Friday, November 3, 2017

A Matter Of Choice

Traditional folks are often accused of living in the past. Maybe, it is true to a degree. Maybe, some do idealise certain historical periods too much. The truth is, much as I like vintage stuff, I realise only too well that that world has disappeared and it's not coming back. The liberal society may fall apart in the future (and probably will, the way things are progressing), but what comes after that, will be something entirely new, not the re-run of the 1950s or the Victorian Era or whatever.

Keeping this fact in mind, those of us more or less traditionally inclined should learn to live with the new paradigm and use it to our advantage. And just like the concept of duty was the cornerstone of Victorian times, the concept of choice is that of ours. And it's probably not that bad as many think. Victorian morals and idealism, while admirable in many ways, gave birth to the mass movements and centralisation of the 20th century.

Granted, some of it was due to the loss of the central position of Christianity, the rise of mass media and socialistic tendencies and the diminishing role of the extended family; however, the governments of the West were able to achieve many dubious ends by simply utilising this concept of the citizen duty to the state, the latest manifestation of which is the idea that not only family, but also national borders should be sacrificed on the altar of the god of economy. After all, it's our duty to make fat cats even fatter, don't you know!

And here enters the millennial and Gen Z, much abused by their elders for being special snowflakes, yet younger people are also those dropping out of corporate jobs and Western consumerism, choosing smaller homes and minimalist lifestyle and practising liberalism to such a degree that any idea of duty is totally lost on them, but they do believe in choice including such choices as being a stay-at-home wife, for instance.

Recently I've read two discussions on the topic. One was full of older Gen Xers, berating young women for dropping out of the workforce and not performing their duty to the state (sounds a bit like North Korea, come to think of it). The other was dominated by younger women who scoffed at the idea of having duties to corporate world or anyone else except yourself and your partner. If you wish to stay home even without children, and your husband/boyfriend/significant other agrees, go for it, they claimed. Your feelings are just as valid as the feelings of a high-power career woman. After all, life is all about choices.

I say amen to that. Homemaking nowadays is a matter of choice. There have always been women who enjoyed achieving in the world. They probably didn't all have top tier jobs in the 1950s but they were active in social and political circles, and seldom bothered with any homemaking or childcare. They now have found validation in the world of men and are perfectly happy. Let them, to each his (her) own. Yet, there are other women who are simply not interested. They don't have the necessary ambition and drive and are perfectly happy with a quiet domestic life. Their feelings are just as valid and they have just as much right to make their own choices.

Heck, there are men turning their backs on corporate jobs, and I can't blame them, either. For many people, life is about more things than just making money and being a happy obedient consumer. Remember, a penny not spent is a penny earned. You don't have to keep working till you drop so that you have more money to buy more unnecessary stuff. Take liberals at their own word. Modern life isn't about duty, it's about freedom, choices and having fun, and for many people, the work world just doesn't cut it. If you have a possibility to retire early, why not?

No comments:

Post a Comment