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Grow Up, People!

1,792 words

Ben Sasse
The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis – and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance
New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2017

Senator Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska) has come out with a book that is needed and should be taken seriously by any Rightist. This is because Senator Sasse has had an extraordinarily successful career. At the tender age of 37, he was called in to help turn around a struggling university as its President, and he did just that, before moving on to politics.

It was at that struggling university – Midland University in Fremont, Nebraska – that Sasse discovered a problem with the young: college-aged people no longer act like adults. They are helpless and passive in the face of very simple challenges. Essentially, students are arriving at universities unprepared for the real world. He first observed this when a group of paid student workers decorated a Christmas tree only up to the level they could reach. Nobody thought to get a ladder from the supply closet nearby to decorate the top. Later, a student staged a sit-in at the President’s office to get a minor scheduling problem that he had created himself fixed by none other than the University’s President. Finally, he had to fire an employee after she continuously left early. The woman had been given a final warning not to do this, but apparently didn’t realize that this also applied to leaving early to attend a Pilates class. (It’s a wonder that Sasse didn’t blow his top at any of these people. He seems to have kept his cool.)

Sen. Ben Sasse

There is also the Snowflake phenomenon. A Snowflake is a college-aged individual who needs a “safe space,” and must be protected by “trigger warnings” when something difficult, challenging, or unexpected comes up. Snowflakes react to minor phrases that have come to be called “microagressions.” These microagressions are now seen by many as akin to a physical assault. Thus, you need a trigger warning in case you think there might be a microaggression, or a Snowflake will need to go to a safe space to recover afterwards. Carrying out normal activities involving responsibility has come to be called “adulting” by the rising generation, thus implying that such things are separate from one’s “real” life of playing video games and being on one’s smartphone.

Before proceeding further, the following are what Senator Sasse calls the Markers of Adulthood:[1]

  • Moving from one’s parents’ home.
  • Leaving school for the final time.
  • Getting a full-time job.
  • Reaching economic self-sufficiency.
  • Loss of virginity.
  • Getting married.
  • Having children.
  • Establishing an independent household.

Senator Sasse also describes the obvious reality of the world that all adults must face:

The crank in me wants to underscore the obvious truth that the real world isn’t going to offer any trigger warnings or safe spaces, so you’d better learn how to deal – and just leave it at that. But more importantly, the lover of knowledge and country in me aches that we are forgetting that a life well lived, that basic participation in the modern knowledge economy, and that the future of our democracy all depend on an open and unfettered intellectual climate.[2]

Sasse argues that there are several factors preventing children from maturing. The first is what he calls “schooling.” What he means by this is the very long education track that almost all people of the middle class and above are on. He attributes this social development to John Dewey, an educator and philosopher of great renown – but he never said anything succinctly, so he is rarely quoted. What he did achieve was to develop the modern school system. This system is flawed in that it neither teaches the young to explore the larger issues of life – such as religion or the great philosophers – nor does it train people for an actual working trade. It is thus “schooling,” and not education.

Schooling does another insidious thing: It segregates people by age. This creates several problems. The first is that children are not learning about the life challenges people face in the various phases of their lives. Childbirth is a mystery, and nobody is prepared for the frailty of the elderly. Likewise, managing the ups, downs, and long dull spells of a long-term marriage is never addressed. In short, schooling makes it difficult to pass on civilizational wisdom, and it’s locking youngsters into a bubble of immaturity and lingering adolescence that is hard to get out of. The next problem is that the young are insulated from work. He very ably describes the difficulty youngsters have of eventually breaking into the economy. Apparently, when he retweeted his daughter’s experiences of working on a Nebraska ranch, he was contacted by lawyers about violating child labor laws. Labor-free childhoods help create the passive “adult.”

Sasse argues that breaking this cycle requires several changes in approach. The first is simply to do the opposite of what is happening: Kids need to be taken out of age-segregated environments and allowed to mingle with their elders, including young mothers. The young must be made to understand the body’s cycle of birth, growth, reproduction, old age, and death. The next is to give children the experience of hard labor. Sasse displays his regional and ethnic Nordic Nebraskan origins here. He talks about the Homesteaders, the Puritan founders of New England, and the Scandinavian immigrants to the prairies a great deal. He also relates stories about his Second World War-era grandparents. Sasse argues that one should travel to places in the world where air conditioning is an unheard-of luxury, try to do some good there, and thus gain a better appreciation for what one has. He argues that one should build a bookshelf and raise your kids as though they will rule someday. And he then makes a last recommendation which I’ll discuss below in depth. It’s his weakest idea.

Sasse offers the following his list of books for his bookshelf, by category:

  1. God – (One recommendation of many is The Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin)
  2. Greek Roots – (Plato’s Crito)
  3. Homesick Souls or Fundamental Anthropology – (Bondage of the Will by Martin Luther)
  4. Shakespeare
  5. The American Idea – (The Federalist Papers among others)
  6. Markets – (Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith)
  7. Tyrants – (The Road to Serfdom by F. A. Hayek)
  8. The Nature of Things or a Humanistic Perspective on Science – (Elements of Geometry by Euclid)
  9. American Fiction – (O, Pioneers! By Willa Cather)
  10. ? (Read what you want. He enjoys captivity books, prison memoirs sort of things)[3]
  11. ?
  12. ?

(Personally, I really enjoy Bruce Catton’s works on the US Civil War, but I’ve switched my reading to focus on bringing about the white ethnostate through revolutionary metapolitical action.)

Sasse’s ideas become problematic when he suggests to “make America an idea again.” Sasse believes himself to be squarely in the respectable middle of the political spectrum and a basic Republican of the George H. W. Bush variety. He’s been praised by the National Review, and is very likely a fan of George Will’s philosophy of cuckservatism. Thus, you can say he’s missing out on a few things. His weakest concept is “Making America an Idea Again.” The problem with this is that America isn’t an idea; it’s a flesh-and-blood nation which represents a fusing of Europe’s children. Unfortunately, this nation has a North and South that’s sometimes hard to unite, but it’s still a nation with a particular DNA. No law, declaration, text, or speech by anyone can change this. Additionally, America’s ideas change over time, and really only transmit to whites.

In other words, Ben Sasse is most certainly not interested in the Racial Holy War[4] – but the Racial Holy War is interested in him. He fails to realize that all his talk about the Puritan founders, the Homesteader Pioneers, and the Scandinavian immigrants whom the Puritans’ children married on the High Plains of Nebraska have nothing to do with America’s non-whites. There is no connection between the careers of John C. Frémont – a white soldier, explorer, and all-around dynamic figure – and Frederick Douglass, who sought handouts for blacks, other than a shared interest in abolitionism. The Snowflake phenomenon of “trigger warnings” and “microaggressions” are not generational things as much as a strategy by non-whites to wage Racial Holy War. The sit-ins, the entitlement, the weeping – these are the tactics of the non-white grifter in their interactions with our civilization. Their ultimate strategy is to gain material and social benefits by morally blackmailing a dispirited white population.

I’ll add that, as a society, we need to connect sex to procreation again – especially among those whites who are in the middle class and above. This means getting women married at younger ages and off birth control, while encouraging the opposite for non-whites. Some of Sasse’s ideas about age segregation apply here. Essentially, 19-year-old girls are ready to marry and bear children, but 19-year-old boys still need to set up their careers. Younger girls thus need to meet older boys and men. The interactions between the sexes should be courtship, not hookups. F. Roger Devlin’s ideas in his Sexual Utopia in Power need to be shouted to the skies by people like Sasse, but the Senator seems willing to let Amazon’s ban of that book and others continue.

I really enjoyed this book and recommend it be given as a gift by parents and grandparents to youngsters. Indeed, Sasse’s Puritan heritage and Homesteader story is not so different from my own. I strongly connected to his personal stories and analogies. And his hypothetical “If Roosevelt Spoke to a Graduating Class” at the end of the book is really an excellent speech that one wishes could be given today. It closes with these words:

You must do meaningful work.

You must understand history and the debt you owe to your forebears.

You must understand your world and your place in it.

You must wrestle with ideas.

You must not shirk or slack off. You must work. For the fate of the Republic depends on you.

Oh, and again, you must play hard as well.

Now get to it! Commence. Thank you.[5]


[1] Ben Sasse, The Vanishing American Adult, p. 32.

[2] Sasse, The Vanishing American Adult, p. 45.

[3] Howard Rutledge’s In the Presence of Mine Enemies: 1965-1973 – A Prisoner of War (Old Tappan, N.J.: Spire Books, 1975) is a page-turning captivity story written by a Navy veteran that the Senator should read.

[4] An idea I drew from this book was that Racial Holy War is made easier to wage for non-whites once upper-middle class whites are out of the labor pool and preoccupied with extended “schooling.” Extended “schooling” creates a demand for immigrants to fill the void, and then fewer whites are making money.

[5] Sasse, The Vanishing American Adult, p. 274. For more thoughts on the hypothetical speech, look here.


  1. Theon
    Posted July 25, 2019 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Books for the bookshelf(essential reading):

    White nationalist manifesto by Greg Johnson

    Culture of critique, cultural insurrections by Kevin Macdonald

    Race evolution behavior Phillips rushton

    America’s decline Revilo Oliver

    Race and American prospect Ed Samuel Francis

    Debating the holocaust Thomas dalton

    Israel lobby and us public policy mearsheiner and Walt

    American Pravda series by Ron Unz

    Fiction jrr Tolkien works, Kipling works

    Any others?

    • Ambrose Kane
      Posted July 25, 2019 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      The reading list you provided would surely place an inquisitive mind on the fast-track to becoming a White nationalist, although I recognize the journey never or rarely occurs overnight and is fraught with bumps in the roadway.

      The ‘Jewish Question’ is probably the most difficult hurdle for most Whites. I know it was for me, but once I plowed deeper into the subject I was compelled to ask myself, ‘How come I didn’t see this earlier?’

      It’s a struggle, no doubt, but once you have reached a certain point, it’s quite liberating to see the world as it really is and to have the questions of ‘why’ finally answered.

      • Jud Jackson
        Posted July 26, 2019 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

        I agree. Arriving at the KMAC view on the JQ was the toughest hurdle for me too.

      • Achilles Wannabe
        Posted July 27, 2019 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

        JQ denial is the central block – psychological and historical – which allows the system to function I don’t know how I got thru it. Once I did I could see so much or at least I could see the questions I should have been asking all along Now I might spend the rest of my life trying to answer those questions. Somehow I enjoy finding out how I got conned. But getting the JQ to normies is quite beyond me. I do empathize with them. My brain was marinated in Semophilia

      • J
        Posted July 28, 2019 at 1:45 am | Permalink

        The JQ and minority behaviour at large was the most difficult hurdle with the biggest emotional reaction, but it is now the most compelling aspect.

    • BroncoColorado
      Posted July 26, 2019 at 2:14 am | Permalink

      Which Way Western Man by W G Simpson

      The Controversy of Zion by Douglas Reed

      Guillaume Faye and the Battle of Europe by Michael O’Meara; an excellent up-to-date summary of post 1945 forces.

    • Peter Quint
      Posted July 26, 2019 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      There’s so many white nationalist books out there now, it’s hard to decide, but definitely, “The Dispossessed Majority.”

    • nineofclubs
      Posted July 26, 2019 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      A few specifically for Australian nationalists:

      Among the Barbarians by Paul Sheehan.

      The Australian Legend by Russell Ward

      The Foundations of Culture in Australia by P.R Stephenson

      The Money Power by Frank Anstey

      The Scribblings of an Idle Mind by Norman Lindsay.

      Australia, Client State of International Capital by Ted Wheelwright


  2. Serge
    Posted July 25, 2019 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Another Jordan Peterson, then. He may not be a grifter like him, but otherwise not terribly different.

  3. Deep North
    Posted July 25, 2019 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Kind of hard to create a family when white women are focused on muh career and muh traveling. I’ve dated women who are “independent”, when in reality mommy and daddy paid for their six-figure school.

  4. Posted July 25, 2019 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    I’d suggest someone read Ragnar Redbeard’s “Might Is Right” at some point.

    If the book resonates with you, you might be disinclined to ever consider reaching for any Church philosopher’s deeply pious and reverent dissertation. Also, if you find that it resonates, then you are a natural conservative the way a Amur Tiger or Polar Bear is. Most – if not all politicians would cuck hard on their values to keep their job. Becoming an adult man means becoming the man you believe yourself to be. Financial self reliance is first and foremost. After that, your lifestyle is what resonates with you.

    This world will be saved by the Matt Graver’s of the world, but it won’t be preserved by them. You need the cucks with enough balls to stand up for themselves. But not the desire to do this.

  5. BroncoColorado
    Posted July 26, 2019 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    While in the supermarket this evening I witnessed a heart-warming sight. A middle-age White lady was doing her weekend shopping and she had her mother with her. The mother appeared frail and she held onto her daughter’s arm as they both walked slowly down the produce aisles. Only strong families and a confident culture can engender and support such inter-generational love and caring. Blood and soil makes men and women adults who are content with responsibility.

  6. Exile
    Posted July 26, 2019 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Before giving any credence to Ben Sasse for hiring a ghostwriter who can ape the most obvious themes of the Alt-Lite, any reader should be aware that he is one of the worst grifters of Conservative, Inc. in the U.S., rabidly anti-nationalist NeverTrump, fully Zio-converged. I second Serge’s sentiment that this guy is another Jordan Peterson, a gatekeeper, not a gateway. Anyone serious about saving the White race and its achievements should immediately gun their intellectual engine after running over the speedbump that is Ben Sasse. If this guaranteed-ghostwritten book is his attempt at rehabilitating his utterly cucked image, we should ensure that it fails.

  7. Dale Gribble
    Posted July 27, 2019 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    White nationalists horrify Senator Sasse. He will have some explaining to do at Conservatism’s corporate headquarters for this review.

  8. Stronza
    Posted July 28, 2019 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Moving from one’s parents’ home.

    In the past, this was usually not done until you found someone to marry, except for severe family poverty forcing the young to “seek their fortune”. And the brown, black, yellow and red folks all generally know better, though I have heard of various prosperous Asians shipping their kids to comfy white lands to “go to school” (and get into trouble).

    Kicking all those young people out to live alone or with an equally bewildered roommate is asking for trouble. It doesn’t magically generate true adulthood and maturity that I can see. Indeed, leaving your home is the main thing that keeps materialistic capitalism going. More apartments, more furniture, more stuff, more buying, more expenses, more debt. More wild parties with no cork-up-the-arse parents putting the brakes on. No aging parents needing assistance with daily life, just caring about your own hide. We’ve got a long way to go.

    Really, is achieving an all-white nation the only goal? Just kick the wogs out and we’ll be in heaven again? Force socalled independence on the kiddies and it’ll be the garden of Eden all over again.

  9. Matt Edge
    Posted July 29, 2019 at 3:11 am | Permalink

    Sounds like more boomer whining to me. Why would a Senator be lecturing teenagers on adulthood when he himself presides as an authority figure over a country that is such a corrupted mess?

    If the current generation is screwing up so badly, then the first to be held accountable are the clueless parents who raised them. Children are a direct reflection of their parent’s conditioning. You don’t just magically become an accountable adult just because you turned 18 some day.

    Boomer parents really started this idiotic trend where partenting became purely about provision at the expense of guidance. As ifstressing the former compensated the absence of the latter.

    You can only be responsible for what you understand, and since parents do not teach their children anything at all of value (gotta figure it all out for yourself), then it should come as no shock that their children fail.

    A cake isn’t gonna bake itself just coz you place the ingredients on a kitchen bench.

    And self-reliance is really not a good idea considering that our ethnic enemies are very coherently united against us. Cooperation is a much better strategy than competition.

  10. Razor Man
    Posted July 29, 2019 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    I love how he lists losing your virginity and getting married both together. As if one doesn’t compromise the other.
    So which is it?
    Do we live in a free sexual marketplace–a long uninterrupted orgy of Darwinian selection and masses of frustrated incels? Or is it going to be strongly regulated monogamy (and monogamy is always strongly regulated) and marriage for most men?

    I also fo not think this clown appreciates how difficult it is thesedays for a young man to find a full time job or to find a woman. The misdirection, deceit, lack of guidance, and outright lies boys are given growing up is treasonously criminal. They are sabotaged into impotency long before the race begins.

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