January 19, 2018

Illustration from Paradise Lost

Illustration from Paradise Lost

Since women (the more powerful sex when it comes to sex) file for seven out of ten divorces, and since divorce courts are unfair to men almost by definition, many children are now raised by single mothers. Here, it seems reasonable to believe, is a source of countless problems in the development of boys and girls. Given the absence of fathers in so many homes, it is probable that many children simply do not learn how to relate to men. Why, then, shouldn’t they feel confused about their gender identity (and about so much else, to be sure)? Since time immemorial, children were raised by men and women as they matured into their sexuality. Can any non-ideologue honestly believe that removing either from the situation is a good thing?

For me, the end of the family signals the end of civilization itself. But in trying to make the family normal again, we encounter the most formidable of obstacles: human pride and its desire for absolute sovereignty. Milton captured this forever with the line he gave Satan in Paradise Lost: “Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.” As the great poet knew, it is the self’s natural disposition to exercise its own will, to have its way even when one is in error (indeed, it is then all the more ferocious). Such, in fact, seems to be the essential character of the modern world. God is dead, and the old constraints are gone; so man is free—to destroy himself.

The other major problem we face, with respect to getting the family in order, is the insidious influence of “intellectual women” in education and in the media. To be sure, it is not the ordinary woman but the intellectual woman who believes children do not need a father. It is likewise the intellectual woman who insists, in many a classroom and publication, that gender is just a social construct, a belief of which most uneducated women probably have never heard. Indeed, the feminist woman finds in the notion of the social construct a handy means to the victimization that is for her the very essence of intellectual endeavor. The traditional, and scientific, understanding of gender she equates with “the patriarchy.” So too with the family itself. She is strongly motivated to oppose both, and takes to intellectual disease as if it were a virtue.

*Rousseau believed he was exceptionally good-natured, although people who knew him well found the converse to be true. The primary influence of that self-deceived man has been the idea that civilization corrupts (while in truth civilization is a system of restraint), with the corollary that the self is naturally good. It follows that we have only to reform our customs and institutions for the self’s essential goodness to emerge. No idea in the modern world has wrought so much harm. It not only inverted the wisdom of Christianity; it also prepared the way for totalitarianism and the cheap victimhood that is now so common.


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