Notes #3 What we Value

Many people who support traditional gender roles attempt to establish their arguments based on biological differences between the genders.  This is honestly the best approach, not just because it is the truest argument but because it is the most honest.  I’m going to make a dishonest argument.  Why?  Well, because it’s fun.

Let’s establish our counterfactual, let’s begin with the assumption that women are better than men at everything.  Yes, from this assumption I can indeed argue that women should still go back to the kitchen.  The concept that we will first need to understand to make this argument is highest and best use.  This is a difficult concept for people to understand within themselves.  You might be amazing at writing, you might even be the best writer in the world.  Your grammar is perfect, your stories are perfectly structured, and you don’t have a bad idea in you.  Even so, if you were, let’s say, a CEO of a multinational corporation your time might be better spent being a CEO.  It could very well be the case that you aren’t the best CEO in the world, but that do to shortages and your own personal experience with the company you are more valuable as a CEO than as a writer.  That it is not to say it would be wrong to be a writer, but there are many people who are very good at a great number of things yet only a few of those skills are economically valuable.

It is not always the case that what people do is what THEY value.  Many white collar workers might not value the work they do in their day job highly.  Yet they trade their time for money for which they then trade for things which support the things they do value.  Becuase the market doesn’t care individually what they enjoy doing (beyond their consumption habits, not production habits) they do what they think will get them the most money.  They could indeed be wrong.  That CEO may indeed make more money as a writer, or not, it depends on the case.  The highest and best use from a materialist perspective is participating in the production of goods or services that are of the most valuable directly or indirectly to the market.  Not everyone will find their most valuable use, but most find something.

Now back to gender roles.  Again let’s pretend that women are better than men at everything, and I mean absolutely everything.  What is their best use?  Well, there is certainly something which only women can do.  That is bear children.  What of it?  Even if we managed to establish a tradition for women bearing children we could still have men raise them right?  That is true, however, we now have a choice and one which establishes our values as a society.  If women are universally better than men at everything, then they will be better at raising children than men as well.  So which is more valuable, our children having the best upbringing, training and inculcation of values possible or more widgets?

This question becomes even more complex when we factor in time.  In any given year it doesn’t really matter if there are children or are not children.  Children take nine months plus some significant amount of refinement time to produce an adult.  If we assume that better child rearing results in the eventual production of more widgets, then we have to consider our societal time preference.  Do we want more women making widgets now, or do we want more widgets when the current crop of children enter the workforce?   Even in the scenario where women are the majority of teachers we are artificially lowering the amount of individual time that women spend with children for more widgets.  Secondly given that highly skilled workers are more likely to seek out or be sought by higher paying jobs, we would still not be utilizing are best minds to rear children.  This is essentially the same question as to whether to eat your seeds or plant them.  Even assuming women are better at everything  (given future time orientation) it would still be their best use to bear and raise children.

Working backward we can reveal the preferences of the current sovereigns.  It is readily apparent that the current regime prefers working women and highly educated women.  Even if you were to argue that this isn’t the case, it is still inarguably the preference of adherents to heretical gender roles.  Given that there are trade-offs in life, it both obvious and reflected by outcomes that working and highly educated women have lower birth-rates.  In addition, even if they didn’t they would be still spending less time raising children.

The clear assumption from the 1st scenario is that the current regime (or heretics) prefer to produce more widgets now to producing even more widgets in the future.  This shouldn’t be surprising.  The practice of women as workers (given either scenario) is indistinguishable from high time preference.  This is the conclusion that is reached over and over again when analyzing current policy.  For some reason materialism as a worldview tends to be high time preference.  It optimizes for consumption in the present over production in the future.  It would be simple to dismiss this as a flaw in the philosophy, but the more likely scenario is that power is upstream of ideas.  Democratic power is unstable and the simplest way to stabilize itself is to buy votes.  If vote buying is the most stable solution the opinion setters will prefer ideologies that are materialist ( susceptible to bribery ) and high-time preference.

Given the myriad of possible interpretations of heretical gender roles, or utilitarianism or any other modern abomination: the most materialist and high time preference variants always win out.  It could be feasible, in theory, to have a low time preference utilitarian philosophy, yet no such thing ever seems to emerge as dominant.  There is no true ideology or correct feminism there is simply avatars of power which represent the various tribes which can form around  subversive identities.  The liberals and conservatives that misdiagnose SJWs as a new phenomenon can’t see that they were chosen by power for their divisive and rent seeking ideology.  The more fractured the tribes the cheaper it is to bribe any given group.  Democracy will always select for the most shortsighted ideologies not because people are stupid (even if they are) but because the more shortsighted the factions are the more secure the inner party will be.

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Notes #3 What we Value

3 thoughts on “Notes #3 What we Value

  1. Brilliantly put. I have often heard the argument “what about women who are really good at certain things” and this puts that to bed completely. Well done! By the way, I’ll be getting round to reading Ressentiment very soon I hope.

    Like

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