Of the countless lies the American people are meant to believe, perhaps the greatest is the myth of expertise.
The American managerial elite confuses the ability to perform verbal gymnastics with omniscience. This is an old story. Unlike the many iterations of sophists and pharisees before them, ours deploy increasingly gnostic feminist and racialist rhetoric to replace the real skill of parsing complicated situations. We’ve seen this dishonesty recently with the GameStop event, and persistently throughout the Coronavirus response. Our experts have become clerics. In all cases, “reality” is “explained” by our Social Justice shamans, who bamboozle everyone with terms like “problematic whiteness” and “health equity,” redirecting the public’s attention to exclusively valid kinds of suffering. Only the scientific elite can understand the cure. Don’t believe your lying eyes; accept, instead, our pretty lies.
Nowhere is this mystification more intense than in their approach to the family, where the failures of the modern administrative state are most clear.
Over the course of the 20th century, technocrats oversaw the near total obliteration of domestic life in America. From the very start, the progressive administrative state stood in opposition to the teleology of the family. About the early progressives, Christopher Lasch writes in Haven in a Heartless World: “Educators and social reformers saw that the family, especially the immigrant family, stood as an obstacle to what they conceived as social progress… The family preserved traditions that retarded the growth of the political community and the national state.”
Influencers of the time believed that the industrial revolution’s dislocation of work from home to the factory should be mirrored socially, and that, ideally, all key functions of the home would transfer to society at large. “Progress” in the social sphere would mean rational, secular homogeneity, because that would be most conducive to advances in science and technology. For those functions most difficult to extract from the home, the experts would intercede, mandating participation in public school, as well as the burgeoning “public health” system and therapeutic state. Family authority dissipated, family responsibilities evaporated, and family relations disintegrated.
The problem is implicit to the worldview. It wasn’t just that progressives opposed a traditional conception of the purpose of family; it was that they had rationalized the very notion of purpose. They applied timetables to the eternal. Utility replaced telos. And the irrational forces that flowed through the home, its life-force and source of internal bonding, were subjugated to scientific measurements that only the experts had the training and certified knowledge to interpret. Love and leisure could not measure up.
The woman, avatar of those irrational forces, was subjugated in kind. Not subdued by “the patriarchy,” as today’s feminists whine, but to the principle of utility, with the expectation that if she was not obviously useful, her presence was fungible. Ironically, by leading the charge to outsource so much of the maternal experience (so-called drudgery), early feminists destroyed the intergenerational transfer of knowledge between women. The modern woman now knows very little about her own reproductive function, health in general, and how to cultivate children compared to her great-grandmothers. So, in a self-fulfilling prophecy, she feels as useless with regard to the home as the experts say she should.
The modern expert class shares this bloodless worldview with its progressive forebears. Unlike the Durkheim types, however, the current caste’s devotion to facts and figures is tenuous at best. Over time, so-called evidence procured by social scientists has become further and further detached from reality. The evidence itself is no longer the god of the progressives. Instead, evidence is built to please new gods: mostly women and minorities. Perhaps this is the confessional instinct playing out over time. They can see who was destroyed most by the destruction of home and family under the watchful eye of the rational state. Unable to reckon with that inherited bad philosophy (to which they still subscribe), and unwilling to abandon their unearned status as elites, progressive guilt collapses into a new belief system entirely. The old testament was social science; the new testament is social justice. Whatever the reason, godless “rationality” eventually revealed itself as mere justification of deeply irrational convictions.
The proper response to the antireligion of the new left (worshipers of sexual and ethnic minorities, shepherded by clerical, clinical experts) is neither to respond directly to the strange verbal gymnastics or to the cherry-picked “data,” nor is it to attempt to prove how a more traditional form of society may be more useful than whatever we have now. Both the science-adoring and white-abhoring aspects of the new elite are outgrowths of the materialist worldview.
Americans can revivify the family by rejecting that materialist worldview, upon which our stupid and/or evil overlords establish their power. This means, fundamentally, restoring dignity to the irrational aspects of home. Americans must change their thinking: the home is not a training ground for the workplace. It is the sanctuary of the soul, and the moral foundation of men. Anything else is a cheap imitation. So, practically, the recovery of family life begins by rejecting its cheap imitations. This means recovering those responsibilities long outsourced at the behest of the materialist authorities: the utility monster and the State.
Stop outsourcing your whole life. Do not send your children to be raised by strangers in the moral vacuum of Day Care. Educate them yourself. Grow your own food if you can, and reclaim your family’s health. We should do all of these things, not because it is useful, profitable, easy, socially acceptable, or rational by any modern standard. Instead, we should do these things because we have the existential duty to our children and aging parents to restore our broken intergenerational relations. Independence from the experts means interdependence within the family. Despite the fact that the raw value of familial bonds cannot be calculated, they matter the most, in ways that words cannot reach.
To return to the family in the fullest sense means to be fully present in the sanctuary of the soul, and in more completely relying on each other once more, to regard the place and the people therein as completely indispensable. By restoring dignity to the irrational aspects of home, we restore the soul of the nation.
How to defeat the technocrats? Make Home everything again. This is the way!