Monday, December 12, 2011

Man Problems: Who's to Blame?

Let's talk about the "man-child" problem.  Or the "preadult" problem.  Or the fact that women are doing much better in education and the work force than men.  Philip Brand has a review of several books on this problem.

Or is it a problem at all?  Hey, men have exploited women since the dawn of time, so maybe it's about time!

But the problem is that it's not just a man problem, it's a class problem.   As Charles Murray points out, upper-middle-class men are doing fine.  It's the men below them that are having problems, men who don't quite rate the professional, leadership jobs that you get when you excel at college and bureaucracy.

Now, for Kay Hymowitz, pre-adulthood is a "predictable, perhaps even necessary, response to massive changes in the way Americans earn a living." A college education is essential, and women excel in the kind of occupations that have been thrown up by the new economy. Also women are determined to "achieve financial independence before marriage."

Oh yeah? For "women" read "upper-middle-class women." Head down the social ladder and you see women merely using the welfare state. Which, I suppose, is a kind of financial independence.

Then there's the argument of Leonard Sax in Boys Adrift that the educational system is all wrong for boys.

Or, according to Hanna Rosin in "The End of Men" (Atlantic, June 2010) it's the end of the manufacturing wage.

In my view, the reason for the man problem is liberals, liberals, liberals. Granted that the changes in the workplace and the sex-place (see Walter Russell Mead here) are changing everything, the problem is that certain things can't change because liberals are sitting on the switch.

In education we need huge changes, and we need to mix education and early work. But liberals have education bureaucratized into utter stasis and ineffectiveness, and the work-place regulated into inflexibility.

With welfare we have totally marginalized lower-class men. And with health care we have made bio-medicine both free and impossibly expensive at the same time. Warning: liberals at work.

The problem with all this is pretty simple.  Liberals believe in government.  But government is force, and politics is talking about force.  Most things in this world don't lend themselves to force.

The solution to our problems is a cultural revolution, one that removes liberals and their cold dead hands from the levers of political and cultural power.

And Barack Obama is maybe just the man to help.  By leaving office on January 20, 2013.

1 comment:

  1. Loved the last bit about government and politics as force. Problem is that conservatives also love to use force, albeit a bit more openly than the liberal. The implication that force is uniformly bad is suspect. Politics may be the veiled use of force, but it is our only means of having an ongoing dialogue about how force is best used.