Archives for category: Ideological currents

For your WTF Files, in case you had not seen this particular ‘Q&A’ segment from Down Under in other videos:

It features a grand and revelatory rant by Mona Eltahawy, an Egyptian-American feminist lunatic with fake red hair. ‘How long must we wait for men and boys to stop murdering us, to stop beating us, and stop raping us? … How many rapists must we kill until men stop raping us?’

Note the follow-up questions that need answers. Unasked and unanswered.

Note especially that she does not inquire how many rapists were killed in the past by actually patriarchal society, not today’s fantasied one. Until the rise of liberal society in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, the death penalty for even small infractions was common. We live in the societies that grew out of those harsher times. By inadvertent breeding, there are almost certainly less rapists today than there would be otherwise had not those bloody-minded patriarchs killed all those stupid, criminal young men before they could sire children, by rape or by seduction or by whoring or by conjugal relations.

But she’s against that — well, at least the State’s death penalty — suggesting, instead, that women should directly kill their rapists, something I am OK with in self-defense but not as revenge. Women just need guns.

I expect she and I would get along swimmingly, heh. Maybe she will join the ranks of women with firearms.

Now, this video’s commentary is helpful and droll. But it is Eltahawy’s racist and sexist rantings that take center state here, and include a classic riff: decorum and manners were invented by white men, you see, only for the benefit of white men, no one else. ‘Marginal voices’ are further marginalized by manners . . . or so her argument appears to run.

An absurd idea, but it should be responded to rationally, as absurd as it is.

Which I will leave for another time.

But most absurd of all? Eltahawy’s advice to straight men: don’t seek just sexual intimacy with women. ‘Be queerer. Be more bisexual. Be less cis-gendered. . . . Just fuck it all up and be free!’

This reminds me of the Sixties, when hippies told us to take LSD: tune in, turn on, drop out. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

As an answer to problems of violence in society, it is ridiculous.

As, I am afraid, is Mona Eltahawy.

Mona Eltahawy, radical feminist.


By the way, it is not OK to be white — why, the Australian Parliament says so, and so, obviously, does the BBC! You see, it is racist to say “it is ‘OK’ to ‘be white.’”

And the bare majority that balked at affirming this merest ‘white race’ acceptability status does not mean it thinks it is GREAT to be white. Oh, no:

Australia’s Senate has narrowly defeated a motion condemning “anti-white racism,” by just three votes.

Pauline Hanson, the leader of Australia’s far-right One Nation party, wanted backing for her motion which stated “it is OK to be white.”

It also spoke of the “deplorable rise of anti-white racism and attacks on Western civilisation.”

Critics have dismissed it as another stunt by Ms Hanson, who last year hit the headlines for wearing a burka.

Yet a number of ruling party politicians backed the motion.

It’s OK to be white’ bill defeated in Australian Senate,” BBC News, October 15, 2018.

You see the BBC’s implicit bias. “Yet” — despite the fact that the measure came from someone on “the far right” (obviously evil!) and that some unnamed “critics” have “dismissed” the proposed motion — “a number of” mainstream pols “backed the motion”! Horrors.

So what is implied by being scandalized by the statement?

They, the scandalized, mean either (a) they think it is bad (somehow) to be white or (b) that they think people of darker hue are too weak, witless or ‘triggered’ to be able to handle white people affirming a basic level of human acceptability. In either case, either they are racists against whites and believe that whites must be put down, as a normative matter for reasons unspecified, or they are racists against non-whites by thinking that they are so inherently inferior that only by putting whites down can non-whites achieve their own ‘OK’-or-better status.

Another possibility? These white anti-white racists are just really, really stupid . . . so lacking in any philosophical understanding of the case against racism that they become racists themselves, adopting a witless knee-jerk hyper-piety about what one may say about race and racism. Yes. They are that idiotic. That ill-educated. They are intellectual simpletons who should not be anywhere near power.

I lean to this latter explanation.

A brindle (striped) Great Dane; it’s OK, rest assured.

Speaking ahead of the vote, Ms Hanson said “people have a right to be proud of their cultural background, whether they are black, white or brindle.”

“If we cannot agree on this, I think it’s safe to say anti-white racism is well and truly rife in our society,” she added.

’It’s OK to be white’ bill defeated in Australian Senate ,” BBC News, October 15, 2018.

Now, do we need to have pride in our racial or cultural backgrounds? I am dubious. But we should certainly be unashamed of what was not our responsibility and, further, that which we cannot change.

And anti-white racism is “rife.” It is understandable when coming from non-whites. Negative racism expressed outwards hardly requires much explanation. But anti-white racism by whites is exceptional. We used to resort to the ‘self-hating’ concept to explain such things, but I do not think hate is what we should focus upon. It’s about color, the color red. As in “a red” or “pinko.”

Yes, this is all about the confusions of leftists, of communists, of socialists.

These ideologues are confused. Their inherent collectivism makes them so. And their long-standing pretense of ‘being liberal’ is key to their befuddlement. You see, they think of their anti-racism as leftist. It isn’t. It hails from liberalism. And they aren’t liberals. They yearn for socialism of some sort. So they are utterly unable to articulate a case against racism that is not collectivist . . . and their collectivism inevitably reëmerges in another for, a topsy turvy racism.

And yes, it is OK to be any color or coloring of human — so long as we are talking skin color. The liberal-individualist case for human rights and ‘dignity’ [too often, admittedly, undefined in our discourse*] does not depend upon racial categories. The fact that this ‘it is OK to be white’ meme triggers anyone is a sign that liberal civilization has not passed on its basic ideas from one generation to the next.


* I have spent a lot of time thinking about rights. But dignity? Not so much.

We are not supposed to doubt what the elites tell us. This imperative is enforced. They ridicule us — and we ridicule each other — when we express doubt, or indeed any deeply contrary opinion, about what they tell us.

For example, we are supposed to think it is just accidental that the major media outlets that sat on the Jeffrey Epstein pedo-sex slave story for years then mock as ‘conspiracy theorists’ anyone who doubts their credulous/credulity-stretching story that Epstein killed himself.

And we are CERTAINLY not supposed to then wonder if ‘Pizzagate’ is as ridiculous as elitist opinion leaders have said it is. How could we believe that our illustrious elitists (who have admitted to engaging in pagan blood rites, though they assure us it is only performance art) would also engage in the rape and murder of children? Unthinkable!

I do not know the truth about Epstein, or, for that matter, the Clintons and John Podesta and their creepy emails published onto Wikileaks.

Though I think I know something about pizza.

I also do not know that much about NSA General Michael Aquino who got the Temple of Set recognized as an official religion within the U.S. Government (allowing, I am told, chaplain services in the military). Is this all just nonsense? And why would you worship Set instead of Osiris? I mean, if you have to go back to ancient Egypt for your religion?

I know almost nothing. But it is difficult not to suspect a whole heckuva lot when we catch major media sources conspiring to keep the truth from us — and who go all the way to vindictively lash out at mere suspects for revealing the truth.

By the way, ABC’s suppressed Epstein story was said to have exposed Bill Clinton in a big way.

Just how weird does this get?

Are we hearing about this now because, in the deepest corridors of the Deep State, some deep secrets about UFOs had been threatened by the Podesta/Clinton agenda of disclosure? Or is it all coming out in an as-yet incomprehensible jumble merely because the truth, whatever it is, is almost too hard to understand . . . or keep secret?

Yes, the Epstein story may be linked, in some shady way, to the UFO story.
But we know almost nothing because that has been what we are supposed to know. Nothing. Or the opposite of the truth.

Yet UFOs likely have nothing to do with it. Ufologists often leap for evidence where evidence is lacking. Of course, when evidence is routinely suppressed, we are all find ourselves in an epistemic pickle.

Consider what William Casey is alleged to have said to Ronald Reagan — that success, for the CIA, would be when everything Americans think they know is the opposite of the truth. What did he mean? Well, the source for this now-infamous quotation says this:

Casey expressed astonishment when reporting the huge percentage of CIA ‘intelligence’ that was, and almost certainly still is, based on open sources, and he was absolutely serious when he said that the agency would be successful when everything the American people believed was false.  Though not explicitly said at that time, it was made clear in other contexts during my two years in the West Wing in the highest level meetings that the pretext for this mentality was the claim that in a Cold War era when communications were essentially instantaneous, the vast majority of “the enemy’s” — then the Soviet Union’s — “intelligence” was also based on open press and media sources, so the most efficient way to lie to the Soviets was to lie in the U.S. and allied media, which meant the American public believing the lies was considered a kind of ‘collateral damage.’

Barbara Honegger, November 25, 2014.

This I do believe. Its implications are many, but one stands out: If the source for the CIA’s information is open, particularly from major media, but CIA uses said media for disinformation purposes, U.S. intelligence operatives are always in danger of finding themselves with their heads so far up their own assets that they themselves could not tell truth from their own lies.

How is the world ruled and led to war? Diplomats lie to journalists and believe these lies when they see them in print.

Karl Kraus

Which is the more complicated: for a right-wing person to understand a left-wing person or for a left-wing person to understand a right-wing person?

as answered on Quora:

It should be easier for a left-winger to understand right-wingers, rather than vice versa — based on a quick glance at the two ideological approaches.

Why? Well, the most sense I can make out of the left/right duality is this: the right emphasizes defense of self or in-group from the threat of other or out-group; the left emphasizes defense of others from self or out-groups from in-group.

By leftists’ very nature, you would think being open to new thoughts and alien (“outside”) ideas would entail more sympathy for rightists than rightists would have for them. And that was once the case.

Not any longer. Few leftists today can pass an ideological Turing test — but most non-leftists can.

This has been noted for some time, including by careful psychologists such as Jonathan Haidt.

What happened? The left captured the commanding heights of the culture, particularly major media, entertainment, and academic institutions. Everybody is more than familiar with leftist arguments. But leftists, em-bubbled in their institutional safe spaces, have been coddled. And they are therefore, to an astounding degree, pathetically and witlessly unaware of arguments against their positions.

Further, the types of people who adopt ideas based on social status have inverted. When I was young, it was late adopters who were “conservative,” and early adopters who dared buck trends who were leftist.

Nowadays, those people who by nature are culturally conservative adopt not traditional morality and politics but “progressive” morality and politics — because they are at the cultural center. And many of the folks prone to be early adopters now flock to perceived anti-leftist dogmas and positions.

It is quite hilarious.

Of course, both of the human propensities I identify as “left” and “right” are necessary and good for life in an extended order of civilization. But the vices of both — at the extremes, where sacrifices are insisted upon and ritually made — are quite dangerous:

right-wing vice: sacrifice of others to self, other groups to in-group and its hierarchies

left-wing vice: sacrifice of self to others, in-group to out-groups

We will see if our civilization will figure this out. And we will get over this stupid squabble between two necessary human propensities.

twv


N.B. The illustration for this post is of two covers of a great book by a Catholic theologian. In it, he invited readers to go beyond the mere aping of another’s way of thought, but to “pass over” to theirs. And then come back, with greater understanding. “Passing over and coming back, it seems, is the spiritual adventure of our time.” This has not proved to be true. In politics, it has definitely not been the case, otherwise more folks could pass an ideological Turing test. John Scribner Dunne was not talking politics, of course — his interest was in religion and spirituality — but it is curious to see the political crowd most apt to decry dogma and boast of being ‘spiritual but not religious’ fail utterly to avoid dogma and foreswear spirituality.

My biggest political heresy might be this: I don’t believe that fascists are more evil than socialists.

Epistle [rough draft]

And so, my leftist friends, comes the reason you are uncomfortable when I talk politics: I don’t believe that because you SAY you have your heart in the right place and want to help ”the poor” or “the workers” or “the marginalized,” that means that you DO have your heart in the right place. Wanting to help A and B and C does not absolve you of your willingness to marginalize, exploit or even kill D and E and F. A modern “democratic socialist” is pretty much in the same camp as a fascist or Nazi in this regard. They just have different groups to back and different groups to attack.

Furthermore, intentions don’t matter as much as everybody seems to think. You may embrace Ideology X at time T1 or T2. And you think you do so for good reasons. But ideologies do not work out as planned. At times T3, T4 . . . Tn the plans and procedures take a turn. We know how socialisms of all stripes work, now. We know where greater government — total State — goes.

It doesn’t go to sweetness and light. 

Besides, it is a myth that Nazis and fascists had malign intent all around and socialists had (and have) benign intent all around. Do you think that fascists thought of themselves as “bad people” in the heyday of Mussolini’s brand-spanking new alternative to liberalism, or that the Nazis thought they were against civilization? No. They thought themselves good people just like anybody else does. Further, I have never met a socialist who did not want to dispossess the ”wealthy” (defined somehow) and thought that this should be done by decreasing state power. So no matter who socialists say they want to help, they quickly and quite vindictively begin their expropriation agenda when they get power. And when their programs inevitably fail to live up to predictions, then decisions must be made: double down on socialism or move back from socialism. It’s “liquidation of the Kulaks” or its a retreat to some muddier, more limited system like multi-party “democracy.”

So, my leftist friends, what reason do we have to trust that you will give up power? The moment Donald Trump got elected, the talk switched to impeachment. There has been an impeachment movement from before he took the oath of office.

I am not saying this to defend Trump, or even say he’s not a fascist (though I think that’s absurd — but I could be wrong). I’m saying you NeverTrumpers and impeachment-from-the-getgo folks have tipped your hand. You will not accept defeat from your utopian dreams, you will not accept the republican form of governance. When you say things like “Trump will not step down if he loses the next election, you seem to be projecting your own itch for never-e ding power onto someone you do not like, who offends your sensibilities.

This makes you evil.

Sure, you can repent. But you cannot do that while you support impeachment for silly, murky or partisan reasons. You can choose not to be evil. But you have to give up a commitment to ever-growing state power.

That is, you can choose NOT to act like socialists and fascists. You can relinquish your one-party rule hankerings.

But I don’t think you will. And if you don’t, that makes you no better than a brownshirt or a blackshirt.

I am not one of those anti-leftist theorists who think that the moral particularism that fascists and some right-wingers wear on sleeve is any better than your fake universalism.

And it it fake. That’s the key. I have spent much of my adult life thinking about just how fake it is.

I suppose I should write books about this, but the fake universalists who call themselves “socialists” won’t read such books. I mean, there have been very persuasive books in this vein already, by folks such as Herbert Spencer, Ludwig von Mises, F.A. Hayek, Thomas Sowell, et al. And most leftists have never opened masterworks like The Man versus the State (“too confrontational!”) and A Plea for Liberty (“what? who?”) and Socialism (“too long”) and The Road to Serfdom (“debunked!”) and The Fatal Conceit (“we’re still here, so it can’t be fatal!”) — or hundreds of others with titles like The Vision of the Anointed (“Tom’s an ‘Uncle Tom’ ha ha!”).

So, yes: I do not believe that fascists are worse than socialists, racists worse than communists. I suspect that the latter ideologues of these two pairs might be worse than the former. One reason is that socialism and communism are inherently dishonest, and in The Lie is the foundation of evil.

Which is why leftists these days concentrate on “hate” more than dishonesty. For it distracts us from where all ‘socialisms’ go wrong: in the unfolding of plans for concentrated control, and their inevitable end (if not abandoned) misery and death.

twv

What are some “politically correct” opinions or terms that makes you roll your eyes when you hear them?

…as answered on Quora….

I am going a bit “meta” with my list:

Woke. It means the same thing as “red-pilled,” but the people who use the term seem somnambulant to me, walking around the world not really understanding the reality of what they see, easily moved to herdish behavior.

“Woke” is a silly term. I often roll my eyes upon hearing it from an earnest leftist.

Gender. Most people mean “sex” when they say it. I know what gender theorists say they mean by it, but their pet term is incoherent. So most people who use the term just look like prudes who cannot bear to use the word “sex” because it is causes twitters and giggles and also because they are trying to pretend that biology is not of prime importance. These folks are mostly in denial about reality. They are asleep at the wheel of thought, far from “woke.” There is a deeper problem with “gender”; in fact, there are two: (1) the notion that gender is a “social construct” is offered as a dogma, with the idea of individual construction of one’s own gender being offered as salvific — without realizing that individual construction is part of the whole social constructivist process, and is indeed part of the problem; (2) “gender” is a categorizing concept, but individuation — the individual’s development of a sense of personal identity — is multiform, making the categorization idea behind “gender” a red herring . . . that is, there must be an infinite spectrum of personal and social adaptations to sexuality, and concentrating on falling into categories is something of a lie. Indeed, it is just another example of the left’s relentless collectivism, where group matters more than the individual.

I snort when I hear anyone use the word “gender.” Well, I used to. The word is so ubiquitous that my snorter is sore.

Prejudice plus power. This revision of the two almost universally accepted definitions of racism previously in use — which are the simple, everyday “hatred of or discrimination against persons on grounds of race” and the more philosophical “giving undue weight to matters of race, usually by applying some statistical or imputed group characteristic to individuals regardless of their individual applicability” — allows its users to engage in actual racism against people they believe (or pretend) have power. But the witless politically correct herds do not understand that power is not a simple thing in society, that almost everyone has power of some sort. A politician has political power, a magnate has the power that comes with wealth, a beautiful person has powers of attraction, the intelligent have powers that include but are not limited to knowledge and wisdom, and I have power to command the wealth I possess to exchange it on the market for the goods I wish to consume. These are all powers. And so too is the power that a mob commands, the power that a gun exerts in expert hands, and also the knife or bludgeon as wielded by a thug. Anyone can have power, and anyone can be a racist towards anyone else. “Prejudice plus power” is a schema for racism and other isms that show its users to be not very bright. But, because they are in an ideological mob, they exert a kind of social power that keeps this stupid dogma secure in the culture.

Such is political correctness.

White supremacy. Now here we have a term of opprobrium used by the “woke” politically correct mobs. Its users are vague as to its meaning. Is white supremacy a policy that keeps whites in power regardless of their demerits, or is it the belief that whites are racially superior?

It is not a term that white racists use for themselves. It is a term placed upon them. Look, I know racists of many races. I have inquired. Every white racist I have known is more than willing to recognize that individuals of other races are in fact superior in many ways to their very own dear selves; further, they readily recognize that, on average, blacks of West African descent tend to be physically superior to whites and that East Asians tend to be smarter than whites. Their racism does not seek to dominate other races, either. I have known no racists who wished to reintroduce slavery, or conquer other nations in foreign lands. Indeed, the confessedly white racists I have known tend to be against imperialism. It is the heart-on-sleave anti-racists who want globalist imperialism, White Man’s Burden and all (though they would never use that old phrase: how gauche!).

What the white racists whom the politically correct left hate are is, in truth, white separatists, not supremacists. Ethnonationalism is their game.

But “white supremacy” is the politically correct term. It is necessary. Why? Because leftists must hide from themselves and others the actually (not politically) correct idea of separatism. And why must they do that? Because it would be uncomfortable honestly to confront all the black separatists in their midst.

Further, by calling others white supremacists, their own supremacy — as whites — on the left might become obvious.

And so, also, they whip up their rather sick suicidal racism, which we now witness on the left in the ubiquitous phenomenon of white anti-white racism.

Of course, alt-right white ethnonationalism might make sense in Finland or Estonia or Hungary or some other Old World country, as ethnonationalisms are the rule all over the world, in Arabia and Japan and in most African countries. And almost no one really bats an eye. In America, however, ethnonationalism as a political agenda is silly and dunderheadedly stupid.

But a kind of white supremacy is a problem — the kind held to by the politically correct left. Leftists apply their idea of multiculturalism and forced ethnic diversity only against white-dominant nations. And why do they do this? Could it be because they actually do believe that whites are superior to darker skinned people? They believe that white nations must hold to standards they do not direct against others, because they think those others are benighted and in need of rescue. By the Supreme Whites. That is, the Baizuo, the White Left.

Political correctness is a moral disease of intellectual cowards and herdish bullies.

There are many more ugly, destructive politically correct concepts.

But these few get to the heart of the matter, I think.

twv

…as answered on Quora….

I will try to be brief.

Facts for the case for “right-wing”? Fascism is nationalist and militaristic. This is usually considered “on the right.”

Facts for the case for “left-wing”: fascism grew out of socialism and socialist agitation, and fascists regarded their economic policy as neither socialist nor free-market. It is heavily dirigiste. Mussolini himself was a man of the left, and one of his main influences for his move away from Marxist socialism was the work of Georges Sorel. Was Sorel leftist? He was deeply anti-capitalist, and desired to bring together worker solidarity. Seems to be a man of the left, to me. But others may disagree.

And if you consider Nazis fascist (and that is, actually, a stretch) then the leftist element is quite strong.

Both fascists and Nazis were famously anti-communist. Nazis made a name for themselves for street fights with communist revolutionaries, and one reason for their rise to power was that Germans in the Weimar Republic judged them the lesser of two evils — compared to the openly revolutionary stance of the bloody-minded commies.

The communists definitely tarred Nazis with the “fascist” label, a move that continues to this day and which has muddied up much thought.*

Trouble here, is: what one starts out believing is not necessarily where one ends up. So an anti-revolutionary stance early in an ideological career does not mean that one isn’t a revolutionary as the State gets captured by one’s party. Similarly, socialists and folks of the left often talk peace, peace: but they get into power, their programs immediately prove slippery and unworkable, and quickly they come to mass executions and preservation of their power by violence. Where is the “left” or the “right” in that dialectic of power? One can start out “on the left” but quickly seem “on the right” without ever giving up any of one’s professed leftist beliefs.

Adolf Hitler never gave up on the Marxist interpretation of economics, for example. He just disagreed on the “internationalist” aspect of Marxian Communism, thinking it a fine thing to keep corporations around so long as they were heavily controlled. The Third Reich also established the most egalitarian welfare and labor policy ever achieved — that seems “left-wing,” eh?

But, the “right-wing” element may lie in the wealth that Nazis used to sustain the Third Reich — it did not come solely from “the rich” as such. It came from dispossessed Jews and conquered territory. Is that “right wing”? Maybe. (See Götz Aly, Hitler’s Beneficiaries: Plunder, Racial War, and the Nazi Welfare State [2005; 2006].)

Nazi Germany was totalitarian. And Hitler admired Stalin’s efficiency in handling his enemies. Is that left-wing or right-wing? Meanwhile, in actual fascist countries, totalitarianism was not really in operation. It was a more limited affair.

Yet it was Mussolini who said “All within the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State.” I consider this extreme statism to be a leftist thing, not rightist. The traditional distinction is made between totalitarianism and authoritarianism, but, as conceived, fascism is theoretically quite totalitarian, anti-individualist. This all strikes me as left-wing.

You see, “left” and “right” are not easy to determine. Individualists like me have long harped on the difficulty of using the terms to map the ideological spectrum for one obvious reason: it is a directional binary that makes sense only in the context of where you are looking.

Mussolini, Giovanni Gentile, Alfredo Rocco and other paradigm-establishing fascists all strongly opposed laissez faire, any hint of laissez faire. Does that make them leftist? Is “laissez faire” rightist? Seems dubious to me. Laissez faire is a middle ground position among many competing statist programs, of both left and right variants. But your view may differ.

So, though facts can be brought to bear on this issue, it is not facts alone that can decide. The winds of doctrine blow many directions, including up and down as well as forward and back — not to mention left and right.

I advise being circumspect about using these terms. Individualists (like me) tend to regard the real issue as between unlimited state force and a rule of law limiting force. Left and right distract us on the way to confronting that issue.

And in all of this, we must remember that politicians (and this includes ideological activists in universities and on the streets and in voting booths) lie to themselves and lie to others, so mapping their “beliefs” is tricky. And all ideology has huge elements of fantasy, much of it unworkable. So, the outcome of their fantasied utopias is usually dystopian. And it would be wrong to call “utopia” leftist and “dystopia” rightist. In that gambit lies deep delusion.


* This propagandistic labeling may have prevented western liberal-ish societies from catching on to the horrors of Nazism early on, for ‘fascism’ was quite popular in America . . . until, suddenly, it wasn’t. Fascism’s affinity with Progressivism was quite clear, at the time, which Jonah Goldberg made hay of in his disastrously titled 2008 volume, Liberal Fascism.


N.B. The curious might wish to consult David Ramsay Steele’s forthcoming essay collection, The Mystery of Fascism. A simple Internet search will call forth free-to-read versions of the title essay, well worth the effort.

Paul Gottfried’s treatise, Fascism: The Career of a Concept, is a more thorough exploration, but since I have not finished reading it yet, I should perhaps only cautiously advise it.

Women have struggled their whole lives just to have rights and to be treated equally. Now they can’t even have their own identity, as men are now walking up and claiming to “identify” as female. Is it wrong to feel this way?

…as answered on Quora….

The first part of this question seems a bit iffy to me on grounds of fact and reasoning, yet I sympathize: it must be weird to invest a lot of your conception of yourself as deriving from womanhood, and then see a few men fard up their faces and mince about in clothing not normally worn by men . . . and call themselves women and even demand others to accept their self-categorizations. 

Well, their demands are ignoble and immoral, but, alas, commonly accepted and defended and even amplified amongst the lunatics that currently sit at the commanding heights of our culture. I am annoyed by all that.

As for their self-categorization? Very rarely are they convincing. And even at their best they are fake women.

But fake women have rights too, and they can certainly be given enough cultural leeway to do what they want without forcing others to “accept” them and “respect” them. In a free society, the right of free association entails the right of disassociation. You need not hang around them. Freedom of conscience and freedom of speech means that none of us should be forced to speak of them in ways they prefer. And it is a tragedy that these principles of liberty are now denied and flouted by the cultural left these days.

More importantly, I have trouble understanding how you are denied your “identity” by their shallow or deep fakes. You are you. They are whatever they are.

But then, you seem to be defining yourself (as your “identity”) not by your personhood and individuality, but by your commonality with members of your own sex. I find this bizarre. I define my identity not primarily by my commonality with other men, but by my differentiation. 

I see the whole focus of the question as buying into the presuppositions of those men who pretend to be women: as hollow, as a distraction from individuation by recourse to group membership and similarity with others.

It is a fine thing to extol one’s similarities with others, but that isn’t your identity. That is commonality. The whole postmodern movement focusing on “identity” strikes me as as fake as men pretending to be women by dress-up and mere assertion. 

For we are not talking about identity, we are talking about its opposite.

Indeed, the struggle of feminism, I would have thought — before I ditched using the term approvingly, anyway — is the struggle of individual women to be treated as individual persons despite their categorization by sex. The perversion of feminism, as I see it, has been the anti-individual promotion of the sex (modish folks’ll say “gender”) rather than the liberation of individuals from the confines of over-sexualized, constricting and collectivist expectations.

So, like the other response to this question that I noticed, I urge: “let it go.” Not because the fake women are not wholly unthreatening, but because they threaten something you should not take personally.

As for these fake women, my attitudes vary, person to person, expressing (as I have) pity, sympathy, laughter, indifference, pro forma respect and, yes, acceptance.* It all depends. On whether they allow me my freedom, or, instead, have some tyrannical agenda. And also whether they are doing themselves and their loved ones harm, even sans force.

We do live in strange, decadent** times.


* When I was young, I had a number of pre-op “tranny” friends — that is what they called themselves — and I liked them a lot, despite our lack of . . . commonality.

** Also when I was young, I extolled “decadence” even as I denied any precision to the term. Now I know what it means, and remain somewhat ambivalent — that is, I do not think decadence should be normed, even while I confess to being something of a decadent myself.


N.B. I am not at all certain that my response on Quora will be allowed to stand. And I could even be removed from the platform. Why? For merely referring to “fake women.” It will be interesting to see how it goes. Since posting I saw a number of other answers. They are uniformly bad.

…it’s not because of my virtue or my vice….

The conservative position on freedom is, as I have always understood it (listening to actual conservatives rather than “conservative intellectuals”), that we must defend the freedoms of the virtuous. I have heard this principle brilliantly defined as “liberty is the freedom to do what’s right.”

Vice may — or even must — be suppressed!

This derails any substantive commitment to freedom, I argue, or to civil liberty.

I mention this not to rag on conservatives, whom I often agree with on many things, and whose arguments become less opprobrious to me as I grow older and grumpier — as I prepare to drop off into the Abyss.

It is to note that modern progressivism is conservative, in that today’s progressives have redefined virtue and vice for their ideology, and defend the freedoms of those they consider virtuous (or “victims,” the other v-word in this scenario, since it often stands in for virtue) and aim to suppress the freedoms of those who engage in vice.

Vice being wrongthink, from this point of view, the wrongthink centering, at present, on racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, etc.

When it comes to a listing of vices, I do think that most items on the progressives’ list have much to be said for them, as do most items on older lists of traditional Christian culture.

But I am largely uninterested in “values” politics, and the endless wrangling over whose vice we may suppress, via the State. Why? Well, because the rationality of these projects is so gossamer-thin, dependent always on which model of morality we are promoting this week.

I think freedom itself, as embodied in liberal notions of natural and civil liberty, provide a better guide to peace and justice than does any relentless virtue-mongering program.

Which is why I am not a conservative.

Which is also why I am not a progressive — they are basically just another form of conservative.

twv

Do Libertarians encourage poor people to not tax rich people and wait for heaven in the afterlife?

as answered by TWV on Quora:

Poor people don’t tax anybody. States do, and these are usually run by fairly well-off people, and are enthusiastically supported by the bulk of middle-income and high-income folks. High levels of taxation, coupled with transfer programs, were created and are maintained by well-off people — indeed by many people who are themselves beneficiaries of taxed wealth.

The idea, implied in the question, that state aid programs are heaven on earth, is laughable.

Libertarians I know are deeply skeptical of aid programs, first for relying upon forced expropriation and second for turning the poor into dependents who will, after enrollment into “welfare,” subsequently never better themselves.

This outlook of seeing only misery in the lives of poor people were it not for transfer programs is deeply perverse, in no small part because it serves as the political version of post-sale selling technique: “like your pittances, peons, you are pathetic and hopeless and cannot do better — so appreciate the crumbs we fling your way . . . and always demand more and vote for us.”

twv, May 4, 2019