In his review of Coming Apart, Steve Sailer said: "In 2012, it looks like it’s Charles Murray’s world and we’re just living in it." If I could follow that up with one sentence, I’d add: "disagree with Murray at your peril."
Increasingly, the manosphere is lining up against Murray. For example, Heartiste believes that Murray is telling certain men to man up when Murray tells them to get a job. Is Murray’s criticism of these men really unfair? Let’s see.
I think Murray’s critics, like Heartiste, have the wrong picture of the sort of guy that Murray is criticizing. Murray starts with the bottom 21 percent of whites 30-49 by education and income. Of this group, Murray then focuses on the increasing number of men – around 10% of this subset – who don’t work at all and have no intention of working. So, within the broad group of white men aged 30-49, Murray is criticizing the bottom 2%, give or take. Your mental image of this sort of guy should be an obese high-school drop-out who collects disability checks between random acts of criminality (if Murray’s other stats are correct). He’s the bottom 2% of the prime-aged male population. Is this the sort of the guy that the manosphere wants to defend? Might there not be just the slightest little bit of room for this guy to improve himself? Moreover, there are many men with the same background who do work (or at least try to find work) – defending the former is an implicit slap to the face of the latter.
Heartiste then concludes that Murray, "apportion[s] most of the blame for the current state of affairs to men." Actually this is explicitly not where he apportions the blame in his book. To quote my own review of Murray’s book:
What Murray is really concerned about . . . is how children are raised. . . . "Nonmarital" births increased among the least educated women from under 10% in 1970 to over 60% today (comparable numbers for the best educated women are under 1% and under 5%, respectively).
Murray concludes this section (perhaps the most powerful in the book) with, "the divergence [with respect to the number of children living
with biological and married parents] is so large that it puts the women of Belmont and Fishtown into different family cultures. The absolute level in Fishtown is so low that it calls into question the viability of white working-class communities as a place for socializing the next generation."
Murray’s argument is, properly understood, the same argument that the manosphere makes (when it’s not too busy defending fraudulently-disabled borderline criminals). Namely, the problems of the lower classes may simply be the consequences of the destruction of the family and the rise of single motherhood.
To be blunt, the men produced by the lower class "family culture" have lots of problems and the problems may be largely the result of this family culture. The rise in the number of men who do nothing at all is a symptom of the problems that the manosphere wishes to address.