We often discuss the “Culture War” in some vague notion here at PBF – be it on our podcast, or other mediums – and I don’t believe that we’ve ever explicitly articulated what such a turn of phrase means to us, so I will offer that to you now: we mean to say, in the most literal sense possible, that there is a struggle for the very identity of what it means to be an American, a U.S. citizen, and all that entails. Our work ethic, the self-starter, the country who fights for those of whom cannot; the land which lends itself to promise of a better tomorrow. That identity, is under attack and has been for an inordinate amount of time.
What type of attacks, I’m sure you must be wondering and are probably expecting this to be some propaganda piece where I stamp my feet and shout about 5G towers turning little Jimmy down the block into a homosexual amphibian; I am sure some may perceive my musings as such, and that is totally fine with me, but that is not my aim in the slightest. With my little Rogerian Concession out of the way, let’s get on to the meat of the matter.
A book entitled ‘Sex and Culture,’ by Oxford social anthropologist J.D. Unwin, is by his own account merely a summary of a lifetime of work. His aim was to explore the relationship, if any, between cultural health and successes when contrasted against sexual freedom/ sexual morality; or, if you prefer meme banter, sexual degeneracy as it relates cultural homogeneity and societal fitness. By all accounts, or at least what I could surmise in the time I spent studying the man and his work nearly 15 years ago, is that he was not religious and was very much a hardline rationalist, which is to say is that he thought the scientific method was the ultimate line of inquiry by which to ascertain truth under reasonable measures.
Unwin articulated four “great patterns of human culture” and degrees of flourishing measured in terms of architecture, art, engineering, literature, agriculture, and so forth. The primary criterion for classification was how they related to the natural world and the forces it contains.
Zoistic: Entirely self-focused on day-to day-life, wants, and needs, with no interest in understanding nature. Described as a “dead culture” or “inert”.
Monistic: Acquire superstitious beliefs and/or special treatment of the dead to cope with the natural world.
Deistic: Attribute the powers of nature to a god or gods
Rationalistic: Use rational thinking to understand nature and to make day-to-day decisions.
Unwin’s degrees of sexual restraint:
Degrees of sexual restraint were divided into two major categores—prenuptial and postnuptial. Prenuptial categories were:
Complete sexual freedom — no prenuptial restraints at all
Irregular or occasional restraint — cultural regulations require an occasional period of abstinence
Strict Chastity — remain a virgin until married
Postnuptial categories were:
Modified monogamy: one spouse at a time, but association can be terminated by either party.
Modified polygamy: men can have more than one wife, but a wife is free to leave her husband.
Absolute monogamy: only one spouse permitted for life (or until death in some cultures)
Absolute polygamy: men can have more than one wife, but wives must “confine their sexual qualities (i.e., activity) to their husband for the whole of their lives.”
What does this all mean for you?
A very noteworthy piece from which I am drawing heavily for this entry comes from Kirk Durston, and he delves more into the morality aspect of Unwin’s work; though I fully concede I have borrowed his categorical breakdown and synopses pertaining. I don’t know you Kirk, but I appreciate you.
One of the interesting conclusions Unwin seemed to have arrived at was “The most powerful combination was pre-nuptial chastity coupled with “absolute monogamy”. Rationalist cultures that retained this combination for at least three generations exceeded all other cultures in every area, including literature, art, science, furniture, architecture, engineering, and agriculture. Only three out of the eighty-six cultures studied ever attained this level.” There are many more among them, but you can read that on Kirk’s blog.
So what now, after laying this all out? Well, Unwin published his work in 1936 and we can see some of the predicted results of his work. For example, by the time I was in my 20’s or even late teens it was shocking to meet someone who was a virgin at that point, and if you did met them they were almost universally derided for having deprived themselves of the pleasures of the flesh, this is a stark contrast to those of whom were a part of the late 1960’s western sexual revolution, because even among them as they transitioned towards modified monogamy, pre-nuptial monogamy was still held in high regard – whereas the latter is now derided with the same verminous tongues the same as people are mocked for not having partaken at all.
It is almost as if all out attacks on cultural and religious homogeneity undermine cultures themselves, who would have guessed? I personally foist a lot of blame upon postmodernists and poststructuralists who see it as some ordained mission to subvert logic and reason itself, – I indict Derrida and Foucault there, and their parrots sitting upon ivory towers, along with the intersection where postmodernism and poststructuralism melded together with 3rd wave feminism resulting in Critical Race Theory while borrowing heavily, perhaps directly, Marxist notions of equity and applied that to language and reason itself. While CRT hasn’t been an academic concern since the late 1970’s and early 80’s as a post hoc justification of the sexual revolution of the west, the damage was already done. That is to say that their notions and disabuse of logic and language led to redefining words and concepts arbitrarily and a good example is the redefinition of “racism” to be a power-privilege paradigm meant to be a virtue signal, but functionally absolves people of any wrong doing because while functioning under such a definition their invective and violent action is justified.
Hate becomes excused as a righteous expression against historical injustices; men can be women, women can be men, you can identify yourself as whatever pleases you and your sacred institutions of government and education will placate you because feelings now trump logic and shared language – nay, shared national and cultural identity, that has been subverted by the perversion of language and their core concepts for three generations now. We’re well along the path of falsification to see if Unwin was correct in his predictions or if our country will be an exception.
I am not a religious man, but I am in the unenviable position of recognizing the abject horrors of normalizing the breakdown of the nuclear family, cultural identity, and sexual moral framework. On one hand I am forced to conclude that religion, well measured, is not only a pragmatic moral frame on which to build communities and families – nations! ours! -; on the other, when asked to present an alternative schema to supplant religion, I cannot.
Make no mistake about it, my friends, there is a war for not only our identity as a nation but what it means to be American, – just because there aren’t bombs or bullets yet does not mean that others have not been planning your demise.
I’ll close with a quote from Unwin himself:
The history of these societies consists of a series of monotonous repetitions; and it is difficult to decide which aspect of the story is the more significant: the lamentable lack of original thought which in each case the reformers displayed, or the amazing alacrity with which, after a period of intense compulsory continence (sexual restraint), the human organism seizes the earliest opportunity to satisfy its innate desires in a direct or perverted manner. Sometimes a man has been heard to declare that he wishes both to enjoy the advantages of high culture and to abolish compulsory continence. The inherent nature of the human organism, however, seems to be such that these desires are incompatible, even contradictory. The reformer may be likened to the foolish boy who desires both to keep his cake and to consume it. Any human society is free to choose either to display great energy or to enjoy sexual freedom; the evidence is that it cannot do both for more than one generation.
“Who are we? The challenges to America’s National Identity” – Samuel P. Huntington
……great book to percolate on