May 6, 2012

The Soap Operaization of Politics

Here's something I didn't know about the Socialist Party candidate in Sunday's French election, who is favored now that Marine Le Pen has refused to endorse Sarkozy:
After ceding the nomination in 2007 to Ségolène Royal, his partner at the time, who lost badly to Mr. Sarkozy, Mr. [François] Hollande prepared to run against Mr. Strauss-Kahn, once considered a shoo-in, and then against Mr. Sarkozy. Mr. Hollande split with Ms. Royal, the mother of their four children, and says he has found happiness with a journalist, Valérie Trierweiler, now 47, a mother of three, who divorced her husband, an editor, after an affair that Mr. Hollande’s biographer, Serge Raffy, said began in 2005.

Does it seem like national leadership around the world is becoming even more of an inner circle game played by a tiny number of spouses and heirs? One thing you've got to say for Obama is that he wasn't married to Bill Clinton or the son of George H.W. Bush.

In particular, I suspect that opening up democratic politics to women has re-enforced the tendency toward brand names that characterized ancien regimes, in which women played a larger role than in the subsequent careers-open-to-talent era, in which military leadership and bellowing oratory loomed large, giving men more dominance of politics than in the monarchical centuries. This was view of Marie Antoinette's portrait painter, the lovely Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun (1755-1842), who went everywhere and knew everybody: the French Revolution made Europe more male-dominated, both in politics and in culture.

Perhaps it's just the natural human condition for politics to tend toward soap opera. 

58 comments:

big sort said...

I think you've mixed up the causation. Nothing propinks like propinquity and besides, why bother dating someone in another walk of life when there are plenty of (and more useful) candidates around you. It's net worse overall for ship-of-state but makes things easier for them, which is what's important. I was mildly surprised upon learning the spouse of D.C. ex-HNIC Michelle Rhee is the hotshot urban mayor near me, most recently known for wasting a lot of time on an arena deal that fell out, but usually it's no reason to bat an eyelash.

Felix said...

Considering we're talking about puppets here, who cares?

Anonymous said...

"Perhaps it's just the natural human condition for politics to tend toward soap opera. "

which keeps jumping the megadolon every other week. There's a pretty good comedy to be made if you entwine the Trayvon Martin brouhaha with Elizabeth Warren's current headache.

eah said...

One thing you've got to say for Obama is that he wasn't married to Bill Clinton or the son of George H.W. Bush.

Yes, that's one point in his favor. It's not a particulary strong recommendation to be President, however.

?

Anonymous said...

Hate to break it to you Steve, but the, ah, "folks" who invented Barack Hussein Obama are vastly more powerful than anyone who ever backed Dubya.

Slick Willie runs with some of the same crowd as Barry, but secretly they will never forgive him for what Hillary once said to Dick Morris [which, in turn, is precisely why Barry is now president rather than Hillary].

Anonymous said...

Surprising how many children the French have, Sarkozy also had four children with three different women.

Angela Merkel never had any.

Steve Sailer said...

Mitterand had his official family and his quasi-secret family.

Anonymous said...

Surprising how many children the French have, Sarkozy also had four children with three different women.

Mitterand had his official family and his quasi-secret family.


Remember, though, that the denominator in the Total Fertility Rate is taken to be the number of FEMALES precisely so as to smooth out the undue influence of the random Alpha Male [soft/quasi polygamist].

For instance, if those three womynz of Sarkozy's had no other children [by any other men], then you are looking at a rather disastrous TFR of

4 / 3 = 1.33.

Which is fantastic for the Scots-Irishman Sarkozy, but apocalyptic for the [ancestors of the] shiksas who bore his children.

Anonymous said...

One thing you've got to say for Obama is that he wasn't married to Bill Clinton or the son of George H.W. Bush.

I, too, am glad that Obama wasn't married to the son of George H. W. Bush. That would be just a little too progressive for my tastes.

Anonymous said...

No, but he's probably the son of Malcolm X. I would put real money on that, actually.

bruce banner said...

Remember Steve. The most important word in French is "maîtresse". Who you sleep with is the toad to power.

Marlowe said...

The party was not just a mass of self-promoting groups - it was almost a family business. Whole clans were members of the leadership: Kaganovich was the youngest of five brothers, three of whom were high Bolsheviks. Stalin's in-laws were all senior officials. Sergo's brothers were both top Bolsheviks in the Caucasus where family units were the norm. A tangle of inter-marriage* complicated the power relationships and would have fatal results: when one leader fell, everyone linked to him disappeared with him into the abyss like mountaineers tied together with one safety rope.
-- The Court of the Red Tsar
Simon Sebag-Montefiore

* For example, Kamenev's wife was Trotsky's sister; Yagoda was married into the Sverdlov family; Poskrebyshev, Stalin's secretary, was married to the sister of Trotsky's daughter-in-law. Two top Stalinists, Shcherbakov and Zhdanov, were brothers-in-law. Later the children of the Politburo would intermarry.

And also in the book, the power behind the throne:

The wives [of the Bolshevik leaders] were influential. Stalin listened to Nadya [his own wife]: she had met a big-eared rotund hobbledehoy, a fitter on the mines of the Donets, Khrushchev, at the Academy where he was energetically crushing the opposition. She recommended him to Stalin who launched his career. Stalin regularly had the young official to dinner with Nadya. Stalin always liked Khrushchev, partly because of Nadya's recommendation. This was, remembered Khrushchev, 'how I survived ... my lottery ticket'.

"Nadya was fearless about approaching Stalin about injustices: when an official, probably a Rightist, was sacked from his job, she pleaded for his career and told Stalin that 'these methods should not be used with such workers ... it's so sad ... He looked as if he'd been killed. I know you really hate me for interfering but I think you should interfere in this case which everyone knows is unfair.' Stalin unexpectedly agreed to help and she was thrilled. 'I'm so glad you trust me ... it's a shame not to correct a mistake.' Stalin did not take such interference kindly from anyone else but he seemed to be able to take it from his young wife.

Polina Molotova
[Molotov's wife] was so ambitious that, when she decided her boss as Commissar for Light Industry was not up to the job, she asked Stalin during dinner if she could create a Soviet perfume industry. Stalin called in Mikoyan and placed her TeZhe perfume trust under him. She became the Tsarina of Soviet fragrance."

Anonymous said...

http://youtu.be/2On1i_u7XfM

Portland: Third Black flash mob theft in past month caught on camera

JerseyGuy said...

Interesting comments above about the number of children that the French have. They have one of the highest birthrates in Europe and not all of it is due to their Muslim and African immigrants. I remember reading somewhere that the native born white birthrate in France is equal to the American native born white birthrate (although certainly not as high as in the Red States).

I wonder what the cause is? Strong sense of nationalism and purpose? Relatively inexpensive housing? A co-worker who was on a two year rotation from France in America told me that most middle class families live in suburbs, similar to the U.S.

Simon in London said...

The French tax system and health service is strongly natalist by Anglo standards; my French colleague commented she could never have had her 4 children in the UK. Ethnic-French overall fertility is similar to white-American fertility (ie below replacement, but not as far below as in the rest of the West), but 4-child families among the middle to upper middle class seem far more affordable and practical, whereas in the US (and UK) high fertility among whites is concentrated at the bottom and the very top.

My impression therefore is that French society is not being demographically hollowed out at the same rate as in Britain. White-British fertility is only somewhat lower than white-French fertility, and both are too low, but white-British fertility is significantly more dysgenic, probably the most dysgenic in Europe.

Ed said...

Steve might be reversing effect and causation.

It could be that politics are moving back towards 18th century norms due to some other factor, such as the increased concentration of wealth. As political power gets concentrated in a few families, the women of those families become more powerful. I also agree with the earlier commentators that the TV politicians are likely puppets, so nepotism there may have more to do with the increased nepotism in selecting movie and TV actors.

The franchise was extended to women just after World War I in most countries, after World War II in a few countries like France, so explaining the increasingly obvious increase in nepotism that happened after the end of the Cold War on female suffrage has to account for the long lag time.

Anonymous said...

http://youtu.be/2ejLXIlKQoI

April 19, 2012: Violent police encounter with student protestors

pat said...

Yes, but it hasn't been the opening up of political office to women that has made the difference. It existed long before. Long, long before.

The Founding Fathers modeled America on the Roman Republic. There are in fact more Roman Temples in Washington's Federal Triangle than there are in Rome itself.

Women had no access to public office in Rome - except Vestal Virgin. But women were very important through their family connections. The model was "Cornelia the Mother of the Gracchi". Caesar's mother Aurelia also had a huge impact on the times. And the civil war between Caesar and Pompey was precipitated when his daughter Julia - Pompey's wife - died.

Women then were under the absolute authority of the pater familias. It was legal to kill your daughter if she displeased you. Yet today two thousand years later the history books are filled with the names and stories of those seemingly powerless women.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

ut the, ah, "folks" who invented Barack Hussein Obama are vastly more powerful than anyone who ever backed Dubya.

I rather suspect they are the same folks.

Anonymous said...

In Germany, pro-natalism is associated with the Nazis and still pretty anathema culturally. The French think they lost WW2 because their population growth stalled out post-Napoleon, so pro-natalism has been national policy for over 60 years. It's why the not very religious French are tied with the Irish for highest birthrate in Europe.

Henry Canaday said...

Meanwhile, the latest on what France (and the U.S.) needs to do about its economy from Raghu Rajan, the guy who spotted those nasty tail risks in 2005, for which he was called a Luddite by Lawrence Summers.

http://faculty.chicagobooth.edu/raghuram.rajan/research/papers/FA%20May%202012.pdf

I have some quibbles, but it's more adult than Krugman. Although it’s economics, it’s in English.

Matthew said...

"Slick Willie runs with some of the same crowd as Barry, but secretly they will never forgive him for what Hillary once said to Dick Morris [which, in turn, is precisely why Barry is now president rather than Hillary]."

Oy, it's always about the Jews, idn't it?

I'm not ready to believe the notion that Hillary didn't win in '08 because she lost the Jews. Dare we to look up the contribution records to see how many dollars from Jews wound up in her campaign? Tens of millions, I'd wager.

Bill Clinton's administration may well have been the most Jewish in American history. People have called him the first black president, but the first Jewish president might be closer to the mark. At one point 3 of his top 4 cabinet posts were filled by Jews (Rubin/Summers at Treasury, Cohen at Defense, Albright at State). A huge share of his White House staff was Jewish. The first 4 of his 6 appointments to the Federal Reserve Board were Jews, and both of his Supreme Court appointments were Jewish. Of the $50 million he made in "speaking fees" (aka, ex post facto bribes) after leaving the White House, at least 20-25% were directly from Jewish groups (not counting those from secular organizations or businesses headed by Jewish CEOs). There were several synagogues that paid $250,000 for the privilege of hearing Bill Clinton speak. How many Methodist or Episcopalian congregations would fork over that kind of cash?

Obama had lots of powerful connections, including Jewish ones, sure, but his big advantage was to have 100% of the black vote (~25% of Dem primary voters) while still being acceptable to whites, especially SWPLs. He was the new guy in town, and Dems love to fall in love with the new guy, just like Republicans like to nominate the next in line (Reagan, Bush, Dole, McCain, Romney, ad infinitum).

Anonymous said...

It's a reality TV show, and today's viewers are easily bored and ever ready to hit the clicker. Here's a bit from an AP report on the election (not surprising that the commenter is female, I think):

Another Paris voter highlighted this anti-Sarkozy vote, saying she's backing Hollande, even though his program is "suicidal."

"He'll raise the minimum wage, increase civil servants. But France is already in debt," said Florence Macrez. His fiscal reform project will only increase the pressure especially on the middle class, she added.

The basic problem is that there is no free press and debate in ANY Western country anymore, not even in this one, so you end up with people arguing furiously over what color to paint the bicycle racks.

Joe said...

Ah, but Obama has connections into the inner circle through his mother's family.

Lexus Liberal said...

Or perhaps soap operas are modeled after the rich and famous, hence the power elite who like to intermarry to consolidate its power. Thus soap opera is just another mass media endorsed mirror of reality.

Anonymous said...

Presumably one of the strictly-male-line (agnatic) ancestors of Mr. Hollande came to France from Holland. It would be interesting to see with what frequency Y-DNA analysis would confirm such information. Surnames like Moore, Saracene, Black (most likely a hint at Mediterranean, not African ancestry), Schwartz could be especially easy fodder for that sort of research.

Auntie Analogue said...

Politics as soap opera? Have you never read histories, epic poems, or dramas of the ancient and Classical Greeks? Wouldn't you think that it's always been as Sonny & Cher sang? "The Beat Goes On...." Perhaps the beat that goes on only seems to be more prominent since the advent of evermore instantaneous mass media saturation has delivered a neverending deluge of soap opera.

Matthew said...

It can be depressing who gets nominated, but our recent presidents have mostly been self-made men, at least to a degree: Obama, Clinton, Reagan, Carter, Ford, Nixon, Johnson, Eisenhower, Truman - all self-made. Well, Obama is a media creation, but the rest were self-made.

At what point does politics qualify as soap opera? Hillary came close to winning the nomination, but didn't. George H. W. Bush and John F. Kennedy were from powerful political/business families, but in America there are thousands. At any given time there are 15 cabinet members, 50 governors, 535 congressmen and, according to Forbes, about 500 billionaires, and a dozen or more big city mayors. Any one of them may have a son or daughter who grows up to become president. If you wagered that in the 2048 presidential election a child of one of the above will be a major contender for the presidency you'd probably be right. But I wouldn't make any wagers on specific children.

Dynasties can and do die. I think the Bush dynasty is kaput. I think people are done with the Kennedys, too. One seldom mentioned political dynasty is the Lee/Udall dynasty, which has produced two congressmen (one also a cabinet member), one solicitor general, several judges, and 4 second cousins who have served in the Senate, three of them concurrently (Gordon Smith(OR), Mark Udall(CO), Tom Udall(NM), and Mike Lee (UT)). But they're from flyover country, so the national press doesn't tend to notice.

Peter said...

Dynasties can and do die. I think the Bush dynasty is kaput. I think people are done with the Kennedys, too.

I agree about the Kennedys, but George P. Bush has some potential.

Anonymous said...

It's official. New French leader who says he himself will adopt austerity measure for himself, but he won because he rejected austerity measures for the country.

Ummmm.

Sid said...

Enlightenment figures are all clean shaven and wear glorious wigs full of thick, luscious curls. Aristocrats from that era are even more effete, as they often pamper their faces with white and rosy powders.

Victorian figures have big, bushy beards and are seldom afraid to show off baldness. It's safe to say that manliness dominated the 19th century culture more heavily than they did in the 18th.

Is that a good or a bad thing? I'm not apart of the manosphere, nor am I a feminist, so I'll make no call there.

Marlowe said...

It impresses me how the French Republic can order its women onto their backs 'For France!'. Does the national anthem have a line like: 'Women of France! Open your legs!'

Truth said...

" No, but he's probably the son of Malcolm X. I would put real money on that, actually."

Well let's see; there were roughly 12 million black men in America when he was born, and there has been no legitimate connection established between his mother and Malcolm X...excepting the 20% who were too old or young, incarcerated, or physically unable to father a child in 1961, that leaves roughly 9.6 million black men (not including foreigners, one of whom was his excepted father) whom could have been Barry's dad.

You would put "real money" on a 1/9.6 m chance?

beowulf said...

"At one point 3 of his top 4 cabinet posts were filled by Jews (Rubin/Summers at Treasury, Cohen at Defense, Albright at State)..."

Bill Cohen is a Unitarian. Madeline Albright is an Episcopalian.

Mac said...

"George P. Bush has some potential."

Yeah, let's all live on the latifundia.

Whiskey said...

The influence of the female vote, and particularly White female unmarried (probably describes most White women under 45) tends towards soap opera characteristics, because that benefits them. See Obama's "Julia" stuff. The female voters love love love Alpha males, or any presentation of them, and also (dominant) non-Western males.

The dirty little secret of Modern Western prosperity is that it is built upon male cooperation, dutifulness, and restriction of violence, as well as abstract technology improvements. All things White women HATE HATE HATE because it produces boring, beta male men without sexy dominance.

Hollande is weak and colorless, but used effectively lots of campaign videos featuring threatening Black thugs and such endorsing him, to Jay-Z's "N***** in Paris" rap song. That endorsement by threatening hyper-macho dominant Black thugs got him the women's vote. Interestingly, Le Pen gets mostly working class White male votes.

Most (not all) White women would gladly live in grinding poverty and misery if only they had lots of sexy dominant men around. You see plenty of women (and men seeking favor from them) endorsing lots of Black, North African, Pakistani immigration throughout the West, but NEVER say, "Lets import lots of Koreans and Japanese and Chinese." Those guys are not sexy, and women in the West want nothing to do with them.

Meanwhile this generates "threat appraisal" reactions among most White guys in the West, but they have to meet approval by women, that's a powerful force splitting off unity there.

Anonymous said...

To be fair, a lot of the most promising Kennedys (ie JFK JR) died under strange circumstances.

The rest of the family would rather just take it easy, I think. Politics is an exhausting profession.

Anonymous said...

Oy, it's always about the Scots-Irish, idn't it?

...Well, Obama is a media creation, but the rest were self-made...


I think you just answered your own question.

Get Off My Lawn! said...

The French think they lost WW2 because their population growth stalled out post-Napoleon, so pro-natalism has been national policy for over 60 years. It's why the not very religious French are tied with the Irish for highest birthrate in Europe.

What do they do? What natalist policies do the French have that seem to work so well?

Considering France's long history of centralization and statism (compared to the US), I suspect French methods might not work here, but it's worth knowing about them anyway.

What if it turned out that government intervention really could work to raise the non-dysgenic white fertility rate? It would raise an interesting conflict for natalist libertarians.

Anonymous said...

Obama had lots of powerful connections, including Jewish ones

Here's a clip of Sen. Chuck Schumer speaking to a synagogue in Boca Raton two months before the '08 election:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JuuBjzZSleM

Schumer says to the audience:

"First, and foremost. Barack Obama has been a supporter and a believer in Israel from before he was in the Senate. You can look it up and see the record. And you know who got him started in politics - not in the Presidential, that's everyone as I said, says the right thing - but before that? It was the two leading Jewish families of Chicago. But most people don't know enough about him. So I wanted to come here and tell you this."

Presumably he's referring to the Crown and Pritzker families.

Anonymous said...

What do they do? What natalist policies do the French have that seem to work so well ?

I can actually speak to this. We discussed it in a class while studying abroad.

The French government pays a stipend to every family, no matter their net worth, for each child they have, at least up to four or five.

I have no idea how this breaks down following divorce, or in the case of single parenting or unmarried but cohabitating. I suspect that given French attitudes towards family formation the latter category would definitely be honored and quite possibly the single parent category as well.

Anonymous said...

Bill Cohen is a Unitarian. Madeline Albright is an Episcopalian

So if an Australian Aborigine converts to Judaism, he will automatically become a Jew and his IQ and personality will become just the same as those in other Jews? Right? And if Madeline Albright were an Orthodox Christian, she would be a Greek, not a Jew.

Anonymous said...

"Bill Cohen is a Unitarian. Madeline Albright is an Episcopalian."

I don't know Cohen's ancestry--know he's married to a black woman, but I do know former Sec. of State Albright is Jewish. She just wrote a book about it and has been on several shows. Her Jewish ancestry and the fact that many of her family members were lost in the Holocaust came as news to her, but she writes about it in her book.

Anonymous said...

"So if an Australian Aborigine converts to Judaism"

Christians are expected to welcome converts into the fold, not Jews. Christians are harshly criticized when they don't welcome certain converts into the fold, as with Mormons when they barred blacks from the priesthood. Not Jews.

Anonymous said...

William Cohen is half-Jewish by ancestry but is Unitarian. See the following link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Cohen

Anonymous said...

What do they do? What natalist policies do the French have that seem to work so well?

Another point (but I speak from 20 years old experience). Municipal kindergarten was good and free. College was something like $600/year. With relatively few minorities in the city where I lived, there were few parts where renting was dangerous and thus the rent was more or less evenly spread and fair. Plus, yes, the government gave money for every child born (not sure how much though). So here you have it: no pressing need to save for an expensive house to live away from NAMs, no college expenses to speak of and a spouse can still earn money working instead of working to pay for a daycare. (Not directly relevant but struck me as unusual back then: pediatricians still made house calls).

Pincher Martin said...

"One thing you've got to say for Obama is that he wasn't married to Bill Clinton or the son of George H.W. Bush."

It's remarkable how close we came to having twenty-four consecutive years of either a Bush or Clinton in the White House with so few people really even noticing. It's even more remarkable how Jeb Bush remains a viable future candidate for the presidency after the numerous failings of both his father and his elder brother's regimes.

Some people claim we have always been this way. Before the Kennedys, we had the Tafts. Before the Tafts, we had the Harrisons. Before the Harrisons, there were the Adams. But with the exception of the Kennedys, I don't think any of those dynasties were quite as densely packed into our political history, or as popular, as the modern-day dynasties have been.

I don't think it's healthy. It's like we've turned into Pakistan or some small banana republic.

Simon in London said...

"What do they do? What natalist policies do the French have that seem to work so well?"

'Well' is relative of course. The native French are still on course to be outnumbered by mostly North African Muslim immigrants eventually. However there are several factors which mitigate against the effects of this:

1. Immigrant underclass is cooped up in 'suburbs' with limited access to the important bits of the cities. The areas they dominate are not very important.

2. Immigrant underclass is mostly not organised or religious, unlike in Britain where the Salafis now dominate Muslim immigrant communities, the French Muslim immigrant class is hostile but mostly not Islamist.

3. France lacks North-West European/Anglosphere style Political Correctness/Cultural Marxism which acts as a force multiplier for societal destruction. Attempts to import it have not been very successful.

4. France lacks a British style white underclass - this seems to be a unique result of Britain's uniquely bad welfare policies and some other societal factors which I'm not sure anyone fully understands. Most white French are net contributors to society.

5. As mentioned, the white French birth rate is not good, but not as bad as elsewhere, and the middle class is still having children, which is rare everywhere else.

My impression therefore is that France is definitely not the canary in the coalmine of Mark Steyn's imagination. Britain is going down much faster.

An example: My London neighbourhood is effectively Salafi dominated, with a huge Salafist 'Islamic centre' (mosque), Saudi-funded Salafi school, etc. They are a minority of the population, but they have the organisation and the potential aggression. During the riots last year, when the State I was *grateful* for this - it meant that the black and white-underclass looters avoided my area, while they trashed white-middle-class areas nearby. But in another way that's a really bad thing - I don't want to be a Dhimmi, reliant on the Salafis for protection.

Anonymous said...

One thing you've got to say for Obama is that he wasn't married to Bill Clinton or the son of George H.W. Bush.

But Obama does come from a politically connected family and his parents certainly have ties to CIA and Banking.

Or are you forgetting your own work again?

TWS

NOTA said...

eah:

Actually, I think Obama got substantial support from that fact. After the 8 year disaster of the Bush administration, I think any child of a political dynasty family was going to have a hard time winning. Presumably many people weren't too excited about Hillary, whose executive experience consisted mainly of watching her capable-but-smarmy husband make decisions. (That said, in hindsight, I think Hillary probably would have made a better president.). Certainly, Jeb Bush wasn't going to get elected.

travis said...

Edmund Burke considered the killing of Marie Antoinette as the end of the Age of Chivalry. However, the beginning of the end occurred in the Renaissance. (Think about it: have you ever heard of a Renaissance woman?) If you want to pinpoint an exact moment, these lines from Machiavelli's Prince are a good place to start:

"For my part I consider that it is better to be adventurous than cautious, because fortune is a woman, and if you wish to keep her under it is necessary to beat and ill-use her; and it is seen that she allows herself to be mastered by the adventurous rather than by those who go to work more coldly. She is, therefore, always, woman-like, a lover of young men, because they are less cautious, more violent, and with more audacity command her."

Since the Renaissance, mankind has been treated to the likes of Napoleon, Hitler, Mao, Mussolinim etc. Yikes! I wish I shared your optimism and we could return to a time when politics was soap opera. Unfortunately, I find myself more and more identitfying with the dark cynicism of Mark Twain in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court: We can never go back to the Middle Ages, but is there no alternative to the crazy Yankee notion that the only way to avoid war is mass destruction ("The War to End all Wars")?

irishman said...

I don't know to much about French natalism but I suspect it is the same as the family policies here in Ireland.

You get €140(~$180) for a child per month which rises to about €160 for subsequent kids. This is tax free, not means tested although I think they may have changed that recently on account of us being broke(I really couldn't tell you I don't have kids) and paid directly to the mother only. A lot of women have kids for this money as it is their's alone particularly if they don't work themselves which is coming back since the crash. As part of austerity there was a lot of talk about limiting it to the needy and middle Ireland moms promptly had a fit.
We have school choice and schools tend to segregate along class and increasingly ethnic lines with the respectable class(regardless of income) sending their kids to all boys or all girls Catholic in name only schools and the underclass and foreigners going to the equivalent of an English comprehensive. The catholic schools have things like entrance exams and "voluntary" contributions of maybe €200 to keep the riff raff out. This largely avoids the postcode lottery you get in Britain and keeps house prices relatively uniform and reasonable in non bubble times.

Because of emigration a culturally Marxist caste has never really got very far and a kind of Catholic patriachy persists among women who have laregly kept the desire to have kids better than elsewhere in Europe.

The irony is that there really isn't any public natalism in Irish politics. It's all basically catholic social teaching with the school choice being put into the constitution to keep the Protestants happy.

I think that without a good deal of patriachy economic incentives are pretty useless at reviving the birth rate.

Anonymous said...

I think we're seeing the consolidation of the American elite class.

Simon in London said...

Irishmen:
"Because of emigration a culturally Marxist caste has never really got very far..."

Yeah, they all seem to come here to the UK. >:p

It seems to me that it may be some of the smaller European countries like Ireland, Denmark, possibly Scotland, and maybe some of the central European countries that may reach the 22nd century as still recognisably Western in culture, though I don't know if any will have a permanent white-European majority population. In cases of civilisational collapse it's often some of the peripheral nations/areas that best carry forward major elements of that civilisation.

Dahlia said...

travis said...

Edmund Burke considered the killing of Marie Antoinette as the end of the Age of Chivalry. However, the beginning of the end occurred in the Renaissance.

______________

There are costs and benefits to freedom, and I think you're correct. Each time more freedom is gained, a creative burst ensues, but it dissipates leaving us materially enriched and enlightened, but slightly morally poorer.
I believe this cycle continues until our moral poverty is such that we cannot recover. I believe we are living in such a time now. If it isn't now, we're close: probably when birthrates are forecast to hit their peak in the middle of this century.

I hope I'm wrong, but I believe putting a man on the moon will be the last great thing we do for one-thousand years.

The Renaissance was a period of genius that followed the long "Lenten" period from the Fall of Rome until the end of the Middle Ages when kings, not churchmen, started becoming the leaders of Christendom. If I had to pick a moment (for the nascent beginning of the end), it would be when King Philip IV of France went up against Pope Boniface VIII and proved he was more powerful (King Philip would be considered extremely religious by our standards today: he attended daily Mass and wore a hair shirt as a penitential act.)

On Steve's thesis: I have no idea, but it is interesting. It's why I've been reading him all these years.

irishman said...

Simon in London wrote:

"It seems to me that it may be some of the smaller European countries like Ireland, Denmark, possibly Scotland, and maybe some of the central European countries that may reach the 22nd century as still recognisably Western in culture, though I don't know if any will have a permanent white-European majority population."

We got a lot of what you might call high IQ misfits from around Europe. Hippies, radical greens, pagans and many conservative and I suspect nationalist types especially Brits(our largest minority) who come to "get away from it all" i.e. immigrants back in Blighty. In many ways we're like the Idaho of Europe.
But I disagree with your main thesis regarding Ireland and Scotland. We both speak English and that will be the death of us. But their may be something to be said for Eastern Europe as a white bastion. One of the things the Euro crisis has shown is that language matters. When the East European 10 were admitted to the EU in 2004 we were immediately inundated with several hundred thousand East Europeans. For a country of only 4 and a bit million this was huge. The bubble and the fact that they were fairly civilised whites kept a lid on things until the crash when a lot of them simply left. Now there is a massive crisis leaving millions unemployed especially young people. There are jobs in some parts of Europe but there is no mass migration to the likes of Germany and Poland where there are jobs, why? Language. There is nothing as intimidating as a slavic language and the germanic ones excluding english are not far behind. If you have a hard to learn language it can serve as a useful way of keeping people out. But if you speak a globalised language and have a globalised culture you're screwed.

neil craig said...

Perhaps it is that politics is ceasing to be about anything political. Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar & Genghiz Khan had interesting sex lives too but it isn't what they are remembered for.

Anonymous said...

"Dynasties can and do die. I think the Bush dynasty is kaput. I think people are done with the Kennedys, too."

You have no idea how discombulated people like George Bush I, Nixon, E. Howard Hunt, Jesus Angleton, Gordon Novel, to name just a few, were by having two Kennedys -- not one, but two -- in the highest positions at a time when those positions were actually more powerful and presitigious than now. There was talk of RFK running someday even before his brother's assassination, and even of the unpromising Edward running. Some of the more pesimistic conservatives saw a succession of Kennedy's in the WH or almost as high. I didn't think of this until someone alive at the time regaled me with certain stories of just how powerful the hatred was for them (going back to Joseph Sr., and even Jr.) Joseph Kennedy had political ambitions for decades before JFK got to the WH, and he accumulated many enemies. There is even a case to be made that Joe Jr.'s plane was deliberately sabatoged during WWII, and I thought I'd heard it all. Concening JFK's murder, Bush I, head of the CIA by 1960, was involved or I'm a monkey's uncle. I always gave Johnson a pass, but after listening to his girlfriend's testimony years later, I'm on board with Jackie--Lyndon done it.
Read everything I could find and listened to credible witnesses, with old DC connections, and agreed with them that both RFK, JFK, and almost certainly JFK, Jr., were murdered by "interests' within the United States, aided and abetted by international assistance in the case of President Kennedy. One of the weird things about JFK Jr.'s death was lengthy searching of just about every area except where they went down. One reason given for this hit was the Jr. had dirt on Bush I concerning the murder of JFK, Sr. I guess we'll never know now.

It was a clear and strategic plan to make sure that America was largely "done with" the Kennedys. They seem to have succeeded. This has been done down through the ages--the greatest "divine right" of monarchs is the simple fact that they and their families survive at all. After the founding member, sheer prowess cannot explain it, only Providence. In "democracies" such elimination cannot be so blatant. It must be blamed on lone nuts (those lone nuts who have been murdering unsuspecting persons in groups from time to time, a meme let loose in 1963?), or on accidents, or on the murdered victims themselves.
One thing you can count on, the really nasty are the ones who survive. Bush I and II both still kicking and Jeb in the wings. But to quote the late, mostly lamented, JFK, in his "peace speech" -- "we are all mortal."