A Roblox Tridentine Latin Mass. Now you’ve seen everything. Yes, these people are serious.
Out of all the people you’ll encounter on the Internet who annoy me, the trad cats are increasingly successfully competing for the top spot. They always seem quite amusing when you imagine them to be post-ironic, but sadly they’re not, they’re genuinely serious. As an example, when you see this film, it’s quite funny:
That is, until you realize this is not self-deprecating humor, no, they legitimately mean this. It’s reminiscent of Trump, who was pretty funny during his election campaign, but became pretty horrifying soon afterwards, when it became clear that he wasn’t putting up an act. He was just genuinely being himself and playing it off as an act to win broader appeal. He hid his sincerity under an act of irony, but it was only the irony that was insincere.
The Trad Cats are the same. You’ll often think to yourself that they must be joking, but they use irony as a means to embellish their sincerity. They’re also all identical to each other by the way, they seem to operate with some sort of giant hive mind that exists on the Internet, if you’ve seen two or three of them you’ve honestly seen them all.
They literally all claim to lay awake at night, traumatized by the ugliness of modern architecture. I think they should stop pretending their cult has anything to do with Christianity and just make it clear that they have some sort of aesthetic preference that they wish to force down everyone’s throats. It’s honestly more a bizarre architectural sect that insists on returning to the cluttered gaudiness of baroque buildings from the late 18th century than a Christian sect. They want the whole western world to look again like the mansion of a tacky American real estate mogul.
I could give you a thousand reasons why they annoy me, but I’ll start with some of the most straightforward. To start with, they seem to take no interest in understanding Jesus in the context within which he lived. There are plenty of Christians, even Catholic priests, who have done studies into the historical Jesus, attempting to come to an understanding of how Christianity evolved, how it began as a movement of marginalized people who sought to invert the power dynamic of their era. It’s even been argued that the veneration of Jesus as the son of God began as a way to mock the Roman emperors, who claimed to be the son of God as well.
The liberal Catholic Christians and many protestant sects try to return to the roots of their religion. But the tradcats are more concerned with roleplaying some form of Catholicism frozen in time in the 19th century. This traditionalism is like a cancer that spreads across right wing corners of the Internet, where every chronically online young woman now claims to be “trad”. The whole thing infects non-Catholics too and so I’ve even seen some now who claim to be both aspiring tradwives and communists. If you were to believe the tradcat women on Twitter, Jesus came to Earth for the sole purpose of telling young women in their twenties to stop partying and having abortions.
What annoys me about the traditionalists is that they never ask themselves why this tradition they hope to revive died. They always seem to assume that most people have just grown decadent and degenerate (whereas they’re the blessed exemptions, modern day Noah’s who will repopulate the Earth), so that they can strive to be pure and virtuous instead by retweeting soyjack memes all day long and then they will thereby resurrect something that has already perished. They typically seem to be motivated by a sense of moral superiority that is quite Christian, but not quite Christlike.
If you look at the Netherlands, you’ll notice that Catholicism effectively imploded in the span of just a few decades. And if you wish to answer how this came about, the reality is that it’s not because people grew decadent. Rather, what conservatives, including the tradcat LARPers seem to miss, is that liberal permissiveness became the norm in Western societies because you make it easier for society to continue to function when you allow people to deviate from social norms. Society today may look like it is about to implode, but the reality is that it would have simply imploded much earlier if we had not tolerated all sorts of modern deviance from traditional social norms.
Consider for example, this whole concept of natural family planning, the idea that you should have as many children as God intends. My grandfather was sent to the orphanage along with all his siblings, because their mother died. The family was large, there were eight children and in accordance to the norms of that era a man has to work, he can’t stay at home and take care of all the kids by himself, so the kids ended up shipped to the orphanage.
Why would the mother die? Well there’s another issue. Pregnancy taxes a woman’s body. Margaret Sanger insulted her father during her mother’s funeral, because her mother had died from too many pregnancies. Her body was exhausted. Her father had impregnated her eighteen times. And so Margaret began to spread the gospel of contraception, in violation of Catholic morality at the time.
It’s nice to live in a society where women don’t have to go through eighteen pregnancies. Perhaps equally useful, is to live in a society where a woman can divorce a man who mistreats her. Catholic divorce is technically impossible. These days they’ll simply say that the marriage was never valid to begin with, but the complaints about divorce in these days seem to be missing the simple fact that people go through divorce for good reasons. Sometimes a woman ends up in a marriage with a man who abuses her.
The same problem applies for sex before marriage. It’s a nice idea in theory that you find one person you spend the rest of your life with. But the reality is also that people are just different. Some people desire sex twice a day, others twice a month. That’s going to lead to tensions in a relationship and it’s one of the causes of marital rape. Some people are just fundamentally sexually incompatible and it’s best to find out about that before you get married.
The traditionalists are terrified of any sort of permissiveness, because if they tolerate anything, they find themselves faced with the next thing they’ll have to tolerate. And ultimately, their entire faith is based on the idea of there being some sort of institute left behind by Christ that can essentially reveal absolute truths directly from God when the Pope is sitting on the right chair.
If there’s a flaw in Catholic theology on contraception or abortion, the whole house of cards that constitutes their faith begins to collapse, because their faith is not so much a lived reality you are born into as it was for most people throughout history, rather it is essentially something they believe can be rationally defended. Arguably they don’t have faith so much as they just adopted a system that is internally coherent and explains almost anything through reason, it just requires you to believe in the whole system and then it has the answers to practically all of life’s difficult questions available for you.
That’s easy while it looks internally coherent and compatible with reason and empathy. When you realize it’s not, it collapses. In this regard, it’s similar to the faith of some American fundamentalist Baptist churches. It gives you a whole alternative outlook on society, how we came into existence (6000 years ago) and where you can find absolute truth (in the Bible). But if that is what your faith is based on, then it implodes if you encounter any sort of error, some piece of evidence from the outside world that you can’t process through your framework.
They thus end up believing and defending ridiculous stuff, like the idea that God flooded the Earth 4000 years ago when the Egyptians were busy building pyramids, because they created a system of thought that allows them to understand the world by taking a particular book literally. They have to defend the absurdities within the framework too, because the absurdities are an inevitable part of the framework.
If they accept one deviance from the framework, they have no foot to stand on, to stop the next. Before you know it, you end up in our present day situation again. Some South American countries now throw women in jail for miscarrying. If you prohibit abortions, women will have illegal abortions. It’s hard to tell apart an illegal abortion from a simple miscarriage, so women who have a miscarriage end up forced to hide it.
They don’t wish to tolerate abortion, because it’s now seen as the greatest of all vices a person could engage in. And so they’re not able to make exceptions either. A ten year old girl who is impregnated by her stepfather is shit out of luck. The best thing we can do for her is to pray that her belly doesn’t burst open and her guts don’t spill out onto the floor as she bleeds to death. After all, otherwise we would have to tolerate an exception, which would lead to the next exception and the next, until the whole house of cards collapses and sixteen year old girls carry morning after pills in their purses again.
It’s the same with homosexuality. It’s common for people in modern society to feel alienated or horrified by the pride parades and the drag queen story telling hours in the library and twerking children and transgender teenage girls with amputated breasts and all the rest of modern permissiveness. And so people seek to find some way to reject the modern misery and they romanticize some attempt at LARPing the 19th century. But we didn’t end up in this modern situation because we chose to be decadent degenerates. We ended up in this situation because the old system wasn’t working either.
If you live the Tradcat LARP life and end up having eight children, there’s a fair chance at least one of them will be gay. Generally speaking, it will be your youngest son, due to biological reasons outside of the scope of this essay. So, what are you going to do? Are you going to tell him that it’s all just in his head, that he has to work on curing himself or settle for a life of celibacy? That’s how you alienate your child from you. Parents of gay children have no real other option than to tolerate their child’s deviance, to maintain a cordial relationship. And if you genuinely want to have a healthy loving relationship with the child, you’ll end up not just tolerating their sexual orientation, but accepting it as part of who they are.
There’s also a reason by the way, why people don’t engage in natural family planning. It doesn’t work very well. And so if you marry young, with twenty fertile childbearing years ahead of you, you’ll rapidly end up at above replacement level fertility. We can pretend for a moment that you can just afford these children, but it should be clear that society can’t afford it. The tradcats will always have to be a fringe religious minority, like the Haredi Jews in Israel. We can’t have a billion tradcats, because they would overpopulate the world like rabbits.
The Haredim in Israel can feel smug and insist that the secularized Israeli Jews are not real Jews. But the reality is that if all of them became Haredim like them, Israel would implode and the Haredim would be at the mercy of the Sunni Arabs who surround them. Societies grow liberal over time, not because they grow decadent, but because they have no other option if they wish to continue to function.
The same principle applies by the way for abortion. It’s nice that you think we’re all sinful and selfish because we abort a child with Down syndrome. But the reason you can afford not to abort a child with Down syndrome and offer the child some sort of dignified existence, is because the rest of us do choose for abortion. The tradcats are also quite eager to insist that people feel regret and guilt after an abortion. They never really seem to wish to discuss where this guilt and regret come from however: The constant attempts seen in our culture to stigmatize abortion.
In the UK, ninety percent of Down syndrome children are aborted. There are 40,000 people in the UK with Down syndrome today. Let’s say the entirety of the UK repented from their wicked ways and stopped the abortions. There would be a tenfold increase in children born with Down syndrome. Whereas the life expectancy was just 25 in the 1980’s for them, it’s about 60 today.
I think it’s worth pointing out how we cared for people with Down syndrome, before we had access to legal abortion. People were basically just kept in chains in 19th century Victorian asylums. The reason people with Down syndrome only lived into their twenties on average in the 1980’s, is because there was such an abundance of them, with no real way for society to take care of all of them. Once we gained the opportunity to give them proper medical treatment it became clear that the heart conditions are relatively easy to treat and hence since the 1980’s, we’ve seen their life expectancy increase dramatically.
The Tradcat paradox is in this sense similar to the Haredi paradox: You can only complain about the decadent wicked secular society you hate so much that you dissociate yourself from, because the rest of us are liberal and permissive. A tenfold increase in the number of children born with Down syndrome would mean we go back to people chained to their beds.
Take a look at this graph here:
Here you can see the median age at death, for people with Down syndrome. That is, the age before which half of them died. Whereas the average age of death was 10 in the late 60’s, the median age of death was one. In other words, the majority of them died as infants. I’d like to ask: How is that any better than aborting them? We’re only able to have the current situation, in which we can provide humane care for them, because most of them (90%) are never born.
The people who insist on condemning the rest of us, tend to be the people for whom everything worked out pretty well. It’s easy to complain about abortion, if you’ve never had a need for abortion yourself. If you’ve never been raped yourself, you can just imagine that an abortion must be far more traumatizing than giving birth to the child of your rapist. If you’ve never found yourself carrying a child that has no chance of seeing its first birthday, it’s easy to imagine that raising a child for a few months that suffers severe pain is less traumatic than undergoing a simple medical procedure.
It’s easy to imagine that women should stay home and raise children instead of going to work. But the only reason a woman can choose to do that and then complain on the Internet about how decadent the rest of us are, is because most of them don’t. Who is going to teach children, who is going to take care of the elderly in the nursing home? You could say that men should just take over these jobs, which is an ironically feminist position, but it would end in disaster.
And this is why I’m effectively part of the reluctant left. You might not like Pride parades, you might not like abortion, you might not like “hookup culture”, you might not like needing two salaries to afford a house that your parents bought on one salary in the 1990’s. Most of us don’t. But the difference is that most of us are aware why these things exist, why the modern world functions the way it does. And we realize that the alternative is much worse.
Let’s take a look for example, at the golden days of yesteryear, the Victorian era that the Tradcats enjoy romanticizing. Before we began aborting children and before we had condom machines in high school bathrooms, we had a better solution. We simply paid other people to kill our infants:
Anxiety around illegitimate children and the practice of baby-farming erupted in the late 1860s and the women involved became objects of scorn and derision.On 25 September 1867, The Pall Mall Gazette stressed that ‘care of illegitimate children has become a regular trade’ and that the death of a child whilst in the care of a baby-farm was often a ‘happy release’ for the parent. The press’s evaluation of the nineteenth-century baby-farm suggests that these establishments murdered children upon the instruction of the mother(s) and therefore should carry the same amount of blame as infanticidal fathers.
That’s one way of course to get rid of children you don’t want. Most women can’t get themselves to kill their own child, so they find someone else to do it for them. One of the most notorious baby farmers was Amelia Dyer. She had murdered an estimated 200 to 400 infants given to her. She was eventually caught when one of the infants she threw into the river Thames was wrapped in a piece of paper that led back to her.
Again, I can’t emphasize this enough: This is what a society without access to contraception and abortion looks like. It’s a society where you can’t let your children swim in the river, because the river is literally filled with dead infants. The British Medical Journal wrote that: “there is not the slightest difficulty in disposing of any number of children, so that they may give no further trouble and never be heard of, at £10 a head”.
In much of the third world abortion is still illegal and this problem still exists, the solution there is to give children up for adoption. Those children are generally made to beg on the streets for a living. That’s worth pointing out for the abortion clinic types who stand outside and tell you that you can go ahead and give the kid up for adoption too. They’re right of course. You can just have the kid and put it up for adoption. But the only reason you can do that, is because most people don’t do that. There are 135,000 adoptions and 620,000 abortions every year in the US. Good luck making that math work.
But the right wingers on the Internet generally don’t want to hear this. It’s a common human instinct, to wish to feel morally superior. One great way to do that of course, is to bash other people for the choices they make. It’s easy to have faith, because it fundamentally doesn’t require you to understand how the world genuinely works. It just requires you to suspend your ability to reason, to let other people do that job for you and to assume they did it right.