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We revolutionize society by fundamentally changing the gender roles in the past 60 years, telling girls that they are better boys. We see a sea change of women ending up in management. Disproportionately in government, NGOs, universities, schools, etc. These institutions become feminized and start to show the clear feminine pathologies of suppressing dissent, devaluing logic, ignoring reciprocity, increasing reputation warfare, hyper focus on empathy and feelings, and victim hood becomes currency.

And then we write an article like this trying to figure out what got us in this mess and not a single word about the mind boggling revolution we just witnessed in the last century.

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A 63-yr-old feminist here. Nobody told me I was a "better boy." I did watch as self-determination opened up for women with economic and political opportunities. I can remember when women, including my divorced, mother was able to establish her own credit with the law change in 1974. We had a similar societal revolution with the fall of feudal roles, telling the peasant males they could be just like their lords and own land. The male peasants used to know their place and I can remember reading naval history, and how it was at one time illegal for a sailor to try and learn and understand navigation. One sailor made the mistake of writing things down and engaging his brain, and it got him keel-hauled until dead. Just look at the chaos that ensued with that mind boggling revolution and the sea change of letting male peasants think. Suppressing dissent is not a "feminine pathology" but is a direct continuation of thousands of years of human history. I can attest that those women who work in majority male environments self-censor themselves continuously, bobbing their heads along with whatever the closest male is saying, rather than deal with the hostility having a thought or opinion often generates. There are female pathologies, as can be seen in many HR departments, but how did we arrive at this place? Who are the CEOs/managers that aren't firing these HR dictators? Most are likely males. We've had thousands of years of male pathologies that we haven't healed. I believe 60 years is just a painful transition period as we adjust to new opportunities and expectations, but I see a brighter future. I recommend reading Phyllis Chessler for her observations of the influences on female psychology. Hint: it doesn't occur in a vacuum any more than it does for men.

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You seem to be blaming women for everything. Are you familiar with the Rules of Misogyny (4w.pub/the-rules-of-misogyny)?

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You seem to be avoiding criticizing feminists for anything?

We went through the greatest cultural revolution in history and we're not allowed to criticize some of its effects? Misogyny is literally hatred of women, it has nothing to do with criticizing an idea that maybe had good intentions, did arguably improve society, but caused imho some really bad side effects due to the law of unintended consequences and lack of respect for our differences.

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I don't think anything is immune from criticism. I don't think anything is above academic discourse. I don't see that your assertion that feminism is "the greatest cultural revolution in history" has particular validity, though. If you are arguing in good faith that there are some aspects of what has happened over the last hundred years that would benefit from examination, and you are willing to entertain the notion that any "unintended consequences" may have been forced errors, then we're probably on the same page there.

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I'm a feminist and I could criticize some branches of feminism all day long, and I do precisely that. Just the fact that all "feminists" are lumped into one big mind hive is part of the problem. Similar to the use of the phrase "She makes women look bad." The actress Emma Watson refers to herself as a feminist, but other than sharing a belief in female autonomy, we are universes apart in our specific views. I find her views despicable. The males of the alphabet soup are men's rights activists, as are men who are part of fathers' rights groups, but they are not lumped together and blamed for the sun not rotating. Being lumped into a mass and then dismissed is the experience of females up until very recently, as we've seen with the attacks on "white males." We need to end the stereotyping and dismissing. Can you criticize men for anything? The interesting thing about "differences" is each of us has our own opinion, with some overlap, of what those differences are.

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"Rules of Misogyny"

LOL

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I agree. "Laws" would be a better word to use.

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Hope she sees this, Jeremy.

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Which "she"?

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I like your critique of the Luxury Beliefs concept....which has in any case become a bit of a cliche. My comment is about HOW these beliefs, contrary to all common-sense and observable evidence, have come to spread through Western civilisation like a virus:

Most people are intellectual sheep....always have been. In recent times though, two new things have happened 1) the ‘shepherds’ have been an up-itself Lefty intelligentsia that has colonised academia (without our ‘pluralist democracy’ even noticing the fact until recently) 2) an ever-expanding percentage of young people have been going through this academia sheep-dip. The rest is history.

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Nov 7, 2023·edited Nov 7, 2023Liked by Aporia

It’s a good argument, but I would argue you ignore one all important category of tribal belief, that of religion.

I would argue that Henderson ignored this category for deliberate reasons. First, it sounds to similar to theses which surround ideologies or ideological pathologies. Second, it lends gravity to the successor ideology. Third, labelling luxury beliefs as luxury beliefs shows up the superficiality of those who subscribe to them, it trivialises their preciously held, yet fundamentally harmful and incorrect, belief system.

But it is a religion and one which is overwhelmingly adhered to by the children of socio-economically privileged elites. In America, those who self-identify as progressives are five times more likely to be born into the top 10%. When one considers that a swathe of the larger group are likely to be be economic progressives- more likely to support sane moderation in the form of stronger worker protections, larger social safety nets, reforms to crony capitalism and greater Rawlsian redistribution, whilst simultaneously rejecting cultural progressivism as lacking in nuance or a decent class-based analysis, then the distortion at the top becomes even more apparent. Economic progressives generally tend to come from further down the socioeconomic ladder…

The understanding that cultural progressives are mainly the children of the wealthy points to another irony. They can assuage their inherent guilt from being born lucky by exchanging it- for a different type of guilt, that of being born white. Sure, they will pay penance forever, given that the religion doesn’t allow for forgiveness, but at least they get to feel good about themselves at times, because they are allies- at least until they come across a Black guy who isn’t a part of the cult.

And this is the final aspect of why Luxury Beliefs are a religion- one has to hold to all the orthodoxies, lest one face expulsion for heresy. Heterodoxy is not welcome, and indeed, laudable economic progressives like leading labour organisers find their support singular lacking from the likes of the Squad or the Resistance libs who pay lip service to cultural progressivism whilst wholeheartedly rejecting its more wholesome twin.

We are living in a world of chaos and sublime irony which defies all the old categories, when Daily Wire subscribers take Ben Shapiro to task for criticisms of labour unions and the Left didn’t come out to support Christian Smalls (ALU) in his battle against Amazon…

The Left needs good voices, able to argue empirically and sanely. Good policy is forged in the Battle of Ideas. When Scottish Public Health Policing halved violent crime in Scotland without significantly increasing prison population or the London Challenge largely eliminated racial disparities in academic performance under exam conditions, it wasn’t because either side of the political divide was absent from the debate or bringing their best ideas to the fore.

Unfortunately, such periods of heterodox sanity- when viewpoint diversity is welcome- tend to be short-lived and rare. It’s not within our nature to seek common accord on points of alignment over internecine conflict.

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This is an excellent piece. May I suggest another articulation? Your key word here is "belief." So now I must correct your assertion that "luxury beliefs are not similarly costly" as luxury goods. What I believe you have missed is a well-studied phenomenon in the literature on religion. {Kelley (1972, 1978) and Iannaccone (1992, 1994) according to Google} called "STRICT CHURCH THEORY." Consider: me, a goy, converting to Judaism. That is indeed costly. There is a reason why cults tell adherents to cut ties with family and friends who do not join the cult or are unsupportive. Like giving up Thanksgiving with family of the wrong tribe, there are indeed costs. "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword."

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Nov 6, 2023·edited Nov 6, 2023Liked by Aporia

Like Ferraris, Rolexes, or refined and elevated tastes in art and literature, they are signals of wealth and status. Or, as Henderson wrote, they are “honest indicators of one’s social position, one’s level of wealth, where one was educated, and how much leisure time they have to adopt these fashionable beliefs.”

Luxury beliefs, first and foremost, signal the extent to which one is able to insulate oneself from consequences. This is why luxury beliefs are so prevalent among the PMC. At one time, the Limousine Communist was a similar thing.

A feral cat can self-identify as a Royal Bengal Tiger all he wishes, but the neighborhood pitbull could give a shit.

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Nov 6, 2023·edited Nov 6, 2023

Exactly. The MAGA cap, and the Che Guevara t-shirt are both tribal signifiers. The difference is that the MAGA hat wearer really does want to "build that wall", whereas the Che Guevara t-shirt wearer doesn't really want to give up their $3m Brooklyn brownstone, top of the line electric Volvo SUV, or expensive dinners out, and give "power to the people". "Luxury Beliefs" are specifically hypocritical social signifiers for the (left-ish) upper middle class coastal/urban caste.

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Nov 6, 2023Liked by Aporia

An interesting article and analysis. Before I read this, I was sure that those who held leftist luxury beliefs or identifiers were just stupid. After reading this article, I realize that they are indeed stupid but also seek the company of other stupid people.

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Nov 6, 2023·edited Nov 6, 2023Liked by Aporia

> Henderson is aware of this, writing, “Once a signal is adopted by the masses, the affluent abandon it,” but many of the proposed luxury beliefs do not follow this pattern.

Yes they do. Or rather once a luxury belief is adopted by the masses the elites adopted an even more radical belief.

To take the example of sexual morality, once the masses accepted divorce the elites began pushing pre-marital sex. Once the masses accepted that the elites began pushing gay marriage. Then transgenderism and polyamory.

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Nov 6, 2023·edited Nov 9, 2023Liked by Aporia

The following is off topic but I don't know any where else to post this....

Michael Muthukrishna has some interesting things to say about IQ and culture in his new book, 'A Theory of Everyone: The New Science of Who We Are, How We Got Here, and Where We’re Going'.

So I just wanted to suggest that Aporia take a look and let us know what you think.

(I suppose I should also add that overall, I give the book a mixed review--the last half was not very compelling in my opinion.)

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This analysis reminded me of "virtue signaling" since you hear that term thrown around on the internet more often than you do Luxury beliefs.

Luxury Beliefs and Virtue Signaling: A Comparative Analysis

Luxury beliefs and virtue signaling are two concepts that have been gaining increasing attention in recent years. Both concepts are associated with status signaling, but there are also some key differences between the two.

Luxury beliefs, as defined by Rob Henderson, are beliefs that are differentially costly, meaning that they impose greater costs on lower socioeconomic classes than on the wealthy. Examples of luxury beliefs include defunding the police and open borders. The idea is that espousing such beliefs acts as a signal of wealth or status, since it is easier for the wealthy to openly support beliefs that may negatively impact the poor.

Virtue signaling, on the other hand, is a more general concept that refers to the expression of moral values or beliefs with the primary intention of signaling those values or beliefs to others, rather than enacting any real change. Virtue signaling is often done for social or self-benefit, rather than out of a genuine commitment to the expressed values or beliefs.

There are a few key similarities between luxury beliefs and virtue signaling:

Both can be used strategically to gain social approval or signal attributes to others.

Espousing certain beliefs/values with little cost to oneself may elevate social status.

However, there are also some key differences:

Luxury beliefs are specifically those that have a differential impact on socioeconomic classes, while virtue signaling is more concerned with expressing values for self and social gain than with enacting societal change.

Luxury beliefs are focused more on beliefs, while virtue signaling can include expressions beyond just beliefs, such as actions, behaviors, and consumption patterns.

In summary, while both luxury beliefs and virtue signaling can be related to status signaling, they differ in terms of their specific focus, motivations, and implications. Luxury beliefs are more concerned with the class impact of beliefs, while virtue signaling is more focused on expressing values for self and social gain.

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I think the notion of luxury beliefs and tribal signaling aren't necessarily mutually exclusive because the shared are of the venn diagram would be that the right winger / conservative crowd are lower status which does not violate the notion of luxury or social affordability. The Left has way more social capital to play with and can afford to profess counter signaling propositions as a means to specialize one's position or status enhance however this is from a position of asymmetry.

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Brilliant

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I wonder what the libertarian tribal markers are. “Both parties are corrupt/wrong.” Not voting or voting for a third party.

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Whoever you’re trying to impress with your feminism.

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I see echoes of Eric Hoffer's ideas from "The True Believer". He talks about the very outlandishness of the belief as one reason cult members stuck with it. It allows them to shed marginal believers.

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“Advocating implausible or flamboyant beliefs can be an honest signal commitment to one’s own tribe since it often alienates those in other tribes (Credo quia absurdum est). And because they signal commitment, identifiers earn status within the ingroup. People respect and reward others who are loyal to the tribe.”

But truth matters to most people, so they are likely sincere about their allegedly “absurd” beliefs. However, it’s also the case that most people don’t examine or test their views, so ignorance is also a big factor; in addition, heuristics plays a big part: they assume that if thought leaders they admire are repeating these “absurd” views then they must be true. So it’s not really signaling per se.

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I have always understood Henderson's theory to be about signalling differently, now that many wealthy people do not share the same cultural capital as the original political taste makers. So I'm not sure that Bo's argument is a refutation so much as an emphasis of that aspect of the original thesis.

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