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Dr. Helen

February 19th, 2013 - 5:40 am

Captain Capitalism wonders if there is an advice deficit.

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Dear Helen,

I’m a big believer in the “invisible hand.” People are pretty good at figuring things out, especially things having to do with their own happiness. How men manage the happiness-generating asset that is their own human capital is driven by market conditions for their particular asset. That men are now discovering their inner boy, marrying less, studying less, working less, and playing more is simply a reflection of individual, market-based choices in a world that doesn’t reward men for traditional selfless behavior. Taken collectively, this is an important feedback mechanism. In the long-run, it is just this sort of re-allocation of male capital away from traditional pursuits that will force a rethinking of the new, progressive order (and precisely the reason Bill Bennett’s “man-up” advice is so wrong-headed). Even Freud had trouble figuring out what women want. However, I think it is fair to assume that the new order with its spinsterhood and, if they can find a donor, the drudgery of single-parenting is the last thing they want. Now we just have to wait – and enjoy the decline, if we can, while doing it.

We don’t really need Clarey to tell men to do what the Census, other demographic studies, and a wealth of anecdotal evidence tells us many men have already figured out for themselves, though I appreciate his making the effort and, of course, I loved reading “Enjoy the Decline.”

As for those boys Clarey was writing about, I’d imagine they had already figured much of it out for themselves – that’s what drew them to his website in the first place - and those who hadn’t would have figured it out soon enough by themselves. He is, of course, correct that men need to be honest and forthright (two things men are particularly good at) about the consequences of the new female-centric rules when speaking with other men and, particularly, with young men and boys. I do my part, as best I can.

Finally, I think there is one and only one thing men of this new era need: effective, self-administered birth control.


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