Comments on “The personal is political”


This is probably going into

Chris Amaral's picture

This is probably going into my favorites from meaningness. Especially because it feels like a plausible synthesis of the many cultural changes I saw taking place during the last three decades here in Brazil (we normally adopt American tendencies after some delay) and in my own working class family.

The massive transition from afro religions and/or Catholicism to Evangelical sects has taken everyone by surprise; meanwhile the remnants of monist counterculture has become a major player in the political scenario (something they failed to achieve in the 60-80 era).

Also, this year Mayor elections for Rio has as the two strongest candidates Freixo and Crivella, and I kid you not, the former is the archetypal hippie turned politic rock star and the later a megachurch frontman.

Reproductive Strategy 3

Craig's picture

Men that gain education/skills in their 20s are increasing their sexual market value while also living a relatively fun single life (though note quite as fun as the hippie).

Women do not have the similar success with this strategy as potential partners value youth, beauty and low number of sexual partners over wealth.

Many of these upper middle class women turn to political activism as a means to express maternity. A disproportionate amount of totalitarian leftists come from this group and, combined with the permanent lower class, have decided elections in the west.

The rise of the welfare state, affirmative action, erosion of free speech/gun rights, and the current open border immigration policies have been the result.

Social conservatives and the "public/private" split

In the section about social conservatives and the “public/private” split, I’m reminded of the interesting New Yorker article “Red Sex, Blue Sex,” (, which examines the ways that liberal-leaning families tend to treat sexuality and the way conservative-leaning families tend to treat it.

I’ve also worked on a bunch of Community-Based Abstinence Education programs (see e.g.…), and that has yielded some interesting behind-the-scenes conversation. My public thoughts are at the link, but if you want to hear other stories about monism vs. dualism on the ground and in the government, drop me an email.

Red Sex, Blue Sex

Thanks—great article! It’s concordant with what I’ve learned from other sources.

It would be helpful if liberals would preach what they practice—and if conservatives would practice what they preach. And it would be helpful if everyone admitted their sexual hypocrisy, and looked more honestly at how sexual ethics work in their own lives, and in the lives of people around them.

On Competing Reproductive Strategies

Matt B's picture

Your discussion of byzantine moral extensions built around varying reproductive strategies reminded me of a blurb in Robert Anton Wilson’s Prometheus Rising.

An American President may not marry his own sister (if he
wants to get re-elected); an Egyptian Pharaoh had to marry his
own sister. Confronted by this moral relativism, many social
scientists have failed to notice the invariable: both the President
and the Pharaoh are expected to obey local rules.

In that same section, he makes the argument that there is exactly one sexual taboo inherent in across all human tribes. “That taboo stipulates that sexuality shall not be unregulated by the tribe.”

If he’s right, I’m not sure exactly what that bodes…perhaps that “tribes” are necessarily limited to a certain scale. Otherwise the “universalist” (within the tribe) attitude toward reproduction is insufficiently flexible and fails, as you discussed.

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