If men run a society, they may run it well, or they may run it into the ground. If women run a society, they will run it into the ground.
I think you’re a new reader of VFR. I have taken positions on women’s vote and women’s suitability for leadership that you may strongly disagree with, but I hope you will consider the arguments and not automatically dismiss them. Traditionalism means recognizing the real differences that exist among humans as individuals, among human cultures and races, and also between the sexes. The question is: are there differences between the sexes that are significant in terms of the kinds of functions the sexes should have in society? Liberalism says no. Traditionalism says yes.
I respectfully disagree with Margaret. Her argument, as I see it, is a liberal argument. That is not labeling, I have a definite idea in mind when I call something liberal that goes to the heart of what this website is about.
Key VFR articles on this subject are collected in the newly posted
Liberalism means seeing the world as a single collection of individuals, all possessing the same rights, and distinguished only by their “individual worth.” Liberalism rejects, as a fundamental principle, the idea that individuals may belong to different categories—categories not chosen by the individual himself—that may affect the individual’s rights. So, from the point of view of liberalism, there is no reason why women cannot be, say, soldiers or police officers, so long as the women in question can “do the job.” This leads to a few women, who have the requisite qualifications, becoming soldiers or police officers, which in turn leads to changes in the institution to adjust to those women (e.g., separate bathrooms and sleeping quarters, the elimination of hazing at VMI), and thence to an attack on the “culture of masculinity” in those institutions and to never-ending demands for ever more women to be admitted and to be promoted at the same rate as men. Starting with a liberal individual-rights paradigm aimed at the non-discriminatory inclusion of qualified individuals, we end up with cultural radicalism aimed at transforming or destroying the institution itself.
In the area of immigration, U.S. immigration in 1965 was opened up equally to immigrants from all countries on the basis that the only criterion for admission should be the “individual worth” of prospective immigrants, rather than their nationality, race, or religion. But since these notions of individual worth were necessarily minimalistic (since the very purpose of the law was to eliminate group discrimination, not to admit high quality immigrants, an impossible task in any case when you’re talking about mass immigration), the people we permitted as worthy individuals in fact carried cultural differences with them that inevitably have changed American culture and created demands for far more sweeping changes, in the process also leading to the prohibition of any criticism of these changes. Once again, pure liberal individualism, based on “individual worth,” leads to cultural radicalism and the loss of an institution’s or a whole society’s legitimate liberty to govern itself.
By contrast, traditionalism acknowledges that we as human beings are not just individuals possessing rights and desires, that there are things about us that matter that do not come from ourselves. Our nature as men or women is not created by ourselves; it is a given that comes from outside ourselves and that structures our existence. From the point of view of traditionalism, such larger categories as sex, religion, nationality, ethnicity, and race (not to mention species) matter. How much they matter varies. In some cases they may not matter at all, and the issue can be determined on a pure basis of individual rights; in other cases they may matter very much, and liberal rights must take a back seat to other considerations. How much they matter in any case is something to be determined by prudence. As President Kennedy once said about brains, there is no substitute for prudence.
Therefore the proper role of women and men in society is a legitimate topic of political discussion. But liberalism denies that it is a legitimate topic, because liberalism denies the existence, or at least the importance, of those larger categories or essences.
Of course I am not denying the evils that have been done in the name of putting people into determined categories of race, class, sex, and so on. Liberalism is however an extreme solution to that problem which creates horrible problems of its own. The result of denying that group categories can ever matter socially or be a legitimate topic of discussion can be seen in the paralyzing political correctness that controls Britain and other European countries at this moment, with the U.S. not far behind.