From top left to right: Erich Fromm, Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Leo Loewenthal, Friedrich Pollock, Franz Leopold Neumann, Herbert Marcuse, Walter Benjamin
As the Marxist parade of “Critical Theory” proceeds ever forward, it was only a matter of time before the Frankfurt School and its legions of bastard offspring generated during the course of its long march through the institutions had reduced the great edifices of Western civilization to rubble and had arrived at its very foundations. Good-bye to race (the West is definitionally racist, owing to its unbearable whiteness of origin), and creed (the only religion that all right-thinking atheists can take seriously is Islam, a counterfeit plagiarism of both Judaism and Christianity, because otherwise it will kill them) and hello to sex.
Not “gender,” a linguistic term that has been willfully misapplied to biology out of both malevolence and ignorance. It first entered common parlance as a prudish substitute for the word “sex” itself, since sex had become less of a descriptive noun—the two sexes, the male sex, the female sex—and more of a verb: to have sex. In other words, it became synonymous with the sex act and hence a bit impolite. If the word “sex” conjured up images of exuberant intercourse, then the more demure “gender” could be easily substituted in its former place.
There was one problem: “gender” has nothing whatsoever to do with denotive sex. For there are three genders, not two: masculine, feminine, and neuter, and they are purely linguistic. The word for the sun in German is feminine; in Spanish, it is masculine; the solar object itself has no sex whatsoever. But by applying “gender” to human sexuality, the sappers opened up for public inspection that there are more than three “genders” (true, and false) and that if we could have three, why not have more?
And so now we have many “genders”—all of them but the essential two imaginary, but who’s counting? As the notion of “civil rights” was extended from the righteous, definitive conclusion of Reconstruction—which, thanks to the Democratic Party’s murderous intransigence, lasted nearly a century longer than it should have done—everything is now some sort of “civil right,” including the right to be delusional about what is between your legs.
Not only that, they also have the right to force you to accept their delusions as factual. Hence LGBTQWERTYUIOP, as Mark Steyn so eloquently puts it.
When everything is possible, nothing is essential, which is to say nothing is real. And when nothing is real, people become confused, unmoored, and alone. The cultural-Marxist attack on the verities of Western civilization included an attack on whether there are, or can even be, “verities” in the first place, most specifically religious (Judeo-Christian) tenets. That was the genius of Critical Theory, which was nihilism masquerading as a “philosophy” and (most perniciously) an academic “discipline,” which provided its aggressive hostility with a patina of respectability. As I wrote in The Devil’s Pleasure Palace:
At once overly intellectualized and emotionally juvenile, Critical Theory—like Pandora’s Box—released a horde of demons into the American psyche. When everything could be questioned, nothing could be real, and the muscular, confident empiricism that had just won the war gave way, in less than a generation, to a fashionable Central European nihilism that was celebrated on college campuses across the United States. Seizing the high ground of academe and the arts, the new nihilists set about dissolving the bedrock of the country, from patriotism to marriage to the family to military service.
Were any of the originators of Critical Theory still among us, they might well say, quoting Sir Christopher Wren: Si monumentum requiris, circumspice. Look about your daily lives here in early twenty-first-century America and Western Europe, and see the shabbiness, hear the coarseness of speech and dialogue, witness the lowered standards not only of personal behavior but also of cultural norms, savor the shrunken horizons of the future.
Nonetheless, here we are: bedrock. Millennials, those poor saps, have been so gender-whipped as to have been rendered essentially genderless—I mean sexless.
Magazines that once enthusiastically promoted the “sexual revolution” (women exhibiting the same sexual appetites as men) are now openly wondering why Americans aren’t having more gender—I mean sex.
Men without chests, but with ample facial hair, mince about in emotional onesies, their capon voices heard throughout the land—especially on NPR, which appears to be their native habitat. Meanwhile, women with chests flounce their bosoms at Mardi Gras and in the pages of the Daily Mail, to no avail. #MeToo has done its work all too well. The “toxic male” is essential to the survival of the species, as any female reader or viewer of Fifty Shades of Grey will tell you.
But, as Camille Paglia notes in the first chapter of her seminal (sorry, ladies) Sexual Personae:
In the beginning was nature. The background from which and against which our ideas of God were formed, nature remains the supreme moral problem. We cannot hope to understand sex and gender until we clarify our attitude toward nature. Sex is a subset to nature. Sex is the natural in man . . .
Feminism has been simplistic in arguing that female archetypes were politically motivated falsehoods by men. The historical repugnance to woman has a rational basis: disgust is reason’s proper response to the grossness of procreative nature. Reason and logic are the anxiety-inspired domain of Apollo, premiere god of sky-cult. The Apollonian is harsh and phobic, coldly cutting itself off from nature by its superhuman purity. I shall argue that western personality and western achievement are, for better or worse, largely Apollonian. Apollo’s great opponent Dionysus is ruler of the chthonian whose law is procreative femaleness. As we shall see, the Dionysian is liquid nature, a miasmic swamp whose prototype is the still pond of the womb . . .
Feminism dismisses the femme fatale as a cartoon and libel. If she ever existed, she was simply a victim of society, resorting to destructive womanly wiles because of her lack of access to political power. The femme fatale was a career woman manquée, her energies neurotically diverted into the boudoir. By such techniques of demystification, feminism has painted itself into a comer. Sexuality is a murky realm of contradiction and ambivalence. It cannot always be understood by social models, which feminism, as an heir of nineteenth-century utilitarianism, insists on imposing on it. Mystification will always remain the disorderly companion of love and art. Eroticism is mystique; that is, the aura of emotion and imagination around sex. It cannot be “fixed” by codes of social or moral convenience, whether from the political left or right. For nature’s fascism is greater than that of any society. There is a daemonic instability in sexual relations that we may have to accept.
Ha ha ha. What do we gain by turning women into men and, worse (far worse), men into women? If the end result of “feminism” was to posit that the highest form of the female was in fact a biological male, then what good was feminism? If the chestless males can now transform themselves into the objects of their desire through the timely application of hormones and the surgeon’s knife, are they women in sex or only “gender”? And if there’s a difference, how and why?
The misery of our time can be traced to this final assault on verity. The entire edifice of cultural Marxism is based on the notion that empiricism is deceptive, that one cannot trust the plain evidence of one’s own senses. By hijacking the Civil Rights movement, grammar, Einstein’s theory of relativity, and anything else that comes to hand, the Left has managed to beat common sense and history into temporary submission, by using Western religious concepts of guilt and atonement against us.
Is this the world you want to live in? If not, what are you going to do about it? Stick out your chest, and show us what you got.