…can also be our enemy too. Just because a person dislikes the regulatory state, that does not mean they see several liberty as first of all virtues.
Here on Samizdata.net, we have written many articles abominating the coercive law enforced process of moral relativism called ‘Political Correctness’. As a result, it is a measure of how bizarre some commenters can become when they starts accusing us of being PC because we do not have a problem with women joining the military, regardless of the fact none of us ever suggested a significant number of women have the physical strength to be front line infantry. It is apparent that the reason we are called ‘PC’ is that we do not think the only reasonable role for a woman in society is that of bearing and raising children.
Now I for one am all in favour of people who wish to have and raise children doing exactly that. Yet when it is suggested that a woman who might like to, say, spend her time flying a combat jet or wandering around lawless Basra as a military policewoman, we start seeing quack-science trotted out about ‘evolutionary biology’ and psychology and words to the effect that ‘real women are just unsuited to such things’ regardless of the mountain of evidence to the contrary… whilst somehow missing the rather obvious fact that actual biological evolution seems to have equipped woman, as well as men, with vastly powerful brains imbued with a capacity for reason and informed choices beyond crude instinctual motivations. Women have absurdly overpowered heads if the totality of their lives is driven by evolved psychological imperatives to immerse themselves in simple tasks such as having sex and keeping the house clean. That some of Samizdata.net’s commenters takes such an old style ‘breeders’ line is somewhat surprising these days given the avalanche of evidence that falsifies this ‘weaker sex’ theory (physical strength is not the issue here), but what is rather more remarkable is that the commenters, whilst hardly your typical libertarians, are not entirely out of sympathy with what is, for want of a better phrase, the libertarian meme. This fact is what I find really fascinating. Presumably that is also why they continue to read Samizdata.net in spite of the hostile reception they tend to get from other commenters.
I think Hans-Herman Hoppe, of whom I have written before, is probably operating from similar intellectual instincts. He argues that ‘natural’ societies will inevitably exert what he might describe euphemistically as ‘dis-affinity’, and I would describe as racism and bigotry, if only the over-mighty state was not enforcing tolerance for people ‘not like us': racial minorities, dopers, punk rockers and homosexuals would, if tolerated at all, be confined to ghettos because when all property is private and property rights are absolute, such ‘undesirables’ would be unable to live amongst the Volk not because there is a law against it, but because a society unfettered by a state and imbued with absolute property rights (and a complex network of property covenants to prevent social change) would just demand things be that way.
Why? Hoppe would argue that it is because that is the way of human nature, which is of course exactly what our quixotic sexual determinist commenters argue as well: that is just the way we are… or in my view, because that is just the way they are and they are thus convinced that must therefore be the ‘natural order’ of things.
Presumably our ‘nature’ obsessed commenters notions are just a variant of this sort of thinking. As I do not know the commenters in question personally, I can only make conjectures as to the reasons they think the things they do. I suspect our extravagantly sexist commenters see the modern state as the cause of what to them seems like widespread aberrational behaviour by millions and millions of women, and this is the fount from which their anti-statism flows… it is not a matter of ‘liberty’ per se and certainly not a matter of individualism.
No, they make it clear that the good of the society is what matters rather than the individual, presuming, as I do not, that society is more than the sum of its parts. However the root underpinning reasons they see the behaviour of woman who elect to stray from the path of Kinder, Kuche, Kirche as aberrational is a matter more for suited for couches in psychiatrists offices than here… I am more interested in why such people see any value in anti-statism when most people of their views are so profoundly statist.
Kinder, Kuche, Kirche
As previously mentioned I think they are out of favour with the state because they sees it as enforcing, or at least enabling, the ‘unnatural’ behaviour of women and long for the days when ‘women knew their place’ and were not just as likely to the person signing their paychecks. In their view, society in its natural state without the distortions of politically correct government would naturally use all the social pressures and opprobriums at its disposal to abominate women who decide they are rational beings with ends of their own rather than baby making factories for a presumed good of society.
In any case, I am all in favour of social bonds and peer pressures as I have no desire to live in either chaos nor in a state-regulated dystopia. The great thing about social pressure is that if it becomes intolerable you can always choose to take the counter-culture route and try to make your own way in life regardless of ‘fear or favour of the crowd’. I have nothing against women who submit to social pressure to wear a burqua, just so long as the law of the land does not also prohibit them saying ‘go fuck yourself’, moving to Venice Beach and putting on a bikini… only when social pressure is replaced by legal force do I start suggesting people start reaching for their rifles and wishing the eventual fate of Taliban Afghanistan on such a place.
But just as the cosmopolitan miscegenated streets of London prove Hoppe hopelessly wrong regarding his view of what millions of people will choose to do in a modern society if given the choice, for the truth is people are given the choice is such matters, similarly in the case of our commenters they are counfounded by the evidence of reality. The very fact so many women across the developed world start businesses, join armies, become policewomen, get high flying careers with or without children, makes the notion that any woman who is not driven by evolutionary psychological programing to hearth and home before all else is not a ‘real’ woman just as manifestly absurd… because we are not talking about a few testosterone riddled circus freaks here but many millions of people across all Western societies. So much for programing and evolution.
In an era of low infant mortality, long life spans and all manner of alternative child support systems (even, shock horror, stay-at-home dads), the instinctual primitivism of those who call for driving women back into the subservience of old most to be understood for what it is: attempts to justify misogyny. It is such arrant nonsense I am disinclined to waste more pixels on the subject.