Amerika

Posts Tagged ‘divorce’

Examining The Carnage Of The Sexual Revolution

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

Most stories about civilization decline begin with the phrase, “We were told,” as in, “We were told that the famine was the fault of the kings, and that the new regime would ensure that there was always plenty,” and then launch into a description of how human wishful thinking did not match reality much at all, leading to horrors. This is why all revolutions fail.

Revolutions, after all, are based on human conjecture about what might be true, and since we like the thought of that, what should be true, but they rely on the “excluded middles” — the points between extremes — filled out by all the other details that are not part of the explanation. Secondary effects, implications and unintended consequences spring up like demons.

As with all ideas, we ask ourselves whether the argument is for an actual purpose, or simply a pretext or rationalization designed to explain how people want to feel about life, instead of what they see as its actual parameters. Since most people seem discontented, and can reliably be counted on to blame others for their own failings, it looks more like justification than purposeful action.

The sexual revolution fits this pattern as well despite being a cultural change brought about by a loose coalition of Leftist believers instead of purely a State action. We were told that we could keep living as we had, but that this way, people would not face the consequences for relatively “innocent” behavior. Instead we got the utter destruction of the family.

While many blame the Pill, the broader move toward the sexual revolution was present even a century before when women’s rights advocates demanded the ability to have sex outside of marriage, and Bohemians back into the 1600s endorsed polyamory and extra-marital sex. With the 1940s, it became a possibility since women had jobs and were living alone in big anonymous cities.

As with all things Leftist, the goal of sexual liberation was to avoid having the individual lose rank for bad behavior, or otherwise be less included because of the consequences of her or his actions. But fifty plus years later, we can see that whatever intentions, desires, or fantasies were behind the sexual revolution, it ended in horrors.

First, the family has been replaced by the single mother, in emulation of third world patterns:

Since 1970, out-of-wedlock birth rates have soared. In 1965, 24 percent of black infants and 3.1 percent of white infants were born to single mothers. By 1990 the rates had risen to 64 percent for black infants, 18 percent for whites. Every year about one million more children are born into fatherless families.

In fact, this emulation has led to a decline in first world breeding habits, which not surprisingly will have dysgenic effect:

Over the same period the white out-of-wedlock birth ratio experienced yet faster growth- albeit from a lower-level-more then quintupling, from 3.1 percent to 18 percent.

Not surprising, many of these babies are unwanted, which led to a massive surge in abortions until checked by Republican laws making access more difficult:

In 2011, the U.S. abortion rate was 16.9 abortions per every 1,000 women aged 15 to 44, the lowest it’s been since abortion was legalized in 1973.

Between 2008 and 2010, 44 laws related to abortion were implemented in 18 states, according to the report. Most did not likely have an effect on the abortion rate, the study authors say, but a few may have. For example, a new law in Missouri that requires a woman to attend an in-person counseling session 24 hours before an abortion may have attributed to the state’s 17% decline.

Until the 1960s, abortion — the disposal of unwanted children who were mostly produced by casual sex — was relatively unknown in America, where now it is a commonplace event.

At the same time, while teen pregnancy has slowed of late, it has risen massively since the 1940s, resulting in its creation as a fixture of our social landscape:

Fewer babies were born to teenagers in 2010 than in any year since 1946.

How does this shatter the family? In addition to the replacement of the family with the single-parent home, those who have more sex are the least likely to form lifelong bonds, meaning that they may reproduce, but will then end up alone and possibly with their children in one-parent homes or the dreaded parent plus significant other unstable relationship which seems to often end in molestation or violence:

‘The highest five-year divorce rates of all are associated with marrying in the 2000s and having 10 or more premarital sex partners: 33 percent,’ he wrote in the report.

And women who were virgins on their wedding night were the least likely to get divorced, according to the study.

It is not surprising, then, that fewer people are getting married and are doing so later in life:

According to census data cited in the report, barely half of adults ages 18 and older are married — 51% in 2010, compared with 72% in 1960. This decline is especially notable for young adults: 20% of 18- to 29-year-olds were married in 2010, compared with 59% in 1960.

…In 2011, the median age at first marriage is an estimated 28.7 for men and 26.5 for women. That means half of men don’t marry until at least about age 29, and half of women don’t marry until at least about age 27. In 1960, the median age at first marriage for both men and women was in the early 20s.

…Although 39% of Americans say they agree that marriage is becoming obsolete, most people who have never married say they would like to marry someday (including many who agree that marriage is becoming obsolete).

This is why divorce rates are falling:

The divorce surge is over. (Or most people believe it is: this paper offers an alternate take.) In truth, the rise in divorce has been over for 20 years. Divorce rates peaked in the early 1980s when Ronald Reagan was president and the Internet was only a mite in the eye of wierdos hanging out in California garages.

…The younger generation, whether they know divorce is declining or not, believes that marriage is on the rocks. From their vantage point, they’re right. While fewer American adults have been divorcing over the past decades, a growing number of people in their own cohort have grown up apart from one parent, almost always their fathers.

…How can divorce be declining but at the same time more children growing up with single parents? Because—and this is the story that Miller underplays—so many parents never marry in the first place. A little history is in order here: When divorce rates skyrocketed in the 1970s, American were not simply suddenly looking at their spouses and deciding en masse that they couldn’t take it anymore. They were reacting to a changing understanding about what marriage meant. Instead of an arrangement largely centered around providing for and rearing the next generation, it was becoming an adult-centric union based on love and shared happiness, which as an upper middle class grew in size, became closely linked to granite countered kitchens, European and spa vacations, and weddings with 200 guests.

…If marriage and childbearing were no longer tightly linked but rather discreet—even unrelated—life events, and if they were not earning enough to enjoy the middle class status objects enjoyed by their more educated peers, then why marry at all? Why not just have kids without getting married?

This fits with the data about children being born out of wedlock. The Left replaced the family with the individual, part of a process called “atomization” which separates society into individual and State, and so now people simply reproduce, then abandon those children to day care, public schools, and jobs, and only wonder about whether this was a good idea when they get dropped off at nursing homes and abandoned.

As it becomes clear that the new Leftist method leads to misery, people are waiting out the casual sex carousel and finding family-oriented partners with whom to reproduce, but this does not offer the bond of affection and trust that the family did back when we had those.

The carnage of the sexual revolution is just beginning to reveal itself. The “Greatest Generation” experienced the first of it, the Baby Boomers lived it, and Generation X reacted to it, with the lockstep ideologues indoctrinated at public schools from the millennials embracing it as long as it was “safe sex,” but Generation Z finds itself looking back over the carnage and wanting away. It will take another few generations for us to see secondary effects such as lower transfer of social capital, greater neurosis, inability to attach, alienation, and other effects on kids who lack the benefits of a stable, family-oriented home situation.

Perhaps the sexual revolution will then be known as just another revolution: a fantasy, applied with violence, that destroyed its host and left behind a wandering, cultureless, and isolated herd of individuals who could not recall a life before everything became grey and meaningless.

Western Demographic Decline Reverses As Later-Life Reproduction Booms

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

For years, we were told that the West was dying because it was not reproducing. Now it turns out that this was merely data sampled too soon, and that people are reproducing, but they are doing it later in life and so they did not show up in the statistics.

Although the media has not caught up with the news, this general shift was known five years ago, when one paper found that low fertility was reversing (full study) in the industrialized world:

We produce new estimates of the actual number of children women have over their lifetimes – cohort fertility – for 37 developed countries. Our results suggest that family size has remained high in many “low fertility” countries. For example, cohort fertility averages 1.8 for the 1975 birth cohort in the 37 countries for which average period total fertility rate was only 1.5 in 2000. Moreover, we find that the long-term decline in cohort fertility has flattened or reversed in all world regions previously characterized by low fertility. These results are robust to statistical forecast uncertainty and the impact of the late 2000s recession. An application of the new forecasts analyzing the determinants of cohort fertility finds that the key dimensions of development that have been hypothesized to be important for fertility – general socioeconomic development, per capita income, and gender equality – are all positively correlated with fertility for the 1970s cohorts. Gender equality, however, emerges as the strongest determinant: where the gap in economic, political, and educational achievement between women and men is small, cohort fertility is high, whereas where the gap is large, fertility is low.

The important factor regarding “gender equality” is simply that in Western Europe, women are protected from their jobs while they are pregnant, which allows them to afford fertility (but not as much as they could afford with the traditional nuclear family model with a working father and no women in the workforce, which would make labor supply smaller and thus more valuable, without having to spend twice on business attire, commuting and other working costs). We can see this fertility through anti-work in action in Germany:

In 2015 more babies were born in Germany than at any other point in the past 16 years. Not only have the baby numbers gone up, but the number of official marriages went up 3.4 percent from 2014 to 2015. Smells like something’s cooking…

Interestingly enough, since 1972 Germany as a whole has been losing people more than they have been gaining.

…Due to the great decrease in population in Germany, the country has offered a bundle of benefits to encourage young couples to have children.

What exactly are those benefits? Mainly, that the woman can escape work and take some time to raise the children:

As soon as a woman informs her employer she is pregnant, she is covered under maternity protection. That means, legally, she can’t get fired.

Pregnant employees have to take a leave of absence six weeks before and eight weeks after their expected birth date, while still receiving 100 percent of their salary from their employer.

Then there is this great benefit called, Elternzeit, where both parents – yes both – can take leave for up to three years and have full employment protection.

But wait. There is more money stuff, we’re not finished yet. Moreover, there is Elterngeld and Kindergeld which is additional financial support from the German government. A family can receive €100–200 or more a month, depending on how many children they have.

Other governments have caught on, and even have justified the baby boom as a means of increasing tax revenues, as is the case in Denmark, which used bizarre advertising to encourage fertility:

“The Danish welfare system is under pressure. There are still not enough babies being born, despite a little progress. And this concerns us all.”

…Nine months later reports have suggested that Denmark is set for a baby boom with 1,200 more babies due to be born this Summer compared to last year, The Local reports, citing a report in the Danish broadsheet Politiken.

…In 2014, the national fertility rate was at 1.69, a small increase on 2013 and the first time such an increase had occurred since 2010.

In Poland, Russia, and Ireland, the same pattern is occurring, even without the subtly brilliant advertising. This suggests more than a reversal by convenience, but a change in historical cycle. The data regarding UK fertility tells more of the story, but gets the cause wrong:

The graph tells the story: the high fertility rates (TFR) of the sixties plummeted with the availability of the contraceptive pill and stuck well below the level required to replace the population for 25 years.

It was a similar story in many developed European countries and the warnings inspired some governments to introduce policies encouraging their citizens to breed.

The Left wants us to blame the Pill, and surely it shares some of the blame, but what is more likely is that social changes such as causal sex, loss of tradition and collapse of social order savaged the family. To a Generation X kid, this makes sense because we saw families split on a whim and people, unmoored and anchorless, raging across the dating scene making bad decisions, all of which took time, energy and money that would otherwise have been spent on making a larger family.

Even more, it scared people off of having families. If your only option is to wait for some girl to get tired of casual sex when she gets too old to be a big hit at the clubs, then have her walk out on your family whenever it gets inconvenient, and also have a sympathetic feminist judge appoint her alimony and child support so she can introduce you to her latest casual boyfriend who is living partially off of your money, you may opt out of marriage entirely, and a good many of Generation X did exactly that. It is easier to have a perpetual girlfriend, or a series of five-year relationships, and birth control just makes it easy to stay in perpetual adolescence in this way.

All of these changes kicked in during the late 1960s, but the effect was really felt in the 1970s, when divorce and continued casual dating became the inevitable norm.

Starting in the 1990s, however, as global Leftism eliminated the Soviet version and selected the working hybrid socialist-capitalist model that, ironically, the National Socialists had pioneered, people began to instinctively pull back from the group-think of Leftist thought, which liberated them to go their own way on marriage. Generation X took another decade to start getting married, but is having children, albeit later in life:

We know that throughout the 1980s and 90s women in the twenties were having fewer babies than previously while women in their late thirties saw a moderate rise in fertility rates. In 2001 something changed.

The story of this graph is the purple line – women aged between 25 and 29. Fertility rates had been falling inexorably since 1980 and then in 2001 the trend reverses. It is almost as if women in their late twenties realised the thirty-somethings were overtaking them in the baby-stakes and decided to get breeding.

While the experts are uncertain as to the cause, it seems most likely that this represents people dodging the insane “dating” scene and finding people with whom they can have a family instead of engaging in the sex carousel. In other words, those who followed the 1960s model are getting bred out, while those who stuck to a modified traditional approach are experiencing reproductive success. These waited around until the dust had settled, got married and started having children in their thirties and beyond.

As in all problems with the West, when we remove the toxic brew of individualism/Leftism/equality from the equation and focus on what actually works, we achieve powerful results.

Why Gen X Kids Have a Permanent Thousand-Yard Stare

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

Ideas have momentum because a concept, once applied in the small, will be used in other areas, expanding ever-outward, until it reaches a contrary force which can control it. The idea of individualism, or that the preferences and desires of the individual are more important than adaptation to the patterns of reality, gained momentum and rolled over us like a bowling ball.

No one has seen this more than Generation X. We were ground zero for the effects of the decisions made by the Me Generation, or Baby Boomers, who were really just expanding on what their parents (the “Greatest Generation”) did. They were all individualists, and thus egalitarians, because equality means that no one can interrupt their activity just because the result will obviously be bad.

Perhaps the most visible impact of the bowling ball was the sacrifice of the family to ideology:

I read Strauss and Howe’s 5-page description of the built-in craziness of childhood in the 1960s and 70s nodding the whole time. Someone is finally saying it: Gen X had a shortened, unsettled, unstable childhood and it permanently affected the way we see the world. Permanently. Affected. Permanently. Latchkey kids were left unsupervised daily and many of the rest of us were allowed to do adult things far too early.

…The kids in Gen X experienced family breakdown, then, because their parents flaked, because they put themselves first, because the kids in our generation weren’t “worth the parental sacrifice of prolonging an unhappy marriage.”

…Gen X is made up of kids who were told by word and action that the happiness and well-being of the adults in their lives was more important than their happiness or well-being. And many of us are tired of the unhappy housewife meme. We are tired of being told to be grateful for the freedom, to be glad we didn’t grow up in the oppressive climate of the 1950s. Plenty of Gen Xers (and Gen Ys) would have traded the “liberation” given them for Mom and Dad living in the same house and dinner being on the table regularly at 6 PM. We can’t appreciate rebellion against security and authority because security and authority were scarce resources in our childhood.

Mom and Dad were individualists. That is: their personal desires and preferences came first before all else, and their kids were collateral damage. The family — a pattern of reality, because it is a mathematically optimal adaptation to the need to reproduce and pass on social capital — came second, and therefore it was sacrificed for the individualism of Mom and Dad.

This tells the kids several things. First, “you are not important enough to us for us to sacrifice.” Second, it tells them that their origins — the very genetics that make them up — were bad, or at least mismatched. Kids, who spend more time in nature, are acutely aware of the importance of genetics. Finally, it says that Mom and Dad really care about nothing except themselves, so all that grand talk about people being equal, peace on earth, helping the poor and wanting a Black president was just external adornment designed to make the individualists look cool to their friends.

In addition, the divorce mess paralleled what was happening to society. People no longer cared if ideas were true, only that they were convenient. Institutions and learning of the past were abandoned for whatever self-help-book-styled drama was fascinating people at the moment. Politics even became a question of vanity, with each person picking a pet issue (drunk driving, abortion, Tibet, Mandela) that flattered their self-creation story.

Generation X were born knowing they were doomed, and around them saw the insanity proliferating because people sacrificed reality to the individual. As something external to those individuals that were their parents, Generation X were a scapegoat and a sacrifice, something upon which the effects of parental actions were irrelevant because it did not matter.

As a result, they took to their rooms and rarely ventured out. At jobs, they generally got bulldozed by the more ambitious, and stayed content with having enough money to survive and a job that was pleasant enough to tolerate. They did not marry as much, nor really date as much, because all of those things were threats that made them subject to the individualism of one another.

If they ever regain their heart, this generation will send the bowling ball rolling back over the individualists, and implement the kind of radical stability that a damaged child might imagine would repair the hole in his heart.

Divorce Creates Intense Solipsism

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

Those who follow this blog know that its fundamental argument is that civilizations die by hubris, which we call “individualism” in a modern context: the pathology of the individual which considers itself more important than reality.

Hubris is a form of the cognitive bias we call “solipsism” which occurs when people think the world either exists for them, or is a subset of their own minds. In order to deny reality, one must be solipsistic.

Solipsism spreads like a virus because once one person gets away with it, others realize they are at a disadvantage by acting toward a purpose larger than the individual. They give up and choose a self-centered life as well.

A trap emerges but most people tragically do not realize it until their later years. Living for oneself is a path to emptiness because meaning is found in the connection between self and reality, including but not limited to others. Living for principles and purpose such as is synthesized in the transcendentals like “the good, the beautiful and the true” creates meaning; egoism destroys it.

One writer pointed out how solipsism creates emptiness and a type of low-grade but fanatical sociopathy through his essay on why never date a woman from a broken family:

I have seen too many men have their heads handed to them, regardless of all this daydreaming about compatibility, equality, success, adventures, whatever. It all goes right out the window when Herself gets pregnant, and suddenly she is the center of the universe, those are HER children, and a guy can attend as many parenting classes and change as many diapers as he is humanly capable of doing, but she is from that time on looking for something she never had, something she has spent her childhood longing for and rationalizing away why her mother did whatever it was she did to deny to her, something that doesn’t exist: The Perfect Father. And she will keep right on looking, using “her” children as bait to try and trap one, man after man after man.

And I have seen very, very few exceptions to this formula for guaranteed heartbreak, summary dismissal and a future of painful and impoverishing litigation for too many good and decent men: women without fathers seem utterly incapable either of allowing any man to parent children in his own manly way, or of searching their own souls deeply enough to recognize that children are both distinct human beings and future adults, rather than their own personal property, pets and projects of empowerment.

The virus of self-centeredness causes people to be unable to understand others as real, since for the self-centered person, everything that exists in the world is there to serve a purpose for the self alone, and is only useful as a means-to-an-end. This makes them manipulative, controlling and most of all, willing to destroy others for their own convenience.

Every aspect of modern society bears the stamp of this solipsism which, if not actual metaphysical evil, certainly acts like it.

A.C.O.D. (2013)

Sunday, August 21st, 2016

adult_children_of_divorce_acod_-_movie_poster

This movie lists itself as a comedy, but within that framework, it is a dead-accurate bullet aimed at the heart of the Baby Boomers. It takes on the attributes of that generation — narcissism, flightiness, divorce, promiscuity, manipulation — and mocks them from the perspective of someone who has had to live through it.

A.C.O.D. follows a man in his late 20s, Carter, who is still recovering from his parents’ acrimonious divorce and the months leading up to it. He thinks that his life is together, and that the past has passed, but as a family event looms on the horizon, he finds that all the old wounds have been concealed not healed.

With that in motion, this movie reverses the tiresome trope of the movie where the child of divorce wants to see his parents get back together. In this film, Carter does not want reunion, but destruction. His rage is all-encompassing at how his childhood was betrayed and his self-esteem crucified by the selfishness of the “Me generation.”

Each scene shows a new horror: the complete “live in the moment” narcissism of his parents, his own inability to bond with pretty much anything, and the degree of moral corruption and uselessness of supposedly functional members of society. In a land swimming with riches, the people have become poor in their hearts.

This film may not make you laugh, but you might be cheering along for the high truth quotient: it reveals the lasting trauma of divorce, but even more, reveals how Generation X were all children of narcissists who leave nothing but ruin in their wake, and then skip off gaily complimenting themselves on how successfully they ignored the rot.

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