Saturday, November 24, 2018

The Fracturing of France

A ‘Sharia4Belgium’ radical Islamist group member speaks to the crowd during a protest by Muslim men and women in Sint-Jans-Molenbeek (Molenbeek-Saint-Jean), in Brussels, on June 1, 2012. (Getty)

US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron engaged in a public diplomatic clash just days before Trump visited France this month. The spat began when, in a radio interview, Macron suggested that Europe needed an army to protect itself from the US. "We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America," said Macron.

Protecting France from the United States? In a November 11 speech commemorating World War I, Macron in a diplomatic welcome to his guest, attacked "nationalism". President Trump had proudly called himself a "nationalist" less than three weeks before.

Macron, it seems, was using the armistice signed in 1918 to forget what is going on in France in 2018.

Gérard Collomb, France's Interior Minister until last month and currently Mayor of Lyon, is apparently pessimistic about the situation in his country, according to comments reported by Valeurs Actuelles. "People do not want to live together," Collomb lamented, continuing that the responsibility for security during the recent immigration has been "huge." Collomb also warned that there is only a "little time" to improve the situation. "It's difficult to estimate but I would say that in five years the situation could become irreversible. Yes, we have five, six years to avoid the worst," he added.

And the worst will be a "secession", or as Gilles Kepel, the French specialist on Islam, called it: "La fracture."

Macron, however, does not seem particularly receptive to Collomb's warning. A man reportedly shouting "Allahu Akbarstabbed a police officer in Brussels this week, during a state visit by Macron to the Belgian capital -- the first for a French president since Mitterrand visited there in the 80s. Macron also went to Brussels' Molenbeek district, which he defined "a territory marked by the image of the terrorist drama and also a place of initiatives, sharing and integration". Sharing and integration?

Eight people were arrested in a March 2018 counter-terror raid in Molenbeek. A confidential report revealed last year that police in the same Brussels district uncovered 51 organizations with suspected ties to jihadist terrorism. Many of the suspects involved in the Paris and Brussels terror attacks either lived in, or operated, from Molenbeek. As Julia Lynch wrote in The Washington Post regarding Molenbeek:
"One of 19 "communes" in the Brussels metro area, the neighborhood was home to one of the attackers in the 2004 commuter train bombings in Madrid and to the Frenchman who shot four people at the Jewish Museum in Brussels in August 2014. The Moroccan shooter on the Brussels-Paris Thalys train in August 2015 stayed with his sister there.
If there is a place where Collomb's explanation about "secession" is not only a warning but already a reality, that place is Molenbeek. Roger Cohen, in The New York Times, called it "the Islamic State of Molenbeek." And such districts are not on a Belgian phenomenon. "Today, we know that there are 100 neighbourhoods in France that have potential similarities with what happened in Molenbeek", said France's then Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Patrick Kanner, in 2016. One is the town of Trappes, not only famous for the international soccer star Nicolas Anelka, but also for the number of jihadists from there who went to fight in Syria or Iraq.

In France, six planned terror attacks have been foiled this year, the Secretary of State to the Minister of the Interior, Laurent Nunez, disclosed. "Since November 2013, 55 planned Islamist attacks were foiled thanks to the action of the intelligence services, including six this year", Nunez said.

In the last few months, the current French scenario has not been dominated by new big terror attacks, but by a daily rain of intimidation. A Frenchman in his 60s was walking down a Paris street with wrapped Christmas gifts last week, when a stranger knocked off his eyeglasses before slapping him. "That's what we do to the infidels", the attacker said to the man. A few days before that, a French Jewish citizen was also attacked in the street by three men.

On the ideological front, "Macron is following in the footsteps of presidents who have tried, and failed, to establish an 'Islam of France'", Politico reported. According to the Wall Street Journal:
"Now President Emmanuel Macron's government is considering giving parents a secular alternative to that intertwining of Arabic and Islam by prodding more of France's public schools to offer children as young as age 6 Arabic lessons..."
Robert Ménard, the mayor of the southern town of Béziers, declared that "teaching Arabic will create more ghettos". French authorities seem to ignore that the vast majority of terrorists from France have been French citizens, who spoke a perfect French and, unlike their parents, were born in France. They were perfectly "integrated". They rejected it.

The confirmation of the Islamist wave came last September in a shocking report from Institut Montaigne entitled, "The Islamist Factory." It details the extreme level of radicalization of the French Muslim society. According to its director, Hakim El Kharoui, extremist Muslims in France are "creating an alternative society, parallel, separate. With a key concept: halal." Macron has done almost nothing to stop this expansion.

"Two or three Salafist mosques were closed in 18 months, [but] foreign funding of mosques was not banned," said National Front party leader Marine Le Pen recently. The goal of foreign funding has been detailed by the former chairman of the Christian Democratic Party, Jean-Frédéric Poisson, in his new book, "Islam, Conquering the West". "The expansion of Islam in the West is part of a strategic plan developed by the 57 states that make up [the Organisation of] Islamic Cooperation -- a sort of Muslim United Nations -- which theorized the spread of Sharia law in Europe", Poisson said in an interview this month. "They openly declared the ambition to install a 'substitution civilization' in the West."

There is, however, more than the cultural level. Philippe De Villiers, a politician and essayist close to Macron, recently evoked a phrase coined by his brother, General Pierre de Villiers, the former head of the French military. General de Villiers had warned Macron about a possible internal implosion in the volatile Parisian suburbs: "the darker sides of the City of Light". According to Philippe De Villiers, his brother would have said to Macron: "If the suburbs revolt, we would not be able to cope with it, we cannot afford to face it, we do not have the men."

Two journalists with the mainstream newspaper Le Monde, Gérard Davet and Fabrice Lhomme, recently published a book entitled Inch'allah : l'islamisation à visage découvert ("If Allah Wills: The Exposed Face of Islamization"), an investigation of the "Islamization" of the large Parisian suburb of Seine-Saint-Denis. There and in many other suburbs, anti-Semitism is rising. According to the French Prime Minister Eduard Philippe, recorded anti-Jewish "acts" rose by 69% in the first nine months of 2018. Francis Kalifat, president of the official body that represents the French Jewish communities, has called anti-Semitism "a cancer."

In a report this summer from Paris, The New York Times detailed the Jewish exodus from the multicultural suburbs: "More than 50,000 have moved to Israel since 2000, compared with about 25,000 French Jews who left between 1982 and 2000". There is also an internal exodus:
"In Aulnay-sous-Bois, the number of Jewish families dropped to 100 in 2015 from 600 in 2000; in Le Blanc-Mesnil, to 100 families from 300; in Clichy-sous-Bois, there are now 80 Jewish families, down from 400; and in La Courneuve, there are 80 families, down from 300."
"We may be living the end of a civilization -- ours," says Philippe de Villiers, a French politician and novelist.
"There are two points in common between the decay of the Roman Empire and our own decay. The Roman senatorial nobility, who thinks only of adding a layer of porphyry to their bathtubs, no longer considers the limes, the border of the Empire, as an emergency to secure".
It seems that Macron has been busy only in adding a layer of porphyry to the Frances "grandeur".

Last year, Macron presented himself as the candidate making a "a break with the system." In five years, his presidential mandate will be over. According to his former Interior Minister, Gérard Collomb, these will probably be the last years before the real "break" could become irreversible. Not only for France, but also for Europe.

Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.


Molenbeek Broke My Heart-

Friday, November 23, 2018

An Outrage Meter for the Trump Era

November 22, 2018

Image result for trump outrage media
Don Lemon and Jim Acosta (CNN)

There was a daytime television show I remember from my youth called “Queen for a Day.” It had three essential features. Hard luck stories from a handful of women. Loot in the form of kitchen appliances, nights on the town, fashionable clothes, etc. And the central gimmick: the applause meter, through which the studio audience would register its enthusiasm for its favored candidate. The contestant who attracted the loudest response won the title and collected the pelf.

Someone should tweak the applause meter for the internet age, recalibrating it to record the chief entertainment of our day: the serial ginned-up outrage against things that President Trump says.
There is certainly a lot of that going around. And while it is about as sincere as the cataract of sentimentality that greeted the Diane-Arbus-like hard-luck stories on Queen for a Day, it is undeniably intense. A few enterprising souls have made video compilations of the skirling media announcing that now, at last, Donald Trump had reached a “turning point” and would shortly be escorted out of the White House, preferably in shackles, in the wake of the latest “bombshell” revelation.
Those compilations are good fun and remind us of just how ridiculous and unhinged are the president’s more doctrinaire critics. What I want, however, is a real-time Presidential Geiger Counter so that the public can predict just how foolish Rachel Maddow or Jim Acosta, or Anderson Cooper—and let’s not forget Bill Kristol, Max Boot, and Jennifer Rubin—are going to be following some statement made or initiative undertaken by the Trump Administration.
This past week featured at least two promising candidates for the Outrage Meter: first, the back-and-forth between the president and Chief Justice John Roberts about the ruling of Jon S. Tigar, an Obama-appointed judge on the infamously left-leaning Ninth Circuit, that blocked the president’s executive order halting asylum claims at our Southern border, and second, the president’s statement on our relations with Saudi Arabia in the aftermath of the murder of the Muslim Brotherhood propagandist and Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
About Those “Obama Judges” . . .
It was hardly surprising that the president should have lambasted the “Obama judge” Tigar. In a move reminiscent of Federal District Judge Roger Gregory’s temporary restraining order, promulgated on a “nationwide basis,” halting the president’s ban on immigration from certain countries known to be exporters of terrorism, Tigar intervened to make Americans less safe by tying the hands of those who are charged with protecting our Southern border.
Gregory’s ruling essentially was overturned by the Supreme Court, and it is likely that Tigar’s ruling, too, is headed to the Supremes, all of whom will be familiar this passage from U.S. Code 1182:
Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.
In the case of Judge Tigar’s ruling, as in Judge Gregory’s, we saw an effort to do an end-run around the law in order to push a leftist agenda on immigration. I suspect that Tigar’s ruling will meet a fate similar to that which greeted Gregory’s grandstanding ruling.
But what gives this judicial re-run its distinctive filip of interest is Chief Justice John Roberts’s rebuke of the president’s description of Jon Tigar as an “Obama judge.” “We do not,”said the chief justice, “have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges. What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them. That independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for.”
Isn’t that sweet?
An “independent judiciary” is a noble ideal, nobly memorialized by the Founders, but as everyone, including John Roberts, knows, the reality often falls far short of the ideal. It does so with notable frequency in left-wing redoubts like the Ninth Circuit, which is one reason its rulings are so often reversed.
The president is right about the Ninth Circuit and Roberts’s claim. As he tweeted:
Sorry Chief Justice John Roberts, but you do indeed have “Obama judges,” and they have a much different point of view than the people who are charged with the safety of our country. It would be great if the 9th Circuit was indeed an “independent judiciary,” but if it is why......

The president went on to observe,

.....are so many opposing view (on Border and Safety) cases filed there, and why are a vast number of those cases overturned. Please study the numbers, they are shocking. We need protection and security - these rulings are making our country unsafe! Very dangerous and unwise!
There are a couple of things to note about this contretemps. One is that that President Trump’s response,pace media reports, is not exceptional. Indeed, it comes nowhere near President Obama’s public rebuke of the Supreme Court from the bully pulpit of his State of the Union Address in 2010. As Senator Chuck Grassley observed, “I don’t recall the Chief attacking Obama when that Prez rebuked Alito during a State of the Union.” But Trump is different, you see, because . . . reasons.
More generally, if the independence of the judiciary were as pristine as Chief Justice Roberts’s comments suggest, there would be no controversy over the ideological complexion of those nominated to the bench. In response, I have three names to offer: Robert Bork, Clarence Thomas, and Brett Kavanaugh. Q.E.D. A hat-tip to Instapundit for publishing this witty comment by Andy Grewal: “Dunno if it was an accident or if he’s playing 3D chess, but Trump took us from ‘impeach Kavanaugh and abolish the Supreme Court’ to ‘we must defend all judges’ pretty darn quickly.’” Indeed.
And just to underscore the silliness of what Chief Roberts said, ponder this proposal by the Harvard law professor Adrian Vermeule: “I suggest that, as a conclusive demonstration of the nonpartisan neutrality of judicial craft, all Obama-appointed judges should step down to be replaced by Trump appointees.” How do you suppose that would go down?
We want an independent judiciary. But the American judiciary is a human institution, prey to the same imperfections and temptations that bedevil all human institutions. As Thomas Jefferson understood, “Our judges are as honest as other men, and not more so. They have, with others, the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps . . . . Their power [is] the more dangerous as they are in office for life, and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control.” Judges should, as John Marshall put it, “say what the law is.”
But everyone knows that that ideal of impartiality is hemmed in and influenced by a network of subsidiary considerations and hermeneutical presuppositions. John Roberts is the Harvard educated grandee. I am surprised at his naïveté, if it was naïveté and not something more disingenuous.
The Trump Doctrine in Practice
The question of which—naïveté or disingenuousness—brings me to President Trump’s statement about our relations with Saudi Arabia in the aftermath of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. The journalist who observed that in many ways the statement “captured Trump’s view of the world and foreign policy” was right. It is a neat summary of Trump’s doctrine of “principled realism,” where the principle in question turns first of all on what is best for the United States and the realism frankly acknowledges the exigencies, economic and military, that determine the actual congress among nations. President Trump’s statement opens with the injunction “America First!” followed by the admonition “The world is a very dangerous place!”
These are the sorts of observations that drive the Left to distraction. How uncouth that the president of the United States should publicly favor his own country over others! And how unutterably gauche that he should employ exclamation marks in official statements! The Washington Post, for example, decried that president’s communication as a “crude statement” that “casually slandered Mr. Khashoggi, who was one of the Arab world’s most distinguished journalists.”
In fact, Khashoggi was a Sharia-supporting member of the Muslim Brotherhood with deep ties to Osama bin Laden’s organization and other radical groups, which is not to suggest that his bizarre murder was justified, only that that rose-colored glasses that venues such as the Washington Post donned when describing him are even more distorting than usual.
Some conservative commentators have understandably indulged in a bit of tu quoque riposting when commenting on the Left’s (which includes the NeverTrump faux-Right’s) response to the president’s statement. Their outrage meter went to 11 on this one, but what about the Obama Administration’s cozy relations with Putin, with Assad, with the Iranian regime? Where, to ask Bob Dole’s famous question, was the outrage regarding those acts of bland stupidity?
But the deeper question, I think, pertains to politics in the real world. Maybe, as the President said, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman knew about the murder of Khashoggi, maybe he didn’t. We don’t know. We may never know all the details surrounding his murder. Yes, “the crime against Jamal Khashoggi was a terrible one,” the president acknowledged, “and one that our country does not condone.” Moreover, he reminded us, the United States has “taken strong action against those already known to have participated in the murder. . . . We have already sanctioned 17 Saudis known to have been involved in the murder of Mr. Khashoggi.”
Some members of Congress are demanding that we take our marbles and go home, to wit, that we cancel our contracts with the Saudis. But that, as the President points out, would simply be a gift to Russia and China, which would be only too happy to get the billions of dollars in new business.
But—and here the president articulated the core point— “our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” which, he noted, has been “a great ally in our very important fight against Iran. The United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel and all other partners in the region. It is our paramount goal to fully eliminate the threat of terrorism throughout the world!”
The president acknowledged that there were some members of Congress who dissented from his perspective. That, he said, is their prerogative. And here is the kicker: “I will consider whatever ideas are presented to me,” he said, “but only if they are consistent with the absolute security and safety of America.”
That, I submit, is the voice of an adult, someone who understands that the job of the president of the United States is to look after the interests of the United States, not have one’s knickers in a perpetual twist because bad people do bad things in other parts of the world.

Coming Home

By Spencer Klavan
Autumn 2018 Issue
Image result for books
Recently, I packed a suitcase and boarded a plane, leaving Oxford, England, where I’ve been a graduate student for the past four years, to visit my mother and father in Los Angeles, where I’ll finish writing my Ph.D. thesis. My folks moved to their L.A. home after I left for college. I didn’t grow up in this house, or even in this city. But I came here to finish my thesis, because this is where my parents and their bookshelves are. That means that this place is home.
We moved a lot when I was younger. No single location, no old apartment or childhood town contains all the memories of my youth and the spirit of my family. But these bookshelves do.
My father is a mystery novelist and an autodidact. As a young man, he honed his craft with hours of reading, even when he was a struggling writer working multiple jobs. He was determined to write hard-boiled genre fiction, so he learned from the masters: Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain. He analyzed other great writers, too: Dante, Dostoyevsky, George Eliot. He read late into the night until he squinted from exhaustion. Then he placed those books on these shelves, where they now stand alongside his own bestsellers.
One day, back when times were hard, my father saw a girl hitchhiking on the streets of Berkeley, California. He gave her a ride home and wound up marrying her. That woman, my mother, is the most sincere lover of novels I have ever known. Nobody I know relishes a well-plotted story or a vivid character portrait as she does. She is also a skilled cook, whose instincts in the kitchen come from a deep wellspring of unforced affection. She has published compilations of her recipes, many of which were staples in my packed school lunches. Her cookbooks and the novels she treasures are on these shelves, too.
My parents’ books are not organized according to any discernible logic—and that’s by design. Thus, while searching for a particular book, they will notice five other unrelated books that they’re eager to read. And so practically every wall of every house they have lived in features a concatenation of thrillers and culinary manuals, of pulpy novellas and Greek tragedies. Within my reach as I write are The Creative Lunchbox (recipes by my mother), Classic Crimes (stories by the Scottish lawyer William Roughead), and Dumas’s Camille.
It was wonderful to come of age among these books, to run wild through them and develop my own interest in literature. I discovered my father’s thrillers and read all his role models; he told me how painstakingly he had studied them, and that’s how I learned what a work ethic looks like. I met my mother’s favorite characters and went on all her old adventures; she told me how real they were to her, and that’s how I learned to connect with other souls through words.
This was my education, in the truest sense. It was not just about trying to become well-read. These shelves bear witness to a literary passion so spacious and unaffected that it delights in Ulysses but has no disdain for Tarzan. They recall the generosity of spirit that lets a bookish kid borrow your favorite editions (knowing that he will mutilate and sometimes lose them) because he obviously adores them. Most of all, my parents’ shelves represent the union of two distinct individuals and one remarkable book collection—the author of cookbooks fused with the author of crime novels, the woman who loves to read stories united with the man who lives to write them.
That’s why I came here to finish my thesis. This is the largest and most daunting writing project I have undertaken. It will inaugurate my own career, such as it may be. I get up every morning and work hard, like my father; I try to read and write with humane insight, like my mother. I am surrounded by their books, and I hope to make them proud. It’s good to be home.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Give Thanks That ISIS Is Going, Going . . .

By Deroy Murdock
November 22, 2018
Image result for operation inherent resolve
A U.S. Army Soldier, deployed in support of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, waits while a CH-47 Chinook is refueled at Qayyarah West Airfield, Iraq. More than 60 Coalition partners have committed themselves to the goal of eliminating the threat posed by ISIS in Iraq and Syria and have contributed in various capacities to the effort. CJTF-OIR is the global Coalition to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria. (Cpt. Rachel Diehm/U.S. Army)

As Americans pause this week to give thanks, let us be grateful that the dramatically diminished ISIS caliphate is nearly crushed. And let’s applaud the Trump administration’s role in so severely reducing this threat.
As President Donald J. Trump took office, the Islamic State was not just another terrorist group. It was a Muslim-extremist mini-nation. Straddling Iraq and Syria, ISIS controlled some 17,500 square miles — visualize two New Jerseys — according to the Washington Examiner’s Jamie McIntyre.
Its 35,000 fighters enforced Sharia law, detonated historical sites, hurled gay men off of tall buildings, and displaced, persecuted, and slaughtered tens of thousands of Christians, Shiites, and Yazidis. Radical Muslim fools rushed in, boarded the jihadist bandwagon, and expanded ISIS’s bloody footprint from Paris to Brussels to San Bernardino. The Islamofascist group terrified Europeans and Americans. ISIS’s trained killers and Internet-inspired lone rats could attack anytime, anywhere.
But by last September, this veritable Islamic-terrorist country had shriveled to its last 200 square miles — an area roughly the size of Tulsa.
According to a September 27 Operation Inherent Resolve statement, this U.S.-led multinational effort is responsible for “liberating nearly 8 million Iraqis and Syrians from ISIS’s brutal rule and reducing its control of territory to approximately 1 percent of what it previously held.” The Syrian Democratic Forces have worked closely with American personnel to wipe out ISIS. Today’s military combat reportedly focuses on Deir az-Zour, ISIS’s holdout beside the Euphrates River.
“The fight is continuing, and we hope that it will be over in a few months and that will be the last of ISIS’s terrain that it holds in a quasi-conventional way,” Ambassador James Jeffrey, U.S. special envoy for Syrian engagement, told Reuters. “The enduring defeat means not simply smashing the last of ISIS’s conventional military units holding terrain, but ensuring that ISIS doesn’t immediately come back in sleeper cells, come back as an insurgent movement.”
ISIS has lost nearly all of its real estate. Perhaps more important, it has surrendered tons of prestige. Why would anyone brave the blazing sunshine and blistering sands to join the virtual mirage that is today’s Islamic State caliphate? This would be like fording the Rhine to fight for Nazi Germany — in March 1945.
Why is ISIS’s headquarters nearly gone with the wind? Obama’s pussyfooting yielded to President Trump’s robust attacks.
“The Obama White House micromanaged the war against ISIS and did a poor job of it,” Heritage Foundation national-security scholar Jim Phillips told me. “The Pentagon was forced to pull its punches because of tight political restrictions on the use of force. The Obama administration initially ruled out air strikes against ISIS-controlled oil fields and oil trucks carrying ISIS oil because of a fear of causing civilian casualties.” This brilliant policy made ISIS Earth’s wealthiest terrorist group, awash in petroleum revenues.
“President Trump deserves credit for removing counterproductive political restrictions on the U.S. military, escalating the air campaign, deploying U.S. advisers and special operations forces closer to the fighting, and accelerating the defeat of ISIS,” Phillips said. “The U.S. military did the bulk of the heavy lifting in the international campaign to defeat ISIS. Without U.S. involvement, ISIS would still be crucifying its opponents and holding non-Muslim women as sex slaves.”
These positive developments likely are news to most Americans. The Trump-hating old-guard media have sat on this story, lest the president enjoy any kudos for making America and the world safer from these bloodthirsty murderers (ISIS, not the press).
“Since Inauguration Day (January 20, 2017), the three broadcast network evening newscasts have spent more than 10,000 minutes on the Trump presidency, and only 33 minutes (0.33 percent) involved the administration’s handling of the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria,” Media Research Center analyst Bill D’Agostino wrote last month.
There you have it: President Trump has helped shrink ISIS by 99 percent, while his nightly-news tormentors have spent 99.7 percent of their time looking elsewhere.

Let’s Have Gender

November 21, 2018
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.