A wakeup call to American parents; Tiger Moms and the coastal overclass

Amy Chua has caused a scandal with her “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” book, and many media appearances. Her book is about how she raised her two daughters to be extreme high achievers, and flies in the face of what Charles Murray calls “squishy postmodern parents.” She is a Yale law professor, married to an Orthodox Jew. Here are some of the articles about “Tiger Mom.” Here are some links about Chua’s book:

http://www.chicagoparent.com/magazines/web-only/2011-january/tiger-mom

http://wikipediasearching.blogspot.com/2011/01/tiger-mom-book-sparks-debate-on-chinese.html

http://washingtonexaminer.com/entertainment/music/2011/01/tiger-moms-memoir-meets-ferocious-roar

Here’s an especially good Charles Murray piece on Tiger Mom.

Back in the 1990’s I was a Russian linguist in the US Army Reserves, and every year we had a SAEDA briefing. SAEDA is:

Counterintelligence & Security Office
SAEDA Online Training
Subversion and Espionage Directed Against the Army

This course meets the annual training requirement specified in AR 381-12. Topics include; reportable incidents, identifying exploitable weaknesses, indicators of espionage behavior, reporting of SAEDA incidents, and penalties for those involved in espionage activities. v1.6

At the time, I was going to drill at Fort Devens and living in Arlington, Massachusetts, in a boarding house with a couch potato son of a Polaroid executive, a male Chinese PhD candidate in physics at Harvard, and the (Chinese) Chair of the Artificial Intelligence department at MIT, and his Chinese wife who was applying to business school.

The Chinese were very good natured, and expressed bafflement at how the US was giving away it’s technological base to the Chinese and Indians. The couch potato would be watching endless hours of television, and the Chinese would say, “why do you watch fiction?” They would tell me that all the grad student positions were occupied by Chinese and Indians, and a few Russians. It really bothered them that there were no Americans (meaning White Americans) in the graduate departments of the sciences and math at MIT and Harvard. They sensed something rotten in Denmark — the very same things that White ethnic advocates sense, but from a wholly different perspective. These Chinese had no ill will toward us Americans (White Americans); it bothered them to see us being taken down so handily, and expressed this to me quite bluntly.

They said this to me when they saw me suiting up for weekend drill at Fort Devens, and it just so happened that I had a SAEDA briefing. At the SAEDA briefing, the counterintelligence officer said if any of us knew of a security threat to the United States, we should tell him. I raised my hand and repeated what my Chinese housemates told me. The counterintelligence officer didn’t have a good answer for me at the time; the next year he was sort of prepared. He said something along the lines of:

Our government has decided that the benefit of Chinese scientists outweighs the security risk.

I replied to the very uncomfortable Defense-ocrat:

So we can’t find enough American scientists any more? Are we all a bunch of dummies that need to outsource our most sensitive technologies and secrets to a foreign and hostile communist government?

The counterintelligence officer refused to continue the conversation, and my fellow soldiers and chain of command derided my “paranoia” about the “yellow peril.” I had a conversation with one sergeant who said that “maybe we can all afford to just slack and go to Disneyland now that we are the rulers of the world.”

I also took my daughter to a private Waldorf school in Lexington, MA outside of Boston and saw the Asian and Jewish “high investment parents” and just shook my head — us “Middle Americans” don’t have a chance with our TV upbringings. The Waldorf teachers and parents regarded the television with the same horror and disgust as second hand tobacco smoke. They were a bunch of overweening, neurotic freaks, but their kids are given every possible leg up over Middle American White kids.

None of the commentary mentions that middle class and upper class Russians do the same thing. This is where I first saw high investment parenting in action. When Amy Chua said she forced her daughter to practice violin for 3 hours a day, if she was doing this to the kid before she was 9 years old it was counterproductive. The Russian approach to teaching violin is to start them at 5, but for the first 2 or 3 years the children aren’t allowed to play the violin without the teacher present. The child has 5 lessons a week, 1/2 hour in duration, and the Russian violin teacher (always a woman at the beginner level) will mold the child to have perfect Galamanian violin biomechanics.

The Asians still regard the Russians as the great violin masters. The Russians also produce great mathematicians, scientists, soldiers, chess players, politicians, and fighters. They have historically forced their children to do intense study. When the Jews started immigrating to the US in the early 20th century, they had this “Russian advantage,” just as the Chinese do now. And its no surprise that Chinese and Jews are intermarrying, such as Chua and her Orthodox Jewish husband did.

Just as Hunter Wallace over at Occidental Dissent had his epiphany about the need to mainstream our message, I had the realization that the most important White ethnic activism is high investment parenting.

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9 Responses to A wakeup call to American parents; Tiger Moms and the coastal overclass

  1. Jacob C. says:

    Thanks for writing this. A few days ago I read an articleabout this woman and her children on NY Times Online. The first thing I thought about was this blog!

    I don’t think that White parents need to take it as far as Amy Chua did, but some balance is needed. My parents were probably more strict than average but not strict enough. Life is not all fun and games, and the evidence will be right in front of us soon if we do not recognize that fact and take measures.

  2. mindweapon says:

    I was taking violin lessons from a Moscow Conservatory teacher back in 1995, and she had sort of fallen in love with me, but she was 21 years older than me and had two kids almost my age. She was a very attractive 46, and I didn’t realize that she was into me until after I went home. A one hour lesson would stretch to 2 or 3 hours, and I was learning so much so fast. I needed 5 years with her to have become a real violinist. It is one of the great regrets of my life that I didn’t get to do that.

    I almost got a chance to stay there, by getting hired to work at a greenhouse adjunct to some Moscow Agricultural University. It would have paid 20 a month and I would have supplemented my income by teaching English. But they said they couldn’t hire non-Russians, and I said that even though this was a great misfortune to me, I believe in and agree with economic nationalism. But it was the one thing that would have gotten me a visa to stay in Russia indefinitely. I would have worked my tail off on their darn greenhouses!

  3. Lew says:

    You’re right about the Russians; there was a Russian student in my freshman-year calculus class. He said we were doing what would be regarded as high school-level work in Russia. While I really struggled, he didn’t crack the book one time and got the highest A in the class.

  4. mindweapon says:

    Lew,

    When I went to college and saw how well the Russians, Europeans, and private school kids were prepared, way beyond American public school kids, I began to sense something had gone terribly wrong with this country.

    It all goes back to American parents letting that stupid TV go on, first thing in the morning, all day, and switching it off is the last thing before bed.

    And it’s the anti-intellectual climate that mass media has created, purposefully I believe, in the American mind. If the parents are anti-intellectual sports fans and movie fans, or heaven forbid, videogamers, they aren’t going to pass on mindweaponism to their kids.

    Mindweaponism, if practiced more widely, will create a new elite in one generation.

  5. D says:

    Well, I guess this works to some extent. I’m a chinese Singaporean and when I was a kid I had ballet, swimming and piano classes. And one-to-one tuition with my mother once I started primary school. She did have similar methods as Amy Chua except that I didn’t have stuff toys to be burnt, and I got whacked with a rattan cane for every careless mistake in examinations and every time I “misbehaved”.
    What worked: I had a very solid mathematics and science foundation that served me well.
    What didn’t: I quit every single stupid class, including piano, before the age of 12, was a social recluse in primary school, and had childhood depression.

    Oh and btw, pre-nursery enrichment classes for tots are very, very popular here. There are even prenatal classes to give fetuses a “headstart in life”. BS

  6. mindweapon says:

    Hello D.

    Thank you for your comment. Here’s how millions of middle American raise their kid.

    1. Have kid.

    2. Put kid in front of television and feed him or her Doritos and some kind of cheap high frucotose corn syrup “juice drink” with 10% real fruit juices! Or if it’s breakfast, a sugary cereal.

    3. If child gets bored of TV, change channel or give him videogames.

    4. Wonder why child always has “tummy aches” and later on, wonder why child is obese like his parents. Accept it.

    5. Sigh in resignation when kid becomes druggie and juvenile delinquent.

    6. Kid gets drivers license, drives like he learned from the video game Grand Theft Auto until he crashes car, dies. Go to funeral. Don’t blame ones own parenting, or even think about it. (I saw a 19 year old die in real time racing his Volkswagen Cabriolet, losing control, and hitting a tree and dying from massive head trauma and a broken neck).

    I think there’s a happy medium between Amy Chu’a and the egregiously neglectful and ignorant American parent. I don’t make my kid totally miserable, though I can tell you she often tells me she hates me, and she has said she wished I would move out or die. Always when I am trying to get her to sit down to do math, or saying no to some mass media entertainment or computer play time.

    At the same time, she will often say, “that was easy” at the end of a math session, and she has certainly built up a lot of confidence in her intellectual abilities.

    Her latest publick skool “math” assignment is to chart a graph that comes out to Martin Luther King’s face. This is a mockery of education. This is an example of why American kids learn anti-intellectualism in the public schools. That’s stupid propaganda, not math. I don’t think the disadvantaged Middle American White kids in my town can afford to draw MLK’s face rather than preparing for the SAT Math section, learning algebra and geometry and trying to get ready to take calculus.

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  8. Bluebird says:

    I have no children but, having been one, I suspect that there’s an 80:20 rule at work: That 20% of the scholastic discipline imposed by parents (compared to a baseline of tv and vidya laissez-faire) produces 80% of the result, and that increasingly gruelling levels of study only produce diminishing marginal returns.

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