Let’s pick one of your forefathers who lived sometime between 50,000BC and 1,700AD. At random we’ll pick Throck, who lived between that river over there and this mountain over here sometime around 13,650BC. Great[x625]-Granddaddy Throck had a daughter, your Great[x624]-Grandmother Maralay, whom he knew was his daughter because she was born to his woman Mara whom he had guarded jealously ever since he had carried her to his hut more winters ago than he can remember.
Throck loved his daughter dearly as fathers usually do, and he was loved by her in return as good fathers usually are. In time Maralay began to fill out as girls will, and being that she was the spitting image of Mara, she began to attract the attention of men generally. Before long those men, both suitable and not-so-suitable, began sniffing around Throck’s hut.
Is it true that men will want to lay with Maralay? Generally speaking, yes. Is it true that Maralay likes the attention of men and might be seduced into laying with one of them? Again, yes. Wisdom and youth are not often companions. Will wicked men take Maralay by force if they can? Sadly, yes. If Maralay should unite with a man, might she become pregnant? The possibility certainly exist.
Should Maralay have a child, will Throck love the child? In all probability, yes. Granddaddies usually love their grandbabies.
If Maralay cannot provide for the child, will Throck and Mara? Again, grandparents usually will, as many a grandparent today can testify.
All of this is human nature 101.
Could Maralay becoming pregnant be a problem for Throck? Yes, because then he would have another mouth to feed and another helpless being to protect. The fact is that however many generations it’s been since Adam and Eve sat around their first dung fire outside the garden of Eden, or since man-thing first climbed out of the trees, our ancestors have made a precarious living on this planet. Want and insecurity has been the rule, not the exception.
This is the reality for Throck, as it was for his ancestors and would be for his descendants right on up to the modern era, our unprecedented prosperity today notwithstanding.
So what is he to do to avoid this problem? Well, first of all, Maralay’s desire for a man and men’s desire for her, as well as Throck’s desire for a posterity, are all perfectly natural imperatives. But Throck’s self-interest is also perfectly natural, and if he doesn’t see to it, he will be left holding the bag. So what does Throck do? He does what fathers have always done.
With threats, and a club if necessary, he keeps the wolves at bay. With exhortations, threats, and a switch if necessary, he keeps Maralay’s primordial instincts in check. He then waits for the key reality to play to his advantage, namely, that men still want Maralay and will pull a freight train to have her. Or fight a woolly mammoth rather. And if blocked by Throck’s club and Maralay’s sense of propriety (we’ll give her the benefit of the doubt), they will seek terms.
So here comes your future Great[x624]-Granddaddy Crot to pay a visit to Throck, who sits outside his hut with his club laid across his lap. Crot and Maralay have been exchanging looks and crossing paths an awful lot lately. Mara is onto them though and has alerted Throck.
Crot lays a nice pelt at Throck’s feet as a sign of his respect and request to parlay. ‘Mr. Throck,’ he says, ‘I’ve got to have her. What’s it gonna take?’ Now Throck knows Crot and that he comes from a good family where the women are sweet and the men brave, and he would not object to having him as a son-in-law.
‘Crot,’ says Throck, ‘you’re a good boy and Maralay fancies you. If you will vow before your family and mine and the whole tribe that you will lie dead before permitting harm to come to her or y’all’s young’uns, and that you will provide what they need, and that you and your kinsmen will come to the aid of me and mine, and make our fight your fight, then I’ll give you Maralay and you can carry her to your hut.’
Crot, who was prepared to give the last twenty years of his life, runs off to give his kinsmen the terms, who accept them readily, all agreeing that Maralay is a good girl and well worth having in the family.
This is natural marriage. Not just a hook-up between a man and a woman, but a solemn union of families to the benefit of all. And where this paradigm does not prevail, family disintegrates. And when family disintegrates, society disintegrates. As we see here in America today. And dating is at the root of the problem.
Dating is a modern institution without historic precedent that, like its parent feminism, has been a disaster for our culture and should be rejected root and branch. It inevitably leads to promiscuity that debases women, leaving them jaded and scarred, for despite what feminists would have us believe, a woman is indeed an emotional being whose natural inclination is to form a powerful bond with the man with whom she lays. Promiscuity stretches and erodes this ability.
Secondly, the inevitable promiscuity of dating has resulted in extraordinarily high rates of illegitimacy (to say nothing of abortion) with its attendant social dysfunctions and costs.
Thirdly, dating is play-marriage. All the fun but none of the responsibility. The problem is that the habit of going together and breaking up doesn’t end at marriage. ‘Breaking up’ has become, in effect, divorce practice.
We should return to the timeless and natural paradigm of courtship, parental consent, and arranged marriages and to the Christian precept that marriage is sanctified before God and not to be broken by man.
This piece was previously posted on Look Away.
If the lifespan of man is upwards of eighty years, then my question is, has there been an eighty-year-old man anywhere on the planet during the last 500 years who did not live through momentous changes or a momentous event? Eighty-year-olds today certainly have.
Every morning across the country, 80-year-olds and their young 60-year-old friends sit around drinking their coffee, telling stories, ruminating, and reminiscing. Any of them can easily recall the great changes that they have seen in their lifetimes. They can also remember when they stood four feet off the ground watching their grandfathers do the very same thing.
And their grandfathers, our great-greats, certainly would have heard our great-great-great-great-grandfathers saying the same things that old men today say about young people today. This paradigm of the old and grizzled criticising the young and naive is as old as time, and timeless too because, like getting old, it is just part of our human nature.
There have always been and will always be old fuddy-duddies who talk nonsense and don't understand, and young whippersnappers who know-it-all or who are dumber than boxes of rocks.
But just as today’s fuddy-duddies grew and matured, so will today’s whippersnappers. That too is the nature of things.
It may be tempting to be critical of young people but we need to remember how we were. It is simply impossible to fully grasp the depth and breadth of the human experience at age 20.
I posit that today’s young people are no dumber or smarter than we were, but I will suggest that today’s young people are going to contribute a great deal more than we contributed to our collective struggle against the madness of this age. I believe this because they have two things that we did not, i.e. hindsight and us.
By ‘hindsight’ I mean that those born in 2000 that are now coming of age can begin to see the damage caused to their culture by the Cultural Revolution of the 1960’s. For them the danger is not hypothetical – what may happen. No, for today’s young, the history that my generation lived through is the proof in the pudding that Progressivism has in fact been a cultural catastrophe.
By ‘us’ I mean that right-thinking young people today can be and are being made to understand what has happened to their country since 1970, and contrary to what our post-WWII youth culture would suggest, young people do, and always have listened to what their elders have to say.
The war against the Cultural Revolution of the 1960’s has been heating up the entirety of my lifetime (b.1966), though my generation, and the Boomers before us, have barely managed to hold the line. But we are still in the fight, and being the optimist that I am, I believe that with our help the Conservatives of the Millennials and Gen Z will be able to begin pushing back hard. And maybe it will be the children of the Z’s who will at last raise our flag atop the ruins of Liberal ideology.
Today’s right-thinking young people are smarter and tougher than we may think, and I for one feel good about them.
This post was previously published on Look Away on Oct. 26, 2021.
Mark Atkins has six wee bairns who are all seventh-generation Henry County, Tennessee, and all from the same doe. It is the people of Henry County that he most wants to reach but writes to Southerners generally. He is without credentials but rather dares to speak by the same authority as the little boy who cried 'The king has no clothes!' His core belief and starting point is that like everything, we humans have a nature, it is not so hard to understand, and to pretend that it is other than it is, is to jump off a cliff. Which is what we Americans have in fact done.