Warning: This post discusses non-PC topics related to human biology. Do not read if you prefer to avoid controversy.
Although radical feminist societies are rare, it is still possible to find a few scattered throughout the world.
As a general rule, these societies tend to be agricultural. The reason for this can be attributed to the role of culture: the process of germination is compared the the human act of reproduction, where the Earth is figuratively giving birth to the society’s food*. Although the discovery of agriculture during the Neolithic period is universally accepted as a great leap forward for humanity, the social impacts of this change are disputed.
On one hand, neopagan groups such as the Wiccans have come up with a narrative of human history wherein the Neolithic revolution is regarded as a great leap forward for womankind, while the invention of patriarchy circa 3000 BCE represented the beginning of a Dark Age. At the other end of the spectrum, anarcho-primitivist groups such as those advocating the Palaeo diet regard the Neolithic revolution as a time when human health and longevity took a serious hit, and the period prior to that as an egalitarian Golden Age when humankind survived and thrived by hunting and gathering. What both groups fail to realize is that radical feminism can exist in any human society that has just gone through a catastrophe. A classic example is the United States following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963.
In agricultural societies, the vast majority of the men work as farmers, whose livelihood is dependent on a successful harvest each year. They may be able to eke out a living, but they know they are only one drought away from losing everything they have. The presence of laissez-faire capitalism within these societies makes upward mobility rare, although it is still possible. For most men, the primary means for achieving social mobility is to become one of the society’s warriors. For example, following the decline of the Roman Empire, a new social system emerged where the chiefs of various barbarian tribes became kings and their best warriors became the nobility. Of course, with the prospect of upward mobility comes the risk of death to achieve the objectives of a self-interested overlord.
Because most wealth is concentrated in the hands of the top 1%, other means for making a living are rare. In a previous post, it was mentioned that Celtic societies was ruled by a priestly class called the Druids. The Druids were the educated elites of pre-Roman Europe, and corresponded to today’s professional class. Outside of this selective community, literacy rates would have been low. The average Celt would have known a small amount of mathematics for performing financial transactions, and a small amount of astronomy to tell time and determine when to plant crops.
All human societies develop cultural beliefs in response to their environments, and agricultural societies are no exception. Since the work involves taking care of other living things, such as crops and livestock, a worldview emerges of a universe regulated by anthropomorphic deities. These deities typically control the forces of nature that the society depends on, such as rainfall and sunlight. Furthermore, since the deities are anthropomorphic, it is believed that their favor can be won through religious ceremonies. A scientific worldview comparable to the one found in modern society probably would not exist, since there would be little need for it.
As stated previously, women in these societies tend to have high social status, because the process of growing crops is viewed as analogous to the human phenomenon of childbirth. There is no social expectation for women to get married, and marriages that do form tend to be viewed as alliances of convenience that can end at any time. Furthermore, there is no social stigma associated with being a single mother, since the mother is viewed as the primary caretaker of the children. However, laissez-faire economics can make the process of raising a child alone prohibitively difficult.
As a result, most of the babies that are born tend to be children of the alpha males, who are the only ones who possess the resources to support a family. Low levels of genetic diversity are not viewed as a problem by this society, because the costs of inbreeding are offset by the benefits of allowing the alpha males to pass on their genes. Children in these societies occupy a unique position: since their parents are alpha males and females, they receive all the resources they need to support themselves during childhood. However, once they mature, they experience downward mobililty, because they are competing with other alpha males and females in the open market.
The political systems in these societies can be defined by two movements: radical politics and reactionary politics. Radical politics, not to be confused with radical feminism, is roughly equivalent to, but not necessarily the same as liberalism. Conversely, reactionary politics roughly corresponds with conservatism. The vast income gap that is typically found in these societies results in two dominant political trends. On one hand, reactionary politics has a tendency to redistribute wealth to those who already have it, since radical feminism goes hand-in-hand with laissez-faire capitalism. On the other hand, radical politics wants to redistribute wealth from the haves to the have-nots, often at the expense of the society’s laws. The means used by the radicals are often used by the reactionaries to justify their stances.
The entire political apparatus is suffused by a feeling of deep cynicism. The ruling classes believe that the problems faced by the society do not have a solution, because they stem from the laws that govern nature. If a solution is suggested, it is either shouted down as unrealistically idealistic or the person proposing it is accused of advocating the solution for their own personal benefit due to their (supposedly) low social status.
As you can probably guess, politics in this society can be summed up as a struggle between the have-nots, who are constantly trying to improve their situations, and the haves, who are trying to prevent them from achieving their goals. Overt conflict is rare, primarily due to the vast gap in power between the two sides. However, when enough people experience widespread deprivation, conflict can break out, as seen during the late eighteenth century with revolutions in France and English colonies in North America.
The Proposed Solution
For those who feel caught between the forces of radical and reactionary politics, there is a solution: libertarianism. More specifically, it is a form of religious libertarianism that will be referred to here as “neolibertarianism.” Key tenets of neolibertarianism include the following:
- Providence– the belief that there is a higher power at work in the universe, who has a vested interest in the events that take place in human society. This higher power will provide for the needs of anyone who is willing to believe in it, and also for quite a few people who do not believe in it. In this context, providing for people’s needs does not necessarily involve a supernatural intervention. Technological innovations and political changes can also be the result of Providence.
- Self-regulating markets– this becomes easier to accept if you accept the doctrine of divine Providence. Given enough time, the open market will eventually reach a state where all human beings will be able to support themselves, notwithstanding any temporary discomfort resulting from disasters. Human beings who are disadvantaged, socially or economically, will eventually reach a state of stability.
- Respect for the law– Providence ensures that humans will survive during times of difficulty, so there is no need to try to achieve social justice by breaking the law. In this context, “the law” typically refers to a transcendental concept, although it could also include the rules and regulations passed by human societies.
Although libertarianism does seem like a promising solution to the society’s problems, implementing it in the real world presents several difficult challenges. One such challenge is that it requires its practitioners to consume the absolute bare minimum needed to stay alive, and therefore cannot be used to support a family. Other challenges stem from the nature of real-world human societies, which are decidedly not radically feminist.
* Ancient Egyptians are a notable exception to this rule: they personified the Earth as a male deity.
- Prehistoric Dining: The Real Paleo Diet | National Geographic | The Plate. (2014, April 22). Retrieved August 30, 2016, from http://theplate.nationalgeographic.com/2014/04/22/prehistoric-dining-the-real-paleo-diet/