As we are all aware the age of the culture war is upon us. What we must not forget is that a culture war is no new thing. Battles have gone before us and valuable lessons can be learned from them.
Colonialism has destroyed many cultures over the years and we can scarcely measure the extent of the damage caused to African tribes by statements like “You may obtain anything of the Negros by offering them strong drink, and may easily prevail with them to sell, not only their children, but their wives or mistresses for a cask of brandy.” by David Hume or “The Negroes of Africa have by nature no feeling that rises above the trifling” by Immanuel Kant. For African’s of the 18th century to disagree with the above two statements would be to disagree with arguably two of the greatest minds that ever existed. Even now Westerners are more likely to associate Africans with trial by ordeal (a thoroughly European concept brought to Africa by the returned slaves that settled in Liberia) than with Christianity (the Ethiopians were arguably the first Christian nation and responsible for the incredible churches of Lalibela).
When generalisations about an entire continent of people are made without the right of reply from the insulted party, the capacity for people to be proud of their own culture can be denigrated for centuries to come. A renaissance in African countries will require more than just funding from the IMF, it will require national pride and the illumination of hundreds of years of lies perpetrated by those that had an interest in lying.
But on the other hand, two thousand years without a home (and being periodically the victims of pogroms and extreme violence) did not stop the Jews from retaining their strong culture. We see that in all nations that the Jews took refuge in after the razing of Jerusalem, they were confined to ghettos and mistreated rather than infiltrated and exploited. Ironically, this ostracization ensured that although they were without Zion, they where never without a sovereign community. In short, a strong community and a written record of that people’s history saved a culture. In fact, Chinese Jews that immigrated east circa 600AD have survived to this day.
And so we see, culture wars of the past have lessons of both defeat and survival to learn from. It is clear that patriarchal culture will come under heavy attack and so learn we must. I fear that Patriarchal males have neglected to see themselves as a culture in the past and I fear further that when we look back on a lot of what our ancestors did we have started to look with shame and distance ourselves from moral choices that strong men made in the past. We do this because we don’t understand, or are pressured to not understand, the context within which those strong men made their decisions.
I also worry that we have grown gun shy from what the ancient Greeks would have called the agon. Men doing battle has formerly been a matter of honour where the victor was heralded a hero and to vanquished glorified in his (ultimately unsuccessful) stand. The modern man has victory kept from him by the vast and seemingly uncrossable gulf of cultural relativism. Any attempt made by a man to make an objective, cognitive moral claim is negated by a counter claim that either all moral claims are relative and his “white man’s” opinion should be kept to himself, or that there are no moral claims and all such utterances are merely preference dressed up as claim. In such times men must seek guidance from wiser heads. Let us look now to a man of great wisdom.
In his 1982 book After Virtue, Alastair MacIntyre takes the reader through a critique of the whole history of moral thought and theory. Along the way he makes the very astute point that all knowledge is only intelligible and justifiable when it is framed in its historical context. One cannot take E=MC2 back through a time machine into the Ancient Egyptian cultures and expect it to retain it’s relevance. But similarly, Sparta’s odd decision to exist in a military culture is not so strange when one considers that their own slaves (helots) outnumbered the Spartan’s 7 to 1 and the threat of revolt was perpetually immanent. In Thucydides own words “most Spartan institutions have always been designed with a view to security against the Helots”. Moral claims can be right or wrong but all moral claims seem absurd out of their context. No man should venture to consider, or to make, a moral claim without including it’s frame of context.
MacIntyre gives the example of the word “Taboo” within the Polynesian culture of the 18th century. When Captain James Cook and his crew discovered the Tongans, they found an easy going people with liberal sexual attitudes, however it was forbidden for men to eat with women. When asked “why” by Cook’s men, they were told by the Tongans “It is taboo”. Upon further investigation, not one living person could remember why men and women couldn’t eat together, nor could anyone properly define taboo. It was just generally accepted that taboo equaled bad and unisex dining was taboo. In another Polynesian nation, The Hawaiian king Kamehameha II eventually abolished the prohibition against unisex dining in 1819 when no good theory for its continuance could be put forth. Was ‘taboo’ dining absurd? Yes, but only if taken out of context. I’m sure there was a good reason for it in its time. But once that reason became forgotten, the culture appeared foolish and its rules arbitrary and now the word “taboo” is used in English when we want to express that something is “inexplicably forbidden” with the feeling-tone of absurdity.
Patriarchal men have, honorably, made 99% of all moral claims throughout history. But as time and the change of context makes so much of what our brave ancestors have seem absurd, we will come in for fairly harsh punishment from the young feminists who will make no effort to understand why what was done before might have been done in good faith. But, I see a great failing of our opponents in this lack of understanding. I witness that feminists and SJW’s have a great reluctance or inability make moral claims. It is this failing that we must exploit by remaining faithful to our ancestor’s method of making objective moral claims. Its seems an odd angle to take but I think it is one of the patriarchy’s clear advantages. Take the following claim:
Premise 1: Humans grow old and die
p2: Humans need a lot of help and medical attention at the beginning and the end of their natural lives if they are to remain alive and healthy
p3: People at the beginning and end of their natural lives cannot adequately perform all the roles required for a functional society (doctor, garbageman, police etc) due to physical issues of strength and health.
Claim1: There must be at all times many staggered generations of humans within a good culture. (Adults to raise babies and care for the elderly, babies to grow into adults and the elderly which we all must become within the natural process of life itself.)
Claim2: The good society must make babies.
p4: Men can never have babies.
p5: Women can have babies.
Claim3: Women ought to, if possible, have babies within the good society.
p6: Men will live different lives to women due to claim2 and premise4 made above.
p7: Having babies is really hard and requires great training, preparation and conditioning if it is to be done well (maximising baby and mum’s chances of survival and happiness afterwards).
Claim4: Boys and Girls should be given different upbringing to account for different training, preparation and conditioning each sex will require in their adult years to prepare for the different lives they will live.
I cannot imagine the culture that this claim is irrelevant in. Nor can I imagine that many people would find the claims above a mere preference (as opposed to an objective moral claim). But as feminists and SJW’s maintain their position of emotivism and cultural relativism, such important claims remain out of their reach and the power to make the hard choices that will evade them.
The wise patriarchal position is to be loyal to the belief that well made moral claims always serve the culture in whose favour they are made and those that champion the well made moral claim will always be honoured for their service by their culture, even if it is posthumously.