What is the Patriarchy and What is the Alternative?

There are R strategists and K strategists. R strategists are fast life strategists – live fast, die young. Don’t worry about the future. Follow your impulses. If it feels good, do it. That applies to sex, drugs, everything. If the climate is warm and life is not too difficult, people might as well be fast life strategists. People coming from warmer climates follow this modus operandi more than Northern Europeans for historical and geographical reasons. People living through chaotic times where the future is highly uncertain due to political facts, or imagined environmental catastrophe, are also more likely to pursue this way of life.

K strategists have to have higher impulse control. They are future oriented – sometimes planning very far into the future. Food and shelter cannot be taken for granted. Given a tough climate, men, women, and perhaps extended families will have to work in concert towards a common goal. They will need to be prosocial; agreeable, so they can get along with each other, and conscientious; applying themselves steadily to their work. Higher intelligence helps quell native impulses and instincts so that will be selected for. East Asians excel in all these regards.

K strategists are patriarchal. If the husband and father is going to stick around and invest heavily in his children, he will want to be reasonably sure that he is not raising someone else’s kids. Female chastity will be crucial and for this to occur there will have to be some kind of dominant/leadership role of the man. In fact, predominance of male leadership seems necessary for society to function. The rise of feminism has been historically associated with social dissolution, e.g., the fall of Rome. Female led institutions, like colleges and schools, tend towards misguided equality and compassion. A never-ending concern for the lost lamb. Many universities are now abandoning the use of SAT scores as entry requirements as “white” and oppressive. Equality dissolves social structures and makes education impossible, partly because professors cannot be expected to be respected, and partly because education means mastering difficult and demanding subjects that are “higher” in some sense than the norm. Clicking a link provided by a college email recently took me to an article about the problem of whiteness. It was disconcerting. It seemed like the provider of the link had accidentally submitted her incredibly deranged browsing history. Another article by the same gentleman related a story of using a computer to grade essays submitted to gain entry to elite high schools. The idea of using the computer was to remove any possible accusation of bias on the part of human graders. Mr. Anti-whiteness was apoplectic. The computer grading people were totally missing the point. Having any standards at all is discriminatory because it produces racist results. Systemic racism exists in having any sorting mechanism and it matters not a whit (white?) if the discriminating / differentiating into chosen and not chosen is done by a person or a computer program. Hopefully, the aforementioned gentleman eventually recaptured his composure. He did make some legitimate points about the stupidity of computer programs and their inability to understand anything of what they “read.” But, one can see why the poor educators were trying to find some method of having standards where they would not get called racists.

The R strategist oddly rather resembles Rousseau’s fantasy of the noble savage in The Discourse on Inequality. There, Rousseau describes human mating as a quick satisfaction of bodily needs and nary a backward glance upon completion. Men are more prone to this R strategy than women since they are not stuck with the consequences of the sexual act, at least not biologically. An R strategy culture means no pairing up because life is relatively easy. This can include government provided welfare programs for single mothers. Men, in this context, take no propriety interest in the sex lives of women who can do what they want because men are investing nothing in them. The women themselves are evolved to be more masculine because they need to take on some aspects of the male-role and look after themselves to a larger degree. Black women are, as a group, more masculinized in this way for historical and geographic reasons and tend to be regarded as a bit less attractive by all races for that reason. An academic at the London School of Economics nearly got nearly canceled for publishing his research in that area. He apologized and kept his head down ever afterwards. Men gravitate towards more feminine women. Black men are extra masculine, since they are following the rather more manlike R-strategy, and women like masculine men. Consequently, black men and white women is a rather common combination.

So, the alternative to patriarchy is to follow an R-strategy of pump and dump, as Ed Dutton puts it in an intentionally unflattering unsympathetic manner, and to let women fend for themselves with men taking no interest in their offspring. Genetically and statistically, having multiple children with lots of women, means some of them will probably survive, no effort required. Sexually promiscuous women mean that a K-strategy makes no sense. And yet, American women would seem to want to somehow combine sexual license with family life, or, at the very least, with the biological fathers being on the hook financially for the children. That would seem to be the worst of all worlds for men. No children in any social sense, and yet paying for them anyway. Hence, MGTOW, men going their own way.

Sam Vaknin imagines that men love this state of affairs. More intelligent men are K-strategists, dumb ones, R-strategists. Dumb people do not think about the future and live for the short term. So, perhaps he means that dumb men are happy about casual sex. A thoughtful man is not. Any activity where one’s emotions are not engaged is inherently desultory and boring – even playing a video game must be emotionally stimulating in order for it to be enjoyable. Being liked and admired by someone you respect and admire is nice; even, tremendously so. Being admired by someone for whom you have no respect, is positively horrible. It is not even ego-boosting. Promiscuous sex is not even fun. It is not even fun because spending time with someone you consider to be stupid, boring, immoral, ugly, and humorless is painful. And if you meet someone who is smart, interesting, beautiful, moral, and has a sense of humor, you will be having a great time and you will want to see her again. It is human nature to want to repeat experiences that are very rewarding. No one says, “That meal was truly delicious. I am never coming back.” To summarize an article of mine called “The Fantasy of Promiscuity” from years ago, as soon as meeting someone is truly emotionally rewarding and fulfilling, then the fantasy of promiscuity is over. Promiscuous sex only exists so long as you are not particularly enjoying yourself.

Vaknin also forgets that in out of control hypergamy nearly all the women gravitate to the very few men who are unusually attractive – the top 4%. So, though some of that tiny number of men might be enjoying themselves, at least for a while until they get sick of it, 96% are not. So, his claim that men like promiscuous women should include the fact that 96% of men do not, since women are not being promiscuous with them.

16 thoughts on “What is the Patriarchy and What is the Alternative?

  1. Interesting, and your final point is probably true, but the ‘live fast die young’ approach is not linked with easy life, but with short, unstable life. Where there is no *point* in planning for the future. If you have no security, then you don’t store food, you eat it, before it can be taken off you. You don’t worry about consequences because you are dead anyway.
    Note that how different Russia is to Scandinavia, despite having similar (well, even more extreme!) climate and the Rus being Norse. The different culture is the result of Tartar dominion.

    • Hi, whitelaughter. At the moment, I’m accepting the evolutionary biologists’ assertion that R-strategy is the result both of very easy conditions (Fiji) and unstable ones. The fact that R-strategy makes sense in both scenarios speaks in its favor.

      Russia has done pretty well culturally. St. Petersburg by Volkov presents a truly stunning picture of a vibrant culture. There is one point that if the climate gets too extreme, where farming can’t exist, then climate inhibits intelligence again. I don’t know enough to comment about Tartar dominion, but I’ll provisionally take your word for it!

  2. I cannot see how hard winters could not select for foresight and delayed gratification, but the idea is literally unthinkable by many otherwise intelligent people nowadays. And the theory seems to be confirmed by a mountain of historical and experimental evidence. Some groups find it hard to think about the future. Others find it hard to think about anything else.

    I think Christianity reinforced the natural low time preference of Europeans with its doctrine of self control in this world and heavenly rewards in the next. The enjoinder to “store up riches in heaven” must have rung an especially sympathetic chord with men and women who had been worrying about Jack Frost for sixty thousand years.

    The decay of Christianity and monogamy give us a good opportunity to see the relative contributions of nature and nurture. When the cultural buttresses are removed, northern peoples clearly become more R, but they do not become as R as tropical peoples.

    Many people have noted that capitalism requires a mix of R and K personalities, since the capitalist must defer consumption and the consumer must have it all right now. Socialism would seem to select entirely for R. But in either case, the great modern materialist ideologies seem destined to destroy themselves because they artificially create tropical conditions for everyone. It turns out that Jack Frost may have been our greatest benefactor.

    • Except that “the south” where there is no real winter (and where I live now) seems to be the home of modern evangelical Christianity in the US. Whereas the north and the northeast (where I grew up) is more secular.

      • That’s true. Modern Western life has created easy conditions for everyone – including welfare recipients – and this promotes R-strategist approaches and irrelegiousness. Mortality salience (being aware you might die anytime) is associated with having children and being more religious. Religious people are happier and healthier. It’s a better environmental match. Though poorer impulse control means Southerners are fatter. Northern Americans are mostly not breeding so natural selection favors the South at this point. Southern culture is the product of a particular working class English culture.

        Religious people and welfare recipients are outbreeding everyone else. Both are not so smart – especially fundamentalists. Very intelligent people are not having kids. It’s going to be an interesting future! Something like 4% of Nobel Prize winners are theists. I’m a theist so I’m not praising myself. A belief in God is instinctive in humans but high intellect can override instinct.

        Sorry. It’s time for bed and I’m not making a lot of sense.

      • Environment affects behavior in two ways, one fast-acting the other slow-acting. When northern Europeans settled the American South, the absence of a hard winter allowed many of them to become relatively shiftless and improvident. They were the “poor white trash”. But they were still descended from people who evolved in the more rigorous climate of northern England and Scotland, so the population naturally produced fewer “poor white trash” than it would have if they were descended from people who evolved in the tropics.

        Natural selection immediately set to work on northerners and southerners in the United States, but its work takes time and, as Richard says, is largely arrested by modern welfare. But until well into the nineteenth century, shiftless and improvident northerners could starve and freeze in the winter, and shiftless and improvident southerners could not.

        I think that most of the religious difference is explained by culture and not biology. Recent events have given me some food for thought on the question of intelligence and irreligion. At the southern university where I work, the relatively intelligent and irreligious faculty have very largely stuck to their covid masks, whereas the relatively unintelligent and religious students have not. The probability of infection is very low, so I would say the students are exhibiting higher intelligence and the masked faculty are exhibiting something else. My hypothesis is that it is egotism, an overvaluation of the self and self control. Spiritual pride is another name for egotism, and faith is offensive to spiritual pride.

      • @ winstonscrooge

        Re: “Except that “the south” where there is no real winter (and where I live now) seems to be the home of modern evangelical Christianity in the US.”

        The deep-south is marked by the features of the Piedmont: Soil which is poor in comparison to the deep, rich topsoil of the farm-belt Midwest, particularly in places like Georgia where the soil is not just heavy with clay, but also iron. Not to mention rocky, and often unsuited for agriculture. Oh, of course, people being inventive figured out how to grow things there, but there exists nothing like the agricultural bounty of California’s Central Valley or someplace like Iowa.

        These factors off-set the short and mild winters and the abundant rainfall across much of the South. And even the rain isn’t an unqualified blessing: Due to the number of evergreen species in the South, the rain leaches out the tannins and other acids in the vegetation, altering the pH of the soil in ways not always to the benefit of the farmer or rancher.

        The corporation Georgia-Pacific came about precisely because the soil of the deep-south would not support the same kinds of agriculture as the north and Midwest. It is wonderful to be able to grow pine trees for lumber and paper pulp, but they don’t particularly work as food sources. Ditto cotton and some of the other crops down there.

        And in those cases where farmers manage to grown corn and other foods, their per-acre yields are often much lower than in the prime farming areas of the nation.

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  4. This is something I’ve thought about to a degree. Mortality salience I understand. Until my son was born I was the last man in my bloodline. Even now, the thought that my son might not keep the line going plagues me. Which leads me to wonder if perhaps some middle ground between r/k can be selected for. I’d love to have a great big gaggle of offspring like the gummers used to have. I’d also make sure they knew their place in the cultural chain they’re transmitting.


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