Last night, I - along millions of other men - entered the mind of Elliott Rodger. Whilst watching Corrie, the question again arose: why is the world's most perfect woman married to a man with no redeeming qualities whatsoever? This echoes Rodger:
How could such an ugly animal have had sexual experiences with girls, and yet I haven’t? What was wrong with this world?
what happens to nerdy guys who keep finding out that the princess they were promised is always in another castle? When they “do everything right,” they get good grades, they get a decent job, and that wife they were promised in the package deal doesn’t arrive?
The presumption here is wrong. This is not just because women are not prizes handed out on speech day, nor even because your reward for passing exams and getting a good job is merely to be chained to a desk for 80 hours a week. It's because love and lust are illogical and irrational. "What does she see in him?" (or him in her) are ancient questions. As if you need academic evidence, this paper (pdf) (via) concludes:
Human mating may depart substantially from a merit-based selection process. Romantically desirable traits actually appeared to be more relational than trait-like (i.e., consensual) across the contexts that we examined...Among individuals who knew each other especially well, the data revealed very little consensus and large amounts of unique, relationship variance. These findings reflect the natural subjectivity inherent in our perceptions of others.
Just look at David Beckham's or Christina Hendricks's choices of spouse.
Herein lies an aspect of Rodger's thinking that popular commentary has ignored - his inability to reconcile himself to the randomness that is love. As he wrote:
Life is not fair. One can either accept that fact, keeling over in defeat; or one can harness the strength to fight against it. My destiny was to fight against the unfairness of the world.
This is the mindset of the terrorist down the years - a desire to impose by force order and "justice" onto what are messy random processes. It is what Hayek complained of when he said that scientists and engineers are prone to "develop a passion for imposing on society the order which they are unable to detect by the means with which they are familiar" (p102 here). Diego Gambetta and Steffen Hertog show (pdf) that terrorists are disproportionately drawn from engineering backgrounds in part because they think that "if only people were rational, remedies would be simple." Sure, Rodger wasn't an engineer, but at least one previous misogynist mass-killer was.
Rodger fits the pattern of Nazis wanting a new order, Stalinists wanting a centrally-planned economy and Islamist terrorists.In all cases, we have the egomaniac's inabililty to see the beauty of unplanned disorder. And it is a beauty, because whilst it might hurt us to see a wonderful woman go off with a bell-end, one day that bell-end will be us.
I leave the last word to an infinitely greater authority than me.