Mothers, Fathers, and Empathy

My comments on a video claiming to have delved into the origins of liberal/conservative and authoritarian/egalitarian axes from over at John C. Wright’s blog: (1)

What’s missing from the discussion on the video is what’s missing from the culture at large: paternal love. That’s the love that picks the kid up, dusts him off, and tells him to get back at it, that he can do it himself, that it’s up to him. It has been said, and in my experience it is true, that kids will love their mothers but follow where their fathers lead. Where there are no fathers, we end up with eternal children desperately seeking to be lead. Even lead by the likes of Marx and Freud and their spawn.

In the video, we hear repeatedly about ’empathy’ being a trait of Liberals – but that is only the empathy of mothers, which, as John points out, is all about unconditionally championing the needs of helpless children. But a father’s love is no less empathetic – but he wants his children (and the world!) to grow up and experience the joy of being responsible and doing stuff. He feels the pain of his kid who struggles, but sees the strength to be gained by working through the struggles, and values that – for the sake of the child. That’s empathy, too – he sees himself and his struggles in the child, but sees his role as helping the child overcome, not just to kiss the owies.

This is the sense in which not only individual kids, but any culture worthy of the name needs strong fathers. This is the sense in which we older guys need to still be fathers even when our own kids have left the nest – our culture needs us to model – and insist on – pushing through problems, accepting burdens and pain, getting to good enough results as steps to better results, to counterbalance crying to momma every time we face a problem, are handed burdens and pain, and want the perfect solution NOW,

What we are seeing is the 3rd, maybe 4th, consecutive generation where there are not only no fathers for a huge percentage of people – and no grandfathers either – but no recognition of the role itself. It’s one thing to grow up an orphan when surrounded by families – to see modeled what is, in fact normal and healthy – it is totally another to grow up amidst serial polygamy where the very idea of a father is mocked and dismissed.

As my dad, an Oklahoma farm boy, would have said: quit your bellyaching and get to work!

Aside: Claims that statistical analysis reveal causality do little more than reveal the claimant as not very good with statistics or logic. Surveys are not science in any sense in which I’ve ever seen them used , and applying statistics to them doesn’t make them so. What we have instead are possibly common-sense claims based on very wobbly personal observations dressed up in a lab coat – but hey, since I find them interesting, I let it slide for the sake of making my own common-sense observations. But I’m not calling Science! on my claims…

  1. I’m staying out of this whole “Alt-Whatever” discussion. It seems to make already complicated things even more so, especially when one considers that the motivations of those involved on every side may not be pure – the possibility of Alinskyite tactics and false flags makes my head hurt. Plus I’m congenitally disinclined toward group-think labels – just say what you mean, and we can talk about it.
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Author: Joseph Moore

Enough with the smarty-pants Dante quote. Just some opinionated blogger dude.

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