Fans of Dr. Dalrymple’s impassioned prose are all too familiar with the incisive accuracy with which he describes the symptoms of our ailing civilization. Few have described the maladies of the Western world’s oldest empire, the United Kingdom, with such artistic authority. Dr. Dalrymple, as a clinical psychiatrist, has seen and dealt with the most depraved members of society, and has all but exhausted their repertoire of characteristics. Prostitutes, murderers, addicts, and sociopaths are to him but small blots on the grandiose mosaic that encompass man’s propensity for sin.
Yet, despite his unparalleled experience and empathy, the doctor never gives us the diagnosis for the root cause of these symptoms. Many times he comes close, hinting that man is a fallen creature and needs guidance to stray from the path of sin, but it is all painfully abstract. This is unfortunate, as there are few as qualified as Dr. Dalrymple to provide us with the truth in these Orwellian times. Although Dr. Dalrymple writes under a pen name to protect his past patients, his identity has been compromised and he is now a public figure with a reputation he would be foolish to tarnish. Thus, the Orwellian nightmare continues and his readers are left on the edge of their seats, eternally awaiting a climax which will never be delivered.
I do not blame Dr. Dalrymple, and I fully sympathize with his desire to veil the truth behind elegant prose. This is because, as a psychiatrist, he has a firm understanding of the human mind and what the masses can and cannot tolerate when faced with uncomfortable truths. As it happens, there are few truths as disquieting as human nature unmasked. It is no coincidence that humanity’s greatest works of literature, whether theological, dramatic or philosophical, have always focused on the depravity of man and his greatest punishment: to live perpetually in sin without hope of redemption in this life. It is not surprising that the literature humanity values most has been theological and specifically ecclesiastical; it provides a means of escape from this cruel damnation.
Alas, I shall abstain from further abstraction and provide you with the cold, surgical truth which underpins the maladies of western civilization. As biology and specifically evolutionary psychology have proven, unrestrained human nature will insidiously and incrementally erode the foundations of civilization until we are scavenging on the Serengeti. This is a simple result of the most powerful of human motivations: the sex drive. The mechanisms which cause this are complex and subtle, yet they stem primarily from the conflicting incentives of the two sexes. Females desire only the top males, and since females choose, this leads to unrestrained conflict on behalf of males to reach the top.
Throughout mankind’s bloody past, wise and intelligent men devised systems to control the human sex drive and channel it to productive ends. The most successful of these pursuits was organized religion, with Christianity as the most prominent example. Ecclesiastical pioneers discovered that the strict suppression of female sexuality was of utmost importance, to proto-feminists’ chagrin. By providing every man of faith with a fiercely loyal, virgin bride, Christianity had unlocked the secret of male work ethic. Male pursuit was directed to creating a robust empire, ousting its competitors both militarily and culturally. Christianity’s successes (evolutionarily speaking) were guaranteed by simple economics; their enemies were spending precious time and resources negotiating the intricacies of female courtship, resources which the Christians spent perfecting their empire. The secret to the their success was their precocious understanding of human nature, and the implementation of this in family law. Their great innovation was enshrined in the following tenets: chastity until marriage, marriage until death, and adultery punishable by death. With these central tenets, they could motivate men to endure backbreaking labour, death on the battlefield, and monastic scholarship with a fervour heretofore unseen in human society. The prospect of a bloody death was worth it only if a man’s wife and children (who’s paternity was guaranteed), succeeded him. Although Christianity is used as an example, there were many pre-historic societies which practised the three central tenets. It is left as an exercise to the reader to discern the success of these early societies compared to their competitors.
Thus churned the wheels of time, grinding millions of men to mulch. The competition between civilizations was so fierce in the past two millennia that no society could survive without the central tenets of family law. As economic theory predicted, rapid specialization in sex roles ensued. Men became soldiers, inventors and merchants, the crucial professions of war. Women became mothers, who were entrusted with teaching and raising the future generation until they were ready to fulfil their roles in society. Both roles were irreplaceable, and any loss in efficiency as a result of betraying the tenets gave an advantage to the enemy. This frenzied inter-civilizational competition churned faster onward till a singular moment: the invention of the atomic bomb. The atomic bomb changed the way war was fought. The destructive power of the bomb made all out war far too costly. Ironically, man’s most destructive weapon led to a forced peace between the most powerful civilizations via the mutually assured destruction strategy. Thus, the modern western world was born.
Without the threat of imminent annihilation, the tenets were slowly but surely eroded. Women desired freedom to pursue their natural inclinations, and men could not offer a weighty enough reason to refuse them. Women’s liberation was a natural result of decreased survival pressure. Sensing no immediate existential threats, women felt that there was no longer a need for the radical sex role specialization and stifling monogamy of the last two millennia. Although feminists invoked ideological foundations for their movement, Occam’s razor would point to simple female nature. The environmental factors affecting reproductive fitness had suddenly changed, and females felt it. Females are the investors in our genetic future, and until now they were forced into picking one stock for life. The logical choice was to diversify their portfolio, and to continuously shift the balance of stocks in accordance to their tastes. Artists, musicians, athletes, actors, entrepreneurs, scientists; all were desirable for a woman to maximize her reproductive success.
Unfortunately, this Bacchanalian fantasy devolved to a dystopian nightmare due to the advent of the birth control pill. Faced with the consequences of a long pregnancy and painful labour, the majority of western women opted to revel in the hedonistic pursuit of sexual adventure and forego the costs. This had massive ramifications for western society for a singular reason: the majority of males lost all incentive to add value to society, deprived of the prospect of family and guaranteed paternity. Instead, males spent the majority of their time courting females, as marriage and monogamy no longer satiated their sexual impulses. The fuel tank of civilization’s most powerful engine was punctured: male work ethic was diminishing rapidly. The only game worth playing was the courting dance, as there was no alternate path to sexual success. Civilization provided men and women with no way of channelling their sexual impulses in a constructive manner, dousing the very fire which had led to its inception.
That is where history ends and news begins. The west’s continuing decline, beginning with Europe and ending with the United States, can be seen from many angles: political, financial, entrepreneurial, technological, and cultural. However, they are all but symptoms, strands in a web spun by that ancient spinster: human nature. None of the problems we face are insurmountable, and we need not return to medieval courting practices to solve them. However, we are doomed to failure if we refuse to acknowledge the deep roots of human desire and how they shape our societies. If we continue to enact policy without facing the truth, we will simply hasten our decline and increase the burden on our children and grandchildren. Human nature is the only god we must worship, for we are born in thrall to its demands. Only if we fully understand and acknowledge our motivations can we create a future where our desires are in tune with our ideals.