I think the first time I came across a sign that said “you break it, you bought it” was when I went with grandma to the potters. She used to buy me little miniature jars and pots and pans, which had been made for so long in the region that an amphora was still part of the set. This was my normal reward for behaving, but it wasn’t enough incentive. I liked walking around looking at everything and I was maybe five, and things would get swept from shelves by arms that weren’t entirely under my control. But that sign “You break it, you bought it” stopped me cold, with hand holding on to grandma’s skirt while she transacted her business. Because I knew how tight things were — we had broken plates riveted together, that’s how tight — I knew how much money I didn’t have in my piggy bank and I didn’t want to spend the rest of eternity paying for dishware I hadn’t even got to use once.
We talk here from time to time — grin — about the fact that there is a faction of the Western world determined to break Western civilization. They are malicious, determined, and will use anything they can to chip away at the laws and accords that make civilization work.
I contend here they don’t understand what they’re doing anymore than my 5 year old self understood that interest in a beautiful red glaze could lead to a huge bill.
They think they do, I give you that. And they’ve been exquisitely and expensively educated so they should know what they’re doing. But they don’t.
The problem is that the Marxists fed off a strain of the old romantics about how life was much better before civilization. Oh, not at first. Marx was an unabashed industrial-revolution booster, and agricultural labor needed to be run on industrial framework. (It was, in places like the Soviet Union. Turns out as with all the rest of Marx’s tripe, it worked very well… inside his head.)
But as industrial laborers failed to effect the revolution, the hope of the communists turned to the “natural man” — those from societies where the industrial revolution had never happened — because being poorer and in general living in more stratified societies they were more susceptible to the lies of socialism.
At that point Marxism melded with the old romantics. I know the old romantics well, because my dad has a non-malicious strain of this. He’s given to romanticizing the old days, to talking about how beautiful things were, and the stuff they did that is no longer done. I too have a strain of this, I realized when I went back to find the village built over with skyscrapers and filled with strange people. The little swampy lake where dad used to make me flutes from the reeds, and we used to sit and watch the fireflies in summer is completely paved over and has a subdivision in it. I find myself telling the boys in dreamy tones of my childhood.
But hey, I keep in mind that in my day the day they emptied the septic tank and let the liquid flow down the irrigation channels to the fields was a great day for the village kids to sail boats on the effluvia. And I remember too that this method of fertilization gave us chronic issues like intestinal parasites. So there are trade offs, in that even the poor people in the village have sanitation, and even the poor kids have toys and don’t have to rely on smelly trickles of … well, some water for amusement. That swampy lake with its quiet and its fireflies was paid for with a lot of early deaths and a lot of poverty. Or conversely losing that gave most people a better life. And I’ve seen pictures of my dad growing up, and he was poorer than we were as kids. So nostalgia is qualified.
The thing is, very rich people don’t qualify it. The noblemen who became the first romantics, and built (!) ruins on their estates didn’t need to qualify it, because they had no memories of real privation in the bad old days. They just thought of the good things lost to give other people a better life, and they pined for the lost.
Our own Marxist romantics are by and large like that. They come from a background where they never experienced even struggle. And as such they keep thinking that life must be better in those societies where– Take your pick. What follows is a grab bag of their beliefs, not very well integrated and not all of them held by the same individual — people were more natural, work wasn’t so onerous, capitalism didn’t give one false needs, there were fewer machines, people were more egalitarian, villages raised babies, women had more power, people weren’t as aggressive…
There are more to that list, and most of them border on delusional. I challenge anyone to find a more primitive society that was more tolerant of the different, or where women have more power (I don’t mean power over this or that, I mean, more power as a whole) or where people don’t hanker for things they don’t have, or where people are not as aggressive.
If you cherry pick, are very careful and don’t look into the matter with any depth, but accept Mead-ed versions of those societies you might find a couple for each characteristic. Only when you look closer, you find they’re not really more tolerant of gays, and that idyllic life where you CAN assume life as the other sex is actually rigidly determined and you MUST be the other sex. And where women who take itinerant husbands actually end up NEEDING to take itinerant husbands to survive. And… And the Amerind tribes, the original noble savages, had to take the European horse because those who supposedly lived in harmony with nature had in fact eaten any animal of large size in the continent into extinction. Which makes perfect sense for civilizations that never progressed to agriculture. (Some of them. The other thing you find is that it varied by tribe.) Which is what rendered them so ridiculously vulnerable to European diseases which were the real conquerors of the Americas. (In this, it would probably have helped if the Aztecs hadn’t been so anxious to practice ritual cannibalism on the Spaniards. As we’re now finding out the Aztecs were plugged into trade networks extending through South America. The contagion spread ahead of the invasion.)
But in college they learn that before agriculture, and before organized society everyone was free and egalitarian, and everything was common and sex was free love. This is possible — barely — as a belief based on the graves we’ve found, because we found so few. Frankly the indications are more of family-groups rather like primate bands, which by definition have one leader, that usually being the oldest/strongest male. It is part of our genetics, after all, and part of why we long for the “man on the white horse” to come and free us. And anyone who thinks family groups are more free than a city state was very fortunate in his choice of extended family, or never experienced an isolated extended family or what a family tyrant can do. And in most traditional families you have a tyrant leader, because humans aren’t that supremely gifted at leadership. Oh, you get a good one once in a while, but they’re not the normal ones. This is why the legends of “good kings” are so powerful.
So these children, (even those in their seventies) trying to tear down the norms of western civilization aren’t even aware that there is nothing to default to except painful barbarism.
Sure, yes, the norms that existed even when I was a kid were often iron bands that left people scarred. I can make the case as well as anyone else for no-fault divorce. I’ve seen my share of miserable marriages. I can make the case for relaxing rules about children born out of wedlock, because the city slicker and the farmer’s daughter are a stock in jokes for a reason, and if you watched it unroll you know that the farmer’s daughter is the only one who pays the price, forever. In the old days she was damaged goods and would never be married, ever, and be she ever so pious or well behaved the rest of her life, she’d always be talked about as “That woman” and her kid treated as somehow inferior. I can argue for the injustice of those who are born to money and never have to struggle being considered somehow superior to those who do struggle.
I’m not sure the changes we made are worth the fall out though. No one warned us of the nature of marriages where you can never trust your partner not to fleece you, ever; of casual sex where women are by nature exploited, because they have no compensation and no societal enforcement should they be left holding the bag (the point being that traveling salesmen got away with it, but village boys had to marry the girl, or all their friends would ostracize them) and their sole value becomes play thing for male sexual appetites (This is called empowerment, I believe.) As for money — you will never get rid of money differences or status, so long as humans are humans. If we enforced a rigid distribution of money, people would find other things to serve as real money. Meanwhile, the redistribution we do practice maim our economy and turn half of our people into helpless pensioners.
In just about everything we look at, we find this. Take education: sure the blackboard jungles were awful. I learned at the threat of ruler (never actually got it except when memorizing the multiplication tables. Do you know how difficult that is to someone who switches digits randomly? I ended up getting really good at fast sums, to verify my memory.) and sure my friend who was dyslexic often got hit for things that were NOT her fault. But now no one has to memorize anything and learning is supposed to be “fun.”
As much as I’ve supplemented my kids’ schooling, sometimes I find appalling holes they’re not even aware of, in their education. And I was the first in my family not to learn Latin — presumably since the Romans invaded the peninsula — because it was horrible to make children memorize all that stuff, when the language was dead.
Except Latin not only unlocks other languages, it gives you insight into how the people at the root of Western civilization thought. It allows you to see them with clear eyes, both the good and the bad (come on, people who invented a word for killing one in ten are not … good people. In fact they’re almost amazingly bad. There is also a word, though it now escapes me for killing everyone in the city after you conquer it: man, woman and suckling babe.) So as an adult of middle years, I’m trying to remedy the deficiency.
But some deficiencies might not be so easy to remedy. Our kids are not taught to memorize much of anything. They are instead taught to “discover it” or “intuit it.”
Leave aside the fact we’re demanding these kids recap the geniuses who built civilization. This is crazy enough. We’re also not training them to memorize.
My education consisted of a lot of memorizing, some of it for joy de vivre. For instance, before various school things, we memorized endless poems and speeches. We’d never use them again, but we had to memorize them.
As a result (though yes, genetics play a part) I had reasonably good memory (maybe it will come back, who knows) which made a lot of things in life easier.
My husband, educated by more enlightened means has memory of ten seconds. If he can’t reason his way to it, he sure as heck can’t memorize it. Our kids are worse and had to learn memorization in college.
Because it turns out, and studies show, memorization is a skill like any other. It has to be learned. Those horrible blackboard jungles with their endless memorization were therefore preparing kids to acquire skills better than the school where learning is “on demand” does.
And so it goes. The problem with the insatiable workers laboring to tear down western civilization, is that they in fact had no idea what’s at the bottom, or what humans default to without that civilization. They have, in fact, been kept exquisitely ignorant of the truth of human nature and the natural man.
We’re seeing some of this as the women freed to go and earn income so they can pay ever higher taxes for the enlightened to redistribute and spend on “social good” give their children to strangers to raise. I know many people don’t have any choice in that situation. I’m not berating. But consider that those strangers — to prevent abuse, natch — are not allowed to discipline the kids. Consider that to prevent foisting their beliefs on others’ children, those people aren’t even allowed to extend moral guidance. ANY moral guidance. Consider the type of personality that flourishes in those daycares, and you’ll meet the SJWs. But there is worse, since most of these children aren’t being raised by people who care AND can do anything about it. A lot of them are simply feral.
So the fifth column moving restlessly through civilization breaking the crockery and acting like five year olds don’t know what they’re doing.
All they do is repeat what they were taught and piously believe the nonsense that their heads were filled with. They have no experience of any other civilization, and only idealized notions of the past. They have no future.
Sure, they flourish like the green bay tree right now, but their very culture prevents their future existence. This is going to leave very few of us (and here I’m counting our descendants) to rebuild when the civilizational cr*p hits the historical fan.
They’re breaking it, and buying whole and in full what will result.
But if we don’t like it, we’re the ones who will pay. We’ll pay in blood, sweat and tears to rebuild.
Teach your children well. If you can teach other people’s children well. Snatch brands from the fire. Because the time is coming when every able hand and mind will be insufficient.
Burning it all down makes a beautiful flame, but then we all die of cold.
Be aware of the future you’re buying for the human race. Go and build.