Friday, October 17, 2008

Defining Victory – Day Two

In the comments to my last post, John disagrees with my assertion that victory over our enemy may be best defined as equality under the law. Quite to the point, John declares that he “hate[s] the word equality as a political platitude,” since it “refers to the effect, and ignores the cause.” He claims that the use of such a term leads to us “arguing over the initial conditions.” Most rightly, he states that, “as long as women's groups allege that women are or have been oppressed, they will always be able to portray female supremacy as an equality movement.” I agree with many of his comments, however, his conclusion that “even using the term equality plays into their hands,” I believe to be flawed.

I must take full responsibility for John’s misunderstanding, because again I have failed to be as clear in my writing as I might have. John, my audience is not feminists, not females generally, and not the general public of males. (Although, I certainly appreciate the writers who do address such audiences, as they have taught me much). No, instead my audience is men like you, men who have studied the feminist propaganda, given much thought to the issues and problems, and who have reached certain conclusions regarding the fight at hand.

And so, understand that when I use the phrase “equality under the law,” I hope that you read it not as a feminist manipulation of the language, nor as a “political platitude”, but for its plain meaning.

Equality under the law is power.

In this men’s movement, most of what I read directly complains of a lack of equality under the law - facial inequalities or inequalities in the application of divorce law, child custody law, criminal sentencing, civil rights law, employment law, education law, health law, VAWA, IMBRA, etc. The remainder complains of societal disparities, such as our negative portrayal in the media, female attitudes generally, and feminist indoctrination classes in universities. Precious little time is afforded proactive solutions to these complaints.

So, John, while I believe you are surely correct to speak of cause and effect, I just think you address the wrong cause and effect.

Now, I do not wish to fall into the trap of wasting time “arguing over the initial conditions, i.e. the cause that precedes the alleged effect.” You see, I wholeheartedly agree that it serves no purpose to argue over initial conditions. Indeed, I am well beyond being concerned with initial conditions.

I am, however, very much concerned with our instant condition.

Currently, we are in a war. Most importantly, the power of the state, i.e., the law, is not on our side. I do not, from a strategic viewpoint, care about how the law came to be (although, from a tactical standpoint, such history may well serve our needs). Instead, I care that the law, as written and presently applied, is being used to shackle us.

The cause of much of our problems, both individually and collectively, is the current law, because that is where the draconian power of the government lies. The effects on men are losses in divorces and child custody cases, lost education and job opportunities, lost freedom, even in some cases, loss of life.

You already know that because of such power, currently, one lone female’s word is all that is required to deprive you of your property, your children, your liberty and your freedom. Without such power, feminism becomes little more than a failed experiment; a feminist no more than a laughingstock. You and I have no such power. Feminists understand this, and so, are laughing at us.

Your solution, or definition of victory, is for men to “go on strike,” thereby denying women the opportunity to be “pampered by men.” In addition to women waking up to the realization that there are no “good men” left to support them, the individual man may awaken to the realization that he has become liberated “from the need to live his days in support of a wife and family.” Victory, it seems, is nothing more than a man “content in the peace and serenity that he has found.”

Myself, I do not characterize such a tactic as victory. However, I do agree with the Elusive Wapiti who remarks that, “men need to look after themselves first.” As I’ve previously stated, I’ve gone fishing. I generally agree with this going-my-own-way tactic, and indeed, I even agree that it might be something of a victory of liberation for an individual man. In my private life I have done so. I encourage all men to do the same.

But this is, at most, a tactic, not a strategy. It is surely not victory. Basically, it is only a soldier’s most primary form of self-discipline. Starving our enemy of our labor is required of all soldiers. A soldier never provides aid and comfort to the enemy. This is nothing more than one of the first rules of war, as I’ve noted before.

It clearly does not change the balance of power on the battlefield. Refusing to fight, without more, just does not win wars. It will never end this war. Instead, it will lead to certain defeat.

Hear these words well: “For evil to triumph, all that is necessary is for good men to do nothing.” Don’t be a male who does nothing. Don’t be deceived into believing that such escapism is anything more than a temporary respite for an individual man. Passivity only serves our enemy. It will never make us free. It offers but an illusion of freedom - an illusion that lasts only until some female, applying her power under the law, shatters it.

Simply acting as if you are free does not make you less of a slave.

This victory of serenity essentially fails to attend to the very source of feminist power - the law itself. As long as females have such great power, men will never find the serenity we seek. To put it bluntly, the power of men-going-their-own-way can never compare with the incredible power of the federal government. In fact, we are only allowed to go our own way so long as the law permits. Under the control of females, the law may not always offer men such a privilege.

Frankly, we can expect that females’ eventual reaction to men going their own way will not be a positive change in their behavior and attitudes. Females with overwhelming power will not change to our benefit. Females will not awaken “one day with an epiphany,” and a newfound admiration of traditional sex roles. There will not be a collective female cry for men’s rights. If history has taught us nothing, it has shown us that females will use every government-sponsored power, under the law, to whip us pack-mules back to work.

And so, our strategy must be to take back this power of equality under the law. We must deprive our enemy of its benefits. We must control and use it for ourselves. It is the only path to freedom.

Presently, we do not have a free choice regarding our bondage to the law. However, all men have this choice:

Will you walk off the battlefield a slave, or will you fight for your freedom?


John Dias said...

Fantastic post, Paul. In my opinion, this is becoming a truly productive series.

You wrote, "It [men going on strike from the gender war] clearly does not change the balance of power on the battlefield. Refusing to fight, without more, just does not win wars. It will never end this war. Instead, it will lead to certain defeat."

It's apparent to me that in your view, the warring parties in this conflict are men vs. women. I have a different view: men vs. the State -- with the State (having supplanted men) as the nominal proxy for women.

Since the law defines the authority of the State, and since we seem to live in a democracy, a reasonable person might think that defeating the State means winning a political struggle by democratic means. Certainly, this view has some merit as it pertains to certain skirmishes. Domestic violence law allows a cohabiting woman to evict a man at will, simply by the woman alleging that she's afraid that a man "might" break the law. Family law strips men of their parental rights simply because they have been good parents, being providers instead of primary caregivers (the established precedent concept keeps men in the provider role, yet decreases the father's parenting time heretofore exercised). In the workplace, women may destroy a man's career -- denying him promotions or even continued employment -- simply by alleging sexual harassment, whether it has been substantiated or not. Clearly, the law is stacked against men, and clearly such laws must be repealed through legal or political means. On such matters, I do not advocate "going fishing," as we still live within jurisdictions governed by such anti-male discrimination. We do need to mobilize politically to counteract these (and other) threats to our ongoing freedom, without a doubt.

However, it is an error to describe the long term solution as political in nature. Contrary to common belief among men's advocates, I consider our primary enemy not to be political inequality, but rather politicization itself.

Think about it... The law is itself a restrictive phenomenon upon freedom. Its value begins and stops with that. We are served when the law restricts mob violence, or when it punishes vandalism, theft, or murder. To the extent that these laws are applied equally, dispensing justice equally regardless of sex, class, race, or income, then I value equality under the law. But remember, cultural attitudes filter into democratic processes. Our culture of entitlement embraces a victim/oppressor paradigm, in both overt and subtle ways. Because of this cultural sickness, our system of laws can easily become an outgrowth of the narcissism infecting each individual voter, and each individual elected official. The point is that we live in a culture that projects its cultural and spiritual shortcomings into the force of law. Our culture lives out its sense of right and wrong through the heavy hand of public policy. That is as true a statement as I have ever made.

Since we must remain politically engaged to prevent the situation from getting even worse, it behooves us to recognize the political and cultural titan that we are up against. We could demand equality under the law, but we would easily be outnumbered by those whose victim/oppressor definition of equality numerically eclipses our own. Democracy works against us, when the electorate is spiritually defective, failing to take responsibility for individual problems and instead seeking out collective solutions through policy. Politicization is the process of projecting our individual struggles onto a collective stage. Once that happens, the goalposts of the debate permanently move from whether there should be a policy to the degree of the policy's application. We get a conservative flavor, a liberal flavor, a centrist flavor, a socialist flavor, even a libertarian flavor -- but all are flavors of a policy. Therefore, whoever has the greatest numbers (in the electorate, and in elected positions) tends to win the fight. We cannot win such a war; the fact that the terms are political from the outset is what seeds our own defeat.

The best that we can hope for is to engage in "surgical strikes." We can fund and file lawsuits where victory could mitigate the damage of a particular law. We can fund lobbyists to kill legislation before it can ever germinate and grow into an ensconced freedom-killing leviathan. But forget about forming a political party, or changing the corruption, entitlement and narcissism of our culture through collective means. Our freedoms can be mass-revoked through politicization, but rarely will they be restored through this rigged game. The nature of the law is to restrict freedom. We will never find a lasting solution through it.

Take marriage, for example. We attribute the heavy hand of the law to the raw deal that is imposed on men through no-fault divorce laws. After all, if a woman cheats, a judge should punish her and reward the man -- rather than a judge rewarding the woman and victimizing the man through alimony, loss of custody, and so on. Notice that in either case, it is a judge who decides? Through the politicization of marriage, we invited the adversarial process and the proclivities of judges into our private lives. It wasn't always this way; until the late 1800s, marriage was a private matter that did not require the acknowledgment nor blessing of the State. Marriage was a cultural phenomenon. See the following article for more depth:

"Taking Marriage Private"
By Stephanie Coontz
New York Times, Nov. 26 2007

So, rather an fight for one flavor of politicized marriage (fault-based divorce), I advocate depoliticized marriage. What does this mean? Instead of waging a battle in the legislatures and courts to change political policy on marriage, I advocate that we transcend political policy. We can get married with a ceremony, rather than a license; if we require recognition, let it be provided by our extended family or community, rather than the State. In short, marriage need not be defined as the culture defines it (in legal terms); we need only get married on our own terms, specifically without the recognition of the State. This requires no change in the law, but rather an individual decision by a couple to forgo seeking the State acknowledgment of their union. All that is necessary for this to succeed is that the couple live outside a common law state, where the State conflates cohabitation with legal marriage. In addition, a careful examination of palimony laws governing the breakup of non-licensed unions would be in order prior to such a union.

But do you see the point? If we view the battle as one pitched by individuals against the State, we don't have to fight in the context of the gender war. Women, in my opinion, are not the enemy. The State is. Women turn to the State for rescue whenever there is a deficit of the masculine influence in the culture. Men simply need to recognize the areas over which they have direct control, and have the backbone to say "no" to entitled women (even if this means perpetual bachelorhood, or expatriation). Taking responsibility for our own fate as individuals -- recognizing the sheer amount of labor and love that we have in our personal reservoir, to bestow or deny as we see fit -- will transcend the power of the State. I am emphatic on this. Manhood is where our power is -- not public policy. Manhood is a singular, individualistic act, and by employing it, we have an enormous weapon at our disposal -- a weapon rightly to be used against those who would usurp our labor and our dreams.

Ayn Rand wrote about this approach in Atlas Shrugged, where people whose energy, ideas, innovation and labor propped up the State suddenly realized their power by withdrawing all these things. A workhorse cannot be made to produce if he refuses to work. A man cannot be made to service a woman's expectations of chivalry if he, tapping his natural masculine nature, simply tells her no. We have so much control, we don't even see it. We even call for political revolution, failing to recognize that this merely puts up our freedoms for a vote. Manhood is what will change this culture. Manhood is the solution.

Again, political engagement is necessary, but only as a defense. We have a far more potent weapon that we can use for offense, and I submit that we are not fully using it.

Anonymous said...

A long and winding road.

I prefer the shortcut.

Burn everything down and start from scratch.


Elusive Wapiti said...

"We can get married with a ceremony, rather than a license; if we require recognition, let it be provided by our extended family or community, rather than the State. In short, marriage need not be defined as the culture defines it (in legal terms); we need only get married on our own terms, specifically without the recognition of the State."

While I agree totally, and I did find myself somewhat shocked by my agreement with radical lefty Stephanie Coontz in our mutual support for getting the gummint out of the marraige business, I don't think that men entering into what amount to common-law marriages will be sufficient. The law will simply be changed so as to ensnare men that are attempting to avoid the government marraige trap:

From the comments to this post:

De facto splits on a par with divorce, and De facto couples bill passed by Senate.

Also: Prenuptial rights for same-sex, unmarried

"...suddenly realized their power by withdrawing all these things."

It is not lost on me that the only person that has the true ability to keep me in chains in re: child support is myself. Yet I shamefully admit that I have too much to lose (including the well-being of my present family) if I were just to give the finger to the court and refuse to participate in the expropriation of the fruits of my own labor.

Elusive Wapiti said...

BTW John D, I've linked your site. Keep the faith.

Best, EW

Rap Music said...

Very interesting!

Hip hop Honeys said...

Divide and rule