism isn’t true is a longer one for another post but I’ve given the Alt-Right a service here by taking them at face value, and even then the argument and framework is internally inconsistent requiring the helping hand of leftism to lead them out of the hole they’ve gotten themselves into (accepting the ‘Tabula rasa’).
Females, who have been ‘groomed’ by monogamy over thousands of years and endured strict laws (often resulting in death) for betraying these practices must be so pre-ordained to sexual promiscuity and societal destruction that even the magic hand of social Darwinism cannot save them. Yet they persisted, unwatched as men went away to war and communities led unprotected for seasons at a time, safe and sound. The rebellious and dangerous female, unguided by the benevolent hand of patriarchy somehow safe guarded the very civilization that man created and then abandoned during times of civil strife and warfare.
So here we sit with men who are biologically sexually promiscuous, but can be tamed with 6,000 years of social Darwinism in light of active culture encouraging them to be behave to the contrary. Then we have women who are so innately and biologically broken that they cannot be tamed by the rigors of Darwinism and yet simultaneously didn’t undermine or destroy the very society they participated in. So we as a human species must have somehow lucked ourselves into 6,000 years of societal progression via authoritarian means which could never realistically be employed, but must now believe that the entire quilt of western culture is unraveling in the short work of 200 years.
I’m not buying it.
A Brief From The Author
This blog has generally found its home with the conservative and alt-right movement on the internet, primarily because I was more interested in criticizing the left. Right now we are being linked to an alt-right blog aggregator and from time to time I’ll cross post my work here on the popular conservative WordPress blog Flopping Aces. I am okay with people of any ideological creed finding value in what I write but, the truth of it is that I am not beholden to the conservative/liberal false dichotomy. I do not care about pandering or stroking my reader’s ideological ego (by building an echo chamber of one characterization) and I will call out stupidity when I see it. This is long overdue but it is time I call go after internet conservatism and balance the scales. Enjoy.