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Sayyid Qutb: Honorary Patriactionary

04 Jun

All the liberal media celebrating the Arab Spring last year because it was bringing democracy to the Arab World  were, as in most things left of, say, Ronald Reagan, utterly wrong. Democracy is NOT going to come to that part of the world, and it should never have come to THIS part of the world. Remember, God ordained the KINGDOM of Heaven, not the Republic. Right is right, and there’s no voting about it. As Gary North writes, stealing is wrong, even when done by majority vote.

But the bigger reason to worry about democracy is what it will bring to power in the region. Iraq was 15% Christian under Saddam Hussein (and significantly higher in the past), but once the controlling government was removed, it was open season on Christians, a community that went back to the time of Christ. The same is likely to happen in Egypt, where the Coptic Christians still speak the ancient Egyptian language, and still made up about 10% of the population. The group taking over is the Muslim Brotherhood; this is the same organization that killed Anwar Sadat, and it has an interesting history.

The chief theologian for the group was a man named Sayyid Qutb. Qutb has a fascinating past for a man who became a founder of a movement that opposes secular governments in every Muslim country, and seeks to impose nothing but Islamic law over the whole world (in other words, he’s our kind of megalomaniac, of a sort.) As recounted in one of the few doctoral theses that have risen to national prominence (I first read about it in the NY Times), Qutb was

born in 1906 in the province of Asyut, which is located in southern Egypt. … From his years as a young child until the age of 27, he experienced a rigorous education. Qutb’s evident desire for knowledge continued throughout his life. He began his elementary education in a religious school located in his hometown village. By the age of 10, he had already committed the entire text of the Qur’an to memory.

In other words, he could quote the Prophet Mohammed as well as our own Will S. can Solomon (except that Muslims revere Solomon and can quote him pretty well, too.). The story continues:

After his graduation from Dar al-Ulum in 1933, Qutb began his teaching career and eventually became involved in Egypt’s Ministry of Education. The Ministry sent him abroad to the United States to research Western methods of teaching. He spent a total of two years in the United States from 1948 to 1950.

In other words, Qutb was in the US right about the time that the Silent Generation was getting sent off to fight (and draw) the Korean War. What did he see, and did it have any effect upon him? Well,

many scholars believe that it was during his trip to the United States that Qutb became convinced of the West’s spiritual and moral bankruptcy. In “The America I Have Seen,” a personal account of his experiences in United States, Qutb expresses his admiration for the great economic and scientific achievements of America, yet he is deeply dismayed that such prosperity could exist in a society that remained “abysmally primitive in the world of the senses, feelings, and behavior.”

.But, really, Sayyid, don’t spare our feelings. Tell us what you mean!

Qutb’s fundamental criticism of all systems of life which he views as non-Islamic is that they are “jahiliyyah.” jahiliyyah is ignorance of divine guidance. jahiliyyah encapsulates Qutb’s entire critique of the West, the Soviet Union, Nasser’s government, and any government which does not follow God’s divine guidance.

Really, is there much in that that a Patriactionary could argue with, if we substitute a more suitable religion for Islam? As Papist Peter Kreeft writes, “Do you know what Muslims call us? They call us ‘The Great Satan.’ And do you know what I call them? I call them right.”

What caused Qutb to flip out, though? What was it that drove him over the edge? Only one thing _I_ know can drive a man to drink, or suicide, or to seek martyrdom for his cause in an Egyptian prison: the American feminist-female. As an extended quote reveals:

Qutb harshly criticizes the Western family. Although the rotting of Western morality did not begin with the family, Qutb believes the family has been infected with the disease of jahiliyyah. Because “the family system and the relationship between the sexes determine the whole character of society,” Qutb views the jahiliyyah of the Western family as indicative of the sickness of the larger society. According to Qutb, the purpose of the family is to raise children in an environment that will pass Islamic moral values to the next generation. However, the West has degraded the role of the family. The root cause of this degradation is in the way that women are treated in the West. Qutb claims that Western relationships revolve around lust, passion, and impulse. Women have disregarded their duty to rear children and have become objects of sexual pleasure. In the essay “The America I Have Seen,” Qutb describes the way women act in the United States:
“The American girl is well acquainted with her body’s seductive capacity. She knows it lies in the face, and in expressive eyes, and thirsty lips. She knows seductiveness lies in the round breasts, the full buttocks, and in the shapely thighs, sleek legs and she knows all this and does not hide it…[EA: Sounds like someone had some unrequited love in Colorado!] Then she adds to all this the fetching laugh, the naked looks, and the bold moves, and she does not ignore this for one moment or forget it!” 48
In this description it is clear that Qutb is disgusted that the female not only leaves her body uncovered, but that she also actively uses it as a weapon. By using their bodies in this manner, women are prone to be treated by men as sexual objects rather than dignified child-bearers. While Qutb has harsh words against the American woman’s seductiveness, he also criticizes the way that American men use their muscular build to woo women. He cites an article in a magazine which surveyed different women, coming to the conclusion that the majority were attracted to men with “ox muscles.” [EA: Interestingly, an Ox is a castrated bull. A prediction of all the infertile sex offered by PUAs to carousel-riders?] Such public discussion of sensuality is an example of what Qutb argues is the “sexual primitiveness” of the West.49

Because both sexes view their relationship in such an overwhelmingly sexual manner, Qutb finds that the Western family is in disarray. The gender roles have become muddled and women no longer fulfill their obligation to be dedicated mothers on both the physical and spiritual levels. Instead, he argues, women have dedicated themselves to work. They view dedicated motherhood as squandering their talents and abilities. Qutb points to this concept as a manifestation of the backward materialist values of Western society, where “material production is regarded as more important, more valuable and more honorable than the development of human character.”50 When all these factors are meshed together, Qutb believes that it is no surprise that the high rates of divorce and illegitimate children are considered mainstream and acceptable in the West. …

Also, when writing Milestones, Qutb identified the gaining acceptance of homosexuality as another example of the animalistic sexual permissiveness that typifies Western society. Due to this permissiveness, Qutb asserts that the Western family has become impotent as a positive moral force. …

In today’s Western world, Qutb would likely point to postmodernism and cultural relativism as signs that Western society will collapse from within. However, Qutb saw signs of such developments in the writings of Westerners during his lifetime. In Islam: The Religion of the Future, he calls them “voices of alarm…warning mankind of its catastrophic end under the white man’s faithless civilization.”

(all bolding by ElectricAngel, to highlight manosphere concepts from a man writing over 40 years ago; he was executed in 1966.)

I would urge anyone with an interest in Christian/Jewish interaction, or Catholic/Protestant discourse, to read this essay and get what this Muslim outsider’s perspective is. I look forward to the day when I can read Qutb directly. For now, for all you who are opposed to Islam, know this: if this man is their guiding theologian, they’re more right than the West, and a LOT bigger challenge than you think. Qutb’s critique is on target with what we believe: either we take back the West in reactionary, monarchical Patriarchalism, or these guys will supply a simulacrum of it.

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45 Comments

Posted by on June 4, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

45 responses to “Sayyid Qutb: Honorary Patriactionary

  1. David Collard

    June 4, 2012 at 1:26 am

    Nothing irritates me more than the idea that we have to stick our noses into the business of these countries to “liberate women”. As if men should die and be mutilated to make the world safe for slutty women and abortion …

    And when some drone attack hits home, half the time they get the wrong man. Maybe the West should mind its own business.

     
  2. Elusive Wapiti

    June 4, 2012 at 7:43 am

    Excellent find. Interesting to consider that Qutb wrote these words over 60 years ago. He’d probably go thermal over the ways things have progressed since then. The “white man’s faithless civilization”? Yikes.

    DA: “As if men should die and be mutilated to make the world safe for slutty women and abortion”. Exactly.

     
  3. Elusive Wapiti

    June 4, 2012 at 7:46 am

    Er, that should be “DC”, not “DA”, sorry Dave.

     
  4. electricangel1978

    June 4, 2012 at 7:56 am

    @EW,
    Er, that should be “DC”, not “DA”, sorry Dave.
    There are LOTS of nice tram lines in Melbourne for DA. It was an easy error, EW, but I do believe DC has actually HAD sex.

    Of course, I’m sure going through the epigrammists from the second century in Rome would reveal a few who also had similar things to say. But Qutb saw where we were headed, and tried to build his own isolated world.

     
  5. David Collard

    June 4, 2012 at 8:40 am

    Yes, I was born in Melbourne, city of trams.

    DA has had sex. Mostly with himself.

     
  6. Will S.

    June 4, 2012 at 8:54 am

    Qutb was obviously a very bright and perceptive man.

    In the West, slightly earlier on, we had people like Chesterton who saw where we were headed, and sounded the warning bells. Too bad the warnings of Chesterton and his kind weren’t more widely heeded, at the time…

     
  7. Will S.

    June 4, 2012 at 9:30 am

    I’ve read some of de Tocqueville’s ‘Democracy in America’, and even that far back, he had noticed how profoundly different the relations were between the sexes, in that women in America were far different from those in Europe – less deferential to men, more inclined to speak their minds, and to therefore wield greater influence.

    The rot runs deep…

     
  8. The Man Who Was . . .

    June 4, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    Well, the regimes like Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Taliban Afghanistan that most closely approximate Qutb’s vision of society seem to me even less attractive than the modern West. He was in his own way a fanatical social engineer, lacking in humility, and thus wisdom.

     
  9. electricangel1978

    June 4, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    @Will,

    Too bad the warnings of Chesterton and his kind weren’t more widely heeded, at the time…

    I think it is the nature of the reactionary to be ignored until things REALLY hit the fan. I mean, looking back, it’s obvious that any Jew who remained in Nazi Germany after 1936 was insane. A lot left, but usually people think: OK, that wasn’t so bad. The ratchet effect holds in so many areas.

     
  10. electricangel1978

    June 4, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    @Thurs

    Well, the regimes like Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Taliban Afghanistan that most closely approximate Qutb’s vision of society seem to me even less attractive than the modern West.

    I’d disagree about Iran, but the other two are a mess, true. But then it’s in the nature of the true believer, like a communist, to claim that “communism never failed; it was never tried.” If Islam is true, a truly Islamic society should be the cat’s meow. It would be interesting to see. Let’s give them Madagascar or some other large Island, and see what happens.

     
  11. Will S.

    June 5, 2012 at 12:12 am

    @ EA: Quite true. A prophet is never loved in his own country, or in his own time…

     
  12. Prinz Eugen

    June 5, 2012 at 2:31 am

    He was an interesting fellow though he still had a throughly modern outlook (as a commentor noted above.) Sometimes I think Western Rights/reactionaries forget that the coming of the Enlightenment to Islam was not 1918 or 1948 but really 1799 when Bonaparte landed in Egypt. Egypt has always been the most “progressive” of Muslim nations, in the sense of adopting Western ideology, so it is interesting that the Muslim Brotherhood arose there.

    Slightly off topic have you guys been following the Auster/Spencer dust up? It seems what we always known to be true was openly declared by Spencer namely that the “anti-Jihad” movement is really just Jacobinism. I encorage everyone to have a look http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/022540.html

     
  13. Will S.

    June 5, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Spencer may be a progressive, but that doesn’t mean that the anti-dhimmitude folks all are; frankly, I think it’s good if progressives like him can find common cause with more conservative folks on the matter. Just like the VDARE folks on immigration…

     
  14. The Man Who Was . . .

    June 5, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    PE:

    Most reactionaries are more more modernist than they care to realize.

    For example, the idea that we can just reestablish monarchy in a modern context without the whole cultural context that used to surround it seems pretty ludicrous to me. Most reaction is modernist technocracy by another name. Qutb is the Muslim equivalent.

    Which is why my own political program is much more modest. Restrictions on the franchise. Legal sanctions against adultery. Making divorce significantly more difficult to acquire. Tighter restrictions on immigration. Making the state officially pro-traditionalist Christian (though pragmatically I wouldn’t advocate the state actually doing a whole lot in this area). An end to anti-discrimination law in private business. Censorship of sexually explicit material. An end to all welfare programs. By current mainstream standards this is impossibly “radical,” but it wouldn’t upend all of society in some grand experiment. Mostly we’re just going to have to let things develop on their own and see what happens.

     
  15. electricangel1978

    June 5, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    @Thurs,

    Which is why my own political program is much more modest. Restrictions on the franchise. Legal sanctions against adultery. Making divorce significantly more difficult to acquire. Tighter restrictions on immigration. Making the state officially pro-traditionalist Christian (though pragmatically I wouldn’t advocate the state actually doing a whole lot in this area). An end to anti-discrimination law in private business. Censorship of sexually explicit material. An end to all welfare programs. By current mainstream standards this is impossibly “radical,” but it wouldn’t upend all of society in some grand experiment. Mostly we’re just going to have to let things develop on their own and see what happens.

    I tend to take the view that evil requires effort and subsidy, and is not fruitful. Sodomy and divorce will not propagate long: cut out the subsidies to them, and you don’t NEED to worry about the State. I’ve written before about my favoring the Amish and other communities that withdraw from the state. Do away with Social Security and socialized medicine (sorry, Will), and you’ll see a LOT of support for the ills that plague our society undercut. Let good men protect their own without interference, and we’ll be OK.

     
  16. Columnist

    June 6, 2012 at 9:34 am

    In order to take the oil from the Muslim, and the usury from the Jew, you need strong religion.

     
  17. Sunshine

    June 6, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    “Restrictions on the franchise.”

    Yes! A thousand times yes, and we should start with repealing the 19th Amendment…I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record on this issue, but I think it is absolutely foundational. To illustrate, allow me to quote from a post at University of Man (as a married Christian woman, I tend to avoid this site unless a specific post is linked through one of the Christian men’s blogs, but read this whole post, it’s brilliant.
    http://universityofman.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/single-moms-are-like-motorcycles/ )

    “As even the most expensive Harley-Davidson needs a rider or a kickstand to remain upright, so does the single mom need either a rider or a dickstand to keep her from falling over. Without a rider, she may be using your dick, baby daddy’s dick, Uncle Sam’s dick, or a combination of the three – but rest assured she’s not standing on her own. There’s a dickstand somewhere.”

    Correct. You, gentleman, are those d*ck stands because you are the tax payers who support any gratuitous governmental program that women dream up. Because women make up slightly more than half the population, anything “we” want generally comes to pass, sadly enough. Women are as dependent on men as they ever were, but now it’s just nameless, faceless men instead of her own husband supporting her. It drives me nuts that not only is my husband supporting me and a houseful of daughters, but also some indeterminate number of sluts, and it will never stop so long as women can vote for visits from the Entitlement Fairy. But I suppose I am getting myself in a bother for no reason, since before women will ever lose the right to vote, Jesus will probably have returned and the desired Monarchy will be established.

     
  18. The Man Who Was . . .

    June 6, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    Eliminating government pensions and universal medical care wouldn’t have much effect on morals. They’re basically programs for old people and as we all know it’s 70 year olds that are having all those kids out of wedlock. Welfare and welfare-like programs are the real problem.

    Eliminating female suffrage would have some effect but not much. The biggest problem is stupid, short term thinking and non-family oriented people being allowed to vote. Married women vote exactly the same as men. I’d restrict the vote to married people over 30 with children, who score in the top 1/2 of the population in intelligence.

     
  19. David Collard

    June 6, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    Sunshine, it is a “moral hazard” problem. Nobody wants to see single mothers and their children suffer, but as soon as one subsidises them, you get more of them, and the entitlement mentality. I don’t see a solution. As for women and the vote, I can’t imagine women losing their right to vote. To use another bit of jargon from economics, you have an endowment problem with women voting. It is never easy to take away a gift, once given.

    I understand that Australian figures also indicate that 1) the number of women who are financially independent of men or taxpaying men has not changed since the 1960s and 2) the number of married women in full time work has not increased either, although such women are now more likely to work part time. Not absolutely sure about the second point, but the first point is definitely correct.

     
  20. Columnist

    June 7, 2012 at 3:15 am

    Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

     
  21. Will S.

    June 7, 2012 at 3:29 am

    Columnist, what did we say to you about not telling us Christians what we ought to do as Christians, and not proffering completely novel interpretations of Scripture here? Right. We don’t need followers of the Islamic devil ʾIblīs telling us what we ought to do; we can interpret the Ten Commandments for ourselves quite well, thank you very much. And we don’t care for weirdo, illogical, immoral Aspie perspectives, frankly. This is a blog for reasonably sane people; try to act normal, at least, if you want to play. Otherwise, there are many other blogs elsewhere you might visit and offer your wisdom to, or even just staying on your own and like teaching Arabic and Turkish to your WN friends at your own site, for example.

    You’ve been Baahammered.

    See the About page, for info. about it.

     
  22. electricangel1978

    June 7, 2012 at 8:44 am

    @Thurs

    Eliminating government pensions and universal medical care wouldn’t have much effect on morals. They’re basically programs for old people and as we all know it’s 70 year olds that are having all those kids out of wedlock. Welfare and welfare-like programs are the real problem.

    Ludwig von Mises, call your office! First, know that Social Security IS welfare: it channels more money to the poor elderly than those who have paid in more. Also, for the generation born from 1926 to 1942, they will, as a generation, pay no net taxes to the Federal Government (ignoring inflation). That sounds like welfare to me. There will soon be generations receiving SS who will need to live past 100 to collect back every dollar paid in; someone retiring in 1980 would get back everything within a couple of years, and the rest was socialized gravy.

    But the biggest problem is your ignoring the effect on younger people of a promise to fund someone’s old age from someone else’s children’s wealth. It drives down fertility. See: http://www.mises.org/daily/2451

    Of course, eliminating the franchise for those without a stake in things makes a LOT of sense. Turn society into a shareholder society. If you don’t own shares in a company, you get no vote on directors. If you have no children to burden with paying off debt, you do not get a vote to add debt. That sort of thing.

     
  23. The Man Who Was . . .

    June 7, 2012 at 9:20 am

     
  24. The Man Who Was . . .

    June 7, 2012 at 9:54 am

     
  25. Columnist

    June 7, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    I apologize.

     
  26. Will S.

    June 7, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    As you did once before.

    Third strike, you’re out.

     
  27. Reggie Perrin

    June 7, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Thanks for the link to my blog, The Man Who Was….

    I can understand why a patriarchal conservative might admire aspects of Qutb’s ideology, but really, he was no conservative (at least, not in any sense that would have been understood by the likes of Burke, Newman, Chesterton or Kirk). He was a radical and a revolutionary who wanted to tear down entire societies and build a new utopia built on an idealised blueprint. This is not what might be regarded as a typical conservative, let alone reactionary, agenda. Incidentally, it is widely believed that his idea of forming an élite faction to spearhead the new society was taken directly from Lenin’s ideas about the “vanguard party”.

    Not that I agree with any of this stuff, but if you want to access some traditional conservative Islamic scholarship, try searching the classical Qur’an commentaries, which are available in English at http://www.altafsir.com/. Sura 4 would be one place to start if patriarchy floats your boat.

     
  28. electricangel1978

    June 7, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    @Thurs,

    That second link on having kids is interesting. I have added it to my Evernote file for some upcoming Patri articles; thanks for that. I do think that the economist is ignoring one of the chief values of children: they’re robust enough to fight as warriors to defend enfeebled old-age people.

    The first link has this objectionable statement: “The broad patterns also do not make it likely that social insurance alone is central to the story.” I might argue for central, I might not. But I do argue for significant. Consider the prisoner’s dilemma with respect to social security: If I have kids and invest in them, then they will be productive. With social insurance rates in the USA at 15.3% of “income,” that means that a large amount of my effort will go to support other people who will get tax dollars from my children (expectations are that rates will rise to pay off all the consuming mouths over 65.) If, OTOH, I do NOt invest money or time in them, I can keep my money, and society will incur costs for the prisons and schooling that they will need. I will NOT suffer a loss economically for my counterproductive behavior, and will in financial terms have a gain (what God say is another matter.) So, AT THE MARGIN, Social Insurance schemes encourage the underfunding of younger generations. I will at some point write my post on making kids pay, but the fact remains, reinforced by the articles you linked: kids are an economic losing proposition, and social insurance worsens the deal for conscientious parents.

    Thanks for the link on Qutb. I find him interesting as an outsider to Christianity commenting on it and Judaism. He’s also a first-class mind, if a little nuts.

     
  29. electricangel1978

    June 7, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    @Reggie,

    Nice write-up on Qutb. I did go to start Sura #4. Would have finished it if a woman hadn’t interrupted my reading on the train ride home tonight. Wait until she finds out that Allah has granted me three other wives besides her!

     
  30. electricangel1978

    June 7, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    @Reggie,

    I guess I understand Qutb the same way that Chesterbelloc were attracted to the Catholic European society of the High Middle Ages. I understand WHY that world was attractive to them: it built modernity. What modernity seems to be leading to is grass huts, with sheep penned under the failing vaults of our great cathedrals in a few years.

     
  31. Reggie Perrin

    June 8, 2012 at 3:18 am

    As someone once said, the penalty for polygamy is four mothers-in-law…..

    The Catholic comparison is an interesting one (not least because that’s the tradition that I’m coming from myself). I’d tend to see Qutb as being akin to the likes of Bishop Williamson of the SSPX – someone who is in love with a past society and ostensibly seeks to restore it but doesn’t realise that his agenda is itself profoundly shaped and influenced by modernity.

     
  32. Reggie Perrin

    June 8, 2012 at 3:21 am

    Btw, the Qur’an commentaries (tafsir) that I recommended are roughly the equivalent of Catholic scholastic theology. As you probably know, Qutb wrote a tafsir too (called “In the Shade of the Qur’an”), but that site only has the more orthodox traditional ones.

     
  33. The Man Who Was . . .

    June 9, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    If I have kids and invest in them, then they will be productive. With social insurance rates in the USA at 15.3% of “income,” that means that a large amount of my effort will go to support other people who will get tax dollars from my children (expectations are that rates will rise to pay off all the consuming mouths over 65.)

    It’s interesting that your original argument was that government pensions and universal medical care provide an incentive to immoral behaviour, like single motherhood. Since that clearly isn’t the case, you then switched to saying that the taxes from these programs provided a disincentive to have children. But fertility rates were falling well before these programs were taking up anything like the percentages you cite. Furthermore, even though the government took more as a percentage in the twentieth century, after tax levels of wealth continued to rise making people much, much wealthier than they were before, even with the heavier tax loads. People were actually more able to afford larger families during this period. Yet they didn’t have them.

    Take a look at that graph from my first link. There is no correlation between any of these programs and any drop in fertility, which is why most people who have looked into these things don’t think they had much of an effect. This is in massive contrast to students of welfare like Charles Murray, who do think those programs had a big effect on culture and morals.

     
  34. electricangel1978

    June 9, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    @Thurs,

    It’s interesting that your original argument was that government pensions and universal medical care provide an incentive to immoral behaviour, like single motherhood.

    I originally wrote: Do away with Social Security and socialized medicine (sorry, Will), and you’ll see a LOT of support for the ills that plague our society undercut.

    I may have been less direct. I have previously written, linked in the OP, about my disdain for the “Silent Generation” and how they have used Social Security and Medicare to skate through life on the Baby Boomers’ and Xers’ push. I consider this immoral; I consider it immoral to take so many resources away from the young that thy cannot have children, cannot care for the children that they DO have properly (working mothers are partially caused by economic conditions), leading to the ultimate in ghoulish exploitation: older women using face cream derived from the torture of infant boys, and the push for the use of embryonic stem cells to extend life.

    I do believe welfare in particular is supportive of poor life choices, like single motherhood, but many men have barked up that particular tree. No, my gripe is the enormous resources poured into the elderly at the point of a gun, at damage to them, their grandchildren, and the fabric of society at large.

    But fertility rates were falling well before these programs were taking up anything like the percentages you cite.
    True. I find the cases of the exceptions revealing: Orthodox Jews, Amish, Mormons (dropping in the latter case.) Any idea what social insurance scheme the Amish are NOT a part of?

    Furthermore, even though the government took more as a percentage in the twentieth century, after tax levels of wealth continued to rise making people much, much wealthier than they were before
    How about a graph of age-distributed wealth? Which population segment is wealthiest? I will quote from memory a line from The Fourth Turning, which was roughly this: As the X generation was being born, the “Lost” generation that was dying off was the previous “Nomad” generation. The torch of “poorest” generation was passed from the Lost directly to the Xers, as society turned away from channeling resources to youth.

    There is no correlation between any of these programs and any drop in fertility
    At the margin, does SS remove a significant amount of resources from the young, who could have children, and give it to the old, who cannot? Do responsible young people try to only have children they can afford? If the answer to these two questions is yes, then we know that some couple has put off having children because of social insurance in the USA. I can refer you to this article that mentions an absurdity of US tax law: parents speed up births in December so as to collect an extra tax benefit.

    Next question: in a society without SS, where a parent relies on the productivity of children (usually sons) to support him in old age, is there more incentive to invest resources into the young? Do the people who do NOT do so die early, with children at a disadvantage and so less able to breed, themselves? All change happens at the margin, and social insurance schemes contribute to the moral delinquency of a country.

     
  35. The Man Who Was . . .

    June 10, 2012 at 2:35 am

    at the margin

    Uh, sometimes the margin is socially significant and sometimes it isn’t. Ever hear of elasticity, for one thing. And sometimes marginal effects for one factor are just small, because other things are much more important.

    Anyway, with our society’s vast increases in wealth, at best you would be able to say is that with these extra taxes there are less children than there might otherwise be, but there still should be an increase. You shouldn’t see an actual drop. Clearly something else is going on.

    How about a graph of age-distributed wealth?

    How about answering the question of whether young people have more wealth today or in 1830? Really, this is too easy.

    a parent relies on the productivity of children

    This has already been refuted. Children were always a bad investment. As in creating negative returns. People basically had to work until they died. Repeating falsities won’t make them true.

    In any event, there is zero evidence that, all things considered, the economic incentives or disincentives to have kids today are any worse than in 1830.

    ————————————————————–

    I have basically come to the conclusion that you are a complete idiot, and either aren’t really interested in thinking through what is going wrong in our society, or are totally incapable of doing so, so this will be my last post. I don’t know if this violates some policy here, but someone has to state the obvious.

     
  36. electricangel1978

    June 10, 2012 at 11:42 am

    @Thurs,

    Well, now I gotta do a post. Let me know if you want to co-write. I’ll be using your words and articles, seeing where we agree (at base: Today, children do not pay, and they have not had a positive economic return for most groups for a long time), and where there is open disagreement.

    This is a part of a future article titled “Making Children Pay”, so I thank you for stimulating thought with some good links and logical argument.

    As a Catholic who hopes to be perfected enough to be in God’s presence some day, the news that you have basically come to the conclusion that I am a complete idiot leaves me hope that I can be complete in all things!

     
  37. electricangel1978

    June 10, 2012 at 11:53 am

    @Reggie,

    I’d tend to see Qutb as being akin to the likes of Bishop Williamson of the SSPX – someone who is in love with a past society and ostensibly seeks to restore it but doesn’t realise that his agenda is itself profoundly shaped and influenced by modernity.

    Yes, you have helped me see this. I think his diagnostic skills are quite good, but the prescription will not be something that can cure the disease. As Thursday points out, hierarchical, monarchical societies cannot be imposed top-down (at least not easily; it took the Normans quite a while to suppress the Anglo-Saxon more subsidiarist culture, and I do not think it ever died; viz. Runnymede in 1215); monarchy is a fundamental expression of the internal logic of that society. Since 1776, we have been headed the other direction.

     

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