Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Liberalism: The Key to Failure and Secret of Unhappiness

Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy. --Churchill

I just wanted to say a few more things about Murray's Coming Apart, mostly for my own benefit. It's a very important book, not one to race through and toss aside.

One of Murray's most important takeaways is that for some fifty years our elites have been preaching a doctrine which legitimizes dysfunctional values and behavior, but which they themselves would never practice, except perhaps at the margins. In other words, they toy with certain degenerate behaviors and attitudes as a means of gaining "authenticity," but you generally don't see liberal politicians, CEOs, lawyers, and educators with barbed wire tattoos around their necks and six baby mamas.

Insofar as culture is concerned, when the elites sneeze, the lower classes catch pneumonia, the reason being that the poorer one is, the less margin for error there is in one's behavior; or, to put it the other way around, the more likely it is that one will receive negative feedback, i.e., punishment. The wealthy and powerful such as Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, or ___ Kennedy, can get away with years of dysfunctional behavior, where you or I would have long ago hit the wall financially, vocationally, legally, or medically.

Murray makes it clear with abundant statistical evidence that successful elites, to the extent that they are successful, do not practice what they preach or preach what they practice. If anything, they are more narrowly bourgeois and predictable than the conservatives of my acquaintance, but for some reason like to pretend that they are "liberated," or "free-thinkers," or "avant-garde."

Apparently there is some sort of guilt over being a successful conformist, so they must rebel in symbolic ways -- a discrete tattoo here, the trace of a pierced ear there, the proudly ignorant contempt for traditional religion, which is to say, religion. These are all status markers of the new elite, like an invisible code they all share.

Murray reminds us that another important part of the liberal elite code is nonjudgmentalism. We all know this is an empty pose, since they just shift their harsh judgmentalism to agreed upon targets:

"Nonjudgmentalism is one of the more baffling features of the new-upper-class culture. The members of the new upper class are industrious to the point of obsession, but there are no derogatory labels for adults who are not industrious. The young women of the new upper class hardly ever have babies out of wedlock, but it is impermissible to use a derogatory label for nonmarital births....

"When you get right down to it, it is not acceptable in the new upper class to use derogatory labels for anyone, with three exceptions: people with differing political views, fundamentalist Christians, and rural working-class whites."

A prerequisite of any successful culture -- in fact, culture, period -- is recognition of the morality that attaches to human sexuality. I have discussed this at length in previous posts, but it is clear that sexuality is a force that must be bound and channeled in order for culture to develop.

And to the extent that this obvious truth is denied, a culture or subculture will degenerate, as we have witnessed over the past half century. For example, for blacks, the problem of fatherless children absolutely dwarfs the problem of racism to the point of insignificance. We have identified the behaviors that almost guarantee poverty -- and intergenerational poverty -- but the left doesn't care.

It isn't just success that these behaviors bring about, but happiness. Naturally, studies show that conservatives are happier than liberals. A big reason is that liberals externalize agency and thereby internalize an attitude of passivity, helplessness, and dependence.

But Murray brings out other reasons, backed by statistical analysis. After sorting through all the variables, he identifies the four that are most likely to result in a self-report of being "very happy"; these are family, vocation, community, and faith (for the record, Murray is an irreligious libertarian). For example, he writes that "The relationship of marriage to happiness is as simple as can be. There's hardly anything better than a good marriage for promoting happiness and nothing worse than a bad one."

Now, note how the left has spent the past fifty years devaluing marriage as the telos of human sexuality and ideal for men and women. The result? Among the lower classes, marriage has indeed become the exception and not the rule, which brings with it the likelihood of unhappiness. Thus, it is no surprise that the Democratic party reaches out to these unhappy people, promising more of the very drug responsible for their unhappiness.

Yesterday I heard a statistic that 85% of single mothers vote Democrat, which makes perfect sense. Although "liberated" from men, these helpless women have simply married the state instead (which is a kind of perverse inversion of nuns who are "married" to Jesus). And this is progress?

The same applies to religiosity, to such an extent that it is almost as if God exists. In describing the statistical correlation between religiosity and happiness, Murray says that "Social scientists rarely find such an orderly relationship.... At the bottom, only 23 percent of the white adults who never attend worship services report they are very happy."

Putting the statistics together, Murray finds that if one is unmarried, dissatisfied with one's work, professing no religion, and harboring a low level of social trust, the probability of being "very happy" falls to just 10 percent.

Conversely "Having either a very satisfying job or a very happy marriage raised that percentage by almost equal amounts, to about 19 percent.... Then came the big interaction effect: having a very satisfying job and a very happy marriage jumped the probability to 55 percent." Toss in social trust and the figure rises to 69 percent. Top it off with religiosity, and we reach 76 percent.

Think of what liberals preach and the unhappiness it engenders, say, for blacks: a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle. Religion is nonsense. Our culture is fundamentally racist. White people hate you. Don't bother trying, because the cards are stacked against you. Wait for the white liberal massa' to bail you out.

Liberalism is indeed the key to unhappiness in general and black discontent in particular.

21 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

Yesterday I heard a statistic that 85% of single mothers vote Democrat, which makes perfect sense. Although "liberated" from men, these helpless women have simply married the state instead. And this is progress?

This goes along with something I was thinking this morning irt the Catholic insurance controversy. At least partially, the truth is that the state doesn't really want competition from charitable organizations. Especially not organizations who have an interest in genuinely helping people to improve their lot. If the Church really decides to shut down hospitals and other charities, it's just another opportunity for government to expand.

Furthermore, happy people don't need state handouts, and happy people are far less likely to be easily bought. People who benefit from private charities and actually improve their lives may be much less likely to vote Democrat.

2/14/2012 08:57:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

And speaking of unbound human sexuality, untreatable gonorrhea on the way. Of course, people in a happy marriage very likely have no cause for concern...

2/14/2012 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger Verdiales said...

Playing at and pretending

When you're elite, you don't have to struggle. So to feel authentic, you have to borrow trouble, fetishize struggle, make heroes out of troublemakers, and in general run after trouble, so that you don't feel so trapped and guilty in your velvet cocoon, and so that you can "experience" or "valorize" those things you wouldn't dream of doing yourself as a way of engaging with them safely, vicariously.

Elites have been doing this from their reclining couches for millenia.

Cavafy: "And now, what's going to happen to us without barbarians? They were, those people, a kind of solution."

2/14/2012 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"One of Murray's most important takeaways is that for some fifty years our elites have been preaching a doctrine which legitimizes dysfunctional values and behavior, but which they themselves would never practice, except perhaps at the margins."

I'd quibble about the fifty years being at least fifty years to short, but yeah, that'd be quibbling.

2/14/2012 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Heh - just this morning, William, my husband was slightly agreeing with you, though for vastly different reasons. To paraphrase,

"This pisses me off. Why should the Catholics, who overwhelmingly voted for this, get a pass for their consciences? I have the same objections, but I don't get to demand 'conscientious objector' status. This is what they asked for, they should have to suffer the full effects just like everyone else."

I had to admit he has a point. There is a part of me that feels that everyone who wanted this should get it, good and hard. Leftists are incapable of learning from the example of failure after failure, particularly when they don't personally suffer from those failures. Maybe the reality will waken up enough of them to change things.

Somehow, though, I very much doubt it...

2/14/2012 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, Obama is only president because of crazy Catholics, crazy Jews, crazy blacks, and other crazies -- crazy because they voted for a man whose values are antithetical to theirs and whose interests do not comport with their own.

2/14/2012 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Julie, your hubby has it right! If I ever get this cold medicine outta my head I'll get my post out on it. And the contraception is a complete distraction, it's like chasing down a bank robber to give him a speeding ticket... the administration just did away with property rights (as obamacare enabled) and freedom of speech and freedom of religion, as must happen when property rights are discarded.

Here I am with my surprised face again.

2/14/2012 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I heard on Hugh Hewitt yesterday that the Catholic church is slowly going about the business of purging itself of internal enemies of the faith via attrition and the appointment of traditionalists as cardinals and bishops, but it's going to take a generation to solve the problem....

2/14/2012 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger Verdiales said...

It never fails to amuse me that those who call for ever-widening access to the means of limiting human births call themselves "progressive."

Er, the future belongs to those who show up.

It's the pro-contraception and okies-with-abortion crowd who regress, contract in number, and die off.

The only way they propagate across generations is by indoctrination, but that's a losing battle, too.

But if that kind of regression is what you want, by all means, turn your phallus or vagina into idols and wank away, alone or together. We won't miss you a bit.

We just think it's rather sad. You reap what you sow.

By the way, I wish more of them would consider adoption. There are millions of kids who need it. But nah, they're too complicated. Best for the bachelor or bachelorette high life to get a dog. Or a cat.

2/14/2012 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Conversely "Having either a very satisfying job or a very happy marriage raised that percentage by almost equal amounts, to about 19 percent.... Then came the big interaction effect: having a very satisfying job and a very happy marriage jumped the probability to 55 percent." Toss in social trust and the figure rises to 69 percent. Top it off with religiosity, and we reach 76 percent."

Wow. You'd think that with results like that, someone would maybe want to somehow... oh, I dunno, codify the steps to make it simple to apply to your own life.

If you want to command happiness in your life, here are the comandments you need to perform... say, wouldn't it be nifty if you could boil them down to nice round number... like Ten maybe?

Gee, you'd think someone would have thought of that by now.

2/14/2012 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Seems to me that a rewarding job and a happy home add up to 2/3. Throw in a comfy mattress, and that takes care of the other 1/3.

2/14/2012 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

willian said "...Catholics are actually more likely than non-Catholics to support including contraception in health plans..."

I'm betting he gets feelings of anxiety, a fear of heights, whenever approaching any Vertical concepts; quick, grab ahold of the flat quantities!

'Egads! A Principle! Hit the dirt!'

2/14/2012 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger katzxy said...

Evan Sayet http://www.evansayet.com/
has an interesting take on nonjudgmentalism. This is in the videos at the bottom.

They're long, about an hour each.

2/14/2012 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Apropos the Church issues, the hub sends along this link: American Catholicim's Pact with the Devil

2/14/2012 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Rural working-class whites, aka rednecks -- my people. They'd better mock us while they can. The elites need us. We don't need them.

2/14/2012 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Voting is like driving. D to go forward. R to go backward.

Whoa, that is so insightful, man. Of course, that's true only if you can't drive a stick.

2/14/2012 12:51:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Julie, excellent article, thanks.

2/14/2012 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Gagdad Bob said...
Seems to me that a rewarding job and a happy home add up to 2/3. Throw in a comfy mattress, and that takes care of the other 1/3.

Beer n' Grog is the other half of happiness.

Skully, still creating gobsmackin' ideas I can't remember.

2/14/2012 01:50:00 PM  
Blogger Mizz E said...

Thanks Julie for the link to Rahe's article. Superb.
_________
“The Church disowned, the tower overthrown, the bells upturned,
what have we to do
But stand with empty hands and palms turned upwards
In an age which advances progressively backwards?”

T. S. Eliot, from “Choruses from the Rock”

2/15/2012 06:17:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

You know what they say: sleep with Dems, wake up fleeced.

2/15/2012 06:36:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Ooo, new word veri. Now with twice the fun! I really don't think I'm "the devigal", though...

2/15/2012 07:31:00 AM  

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