Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Motherly State

Manfred, who blogs at “Manfreds politische Korrektheiten”, has translated one of his own posts — originally published in German as “Mutter Staat” — which describes the actions of the modern welfare state as the infantilization of an entire populace.

Below are some excerpts from “The Motherly State”:

I propose to conceptualize as “feminization” the mentality change that spread all over the West during the second half of the twentieth century, leading to an equivalent change of basic political ideology.

I think it is plausible to assume that the socially accepted idea of God (who epitomizes all that is good) mirrors the socially dominant mentality. It is therefore more than just a marginal curiosity that leftist theologians imagine God as a woman (or, at least, not as a God insisting on norms and punishing disobedience, i.e. a fatherly God).

There is a remarkable analogy between this idea of God and the expectations towards the state which is no longer seen as a law-and-order state, and as a nation state (defining and defending its borders), but as a state helping, giving welfare, moderating conflicts, embracing anyone — in one word: a motherly state. The state, as leftists imagine it, is a gigantic mother’s breast. A destructured and de-differentiated society — the core of the left-wing project — resembles an unstructured and undifferentiated brain of a baby. It is the social objectification of that baby brain.
- - - - - - - - -
As this social dominance of motherly attitudes emerged first among the children of the war generation, I assume that the cause of this feminization is the long absence of the father especially in this generation (or his death, his invalidity, his psychic breakdown etc.) as a consequence of the war (which includes that America may be less affected than Europe.). Many women had to be the head of the family. Therefore, the increased role of mothers and of feminine attitudes resulted in a feminized society and its favouring left-wing “solutions” of social problems.

The Left transformed this glorification of female attitudes into political ideology. Anyone determined to stop the decline and decay of our society, i.e. the process of de-structuring and de-differentiating, should be aware that he has to cope not only with leftist elites and their ideology, but also with a collective mentality steeped in this ideology.


Czechmade said...

A strong man or a strong state needs a lot of weaklings, who can appreciate this baneful "share" of roles.

But when I mention/criticize Bismarck, there is a general silence. I know we owe this theme a deeper study, but what I read indicates I might be right.

Bismarck was with his Prussian ethics a foreigner in Germany and did a real harm. It is interesting that a foreign concept can "unite" a vast territory much faster than anything indigenous - actually home-grown, democratic.

Think of it. get a foreign idea and impose it on all "equally". The result is a phantom of instant "unity".

Baron Bodissey said...


But when I mention/criticize Bismarck, there is a general silence.

When you mentioned Bismarck last time, there was a “silence” from me for two reasons.

(1) I was away in Blacksburg at the time, and

(2) Your words were so insulting that I didn’t have the time to dedicate to them. But now I will.

You said, “None of you ever studied Prussia...”

You’ve got a nerve! You’ve no idea how much any of us have studied Prussia.

For my part, I have studied Prussia extensively — in my studies I specialized in international affairs in Europe from 1848 to 1914, and I understand Prussia’s relationship with the Holy Roman Empire, the German Federation, and eventually the German Empire. I have posted here extensively about Bismarck in the past.

I’ve noticed that when certain hot-button topics are mentioned — Russia, the Jews, Bismarck, General Franco, and number of others — some people who have strong opinions on those topics cannot bear that someone else might write about them without either condemning or extolling them, depending on the opinion held by that person.

It is simply not permitted to write clearly about Bismarck or Putin without engaging in a fetish of condemnation. As if history were not about understanding clearly about what has gone before, regardless of our opinion of it.

I’ve tried to write about Bismarck fairly and with historical accuracy, understanding him as a product of his time, as a Prussian, a Junker, and a political strategist. To see him as he was — a brilliant politician who was dedicated to the preservation of Prussia, and created an imperial German state to protect it.

He invented modern state socialism for the same reason — to protect his country from the up-and-coming nihilism of Marxism by pre-empting it. He based his welfare state on the institution of the monarchy in a state with weak representative democracy. In his calculation the rule of the Kaiser would be legitimized and strengthened by the boons extended by the state to the populace.

Little did he realize that he was setting up Europe for the ravages of Nazism just sixty years later. Little did he realize that the German welfare state, emulated all over the Western world, would destroy the very social fabric of European civilization in little more than a century’s time.

There. Now there is no “general silence”.

That’s my thumbnail sketch of Otto von Bismarck. Oh, there are many other things I could say about him — his dismantling of traditional institutions in the non-Prussian German states, or his gelding of the Catholic Church in Germany during the Kulturkampf — but this will do for a brief comment.

Now I want you to stop insulting me and other commenters. I’m sick of it.

I’m going to start deleting your comments if you don’t.

ole said...

Well, there might be some limited relevance in the idea of the "feminine state".
If you have whole generations of men who have grown up totally ALIENATED to their own cultures impressive military tradition ,then it is temptating to draw the paralell to an individal child who was brought up by a divorced ,man-hating mother .
Mommy-state brought them up to despise everything connected to her former husband ,the european-total-war-maschine.
But behind her hatred ,mommy is desparatedly craving for a new lover (JIHAD) , even if he is much more pimitivly brutal and abusive than her former master....
Is this a joke or what ?

Life is a bitch ; thats why I prefare to be a dog !

Czechmade said...

Baron Bodissey

I do not think I am able to insult you. Our mindsets are too close.

You would be a fierce adversary of Bismarck or Putin, if you had them at your doorstep historically or now, for ex. in Canada. Imagine Bismarck with his superior Juncker mind, discipline and disdain for your many messed up states as he would unite Canada with USA and out of fear of you all (being after all an ousider - Canadian), he would abolish your wonderful states in his office. He would sit suddenly in Washington and disdain all Americans willing to see their states standing on their own. "Kleinstaaterei" would be the slogan of the day.

The reason the Germans were so little vocal against EU until now is that this pattern was already contained in their early education. They do not like it, but feel it is more difficult to cut indirectly into their own historical flesh.

So this is a key issue for really opposing EU. Especially South Germans are very anti-Prussian. They feel more akin with us, Swiss or Austrians.

I can understand CS that my firm critique is an "attack" on his historical background and his mindset, but so is his support of B. or P. in my case. Interesting - you would not find that reaction in Norway for ex.

But in our case our two mindsets are as much alien to the both (B.,P.)as our Western background allows that.

Strange, I would not even feel harmed or insulted if you delete me. It is about patience and the load of work you face every day.
And also the stress to see some results and allies.

Swedes are part of this Bismarckian self-discipline, which does not allow them to act on their own. Czechs, Italians, Slovaks, Spaniards, Poles, Romanians etc. do not have this load on their neck - expect them to be quite vocal and make you appreciate us soon.

laine said...

I've written about the feminization or nannyfication of Western society myself, but suddenly wondered, how does the giant state breast that wants to suckle the most heinous serial murderer develop the desire to slay (abort) actual children and guard that right first and foremost?

That's the femnazi creed, but there's nothing biologically feminine about it.

Yet now I'm thinking that if Chechar is right in the thesis he is developing in his longer posts, then brutality toward one's young is perhaps the rule outside the West today and historically throughout the world.

So there was a brief shining moment in time when mankind was at its peak, with the nuclear family strong, with nurturing mother and protective providing father, but it could not hold?

Baron Bodissey said...

Czechmade --

I’ll tackle the two aspects of your response separately. The first concerns my objection to the way you casually and repeatedly insult the intelligence, knowledge, and educational achievements of other commenters here. The second involves the actual content of your comment concerning Bismarck, Putin, etc.

You have very little to say concerning my first point. You routinely characterize others in this forum as being less knowledgeable and educated than you are, regardless of how little evidence you have to determine whether your assessment is true. Casual contempt for other commenters seems to be your default position.

This is what I object to, not the content of your positions. Content, after all, may be argued and disputed in good faith by reasonable people in a civil manner.

You don’t have to say, “You’re a moron!” to someone else in order to insult their intelligence. There are other more subtle ways of achieving the same end, slim little stilettos of intellectual contempt that slide between the ribs of a discussion with lethal effect. This seems to be your preferred method, and I don’t like it.

As to the second point: I don’t feel the need to condemn Bismarck when I discuss him. He is too remote from our own time to evoke that level of affect in me. Lenin and Roosevelt are another matter – they are much closer to us, and the dramas that they wrote and starred in are still playing to packed houses in the seedy little backwaters of Western culture.

But, in any case, to describe a historical figure dispassionately – to see him as clearly and fully as possible in the context of his time – does not demand either condemnation or approbation.

If a modern Anglo-Bismarck stood athwart the English-speaking world and tried to meld it together into a single empire, then yes, I would have strong words against him. I would object to the dissolution of Virginia within a huge superstate. In fact, that is exactly what I object to about Obama, and I will resist to the best of my ability his attempts to destroy the hallowed prerogatives of the Sovereign Commonwealth of Virginia.

Russia is a different matter. I know too little to have an opinion about Putin. He is not the type of guy I would want as a ruler, but then again, I’m not Russian. He may be exactly what the Russians want or need.

But more to the point: small nations huddled against the frontier of Russia have every reason to be nervous right about now. Historically, Russia has felt a need to be buffered by tractable vassal states, and the protectorate of the American hegemon over Central Europe is about to evaporate. This time there are no German or Austrian empires to act as a counterweight, and the EU as a military power is a joke.

The new Caliphate may well be Czechia’s only hope for protection against Muscovy.

Czechmade said...

I "insult the intelligence, knowledge, and educational achievements of other commenters here". These commenters might be three to four.

Afonso one of them seems to enjoy our differences. He did not abandone his dreamy home made projections about "Eastern Europe", but certainly learned something. He "loves" us intensely, but for wrong reasons.

The comments of very few others imply very clearly that we should be thrown overboard. It can be said 100% innocently. With a childish charm.

The "overboard" effect is echoed slightly stilletoisticly in your last sentences. Well, it makes three point, not two.

I could not know that you studied Bismarck, but little by little you would in fact accept my arguments.
(So I "insulted" you unknowingly.)

We would take a heap of books and I would translate some passages from German, I have no idea how he is treated in English sources. But historians have their own agendas and any book can be biased - with honest or dishonest assumptions.

Another issue is our (Czech) sense of irony. Our irony is rarely meant to destroy someones credit, but those who never take irony as a multiple tool to say something succintly, must feel fried by it.

Here I speak to many people at the same time, if I speak to one defenseless person with no sense of irony, I restrain from it willingly, but I do not feel that happy, rather unfree. Even if I restrain completely, the person might detect something and feel uncomfortable as well. My irony can be also badly rendered into English. But in personal contact with almost any Western person I succeed and people do not feel harmed in any way and like my way.

I restrain regularly and repeatedly from commenting on most issues I have limited knowledge about. For ex. I rarely comment about US, BG etc. I simply learn.

It is difficult to keep silent about issues I know first hand and see that Anglospheric mind did not even create a language to deal with it. Hate and love get produced on the same basis - not understanding.

I am surprized that Bismarck is such a difficult matter, while discussing the same with a German (non-leftist, no guilt monger) is not. Take it more easy, I am forced to take easy many things including "huddled small nations".

And Russian army is a joke as well.

Conservative Swede said...

The other day Czechmade gratuitously accused me (and Felicie) of being racist and Islamic. Today I'm attacked with slurs based on my nationality (as if that was the essence of my being and not my words). All in all, what Czechmade's insults aim at, connecting the dots of "racist", "Islamic" and "Sweden but not Norway" is the usual Nazi connection.

Czechmade chooses to attack me with personal slurs and pure insults even when I'm not even part of this discussion. This is in breach with forum rule #1 (and possibly #3). But the rules are not being enforced.

If this is the level you set for your new forum rules, I'm sorry but they just won't work. If this sort of poisoning of the debate is accepted, neither civility nor intellectual honesty stand a chance in the climate. You should create a climate rewarding civility instead of acting as a "dialog police" vis-a-vis the offenders.

Baron Bodissey said...

CS --

Tell me which recent comments by Czechmade you object to, so that I can look at them and see if I agree with you that they violate our rules. If I agree with you I'll delete them. Maybe I missed reading some of them.

Conservative Swede said...

The one you answered to.

Baron Bodissey said...

CS --

OK, so you must mean either this:

I can understand CS that my firm critique is an "attack" on his historical background and his mindset, but so is his support of B. or P. in my case. Interesting - you would not find that reaction in Norway for ex.

or this:

Swedes are part of this Bismarckian self-discipline, which does not allow them to act on their own. Czechs, Italians, Slovaks, Spaniards, Poles, Romanians etc. do not have this load on their neck - expect them to be quite vocal and make you appreciate us soon.

What in these is uncivil, intemperate, or lacks decorum? I think must be missing something bad that everyone else can see.

I'm not saying that I agree with what he says (insofar as I can even understand it) -- just that it seems to stay within our rules.

It might be off-topic, but then again, the topic on this thread is fairly general.

Conservative Swede said...


The very same could be argued for Czechmade's insults against you. But then you felt insulted by it, so then it counted.

Rule #1 states: no personal slurs, no gratuitous insults, and that cleverness and/or subtlety in this regard don't count.

His overall point is how the two of you (with your "close mindsets") are good by nature, which he contrasts with me who he describes as bad/evil by nature. Not for anything I have done, but for how I was born. This is the lowest form of personal slur.

Furthermore he launches this attack on me in a discussion where I'm not even present. An insult does not get more gratuitous than that.

Your rules state that "cleverness and/or subtlety in this regard don't count", but obviously it does count since Czechmade gets away with this, as well as his recent ("subtle") attack on me and Felicie for being racists and Islamic. You accept all this since: you find no single sentence to be brought out that in isolation looks like a breach of the rules, and since you were not the one the insult was directed at.

So if the slur is just delivered with sufficient cleverness there is obviously no limit to how low level of absurd dirt that can be hurled upon people in this forum.

This poisons the forum in such a way that neither civility nor intellectual honesty stand a chance in such a climate. There's no rational way to react to such vicious slurs and gratuitous insults, since they have no intellectual content and are only meant as low level mudslinging. And since I prefer to stay within the frames of civility, I will remain silent.

I'm disappointed however, because I assumed that yours and Dymphna's intention was to create a climate rewarding civility. But now it doesn't look so. Instead you find the most blatant instigations to personal bickering all OK. You might be okay with that, but I have had enough of the personal bickering that is so typical of this forum. So I'm not going to answer Czechmade's invitations to it. And I note for the record that you find these things okay.

Dymphna said...

@Conservative Swede—

…I assumed that yours and Dymphna's intention was to create a climate rewarding civility. But now it doesn't look so. Instead you find the most blatant instigations to personal bickering all OK. You might be okay with that, but I have had enough of the personal bickering that is so typical of this forum… And I note for the record that you find these things okay.

I’m at a loss here. I don’t comment to Czechmade at all. Nor do I find the things you list “okay”. However, reading the comments you object to is like reading Afonso. I don’t understand the syntax, allusions, or “irony” that is purportedly present. How can I address what I don’t comprehend?

I do, however, see a clear attempt to line up sides, with the Baron somehow being made to appear to be simpatico with Czechmade’s pov. Thus Baron & Czechmade must somehow deal with lesser beings – and then a whole string of nationalities are grouped together in an assemblage the constituent parts of which I fail to grasp as a whole.

I believe this tactic is called ‘divide and conquer’ but I don’t get the point.

At any rate, the subject of this thread is supposed to bethe motherly state. I see that ole and laine made a manful effort to start and stay on topic. Other than these two, the rest of the thread seems to have gone sideways.

The Baron won’t be commenting further here as he has used his four.

Czechmade has one comment left and I hope it is on topic or I will delete it as I should have done the first OT remark.

You also have one opportunity left. I implore you to use it to address the theme of the post, i.e., the damage of the motherly state. You have so much to add, particularly as someone from Sweden, where women seem to rule (I say this as an outsider observing from my limited point of view).

Looking back, I ought to have deleted the first comment; it didn’t address the topic of the post. However, this is a learning curve for me, and it is only obvious in hindsight that letting people deviate an inch means the thread will turn into a corkscrew very quickly.

I wasn't following the comments when this started. It is physically impossible for me to read each comment on each thread.

No wonder some bloggers moderate their comment forums. That method is certainly less cumbersome than what we have now.

And no wonder others simply dispense with comments altogether.

Of late, all too often the forums here turn poisonous despite people’s best intentions. We get email complaints about this problem.

It may be that the world is becoming too dark to bear a lightness of being in dialogue anymore. It may be that civil discourse is impossible as the cataclysm draws nearer.

This is so dispiriting.

Conservative Swede said...

Baron & Dymphna,

The attack by Czechmade on me is exactly the same that he started off launching at the Baron. Then it was identified as an insult. But when Czechmade in his second comment clears the Baron of his slur and redirects it at me, while adding to it, the two of you have no idea whatsoever any longer that it is an insult. This is a problematic double standard.

Czechmade has kept his absurd slurs going since he accused Elisabeth's obituary on Jörg Haider of being like a "communist glorification". Then, as now, succeeding in derailing a good thread.

I'm sorry Dymphna, for not commenting on the article "The Motherly State", but thanks to Czechmade, and your lack of moderation, the thread is hardly at all about that. This thread is a voucher of how your moderation regime works in practice. You will find that you get the threads that you earned.

Czechmade gratuitously drags in the history of his absurd and vacuous attacks on me into this thread. Part of that package is to make the connection between Bismarck and Hitler. E.g. here:
"CS or Afonso, why are you obsessed with something which gave raise to EU - the pattern of Bismarck extended further by Hitler?"

So this gives the context of his gratuitous attack on me as "Bismarckian". Compare it to how some people say "neocons" while meaning "The Jews". It's funny that Czechmade started off attacking me about Bismarck, since the get go, since it came all out of the blue and I hadn't even mentioned Bismarck. But apparently I'm "Bismarckian" by essence and birth according to Czechmade. Taken together with his recent racist/Islamic slur the hint is that I'm a Nazi, or rather that, by essence by birth, I'm destined to converge towards Nazism. (Which, again, is the same hint as in my quote of him above.)

When you allow the history of such personal slurs being gratuitously dragged into a thread, in this way, you are asking for personal bickering to take place in your forum, since it can lead to nothing else. I thought the whole point of your shaped up rules was to stem these things at the sources where they come from. But apparently it isn't so yet.

By not deleting these sort of comments, but instead passing back the ball so that Czechmade can get where he wants and drag in his usual package of slurs against me, you make it look valid. And you get the thread that you have earned.

The disappointing thing is that your first comment shows that you have never been more prepared to delete Czechmade's comments than now. But even so the only result are declarations about "going to" and "should have had" deleted. It seems that it won't get better than this. I for one am tired of the personal bickering this leads to, and I thought you were too. And all this talking about deleting just makes it worse, and becomes part of derailing the threads.

Free Hal said...

Hi Baron,

No mainstream outlet will dare refer to it, but the immaturing effect of the welfare state isn’t hard to see:

-- Mark Steyn rightly referring to Europeans as “the world’s wrinkliest teenagers”;
-- Theodore Dalrymple refers to the “infantilising” effect when all you have to define yourself with is your discretionary purchases on clothes and entertainment;
-- James Bartholomew’s superb “The Welfare State We’re In” details our decline in civility and inability to hold down longterm relationships.

I think this is a significant part of the decadence which afflicts welfare societies. One tiny example is that, in the centre of town near me, the nighttime taxi rank has queue monitors to stop queue fights. This is the English, remember!

What explosive traits will we reveal when welfare collapse, fiscal breakdown, and ethnic violence puts us on our mettle?

Whilst I think the reference to babies is an exaggeration, I find the baby’s inability to distinguish an interesting parallel.

The “Motherly State” is a good phrase. I would say that welfare and planning, combined with democracy, has this maternalistic approach – nannying, prying, nagging, well-meant interfering (apologies to the Mums here).

Jonah Goldberg’s measured and analytical “Liberal Fascism” is very good on the connection between the centralised welfare state and fascism. If welfare-state finances were to survive a breakdown of democracy, which I find unlikely, then the statist mother could turn into a jealous and punitive father.

Another ingredient to add to our dystopian future!

Best wishes,


PS Dymphna, I sympathise. I don’t think your not deleting a comment shows your approval, and I don’t think anyone would like it if your approval was a condition of posting!

I suspect we commenters will keep on posting mean comments that we shouldn’t, now and then, because the issues are important and contentious. How can you deal with this? Perhaps a ‘complaints’ button would mean you don’t have to plough through every comment. In the meantime, I think your 4-post, 500-word rule is worth continuing.

If you’ve got a duty to us, then it’s to keep the blog functioning, and yourselves sane!