Or, How I Learned to Love the Boss

This is a dashed-off list of the main 10 thoughts that led me to recognize the sweet, sentimental affection for freedom I have inside me, reach deep down in there, and start choking that bitch out.

  • Zippy Catholic, in particular his idea of the “unprincipled exception”: rules and ruling that do not proceed from the principle of liberty, but from something else, like “good”, or “just”. As well as being repeatedly confronted with the idea that I find it preferable to have a “free government” over a “good government”. That is just dumb.


  • Thinking about the Men’s Sphere complaint of the conservative formulation of familial headship–authority is responsibility but no command–is not true authority.


  • The interchangeability of the words: power, liberty, command, freedom, etc. We play subtle but corrosive games with these words. We think we understand each other, but I doubt it.


  • Taking stock of what few freedoms I actually have (in contrast to the things that are restricted from me), and how I’m mostly ok with that. My problem isn’t a lack of freedom. My problem is that I can’t count on my authorities to uphold me in justice when I make a good decision.


  • Martial Law. When things get bad, real bad, so bad that we have to resort to violence, we enact martial law. That is, we become overtly authoritarian. Obviously then we think that is the best, must-have form of government. And that means that everything else is half-ass measures. We’re playing shadow games here with liberalism.


  • The Kingdom of God. I must admit that the government the Lord chooses is the best, wisest, and most just kind of government.


  • Contemplating “Alt-Right”. As a lifelong member of GenX, Alt-Right is a gay term. It reminds me of Third Eye Blind’s “pierced queer teens in cyberspace”. I don’t want an alternative right. I want the good right. I want the just right. And I want a legitimate place in it, with authority over my own domain. I don’t want to be free to own a weapon. I want to be authorized–expected–to be armed.


  • Recognition that love for authority doesn’t mean all authorities are to be loved. Some kings need to be fought, abandoned, or killed…but they should be replaced with good ones.


  • Recognition that authoritarianism isn’t a synonym for, tyranny, despotism, etc. As well as recognition that authoritarianism doesn’t necessarily mean monarchy, inherited aristocracy, etc. (As well as some recalculations of whether those are good or bad, and how.) Authoritarianism just means liberties and responsibilities descend from authority, for real.


  • Respect is impossible to derive from freedom itself. If we’re all merely free to do or say this or that, then from whence can respect come? It’s just, like, your opinion, man. This is a big one.

For the Record

Posted to Doug Wilson, here, in response to his post “Letters are Better than Fetters”, and about his post “Masculinity without Permission”. As of this moment the comment has been submitted. I’ll give it a minute or so. (EDIT: My comment posted.)

On “Masculinity without Permission” (Taken from my comment here [ https://dalrock.wordpress.com/2018/03/08/harkening-back-to-the-golden-age/#comment-261657 ] and repurposed here to give you a chance to respond.

You did not have to write,“Now this is the point where, in normal times, if I were not writing in a culture that was not so well-advanced in its pathological condition, I would hasten to add that masculinity was not bluster, bullying, self-seeking aggrandizement, abusive behavior, and so forth. I would qualify against the counterfeits. All that is quite true, but I don’t want to emphasize it right now.”

You could have left it out altogether–as you left out fathers from the list of people hurt in fatherless families–but you didn’t. You must at least take a swipe at “toxic males” on your way to talk about all those other bad preachers out there who preached the wrong servant leadership and not the good servant leadership you really meant all along.

Whoops! Thought we were done with that, but here you are again, writing about the toxic males: “Now he would be a fool who said there was no such thing as a toxic, overdone masculinity—there certainly is. I myself have seen some remarkable specimens of it.”

Churches have one-hundredth of a problem with blustery, bullying men than they do with wimps cowed by their wives. Yet your posts are filled with recriminations against regular men, instead of encouragement to them to actually lead; as in give commands and have expectations…such as a pastor might do at his church, say.

Here is a lengthy quote from the first of three suggested posts marked “Related”, titled, “A Woman’s Body and Fatherlessness”, from 2011. I chose this post because I had confidence that I could take the first recommendation and find it loaded with servant leadership typical of most Christian preaching, and also some examples of weak men “screwing up feminism” (i.e., modern life). Here we go:

“What are fathers for? The biblical answer goes far beyond the answer provided by Darwin. Fathers are more than inseminating carbon units. God has established and ordered the world in a certain way. God commanded Adam, and all fathers after him, to provide and to protect (Gen. 2:15Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)). That is what fathers are for. Provide for and protect whom? The answer is their wives and children. Unprotected children are fatherless children. Unwanted children are fatherless children. Aborted children are therefore the final word in fatherlessness.

Someone might interject and say that surely aborted children are motherless as well. This is true, and tragic. Motherlessness, the fierce suppression of the mothering instinct, is the immediate cause of an abortion. But that motherlessness is, in its own turn, a function of fatherlessness. This all happens because fathers have believed the lie that it is possible for them to opt out of the creation mandate. That mandate is assigned to every man who is ever given the tremendous privilege of making love to a woman. First the pleasure, then the provision and protection. The privilege of planting seed in a garden brings the necessary responsibility of tending that garden.

Apparently, neither fathers nor gardeners are actually in charge of families or gardens; just provide and protect them. Leading is left out of your post entirely except when a man leads a woman to commit motherlessness and kill his children. And where’s the mandate for a woman to provide a child for the tremendous privilege of making love to a man? I am forced to consider that perhaps you’ve never been confronted with that situation.

I’ll tell you one thing: If any of your male readers get the idea to be masculine and take his *tremendous privilege* without permission, he’s gonna hear about it from you!

You continue:

Any man who thinks that a wonderful time in bed must be necessarily linked to a lifetime of responsibility is written off as a hopeless dweeb. Faced with a choice between not being mocked and having a backbone, far too many men choose the option of not being mocked. But fathers who wilt in the face of such sneers and mockery are just sperm-delivery fathers. They have all the backbone of a wet napkin. They deserve the mockery, certainly, but from the other direction.

Of course, there is the problem of old-fashioned selfishness. Convincing men to take the sexual pleasure, and to not feel responsible for any resultant child, has therefore not been a difficult argument. It has been a downhill argument. The moral authority of Western civilization spent a number of centuries persuading and convincing males that they should take up responsibility for their progeny. That was the uphill part of the argument, and it was made possible by the growing influence of the gospel. Unfortunately, we have decided to all head back downhill again, and us with no brakes now.

So abortion happens for the following reasons:
1. men fail to provide
2. men fail to protect
3. causing motherlessness
4. men aren’t grateful enough for the “tremendous privilege” of sleeping with their wives
5. men are wet napkins who deserve to be mocked, especially by moral Christians
6. men are selfish
7. men are out of control

And here I thought abortions happened because mothers paid medical experts to skewer their babies. Turns out it has been toxic male Christian fathers all along.

Enough of that post. From here I’ll surf to the Related link, “Father Hunger”, from 2006. It is a defense of himself from a “local critic” who did not like your attitude towards homosexuals.

But how a call for Christians to stop demanding civil reform as a substitute for reformation in the family and the church can be read this way is a mystery to me. What we have called for is for Christian fathers to repent first, and for the church to get its own house in order first, instead of turning to politics as some kind of savior. Politics will be saved, but politics is no savior. We have argued that the current epidemic of homosexual activism is the result of disobedient Christian fathers, and so we have substantial work to do within out own ranks first. Our culture is in the grip of a profound and disorienting father hunger. This is no less true within the church.

No less true in the church? WOW! Christian fathers are so bad, so unrepentant, that they turn their children gay!

Father hunger is around us in countless ways, and results in far more than struggles with sexual perversion. Father hunger causes loneliness, aggression, rebellion against authority, hatred of kindness, lack of self-control, legalistic pietism, religion based on fear instead of love, and much, much more.

Father hunger isn’t caused by missing fathers ejected from their homes by their wives over 70% of the time. No, no: Bad Christian fathers even in the home (maybe especially in the home) cause pretty much every sin and every pit of the human condition. The word “mother” doesn’t appear once in the whole post.

These are your words, from you posts, which your site referred to me. How long could I go on, from one to the next, and find the same pattern of blaming men for everything, excusing women for anything, and always framing a father’s and husband’s job as service, but never command? I bet a long time.

UPDATE, Doug Wilson responds:

Cane, I distinguish responsibility and fault because I hold to covenant theology. When I tell men they must take responsibility, many hear me saying that they must take the blame. But these are different things entirely. We live in a man-hating age, which wants to blame men for everything. I believe that husbands are commanded to imitate the love of Christ, meaning that they take responsibility. This is because the man is the *head.* This is not running on a parallel track with feminism, but is rather the antithesis of it.

UPDATE II, My reply:

Doug, Yes, responsibility and blame are separate things, but you do blame Christian men. You do also say men are responsible, but you obscure the responsibility of women. A Christian hand and father’s assumption of responsibility over his family does not remove their responsibility. Nor do you blame Christian women. You may blame feminists–people “out there”–, and you take pains to make the two distinct. Your indictments of feminists are carefully parsed so that readers should never believe you have conflated the two groups. That charity is not extended to Christian men. The overlap of Christian men and toxic males is assumed and even emphasized. Then you shroud your use of false weights of judgment under the guise of covenant theology.

Moreover, when you write about the authority of Christian men over their families the words are only about responsibility, and never about command. Christ has responsibility and, and was given all power and authority. Christian men are to be Christlike, but we are not Christ so we shouldn’t assume all power. But you talk solely of a neutered authority that should never exercise power, or even uphold expectations. …Not to mention the dearth of praise here for Christian fathers doing their best amongst an enormous cohort of unruly and feral women who rebelled within, and also raised by, your generation; and under a government and legal system that is honesty, wholly, and truly out to get them.

Justin Parris says (in these comments) this is all because you are daunted by the prospect of feminist backlash, and fear what women and their sycophants will think. That strikes him as just good sense. I believe you darkly sense the error of Justin’s thinking and that’s why you wrote “Masculinity without Permission”. I do not believe you have grappled with your contribution to Justin’s folly.

Aside from men like Justin, (Hey, good luck with him!) younger Christian men out there cannot differentiate you from the other mealy-mouthed complementarians, egalitarians, and Duluth Model-loving high-heel lickers, except perhaps in style. In content and practice, your prescription is to avoid command and expectation. You are indistinguishable. Perhaps that is less true among the people who know you in the flesh, but I write to you about your blog and books.


A Primer of Practical Application

Regular posts will resume shortly. In the meantime, I wanted to recommend this essay by James Kalb at SydneyTrads, “Dissolving the Black Hole of Modernity“. It’s good.

I’m not sure of the author’s mind on this point, but I notice that the implicit audience for the essay is men, and not people. Something to ponder.

Retreat into Euphemism

I have great respect for the work Colin Flaherty does with his YouTube channel. This one in particular does a good job of conveying his message, both logically and rhetorically. At 17 minutes it might be a bit long for some people, but it’s worth it.

Does this sound familiar to anyone else? Have you ever left a city, or a part of a city, because of minority criminality? Did you see any point in complaining about it openly, or did you decide nothing would change because you can’t make the blind see–so you just moved to a whiter safer neighborhood?

So Long, Freaken!

From Yahoo News:

Sen. Al Franken says he’s been an advocate for women. That’s even as he resigns amid a torrent of sexual misconduct accusations.

The Minnesota Democrat says he’s used his position “to be a champion of women.” He says despite the allegations, “I know who I really am.”

Hey-o! A little Stuart Smalley there.

He says, “Even on the worst day of my political life, I feel like it’s all been worth it.”

Yeah, I bet you do you little freak.

Something Short Enough for Phones

This weekend I decide to make an effort to increase my posts. Conveniently, I became ill on Sunday and unable to work this week. Hooray for malignant bacteria!

Then, Monday morning, my laptop power supply burned up. Sonuva…

Until the new adapter is here tomorrow (and post by phone is not my only tedious option), here is a hilarious spoof of contemporary “Jesus is my boyfriend” so-called praise music.

Here’s the same guy just being hilarious.

Examining Crime with a Speculum

The other day Zippy Catholic wrote:

The most primal power of men is violence. Therefore the besetting sins of incontinent men tend to be sins of violence primarily, and to involve sex only circumstantially/accidentally.  A violent man will use violence to get sex that he desires, but he will also use violence to get other things that he desires: money, drugs, prestige, etc.  This decreases as individual power decreases: the besetting sins of incontinent men with diminished capacity for violence will tend to be more effeminate or androgynous sins.


This is reflected in prison populations, which are mostly men, because our society is willing to punish crimes of violence but is not willing to punish crimes of sex.

This is, basically, what I believed for years and it is what I was taught. However, it is a false–but seductive–dichotomy which is not actually true. And is not actually reflected in prison populations; 66.7% of which are non-violent criminals and only 33.3% are.

Criminals Imprisoned for Crimes of Violence

g Homicide, Aggravated Assault, and Kidnapping Offenses 5,596 3.20%
k Robbery 6,565 3.80%
l Sex Offenses 15,873 9.10%
m Weapons, Explosives, Arson 29,881 17.20%

Criminals Imprisoned for Non-Violent Crimes

a Banking and Insurance, Counterfeit, Embezzlement 517 0.30%
b Burglary, Larceny, Property Offenses 8,171 4.70%
c Continuing Criminal Enterprise 387 0.20%
d Courts or Corrections 802 0.50%
e Drug Offenses 80,585 46.30%
f Extortion, Fraud, Bribery 11,231 6.40%
h Immigration 13,227 7.60%
i Miscellaneous 1,305 0.70%
j National Security 68 0.00%

In fact, the most primal power of men is the ability to produce work, and the besetting sin of incontinent men is avoidance of productive work.  Here are the same stats grouped to reflect that.

Criminals Imprisoned for Unlawful Gain

a Banking and Insurance, Counterfeit, Embezzlement 517 0.30%
b Burglary, Larceny, Property Offenses 8,171 4.70%
c Continuing Criminal Enterprise 387 0.20%
e Drug Offenses 80,585 46.30%
f Extortion, Fraud, Bribery 11,231 6.40%
h Immigration 13,227 7.60%
i Miscellaneous 1,305 0.70%
k Robbery 6,565 3.80%

Criminals Imprisoned for Gainless Crimes

d Courts or Corrections 802 0.50%
g Homicide, Aggravated Assault, and Kidnapping Offenses 5,596 3.20%
l Sex Offenses 15,873 9.10%
j National Security 68 0.00%
m Weapons, Explosives, Arson 29,881 17.20%

It would be even more skewed than that if we could tease out from “gainless crimes” those crimes which were committed en route to unlawful gain; murder for hire, murder for drug turf control, assault for intimidation, kidnapping for ransom, sale of weapons or explosives, arson for fraud, prostitution, pimping, etc. The split is probably closer to 80/20 unlawful gain/gainless crime and possibly even 90/10.

What Zippy, tough-on-crime politicians, and my younger self were noticing was not “the most primal power of men”, but the most sensational. Violence can be scary to everyone, but it really scares the hell out of women. And the West is one giant gynecology office where every problem is a pussy problem.


When Women Will Loom Large

Yesterday I went to watch Blade Runner 2049.

There will be no spoilers in this post, but I can’t guarantee the same for the comments.

I liked it a lot, and if you liked the original then I will guess you’ll like the new one too. It is a beautiful and legitimate science fiction film. It is not message fiction dressed up in sci-fi garb, but a long (164 minutes) visual question of, “What does it mean to be human?”

One of the themes of the film is that women are big players in this vision of the future (both figuratively and literally), but they are not at the very top. At the top is Niander Wallace, a handsome and white man of science who saves the world from starvation. But the lives of everyone under the very top are ruled, tempted, and overwhelmingly influenced by females, or their form.

I thought it quite probable.

Can You Imagine?

I think it was when I was eight. My family went to see Grandma and Grandpa. We often did that since we’d moved to their town; from southern California back to my parents’ hometown in Kansas. We’d go visit with them for the day and maybe we’d get some ice cream and then go back to the house my mother had grown-up in to watch Hee Haw. Sometimes we went over there early and drove out to the lake for a picnic and Grandpa would “Aw, Hell!” at me for fishing wrong. He’d taught me, so I was reflecting on him. This was one of those days.

Every time we went somewhere Grandpa always drove and always in his car. Those were the rules. It was in the 1980s, so some cars still had bench seats in front. That day Grandpa said, “Well, c’mon, get in. We ain’t got all day.”

I went towards the open back door to sit next to Grandma before my sister got that prized seat and Grandma said, “Go get up front.”The front seat was for Grandpa and Dad.

“Nuh-uh!” I could not believe my luck.

“Yes, Cane. You sit up front with the men now.” That’s the way it was until the bench was too small for all three of us, Grandpa, Dad, and I.