Monday, September 26, 2016

The pill and Massey Ferguson

The great moral questioning of the '60s is normally attributed to the contraceptive pill, which became generally available at that time. The pill did what conventional morality had long done: remove the risk of ex-nuptial births. So conventional morality lost its authority among the young. Whether any sexual restraint of any kind was warranted became questionable. So sexual promiscuity probably reached its peak at that time. I was there and was a cautious participant in the mood of the times.

And ALL morality, not only sexual morality, came into question at that time.  There was a collapse of values and standards across the board at that time.  If sexual restraint had become irrelevant, might not all forms of restraint be old-fashioned and irrelevant?  So practices that had evolved over millennia for the guidance of society lost their authority and there was nothing to replace them.  People were cast adrift from all guidance and had to figure out entirely from new how to live the good life.  Nobody knew any longer what was wise.

Fortunately, however, Christians in particular kept the old moral thinking alive and showed by results that it gave a better balanced life.  I was myself a fundamentalist Protestant throughout my teens (late '50's to early '60s) and that gave me a great set of rules to live by.  I did not have to invent my own rules. I had the wisdom of the ages on my side.

So I got though my teens with no trauma at all and much happiness.  I took no mind altering substances so was not damaged by them.  I did not drink alcohol so avoided all the risks associated with that.  I had friends who drank who died while drunk driving but I did not.  I was celibate so avoided some nasty diseases. I kept clear of crime.  So I arrived undamaged at adulthood and mental maturity.

And at around age 20 (1963) I became an atheist.  But my teen-aged experience of a very puritanical lifestyle gave me strong habits of restraint so I participated in the sexual revolution from that time on only as part of affectionate relationships. A lot of my old Christian values stay with me to this day and even in the '60s casual sex had no attractions for me.

So I saw it all in the '60s and was sober enough to remember what I saw.  Many of the people who glorify the life they had in the '60s can't actually remember much detail of what they did. They can't remember what they saw through a blur of drugs and alcohol.

So what I have given so far is a conventional explanation of the great break of the '60s.  But the pill is in fact only half the story.  It's not the whole explanation for that break.  The other half is the Massey Ferguson tractor!  How's that for a strange proposition?  To understand that proposition we have to go back to what was behind the conventional morality of the pre-1960 era.

Conventional morality was heavily influenced by a shortage of food.  In our present era of cheap and abundant food, we find it hard to comprehend that for most of human history, it was a struggle for most families to put enough bread on the table for their children.  Most people were poor and the money often did not stretch far enough to buy all the food that the family wanted.  They often had to make do with the cheapest possible food in order to eat at all.  Oaten porridge was a lifesaver.

So in those circumstances men wanted to be absolutely certain that the children they were feeding were their own. "Cuckoos" were regarded as robbing the man's natural children of what was rightfully theirs.  But the problem was how to tell who was the father of the various children.  Women mostly had a pretty good idea of it but the men did not.  And there is no doubt that both men and women sometimes "stray".  In a moment of passion a woman might easily sleep with someone other than her husband and produce a child from that union.

So there was only one way a man could ensure that his scarce resources were spent on his own children:  He had to convince his wife to sleep only with him.  And all the persuasive resources of society were brought to bear on that need.  Sexual restraint became the highest morality, with everything from ostracism to hellfire deployed to produce it.

And the pill did little to reduce that need.  Sex became less perilous but the man still needed to know which children were his.  So how come a highly functional morality broke down?  Why did not the pill simply drive promiscuity underground?

And that's where we come to Massey Ferguson.  The Massey Ferguson tractor was only one part of a broader phenonenon but it was a very visible one.  The Massey Ferguson was a small, cheap tractor  that was a remarkably tough machine.  I remember seeing lots of them in Australia and I gather that they were equally popular in Britain.  Massey Ferguson have made tractors of all shapes and sizes over the years but those small post-war models had a big impact.

With a Massey Ferguson farmers could pull bigger implements than a horse team could, could pull them for longer and could pull them more cheaply.  A horse team was not cheap to maintain.  You had farrier's bills, veterinary bills and feed bills.  And a  team of big working horses can go though a phenomenal amount of feed every day. For his Massey Ferguson the farmer just had to keep a drum of fuel handy.

So a farmer's productivity was at least doubled when he bought a Massey Ferguson. And what does a farmer's productivity add up to?  Food.  Along with other agricultural advances of the postwar era, the Massey Ferguson steadily drove down the price of food.  In the USA it was probably John Deere who provided most of the tractors but the result was the same.

So by the time the '60s hit, feeding your family was a difficulty only for the very unfortunate.  So it was no longer a tragedy if a man fed a child who was not his own.  His other children were not deprived thereby.  So the great need for the sexual control of women largely fell away.  Conventional morality had lost its main function.

So the Massey Ferguson is at least as important as the pill as an explanation of the '60s moral revolution -- JR


Who's the Treasonous Candidate?

Lie often and long enough and one will begin to believe one’s own lies to be reality. Evidently, Hillary Clinton has been living in the reality of her own lies for quite a while now. On Tuesday, Clinton claimed that Donald Trump’s rhetoric against Islamic terrorism “is giving aid and comfort to our adversaries.” That’s right, Hillary just accused Trump of treason — for calling Islamic terrorism … Islamic terrorism. It is this kind of backward and dishonest thinking which underhandedly vilifies those who speak the truth while at the same time justifying the motives of those who commit these heinous acts of terror. The truth is Trump is not the one who should be accused of treasonous actions.

Actually, the fault lies with Clinton and her former boss, Barack Obama, who did “create the Islamic State,” which emerged as the direct consequence of the politically motivated and premature withdrawal from Iraq. That, in turn, created the most catastrophic humanitarian crisis in the history of the region.

As an additional consequence of the failure of Obama and Clinton to contain Islamic terror, the frequency of attacks targeting Americans on our soil will increase. Don’t buy into the errant “lone wolf” rhetoric. All of these attackers are unified by Islamist doctrine. But according to Hillary, even the suggestion of an Islamic connection to the actions of these terrorists is tantamount to treason. Clinton’s deceit has blinded her from reality, and, sadly, too many Americans have bought into this lie as well.



Dozens Injured in 'Narrative Fight' With Islamic Terrorists

Everything is only a narrative to this administration

In Aeneid, the epic by the ancient Greek poet Virgil, the story is told of how the Greeks defeated the Trojans through the use of stratagem. As the story goes, the Greeks, after a decade-long siege of the city of Troy failed to secure a victory, deceived the Trojans by building a huge wooden horse, leaving it at the gates of the city as the Greek army sailed away. The Trojans, believing the Greeks had given up, brought the great horse within the city walls as a symbol of their victory. Unbeknownst to the Trojans, an elite force of Greek soldiers was hidden inside, which came out under cover of night, opened the gates for the Greek army (which had sailed back), and destroyed the city, ending the war decisively.

As the philosopher George Santayana noted, those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Barack Obama and his legions of progressive Democrats certainly seem determined to repeat history when it comes to allowing our enemies within our borders.

Following Islamist terror attacks this past weekend in New York, New Jersey and Minnesota, Obama once again buried his head in the proverbial sand, berating the media for reporting the incidents as acts of terrorism. He admonished the press to “try to refrain from getting out ahead of the investigation” because, he argued, “it does not help if false reports or incomplete information is out there.”

Except no one was getting out ahead of anything. The perpetrator was yet another radicalized Muslim — this one from Afghanistan who became a U.S. citizen. Ahmad Khan Rahami, suspected of the bombings that caused an explosion in New Jersey and another which injured 29 in New York, has traveled between the U.S., Afghanistan and Pakistan multiple times in the last five years, and he was interviewed each time upon return though never suspected of being radicalized.

In a separate incident, nine people were injured by a knife-wielding man at a mall in Minnesota who, as he slashed his victims, reportedly made references to Allah.

These are just the latest of dozens of terrorist attacks (or, as Obama calls them, incidents of “workplace violence”) that have occurred under Obama’s watch, and yet he and his would-be successor Hillary Clinton are both calling for an increase in the flow of “refugees” from countries infested with Islamic radicals.

This despite Obama’s own FBI director admitting there is no way to properly vet Syrian refugees to weed out potential terrorists. Yet Obama plans to increase the number of refugees next year from 85,000 to 110,000, and Clinton has announced she will raise that quota even higher. This becomes of even greater concern when considering a recent report out of the U.S. Southern Command warning that, in 2015, of the 331,000 illegal aliens known to have crossed the U.S. border with Mexico, a staggering 30,000 of those come from “countries of terrorist concern.” If only 1% of those turn out to be terrorists, that is still 300 terrorists that we have allowed to come into our borders.

This is on top of a report from Homeland Security revealing that the U.S. “mistakenly” granted citizenship to at least 858 immigrants (and perhaps more than 1,800) from “special interest countries” that are struggling to deal with Islamic terrorism.

Speaking in response to the revelations, Donald Trump stated that the attacks “should be a wake-up call for every American” regarding the need to get tougher on immigration and secure our borders. He continued, “We need to get smart and get tough fast so that this weekend’s attacks do not become the new normal here as it has in Europe and other parts of the world. … The safety and security of the homeland must be the overriding objective of our leaders when it comes to our immigration policy.”

Shockingly, as if we are engaged in a mere policy debate with radical Islam rather than a shooting war where thousands of innocents are beheaded, burned, shot, stoned, raped and tortured, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said, in response to the attacks, “When it comes to ISIL, we are in a fight — a narrative fight with them. A narrative battle.”

Everything is only a narrative to this administration.

That is weapons-grade stupidity that will get more Americans killed. Hillary Clinton must be getting the message though, because after insisting we import hundreds of thousands of unvetted “refugees” from radicalized Muslim countries, she has changed her tune, suddenly talking tough on vetting immigrants. It will be remembered, however, that in her four years as secretary of state, she showed no such interest in stronger vetting of potentially dangerous refugees.

America simply cannot survive this suicidal self-loathing in which we paint ourselves as a racist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic (one might say, “deplorable”) nation, and refuse to defend our borders, our citizens, our values, and our way of life. We cannot ignore the existential danger of the progressive, globalist agenda which seeks to undermine U.S. sovereignty and security while importing millions of immigrants, legal and illegal, who have no desire to become adopted members of their new home country, who have no desire to assimilate, and who in many cases openly seek to destroy the very things that made us the greatest engine of freedom and prosperity in the history of the world.

Of course, when it comes to America-hating, maybe they are just following Obama’s example. He never misses an opportunity to denigrate and browbeat the country he supposedly leads, as he just did on Tuesday in his final speech to the UN.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

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