May 1, 2009

Miller: The role of blank slateism in consumerist capitalism

In Spent: Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behavior, Geoffrey Miller writes:
The fetishization of youth and disparagement of wisdom in consumerist social judgment

The accuracy of person perception tends to improve with age, as we learn, gradually and painfully, which behavioral cues are the most reliable indicators of personality, intelligence, and moral virtues. We learn which situations reveal the most diagnostic information about someone’s true character. We learn how to see through first impressions.

This explains why the dating choices made by teenagers have always seemed appallingly stupid to their parents. Teenagers are overly influenced by the traits that are easiest to assess (physical attractiveness and status among peers). By contrast, parents have decades more experience in assessing the harder-to-discern traits, such as conscientiousness, agreeableness, emotional stability, and intelligence, and in appreciating the longer-term benefits that these traits convey in any human relationship. This ability to judge character was considered a major part of wisdom, and a cardinal virtue, before consumerist capitalism made concepts like character, wisdom, and virtue sound unfashionable.

... [B]y the mid-twentieth century, it became crucial for marketers to convince young people that they could judge one another’s individuality more effectively through consumerist trait displays than their elders could through wise observation. Judgments of one’s peers and dates by the older generation had be made to seem old-fashioned, uncool, irrelevant, biased, and prejudiced. In this, the marketers succeeded spectacularly, assisted by two key twentieth century ideologies: (1) the egalitarian rejection of the idea that an individual’s personality, intelligence, mental health, and moral virtues are useful concepts worth evaluating accurately and discussing socially, and (2) the environmentalist rejection of the idea that these traits show stability within individuals (across situations, relationships, and ages) and within families (through genetic inheritance).

Consumerist capitalism has depended on youth’s embrace of these blank-slate ideologies, which were sold as thrillingly rebellious and thoughtfully progressive.

Throughout most of the twentieth century, they seemed validated by psychology, social science, progressive politics, and the self-help movement. In popular culture, the blank-slate ideology convinced the young that the purchase of any new product designed to display some personal trait was a heroic rebellion against the older generation’s outmoded belief in the existence, stability, and heritability of personal traits. In the behavioral sciences, the blank-slate ideology biased generations of scientists against trait psychology, personality research, intelligence research, behavior genetics, and any other area concerned with individual differences. Instead, the focus turned to psychological processes that were allegedly similar across all humans: child development, social cognition, neural information processing.

As long as advertising never actually used the old-fashioned terms for traits (character, intelligence, virtue), the young could buy, display, and admire the trait-displaying products, make the social judgments they needed to make about one another’s traits, and pretend that they were living in a radical new post-trait world. The whole discourse of traits went underground, discreetly hidden in the rhetoric and semiotics of branding and marketing. It remained just visible enough for the young to recognize, unconsciously, which products would display which traits, but it was just elusive enough that their anti-trait ideology was never threatened, and the person-perception wisdom of their parents never seemed relevant to their lives.

For example, rap music producers such as Dr. Dre realized in the 1990s that the real money lay in convincing white middle-class suburban boys that by buying and playing rap, they could display their coolness, attitude, and street cred (that is, their aspirations toward low conscientiousness, low agreeableness, and high promiscuity.) The white boys obliged by pouring billions of their parents’ dollars through the local music retailers’ hip-hop sections, while dissing their parents’ concerns that white girls might actually prefer to date boys who display high conscientiousness, agreeableness, and chastity. But if the parents couldn’t distinguish between DJ Spooky, DJ Spinna, and DJ Qualls, how could they possibly claim that the whole rap music industry was just another marketing-driven set of costly, unreliable trait displays, or that the trait displays their children considered cool were actually repulsive to potential mates, friends, and employers?

Thus, the blank-slate model of human nature, far from challenging the principles of consumerist capitalism, forms consumerism’s ideological bedrock. It makes the trait-perception wisdom of older generations seem outdated and irrelevant, and makes the trait-display aspirations of younger generations seem to require buying the appropriate goods and services, while allowing them to pretend that they live in a brave new post-trait world. Most importantly, it undermines everyone’s confidence that their traits are real enough and visible enough to be appreciated without being amplified and externalized by careerism and consumerism.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

47 comments:

testing99 said...

My critique of Miller's Blank Slate consumerism is that you cannot sell ice cubes to Eskimos, i.e. you cannot sell to people what they do not want.

Consumer Youth Mass Marketing was a feature of the competition for attractive members of the opposite sex, mostly among boys, since status/power and testosterone risk plays as much a part of attraction for women regarding men as looks.

If you were "cool" you could pull more, or better, girls than a guy uncool. Meanwhile girls were either hot or not, though competitive amongst their own ranks. Guys don't care about shoes for example, though women do.

Most of the Youth Mass Marketing played to either the male need to be "cool" to get girls or the female need to appear higher ranking among her female peers.

There was no blank slate-ism, and there is none today.

Anonymous said...

typo in the title of this entry steve

Michael Watts said...

Isn't it possible that young people are looking for different qualities in a mate than old(er) people want on their behalf? That would seem like a simpler explanation for "why the dating choices made by teenagers have always seemed appallingly stupid". I would guess that this isn't a difference in assessment so much as a difference in priorities. Are current youth displays repulsive to potential friends? Not really. Potential employers? Yes, but the young don't care.

Deckin said...

An interesting question and one that readers here almost by definition are probably curious about (a propos of consumer culture) is the story of the origins and propogation of the 'black=cool' meme. Do its origins lie with the growth of the rise of the consumer driven mass market that began post WWII? And if so, it is a result of that economic change or is it a result of the contiguity of large black populations newly arrived in the formerly lily white Norther urban areas? Or is it something else? Because it's pretty much, in some form or other, spread, however oddly modulated, globally. I'd like to hear a take on that.

Anonymous said...

The oddest paradox must be that, if anything, the cruder more superficial desires of teenagers are much more rooted in nature, hard-wired. While the more considered opinions of older people might represent nurture and culture, ie the blank-slate.

Yet consumerism manages to turn those ideas on their head.

Anonymous said...

There is an old saying, "Selling is making people what you have and marketing is having what people want".

Anonymous said...

You're on fire lately, Stevie Franchise, these posts have been gold.

Testy: is it even necessary for you to comment? We know what you are going to say before you even post. You disagree with *every* *single* *post* here; it's not the grotesque dishonesty so much as the predictability, it's very boring.

Anonymous said...

I want to like this book, but I have a problem with his view of mate selection. I stated earlier that I believe in the Romeo and Juliet revolution.

"Teenagers are overly influenced by the traits that are easiest to assess (physical attractiveness and status among peers)."

I do believe there are differences between men and women so I'll speak strictly as a woman, especially as one who married her high school sweetheart and is still happily married to him 10 years later: for me and all my girlfriends back then this just isn't true. There is no clinical assessment and then we give ourselves the okay to fall in love with that one special guy. Falling in love cannot be helped. I believe we women, and to a lesser extent men, want someone we can be compatible with socially and intellectually, but when it comes to lust and magnetic attraction, we are drawn closest to those who can best help us make our children better than ourselves. I believe we do this subconsciously as each of us "wears his genome on his sleeve" and even have unique smells.
While there may be some regression to the mean on traits like intelligence, I'm struck by how often children are better than either of their parents in other regards. You get the best children when their parents were allowed to choose each other and did so at a young age.

Other than all that, I am biased towards anyone who strongly believes in the wisdom of one's elders.

Anonymous said...

WOW! Miller really doesn't pull punches there. Amazing stuff.

Anonymous said...

the story of the origins and propogation of the 'black=cool' meme One view is that it's due in part to both (1) natural black tendencies towards showmanship and extraversion and (2) the culture of critique which broke down white self confidence over the course of the 20th century.

In the 19th century, especially the first half, blacks aspired to white mores. Booker T. Washington wore suits and blacks tried to pass as white. White was cool. Blacks were low status.

By the end of the 20th century, things had been entirely flipped around. Whites now aspired to pass as black or some other minority. They are also encouraged to mimick blacks in deeper ways, such as higher illegitimacy and STD rates. Finally, they basically worship blacks in sports and music.


It might be interesting to look at the ethnicities of the studio heads doing the encouraging.


Also -- the term "encouraged" is meant in the way Fred Reed means it -- if something is on a screen, and shown over and over, people will start to imitate the behavior, no matter how stupid it is. There are many reasons for this, but the sheer fact that something is on TV indicates a tacit societal endorsement.

To convince yourself that this is true, think about what you *don't* see on TV -- or in the New York Times, or in film.

Anonymous said...

methinks he doth confabulate too much. How much countercultural marketing was going on during the youth revolt in the 60s? It's not like there was no "consumerist capitalism" in America back then. But it was "consumerism" within the framework of a normal, adult, Western culture. Now, once those 60s rebels grew up and took over both society and marketing, now we have "consumerist capitalism" within the framework of a culture that unabashedly went off the deep end. Well, no wonder that the marketing did the same thing. Indeed marketing spearheaded the cultural change to a great extent.

So is this all the fault of consumerism and capitalism? It is, to the extent that consumerism and capitalism made it FEASIBLE for this to happen. If America were as dirt poor in 60s-80s as contemporary Soviet Union (or even as America of the 20s-40s), there certainly would have been a lot less countercultural lunacy going on. Well, we will be very poor soon enough, so bye-bye the pop culture. "The Secret" believers, meet the Gods of the Copybook Headings :)

Kronprinz said...

"---Do its origins lie with the growth of the rise of the consumer driven mass market that began post WWII? And if so, it is a result of that economic change or is it a result of the contiguity of large black populations newly arrived in the formerly lily white Norther urban areas? Or is it something else?---"

Some thoughts to ponder Deckin and all...

"The black community has a 70% illegitimacy rate. It’s really staggering when you think about it. And I bet if you isolated the illegitimacy rates to just the ghetto, the percentage of single mother homes would be even higher. As a result, the ghetto tends to be a very matriarchal community. And most of the men you do find tend to be young."

"So since they don’t have men to teach them how to be a man, this creates an insecurity in their male identity and causes them to create their own hyperexaggerated ideal of what a man should be.

"...It’s overcompensation to the worst degree."


"But even though they are doing their best to be supernigga, they still do things in a feminine way because feminine influences are most of what they know.

"Most of their role models and involved family members are women, and the few men in their lives were likely raised by only women too.

"And it shows in how they handle conflict: grudges are held forever, they never know how to let anything slide, they think primarily with emotion and are prone to outbursts, drama and confrontation and most importantly, they don’t know how to choose their battles.

"True male behavior isn’t being a drama queen, being highly prone to emotional outbursts and holding onto grudges; true male behavior is picking your battles, knowing when to fight and when to let things slide, analyzing things calmly and logically and having discipline over your moods and emotions and exercising emotional restraint.

"These are things that a true alpha male influence teaches you, and such influences have almost disappeared completely from the hood."


"Sure a lot of male tendencies are going to show on the surface. These guys are young and are bursting with testosterone after all. But look at a lot of the other behaviors that are there also.

"Sitting on the stoop getting their hair braided by other girls.

"Long t-shirts that go down to the kneecaps and look like skirts.

"Colorful clothes. Obsession with fashion, shopping, shoes and accessorizing. Love of jewelry.

"Grooming obsessions that would put metrosexuals to shame.

"The more you think about it, the more you’ll notice and come up with your own examples."

http://therawness.com/myth-of-the-ghetto-alpha-male/

This guy's website, and his insights, are excellent!

You may have seen him commenting and posting at Roissy's.

Skip G. said...

Steve,

I think this is one of your best posts ever. Thank you.

When I am served by a young person at a business, and they display the time-honored virtues listed in the essay, I always take time to compliment them on their mature behavior.

They need and love this positive feedback, and from then on, they remember me and treat me even better than before, so we both win.

In my own 4o-year class reunion, the "un-hip" farmers and careful students have done far better and lead more contented and stable lives than the "party dudes" and girls.(Who were Alpha THEN.)

Anonymous said...

"An interesting question and one that readers here almost by definition are probably curious about (a propos of consumer culture) is the story of the origins and propogation of the 'black=cool' meme."

That is an interesting question. But my understanding is that even in countries with few blacks (Britain, for instance) the middle and even upper classes are aping the mores of the lowers classes. So while blacks may be the "lower class" par excellence, the strange behavior we are observing is much more widespread. Of course, figuring out why young white kids desperately want to be black would probably solve the larger puzzle.

Theodore Dalrymple discusses this in a good deal of detail in "Life At The Bottom". But he did not offer any explanation which I found convincing.

Anonymous said...

It's remarkable the extent to which liberal (in the good sense) representative democracy is debased by the substitution of consumers for citizens. But it's in the best interests of both the capitalists AND the politicians to bring about the world which Tocqueville warned of.


"I seek to trace the novel features under which despotism may appear in the world. The first thing that strikes the observation is an innumerable multitude of men, all equal and alike, incessantly endeavoring to procure the petty and paltry pleasures with which they glut their lives. Each of them, living apart, is as a stranger to the fate of all the rest; his children and his private friends constitute to him the whole of mankind. As for the rest of his fellow citizens, he is close to them, but he does not see them; he touches them, but he does not feel them; he exists only in himself and for himself alone; and if his kindred still remain to him, he may be said at any rate to have lost his country."


"Above this race of men stands an immense and tutelary power, which takes upon itself alone to secure their gratifications and to watch over their fate. That power is absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks, on the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood: it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing. For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness; it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances: what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living?"



"Sounds good to me", say the Chamber of Commerce and the Republicrats.

ben tillman said...

methinks he doth confabulate too much. How much countercultural marketing was going on during the youth revolt in the 60s? It's not like there was no "consumerist capitalism" in America back then.---
Yeah, take a looks at the cover of After Bathing at Baxter's.

AmericanGoy said...

"My critique of Miller's Blank Slate consumerism is that you cannot sell ice cubes to Eskimos, i.e. you cannot sell to people what they do not want."

My dear fellow American citizens: may I present to you the Israel Lobby in the Yoo Ess of Ey...

Anonymous said...

"My dear fellow American citizens: may I present to you the Israel Lobby in the Yoo Ess of Ey..."


He he he he he...

agnostic said...

One problem -- the advent of capitalism saw the glorification of the things Miller likes. Read Samuel Pepys' diary or look at Hogarth's drawings -- and that wasn't even the worst of it, which was awhile before.

Back then, the view was that life is cheap, so why not fuck, kill, and splurge while we still can? Then the Industrious Revolution and the Industrial Revolution went together.

Maybe capitalism of the 1960s was a slight backslide to the pre-Industrial "life is short" view that encourages teenager-ish behavior, but it's hard to complain about capitalism moving us 50 steps forward and 1 step back.

Plus there's been a huge change over the past 50 years. Popular culture doesn't glorify youthful irresponsibility anymore, i.e., what you see among people aged 15 to 20 or so.

The focus now may not be on the wisdom of elders, but it's shifted to a focus on what people 30+ do. As just one example, malls today are geared toward wealthy professionals 30+, not teenage mallrats with much less disposable income.

And then there's the explosion of "eco-cool" -- sustainability, which was never a common word among environmentalists, the wisdom of Mother Earth, etc.

I think Miller needs to look at the much bigger picture, from say 1350 to 2009, rather than 1870 to 1970.

El Caudillo said...

Anon [4] -

Well, at least the 'T-Rex' - T99, even if he is disagreeing, makes a good point, if I can discern him correctly, that these behaviors are socio-biologically based, rather than purely environmentally so -- what a 'blank slate' means and implies.

kurt9 said...

Of course the true young have no perspective in life. Perspective can only come about as a result of life experience. Who has more life experience and, therefor, perspective in life? Someone who has lived on several continents, speak several languages, and has done various endeavors ranging from engineering to sales and marketing? Or someone who never left their hometown and has done the same work all of their life?

Is not wisdom simply another word for perspective?

Anonymous said...

Popular culture doesn't glorify youthful irresponsibility anymore, i.e., what you see among people aged 15 to 20 or so. What??? Without even looking at the Billboard Top 100, I can tell you that there are going to be plenty of songs glorifying youthful irresponsibility.

The number one all time video on youtube is "Girlfriend" by Avril Lavigne. Duty and Honor it ain't.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Anon, for the amazing Tocqueville excerpts.

We can see that this was a great writer, great thinker, a great observer of truth. Yet today we are being pounded with the message that Al Gore or Barack Obama or Jared Diamond or Malcolm Gladwell is a great writer or great thinker.

How far we, The West, have fallen.

Black Sea said...

Being civilized requires considerable socialization and training (one might more honestly say indoctrination), and is something that most of us aren't particularly good at. It is therefore not surprising that people, particularly young people, chafe against its strictures, and popular culture is in part an expression of that resentment.

What sort of sane teenager would aspire to sit in a cubicle eight hours a day, tapping a keyboard and starting at a screen? And yet, how many of us, at least for some part of our lives, have found ourselves doing just this every working day? Who would dream of defensively driving a Volvo station wagon, lap and shoulder belt securely buckled, and two little ones in their car seats just behind? Of making as mortgage payment on time, of opening a 401K, of procuring life insurance?

All of these things make sense, but these are not the stuff of dreams. Popular culture, for better (and for worse) is.


Civilization and its discontents . . .

Anonymous said...

Testing 99 is adapting some of the themes he has read from Roissy, that is all.


Young males (in these times, with our relative wealth) seek to convey as much testosterone, coolness, and status as possible.

This is because DANCE CLUBS AND BARS are where our young people meet these days, not church socials,college and high school.

A well-dressed, button-down, tie-wearing young man in dress shoes introducing to himself to a young pretty woman and telling her that he is an engineer and wants to have a family to put in his nice new home LOSES out to a thug peacocking in loud, tacky, club-wear clothing (which can be tasteless and clashing beyond belief), a few tattoos, and some "bling" jewelry or a piercing or two.


In these days of plenty, and in these times when the government UNDERWRITES women's lives if they are merely willing to drop one kid (section 8 houses, wic payments, afdc payments, welfare, free education, free social services, child support from some random guy, the constant inference that she is the victim), WOMEN DONT HAVE TO MAKE GOOD CHOICES in prospective men. They can choose the most dangerous and exciting man.



Have ANY OF YOU ever considered that just as young men like to snowboard, ski, bungee jump, bicycle motorcross jump and do other EXTREME activities to show off to one another of how DARING and UNAFRAID they are..........................young, DUMB, hormone driven women like to sleep with dangerous young men to show other women how "extreme" that they are, and that they can handle a "dangerous" guy. Gentlemen, never forget how stupid spoiled-Western women can be. Look at who they vote for. They are underwritten. If you made a tribe out of young, western females and put them on an island the size of Texas with plenty of resources, they'd still be living in huts and starving in 100 years. The guys at the engineering department would have already built a big modern city and a navy by that time, and probably encircled the earth with satellites. m

Anonymous said...

Many decades ago in high school I was approached by a very nice young lady. She asked me out several times. She was intelligent,, healthy, beautiful, and cam from a good family. However, as she gave off the 'not going to do it' vibe I passed on her in favor of girls who did.

My choice of young women was shockingly bad most of the time but they put out.

Anonymous said...

"Of course, figuring out why young white kids desperately want to be black would probably solve the larger puzzle."

I think to some extent it is the desire to be "different", to distinguish oneself from the crowd. Especially in left-wing schools that systematically demonize whites, there is a desire not to be seen as ordinary. Of course, when the majority of students strive to be "different" in the same way, the supposed "counterculture" can become the majority. I'm reminded of a line from South Park: "If you want to be a nonconformist, you have to dress like us and listen to the same music we do."

There is also the obvious argument that kids notice black physical superiority and hope that by acting "black" they can feign that same superiority.

Anonymous said...

"Testing 99 is adapting some of the themes he has read from Roissy, that is all."

Somewhat true, but the 'T-Boy' is not nearly as deranged and as psychotic as that near-total misogynist Roissy is.

A fair amount of what Roissy writes on is sometimes accurate, but his main failing and shortcoming is that...

ALL Roissy cares about is the APPROVAL of/from women: His whole reason for being and his justification for existence is how much 'tail' he, and other 'Peter Pan's' ('betas' pretending to be 'alphas') can extract from women.

And he wonder's why so many women in big cities -- or anonymous urban areas -- are so screwed up like he claims the women he dates in DC are.

It is because of the behavior of these types of 'narcissistic nerds', whether male or female, that our Western Civilization is self destructing at society's most fundamental, and elemental, level -- the interpersonal relations(hips) between Western men and women...

...they who should be the good mothers and fathers of future generations of Western people.

And you all wonder why we are experiencing a 'death of the West'.

Anonymous said...

"We learn how to see through first impressions."

I dunno 'bout that. My biggest mistakes when I was a callow youth came from IGNORING my first impressions & gut instincts in an attempt to be fair and not judge a book by its cover.

Now I trust those first impressions & gut instincts and consequently make far fewer mistakes about people.

anony-mouse said...

Why go after the kids? Look at all the high income adults who buy expensive loft apartments so they can look like low paid bohemian artists.

SFG said...

Question: I hear about the 'Gods of the Copybook Headings', from the poem by Kipling about old, boring, true Western wisdom. Any website that has a list of these copybook headings? I'd imagine the actual copybooks have long since turned to dust or fallen by the wayside...

Professor Hohum said...

Miller, and I guess by extension Steve, is a late comer to this type of critique. The French (and European) New Right, the Third Positionists, the readers of the journal Tyr, the followers of Evola, the listeners to neofolk, and of course the European thinkers from the 1920s-40s that they all draw on have already said it.

Anonymous said...

"Consumerist capitalism has depended on youth’s embrace of these blank-slate ideologies, which were sold as thrillingly rebellious and thoughtfully progressive."

Good observation. Aptly describes the crap aka advertising being plastered in mags, papers and on billboards. I conciously don't own a TV, so I am happy not to have to comment on the rot there.

Anonymous said...

"is the story of the origins and propogation of the 'black=cool' meme. "


Coming from Africa that's sounds rather odd. Most blacks there, outside of the few thousand cleptocratic elites, are not too happy with their skin color. Women are bleaching their hair and the educated blacks like to dress western and copy white behaviour. Mostly being black in Africa is a burden. The black=cool meme is obviously a concious marketing gambit probably devised and driven by a handful of people with wicked intentions.

Anonymous said...

"There is also the obvious argument that kids notice black physical superiority and hope that by acting "black" they can feign that same superiority."

"Black physical superiority"? I can't say I've ever noticed such a thing. Many whites seem terrified of blacks but that's a pyschological issue not a physical one.

none of the above said...

Teenagers need culture (music, movies, dress, language) that will upset their parents, as a way of differentiating themselves from their parents and making their own place in the world. Ghetto culture is great for that, especially when embraced by someone so safely white and upper middle class that there is no risk whatsoever that he will really be drawn into any of the surrounding lifestyle later in life. My generation did that with heavy metal music, complete with blood-and-gore references, guys wearing more makeup than a drag queen, hard drugs as part of the underlying culture, etc.

I suspect this is more dangerous for middle-class black kids, and much more dangerous for lower-class kids of all colors. Note the whole bit about poor SalvadoreƱos assimilating to black ghetto culture.

Maximilian said...

methinks he doth confabulate too much. How much countercultural marketing was going on during the youth revolt in the 60s? It's not like there was no "consumerist capitalism" in America back then. But it was "consumerism" within the framework of a normal, adult, Western culture. Now, once those 60s rebels grew up and took over both society and marketing, now we have "consumerist capitalism" within the framework of a culture that unabashedly went off the deep end. Well, no wonder that the marketing did the same thing. Indeed marketing spearheaded the cultural change to a great extent.
I very highly recommend the following BBC video which brilliantly documents the connections between the psychology of self-fulfillment, the sixties revolution, and lifestyle marketing that invented the consumerism discussed here.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=policeman%20inside%20head%20kill%20him&rls=com.microsoft:*&oe=UTF-8&startIndex=&startPage=1&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wv#q=the+century+of+the+self&hl=en&emb=0

If you can't make the link work, this is episode 3 of 4 of the BBC series, "The Century of the Self," titled, "There's a policeman inside your head, you must kill him."

Maximilian said...

Miller's comments are insightful, but in a sense he does the same thing he is criticizing when he substitutes the neutral term "character traits" for what we would traditionally refer to as "vices" and "virtues."

People were defined by their vices and their virtues. Virtues could only be acquired by years of painful effort under the tutelage of authority, while vices were easily acquired and hardly ever broken. Society's pessimism regarding human (lack of) ability to escape from one's vices explains why one was defined by them. Once you were defined as a "drunk," a "thief," a "liar," society didn't hold out much hope of redemption.

Anonymous said...

The teen pregnancy rate for non-Hispanic whites is at its lowest point in recorded history. The herpes 2 infection rate for all teenagers is approximately the same as it was in the 1970s. The percent of young girls with 4+ sexual partners has stagnated or fallen. Roissy recently posted a study that found a median of 3 lifetime partners for women. I think the evidence indicates that for non-Hispanic straight whites, serial monogamy is the rule and promiscuity is the exception.

Within the last few decades, I doubt there's been much of an increase in promiscuity. Of course if we compare ourselves to Victorian era Europe or 1950s America or modern day arranged marriage India, then I suppose you could make a case that our mores have decayed.

Anonymous said...

Hard work can't take you all the way, but it can take you pretty far. Asians and Indians are underrepresented as Nobel prize winners and Fields Medal Winners, but somehow win lots of Westinghouse Science fairs. Why? Work ethic and pushy parents.

Anonymous said...

Who has more life experience and, therefor, perspective in life? Someone who has lived on several continents, speak several languages, and has done various endeavors ranging from engineering to sales and marketing?What you are describing is a high percentile white person who has spent his entire life interacting mostly with other high percentile whites and occasionally with other high percentile ethnics. When you tell this person that mass immigration from Mexico is bad social policy, he will have no idea what you are talking about. After all, the Spanish-descended economics professors and students he interacted with in the exchange program all seemed just like him.

--Senor Doug

stari_momak said...

In mid 1980s California, white boys still had the self-confidence project their own culture. That's what a lot of SoCal and NoCal punk was about. The prime was 'Lady Killer' by the Vandals, which explicitly mocked black culture and whiggers.

Unfortunately, being a dwindling minority, coupled with a constant barrage of hate 'education' smearing your ancestors, denying their achievements, and exalting the very limited achievements of evey other group has its effect over time. White kids have lost selfpride and selfconfidence.

Anonymous said...

I am just a simple school bus driver but I can tell the difference between what a young highschool girl sees in a boy and what a normal woman will see and want. For example, explain what a very "white-looking" girl ( pale complexion, straight brown hair, blue eyes, thin) will find compelling in a fat-nosed, short Mexican with rags for clothes and no discernible mind and I will rejoice. It is not like rebellion is new. I don't know what it is.

Anonymous said...

Gods of the Copybook headings found here.

The Gods of the Copybook Headings
Rudyard Kipling, 1919

As I pass through my incarnations in every age and race,
I Make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market-Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market-Place.
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings.
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Heading said: "Stick to the Devil you know."

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The Wages of Sin is Death."

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew,
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four --
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

* * * * *

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man --
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began --
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire --
And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

Lucius Vorenus said...

I think what he was wondering about was the actual copybook headings themselves.

E.g. can you find old copybooks for sale on ebay.co.uk?

Or at abebooks.com?

Probably not at bibliopoly.com - they'd be too low brow.

[Some of the prices wanted at Bibliopoly are simply staggering.]

RF Interference said...

I don't think it was capitalists that coined the phrase, "Don't trust anyone over 30."

Of course, Dennis Hopper, who starred in Easy Rider is now hocking retirement plans, so I guess there's some co-opting by Madision Avenue, but then again, Dennis Hopper isn't selling retirement plans to the kids.

Markku said...

The white boys obliged by pouring billions of their parents’ dollars through the local music retailers’ hip-hop sections, while dissing their parents’ concerns that white girls might actually prefer to date boys who display high conscientiousness, agreeableness, and chastity. Another conservative naively putting women and girls on a pedestal.