An ongoing “war on the weak”

Way too much axe-grinding for my taste in this short essay, but I think the concept of a “war on the weak” is good, one that can help a lot in sorting through some superficially mysterious trends of the past couple of hundred years. (emphasis added)

For the last few decades, cultural leaders have been waging a war on the weak. Their goal is to dismantle traditional norms and rules for family life. Well-educated adepts know how to use today’s multicultural patois to navigate in our brave new world of officially mandated gender blindness. […] To a great extent, our progressive culture strips ordinary people of almost all settled roles, other than economic ones. This heightens the existential pain of the already harsh economic realities of our globalized economy, which can be very punitive to the poorly educated. Two generations ago, a working class man was often poor or nearly poor, but he could be respected in his neighborhood as a provider for his family, father to his children, law-abiding citizen, coach of a Little League team, and usher in church. The culture that made such a life possible has disintegrated, partly due to large-scale trends in our post-industrial society, but also because of a sustained and ongoing ideological assault on the basic norms for family and community.

I know some of these men from two generations ago, courtesy of my father and his church. Although they are frustrated with what they see going on around them (particularly among their kids and grandkids), they are mostly free from angst regarding their own lives. I’m less acquainted with working class men of my own generation or the one following—personally, at least. But I can buy the idea that educated adepts have steadily dismantled the social mechanisms which used to both bind and support us, for the sake of pursuing their own ideas of freedom. As Aldous Huxley wrote in Ends and Means,

I had motive for not wanting the world to have a meaning; consequently assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption. The philosopher who finds no meaning in the world is not concerned exclusively with a problem in pure metaphysics, he is also concerned to prove that there is no valid reason why he personally should not do as he wants to do, or why his friends should not seize political power and govern in the way that they find most advantageous to themselves. … For myself, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation, sexual and political.

Well, convenient for some, not so much for others.


One thought on “An ongoing “war on the weak”

  1. Hmm. The question that is bugging me is this: on what kinds of sacrifices from others (especially women, but also other groups I can think of) did that self-assurance of the working class man rest?

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