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The Wandering Male vs. Ordered Liberty

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Male-female differences in attachment styles point in the same direction that Millet and Firestone, the Marxist feminists, pointed: men are inclined to wander, sexually.  J. R. R. Tolkien, definitely not a Marxist feminist, more or less said the same in his letter to his son on marriage: “Men are not [monogamous]. No good pretending. Men just ain’t, not by their animal nature.” 

Tolkien is tutoring his son in fidelity in marriage.  It is a phenomenal letter. From a man who wrote love poems to his wife all his life it is bracing and, for many, shocking in its lack of sentimentality,.

Read it. You will learn more from it than from me on how fathers shape the sexuality of their sons, the single most important task facing the human race. With family and sexuality gone so wrong, even our brightest scholars are struggling to grasp the implications. In “China’s Changing Family Structure: Dimensions and Implications” just published by the American Enterprise Institute , Nicholas Eberstat, the editor, has this to say:

“In Japan at this writing, there is a conspicuous disinterest in sex with others on the part of a growing share of young men and women. The first “marriages” between men and video game avatars have already been consummated, and “marriage” between humans and sex robots may not be far away. Can we say with confidence that all this—and more—cannot happen anywhere else on the planet? Indeed, with continuing increases in affluence and material capabilities, the family at large might increasingly be treated as a social construct rather than a biological lifeline, ever more sculpted by and contingent upon the unbridled quest for personal autonomy. In such a world, blood lineage would matter less and less, and conscious selection of others would matter more and more, in the formation of “families.” As a matter of fact, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe had a premonition to this very effect two centuries ago; it is hinted at in his novel titled Die Wahlverwandtschaften, conventionally translated as “Elective Affinities,” but equally well as “Kin by Choice.” It is difficult to think deeply about such a human future, let alone to work through exactly what society, economy, and politics might look like in it. Presumably some great elixir of trust in others outside the bloodline would have to prevail and permeate daily life. But what else?”

We in the United States have some of this problem, but we have much going for us, too, made clear in The Next Hundred Million” by Joel Kotkin. The US is the world’s ongoing experiment in freedom. Increasingly we are a people of many peoples (“a race of races”) and of many religions.  We are a nation founded on the principles of ordered liberty. Though we have never fully attain that ideal, we constantly struggle to get there.

Yet there is something even more fundamental than ordered liberty.  Underneath the US Constitutional order is ordered male sexuality, giving us ordered liberty between man and woman in marriage and family life.

The Marxist feminists understood this and exploited male sexuality to create the chaos we are now experiencing. Tolkien understood it and instead demanded of himself what was needed to have that form of liberty in his marriage and his family.

If it is to remain the world’s ongoing experiment in freedom, the U.S. needs fathers who shape their sons to honor women so that the sons become great husbands and fathers.  Nothing is more important right now.

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