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What's Left May212019

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  1. Hi, I'm Benjamin Studebaker and I'm a notorious and this is what's left. So today on what's left. We're going to talk about the history of the family the popular narrative lately is that the family emerges from something called patriarchy a system of domination and oppression in which men screw over women.
  2.  
  3. Amy and I think this is a bit of a reductive narrative for thinking about the development of gender norms, and we want to complexify it a little bit. Is that about right? I me yeah. Yeah, I think like that that. Narrative is essentially a hagiography that is constructed to suit contemporary ends.
  4.  
  5. And as with most hagiographies that has aspects of Truth in it, but I think it frequently gets employed in service of projects that in fact, we shouldn't support and we should also questioned the accuracy of the of the narrative.  It's self because when we use it. Or when we use something that's just willfully and accurate to justify analysis or amendment of those institutions today.
  6.  
  7. We just end up with real distortions because it's just all. It's like a reification is all the way down. I think right you can't think about how to structure the family. If you don't know where the family structure comes from and the social function it serves and I think the way to think about it is as.
  8.  
  9. The kind of bedrock and initial institution that is at the bottom of the state because very early city-states were kind of federations of families and that meant that the family had a very specific kind of structure because the family was a unit of organization for organizing. The economy you had these landed Aristocrats.
  10.  
  11. They were the families that were significant in city-states and these landed Aristocrats had a straightforward division of labor in which the husband was in charge of managing. The external relations of the family to other families to the political system to the palace and then you have the wife whose role in the aristocratic family is to run the household and oversee slaves servants wet nurses all sorts of.
  12.  
  13. People involved not just in ensuring that the family has the resources that they need to survive and that the house is clean and in good condition and well decorated, but also the farm also the land that the family owns the slaves who run. Those farms and work that land all of these people also have to be managed and the Greeks considered the management of the economy to itself be a private task that fell outside the realm of the city.
  14.  
  15. And therefore something that households did and I think if you look at the family it is a kind of evolved. Corruption or Distortion of this very old Greco-Roman model in which the husband has clients who are external to the family and the wife is overseeing the slaves. Does that sound about right?
  16.  
  17. Can you clarify what you mean about like at the Wi-Fi was seeing the slaves? Like I think that would be great deal of difficulty for most like walking cause conceptions of the family to be making sense of that particular claim. Yes on and the patriarchy model. I think people often imagine women in ancient societies.
  18.  
  19. Doing a whole bunch of grunt work doing all of the cleaning doing all the cooking doing all the showing. Doing all of the tasks to make the household run and that was would certainly have been the case in poor low-income families. But those are not the kinds of families that people were thinking about in ancient societies that were extremely unequal and hierarchical.
  20.  
  21. So pardon the pun we're talking about like the platonic ideal of a family right or not. Hey the platonic ideal, but that also beyond that the kind of family that genuinely did prevail. Among the landed Elite and of course all of our early culture all of our really fiction that refers to families is written by members of this landed Elite and all of the early Notions of the family come from this landed Elite and everything.
  22.  
  23. Everybody else is done in the terrain of family has been in some way shape or form an imitation of this an imitation or an interrogation. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So you're saying that like a man. About cultural paradigms ultimately like what it down diluted versions of those like even within contemporary like.
  24.  
  25. culture today, I think about think about courting in these aristocratic families and you see this in things like Cinderella or a lot of fairy tales Disney movies things like that. Where the father. Materially takes care of the daughter and then wants to make sure that the daughter ends up with a man who can provide enough resources to the family through business dealings through political alliances through whatever it might be for the.
  26.  
  27. Wife to be able to have the hordes of slaves and servants and assistance that she needs to run the household and to run it comfortably and the fear that the father has is that the daughter will marry some wastrel who is not capable of securing the material resources that the family needs to sustain the slave Force.
  28.  
  29. And if the slave force is not maintained then the daughter will end up having to do the grunt workers self instead of being treated like a lady treated like a princess and when you think about someone who is a lady or a princess, you're not thinking about someone who gets down in scrubs and gets down and and does household work you're thinking about someone who is in charge and what the.
  30.  
  31. Fathers want for the daughters in the ancient world is for the daughters to be in charge of things.  that in charge of the things that are considered to be right within a particular sphere and so the division of labor that comes up here where the. Husband is in charge of external business relationships and external political relationships.
  32.  
  33. And the wife is in charge of internal economic household management relationships that division of labor is quite limiting for both men and women but in its ideal aristocratic form, it's meant to be a relationship which enables both men and women to exercise a lot of power and agency. I'll buy it, of course.
  34.  
  35. Different kinds that's right. And I think so. I think perhaps when it is example. Like again when we say ideal that's not a normative claim. It's sort of like a claim about the Contour is of like the like a generic or archetypical archetype version of this not exactly the ideal to be it's not open door.
  36.  
  37. Okay fabulous, sir. The then one particular example of this is quite Salient would be say in the. In their production of cotton and sugar and those sorts of tobacco plantations often the the master would be away for considerable periods of time and the like his wife would be running the entire Plantation, right?
  38.  
  39. So, right so say that you are a Roman general and you are out leading a campaign in a distant Province somewhere. Away, who's managing your lands and your your Estates and all of the slaves that work all of that land and and run those and maintain those Estates. It's your wife. Your wife is running all of your property for you while you're away on campaign and she's acting in the name of the household which is in the name of the husband, but she's running.
  40.  
  41. All of that stuff. Yeah, she has a huge amount of authority within that sphere and managing authority of a kind but delicate little started still Authority like within that sphere and so this idea that. Because you're not a citizen in the sense in Greek society women were not citizens in Roman society.
  42.  
  43. They were but when you're not a citizen in Greek society what that just means is that you don't interact with the other families. You don't manage the political apparatus which manages and and collect devises the families. That leaves you with a great deal of potential power and agency within the household.
  44.  
  45. And so that that division is quite limiting for both and whenever there's a conflict between the man and the woman the man is going to get the better swing of it. But that is a quite different picture from the picture that's painted by. Patriarchy Advocates who will simply point out certain basic facts about this like say the fact that in the Roman family the patriarch has technically legal power over life and death of the wife and the children and they'll point that out, but that will neglect the.
  46.  
  47. Actual de facto situation on the ground in Roman families, which is that the wife has a tremendous amount of power over slaves over the children over the management of Estates. The reason why this is this can be problematic in the Contemporary world is by not recognizing and. Appreciating those as more subtle forms of power that I just better not.
  48.  
  49. They're like in not recognizing de facto power and so leaders. You're a factor in this particular narrative what will tend to happen as that then within contemporary situations. They will project the same like shallow frame. To assess situations of gender Dynamics in the present. So like in a huge portion of the the latest sort of gender was around me, too.
  50.  
  51. There's been this really consistent assumption that like women are a priori the less powerful gender and that necessarily in situations with men that are automatically less powerful that sort of thing and what that fails to recognize a sort of subtle relational dynamics of power that I'm not always self-evident and they're not always they're not homogeneous right like so the like in failing.
  52.  
  53. To conceive of their different ways that power can be exercised in and manifest in those historical situations that that superficial lands is also used in. The Contemporary wild in ways that will fail to assess and capture. What's actually going on today? Do you think that's fair? Yeah. Yeah, and I think it it gets it this this problem is that the family structures that have come about.
  54.  
  55. since this old-timey aristocratic structure. Have been in various ways to store shelves of that structure in ways that have strained its initial construction. So the thing that sticks out about that aristocratic family structures that while it is very limiting for both men and women because they're boxed and have to perform a quite specific role yet.
  56.  
  57. Was quite stable and long-lasting that family structure prevailed in aristocratic families pretty much for the entire life span of the landed gentry as a as a category. This is significant category and social life. So what happens in other kinds of family structures, is that the resources do not exist to enable.
  58.  
  59. This kind of relationship to work. And so what happens is of course first, if you don't have the resources, then you can't maintain large amounts of landed Estates. You can't maintain large numbers of slaves. And so the first thing that happens is that the woman starts having to do the tasks of maintaining the house and cooking the food.
  60.  
  61. Repairing the clothes and all of that herself without a team of people to assess raising the children all of these things. So the first thing that happens is you start to see a decrease in resources for the family is that the wife begins having to do slave work and this is the fear for the aristocratic father is that the daughter will be rendered a slave by the Sun by the husband's incompetence.
  62.  
  63. So that's the first thing that goes wrong then. Thing that goes wrong is that the husband ends up being an employee or being himself a slave or someone who has been subjugated or rendered a peasant or surfed or whatever or whatever the case may be but most commonly in our more modern era and employee.
  64.  
  65. So in that case then the husband is a client of someone else because if you think about say the Roman. Relationship you had Ramen men who were citizens and who were Aristocrats and they had large numbers of clients people who used to be their slaves but had been freed but still had legal duties to them as freedmen these were their clients and so the clients would do work and organize their own work in various kinds of ways, but they would give a certain percentage of that to their former Masters.
  66.  
  67. In recognition of having been freed by these people and in return the former Masters would look after their interests and represent them in courts because freed people in Rome couldn't represent themselves in court. So if you think about what an employee is and employees quite a bit like a Friedman and employee has got isn't a slave isn't forced to give absolutely everything that they make over to the master.
  68.  
  69. As they would have been when they were a full-scale running slave but as an employee, you aren't really in position to provide the kind of resources to. The wife that would be necessary for the wife to live a free life and you are still quite Limited in your freedom by the relationship with your former master and in the case of modern society by your relationship with your employer.
  70.  
  71. So the next stage is now the wife is a stay-at-home mother who has to do all of the work that the slaves were previously doing and the husband is like a client like a Roman clients is opposed to a Roman aristocrat. The stage after that at which only really comes about in the post-war period as a result of the invention of various forms of labor-saving Machinery is that it becomes possible to draft the wife into the workforce to on a more permanent basis.
  72.  
  73. And so this means and this is always true for quite poor industrial families where women often did a lot of work outside the home in addition to whatever it is that they had to do in the home. But it becomes much more predominant. Once these labor-saving machines are invented and the consequence now is that both people are acting like clients under the old Roman system.
  74.  
  75. They're both employees. They're both not really fully free anymore. Neither one of them has got the resources to exercise any significant agency in the private life where the public life or in any combination of the two.  But there's still this old gendered expectation that the bulk of whatever the housework is that is to be done will be done by the woman and so at this stage both people have been conscripted into the workforce by capital.
  76.  
  77. But the woman has got a disproportionate expectation to cover the housework. This is the kind of icky mass that we have been left in lately.  and where the relationship that kind of division of labor that persisted under those aristocratic families has been. Broken, but it hasn't been replaced by something else which creates real stability or freedom and in which taking up an employer-employee relationship or a client or freed person relationship as the Ancients would have recognized it is pitched as liberating for the woman when really what is happening is that now instead of being a slave in the household.
  78.  
  79. She will be a slave in the workplace. So heard slavery has been changed its form but not obviated. And the legitimation mechanic operates by saying if you are free to take a job in the workforce, then you're a free person. And so even though all ancient civilizations would have regarded. This is a deep deep failure.
  80.  
  81. If you had an aristocratic father and aristocratic father would consider virtually all of the lives that Ordinary People in modern society live to be deeply decrepit slave. But that is now normalized and treated as free. So what this does is it means that all of these relationships are kind of messed up from the point of view of that old aristocratic ideal.
  82.  
  83. Am I making sense Amy? Yeah. I mean I think for many families that aristocratic ideal was. Never reality, right? So I just want to reiterate that like we're under no illusions that the majority of families throughout the majority of history, when not families that had like the luxury of experiencing that particular platonic ideal those particular generals and certainly not of having servants in a manner and all the rest.
  84.  
  85. But the families didn't count politically back. And the thing is that now that you've got universal suffrage they do count politically. And so the fact that these families are trying to imitate this thing but not imitating it and then being sold. A story about how their deviance from it is actually freedom.
  86.  
  87. That's what is very distinctive about our current period absolutely and it was so like yes, they have like so you spoke with you know, they now have political. Participation like that's again a legitimation mechanic. So we're told that we have equal political influence. Like we have an equal say in our Democratic governance.
  88.  
  89. But like we all know that the majority of people don't have the same influence as the you know, what we had formerly conceived of the landed gentry in the aristocratic class and like the ruling class like the majority of people don't have the influence that that capital and the rulers have but the majority of people and not in a position where they've yet recognize that the.
  90.  
  91. Symbolic participation that they have in a democracy is actually not the same thing as substantive political representation. So they're being represented by the you know in the Greek polis by there for my master, but like they're not really. You know what? I mean, like people are not really able to make nice with their boss.
  92.  
  93. That is a class antagonism and like we're not seeing it and we're just trying to do what people above us are able to do and that they're able to do it in but she was the greater degree of political power that they have and instead of recognizing that in fact, that's it. Like if this whole system is on drost and that we can't do that.
  94.  
  95. We instead I started deprived of like the political and intellectual capacities to see that. We just try to imitate what they're doing and just really aesthetic stupid ways and it's kind of interesting because the whole thing about freed people in Rome freed people. Are so much like virtually everybody now, they are people who are represented legally and politically by their former Masters.
  96.  
  97. And what we now have our is a representative form of government in which we get to on some level choose the representative which of course the freak person in ancient. Rome doesn't get to do but that illusion that because you get to choose the representative that you have some kind of actual political power at the.
  98.  
  99. Level is is a it's totally illusion but be because at scale there is a significant amount of. Power in ordinary people in terms of their ability to get some Representatives elected rather than others this creates some level of interest on the part of the Democracy in what's going on with the ordinary person.
  100.  
  101. And so we get all of this discussion about the ordinary person's family, which was beneath notice in ancient times and throughout most of the Middle Ages and early modern period no one would have really cared about. The family that doesn't have political power.  that family structure would have been of no interest and it's only become interesting retrospectively to people today because people today Project back into the past this relevance to.
  102.  
  103. Working class families that in the past simply politically didn't exist because the working class in the past was not meaningfully a a. Vibrant thing it was under a much more direct relationship of subjugation to the point where it didn't even have the ability to meaningfully speak politically even just to say not this representative this other one instead.
  104.  
  105. Yeah. I think they're it's worth like again reiterating that at least this is my conception. I think that particularly like Neo liberal democracies. Because we're all like constantly capitalist subjects. I think that is a fundamental that choice fetish that we all have think it manifests in the way.
  106.  
  107. We conceive of political structures by just think it manifests in different ways. Constantly and that is that they get at the the neoliberal subject is a consumer like even within the political sphere we are consumers and what a consumers do they make choices and like we are told that as consumers more choices and more good more choices.
  108.  
  109. They call more freedom. And I think that that particular Axiom is one that's almost never interrogated. It's just sort of shaking as a fundamental truth and. I think it should be probably sized. I think that choice passe isn't something that has normative value unless you're actually assessing the substance, but I think what happens in contemporary in a liberal Society is is that we fetishized Choice as a concept without any content and I think we see in the ways.
  110.  
  111. That people are attempting to make sense of their lives and of their relationships choices just how it up as this end in itself rather than like any kind of means to an Amish it and write and so like women today and unmanned and and people have all died get this is not gender binary. There's any gender like everything?
  112.  
  113. In terms of relationships and familial structure is framed as a choice and you have inordinate choices and then then like the underlying premise is just that that's good and that equals freedom and I think what should be disrupted is that that that leap of logic from like the idea of more choices equals good equals more freedom and I think in fact sometimes and and in fact quite often, My choices are actually paralyzing and even if you do manage to make a choice even once you do make choices within this like context of inordinate choice, I think psychologically we have a tendency to then contemplate the Myriad other choices, we could have made and the twelve thousand ways in which they could have potentially been better and that actually takes away from our subjective enjoyment of whatever it is that we've chosen right?
  114.  
  115. So I think in many many ways that. Like Axiom really Fox up the way that we look at the world and the way we engage with. Decisions about our lives because they kind of job very well just just vomits. I like this endless stream of choices that is basically a never ending but we don't have any normative commitments or goals.
  116.  
  117. And so like making sense of them or being able to delineate between them or value one over another or commit to one over another is just like. Not something that our contemporary world has provided us. We'd like the intellectual all like moral code like capacity to do and so like he sounds stupid to treat it as aesthetic.
  118.  
  119. Those choices are treated as personal taste I eat do you have Netflix? I know met were many listeners probably do I think more times than not with Netflix what I have done. I don't have it at the moment, but previously I my entertainment. Be sitting there for a half-hour scrolling through the titles and isn't that frustrating it wastes a bunch of time?
  120.  
  121. Yeah, but it becomes the thing in itself by the time I'm like, I can't find anything and then I'm over it already. And and what I'm saying is like like the that that Axiom of choice equals Freedom equals good I think in a world of where neoliberalism just melts everything into are we don't have fixed convictions or.
  122.  
  123. And fixed ideas of what it is that we value. Then then toys often doesn't equal Freedom. It can often just equal paralysis and confusion and like I'm not saying that what we should do is subjugate people such that they no longer have choices. What I am saying is this unmoored conception of choice equals good equals freedom is one that is I think mistaken and the reason why is that the actual world is coercive in me?
  124.  
  125. Add ways. And so when you give people just seconds an endless stream of consumer choices is freedom, but then the actual coercive factors in the world around you operating regardless what you've sold people is an illusion, you saw the illusion of choice in a world of extreme economic coercion, and I think this is really problematic do this.
  126.  
  127. Yeah, and they do this because they have to legitimate to. Whatever kind of Freedom that they're going to provide is the kind of Freedom that matters so in the aristocratic family of the ancient world and the Middle Ages, what you're saying is that freedom is time freedom is control over your own time and freedom is control over other people's time.
  128.  
  129. Those are the people that you dominate and you are more free if you. Fewer demands on your own time and you can make more demands on the time of others and the larger the number of people whose time you can command the more free you are so freedom in the ancient world is very much a zero-sum game and very obviously in straightforwardly.
  130.  
  131. So some people have it and some people don't. What happens in the modern world is that we start talking to a wider range of people because the state is no longer trying to legitimate itself just to Elite Aristocrats. It's now trying to legitimate itself to this group of people that were previously utterly subjective.
  132.  
  133. Now it actually tries to talk to the worker on some level to legitimate things to the worker because we reached a stage where workers could actually cause some level of trouble for the state through strikes through the Revolutions of the 17 and 1800's. Right? So now that worker actually matters a little bit to the state the state has mass mobilization.
  134.  
  135. Army's needs large numbers of troops. All of this stuff makes the worker matter. And so that means the worker must be told how the worker is free. Well, the worker can't be free in terms of commanding other people's time because their workers and employee so that can't be where the freedom is instead.
  136.  
  137. The freedom is located in the choice of who to work for. Or in the trace of which political party to vote for and so now when we talk about revisions to gender Norms people rightly point out. Hey, the traditional gender Norms didn't give people any choice about how to live it gave men and women who are well to do a lot of power to dominate other people's time, but it didn't give them any choice about when which aspects of Life they wish to exercise that power.
  138.  
  139. If you are a woman you were stuck exercising that power within the household. If you were a man, you were stuck exercising that power in the public sphere and that was the end of it but no the but they were also claimed that the man was exercising not powering and relationship with domination and subjugation towards the woman who fundamentally did not have any choice.
  140.  
  141. Whereas he allegedly had more choice that would be like the frame that they that they placed on top of that to write like one of yeah, they would attempt to claim that because they're at their it. At a historically exactly. Yeah the past. Yeah, so you have this this once your focus is off of that relationship you're now looking at these family structures that are in various ways deviant from that and don't correspond to that.
  142.  
  143. Idealization but they also don't actually provide you with material Freedom. It's not like what's happened is that they've given everybody the resources to make their own decisions about how to live it's not like everybody can now decide if they want to. Spend their time making whatever kind of weird art.
  144.  
  145. They want to make or something like that. No, now we simply have a society in which everyone has to go work for somebody and indeed even the rich live under the pressure of their own internalized beliefs about how life must be lived in some kind of efficient status or wealth seeking way. You look at someone like Jeff Bezos.
  146.  
  147. He doesn't he's not in any way in touch with the ancient ideal of how to construct a private life. What he does is he's just constantly goes after more and more money just more and more and more and from an ancient point of view. This is grubby and it's vulgar and it's not how anybody ought to live.
  148.  
  149. And so. What we what we've done is we've ripped down the ancient notion of freedom because in various ways, it's not good enough in various ways. It doesn't give people enough choice, but what we've replaced it with is something which only offers choice and which doesn't offer any real control over time.
  150.  
  151. Either you're on time or someone else you want to insist that it doesn't actually offer Choice it offers a fetishized. Um simulacra of choice, there's actually no choice like it is I think predominantly lose re the only actual choices. We have a consumer choices and even those are radically constrained by the amount of capital that we have but then they're also like bullshit because standing for 10 minutes in front of the toothbrush section in the supermarket trying to figure out which one will suit your needs is no choice at all.
  152.  
  153. It's an illusion. Right and consumer choice is not a choice and also even among the more wealthy like it even this, you know libertarian delusion of choosing your own player. Number one. You don't have any choice over whether or not you so your labor power 40 hours a week on usually 50 60 70 depending on.
  154.  
  155. Individual seconds to any you don't have any actual twice over what you're doing the vast majority of your time don't have any choice over whether or not to do it and even the idea that you get to choose like the path or they're even just the general direction of that I think is also bullshit because that is predominantly constrained by the economic tear into which you were born their opportunities that were presented to you.
  156.  
  157. Like all of it is traits within kiss. Curations are just inordinate coercion and it's an illusion and even the sensible idea that like you have chosen is also bullshit because you even if you're a very like, you know up and PMC person you're applying to employers. You don't get to choose your employer.
  158.  
  159. You don't just get to decide where you walk you send them letters begging them to choose you. It's not the other way around. I don't care which how it's been framed to you as a subject of near the rule like. Choice fetish like you none of this is a choice like not in any meaningful capacity. We've just fetishized this we fetishize choice to such an extent that even when we're sensibly choosing we're not choosing and even when when like actually choosing it's not a choice that has any meaning or content, right?
  160.  
  161. And so what goes on here to cycle it back to gender is. What we have done is we've said to Eman. Okay, you're not going to be in that particular isolated box anymore. But what that means is that you will just now have to go into the workforce. And that means you will be stuck in the same situation that the working class man has been stuck in for centuries, which is having to take whatever kinds of jobs the market offers.
  162.  
  163. And so what happens is that there's a huge gap in the home because there's nobody doing anything in the home anymore and women because of the old Norm that women take care of the home are settled with saddled with the blame for this and so that the solution that people have whipped up is well, let's have men do their fair share in the home or let's.
  164.  
  165. Way to compensate the work that women do in the home or let's abolish the family and create some kind of communal living Arrangement where everybody pulls the work that's done in the home. But all of these different arrangements are not about actually creating any form of Liberation in terms of control of time.
  166.  
  167. What they are all about doing is rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. That is the family which it which is I. And fundamentally what the what the neoliberal period really absolutely epitomizes. Right? Like just these moving of chairs moving of aesthetic. So like the notion of diversity is also again, I totally aesthetic moving of the like it's a musical chairs within the realm of the powerful as opposed to any structural critique of like the system of power itself.
  168.  
  169. Right, and I think there are all manner of ideological apparatus. Is that a concocted to try to justify this Turtle Distortion such that for the last 30 ideas. The left has been just totally huffing thoughts about intersectionality and that sort of thing like the subjective experience of individuals like the choices that they have or don't have right like as opposed to looking at why.
  170.  
  171. That that. An incredibly narrow band of people the ones from whom the ones for whom power is accessible and why is it that making that and my you know, making that present as a more United Colors of Benetton type of static is somehow an acceptable leftist project which fundamentally means that like they're willing caused is more diverse.
  172.  
  173. We've chosen to diversify but we. Actually changed anything like it just it it not only does it radically alter like the way that we live and the way that we think but it radically constrains our conception of what. An emancipatory project is right like by giving the same choices allegedly to more diverse group of people.
  174.  
  175. We're told that this is a left his project and and and and that. Carries over into the family in terms of like terms of gender roles in terms of you know, IVF and all manner of other like technical technological changes to families and that sort of thing like it is just Choice fetish the whole way down, but any substantive power is totally obviated.
  176.  
  177. By that like, I don't know. I'm 31 and to me the idea of like sitting on a dating up and you know choosing from hundreds of alleged suitors is fucking repugnant. Like I had to endure for a while a few years ago and I just got like repetitive strain injury from just flicking pause people and like ultimately I realized like this choice is no choice at all.
  178.  
  179. It's not like like. Love and human like a meaning and connection is not something that is in fact a choice. I think it is something that is like it's a matter of serendipity as in who you happen to like interact with over like, you know, the cause of your life and then ultimately what I think love is is a dynamic a relationship.
  180.  
  181. It's something that's built it's not something that is like. Chosen per se. I think that historically like. Setting up that context and like arranging for two particular parties to live together is now seen as something that was like horrific and oppressive and repugnant. I'm I think that can be the case in abusive situations.
  182.  
  183. But I think in the Contemporary World abusive relationships remain an enormous problem and substituting choice is somehow alleviating abuse is I think not accurate but but more importantly I also think that like actually when you look at context where relationships. At least an initiated not necessarily by the court libertarian free choice of the bodies.
  184.  
  185. That doesn't mean that they are less satisfying or less loving because I think in fact actually what love is is something that you build with another person over time? So it's something that's chosen. It's something that's filled and and you struggle to maintain it and build it like as a as an ongoing thing.
  186.  
  187. It's not a consumer choice and and the Contemporary World tells you something totally different that it's just this like fantastic. Like just consumer choice that is not something that needs to be built or sustained by the behavior of the of the parties involved. It's ready. It's like this thing off the shelf, right?
  188.  
  189. And then when people are evaluating whether or not a particular family or romantic relationship embodies, Freedom or is a form of subjugation the way that they think about it is aesthetic and it's in terms of which particular tasks or roles the men and the women in the relationship or doing and if the men and the women are doing traditional tasks that are associated with their genders, then those relationships are deemed to be relationships of subjugation and if they're doing something different.
  190.  
  191. Then those relationships are deemed to be emancipatory. But what we actually can easily find our cases in which people are making decisions about how to live together in a way that is fair and recognizes one. Another is people and recognizes one others preferences and interests and those family relationships may look aesthetically conservative.
  192.  
  193. But don't have any kind of harsh hierarchical dynamic in terms of how they were formed and conversely you can have other relationships. We're in all sorts of ways. It's deviant from what you think the traditional Norms are but there is actually a lot of informal hierarchy and abuse that goes on one easy example of this is that like so for instance in the inner laws something that.
  194.  
  195. Members of the lgbtq community especially have trouble getting taken seriously in situations of intimate partner violence, right? So like. What we have been sold is this notion that intimate partner violence is perpetrated by men against women and a very heteronormative domestic context and as such like anyone who doesn't conform to that particular Paradigm is sadly and to really horrific ends is not taken seriously when that's something that they are dealing with.
  196.  
  197. And so like that's just a like a small example, but like just the ways in which there is distorted perceptions of the family will then Ricochet into all different elements of the the social life and existence of different people in the kind of free world, I think is can't be overstated. Yeah. Yeah.
  198.  
  199. It really can't be. And so what we've got today is we've got this very aesthetic size thing and then you know, what else we get. We get this often times efforts to. Reformed family Dynamics end up inadvertently and perhaps unintentionally reifying the same things that they're trying to break out of like the Princeton.
  200.  
  201. You totally essentialist can set. Yeah the sorry to just to like make what I just said a bit more. To tie it together that they rely on very essentialist Notions of gender, right and then so like when that happens that's where your reification starts to happen in any allegedly magistrate pretory project that uses Ray if I had gender Norms as its base like as its building blocks, right right news you see this in the way that trauma relationships.
  202.  
  203. Operate so nowadays people tend to focus very much on the experience of trauma and how people respond to trauma and how people feel about in process trauma and what happens when you're in relationships in which the woman is or is perceived to be a trauma victim is that this has a particular impact on the relationship, which is that if.
  204.  
  205. Things happen in the relationship to remind the woman of the traumatic experience. Then a very visceral emotional reaction can follow from that and then that can take over the dynamic in that instance.  And what that does to the man is it makes the man fearful of behaving in a way that might provoke the trauma experience.
  206.  
  207. And so the man is afraid to. For lack of a better word trigger the woman and therefore the man has to avoid expressing emotions that might be troubling to the woman.  And when the man does this the man is then interpreted to be repressing or refusing to display emotion. And is therefore interpreted as conforming to a male gender stereotype and so the man is putting the kind of no end situation here where either the man makes?
  208.  
  209. Their emotions known in ways that might be interpreted through a traumatic lens as threatening upsetting pressuring or the man doesn't talk about any of these feelings and is therefore perceived to be. Called and repressive but again, this gives the man a lot of uncertainty about how to behave and it puts the man in a position of social weakness where many of the options that are available to the man result in the man being.
  210.  
  211. Deemed to be behaving inappropriately and again that and I think with the like we were talking before I came on about like this the way is that trauma discus atomizers and alienates both parties in really comprehensive ways and and yet it's not even doing that with their particular up shot. That is good because when we talk about the impact that has on men it is primarily.
  212.  
  213. On men who care and I like the lack of a better expression like try like the good ones. It is actually like like it harms those who are in fact more considerate to like totally shake-up. Gendered expectations and norms and the material ability of families to be financially stable, which has happened in last 50 years and like the social institutions around dating and courtship have been totally I think basically smashed in the neoliberal era and yeah, We actors there there are spirits around every corner in terms of romance and dating with mountain and.
  214.  
  215. What this actually does is alienates first part like and again I'm using heteronormative language because I can't speak necessarily to to like more queer experiences. But it what this does is it alienates like a both genders from one another but it is especially when like it is it's men who care and who are.
  216.  
  217. Eyes to I disrupted by this particular discourse. And in fact what this discourse does is it makes the ordinary guy that problem and doesn't in fact deal with. The actual predators and the actual power relations that facilitate predatory abusive Behavior. So like doesn't look at the structure at all and what it what happens here is that at to make it very clear.
  218.  
  219. This is not to say that in these heterosexual relationships that the woman is somehow responsible for this because the woman has a set of fears that result perhaps from the woman's own experiences in the past. Just with predatory or destructive man and also from a fear of predatory and destructive men, which is permeated through the discourse Through The Narrative of men as participants in a rape culture.
  220.  
  221. Every man is alleged to have some kind of rapists inside of him. Is this true crime where you see on TV people always talking about men who kill women men who rape women the statistics that are emphasized over and over about women most often coming to grief at the hands of male Partners or former male partner, but I like it.
  222.  
  223. These are real problems. But what we're doing is conceptualizing them in ways that actually don't Accord with the empirical reality nor with the best practice by actual experts. So this whole media grift this whole discourse is in fact, like sniff sniff. Pure ideology right like it and it's true of crime in general because if you think about the ordinary crime discourse people on the left are much more readily able and willing to see this when we talk about ordinary crime when we talk about ordinary crime the media plays up the danger of the criminal and particularly the criminal of color.
  224.  
  225. The black criminal is right after I think it's totally racialized. We see it when it is done to so-called powerless people, which is people who come from. To you know, the last race reductionist conception of marginality. We refuse to treat certain types of paper as subject to the same unjust narratives, right and you could you could play the same game you could go around and statistically say well if you look statistically black men are much more likely to commit all of these different kinds of crime.
  226.  
  227. But that ignores an obviates the structural causes of that crime and tries to put it on those individuals or onto black people as a race or cultural or ethnic group and that is racist behavior and yet when the same behavior is carried out with respect to men and sexual crimes and sexual violence.
  228.  
  229. That is totally ignored because on this like races. Interest and gender essentialist analytic that the so-called left has operationalized it rather than assessing what's happening within it's like within with it's like specificity right like in the actual context, they operationalize these essentialist Concepts and as search on that like, Within that logic women are Ascent like have a fixed status as being less powerful.
  230.  
  231. And so you like it the way that the right wing will characterize this sort of cheaply and introduction is matter will be like you fucking oppression Olympics, like, you know, it goes like, you know black people here and like this race is there and women are there and so Bubba but like, you know to one degree or another there is a really essentialist logic that that operates on the left and I think it's fundamentally anti leftist because like, you know, I.
  232.  
  233. Whole thing is that we need to see the world as it actually is right and I think what's happened is that doesn't look into the specific power relationships. If your assumption is anytime there's a man and a woman and they're married that the man therefore by definition because the institution of marriage is fundamentally patriarchal the man must be dominating the woman in the woman must be subjugated by the man this ignores the actual power dynamics that go on in specific relationships and it ignores the plurality of different kinds of ways in which men.
  234.  
  235. Women can come together and heterosexual Partnerships and this this group thinking where you say men are this way white people are this way black people are this way anytime. This is being deployed. It's a cheap heuristic being used to avoid evaluating the actual institutional dynamics that are going on the actual distribution of power in society and in actual relationships, and you can't get anywhere.
  236.  
  237. With that. Well, he's not if you're a construct you can if you're a liberal state that is quite happy to have atomized sort of a taxonomic groups used as analytics instead of anything that is actually robustly analytic like class, right? Because the liberal ideologies purpose is not to reveal what's going on.
  238.  
  239. It is not to try to get it truth its purpose is to obscure truth. Obscure reality to obscure power Relationships by reconceptualizing them in ways that make them invisible. Yes, but all of this does I say and what I think this is why I like I don't want to get too triggered because Notions like trauma discourse and me to her and all of this can just send me and like 12,000 directions at once.
  240.  
  241. So I'm trying to keep like Kate my runaway brain from doing that. But I think ultimately like a and the reason that I take such objection to all of this is because it is fundamentally inaccurate it and that fundamentally inaccurate set. Of analyses about the world is then Rayford and re inscribed into policy changes and shifting cultural norms in ways that serve to further mystify the actual.
  242.  
  243. Sound of power relations in the world to mystify what's actually going on and to further alienate anatomize people in ways that I think are deeply concerning and an absolute handmade in to the the material alienation that is accelerating under neoliberal capitalism and serve and to put to put this concrete.
  244.  
  245. Real in a real straightforward way if you are alienated and exploit it exploited and you don't get to do what you want to do with your time and with your life and you're not free and you don't enjoy an equal share in material wealth and power. Then what the state needs to do to keep you on site is to sell you a different version of a quality and a different version of Liberty and freedom and tell you that a different set of conditions.
  246.  
  247. Makes you free makes you equal and that needs to obscure the actual power relationships that you are subject to and so what we're seeing here is when people talk about dealing with what's going on in the family with changing the conversation or with redistributing the. Household labor or with compensating people for the household labor.
  248.  
  249. All of this is different ways of applying the same degenerated neoliberal Notions of freedom and equality to family life and their different ways of rearranging the language and rearranging how we describe this kind of. Work without actually liberating anybody from any of it and keeping people trapped in the same fundamental situation, which is that you don't control any of your time.
  250.  
  251. So the problem with the aristocratic family. There were two problems with it to problems because I want to make it very clear. I'm not some kind of conservative Nostalgia. Just the two problems are one in that family the both the husband and the wife have got slaves clients servants people who have no power that they Dominate and that's wrong and unacceptable and secondly in that kind of family.
  252.  
  253. There's a fixed gendered notion of which. People you dominate and if you're the wife you dominate people in one sphere and if you're the husband you dominate people in the other sphere both of those things are objectionable, but you don't liberate people by simply creating a circumstance in which everyone has to live like the slaves and the freedmen who were dominated by those Aristocrats and that is what has been done.
  254.  
  255. The family has been turned into a scenario, whereby. Most people live freedmen or slave type lives and where there's absolutely no possibility for even thinking of alternative formations that are compelling and so instead all we get are revisions that play around with the same basic. Framework and that can't emancipate anybody.
  256.  
  257. What would emancipate people is to create a society where everyone has control of their own time where you don't have some people who have Freedom by controlling the time of others, which is the fundamental Human Condition since the dawn of man. That's what we're talking about here. And that's what separates this kind of critique of the family from a right-wing critique because our right-winger says can't we just bring back the domination relationships of the past and the fixed and clear gender norms and gender roles of the past.
  258.  
  259. And neither of us are nostalgic for that. What we want is for people to actually have control over their time and what aggravates us is the ways in which people have lost. Two more time and more control over their time while people have been telling them a story about how they've been liberated.
  260.  
  261. Yeah, and this is true politically through representative democracy. It's true in the workforce through this claim that you can aspire to be middle class and it's true in the family through this claim that now you can choose to go and get a job if you're a woman and that's supposed to liberate you from.
  262.  
  263. The hierarchical family situation. Welcome to capitalism. You've got new Masters. Yeah, and I think these things. Yeah people down and I also think like a framing anything as like a zero-sum gender War through zeros have raised racialized logic it basically tells you a story about like you are entitled to like there's a great degree of sort of like in Kuwait presentable among.
  264.  
  265. People who are living in a totally fucking unjust world, right, but without the analytic and sort of intellectual tools to necessarily conceptualize why that can very easily be channeled into these distortionary narratives such that that resentment is channel towards, you know, all men or all you know, bad white people or.
  266.  
  267. This that and the rest answer like. When we are told that narrative and we lack the capacities to understand why it's bullshittin. I think this is ultimately has very reactionary and despite purporting to be some form of progressive thing. Right? Like I think me to is fundamentally reactionary and I think that many of the like it's weird.
  268.  
  269. In terms of their.  like it can see him as though the right is sort of has its finger on the pulse sometimes in relation to these like liberal doctrines, but. The problem I think is that capitalism basically vulgarize has everything the right wants to conserve the things that capitalism pulverizes right?
  270.  
  271. Like all that is solid melts into air and yet like so they'll Rue the the cultural degradation that's occurring as they see it, but they are totally unable to link it to the means of production. Certain from whence it came right like that. Totally right thinks everything stands apart and everything is separate because the right doesn't see structures that thinks in individuals and groups.
  272.  
  273. So whenever there's a problem the right won't go. Hey, we have taken the resources people need to have functional households away from them. Well, I think that is the problem. No. No, I think in many ways they they start to. They will say it in terms of resources. But in ways that still again do not look at the underlying like.
  274.  
  275. They don't look at the political economy. So that will start to like that will recognize the cultural decadence argument. So they'll talk about the fact that say like within cells are young man, like not having girlfriends not having the capacity to and then it will sort of be blamed on like gaming and like yeah, it is a decadence argument is to the effect of like they don't have father.
  276.  
  277. They don't have like they're right culturally eventually or as a group or a cultural group right there. A break to what that putting a finger to decadence argument is guys that just to briefly point out to the to the listener a decadence argument is when you a tribute as the cause of social change some breakdown in the values of an individual or group as opposed to structural mechanics like the distribution of stuff.
  278.  
  279. Yeah. And so what I tell people say, well the family is broken down. They'll say that the families broken down because. And or because specific races or whatever have morally failed Liberals are looking at connecting everything. They're taken God out of the school the prayers out of the school, therefore, you know decimated all the Institute and through like thunder does that.
  280.  
  281. Cultural institutional breakdown but that ultimately I think it's called Our Deck Robin conservative. The cultural conservatives used to do this all the time the culture of reductionist like that unable to yeah see beyond like just cultural manifestations of what we believe to be actually structurally produced problems and subjects.
  282.  
  283. And so they will put their finger on the cultural manifestation that for instance left is like I us will agree that this is a problem but the ways in which we are conceptualizing the problem and therefore the solutions are totally enough Lima, but what can sometimes happen is then you get shit labs and far too many self-declared lifters then saying just that surface level of the analysis and think.
  284.  
  285. Oh you're fucking. Reaction re it's like no. No, I'm not like a crypto conservative. I'm not trying to like bring back some anachronism some Fantastical vision of the past that never was right like but what the right is doing and what the Liberals and the neoliberals are actually refusing to do is recognize the culturally the cultural manifestations of.
  286.  
  287. Late capitalism that have in fact broken down many institutions and social bonds, but the Liberals and like many liberals and much of the left have just lost their fucking minds and leaned into acceleration is MM and and like the atomization that comes with like the Contemporary like. The way that like that labor market on the social life of the Contemporary era is is.
  288.  
  289. Manifest like they literally in the things that's valuable about looking at the values of the past. It's not that you can pick them up and decide that they're yours because we live in a different time. We live under different conditions. We can't go home again. You can't be done you trying to bring back chivalry and who wants to do it.
  290.  
  291. Anyway, that stuff is totally from the past. But one of the values in looking at the values of the past is the observation you can make that they really were quite different from the values of today and in seeing that difference you can conceive of a wider array of possibilities. We don't have to be constrained by the values of the past.
  292.  
  293. We nor do we have to be constrained by the values of the present. The right is constrained by the values of the past. It sees the values of the past is an ideal which we need to get back to the. Neal libs are constrained by the values of the present. They live in an eternal present at the values of yes.
  294.  
  295. I don't think they have values or principles. They just lean into the acceleration with no their unmoored fundamentally. They I just buy whatever is going on around them and the values that are going on around our values that are capitals values and therefore their obscurantist and they don't map onto anything substantive.
  296.  
  297. Yes. What the left tries to do is the left tries to Envision alternative values that are not just purely further extensions of capitalism and part of doing that involves thinking about how the values of the future could be different from the values of today and there's some value in looking at the values of the past and seeing just how different things can be that helps you to.
  298.  
  299. Sexualize of wider arrays of understanding of concepts of Freedom concepts of equality. Nobody on the left wants to go back to a society where a tiny number of people get to monopolize. Everybody else's time and build all sorts of beautiful monuments to their horrific oppression. We're not trying to do that.
  300.  
  301. What we are trying to do is to. Take seriously this idea that freedom really is about control of your own time and instead of surrendering and going. Well. We'll just come up with a different conception of Freedom that's less demanding the way that the neoliberals have done. Let's go. How can we have that real genuine meaningful Freedom now and how can we have that without the relationships of domination and exploitation which ancient people use to get that freedom?
  302.  
  303. That's what we're kind of trying to do eventually. How can we prevent? Not just like I think that's on the one hand an affirmative or positive. Constructive project but I also think there is in the Contemporary era that needs to be like stemming the bleeding type project and I recognize that like a discussive and rhetorical manifestations of what some.
  304.  
  305. People think are not actual power. Right? So if people are engaging and like distorted knows what I believe to be distorted in wrong Notions of like what we should do. I'm not going to claim that that is power in and of itself, but I do think like looking at the world around us and the ways in which people are conceiving of potential formations in social institutions.
  306.  
  307. It does wear it like. Being Savvy and clear-eyed about the potential trajectory of these things to write like so on the one hand you have like conceiving of those values that you want to enact but then also like preventing like a further exacerbated have to be honest about the reality that we're a long way from being able to achieve the things that we'd like to do in terms of substantively new left-wing values and in.
  308.  
  309. In time are traces very often between either permitting neoliberalism to further disaggregate an atomized people or doing things to get in the way of that and very often when we're doing things to get in the way of changes to social structures that may look conservative because the people who are huffing the farts, Of de-acceleration s will see us is being conservative because we're not buying that legitimation myth that they've been sold and that they're trying to sell right where the one saying no that that myth is a nonsense, but they actually believe the myth and so to their right they think it's some kind of progress is occurring in relationships when women are terrified of men.
  310.  
  311. And men are terrified of upsetting women. Yeah, and they think that that kind of heterosexual relationship is in some way shape or form an improvement. And this is why you get like, you know, liberals screaming at people like like myself and Heidi and and I catch Ian and any other self-declared like leftist woman who isn't just going along with me simulate hegemonic among.
  312.  
  313. Media cost narrative about this and and it's fucking depressing and frustrating that on a cultural level. The only people who are making sense in at least an times of acknowledging the surface manifestations of a problem all the far right because when you look at that in like a political sense.
  314.  
  315. That like it's essentially the equivalent of like Donald Trump was elected because despite not having any coherent structural analysis despite. I think fundamentally not even having any principles of coherent ideology. Hey at the very least was recognizing the pain that many people were experiencing.
  316.  
  317. And as always the near live acceleration is so not doing this or not recognizing the manifestations of pain and suffering and breakdown that are occurring. And thus like if this makes people this these allows him to have a certain appeal that he in fact in our view should not have and I think because we think that there's a different cause and we think there's different solution.
  318.  
  319. And the thing is that the right the right will often point out because the right is often in opposition to. Liberalism the right will often point out when things are going astray and the liberal answer will be everything is fine. Yeah, don't look behind the right will have some kind of horrible reactionary way of dealing with the problem.
  320.  
  321. If you look at what's a fascism is doing in the 30s. It's reacting to very real problems with the volume our political system. Very real problems with political economy in Germany. But of course the far right and Germany has terrible ideas for how to deal with those problems at a horrible misconception of their origins in character.
  322.  
  323. And so this is very often happening where the Liberals set up a binary distinction in which if you even acknowledge that what is happening to dating relationships and what is happening to interpersonal relationships is a horror if you even acknowledge that then. Are going to say that you are. Some kind of right-wing person by definition because they're incapable of seeing a plurality or multiple different lines of critique of the status quo.
  324.  
  325. They are insistent on defining anyone who criticizes the status quo. As far right because if they can Define anyone who criticizes the status quo is far right or a Russian agent or a troll or a bot or in some other way and illegitimate contributor to the discourse. Then they don't have to confront those critiques.
  326.  
  327. It makes them uncomfortable. They don't get it and then therefore it's right wing and it like the thing is that liberalism is hegemonic such that the entire like the vast majority of people who would call themselves leftist. Actually operationalize it totally neoliberal logic and don't in any way think structurally and so it doesn't actually matter what they call themselves if they're immediately declaring any substantive leftist critique as right-wing and their perception of the right is framed around Notions like around people like it Ben Shapiro and other clowns like that like, you know that they are just huffing this manufactured consent.
  328.  
  329. An arbitrary totally narrow frame a political reference that is that offered by political liberalism. Right? Like it's a totally Centrist totally unjustly circumscribed perception of what. Political values and systems exist and it and it sets up this minikin binary between you know conservatism and you know, the so-called good people the Liberals that is in fact like.
  330.  
  331. Nonsense a prayer is very effective at declaring anything outside of that as totally verboten and then old stuff the reason it's valuable to look at all the stuff is that you realize there's lots of different ways to frame things. Lots of different ways to conceptualize values lots of different positions to take not just two positions and anyone who frames it as a choice between either having the right and the good liberal positions on gender or having the wrong in the bad far right positions on gender is.
  332.  
  333. Deliberately collapsing an immense array and an immense diversity of views within the feminist tradition itself.  to further a political project which is a tempting not to have some kind of free open discussion of how we ought to conceptualize our. Gender Norms or how we got to relate to each other as people how we had today tell we had to form romantic relationships form Partnerships have children have families.
  334.  
  335. They're not actually interested in having a conversation. They're interested in saying that anyone who doesn't want to do it their way is a reactionary and that is just this course policing. It's not a conversation and they do it in the name of resisting authoritarian structures and institutions.
  336.  
  337. When that is precisely what they're doing, but they can't see that it is and in a kind of authoritarian Behavior because it isn't institutionalized in a state. Structure you don't have the state censoring the speech. You have them policing It Out by labeling everything. They don't like some kind of verboten barbarism.
  338.  
  339. Anyway, this steps on this steps on the patron side Amy, we're going to get into this thing up the pension side. Yes on the patron side, which will be later this week for patrons. We're basically going to take a long hard. Look at this. Fuck you, Dad of political ideologies ignore it as aniconism and the ways in which.
  340.  
  341. I kind of raqqa anarchism manifests in contemporary society and the ways in which it is totally compatible with the continued acceleration of neoliberal deprivation and barbarism and on that note we should probably. Save what's left for that Patron episode? Okay. So if you'd like to become a patron head over to patreon.com slash what's left and if you would like to reach out to us on social media where on Twitter at.
  342.  
  343. What is left pod and if you'd like to get in touch via email we are what is left POD at gmail.com. And finally, I haven't mentioned this last few episodes, but it would be wonderful if you guys could leave us a rating and a review on either the iTunes Store or wherever it is that you you get your podcasts.
  344.  
  345. But I think that for from us is all for now by
  346.  
  347. the
  348.  
  349. collectivist be the state as the source of our morals and our families obstacle standing between individuals and their Master. That's exactly what's happening with Alfie Evans where bureaucrats are standing between parents and their child. Dang the day no Beth that a child has to die because they know better than the parents.
  350.  
  351. Do there's a reason that Karl Marx abhorred the traditional family yesterday that he's not as a capitalist institution based on Capital and on private gain. He openly called for abolition of the family. There's a reason Stalin train Soviet youth to become Pioneers. That's what he called them emissaries of the state.
  352.  
  353. We're told that the highest good involved ratting out your own family members at 1 1942 Soviet trailer father actually cried out to his son. It's me your father and the son replied. Yes. Used to be my father, but I no longer consider him my father. I'm not acting to Son but as a Pioneer selling used to go around Soviet Russia talking about the story and using it as an example good behavior it breaking down.
  354.  
  355. The family is a precondition to building up the state.
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