Wednesday, June 01, 2016

What the Hell Is Going On? Brospace

Over at Marginal Revolution, Tyler Cowen wants to know What the hell is going on?
Donald Trump may get the nuclear suitcase, a cranky “park bench” socialist took Hillary Clinton to the wire, many countries are becoming less free, and the neo-Nazi party came very close to assuming power in Austria. I could list more such events.

Haven’t you, like I, wondered what is up? What the hell is going on?

I don’t know, but let me tell you my (highly uncertain) default hypothesis. I don’t see decisive evidence for it, but it is a kind of “first blast” attempt to fit the basic facts while remaining within the realm of reason.
The contemporary world is not very well built for a large chunk of males. The nature of current service jobs, coddled class time and homework-intensive schooling, a feminized culture allergic to most forms of violence, post-feminist gender relations, and egalitarian semi-cosmopolitanism just don’t sit well with many…what shall I call them? Brutes?

Quite simply, there are many people who don’t like it when the world becomes nicer. They do less well with nice. And they respond by in turn behaving less nicely, if only in their voting behavior and perhaps their internet harassment as well.

Female median wages have been rising pretty consistently, but the male median wage, at least as measured, was higher back in 1969 than it is today (admittedly the deflator probably is off, but even that such a measure is possible speaks volumes). A lot of men did better psychologically and maybe also economically in a world where America had a greater number of tough manufacturing jobs. They thrived under brutish conditions, including a military draft to crack some of their heads into line.
Society has become so feminized, and censors masculinity to such a degree, that Bernie Bros are disturbing people.

What's odd about the post is that the comment section there is a almost a complete cross section of the entire right, from conservative, to libertarian to alt-right. Cowen does read his own comment section occasionally and he doesn't censor the debate. Cowen also makes Straussian posts. It's possible that entire post is a near verbatim relay of a conversation he had at lunch with a lefty professor, or a troll of left-leaning readers, or bait to bring out all the rightists. It's got over 500 comments already, so if that was the plan, mission accomplished.

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