I think commenting on this post at the Orthosphere in such a way as I intend to do would be considered trollery if I did it there. Not that I would never do it (I have, many times), but I would like to refrain as much as possible; that is, as often as I stop myself by recognizing it beforehand. By the way, it seems my lot in internet life to read the posts of others and be stimulated not by the main point, but by some lesser, ancillary detail. It would not surprise me if wise men say it is the sign of a small mind.
So I’ll post my thoughts here, though no one else read them.
In the process of demonstrating how Feminism fails the Gedanken Test Kristor states the following:
Clearly, then, any sane society would repudiate feminism.
Not because it hates women, but because it wants to survive; indeed, because it wants more women (the supply of women is the rate limiting factor of social survival: few women → few children → few women … so, women are precious; men on the other hand are cheap, ergo relatively expendable (in war, the hunt, dangerous work, and so forth)).
Though many have spoken in the same way as Kristor about the cheapness of men vis-a-vis women, I’ve only been able to make sense of it in a materialistic, secular, evo-psych type framework. That is, not in a framework I would expect to find Kristor arguing from.
Of course we share certain natural qualities with brute animals. But we also share certain natural qualities with angelic beings – most importantly the qualities of having a mind – intellect, memory, will. It is false then to speak of humans as if they were mere brutes, or even of a possible time when it would be understandable or excusable for intellectual creatures to behave as such. You can’t reduce the qualities of the human person even in a thought experiment, without doing violence to what makes man essentially different from animals.
The excerpt from Kristor’s post above would be intelligible only in an environment that accepted human behavior that reflected something much less than intellectual or rational. You can perpetuate the human race in a materialistic sense (that is, if its only instinct were “to survive”) with the bare minimum of stud/brood mare behavior. But the human race never had, and never will have, merely a “to survive,” materialistic instinct. The former will always have a desire to perpetuate immaterial, spiritual, and conscious qualities that depend on more than mere animal breeding. If not, we are speaking of something less than human, and therefore in the wrong category.