Sexism, racism, and homophobia, like witchcraft, never fail to appear once you go looking for them and, like witchcraft, explain everything that the seeker deems out of joint. Superstition has not disappeared in the secular age. If anything, it has been fortified. For now, we are arrogant enough to imagine that our understanding has no limits, that a rational explanation must exist for everything, but just this, this certainty in our ability to determine causes and effortlessly penetrate the mind of the Other, constitutes our refractory insanity.
As I’ve remarked before and will, no doubt, remark again and again, hatred of men is hatred of civilization since civilization is in its very essence a masculine enterprise.
And yet, hatred of men is now at the core of what passes for liberal urbanity.
The blame is usually assigned to feminists. But feminism is itself a symptom, of the order of an opportunistic infection thriving in a weakened body no longer capable of fending off even low-grade assaults on its integrity. In any case, the real question is not how women have become so powerful (this is itself a feminist myth) but how men have grown so feeble.
No huge mystery there. Male enfeeblement proceeds apace with the occlusion of the warrior ruling caste by mercantile upstarts. Europe leads the way. The “Enlightenment” starts there and at first seems to confer technical advantages that allow Europeans to subjugate the rest of the planet. And yet, these new, and seemingly unlimited powers that modernity granted to Europeans were silently and invisibly poisoning them from within.
The West today is populated by a race of Daleks, hideous, blobby mutations occupying a technological shell that gives them fearsome powers but outside of which they cannot survive. For the Daleks, as for contemporary Westerners, gender is an unwelcome reminder of an earlier and outmoded form of existence. As with the Borg, the Daleks’ power to subjugate races still dominated by mere biology hides from them their own degraded ugliness. The Daleks and the Borg are the fictional creations of a civilization that unconsciously recognizes in them a representation of itself.
What fiction has as yet not been able to envisage (to my knowledge) is the vulnerability of the “posthuman.” For the posthuman is irrevocably maladapted to live in any but the most artificial and energy-intensive environment. Outside their heavily armored cocoons, the Daleks are essentially slime. But worse, slime haunted by a primordially human drive, a death drive. Their harsh metallic cry when encountering the least form of resistance is “Exterminate!” But what remains perpetually refractory to extermination resides inside themselves. In other words, what they cannot exterminate is the ultimately suicidal drive to exterminate, to reduce everything around them to the void that inhabits them.
In the end, the Enlightenment project to bring all of nature under rational administration (of which the Daleks are a futurist extension) must resolve into suicide. For the rational administration of nature cannot mean anything other than the abolition of nature, its nullification as Other, possible only by means of the actual liquidation of the consciousness arrogant enough, unhinged enough, to conceive it . Thus, it is perfectly logical, though perhaps unsettling, that Western civilization today appears to ardently desire its own erasure, an erasure that manifests, among other ways, as a Western war against whatever remains of Western virility.
The final triumph of the West will therefore be its own disappearance. The posthuman will prove to have been yet one more delusion of the human.
One ought to remember that before Europeans brought the blessings of the industrial revolution and liberal modernity to others, they first inflicted them on themselves. Today, the Western world is on a self-immolating trajectory, propelled by a “progressive” will to uproot and rubbish the last residues of its rich cultural legacy, a legacy now blithely disparaged as the toxic bequest of “dead white men.”
This rage against dead white men is a fundamentally anticultural stance for culture everywhere and in all times articulates itself in terms of an overcoming of effeminate chaos and undifferentiation and the chopping up (parcelling) of the primordial maternal body (the Real) into symbolic fragments (signifiers). Culture is everywhere a phallic erection (and imposition) of a symbolic order over the chtonic power of formless matter.
What we see today is that this phallic insurrection that raises up civilization must always contend with the return of an enveloping maternal chaos. The phallic power oscillates between rampancy and flaccidity. All of its achievements and inventions face dissolution and must be reinvented and renewed. When the virility of a culture is finally exhausted, it collapses.
This collapse will always portend “emancipation” for some, specifically, for those whom Nietzsche labelled the last men. The last men lack the strength to sustain civilization. Therefore, they regard civilization itself as an injustice, as a prison from which they hope to escape. As it progresses into dissolution, a dying culture becomes a culture of hysterics and infantile narcissists. A massive, regressive, infantilization of the culture takes place: the undoing of civilization is necessarily also an undoing of the subjects that constitute it; it manifests in individuals as a loss of adult capability, as endemic immaturity. Like a ship turning turtle, everything formerly at the bottom (sick women, sick men, perverts, cowards) briefly achieves dominance. The undoing of civilization is also an overturning. But this overturning is merely a prelude to the whole mass sinking into oblivion.
Only subsequently can something new arise from the dark depths.
It’s sad to see Pepe Escobar promote Michel Onfray.
Michel Onfray is warmed-over Foucault, but more stupid because Onfray has had the time to learn something from the total failure of 60s hedonism. He should have figured out by now that the cult of hedonism produces the exact opposite of what it promises: not pleasure but the banishment of every kind of pleasure save that of virtue signalling. In the end, the outcome of the 60s was not liberation but the suffocating political correctness that rules today.
(And as to Christianity being a fable, please, indicate a civilization (Roman, Greek, or any other) that wasn’t founded on a fable.)
Epicurus is misused when turned into a advocate of postmodern “diversity.” Like any Greek author, Epicurus operates within the horizon (“discourse” if you prefer the Foucaldian term) of the caste system of the ancient world. Epicurianism is untranscribable to a society in which everyone has “rights.” Contrary to what the idiots of the sixties believed, you cannot have both paganism and equality. Paganism presumes the harshest inequality. Sade understood this: Libertinism is possible only in a society in which the cruelest and the strongest are granted absolute dominion over the rest. The naive utilitarianism Onfray preaches, where everyone is allowed whatever enjoyment can be had without doing injury to others inevitably comes up against the reality that others consider themselves injured by the mere sight of their neighbors having fun. That is why today you’d be hard-pressed to find more earnest killjoys than “open-minded” liberals.
Nassim Taleb is smart enough not to spell it out, but the concept of antifragility is profoundly conservative. The antifragile is what lasts, and more than that, the antifragile is what defeats every attempt to extinguish or deny it. In Lacanese, it is what insists, the relentless, constant pressure of the drive. Fashionable ideas, enthusiasms, hysterias: these are the things that come and go.
In this context, we can think of modernity as an arrogant revolt, a humanist attempt to emancipate humanity from human nature with the help of technological magic. This is what underlies every modern calumny against tradition. Modernity is the promise of emancipation. In a peculiar way, the slave resentment that Nietzsche detected in Christianity has only become more virulent with the secularization of Christian moralizing into the doctrine of “human” rights.
Only now, after modernity’s complete triumph and entrenchment, does it begin to become evident that the constraints it imposes are actually worse than those of patriarchal tradition. Only now does the radical unnaturaleness of modernity and the harshness of the measures needed to sustain its “emancipations” begin to register, revealing the paradox that modern emancipation is predicated on totalitarian social administration, that liberal ideas can only be realized as illiberal impositions.
Specifically, today it becomes ever more clear that the protection of wholly artificial, gender-emancipated snowflakes requires nothing less than the eradication of masculinity.
This is not going to happen.
For one thing, modernity itself has conditioned us to find value in what is socially proscribed. Thus, at some point, we can expect the stigmatization of masculinity to turn on its head. An early indications of this is the rise of the populist right, congruent with the growing realization that feminism is the priggish ideology of a privileged elite.
But even if the Western elites have their way, the demolition of Western masculinity can only be prelude to the West going under, to the profit of other more vigorous, unrepentantly virile civilizations.
There is much to be said for Christopher DeGroodt’s prescriptions for educating boys to become men.
So what can our educators do to create real leaders, as opposed to the usual cowardly, moneygrubbing mediocrities?
To begin with, the unmanly self-loathing that characterizes education has to end. Our schools and universities have become like the believer who never stops dwelling on his sins: sick, sick unto death, and yet he would have his illness be our virtue. Students should learn that the brutal evils of American history—African-American slavery, the genocide of the native peoples—are not unique in character to these States. On the contrary, such violence and moral evil reflect the character of the natural world with which we are one and which, in a clear sense, we indeed are. These words are, of course, not meant to “excuse” our past; the point is that nothing is to be gained by constantly dwelling on its bad aspects.
We should also impart a hearty acceptance of competition and elitism, for how else can we keep up with the Chinese? “Every talent,” said Nietzsche, “must unfold itself in fighting.” The classical philologist was thinking of the Greek genius, whose manly vitality is an antithesis to our effete time. And yet, we can see that American youth do have a desire for accomplishment unapologetically pursued. Pindar, the ancient Greek poet, declares that he is “an eagle soaring sunward” while other poets “vainly croak like ravens” or “feed low like chattering crows.” Such exuberant pride finds a parallel in hip-hop culture, wherein men “battle” and “dis” one another with pleasure. Why is it that we hear rap everywhere we go these days, from Walgreens to the breaks at sporting events? What is the special appeal? It is that, like rock and roll, rap contains an unfettered masculine energy that is rather lacking in our enfeebled, professionalized culture. Just look at those poor souls, always so harried and exhausted, Monday through Friday during rush hour. What a horrid sight! I am reminded of the words of a great French poet: “All active men seem playthings of grotesque deliriums.”
Boys must learn that authority and rank, though often mixed or worse, can be noble things. Professors think that they are wise to teach students to regard authority and rank as such with suspicion and resentment, yet this merely reflects their own conceited pathology. Authority and rank do not cease to be necessary simply because we don’t like them. Besides, there is in human nature a natural instinct to revere what is praiseworthy. There are videos on YouTube in which his soldiers display the profoundest respect for James “Mad Dog” Mattis. Mattis bravely led his men in extremely dangerous conditions that most of us cannot even imagine. For that they rightly hold “the warrior monk” in the highest regard. I have a much older scholarly friend to whose judgment on certain matters I am happy to defer. The reason is that he knows a lot more than I do about those things. It is therefore my good fortune to gain from him. The proper attitude here is reverence, not resentment, which both poisons the soul and precludes its elevation.
At the secondary level, boys should be taught by men. Student gender segregation also is desirable. And it would be silly to perceive “sexism” or “misogyny” here. We have seen the consequences of an education system dominated by women: boys put on drugs because they are boys and made to feel guilty about themselves for the same reason. It would be far better for a boy to have no education at all than to undergo a feminized one. The present system is the way to destroy a country; it is emphatically not a path to excellence.
All well and good. But it is not going to happen. Because to make it happen would require men, real men, to be in charge. It would require a functioning patriarchy. If we had a functioning patriarchy, we would not need to reinvent education. Without a functioning patriarchy, we also lack the virility to institute one. Decadence is not reversible. It has to be endured all the way to collapse and then, perhaps, to a new beginning.
The educational shortcomings DeGroodt decries are not causative. They are symptomatic. This is what happens when a culture has been terminally compromised and has entered a death spiral. If education today is dominated by women and dedicated to the unmanning of boys, it is because a prior unmanning elevated harpies into cultural arbiters. Shrews flourish when there are no longer men with the requisite virility to tame and manage them.
Why would the absolutism of money under capitalism produce anything but a race of “moneygrubbing mediocrities”? What else could it produce?
This is what erstwhile conservatives consistently overlook. They dream, in Zizek’s words, of a capitalism without capitalism.
Only a monstrous egotist like Foucault could so assiduously promote a philosophy of self-effacement bordering on self-eradication. The reason is not that complicated. What is sought under the guise of self-effacement, of authorial extinction, is a God-like invulnerability. Self-effacement becomes a means to deify a monstrous self, a self so vastly inflated that it is no longer “personal” but has achieved the impersonality of an Olympian.
I’ve run across such personalities a few times in my life. Invariably, it is an unpleasant experience. What you’re up against is someone who ceaselessly proclaims his egolessness in order to make his caprices into “objective” laws for others. The ruse is always that what he wants is not what he wants but what is ordained from on high, by history, by logic, by aesthetics, or whatever seemingly objective, disembodied authority he is selflessly aligned with.
Anytime you encounter such a person, you are dealing with a pervert. “Selflessness” is the hallmark of perversion.
The ongoing reckless demonization of Putin and Russia and ruling class enthusiasm for reviving McCarthyism and the worst excesses of Cold War Russophobia suggests that the decrepitude of the Western elites has now reached the point where they unconsciously desire their own extinction. This latest drive to war, fomented for the most part by ostensible liberals, is ripely overdetermined. In addition to the usual and persistent factors that drive American bellicosity–the need to justify profligate public expenditure on a bloated military/intelligence apparatus, the myth of American exceptionalism and the paranoia it fosters about countries and figures unwilling grovel before it, the illusion of American invulnerability fostered by a combination of technological mastery and geographical insularity–there has been added the pressing need of the neutered “left” to prove that it retains some vestige of testicular function. One of the peculiar phenomena of recent times is the spectacle of female-dominated liberal men compensating for their emasculation by displaying intolerance for “toxic” masculinity. South Park’s PC Principal provides a fictional illustration of this phenomenon.
In Putin, this pathetic anti-macho machismo has found an ideal target. We are witnessing the late fruition of something that started in the ’60s, when baby boomers who had internalized anti-Soviet propaganda along with their mother’s milk redefined left-wing radicalism in expressly anticommunist “countercultural” terms and became the progenitors of today’s “intersectional” pussy-hatted left. Who could have foreseen that Sen. McCarthy would achieve reincarnation as a bespectacled lesbian?
Where will this lead?
If the past is prologue, we are one the eve of World War III. The present drive to war is bipartisan. The only disagreement between American “conservatives” and “liberals” is about target priority. Should the U.S. go to war with Russia? China? Iran? Or all three at the same time.
Until recently, it had seemed as if the cultural, moral, and intellectual decline of the West would proceed as a largely internal process of cretinization. One noted how, with each passing day, the culture became ever more enmeshed in its sentimental lies about … everything. The modern dilapidation of patriarchal authority had progressed to the point where it had completely compromised the process of acculturation and socialization that mitigates infantile narcissism and produces relatively sane adults. The result is that since the ’60s–when the breakdown rapidly accelerated–Western societies have been vanquished by hordes of internally generated barbarians all clamoring to be unquestioningly recognized as uniquely gifted and deserving of mass adulation. The related sophistries of feminism, diversity, and identity fetishism were invented to accommodate the vastly inflated egos of these monstrous, developmentally arrested children.
And accommodate them they have, to the point where Western societies have developed a full-blown allergy to the merest hint of realism. Today, one courts controversy by merely pointing out that the sexes are biologically different. On the right and the left, self-serving ideology has supplanted reality testing and one of its consequences is the tendency common to both sides to seek the cause of internal societal collapse in the malignancy of external agents. This is just as evident in the pussy-hatter belief that Russia robbed Hilary Clinton of her entitled claim to the presidency as it is in Trump’s equally deluded belief that military confrontation and tariffs will restore American global supremacy.
When a country that has squandered untold billions on fruitless military adventures nonetheless evinces an appetite for more, one must conclude that it has succumbed to a death drive. In recent decades, Hollywood has fantasized all manner of cataclysms that might threaten the destruction of the homeland, but in all instances the fictional threat is averted by the intervention of heroes of the human or superhuman kind. What Hollywood cannot imagine is a scenario in which the heroes themselves, seized by madness, destroy themselves and their world. “Evil appears as good in the minds of those whom gods lead to destruction.”
As Christopher DeGroot notes, the systemic eradication of masculinity in America is long past reversibility.
Restoring male authority, although necessary, seems nearly impossible to do by rational means. Notwithstanding evidence that women’s happiness has declined both absolutely and relative to men, it is implausible to think the culture as a whole will want men to become men again, that is, in the old sense of the man of the house. For that to come about, crisis and catastrophe will be necessary—or rather, more of them.
And more of them are certainly on the way. Wait till the pussyhatters get their war with Russia on.
I somehow doubt that the radioactive Mad Max—type landscapes that such a war would leave behind would be hospitable to feminist ideas or any other form of infantile posturing.
Jimmy Kimmel gives a definition of the ideal feminist male:
“No question about it. Oscar is the most beloved and respected man in Hollywood. And there’s a very good reason why. Just look at him. Keeps his hands where you can see them. Never says a rude word and most importantly, no penis at all. He is literally a statue of limitations. And that’s the kind of men we need more of in this town.”