January 04, 2010
Very nearly all the violence that plagues, rather than protects, society is the work of young males between the ages of fourteen and thirty. A substantial amount of the violence that protects rather than plagues society is performed by other members of the same group. The reasons for this predisposition are generally rooted in biology, which is to say that they are not going anywhere, in spite of the current fashion that suggests doping half the young with Ritalin.
The question is how to move these young men from the first group (violent and predatory) into the second (violent, but protective).
Be honest now. Can you imagine the screeching that would occur if a woman (even a conservative women who likes men such as... oh, I dunno... moi) said that?
Our perceptions of things we read are very much influenced by our perceptions about the motivation or characteristics of the speaker. That's something we could all afford to keep in mind.
Just sayin'. On another note, that happens to be one of my favorite posts too.
Posted by Cassandra at January 4, 2010 12:55 PM
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Oh, to be between the age of 14 and 30 once more!
Endless days of wanton recklessness, riot, and mayhem! And that was just when watching soccer! I just wish that I'd been informed about it just being an inescapable biological trait earlier when it might have gotten me out of a jam with whatever "authority figure" was trying to keep me down. Sure as hell didn't work for Tiger.
Posted by: spd rdr at January 4, 2010 02:49 PM
It's so true, though!
My son is only 6, and yet putting him in boxing classes is the best thing we've ever done for him so far.
Posted by: airforcewife at January 4, 2010 02:54 PM
You know what moves most guys from that one group to the other? Marriage and fatherhood.
Posted by: Jimmie at January 4, 2010 03:51 PM
It is funny. My parents like to tell a story about talking to my HS English teacher about how they were worried about me being a bit wild.
I didn't like that teacher much, but I reminded myself about what she told them years later when I was pulling my hair out over my own teenaged boys' misdeeds.
She said, "Don't worry about her. She is just young, but she will settle down once she has a husband and children to take care of."
That was considered pretty sexist in the 70s. The thing is, my teacher was something of a feminist. She was also a smart lady.
Posted by: Cassandra at January 4, 2010 03:56 PM
Of course, if you want to be massively un-PC (but quite factually correct), you could point out that, at least in the US, the bulk of the violent crime committed by 14-30 year old males is committed by males belonging to one or two easily identifiable racial groups. This, however, is much more rooted in causes that are social, not biological.
Posted by: Heartless Libertarian at January 4, 2010 04:20 PM
Marriage and fatherhood did a lot for me, but it's a chicken and egg problem. What if my own father had walked out on us, or my mother had decided marriage wasn't worth the trouble and had forced him out of our lives? I might not have readily understood how to assume those duties successfully.
If you've got good parents, you're probably going to turn out OK; some don't, but most do. If you didn't have good parents, though, somebody else has to teach you how. That's the 'dangerous old man,' for boys. It should be their father. If it isn't, or can't be, it can be a Marine Corps Drill Instructor. Or it can be a priest, or a teacher, or a neighbor, or someone else.
If it's no one, though, the young man's odds of figuring it out for himself aren't that good. Some do; many don't. How should we expect otherwise? It's the rare person who can reconstruct a complex system like marriage by feel, de novo, without a successful example to model.
Posted by: Grim at January 4, 2010 04:26 PM
I do not disagree.
Heartless Librarian, it's interesting that where there are enough older men tied to a community, teen violence is generally held in check. One project in DC years ago simply focused on married Dads and Granddads doing the adult male elephant thing in their neighborhoods. It was wildly successful as I recall.
To me, just more proof that there, but for the Grace of God...
Posted by: Cassandra at January 4, 2010 04:30 PM
This, however, is much more rooted in causes that are social, not biological.
Yeah, the lack of "violent but protective" role models to emulate.
The default is predatory. Protective must be taught.
Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at January 4, 2010 04:43 PM
You know what moves most guys from that one group to the other? Marriage and fatherhood.
Marriage, I'll agree with, but in most of those predatory groups there doesn't seem to be a lack of progeny. What's lacking is the social expectation that the fathers actually raising them.
Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at January 4, 2010 04:49 PM
Thus the horrible unintended consequences of the welfare state's replacement of fathers - respected, responsible male authority - figures with cash. Cash cannot replicate the other, socially desirable outputs of fathers.
Which means that the State is, indirectly at least, contributing to the high levels of violent crime in these communities. The same violent crime whose prevention the state uses as justification for ever more oppresive measures.
Posted by: Heartless Libertarian at January 4, 2010 04:54 PM
Heartless, I agree with your last, up to but not including:
"The same violent crime whose prevention the state uses as justification for ever more oppresive measures."Fifty-six percent of the violent felons convicted in the 75 most populous counties from 1990 through 2002 had a prior conviction, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics..
While in 2008, violent offenders accounted for a slightly larger share of the parole population in 2008 (26%) compared to 2004 (25%). Page nine, paragraph four.
Based on those numbers, I'd be more apt to concede that the state's oppressive measures are put upon the law abiding population as a result of inadequate measures, on the part of the state, to remove career criminals from the law abiding population.
Is this where I mention my fondness for a Devil's Island approach to violent criminal containment?
Posted by: bt_closed-minded-curmudgeon_hun at January 4, 2010 05:38 PM
Yes, and we also reiterate our right to bear arms and strong Castle Doctrine laws.
Posted by: Cricket at January 4, 2010 05:46 PM
"It's biology!" Isn't that what Wile E. Coyote said?
Posted by: Cousin Dave at January 4, 2010 06:00 PM
And Miss Cricket, I know that you know the law in Georgia codifies extensions to the traditional Castle Doctrine protections.
You have no duty to retreat in the defense of yourself or others, in the defense of habitation, or in the defense of property other than habitation. Some have taken to calling this protection, No Retreat legislation, like that's a bad thing... =8^⁄
In addition to being immune from prosecution, you are also immune from civil liability for the use of deadly force.
Posted by: bt_closed-minded-curmudgeon_hun at January 4, 2010 06:01 PM
God's country, isn't it? :)
Posted by: Grim at January 4, 2010 06:08 PM
"The same violent crime whose prevention the state uses as justification for ever more oppresive measures." - HL
Based on those numbers, I'd be more apt to concede that the state's oppressive measures are put upon the law abiding population as a result of inadequate measures, on the part of the state, to remove career criminals from the law abiding population. - BT
Those two are not mutually exclusive as HL never said the oppressive measures are being placed upon the criminal class.
Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at January 4, 2010 06:28 PM
An extended essay/ small book on this topic is "Civilization and its Enemies" by Lee Harris (then of Stone Mountain, GA). He credits the Spartans for finding ways to channel young male energy from gangs into teams. Which, of course, requires older male input and control.
His ideas will sound very familiar to a lot of the Company, but it's nice to have a reference you can push across the table to someone.
Posted by: LittleRed1 at January 4, 2010 06:36 PM
He credits the Spartans for finding ways to channel young male energy from gangs into teams. Which, of course, requires older male input and control.
The Gods love football.
Posted by: King Leonidas of Michigan State at January 4, 2010 06:53 PM
"Those two are not mutually exclusive as HL never said the oppressive measures are being placed upon the criminal class."*smacks face with open palm*
I sit corrected! And a little dazed... =8^}
Posted by: bt_closed-minded-curmudgeon_hun at January 4, 2010 07:23 PM
"The Gods love football."Hail yeah! Now how 'bout that Texas Bowl!
Posted by: bt_goats_afloat_hun at January 4, 2010 07:28 PM
The secret of social harmony is simple: Old men must be dangerous.
Ain't nuthin' more harmonious than our branch of the flight school over here. The younger 'Structor Pilots refer to us three older gennelmuns as "The Silverbacks."
Those of you with some knowledge of primate behavior will know the function of a silverback...
Posted by: BillT at January 5, 2010 12:24 AM
The younger 'Structor Pilots refer to us three older gennelmuns as "The Silverbacks."
I love it! :)
Posted by: FbL at January 5, 2010 01:04 AM
Football? Go Bayern-München!
Posted by: LittleRed1 at January 5, 2010 01:16 PM
I'm waiting for Thursday, 7 Central. Hook'em.
Posted by: Miss Ladybug at January 6, 2010 12:47 AM
If Bama doesn't win, I hope your team does... =;^}
Number one daughter is doing her post grad work at Bama. The Hun's allegiance is thus swayed.
Posted by: bthun at January 6, 2010 01:01 AM
Most of my uncles and both my sisters went to UT. I wanted to, but my HS counselors' office screwed up and didn't get the transcripts sent in in time (we were in Augsburg), and I was then offered a scholarship at another Texas university. So, instead of waiting until the Spring semester to start school (and likely getting completely "lost in the crowd" at such a big school), I accepted the scholarship and got very involved with the student activities board at a much smaller school. But, I still think it would have been nice to be a Longhorn...
Posted by: Miss Ladybug at January 6, 2010 01:44 PM
But it's true. There are some of us older guys who have the capacity for violence but are protective.
The way to move young men from the violent and destructive group to the violent and protective group, is to have them apprentice with violent and protective men. Preferably their biological fathers.
Posted by: Tony at January 7, 2010 03:18 PM