The top 20%

[The following is a rant]

I don’t believe that it’s possible to solve the problem of income stagnation for the bottom x% of the population without making things much worse.

We’ve made it easier and less costly for people to screw up their lives and they’ve done so. Stagnation of larger portions of the population is the obvious consequence. The masses have embraced their new freedoms and they don’t like the results. They want to be able to act as if they’re free without suffering the consequences of their actions (they seek the freedom of a child). As Theodore Dalrymple recently put it:

The problem with meritocracy, however, even in its purest imaginable form, is that few people are of exceptional merit. The realisation that the fault lies in us, not in our stars, that we are underlings, is a painful one; and in the nature of things, there are more underlings than what I am tempted to call overlings.

Here’s a thought experiment: What should be the economic situation of the following people:

– person A dropped out of high school or college to follow his or her dreams of traveling the world/etc;
– person B had a kid with someone they didn’t know and got stuck paying child support or raising a child (or multiple children) alone;

– person C took on $100,000 in student loan debt to get a degree in a worthless field;
– person D pissed away a small fortune on one or more divorces, which is ever easier to do;
– person E never took a job because he or she never found something that excited his or her passions?

Their economic situations should be stagnant – they’ve made bad choices. In any free society bad choices have consequences.

I’ve read a seemingly endless number of statistics about the modern worker or whatever he/she is called these days. However, no matter how the data is cut, someone who sticks with school, gets a job, stays married and doesn’t have kids until he’s married does fine. He always has and it seems he always will. If you fuck one of those things up, you’re going to stagnate, at least for a while.

Everyone seems to write as if this life path – i.e. school, work, marriage, kids – is obvious, common and easy. The major disconnect is that not that many people seem to be following it and it can be quite difficult. Increasingly, we’ve become freer – a term which has come to mean making it easier for people to not do these things (i.e. finish school, get a job, etc.) – and at this point it may not be reasonable to expect more than 20% of the population to be able to stick to this path.

I should also note that – though it’s obvious, this path is also incredibly rewarding, in my experience. Accordingly, I strongly agree with Mangan:

While I’m mostly in agreement that the man who wants to get married and have a job ought to tread very carefully across the landmine-strewn field of marriage, feminism, divorce, and tax theft, the alternatives as set forth across the manosphere seem pretty unappealing to this blogger. Sitting on a beach? Yeah, I could do that for a few days, after which it would get old in a hurry. Clubbing? Nah, a pursuit for young (under 25) guys. Travel? Been there, done that, in spades.

One needs a sense of purpose in life, one that goes beyond the pursuit of pleasure, and I don’t see that taken very seriously by these blogs. To each his own of course, but hedonism is a vapid ideology in which pleasure must run ever faster just to stay in the same place.

Related thoughts from OneSTDV are here.

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3 Responses to The top 20%

  1. K(yle) says:

    As you say it is difficult. The main problem is that it isn’t a path you can walk in complete isolation. It requires cooperation from other people. The life of the hedonist is one that is a lot more suited to being a ship passing in the night.

  2. Alrenous says:

    The solution to stagnation is supposed to be that, if you do mess up one of the fundamentals, you have an opportunity to correct the error, instead of just being screwed. If you have a bastard, there should be a way to repent, instead of just being entirely prevented from going to university.
    For perspective, proggies think it should be easy, and often feel entitled to it being easy. But, first there’s no possible way to make it easy to care for a kid and simultaneously take courses. Second, it shouldn’t be easy. If repentance isn’t harder than not making a mistake, it isn’t a mistake, it’s an optimization. Having a bastard isn’t an optimization, as measured by e.g. the externalities.

    Secondarily, as an example, ‘going to school’ doesn’t in fact, on average, teach anyone anything. This is because the schools suck, but a lot of the reason the schools suck because the other bits think they don’t and so demand you go anyway.

    If you had the freedom to get a job without it – generally by taking the learning into your own hands – schools would start feeling the pressure. Either they’d fix the problem or sink.

    Similarly, ‘work’ usually means a normal job, which is normally the worst way to earn a living…at least for anyone who is smart enough to care to think about these things.

    Tertiarily, ‘does fine’ and ‘feels satisfied’ are different things. Sacrificing everything you care about to raise kids is just tragic, as you’ll typically raise kids who’ll sacrifice everything they care about. It perpetuates the culture and the species, but makes the culture self-defeating.

    If you want to have kids, a stable kid-raising unit is necessary, as is some form of self-generated child support. Marriage and jobs serve these needs, but aren’t the only things that can. That said, there aren’t currently any alternatives to marriage.

  3. Chris says:

    So true, what Kyle says.

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