Great Link

What if Big Business hated your family?

This is pretty much exactly what Zygmunt Bauman’s book Liquid Love is about. The conservative revolution is all about bringing us neo-Marxism.

29 thoughts on “Great Link”

  1. // The conservative revolution is all about bringing us neo-Marxism

    Could you explain this sentence, please?
    I started reading re neo-Marxism in wiki, but the entry is very short and unclear.

    Something somewhat connected: Read this article yesterday and unsure whether it’s true or an example of FSU-hating former Soviet citizens massaging Hitler’s message to turn him into a quasi-communist too:

    Гитлер и мечта о социализме.


  2. “groups with fundamentally contradictory values and interests constantly fucking with each other until someone pulls a gun.”

    Well, we had a civil war, and we have huge battles over values now, and they do tend to be WASP vs everyone else, even though you can join the other side regardless of ethnicity.

    We’ve got other conflicts, over money, and that divides the country differently.

    …thence, intersectionality…


  3. “What if Big Business hated your family?”

    This has got to be one of the dumbest articles that Clarissa has linked to recently.

    Obviously, it’s easier for anyone to have a full-time, successful career if he/she is single and childless, and doesn’t have to take considerable time away from pursuing a career to attend to family needs. This is just a simple fact of life, and it’s nonsensical to say that “Big Business hates your family” because business interests and family interests diverge.

    Saying “Business hates your family” is like saying, “Nature hates women because they’re the sex that has to go through pregnancy and give birth in order for the human race to survive.”


    1. You are mistaken, actually, and it’s strange that you’d make this particular mistaken given your profession. Lonely, thwarted people rarely achieve much. You might be an exception, but in general, an incapacity to form a family is a sign of poor psychological health. And poor psychological health doesn’t lead to success in other areas of life.

      My advice to people who are choosing a colleague to work together on a project is never to choose a thwarted individual. From personal experience, a lonely individual with absolutely nothing else to do never meets a deadline, constantly lets you down and ends up being overwhelmed. In the meantime, a mother of three small kids will do everything ahead of time and will be extremely organized and reliable.

      But yes, you are an exception, of course you are.


      1. “Lonely, thwarted people rarely achieve much.”

        Ah, Clarissa, you are making the presumptuous mistake of the vast majority of people who follow the herd path into marriage and family life, believing that this is the only normal path — and that those of us who haven’t are somehow “thwarted, lonely failures.” Some of us had many opportunities to get married and join the herd along the way, but we saw the traps and snares along that path, and chose the liberation of going our own way instead.

        There’s nothing lonely or “thwarted” about being able to chart you own destiny in whatever direction is best for you, without having to be concerned about the welfare of any other human being on this planet. Such people find their share of friends and lovers along the way — they simply understand that those relationships needn’t interfere in their larger life goals.


        1. I already tried to create psychological comfort for you personally by reassuring you that you are an exception. But even that’s not enough and you flare up like, I’m very sorry to say it, a typical thwarted person.


          1. “But even that’s not enough and you flare up like, I’m very sorry to say it, a typical thwarted person.”

            Clarissa, we seem to be misunderstanding each other in minor ways that make our friendly discussion sound much more harsh than intended. I took your final sentence, “But yes, you are an exception, of course you are,” as muted sarcasm requiring an explanation, and so I went a bit overboard in labeling your perceived misinterpretation of my views as a “presumptuous mistake.”

            There have been commenters on this website that I’ve loved to argue with, and even insulted back after they’ve hit me first. But I’ve never felt that way about you: You’ve always been open and fair with my sometimes contrarian opinions. We agree on many things, but we can always disagree without anger or defensiveness.

            I hope that we can keep it that way for many of your future posts and my comments to come.


            1. Just for the record:
              I consider myself among those “lonely, thwarted types”.
              …although I do enjoy certain individual freedoms one has in not having others to take care of. But the money’s often too tight, and I can’t handle any a lot of the “extra responsibilities” that comes one’s way from time to time.


        2. I was raised to believe that for marriage and family, women had to completely annihilate themselves. You could have no desires, personality or time of your own. You had to play the piano and dance and give good parties, be an educated and charming hostess, but when not doing these things you had to become a toy that had been turned off. I knew I was on an adventure-quest in life and could not achieve that degree of self-destruction even if I tried as hard as possible. I also definitely did not feel psychologically healthy enough to create a good marriage, my parents weren’t happy and I had hardly ever observed families that seemed to be. I was healthy enough to do things like travel without being scared, but did not I could be able to attract, for a serious relationship, someone non-abusive, or know how to act, dare to retain the kind of autonomy and identity you must retain in a relationship with a healthy person. At the same time, I don’t think that is the only healthy thing you can do, or that it is necessarily a badge of mental health to have formed a traditional family — I don’t think it’s the only way not to be lonely/thwarted, and I know lots of people in traditional families who are.


        3. Dreidel – my married friends are always so excited to hear about my life, the places I get to go, the things I get to do.


          1. Well, about 99% of my friends are married by now (or divorced or widowed), and most have grown children and young grandchildren. I never had any desire AT ALL to form any permanent family-type relationships along the way. (Some of my girlfriends had other ideas, but in most cases we parted on good terms, and they’re all married now.)

            The nice thing about never being responsible for any other human being (except in a professional way as physician or military commander) is that all my adult life I’ve been able to do pretty much whatever I wanted: moved out of the South to California after medical school, established a civilian practice there, got bored and joined the Air Force to see the world, retired when I got good and ready at 52, and settled in the blissful Arizona desert.

            I don’t know if my life history is all that exciting, but it’s been a fun trip. Still is!


            1. The fact that people are trying to turn a discussion about changes in society into a debate on individual choices simply proves that the neoliberal mentality has completely won us over.


              1. Aside from how ecstatic anybody might be about their individual choices, it’s an undeniable fact that the number of lonely and depressed people in developed countries has exploded. And the economic model can’t possibly have had no effect on this.

                To give a tiny example (out of hundreds more), we’ve all heard, experienced and discussed how the fluid work day encroaches on everybody’s time as you are expected to answer emails in the evenings and on weekends, right? Everybody heard of this? Well, who finds this easier to do, an unattached person or a person with small kids who expect play time / bath time / bed time, which takes hours? Or when a company decided to move to Brazil because it’s cheaper (like happened to my brother-in-law), who finds it easier to pick up and leave, an unattached person or a person with a family? My brother-in-law obviously git fired with no severance package for refusing to pick up and leave. But some poor bastard did pick up and leave. And will do it again and again when the company tells him to. I’m a poor bastard who did pick up and leave I don’t remember how many times. And it’s lonely and very very hard. I can’t make a friend because everybody moves away all the time. It sucks.


  4. But I thought Big Business loved families? Don’t you need a traditional family to show you are the kind of traditional / conservative person who will fit in in Big Business, or am I behind the times? Also: spouses cut down on work and add to income — I am not at all convinced that marriage is bad for work.


    1. That was true a few decades ago. Now it’s the exact opposite. The preference is for fluid, rootless individuals who can flit about without any concerns about anybody or anything but their personal “self-actualization.”. Sennett and Bauman both wrote about this.

      Traditional and conservative people are not needed any more. Now the preference is for quirky individuals with a social conscience and fun idiosyncrasies.

      This is all from Sennett. These days, if your CV doesn’t show a new place of work every 3 years, you are a total loser.


      1. I’m used to academia, though, which in my lifetime has always been about moving. Your typical academic was always a man who had a wife who moved with him and helped out — provided the nice home situation, entertainment of colleagues and visiting academics, the kids; also in some cases functioned as research assistants. In the neighborhood I grew up in as a child, the academics weren’t living where they were from or where they had chosen, but with tenure track and tenured jobs didn’t move as much as the others, in industry or military, who would get transferred quite a bit, or get laid off and have to move. Some — my parents, anyway — had this fantasy of being able to live in the place they considered home but if you looked back, their parents hadn’t been able to do that, nor their grandparents; several of their great-grandparents had in addition to moving within US had also moved to US from other countries … for two of them, this was their third or fourth country, and then they also moved within US chasing jobs [this couple lived ca. 1820-1900].
        And all of this seems fairly typical … some people get to stay at or around home, and I’d be for this since I’m from a nice place & still have most of my friends back home, but so many people I know aren’t from a place in that way & don’t relate to place in the way I do, and this isn’t new.


  5. Re comment above (Clarissa) “the number of lonely and depressed people in developed countries has exploded”, etc., I know this is said and I have been reading articles about it since the 1980s. Before that there were the massive divorces of the 70s, and before that there were the depressed housewives on drugs of the 50s and 60s, stuck in suburbs with commuting husbands who also felt tied to the rat race, and these couples kept having to move because said husband would get transferred. And there were these cocktail parties with the new neighbors and everyone would weave and swirl around as if inside a highball glass.

    It is true that as a woman with a career you used to have to be very visibly fluid. You were going to have to move, and you couldn’t expect a husband to move with you as a wife moves with a husband, so you couldn’t get married … and if you had a husband you could work this out with, you still needed to conceal his existence at first, because people would assume you weren’t a serious job candidate if they knew you were married. This is no longer true and it’s a relief, although now the problem is you really need 2 incomes and it’s not well regarded to be single.

    E-mail evenings and weekends, I actually don’t know how required this really is in all industries. I do it sometimes but can also get away without doing it (the problem with e-mail in particular is that it encroaches on time no matter when it’s done). The larger issue, how being part of a nuclear family makes you too busy to be encroached upon, again, I know that is what people think. They try to get ME to take on the extra work, on the theory that I’ve got nothing else to do but I can’t — I don’t have anyone to help with housework so I have to do it all myself, and I have all these social and political obligations, other things I’ve committed to that don’t involve caring for a man/children but still take up energy/time.

    It isn’t true that the only way to have a social commitment is to reproduce/work on a nuclear family — it’s what middle class people thought or said in the 50s and I guess the idea still is mainstream in some areas, you’re only being responsible, and you’re being a pillar of society, and so on, only if you do this, and you’re “selfish” and “rootless” if not — God knows people have railed at me for the “selfishness” of not having biological children, not serving a man, yadda, yadda — and can be very self-righteous about how only they, through marriage, are serving the world in a meaningful way — but these things just aren’t true and I’d say that in many cases it’s the opposite.


    1. // although now the problem is you really need 2 incomes and it’s not well regarded to be single.

      Where? I am a teacher and think being unmarried and childless helps one get hired since principals don’t want a new teacher to immediately become pregnant or be unable to arrive early to work because of needing to take kids to a day care.

      // God knows people have railed at me for the “selfishness” of not having biological children, not serving a man, yadda, yadda

      Your relatives? Because I cannot imagine other teachers suddenly going into those rants.
      Do they actually use the expression “to serve a man”? Wow.

      Z, wanted to say I answered you here:

      Since comments to previous posts quickly disappear from Recent Comments and Clarissa posts a lot 🙂 wanted to say that in case you missed. It’s kind of sad if one writes a long comment and nobody even sees it, whether people (want to) answer or not.

      Btw, do you and others here receive notifications to emails or something? I don’t, but I haven’t registered as a user.


      1. I don’t receive notifications to email because I already spend enough time reading blogs & don’t want more email than I get. So thanks for letting me know on response, I will read you!

        Use the expression “serve a man,” no, it’s my shorthand for what they have said. My parents, yes, but also people my age and slightly older, I got a lot of this in graduate school, from other graduate students, and as a new professor, from other faculty.

        Easier to get hired being childless, yes, it definitely used to be that way here, although my impression is that now they don’t demand it the way they used to do. Not well regarded to be single, I mean, in general: after a certain point they consider you dangerous to other marriages if you are still single, and then after that it is bad for prestige not to be married. I figured out at one point that it was that they wanted to know who you were sleeping with. If you’re not married they don’t know and it freaks them out, not having that information on your sexuality makes them feel they do not have enough control of you. I know how irrational that is but hey, sexism is irrational.


        1. \ Well, thank you for calling me a nobody. Given that I always see all the comments in my app.

          Sorry, I meant the other readers except you.

          \ I lost my Kindle and I’m very testy.

          Can you report it somewhere so that your new Kindle will have the books you bought for the lost one?

          May be, you can put ads on campus, if you lost it there?

          Do not know how the technology works and whether a finder would be able to identify it as belonging to you.


          1. It’s all done. It takes two seconds to deregister the lost one and get a new one. But I feel like an idiot for losing it because it’s totally my fault.


    2. Wanted to stress that Israeli society is more traditional in this way than American one, more family-oriented, so the social pressure has to be there probably.

      In 2019 Fertility Rate by Country puts Israel in 61st place with 3.044 children per woman, while United States is in 142nd place with 1.776 children per woman which is below a reproduction rate (2.1 in developed countries ensures the population remains the same).

      So, those people in USA you mentioned may talk the talk, but do they walk the walk?

      As for being asked regarding being married and/or having small kids, it was from a recent job interview. Believe me, having those kids won’t help one get hired.


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