Conflicting visions of masculinity in the postmodern era
Monday, 5 September 2022
Masculinity is both a noun and a verb, defined as much by one’s physical characteristics as one’s actions in society. But how precisely is it to be defined biologically and culturally? The former has become a decidedly more slippery project than it once was, now that men, in a stunning rejection of the most fundamental apophatic truth of humanity on earth, can give birth. And the latter, the focus of this essay, seems to suggest two separate and distinct propositions: the first, constrained, and the second, unconstrained.
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are upon us. The Trump-Biden ticket, the cultural civil war, COVID 1984, and the slow motion economic collapse have all kicked off in earnest, each feeding off the other like a multi-headed ouroboros. The controlled opposition that is underway to address these crises is designed to attenuate the transformative energy of those seeking to address the massive inequalities that exist in this country. Taking each phenomenon in turn, one can see they represent sigils of a transition to an entirely new mode of political, economic, and social organization on a global level. (more…)
We are at war. There is an enemy, soldiers, heroes, and victims. And because we are at war, we will be subject to an unceasing propaganda effort to shape our thinking about what is happening, or should happen, and what we can do about it. During times of war and catastrophe, we must as the story goes, sacrifice some liberty for security. Power coalesces in the face of catastrophe, where large scale coordination is required to address unforeseen events, and we are told that this was an unforeseen event. This is part of what it means to live in a representative democracy, where the rule of law prevails above all else. The rule of law in America is a self-licking ice cream. Whenever new laws brought about by states of emergency are enacted, a “new normal” begins to congeal in the minds of Americans, and these new laws become part of the landscape of American life, part of a rules-based society – the rule of law ultimately prevails, regardless of the scope of its power. This means that in America, provided we are able to maintain the appearance of legitimacy in our plebiscites, the outcome of voting has the imprimatur of the people and the patina of political authority. We all have a role to play in this “live exercise”.
The most significant changes in society happen in short convulsions, where a dangerous enemy is clearly defined. This fact was well understood long ago, and was articulated with great clarity in the minutes of the Carnegie Foundation’s first meetings in the early 1900s, which were uncovered by the United States House Select Committee to Investigate Tax-Exempt Foundations and Comparable Organizations (aka, the Reece Committee), when they were engaged in a grand effort to shape the future of America. Norman Dodd, the head researcher of the Reece Committee recalls: (more…)
As the soul of America travels through the katabasis known as Trumpism, we are able to catch a glimpse of the various conjurings out of the Hegelian grimoire taking place that are shaping the narrative of the current historical moment. Rhetorically, the most strident voices against Trumpism are decrying what they view as a Völkisch pastiche underway, as if part of the country is under the spell of some kind of cult of personality mixed with a dash of ethno-nationalism – a mass ritual that will result in a society full of Minute Men asking non-whites for their identification papers, ready to deport anything not wrapped in Old Glory. The staunchest examples of this kind of politico-cultural gemeinschaft are Nazism and Zionism. But does Trumpism parallel these kinds of weltanschauung? In some ways it does, but in others ways, it represents the opposite. The one world government, resulting in a nationalist backlash, leading to a multilateral denouement dialectic being played out misses the larger picture. Namely, the new thesis that results from the synthesis we seem to be heading toward. Trumpism fits the fascist moniker in that it embodies romantic ideas of the great return to a Golden Age, (more…)
Red herrings, identity politics, and the futility of the coming culture wars
Tuesday, 24 January 2017
The Left is in high dudgeon, but for the wrong reasons. Identity politics and the culture wars are turning political ideologies on their heads, with California, a bastion of collectivist social policies, now rebuking the power of the federal government, with some even invoking the Lone Star State secession card. Liberal elites are falling over themselves decrying the end of civilized society with the inauguration of the short-fingered vulgarian, and the professional classes are lamenting the poverty of American culture as all the fascists, racists, and ignorant plebes are now behind the wheel of government and have been given the nuclear codes. The hyperbole has been something to behold among the most frenzied sectors of the Left’s Social Justice League.
The Left has been sleeping with the enemy for decades, and has been co-opted by its own supporters at the highest levels of the public and private sector, as governments and foundations all play their part. Left movements are so often futile because they are all funded by social engineers that have no interest in the goals and values of the citizens at the ground level trying to affect change. A recent case in point: The Clinton Foundation set up a textile factory in Haiti that provides jobs for women, which sounds like a noble mission. A GPS company was then brought in to provide free cell phones and microfinancing to these women, with the ostensible purpose of giving them access to communication tools, capital, and the ability to start their own businesses. Everyone can feel good about public-private cooperation and the spirit of American philanthropy at this point. What was the actual purpose of this venture? (more…)