The Thinking 


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When Numbers Are Not Decisive

December 11, 2012


IN his remarkable 1886 book, El Liberalismo es Pecado, or Liberalism is a Sin, the Spanish priest, Fr. Felix Sarda y Salvany addressed the issue of the relatively small number of individuals resisting liberalism. I like what he says very much because it addresses a complaint I hear often: “There are not enough of us.” His book was written for Catholics but is applicable in some of his points to others as well. He wrote:

Among the illusions entertained by a certain class of [anti-liberals], there is none more pitiable than the notion that the truth requires a great number of defenders and friends. To these people, numbers seem a synonym for force. They imagine that to multiply heterogenous quantities is to multiply power. Read More »


A Lesson in Family Polemics

December 7, 2012



I happened upon your post about debating liberal family members and felt compelled to tell my own story.

Recently I drove from Seattle to Southern California with my daughter and her boyfriend — he a committed lefty, she not yet committed (she has her father’s inborn good sense). We were, like Red Riding Hood, bound for Grandma’s house. Grandma, my former mother-in-law, is an old, ill-informed, militant feminist who works as a therapist for the transgendered. She has taken up the cause of homosexuality with religious fervor.

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What Women Need to Hear

September 24, 2009


In the previous entry on female sexuality, Matamoros described a pragmatic approach to recovering the lost honor of women. He wrote:

A movement that argued that the current political culture was pulling women in too many directions and resulting in the destruction of the family, with accompanying policy proposals that would involve a nationalist revitalization of the domestic economy so that one wage earner could support a wife and children in the broad American middle class, that might do it.

What would such a movement say to women?

It would say you were sold a bill of goods.  You were promised liberty and the pursuit of happiness but instead are shackled to the office chair gulping down anti-depressants.  You were promised sexual liberty, but instead your sexuality has been colonized by the marketplace, reducing the most intimate of human affairs to a commodity, and now resulting in the actual marketing of sex to pre-teens, by the Walt Disney Company no less.  You were promised fulfillment, but the reality is a race to the bottom and may the sluttiest win.  It would say that while you were promised  “Sex and the Cityglamour and excitement, instead you now have a culture that regards you as a non-entity the moment the first wrinkle appears and the light in your eyes dims ever so slightly.  It would say that the Western ideal of romantic love need not be abandoned.

That could work.  That is an appeal to the interests of women.

But make no mistake about it.  Any such political program would be seen as empowering men at the expense of women.  But, we would argue in response that this is to correct an over-correction, to set the pendulum back where it belongs.  Those who are fully bought into the system—big law partners, big NGO queens, big government officials—would fight tooth, claw and nail.  And the young and the beautiful would probably not have enough imagination, especially given the dreadful level of current education, to see that their circumstances would ever change enough to warrant considering such a program.

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A Walk in a Patriarchal Neighborhood

September 3, 2009

There were children everywhere, as if this was a reservation for a vanishing tribe. They were running and playing. They were talking and laughing. The girls wore dresses of pink or blue. The boys were dressed in shirts and slacks, not T-shirts with commercial logos. They crowded the sidewalks, some in strollers and others on their feet. Some walked along holding hands with a mother or an older sibling. A boy and a girl of about ten years were running an errand for their parents with plastic bags in their hands. A boy tore down the sidewalk on his bicycle, his head close to the handlebars. A group of teenage girls in dresses stood on a corner in long skirts, with a conspiratorial look in their eyes.

It would be hard to kidnap a child here. There were mothers everywhere. They were pushing strollers, putting children into cars, standing in small groups chatting. Many of them were young and they all wore dresses or skirts with stockings. It was strange. They were smiling and relaxed.  Mothers with many young children are supposed to be angry and depressed. They were smiling and laughing. Two old women sat outside one townhouse and watched children play.

There were some men, walking in pairs, strolling with their wives pushing strollers or visible through the front windows talking on the phone. There were people of every age, interacting and proceeding through the day together. But, most of all there were children. Was this a museum? Perhaps it was called, “The Neighborhood Museum,” a place where people come to see what a real neighborhood looks like.

Such was the scene earlier this week in Outremont, a neighborhood of Montreal I happened to be visiting. This part of Outremont is home to Hasidic Jews. The community has grown in recent years and now numbers more than 15,000. It subsists peacefully with the urban professionals who share the neighborhood in spite of occasional tension. Not long ago there was a controversy. The Orthodox Jews paid for new tinted windows in the local YMCA. Apparently, their teenaged boys were gathering outside a nearby school to watch the women in the Y work out in scanty clothing. Some non-Jewish residents said the new windows were an offense to religious freedom and made yoga exercises more difficult. 

This neighborhood is emphatically patriarchal. I will never be an Orthodox Jew and yet this is my tradition, more familiar to me than the sterile, childless no-man’s land that passes for a neighborhood in most parts of America. This sort of patriarchy doesn’t mean imprisonment for women. It means freedom from Sex and the City. It doesn’t mean women never work or never make money. It means a peaceable order, and a new and abundant generation. It means men confidently strolling down the street.  It brings people out of their homes and into the neighborhood, laughing and talking, running and playing.

Interestingly, these Orthodox Jews survive in the modern economy. How is it they can afford all these children and all these wives at home? Haven’t they heard that all this is no longer possible?


DSCF9465 by christopher dewolf |


DSCF9567 by christopher dewolf |



The Perennial Bride

August 4, 2009



Used with permission, Lydia Sherman


Some women never lose their first ardor for home. They are perennial brides, their wedding day having been the entry point into a universe that is ever-new and stimulating. Affection this strong cannot help but inspire others. Lydia Sherman grew up on an Alaska homestead and then became a housewife in the West. She has been blogging since 2005 and has a large and loyal following, for her simple crafts and sewing, her reflections on home in a world that disdains domesticity, and her memories of a rugged Northern childhood. Her blog, Living at Home, captures the soul of the American home. This is our tradition. This is our heritage, so often hidden from view. Here are selections from Lydia at her best: 

From The Woman in the Window, Sewing:

Because the neighborhood was so dark and lonely, I always felt a warm reassurance upon seeing the woman in the window, sewing. I cannot explain all the thoughts I had but here are some: somehow, I thought that she was very brave. She was not ashamed of her homemaking and was not self-conscious about being seen in the window, sewing. It brought back memories of my mother singing while she swept the front porch. The other feeling was that it somehow made the world better. It showed that no matter what the current news media hype or world threat was, the woman in the window was still going about her daily work and taking her duties seriously. And still another feeling it gave me is one of wanting to go home and be very creative and industrious. The sight of her in that window was like a light in the darkness.


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Virginity for Sale

June 10, 2009

Mark Richardson, at Oz Conservative, has interesting commentary on a feminist’s reaction to a Roumanian woman who auctioned her virginity on the Internet for $20,000. To a feminist, a woman’s chastity could not conceivably be more significant than a man’s.


The Coming Storm

June 2, 2009


Over at  Lawrence Auster’s View from the Right, in an interesting thread on whether traditionalists should withdraw to safe territory or fight it out at home, commenter Vivek G., in advocating the latter option, talks like a true Crusoe:

 And we need to begin wherever we are. There can be informal co-operation amongst various traditionalist movements even across national boundaries, but that may just be desirable, not a must. If we fail in this, we have to fall back on the John Galt option. Since the necessary homework is more or less the same for both of these options, it can be advantageous to try the take-over option before the other. 

I concede that this may sound fascist to Liberals, Muslims, and Commies; but what can one do if this is the only option? And Liberals, Muslims, and Commies call anything and everything they dislike, fascism. But I firmly believe that our society has as much right to survive, if not more, as Liberal, Muslim or Commie societies have. And if they threaten our survival, we must take adequate measures. We have been blind until now to their taking us over. Now it is time for us to be strong enough to take over them.

I couldn’t agree more. Don’t wait for others to join you. Start now, on your own island. 

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