Tuesday, June 29, 2021

get ready for World War V

We've had World War G and World War T and people are wondering that's coming next. My guess is that the next war will be World War V. World War Vegan.

It's already started in Australia. Suddenly within a few months supermarket shelves are packed with vegan food and non-vegan food is disappearing from those same shelves. The current push behind veganism is extraordinary.

My prediction is that over the next few years we will see a very strong push to de-normalise meat-eating. Not just to de-normalise it, but to demonise meat-eating.

Within ten years people will be getting cancelled when it's discovered that at some point in the past they were meat-eaters.

Monday, June 28, 2021

economics, marriage and social change

In another discussion elsewhere a claim was made that the mid-20th century in the West was an unusual period of history because at that time monogamy was socially enforced and marriage and children just fell into place for most men. He made the further claim that the Sexual Revolution changed all that and created a situation in which marriage and having children are not achievable goals for a very significant proportion of men.

I think there’s some truth to the claim. I think however that what made the mid-20th century unique was that it was a time in which most men could get decent well-paid secure jobs. Secure being the really important factor. For the only time in human history most men were very attractive marriage propositions for women.

The crucial change was not the Sexual Revolution but the disappearance of those decent well-paid jobs and the ending of job security. And bear in mind that job security has largely disappeared for many lower middle-class men as well as working class men.

Women have to be hardheaded when it comes to marriage. If a man does not have at least a reasonably decent wage and more crucially if he does not have a secure job it is simply reckless for a woman to regard him as husband material. You can’t blame women for that. If a woman wants to have children she needs financial security.

So this is an example not so much of technology but of changes to the economic system driving social change.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

technology and social change

This is a kind of a follow-on from one of my recent posts and it’s also inspired by discussions I’ve been involved in elsewhere.

Those of us who are concerned about the massive social changes that have transformed the West since 1945 usually assume that those changes were mostly ideologically driven. In many cases that’s true of course but in fact a lot of social change is driven mostly by technology. Technology has changed social behaviour, sexual behaviour and family life in profound ways.

This has always been the case. Railways changed society. It’s often not appreciated that prior to railways people mostly spent their entire lives in an incredibly restricted geographical area, in some cases never travelling more than twenty miles from their place of birth.

The invention of the automobile changed society. To a large extent it made suburbia possible.

Television changed society. Instead of getting out of the house regularly to go to the cinema or the theatre or to music halls people got their entertainment at home.

Improvements in contraceptive technology made the Sexual Revolution possible. Sex became a recreational activity.

From the early 1970s to the late 1980s several technologies suddenly became mainstream and became major drivers of social change. Cable TV started to take off in a big way. Home video became cheap and readily available (the VHS format hit the market in the late 70s). The World Wide Web was launched in 1989.

We didn’t know it at the time but these technologies were going to have an effect on sexual attitudes and behaviours. By the mid-80s the explosion in pornography on cable TV and home video had begun. When the World Wide Web was launched it took about ten minutes for someone to figure out that this was going to create an immense market for pornography.

Social media and smartphones have created massive social changes.

While ideological forces have been involved there’s little doubt that without these technological changes society today would be very very different. Family life, sex, love, marriage have all been changed and technology has been a very major driver. Perhaps even the most important driver.

Which is a problem because it seems that no matter how useless and destructive a technology is nothing effective can be done to prevent that technology from spreading.

To a considerable extent the Culture War has been a technological war.

Friday, June 11, 2021

neoliberalism as the real enemy

There’s an excellent recent post, It's not just the left, at Oz Conservative on the subject of neoliberalism. Or, as Mark prefers to call it, right-liberalism (and I think he’s correct in seeing right-liberalism as the better descriptive term).

This is a bit of a hobbyhorse of mine as well. Right-liberalism is in fact the biggest single menace we face. It’s actually a more pernicious threat than any current variant of leftism. And it's a major problem throughout the West, and especially in the Anglosphere.

The post is well worth reading.