Iconoclast: Ernest Belfort Bax

imageErnest Belfort Bax was born on 23 July, 1854, in Leamington, then a village just south of Birmingham, and very close to Stratford-upon-Avon. As a homeschooled teenager, he had a keen interest in the piano, and in the Paris Commune. In his mid-20s, Bax left Britain to study music in Germany. While on the continent, he began reading Hegel, and subsequently began writing philosophy. He returned to England to be admitted to the bar. In his off hours, he worked as a theorist and a journalist for the SDF (Socialist Democratic Federation), a precursor to the British Communist Party.

This combination of talents led to some high-level observations. Much of his work concerned legal inequities. He was, above all things, a strident antifeminist, who produced a wide body of published legal criticism, which amounted to…

…a cumulative indictment of judges, juries, magistrates and legislators which, if taken at its face value, would force us to the conclusion that these makers and administrators of the law – most of whom, strange to say are themselves men – are in a nefarious conspiracy to grind the male sex under the tyrannical high heel of the feminine boot. Men are flogged; women are not. The seduction by a man of a girl under sixteen is a criminal offence; the seduction by a women of a boy under that age is not. A man convicted of murder is usually hanged, especially if the victim be a woman; a murderess is almost invariably reprieved. And this intellectually inferior sex, rolling in privilege, injustice and oppression, have the impudence to treat it as a grievance that they are unable to vote on the same terms as men…

Archibald H.M. Robinson, Bax: Thinker and Pioneer

A recurrent point in Bax’s corpus is the notion of feminism as a quasi-religious movement, rather than a serious philosophical pursuit. This is an observation that many of us have made, from time to time, and it deserves a bit of explanation.

Feminism is not a religion in the same sense that Christianity or Judaism are, inasmuch as feminism doesn’t identify its adherents by a single metaphysical ideal, like “God” or “heaven.” Even so, feminism is a quasi-religious movement, in that the individual feminist tends to rely upon feminist theory to make sense of her world.

Example: Whenever a material inequality presents itself, the feminist’s reaction tends to be glaringly subjective. If the inequality benefits women, the feminist will assert it as evidence of female superiority. If the inequality benefits men, the feminist will assume that this is evidence of a widespread patriarchal conspiracy. The only consistency in these contradictory reactions is a psychological pillar in the feminist mentality: equality between the sexes. There is, of course, plenty of real-world evidence that no such equality exists. That such delusions are so resistant to modification is evidence of just how essential this sort of idiocy is, in the psychological economy of the feminist so afflicted. Feminism is not a religion, but it plays the same role as religion, in the lifeworld of the individual feminist.

The rational response of a Marxist is to associate feminism with ideology, which is what Bax did. A society’s dominant ideology is the product of its economic base, and in the deconstruction of feminism, we find all the depraved motivations of capital, which employ wives to reduce the position of husband to that of slave, and allow for a legal apparatus to liquidate and devour the life’s produce of the working man.

Let us take another idol. This time we tread on sacred ground indeed – equality between the sexes. Well may the iconoclastic hand tremble before levelling a blow at this new Serapis. Nevertheless here also – as the phrase is understood by the ordinary modern woman’s right, advocate – we are bound to recognise a vampire. In earlier stages of social development, woman was placed in a condition of undoubted social inferiority to man. Into the grounds of this inferiority it is unnecessary here to enter. Suffice it to say it existed, and that against the state of things it implied the cry of “equality between the sexes” was raised, at first in a veiled, and afterwards in an open manner. For some time it represented a real tendency towards equality by the removal of certain undoubted grievances. But for some time past the tendency of the bourgeois world, as expressed in its legislation and sentiment, has been towards a factitious exaltation of the woman at the expense of the man – in other words, the cry for “equality between the sexes” has in the course of its realisation become a sham, masking a de facto inequality. The inequality in question presses as usual, heaviest on working-man, whose wife, to all intents and purposes has him completely in her power. If dissolute or drunken, she can sell up his goods or break up his home at pleasure, and still compel him to keep her and live with her to her life’s end. There is no law to protect him. On the other hand, let him but raise a finger in a moment of exasperation against this precious representative of the sacred principle of “womanhood,” and straightway he is consigned to the treadmill for his six months amid the jubilation of the D.T. and its kindred, who pronounce him a brute and sing paeans over the power of the “law” to protect the innocent and helpless female. Thus does bourgeois society offer sacrifice to the idol “equality between the sexes.” For the law jealously guards, the earnings or property of the wife from possible spoliation. She on any colourable pretext can obtain magisterial separation and “protection.”

E. Belfort Bax, Some Bourgeois Idols: Ideals, Reals and Shams

The feminist has a deep need to believe in the pillars of feminism. She believes that these pillars found ethical truth and metaphysical reality, despite endless amounts of sense data that daily refute her delusions. She must believe that her convictions are morally right, and the result is an almost inhuman zeal, expressed by constant attempts to spread the feminist delusion to others. Bax and Marx remind us that at the root of the feminist’s perverse activities is an underlying kernel of avarice, motivated by the desire to live at the expense of others.

Is Sheila Gregoire A Plagiarist?

gregoireThe mannish dyke at left is my good friend, radical feminist Sheila Gregoire. I met Ms. Gregoire years ago, when I was banned from her pornographic blog, after asking a couple of simple questions. Thus, I’ve always known she was an agenda driven activist, who was given to lecturing on things about which she was underinformed.

I always recognized, in Sheila’s terrible writing, that she was prone to coming to inaccurate conclusions, and formulating unsound arguments. The poor quality of her thought and scholarship did not prepare me for today’s revelation. I am honestly shocked. I now believe she may be a plagiarist.

Let’s examine Sheila’s latest entry, dated 06 July 2018, entitled The Woman in The Bible Who Gets The Worst Rap. Sheila opens with a brief historical overview.

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This much is difficult to get wrong, but Sheila still can’t help but stoop to feminist theatrics. Sheila spins the story to make Xerxes into an abusive pimp, rather than a proud husband, who wanted to show off his wife. The more reasonable interpretation is supported by custom and the definition of her name. ‘Vashti’ is an old Indo-Aryan word which means “best,” and the background is that the King’s wife is generally never allowed in public. The king is breaking the rules, in his drunken state, in order that his wife might be known to the people as a beautiful woman.

As Sheila explains, Vashti is a loud and proud skank-ho feminist, who don’t need no man. She revels in public displays of disrespect, especially toward the man who has given her the honorable titles of “wife,” and “queen.” She thus refuses to appear when summoned, and makes a big dramatic spectacle out of embarrassing her husband.

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If we saw a photograph of Vashti, she’d probably be posing in a defiant stance, breasts taped down, sporting a butch dyke hairdo — with the tattered remnants of hair dyed various unnatural colors — just like Sheila.

Sheila forwards the assumption that the Hebrew God would approve of Vashti’s feminism. Sheila has to take this position, because if she doesn’t, her own disrespect toward her husband will be condemned by proxy.

There is no evidence, in Jewish history or mythology, that the Hebrew God would have cared about Vashti. The Hebrew God, before St. Paul, was a tribal God, much like Elohim is to Mormons. The rules the Hebrew God gave were not meant for outsiders.

Sheila’s article goes further than a simple inversion of the text. Sheila has made several arguments at this point, which are all identical to those made by better feminist thinkers, who came long before her. For example, Harriet Beecher Stowe inverts the meaning of the text, in precisely the same way:

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(Harriet Beecher Stowe, Bible Heroines of The Patriarchal Eras. New York: Fords, Howard and Hulbert, 1878. §12.)

Elizabeth Cady Stanton also lionized Vashti, and she went on to explain that Vashti was making a stand against “objectification,” just like Sheila is spinning it.

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(Elizabeth Cady Stanton, The Woman’s Bible: A Feminist Perspective. Mineola: Dover, 2002. p.86.)

I suspect Sheila has become so bored that she is now stealing the arguments and ideas of better thinkers, hastily repackaging them for her dull-witted audience.

donkeySome time ago, I created a meme which compared Sheila with a donkey. Thanks to my brother Jason, my eyes have been opened to the unfairness of trading on such cheap imagery.

Donkey does her best, from day to day, to be the best donkey that she can be. Donkey doesn’t steal the work of others, to pass off as her own. Donkey doesn’t dye her fur unnatural colors, or shave her lovely mane. Donkey comes when she is called, and cheerfully cleans up her own messes. Donkey is not a skank-ho feminist. For all these reasons, I now humbly apologize to donkey, and beg her forgiveness, for comparing her with Sheila Gregoire.

caveat lector!

Police Claim 7-Year Old Boy Traded For Illegal Drugs

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The classy lady with the neck tattoo is Esmeralda Garza, age 29. Skank-ho Garza was arrested in Corpus Christi, TX, a week ago, for “sale or purchase of a child,” a felony.

In the early morning hours of 29 June, police served a search warrant at a filthy crack den. All the inhabitants of the flophouse were dragged outside and identified. When they came to the terrified child, officers asked him to identify his parents.

“None of these people are my parents,” he said. He then gave up skank-ho mommy’s address. She was found sleeping peacefully, as though nothing were amiss.

Investigators claim that Skank-ho Garza had traded the boy for illegal drugs, worth 2500.00 USD.

The Nueces County District Attorney’s Office released a statement, suggesting that “there is evidence Garza sold the child for the purpose of trafficking or to perform sexual activities…”

It is truly fortunate that the authorities found this boy. My guess is that after using him sexually, his captors would have fed him to the alligators.

Police say there are also two little girls, ages 2 and 3, that were in the process of being sold. Media reports suggest that all the children have different fathers.

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What can we learn from this pathetic tale? Quite a lot, actually.

Skank-ho Garza fucked three different men, all out of wedlock. She refused any of the 475 different types of contraceptives, all available free to whores like her. She willingly chose to carry all three babies to term. She bore all three children out of wedlock. She defrauded the social services agencies for years, taking every freebie offered to her by our generous society, playing the victim all the while. She was a community ho’, who fucked anyone, and bred with anyone. Then, when it suited her, she decided to sell off her little meal-tickets to degenerate perverts, in return for illegal narcotics. She was fine with the fact that her own kids would be raped and probably murdered.

No doubt she spent the past seven years loudly blaming men for her plight. I’m sure she had the unfortunate fathers of her kids harassed by child-support collectors, and she probably had one or more of them thrown in jail.

Certainly we can assess blame, and we should. Let’s do a bit of a thought experiment, and see if we can make some sense of all this.

Who is more responsible for a workplace accident? Is it the drunken co-worker, who drove the forklift into the ditch, or is it the fault of the guy on the loading dock?

The drunk has made all the choices. He chose to get drunk. He chose to drive recklessly. The drunk’s negligence has caused the accident. The dock-worker just happened to be nearby. Any sensible observer would find him blameless.

For some odd reason, in the sphere of reproduction, this simple ethical scenario is inverted. The woman who has made all the choices, from fucking random men out of wedlock, to bearing bastard children, is held harmless. It is all of us — law abiding, responsible citizens — who are punished, while she is rewarded with money and freebies at our expense. Eventually, a few of these filthy wimminz will get caught harming their children. Then we have to pay for the foster-care, the therapy, and feeding skank-ho mommy in the jailhouse too.

Single motherhood, and single mothers themselves, are truly the most destructive force to be unleashed on our civilization. They have already caused far more damage than Hitler and Stalin combined.

Remember boys: Say “no” to the ho’, and reject single mothers. They are nothing but trouble, and always up to no good.

An Essay on The Ontology of The Two

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When she was a little girl, DW dreamed about marrying a good earner, having a couple of kids, and being a wife and mother. Shortly after her twenty second birthday, she decided to open a Tinder account. Her chances at being taken seriously, by the men in the marriage market, went downhill immediately. Now in her early 30s, she is only useful to the brothers as a stop gap. The young men hit those holes to build confidence, all-the-while interviewing high-quality women, who are worthy of their commitment.

Being disciplined is a prerequisite for both men and women who seek after the family life, and a few years on the carousel is enough to convince prospective mates that you simply don’t have what it takes to meet the requirements of a spouse.

I talk about whatever interests me here, but the target audience of this blog is young men, ages 18-24. I generally try to give such men the advice that nobody ever gave me. One of the general truths I tell men is not to even consider marriage, until a few different conditions are met.

Before any man considers marriage, he ought to be totally committed to keeping his promises. This means educating oneself about all the relevant risks and responsibilities that he’s accepting, when he vows before his community, and signs on the dotted line. With the help of Caldwell’s Book of Common Prayer from 1789, we’ll take a quick gander at what a man is giving up, when he enters into this contract.

Wilt thou have this woman to thy wedded wife, to live together after God’s ordinance in the holy estate of matrimony? Wilt thou love her, comfort her, honor, and keep her in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, keep thee only to her, so long as ye both shall live?

The first thing a man agrees to, in a standard marriage, is having his wife live with him. It can be very difficult sharing space with someone. In the first place, you’ll have to afford to get a place to share. In the second, you’ll have to put up with her. She’ll chew loudly at dinner. She’ll want to watch television while you want to sleep. She’ll stink the bedroom up with farts. Living together is voluntarily giving up all the ideas of privacy and security you are probably used to. The first requirement of this agreement is easy to define, and thus we’re able to maximize the possibility of successful compliance, by looking at some factors which maximize a man’s income. The more money a man makes, the easier it will be for that man to afford to keep the “live together” part of his promise.

Men make more money at 26 than they do at 20.

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This makes intuitive sense. As a man becomes more established in one particular occupation, he gains mastery in his trade, and his earning potential goes up.

Men also make more money based upon their level of education.

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This is also intuitively accessible. A man with an advanced degree has proven that he is at least of average intelligence. He has also proven that he can complete fairly complicated tasks, and that he can work well with others. It may be that the high-school dropout can do such things equally well; but, an employer finds a college degree to be a quick marker for such things, and the dropout lacks that marker.

The second promise a man makes is to “love… comfort… and keep” his wife. That means that you have to provide her with food and clothing, and you have to do this with a cheerful and pleasant attitude. You also have to listen to her complain, and you have to pretend like you care about her opinion. Your grandfather made this look easy. It’s not. Women are often moody and unpredictable. To steal a line from Rollo, you have to be the rock against which your wife’s emotional waves crash.

The next promise you make is to refrain from fucking other women. In my experience, a great many married people — both men and women — are unable to comply completely. Failure aside, it is part of the agreement, and even if you occasionally slip, you ought to go through life zealously pursuing the ideal.

In this long constellation of promises a man makes, this is the one that gives me pause. I would probably do a passable job as a provider, and I can probably listen to a woman yak about how sad or angry she is; but, I know myself well enough to predict a likely outcome to the “forsaking all others” part of the deal. Women love to steal each other’s men, and whoever I married would likely have a hot friend. My attempt at married life would likely end with a seat in the docks of the divorce courts. It’s just better all around that I don’t jump into this institution.

So, in order to be a successful husband, a man has to make money, he has to be emotionally stable, and he has to be sexually disciplined. What’s in it for him?

A popular misconception is that marriage only benefits women. As near as I can tell, this was first popularized by Tom Leykis, who became famous telling young brothers that “marriage has no benefits for a man.” This is an untrue proposition. Marriage benefits a man, inasmuch as a man’s ego expands to include his children. Studies suggest that legitimate children raised in a traditional environment are less likely to suffer from legal problems, and more likely to enter adulthood as respectful and responsible citizens (Fomby and Cherlin). If you want to have children, then selecting a suitable wife to marry is your first priority.

Of course, when we talk about marriage, we are talking about a successful marriage. The great risk in marrying is dissolution. There are a number of factors in divorce; but it is often caused by financial problems, emotional instability, and sexual infidelity. (If these factors don’t sound familiar, start over from the beginning and review the marriage vows.) A man’s chances of a successful marriage increase dramatically, when he waits until his mid-20s to sign the contract.

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By 25, a man has gained financial resources, has learned to control his carnal urges, and has disciplined himself emotionally. Moreover, at 25, a man has a much larger pool of potential mates to choose from, than he had at 20. This is due to the fact that it is socially acceptable for a man to marry a younger woman. This has always been the case, and it will never change. There is another social convention to think of. If a man marries a woman much older than he is, he is seen as substandard, and rumors arise about granny fetishes.

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At age 20, a young man may theoretically select a wife between the ages of 18-80. Women below the age of 18 may theoretically be able to marry, with a parent’s permission, but it is doubtful that a marriage to a teenage girl will be a recipe for long-term happiness. Moreover, female fertility declines drastically in a woman’s late 20s.

A 20-year old man who wants children, and doesn’t want to be seen as a weirdo, will almost surely choose a wife between 18-21.

At age 25, the same man now has a choice pool of all the unmarried women between 18-26. This naturally means a dramatic increase in quantity, and it also entails an increase in quality. As the number of women available rises, you have more selective power, and thus a better chance to choose a superior woman to bear and raise your children.

I’ll conclude this article by reminding my young brothers that as a man gets older, life gets better all around. It can be rough at 19, being rejected by the hot girls you want. Most of us were there once, and we sympathize. The women who seem to take pleasure in humiliating you now will magically become interested in you, once you’re done with your law or business degree. By that time, they’ll have become like our skanky friend DW — banged out and used up.

You may not be able to afford a wife now, and that’s OK. In a few years, you’ll be in a much better position: financially, emotionally and psychologically. At that time, if marriage is your thing, you’ll meet a woman among the wimminz, and you’ll spend the rest of your life growing old with her. You’ll realize that despite the dejection of your youth, things worked out the way they should, because when you were 19, your wife was 16, and neither of you were yet ready for what lies ahead.

Happy Revolution Day!

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It’s American Independence Day. That means it’s time to get drunk, shoot your pistol into the air, and imagine a world free of feminism. As men we are allowed to have big dreams, and as men we are also obligated to deal with the world as it is.

While I await the fireworks, I decided to skim the lowbrow articles on the internet. Feminist pseudojournalist Caitlin Dewey delivers, as she has before…

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Apparently, a guy named Sebastian designed a bot to “like” all the filthy tinder sluts in his immediate area. He had 150 dates. The result was a whole lot of wasted time and money. A quick gander at the article suggests his mistaken application of the application, to wit…

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Anyone who has been lounging in this postal code for a while knows the score. There is very little in the way of “serious girlfriend” prospects on the swingers sites. The people you meet there are generally overweight, indebted, and sexually unscrupulous. Not the types of wimminz you want to count on in good times and bad.

Sebastian lives in the Gay Bay: San Francisco; and, while I don’t know what the market is like there, I’m confident that he’ll save both time and money looking for a unicorn in person. The only thing Tinder is good for is cheap, no-strings sex.

And if Sebastian did meet a Tinder wimminz he decided to settle down with, what would be a plausible result?

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A wimminz who has been on tinder, at least in the last couple of years, is most likely damaged goods. She has become accustomed to being run through by strangers, and the novelty she has found enjoyable will lead her to scuttle any chances of a serious long term commitment. I’m betting our bearded brother, seen above, originally met his slut wife on tinder. I also bet she put on a pretty convincing show to get that marriage certificate signed and filed. Once she had the upper hand, she began cucking him publicly.

Imagine being that guy, featuring prominently in the advertisement your wife places on the internet, as she looks for strange dick to ride.

Of course, some wimminz are slightly more subtle…

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Kyla has “never been on [tinder] before.” We all believe her. Those of you chaste fellas, who don’t use these sites, don’t understand the details of what’s actually going on here. Let your brother Boxer explain.

Tinder features GPS technology, to match you with sluts in your immediate area. Kyla here left her boyfriend in Ohio, and went to Las Vegas “with the girls.” Even if her boyfriend got on Tinder, he wouldn’t be likely to see her advertising for new dick, because his location is so far removed. The men in Las Vegas, however, get to see everything she posts. Kyla is thus free to be as big a slut as possible, with little fear of being found out.

If your girl admits to being on tinder, at least in the past couple of years, then you can be confident that I (and many others) have already fucked her. We all rejected her, and you should also.

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Happy Birthday, America!

Much Ado About Sheila

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Recently, I had the opportunity to go over to twitter and enjoy the insane ramblings of my old friend, Sheila Gregoire. If you haven’t met her, Sheila is an outspoken public figure and Christian priestess. Sheila’s latest tantrum is an annoying game of “let’s you and him fight,” which she started between her husband, Dr. Keith Gregoire, and a Christian priest named Steve Camp.

Sheila boasts of authoring a number of self-important books, including The Good Girl’s Guide To Great Sex, To Love Honor and Vacuum, and Thirty-One Days To Great Sex. The titles alone suggest someone with a deep resentment toward housework. This despite the fact that vacuuming is merely part of being a functional adult. The titles also suggest an inordinate interest in the carnal.

Not that there’s anything wrong with this. I like fucking too, and some of my best friends are pornographers.

Just for fun, I went over to Sheila’s porno blog. I wasn’t too surprised to find that much of the content, in these books that cost ~20 CAD, is available for free there. Moreover, a quick look at her work, thanks to Amazon’s preview and Sheila’s own output, suggests that she’s not really giving very good advice.

I was asked to leave Sheila’s blog many years ago, and I remain committed to respecting her wishes. Because I’m a good feminist, I decided to jump on the team, and review her most recent work, in an attempt to drive traffic to her site, and get her some new customers. Without further ado, let’s study the many truths inherent in her latest articles, the first dated 27 June, entitled When Porn is Stealing His Sex Drive.

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Now, I’m as much a marriage expert as Sheila, and unlike her, I don’t pretend to lecture on stuff I know nothing about. That aside, I can think of one reason a man finds his wife untouchable. Many wimminz become nagging bitches after the marriage license is granted. No man wants to touch that shit.

Despite being a major purveyor of both internet and paperback pornography, Sheila loudly moans about porn, describing it as a destroyer of marriages. What she means, of course, is that she finds porn for male audiences to be problematic. Sheila has made a career out of selling porn to the wives of these same men, but that is “O.K.”

In a subsequent article, dated 28 June, entitled Is Erectile Dysfunction Killing Your Husband’s Libido, our heroine continues.

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Sheila condemns husbands for not finding their nagging wives attractive enough to fuck. She thinks she’s solving this problem, not by making wimminz more attractive, but by making them less so. She’s setting an example of a skank who complains about cleaning up after her own messes, and one who plays “let’s you and him fight” on social media. Being married to such a creature doesn’t sound particularly enticing.

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What have we learned, brothers? I guess we could speculate, based upon her endless complaining, that Sheila’s husband may (or may not) need porn and Viagra to get it up for her. Sheila contends that this is a widespread problem with men, when it’s actually a problem with women. The dick is simply not required to stiffen for a stingy, childish, troublemaking wimminz, and there is no fooling the dick. The dick always knows a good woman.

It is unreasonable to expect any healthy man to get hard for a brick wall, or a farm animal, or a little kid, or a huge fat guy’s smelly anus. It is just as unreasonable for a normal man to get hard for a creature like this. Moreover, it’s not just that she is objectively less attractive than donkey, above. Sheila could make herself more enticing to her husband by shutting down her filthy blog, apologizing to her family, and cleaning up after herself without endlessly whining about it.

Gentlemen, if you find yourself unable to perform, look at the woman involved. Your dick is trying to tell you something, and you ought to listen carefully.

 

Education: Part 4

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At the beginning of your senior year at university, you will begin being hounded by graduate and professional schools. There are a number of different options for the prospective student, and we’ll go through them now.

  1. The Ph.D., M.A., M.S., M.F.A. degrees are academic degrees. In theory, the Ph.D. will take you five years, while the M.A. and M.S. will take you two. At the end of the typical program, you write a book-length publication called either a thesis or a dissertation. Successful completion qualifies you to speak, teach, and write on your own authority. A popular misconception is that you have to get an M.A. or M.S. before you get a Ph.D.. Once you have a B.A./B.S., you typically apply for one or the other program; though about halfway through your Ph.D., you may be awarded an M.Phil., which qualifies you to teach and write. Are you confused yet? Me too.
  2. The J.D. is the degree that allows you to take the examination given by the local bar association. Passing this examination qualifies you to practice law in your state or province. This degree typically takes three years to complete.
  3. The M.D., D.O., D.D.S., which is the degree which qualifies you to enter a medical or dental residency. A residency is sort of like an apprenticeship. Successful completion allows you to open up a practice and see patients. This degree typically takes three to four years, and the subsequent residency takes two to four more.
  4. The M.B.A. is a general business/finance degree. Some programs have specialized concentrations. Given that so many people come back to school in middle age to obtain these degrees, there is a wide variety of options available. These take 18 months to three years to obtain, with most students finishing two years after beginning.

There are various examinations which are given, in order to assess your abilities as a post-graduate student. One of the most common is the GRE. Even if you take the LSAT or the MCAT, a good GRE score is worthwhile, and you should consider taking the GRE in your senior year even if you aren’t sure you want to go ahead to more school. Both the GRE and the LSAT are quite expensive to sit, and your school’s admissions officer can help you get both waived or reduced. I know this, because I decided to be the typical stingy Mormon and get my fees waived. If I recall correctly, my school paid them both.

Should you go to graduate school? That depends on a lot of factors that I can’t properly assess. In my case, I went because my father’s side of the family places a very high importance on education. I reacquainted myself with my father while I was at university, and while he never pressured me, I knew this was a tradition and I felt obligated to at least investigate a law degree. Even so, I hated the idea of being a solicitor. It seemed (and still seems) like a high-stress life, where I’d be surrounded by unethical people.

One of the reasons I got an academic degree, rather than a JD, was due to the funding I was offered in my academic program. The reason I got such funding was my GRE score. I got a much less impressive LSAT score (I believe it was 155) which didn’t qualify me for anything. If Sigmund Freud were here, he’d tell you that I subconsciously threw the LSAT. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but anything is possible.

One thing people told me, when I was starting out, was that I would make a lot more money with a J.D. or M.B.A. than I would with an academic degree. I knew this was true, and for me it wasn’t much of a factor. A life of reading and writing about interesting stuff was worth the pay cut. One benefit of a graduate degree was an opportunity to continue learning, simply for its own sake. Once I was awarded a graduate degree, I started teaching. Once I started teaching, I was able to easily slip into other programs, and keep taking graduate coursework, and I ended up with a couple of other graduate degrees.

Upon arriving at graduate school, I was shocked by the workload. A graduate degree is very demanding, and you’ll never appreciate this without diving in and doing it. For this reason, I’d encourage any young man to put off marriage until he is out of graduate school. There was a joke circulating at my program, aimed at incoming married students. The punch line was, “you won’t be married when you’re done…” It’s simultaneously cruel, funny, and true. It is very difficult to keep a woman happy when you’re working 16 hours per day on your book.

Of the people who entered graduate school with me, over half failed to finish. Of this population of washouts, about half left because they got good job offers, and decided not to finish. The other half failed a class, failed the comprehensive exam, or just weren’t sufficiently motivated to finish and defend their work.

A common assumption is that such people aren’t intelligent enough to complete the program; but, I believe that a larger factor in washing out was inadequate commitment. A lot of people go to graduate school simply because they feel insecure about finding a job, and getting out into the world of work. They go off to a new school and find that they’re met with a huge pile of work, which doesn’t pay well, and courses to take on top of that. Suddenly, a straight job doesn’t seem so bad. If you are considering graduate school, be honest with yourself about your motivations. Completion is not really possible without the underlying drive to get it done.