In late May of this year, reports appeared about a scandal coming out of China, to do with a mathematics text books which had been used in primary school classrooms all over the country for the last ten or so years. Irate parents gathered on the internet to express their fury about the lewd, unpatriotic, and “ugly” pictures that had been included in the textbooks. The ugly ones depicted children with misshapen foreheads, droopy eyes, and “weird,” stylized Western clothes (one boy looks like he is a US college kid from the 1920s, another appears to be wearing Lederhosen, another is wearing a bow tie, another is posing like some young Hollywood star—in case you were wondering, Chinese parents generally don’t dress their kids this way). Some are pulling faces, or just looking stupid, and a number are making cheeky gestures with their tongues or hands; the unpatriotic ones include a picture of the Chinese flag in reverse and children dressed in colours suggestive of the American flag. The lewd ones are of little boys with very noticeable erect penises, another of a little girl’s dress lifted by her leap to reveal her panties and crotch, another has a boy tugging at a little girl’s dress, and in that same picture another child is squeezing the nipples of a little girl. At the very least, they look really weird—even more so that they appeared in a math textbook; though perhaps it is no weirder than university professors in the USA telling all and sundry that teaching math to black kids is racist.
The Chinese government appears to be embarrassed by the whole thing, and no less enraged than the parents, although there are questions to be answered about why the CCP had previously ignored complaints about the textbook. For it is only now, after a new surge of online complaints and chats, that the government has taken action and is investigating who was responsible. The question of responsibility for how a book makes it into a Chinese class room is no small matter. One imagines that a lot of seals of approvals are needed for a school text to be pedagogically and ideologically acceptable to the CCP. So, it seems that the illustrators are just the tip of an iceberg—the question is what lies beneath the surface?
The most common interpretation seems to be that there may be nefarious Western influences at work, who have deployed subliminal means to try and turn Chinese children away from traditional values and appropriate behaviour.
The Western media that I have read generally sees the whole thing as one more example of Western bashing. Irrespective of whether this is some foreign or domestic plot, or just someone having a laugh while the various officials presiding over ideological and social purity were asleep at the wheel, or someone given to the infantile humour, what is noteworthy is the concurrence between parents and the government about what constitutes an assault upon Chinese values, and what this indicates about how the Chinese expect their children to appear and to behave, and how they are responding to depictions of naughty sexualized children. It is equally noteworthy that they can see in these pictures a possible foreign attempt to subvert Chinese values by subliminally Westernizing children.
2. The Great Emancipation Continues, Spearheaded by Drag Queens and Trannies
That the Chinese government is able to pitch the above-mentioned episode as one of potential Western sabotage would seem less far-fetched were it not for the fact that in a very short space of time, the Western elite and the urban tertiary-educated metropolitan professional classes, who are its primary representatives, beneficiaries and enablers have literally dragged the matter of sexual rights and identity into childhood. Thus, there have been various local council and government initiatives to have drag queens read to kids in libraries, or drag events of meet-and-greet parents and kids; others allowing permits for setting up stripping poles at pride events for the kids to try their hand at what may turn into a new career opportunity. One that recently received a fair amount of backlash was of a scantily clad, well-stacked and packed, leggie transexual dancing around in a manner typical of “adult” club “dancers.” But it was not an adult club and “she”/”he,” or whatever the chosen pronoun, was not reaching out to adults, but to very young kids, with their parents clapping along, and encouraging kids to dance along with the nice ladyman. In a country that won’t allow people to have a beer until they are 21, there seems to be no issue with kiddies being in a bar with a neo-sign displaying the words ‘It’s Not Gonna Lick Itself;’ just in case you thought this was not OK, officials made sure that while kids may have been chaperoned in the “lick her” lollipop event, no liquor was served—thank the Lord that moral standards are being so safely protected by our moral paragons.
Speaking of moral standards and paragons of virtue, that other bastion of moral proprietary, the corporate media have increasingly come to see it as their moral responsibility to use children’s tv shows, films and books to celebrate same sex practice, coupling, marriage and childrearing as well as trans-children and trans-parents. In this new moral universe that has been conjured by the Western elite, it is a “normal” part of a child’s development to consider his/her biological sex as a matter of little importance whilst being encouraged to ponder the greater question of what biological sex he/she would like to become, and hence to help Big Pharma and surgeons decide what kind of drugs and amputation surgery they think might be suitable for kids that cannot be trusted to drink a glass of wine but have the wisdom of self to know where nature made an error in handing out the sex parts.
The world we all live in, in the West, was neatly laid out with that same intrepidity that defines the Daily Mail as the slummier version of the New York Times, a paper which never hesitates to scream louder for the demise of the Western world: on the same day that a former President’s home had been raided by the FBI (perfectly reasonable… after all he was groomed by Russian agents and he was definitely a Russian puppet President, and he posted really mean tweets, and he led an insurrection by saying we are going to march peacefully down to the Capital and protest)—a four-year-old child born a female announced transition with a blue gender reveal cannon at Vancouver Pride Parade—with its grandmother by its side. USA/Canada/Australia/New Zealand/Western Europe—as we say in Australia “same difference;” though, to be fair to the Canadians, they did at least pick a guy who can enforce the new fascism in complete sentences.
But it is not who the Grand Poobah is that matters anymore, anymore than it matters which ruling party holds office—it is what the Western globalist enablers and beneficiaries are willing to do to get their way. Those wanting the Great Reset are as prepared to destroy any populist opposition who might undermine their plans, as they are to starve people (ask the Sri Lankans about that), as they are to destroy the livelihoods of farmers who must cull their cattle, and thus be forced to sell their land off to those wanting to control the global production of food and its supply, of what will be a predominantly plant or insect based diet (ask the Dutch farmers about that), and as they are to encourage anything that might lead to the reduction of the global population, so that it might fit the number Klaus, Bill, Jeff, George and their mates think is desirable. It is not hard to envisage that behind the new family and the normalization of the idea that one’s biological sex organs not meaning anything is the prospect of the eventual banning of biological birth by anyone whose social credit is discredited. If that sounds like some crank conspiracy theorist, it is because today a conspiracy theorist is anyone who has read “Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” or The Great Reset. And if anyone thought things like the directives “Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature,” and “Guide reproduction wisely—improving fitness and diversity,” which were engraved on the Georgia Guidestones in 1980, were actually intended to mean something and might in some way have been put there by someone (Ted Turner according to local rumour) who shared the same “vision” with Schwab, Gates, and Co.—well, they are really total crazies. (The monument was blown up last month and has been removed, so to think it was even there is crazy, man, crazy.)
This same elite also thinks that acceptance of this program should be mandatory; that parents who object to some part of it—like the kids thinking that Mummy and Daddy are really weird if they are last century’s version of Mummy and Daddy, or that “willies” and “vulvas” are about as defining of who and what one is as one’s favourite ice cream—are either misinformed and need to be re-educated or are a threat to their children’s well-being and hence their children need to be rescued from them for such parents’ cruel bigotry. This elite also think that any member of a medical or psychiatry association, and increasingly a university or school, who does not think this should be relieved of his duties.
None of this, though, prevented the mobilization of opposition to Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health which was driven by the slogan of women’s rights; which is indicative of the fact that “woman” is a biological term when those with progressive political intentions say it is because they want it to be—and when it does not suit them, then biology is a social construct.
In a world where an elite, and their imbecilic enablers, preach that it is not normal to think of one’s natural sexual organs as signifying anything, the right answer for anyone aspiring to hold office in the highest judicial office in the land is to pass on the question “What is a woman?” by stating the obvious that “she is not a biologist”—hence all those old laws and rules which do require distinguishing between men and women, or designating who may enter which toilets, bathrooms, or waxing services according to sexual anatomy, can be deemed unconstitutional without anyone ever needing to do something as clumsy and open to a barrage of ridicule as the Democrats did when they passed the “sexless speech codes for the House of Representatives.”
By the way, and apropos of China and America, and their respective elites and “leaders,” the code which bans the use of such terms as “mother” and “father,” “brother” and “sister” was introduced by Nancy Pelosi, the same one who, having poked the dragon by refusing to play the normal game of international diplomacy, publicly waltzed off to Taiwan (none knows exactly why, apart from the obvious reason of creating an international incident) thought that the public was so stupid that her telling the “cutest” anecdote of believing, as a little girl, that if she dug through the beach she would get to China—that’s how much she loved China and why she has had a special relationship with China ever since. Until I read that, and leaving aside pretty much any sentence Joe might air on any given topic, or videos of him walking into broom closets, shaking hands with the air a minute after shaking hands with a real person (assuming that is, that Chuck Schumer is not a lizard shape-shifter), and reading teleprompter directions for his audience to hear—I had thought nothing could top Kamala Harris’s lesson on international diplomacy for the American people: “Ukraine is a country in Europe. It exists next to another country called Russia. Russia is a bigger country. Russia is a powerful country. Russia decided to invade a smaller country called Ukraine; so, basically, that’s wrong,”
Xi and the boys are probably wondering on how earth the world economic and military hegemon is led by three idiots—and for the anti-Trumpers, let us concede along with the debacle in Afghanistan, poking the Russian bear into threatening to nuke the West, you got three idiots doing well over three times more damage for the price of one. Though Xi and Co. just might be wondering if all these seemingly imbecilic antics are coded signals to those in China prepared to engage in an elite overthrow in the People’s Republic.
Irrespective of what the leaders of the CCP think, what we are witnessing in the West is the most radical transformation ever undertaken of child socialization—by making sexual identity as a rightful (legislatively backed-up) choice the centre-piece of its importance. How we reached this state cannot be separated from the broader “march” of social liberalization that commenced with the acceptance of sexual practices once considered criminal; and, then, when decriminalized, extended to the publicization of said practices through public parades and carnivals, in which participants in various state of undress simulate sexual acts on floats (though to be fair, usually with humour); then to the removal of any institutional obstacle—such as had been operating in the military since God knows when—to employing people who openly identified their being with their choice of same-sex relationships and encounters; then to the right of same sex couples to adopt children; then to be married (the sequence indicated that this was already a fait accompli); and finally for the army to pay for gender reassignment surgery. A lot of people started to get irritated when it came to the last one—not because they are transphobic or want to beat up trans people but because they don’t want to pay for anyone’s surgery involving their sexual parts. But now that it has reached the kids a lot of people are very angry—although, as in so many other matters, our great cultural and political leaders think the problem is solved if they can just mock and disparage the parents of the kids being taught how to enjoy all the colours of the sexual rainbow, and to go sex-organ-shopping with their teacher.
The examples are endless, and seem to be ever more unbelievable—but the doozie is of a PhD (remember this is the ticket to academic life) involving the candidate’s ethnographic study of masturbation and Japanese boy-sex comics; the study consisted of him reporting on his “field” research—i.e., his feeling as he masturbated while viewing the comics. While Western progressives love to invoke how all cultures should be treated with respect, except the repressive Greco-Christian-Germanic, Western European/North Atlantic culture, there are also no pride parades, nor pride flags in China, nor, while we are at it, anywhere outside of Israel in the Middle East, nor Asia generally.
But, Islamic countries aside, governments generally have far more urgent problems than checking up on people’s sex lives, and the social cost of doing so is not one that has much going for it—apart from needlessly interfering in people’s personal lives, the opportunities for blackmail, the destruction it does to reputations or to friends and families makes it as toxic as it may be hypocritical (J. Edgar Hoover is the poster boy for that.) That was why governments in the West in the 1960s and 1970s (China followed in the late 1990s) overturned laws which were widely accepted as being discriminatory and socially and personally damaging. I am not surprised that even conservatives who object to gay adoption or gay marriage do not want to return to legislation against consensual same-sex acts between adults. But I no more see it as discriminatory against gays not to feel the need to wave pride flags, nor attend pride parades any less than I feel it discriminatory against women not to want to go to strip clubs. Of course, those who think they are fixing up the world from the cruelty of prejudice think that such an argument is not pertinent. But that’s the thing about consensuses dreamt up by elites—nothing other than what they think is relevant. That they think that the pursuit of sexual pleasure is a defining feature of a person, as opposed to an aspect of someone, is what separates this elite from others of the past, as well as the Chinese elite—who don’t want the entire basis of the family overturned so that people can do what they do, and which the CCP doesn’t care about as long as they don’t bring it into classrooms, or do the kind of things in public that heterosexuals are also prohibited from doing.
That today’s teachers in the West are increasingly required to ensure that children not only not be bullied for their sexual choices but be encouraged to consider the various sexual life-style and alternative choices open to them makes sense in terms of the “logic” of liberation, and the logic of the self as being primarily defined by sexual desire. But what it also is, is the denial of traditional parents to induct their children into roles that they value. To be sure, many parents may once have been disappointed that their little Jimmy or Suzie, once they grew up, liked having sex with people of the same sex—though I think most who love their kids will not stop loving them because of that. Families have to get over all sorts of stuff; and to think that teachers should be authorized to reset the norms of social roles to ease the embarrassment or personal suffering due to parents’ expectations is but one more example of the expansion of the state into areas of life which threaten to make it an all-encompassing power controlling what anyone is permitted to think or say.
The matter of sexual emancipation is not just about sexuality, it is about state authority and what occurs when it is unbounded. In his impressive majestic tome on the subject of sexuality and modernity (introduced to me by the editor of this magazine), E. Michael Jones’ Libido Dominandi argues that unleashing the sexual floodgates of desire is intrinsic to the creation of the modern self and its values, and that at its centre is the desire and capacity to control. I think there is much truth to his argument, as well as his insight expressed on a YouTube presentation that the moderns distorted the traditional order in which desire is subordinate to truth and replaced it with truth being subordinated to desire. To which, what passes for an educated student today, asked him, whose truth? Elsewhere I have expressed my distaste for metaphysical a priorism intruding into matters where experience must be our guide; which is to say not experiences of the Lockean sort that have been put through an epistemological and metaphysical meat-grinder that is applicable to physics and not much else, but the experiences of our tastes, smells, touches and feelings—they are intrinsic to our second nature which is part of our social and historical cultivation.
But the point the said student missed (and I wish Jones had done a better job of making his case in this instance) was that yes different cultures/peoples/faith value different things, but there can be no argument about the built-up-world, with all its virtues and pathologies, and hence all the living consequences that reveal the truth of what an orientation is and where it leads. (This was why Augustine commences The City of God with his identification of where faith in the Roman gods has led). And that is not a matter of subjectivity but of record. Speaking over and around the world is subjective; but living in a good family and neighbourhood, or living in a shit-hole is as objective as being hit by a truck. In this respect, although all societies reproduce themselves through the cultivations and selections its authorities make, about which desires and practices its youth are to be orientated in, and which ones to be proscribed by punishing any transgressor. While the Western cultural revolution of the 1960s is closely connected to the sexual revolution and hence to subordinating truth to desire generally, but most of all sexual desire, the CCP, having scrambled back from the brink of its own defeat and the chaos it helped create, has closed that particular modern pathway of self-destruction.
That sexual emancipation in the West does disclose a truth is all too evident, when one moves outside of environments sufficiently well-resourced to drive the negative consequences of serial monogamy and broken families, into the more personal and solitary sad confines alleviated by drugs, alcohol, and other sedatives of the spirit, and enters into the social squalor of its underclass. There divorce is all too-often accompanied by impoverished single mothers serially coupling with socially, poorly formed, ill-equipped violent men, who treat them and their children with callous opportunity.
The more impoverished, squalid, hellish social pockets that breed crime, drug addiction, petty theft, woman-beating, abandoned children is all explicable in our Western world as the consequence of some kind of “-ism” or “phobia”—racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, or lack of equality (a word very easy to say but a problem whose solution more times than not equates into more jobs for the bureaucrats, as the problems attributed to inequality continue to fester). What cannot be touched is the central idea of the emancipation of our desires, which (with race coming a close second—but note how even BLM link their objectives to sexuality) has become the predominant one, circulated within the Humanities.
Thus, it should be no mystery that professions in entertainment, the media and education, and increasingly the medical and social work professions, now require all children—who are to be seen as smaller desiring subjects—be “rescued” because a minority of them might—and among them some definitely do—suffer because of their sexual desires. One issue this decision to reconstruct the self—for it is a decision—raises is at which age should the law configure the self in this manner. It is obvious that what now passes for the norm amongst those who believe themselves to be the leaders of our emancipation is that it would not only be cruel and morally wrong to distinguish between adults and children on matters of sexual identity, but even more cruel to deny this right to children.
Of course, laws of statutory rape and carnal knowledge are regularly enforced, and people can be imprisoned for sex with minors. Though it is weird, isn’t it, that with all the kerfuffle about Epstein, and sex trafficking, apart from Epstein himself, it is only Ghislaine Maxwell who has gone to trial—nothing to see here folks. If you ever wondered how loony stuff like Pizza-gate takes off, you might consider that the media actually does bury stories where sex with minors is involved—apart from Epstein, go dig, if you don’t know of its contents, into what incriminating stuff was on Hunter’s lap top.
While the march of emancipation is pitched as if it were primarily about choice—”my body my choice” being the slogan that stretches from the sex act to the sexual being of one’s entire identity, to “terminating” a pregnancy, from pleasure to extinguishing a potential life (let’s leave aside when, why and how it might be “justified”)—it is really about pleasure, and sexual appetite as the primary drive and hence most rightful basis of one’s identity. In part, this is an outgrowth of bad ideas that spring from the modern metaphysical revolution which became the ideational attractor force for modern politics and the modern state. Of course, pleasure is nice—it is pleasurable. But the social order, known by every premodern society, is not based upon pleasure but sacred obligation and sacrifice; and to think that pleasure can displace the sacrificial and the sacred by becoming the new sacred is a complete defiance of reality. And this is exactly what the Western elite today are—the incarnation of the defiance of reality—and in so far as reality and spirit are not separate substances, but are the occasion of each other; mutual aspects of ourselves, our encounters and our world; defying reality also means defying the spirit. The fact that this defiance occurs at the same time as our knowledge and control over the dead mechanics of nature is on a previously unprecedented scale of achievement is what gives us the predicament of a people dwelling in material surfeit, but lost, lonely, and despairing whilst seeking solace in, at best, escapist entertainment, or cocaine, crack, fentanyl, alcohol, and whatever else may act as a stimulant to the dying self. Zombie movies that became all the rage some twenty years ago, as I have mentioned elsewhere, strike me as the expression of the collective subconscious, representing the plight of the collective soul.
But of all the various stimulants, sex is the most immediate; and making our sexual being the fulcrum of our moral scale is a perfect way to sacralize a force that has, with some rare historical exceptions, always been recognized as a dangerous one, if not properly channeled and socially modulated, through the most socially authoritative powers. (It also provides false fuel for that hunger for spiritual meaning that is the defining feature of non-psychopathic souls.) This fact was what fantasists like Margaret Mead attempted to disprove by imagining people who lived lives of such libidinous indulgence that the poor repressed sex-starved souls in the West could only look on with envy. The sexualization of the self is, in short, a reconstruction of the self as a completely appetitive being—notice how all the rights talk of emancipation is about satisfaction of the need to have access to more pleasurable stuff, which has been kept from your group by the privileged oppressors.
That sexual appetite is mercurial and forceful is precisely why giving it too much authority in a scale of social values does not lead to emancipation or any kind of moral consistency, but to ever more haphazard ways of us dealing with each other, ever more opportunities to do what we as a species regularly do—hurt each other, and make each other miserable (that by the way is not a left/right thing—it is just a perennial thing that no ideology will save us from). But this is also why blunt and, often brutal, measures have traditionally been adopted to keep sex under wraps rather than make it the centrepiece of daily life. And why the West is entangled in its abstract puritanism, voyeurism, and appetitive obsessions—and the kids are smack bang in the middle of all this.
When we think of sexual desire being the centre of our being, most will think that this is largely due to Freud. Freud was possibly brilliant, but definitely nuts—for him all love derived from pleasure, and the search for love was a search for pleasure, which was a hunt for the big pay-off of sex. And for Freud our biggest problems in life all come back to the fact that Daddy and Mummy didn’t want the kids to have sex with Mummy. A culture that can create an entire profession around that idea is one that is willing to believe anything. In any case, we know coke makes people delusional about sex (Harvey Weinstein and Louis CK will surely agree with that); perhaps all that cocaine is responsible for Freud have decided that was the real meaning of human life. But to be fair to him, Freud at least conceded that civilization required redirecting the sex drive—had he not paused from having sex all day, and put his coked-up brain to another purpose, i.e. thinking about sex all day and finding it in all his dreams as well, he never could have given the world his “great” science of psychoanalysis. And in spite of all the coke and sex in Hollywood, it is difficult to discern in our film and tv show makers, as well as in our more poorly paid academics and school teachers (who generally can’t afford too much of the coke) much concession to Freud’s idea of sublimation.
The other guy who thought everything was about sex and pleasure—so much so that pain (of the self as well as others) was to be explored in all its modalities as the highest source of pleasure—was the Marquis de Sade. And it is no accident that the third figure in the Holy trinity (Marx and Nietzsche being the first two) of twentieth century existentialism, French poststructuralist and postmodernist philosophy (yes, they are kind of different, and they sure squabbled amongst themselves), that is the philosophy which took total emancipation as its endgame, is de Sade. To be sure in the writings of Bataille, Blanchot, Klossowski, Deleuze, de Beauvoir, Barthes, Foucault, it is de Sade the author, the man of imaginative and verbal excess that is celebrated; which is to say it is one in which the lion is muzzled, and the carnivalesque fantasies of murdering and torturing children is but air and words which, with their hermeneutical help, we can channel into the stratosphere of great philosophy and/or literature. The relevance of Sade, though, is that if life is all about desire and its most pleasurable kinds—or even better if we stick with the French jouissance—then transgression and emancipation are synonyms. Which it has been for lots of academics in literature departments in North America in the last thirty years or so—just do a search for transgression along with queer studies, feminism etc. so you get the picture.
Of course, the fact that someone writes with Sadean enthusiasm about sexual transgression in the morning does not mean that in the afternoon they won’t end up sitting on some committee in the afternoon accusing one of their colleagues for some sexual misdemeanors; on more than some occasions it is because a college girl’s fantasies with her favourite professor didn’t turn out the way she hoped. Consistency rarely plays a role in human affairs, especially where sanctimony is involved. And I do not want to say that all people are pedophiles who push for kids being part of the fun at pride parades, lollipop licking trannie shows, or being read to by drag queens in libraries, or pushing for more books about teenies showing each other their weenies or pee pee holes, or being super depressed because they either need them cut off, or need have them stitched on so they can be who they really are, which is to say they can receive all the accolades for being such good brave children by doing what their parents hope and pray they will do. I really don’t think they are primarily pedophiles; but I also don’t think all their immersion in Judith Butlerish gibberish has given them any clarity at all about what kind of world they are making, or what kind of mess they are making of the lives of the kids they are screwing up in order to save them from haters and ‘normies.’
In any case, the cultural revolution that took place in the West in the 1960s, of which the sexual revolution was a major component, was one in which the matter of childhood development, which included sexual development and desire, was already being signaled. Nowhere was this more visible than in a famous case in France, in which a number of prominent philosophers, whose names would become bywords for the philosophies of 1968 (frequently, albeit somewhat sloppily, grouped as “postmodernist”)—Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze, Roland Barthes, and (the definitely not postmodernists) Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir (yes, you spotted it; it is pretty much that same bunch of Sade lovers)—signed petitions, demanding the release of three men imprisoned for sexual activities with children aged 12 and 13. The petition was all couched in the language of the rights of children to have relations with whomsoever they wish. The issue then as now was who had the right to do what and which right should hold sway when the aim of the right was to prevent harm. At the time, the most public face of the philosophical pro-pedophilia position, a fact that had mostly been forgotten by all those professors lining up to instruct college students about why Foucault (the most cited scholar in the Humanities of our age) holds the keys to making the world such a much better place. Though there was a little rain a short while back on Foucault’s parade when Foucault’s pedophilia again became the talk of Paris, thanks to a French-American professor Guy Sorman saying he knew that Foucault had been paying for sex with underage boys in Tunisia; sometimes it seems he just raped them. (Given how big Foucault is in Post-Colonial Studies, one might think this might have damaged his brand—but I suspect that was no more the case than Althusser damaged his brand among radical feminists for strangling his wife.)
Non-progressives would generally concede that it is a casuistic point whether the divide between adults pedagogically inducting (normalizing) children into the various array of sexual choices and “their delights” are really grooming them—even though the scandals surrounding pedophilia in Disney and, more generally Hollywood, do indicate that those pushing to pleasure themselves with children have much to gain by promoting a sexualization of children. LGBTQ+ groups, though, who are proactive in promoting the lit, the films, the readings and the meet-and-greets couch everything in terms of saving the children, As noble as they see themselves, lots of parents do not buy, nor like, it. But the thing is that in the West, and unlike in China, they can do next to nothing about it. And whichever way we cut it, children are under the instruction of an elite who are spearheading the Western cultural revolution and reconfiguration of all Western institutions along lines suited to the narratives and values which this elite has by making a living out of the hellish marriage of human appetites and their control.
2. The Chinese Cultural Revolution and What the CCP Learnt from It
The contestation between the world’s two super powers is a contestation between two elites that have both come out of modern revolutions of national liberation and cultural revolutions. While the national revolutions were almost six generations apart, the cultural revolutions were simultaneous, and their respective outcomes—one defeated, the other successful and still in operation—would be decisive in how the two most powerful global elites would line up. Both cultural revolutions intensified an essential feature that lay imminent in their national revolutions—Maoist ideology was intensified in China, at the moment when other party members and factions sought to rescue the nation from the economic sabotage that had characterized Mao’s leadership since winning the civil war; the cultural revolution in the US was fought by an extension of rights (which had been a defining feature of the nation’s declaration of independence) to groups which all laid claim for their rights to be recognized, so that they could enjoy their right to happiness along with everybody else.
The cultural revolution in China occurred shortly after the country had been forced by Mao and the party to follow policies that involved mass killings and mass starvations of the Great Leap Forward—there are many books on this topic, but one by a former colleague of mine at the University of Hong Kong, Frank Dikötter’s Mao’s Great Famine, is probably the most thorough and harrowing account of the cruelty, stupidity, callous indifference, and sheer scale of brutality that took place in China between 1958-1962. While the party managed to retain its political power, Mao’s authority had to be reined in by other party leaders and their factions, who hoped to place the revolution back on some kind of stable trajectory. Being somewhat muzzled himself, Mao colluded with his wife, an ex-actress, Jiang Qing, to begin an active campaign against the threat to China being posed by the threat of capitalist in-roaders using bourgeois ideas (i.e., anything she did not like) to sabotage the revolutionary potential of the arts, whilst also laying down revolutionary guidelines. She took particularly firm control of the traditional art of Chinese opera—lots of earnest red guards, waving red flags, yelling out Maoist slogans, and triumphantly peering into a distant future, after they had humiliated and beaten on some terrible landowner or shopkeeper or other bourgeois vampire sucking the entrails out of beautiful athletic dancers and actors posing as simple peasants/proletarians. Art and reality perfectly reflected each other—it was real socialism and socialist realism, in which the youth on stage were as useful to real farming as the red guards prancing around the countryside bringing their vast wealth of experience and knowledge to the collective farms—and they were both crimes against any finer sentiments or thoughts that people might be able to muster up outside of the embittered neuro-pathways of this wretched embittered couple (just as Mao had scores to settle in the party, she had scores to settle in the theatre and film world she had once circulated in) who needed to overthrow and take lead of an entire former empire to fulfil their fantasies.
They may not have slept together, but they were able to give birth to a mass movement of youthful violent energy, in a country that had been in chaos for decades. The wretched life the poor youth had had as children, thanks to Mao and his subordinates, made them eager soldiers in the battle to storm the heaven of plenty and freedom. Marx had promised that the citadel of unalienated life could be had once capital had provided the techniques and technologies of endless bounty, provided it was expropriated from the blood-sucking capitalists. With Mao, whose track-record already included the ruin that accompanied ridding the land of the vermin of sparrows, and flies and bypassing industrialization by the establishment of backyard smelters transforming spoons and tin cups into industrial strength steel, very heaven was ripe for the taking. All they needed to do was follow the thought and wisdom of Chairman Mao, and destroy the source of all their problems: those “running dogs of capitalism” within the party and elsewhere, and “the four olds”—old ideas, old culture, old customs, and old habits.”
These red guards hunted down all “old” and bourgeois elements not only within the country, but within their own families and neighbourhoods. In addition to roaming around the country looking for and destroying any signs of what they found unworthy of the new future, they threw elders out of their windows, put dunce caps on their teachers, and snitched on and insulted their parents and grandparents. Whenever they had an opportunity they would assemble, screaming Maoist slogans at all and sundry, whilst waving copies of that little red book—put together by the guy that was second to Mao before Mao did a number two on him and had him blown up in a plane—that had compressed all the great wisdom of the greatest genius the world has ever known into a book the size of one’s hand. It sure takes genius to come up with stuff like “We must fight a war if we have to. I am saying that it is not so terrifying even if half of our population perishes.”
No wonder all those real clever types, such as Foucault, Sollers, Kristeva and the Tel Quel crowd, Althusser, Badiou, Sartre, de Beauvoir (haven’t we met most of this lot a couple of times already?) in that city which would become the most bedazzling theoretical source for the various emancipatory groups that would be born in the womb of the student revolt—Paris—thought Mao was just tremendous. As far as they could fathom, people in Mao’s China were far freer than those like themselves who lived in that oppressive stodgy old political system and political culture that concealed its fascism and repression behind the shabby façade of free speech, state welfare and democracy—simple minded guy that I am, I fail to see the difference in craziness between this philosophical fantasy and one that blames the problems of the world on aliens from other planets inhabiting people.
The red guards also had to bond with the peasants by working in the collective farms, where they were likely to find old party officials who had actually fought in the revolution feeding the pigs and undergoing reeducation by being amongst the people. In the meantime, universities essentially ceased; thus ensuring a shortage of technically trained professionals, and hence too ensuring another decade or so of economic self-sabotage. If ever anyone wants to prove that there are worse ways to economically organize a country than capitalism, with all its flaws, all they have to do is point to Mao’s China—or to Mao’s most illustrious progeny, Pol Pot. If Mao had only had ten more years, he might have been inspired by Pol to show him just how he should have gone about it.
Mao was eventually brought to heel by the remnants of the party who had returned after having been harassed and banished to the countryside. From outside it seems that Mao had sense enough to realize that he too would be dragged under the wheels of the momentum of what he had helped orchestrate; so, he thought it better to remain as the great helmsman, while the rest of the party mopped up the mess. Mao was left as a figure head; left alone, as we all subsequently discovered, to have a driver cruise for young girls for him to sleep with, before slipping completely into senility. For their part, the anti-Mao forces in the party, which were very many, had to do one thing—wait. Wait they did. And immediately upon his death, they imprisoned his wife and the other primary instigators of the cultural revolution.
It seems that immediately after his death they were not too sure what to do, except put their faith in the little guy who had fought with Mao and returned to restore some sort of order. Prodded on by impatient farmers sick to death of working in collective farms for a pittance, and determined to bring some of their surplus to markets, he undid not only Maoism, but Marxist economics (though not the Leninist political apparatus which had enabled the CCP’s monopoly of political power). With that revolution from above, Teng would turn China into the rival hegemon to the USA it is today. Apart from allowing private property, the party realized that it had to tear out those radical cultural ideas that had created such social havoc and had managed to ruin urban industry as well as keeping China a country of impoverished peasants. The party then rehabilitated Confucius. That cemented any hope that any hotheads left over from the cultural revolution might have had.
Confucius, of course, had been attacked viciously by the CCP during Mao’s reign, in large part because at the centre of his teaching is the importance of parental authority and family roles. Conjoining Marx and Confucius is no mean dialectical feat, though to be sure no more so than calling for defunding the police in the West whilst requiring ever more legal enforcement to punish those who offend people’s feelings by speech deemed hateful. And in any case, it was one thing to change the content of communism so that it could be capitalism as long as the capitalists obeyed the party, but another thing altogether to ditch the brand name. But it was not only Marx and Confucius that had to be “married,” they could not eliminate Mao from the glorious history of the party. Thus, to this day Mao is still publicly revered, albeit with the rider, that he made “some mistakes.”
In the washup after the cultural revolution, the party, for all its infighting and factionalism, settled on three primary objectives: stability, solidarity and prosperity. On the matter of prosperity, and for all the profit siphoning, data and currency rigging, party and bureaucratic corruption, none can seriously deny the CCP has adopted policies which have lifted vast numbers out of poverty, exponentially grown its middle class, and massively expanded the regions where growth is taking place. The country certainly has people who still quietly grumble that the anti-corruption policies are simply the consolidation and protection of one criminal faction at the expense of others, but since Xi’s presidency the party seems to have well and truly placated any large-scale social unrest.
Irrespective of what one knows or thinks about the degree of corruption of the CCP, the CCP and its policies today is the result of 3-4 generations who have monopolized political power, who have led the country into and then out of chaos, and now rule a country in which opposition outside of the party is fragmented, kept under ground or under surveillance, and hence nowhere near hurling the country into civil war. When the CCP speaks of solidarity, it is intent upon preserving more traditional values, which is to say its view of solidarity is closely tied to the importance it gives to stability, and the prominence it gives to Confucius. And hence why the stuff in the textbooks and the stuff that is happening in the West raises their hackles.
For all its dialectical chicanery the CCP most certainly does not want to completely tear up the family again as had occurred during the cultural revolution—it needs it because only if children are raised to obey their parents and control their appetites will they have the discipline required to rear their own children, hold down a job and behave with civility. There is much about the CCP’s exercise of censorship, and unconstrained authority to be criticized, but the way the Western elite and its enablers has used desire generally, and used children to weaponize their adulation and deification of sexual desire for social control brings the matter of control and destruction to another level completely: the control is ever more total as is the destruction.
3. The Western Cultural Revolution and Why the West Rewards an Elite that Destroys Its own Civilization
In the West the cultural revolution, as in China, was a youth revolution—but to the extent it was orchestrated anywhere (and one should neither overestimate nor underestimate this aspect of it), it was partly aided by remote enemies of the United States—once more I advise any who are unaware of it, to check out the interview given by the ex-KGB agent in 1984, Yuri Besmenov, on YouTube and scout out the various Soviet funded fronts operating in the West during the Cold War—and by the extremely wealthy founders of “philanthropic” organizations, such as the Rockefeller Foundation.
Almost fifty years ago, I was astonished to see in Herbert Marcuse’s Soviet Marxism, a book that criticizes the Soviets for not being true Marxists, his acknowledgement of financial support by the Rockefeller Foundation. Alongside Rockefeller, the most famous foundations are probably the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and George Soros’s Open Society Foundations—which have continued to pump money into groups pushing forward the kind of radical politics that took their present shape, thanks to academic-student led identity formations in the Western youth/cultural revolution.
The generation that came of age in the 1960s was, however, damaged and spoiled long before Soviet and Rockefeller money found its way into supporting radical causes. And these agents aside, young people don’t need much assistance in becoming out of control. On the contrary, it takes a great deal of unified effort to harness natural energy into a form in which people can treat strangers among them with civility, and respect such fundamentals of civilization as property and sexual boundaries. Traditions that have been built up by generations, so that children honour their fathers and mothers, and their teachers, who also instruct children to honour their ancestors and ancestral ways, provide the foundation for people to treat each other in a law-abiding manner. Along with the family, there needs to be a certain deference to the tribe; and as tribes join into larger units, the expansion of civility may transpire. But the expansion of the bonds of social solidarity is not merely to the air of an idea, even if those appealing to ideas insist upon their moral or universal character. This idea that faith in moral ideas or moral rights, as set out in some document which provides the basis for greater bonds of solidarity, turns reality on its head—apart from the haphazard and ineffectual consequence of this, as all sorts of groups are happy to give lip-service to the formulae and to use the formulae to try and gain some kind of political or social advantage, but to ignore them completely when it does not suit them. Which is why the USA has so little moral credibility when it comes to getting the non-West to accepts its moral authority as setting the agenda of the international world order—or, just as obvious, why the UN routinely has dictatorships, who routinely violate human rights, serving on any number of its Human Rights bodies, such as the Human Rights Council, at any given time.
Traditional bonds of solidarity involve many aspects, including shared experiences, symbiotic hierarchical relationships and the adoption of diverse roles which make very different demands upon the various members of the social body, who in turn are intrinsic to accessing and conveying different aspects of reality which are transmitted across the ages. The fundamental differences between men and women are part of that accessing and transmission. And although changing material conditions may alter the urgency of our reliance upon certain components or elements of reality, which we need to access and cultivate in order to survive and live well, the idea that the real can simply conform to such abstract ends as freedom or equality, or diversity and inclusiveness, is the kind of idea that takes hold when people have become so used to the substitution of words and ideas for real roles with their duties, and sacrifices. It is no accident that the best educated generation, a generation drunk on ideas, albeit not very complex or intellectually sophisticated ones, was one which thought it could overthrow everything that previously had been considered essential to social formation.
One should also recall the crisis that the most well-educated people in the ancient world, the Athenians, were thrown into when sophists and orators became the new-fangled educators of ambitious young men aspiring to hold political power. The claim of the sophists was that they could teach the unjust argument to appear the just one, and the purpose of it was to school people into swaying crowds with the power of words. From different directions, Plato and Aristophanes attacked this emergent social practice—and in their attack, each one provided a diagnosis in which the practice of the other was seen as culpable in its development. And this remains the case today – both our philosophers and entertainers have contributed to the ideocratic nightmare which distorts our capacity to distinguish between socially constructive and socially destructive practices. Yes, the widespread acceptance that values are “socially constructed” occurs at a time when social destruction is far more assured than any construction that will endure in the future.
Words enchant; and while Max Weber rightly identified the development of the modern world with the disenchantment of reality, he should have added that it was no so much the ascendence and triumph of mechanical ideas which we deploy to rule nature, it was also the substitution of one kind of enchantment for another. That enchantment was manifest when, not altogether unlike what occurred in Athens, a new political elite based upon its rhetorical power was formed. I am not among that small group who speak as if we could go back to premodern feudal political forms as a means to escape the pathologies that our modern ones create. But that our modern political formations have created pathologies which play out in the triumph of abstract appeals and norms being used to direct our ways of life is a most serious problem. And that problem intensified with the mass education that took place in the 1960s and after, as the youth of the West, armed with a sweeping vocabulary of abstractions and a little learning, insisted on its knowing how to rid the world of its problems. All we had to do was follow it, and join in its social and cultural revolution. That there were serious problems is undeniable—if two world wars had not taught anyone that, then nothing would.
The issue was not that there were not serious problems—societies are always poised between survival and extinction, whether (as is our case) from their own internal deficiencies of the spirit, or to external enemies, wanting to expand their resources. It was whether those providing the diagnosis and the solutions to those problems had any credibility outside their own self-assurance and ambition. Unlike their Chinese counterparts, they did not go into the countryside to work amongst the farmers; but like their Chinese counterparts they screamed and shouted and denounced whoever they thought deserved it—and perhaps some of their targets really did deserve a good yelling at. But discrimination was not their strongest point—they were young, and did not really know much. Also, unlike their Chinese counterparts, they had been born into a land of economic plenty; but still there was plenty more to be had than a future job, and material resources to live in comfort. Added to latching on to the idea that pretty well all human desires may be satiated without bad consequences—Dante makes a pretty fair first of cataloguing what a large array of desires may make our personal and collective lives hellish.
It had been Nietzsche that called for “philosophers of the future” and “higher men” to lay out the new table of value in which we could dispense with any after-world and remain true to the earth and its eternal return. It was a really dumb, mechanistically-derived metaphysical idea that quite independently took the fancy of the radical precursor of one of the most brutal forms of modern political organization (Leninism), viz., Louis-Auguste Blanqui. But it was also an idea that served the purposes of infinitizing the self—whilst unintentionally infantilizing it at the same time (Freud was not wrong to see insatiable desire, even if not so Mummy-focussed as he thought, as an infantile condition). Which was why those with so little life experience were so sure they knew which values the human race needed to learn to be as smart as them and as happy as they thought they could be. Nietzsche also knew that shame is the inevitable accompaniment of valuation—it is the necessary means of value-enshrining and protection. He hoped his progeny would go around shaming the crippled in mind and body to kill themselves by adopting the myth of eternal return. As deranged and silly as I think his reasoning is about how the myth of the eternal return might be used (he thought millions might top themselves, and his buddies of the future would need to steel themselves to preside over such cruelty), I am sympathetic to anyone contemplating suicide who is forced to sit in a class of Thus Spake Zarathustra and write an essay on how tremendous it is.
The generation did pick up on the politicization of shame, and really got into the spirit of shaming anyone that did not think like them. But in order to occupy the moral high-ground, which they claimed as their right and duty, and what they thought distinguished them from all those other fascists who had also followed Nietzsche, and, anti-Semitism aside, had generally been more true to his teaching by dividing the world into the sub-human (who they did not like) and superhuman (themselves), they had to deal with the shame they felt at the actions of their forefathers. Of course, they were the direct economic beneficiaries of their forefathers’ ill-gotten gains; and while they were happy to share the future spoils of opportunity and office with the various oppressed groups they spoke on behalf of, they had been and would remain first in line to take advantage of the benefits opened to them by those same spoils. The day the same groups, who preach recompense, give away all they own and become like St. Francis, I will stop accusing them of being driven by self-interest. The shaming of ancestors also took on the form of guilt, which, to be sure I think for some, possibly many, was sincere. But whether sincere or simply stuff one said as part of the new value code of access into the emergent power elite which was being hatched within the student movement: the student revolution had replaced the failed proletariat one because the workers’ revolutionary potential had been bought off—such self-serving nonsense to legitimate political power was right up there with the divine right of kings, or Robespierre and Lenin’s justification for why they in particular had the right to hold the power they exercised. Emancipation and guilt became the twin add-ons to the liberal program of freedom and equality.
Pretty well everywhere we look in the West we witness a generation bombarded with guilt—the guilt of slavery and the Indians and the bomb in the USA; and on top of that in the US and Australia, which had its colonial past to deal with, was the Vietnam War; and, to make it even worse, the draft. The guilt seemed to be the one unifying force that crossed the diverse national histories and geographies. In Great Britain it was the guilt of empire; in France, the guilt about parents who were collaborators; in Germany, Nazi parents—and so on and so forth. I don’t doubt the importance of academic radicalisation that had been fostered by Soviet fronts and stooges, but what began as a trickle became a river with the US stumbling into the Vietnam War as those educated youth who were not radicalised by their teachers were radicalising each other.
The fire of generational antagonism may have had a different trigger to what was going on in China, but the antagonism was similar. At the time, the chaos was far more contained because Western institutions were far sturdier—even if they would not remain so for long. But the Achilles heel, exactly as in the Russian revolution, were the universities—modern societies need to train those who will not only do the professional tasks, such as engineering, administrating and making, interpreting and judging the law, but those who will also educate their youth, i.e., teachers at all levels across all fields. Thus, unsurprisingly, in a student revolution, it was the universities that were the first occupied terrain in the political contestation that was the West’s cultural revolution—and the war was lost early on with the concession that students should decide what was pedagogically relevant, which is why someone can now be doing a doctorate on an ethnographic study of his masturbation over Japanese boy comic porn. Whatever areas remained of devotion to scholarship and independent mindedness were easily killed off by the most ambitious of those in the system willing to join forces with the state to ensure complete control over the values and narratives, the teaching and research that would come out of the universities, thereby turning them into the sites of cultural and social control they are today.
If the surface of this cultural revolution in its initial phases seemed less explosive than in China, that was because it did not explode all at once; but apart from the odd riot or tragedy such as Kent State, it met with little resistance, evident also in the fact that there were jobs aplenty, especially in the idea-making areas of universities, media etc., for people who spouted ideas about needing to tear down the world and rebuild it anew on the basis of their superior moral understanding and character. That then developed into the situation it is today—if one does not share in the latest consensus formed around the narrative of the complete emancipation of appetitive desire, and hence the elite-adopted choice of priorities, tactics and strategies, down to the right words and thoughts, then one will not be recruited into any of the professions where the ideas-brokers have taken hold; and that now includes government agencies and public service positions. Further, in so far as the narratives of elite recruitment are based around identifying the shameful wrongs and crimes of anyone who may be shamed and denounced, the incentive for any rising bright star in the academic firmament is to discover some new threat to total emancipation and total equity (that does not threaten the corporate globalists who provide funding and platforms of endorsement to enable the cultural revolution to go fully global). The fact that it involves abstract verbal contortions, which make reading papers on quantum physics or high-level math proofs seem mere child’s play by comparison, only makes the whole show a laughing stock to anyone who bothers to follow its inner mechanics.
But satire and exposure to the lunacy of the ideas being forged, circulated, and protected in what was once an institution intended to provide higher learning make no difference to anything—just ask James Lindsay, Helen Pluckrose and Peter Boghossian. The issue remains that the way to best advance one’s recruitment chance and career rise is to discover something else that other members of a designated (or even better, some yet to be designated) oppressed groups find offensive and oppressive—invariably the ones feeling most oppressed and offended are faculty at elite universities whose entire economic and career security rests upon them finding new sources of moral outrage.
When Michel Foucault was making a reputation for himself by drawing attention to how professionals, such as clinicians and social workers actively create the pathological objects which consolidate and enhance their social prestige and power, he was encouraging his readers to take a stand against the increasing asphyxiation of freedom that was being conducted by the professions of social “normalization.” But then those same professions adopted Foucault as part of their own pedagogy of social control. This was drawn to my attention some thirty years ago when some social workers drew a smile from me by asking me to conduct a Foucault reading group. It was around the same time that Foucault, a sworn enemy of the family, became the go-to philosopher for budding family therapists.
The target of who must be sacrificed in the endless striving for emancipation keeps shifting, so that yesterday’s heroes and heroines are now today’s greatest obstacle to total emancipation—the once lauded celebrity feminist Germaine Greer and progressive K.K. Rowling are now despicable transphobes. But one thing is sure, the immediate incentives—status, office, employment opportunity, whether it be the public or now the private sector, which keep this cultural revolution going, face no impediments. The adults long ago left the building. I do not fantasize about the brilliance of the politicians of half a century ago, but it would be hard to find anyone of that era who would not defeat one of the very incarnations of what now stands for moral, and political progress, AOC (I know it is unfair to pick on her because there is quite a crowd to choose from) in some basic general knowledge test.
I write much of this a short time after reading the CNN headline story reporting that the son of Guy Reffitt, the first US Capitol riot defendant to go to trial, rather than take a plea agreement, said his father “absolutely” deserves the 87-month prison sentence that was handed down. A couple of days later, I read that a former President’s house had been raided by the FBI. Andrew Breitbart, rephrasing Gramsci used to say, politics is downstream from culture. And the cultural revolution has now completely instantiated itself in the politics of every Western country. This is where the cultural revolution has taken us—and it is nowhere near stopping.
The authority and recruitment strategy for those who lead it, not only politically but corporately and pedagogically, rests upon its smashing the traditions of the nation—in the USA, this means identifying the year of the nation’s founding as 1619, not 1776, as well as protesting against rather than celebrating the 4th of July; it means ending citizenship through opening its southern borders, and replacing the value of character and personal achievement with racial, ethnic, or sexual “identity,” and a set of norms which the current elite holds to be the requisite beliefs that may be held by members who can become part of the “leadership team.” It is an elite which claims to support democratic institutions, but now finds itself in complete opposition to those who object to how they have attained power and how they exercise it. They embody one side of precisely the biggest danger that the federalist authors sought to eliminate—they preside over a nation of two factions. Which is why censorship is increasingly expanding and the acrimony toward those who dissent on any major consensus is so intense—dissenters are to be hunted out, denounced, sacked, etc. Talk of a civil war, which is presently a war of ideas, and occasional mob riots, does not seem far-fetched, as the elite have conducted a televised (show) trial of what it calls insurrectionaries, whilst it also, thanks to its corporatist wing, censors its critics from using the technological forums of expression which are today’s equivalent of the public square.
In 2020, the same elite cheered on Antifa (mostly white students, punily shaking their fists), off the grid alternatives and members of the black underclass wanting to get some free stuff as they burned and razed businesses in the name of justice. Surrounded by enemies, as if a hostage king, the President was publicly told by all and sundry that it would be criminal to bring in the national guard, and that it was mostly peaceful protesting. When what was a genuinely peaceful protest got out of hand, with no small aid from Antifa and federal plants, policemen ushering in protestors through the rear door, whilst others outside violently targeted peaceful protestors, as the more brazen and destructive were largely allowed to do their work, it has ushered in the kind of charges, trials and prison conditions, including solitary confinement, that indicates political protest is OK, if it is protest against anyone who publicly opposes the anti-democratic direction of what used to be considered the world’s preeminent democracy.
Like so much else this elite does, such memories will disappear without a trace in the media fog which now primarily exists to enable a group to run its world the way it wants, irrespective of about half of the people of the Western democracies, and irrespective of the fact that this elite has not made the world safer, the people freer or more independently minded, nor more unified. There are many people, like me, who observe this—we are not hostile to people of other nations, nor parochial, nor are we hostile to genuine migrants or people with other cultural backgrounds, nor do we care about people’s sexual taste as conducted in private. If there is to be greater consciousness of other people and greater cooperation, it must, though, come from genuine solidarity and common pursuits and enterprises, not from a small group telling us how to fall in line with their ambition and half-baked ideological certainties.
People who find their way to each other, who fall in love, who create friendships, who feel committed to building a community with a future worth living in together are not those who are energized by the excitement of razing buildings to the ground, of yelling and screaming at people they disagree with, of conniving to destroy people’s livelihoods, of publicly humiliating and shaming them because they said something they find offensive, but which may be either a piece of foolishness or a serious point worth discussing—only a more dialogical society can distinguish between this. But the drag-queens (or were strippers also waltzing around libraries reading children’s stories I would say the same about them) reading to kids in libraries may be creating a certain kind of diversity, but for all its “naughty”/ transgressive theatrics, it is not one in which there is the slightest consideration of parents who want their children to move through the various stages of life with loving parental guidance (which, to be sure, involves hard work and not to be taken for granted, and in various environments not even that), and not have strangers prescribe where sex fits into their lives, and how it fits in the larger scale of things. But that would mean realizing that sexual satiation is not the highest aim of life; or that defining someone primarily by their sexual desires may be a terrible way to create social solidarity and unity. But these people who question everything never question themselves—and now that they dominate the institutions of learning, they never need to. If this elite were creating a genuine open society, one with more open heart, minds and wholesome souls, instead of the infantile, hysterical, anxious and angry world we witness, then there would be no need to enforce inclusion and diversity (words that are now as vacuous as they are weaponized); nor would they be so scared about people disagreeing with them.
Meanwhile, the dragon that has arisen, does what any rival power with any sense would do: it watches and patiently waits for the right opportunity. The dragon requires that its elite are smart and extremely well educated—to be sure, in a way that does not kick against Marxism-Leninism, though the first part of that hybrid is used like the Santa Claus myth and persists as long as real economic development takes place. The price paid for stability is to maintain loyalty to its revolutionary past that is far more recent and far more saturated in blood than that of the United States, or any of the other decaying Western powers. Its children are required to be obedient, to respect their elders, to study hard, to be patient, and not to fall into the cultural habits of Western degenerates—it seems like only yesterday when the CCP wanted its next generation to learn from the West. Those days are pretty well gone.
In the US, children are taught that their founders are morally beneath them and their teachers. They are people who have barely lived, who have risked nothing, for whom cliches and slogans are thought, for whom humility and generosity are as remote from who they are as their character is from their identity. It is far from obvious to me that the word fanaticism can be used to describe the members of the CCP. It is equally obvious that is exactly the word to describe what the educated youth of the West are trained in. It cannot be stopped as long as it has the number of adherents it does in the institutions it does. But it must destroy the institutions it has inhabited—its own ruin is its destiny. Drag-queens in libraries might be seen by the political classes as pretty low on the scale of the West’s problems, but they are a symptom of which priorities matter in a society that has no sense at all of its own self-destruction. While China has many problems, at least it won’t allow its next generation to advance itself by tearing into its own social entrails, and its own genitalia.
Featured: “Seven Deadly Sins,” by Otto Dox; painted in 1933.