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Hollywood values

Yeah, it’s a soap opera, at least for us Americans. But what’s so fascinating about it, at least to me, is how the values of Hollywood, and one insecure, narcissistic American actress, have the power to shake the British throne. How threatening to denounce the Queen of England as a racist and a sexist is a thing that her grandchildren would do — and how it might work to manipulate her into doing their bidding. This reveals what real power looks like in the 21st century.

So writes Rod Dreher, piling on about Harry and Meghan (formerly of the UK Royal Family, so it appears at the time of writing). So much has been written and said that it is difficult to add much further. It is, however, interesting to note that one development in parts of the Web is how Harry is being used by “manosphere” commentators as an example of how not to behave and of the sort of mistakes men can make in selecting long-term relationships. There is, to give one case, a chap called Richard Cooper, based in Canada (I bet the Canadian taxpayers are delighted about having to look after Harry and Meghan’s security), and he has a site called Entrepreneurs in Cars. Another commentator who writes books about “red pill awareness” for men when it comes to women is Rollo Tomassi (this is his pen-name, and he’s a fan of the film LA Confidential, which is where the name comes from). Some of these men appear to be fans of evolutionary psychology, and make a big deal about the concept of hypergamy (the idea that women in their younger adult years look for “Alpha” males to have lots of hot sex with and switch to more tame “Beta” males as they reach the stage when they want to have babies, but still at times crave for the Alpha male, which is why they can quickly ditch a husband when they get bored, and are protected more than before by Western divorce laws, which tend to favour women in things such as custody of kids. As with all such notions, these are generalisations, and there are plainly exceptions). The take-away from all this is that Harry is very much now a Beta, having been a bit more of an Alpha male during his Army, helicopter-flying, dancing naked in Vegas, days. And as he becomes more Beta, and goes along with his wife’s social justice warrior views, and all the rest of this stuff, he loses his sense of self and assertiveness. Such men can lash out, or become addicted to various substances, or worse.

What interests me about the H&M case isn’t so much what it says about the pros and cons of a constitutional monarchy in this age (I am a supporter in the very limited sense), but more about what it says about the state of our culture. And as we classical liberals/libertarians need to remember, political ideas don’t operate in a vacuum. A culture that puts a premium on victimhood, that makes excuses, etc, is toxic for liberty and autonomy. In a different context, the desire of this young couple for “financial independence” would be congruent with a libertarian outlook if they weren’t also desiring to make use of an institution like the Royal family.

I actually feel some sympathy for Harry, in particular. He had no choice to be born a royal, and I for one don’t criticise him for wanting to get out of the limelight, so long as he does not try to play both sides of this situation.

One thing that strikes me is that Harry doesn’t seem, as far as I can see, to have any close male buddies that he can hang out with, for example. He has a brother (from whom he appears to be distant these days), but where are the mates, the guys he can fish with, drink beer with, play sports with and so on? Every man, no matter how happily married, needs to have such a network of pals. One thing I pride myself on is that I haven’t allowed my circle of friends to collapse after getting hitched. Social media is not a substitute. In Harry’s case, he was in the Army, and he went through the banter, teasing and discomforts of being a soldier. I cannot help but think that things went downhill for him when he left the Army.

Anyway, I promise not to write about this couple again.

45 comments to Hollywood values

  • Snorri Godhi

    Richard Cooper’s video is of great practical interest to hetero-men who are still un-hitched, because of the concept of red flags. I must investigate it further.

    Right from the start, however, anyone could see 3 red flags:
    * she is an American celebrity;
    * she is an American feminist;
    * she is divorced.

    Apologies to divorced ladies: that flag is perhaps not as bright-red as the others. Certainly not all marriages to divorced women are doomed to failure — but a man must coldly take into account his rational chances of success.

  • George Atkisson

    Referencing his lack of male friends, someone like Meghan will actively work to isolate her husband from his former friends. This is for control purposes. She will then choose which male friends are acceptable to her, because they know not to ever take Harry’s side and will reliably report back to her if he steps out of line when she’s not present.

    Snorri, as far as getting married to a divorced woman, you need to get a third party’s opinion of the cause of divorce. If violence or other abuse on the husband’s part is involved, it shouldn’t be an issue. If she just felt bored or was planning on upgrading her partner because she “deserved better”, BIG Red Flag.

    Frankly, once Meghan has achieved her desired Celebrity/Woke/Media Status, she won’t need old Harry anymore as a fashion accessory and will oh-so-regretfully and publicly divorce him for maximum sympathy and media coverage. I give them 3 years.

  • Itellyounothing

    I am a constitutional monarchist, but Harry and Megan bore me to the point of republicanism.

    They can fuck off poor for all I care.

    Queeny should show some fucking backbone for once.

    If you want male friends, try not being a whipped little bit*h

  • Snorri Godhi

    George:

    as far as getting married to a divorced woman, you need to get a third party’s opinion of the cause of divorce.

    Agreed and amplified: any man needs a third party’s opinion on whether he is delusional about his prospective wife, whether divorced or not. And the same applies to women, i suppose.

    If violence or other abuse on the husband’s part is involved, it shouldn’t be an issue.

    On this, i must disagree: if a woman married an abusive man, then you must wonder what was wrong with her, and whether it is still an issue.

    You might think, of course, that you will be able to deal with the issue; and perhaps you are right. But at least you should recognize the issue.

    If she just felt bored or was planning on upgrading her partner because she “deserved better”, BIG Red Flag.

    On this, there can be no disagreement.

  • Myno

    “Every man, no matter how happily married, needs to have such a network of pals.”

    Quibble: as one who is fortunate enough to be in a 36+ year “soul mate” marriage, much more strongly bonded to my wife than to any male friends, I take this more generally, that any male who has a network of pals ought not be forcibly isolated from them by marriage. Finding the partner of your dreams will doubtless cause a reassessment and rearrangement of one’s priorities, possibly to the natural reduction of the average time spent with male pals. Trouble arises only when that reduction is forced in some respect, in this case perhaps by an overbearing personality dictating terms of endearment to a weaker personality. As others here have, I too wonder how long that weakness will persist.

  • jsallison

    I don’t have an opinion on the monarchy, not having one over here, but I feel somewhat embarrassed for HRH. She’s been a fixed point over there my entire life. Pretty sure she doesn’t need this drama as we near the close of her reign.

  • lucklucky

    “A culture that puts a premium on victimhood, that makes excuses, etc, is toxic for liberty and autonomy.”

    Victimhood is a tactic for unrestricted power.

  • Fraser Orr

    The part that stuck in my craw was the whole “working toward being financially independent” bit. Good god, she was a star actress in a massively popular TV show, and he is a royal prince who inherited ten million quid twice — once from his mother and once from his great grand mother. All that and he is still functionally the equivalent of living in his mommy’s basement?

    There is no doubt the dude had balls, he insisted that he go on active duty as a tank commander in a hot war zone, despite the fact that he would be a major target and the fact that he had a perfectly good excuse not to go. Much as his Uncle Andrew did. My god, what has happened to the guy that his goolies have shrunk back up into his body? Army guys usually have a great group of friends — their old army buddies. I imagine they are embarrassed for him.

    The whole thing is so un-British. If they want to live their lives that way, then more power to them. Go do it. But why make all this fuss? Why embarrass your whole family?

    FWIW, I really liked Markle when she joined the firm. I thought she’d be a great addition, and provide a fun contrast to the rather stiff Catherine, much as Harry was a fun contrast to his rather stiff brother. But my god what a pair of whiny, entitled complainers. And what disingenuous crap to play the race card.

  • Itellyounothing

    Yep, letting a feminist woman of colour marry on into the Royal proves they are all racist.

    Can’t be they find narcissistic actress only temporarily bearable…..

    0 for two on good outcomes from marrying Yank divorcees…… Now it’s a tradition.

  • Barry Sheridan

    Quite what Harry saw in Ms Markle is difficult to assess, he had after all the sort of cachet that would tempt most eligible females. However he made his choice and must live with it, or, that is, until she decides he is no longer useful to her. That aside, what annoys me, and that is the case, arises from the obvious lack of respect he has shown to the Queen. After all this stepping back could have been done quietly, a gradual process instead of trumpeting it for the whole world to see. Disappointing is not the word for this attitude, and as for the contemporary mantra where racism is alleged as some sort of justification, well that is far from from it. The expectation would have been that they are adults and could cope, although as we know all too well the need to be seen as a victim is overwhelming, especially for anyone who has even a hint of being none white. As for Harry, one has to ask what is he getting out of this marriage? He looks miserable, and her continually touching him as if to guide him as if he is an incompetent is downright creepy. Harry has become isolated, it will erode his inner self and in time destroy him as it has done other men before him whose wives have manipulated the instinctive traits in men that see them sacrifice all for their own family. It is all rather sad.

  • Paul Marks

    It is not really about “Hollywood” – accusations of “racism” and “sexism” (and “homophobia”, “Islamophobia”, “transphobia” and so on) are the standard doctrines of the education system (the schools and the universities) – and this is true in most Western nations (Germany, France, Italy Spain – where ever) not just Britain and the United States.

    The schools and universities teach these doctrines (derived from the Frankfurt School of Marxism and French Post Modernism – which is formally different, but has the same agenda of destroying “capitalism” on grounds of “exploitation” and “oppression”).

    The refusal to openly admit that these doctrines (“anti….” in the name of “diversity” or whatever) have a Marxist agenda is the root of the problem. The temptation is to say “well I will go along with all this – because I am not a bigot” which fails to understand that, to the modern education system and the media it creates, we are ALL “bigots” – simply by being born what we are.

    “I want a quiet life – I will just go along with all this” does-not-work as the demands just become more and more extreme if one keeps giving in to the demands.

    “Unless you do X you are an ….ist and are guilty of a phobia”.

    The correct response to this is to say “shove your Frankfurt School of Marxism doctrines where the sun does not shine”.

    There is not such thing as “Political Correctness gone mad” – as “Political Correctness” is Marxism (although the modern mutated sort of Marxism – it still has the same agenda of destroying the “capitalist” West) it can not “go mad” as it is mad to start with – and it is nothing to do with it being “taken to an extreme” as it is extreme in its very essence.

  • Paul Marks

    “We must spend more money on education”.

    “Why are the young so left wing these days?”

    People who come out with both these statements, i.e. do not understand what is being taught in the schools and universities (or think what they teach does not matter), drive me to despair.

  • Simon Just

    Quite what Harry saw in Ms Markle is difficult to assess

    Not that hard really, she looks great, probably even better with her ankles tucked behind her ears 😉

  • CaptDMO

    In the US, the name Yoko Ono came up almost immediately.(With an obvious nod to Bare Naked Ladies song)
    I chose to reference “This Is Spinal Tap”, as well as “The Fisherman’s Wife”

  • staghounds

    Divorce LAWS don’t favour women, or men either, in matters of custody or anything else. They are carefully written to be entirely neutral.

    The people who administer those laws, and the culture in which we all live, may be different. And the nature of men in the aggregate may help explain what appear to be disproportionate outcomes.

    But it’s not the laws themselves, any more than laws about pay favour men.

  • What this whole thing highlights is the problem of “What to do with the spare(s) when the heir to the throne has secured his line by having multiple children?”.

    Under primogeniture (which no longer applies to the UK throne) it could aptly be described as “The Prince Andrew problem”. Given that the problems of Prince Andrew have been resolved by stripping him of his duties the problem has now passed onto the next generation (i.e. “The Prince Harry problem”).

    The biggest problem here though is “Too many pigs for the tits”.

    Maybe if we didn’t give airs, graces and highfalutin titles to the sundry nth suns and daughters of the monarch they could work for a living rather than being welfare dependants for the monarchy, paid for by the taxpayer.

    If Beatrice and Eugenie weren’t “princesses” (what does that mean anyway nowadays), then who would care who they married or what they did?

  • Johnathan

    Up to a point I agree. But some “spares” are a good idea. You never know when a tyre bursts and you need to fit a new one, so to speak. It’s also helpful to spread some duties around as folk get into old age. But that’s not Meghan’s thing: duty is a bit old fashioned and even a bit oppressive.

  • Snorri Godhi

    It is anomalous for me to be interested in celebrity gossip, but i really think that there are lessons to be learned here, though they have little or nothing to do with politics.

    Here is another video of interest, and please note that this is from a woman.

    Of special interest to me was the bit about Meghan’s ‘narcissistic smirk’ (beginning at about 3:25). I was blind to it: I thought that one could trust somebody with a smile like that. At least, before finding out that she is an American feminist.
    So, i learned something i didn’t know about human nature.

  • Phil B

    @ Frazer Orr …

    “All that and he is still functionally the equivalent of living in his mommy’s basement?

    It is a simple explanation. The British Royal family is, in fact, INDIAN

  • Snorri Godhi

    In reply to Paul Marks (January 15, 2020 at 9:34 am)

    accusations of “racism” and “sexism” (and “homophobia”, “Islamophobia”, “transphobia” and so on) are the standard doctrines of the education system (the schools and the universities) – and this is true in most Western nations (Germany, France, Italy Spain – where ever) not just Britain and the United States.

    I don’t know about the present, but in my time, Frankfurt Marxism was virtually absent from Italian schools. Teachers did not hide their politics, but their politics were far from uniform. Fascism, Christian Democracy, and communism (Leninism) were all represented. In fact, my estimate is that there were more fascists than commies amongst Italian school-teachers. Which fits in with the last few pages of chapter 8 of The Road to Serfdom, about public-sector workers supporting fascism/nazism in reaction to the working class supporting socialism/communism.

    My view is that 5 heresies of orthodox Marxism are of most historical interest:
    Leninism;
    social democracy;
    Italian fascism;
    German nazism;
    Frankfurt Marxism (aka PC fascism).

    At least the last 3 seem to have been supported enthusiastically by public-sector workers.
    The first 2 as well, in some times and places.

  • Divorce LAWS don’t favour women, or men either, in matters of custody or anything else. They are carefully written to be entirely neutral.

    Tell that to the numerous dads that have been subject to “parental alienation” by cupcake. Sure, I get the point that it is not the law that is wrong, but the administration, but that doesn’t really help, does it?

  • Itellyounothing

    Think what women who want a marriage will have to offer to be worth the risk?

    Given men are turning away from entering a marriage seems to be a growing trend, female behaviour in aggregate will end up being more constrained than ever…..

    Not advocating endless war between the sexes, just watching the inevitable response to uneven application of divorce law.

    I am happily married, but there seems to be a lot of lonely cat women wandering about my age cohort..

  • Given men are turning away from entering a marriage seems to be a growing trend, female behaviour in aggregate will end up being more constrained than ever

    You sure about that? Because I see no obvious sign of that happening thus far, at least in the under 30’s age group. In the over 30’s age group there is a lot of regret and anger, but no obvious signs of changing behaviour.

    However, this is not my problem. As the Poles say “Nie mój cyrk, nie moje małpy” (Trans: “Not my circus, not my monkey’s”)

  • bobby b

    ” . . . are protected more than before by Western divorce laws, which tend to favour women in things such as custody of kids.”

    No, Western divorce laws favor the kids in such matters.

  • No, Western divorce laws favor the kids in such matters.

    The whole “What is in the best interests of the child” is just a legal fiction. The reality is that the mother is granted SOLE custody in the vast majority of cases, regardless of representations by the father or the expressed wishes of the children, the only exception being serious alcohol/drugs dependency, neglect or abuse.

    If they genuinely wanted to do what is in the best interests of the child then the rule would be 50/50 shared parenting unless distance / work commitments make it impossible.

    Don’t piss on my back and tell me that it’s raining.

  • Itellyounothing

    John Halt, allowing for news and dodgy civil services, Fairly sure, yeah.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/marriages-men-women-lowest-record-heterosexual-lgbt-ons-a8232751.html

    But please show me I am wrong cause I like your vision infinitely better!

  • bobby b

    “The reality is that the mother is granted SOLE custody in the vast majority of cases, regardless of representations by the father or the expressed wishes of the children, the only exception being serious alcohol/drugs dependency, neglect or abuse.”

    The reality is that, in about 95% of cases, both parents are granted Joint Legal Custody – meaning, they get equal say in major legal, medical, religious, etc. decisions concerning the kid – and the parent who handles the bulk of the kid’s welfare concerns gets Primary Physical Custody with fairly liberal visitation.

    Meaning, the parent who makes sure the kid gets breakfast and lunch and dinner, who knows first when the kid is sick and knows where the insurance card is and who makes the doc appointments and drives the kid there, who handles birthday parties and sleepovers, and who makes sure the kid has underwear and socks, and who has the bulk of the day-to-day interaction with the kid, gets Primary Physical Custody.

    And, in our culture, that “who” ends up more often than not being the mom.

    But I’ve had cases where that “primary parent” was the dad, and in those cases, dad got primary physical custody. It’s all about continuity for the kid.

    (Sorry, I used to be a divorce lawyer, and I continue to think our system makes quite good sense. Too many dads think that child custody out to be similar to awarding ownership of the canoe, or the bank account. The welfare of mom or dad rightly doesn’t count for much in determining the best outcome for the kid.)

  • Fraser Orr

    @bobby b
    Meaning, the parent who makes sure the kid gets breakfast and lunch and dinner, who knows first when the kid is sick and knows where the insurance card is and who makes the doc appointments and drives the kid there, who handles birthday parties and sleepovers, and who makes sure the kid has underwear and socks, and who has the bulk of the day-to-day interaction with the kid, gets Primary Physical Custody.

    That seems kind of circular reasoning to me. The parent who gives the kid breakfast is the parent at whose house the kid is sleeping. So the argument boils down to: “Mom gets custody because she feeds him breakfast, which she does because she has custody.”

    I’ve known a few “single dads”, but they only got custody because the mom was a junkie, or mentally unstable or some extreme situation. But you know a lot more about it than me. Your description doesn’t seem to match what I see though.

    FWIW, I agree that the welfare of the child should be pretty much the only consideration, but there does seem to be an underlying assumption that the child is best served by living with mom unless there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary. It is possible that that assumption is correct, but I’ve seen plenty of cases where it plainly isn’t. But I also think divorce and child custody law does vary quite a lot from state to state and country to country.

  • bobby b

    “Fraser Orr
    January 17, 2020 at 1:30 am

    “That seems kind of circular reasoning to me.”

    I was unclear. That’s the standard used to make an initial determination of custody, right out of a “still together” scenario – and the court would be looking at the peoples’ customs and habits before the parties started girding for the divorce.

    (In my jurisdictions), subsequent change of custody motions are tough to win. Courts favor continuity for the kids – all the people who know things agree that this is of utmost importance to kids’ mental health. So, you need to basically prove that the current custody structure has become newly unsafe for the kid. And note the “newly” part – everything that was proved up in the initial determination is assumed to still be valid, and you need to show a change that occurred since then. You can’t just retry the case.

    ” . . . there does seem to be an underlying assumption that the child is best served by living with mom unless there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary. “

    The assumption that is there ends with a similar effect, but stems from a different root. “Mom”, in American life, is still the one who most often acts as the main point of contact with the kid. So, it’s not “give him to mom because she’s mom”, but “give him to mom because she takes care of him.” Correlation isn’t causation, and all of that.

  • @Bobby B – That line of fallacies, circular argument and dubious logic may work “Where you come from”, but it ends up being “The dice are loaded, but you’ve gotta roll”.

    Little more than a justification of bias, abuse of power and corrupt practice.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “Little more than a justification of bias, abuse of power and corrupt practice.”

    It’s down to the way people conform to ‘traditional’ gender roles. Men go out to work. Women look after the kids. If you conform to the traditional roles, you can’t be surprised if the traditional roles bite back. If the father stays at home changing nappies, feeding babies, dressing and washing the kids, making sure they get safely to school and to their football matches or dance classes, while the mother goes out to work full time plus overtime and weekends and trips away, then the father gets to keep the kids. There’s a price to be paid for the privilege.

    Feminists have tried to get men to change nappies and women to go out and get high-paid jobs in engineering and science, but men and women persist in doing what they like.

    If women want equal pay, they have to pay the price and live like men do. If men want equal child-custody outcomes, they have to pay the price and live like women.

    If the sexes act differently, they get treated differently. Isn’t this what you want?

  • Snorri Godhi

    Suzanne Venker puts it more strongly than i did: Never marry a feminist. (h/t Instapundit)

    Of course, Venker is American, so she refers to American feminism.

    I have mixed feelings about this: i think that it is best to marry a woman who can take care of herself and your children if you die. (Failing that, it is satisfactory if your wife’s family can and would take care of her and your children if you die.)

    OTOH i also think that, ideally, a man should not marry a woman who does not think of him as an alpha male, because
    * if she is English-speaking, she’ll get bored with him and divorce him (this might also apply with lesser force to Northern European women);
    * if she is Italian, she’ll become totalitarian, within the nuclear family.

  • Snorri Godhi

    If women want equal pay, they have to pay the price and live like men do.

    Or they can just agitate for it. That seems to work in the Anglosphere…not in the sense that women get ””equal pay”” (as feminists understand “”equal pay””) but in the sense that politicians can campaign as champions of women’s rights.

    If men want equal child-custody outcomes, they have to pay the price and live like women.

    It might be of interest that i know of a Danish professor who got equal child custody of his 2 daughters AND alimony from his ex-wife (earning more than him). Keep in mind that she initiated the divorce; but isn’t that almost always the case in the US?

  • bobby b

    “If the father stays at home changing nappies, feeding babies, dressing and washing the kids, making sure they get safely to school and to their football matches or dance classes, while the mother goes out to work full time plus overtime and weekends and trips away, then the father gets to keep the kids.”

    Having done somewhere over a hundred divorces in my time, I can say with authority that this is exactly correct. And many times it worked to my client’s detriment. But it is a good rule.

  • bobby b

    “Keep in mind that she initiated the divorce . . .”

    In most states here, that’s not even considered as a factor. “No-fault” means, as soon as either party says “I want one”, it happens, and the division is mostly a math equation. No “he said this”, “she slept with that”, just “how do we split this jointly-owned stuff up equitably, and what arrangement will be best for the kids?”

  • Nullius in Verba (January 17, 2020 at 12:08 pm), I think it is the double-standard that grates. You are of course quite right to say that a tendency towards the mother getting custody once reflected what in any other context today would be called an “old-fashioned” male/female-role idea. Indeed, it is old and was once in debatable degree balanced (or some might say overbalanced) by other male/female-role ideas – and also by the idea that it mattered who had or had not kept their marital vows. Today, what is denounced as prejudice and what is kept seems one-sided – which in turn makes some complaining about it less one sided, though I do take your logical point.

    One might (very distantly!) compare my criticisms of anti-semitism in the modern world. There is plenty of the real thing. There are also things (e.g. that New York Times cartoon of Netenyahu guide dog leading blind Trump) which are disgustingly hypocritical, because the NYT would scream about far less in any other context, but which would in themselves be minor (e.g. just a cartoon of two politicians, with ethnic tropes) if it were not for the double-standard.

  • willfulknowledge

    In my day we called “Beta” males p****whipped.

  • Paul Marks

    Snorri – developments in Italy have been much the same as much of the West.

    Rent control – designed to destroy rental accommodation and prevent young families getting a home.

    Employment regulations – designed to create mass unemployment, and thus prevent normal families.

    Abortion and so on – designed to prevent the next generation even being born. What was presented as a few tragic cases (rape, incest and so on) has become very different in practice – and that was always the INTENTION.

    And mass, illegal, immigration – designed to replace the “capitalist” Western population of Italy with people not “burdened” by “capitalist culture”.

    It is true that there are Italian political parties (the League) that oppose much of the above – but the establishment elite smear them every day, both in the education system and the media. Big Business and other such are happy to fund the radical left (such as the “Sardines” movement) – as long as they have a common objective – the destruction of Italy (and the destruction of the West in general). And rich individuals and so on are not born leftist – it comes from the education system.

    So Italy does not appear to be be an exception to the normal rule.

  • Paul Marks

    The divide in Italy used to be (generally) between Marxists and Catholics.

    However, even as early 1891 it was clear that Pope Leo XIII had accepted some (some) of the false positions of the left – the first paragraph of his Encyclical of that year (1891) accepts that capitalism has created the impoverishment of the masses and a morally degenerate society (the claims are, as I have said, in the very first paragraph of the work) – the claims were utterly false (the idea that people were poorer or more immoral in 1891 than in 1791 or 1691 or 1591 or 1491 is absurd) – but the false claims were the basis of the “Social Teaching” of moderate interventionism.

    It must be stressed (as Snorri will point out) that this was MODERATE interventionism – so the divide between Catholics and Marxists remained a real one.

    But from the 1960s that divide has started to fall apart – due to developments in the Church itself.

    It would NOT be correct to say that Pope Francis is a Marxist – but he is not a clear foe of Marxism either, indeed he has accepted most of the basic economic, social and historical assumptions of Marxism (in spite of the fact that all of these assumptions are FALSE).

    So the major opposition to the left in Italy, the Church, has ceased to really operate – even though Marxism itself (as a formal doctrine) has collapsed.

    It is strange – the Marxists will likely succeed (destroying both Italy and the West in general) at the time when few people really believe in Marxism as a formal doctrine any more.

    Many people just accept Marxist assumptions – without even knowing what they are.

    By the way… the great mistake of the Jesuits and others was NOT in reading the Marxist doctrines (of course they should be read) – the mistake was in not reading the works that REFUTED Marxism.

    The Jesuits and others did not mean to help the Marxists, they meant to oppose them. But the failure to study the works that REFUTED the Marxist claims about history, economics and society, was a fatal error. So the Jesuits and others ended up serving objectives they set out to oppose.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Paul: i spoke specifically about education. It is a simple fact that there was no indoctrination in Italy in my time, presumably because fascists, commies, Christian democrats, and Catholic priests (not always Christian democrats) had to get along.

    It might be different now, because the current narrative, that the State is there to protect women, minorities, and the environment, is more acceptable to the faithful. Unlike heathens like me, the Catholic Church does not have a visceral distrust of the State.

    Still: it used to be that the Commies were the 2nd largest party, and the crypto-fascists the 4th. Now they have disappeared, or changed beyond recognition. I call that progress.

    You talk of rent control, but rent control in Italy was abolished decades ago. I call that progress. It seems to me that a young couple has a much easier time finding decent accommodation in Italy than in England.

    Abortion remains substantially more restricted in Europe than in the US; although the US might yet renounce its exceptionalism in this. Certainly abortion is not the reason why birth rates are so low.
    As for immigration, it is only after Salvini got into government that the “”left”” started openly favoring it.

    Speaking for myself, i despise Berlusconi: the “”left”” has a better track record of free-market reform than signor B. has. It must be said, however, that at least he provided an alternative in the media to those unsatisfied with the narrative of the “”left””; and Salvini stands to cash in.

    A minor point: the reason Italy made a turn for the worse in the 1960s is, at least in part, that the Socialist Party entered into the government coalition.

    Finally, i must point out that Italy is not the country which gives me most hope.

  • Echo

    Wondering why all y’all care about it.

  • Slartibartfarst

    Yes, I’d echo that last comment.

  • Paul Marks

    Snorri – I know that there were a few Classical Liberals in Italy (up to about 1962 when the ruling Christian Democrats made a turn to the left – allying with socialists and kicking the liberals out of the coalition), but I really do doubt they had much influence in education.

    You will, of course, correct me if I am mistaken – but were any of your teachers (any at all) opposed to such things as the utterly insane labour regulations that were imposed in Italy in the 1970s? Were any even opposed to the rent control that was imposed in the 1940s?

    Yes there were a few free market academics – but I get the feeling that the teachers were “Social Reformers” (Collectivism by the installment plan) types – but, again, you will correct me if I am mistaken.

    By the way – I have been saying “Richard Epstein” when I mean ROBERT Epstein when talking about the academic who exposed the tricks of Google and other Collectivist tech companies.

    Julie from Chicago corrected my mistake – for which I apologise.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Paul, even when you make a mistake I learn something! Never heard of this Robert Epstein.

    Hafta go see what’s what. :>)

  • Snorri Godhi

    Paul asks me a couple of questions:

    You will, of course, correct me if I am mistaken – but were any of your teachers (any at all) opposed to such things as the utterly insane labour regulations that were imposed in Italy in the 1970s? Were any even opposed to the rent control that was imposed in the 1940s?

    The answers are no and no.
    (To the best of my recollection.)
    But if Paul had asked me:

    were any of your teachers (any at all) supportive of such things as the utterly insane labour regulations that were imposed in Italy in the 1970s? Were any even supportive of the rent control that was imposed in the 1940s?

    The answers would still be no and no.

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