Round-up and recommendations
Did you know what you can give a MMM paid subscription as a gift???
For the reactionary feminist (or would-be reactionary feminist) in your life…
November’s MMM guests were Quillette founder Claire Lehmann on sex differences and free speech, anonymous anthropologist Stone Age Herbalist on Palaeolithic Venus figurines and African witchcraft, journalist Poppy Coburn on the emerging Zoomer Right, and evangelist Glen Scrivener on morality in a post-Christian culture.
My husband and I also recorded a bonus episode on female agency, the Manson Family, the ideal age to get married, and whether (almost) everyone has gender dysphoria.
Plus another bonus episode on woke false consciousness, politics in an age of post-abundance, and whether or not the Reformation was a good thing (answer: no).
No essays on the MMM Substack last month because I’ve been working behind the scenes on two long essays for the Free Press, one on Andrea Dworkin, and another on eugenics. Out soon!
But I did also write for the Telegraph on the declining influence of the American Christian Right, and on the role of social housing and mass immigration in the immiseration of young London professionals.
Plus lots of other podcast appearances:
Plymouth Rock Landed on Them
To mark Thanksgiving, Christopher Caldwell reckons with the legacy of the Pilgrim fathers:
Like most peoples throughout history who have been fast-talked out of their birthright, the Indians felt for a long time that they had got a terrific deal. They seemed to be living better than they ever had. Suddenly, for instance, many Indians possessed horses. But Silverman notes that “within a generation they would have little land left on which to use the horses to ride or plow.” The horses had been bought with wampum, a real currency limited in supply by the skill needed to make it, and backed by valuable fur trade, especially in beaver. But soon their hunting grounds were sold away, and eventually overhunting killed off the beaver. The Indians had not been living better, it turns out. They had been living off the sale of their capital, and had not noticed, because the most valuable parts of a people’s capital are often hard to quantify.
Perhaps Squanto knew better. A sociable brave to modern-day schoolchildren, a double-dealer and con artist to historians, he became an enemy of Massasoit, who suspected him, probably rightly, of designs on his power. Silverman speculates that long residence in England gave him a sense of the long-term danger posed to the Wampanoags by Europeans, not just those in the tiny colony of Plymouth, but the multitudes who were bound to follow. Only he and Epenow among the Wampanoags had witnessed firsthand the vast populations from which the English hailed and which allowed them to keep pouring warm bodies into colonial death traps overseas.
Incidentally, did you know that 51 individuals who arrived on the Mayflower are estimated to have had 35 MILLION descendants?
In Defense Of Ayaan Hirsi Ali's Conversion
Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry defends the notion of being “religious but not spiritual”:
The prevailing image of religious conversion today is one that is individualistic—conversion is in some sense experienced within the self—and sentimental—one is transported by emotions—which then cause one to affirm a certain set of religious dogmas. Such things do happen and to be absolutely clear they are great, but this individualistic and pietistic model is also of modern, recent vintage. Such experiences have always happened but they were not thought to be the majority, even less the default or only case.
“The best argument for the Catholic faith, in the end, is the beauty of her art, and the life of her saints,” once said none other than Benedict XVI, and the argument presented there is really a different version of Ali’s: look at what Christian civilization has produced, look at how uniquely beautiful and praiseworthy it is; the fact that a civilization animated by such ideas produced such unique and surpassing greatness must be an indication that these ideas are in a profound way true.
This is a perfectly rational train of thought, a perfectly legitimate thing to believe, and a perfectly legitimate route to the Church!
I discussed this essay with Glen Scrivener in our episode – it’s really worth reading in full, since Gobry puts the case so well.