The virtuous upper class?

According to Charles Murray in  the top 20 percent of citizens in income and education exemplify the core founding of industriousness, honesty, marriage, and religious observance.  They raise their children in stable homes.

This is not my observation. My observation is that the the higher the socioeconomic status of the male, the better his behavior, but the higher the socioeconomic status of the female, the worse her behavior.

I could shoot down Pinker with readily available statistical data, which shows that moderns have become much more violent, that there is a broad trend to greatly increasing levels of violence. I have no data with which to shoot down Murray, just impressions and a gut feeling.

I cannot provide any statistics for sex and social status, the way I could for violence and modernity, just anecdotes and impressions. I hope that some of my readers can point me to some data that would differentiate between a woman with a degree in basket weaving and women’s studies married to a high socioeconomic status male (and thus, I think, a stable marriage), and a woman with actual high socioeconomic status, as in the ability to actually hold a well paid job, for example a lawyer who actually shows up in court to argue law (and thus, I think, a violently unstable marriage, in the unlikely event she gets married at all)

We need to distinguish between a woman at university doing marriage 101, who is at university largely because that is where the guys with good prospects are to be found, who is likely once married to stay married, and woman at university who successfully prepares for a high status high income career (unlikely to marry or stay married)

My impression is that if the upper class on the whole are raising their own children, it is because upper class males are raising their children, and upper class females are aborting their bastard spawn.

What I see is that high socioeconomic status males have stable marriages and get to raise their own children, because they can compete with Uncle Sam the Pimp.  Marriage leads to industriousness and religious observance, and industriousness leads to high socioeconomic status.  Low socioeconomic status males have low marriage rates and high divorce rates and are not permitted to raise their own children, because they cannot compete with Uncle Sam the Pimp in money or status.

High socioeconomic status females do not have bastard children, because the child support provided by Uncle Sam the Pimp is less attractive for them than for low socioeconomic status females, and because high socioeconomic status females are smart enough to figure that males under child support orders are apt to simply give up trying and go broke, smart enough to figure that you are unlikely to have a high socioeconomic status lifestyle on child support. Instead high socioeconomic status females abort their numerous bastard spawn.

My observation of female lawyers (and by “lawyer” I do not mean a barista with a hundred thousand dollar debt to a law school, but a woman who actually practices law and gets serious money for doing so) is that their sex lives are pretty similar to stripper’s sex lives. A stripper collects money five dollars at at time from drunk guys in bars, and gives most of it away to an ever changing parade of unsuccessful musicians, pimps, and small time thugs. A female lawyer collects money five hundred or five thousand dollars at a time from clients in business suits, and gives most of it away to an ever changing parade of guys practicing extreme sports, unsuccessful musicians, and thugs. The major difference is that the lawyer can afford to go to more expensive locations than the stripper to put out, locations where she gets screwed by ski bums and surfer dudes while the stripper gets screwed by whiskey bums, and that the lawyer will more reliably abort her bastard spawn than the stripper. When the stripper and the lawyer hit a certain age in their thirties when promiscuity becomes repulsive rather than intriguing, they both gradually transition to cat ladies in their forties, after a few sex tours during the transition to resorts notorious for the gigolos.

My impression is that if you want an easy lay, tropical beaches and the Mount Everest base camp work way better than a bar, though the lawyer chicks at Mount Everest base camp get no higher than the base camp.  The girls having casual sex on the sand dunes with numerous wildly unsuitable males are all high socioeconomic status, even the backpackers, though as the women get older, they are more apt to be doing it with the barkeeper than a fellow tourist, and are less likely to be backpacking.

The barista with a hundred thousand dollars in law school debt will stay married should she manage to marry a high socioeconomic status male.  The barrister will not marry him, and if she does marry him, will likely divorce him.  Though I have no statistics to prove this.

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24 Responses to “The virtuous upper class?”

  1. Leonard says:

    You are generally onto something, but I’ll offer some quibbles.

    First, I don’t think the causation is marriage–>industriousness–>wealth. Upper class men, like the women, are marrying later. It is more IQ+industriousness–>wealth–>marriage. I.e. it is a filter effect. With younger upper class it is sometimes IQ+industriousness–>marriage–>wealth; the women are filtering for it. Of course, the university system is helpful here.

    My own very anecdotal look at things is that upper class women are not as slutty as you make out. Yes, some are single. However, many do actually have the tolerance and foresight to navigate a marriage. Also (by my anecdote), they are not aborting any spawn other than eugenically (where they are quietly fanatic). Rather, they have the conscientiousness and self-control to stick rigorously to their birth control regime.

    One other quibble I have is that women are far more interested in religion than men. And (again, anecdotally) this is true in the upper class. So, I think the continued religiousness must be something that the women are causing more than the men.

    One other thing worth mentioning is the difference between a “birthright” upper class person (who was born into the upper 20%), and those “promoted” there. A man gets there mainly by his own effort. Many of the women there started lower and married up. As such, part of what you are seeing is this dual population of women.

    • Bill says:

      That is a very insightful comment.

      Rather, they have the conscientiousness and self-control to stick rigorously to their birth control regime.

      This. High SES woman having an abortion is a man bites dog story, memorable for that reason. The daughters of doctors and lawyers go on the pill. The ones who can’t handle that, get a patch. The (few!) ones who can’t handle that get Norplant. The (very few!) who can’t handle that aren’t seen much around mom and dad’s house any more.

      One other quibble I have is that women are far more interested in religion than men. And (again, anecdotally) this is true in the upper class. So, I think the continued religiousness must be something that the women are causing more than the men.

      This is only sort of right, though. Women like the-thing-which-happens-in-contemporary-congregations a lot. But, they like it in the way they like Oprah. As long as it preaches anodyne, feminized, them-affirming niceness they are on board. When it starts to preach masculine, demanding, actual religion, they get offended. When they get offended, they bitch never-endingly (whereas, offended men just leave). Since almost all American congregations take the path of least resistance to get the women to STFU, virtually all congregations are friendly to women.

      On the other hand, it is men who transmit religion. Children (both male and female) from families where only dad or dad-and-mom go to church tend to stay religious. Children (both male and female) from families where only mom or neither goes to church become irreligious. This isn’t anecdote: there are famous studies finding this. Whether they say it out loud or not, children know mom goes to church for one of two reasons: to please dad or to please herself. Dad goes to church because he believes.

      On average, of course. I guess there are some dads so pathetic that they go to church to please mom. In my experience, though, even total weenies manage to negotiate avoiding church if they don’t believe.

      A man gets there mainly by his own effort. Many of the women there started lower and married up.

      That’s very insightful again. High status men get the best women. And, best != education credentials or career success. The only way a high status man is marrying Hilary Clinton is if it is a fake marriage, like Bill and Hilary’s.

    • jim says:

      My own very anecdotal look at things is that upper class women are not as slutty as you make out,

      Yes, the top twenty percent, the group that Murray was looking at, is not nearly so slutty as I make out, but the top 1%, such as high priced female lawyers, really is that slutty.

      they are not aborting any spawn other than eugenically (where they are quietly fanatic). Rather, they have the conscientiousness and self-control to stick rigorously to their birth control regime.

      If they believe they are in a sexual relationship, they stick rigorously to their birth control regime. If they believe that they are not in a sexual relationship, and that each time they have sex with a stranger it is an extraordinary exception, not so rigorous.

  2. Tschafer says:

    Personally, I’d prefer that you went after Pinker. His contention that the world is becoming is lees violent place is so wildly counterintuitive to all of us who have grown up in the twentieth century, it’s just ridiculous. I mean, never mind crime, somewhere between four and eight million people have died in Congo in the last fifteen years, never mind the Holocaust or the Harvest of Sorrow of Cambodia or WWII or Bosnia or… well you get it. I don’t have the stats, but I’d be willing to bet that Pinker is wrong.

  3. Bill says:

    I hope that some of my readers can point me to some data

    I can’t point you to already compiled studies, though there probably are such. Here is a link to
    a Pew dataset (“Changing American Family”) which could probably be used for your purposes. Here is a Pew report compiled from it, but which does not seem to have anything directly on point (though I have not read carefully). Here is probably the best US survey on family life. There are links to a bibliography of papers written from the dataset (you probably want the “union quality and stability” section) and to a working papers series. I am too lazy to try to find papers directly on point for you, though.

    • jim says:

      Euro quotes a book, which in turn quotes studies directly on point, in particular that successful women have an extraordinarily high divorce rate.

  4. GFC says:

    “I could shoot down Pinker with readily available statistical data, which shows that moderns have become much more violent, that there is a broad trend to greatly increasing levels of violence.”

    Jim, can you please provide some pointers to such data if it’s not too much effort? I believe the same, just relying on the evidence of my eyes and contrasting to earlier life experience and that of my parents’ – when I was a kid there were no armed drug gangs in the schools, my high school didn’t have metal detectors and cops stationed there, in my parents’ day Detroit was one of the nicest, most populous cities in the USA not a ruined Mad Max wasteland – so the claim that we are getting less violent is absurd in light of simple observation. I’ve never looked at a critique of his numbers though, so I don’t know which sort of lies he’s deploying to make his absurd point. It would be useful to know.

    • jim says:

      I have not made a thorough critique of Pinker, the way I have made a thorough critique of Chomsky. I stopped at the first statistics I ran into that go back to 1900, which show that private crime has gotten enormously worse since 1900. I believe that crime in 1900 was itself enormously worse than crime in 1870, but have no data.

      It is pretty obvious that governmental crime became enormously worse during the twentieth century, but since governmental crime is a bursty phenomenon, this is necessarily a comparison of anecdotes rather than statistics.

  5. Alrenous says:

    I guess I’ll weigh in on the pro-Pinker side. Violence’s major trend is long-term decline. My hunch is it’s being bred out of the gene pool.

    The corollary of less aggressiveness is less resistance to state thuggery, hence Tschafer’s points.

    In combination with the 20th truly atrocious, war-crime-level ideologies…well, violence is certainly up in certain sectors, such as war, revolution, and Detroit. (But I repeat myself.)

    Pinker states the overall decline is swamps the political violence. Aside from the numerous possible errors in that statement, even if it does, it means that politics is bucking the trend – it is anti-state data, not Pinker’s dogmatic pro-state hopes.

    • jim says:

      I guess I’ll weigh in on the pro-Pinker side. Violence’s major trend is long-term decline. My hunch is it’s being bred out of the gene pool.

      Private violence has been in long term decline over the last thousand years, but has risen dramatically during the democratic period, during the last hundred years. State violence has been increasing dramatically, enormously, over the last several hundred years.

    • jim says:

      Pinker states the overall decline is swamps the political violence

      Since 1900, private violence, such as the murder rate, has been rising, though not as much as political violence. It has gone down over the last decade or so, but the overall trend is upwards. See page 14

  6. bgc says:

    Assuming you are significantly correct in your description of modern female behavior, do you regard this as an undesirable state of affairs?

    And if so, why?

    Obviously it is wrong from my traditional Christian perspective; but from the mainstream, secular, materialist, individualist, hedonic perspective this pattern of sexual life is merely for women to favour more-certain short-termist pleasures over the risky and less-certain possibility of greater long-term fulfillment.

    • jim says:

      Murray says that a certain group is virtuous, and therefore, by implication, it is a good idea to marry such women and to associate with such women. I observe that that group is not virtuous, and therefore it is not a good idea to marry such women nor to associate with such women except for the purpose of short term sexual gratification. There are compelling reasons for a man to marry somewhat down, whereas Murray argues that there are compelling reasons for a man to marry up or to an equal.

      Euro quotes a book, which quotes a study indicating that high socioeconomic status women have extraordinarily high rates of divorce:

      “Forty percent of [high socioeconomic status women studied] have therefore been divorced–compared with just 20 percent of most women in their same age range.”

      From my observations of high socioeconomic status women, I would say that forty percent chose to divorce their loyal and unsuspecting husbands, not forty percent “have been divorced”.

      You can take the girl out of the bar, but you cannot take the bar out of the girl.

  7. Euro says:

    “The barista with a hundred thousand dollars in law school debt will stay married should she manage to marry a high socioeconomic status male. The barrister will not marry him, and if she does marry him, will likely divorce him. Though I have no statistics to prove this.”

    James, I don’t have any hard and fast data for you (brilliant analysis by the way) but you may be interested in this:

    “Researchers have found that the longer a wife is employed, the more both partners think about divorce–an increase of one percentage point for each year of her employment. Things get worse as she earns more money. Vassar economist Shirley Johnson calculated that every $1,000 increase in a wife’s earnings increases her chance for divorce by 2 percent….These working women, who earn $20,000-plus, are the most likely of all women to be separated or divorced.”

    “According to research by three Yale sociologists, “women wed to less-educated or younger men had marital dissolution rates at least 50% greater than those marrying similarly educated or older men. Better-educated husbands brought no increased risk to the marriage…. ”

    “When we turn to our women’s private lives, we see more reasons for distress. Surely, some of their career frustrations could be offset by the emotional support of husbands and children…but for a startling number of the women, marriage and children are comforts they live without. According to this study, the odds that an executive woman will never marry are four times greater than for the average American woman. Only 5 percent of most women age thirty and up have never wed (the 1985 Census), whereas 21 percent of our executive women have never been brides.”

    “Even if our women do marry, the probability of their divorcing is twice as great as the norm. Thirty percent are currently divorced, and another 10 percent are on second or third marriages. Forty percent of all our women have therefore been divorced–compared with just 20 percent of most women in their same age range.”

    “The differences between our women and their male peers are even more striking. Less than half (48 percent) of our women are currently married–compared with a whopping 96 percent of executive men….What’s more, just 11 percent of the men have been divorced, compared with nearly four times as many of our women.”

    “Many of the women I interviewed felt that men couldn’t handle being married to women as or more successful then they. “Here we’ve gone and sweat blood to become independent, to become women the men can have intelligent conversations with– and they don’t want us!” lamented Laura, the pretty magazine editor.”

    “A man’s friends would never congratulate him for “marrying up.” They would make jokes about his eligibility for membership in the Dennis Thatcher Society, an organization “honoring” the husband of the British Prime Minister. On the other hand, one of the most damning things a woman’s friends can say of her (behind her back, naturally) is “Margaret married beneath herself.”

    Quotations are from chapter IX of THE GARBAGE GENERATION by Daniel Amneus.*

    Of further interest by the same author may be THE WAR AGAINST PATRIARCHY.*

    *http://fisheaters.com/gb9.html

    *http://web.archive.org/web/20060327232401/www.mugu.com/cgi-bin/Upstream/amneus-war

  8. RS says:

    > Obviously it is wrong from my traditional Christian perspective; but from the mainstream, secular, materialist, individualist, hedonic perspective this pattern of sexual life is merely for women to favour more-certain short-termist pleasures over the risky and less-certain possibility of greater long-term fulfillment.

    Probably everyone here would have major anti-hedonist impulses. I think virtue ethics, eudaimonism is what you see on the secular right.

    The best take one thing in exchange for all, ever-flowing fame among mortals; but most men have sated themselves like cattle.

    It is hard to fight against passion [thymos]; for whatever it wants it buys at the expense of soul [psyche].

    One man is ten thousand, if he is the best.

    Gods and men honor those who fall in battle.

    Greater deaths are allotted greater destinies.

    • RS says:

      > ever-flowing fame among mortals

      (This is a stock phrase which may descend from the oral epic of the proto-IE, or an early descendent group. There’s also something of a common IE religion.)

    • RS says:

      > The best take one thing in exchange for all,

      Eh, it’s actually not take but choose.

      Those are all by C. Kahn; his renditions and explanations of Heraclitus are by far the best.

    • jim says:

      Yes.

      A man’s proper end is his own flourishing and the cultivation of his own excellence.

      When a female lawyer hands over large amounts of her own money to assorted thugs, not-very-successful musicians, and sportsmen, she is perversely substituting for a woman’s proper end, which is to contribute to her and her husband’s family.

      [11] The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
      [12] She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
      [13] She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
      [14] She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
      [15] She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
      [16] She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
      [17] She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
      [18] She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
      [19] She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
      [20] She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
      [21] She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
      [22] She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
      [23] Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
      [24] She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
      [25] Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
      [26] She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
      [27] She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
      [28] Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
      [29] Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
      [30] Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
      [31] Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

      The stripper and the lawyer’s propensity to hand over money to a parade of low life men is a perversion of this rightful and proper female behavior.

      • bgc says:

        The difficulty is that when somebody violates their own proper end – as happens nearly all the time and everywhere – why should it be anyone else’s business?

        We both agree that it is a mistake for people to choose pleasure over true happiness – and that this is what you are describing; but where does this analysis get us?

        It seems to lead to one person trying to persuade another, in the name of happiness, that they are not really happy. From the perspective of the one being told they are miserable, this seems perverse.

        And – without Christianity – what good does it do for a middle aged professional woman to acknowledge that she has wasted her life in pursuit of false gods? She may be overwhelmed by guilt, and with nothing to be done about it except spend the rest of her life in a state of bitter regret.

        • jim says:

          The difficulty is that when somebody violates their own proper end – as happens nearly all the time and everywhere – why should it be anyone else’s business?

          It is hazardous to associate with people who violate their own proper end. It is necessary for a man to avoid any emotional attachment or financial association with such women. A man must avoid making it his business.

          what good does it do for a middle aged professional woman to acknowledge that she has wasted her life in pursuit of false gods?

          None at all. So they go on lying to themselves, but once they hit the wall are less and less convincing to anyone else.

          • bgc says:

            @Jim “It is hazardous to associate with people who violate their own proper end. It is necessary for a man to avoid any emotional attachment or financial association with such women. A man must avoid making it his business.”

            Yes, but this is merely to say that if you are a prudent selfish man you should avoid putting yourself into the position of being harmed by imprudent selfish women – yet surely this is the ethics of the war of all against all?

            • jim says:

              Surely, the rule that one should avoid associating with bad people implies the rule that one should endeavor to associate with good people, thus not the ethics of the war of all against all, but rather the ethics of the war of virtuous against the wicked.

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