Print Story One of the cross beams has gone out askew on the treadle
By TheophileEscargot (Sat Feb 11, 2023 at 11:48:34 PM EST) Reading, Politics, Links (all tags)
Politics: Patriarchal Freedom. Reading: "Amongst Our Weapons", "The River Kings". Links.

Politics: Patriarchal Freedom
So, clawsoon on Metafilter made a comment a while ago, citing this Crooked Timber article that's been bouncing around in my head for ages.
There's a "Patriarchal Freedom" mindset out there, where people are free but the only real people are the patriarchal heads of households or their company owner equivalents, and everybody else is just an extension of those free people.
So there are different kinds of freedom you can think of. There is positive and negative freedom. Positive freedom might be "I am free to pursue a Ph.D.", negative freedom might be "no one can stop me saying X in public".

There can also be individual and collective freedom. Collective freedom might be "we are free to hold a party" or "we are free to join a union".

"Patriarchal Freedom" is a strictly negative, strictly individualist conception of freedom. That accounts for some of the distinctions made in the article. If employees form a union and go on strike, that is an affront to Patriarchal Freedom, because the collective freedom of the union members doesn't count, but the freedom of the company manager not to be troubled does. If a poor person cannot pursue a career as a doctor, that doesn't reduce Patriarchal Freedom because positive freedoms don't count. If a woman cannot walk down a street at night, that doesn't reduce Patriarchal Freedom because walking is a positive freedom.

When "freedom" is mentioned as a political ideal in modern politics, what's meant is almost always "patriarchal freedom". If you disagree with a conclusion drawn from it, you're called "anti-freedom". But I think that concept of freedom needs to be challenged, because freedom in the larger sense is an incredibly valuable thing. And real freedom is often threatened by the people championing Patriarchal Freedom, who want a world where most people are enslaved to their bosses by their needs for survival.

What I'm Reading
Amongst Our Weapons by Ben Aaronovitch. Another entry in the Peter Grant / Rivers of London series with the magical cop coping with incipient fatherhood and the threat that nobody expects.

I enjoyed this one a lot. Had a couple of great setpiece scenes, and a new and interesting antagonist. Good entry in the series but not a good starting point.

What I'm Reading 2
River Kings by Cat Jarman. Good non-fiction book by an archaeologist about the Vikings, with an emphasis on their river networks in mainland Europe to what is now modern Russia.

However I recently read The Children of Ash and Elm by Neil Price which covered a lot of the same material, so it wasn't that new to me.

Even so it had some interesting material. She structures the book through various archaeological items, going through how they made their way across the world through trade and raid networks. She's particularly good on explaining the controversies and practical difficulties around scientific work and investigation. For instance, a diet of seafootd can mean isotope analysis gives very different ages to people, since carbon hangs around in the oceans undergoing radioactive decay: someone who eats a lot of fish can appear a couple of centuries over.

Overall, a good book. Unless you're really into history you probably only need to read one of these books on the Vikings though.

Sci/Tech. Vibrating pill to treat constipation. ChatGPT is a blurry JPEG of the web.

Pseudo-Kufic script was meaningless Arabic-looking letters used for decoration.

< So I did it | To The Emperor! >
One of the cross beams has gone out askew on the treadle | 9 comments (9 topical, 0 hidden)
So does by dark nowhere (4.00 / 1) #1 Mon Feb 13, 2023 at 10:01:57 AM EST
"Patriarchal Freedom" have anything specific to patriarchy, or is it just more of the same Orwellian linguistic shitshow designed to ensure that no matter how virtuously male culture might amend itself, the male category is still open season for vilification and and general scapegoatism?

I used to be invested in a healing society. I felt that way because the overwhelming message of the '80s was about dismantling the idea of sides. Participation was low, but the game is long and strategy is important. Most encouragingly, it was high enough to mark improvements. Today it's all about blame. I checked out once it became about winning at the expense of others. If tit-for-tat is fair play, then the orthodox culture was just fine too — and fuck you, no it wasn't that was the whole reason for the project.

Improving culture isn't something you achieve by making kids feel hated just for being born. They're going to grow up hating the source of that, and all you have accomplished is to turn up the thermostat. Don't believe me? Perhaps CGP Grey can convince you. I usually direct people to something less on-the-nose these days, but this feels like a "primary colours only" situation.

See you, space cowboy.

Patriarcal Freedom sounds a bit 'woke bingo' by xth again (4.00 / 1) #2 Wed Feb 15, 2023 at 08:05:35 PM EST
There is nothing specifically patriarcal in the examples described in the article linked by clawsoon, exactly the same dynamics would happen on Themyscira. The "patriarcal" part doesn't add anything to the main concept, I don't want to use the term "virtue signalling" but that's how it felt to me

Anyway the original article shining a light on libertarians' untenable concept of freedom was interesting

Hmm by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #3 Fri Feb 17, 2023 at 06:51:00 AM EST
I didn't come up with the name, but it did seem to sum up the concept pretty neatly. But it's true that the concept would apply to a woman in the head-of-organisation role as well. Not sure I can think of a better term though.
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
I guess there is something there by xth again (4.00 / 1) #4 Fri Feb 17, 2023 at 09:11:59 AM EST
I can see what the concept is driving at, I think for example of stuffy victorian families with the Father as the head of the household, or the abramic religions which is basically the same idea pushed to the leverl of an archetype - in Italian there is the trope "padre/padrone", i.e. when the father acts as if the family was a small company and he the boss (in fact the word for 'boss', in a work sense, is 'big father'), arranged marriages and all that. But the whole thing IMHO breaks apart when you go upperclass, there they all have this "patriarchal freedom", males, females (to a lesser extend, perhaps, but still), older siblings, younger siblings...

I guess what troubles me is that it's really just good old Class War and the term focus on something that in ohter contexts is important, but here out of place. Anyway, I don't know myself

[ Parent ]
Terms by TheophileEscargot (4.00 / 1) #5 Sat Feb 18, 2023 at 03:43:10 AM EST
Technically kyriarchy is the correct term, but most people don't know what it means.
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
Don't know what it means? by xth again (4.00 / 2) #6 Sat Feb 18, 2023 at 09:16:18 AM EST
I didn't even know it existed...but it makes more sense when put that way

[ Parent ]
I'm not sure why "archic" wouldn't work by lm (4.00 / 1) #7 Mon Feb 20, 2023 at 03:15:13 PM EST
After all, isn't the basic idea that it is the "archy" (of whatever flavor) that has the freedom rather than the individual?

That said, while I was resistant to the idea for over a decade, I've long since made peace with the idea that "patriarchy" has gender neutral applications as a technical term.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
Perhaps you are right... by xth again (2.00 / 0) #8 Wed Feb 22, 2023 at 09:56:44 AM EST
I don't know, I am not a fan of patriarchy myself, If nothing else, the best companies I worked for had a heavy female presence - unusual in tech - it definitively changes the culture for the better. But of course there is more than that.

But I also have the feeling that it then shifts the conversation from workers' rights and redistribution of resources to identity politics, and I'm convinced identity politics is being pushed to distract us from the other stuff. From what I can see the only difference between many center-"left" and conservatives parties is gender roles and refugees, on the economy they are indistinguishable (except in the US, but you guys are nuts). IMHO it shouldn't be that way.

[ Parent ]
New Yorker did good by Alan Crowe (4.00 / 1) #9 Sun Feb 26, 2023 at 01:59:25 PM EST
I really enjoyed the "ChatGPT Is a Blurry JPEG of the Web" piece in the New Yorker.

Subtle points that could not be made briefly were made clearly and at reasonable length.

I'd heard the story of the Xero photocopier changing numbers before. But told too briefly. The New Yorker spent plenty of words on telling the story properly. That was well judged because it was an important part of the set up for what was to come.

One of the cross beams has gone out askew on the treadle | 9 comments (9 topical, 0 hidden)