“Because We Say So” The Case for Cultural Authority

 Parents of bright children learn the futility of argument over ill-advised desires of their offspring. A daughter of fourteen who wants to go to what predictably will be a drunken fraternity party will argue that they are really nice boys and daddy, you are prejudging, It isn’t fair,  you don’t even know them and she will come home early and….The correct answer,  promoting her wellbeing, is “No. You are not going to a frat party. Why? Because I said so. We have finished talking about it” 

 While anything can be argued, certain things are known to provide better outcomes than others. This is as true of societies as of raising children. The answer equally should be “Because we said so.”  A healthy society enjoys a dominant culture that sets limits on behavior, especially regarding sexual expression, manners, crime, and societal obligation—and enforces them. By what authority? “Because we say so.” Everyone then knows the rules and plays by them. 

Imposed authority—because we said so—is essential.  It can be remarkably hard to argue against, say, pedophilia. Children are sexual beings. They play doctor, don’t they? I’ll show you mine if you show me yours. The only reason being fondled by a caring adult upsets a girl of six is the inculcation of out-moded Victorian, etc.  Or: Why should I not ride a city bus stark naked? We have all seen naked people. What is the problem? It is a form of political expression against prudish norms…. 

The correct response to pedophilia is not legal theorizing but: Twenty years, no parole. We all know viscerally that sexual relations between adults and little girls are wrong. We know that public nudity would be unpleasant for most people. So it doesn’t happen. 

“Because we say so.” 

Healthy societies enforce many such prohibitions. For example, when I was a stripling many moons ago, foul language was not tolerated in mixed company. Period. There was no argument. It certainly wasn’t allowed on television. In high school boys never said, “Fuck” or “shit” around girls. There was no prissiness in this. The girls knew the words and body parts as well as the boys and used the Anglo-Saxon terms among themselves. But such speech was regarded as being like picking one’s nose or farting loudly. They were not done, or tolerated, in mixed company. 

Saying “Fucking this” and “fucking that” and “Sally’s fucking Bobby” can be defended on First Amendment grounds. It is, after all, speech. The correct response should be, and for many decades was, “No. Because we said so.” And, remember, the First Amendment was intended to protect political speech, not vulgarity.) 

Over the centuries, sexual curiosities, once called perversions, have characterized decaying cultures. The Weimar Republic comes to mind. Read Juvenal’s Satires on ancient Rome. There is something ridiculous and, often, revolting about men in lipstick swiveling and lisping, or priests regarding the private parts of little boys as popsicles, or people of one sex pretending to be of the other, or hobbyist S&M groups piercing the body parts of others with hypodermic needles, or wife swapping. 

 All of these have been around forever and so can be regarded as “natural.” (So can hemorrhagic tuberculosis. Is this a recommendation?) A healthy culture may regard the libidinal curiosities practiced behind closed doors as nobody’s business if not involving children, behind closed doors is where they belong. Because we say so. 

Because we say so. 

There is such a thing as the tone of a society. It matters. Violeta watches international series on TV, chiefly from Korea, Japan, and China (though, she says, the last have been pulled from YouTube now that China is a designated enemy). These, she says, deal without scatology or lubricity with people who find moral solutions to life’s problems. In the America series every third word is “fuck,” and the series deal heavily with homosexual and “trans” matters, often treated as comedy. Widely ventilated on the ever-present screen, this gives society the tone of a costume party in Caligula’s basement. 

All of this can be defended. Why not show explicit copulation on television? It’s natch-ur-al. Everybody knows about it. Most have done it. Our parents certainly did. Why should children not learn about this central activity of existence? Why the unnatural repression? Why not show people on the toilet? Think of the comic value. It’s artistic freedom. Why not? 

Because we say so. Except we don’t. 

In my pre-Cambrian youth, having on-line porn, available to children of nine, of a tied-up young woman being whipped bloody or screwed by a German shepherd would not have been tolerated. Today it is allowed because the Supreme Court mistakenly thinks it is expression protected by the Constitution. (The Constitution says “speech,” not “expression.”) 

Degraded culture drives out healthy. Part of the culture of my youth were respect for girls and teachers, reasonably grammatical English, avoiding violence, obedience to the law (though not always involving obsessive regard for liquor laws or speed limits) and matters of dress. For example, boys didn’t wear their pants halfway down their butts. There was no rule against butt-hangers. None was necessary. If it wasn’t in the culture, it didn’t happen. 

 Because we said so. 

Civilized behavior must be defended without discussion, since, after all, any of it can be questioned. If one group are allowed such lyrical expression as, “Dat muhfuh be dumbshit,” it becomes impossible to require English of anyone.  Teachers cannot protect themselves against the muscularly animalic. In a healthy culture they don’t have to. 

In particular, a culture that won’t defend itself will not last. The dominant culture needs to enforce its rules on others impinging on it. In the US, many of these are close enough in civilizational values as to cause only minor friction. Many of the Asian cultures, for example, and Latinos. But when incoming Afghans want to beat, grope, and rape women, they need to be slapped down, hard, or shipped back where they came from. When Moslems engage in female genital mutilation, the answer is twenty yers, no parole. Because we say so. You are not going to do that to women in our country. Get used to it. Or get out. 

Because we say so. 

Now, every aspect of American culture as it was can be attacked as a restriction on freedom. But that is why culture exists. What have we created by eviscerating the authority of the culture? Miserable young without aim or purpose. A nation awash in drugs to alleviate the malaise. Hundreds of thousands dying of overdose. High indices of suicide. Growing semiliteracy among whites. Unwillingness to control a degree of crime unheard of in the advanced countries. Profound disunity. 


Add mass shootings, metal detectors and police in schools, active-shooter drills, sharply declining academic standards, hundreds of thousands of opioid deaths, ambushes of policemen, massive nation-wide riots, high illegitimacy, fascination with sexual confusion among the young, rapidly tightening censorship, and what appears to be widespread misery. 

 None of this happened in, say, 1960, when a healthy culture could say, “No. Because we say so. Deal with it.” 

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Comments 24

  • Well said Fred. My right to free expression at the age of nine or ten was countered by a hearty slap upside the head. A bit abrupt perhaps but I was able to deduce what is acceptable and what is not. I have thought for some time that we are in the hands in morons and a-holes. That perception is reinforced every day.
    Your output lately has been steady and strong. Be encouraged that you have at least one loyal reader. Cheers.

  • When I was growing up, this was called “Western Civilization,” with the emphasis on being civilized.
    [I’m as old as you are and served in the same place you did, btw.)

  • Great! Futile but great! Thanks!

  • Yes, the England I grew up was as you describe America ,before the mid 1960’s when I remember all this “diversity, freedom to offend and giggle as you did” on TV etc. “Because I say so” was one of my Fathers’ flat expressions for why I either must or could not do something. Along with, even, his awareness of rebellious teenage expressions. He had spent 6 yrs in the RAF in WWII and knew all about “silent insubordination”. And I got in trouble for that too – “because I say so”. The thing is, every other adult also lived by that ruling for good behaviour thus emphasising it’s value among we kids. What I see now is beyond sick and disgusting. A family member, a teacher, has refused to teach in ANY secondary school again, in Canada, for, as she says – “They have no respect for anything or anyone, including themselves”. What fast total degeneration into the pit the past 50 yrs have been. Like a runaway train on unobstructed tracks, it doesnt take long to reach terminal velocity and crash into fragments, which is where the entire Western English speaking world is headed.

  • Watching Perry Mason each night, I’m fascinated by the scenes capturing a bygone era of manners and style. In that late 1950s to early 1960s era, most people dressed well. It wasn’t just Hollywood, .. the people in my neighborhood, in the late 1950s and early 1960s, would always dress up whenever they went outside of the door. Through that attention to detail, they showed they cared about how they were perceived, and they showed they were attentive to their surroundings. Those attributes are the basis of all manners. But, as the 1960s rolled on, young people revolted against this, ridiculing it as “prudish.”

    School’s prime purpose then was to reform children’s thoughts from their natural tendency towards jumbled thinking (fleeting images and feelings), towards disciplined and productive thinking. Today, it’s rare to see an adult not stuck in childish mind drift.

    That’s why it’s relaxing watching an old Perry Mason episode, .. you see classic styles and manners that never age.

  • “Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs.”

    — Charles Napier, to Hindu priests complaining to him about British India’s prohibition of Suttee (religious funeral practice of burning widows alive on her husband’s funeral pyre).

  • For the past several years I’ve regarded “Because I said so” or “Just because” as phrases that don’t cut it; I need more than that. But in the context of this column, it makes all the sense in the world to me.

  • I nominate Fred “For President” to run as a candidate from the “Common Sense Party” with solid American justice for all!

  • Hmm; twenty years for female genital mutilation; OK, but how many years for male genital mutilation?

    • For the doctors who cut the schmeckles off young boys and drug them after perverts have convinced them they’re girls?
      Give them the same. Sans anesthesia.

  • My family came over to the colonies from England and Northern Ireland in the 1600s. So I guess I am as American as they come. Having said that, I am considering moving to a more civilized place if I can afford it. I’m tired of watching the depressing news of thugs rioting in American inner cities. I’m tired of reading about drag queens and two year olds wanting to change their gender. I’m tired of seeing the truth and have been watching old Jack Benny programs. Back when America was sane and so was Rochester.

  • Who’s behind the decline–the Protocols of Zion might provide some insightful information.

  • I’m not a Sinophile but spent considerable time in China. I admire their culture but not usually their Government. Their culture remains old fashioned and conservative. It’s the safest place I’ve ever been. Even at night, women walk around without fear. Because of the culture. The cops don’t carry guns because they rarely need them. I think they will surpass the USA someday soon because America’s current culture is insane and decadent while the Chinese have retained their sanity and traditions. Countries are running away from the US at present because really, who wants to have relations with madmen?

    • Ted, Unfortunately, most of the violence we see in the USA today is part of the propaganda of the communist movement to overthrow the Western world as spelled out in Karl Marx’s “Communist Manifesto” and its Ten Steps to Communism, among them being: gun control, national police force (HSA/TSA), 100% inheritance tax, destroy religion since the government is god, government schools of miss-education, international police force(UN), bankster banking, etc., etc. The Puppeteers billionaire cronies miss-directing the USA need to be exposed and put in prison!

    • Good points, Gary and Ted. I too felt safe in large cities, at all hours, as well as villages. The culture was the best part of China. The young in China show a deep respect for the elderly. I especially noticed this wherever we went with my in laws. Young and middle-aged women (strangers) would rush up to them, take them by the arm, then walk along with them, while engage in pleasant talks. China does revers its old culture, .. it wasn’t stamped out as the “four olds” in their brutal cultural revolution. The Chinese government officials who accompanied my family, carefully steered us to only cultural sites that reinforced the idea of developing an advanced culture. That’s likely why they will someday dominate the world. Our culture is a race to the bottom, not interested in advancement. The people who lived in villages were quite uneducated, but they were also quite bright, engaging in interesting conversations. After a few weeks of this, you begin to realized the enormous poverty of thought in America. It’s a poverty that is crushingly deep. I would never live in China, though. You really do feel oppressed by being just one in a 1.4 billion swarm.

  • America exports their culture in every movie produced. If the film does not have firearms, explosions, vehicle action or sex and swearing it cannot express itself, whereas most movies produced in the UK wind up showing a depressing, wet and squalid landscape with similar violence and base language.
    Is it any wonder that Australia is caught between and reflective of these two.

  • Futile in that it’s unintelligible gibberish to a Modern Audience. To English speakers, however, it’s as eloquent as it is accurate. Well done, Fred. Again.

  • I think the glaring omission in what has been said, except for a few, is that unfortunately we’ve bred an inner city mob that is uneducated, violent and basically a thug culture – but bec that culture has been nurtured and can exist on its own (the dominant culture is culpable for creating and sustaining it by commercializing everything) it is flourishing while the weak kneed dominant culture backs off partly out of guilt but more bec it’s lost any spine along these lines ‘because I say so’. Rap which is IMHO African war music directed against the white mainstream is now accepted as a viable form of expression. The whole state of things reminds me of the vacant eyed fool sitting on a tree branch that he is sawing at and smiling with a grin from ear to ear. Guess what’s going to happen to him. In the banana republics the left does this until a strong arm leader takes over – usually a military man and liberal democracy ends. Tragic esp when you consider the achievements the country made in the American century: Einstein, Marconi, Edison, Wright Bros and the thousands of weekend putterers who registered thousands of patents. Obviously the origins of most of these people were European, not African.

  • Fred, been reading you for several years. This is definitely one of your best. Though probably way too late. Closing the barn door after the horse escapes and all that.

    Also, a question. Why do you think everyone still says “Joe Biden did this”, and “Joe Biden is going to do that”. The entire world knows he is not making any decisions. And who is? And who really has their finger on the Red Button. It could matter.

  • “Because I said so” rules breed rebellion against the rules, and I have known few teenagers more rebellious and disrespectful of societal rules and mores than you were! (spoken in love) While you are right that society has lost its way and its backbone, the only real solution is an individual change of heart, which requires God! Love you, Brother!

  • The Harlem Renaissance of the first half of the 20th century reminds that things were not always as they are today. The Democrats had DOMINATED the southern states comprising the Confederacy for thirteen decades, from the 1830s through 1965.

    The migration of hundreds of thousands of blacks northward to work in war industries was channeled by Northern Whites into inner cities, where property values were already declining from the aging buildings. But blacks were seeking education, helping each other improve, and become productive. The so-called “Harlem Renaissance” was actually a phenomenon in a number of northern inner cities.

    Doctors, lawyers, teachers, professors, and skilled tradesmen grew to form a functioning middle class in many northern black ghettos, and those communities became self-sustaining and productive. Illegitimacy rates were in single digits, and most families had mother and father living together with the children of a marriage. Blacks became entrepreneurs and capitalists, starting businesses that served the larger community outside the Ghetto, formed banks extending loans to black businesses. Hundreds of Churches and schools and colleges were founded, to educate, train, and steer blacks toward productivity and solid morality.

    Of course, there was criminal activity, just as in communities everywhere. (I’m not ignoring the race riots that occurred; just saying they were aberrations, not the norm.)

    Everything changed in the 1950s with the end of enforced segregation.

    Most Black professionals — doctors, attorneys, professors, architects, contractors, business owners, teachers, et cetera — elected to relocate out of the inner city ghettos to the rapidly-expanding suburbs. They met plenty of resistance, scorn, and attempts to steer them away from lily-white neighborhoods. But it seems that the South managed to accommodate integration much sooner.

    Meanwhile, the Democrat Party that had voted as a bloc against the 1965 Voting Rights Act AND the Civil Rights Act — the party of two southern governors who literally stood in the doorways of their states’ universities to block the registration of the first black students admitted — Changed its STRIPES and suddenly became the CHAMPION of the new WELFARE legislation.

    They could see the future. There’s a tsunami of GOLD rolling past the treasury to the Welfare Bureaucracy, and they wanted to be close enough to dip their ladles.

    As the majority party, they ended up controlling much of the detail, setting hiring policies, installing patrons through every level, and essentially designing the Behemoth Bureaucracy that for four generations has incentivized out-of-wedlock childbirth, and massive abortion in the inner city. Now they are the Chiefest sponsor of illegal migration. Between abortion and the flood of hispanic migrants, the black percentage of U.S. population is SHRINKING; losing power and influence, except by sheer violence. But much of the violence is coming now from non-black Stalinists, Maoists, and anarchist monsters.

    “What are you saying, sir?”

    Sayin’ that the Democrat Party, which has controlled most of the U.S. Congresses and many of the presidents, has been hijacked by monsters, demons, degenerates, deviates, pickpockets, con artists, shysters, child molesters and Hair-Sniffers.
    Probably true of the Republicans, too. $]-[¡†.

  • Thanks again, Fred. Sadly, I think we may be too far down the slope, but one can always hope, or pray. And keep one’s powder dry.

  • “Because I say so” is precisely the philosophy of totalitarians and is precisely the reason standards have broken down. Fred completely misses the point. The collapse of standards is almost entirely been promoted by government as the parasites go marching through the institutions to demoralize and impoverish their victims, thus making them easier to tax and rule.

    What the world needs – and has lost – is liberty and property rights, taken by the morons who think just like Fred as they force all this tyrannical nonsense on us “because they say so”. Fred admires power-lusting parasites and their gunslingers and he thinks their victims need more discipline. Inverted morality, Fred.

    Authority = Parasites

  • Spot on again Fred .
    I been a sole proprietor for 31 years now . I’ve worked for thousands of people at their homes . Though I’ve shifted from over drive to drive , I worked for 211 different home owners last year . A great stupid saying is this ” don’t talk politics or religion on a job ” . That’s precisely what 98 percent of people want to talk about .because they are so frustrated with how far the silver pony tailed socialist have eroded our nation . If their delusional thinking is different than my reasoning and logic , which is Christianity and liberty , then I do not work for them , these ones are the same democrat / socialist/ atheists that don’t pay and never tip at restaurants any ways . It’s my deuch bag barometer , and works flawlessly . The silent majority is the vast majority in this country and they are the creative productive positive motivated honest thankful moral working family and Jesus centered populace that actually keep this whole thing working .liberalism is truly a mental illness and a terribly failed theory , through out the world . It’s against all logic , tradition and historical fact and truth and all that works and is good . . It not only doesn’t work, it’s failed miserably every where it’s ever been implemented .at the cost of millions of lives and suffering . It’s Hells theory . Liberalism is not a difference of opinion , it’s a death wish and a really sad and empty life wish for yourself and your family and your nation . Fred you’re in good company friend believe that . The squeaky wheel gets the grease , but eventually the bad spindle bearing race and hub just need to be cut completely off . Dozens of my colleagues , just like me avoid the customers homes when arriving for the estimate , when they see the stupid socialist signs like blm and rainbow and all the other lost soul militant anti ” all that’s good ” lawn garbage , and simply pull away from these, western culture hating homes and never even bid the work . Libtards have no idea how unpopular they are among their neighbors , and I live in new York state !
    Preach it brother . You’re welcome at my table any time .

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