Recent Book Reviews
The only just way to do so is to take it as a whole and expose it as a whole. To reveal the complete ugliness of something you have to have take it in completely in the quantifiable sense, not the affective sense. I thought you were going somewhere completely different with Part III following the above passage.
Something something implicit cooperation mechanism something something destabilizing feedback patterns… Oh well, have to find my societal game-theory critique fix elsewhere.
I think what Scott has shown here is that the victims in On The Road seem to be those most willing to help the narrator. This book opposes a restrictive lifestyle by supporting the messed-up assumptions that lifestyle is built on. Be careful how you describe messages.
All the more so, as they set aside convention. Which is to say, some people e. These people need to be more like what they think of as assholes, i. Worship Rosa Parks, not Jack Kerouac. Kerouac is just relatively low-risk evil at relatively the reach of everyone, instead of anything anyone should actually learn.
But a total square reading the book is just going to take away that the beat lifestyle is completely selfish and destructive and ultimately unsatisfying. I think Scott has shown that above with his own reaction no offense meant. Yes, and the squares like you and me end up cleaning up the messes and dealing with the wreckage that the free-spirits like Dean create.
I see lots of characters, both male and female, like Dean in my current job and in my previous one. Those children without parental provision? Materially cared for out of the excess created by a high-tech society. Which in turn was created mostly by hackers using the term broadly. By default falls to social workers or psychiatrists. And maybe that will happen courtesy of an honest wandering mystic.
The deeper emotional issues almost have to be addressed from a nonsquare perspective. You do not want to hear the social worker rant, believe me.
But what can you say? Call the police, call the social workers? If you help more than the prescription, you will be fired just as if you had helped less than the prescription. But man does not live by bread alone, and what are those children going to use for love? The boys have no better examples.
You bet I think a little shame would be no harm! That language is, as the reactionaries would certainly not hesitate to clear up, is most effectively deployed against their victims. Believe me, were I not compelled to it by the dictates of my religion, I would not care a rap about others or accept that they have a right to go to hell in their own way by the abuse of their free will. Consider what she felt as the correct response, and question whether this is the correct tool to use against them.
I think this division is a bit of a non-sequitur, at least these days. I mean, heck, I am starting a lot of those stories. I think its because the system is nicer these days. Imo a much better book in that regard is All the Pretty Horses. Most readers who come away with the impression that Dean Moriarty is someone they can emulate are going to be fundamentally wrong both in their assessment of the world and in their position with respect to convention morality. Dean is a charming wastrel, so everyone loves him.
In addition, Sal is in love with Dean. The theme of homosexuality is recurrent. They know what kind of person he is.
These are different kinds of responsibility. They live in a society where the word of an unknown white man is highly trustworthy. This is a very beneficial thing for everyone involved, in fact it looks like something an utopian society would have.. You are not immune to the same process. If they get fooled twice, then perhaps they believe in second chances.
Dean IS described as awful charming…perhaps they are lulled into thinking the first time was a horrible mistake. Third time though, you just have to accept that they are going into this with eyes wide open. What experience has taught them is that Dean will take all their money, give them pretty promises and then disappear.
They are signing up for that. Its just financial domination without being explicit about it. Want to have the undying love of many women and have no idea how? Rape 50 women and appear on the news on the way to jail.
A better book because Thompson had fewer illusions about himself. He knew that the 60s had ridden a wave of humbug and that he was aboard for the thrill. Yeah, Fear and Loathing is a much better book. Unlike multiple drug convictions or a failed porn career, living in Massachusetts is not a sign of either ethical or intellectual failing.
I read it as a teenager at the recommendation of my ex-hippy, arch-lefty parents. My prior is informed by the large number of comments Nydwracu has made over time making in my experience of 20 years growing up and going to college in MA, false generalizations about what blue tribe people there are like. I am well aware that not all blue-tribe people are upper-class college students in the Berkshires, and even that not all upper-class college students in the Berkshires are drug-addled degenerates.
But this particular form of degeneracy appears to be an attractor-state in the culture: Meh, it was assigned reading for my tenth grade English class. I… only know what became of one other student in that class, now that I think about it. One of them is now a highschool English teacher, the other is a successful… something in finance. The latter pointed out to me some months later that the teacher had been phrasing things during class discussions as though she had been there along with the Beats.
I read On the Road quite some time ago, and I recall disliking it because the protagonists were such horrible people. I can watch murder, gore, and creative sociopathy. I cannot stand jerks, social embarrassment, or unlikable protagonists. I can watch horror films but am physically repelled by romantic comedy tropes.
Dean Moriarty seems like he would probably be mean to me, betray me, exploit me, and try to charm me out of getting angry. Yes, Quentin was irritating, but kind of fascinating at the same time just because of how far he took ennui.
Also, if you thought the sequel was better, I highly recommend the third book. These guys get by on luck, slight charisma, and their own stupidity. This is solid RedPill stuff: Sociopathic alpha males get everything they want, and stupid people celebrate it, unable or unwilling to see that the cost is society falling apart. When I read Marx, I thought that his key mistake was a negative view of utopia. Seems to me that many libertarians are doing the same mistake. There are other ways to be libertarian than making that mistake.
Never kill little deontologists in your head. They provide cautionary tales to remember when you start doing some other things in excess. Suffice it to say that there are plenty who will choose short-term rewards even if it means long-term destruction. I question that these are even short-term rewards. They fail to build positive interpersonal relationships in fact, they do the opposite , merely use women for sex and money, commit crimes and act dishonestly, etc. The great pleasures of a life of virtue are denied to them.
One of my uncles hitchhiked around the USA in the s and he did describe that of people being willing to drive him long distances and feed him, and being incredibly generous. He contrasted it with hitchhiking in Europe, where it was faster to get a ride, but it would be just that, a ride.
Though most drivers who gave me rides made no such offers. Do we have a good quantitative way to measure this? This pretty much what Robert Putnam works on.
He is not optimistic. The former may have been about a teenager whose detachment was much more depressing than edgy, but at least Holden Caulfield was a kid and even then not a complete asshole. Not only could a black person not have done it, but the high-trust society among whites may itself owe something to racism. Can a book hold up well if you hated it the first time? I seem to remember in high school that book was treated with reverence by the teacher but prompted nothing but eye rolling from the students.
CitR strikes me as a perfect example of needing to read philosophy backwards. The angsty disillusioned teenager is something of a trope nowadays that it seems hard to imagine anyone seeing it as eye-opening. My class had about an even split. In my experience it seems to be very much a love it or hate it book. I liked it, but I can see why so many people would hate it.
I feel like, as a character, Holden is really lacking in charisma or ability to win people over. The people who enjoy the book are mostly those who relate to or feel compassion with him, rather than feeling some desire to associate with him.
Heartiste and the like will give you details on how to string them along longer if you like, which would doubtless work fine for bringing them on an exciting cross-country trip as well. It seems… weird to focus on the sex here. I also think the rise of well-publicized serial killers has to do with the decline in hitchhiking. Ted Bundy white, upper-class preyed on hitchhiking women among others. Heartiste and his accursed kind are able to operate because the women they go after are aware of how the game works abs certainly neither require nor put faith in marriage.
In Pride and Prejudice one runs into a character who does that sort of thing. He only does it twice in his life and the second time is forced to marry and support the woman. In a society with an intermediate level of trust. Austen might not have thought it worth mentioning if he did. Darcy when they first met. I recently hitchhiked across North America.
The tendency of modern media to spread horror stories likely makes it somewhat harder than it was in the 40s, though an additional issue is the proliferation of freeways where laws and speeds prevent cars from stopping so one has to hitch at onramps or gas stations. On the other hand there are a lot more cars on the road than there were in the 40s.
Also I was offered manual labour jobs multiple times along the way, so even that part might be more feasible today than some posters here think. Caulfield also had much better excuses. Moreover, the book intentionally undermines these excuses: Yeah, this is certainly worth noting. There was a high-trust society that African-Americans could access, but never to the same extent and never as broad and in the 50s and 60s in particular the divide was especially strong.
There are similar stories of high-trust societies and their collapses in nations without such a large racial divide, or where lines fell in other directions than race. Whenever he started to try something he gave up on it, like with the prostitute.
Loser is as loser does. But there I could understand and sympathize with the people involved; they had ambition, desires, feelings that I could relate to, and while they took things to greater extremes than I ever did, the teenagery there felt authentic, even plausible. It always struck me that the beat generation, and the hippies, and the 19th century romantics, all sold the idea that repression was all that stood between us and transcendence.
But, of course, despite the social changes, it never seems to come. It just made certain types of hedonism part of the norm, with no insight or transcendence added. The sexual revolution, at the very least, saved countless people from the scourge of unnecessary shame. Just to be clear here- ethically, to what extent in net terms do you consider the sexual revolutions to have been good or bad?
Could you enumerate them? To what extent is this shame present when sexual libertinism is accepted as opposed to expected?
The realities of politics and society force this kind of extremism. It had shame which served to protect women from people like Dean, and which, when functioning according to spec, basically kept Dean from existing in the first place. Without your condescension, how would I ever pull out of my liberal fog to see the light? If shame is sufficient to stop the Dean Moriartys of the world, then perhaps that shame is not unnecessary. But in a shame-based society, there is shame, and then there is shame.
Some is easy enough to justify on consequentialist grounds. Some, not so much. I mean, here, the shame heaped on the women Moriarty fooled. Shame because they are no longer virgins, or had a child out of wedlock, and is thus unmarriageable. I mean the shame of being gay, and having to keep it a secret your whole life. Or of being a feminine man, or masculine woman. Or of, as a woman, desiring and enjoying sex. Or of being guilty of one of a host of sins made whole cloth out of the neuroses of long-dead patriarchs.
I could go on. Now, I know that the contemporary left also comes with plenty of shame. But I neither agree with nor try to justify it. I hope we build norms good enough to do it well. And I take the nrx challenges to progressivism seriously, for exactly the reason that I hope this project will succeed. Someone who did bad things like Moriarity could repent and be forgiven and be welcomed and become a pillar of the church. A respectable woman who had been cleared of charges of lesbian actions, commited suicide when she discovered hidden feelings of same-sex attraction.
On the Road was published in And if decent contraception had been widely used there would not have been so many pregnancies. But the period On The Road describes is not the s, but rather the s, which did have a high level of sexual liberation and loosening of traditional social mores shocking to contemporary observers , owing to the massive social disruption of WW2.
The traditional order then underwent a revival in the s, before entering its long decline. Clearly shame did not protect all women from Dean. However, it may have protected most women from Dean. And what of the abuse of trust involved in going through a sham marriage with a woman you later abandon, merely because you want her money to fuel your no-shame, no-guilt freedom roadtrip?
He still regarded her with contempt and as a sucker to be exploited, financially and sexually. The difference is that Galatea is now the new normal, across the social spectrum. If the bottom rungs were already promiscuous, does that invalidate that argument? Or does the argument actually refer to the lower middle class, not totally at the bottom but close to it? Should have been clearer about that. It was collapsing in those days. Shame assumes they Dean will care about consequences and not be able to constantly escape.
What necessary, or rather functional, depends on external factors, like economics and technology. Chestetons fence is an exercise in not seeing that. And that everything that involves not treating people as fully human individuals is ultimately inseparable from abuse. I am literally a cartoon SJW. I agree with Deiseach, men like these are actually very horrible, and women should have the power to deal with them.
Reverse the genders and men are even today vastly more empowered to handle attractive predatory women although they still have problems too.
People were complaining about the post not thinking highly of on the road, or of some commentators thinking well of some instances of shame? Serfs were fucked sometimes literally. Chivalry, namely, the strong protecting the weak, becomes a problem when it is deployed in lieu of empowering the weak—and thus, the safety and autonomy of the weak remain at the sufferance of the strong.
It can, in this way, act as a mechanism for maintaining power inequalities. Chivalry can on one level be understood as the practice whereby the laws of honour supersede those of right or justice. Thus in warfare knights would spare the rights and privileges of other knights, while happily massacring the women and children among the local population. The History of England…, Ch. Think of it like chemotherapy.
Sometimes the cancer kills the patient and sometimes the treatment kills the patient. Doctors pick doses very carefully and researchers seek more selective treatments. For every potential Dean or Dean-victim stopped by shame, how many honorable polyamorists, homosexuals, fetishists, genderqueers and other atypical people were forced into closets? Shame spreads darkness, and darkness is where predators operate best. If Galatea had been able to tell all her friends the details of her progressing relationship, one of them might have pointed out the warning signs.
How many of Deans victims would have been safe in a sex-positive society? Why put conditions on what should be a free, open, healthy expression of our desires in a mutually rewarding relationship? Scumbags do routinely use the broadly speaking discourse of sex positivity in that very way, but this problem has a non-obvious upside; by having to signal alleigance to the system, they can no longer hide behind being a brave rebel against a whole world of totally unreasonable rules.
This is the kind of thing that occasionally makes me suggest that neoreactionaries ought to support modern feminism: Why would it be? The occasional fool falling for some asshole? Yeah sure, not all or even most marriages were like that. Some women may be screwed over by Deans, but how many pre-revolution were screwed over by husbands?
A few fools losing there life savings versus half the population being systematically shut off from most of the economy? Domestic abuse both blatant and subtle? Suicides, depression, all the oppressive shaming itself? The sexual repression itself? All to stop the occasional nasty breakup? And sure, some things are not ideal.
We could do with state funded child support, or example. And a lot of problems are cause by the combination of sexual revolution with society being pro-life. STDs can be stopped with a freaking piece of rubber. And I kind of think mandatory STD testing might be a good idea Actually, I also kind of think mandatory reversible sterilization of all men much easier with men upon reaching puberty, with reversal requiring application and permission plus a minimum age and income, is also a good idea.
I liked how you moved from denouncing traditional family arrangements as a combination of slavery and unethical alien medical experimentation to advocating for coercive state monitoring and control of sex. Also, by STDs I only meant dangerous ones.
And while you should be required to disclose them before sex, you should not be allowed to then tell someone else about another persons results because the social stigma attached to STDs would then cause all sorts of problems. You can come up with a just-so-story about why any particular element of society is adaptive.
From what I understand that personality is immune to shame and mostly genetic. I suppose shaming women for taking up with sociopaths might be somewhat effective in preventing them from doing that, but it seems like something that could be achieved more efficiently and at a lower cost.
Sometimes various social norms are adaptive and useful. I suspect the vast majority of sexual-repression institutions in society are the latter rather than the former. The best we can hope for is to reduce their impact and reduce the number of normal people at the margins who are tempted to join them.
Norms can indeed be a result of random mutations. But if you see one that keeps popping up in many different cultures independently, then it is probably being selected for. I think virtually everyone can feel shame. But feeling shame is contingent on getting caught. It was internalized norms that Dean lacked. The external norms he avoided by virtue of not staying in one place for long, or with people who would impose these norms.
This shaming was, like, pretty terrible, but it was effective in terms of e. Unnecessary heartbreak because both parties had incompatible desires from the get-go, and because the party who was lied to about those desires feels betrayed.
Loss of investment time, money, effort, life plans, emotions in the relationship. Loss of trust in future relationships, and in signals of commitment such as marriage or a promise to marry that could shore up trust but are no longer reliable.
And those are the negative effects on individuals who have sex with Dean Moriarty, not on society as a whole. He was personally positioned to know a lot better than an internet commenter, no? Swapping it for rampant criminality, inequality, the decimation of basic social fabric, AIDS and the de-education of four generations was a small price to pay to get rid of that scourge! The lost potential of a child that is never educated is not qualitatively different than the lost potential of a life where flourishing is cut short by shame.
The misery of an STI is not qualitatively different than the misery of constant self-recrimination. The tragedy of an innocent gunned down is not qualitatively different from the gay kid who commits suicide because of years of schoolyard bullying. Even accepting your cartoonish ascription of all those phenomena to the sexual revolution, I cannot take seriously someone who does not even consider the other side of the scale worth noting.
Go do twelve Litanies of Tarski in repentance. That may be a generational thing. They got wages a week delayed to discourage people from just walking out without giving their weeks notice. This meant that when you quit, you got 2 weeks wages in your hands. On monday he went and got another job. When my uncle came over for the wedding the trip was expensive so he walked into a factory, got a comparatively well paying job and stayed for a few weeks.
Jobs are things which take weeks, maybe months to line up. When I was a teenager I applied for a job stacking shelves. There were 3 rounds of interviews that took over a month. How does that work? Yes, but then the weekend and taking out your wife will have been over. The point is to shift his income around over time — he gets a week in advance, basically.
If you could fire anyone for any reason any day, then sure, give people a try by hiring them instead of interviewing them. Its almost all supply and demand. I worked in tech in the 90s, and it was a lot like this- quit on no notice because you were bored, pick up a new job as soon as you felt like it. In my more conspiratorial moments, I used to imagine that the reason why jobs are so persistently scarce was that the Powers That Be saw the chaos and upheaval the country really did nearly burn down in the 60s that resulted from young people not having to worry about finding work, affording an education or any of that, and declared that if they could help it, no one would ever have a carefree decade in their twenties again.
The fed tries to prevent full employment for sensible economic reasons. But boy, do I ever feel like I got cheated out of simply not having to worry about finding work or affording school. You got cheated out of affording school because people believe stupid semi-socialist arguments about how everyone should be able to go to college therefore everyone should have guaranteed loans available.
Everyone now borrows so the colleges jack up the prices. This, according to the interview, was the primary way that the state of Indiana had been funding the school. The situations with public and private school tuition are not identical, but administrators are not disinterested sources. Oh, this was a public school. He claimed that the state still engaged more in price breaks like the property tax on a. When the state made the school pay these expenses with reduced funding it was essentially a stealth double-cut.
It is really it odd that you seem to be incapable of discussing the economic structure of educational financing without slipping in intimations that homosexuals are disease-ridden spoiled brats that have their every whim catered to. The monetary nozzle is turned up to Current contractionary pressure is fiscal and for that you need to blame congress and to a lesser extent the president. Once Kerouac had finished rambling across America he went home to his Mum. One need not insist that people work 9 to 5 jobs, marry and settle down with three kids to feel that there must have been something to social institutions that they so disliked if they were so reliant on them.
It could be fine as a phase. The point is the broader philosophy of aimlessness. Teenage romantic rebellion is analogous—obviously false, but perhaps necessary to bulldoze your childhood idols and erect something more adult and worthwhile in its place. Honestly, sorry if I came off as flippant or brusque, I was trying to respond to a few comments in the midst of a large and growing thread.
This seems to stem from contempt for mainstream disapproval, which does not contain exceptions for justified disapproval. Although they may choose to mimic them when convenient. Just because people will react to my actions be doing X, does not mean I am responsible for X happening. On the contrary, getting the girls to sleep with you is plenty unethical if you have made no provision for the natural consequences of doing so, namely babies.
Surely babies, and any other physical and psychological consequences of random sex can be swept up into the category of social norms, no?
Everyone cares about babies. Maybe it has something to do with being revolted by sex in all but a few contexts. Are you as negative about lesbian sex as you are about gay male sex? Does it also involve coming out against masturbation? So, if the general rule against casual sex in a no-birth-control environment holds up to analysis, casual gay sex would be less unethical, not super ethical.
My understanding of the position is that the purpose of marriage and conservative attitudes towards sex generally is to turn the sex drive into something that motivates people to build a stable family life and contribute to society.
Reactionaries and also violets to some extent are people who believe this channeling has broken down and needs to be reestablished. Heartiste is someone who believes that this has broken down, and so fuck it, no reason to contribute anything to society any more. Some men go out and get vasectomies, then the birth rate drops and they maybe regret it later.
And they all have more casual sex, which…. Personally, I would prefer the script of a few centuries ago. Partially for economic reasons. Also note that the tendency toward pair-bonding is pushed far harder than it ought to be — romance movies, bad ideas from French poets and so on. I tend to be a bit evangelical about the virtues of casual sex and polyamory, largely because 1 I like being pair-bonded with lots of people and 2 emotional closeness is very tied to sexual closeness for me. Which is why I dated them in the first place.
I want to have more connections like that, not fewer. Going by cultural narratives, this is highly unusual — the narratives say not to talk to your exes. Many of my closest friends are people I either dated or hooked up with in some fashion. One tentative conclusion is that I just emotionally process this stuff in unusual ways. Yeah, that last line might give it away.
Two different categories in the brain, I think. Eh, some are exes, some are casual, some are somewhere in the middle. One of my super close friends is an ex girlfriend; another is a friend I had a crush on for a couple years, made out with once, that ended disastrously, and then we were friends again. But looking back I guesss AJD was trying to make that joke too. Obviously, Professor Moriarty invented a life-extension compound that had the side effect of lowering IQ. Possibly of interest, I just yesterday stumbled upon this letter from the guy Dean was based on to Jack Kerouac: Also thank you for validating me: I haaaated On the Road when I read, although I was too young to articulate my problems with it quite so well.
He might have benefited from a year off experiencing promiscuity, drug use and even petty crime. It worked for me. The bigger question is what happened between then and now to take the trust and ease out of society, to make a world or at least a country where that free living lifestyle is no longer possible.
Scott points this out, but makes no attempt to explain it, apart from snarkily trying to blame Jack Kerouac himself. There are changes here that need to be explained. And as for this choice: You should try it!
Agreed; there may be some good to the person as Michael claims, but it needs to be balanced against harm to other people. Joan Vollmer got a bullet in the forehead. William Burroughs Jr drank himself to death. That some of the Beats avoided consequences of their actions was due to the privilege of having stable families to rely on. Poor men, and women, would have been found in ditches long before. Doubtless, they had fun on their trips — both road and drug related — but if you want to promote alternative visions of life it matters if they end up with a lot of dead and devastated people.
A society with the freedom, the opportunities, the trust of that time with the relative safety, gender and race equality of today. With something like the Basic Income to underpin it all. Of course things are better now. Things are better along almost every possible axis. Longer life expectancy, higher per capita GDP, higher average IQ, more freedom and equality for minorities especially sexual minorities , lower crime rates, and, God knows, better television. The protagonists of On the Road were only able to get away with their shit because America was highly regionalized at that time.
Higher per capita GDP. Not a good measurement of life quality. For Dean Moriaty, no. How about NO TV? You forgot some things. Wait, am I talking to one right now…? On the other hand if you look at things like the Gini coefficient then there seems to have been a growth in inequality.
The homicide rate in America of is lower than the homicide rate in America of Wikipedia cites this article , and you can refer to sources like this one for more recent numbers. They just posted the numbers on Nov. The US homicide rate per k in was 4. In it was 4. The numbers are too recent to have made it to Wikipedia yet, I think, but it has the ones. I am a zealous evangelist for the idea that things are getting better, because it seems to me a widely under-appreciated fact across the political spectrum.
Escape from New York was… well, it was never anything other than silly , but when it came out it was an exaggerated extrapolation of trends rather than a flight of utter fancy.
Stillnotking, the particular claim in your most recent comment is false. Live by pedantry, die by pedantry. I thought the claim was just misleading, but now I think your intentions are dishonest. Anonymous, while I might expect a lot of minor offenses in prisons to be handled extrajudicially, homicides are definitely prosecuted and would show up in the total crime statistics.
I was thinking of rape. There are only about homicides each year in prison, a lower rate than out, despite demographics heavily skewed towards crime. Interested how easily we forget them. I read your old blog and I dont remember you mentioning spending time in a foreign jail..
I hid everything from before my college graduation. That was junior year. The other stuff should be on there. Meanwhile, his description fits me to a T. I went straight from high school to university to the working world.
Of course, over half of them are independently wealthy, either by sponging off their rich family or having won the startup acqu-hire lottery. I wish I knew how to stop being a square. In what ways do you clean up after them?
As opposed to existing around them and being looked down on by them. Are you compensated for any of these ways, and by whom? I think you should look for better companions in the Bay Area. Do you have experience with the community that Scott praises in an earlier blog post? My apologies Scott, I had no idea you did any of that.
Of course I know almost nothing about your past. And based on other statements it does sound like he has done more cuddling than most people. Why do you think your old blog is more worth reading? Apparently, dumping formerly-innocent women is the best possible way to stop corporate bailouts, stealing cars will bring peace, and ruining Cadillacs will cure poverty.
Sort of by analogy to how only the most efficient charity is worth giving to. This is why sexism in America should be ignored in favor of sexism in Saudi Arabia. And of course, by comparison with the really bad horrible Big Whatever crimes out there — your acts of bad faith, promise-breaking, deception, selfishness etc.
What happened was that too many people got burned by that free-living lifestyle and so no longer trusted people. In that case, you have to answer the question of how high-trust societies managed to exist for as long as they did. I think basically what Scott talks about here: In the postwar era, between geographic and social mobility and birth control, that level of local social control broke down, along with the trust-enabling norms it promoted. To back this up, in the UK, medical students are the second most sexually-active subject group philosophy first, English Lit third.
Various kinds of engineer prop up the table. To be quite frank, it is currently very easy to safely take lots of drugs and safely have lots of sex. Part of what happened to take the trust out of society was Dean. Part of what made setting up a career take longer was specialization, which a technically advanced society needs. The one that at best brings no lasting good, of course. Meanwhile, Freemasons and Sufis they seem to be close counterparts were responsible for much actual progress. And what you see is Dean exploiting the weakness of this society.
The women have a vague, vestigial notion that they should marry the men that they sleep with, and a childlike faith that these marriages actually mean something. But of course that never works out for them, and neither the legal system nor the social milieu has any means of catching horrible cads like this. In this way, feminism may be taken as a rearguard action to salvage female dignity in the face of the collapse of traditional mores. In fact, they can do so in a matter of hours.
This stuff is straight out of Heartiste, and he will gladly tell you that he owes it all to feminism. Also, heartiste and similar guys are much less harmful now that long term birth control exists, abortion is legal etc.
Also, child support means that they have an incentive to use contraception. You do know that battered children are more likely to be planned and wanted than a control group? Otoh, before the Sexual Revolution tm , if a teenager felt sexual desire, zie had to either abstain or marry the most convenient person with or without pregnancy.
Which led to a lot of incompatible marriages, linked with a high divorce rate in the Bible Belt. That attitude, without the dedication or fear of shame to actually make people stick it out, is what causes the divorces. Ross Douthat wrote a very good piece on this:. In the Christian penumbra, certain religious expectations could endure a bias toward early marriage, for instance without support networks for people struggling to live up to them.
In Blue States, young people can have a variety of sexual partners before choosing which one to marry; thus marrying later, with more maturity and with a more carefully chosen partner. Church-going is a key; it very consistently correlates with more stable marriages. Marriage is especially confounded. But that is a hollow victory. You can think of this as preventive execution. We have a great deal of it today, and plenty of narcissism, promiscuity, and property crime, so, quite possibly. The result is that cads become a higher proportion of the population.
This was the case even when abortion was illegal; wealthier women could afford safe, discreet doctors, or could travel to places where it was legal. Poor women cannot, which is why policies like waiting periods, hospital admitting privilege requirements and copayments for long-acting reversible contraception affect them the most.
In any case, the proportion of unintended pregnancies ending in abortion was slightly lower for poor women in , but essentially flat in see table 2. Also, interestingly, Catholics are more likely to abort an unwanted pregnancy than Protestants.
Any effect is strongly dominated by the level of unwanted pregnancy the ratio is close to 7: Probably less so for lapsed Protestants. If you average them together, they are comparable to Catholic.
If you include Evangelicals, they are much lower. Weighing by pregnancies is a proxy. Incidentally, why do you believe in a society in which traditional sexual mores as to women should still exist? Why should they be seen as a good thing? She wants marriage and a stable relationship as a condition for spending her savings on their trip, not as a condition for sleeping with him.
Oral contraceptives became legally available to married women in all states in , and unmarried women in Condoms rely on the guy to use them correctly.
I imagine Dean Moriarty types would be unlikely to do so. The victory is that we have eliminated the greatest harms done to those women: He seemed pretty sex-saturated. Coffeespoons — IMHO, anyone who has sex with a Dean Moriarty type would be well advised to use both condoms in any event and backup birth control if pregnancy is a possibility.
In fact, I think the evolution of society has shown just that. Now there are tens of millions of Deans, and prominent feminists are urging women to bang them for ten or twenty years before picking some pathetic schlub to settle down with. Which feminism, whose feminism, where?
That only a very specific brand of second-wave feminism is remembered is in itself an effect of specific forces shaping historical memory.
No, there are now tens of millions of Casanovas. The eponymous guy seemed sorta-ethical and took care of the consequences of his actions. When men lie and steal in order to sleep with lots of women it is Bad. When women lie and steal in order to sleep with lots of men it is Bad.
Also when men… with men, and when women… with women, and when whoever… with Ozy. The problem is in the means, not the ends.
Sleeping with lots of women or men, or other genders and treating them as notches on your bedpost, bragging rights about your virility and desirability, suckers who are chumps to fall for your line and who are there to be fleeced sexually, emotionally, and financially until there are no more resources to be drained is bad.
You can be a very successful seducer and have nothing but contempt for your conquests. I wonder if its possible to be a very successful seducer and have nothing but respect, admiration and affection for your conquests? I have the perhaps odd idea that some stereotypes accepted without issue in popular literature and movies, give us information on what behaviors the audiences find believable. This might give us information about the audiences of those eras; idk about later popular works.
This seems rarer, though. Maybe it can only exist within certain sub cultures, or maybe it require some other advantages in terms of looks or intelligence.
The notion of the childlike vestigial faith in marriage as a binding commitment occurred to me as well reading this post. Notably, it seems just as easy for them as it was for the Beats, some adaptations: And of course we have to give up all the benefits of having a high trust society.
Are people in low-trust societies normally colder and those in higher-trust societies warmer — as measured how? Were people in the US in the first half of the 20th century really warmer with each other? Norway is a high-trust society, Pakistan is a low-trust society.
In Norway you do not talk to or make eye contact with strangers on the bus. Now where have I heard that before? I come from a society where most women with families have the protection of these men who are so concerned for our dignity, and at least some of us are willing to give up the protections and the horrors of this traditionalism knowing full well that it might expose us to exploitation by wolves like Neal Cassady.
Mostly because we examine our lives and realise that there are things far more horrible than being seduced and discarded? Also, we may be able to fend for ourselves given the chance?
This is a serious question. You know, normal sane human advice. The women in this story were used and discarded both sexually, financially, and in one case, as a literal punching bag. The situation unwed mothers had to survive before the s was horrible, and unwed mothers and the children of unwed mothers still have horrible times today.
The risks from excessive protection include what adds up to lifelong imprisonment, and possibly imprisonment with an abuser. An entire life lived without being granted any agency whatsoever. I have friends married to abusive husbands who can never leave their abusers, there are cases of sexual abuse within families which are never brought to the open, just discussed in mostly-female settings in hushed tones years after the fact.
Most traditional marriages seem to be unhappy judged by, spouses do not actually seem to want to spend time with each other or even talk to each other. Except for the occasional slap that your husband or father may deliver as a method of putting an end to arguments. But things can be worse in a society where men are allowed to violently protect the honour and dignity of their womenfolk.
Women are not children. But they might just be able to manage to live their lives without being utter wrecks. Or is that not what you see when you look around you in your society? As yourself, you think that patriarchy is Don Corleone. Nevertheless, we both seem to agree that it is functionally , unsentimentally, a protection racket. We must keep the worker away from red literature and red ruses; we must see that his mind remains healthy. Note how the more a police force has to actually do its vaunted work , the more blatantly criminal its activity looks.
A few of them may defy their incentives to disempower their constituents, of course, but the incentives are there. Multi— You actually seem to be drifting anarchist rather than libertarian since libertarians like capitalism, which requires an extensive police regime to protect private property and function.
Uh, that last comment made me sound far less leftist economically than I really am. Personally noble, unanswerable authority thriving and enjoying a dominant position by providing a much-needed service of violence against bad people, versus personally corrupt and immoral unanswerable authority justifying its dominant position on the violence market with the need to protect against bad people.
And this was not an attitude about liberating women from child-bearing so they could be great artists; this was the notion that women represented conventional bourgeois society and attitudes, and their clinging demands on men for stable relationships and marriage meant men were being held back from being pioneers and creators; that men needed to be free of all constraints and responsibilities other than to their art, of course.
The same reason that Gauguin gave up his marriage and family for art or at least excused the breakdown of his marriage that way , the same attitude as the lyrics of The Free Electric Band:. It seems to me that modern feminism has mostly taken this attitude and adopted it, just with the genders reversed.
The attitude in the quoted lyrics does not sound bad to me? The fellow believes his partner wants to get married and settle down. So he breaks up with her. What exactly is not ok about this? Dean on the other hand is lying deceptive cheater.
Who beats his partner. This is why dean is terrible. Not that he is opposed to settling down. As long as she was willing to open her legs for him, it was all beer and skittles, but oh noes, she had embedded bourgeois attitudes so he had to skip town and presumably take up with another girl from a social science class in the new intake of students.
Lying to your partner is wrong; misrepresenting yourself is wrong; not using proper STD protection is obviously wrong. But modern feminism is just about the same complaint reversed, namely that the patriarchy binds women into domesticity.
One of the characters actually did threaten Dean with a shotgun and tell him to stay away from his daughter, but nobody took it very seriously. The other obvious problem is that this kind of requires the perpetrator to stay put. The primary focus is on keeping control of valuable property, not hunting down random outlaws.
And got threatened with shotgun even though he was privileged foreigner. And married her, which went OK for both parties as far as anyone knew. When I went off to college, some girl started displaying interest in me within the first week.
I ended up spending a lot of time in her room. In fact, I was trying to figure out how to say the same thing: The ability to hop in a car and drive across America and find a job wherever you land made it pretty easy to escape the social consequences of all of this… for the men, at least.
Contraception made it theoretically easier for women to avoid consequences as well, but in practice these gains have been mostly illusory for the people who actually need them; the sort of women who have the discipline to regularly use birth control are the same sort of women with the discipline to just keep their legs crossed in the absence of contraception.
However, the collapse of traditional mores which the Pill enabled was felt all the way down the ladder, with well-known disastrous consequences for the lower half. I was also going to point out that the extension of public benefits to unwed women lowered the costs to women of having an unexpected child, thus further enabling Dean and his ilk. But a bit of research shows that this happened after the time period in question. Note that the direction of consequences are reversed in this case. Turnabout is fair play, I suppose.
Like all people should be able to. If the problem is not enough money, then children of divorce should do no worse than children of poor two-parent families. But in fact they do, and children of divorce still do worse when controlled for income. Maybe not comfortably high, clearly in at least some ways they still do suffer…. I want to emphasize that the difference between well-off divorced families and poor divorced families seems so much more significant than the one between poor two-parent households and poor divorced families at the same tier.
On what basis do you conclude that this is even possible? What if sexual mores functional and healthy for H. Is it a discipline question, or do people in the lower classes actually intend the reproductive patterns they exhibit? It is partly a discipline problem that could be addressed by long-term birth control. But single motherhood is mainly what they intend, compared to not having children. An interesting pair of trends over the past 30 years is the reduction in teenage mothers with the increasing rate of single mothers.
That suggests that teenage pregnancy is the result of a discipline problem that might have been easily solved by distributing IUDs decades ago. But it also suggests limits to what improved birth control can achieve. I have read that some poor women intentionally get pregnant in order to have some stable other person in their lives, or some reasoning to that effect. A review of this is what I am remembering: Even in my own relatively comfortable, but somewhat socially mixed UK context, all my less well off friends noticeably started getting married at around the age of 20 and often started having children around about then and all my more elite university-going friends started getting married 5 or 6 years later and started having children at a much slower rate.
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