Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Security Uber Alles

Yesterday, in the comments section of my post about a cult to security, one commenter offered us a link to a John Derbyshire article, from the year 2000. In it, the former National Review journalist addressed an issue that I and others have raised, namely that women are more risk averse than men. Since he did it before we did, plaudits go to him.

I am grateful to him for having brought this to our attention, though I suspect that it will cause anguish among those who think that men and women are really the same thing. Of course, if there is no significant difference between men and women, it makes no difference whether we are ruled by men or by women. And the two genders are basically the same, boy power and girl power should produce similar outcomes. 

Now, Derbyshire argued some two decades ago that women are more likely to value security over risk. In his words:

In the security-versus-risk division of temperament, women pile in on the “security” side. Though there are of course exceptions (it was a female cousin who introduced me to skydiving), women generally have a lower appetite for risk than men have. Female gamblers, female speculators, female practitioners of extreme sports, female explorers, female soldiers are a scattered few. Women in general have a strong preference for security over risk. Hence the gender gap and its 1964 flip-flop. Prior to that date, security could be found in traditional conservative verities, in home and church and community. LBJ’s campaign to portray Barry Goldwater as a reckless militarist broke the spell, and the Great Society did the rest. “Security” is now represented by the welfare state.

So, women are more likely to prefer a Nanny State, run by a governess like Kathy Hochul. They believe that the state should care for people, and should reduce competitive activities:

Women are natural socialists. Anyone who has lived in a communist country has noticed that women are much keener supporters of the system than men. George Orwell knew this, and has the hero of Nineteen Eighty-Four say:

It was always the women, and above all the young ones, who were the most bigoted adherents of the Party, the swallowers of slogans, the amateur spies and nosers-out of orthodoxy …

By this logic women are more likely to vote for Democrats and to vote against competitive free enterprise. They will be happier putting bureaucrats in charge, expanding the welfare state, and especially allowing trial lawyers to run wild. In that way we can purge all risk from the products we buy. 

Dare we notice, that even with the miniscule risk in nuclear power, German Chancelor Angela Merkel shut down all her nation’s nuclear plants. Dare we calculate the cost of that folly?

The same applies to children's minimal risk of getting very sick from the Covid virus. Still, teachers use this to shut down the school systems in various cities and states.

As for consumer products, someone should have noticed that the cost of all those lawsuits ends up on price tags.

Derbyshire continued:

The feminization of American politics — more women voting than men, and women preferring the party of the state, of security — thus helps shore up the Social-Democratic status quo. The phenomenon a colleague refers to as “the wussification of America” follows logically. No more risk, please. No more talk about rolling back the State or downsizing those departments of state that keep us safe and warm. No more of those nasty handguns. No restraints on the trial lawyers, who are working heroically to purge all risk from the products we buy in the marketplace.

Twenty years ago, before the pandemic lockdowns, Derbyshire predicted that we would be living in a social democratic utopia-- or should it be, dystopia:

Barring catastrophe, the world of the twenty-first century will be a social democratic utopia — a dull, statist, risk-free Sweden, dominated by the values of the matron, the pensioner, the trial lawyer and the valetudinarian.

Of course, it is perhaps too obvious to say so, but our dystopian security cult will put us at a disadvantage in world market competition. We are no longer even capable of winning wars. We prefer to preach the gospel of democracy and to enhance women’s rights. How did that one work out?

Of course, we have seen some conspicuous exceptions to the rule. First among them, one Elon Musk. For having taken enormous risks, Musk is one of the most admired people in America. So perhaps all is not lost, even though Musk managed to opine that his Shanghai workers are more industrious than his American workforce.

And, let us not forget the workers at the Fuyao Glass Co. in Dayton, Ohio. As the documentary American Factory showed, when a Chinese company took over the plant, it needed to teach workers how to work hard to compete. It was not imposing Chinese values as much as it was recovering lost American values. 

These are small examples. The companies that compete in the world markets, as in Silicon Valley, have seen that the Nanny state is their biggest enemy, so they have basically bought it, by buying government officials and by buying the mainstream media. 

They are, dare we say, playing a losing game. At some point, government officials will figure out a way to confiscate their obscene wealth.

When it comes to hiring tech staff that are more inclined to be competitive, these “woke” companies cannot hire within the nation, so they go outside the nation, and hire mostly Asian immigrants.

Failing to take risks and failing to compete has its downside. Derbyshire explains:

Yet a world without risk will be colorless and tame. It will also be economically and culturally stagnant. Businesses hedged about with risk-reducing regulations and watched over by eagle-eyed trial lawyers will not innovate. A coddled, supervised, feminized, disarmed populace will create nothing of value and will live to no purpose — and will be dimly aware that it lives to no purpose. Brian Aldiss wrote a story about a smug, safe, bourgeois world of the future that found it necessary to license a small number of deviants to shock and smash and pillage, just to re-introduce some necessary randomness. Perhaps we shall come to that. Most of what the human race has achieved was done against the odds. Do we really want to drive risk out of our lives? And if we do, will it, as Horace said of nature, somehow find a way back in?

Is it not interesting that he predicted our smash and grab looting culture? Could it be that a security cult needs criminality in order to justify its war against risk?

After all, the criminals who pillage upscale boutiques embody risk. Fair enough, they understand that today’s blue city and state prosecutors have chosen to allow them to run wild, but everyone knows that theirs is a very risky enterprise. 

The more important point seems to be that a culture that presents risk-taking in terms of criminal rapacity is finding yet another reason to increase security. It is an idea well worth pondering.


David Foster said...

"To minimize suffering and maximize security were natural and proper ends of society and Caesar. But then they became the only ends, somehow, and the only basis of law—a perversion. Inevitably, then, in seeking only them, we found only their opposites: maximum suffering and minimum security."

--Walter Miller, A Canticle for Leibowitz

Anonymous said...

The STUPID is STRONG in these ones.

jmod46 said...

It's been my observation that very few women will turn down an offer of help. Many enjoy "being taken care of". Maybe men have too much ego to accept help. That doesn't always work out well for them, but it makes men much less likely to be natural allies of a benevolent State.

David Foster said...

"Women are natural socialists"...Kipling, in his poem An Imperial Rescript, offered an interesting contrary view.

The context is that the then-young Kaiser Wilhelm II had proposed some kind of Europe-wide social welfare policy which was intended, at least in Kipling's view, to help the poorest and most desperate of the working classes at the expense of limiting and disincentivizing the more talented and ambitious.

What Kipling is saying, translated into modern and unpoetic terminology, is that you aren't going to have male equality unless you get rid of female hypergamy.

Anonymous said...

Florence Nightingale and some choice words for those of her own sex. Look ‘em up. Not very nice.

Anonymous said...

There is a reason there are Karens and not Kens. Karens are a #$%@ing problem. They need to be put in their place. And fast. No mercy, because they have none themselves.

I am so sick of the Climate Change crowd that doesn’t understand science. Or the new virus experts who didn’t remember a #$%@ing thing from the basics of biology. The BLM apologists who don’t understand that sociology is a racket. The gun control zealots who’ve never shot a gun, much less taken a gun safety class. The uber-credentialed who couldn’t spell cat if you spotted them all four letters.

Karens are programmed robots who live in a permanent state of PANIC all the time. They are an embarrassment. They are ideological prey for the Jeff Zuckers of the world (may his career rest for the sake of our peace). The Karens must be stopped or we will lose our freedoms. They are worse than fools — they are certifiable idiots who claim to be part of the smart set.

They are at the heart of the GOPe, and I fear they are going to nominate another loser for the Republican ticket.