Authoritarians. Misogynists. Exploiters. Rapists. Thugs. Traffickers, tyrants, and totalitarians. Perverts, pigs, and scumbags. Mobsters, brutes, and hooligans.
Patriots. Liberators. Protectors. Lovers. Apostles, advocates, and artists. Founders, fathers, and freers. Pathfinders, providers, and poets. Heroes, champions, and knights.
We’ve been a mixed bag, haven’t we? One thing we have not been, as evidenced by humanity's presence here today, is gone. Yet, increasingly, that is what men are becoming in America. I’ll explain….and I’m warning you, this is both very unpleasant and something getting no attention in the media.
Private and public time use surveys, including those gathered by the US Bureau of Labor, mutually confirm that in 2016 the number of prime-aged (25-54), non-institutionalized (not in college, the military, prison, or a healthcare facility), unemployed American men not seeking work was 7 million. In 2022 the number topped 10 million. That is equal to 143 Lucas Oil Stadiums full of men.
I’ve been studying this for a while, and that number still terrifies me. Even more terrifying is the steep hill the statistical line is climbing this very moment.
Our hearts have learned to extravagantly bleed for so many causes that we have forgotten the cause common to all humanity: survival. Since the day humans first rose up from between the Tigris and Euphrates….or the African Savanna…or from some primordial soup…whatever your ideas on our origins, since we arrived, not a day has passed that men and women were able to ignore their common quest for survival and their roles within this pursuit. The past several decades in America are among the only sustained periods when humans were allowed the luxuries of abundance and indolence with, seemingly, no impending societal collapse resulting. All of history’s other great empires (Romans, Greeks, Persians, Assyrians, Athenians, Babylonians, Mayans, Egyptians) fell apart fairly soon after they began floating in pools of their own debauchery and decadence. We are, of course, not out of the woods.
So, what are these 10 million prime-aged men doing? Surely they are volunteering? Or raising children? Or creating something? Traveling? The surveys provide a glimpse into this as well.
They’re having screen time. Like a bunch of bored children.
Almost 100% report to spending somewhere around 2,000 hours a year on screens. That’s equivalent to a 40-hour week. What they are watching is unknown, but, video games, youtube, social media, and pornography are probably good guesses. More troubling, almost 50% of them admit to “medicating” daily. Nicholas Eberstadt, author of “Men Without Work” and an economist at the American Enterprise Institute, describes them as:
“...not just playing Call of Duty, but playing Call of Duty stoned."
(I highly recommend Eberstadt’s work on this subject.)
How are they making a living? How do they afford housing? They don’t. Most of them report to living off of those who own or rent their living arrangements, applying for government benefits, or both. Many of them have learned to “game” the government with its myriad bureaus of “benevolence.”
Alexander Tytler, a Scottish historian around the turn of the 19th century, said,
“A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse over a loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by Dictatorship.”
I believe for a better future for our republic, but I’m afraid the unfortunate demographic of able-bodied, purposeless males in our country has necessarily been enabled by “generous gifts from the public treasury.” God, give “the majority” wisdom and foresight to deny themselves the enslaving assistance of public programs.
Why do I say we are in danger of men being “gone”? Those 10 million are, technically, still here. Well, if all of the fish in the world decided to jump in streams, convene in the center of the ocean in one giant school, then swim through a deep dark hole into the center of the earth and never return….would the earth still have fish? Yes, but no. It would be an ecological disaster with seen and unseen, irreversible consequences.
Say what you will about men with their collection of beneficial and damaging contributions to history, but, like women, they are necessary. Men and women—biologically, emotionally, sexually, spiritually—complete a self-evident cycle of existence. Remember, in this sliver of time when medicine has made all things seem achievable through advancement and overreach; when artificial intelligence veils its threats behind possibility and productivity…remember, humans are natural, native members of the earth’s ecosystem. We cannot be replaced. Our preservation and health is essential to the health of the soil, the environment, nature, creation.
That men are becoming, for all practical purposes, extinct, is not a shame. It is an abomination and a threat to you and our children.
This is not a call for justice, rights, awareness, equity, or equality. It is a call to action on behalf of every person alive and who will live on this planet.
I do not know what to offer the 10 million men on their couches and in their beds. I wish I did. As a man, I am willing to offer this: Your words are powerful. Use them to encourage the men in your life. If you have a husband, a boyfriend, friends, sons, grandsons, nephews, or someone who looks to you for counsel, encourage them in such a way that this issue is confronted head on. Emphasize their value to you and what you see in them. If you are a praying person, pray for them. Do not assume they are above the lure and hooks of discouragement, victimhood, addiction, perversion, slothfulness. Teach and model work for our young men. Tell them why it is important. Start these within the walls of your home and work outwardly.
There are wicked systems in place—social, technological, governmental—designed, knowingly and unknowingly, to emasculate our boys, cripple our adolescents, crush our men. We may survive wars, environmental disasters, and all manners of evil. We will not survive a world without men.
WonderTree Farm | Founder
Indianapolis Colts | Punter ('99-'08)