Men at Work

MEN AT WORK

One of you asked me how we got to where we are, so here’s an answer:

The current generation of men are part of a grand externality extending from the Industrial Age to the Digital Era which resulted in drawing men (and now women) away from home and hearth. This is unnatural under the heavens I say.

Whereas two hundred years ago more than 80% of us would have lived and worked together on the equivalent of the family farm, in the last 150 years especially, it seems men are married to their work more than to their families (generally speaking).

This is no one’s fault, survival amongst the tribe demanded and facilitated these events. It was a different world not too long ago.

For example, one hundred years ago the greatest killer of children was infectious disease.

At the turn of the previous century, as a little boy my grandfather heard two big sisters he adored cry plaintively in the night, each calling the other sister’s name, checking in on her sibling’s suffering. It was Scarlet Fever, brought to the home by an infected milkman. Grampa Gimpy found them both dead in the morning. It broke his heart.

A few years later he heard more suffering as his mother died giving birth to stillborn twins at age 40. She bled out over three days in the house while women of the neighbourhood desperately tried to save her.

Look to the records from TB sanitoriums of that era, or some of the institutions where our sick and mentally ill were warehoused. Children separated from their most critical bond to mother are affected forevermore.

The practice of institutionalizing extra-ordinary kids continued until as recently as a generation or so ago. I worked as a pool porter at the Rideau Regional Center in Eastern Ontario the late 1970s (while doing time), where families were encouraged to leave (sometimes discard) their developmentally delayed and damaged. A thousand or more kids and afflicted adults housed in a tenuous mix of order and chaos, in wards that were sometimes horror stories.

Daily I walked into a room of thirty children in hockey helmets all just banging their heads on the floor while the staff smoked cigarettes and watched soap operas. The violence, sexual degradation, and oh, the things I’ve seen…

A hearse appeared every morning to take away the dead.

For an idea of what the 1800s were like, look up the circumstances that led William Ernest Henley to write his poem Invictus in 1875. He was waiting to have his leg cut off when he wrote it. Read the poem while you are at it.

The #2 killer of children back then was infanticide. Nowadays, people complain about abortion and the pill. Perhaps it’s justified, I’m not sure. Seems to me it has always been a mother’s (and father’s) prerogative as to whether her child lives or dies.

Compared to today, life in times past was more Hobbesian, as when the famous pessimist wrote, “No arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” (Leviathan)

Surely that’s too much. Or was it, or is it?

200 years ago most lived on the equivalent of a dollar per day. That meant getting your water out of a hole in the ground, growing your own food and eating pretty much the same meal each day. A crop failure meant starvation, sickness meant death.

In the 20th century alone, we lost 20 million soldiers and civilians in WW1.

Then we lost 22 million souls to the Spanish Flu pandemic which immediately followed.

The stock market contraction of 1929 saw world GDP drop 25%. Then we had a protracted recession (before expansion of the money supply and while most countries were still tied to the gold standard).

Going off the gold standard’s real money and adopting fiat currency seems to have caused that crisis. Governments around the world have printed money since and created boom and bust cycles of expansion and contraction.

People suffered for years. My father was born in ’29, a child of  The Great Depression as it was called. He hammered used bent nails straight and kept them in tobacco tins on his workbench thereafter.

A world concerned with feeding itself flirted with eugenics… while Stalin embraced totalitarianism and then the Nazi regime allied with Italy and Japan to give us WW2, the horrors of the death camps and eventually, 75 or 100 million dead.

Nagasaki and Hiroshima were obliterated with nuclear bombs.

Stalin locked down the Eastern Block countries even more post WW2 and killed tens of millions.

It was the US and her allies who later rebuilt Japan’s economy, and led the charge to rebuild much of the world, notably under the likes of W. Edwards Deming’s brilliance and many others.

The Korean conflict followed. China joined in support of its vassal state, North Korea, with a million-man army rushing over the border to fight the allies and effect a stalemate that continues today. Millions more North Koreans have died as a result.

The French colonizers of Vietnam ran from a commie north propped up by billions worth of Communist Russian and Chinese military aid, and the US and allies took up the fight only to lose eventually.

I am old enough to have had friends (or older mentors) who saw action in each of those wars, including my grandfather in WW1.

Next door, Cambodia killed millions of their own under Pol Pot. Mao Zedong’s policies killed tens of millions in China, yet in 1972 Nixon went over and shook Mao’s fucking hand on behalf of capitalism.

Stalin’s rule produced 50 million dead, maybe more, including starving millions of Ukrainians in the Holodomor in the 1930s.

The nuclear détente between east and west lasted until Gorbachev in the 1990s. And we are not out of the shit yet by any means with the likes of Putin, Jinping, Jong-un, Raisi (of Iran), and others.

When I was a kid growing up in the 1960s and 70s, we expected to die from a nuclear attack at any moment. In summer, the fire station up on Alta Vista Drive would run the air raid sirens for practice. We’d look skyward just in case, searching for incomings…

The Cuban Missile Crisis and the assassinations of the Kennedy’s and Martin Luther King taught us calamity was on our door step.

I was in Cubs, Scouts, and even Pioneers. I attended Air Cadets (51st Squadron, Beaver Barracks). Preparing for war.

Posters at the ice rink on the Uplands air base (CFB Ottawa South) where I later worked as a cleaner, told us what to do in case of a nuclear attack. You were supposed to crouch down and put your head between your legs for protection… and kiss your ass goodbye.

All this world fuckery was faithfully reported to a population slavishly devoted to a thriving print newspaper industry and the new medium of TV news with trusted newsmen Walter Cronkite in the US and Harvey Kirck in Canada.

And what did western men do in the face of all this?

They went to work.

They felt called as defenders to work for democracy under capitalism.

As they have always done, noble men produced more than they consumed in support of their tribes.

The honourable expendable male came through. It was Men at Work…

Only, the trend that started during the Industrial Revolution saw men increasingly work apart from their families. Suburbs sprang up, and during the Victorian era the concept of “privacy” came into being.

Before that, a man’s family was with him as he worked. This new demand for labour changed… everything.

For some men, as long as they could put one foot in front of the other they worked. And the more talented of men rode this great wave of innovation and growth, while all men worked and worked and worked. We have the world we have because of them.

That cost something. I say it cost us plenty in externality (side-effect).

These changes had unforeseen consequences that are only now coming to a head, and in a sense, the chickens have come home to roost.

Perhaps that’s a chicken-shit simile but I’ll explain what I mean.

When I was a kid it was “eat your vegetables, there are starving kids in Africa.” Now? Not so much.

We have gone from 1.4 million starvation deaths annually up to the year 2000, to a few tens of thousands ‘death by hunger’ in the modern era (and only because of wars or other political infighting).

That’s no small feat, a 95+% reduction in dying from not having food to eat, occurred in my lifetime. It’s mind-blowing.

Capitalism’s powerful hold on supply and demand has resulted in the lessening of trade barriers and an increasing standard of living worldwide. By 2017, 6 out of 7 billion people on the planet were far beyond the dollar per day subsistence level of 200 years ago.

Life expectancy doubled. DOUBLED!

Industrialism and capitalism together is like a more complex game of monopoly… the longer it is played, the more wealth and property is accrued by fewer players. Just like monopoly goes until one person wins the game, capitalism’s nature concentrates wealth into the hands of fewer and fewer players.

Because it feeds us and provides for our quality of life, the capitalized world also beats tradition, culture, geography, relationships, and families, hands down over time.

Capitalism invests wherever it can make a profit and proceeds around the world relatively untrammeled. It hangs in there as the most attentively played and widely protected game and so, eventually takes all the marbles.

We have gained a lot since the Industrial Revolution, but we are giving up a lot too and no one is talking about it.

Once we made enough goods to house, clothes and feed a market, profits needed to be reinvested to make even more profit. And so, capitalism created consumerism.

Men worked more, including my Grandpa Gimpy and his brother Patrick, original Canadian Maritime “mad men” at Wallace Advertising, which was started at the end of the First World War. My dad said Gimpy wrote upwards of ten thousand slogans and headlines.

These wholesale changes of the last few centuries eroded the male/female ‘Team Human” ethos which had most prevailed beforehand.

Writing in Scientific American recently, journalist Francine Russo interviewed Brown University anthropologist Michele Hayeur Smith, who says, In the Viking and medieval eras, women were the basis of the North Atlantic economy, and their clothes allowed people to survive the climate of the North Atlantic… Textiles and what women made were as critical as hunting, building houses, and power struggles.

This all changed with the Industrial Revolution’s textile mills in England using imported cotton from around the empire, killing off this part of the North Atlantic way of life. Evidence has emerged over the last few years proving Viking women were also warrior women.

It falls to men… Let’s keep our eyes wide open to see the truth of what has happened. There is good and bad.

Left to their own devices, collaborative men and women have always banded together to take advantage of each other’s strengths and shore up each other’s weaknesses.

In medieval times there were many European “kingdoms” that were actually run by queens (I read in one report how these Queens were more likely to go to war). The two longest serving British monarchs were both women. The Mediterranean during the Bronze Age saw great queens, notably in Egypt. In short, the record shows there have been plenty of powerful women contributors throughout history.

Back to the present: there is about a two percent difference in DNA between men and women. Not much, you think. It’s only when we consider that there exists a DNA difference between humans and chimpanzees that we see differences count.

Boys and girls grow up differently under mom’s watch. Women are great at keeping boys alive to adulthood but don’t make men.

Little boys must bask in the glory of their mother’s love the first few years. But then, to develop properly, boys must slowly make their way over and under dad’s influence and become primarily influenced and accepted into the masculine order of things.

Failing to do so is a disaster for him, a disaster for those around him, and a disaster for society at large. Only men make men.

I argue we can tolerate some of this in a culture, but not much. The events of the last hundred or two hundred years leaves children (the effect is noticeably hard on boys), under the influence of maternal love indefinitely. In contrast, most little girls are maternal by nature.

Some men (it may now be most) never leave their mothers emotionally, regardless of her disposition.

It just becomes what is normal, alternatively unawares because they have not experienced a life otherwise and, for the most part, neither have their fathers. They were working, as were their father’s fathers.

These boys as men long for mother’s love forevermore (subconsciously projected onto the people around him). Their nervous system is left with a dependence on maternal care and a secret search for unconditional love, or being demonstrably ruled by abandonment fear.

Of course, this was never nature’s intention, which was set up so that children, especially boys, would be raised by both mother and father from the outset. Losing or dissipating the father influence at home under a mutually cooperative relationship with his wife has cost men and  the whole culture. In American society, almost half of homes now have no father in the house.

This is how the chickens have come home to roost. This is how we are reaping what we have inadvertently sown…

The mother is a child’s most important relationship. All love starts with the maternal bond. She takes precedence the first few years to keep the child alive, and especially for boys (who are expendable), with the man later teaching him how to stay alive and thrive thereafter.

I teach something called The Parental Pact. That’s the idea that as a couple, our first job is to protect the children from each other. Mother and father both need be there early on, firstly to protect the children from each other.

We are imperfect beings, after all, and men and women working together are able to keep each other in check. Nature set it up this way lest one or the other is able to capriciously rain down generational pain upon the child unopposed.

Without this balance a family suffers under life’s demand even more.

We men and society at large have lost male rites of passage, with no ascendancy to the rank of warrior class.

We have men who are partly there in some aspects, but who in other facets of personality are lost and confused, wondering why they are not loved for simply being who they are. Others are simply lost and confused. No one is to blame for this, it’s the times. It’s the side-effect.

Men now reach adulthood and, from sheer habituation, end up looking for maternal love in their girlfriends and spouses and other females. They don’t know otherwise and so, subconsciously seek maternal care.

And for survival’s sake, these friends, girlfriends and wives sense his deficit. Her survival instinct spots his weakness a mile away.

In general, women don’t get male weakness. They are puzzled by it and hold it in contempt.

In many cases, it drives women nuts. Like certifiably nuts.

Rather than accepting a partner with whom he can build a life by allowing her to hitch a wagon to his horse, many men settle for a relationship where they are not alone.

Or they are happy to swap out mom for some bossy wench whose bidding he must do under maxims like “Happy Wife, Happy Life,” all to avoid being cast aside. Men like this don’t get the fundamentals of healthy adult attachment.

Ostracism is the real scourge of mankind.

In the twentieth century we pushed back hard on fascism and communism and learned to feed six+ billion people while adding versions of universal health care and education. Purchasing power went up and we made some headway on pollution. Gains were made around sexual, racial, and ethnic injustice.

Arguably, there is less tyranny and more democracy. Overt tyranny has lessened, but a stronger but nuanced tyranny exists derived by government control of the money supply. The illogical Friedman and Keynesian economics which sees governments printing infinite fiat currencies is a sure sign that totalitarianism still exists… only under a far more pernicious form.

The cultural rise of female power, of the last two generations especially but stretching back a century or more, occurs in a vacuum of male weakness by way of his absence from day to day family life… and which is harmful to all of us over the longer term.

Men created second wave feminism by virtue of their own ignorance.

The weird thing is that chances are at the start of most relationships she gives him every opportunity to be the powerful man she needs; she expects that he knows his role. Her biological clock ticking, she bets on him. It’s the biggest gamble of her life.

Paradoxically, when a man is unable to bring his fully assimilated masculine order to bear on his relationship to offset the chaos of life sure to befall him and his woman, it makes women suffer. When women suffer, so do her children. Men are none too pleased in that case either.

And so, here we are gentleman.

Learning how to be powerful men.

Make that your priority. And, if necessary, I will show you how.

You can change this, you can be the man of your generation who stands up and declares, “The pain stops here!”

The world desperately needs you to become your most powerful self.

It is weakness that is the enemy.

Questions? Comments?

 

Commitments?

 

Invictus! (go read it)

True and Free!
cw

©2023 Christopher K Wallace
Advisor to men ™
https://www.advisortomen.com/bona-fides/

I do free calls to help men and sometimes I agree to work with them.
If you are up to it, here’s my scheduler

 

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