Randoms of the day

Random thought: I know four people that are married to east Asian women marriage (actually, I’m pretty sure that all the women are Chinese). None of the four women work. I’ve not been under the impression that Chinese/east Asians have particularly conservative views about family, but maybe I’ve been wrong.

Random thought 2: I’ve been thinking more about Amy Chua. If you are someone who agrees with the thesis of her first book – that market-dominating minorities will be more successful and subject to more violent backlash in a more free and more democratic world – then maybe you should be more sympathetic to the notion of tiger parenting. Her kids are Jewish-Chinese, after all. They’re likely to be in the market-dominant minority where ever they live. Maybe she’s just trying to prepare them for the inevitable democratic backlash.

The Atlantic put out a graphic on the 12 types of American “states.”

On patriarchy: “Since patriarchy is rule by family men, you can’t have patriarchy without families. It’s more accurate to think of patriarchy as rule by the male heads of families. In manner of speaking patriarchy is rule by families since it makes family the basic element of society.”

I wrote something about how it must be depressing to be a modern Italian, since you’d have to live among constant reminders of how much better your country used to be. As is usually the case, Don Colacho says it much better: “The fragments of the past that survive embarrass the modern landscape in which they stand out.” (BTW, this one from today is also great).

I jailbroke my iPhone last week. The black market in apps is a pretty cool example of a free market’s ability to create order where there is no order. Cydia is App Store for jailbroken phones. They use established third parties to handle payments. The experience is a bit rougher than Apple’s, but not much rougher.

Arnold Kling on bailout arbitrage. I suspect we’ll see more of this in the future, as the big banks move into a position that is comparable to pre-crisis GSEs.

Tyler Cowen rounds up mistakes of market-oriented economists. I particularly agree with this one: “We know much less about the causes and drivers of economic growth than we like to admit, and when pushed on this issue we fall back to citing relatively simple cases with extreme differences, such as East vs. West Germany.”

Sean Gabb on Egypt (HT: Kalim Kassam)

Hispanic Population Growth Boosts Democrats


8 Responses to Randoms of the day

  1. dysgenic says:

    on random thought 2, i saw it as her belated and politically correct explanation of why market dominant minorities exist in the first place, which she skips over in the first book.

  2. Kalim Kassam says:

    Is there any difference in speed after jailbreaking? My iPhone is already laggy, and I wouldn’t want it to get any worse.

  3. Gian says:

    Isnt the idea of market-dominant minority outdated, esp in Developed countries, now that we have Brahmins?.

  4. Sgt. Joe Friday says:

    “…how it must be depressing to be a modern Italian, since you’d have to live among constant reminders of how much better your country used to be.”

    It’s also pretty depressing to be a resident of southern California these days.

  5. Handle says:

    1. The Bailout Arbitrage strategy is nothing less than Evil Genius. This is yet another reason to support “bail-in” finance rules – like automatic debt-to-equity exchanges in the form of Contingent Convertibles. The idea that was floated around for “Systemically Important Institutions” was that when the stock hits the “strike price” (of zero), enough unsecured bond debt would be automatically discounted and turned into new stock until the corporation was sufficiently recapitalized and ownership and control handed to the former creditors – kind of an instant bankruptcy without the need for dozens of lawyers and years of expensive court drama or any intervention whatsoever from the government.

    Such a “Mandatory CoCo” plan would also make “bailout arbitrage” impossible because unsecured-debt and share-prices in a struggling corporation would be unavoidably correlated and move in sync.

    Somehow, this obvious and fair idea, completely consistent with existing bankruptcy rules, which by itself could have made the need for bail-outs extinct, did not make it into the multi-kilo-page financial reform law which purports to be an end to bailouts (ha!). Maybe you have some insights as to inside-baseball as to why not – but it was a big disappointment for me when this concept was utterly dismissed with extreme prejudice early in the process.

    2. Using “Patriarchy” as our terminology simply isn’t going to win many of the right kinds of converts required to accomplish a Cultural Renaissance and the revitalization (resuscitation? resurrection?) of traditional Western family structure and life-paths.

    I’m writing an essay for IMF-3.0 now and it’s clear enough that any progress will require what is essentially a woman’s movement in Reaction against the effects of the sexual-relations chaos unleashed in the past two generations.

    Here’s a famous (though somewhat dated) study validating the basic common-sense of the situation.

    As everybody who isn’t trying to perpetuate nonsensical social-lies knows, young men want sex so much more, and are so much more reckless and less selective than young women are (even in this day and age), that the game theory analysis tells us that in a free and modern society, it is the way that women decide to whom, and under what conditions, they will grant sexual access that will determine men’s responses.

    Young men of all classes, if they can’t routinely find good willing brides in their young 20’s (which they can’t, tragically) don’t have enough sexual discipline to support even the strongest philosophical, ideological, or cultural-values movement if it’s mostly a male phenomenon.

    In fact, I would go farther and say it’s almost irrelevant whether any men are part of that phenomenon at all. Only something akin to a cultural revolution in the way that women make sexual decisions will matter in the end. The norm of women’s choices is the independent variable, the norm of men’s responses is the dependent variable.

    So, strategically, those of us who favor the traditional family because we recognize that as an institution it is the form 1) most likely to result in life-long optimal happiness for most people, and 2) that when prevalent it is simultaneously the form most likely to foster a healthy society and civilization, will have to sell that wisdom to this and future generations of young women.

    Now, that case, while entirely factual in my belief, will already be a challenging one to make. Firstly, it fights against the now-permanent absence of a pressing materialist motivation – women’s sexual choices are no longer bound by a need for male financial support (because of their widespread entry and participation in the workforce) or a fear of unplanned childbearing. Secondly, it is fundamentally a long-term and society-oriented argument fighting against a short-term and self-centered impulse to have fun and play the field in one’s youth.

    That means that case (especially considering the strength of the ideological opposition) will have to be exceptionally and overwhelmingly compelling and persuasive, both on a factual and ideological level, to have any real effect on the majority of young women’s preferences and behaviors. They are the decision-makers, and so they are the relevant jury, and they are the relevant audience.

    Now, I ask you, is naming our desired end state and social vision “Patriarchy”, or even calling it that amongst ourselves, going to get us very far in convincing these young women? I’m afraid not. And anyway, I don’t really think it’s an accurate description of the fundamental value and power imbalance that is at work here. Patriarchy will only exist in reality when women don’t actually have the life-and-sexuality-options available to them right now, and how exactly are those options going to be taken away?

    No, instead, women will have to change their preferences and generally voluntarily reject the options they now have available for the sake of a long-term greater good – for themselves and for society at large.

    What should we call that instead? We could go the full Orwell here (and also concede the true underlying power dynamics) and call it “Enlightened, Pro-Masculinity, Matriarchy” but the word “Matriarchy” has become as ugly to many men as the term “Patriarchy” has been all-but-destroyed among modern women. Either term just sets up the false “war of the sexes” frame that is the opposite of useful to our cause.

    I’ll guess I’ll have to think about it, but tentatively and provisionally I might suggest “Familiarchy” which I like, even though it slightly lacks the specific characteristics we might want it to connote, i.e.: Western, Traditional, Monogamous, Nuclear, and Heterosexual. Most young women still feel warmly about the idea of having a family one day, and a term consistent with that positive desire would more likely prove effective.

  6. JohnK says:

    I’ve read the piece from ‘The Thinking Housewife’ that you linked. Everything in it is retarded. In fact, everything I’ve read about ‘patriarchy’ on the Internet is retarded. And I can prove that in a few paragraphs.

    Present-day defenders of ‘patriarchy’ must begin by acknowledging that the default form of ‘patriarchy’, besides the other tasty morsels of delight it brings that are mentioned below, also perforce acts to SUPPRESS all non-alpha men. Put differently, present-day defenders of ‘patriarchy’ must begin with the historically accurate truth that they themselves will be first up against the wall, come the revolution.

    A defense of patriarchy is possible, provided it is properly jaundiced. Any proper defense of patriarchy must be made with the knowledge that ‘patriarchy’, EXCEPT as it emerged in the Christian West (and more particularly, within the English Christian West), always and everywhere reinforced the power of the clan and the lineage, of the peasant village, the arranged marriage, and the collective and/or autocratic ownership of property.

    For a revelatory, if slightly glancing, treatment of this issue, citing serious historical and social science scholarship, see James Q. Wilson’s now older but still briskly relevant work, “The Moral Sense.” Within his chapter titled “The Universal Aspiration,” Dr. Wilson, with evidence, mentions “patriarchal families” as one of the principal enemies of both consensual marriage and private property, and he gives no hint that any kind of ‘patriarchy’ was ever a particularly good thing. The overwhelming thing, the natural thing, but not a good thing.

    Nonetheless, especially in pp. 198-221 within that chapter, Dr. Wilson lays out what he thinks are some of the critical historical and religious novelties in the Christian, and English Christian, West’s path.

    Read there, and mourn.

    To paraphrase Lord Peter Bauer’s classic remark on poverty (that it is not poverty but wealth that needs explanation, since poverty is the default condition of Man), it is not patriarchy that needs explanation, defense, support, or nostalgia, it is the peculiar patriarchy of the (English) Christian West, in which A man (not THE man) could have a home that was his “castle,” in which he loved a queen who adored him, and in which they together generated and protected worthy children.

    THAT ‘patriarchy’ is so unusual a form of it, that we should never make the mistake that we can easily, or ever, have it back. To defend ‘patriarchy’ in any intelligble way, is to begin by admitting that the only kind of ‘patriarchy’ worth having came about only once in all the world, and was so intricately conveyed, that we may never find the path again.

  7. Actually – contra Tyler Cowen (and what a confused and dangerously-confusing mess of observations and notions he blogs!) – we know quite a bit about economic growth – some of the things which promoted it in the past (high average IQ, high average conscientiousness, low average aggression); and also what slows-down and eventually stops it (Communism).

    That’s not bad, really. Of course we don’t take any notice of any of this when it comes to policy, but still…

    NB: I have never seen a valid posting or comment from a person which contains the word ‘retarded’ or ‘retard’ – not even when that person _usually_ produces valid postings or comments (for example Razib – whenever he reaches for the ‘r’ word, he is always wrong.)

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