Those of us who entered the workforce (or attempted to do so) during the Obama years invariably found ourselves on the receiving end of a particular genre of advice that is somehow completely true and completely useless at the same time: Get a job. Get married. Have kids.
More recently, reciting this mantra has come into vogue among gutless conservative and libertarian grifters who would prefer to avoid confronting the actual situation in which most young Americans find themselves. It is a situation caused by policies many of those same intellectuals once shilled for as representative of “true conservatism”: NAFTA, China’s admission to the World Trade Organization, an immigration policy based on labor equilibrium with the Third World. Not to mention the constant losses in the culture wars, where in less than a decade the Overton window has moved from same-sex marriage to chemically castrating prepubescent boys.
In the face of this, sneeringly admonishing young men to “get a job, get married, and have kids” is obscene—rather like burning down someone’s farmhouse, raping his wife and daughters, salting his fields, and then rhapsodizing to him about the pleasant pastoral joys of being a farmer.
Beyond being useless advice, the motives behind it are disingenuous. Little thought was given by the thinkers to the new problems of the individual and the family in the globalized age, at least not until the growing discontent led to the ascendancy of the dissident Right and the mass rejection of academic conservative and libertarian dogma.
More Complicated Than “Just Do It”
Now that the torch-wielding barbarians are at the gates, the bowtie cabal is shooing them away with the admonishment, “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche.” Either that, or they are simply not attuned to the feeling of modern America, where, to borrow a line from Clouscard, “everything is permitted but nothing is possible.”
“Get a job. I know you’ve never thought of that. And even though we’re in the worst job market since the Great Depression, you’re white, heterosexual, and cis-male. Exactly who the big companies aren’t looking for. That’s OK. Try to be less white. Loosen your wrist up a bit. My friend John Weaver is looking to fill some positions over at the Lincoln Project, I’ll forward him your number.”
This is all much easier said than done. Entering the job market during the Great Recession was like being fed into a wood chipper. I’m not telling you to despair, but it’s a little more complicated than “Just do it.” You have to be clever and resourceful to avoid the barriers to entry placed in your way. It takes a radical personal transformation to become the kind of man who can ride the wave of a dying civilization.
The present torpor of so many young men is described by the character of Tyler Durden in Fight Club:
We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our great war is a spiritual war. Our great depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars, but we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.
If you can find a purpose, something you can really pour your heart and soul into, it becomes a lot easier to make a living. Excellence, however, is rare and commands a premium.
Disturbed Women, Unhappy Men
Same goes for the advice to “get married and have kids,” as if it were a simple matter of going down to the local wife dealer, test driving a few models, and signing on the dotted line when you find a favorite. That’s not the reality we are living in.
Recently, I was looking through my parents’ high school yearbooks from the 1960s and was astonished at just how good-looking the average student was. Prom photos featured handsome well-dressed young men and radiantly beautiful young women with lithe figures and Jackie Kennedy style. And this was not Andover or some other elite high school, but a small-town high school in the South where the vast majority of students were the children of farmers and blue-collar workers.
Fast forward to today. Three out of 10 women under the age of 25 consider themselves gay or transgender. The average weight of women aged 20-29 has ballooned from 127 lbs. in 1960 to 167 lbs. Around 40 percent of women of reproductive age have a self-reported mental illness.
If the dominance of feminism means that women have won the war of the sexes, it’s a pyrrhic victory indeed.
The only people more unhappy than men with the state of affairs that gender equality dogma has created are women. While the problems of male incels have been rigorously studied over the past few years, the even larger problem that has largely evaded analysis is the phenomena of the female incel. While around 15 percent of American men have gone at least a year without sex, nearly twice as many American women (26.7 percent) report the same, and it’s not because they are saving themselves for marriage.
The health of a nation does not depend on the reproductive activity of nearly all its men—there are many historical examples of successful polygamous societies where relatively few men had wives—but it does depend on the reproduction of the vast majority of its women. Given these realities, it’s no wonder that the competition is fierce for the remaining pool of desirable women, who are so inundated with underwhelming suitors that they soon develop a sense of fatigue and become even less accessible. At this point, I’m convinced that many of them are hiding away in attics.
Wake Up to Reality
This is life during the fall of an empire. The once widely accessible domestic institution of marriage is becoming more and more the domain of a fortunate few. Our culture is actively anti-natalist and anti-family. This is no country for young children. Good jobs are few and far between. Virtually every material metric is headed in the wrong direction for family formation and class mobility.
Getting a good job, getting married, and having kids are all within the realm of the possible, but this possibility becomes smaller and smaller as we slide further into oblivion.
Anyone who sincerely cares about the next generations should save the stupid admonishments, put away the ideological prejudices, and start paying attention to reality.