Monday, July 19, 2021

the defeat of liberalism

Liberalism is now the world’s dominant ideology and is now entering its triumphalist phase. But has liberalism really triumphed?

If you define liberalism as an ideology based on freedom and autonomy I’d argue that liberalism has suffered almost complete defeat.

Society in the Anglophone world is now more oppressively conformist than at any time since the Middle Ages.

Political freedom is largely an illusion. The ideological differences between the major political parties are mostly differences of detail.

Freedom of speech is now just a memory.

Women now have the freedom to do whatever the feminists think they should do.

We have sexual freedom. Sort of. In reality sexual freedom is confined within rigidly defined channels, policed by feminists and the LGBTetc lobby. Certain disgusting sexual practices, such as flirting, are now effectively prohibited. Men do however have the freedom to wear frocks.

Art, literature and movies are frighteningly conformist. You’re allowed to be subversive as long as you’re subverting Christianity or heterosexuality. If you want to subvert anything else, forget it.

We have the right to protest, as long as we’re protesting against the right things.

Just remember that Conformity is Freedom and you'll be OK.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

indoctrination and how it works

This is a slightly expanded version of a comment I left elsewhere, the subject being whether things like Wokeism and Social Justice are organic beliefs that have developed or whether they’re purely the results of indoctrination.

In my view indoctrination works much much more effectively if you're trying to indoctrinate people into something that is at least roughly consistent with what they already believe. It works better if people are already to some extent receptive to the idea with which you’re trying to indoctrinate them.

Wokeism and Social Justice have been so successful because people already believed that equality, fairness, justice and tolerance were good things. Americans in particular already believed in the whole "all men are created equal" thing. They already believed that racial equality was a worthwhile goal. It wasn't difficult to convince people that racial equality was being thwarted by dark sinister forces like institutional racism, or that racial equality was being thwarted by bad people.

It wasn't difficult to persuade people to accept homosexual marriage because they already believed in tolerance for homosexuals. Homosexual marriage could be sold as a logical extension of that.

Even the trans thing wasn’t really all that hard since people were already receptive to the idea that "everyone should be free to be whatever they want to be.” It was in some ways the liberal belief in autonomy taken to an extreme, but the belief that autonomy is a good thing was already well established.

On the other hand it would be vastly more difficult to indoctrinate people into beliefs that are inconsistent with what they already believe. If you tried to persuade people that the vote should be taken away from women, or that fornication should be a criminal offence (and I've encountered dissident rightists who push those very ideas) you'd be taking on an immensely difficult task. In the former case you'd be swimming against a tide that has been running in the direction of female equality for a couple of centuries.

You can sell an idea that is just outside the limits of the current Overton Window but it's very difficult to sell an idea that is miles and miles outside the current Overton Window.

Thursday, July 8, 2021

pushing back

In a discussion elsewhere the conversation turned, as so often, to the possibility of some kind of pushback against the excesses of Wokeism and SJWism.

In my view one area in which there might well be a major pushback is #metoo-ism. The #metoo thing is not just targeting Evil White Men. Every single man, black or white, liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat, Jew or Gentile, is a potential target.

There are a lot of rich liberal men who are very nervous at the moment. They could get fed up and start pushing back.

It has now become obvious that if you’re a man and you’re accused of a crime involving sex then you have zero chance of a fair trial. Whatever your race or religion or political alignment, you still have zero chance of a fair trial.

I’m sure that some of the men who’ve been #metoo’d have been guilty, but I think it’s very obvious that many have been entirely innocent, or at worst have been guilty of misbehaviour so trivial that it should not be a matter for the law.

If the current Cosby fiasco discredits #metoo then that’s a very very good thing. And an opportunity to inflict a genuine defeat on the Cultural Left.

Even some liberal women must be getting concerned at the prospect of seeing husbands (or fathers or sons) destroyed by insane and malicious accusations. And destroyed by ambitious and cynical prosecutors.

I'm inclined to think that if there's going to be a fightback then #metoo is the most promising battlefield on which it might happen. I'm not saying I'm wildly optimistic, but maybe there is a chance.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

sexual revolutions old and new

There are many aspects of the current Cultural Revolution that are, in my opinion, deceptive. What appears to be going on is not what is really going on. That’s particularly the case with sex and gender identity. I’ve written abut this before but I’m trying to flesh out my ideas a bit more.

It’s easy to assume that the explosion of pornography and the growing influence of gender identity politics is just an extension of the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s. I don’t think that’s the case. The 1960s/70s Sexual Revolution was all about sex. The objective was more sex and better sex. To an extent it succeeded. The amount of sex that people were having in the 60s and 70s has been exaggerated but there’s little doubt that overall people were indeed having more sex.

The current Sexual Revolution isn’t about sex at all. It’s about identity. To a considerable extent it represents a flight from actual sex. It’s a way of avoiding actual sex. Young people appear in practice to be having less sex than young people in the 60s and 70s.

One interesting thing is that while it appears that sex has never been more widely and more openly discussed that appearance is slightly deceptive. In the 60s and 70s people really were talking widely and openly about sex. There was also a real enthusiasm for finding out how human sexuality actually worked. In academia people like Masters and Johnson were trying to investigate sex in a rigorous scientific way. Their books were bestsellers. There were lots of other bestsellers on the subject. Some were scientific nonsense (such as Shere Hite’s infamous book which was rendered useless because it relied on self-selected samples) but they were all indicative of the interest in the topic.

Another fascinating phenomenon of the time was bestselling books on female sexual fantasies, and those books were indicative of a genuine desire to understand female sexuality.

I don’t see that sort of thing so much these days. The focus is on identity rather than on sex itself. People might identify as a polyamorous genderfluid queers but I get the feeling that many of those people aren’t getting any sex and may well be afraid of sex. Back in the 70s people didn’t worry about which of the 117 different gender identities they belonged to. They were more likely to just say, “Let’s take our clothes off and see what happens.”

I have a suspicion that the change of focus occurred because many people, especially feminists, started getting nervous about what was being discovered. They were worried that men and women might really turn out to be different. They were worried that male sexuality and female sexuality might really turn out to be totally different. To some extent the 117 genders we have today may be an attempt to evade the unpleasant truth that men and women are not the same sexually.

Feminists were also pretty worried about those books on female sexual fantasies. They thought women should be having fantasies about equality but instead women were fantasising about being gang-banged or being tied up by a man and spanked. I remember being very amused when a hardline feminist friend admitted to having lurid and extremely satisfying fantasies about being a harem girl. And being even more amused when another hardline feminist friend was driven into a sexual frenzy by watching The Story of O.

Which brings us to another point - how curious it is that these days only a very narrow range of alternative expressions of sexuality (as distinct from gender) is celebrated. I’m still waiting to see a BDSM Pride March or a Foot Fetish Pride March.

We live a very curious age. In some ways we’re a lot more sexually repressed than the Victorians.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

get ready for World War V

We've had World War G and World War T and people are wondering that's coming next. My guess is that the next war will be World War V. World War Vegan.

It's already started in Australia. Suddenly within a few months supermarket shelves are packed with vegan food and non-vegan food is disappearing from those same shelves. The current push behind veganism is extraordinary.

My prediction is that over the next few years we will see a very strong push to de-normalise meat-eating. Not just to de-normalise it, but to demonise meat-eating.

Within ten years people will be getting cancelled when it's discovered that at some point in the past they were meat-eaters.

Monday, June 28, 2021

economics, marriage and social change

In another discussion elsewhere a claim was made that the mid-20th century in the West was an unusual period of history because at that time monogamy was socially enforced and marriage and children just fell into place for most men. He made the further claim that the Sexual Revolution changed all that and created a situation in which marriage and having children are not achievable goals for a very significant proportion of men.

I think there’s some truth to the claim. I think however that what made the mid-20th century unique was that it was a time in which most men could get decent well-paid secure jobs. Secure being the really important factor. For the only time in human history most men were very attractive marriage propositions for women.

The crucial change was not the Sexual Revolution but the disappearance of those decent well-paid jobs and the ending of job security. And bear in mind that job security has largely disappeared for many lower middle-class men as well as working class men.

Women have to be hardheaded when it comes to marriage. If a man does not have at least a reasonably decent wage and more crucially if he does not have a secure job it is simply reckless for a woman to regard him as husband material. You can’t blame women for that. If a woman wants to have children she needs financial security.

So this is an example not so much of technology but of changes to the economic system driving social change.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

technology and social change

This is a kind of a follow-on from one of my recent posts and it’s also inspired by discussions I’ve been involved in elsewhere.

Those of us who are concerned about the massive social changes that have transformed the West since 1945 usually assume that those changes were mostly ideologically driven. In many cases that’s true of course but in fact a lot of social change is driven mostly by technology. Technology has changed social behaviour, sexual behaviour and family life in profound ways.

This has always been the case. Railways changed society. It’s often not appreciated that prior to railways people mostly spent their entire lives in an incredibly restricted geographical area, in some cases never travelling more than twenty miles from their place of birth.

The invention of the automobile changed society. To a large extent it made suburbia possible.

Television changed society. Instead of getting out of the house regularly to go to the cinema or the theatre or to music halls people got their entertainment at home.

Improvements in contraceptive technology made the Sexual Revolution possible. Sex became a recreational activity.

From the early 1970s to the late 1980s several technologies suddenly became mainstream and became major drivers of social change. Cable TV started to take off in a big way. Home video became cheap and readily available (the VHS format hit the market in the late 70s). The World Wide Web was launched in 1989.

We didn’t know it at the time but these technologies were going to have an effect on sexual attitudes and behaviours. By the mid-80s the explosion in pornography on cable TV and home video had begun. When the World Wide Web was launched it took about ten minutes for someone to figure out that this was going to create an immense market for pornography.

Social media and smartphones have created massive social changes.

While ideological forces have been involved there’s little doubt that without these technological changes society today would be very very different. Family life, sex, love, marriage have all been changed and technology has been a very major driver. Perhaps even the most important driver.

Which is a problem because it seems that no matter how useless and destructive a technology is nothing effective can be done to prevent that technology from spreading.

To a considerable extent the Culture War has been a technological war.