Gillette, popular producer of shaving supplies, has recently released an advertisement with a moral. Playing off of its long-standing and multivalenced motto, ‘The Best a Man Can Get’,1 Gillette opens with the question: ‘Is this the best a man can get?’ Thereafter follows a series of vignettes featuring boys bullying boys and men cat-calling, harassing or condescending to women, culminating finally in several surely satisfying denouements, in which a handful of men intervene to stand up for the rights of the various oppressed – thus becoming the heroic role models for their sons, who look on adoringly, and who in their turn will presumably form a new generation of ethical, upright, and, no doubt, clean-shaven men.
On a first and inattentive watching, it might be easy to suppose that this advertisement is nothing other than the latest expression of a millennial Western tradition, founded originally in the chivalry of Christendom, which dedicated itself to the tempering of masculinity into a highly refined and noble manliness, forging the warrior into a paragon of justice, a defender of the honour of women and a protector of the weak. It does not take long to disabuse oneself of this pleasant delusion, however, and to realize that the commercial in question is in fact nothing but a bit of feminist pandering.
It has made itself, to be sure, the centre of a growing controversy, which may or may not redound to the dividends of Gillette’s stockholders. Much of the backlash has come from men who object to the supercilious tone of the commercial, and who are (curiously enough) tired of being hectored by multinational corporations, whose board members doubtless have much graver sins on their conscience than whistling at pretty girls in the streets. Some have no doubt noticed the racial element involved – namely, that the active offenders are in all cases white men, whereas the ‘heroes’ are of a somewhat more varied ethnic gambit. A great deal of the debate has centred as well on the fact that this advertisement seems to demonize manliness, suggesting that, until now, men have been in the main the agents of a socially tolerated ‘toxic masculinity’ (horrendous ideological propagandism that practically introduces the advertisement), but that ‘something finally changed, and there will be no going back’. That ‘something’, we are given strongly to understand, is the so-called ‘Me Too’ movement and the rise of n-th wave feminism, without which, evidently, we would be mired eternally in the old patriarchal morass of abusive, violent, overweening masculinity.
The negative responses to this advertisement are useful and beneficial, but as ever, they are two steps behind the leftist intellectual avant-garde, of which this commercial is the merest and most unconscious spin-off. While the ‘right’ is bleating about the unfairness of so palpably hostile a portrayal of masculinity, the left is busy spending its considerable intellectual capital in radically hollowing out the idea of masculinity itself, by proposing that the human sexes (nota bene: not just the genders; that is old hat by now) are themselves socially constructed.2
This is insidiously reflected in the central scene of this advertisement, in which a seemingly endless line-up of normal-looking men, arms folded and standing aside their smoking barbecues, recite, as though in litany, ‘Boys will be boys’ – that time-tested piece of commonplace wisdom which has inaugurated the new generations of men into the world since as long as anyone can recall. Evidently, we are to understand that boys will not be boys – or at any rate, not necessarily; to presume that they will be is both to contribute to the engineering of a new generation of mindless, rough-and-ready brawlers and sexual predators, and to perform a basic injustice against our boys themselves, in whose bodies little girls, may, in fact, be timidly lurking. Gillette has thus given its consent to the production of a social climate in which most men will be transformed into milksops, and the remainder, quite reactively, into angry and big-bearded barbarians – neither of which alternative augurs well for the razerblade and shaving-cream business.
So much for a brief critique of a bit of witless propaganda. But in point of fact, the entire charade is but a theatre piece of modern times. Many of those who respond to this advertisement, for good or ill, are but the useful fools of the publicity industry; and Gillette itself is but the useful fool of the contemporary egalitarianism. Such sophisticated analysis, however, reflects nothing of the moral question involved: the first group wants, with full good right, its dignity; Gillette wants, with considerably less right, its battened lucre; and the third group wants, with no right at all, the slow but inexorable refashioning of society into the image of its capitalo-communistic egalitarian utopia.
With this in mind, we proceed to the little deeper layer.
Biological Sex as Social Construct
We have already noted that the pioneering wing of the left is presently hard at work attempting to discredit the idea of biological sex. The rare responses to this newest effort at the ‘deconstruction’ of traditional ideals have unsurprisingly rallied to the banner of science to demonstrate their point. Though this is a necessary aspect of the counter-argument, I think it woefully inadequate, for reasons that I have discussed at length elsewhere and to which I will doubtless be returning.3 I believe that the defence of the idea of biological sex, not to speak of the defence of the idea of natural gender, must come on a wholly different plane: the philosophical and metaphysical plane, not to speak of the plane of intelligent mockery, caricature and satire. (I would gladly give all the scientific ‘proofs’ of biological sex in all the world, for a single contemporary piece of satire of the calibre of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata or Thesmophoriazusae.)
Let us begin at the surface, by attempting to understand the claim. According to it, the binary male/female scheme is arbitrary, and might as easily be something altogether different – say, a spectrum, or a tripartite scheme, or a multi-partite scheme. The presently accepted divisions are wholly artificial, rather than being in any way natural, and thus can become whatever we choose to make of them. Thus a given human being, born into what appears to be the body of a man, might decide in fact that this is but a misassignation of his true sex. Standing on this sense of himself, he will say, ‘I am not a man, even on the biological level; I am a woman.’
The initial problem which confronts such a one, of course, is that in his attempt to break free of an arbitrary scheme (the male/female dichotomy), he has immediately reaffirmed it. By negating the application of the category ‘man’ to himself, he has effectively asserted its existence, as well as his putative inclusion in its category. The leftist argument thus at once falls into the trap of all reactionism: it wishes to deny the existence or authority of something, and so it lashes out against it, thus demonstrating the very existence or authority which it would deny; and indeed, it is generally true that mere negation of a universally acknowledged principle or idea amounts to reification of the same.
The leftist must thus recognize that the insistence upon the freedom of this or that human being to determine his sex is only a first step in the process of deconstructing the artificial binary opposition between the sexes. He must go a step further; he must eradicate the metaphysical authority of this binary. Following his initial ‘insight’, viz. that there is nothing natural about the male/female binary, he finds he has two options: he can attempt to reconstitute a variety of possible and legitimate ‘genders’ or ‘sexes’, as substitution for the simple and simple-minded male/female binary; or he can insist on the arbitrariness and ‘constructed’ quality of gender and sex to the bitter end.
Let us walk a while with our embattled ‘liberal’ upon the second and more revolutionary path of this parlous fork in the road, to see just where his boldness must lead him.
The Relativist View
Supposing he follows this route – which we may call with good reason the ‘relativist’ interpretation of sex or gender, and which heads decidedly leftward and toward a rubbled and desolate plain – what then? He has essentially cloven the apparently clean and tidy male/female binary in half and discovered between its (imaginary) poles a whole cacophonous universe of unexpected possibilities. The first temptation is to suppose that there is a spectrum of possibilities, running from ‘pure masculinity’ on the one hand to ‘pure femininity’ on the other; our ‘liberal’ might indeed embrace such a view of things, in blithe ignorance of the fact that his arch-nemesis, Julius Evola, essentially did the same, while drawing from this identical insight diametrically opposed conclusions.4 But once again, our ‘liberal’ has here stumbled over the major hindrance to all reactionary positions: in supposing a real spectrum, he has of course supposed as well the reality of the extremes of that spectrum – of undiluted masculinity and undiluted femininity. Even as a man who, looking at a greyscale, cannot claim that the obvious existence of so many shades of grey disproves the equally obvious existence of black or white, so our ‘liberal’ seems compelled in the end to recognize that, although he might well be correct that there are any number of ‘middle cases’ or ambiguous positions in his sex spectrum, this does not prejudice the fact that there are also pure cases containing it on both ends.
His claim must then be another, and he must take it to a wholly different level. He must acknowledge that the binary genders really do exist; but he adds to this claim supplementary conditions, to wit:
- They are either exceedingly rare (as black and white as compared to the infinite shades of grey) or else they are much less common than mixed cases; therefore,
- to use them as a standard by which to measure mixed cases is essentially unjust, and represents nothing but a bit of social fascism imposed on societies through the fiat of (generally patriarchal) ruling classes, in order to perpetuate their abusive power, wealth, etc.
His claim thus reduces to the idea that there is a whole variety of real sexes or genders, including those classically known as ‘male’ and ‘female’, and thus refutes its original relativistic premise that gender or sex is socially constructed. Gender or sex is in fact totally real; only that there are many more of them than are commonly acknowledged, which have been, if anything, socially manipulated according to the ‘prejudice’ that there are, or should be, only two. But this relatively moderate point of view is much more accessible to assault from classical conservatives.
To defend the radical relativistic view, our ‘liberal’ must therefore fall back upon quite another and much bolder claim: there are no ‘real’ sexes or genders, but only ‘constructed’ ones. Every sex or gender, be it ‘male’ or ‘female’ or anything in between, is actually a figment of the collective imagination, as it can be supposed to include any number of even contradictory traits. There are no rationally definable borders surrounding the idea of ‘man’ or ‘woman’, ‘male’ or ‘female’, neither on the biological level, nor certainly on the level of gender. These borders are arbitrarily assigned and thoroughly permeable, as can be attested, for instance, by the circumstance that we are willing to call an enormous variety of human beings ‘men’ despite the fact that they have literally nothing in common, if not certain incidental features (such as the presence of the Y-chromosome or the absence of female genitalia), which in turn prove on any rigorous analysis to be perfectly distinct and separable from any of the specific social or biological traits which are commonly associated with ‘maleness’ in our society. Hence, even to speak of ‘sex’ is to commit a philosophical error.
This is the radical leftist position, and stands at present on the cutting edge of leftist thought; given the nature of the left, which is enamoured of ‘progress’ and marches eternally in the direction indicated by its maddest theoreticians, this is therefore also the most effective critique, and the one which challenges the conventional view most directly, deeply and decisively. At present, one finds it flitting about the periphery of leftist thought like a willow-the-wisp; but rest assured that few of the members of the wider left are immune to the charms of such cunning lights. Another half decade (supposing it will take so long as that, with how rapidly things are moving!) and this idea will have become as prosaic and dull as the once-revolutionary notion of socially constructed gender. And to say it again, science, far from standing in its way, will unroll the carpet before its very feet – save as a deeper and more entrenched opposition can be made on the much more fundamental level of philosophy, morality, satire, art and metaphysics.
The first point of weakness in the radical premise is the methodology by which it is attained. The ‘liberal’, in order to demonstrate the uncertainty of the classical categories, relies on the discovery of exceptions to any definition of them which might be proposed. Whatever definition one finds of maleness, he will find a counter-example, and on the strength of that will hold the definition to be nullified. But exceptions to the rule have always been acknowledged; no society, including that of Christendom, has ever doubted, for instance, the (rare) existence of hermaphrodites. It is the status of such individuals which is the crux of the question: do they represent a deviation from the norm, or a norm all their own? It is part and parcel of modern methodology – it runs throughout all of modernity like a hidden thread, from the limit cases of calculus to the limiting procedural methods of science; from the checks and balances of republicanism to the categorical imperative of Kant – to take the exception as being constitutive of norms. Prior ages, on the other hand, took the exception, strangely enough, to be an exception. This methodological contest cannot be resolved in the present essay. It will be apparent enough, however, where we consider reason to lie in it.
Now, granting for a moment the left’s radical premise, our ‘liberal’ finds himself in the following state of affairs: he exists in a human society which has been labouring beneath a false view of sex since its founding, and which judges everything in terms of a non-existent binary. That binary is embedded deep in the language and customs of his society, to such an extent that in every attempt he makes to deny it, he finds he must make reference to it. He must then work on a variety of fronts to force the mutation of this false view into the true view: he must in the first place make intellectual or scientific or apologetic arguments in support of his thesis; he must in the second place work to change the language itself, carving out space within it for the limitless variety of possible sexes and genders. We are seeing this last movement, for instance, in the recent university regulations, and even in some cases city laws, imposing the use of artificial pronouns.5 There is, after all, nothing at all untoward about insisting upon imaginary words to refer to imaginary genders.
Whether there is anything contradictory about restricting freedom in the name of freedom, is quite another matter.
Identity or Nature?
If all genders are arbitrary social constructs, it would appear, from the point of view of logic, every bit as arbitrary to affirm the ‘liberal’s’ chaotic mishmash of essentially undefinable ‘identities’, as to affirm as the male/female binary. Since there is no natural grounding for the one or for the other, why not insist on the traditional view? The ‘liberal’, to answer this challenge, must defend the justice of his notions on the basis of the truth of his premises. Because there is demonstrably, as he claims, no such thing as sex or gender, sex or gender should be the choice of every individual human being; each human being, finding within himself, rather than a single nature he holds in common with other human beings like himself, discovers instead a wholly singular individual, perfectly idiosyncratic, and containing within himself an amorphic confusion or void, which he should have the right to name or fill as he sees fit.
All well and good; but of course, the liberal cannot stop up here. For it is clear that in a society conditioned by the millennial delusion of the male/female binary, most human beings will see fit to call themselves ‘men’ or ‘women’. This will lead in turn to the continuation of the grand illusion of the ‘normalcy’ of these genders, and will thus encourage the entire complex of social, political and legal standards constructed around that idea of normalcy; and this in turn will lead to any number of inequalities between these ‘normal’ individuals and the ‘abnormal’ individuals who refuse to be defined by this binary. Our ‘liberal’ is thus compelled to become a revolutionary – as is after all not uncommon to his ilk – and to do all in his power to uproot and eradicate the ‘norm’ by persuading, first the academic and political and media elites, and then later the common run of men, of its deficiency.
He therefore goes on the offensive, decking himself out, perchance, in the most flamboyant female dress he can get his hands on (for thus he makes a more obvious stand upon his rights), parading with other and equally revolutionary ‘non-gendered persons’, and writing furious screeds for any of the myriad of magazines and journals and blogs available to such left-thinking folk in defence of his ‘lifestyle choices’ – or, if he be so inclined, in intellectual support of the ideas that underpin his new existence. One way or another, he makes it his goal, not merely to live as he sees fit (which mere living is compromised in a thousand ways by the stodgy old traditional prejudices about sex and gender), but rather to transform society itself to accommodate and to encourage such choices as he has made.
He does all of this in the name of, and on the justification of, a thing he calls his ‘identity’. This ‘identity’ is something which is not externally given him (save by the very unjust and fascistic social imposition he seeks to eradicate), but is rather freely chosen by the individual on the basis of his innermost ‘feeling’ or ‘sense’ of himself. That choice must therefore possess an absolute dignity and cannot be compromised nor questioned by any outside party; it must be accepted as a fundamental right of the human being, on the premise that, since no human being is given a nature, each human being is given instead an individuality which cannot be comprehended or characterized by any external party, and which must be preserved, protected and nourished in all of its manifestations (save as these be, naturally, ideologically opposed to the kind of society that makes this delightful internal anarchy possible).
The classic view of the human being gave to each man a specific nature. This nature was rooted in his genera; it included, for instance, his sex, his gender, his ethnicity, his talents and his failings, his vices and his virtues. It was the duty of education and upbringing, entrusted to the hands of wise teachers or masters, to cultivate the particular nature of each human being with due recognition both of his situation and of his particularity. This view therefore made room both for normalcy (class, race, trade, religion etc.) and for exceptionalism (vocation, calling, talent etc.). It recognized, with a greater or lesser degree of merciful comprehension, that some persons would be born inadequate to their stations (the mentally or physically crippled, the sickly etc.) and that others would be born superior to their stations (the prodigy, the genius etc.). It was at once firm and yielding, at once rigid and flexible, and made full allowances for the broad range of human possibilities within the special sphere of human nature, limits of which it viewed as the precondition for human excellence, human wholeness, and right human growth itself.
The new view, by contrast, begins from the elimination of precisely those limitations, that sphere. In the place of nature, it hypothesizes in each man an irreducible, undefinable, inalienable ‘self’. One might call this an ‘individual nature’, but the very idea of a strictly individual nature eradicates the idea of nature as such.6 Each man is rather simply an individual – that which cannot be reduced any further, that which cannot be grouped or agglomerated into a larger organic whole, save as it itself chooses to be so grouped or agglomerated. Each individual is or should be the unrestricted agent of his own destiny, and should be perfectly free to choose what he will or will not do with his life, save as his choices infringe on the rights of others to do the same. The individual is one monad amidst a sea of monads, bumping up against their bubble-like existences and bouncing off again, until at last he has run his course and his own bubble has popped, and he dissolves again into the undifferentiated waves of becoming.
The Left as Reactionary
We are not concerned, however, with his death, so much as with his life. (In this respect, we are presently very much like him; for he, too, concerns himself exclusively with his ‘life’ and ignores utterly the haunting necessity of his death.) It should be asked, quite simply, on what basis he is to formulate his ‘identity’, given that all external aids to such have been disregarded as artificial. In any society, it is inevitable that he will be ascribed any number of identities up to the time that he is able to choose one for himself. Even in the ‘ideal society’, built upon the wildest utopian daydreams of the boldest leftist visionary, one can at best imagine a kind of ‘neutral’ identity assigned willy-nilly to all children, perhaps with its particular non-committal pronouns and its particular characterless and colourless toys, activities, meals, clothing, education etc., still it is evident that the first act of any individual will not be his positive selection of his ‘gender’ or his ‘sex’ or his ‘identity’ from out of a limitless manifold; his first act will rather necessary be the purely negative act of rejecting that identity which was imposed upon him. Nature is given to man; it is a positive and positively definable aspect of his being, which encourages him in a specific direction and toward a specific ideal; ‘identity’ is merely a hollow place within the ‘individual’ which he makes ‘his own’ by throwing out whatever he happens to find already there.
The radically relativistic view of sex and gender thus makes of the human being a basically negative actor, a naysayer, whose first and most defining deed is rejection. It is the dogma of the radical ‘liberal’ that this initial movement of destruction merely paves the way for a subsequent and primary act of ‘creation’. But in the absence of all positive standards (which have been rubbled, one by one, in the vast ‘deconstructive’ project of modernity), such ‘creation’ occurs essentially in a void and without any guidance. Despite what the moderns seem to think about ‘creation’ – word which we most significantly use even to describe the scribblings of our toddlers and the third-rate tinkering of the local amateur handicraftsman – it is not the kind of thing that one can pull out of one’s hat, just so, at a whim. Everyone knows the truism that it is easier to destroy than to build; how much easier, then, to negate than to create!
The vast majority of ‘identity’ is today, and will be tomorrow, nothing but the angry denunciation of this or that extant group, imposition, norm, moral, custom, law, personage, etc. The very ‘choice of identity’ is an inescapably negative choice, a determination of what one is not or what one does not want to be, and this negation is reflected in every aspect of the present sinister transformation of society: the left knows well how to destroy, revels in the act of obliteration and demolition, but when it comes to assigning positive goals for itself or for society, baulks and becomes strangely mute. It falls back, to be sure, on any number of nice-sounding propositions, such as ‘equality’ or ‘rights’. A wider investigation of these ‘principles of the left’ lies outside the limits of the present essay, so here we can but assert that even these propositions, when analysed to their depths, reveal themselves as being equally negative. As evidence for what we cannot at present prove, we produce the whole of modern society.
The entire society-wide squabble over gender and sex, with all its distasteful manifestations – such as the Gillette commercial with which we introduced this essay – is essentially nothing other than a counter-action against traditional values. This much is widely known, but when it is treated in speech, this counter-action is not ascribed its right character. It is called revolutionary, and one is given to understand (thanks to the thoroughgoing and ever-continuing verbal legerdemain of the left) that the revolutionary ‘liberal’ stands against the reactionary conservative. This in fact turns the truth directly on its head: it is the revolutionary who is the true reactionary, and the conservative who is the truly active party. The conservative stands for what is and the being of what is, its continuation and perpetuation through time, which is the essentially active deed – the direct human reflection of the fundamental positive and active deed of creation itself, whereby God sustains the world that He has made, and prolongs its existence unto eternity. The leftist is the reactive party to this deed, who, perceiving it, moves against it and wishes to destroy it, to hobble it, to castrate it, to eliminate it, to besmirch and belittle it, to befuddle and confound it, and finally to annihilate it. The leftist moves primarily out of dislike, irritation or discomfort, when he does not move out of hatred itself; the conservative, even when he takes up the sword, moves ever out of love (though in any number of cases it might be a misplaced and wrong-headed love). In conserving, he acts; and in destroying, the leftist reacts, working to destroy as well his own underpinnings, his very preconditions, and rendering himself as helpless and impotent as an octopus floating in the infinite chambers of space.
He is spurred on in his hopeless quest, however, by resentment and envy; he wants what is given to others, but he wants it on his own terms and without any effort. That is his small and misfit idea of creation. A characteristic passage from a related article can be taken as representative:7
According to another YouTuber, Riley J. Dennis, the answer is yes. In a video she did back in February of this year, she explains biological sex is a social construct because not everyone experiences secondary sex characteristics the same way. ‘Some people with penises don’t develop much if any facial hair,’ she says, ‘while some develop beards, and the amount of facial hair that they have doesn’t make them more or less male. The same goes for people with vaginas. Some of them will develop large breasts, some will develop small breasts, but neither of those is more or less female.’
In point of fact, there are men who are less male than other men; there are women who are less female; for maleness and femaleness, just as manliness and womanliness, are human ideals. The latter are ideals toward which every one of us should aim within our capacities; the former, ideals that we realize or fall short of on account of our inborn qualities. But the ‘liberal’ does not want to feel rebuked by a morality, does not want to fall short of an ideal, and so invents for himself a bite-sized ideal he can swallow at a gulp, made precisely for the narrow set of his own jaws – a target so near to him that he could not miss it if he tried. ‘Liberalism’ is an invitation to tear down statues on the one hand and to squat on the remains on the other; it is social restlessness wed to personal complacency.
For the contemporary ‘liberal’ has at once a hopelessly small idea of man, and an impossibly grandiose vision of his potential. Man to him is at once but an animal like any other, a mere accidental mechanical combination of material bits that is thrust about on the waves of forces it does not understand and cannot control; he is produced, excreted, brought into existence as a kind of puppet at the mercy of a merciless universe. At the same time, by the leftist view, man is the producer of that science by which Fortuna can be slain, the ex nihil creator of his own ‘value systems’, a first and primary mover in his own destiny.
Neither the one thing nor the other is true, and in proposing such a grotesque and self-contradictory image of the human being, the leftist has in truth produced an anti-man, a vision of the human being turned inside out and made at once more pathetic and more godlike than he really is. For man is in truth free in such a way as the animals cannot comprehend, is the strange one of the world, capable of dancing a hair’s breadth beyond the grasp of a deadening and degrading necessity; and yet he is made only in the image of God, is not himself a god, and can access the divine light of creation only within the right limits of his special mansion. His creation, too, is in the image of divine creation, is not itself divine creation; to foist upon him the duties of a divinity is to crush him beneath a weight he was not born to bear. The leftist attempt to produce an ‘identity’ capable of filling the void produced by the deconstruction of sex and gender is a fine symbol of that awful hubris. In truth, man’s special freedom, and his special limitations, are contained within and inseparable from his nature – a nature with which he is born, and which proposes for him as much an ideal of man and woman, as of society, morality, and being.
1Truly a clever piece of publicity, which works on at least three different levels simultaneously: first, the merely commercial, insofar as it indicates that this razor is the finest razor on the market; second, the personal, insofar as it suggests that by purchasing this razor, a man will ‘get to be’, i.e. become, his very best; third (connected especially with various images in an older generation of Gillette commercials), the sexual, insofar as it suggests that a man who has been specially groomed by the cutting-edge shaving of Gillette razors, will get the best woman he can get. Needless to say, given this absolutely inescapable element of its older commercials, Gillette with its newest advertisement runs the risk of playing the hypocrite. We are permitted to doubt, however, whether this fact will long trouble the conscience of its producers, who are, after all, not paid their unwieldy stipends for consistency or moral fibre. Yet we cannot resist mentioning in this context that the idea of a ‘capitalistic meritocracy’ is really one of the most obnoxious gimmicks of our modern parlance.
2It already says a great deal that in looking for an article on this ‘question’, one finds that one has the embarrassment of the choice. This seems to be one of the going problems on the left, and the chatter surrounding it might be compared to the response from the ‘right’, which is limited to the odd article floating about in the netherlands of the the As for the work being done by the left, and selecting a few articles more or less arbitrarily, see for instance ‘It’s Time For People to Stop Using the Social Construct of “Biological Sex” to Defend Their Transmisogyny’, by one ‘Mey’, or ‘Sex is a Social Construction, Even if the Olympics Pretends it’s Not’, by Nathan Palmer.
3See my essay ‘The Lesser Sphere’, Arktos Journal.
4See The Bow and the Club (Arktos, 2018), Chapter Three, ‘The Third Sex’.
5New York City, for instance, is unastonishingly at the forefront of this particular bit of modernistic nonsensical injustice, and has gone so far as to implement fines against people who refuse to use the pronouns selected by their interlocutors, even if these be pronouns that literally did not exist before the turn of this latest century.
6This is one of the greatest philosophical challenges confronted by Nietzsche. Consider Beyond Good and Evil, especialy §§ 9 and 22.
7Mamone, Trav, ‘Is Biological Sex a Social Construct? It’s Complicated’, Paste Magazine, July 17, 2017. Accessed January 18, 2019.
It seems to me that so far from affirming the ‘right to be different’, in a sliding scale of ethnos. gender, and whatever else that differentiates humans, the aim is one of deconstruction, in a dialectical process, of all identities and the creation of a nebulous mass of economic automatons. The oligarchs are calling this the ‘inclusive economy’.
I could not agree more. Indeed, the ‘sliding scale’ of ‘individuality’ or ‘identity’ leads necessarily to the acknowledgement of natural and inborn differences, as I point out in this essay, and therefore proves inadequate as a mainstay for the true and essentially negative task of the left in our day. The left to attain its aims must become relativistic, and relativism is, as you point out, nothing but philosophical deconstruction. The left is nihilistic; it wishes to destroy, and moves often enough out of an essential and irreducible hatred.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. The explication of “maleness” and “femaleness” as ideals, in relation to which we vary in our allotment, and yet strive to manifest to the best of our ability and natural endowment, is a really useful way to understand the dichotomy. And that those that are insufficient in some way choose to be perfectly something else, of their own invention, rather than imperfectly shy of the ideal. True hubris, indeed.
The basic problem as I see it is that of giving too much attention to the transgender ideology movement. These people have broadcast their fanatical hatred for Nature, History, Religion and Tradition at every hand. Why give them the the courtesy of attention? Ignore them, make fun of them, but only as last resource pay them any mind.
To be sure, the attitude you recommend is honourable, and I for one have long been tempted by it. But in our present moment it seems to me something like haughtily disdaining to recognize a growing cancer in one’s body, simply because the cancer is, after all, rather disgusting, and is proceeding in a way contrary to all right nature and health. Worse still, this cancer, which, being cancer of the social body or the body politic, is sure to be ‘treated’ by any number of quacks or charlatans, quite in spite of one’s noble neglect, and with the inevitable consequence that the disease will be aggravated. Is it not better, then, at least to attempt to address the illness in a more salutary way, even if one’s efforts here are necessarily limited?
Having said that, I agree entirely (as I indicated in my article) that laughter is a better medicine than many more argumentative approaches. I might only add that laughter can take more than a single form.
Yes! I wish only to add that, in my estimation, “human” is an intellectual construct that has found its way from the French Revolution to Darwin’s biology and, unfortunately, into today’s politics. No “human” actually exists in our recurring daily reality. Only men and women live, reproduce, die and bleed. The greatest lovers of “humanity”, on the other hand, have been its greatest butchers (Georges Sorel). “Humans” suffer nothing for the sake of politics because political ideas have no other purpose! And they do not bleed, not in the eyes of Liberal Narcissus, who looked into the pond, saw nothing, and fell in love with its own reflection : an empty idea. No wonder, that the last 200 years of Liberalism have been history’s most bloody and now, through its own logic, Liberalism can no longer produce the soldiers to defend itself. It requires automatons, drones and robots because that is all Liberalism is anymore, a robot walking over a cliff.
The overly-chastised , overly punished for any of his weaknesses and mistakes, eternally and massively criticized ” white male” , every poll show , is actually the single happiest , owning the most positive outlook toward the future, ethnic group on Planet Earth (Planet ? Even some of ours , I am finding , seem to believe it is some kind of infinite board now ) .
Apparently responsibility ,if accepted with serenity , is not only a burden , it is also a very definite gift .
And exactly the same goes for the constant, resentful assignment of ” Unjust Privilege ” thrown against us white males by ..well ..almost everyone else.
( ” Yes , I am a privileged born white male, and I have precisely zero problems with that, Eternal Lady Luck is not blind . brownie , so live with that “).
While I can recognize the objectivity of the male rights movement complaints ..I couldn’t care less about any of them, because I find their search for victim status at any cost , their cry for compassion and justice , their rejection of any natural privilege and call for equality of treatment utterly annoying and always bound to lose in the end .
Same goes for any regular republican voter of any sex , or middle of the road conservative intellectual, refusal of the existence of any privilege for whites .
If you are privileged ..well you are , and you should first of all recognize that and then carry that privilege as a feather in your hat, for everyone to see and admire .
Anything else is a lie, therefore bound to lose.
Same goes for the refusal and denial of the only half decent thing republicans have ever done throughout their whole history , the Southern Strategy , with the now infamous, raucous cry :
” democrats “( whatever the hell a democrat is ) are the real racists “.
Same goes for the refusal of fascism and the denunciation of it as a ” socialist movement ,therefore left wing “.
These gross lies , not only they are gross historical lies and as lies are hopelessly destined to lose to begin with , but they always put the Right side on the idiotic stand point of fully validating the most basic , progressive principles of ” equality ” ” anti-racism ” ” anti-discrimination”..: “full worship of full democracy ” , giving then lefties a complete , final win before the game has even begun.
Regular ,modern conservatives( I am not even going into ” neo ” here ) just never seem to lean that simple , basic lesson:
BE a reactionary , not a mild , slow brake on progressive principles , a moderate and democratic common sense , centrist progressive , looking for equality or other malign ,similar principles , or you are simply a loser before the game has even begun , and a kind of loser not at all better than the full progressive, far left wing .. loser by definition and full conviction.
Don’t play in their field , realize the spiritual ,personal duty of a Right as actual opposition to Left , therefore as a realization and active , positive protection of differences , discriminations ,privileges .
A completely irrelevant personal curiosity of mine :
Mister Leonard , does an English speaker, even one from the high IQ and very well read stock , really know what ” nota bene ” means ?,
Or.. is it maybe .. the influence of life in beautiful Sardegna playing tricks on you ?
To make sure what I meant by my last question is understood :
I know YOU know exactly what ” nota bene ” means , but does any of your English reader , honestly ?
If so, well I am positively surprised and.., I just didn’t know that .
Republicans asking for the Virginia Governor to resign , over a 35 years old kid’s joke, is a perfect sample of this vacuum , the complete absence of an actual right wing , reactionary party or serious movement whatsoever.
Besides , the lack of consistency , honesty , sense of personal freedom from republicans on this is staggering.
It is predictably going to fuel some more of that ” democrats are the real racist” comical and eternally losing mantra.