...comes when we cease to breed:
"My generation of boys is f**ked," says Rupert, a young German video game enthusiast I've been getting to know over the past few months. "Marriage is dead. Divorce means you're screwed for life. Women have given up on monogamy, which makes them uninteresting to us for any serious relationship or raising a family. That's just the way it is. Even if we take the risk, chances are the kids won't be ours. In France, we even have to pay for the kids a wife has through adulterous affairs.
"In school, boys are screwed over time and again. Schools are engineered for women. In the US, they force-feed boys Ritalin like Skittles to shut them up. And while girls are favoured to fulfil quotas, men are slipping into distant second place.
"Nobody in my generation believes they're going to get a meaningful retirement. We have a third or a quarter of the wealth previous generations had, and everyone's fleeing to higher education to stave off unemployment and poverty because there are no jobs.
"All that wouldn't be so bad if we could at least dull the pain with girls. But we're treated like paedophiles and potential rapists just for showing interest. My generation are the beautiful ones, " he sighs, referring to a 1960s experiment on mice that supposedly predicted a grim future for the human race.
After overpopulation ran out of control, the female mice in John Calhoun's "mouse universe" experiment stopped breeding, and the male mice withdrew from the company of others entirely, eating, sleeping, feeding and grooming themselves but doing little else. They had shiny coats, but empty lives.
"The parallels are astounding," says Rupert.
Overpopulation has little to do with it. Nor is Rupert, a young German, a member of the population I have uppermost in mind. Please read the rest of the article and return here forthwith.
The Calhoun “Mouse experiments” alluded to by Rupert and cited above were designed to explore the consequences of overpopulation, but the consequences Calhoun observed need not be tied exclusively to that cause. Human beings respond to ideas and perceptions quite as strongly as mice respond to a lack of space or food...and there are some very pernicious ideas in the social atmosphere in our time.
Unless you’ve spent the last thirty years in a medically induced coma, you’re surely aware of the phenomenon called metrosexuality. The implications for traditional masculinity, male participation in the forward motion of American society, and male-female relations were disturbing from the first. However, it might prove to have been a transitional stage to something more ominous yet: spornosexuality, the complete descent of male consciousness into self-worship and self-indulgence, divorced from any perception of need or desire for the female.
It’s possible – barely – to view spornosexuality as a perverse hypertrophy of masculinity. Indeed, some of its characteristics, such as the immersion in fitness and sports, appear quintessentially masculine. But it omits all the other defining characteristics of masculinity as we have known it since the Cro-Magnons. In particular, it lacks the value of heroic courage, the desire to excel and to rise to leadership, and the drive to win a mate and reproduce. It is wholly self-absorbed, lacking all need or desire for the admiration of others...especially not that of women.
Viewed thus, spornosexuality seems a closer approach to narcissistic solipsism – an expensively groomed sort of eremitism – than to any variety of masculinity as its long been understood. One thing it is most assuredly not: a path that promises the continuation of our society beyond the present generation.
Metrosexuality, spornosexuality, and the widening gulf between the sexes generally are not the consequences of overpopulation. Indeed, the reproduction rate of the First World has fallen so low that several nations are disappearing as we watch: they’re “going out of business,” not due to lack of “customers” but to lack of “workers.” Nor is this a recent development; its inception can be traced back at least five decades. This leads to some fascinating correlations and investigations.
In America, the traditional masculine ideal was encapsulated in the manly virtues: in essence, the cardinal Christian virtues:
...unified around a clearly conceived standard of right and wrong, plus the courage required to uphold that standard when it’s challenged in word or deed. As I wrote in the cited essay:
A man must learn "where the line is:" the line that separates behavior that must be tolerated from behavior that must not be. He must be willing -- personally willing -- to fight in defense of the former and against the latter, though it might expose him to risk and cost him injury or death. He must be ready to swallow his distaste and protect the rights even of persons he finds repulsive, if they have harmed no other human being.
A man must learn proportionality and restraint. Biology has optimized the male body for purposive aggression, sudden acceleration and focused violence. These are not things to be deployed in their 200-proof strength against trivial or unworthy targets. A man doesn't kill the bounder who steals his parking space, his business idea, or his wife. Even a punch in the nose is excessive for infractions like these.
A man must learn never to shirk a freely contracted obligation. If you've said you'll do it, you do it. No excuses. Conversely, if you have failed to meet an obligation, you must admit to it and try to do better next time.
A man must learn not to whine about disappointments, reversals, or the ways of women. Especially about the ways of women. They're not men -- thank God -- and we can't fairly hold them to manly standards.
A man must learn reverence in the presence of the numinous. The fact that each of us is a part of an infinitely greater whole manifests itself in innumerable ways. Learning to let it in, to cherish it, and to use it to buttress oneself in times of darkness is critical to attaining the endurance the world expects from a man.
Last and most important, a man must transmit the manly virtues to his male children.
Every last atom of this set of desiderata has been under attack, by radical feminists, enemies of Christianity, haters of patriotism, pseudo-peaceniks, and others, for a minimum of fifty years.
The attacks have never commanded the active allegiance of a majority of Americans. Yet they have gained an enormous amount of “silent deference:” the reluctance to challenge their promoters, usually out of fear of the consequences. They’ve established a powerful bastion in the law and in popular culture. And in the minds of our impressionable young, they have largely succeeded in demonizing masculinity of the traditional sort.
But everything that exists exists as something specific. A thing cannot be devoid of all characteristics and identity. That applies to us male “things,” as well. So if our young men are being successfully deflected from the traditional masculine ideal, they will perforce replace it with some other ideal – and if among the driving force displacing traditional masculinity is an agglomeration of female lies, contempt, and legal hazards, the replacement ideal will naturally reduce the importance of women and their potential as mates well below other considerations...possibly to zero.
Such a demasculinized generation will never reproduce. It only takes one such generation to engineer the extinction of a nation.
Senescence begins when growth ends -- “Lansing’s Law”
The above formulation originated, to the best of my knowledge, in James Blish’s novel They Shall Have Stars. Nevertheless, gerontologists use the cessation of growth as a reliable indication of the onset of senescence. It’s more empirical than theoretical, based on the lack of any observation of the reverse transition – i.e., the resumption of growth after a period of plateauing or decline.
“Lansing’s Law” appears to hold true for societies as well as for living organisms.
Mark Steyn’s marvelous book America Alone presents us with a stark survey of the First World societies whose reproduction rates have fallen below “replacement rate:” 2.1 live births per woman. Not one of them can be said to be healthy and vital. All are practicing the management of national decline. Some are frantically straining to shore up luxuriant welfare states by importing population from other lands. Others are merely doing what they must: centralizing their essential resources and services, the better to conserve what they require to sustain their shrinking, steadily aging populations.
Every nation in Western Europe is in this situation. So is Japan. A survey of the attitudes of young men in those nations suggests that, like Rupert, they have turned away from masculinity as older Americans understood and honored it. If American youth were to do the same...what then?
There are reasons to believe that America’s young men are doing the same. Metrosexuality and spornosexuality are our warning bells, for those inclined to listen.
It approaches tautology to note that you cannot induce a people to breed for the sake of future generations. A people that has ceased to breed has lost interest in future generations, and in the future as such. If the young men of the First World have fallen into that abyss, only they can right themselves...but current conditions and present trends continuing, the likelihood is small.
What, then, must we do? Aside from pray, of course?
(Cross-posted at Liberty's Torch.)