Punpun Straussianism 10
Brian Please Stop Talking About Feminism
Feminism Against Progress, by Mary Harrington, is rapidly becoming my favorite anime. Its central exoteric premise is that Women have been betrayed by the industrial revolution, by modernity, and by technology, as well as that modern feminism has essentially been a handmaiden to this betrayal by supporting default-male sexual morality in the form of dating apps and hookups.
Its central esoteric premise (Brian claims with literally no evidence) is that Pareto improvement is a scam. Why is it a scam? Is it because envious people will always be made worse off? If that’s the case, then I should probably disagree with the exoteric premise of Feminism Against Progress. In fact, I wholehearted encourage other people to read the book (and not just in the classical liberal “read your opponents” sense, the last thing I would be is a classical liberal).
I have a fundamental bet on truth. Envy is an emotion that can only survive if it hides itself. In this way, I’m an optimist about human nature. The worst parts of human nature can only thrive in the shadows. The more they are discussed, the less they have power. To the extent that feminism or traditionalism are driven by envy, being argued for explicitly will only exorcise that emotion.
My argument here is simple really.
The first order effect is pareto improvement. People simply choose their rational preferences and those preferences are satisfied.
The second order effect is envy. People are envious of others and so will not be satisfied by personal improvement.
The third order effect is exposure. People would rather take actions that deprive their own envy and allow for others’ personal improvement rather than reveal their envy.
Wow, I can’t believe we came to such a clean conclusion. I’m glad economists are honest and good after all.
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