Saturday, November 22, 2008

Irony: Rejecting All Authority Leads To Having No Personal Authority Leads To Not Noticing Your Authority Being Usurped Leads To Being Under The Boot

American Thinker article dovetails with a conversation I had a couple of days ago. The gist of the conversation was this: We live in a culture which currently rejects the idea of legitimate authority, both politically and in interpersonal relationships (i.e. the idea that the man is the head of the family--express this and be ready to be met with outrage from most). Given that this results in men in society internalizing the erroneous idea that they do not have legitimate authority (for example, most "reasonable, caring, enlightened, metrosexual" men would reject the idea that they have any special level of authority or leadership in their marriage/family), this leads to a passivity that simply does not take notice when the state usurps this authority. The ironic result? Those who reject the idea of legitimate authority find themselves the subjects of tyrannical illegitimate authority, because they did not legitimately fight for their own turf.

From the article:

While an excess of yang energy was considered explosive and dangerous, what happens in a country like contemporary America when there seems to be a dangerous oversupply of feminine yin?

In his book The Suicide of Reason Lee Harris argues that our present state of liberal democracy has led to "eliminating the alpha males from our midst, and at a dizzyingly accelerating rate." Instead of supporting and valuing testosterone's virtues we're "drugging our alpha boys with Ritalin." In addition, one could view Barack Obama's election as the triumph of yin over yang. Obama's policies promise to cast the father out of America's parks and replace him with the more "caring" and yin oriented federal government. For Lee Harris however the feminization of American men comes at an extremely high price:

"The end of testosterone in the West alone will not culminate in the end of history, but it may well culminate in the end of the West."

It was in ancient Greece for example when the West began to associate the masculine yang voice with freedom and self-reliance. Why? Because when Athenian citizens perused the known world they noticed something rather curious: in no country other than Greece did citizens enjoy freedom or the virtues of democratic government. Famous Greeks like the fifth century B.C. physician Hippocrates attempted to explain this fascinating anomaly. What Hippocrates and other Greek observers all tended to conclude was that the rest of the world's subjects must be "effeminate" or else, like the Greeks, they would have demanded -- like real men -- to be left alone by their leaders.

In his essay On Airs, Waters, and Places for example Hippocrates notes that those who endure life under a despot are "cowardly, as I have stated before, for their souls are enslaved." Greeks however are "independent, and enjoy the fruits of their own labors," and in addition they "encounter dangers on their own account, bear the prizes of their own valor, and in like manner endure the punishment of their own cowardice." The good doctor concludes with a rather chilling observation: "A man's disposition will be changed by his institutions." In short, what Hippocrates argues is that the more "maternalistic" the government, the less the citizenry will value freedom.

We can now start to understand part of Obama's appeal...

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