Academic Fighting about the Emoluments Clause and an Apology
51 minutes ago
This is only made worse by the structure of the French state itself. France formed by amalgamating small feudal principalities during the middle-ages and by conquering border lands afterward. As a result, all its infrastructures are centered on the capital region, which works as a wealth and manpower pump, extracting resource from the provinces to fund the lifestyle of the Parisian aristocracy and the infrastructures it needs. The railroad network, for instance, is organized around the six big Parisian stations and most big corporations have their seat in Paris, as close as possible to the political power.
Theoretically, most regions receive more from the state than they contribute, but it is an illusion. A great part of the money that flows out from Paris is made of pensions, wages and touristic spending, what we call the residential economy. They increase, not alleviate dependency.
Public spending, notably in education, is aimed at providing the core with the skilled manpower it needs, triggering a permanent brain drain from the periphery toward the Parisian region, and of course, the economy of the periphery is organized according to the need and the interests of the core. Under the guise of “national solidarity”, wealth movements are organized and controlled by the state, which makes the poorest regions yet more dependent on the core and prevents independent accumulation of capital, either human or material.
The result has been a pattern of regional specialization, with the superior functions, and most of the national wealth, concentrated in Paris.
Hypergamy means that women are attracted to men who are "above" them--superior to themselves and, ideally, to other men as well. This can be either social dominance, in the form of wealth or social status, or personal dominance, in the form of physical strength or force of personality. The social dominance of men over women, being a function of traditional patriarchy, has been negated by female empowerment. With women more or less equal to men in socioeconomic terms, only those few men who are of much richer or higher status than the common run of men are perceived by women as socially dominant.
This leaves personal dominance as the weightier factor influencing the modern woman's choice in men. As for physical strength, modern man has little opportunity to display his superiority in this area outside of sports. Not long ago, even the lowliest manual laborer could establish and reestablish his virility daily by performing tasks beyond the ability of most any woman, and thus partially offset the disadvantage incurred by his lower social status relative to other men. Mechanization has largely neutralized this male advantage as well. The other venue in which brute physical strength was displayed was fighting, which was once tolerated if not outright encouraged but is now so severely sanctioned (at least for white men) that the only ones who can afford to engage in it are those with nothing left to lose. Once upon a time, even good men were occasionally violent. Nowadays only bad men are violent. If violence is outlawed, only outlaws will be violent.
Which brings us to the final point. The only way that an increasing number of men can distinguish themselves is by resorting to the one type of dominance remaining to them: dominant personality. This covers a wide range of qualities: leadership, decisiveness, confidence, determination, independence, resourcefulness, risk-taking, charisma, intelligence, wit, etc. What needs to be noted about all these is that, while they initially appear to be unreservedly positive qualities, they are in fact morally neutral (as are all the other forms of dominance mentioned above--a physically strong man is not necessarily good, nor a rich man, nor a high-status man, despite the fact that we would all prefer to be strong, rich and powerful). A personally dominant, "manly" man may be either good or bad. We could just as easily re-word the above list as: domineering, impulsive, arrogant, pig-headed, selfish, inconsiderate, irresponsible, reckless, devious, and yes, violent. Whether we choose positive or negative terms to describe them, these are the "alpha" traits that women subconsciously associate with high-status men. Of course, the "alpha" qualities they crave are really epiphenomenal, merely superficial markers of the things they really need, not the things themselves. Thus, to a woman judging men in the raw, unmediated by any societal evaluation, a man who puts on a convincing act of being confident and charismatic is as good as a man who is confident and charismatic and has the accomplishments to prove it. And when this act is accompanied by the brute physical violence forbidden to men who play by the rules, the combined effect is intoxicating. Women are attracted at the visceral level to the raw masculinity, which they in turn interpret at the conscious level in the most hopeful light possible, taking wishful thinking to heights unimaginable to us men. A temple built atop a sewer indeed. "But to the girdle do the gods inherit, beneath is all the fiend's." There is thus no contradiction in a woman imagining herself to be seeking safety from a "strong" man who excites her and ends up abusing her.
Patriarchy valorizes qualities that men value in other men, dominant or not, "beta" qualities such as loyalty, honesty and industriousness, and converts these into a currency that women value: social status and the financial resources that accompany it. In this way male and female values become aligned. In the past, women's judgments of men were mediated by male authority. Nowadays, however, women are evaluating men on the basis of their own subjective, gut-level feelings, which, while accurate indicators of the thrills they can expect from the relationship, are poor indicators of their prospects for long-term happiness.