Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Retired Colonel and now-Professor Andrew Bacevich opens his commentary on the recent McChrystal brouhaha with a splash of cold water that this nation desperately needs to counter the effects of wayyyyy too much Kool-Aid: “Long wars are antithetical to democracy”.

And long wars work their dark and deadly magic by corroding “the values of popular government”.

You can’t run a military like a democracy but in a war situation it is the military ‘values’, the military way of doing things, that have to take precedence in order to get the thing won and get back to normal. You do things the military way, you look at things the military way, you only let yourself think in the military way.

War has to be like that, for civilians as well as for soldiers. When, that is, a democracy wages war.

The good news – theoretically, at least – is that the war won’t last long, the deforming effects upon the civilian and democratic polity are removed, and the living organism of the polity returns to its natural upright position from the hunched and bent crouch that always accompanies the military way (with all respect to it, in its proper place).

The fact that there is a lethal and profound difference between the democratic, civilian way and the military way is not in essence the result of overweening Prussian (and macho male) military arrogance. First and foremost it is the result of the utterly overriding priority of Achieving the Objective, of Winning. In War (and, ahem, Revolution, War’s first cousin) nothing – not the time necessary for building a consensus and deliberating, not the due respect for ‘mixed feelings’ and ‘bad feelings’, not nuthin – can be allowed to distract from the urgency of Achieving the Objective.

One guy gets to call the shots, you hope he knows what he’s doing, and you do what you’re told. It’s how the military works because it’s how War requires the military to work. (It’s also the way Lenin and Mao saw their Revolutions working, and so you can see where Revolution ala Lenin or Mao isn’t healthy for democracies either.)

If you try to democratize (or – as the cadres say nowadays – “de-masculinize”) the military you’re only going to weaken its ability to operate in that darkling world of Ares Ferox et Atrox (Ares the Ferocious and Merciless, God of War). It is the curse of the male – yes, I’ll say it – that Nature provided him with the wiring to respond to the call of Ares, and the various endowments necessary to fulfill that terrible responsibility.

Which is why, by the by, the powers of the Male need to be carefully guided and shaped … which is something Human Civilization realized millennia ago, but has recently been replaced by a lusty tendency to simply make fun of the Male and anticipate his imminent irrelevance. Such progress.

No other priority can be allowed to override the Iron Law of Ares: not Charity, not Patience, not Truth, not Justice (while I actually kinda like military music, especially Sousa and anything before him, I have to agree that ‘military justice’ is as frakkulent a contradiction in terms as one is likely to find this side of Perdition).

Ditto therefore in their very essence neither ‘revolutionary justice’ nor the ‘justice’ that any Revolution demands are ‘justice’ in any democratic (or Western) sense of the word. Every Revolution has its “wall” to which – as Lenin insisted – those who disagreed were to be quickly sent. There will always be more people born to replace the ones you get rid of, but you are blessed with the Wisdom of the Revolution only once. Yah.

Professor Bacevich senses that the recent McChrystal affair* constitutes an ominous warning sign of “the toll that nearly a decade of continuous conflict has exacted on the US armed forces”.

I can’t help but think of former-General Hasso von Manteuffel, who reflected postwar that after the failure of the Battle of the Bulge the German soldier and the German Army simply didn’t have the heart or muscle to continue any but the most defensive operations.

And I note that Bacevich – with understandable delicacy – refrains from mentioning the obvious: that the military has experienced not only almost a decade of unremitting operations, but also almost a decade of OTV (Other Than Victorious) operations.

“The military’s professional ethic is eroding”, Bacevich reports – and his professional experience establishes his credibility when he makes that announcement.

I can’t help but think that the military has taken some serious whacks since that glorious Moment at the very end of the 1980s when it became clear that its nemesis, the USSR, was quickly dissolving before the world’s eyes, melting palpably like the Wicked Witch.

But then came the far-too-easy victory in the Gulf War, enabled greatly by Saddam’s militarily witless and doomed decision to simply sit still as the Americans ponderously consumed months assembling their field force (and twisting assorted arms around the world for contributions to cover costs – which was itself a rather ominous sign).

And then came the concerted assault by the cadres of the Feminist Revolution to a) de-masculinize the military while b) denying that their gimlet-eyed machinations but addled visions would have any adverse consequences for military competence or efficiency on the field of Ares Ferox et Atrox. (There wouldn’t be any more ‘combat’ and Ares, like the traditional Christian ‘male sky-god’, would be summarily dethroned by Congress and those to whom it panders.)

Then came, almost simultaneously, Clinton’s “humanitarian interventions” – which guaranteed that there most certainly would be more fighting (especially in those parts of the world where Our death-hug alliance-without-treaty with the Israeli Realm guaranteed the ignition of implacable ill-will and resistance).

But the Feminist Revolution would now be assured of a planet-full of oppressed victims to keep their Advocacy in business and the defense-contractors would get fatter battening on the mercenaries and ‘civilian contractors’ who would constitute a tail bigger than the actual field force, which itself was now unable to get through its day without world-class quantities of AA, AAA, C, and D batteries for personal devices and as much air-conditioning as could be managed. It was a national policy and a foreign policy on which Big Pain and Big Money could lustily agree.
What was not to like?

And then came 9-11 (just how remains curiously shrouded in mystery) and Bush-Cheney saw a way of keeping all of the foregoing interests, plus Big Oil, as well as the Staunch-Ally-Sans-Treaty happy as well: and whereas the piddling problem in Afghanistan (base of the now-implacably aroused) was quickly dropped after initial success, the much more telegenic invasion of Saddam’s Iraq was whomped up in the demonic, ultra-classified kitchens of the Beltway. We would be greeted as liberators. Yah.

Bacevich quotes George Marshall, guiding genius of American military victory in WW2, who would later serve as Ike’s Secretary of State and unfold the Marshall Plan: “a democracy cannot fight a Seven Year’s War” … which stuns in both its acute candor and its simplicity. Oh, and in its assumption of a common knowledge of ‘Western’ history.

It was the type of a thing that old guys of that era would know, especially if they had commanded huge armies and fleets and all the productive industrial and technical capacity necessary to sustain them. Even JFK – a mere puppy of a PT Boat commander in the Good War but still no dope – knew it and was getting ready to back out of Vietnam (while also entertaining the dream of breaking up Allen Dulles’s CIA “into a thousand pieces” and telling the Israelis, as Ike did before him, that their covert efforts to build their own nukes was not at all helpful … when you’ve made THAT many powerful and well-placed enemies your chances of a quiet retirement are pretty much zilch).

LBJ – who got himself a cozy officer gig in the Navy and had a mighty Good War, and got himself awarded a Silver Star for breathing smartly – learned little from his time in uniform, and threw the military around as if it were a football, like a big guy who didn’t know how to play ball but, being the biggest SOB on the field, figured he didn’t need to.

Ditto Nixon, who was more interested in how the military ‘piece’ would fit into the larger board of the puzzle that all of Life and History seemed to him, assisted by his Game-Master, Henry Kissinger, mastered the art of appearing like the super-patriot military leader while continuing to spin his own webs.

Carter had his hands full with his own Party’s bosses – spearheaded by ‘bipartisan’ Tip O’Neill – who decided they would rather play in the sandbox with the Republicans than support their own Party’s President (who had run on a populist sorta theme and wasn’t a Party-player). And the military, stunned simultaneously by the final outcome of the Seven Years War in Vietnam and by the Boomers’ rejection of authority and order and ‘structure’, simply staggered through the rest of the Seventies, measuring moustaches and sideburns and such.

It was Reagan, master Illusionist on a stage larger than anything Warners or MGM in their heyday could have provided for him, who seemingly stopped the declining American sun in its tracks and made it appear to move backwards toward bright high noon. Money (all borrowed) flowed again, the military was flooded with cash and kudos (even the battleships of WW2 were brought back with appropriate hoopla and brave, cheerible words of resolve), and the military swelled to a credible simulacrum of the old military of yore just in time to provide a mightily impressive parade-and-funeral detail for the obsequies of the USSR.**

American wars, because of the “impatience” of a democracy, had to be quick and successful; folks used to being ‘free’ don’t like to see their lives and treasure poured away with no useful (read: successful) result. Curiously, the Germans in two World Wars had been under the same constraint for different reasons: they had to face enemies on all sides, and their only hope was to quickly knock out one and turn to the other end of the country’s borders to deal with the other … it made them do some nasty things in WW1, and in WW2 they were also high on the Kool-Aid of National Socialism’s in-your-face New Order. Nor was their mood improved as they began to meet failure after failure, and Reality began to close in on all sides. Nastiness in war never ends well – no matter what the ‘reason’ for it.

Bacevich impressively indicts the All Volunteer Force – the military’s effort to sidestep the wrack of Vietnam by eschewing the traditional citizen-army and its draft, and going instead for a force of ‘volunteers’. You can’t maintain a solid and vital connection with the energies and life-force of the national polity if you have written off most of the Citizenry and tried to simply ‘attract’ recruits the way a college tries to ‘attract’ the right kind of applicant.

And then the assorted cadres of the assorted Revolutions got into the act by insisting upon just what were the ‘right’ kind of applicants, and justified it by proclaiming that military service was really just a job-opportunity that should be open to everybody who, if given enough TLC and not too much stress, might have a good time in uniform and feel better about themselves.

No wonder, long before Obama picked up the baton, the military had had a lot more civilian input than it felt it could handle.

But then, since you weren’t going to get promoted to the stars if you didn’t smile – or at least keep a straight face – as all this went on, the bosses and the aspiring bosses ‘went along to get along’, refusing to take a principled stand. And several professional generations of bosses have been running that play now.

And then came Iraq – and if you think that the generals in the field are simply throwing a hissy-fit, it’s only because you don’t know – none of Us have been allowed to know – just how bad things are going on ze Eastern Front.

They know what’s wrong, the bosses.

But they’d like to retire with their pensions and a few more medals, and enough creds to maybe pick up a far more remunerative job consulting for a defense contractor or sitting on this and that Board.

The ‘hollowness’ goes right to the top now.

And – as evidenced by General Petraeus’s ‘extraordinary’ (to use the polite British for it) performance in front of the Congressional committee – it’s enough to make them want to throw up or pass out.


We are not, Bacevich says , really “at” war; there’s one or two going on, but We are advised to go shopping – or were, back when it was still the Global War On Terror. Now We are just spectators, and although We are paying not only for the seats but for the stadium and the team (“Team America”), there is a hundred-foot canvas erected around the field and all We get is what We can see on the Jumbotron (which may not even be showing what’s happening beyond the canvas out and down on the field).

Anyway, We have enough to worry about, no? The economy is taking on water faster than the pumps can handle it, there are only enough lifeboats for first-class, and half of the crowd (Males) are living under the Permanent Indictment of the Feminist Revolution and could be picked up on that General Warrant at any time.

It’s a good thing the beer and peanuts are holding out. And it’s almost the 4th of July so as long as there’s enough gas for the grill, then We can all do under the influence of a good BBQ what the Flower Children did on the grassy, sun-drenched slopes of San Francisco during the Summer of ’67 under the influence of a fat joint.

But I don’t accept that the American People is quite at the point of praying “Mother of God, is this the end of little Rico?”.

There is the strongest freshness deep down things in this country, and I mean in its People.

We are facing a challenge as serious as that which confronted the People of the Depression and even the Good War: We must People this nation through a painful contraction – and quite possibly a decline. And We must do it in such a way that there is still something left after all the Deconstruction and all the economic frakkery and all the bootless warring.

As things contract at home in step with the sempiternal non-victories abroad, We must still keep the homefires burning, for the young and for the generations of Americans yet to be born.

And maybe now We can Sense – as the lights burn a bit dimmer – the genuine glow of the real Gift to History that is the American Vision: that a bunch of human beings can unite as a People, govern their government, and provide a beacon and a model for what is still the most remarkable act of political faith in human history: a population governed not by elites, but by the strength of its own Founding vision and the solidly-grounded maturity of its own members.

And let Us not forget for a single moment, that in very awful places at this very moment, many are standing or crouching, staring Ares Ferox et Atrox in the face, obedient to Our word.
The buck stops here. With Us.

The President is not ‘Our’ commander-in-chief; he is Our employee. He is neither the national Parent nor the national Teddy-Bear. And most certainly neither he nor Congress is Carol Gilligan's omnipotent and all-caring Mommy at the breakfast table, doing whatever it takes to soothe or mollify a motely assortment of squalling kiddies based not on the Rule of Law or Reason but on the ostensibly omniscient intuition of the Nurturer.

It is time to put away the things of the political child and walk upright, as in the day of maturity.
If there are few Help Wanted signs in businesses, you would not be far wrong to imagine that the entire polity has a sign hanging on it: Genuine Adults Wanted – Start Immediately.

Have a Meaningful Fourth!


*And I for one am not at all satisfied with the ridiculous story that McChrystal’s boss and now replacement, General Petraeus, passed out in a Congressional Hearing the week before that because – despite a staff numbering in the dozens, all of whose only purpose in military life is to make sure he is well cared for – he “forgot to have his breakfast” and “forgot to drink enough water” … these are excuses that are acceptable among first-week boot-camp recruits, but not General officers of the highest rank and station.

**So for example, the Navy of his day was a shade under 400 ships and aiming for 600; today it is a shade under 285 and hoping for 320 by 2020 or so, maybe, if everything works out OK. And let it be said: when you are the Navy of a world-hegemon, numbers DO count. No matter how competent and marvelous a technologically advanced ship – even one commanded by a lantern-jawed, butch-cut woman – that ship still can’t be in two places at the same time.

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Saturday, June 26, 2010


Well, here We go – the second in the series on Martha Nussbaum’s 2007 Harvard Law Review article (94 pages), entitled “Constitutions and Capabilities: ‘Perception’ Against Lofty Formalism”. The link to the text of her article is here.

As with all texts that are available in Adobe, there are two sets of page numbers: the page number assigned by the Adobe browser, and the actual page number of the document as it was written. In this case there is a 3 page difference, so when I make a reference to the text of the article it will look like this: page 13-16. The first number is the Adobe browser pagination, and the second is the actual text’s pagination.

There is a profound Constitutional problem with Nussbaum’s Capabilities and Preconditions approach: the government must deploy its sovereign power at a level so deep and so inchoate that the possibility of impossibly excessive overextension of that power is almost guaranteed to happen.

The 1787 Framing vision was that the government would limit itself to general activities common to all the States (foreign policy, defense and war, interstate commerce).

Further, there were significant restrictions placed upon the Federal government in the Bill of Rights, in regard to Citizens but also in regard to the several States (the Xth Amendment). And of course, within the text of the Constitution itself the Articles clearly separated the power of the Branches (Legislative, Executive, and Judicial).

The Framing concern was to prevent the overextension of government. The Framers saw that such overextension would destroy liberty and also create a monstrously engorged entity that would eventually wreck itself as well as the States and the people and the culture and society created over centuries.

While it has been a characteristic trope of the past 40 years that the Framing vision was ‘defective’, ‘quaint’, ‘tainted’ (by oppression in many forms) and therefore needed to be ‘updated’ or politely ignored, yet still the core original anxieties of the Framers remain as valid now as at the Founding.

One of the great confusions of the present day is that the Revolution of the Identities (spearheaded by Feminism as it has evolved within the Beltway) threatens to engorge and hyperextend the deployment of the Federal government power just as surely – though out of ‘sensitivity’ and the desire to ‘liberate’ – as any government would have done in the earlier days through a desire to ‘control’ and ‘oppress’.

Indeed, lost in the (very legitimate) approval of what the Federal government had done in the South prior to 1965 during the first explicit Civil Rights Era (1955-1965) was the awareness – not lost on the Old Southrons – that they were being to some extent assaulted by their own Federal government.

Of course, the Jim Crow culture and polity had continued the repression of Negro/Black civil rights that had theoretically been stamped out through the extraordinary method of Civil War, and the entire ‘North’ and the rest of the country supported the Feds’ long-overdue rectification of the situation.

But what started the Revolution of the Identities Era – although Feminism would soon overtake the Black Rights movement as the ‘prime revolution’ – was the follow-on Federal ‘solutions’, which did not enjoy such a wide public support: high on this list was ‘positive discrimination’ or, as it was quickly and shrewdly renamed, ‘affirmative action’.

Further, the Feds soon wound up trying to re-shape Southern ‘thinking’, using not so much criminal law but regulatory law: actionable misdeeds included verbal comments or even facial expressions, and then it was decreed that since Southrons could be ASSUMED TO BE RACIST, then if any ‘outcomes’ in hiring indicated fewer Black hires than should be proportionally and statistically predictable, then ‘racism’ would be presumed; which led in short order to the dynamics – if not the accurate naming – of Quota.

I say this not to embed a racist rant in this assessment, but just to point out the dynamics that began to take root in Federal praxis. Much public doubt and resistance may have been anchored in such misgivings about the effort to bring the battleship of Federal power so close inshore; at such close ranges, firing the big guns in well-intentioned defense of the village may well blow away the village itself simply by the force of discharge of the guns, though the shells were aimed somewhere else.

And feminism, adopting the Civil Rights paradigm, then quickly made the appropriate changes in the equation’s variables: a) women had been oppressed as much or even more than blacks, b) the ‘Southerners’ in this equation were now the entire male (and ‘male identified female’) population, and all the culture and tradition that such Citizens had tainted with their oppressive ‘patriarchy’, c) though in ways that were not quite so obvious as slavery and Jim Crow but which still ‘proved’ the ‘emergency’ that ‘patriarchy’ was just a huger and more ancient form of Jim Crow, and so d) whatever the Feds were doing against Jim Crow must now be expanded almost infinitely further to deploy against ‘patriarchy’ in thought, word, or deed.

Of course, the purported depth and width and height and length and breadth of ‘patriarchy’s oppression’ meant that the Feds were going to be getting verrrrrrrrry deeply involved in national life indeed. And in the lives of private citizens.

(You saw this in Domestic Violence law in the 1980s where, since the Jim Crow of male aggression and oppression extended into – and especially extended into – marriage and the family and the home itself – then the government coercive power MUST be extended into the home and the hearth of the Citizenry: precisely what the Framers wanted to avoid through their limited-government vision. The consequent acrobatics intended to effect this feminist demand while not overtly violating the Constitution resulted in the bizarre and embarrassing assertions that while police officers were doing the invading, they were doing it through a ‘civil law’ and not a ‘criminal law’ authority (sort of like rescuing a cat out of a tree) – although the defendant, since his male aggression was PRESUMED, lost through the police power access to home and property and assets and relationships. And you wonder where the Feds got the idea after 9-11 to come up with so many whackulent excuses to ‘prove’ they weren’t ‘torturing’ or, at the same time, that ‘torturing’ is sometimes necessary? Indeed, I’d say that in the Domestic Violence laws of the 1980s you can see the first run-out of what is now touted as “humanitarian intervention” in overseas military operations.)

So now Nussbaum here has set the government to deploy its sovereign power against the Citizenry to ensure (and thus to ‘prevent’ the suppression of) an entire sub-surface world of ‘preconditions’ that are not and cannot be clearly defined and perceived, and which are so deeply embedded in human affairs that you have to ask if the government isn’t actually being seduced into taking the field against Life and Reality itself.

(In which case you might as well demand that the government build and maintain a retaining wall a half-mile out around the entire US coastline to protect beachfront summer property, in an embarassingly ‘American’ intensification of King Canute trying to command the tides. Or trying to turn the Afghan culture into a nice, up-to-date American one, which is the only Correct one because it knows itself to be, on the advice and assurance of visions such as Nussbaum’s.)

She THEN introduces an ominous image: people can be “like prisoners, unable to select modes of activity that are central to a life worthy of human dignity”. (3/6) It is in this type of imagery that Americans (or at least the elites in law schools and judges and legislators) are invited to see the Constitution and the Framing Vision as IMPRISONING the Citizens.

It has to be one of the great ironies of American history that the Democrats (eventually be followed by the Republicans when they morphed into the bipartisan ‘Beltway’), eager to make up for their purported failure to ‘defend America’ in Vietnam, whackulously overturned the Framing Vision by embracing this idea that the Constitution and its culture and ethos were the ENEMY and indeed JAILOR of the American Citizen.

In which scenario and in which script, the Federal government would be the ‘cavalry’ riding to the rescue of the civilians so hideously bethumped by the ‘Indians’ of the Constitutional ethos itself. In this script the government would thus clearly conduct offensive operations in the field against the Constitution. And against white, male culture.

And – of course, as everybody knows – in such an ‘emergency’ the ‘cavalry’ can do whatever it has to in order to ‘save’ the good citizens. And there goes any limit to ‘limited government’, swept away in the ‘emergency of rescue’ … kinda like a certain German Chancellor’s decree of the ‘Emergency Law For the Protection of Reich und Volk’ – not to put too fine a point on it.

Only here it’s not for the protection of the entire Volk – the entire People – but rather for the protection of this or that Identity against all the other Citizens. Who can wonder why politics and Constitutional democracy doesn’t seem to be working any longer?

And when you realize just what Nussbaum claims are the elements that go into such a ‘life worthy of human dignity’ you have to ask yourself if God Him/Herself isn’t the only power capable of providing such a list of demands. But then, by claiming that ‘religious’ stuff is purely private and should have no part in ‘public’ affairs, then the Federal Government becomes, by default, ‘God’. And that surely can’t end well for a Constitutional democracy.

Notice also the give-away phrase: “This happens most obviously when a regime REPRESSES CHOICE [caps mine] across the board, curtailing many of the entitlements that are traditionally thought central to such a life”. [3/6]

What I see in this is the give-away that Nussbaum is making up, stitching together, a ‘philosophy’ in order to reach the pre-ordained conclusion that what the Revolution wants is what must Be, or should be: ‘Choice’ is all. This is not philosophy: Philosophy is the open-ended pursuit of truth using your trained Reason to try to develop a working and accurate perception of unseen – but very real and Real – dynamics that operate in human life and history.

What Nussbaum is trying to do is to justify the Revolution by selectively stitching-together only those elements of previous thought that can be made to support – or at least look like they support – the goals of her Revolution.

But then she immediately starts to qualify what she has just said, trying to shape it toward where she wants things to go.

“Sometimes, however, imprisonment is only partial”. (3/6) Perhaps, she explains, it won’t cover the entire list of entitlements; or perhaps only partial in the sense that only certain groups (the several Identities of the Revolution) are unable to exercise the option of selecting valuable functions.

As for example, she specifically says, by the by, “when a hierarchical constitution accords basic entitlements to men and not to women, to whites and not to blacks, to the rich and not to the poor”. (3/6)

This is a verrrrrry shrewd list of examples. The whites-blacks example seeks to recall the first Civil Rights Era’s rectification of the Jim Crow deprivations – about which there was wide national consensus and for which the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts were passed precisely to address these clear deprivations. The Feminist-led Revolution of the Identities can claim much less clarity in its list of deprivations and much less popular consensus and support (which is why, I will say, there has been so little public debate and deliberation, and instead only the imposition of a stifling Political Correctness, a practice embraced by the early Soviet government: since the Revolution already knows what is right for you, then your ignorant blathering is irrelevant and a waste of time).

And in regard to the rich and the poor, she is seeking to tie in her Revolution’s agenda with the century-and-a-half long American struggle of rich against poor. Since not long after the huge industrial – and corporate – development birthed in the Civil War, there has been a political struggle to a) prevent the concentration of all that money from wrecking the democratic balance of one-man/one-vote by allowing the wealthy to purchase the votes of Congress Members and b) to ensure that the WORKERS who were providing the sweat that did all the producing would not be deprived of a share of all the wealth that their labor, in the factories of the corporations, was creating.

A long and wide tradition – Populists (for the farmers), union organizers, Progressives – sought to ensure jobs and job-security and workers’ rights and respectable pay for the product and labor provided by workers, who would then provide for their families.

The struggle against ‘concentrated wealth’ and its deforming tendencies to buy influence and refuse to acknowledge the efforts of the sweaty laborer … this is an age-old struggle well-known to human history. And it must continue.

But ‘wealth’ and ‘jobs’ are tangible things.

And they are sited in the locus of workers and families.

The current Revolution is trying something hell-and-gone from the old Progressive agenda. It is seeking government ensurance of ‘preconditions’, which are in no way as obvious or tangible (or generally accepted as legitimate or even workable goals for a limited government).

Further the Revolution has already demanded the Deconstruction of ‘family’ and has denounced the male productive worker as an aggressive, lumpen-perp, a gender-version of Jim Crow.
The ‘family’ and man-as-provider has been the traditional arrangement for millennia. While I am not saying that ‘God’ wants it that way, it surely is the way that the human species has figured it best to proceed since the beginning of human societies.

To overturn all of that, and not say that you are actually doing it, and to sidestep careful and serious public deliberation among the society and people upon whom you wish to impose such a ‘revolution’ in the most core social arrangements … I can’t see this as wise or prudent. And that’s just in the matter of the Method of introducing the changes.

There’s still the matter of whether the Content of the changes is actually accurate or whether it is inaccurate and – not to put too fine a point on it – wrong.

But it cannot be just an ironic coincidence that in the same 40 years that Nussbaum’s Revolution has held sway in this country, not only ‘family’ but ‘worker’ and ‘production’ and ‘jobs’ have all gone by the board. All the stuff that the Populists and Progressives and union organizers fought for … gone.

Yet the wealth remains, and in far more powerful forms of concentration than We ever thought would be seen again in this country. And the poor remain.

Many impoverished by being assured that if they came to America there would be ‘jobs’ and money.

Many more impoverished by being assured that they could exercise their choice and have sex and then have kids and hold it all together without having the help of a husband (who, neatly, won’t have a job anyway now).

And many, many, many more impoverished by growing up thinking that ‘the government’ owed them their entitlements and they wouldn’t need to worry about anything else.

And – not only economically but spiritually – many, many, many, many more who were assured that ‘success’ is just a matter of ‘moral luck’ (John Rawls) and so Character, and Maturity, and self-discipline don’t matter because you’re either already born ‘unlucky’ or ‘lucky’ – as stunningly and frakkingly passive and anomic an approach to conducting a human life as any Flower Child could have come up with on a dope-addled San Francisco summer afternoon.

I read recently an author who recounts the comment of one (female) college student who plaints that she getting out of her major because “it’s too competitive: the Asians have an unfair advantage – they work too hard”. So the Asians work too hard and this is a) an unfair advantage and b) in Rawls’s vision an example of the Asians having nothing more than “moral luck” and therefore the government’s role in all of this is to … ? You see where all this can go.

Nussbaum continues that some ‘imprisonment’ is “subtle”, almost hidden”. (3/6) So We are back in the realm of ‘spectral evidence’ – you can see it but nobody else can, but you have to be believed and on your word the sovereign power of the government deployed (the term in American history dates to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692).

She continues in that vein: “… the words in a nation’s constitution may be promising, extending basic entitlements to all citizens on a basis of equality, but the interpretation of those entitlements is so narrow that groups of citizens are not really able [italics Nussbaum’s] to select some crucial activities. In name they are free, but not in actuality.” (3/6-7)

So once again, as if the responsibility for an earthly government to provide the basic and clear freedoms of the Constitution weren’t enough, Nussbaum wants the government to profoundly assault its own polity and ethos, its own civilization and culture and society, in order to provide ‘entitlements’ the justification of which either nobody else can see or nobody else can be trusted to see (because, of course, ‘they just don’t get it’).

She tries to trump this thought by spinning the closing image: they are equal “in name”, but not in “actuality”. In other words, the Constitution’s rights and guarantees are only ‘appearances’; the “actuality” belies those appearances.

You could suggest, in the alternative, that the Constitution merely provides the procedural guarantees of equality, but can’t – since it is not God – guarantee the outcome. But no revolution can allow ‘God’ to exist because that takes the fulcrum-point of action out of this earthly dimension and puts it Somewhere Else, and thus the Revolution would be out of a job, so to speak. (The current solution: make the Government, for all practical purposes, into ‘God’.)

You could suggest that there’s only so much a limited government can do, but that there’s no ‘limit’ on what The People – the governors of that government – can do when the Citizens come together as The People, deliberate to common purpose, and then exert The People’s collective will upon those employees of The People, the elected representatives. But Nussbaum can’t trust The People because so many Citizens are tainted by (pick one or several: race, gender, ethnic) bias and ‘just don’t’ get it’.

Neither the Citizens who ‘just don’t get it’ nor the oppressed themselves can really be trusted with the vision of the Revolution – only those cadres who ‘get it’ can be trusted with it. And since they are the only ones who can ‘see’, then they must have the right to impose the Right and True Knowledge that only they have and nobody else can see …would you buy a used car from this Dealer?

But of course, on top of all that, in all of this vision of hers, The People (the white male bunch and the ‘male-identified’ women, anyway) are not only cast as just the gender-variants of Jim Crow ‘oppressors’. The People – most of them – are ALSO being cast as the Big Money, Robber-Baron-Rich against whom the historical Progressives of the late 1800s and early 1900s struggled, in that age-old human struggle over wealth and its distribution.

If you somehow, according to the theory of the Revolution, were ‘lucky’ enough to be born with those ‘preconditions’ then you are ‘rich’, in the sense that the Robber-Baron Rich were rich: you have something, you’ve taken it unjustly off the backs of most of the rest of the country, and the Government has to take it from you and give it to them. Which did and does make some sense when you get to Robber-Baron levels of wealth, but is quite a stretch when you have declared hostilities against the entire middle class.

What I find primarily alarming here is the idea that not only the Constitution, but now also the majority of The People, are being cast as ‘the problem’, and – public discourse being what is here these days – therefore ‘evil’ and ‘the enemy’. As Abe Lincoln said, quoting that Other, Earlier Authority: “A house divided against itself cannot stand”.

And this whole vision and theory of Nussbaum’s and of the Revolution of the Identities has pretty much required such a division of the country, of the polity, of the common weal, of The People … AND they want the Federal Government to intensify that division.

This cannot end well for the United States. And it should be clear even now that it cannot end well because it is a frakkulously wrong-headed approach to making things better, to the extent that things can be made better. Especially now that the economy is teetering over an abyss and hanging by a thread.

But there is a second Question: it’s not just a matter of whether such shortcomings exist in this country. It’s also a question as to just what the Government can do to address them WITHOUT overstepping its Constitutional limits and wrecking constitutional democracy.

And the past 40 years have not been encouraging in that regard.

Because – no doubt based in great part on the twin arguments of ‘emergency’ and ‘most folks just won’t get this anyway – the Beltway has pretty much struck its own bargain with the Revolution and joined wholeheartedly in side-stepping or hoodwinking The People.

And The People – lumps though they are who ‘just don’t get it’ – realize it.

And now Nussbaum – as you will see in this article of hers – is trying to erect this side-stepping into a Philosophy, claiming that since not enough of The People can be trusted to ‘get it’, then government has to impose it on them (through Legislation or the Courts, though she’s kinda leaning toward the Courts).

And again, there is more than a small element of this arrogant confidence that the Citizenry just don’t know what’s good for them and the Beltway does so just impose all this and let the Citizenry ‘get used to it’. Legislators who have had this type of smoke blown at them for decades will be far less receptive to any input from a Citizenry that ‘just doesn’t get it’ in the first place.

(And thus, just as nobody listened to the Southerners in the Civil Rights Era since they were so ‘tainted’ to begin with, the Feds aren’t going to feel they need to listen to any ‘input’ from the Citizenry – which is a fatal dynamic to set loose in a democratic republic.)

And if after 40 years and so many of The People still don’t ‘get it’, is it possible that there is something in the whole Scheme that The People don’t trust? That The People don’t think is a wise or perhaps a prudent idea?

Nussbaum – like the Revolution and just like any Revolution (especially one that’s read wayyyyy tooooo much Lenin and Mao) – doesn’t trust The People.

And if THAT is what is becoming ‘the new normal’ in law schools and among attorneys and government officials and legislators and judges … then We are in a heepa trubble.


Monday, June 21, 2010


Well, here We go – the series on Martha Nussbaum’s 2007 Harvard Law Review article (94 pages), entitled “Constitutions and Capabilities: ‘Perception’ Against Lofty Formalism”. The link to the text of her article is here.

Why do this? It is clear to me – as I don’t think has ever been made clear before – that the ‘reforms’ demanded in and incorporated into ‘feminist law’ or in the ‘governance feminism’ agenda are really far more significant and substantial than most Americans have been led to believe.

And on top of that, they are not only large but hostile to any traditionally understood concept of Constitutional praxis and the role of government in the vision of 1787.

And that a great deal of all of it has already found its way into major chunks of American law and legislation and regulations and regulatory law.

And that it has all been presented as being quite reasonable through the philosophical visions and systems of such professors as Nussbaum (she is one of the most prominent legal professors in the country and has been for a while).

And that her ideas have been widely propagated not only through feminist advocacy channels but even more significantly through several cohorts of law professors, whose students – or who themselves – have gone on to important positions as government or prosecuting attorneys, judges at all levels, and even as legislators at State or Federal level.

So this is important stuff if We want to grasp the dynamics underlying what has been happening – and what has happened – to the Constitution and the Republic and to a deliberative and democratic politics.

Enough said.

Let’s get to it. In this short series of Posts I’m going to go through the article sequentially, commenting on elements that strike me as significant.

As with all texts that are available in Adobe, there are two sets of page numbers: the page number assigned by the Adobe browser, and the actual page number of the document as it was written. In this case there is a 3 page difference, so when I make a reference to the text of the article it will look like this: page 13-16. The first number is the Adobe browser pagination, and the second is the actual text’s pagination.

When I discuss a particular point, I’ll try to quote the actual text on that point, so that you won’t have to do too much shifting from my Post to the Linked text.

Nussbaum starts by quoting Aristotle (2/5): “It is evident that the best political order is that arrangement in accordance with which anyone whatsoever might do very well and live a flourishing life”.

It’s a great thought. It represents a wonderful ideal. Western society has sustained a long struggle toward it.

Of course, you can’t just ‘quote’ a great thought from an acknowledged master and figure that you’ve done all work that needs to be done.

Aristotle, for example, would not have included women and slaves (and Greek slavery was not based on race – which was much more a European phase dating from the discovery of the New World) in his “anyone whatsoever”. He did mean, however, any adult male – and not just the ones in his particular City-State, which was quite a broadening thought in its time. He might even have meant ‘Persians’ and non-Greeks, which would have truly blown a few minds.

But there’s the second question about that “flourishing life”: you can’t know if a life is flourishing or not unless you know what it’s ideally supposed to look like. And that means you have to figure out what the Nature of the human being is, what the purpose of the human being is – in order to judge whether any individual’s life is actually conforming to the ideal.

(Nussbaum will depart from Aristotle here: in order to maximize its base and justify its deconstructive agenda, feminist law would claim – and the Supreme Court would echo in such cases as Casey – that while everybody has a right to ‘flourish’ YET nobody has the right to say what the ideal human being, or ideal human behavior, is or can be. In other words, the human being is totally ‘autonomous’, meaning that no power on earth can judge whether an individual human being is conforming to any ideal human-ness.

But she likes that ‘flourishing’ bit, so she’ll slyly keep it and let you think that she and Aristotle are of one mind and that her ‘thinking’ is just a continuation of Master Aristotle’s thinking, and equally as solid and reliable. Her bottom line – as you will see – is that the government has the responsibility to clear a path so that everyone can ‘flourish’, which means that they can do whatever they want to do and the government has to help them do it and keep everybody else from ‘judging’ it. Neat – a teenager’s dampdream.)

So she focuses on the question: “What are people able to do and to be?” (2/5) NOT ideally, but in terms of whatever they think it is that they want “to do and to be”. There can be no ‘ideals’ in Nussbaum’s (and feminist law’s) world: if there is an ideal, then somebody could ‘judge’ somebody else, and that’s a no-no.

But then you realize that this whole article deals with Constitutional law and thought, and thus with the role of the government, and especially in what ways the government MUST (because these are ‘Constitutional’ and ‘rights’ issues) aggressively and assertively shape national culture and deploy its sovereign authority to keep the field clear for all that ‘autonomy’.

So it gets your whiskers twitching when she immediately asks a follow-on question: “And are they really able to do or be these things … ?” (2/5) [italics Nussbaum’s] What she is introducing here is the queasy distinction between what things actually are when subjected to common objective examination, and what things really are [italics Nussbaum’s] … which means that only those with a certain special knowledge will be able to ‘see’ what’s ‘really there’. And you can see where she is going to be moving us into the realm of ‘special knowing’ (like Lenin’s idea that only the truly committed cadres, the ‘vanguard elite’, can really see and really know what’s good for Russia and for the Russian people).

So here at the outset Nussbaum is creating a slippery, shadowy field upon which national life and Constitutional issues are to be examined: there are things going on which aren’t going to be visible (or provable) to just-anybody, but instead will require special-knowledge (sorta like ‘you just have to get it’).

And this is on top of the fact that since these are Constitutional issues, then hugely fundamental matters are at stake, and the follow-on matter of how government might or must deploy its sovereign authority without obstruction or objection. So brace yourself.

About people, she continues asking, “Are there impediments, evident or hidden, to their real and substantial freedom? Are they able to unfold themselves or are their lives, in significant respects, pinched and starved?” (2/5) This is a flower-image – of the lovely flower unfolding as it blossoms, which recalls Flower Children, nicely enough. But it also implies that anything that keeps a flower from blossoming is bad (which it is, assuming the plant isn’t poisonous) and starts to grease the skids toward the follow-on connection that anything that keeps her ‘totally autonomous’ person from ‘blossoming’ is anti-natural and verrrry baaaaad.

And, with an eye toward anybody who will object to her vision: what sort of baaaad person would want to keep a flower from blossoming? Which greases the skids towards her conclusion that nobody can object because this is a matter of Constitutional Rights and so the government must impose it, and immediately and fully, without being slowed-down by deliberation, discussion, or the tolerance of any ‘intolerant’ dissent. Heeeeere we goooooo! You can see where all this might quickly lead.

She continues with the image: “What about their environment – material, social, political?” (3/6)

So you can see how quickly we’re out of the gardening and into the running of a nation and a culture.

“Has it helped them develop their capacities to be active in important areas of life? If people are like Pindar’s vine tree, is their environment more like a rich soil tended by wise and just gardeners, or more like an arid soil tended by indifferent gardeners, or gardeners with a restricted conception of their task?” (3/6)

So right off, you see where she’s going here. Assuming that the garden-tree image is valid, then it has to have a “rich soil” – and government has to make it so, and is Constitutionally required to do so.

AND if there are “gardeners” (the government) that either don’t care or don’t really ‘get’ just how much they’re supposed to be doing … then they are BAAAAD. As are, of course, any Citizens who might object to whatever she’s going to ‘discover’ with her ‘special knowledge’ that not everybody else can see; although they wouldn’t have the ‘right’ to ‘judge’ it anyway, and if they can’t see it, then clearly ‘they just don’t get it’. Can you get a sense of how Nussbaum is weaving a remarkably dense feministical web here? And laying the groundwork for a very anti-democratic, special-knowledge elite that nobody else has the right to argue with because nobody else ‘gets it’?

She cuts right to the chase: “How have the basic constitutional principles of a nation, and their interpretation, promoted or impeded people’s abilities to function in some central areas of life?” (3/6) Not a bad question, although from what you’ve already seen, she’s going down the garden path and we are all supposed to go along – and may well not have a Constitutional right to object.

Because she’s into Constitutional principles and interpretations here, and in matters that can be established to be relevant to fundamental Constitutional principles and interpretations, then the government in all its Branches can’t allow itself any delay in ‘fixing’ whatever is wrong.

This, you may recognize, is the application of the argument made in the First phase of the Civil Rights Era (up to July, 1965): because Negro/black rights to vote and influence public policy and live a life unhindered by race prejudice have so thoroughly been stifled by Jim Crow, then the Federal government, in the face of such clear, profound, and long-standing abuses has no right to delay in fixing things in the South right away, doing whatever it takes to clear away Jim Crow from Southern law (but also from Southern mind and heart and culture and society).

Which got the government verrry quickly into huge expansions of its power.

And in two ways.

First, the Federal government now took on the task not only of clearing away unjust laws, but also of literally Deconstructing Jim Crow in the minds and hearts and culture of the South and its Citizens, but also of Reconstructing those minds and hearts and that culture. Which is a huge expansion indeed.

Second, since Negro/black Americans lived all over the country – and were Citizens – then this entire project had immediately to be applied to the entire country, including the minds and hearts of its Citizens and the national culture. Which was even more huge.

When, shortly thereafter, the Feminist Revolution got itself going, the Feminists basically deployed the same scenario and the same argument (though never clearly and concisely stated): Males have done and have been doing to females exactly what the Whites of the South did to the Blacks through Jim Crow. Indeed, they said, the entire American culture and all its males and all its male-identified females are basically oppressing women with a gender-version of Jim Crow.

So then, ‘logically’, the government must Deconstruct and Reconstruct American ‘male’ society and culture and all the Citizens (male and female) who support it. And it has to be done NOW without any delay (or public discussion or deliberation – which is useless since most folks are gender-Jim-Crow types anyway) and if you can’t ‘see’ that, then ‘you just don’t get it’.

And that’s what drove so much of the wrack of the past 40 Biblical years. And – who could be surprised? – a Constitution that couldn’t be respected because it was Jim Crow in a gender as well as a race way, was in the Bush-Cheney era considered to be a Constitution that didn’t have to be respected when it came to government waging wars and doing all sorts of other stuff without wasting time on ‘ public deliberation’. "And the toe-bone is connected to the foot-bone, and the foot-bone is connected to the ankle-bone, and the ankle-bone is connected to the leg-bone", and … you know the rest.

And immediately she sets the script and the plot: “Does the interpretation of constitutional entitlements yield real abilities to choose and act, or are the constitution’s promises more like hollow verbal gestures?” (3/6)

Bang. What the country has now, she intends to show, are merely ‘hollow verbal gestures’. And that what she (and feminism) wants are not ‘new’ things that are ‘changes’ (which could be argued about and deliberated upon) but instead are “constitutional entitlements” – so no delay or dissent can be permitted. See where she’s going?

Naturally, what in current ‘everyday’ political talk is called ‘patriarchal oppression’ or some such, is – on Nussbaum’s much deeper Constitutional level – an ongoing Constitutional deprivation which must be addressed without delay or dissent. This is the old culture-war feminism now not claiming to be a ‘new way of thinking about things’ but rather now claiming to be a long-standing Constitutional issue of rights-and-entitlements-denied. And so there need be no more public debate or concern: it’s all Constitutional.

She’s going for government imposition of the whole old culture-war agenda, not simply out of political expediency (as it had been decades ago) but now out of Constitutional responsibility.
Of course, if a pol can do something politically expedient while being told that s/he’s doing it out of Constitutional responsibility – well, that’s real catnip.

And this thought of Nussbaum’s is not ‘new’ in 2007 when she wrote this article. She’s been teaching it and writing about it in law schools and other venues for decades, so generations of lawyers, judges, and pols are now not only familiar with it but also – I’m going to bet – were taught in law school that this was the True and Only Way to look at things. And you wonder why democracy and the Constitution don’t seem to be working so well recently?

But this is her plan and she’s sticking with it. “The idea that all citizens in a nation are equally entitled to a set of substantial preconditions for a dignified human life has had a lasting appeal over the centuries in Western political and legal thought – less because intellectuals have favored it than because it has great resonance in the lives of real people”. (3/6)

Notice what she’s doing here.

Suddenly it’s not a matter of the political rights of 1787, many of which limited the government’s ability to interfere not only with individual Citizens’ lives but also with the much wider civil society and culture. NOW she’s changed the field of concern to “a set of substantial PRECONDITIONS” … which means that government is not only going to simply referee a Game – so to speak – whose laws and bounds are already drawn (and refs have to follow the rules just like anybody else). Instead, government is now going to be mussing around in ‘preconditions’ – the refs are going to say where the field is built, the composition of the soil, the drawing of the lines, the whole enchilada.

And the government as uber-ref is now also going to be ‘interpreting’ just what those “preconditions” are (and of course, the more and deeper the preconditions, the more room for government authority). And what earthly government is going to say No to such a free-buffet of power?

Well, the government put together by the Framers of 1787 said No, but – Nussbaum and others are convinced – they were ‘defective’ and their Constitution and their Vision was ‘defective’, ‘incomplete’, and altogether “quaint” (as the feculent Alberto Gonzales said with waayyyyy too much candor in the service of the Bush-Cheney imperium … and his era of Beltway biggies had simply concluded that if the Left can re-arrange the Constitution for its own purposes, so can the Right).

And this approach of Nussbaum’s isn’t going to be on the visible spectrum, as say the great struggle from the 1870s to the 1930s was; Teddy Roosevelt and FDR and LaGuardia and the Progressives of the 1890s to the 1920s were trying to deal with concrete issues like wages and social insurance and the role of the government as being the only power in the country that could stand up FOR Citizens against the huge new agglomerated power of the industrial corporations and corporate combines.

No, this approach of Nussbaum’s is going to be along an invisible spectrum that only those who ‘get it’ can see. And this itself mirrors the attack – spearheaded by the Feminist Revolution and its cadres – upon the entire foundation of assumptions and beliefs and structures that not only have grounded world cultures since the beginning of human history but also ground the Constitutional Vision of 1787.

I’m not saying thereby that all of the Revolution’s agenda is ‘wrong’ – I’m saying that some change THIS big and THIS profound has to be looked at verrrrry carefully. And certainly has to be given more and more thorough public deliberation and airing than has been the case up to now. For 40 years the government simply imposed the Correct changes, with the cheer-leading connivance of a ‘free press’ that is supposed to be the watch-dog, not the cheerleader, of government activity.

BUT THIS IS PRECISELY what Nussbaum is trying to sidestep by saying that all of this is a matter of Constitutional rights and therefore you can have no delay and no discussion and there’s nothing to be deliberated anyway. Neat. Dangerous. Treacherous, even, maybe.

It’s a verrrry iffy thing – just what those “substantial preconditions” are. And also just what “a dignified human life” is – although we already know that Nussbaum, true to feminism’s agenda, is going to say that no government and no culture has the right to ‘judge’ what behaviors or characteristics constitute such a “dignified human life”; no, rather a human life is “dignified” simply by virtue of the fact that a human being says that this is what she wants to do and nobody can say No and the government has to make it all work out well.

And Nussbaum is writing in a cultural context where feminism has already ‘deconstructed’ any sense of the ‘moral’ and of the Beyond or of any standard or criterion in which a culture or a society or a civilization can say or choose just what characteristics and what Vision will Ground it. For political purposes, America exists in a flattened, two-dimensional world where there is only politics as a determinant of what does (or should) happen – which, come to think of it, closely resembles the Materialistic reductionism that ultimately made Marxism (from the Left) and Fascism (from the Right) so utterly inadequate to the task of addressing the reality of human beings who are – notoriously – so stubborn in their yearning for a Beyond-the-Material dimension to their daily existence.

Shrewdly, she is spinning her plan as not simply ‘good’ because “intellectuals have favored” it (the academic and Beltway elites of today) but rather because it has “great resonance in the lives of real people”.

That last bit sounds nice, but her (and feminism’s) view of “real people” is two-dimensional and Flat (as Marxism’s was). And as I have observed, “real people” are and since the dawn of the species have always been desperately and implacably concerned for a Beyond, for a Real that is more than the ‘real’.

It will be this actuality that will prompt her to give up, later in the article, on any democratic and deliberative process to get her vision accepted: because so many of those “real people” for 40 Biblical years have been stubbornly resistant to being Flattened. It’s not ‘backlash’; it’s more like the horse’s sense, after putting one hoof on it, that a bridge it’s supposed to walk over is wayyyyy too rickety and won’t hold up.

Nussbaum, just to give you a sense of where she’s going to be going, will argue that since most people in the country can’t be trusted to ‘get’ her ideas, then the acceptance of her (and feminism’s) vision and scheme can’t be left up to them and instead has to be imposed by the Courts (she doesn’t even trust Congress any longer). Thus this ‘Constitutional’ approach – since it sidesteps any public debate and deliberation.

Well, that’s enough for this Post. Let me just say that it’s not going to be necessary to go through every page of her 94 pages the way I have had to move through this first couple of pages here. In these early pages she is pretty much outlining her approach and so I have to spend more time on them.

(Please note: the site dates a piece by when it was first put up; I put this piece up in Draft form on Monday, June 21, but I didn't actually publish it until Thursday, June 24.)

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Sunday, June 20, 2010


From that same edition of ‘The Atlantic’ another ‘Idea’ the mag considers worthy of note is Ross Douthat’s short piece entitled and declaring that “The Catholic Church Is Finished”.

His thesis is that the pedophile priest crisis – on oxygen provided by his own paper, ‘The New York Times’ – is the end for the Catholic Church, taking its place as the Church’s Watergate or Waterloo or as “another Reformation”.

There’s a little incoherence in that last: the Reformation took place in the 16th century and, not to put too fine a point on it, the Church survived that and actually emerged stronger and in some ways ‘reformed’ herself.

As for the Watergate trope, I can understand any paper’s (and any reporter’s) burning desire to repeat the exploits of the journalism establishment in those halcyon days. But I’m not sure that you get the same level of intentional cover-up, the same ‘smoking gun’ excitement. Especially once you make rather necessary allowances for the interchange between various levels and jurisdictions of this world-wide Church’s governance and for efforts – not at all respected here – to avoid a hasty race to judgment that might well be a misapplication of the sovereign legal authority (which can impose defrocking or even excommunication on a priest, destroying both a life-calling and perhaps spiritual membership and identity itself).

Anyone who can – say – ‘understand’ the Pentagon’s desire not to let too much out, or too soon, about – say – Abu Ghraib or Gitmo or, more proportionally accurate, the mistakes or even misdeeds committed in the course of military operations, can surely grasp the need any large organization has not only for ‘protecting itself’ by the too-glitzy ‘cover-up’ but even ‘protecting itself’ by preventing the too-hasty application of its own laws before everything is known and considered.

And rules of evidence apply in the Church law more than they do in the military law setting, and beyond that, the Church may be far less into the ‘cover-up’ business than the Pentagon or the CIA or various other elements of the US government. Surely the ongoing refusal to prosecute the high-level attorneys who approved torture and advised how best to avoid torturous activities being actually colorable as ‘torture’ in the legal sense … surely that ongoing refusal doesn’t spell the end of Obama’s Administration or of the US government.

Which is not to say that I condone or approve of the sexual violation of anybody by anybody else, especially when one of the parties is at least legally a ‘child’.

But then again, there are all those teens who have been scooped up and are languishing in various US government ‘black sites’ and facilities here there and everywhere around the planet. And who has even bothered to count, let alone ‘report about’, the number of children, women, and certainly adults who are dead or permanently maimed because of military operations that went awry, were not too particular in their ‘authorized targets’ to begin with, or were the poisoned fruit of the poisonous tree of a fundamental flaw at the level of strategic vision in the first place?

If Mr. Douthat and his paper are ‘patriotic’ enough to give the offending sovereignty – i.e. the US government – an indulgent Pass on all that, then I’m a little curious as to why they aren’t at least a little more ‘understanding’ in the Church matter.

Or at least that they might take the time to present coherent arguments why not. And why the Church is so worthy of being ‘ended’.

Otherwise my first thought is to wonder why they are creating so much noise and so little light (as Abe Lincoln said about the thunderstorm that caught him one night while out on the road riding circuit).

He does manage to get some history accurately: “the Church has been horrifyingly corrupt in previous eras and still survived”. Yes. Although I’d add that the Renaissance Papacy was reformed by the Church herself and there hasn’t been another outbreak of that sort of thing (which at the time was a style of governance that was pretty much par for the course in Europe, and elsewhere – and in some places still is).

The Church has had to take legitimate criticism. But the amazing thing about her is that she has made constructive use of that criticism in improving her operations. And few governments have ever called a system-wide top-level world-conference to consider Everything, as the Church did most recently in 1962-5 with the Second Vatican Council.

Indeed, it was that Council that earned the Church the apparently undying enmity of many American religious elites who were and are profoundly dissatisfied with the incompleteness of the updating, or the slow pace, or the concept of any Church governance except the current American conceptions of government by (pick one: populist democracy, knowledgeable elites, ‘the right kind’ or gender or sexual orientation or ethnic background or nationality of leaders).

And these Catholic elites in America are also upset that much of the Church’s rather comprehensive and age-old vision creates a formidable conceptual inconvenience for various currently politically influential ‘identities’ who aren’t used to being said No to, who have found themselves pandered to and deferred to by the US political establishment itself, and who would very much like – to use Henry II’s image – to “be rid of this troublesome priest”.

As best I can see, the Church is currently an ongoing inconvenience to the American Left (opposition to abortion, disapproval of overt homosexual behavior, support of the Family as an institution, refusal to ordain women, and in some cases for having an ordained priesthood at all). On top of all the governance stuff.

And to the American Right (opposition to unjust wars – including ‘preventive’, opposition to ‘torture’ – she’s been there-done that and earned her opposition the hard way, and concerned for the right of every human being to a living wage and the necessities of subsistence at a decent level, and her refusal to regress to a Biblical fundamentalism – also been there-done that and learned the hard way). And in general, her support of those capital letter concepts such as Truth, Justice, Virtue, Character and so on that are like holy water to a vampire when discussed in front of current American elites.

All in all, the Church presents a troublesome speed-bump to an awful lot of politically connected folks who are used to having their way.

And Douthat is being a tad sleazy himself by speaking about “this year” as if his paper and its subsidiary organs hadn’t been after the Church for the past quarter-century, and especially the past decade or so, in regard to the sex-abuse issue. But to mention all those previous Phases of the campaign – currently we’re in the 4th by my count – might give an unsuspecting reader grounds for wondering if this isn’t something of a vendetta, or an organized campaign like Tailhook as it was applied to the Navy back in 1991.

Then he ends his short piece by qualifying his thesis to the point of extinction: “But if the Church isn’t finished period, it can still be finished for certain people, in certain contexts, at certain times”. (I’ve heard of people existing in certain places, but in certain “contexts”?)

This suggests to me that he is up to an interesting MIRV-mix of objectives here:

First, he is signaling all around that the American campaign is willing to settle for the Church simply being erased as a moral and spiritual obstruction here and now in America. This is a big dial-back of Objective;

Second, he is signaling to the American anti-Church ‘faithful’ or ‘cadres’ that this is the new Party line;

Third, he is trying to make a nice, status-enhancing noise that will keep up his creds and his union card as a ‘liberal’ and that will keep him on the necessary Beltway A-lists for elite dinner parties while at the same time trying not to sound too shrill and uninformed (all those historical references tossed about).

But there is also a fourth bit: “for millions in Europe and America, Catholicism is probably permanently associated with sexual scandal rather than the gospel of Jesus Christ”.

In other words, this is what he hopes will be the case. And again, the campaign will now settle for that result, since it will for all its practical and political purposes have removed the Church as a rival to either Left or Right’s own Griff nach der Weltmacht, their own abiding desires to have untrammeled moral influence and unrivalled ‘autonomy’ to do whatever they think the world and the species need in order to be fulfilled.

(I can’t help but observe that Left and Right have come to an ominous but cozy bipartisanship in their recent invention of ‘humanitarian intervention’: under that doctrine, any country can be invaded if any of its citizens are declared by Washington to be ‘oppressed’ in any sense of that capaciously-defined term – and if while there rescuing the victims of the aforesaid oppression, the troops wind up in control of oil, strategically useful positioning, precious metals, or just nice scenery … well, that’s just God’s way of rewarding America for being His Deputy … neat.)

But I would say that the Americans (Leftists and Rightists together) have brought the proverbial knife to a gunfight.

And the manner of it is on this wise: The Church’s greatest strength has always been its ability to provide – with some degree of efficacy – a support for the abiding human desire to encounter the Divine. And a Divine that Grounds their lives, Cares for them, and seeks in divers mysterious ways to accompany their passage through this world (so often a Vale of Tears – ask the Iraqis).

The current American campaign, having failed to establish its own Flat vision of a world un-Accompanied, un-Guided, un-Assisted – and who, really, could be surprised? – now seeks not so much to establish itself through its own Vision, but rather to wreck the alternative (rival) Vision as embodied most stubbornly in the Church.

But, refusing to accept the existence of a Beyond, and a personal Deity, most of the elite strategists are operating in a ‘Battlespace’ limited to two-dimensions. The dimension of the Beyond is utterly beyond them – if I may – and so they keep finding themselves in a situation similar to that of an 18th century admiral whose fleet is transported in time to, say, World War 2 in the Pacific: utterly unaware that his target can operate beneath or above the surface of the sea, or at distances far beyond the range of the human eye at the masthead, he finds himself unable to strike a decisive blow.

They attack using tenuous matters or using ‘ideas’ – which have proven more than enough to cow the average Beltway pol but don’t really register with the billions of human beings who seek Encounter with the Divine. And those billions know that – however imperfectly – the Church always seeks to provide and support them in the satisfaction of that deep longing.

In that sense the Church is operating on truly 'interior lines': despite having a large institutional establishment, she operates in and addresses herself to the realm of the human spirit, especially as that spirit connects with what she unalterably proclaims as the realm of the Spirit, of the Divine, and the human relationship to that realm. Hers is neither a Flat vision nor a two-dimensional 'surface' Battlespace.

And many human beings respond to that, want that, need that.

But the American 'liberals' as they have evolved now precisely operate in a Flat, two-dimensional Battlespace because they either a) insist that 'spirit' is only a 'private' matter and perhaps an illusion like Marley's Ghost or b) deny that 'spirit' and the realm of 'spirit' and the Realm of Spirit exist at all.

Thus they are trying to 'take down' the Church as if it were just another earthly organization (like the Navy with Tailhook and all its follow-ons, as I have said before).

They are waging a two-dimensional campaign against a three-dimensional or four-dimensional entity, and they are trying to fight with their old familiar two-dimensional weapons. While in many cases also refusing to admit that those extra dimensions exist at all.

(Let alone taking into account the possibility, as Sun Tzu might point out, that within those extra dimensions there exists for the Church a powerful Ally.)

But the 'liberals' will keep trying, seeking to make the Church's entire existence depend on the occasional failures - some of them repugnant - of individual priests (the Third Phase that began in 2002) or of the Church's handling of them (Rome and Europe in the Fourth Phase that began this year).

So where all this winds up is anybody’s guess, but I’m thinking that the Church isn’t going to fall into the role that the elites have scripted for it, even here in America. The elites know what they want, but have no idea how to bring it about – nor have they even figured out if what they want is a workable objective in the first place. Sorta like the Iraq War, come to think of it. But the Church isn’t Iraq. Although it does indeed seem that Beltway elites are always and everywhere Beltway elites.

Why don’t I think their dampdreams will come true? Because I think that despite the wide success of Political Correctness over here, it hasn’t really been a deep success; and that like the officials of a certain German government between 1933 and 1945, there are many well-coiffed Beltway heads that look at the windows at the public ‘out there’ and wonder just how committed to The Great Revolution most of those really folks are. And that a lot of those folks haven’t so much accepted The Great Revolution and its New Order, nor have even acquiesced in it, but have simply learned how to keep a straight face and their thoughts to themselves.

Mussolini used to fear that too, but consoled himself with the fantasy that he was too personally full of magnetism for any large number of Italians to resist his seductive energies.

It seems, from reading Douthat’s piece here, that he is starting to feel the pull of that consolation. And Musso isn’t around to advise him: been there, done that, don’t .

Being a Catholic myself, I accept that in this remarkably dynamic and complex Universe, Musso certainly is rattling around somewhere – but the American elites, even if he came to them, would consider him merely “a bit of undigested beef”.

And they will bumble furiously on.


I try not to Post too often, to give readers a chance to read one before another one is up. But I had to put this Post up quickly for the following reason: I am certain that there are many American Catholics trying to do their best, priests included, and have to face daily the over-hyped opprobrium fanned by the assorted political and econonomic interests who find it convenient to carry on this campaign against the Church.

And I want to put a little perspective into things so that they all don't feel like they are being played for fools by some alleged monstrous world-wide sinister organization.

Nor am I seeking to 'minimize' the pain of authentic victims of failures by individual priests or hierarchs who have actually sought to minimize authentic grievances.

But perspective is needed here, just as much - as even the 'liberals' would insist - it is needed when judging the past decade's worth of activity of the US government here, there, and everywhere in the Global War on Terror (or whatever they are calling the thing nowadays - I don't get all the Party-line Memos).

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Saturday, June 19, 2010


Here’s Hannah Rosin in ‘The Atlantic’ (and the loudly-self-advertised “Ideas Issue” at that) proclaiming “The End of Men” in a lengthy piece. It is not, be assured, a “report” but then how many PC pieces really are? Or can afford to be?

I once read this venerable mag for solid thinking and genuine ideas and substantive observations. It’s come under new management and let nothing further be said about that. But it’s still worthwhile now to see what PC is thinking, and what PC would like Us to think.

The scam is to tell you what is ‘happening’ or has already ‘happened’ so that you can align your thoughts Correctly. So that maybe if you can get enough people to do this, then maybe ‘It’ will eventually happen.

This wouldn’t work if you were – say – trying to levitate a hippopotamus half a mile into the air; no matter how many believers you got gathered around Thinking Intensely and Focusing their ‘Energy’, you would not get the hippo airborne.

But of course the whole reason that the Feminist Revolution (as it has evolved in the hands of its Advocates and Cadres, with the pandering enabling provided by vote-addled pols) has managed to get so far is that it has appealed to the sense of the ‘possible’ that lies at the heart of the American worldview (minus the practicality) and at the heart of the groovy dreaminess that existed at the heart of the Boomers in both their dope-stoked Flower-Child and their revolution-addled Change-the-World variants.

And the ‘soft sciences’, the language studies and cultural studies departments, and the muzzy universe of the cottage-industry self-helpers … they all provide exactly the mushy, opinion-and-feeling play-dough milieu where this sort of stuff can pass for ‘thinking’ and where neither reality nor Reality will provide pesky speedbumps against the Great Leap to Perfection’s Utopia.
And to a professional propagandist – think Goebbels before Stalingrad, Mao before his officially-created famines, and Stalin at any point – this is mother’s milk: playing with public Feelings and Opinion, manipulating it like cattle are shaped in the maze of fencing in a meat-processor’s stockyard.

Such is Our modern American reality. And if you were wondering why the Constitution was considered so fungible by the Bush-Cheney wanna-be World Rulers and History-Makers, you have to go back several decades before them to all the spade-work (digging vigorously to undermine existing foundations) done by the Feminist Revolution.

And Rosin here is indulging in a bit of ‘shaping’ herself: she is trying to ‘shape’ the history of that Revolution’s achievements in her short version of the many feministical victory-lap histories that have been raining down upon Us recently like propaganda leaflets dropped from an aircraft in World War Two or Vietnam. (So much nicer than bombs, so much more ‘respectful’ and ‘sensitive’.)

And she is trying to shape (manipulate, not to put too fine a point on it) Our view of not only what has happened but what is happening. So that then We will simply say Oh well, it’s a done deal then.

If this Revolution’s ‘deal’ gets ‘done’, then We will be in a heepa trubble.

And to the extent that is has gotten done – thanks to the Israeli-like ‘alliance’ between the Revolutionistas and the pols in the Beltway – then it has already gotten Us into a heepa trubble.
Rosin would like to accentuate the positive, thank yew very much, and she has collected a whole pile of 3x5 file cards with every ‘good story’ she can find in order to convince Us that this is a ‘report’.

I disagree.

She starts with a macho biologist, a man named Ericsson, who in 1970 found a way to separate sperm into the male-producing Y chromosome from the other, X chromosome. He was a macho man, offering his ranch as the backdrop for those Marlboro-Man commercials many may still remember. He liked the image that the ads conveyed: “a guy riding on his horse along the river, no bureaucrats, no lawyers”.

It was a nice image, although outdated long before 1970. In the late 19th century, the country’s males had had to submit themselves not to Nature’s stern discipline of farming or ranching in the Midwest or Southwest, but rather to Industrialism’s stern and rapacious discipline of salary-and-job in the cities. Even as late as 1940 the Army geared up for World War Two by ordering 20,000 horses (for cavalry and transport work) – although by 1945 there were no more horses , the hayburners replaced by huge amounts of industrially-produced trucks and vehicles of various sizes and shapes. (Not to be too hard on the Army here: the famous German blitzkrieg into France that year was supplied by more horses than trucks, as was the German advance into Russia in 1941, until the horses died of exhaustion and the truck engines froze up and … all that.)

“Feminists of the era [1970] did not take kindly to Ericsson and his Marlboro Man veneer. To them the lab cowboy and his sperminator “portended a dystopia of mass-produced boys.” The problem, of course, not being boys who were mass-produced but rather ‘women’ who would be outnumbered by the wretched creatures.

She doesn’t ask if many Men or males thought much of the Marlboro Man as a life-plan or a self-plan.

Although I grant you that a generation of males that experienced the Depression in their childhood, and then the horrors but also the intense excitements of life-in-combat, were pretty much worn out and ready to ‘settle down’ bigtime by 1945; and by the 1950s had used their organizational experiences of responsible job-doing to create a monstrously productive achievement. And although ‘uniformity’ had its dangerous though subtle and insidious psychological and emotional and even spiritual aspects, it was a hell of a lot better than being shot at or having to shoot other humans down.

And just as they had willingly undergone both the regimentation and the boredom-horror of the rear-area/front-line combat rhythm in order to fight totalitarianism, they were willing to put up with it to fulfill their responsibilities to their family. (So you can imagine what they must have felt like when, facing middle-age in the 1960s, they were bluntly informed by Betty Friedan that in providing homes and hearths they had been running a regime no better than Dachau. Ach.)

But as soon as she has finished her 3x5 reference to Ericsson, milking it for the feministical ‘shock’ value, she moves on without further ado to an ex-nun social psychologist who opined in 1984 that “You have to be concerned about the future of all women” because “There exists a universal preference for sons”.

Assuming that this was where the ex-nun was actually going with her thought as quoted, Rosin will go for the idea later on in the piece that nowadays many many families – increasingly run by women even if there is a ‘man’ around – joyfully and forcefully prefer daughters. More on that in a bit. But you may rest assured that this is to be seen as an indicator that the Male’s days are numbered. And that this is Good News and reflects Progress. But let’s not get ahead of things here.

The ex-nun went on to worry that if “these practices” had been in effect “years ago” then there wouldn’t be any women at all, since families – run by men – would be choosing boys. This would be the result of a combination of aggressive and assertive male dominance within the family and either fearful acquiescence by women afraid of being beaten or cooperation by ‘male-identified’ women who just didn’t know any better, ‘just didn’t get it’, and who were – wittingly or not – traitors to their gender.

Which is an assertion impossible to falsify or to prove. Would all ‘men’ in charge of families now demand only sons? (And if so, why?) And in a milieu where Daddy did the bread-winning and Mommy ran everything else, then would there be a leap to ‘sons’?

And even if this was true all around the world – as the piece claims – then Why would it be that there was a preference for sons? Could it totally and purely be ascribed to some deliberate or preconscious human pre-disposition for male children throughout the entire human species?

And why would a species evolve such a practice? Could there be any rational basis for it?

I have no answer for those Questions, but my point is that when the Revolution started the cadres weren’t really interested in finding any answers either. Or even in giving the matter much thought at all. No,there was this ‘patriarchy’ thing, which existed since the beginning of recorded History – give or take a moment or two – and this had to be stopped, and reversed.

Sort of like ‘affirmative action’ would not only stop but reverse the oppressions Jim Crow culture inflicted on American blacks back in the day. THAT was all you needed to know (Mehr als dies braucht ihr nicht zu wissen, as the Nazi propaganda reels used to assure the Germans in the 1930s: “More than this you don’t need to know” or “This is all you need to know”. Ja! Yah).

Rosin does note that while “polling data on American sex preference is sparse, and does not show a clear preference for girls, the picture from the doctor’s office unambiguously does”: 75% of the requests for ‘selection’ are for girls these days.

And that “women are driving all the decisions”.

Again, there’s no way of knowing. But there are some interesting questions that arise: is it that single mothers feel more comfortable with girls than boys for their children? God knows that ‘family’ is now Deconstructed officially and that ‘unwed mothers’ are ‘the new normal’.

Or is it that fathers, taking a pragmatic view, realize that in a culture where the government itself has thrown its weight behind a shrewd and strong program to – may I say? – affirmatively discriminate against males as a matter of ideology and without any concern for actual results and consequences, then a girl-child in a regime like this has a better chance of surviving and why bring a boy into such a frakkulent regime?

Or is it that lesbian ‘parents’ (and Rosin will raise the topic herself later in the piece) prefer ‘grrrrls’?

Or is it that – after 3 or more decades of ‘demasculinizing’ males as a matter of government-sponsored cultural policy - males born after 1975 and now well within fathering-age are now so personally and culturally unsure of themselves that they either a) are willing to let their wives make the choice or b) don’t feel comfortable raising a male?

I don’t know – but my point is that nobody knows. The Questions either haven’t been asked or have been pooh-poohed through all sorts of ‘science’ and ‘reports’ skewed – with all the best intentions, of course – to put truth, reality, and actual consequences into the service of the Revolution. And it doesn’t help that the Beltway has put the full faith and credit and power of the government behind the whole thing. Advocacy and Revolution both have as their goal the spinning of all reality in their service of their own objectives, goals, demands, agendas.

It doesn’t make for a genuinely Informed Citizenry. But rather for a Correctly Shaped and Manipulated Citizenry.

That can’t end well for a democratic republic.

The old cowboy, Ericsson, now asks “Why wouldn’t you choose a girl?”. And THIS, thinks Rosin, is a “monumental” revelation of how things have improved. (Not ‘changed’; improved.)

Why? Because, she crows, “For nearly as long as civilization has existed, patriarchy – enforced through the rights of the first-born son – has been the organizing principle, with few exceptions”.
Well, taking her at her word, and I think she’s accurate here – as far as the historical depth and breadth of the thing goes, at least – then the Questions immediately should arise: Why did and Why has the entire human species developed this pattern? Why did humans so early on figure that this was the best way to proceed? Why did the species, throughout all the ages up until A.D. 1970 keep the pattern?

Is it the ONLY (or even most probable) Answer that there was either a deliberate and conscious or unwitting and preconscious conspiracy on the part of ‘men’ and most of the women? Or that after a while it became merely a matter of ‘inertia’?

Can it really be just a matter of the cadres of the current era suddenly pulling off a political triumph for a profoundly accurate vision and interpretation of human dynamics that escaped the awareness of every human society, culture, and civilization throughout recorded human history?

Or perhaps it is that with the assistance of a vote-addled Beltway, and deploying the methods of 20th century revolutionary and propagandistic praxis, a determined group has managed to get the afore-mentioned vote-addled and pandering-minded government of what was (up until recently) the World Hegemon to go along with what in essence was nothing more than a political and ideological gambit which no human group in history has ever chosen (though clearly the option was there for them to consider) and which the Citizens (male and female) of this democracy could not be trusted to choose on their own?

Good frakking grief.

Rosin nods, inevitably, to the Simone de Beauvoir’s 1949 book “The Second Sex”. Although she had many sexual relationships, de Beauvoir was implacably, almost viscerally, opposed to marriage and family life (perhaps she was too free a spirit) and coupled this with her assertion that “women are not born, but made”.

To some extent, all human beings are ‘made’. By this I mean that humans are born with undeveloped brains and it takes a hell of a long time for that brain to physically mature, and even longer (though the process should be started as early as possible) for the individual to manage skillfully the use of that brain.

And that if you want to add ‘character’ to ‘brain-competence’ then the task simply becomes that more complex. And vital.

None of which figures into the Revolution’s agenda, which is gender-besotted and focuses merely on that aspect of human-ness and of humanity.

And what of Evolution? If Evolution’s vastly and indubitably demonstrated arc is to ensure the successful propagation of a species, then is it in any way probable that it would NOT ensure that the mother-being would be hugely endowed precisely for the purpose of raising the young and thus performing the core task of propagating the species?

In that sense the female (I gather that ‘woman’ is a ‘social construct’, according to Correct thought) is indeed ‘born’. And ‘made’ too, by Evolution itself, precisely endowed with all sorts of complex competences to handle the early nurture of the young of the species.

Did Evolution make a trade-off? It almost always does, demonstrably and indubitably. In the case of the human species – and almost all others – the female is not as strong, is attuned to relationships, and to the patience and ‘softness’ necessary to nurture. The male loses out somewhat on all that, endowed in compensation with abilities to react quickly to possible threats, and with the strength to meet those threats.

Both female and male must then be helped to Master those competences.

But to imply or assert, as the rather loopy de Beauvoir and the feministical cadres do, that such pre-programmed complexities do not exist, or are negligible … strikes me as being in its way as whackulous as Fundamentalists who can claim the literalness of Scripture while denying that ‘God’ meant ‘wine’ but rather meant ‘Welch’s grape juice’ when the term comes up in the Scriptural texts.

And thus to claim that all of human history’s arrangement of society is nothing more than the result of this phantasmagoric ‘patriarchy’, and that in no way could such consistent arrangement be perhaps indicative of some species-wide awareness of a profoundly real human dynamic (perhaps so consistent and deeply grounded as to be termed a ‘law’ of human existence) … to claim THAT and then claim on top of it to insist that QUESTIONS are not to be entertained in regard to its validity – well, that indicates a monstrous lack of seriousness and integrity in the Thinking department.

Weirdly, although claiming in one paragraph that this “preference” has lasted “for nearly as long as civilization has existed”, she declares in the next that the preference is only “centuries-old”.

Assuming she knows the species has been around for more than a few millennia, then I have to figure she’s up to some rhetorical manipulation here: perhaps trying to reduce the possibility that some readers might wonder about the wisdom of so utterly pooh-poohing many millennia worth of human insight. Instead, it’s just the past few centuries, perhaps of ‘Western’ civilization (the horror!).

She then declares that “Man has been the dominant sex since, well, the dawn of mankind. But for the first time in human history, that is changing – and with shocking speed”. I agree.

BUT then is it wise to suddenly and for the first time, with a by-definition untested and apparently unfalsifiable hypothesis, to so profoundly AND rapidly effect not only a change BUT an utter reversal of the species’ universal societal and cultural praxis?


Which is one of the complicated little situations that arise when you start looking carefully at the philosophy – and the philosophical consequences – underlying popular or strongly-advocated political agendas.

Which is why, once they have stated their agenda and their hopes, revolutionaries don’t really want to waste time on philosophy: sooner or later you’re going to have everybody ‘thinking’ and nobody ‘doing’. And more specifically: they’re not going to be ‘doing what your revolution wants’ and instead they may even find holes in your position that allow them to disagree with your revolutionary agenda and your revolutionary demands. And THAT is the type of problem good revolutionaries never want to allow to start up in the first place; the smart revolutionary wants action, not thinking. Or – at the very least – the smart revolutionary wants everybody to simply accept what the revolution claims is the ‘reality’ of the situation and just stay out of the revolution’s way. Either agree or shut-up, but don’t think if that means you’re going to disagree. Because Disagreement is Intolerance. And worse, Disagreement and Dissent will slow down the rush of the revolution – which to a revolution and to a revolutionary is the unforgivable crime and sin.

Which is not the way for a deliberative democracy to function.

Or for a mature Citizenry in a Constitutional Republic to conduct their vital role as governors of their government.

What Rosin is trumpeting as a sure sign of how Right And Very Clever the feministical cadres have been, seems to me rather an indictment of a stunning impetuousness: immature and arrogant, no matter how much shrewdness went into the tactics of such a ‘success’.

AND THEN, of course: what if this grossly and nakedly untested hypothesis turns out to be wrong?

Yes, the Revolution’s solution to that has been to claim that at bottom it’s all a matter of ‘perception’ and of ‘optimism’: if you just hold your head at the Correct angle, then EVERYTHING will appear to be on the level – and that’s the best you can expect out of Life because there is no ‘right’ and no ‘wrong’ but instead only whatever the ‘dominant majority’ wants to claim in order to preserve its power.

Phooey. Life, like an aircraft, operates according to several levels of rules: the human FAA can say what altitude Westbound and Eastbound flights must maintain in order to keep order in the skies; and the individual corporate carriers can say what color uniforms their crews will wear.

BUT when it comes to the basic laws of aerodynamics and of gravity … no human gets to change those things. If you insist that an aircraft can be flown in reverse, or that it can be loaded with more weight than its engines can provide thrust or its wings can provide lift or its fuselage can support … well, you’re not going to be in the flying business for very long, and such flights as you do manage to send up are not going to end well. (See further on about the national economy these days.)

So when the likes of Rosin and her co-cadres ‘report’ that it’s all just a matter of perception or that it’s all just a little ‘reform’ and in any case it’s all Progress – bahhhhhhloney. That’s Kool-Aid of a type so profoundly dangerous that it makes the Bush-Cheney gang’s assertions about being greeted as ‘liberators’ seem like garden-variety tea-leaf reading.

Or to put that another way: if you think that the Iraq War was a catastrophe in most if not all of its intended and unintended consequences (the ones We know about, and the ones We have not yet been fully told about) then the Feministical Revolution was the Mother of All such Bad Consequences.

So: Yes, the Feminist Revolution as it has played out is indeed a World-Class or World-Historical Event. But not a good one. (See further about the current state of Our national polity and economy.)

(And I think you could make a solid case that in the service of that Revolution the government and the Beltway have – on many levels – waged war against the common-weal of its own Citizenry and polity for the past 40 Biblical years … and I include female as well as male Citizens in that.)

Another 3x5 goodie: in 2006 “the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development* devised the Gender, Institutions and Development Database”. “With few exceptions”, this thing reports, “the greater the power of women, the greater the country’s economic success”.


Surely they can’t mean the US nowadays. Surely the US was all that back in the days of ‘patriarchy’, before 1970. But that was then. And if the Organization is taking the now-declining and precipitously fragile US economic position as STILL being No. 1, then it’s merely basing its calculations on a ghost, not on a currently-living reality. That’s the equivalent of calling Titanic the most advanced and largest liner in the world even as she started to go down by the head as her compartments progressively flooded: it’s still true, but not for long at all. She won’t last the night.

Yet Rosin – eerily and whackulously writing as if the past two years (and the past three decades of warning signs) in regard to the US economy were just a thang – insists cheeribly that the US (with all its ‘women’) is still “the world’s most advanced economy”. Although I note that she shrewdly doesn’t say it’s the most ‘successful’ economy – and Titanic took all her state-of-the-art stuff down with her.

But she’s off on this new tack now: “What if the modern, postindustrial economy is simply more congenial to women than to men?”

To which I respond: What if her characterization of ‘postindustrial’ is nothing more than a desperate attempt to spin a catastrophe as a success that was planned all along? You know – like a defeated General reporting brassily that his forces are marvelously ‘advancing to the rear’. Or Goebbels telling the Germans that it’s a good thing that the Soviets are now within the boundaries of the Reich, because now the ever-victorious German armies will be fighting their ever-victorious fight on shortened lines of supply. And that this is precisely what the Fuhrer planned, luring the Soviets into Germany by making it look like the German armies were retreating.

We do not produce anything anymore. You can’t employ 300 million people (don’t even get into the immigrants – legal and illegal) in ‘knowledge’ industries. And if you employ all but a few million in service industries, then you are going to set up another feudal society with a small aristocracy living off the backs of a huge serfdom.

And you can’t keep a Constitutional and democratic Republic going for long that way.

And you can’t spin re-feudalization as Progress.

Didn’t they consider this?

Hell, the simple math of the 1970s would have warned about it. You are already starting to lose jobs to other nations (newly recovering from the wrack of WW2 or newly-industrializing) … and with the stroke of a pen and wave of the Federal wand you want to double the potential employee base overnight by declaring that women are as employable as men? Do the math, for heaven’s sake.

But it is, as I said, not the nature of any Revolutionary project to think things through too much.

While Lenin in 1917 was certain that his Soviet vision was the Right way to go, his fallback consolation was that if he simply forced Russia to get used to the Soviet Way, then it would become ‘the new normal’ for people whether it worked or not. And that he and his gang would then be in business and on top of the heap for quite a long time. Which is the way it actually worked out … until 1991.

This is Progress for America?

But Rosin now can deploy the huge stack of 3x5s generated for a couple of decades now: since America is no longer ‘industrial’, then it doesn’t need that dinosaur: the Industrial Working (White, if you want) Male. His physical strength, his ability to take tremendous pressure and to discipline himself to ‘do a job’ responsibly and to Master his tasks … nope, that’s all ‘old’ stuff.

His ‘social role’ is no longer required by work – and the ‘family’ has now been Deconstructed, so who needs him? (It’s an oddly Amazon, not to say lesbian-toned, vision, this paradise of Rosin and her sistern … male and female).

Interestingly, though, she now adds ‘high finance’ to the male-dominated industries like construction and manufacturing that were hit hardest in the Great Recession (as if it’s over).

But again, has this been thought-through? What happens when nobody is ‘constructing’? When nobody is ‘manufacturing’? And not even Rosin risks claiming that the posed photos of ‘women’ doing all the heavy-lifting jobs that ‘men’ can do are actually indicative of some general female capability in those areas.

(The military, of course, has been hollowed out precisely by such shrewd but arrogant ‘spin’ and such ‘perceptions’: there wouldn’t be any more ‘fighting’ or if there was it would be by electronics, so women could be ‘soldiers’ as easily as men; there wouldn’t be any more instances of warships hit at sea by enemy fire, so they could be sailors as easily as ‘men’ could be. More than anybody is allowed to know, We now have a Potemkin military, if not actually a Federally-funded, un-ending costume-party … but the dawn will come, and the party will be revealed for the illusion it is.)

Stunningly, she admits that while ‘some’ of these lost jobs will come back, “the overall pattern of dislocation is neither temporary nor random”. But she thinks that’s a Good Thing.

Because “the recession merely revealed – and accelerated – a profound economic shift that has been going on for at least 30 years …” Yes. Precisely. But the feministical Deconstruction of the Productive, Working, (White, if you wish), Male ‘world’ has also been going on for 40 years, so what she is now claiming as a confirmatory trend may well simply be the ‘echo’ of the results of the Feminist Revolution’s efforts to get rid of ‘men’ (that oddly lesbian-toned thing, again).

And if it’s been happening around the world, then that may simply reflect in great measure the effect of the Revolution’s changes that it got the Beltway to impose upon America.

But I will say that the postwar American productive and economic hegemony that lasted from 1945 to about 1980 was guaranteed to be challenged by re-covering and newly-developing nations – and anyone could have seen it by thinking about it for a moment . AND IT WAS THAT CHALLENGE that was precisely the profound challenge that the Federal Government and the Beltway should have been dealing with.

BUT INSTEAD the Beltway yielded to the seductions of Identity Politics and the Feminist Revolution: giving the Feminists what they wanted by going after ‘men’ while collecting cash from the corporations to let them ‘outsource’ the industrial and manufacturing jobs – held by ‘men’ anyway, so what the hell? - or bringing in immigrants to break the unions and any expectations that American jobs had to keep paying the wages and benefits that generations of ‘men’ and ‘patriarchy’ had worked so hard to achieve.

This, I would say, constituted a political and governmental treachery on a scale so huge and deep that it will beggar future historians’ descriptions.

And yet when they read – since it will survive in the electronosphere – Rosin’s blurpy burble that “Indeed, the U.S. economy is in some ways becoming a kind of travelling sisterhood” they are going to shake their heads in disbelief. And laugh.

(And perhaps equally so when they realize that this idea of a “travelling sisterhood” is kinda sorta very much what the Revolution expects the military to become.)

She “interviewed” “dozens of college women” and their basic vision of their future married lives, she reports, is that they will be out earning lots of money “while their husbands stayed at home, either looking for work or minding the children”.

Don’t laugh before you cry.

THIS is a mature vision of what a family life will be? And do they think that any marriage so configured is going to last for long? And these are the oh-so-marvelous ‘college women’ who are the cream of the feministical crop?

Be afraid. Be very afraid. And yes, weep for them, Argentina. Lament loudly, wail, and gnash your teeth.

As you can see, Maturity has been a victim – because it was an enemy – of the Revolution. Male maturity, female maturity – it doesn’t matter.

This leads her to a 3x5 trope about some French writer’s vision of life becoming a sort of “bachelor’s ball”. In a French village, with the males holding the ‘dominance’, the females went to the cities and got great jobs, came back to go to a ball (not such a Correct vision, but irony is lost on Rosin), and all the village men stood baffled and embarrassed on the sidelines because the women had great jobs and lives and the men had nothing to match that and nothing to offer them. This is a fantasy, again so oddly lesbian-toned, as are so many of the ‘stories’ that ease the tasteful swilling of wayyyy too much cheap chardonnay wherever the Revolution gets together to ‘support’ and congratulate itself.

She interviewed one Mustafa El-Scari, “a teacher and social worker” whose job is to show men sent to counseling for non-support just how macho they have been. He (Mr. El-Scari) is pleased to report that his efforts to bring the trailer-trash Missouri gentlemen to an awareness of their own miserableness is quite successful and well-received by the aforesaid men (who need his signature on their attendance slips to satisfy the female-skewed family Court that sent their miserable selves to counseling to begin with). His marquis line is to yell at the male “She’s calling you bitch!”, the ‘she’ referring to the hapless fellow’s wife.

In regard to that, I can’t see how so many think the male is so uncontrollably violent. Mr. El-Scari seems to be collecting his salary for making a practice of this sort of thing with Missouri males and yet is still in one piece – whereas the Revolution’s position is that males will ‘aggress’ at the drop of a hat.

[At this point in the print edition, a sidebar article starts up, entitled “Are Fathers Necessary?” by a female who reaches the conclusion that Murphy Brown was right and that “the ‘essential’ father might well be the lesbian mom” (although, I suppose, if the ‘father’ lesbian is one of those artistes formerly known as ‘mannish lesbians’, then perhaps the ‘lesbian dad’ is not so strange a concept).]

She refers – with a professional detachment that does not so much betoken high and knowledgeable impartiality as it does ‘Let them eat cake’ – to “the end of the manufacturing era”.

To which one can only respond: A) How does a country survive – let alone provide work for its Citizens – without manufacturing and heavy-lifting? And B) Manufacturing and ‘patriarchy’ and substantive economic achievement seem to be rather deeply interwoven, and what then does this say in regard to a post-patriarchal era?

But now she’s going after the male psyche itself.

There is no reason, she asserts Correctly, why ‘men’ should not be able to succeed in the nurturing professions – and yet nursing school report that men aren’t signing up, which proves, to Rosin’s satisfaction, that men “have proved remarkably unable to adapt”.

This is soooooo sly.

With the Feminist Revolution having Deconstructed family and productive industry (and the military) by claiming that ‘women’ can do the job as easily as ‘men’, Rosin then interprets the failure of men to ‘adapt’ as easily as women as proof positive that ‘men’ are simply too sodden stodgy, brutish and lumpen to do what ‘women’ have so widely done. A sure sign, then, that ‘men’ are going the way of the dinosaur – and again, granted turkey-basters and their follow-on technology, a disconcertingly lesbian-tinged vision.


First, given the monstrous proportions of ‘advocacy reporting’ and ‘advocacy science’ and outright governmental refusal to ‘know’ what it doesn’t want to know and to report what it doesn’t want Us to know, there’s really no way of knowing just how well ‘women’ HAVE successfully adapted. The now-obligatory cheerible ‘stories’ and photos of ‘women’ doing this or that for the camera hardly constitute evidence of anything, and may well be evidence of nothing more than a successful spin campaign.

Second, she is judging ‘men’ by the Revolution’s Truth that there is utterly no essential difference between males and females. And THAT bit of ‘knowledge’ is hardly established – and may well turn out to be wrong. And to have been wrong all along.

Perhaps men are not, generally, by nature effective nurturers and on some deep level they realize it. But she can’t consider THAT possibility because it would then open up the possibility that women by nature ARE effective nurturers, and perhaps by nature unequipped for other essential activity for which ‘men’ are more usefully suited – and that therefore the millennia of humans antedating the current cadres of the Feminist Revolution were actually more accurate in their insights and judgments than the Revolution … and Rosin isn’t going to open up THAT Pandora’s Box.

Third, after decades during which the power of the Federal government has imposed outcome-based hiring throughout the country, how can you be sure any of the Revolution’s assertions about its ‘victory’ and its ‘success’ are based in any reality and truth at all?

She sails on: “As we recover from the Great Recession …” Again, the cheerible assurance that although the Goose has been killed, the Golden Eggs will continue. Only a Boomer or a cadre of Revolution could really believe that such a miracle is not only possible but probable. And yet if the economy goes, or the status of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, then this whole Game is going to deflate as quickly as a gas-balloon when the little furnace under the bag gives out.

She is fortified, however, by a 3x5 containing the optimistic assurance of one Jamie Ladge, “business professor at Northeastern University”to the effect that even when the Recession is over (which is already a stretch) ‘men’ and their jobs won’t be coming back to the workforce. And parents are paying good money for Ms. Ladge’s one-note sermons about this sort of thing?

But it indicates that once the Revolution has inserted its cadres in numerous institutions, then it can call upon them for ‘official’ and ‘professional’ blurbs, totally Correct, of course.

Thus, who can be surprised when she notes – probably accurately – that ‘women’ are now not only more than half the employed workforce but are also the majority of members of middle-management?

Ditto, when she says that the majority of higher-education credentials are now being “earned” by ‘women’. How can you tell just what has been “earned’, given the double-standards and outcome-based regulations that have been in effect in most corporations and universities for decades? (The several Service academies are mired in credibility problems nowadays, trying to convince alumni and others that while they have double-standards they haven’t ‘watered-down’ their standards. In this you can agree most heartily with the military cadres’ assertion that ‘It’s not your father’s – fill in the blank: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard – anymore’.)

But even if Rosin’s vision of well-prepared, mature, competent legions of female college graduates is accurate, where and how will they be employed? And will husbands whose task is to ‘look for work’ remain committed for long? Why, indeed, marry such losers at all?

But then there’s a giveaway. Rosin quotes another 3x5 expert to the effect that “once brawn was off the list of job requirements, women often measured up better than most men”. Further, “they were smart, dutiful, and as long as employers could make the jobs more convenient for them, more reliable”.

Your first thought might be to ask, especially in regard to some duty like the military: how do you make war or emergency ‘more convenient’?

But it’s also applicable to any job that requires sustained and predictable performance: once ‘convenience’ overrides ‘reliability of achievement’, then what have you done and what have you got?

And this includes not only manufacturing, but ‘service’ industries (and, say, ‘emergency service’).

Nor is it anything short of a clear double standard to claim that ‘women’ are more reliable than men and then immediately go on to admit that you’ve changed the standards’ parameters by defining ‘convenience’ as separate from ‘reliability’.

And merely re-naming the ‘mommy track’ to ‘flex time’ is hardly progress. Although such semantics and rhetorical slyness passes for ‘success’ with the Feminist Revolution, just as feculent junk-bonds were considered great investments once re-badged as ‘CDOs’. Where, d’ye think, did the financial honchos get this idea of simply putting a nice name on a piece of dreck?

And just what ‘convenience’ requirements are there for ‘women’? Children? But if they are just the same as men, and since the consequences of any sex act can now be neutralized, then why this irrepressible female attraction to having children? Is there something – ummmm – in their ‘nature’ that sort of veers that way irrepressibly? Is there some ‘abiding desire and attraction’?

If so, where is all that coming from? Rosin dassn’t go there – she could find herself disinvited to a whole lotta A-list Revolutionary chardonnay-fests. Surely it’s intellectually lame to claim that all of this ‘having children’ stuff is merely the result of ‘choice’ and ‘autonomy’? That just kicks the Question down the road: WHY do so many ‘choose’ it?

But the movie ‘Office Space’ from 1999 was clear, she says, in demonstrating how dispiriting life in an office complex was for ‘men’. I wonder first how many women also find it so . And second: if you haven’t got any industry, then just what are the ‘office parks’ for? How much paper can a country shuffle without generating any of the activity that results in the paperwork? This was clear as early as the later 1970s and early 1980s office-park boom: how, I wondered, can you be losing so much industry and yet still need all these offices and all that paper?

Of course, the scam in those days was that Reagan was borrowing cash like crazy from around the world (on his watch the US went from the world’s largest creditor to the world’s largest debtor), so there was ‘fresh’ money coming in to provide the illusion of ‘wealth’ and ‘progress’ – the country could BOTH indulge the Revolution’s agenda AND remain Number 1. Yah.
And when the cash gave out, it was Bubbles – and now, Peaches, the party’s over! Time to walk outside and face The Day. (St. Paul would add “Put on the armor of light and walk becomingly as in the day”, but why drag religion into this? Anyway, too many are now so used to their costumes from the past 40 years of partying that they can’t get them off, let alone muster the character-chops to “put on the armor of light”.)

She quotes the queasy David Gergen (the Bushistu flak who was all for the Iraq War) who has now re-badged himself to be of service to another ‘winner’ with his book “Enlightened Power: How Women Are Transforming the Practice of Leadership”.

Leaders, says Revolutionary Sister Gergen, no longer need to be “aggressive and competitive” – this must have been quite a ‘conversion’, since not so long ago he was serving the Bush-Cheney imperium.

And two female psychological book-writers who said in a 2007 work that men and women are just about evenly matched in assertiveness and competitiveness, but men “tend to assert themselves in a controlling manner, while women tend to take into account the rights of others”.

Neat. Wayyyyyy toooooooo neat. Women are almost as competitive and assertive as men (so you can’t not-hire them or not-promote them because they are too ‘soft’) BUT AT THE SAME TIME they take into account “the rights of others” (whatever the hell that means in this context) so you should hire them rather than ‘men’. I always suspect ‘science’ that comes up with so politically convenient a ‘discovery’. But to Rosin this is mother’s milk, so to speak.

She apparently knows enough about the torrent of feministical ‘science’ that has flooded the place in the past four decades to figure she’d better cover that vulnerability: previous early researchers (she doesn’t say ‘feminist’ or feminist-friendly, which is what most of them were) “sometimes exaggerated” the differences between women and men: “crude gender stereotypes” praised women’s empathy and nurturingness and their having a “superior moral sensibility” while belittling male aggressiveness. In the 1990s “feminist business theory seemed to be forcing this point”.

But No, No, No, says Rosin. Now the Correct line is that there is, as the recent financial crisis has suggested, a relationship “between testosterone and excessive risk”.

And, I imagine, if there had been no recent financial crisis the Correct line would still be the old one about women bringing empathy and intuition and a fine moral sensibility to … whatever it is they think happens in boardrooms.

But now, in one of those rhetorical turn-arounds beloved of the Revolution and highly-esteemed as ‘wisdom’, it is ‘men’ who represent “the irrational and overemotional” while ‘women’ are on the side of “the cool and level-headed”. Wheeeeeeeee! Goody goody gumdrops!

In other words, crazy-tough and crazy-agitated males got Us into this mess; if there had been “cool and level-headed females” none of it would have happened.

My God, do these games never end?

Worse, though, is the next idea: that “the old model of command and control, with one leader holding all the decision-making power, is considered hidebound”. Roll that one around in your head for a bit.

First, what happens to a military when THIS kind of ‘knowledge’ replaces the old Master & Commander approach? And do you think Jack Aubrey and his crew would have come back in one piece from their encounter with the larger French frigate in the movie of the same name if they had all been allowed to express their feelings over chardonnay on the main deck? (The movie was based, by the way, on the actual exploits of the Royal Navy in the Age of Fighting Sail, which Age was also smack dab in the middle of the Age of Patriarchy, which itself comprised all of human history until 1970 A.D.)

Second, what are the implications for individual character here? Mastering one’s human capabilities as an individual – those monstrously complex brain-parts and their not-always-congruent capabilities, the urges to sex and reproduction, the tension between what you want to do and what you should do, the tension between your own and others’ desires – is one of the traditional hallmarks of ‘character’ and ‘maturity’. How do you raise a child – of either or any gender – when you have declared all that “hidebound”?

That reminds me of John Rawls’s concept of “moral luck”: some folks are just born ‘lucky’ in the sense that they have the ability to organize their lives and sustain responsibilities competently, and are even ‘lucky’ enough to WANT TO do that. But responsibility and dedication and self-mastery and all the rest are just the result of ‘moral luck’.

If THAT’S true, then what happens to Character or Maturity? Why try to achieve them if it’s all a matter of ‘luck’ anyway? Why try to teach that to a kid if all s/he’s going to do is ‘feel superior’ to those who just weren’t so ‘lucky’.

If Life and Self are only about ‘luck’ and not about Achievement – then you don’t need Maturity or Self-Mastery; you just need a Government that will fiddle with everything in order to neutralize the effects of ‘bad luck’. And you wind up with the San Francisco municipal softball league, for the whole country.

Forget the ‘capitalist’ or ‘libertarian’ angles on all this. What does it do to the shaping of the young? What does it do to the moral or maturational competences of a People? (And, since the People govern the government in Our system, to the moral and maturational competence of the Government? Hint: preventive war, WMD, torture … that sort of thing.)
This “new model”, nicely enough, is called “THE ANTI-HEROIC” [capitals mine]. Well, that’s some of the first honest labeling I’ve come across in all this.

Again, you can see why the Service academies have a credibility problem: they are training military or naval officers who will precisely not be Masters & Commanders, who will precisely not be motivated to ‘achieve’ any sort of superior interiority and characterological competence and maturity. And who will be convinced that if outrageous fortune throws slings and arrows at them, then they can just quit and go home or else Twitter their Congressperson or their local paper since by being shot at they are clearly having their ‘rights’ disrespected and somebody has to make it stop.

Good grief.

So again, the post-heroic leader will be ‘transformational’, inviting the best that each has to give without riding roughshod over everybody. This is hardly new nor unique to the Feminist Revolution. Competent military commanders and naval commanders realized it – Eisenhower was famous for his ability to preside over the fractious possibilities of the Alliance in World War 2.

Indeed, it was only in the Gordon-Gekko-ish lunacy that infected the culture and the business schools in the early 1980s that the hopped-up crazy-man in red-suspenders became a role-model. But that owed a great deal to the Feminist Revolution, which by the early 1980s was already having a ‘transformative’ – or perhaps ‘deformative’ – effect on everything it came near.

“We never explicitly say ‘Develop your feminine side’ but it’s clear that’s what we’re advocating’” says Ms. Professor Jamie Ladge with a wink-wink, nudge-nudge to Sister Rosin for inclusion in the latter’s 3x5 library. Does it never end with these people?

“The well-paid lifetime union job has been disappearing for at least 30 years” says Rosin. But the Feminist Revolution had a whole lot to do with that. The Beltway saw that it could keep them happy by getting rid of ‘men’ and ‘masculine, working, culture’ while also keeping the corporate biggies happy (and contributing) by letting them undercut the union-tradition and outsource jobs. Money was borrowed and then Bubbled in order to lull the Citizenry into thinking that Feminism was ‘working’ – when, in a hell-hot irony, it was precisely and comprehensively undermining the foundations of American work.

Ever the field-researcher, Rosin interviewed “Michelle”, a poster-girl college student who is going for a psychology major but who has a great Lament: her fiancée is a slacker-loser who has changed majors “like, 16 times” and “it’s funny but it’s not”.

The Question Rosin doesn’t ask is why poster-person Michelle has gotten involved with – AND ENGAGED TO – such a wrecked young guy. You just know that within a few years – assuming the marriage takes place – Michelle is going to be taking out a Domestic Violence Protection Order or worse. Why even go near such a loser if you are on such a high-angle success track?

Here Rosin actually touches upon a truly awful problem: the lack of maturity, or maturing influences, in the lives of young males.

But she’s only interested in this in order to show what lumps ‘men’ are.

The slacker boys and the queasily feminine or female-dependent ‘metrosexual’ boys ( no, I’m not implying that they’re gay), the vacuous-eyed shlubs Rosin aptly describes as being the leads in Judd Apatow movies … that’s what you’re seeing more and more of now.

But what did We expect? Single mothers, a generation of fathers now who themselves were undermined in any constructive approach to mastering their human and masculine powers, the ‘deconstruction’ of the family and parental authority (from the Boomers mistrust of anyone over 30 to the Feminists’ mistrust of anyone with … ummm ... an external sexual organ), the Correct media culture’s collusion in reducing masculinity to a laughing-stock … when a civilization or a culture or a society turns against the entire vital Mission of forming well the vitalities and energies of its males, it has become – truly – Decadent (meaning: rotting and headed toward decline).

And when it actually embraces – and its government embraces – the consoling illusions that such Decadence is actually Progress and Truth … then you have to wonder if such a polity deserves any consideration from History’s rock-stern rhythms at all.

But instead Rosin has amassed some 3x5s that ‘blame the victim’ (if I may) by claiming that boys have not become more dysfunctional since women began flooding the colleges. No, instead “what’s clear is that schools, like the economy, value self-control, focus, and verbal aptitude that seems to come more easily to young girls”. In other words, the boys have always been lumps; it’s just that now that the colleges have been requiring more maturity, the girls can provide it and the boys are becoming so obviously the lumps that they always were – you just couldn’t see it back in the age of patriarchy.

Thus the consolations that ease the passage of the cheap chardonnay in the slop-and-support sessions of the Revolution.

In her single stab at the possible consequences for national policy, Rosin then intones that “allowing generations of boys to grow up feeling rootless and obsolete is not a recipe for a peaceful future”.

But she’s playing a sinister game here: she immediately goes on to observe, by the by, dahlings, that what few social supports men have, including “men’s rights groups” are “taking on an angry, anti-woman edge”. YA THINK? YA FRAKKING THINK????

After four decades and ten double-columned, single-spaced lines of text, all of which crowed over the lumpen obsolescence of men and everything they have or stand for, Rosin implies that the beasts, so naturally aggressive and bestial, will probably make trouble in the next few decades or less. That’s just the way they are.
Try this thought: you’re on the Board of a corporation and the CEO comes to you and says: we’d like to implement an idea that has never been tried, and by its own admission has been avoided by every business in this field since the beginning of Time, and we’re not sure if it’s right and there are all sorts of conceptual incoherences in both its justifications and its agenda; to adopt this will mean that a fundamental, deep and wide change will have to be imposed on the entire corporation and in fact that change will be in many ways a repudiation of everything we’ve built the corporation upon; and we’re not sure of the end-point when we can call this program a success.

Now as a responsible Board Member, thinking of the employees and the stockholders, would you say Great – Full Speed Ahead … ?
Yes, I know: this is different from the Civil-Rights paradigm exemplified in - say – Martin Luther King’s “Why We Can’t Wait”, but go with it as I’ve suggested and stay with it long enough to mentally grasp just what a monstrous thing Feminism’s follow-own take-over of that paradigm actually presented. And continues to present.

At least she doesn’t try for the “Backlash” card, but Rosin, unlike her sister-predecessor Susan Faludi, isn’t even going to entertain the possibility that ‘men’ can make any intellectual defense. Lumps don’t ‘backlash’; they just bite and howl and trample – at least, when they’re not sitting in front of a flickering screen scratching themselves and stuffing down cheap beer and chips while fingering a personal communication device or two.

She acutely quotes a line from ‘Greenberg’ where Ben Stiller’s character admits that “We keep calling each other ‘man’ but it’s a joke”. And there is in that one line the need and reason for a whole lot of public concern.

But Rosin is simply happy that boys are finally feeling the fecklessness that they so richly deserve because they so fundamentally are.

Worse, she takes it as a sign of success that ‘women’- now that they indeed are the ‘dominant gender’ – are beginning to act like it: they are committing more violent crimes (“sky-rocket” is the term she uses to describe the increase, and not worriedly).

And now, the Marlboro Man is far too “preposterous” to use in ads; he is replaced by “the stunted men in the Dodge Charger ad that ran during this year’s Super Bowl”. Goody goody gumdrops.

Proving her chops as an ‘internationally aware’ reporter, she makes reference to Japan, where such lost-boys are referred to as ‘herbivores’ while their female counterparts are known as ‘carnivores’.

The fact that America was still in possession of a world hegemony when its government chose, four decades ago, to so profoundly pander to the Feminist Revolution means that the ill-consequences of this hugely dubious and possibly frakkulous and wrong-headed (and certainly mean-spirited) cultural catastrophe were transmitted like Avian flu around the world with all the rest of Great America’s culture and customs. And thus the disease is now manifesting itself here, there, and everywhere.

The country exported its ‘progress’ to the rest of the world. And now that, in a final agony of hyper-Imperial wars, its troops are being injected hither and yon into assorted foreign venues, then the Revolution – having taken up symbiotic residence not only in the pop-culture but also in the military culture - will attempt to insinuate itself into those cultures. (And if those cultures resist, knowing a lethal infection when they see one, they may well be subjected to ‘humanitarian intervention’ even as they fight back at the troops who to them represent not so much Occupation as Cultural Dissolution).

And that Cultural Dissolution is already far-progressed here.

And Rosin would like to spin all of this as a ‘victory’.

Any movement that could look out over this catastrophic mess and call it a ‘victory’ doesn’t deserve very much of a parade.


*An NGO established in 1961,headquartered in Paris, that advises governments on international development.

If you have been following the thread of the Comments you might have noticed the suggestion that feminism’s official Advocates – those highly-organized (and vaguely lesbian-toned or anti-male sounding?) cadres now a fixture among the Beltway – have managed only to make life better for their own subset of a subset of a subset of the ‘set’ entitled ‘women’, such that huge numbers of women in this country are left as hewers-of-wood enabling the elite women to conduct remunerative but ‘convenient’ careers and complain that they only make 2 million a year instead of 4 million like the ‘men’.

Considering that the Advocacy clearly stated that ‘military efficiency and readiness’ was NOT a priority during their post-Tailhook campaign to ‘demasculinize’ the military, it isn’t illogical to wonder: when in the 1970s it became clear that the American economy was having trouble keeping up with the newly-recovering or newly-developing productive economies around the planet, did the feminists actually do the math and quietly tell their pandering pals in Congress that preventing a feudalization or re-feudalization of the American economy was – say – an acceptable price to pay for the relief of womens’ ‘oppression’?

This would have neatly dovetailed with Big Money’s desire to undermine the ‘Detroit consensus’ of the postwar era, where American workers would be reliably employed and well-paid and benefitted.

And of course, under the guise of ‘humanitarian intervention’ would dovetail nicely with Rightist and neocon dampdreams of being morally justified in starting up a new era of colonialism, because this time it would be under the ‘moral’ cover of liberating this or that bunch (Washington gets to pick) from ‘oppression’.

This would merely be an internationalizing of the domestic dynamic of Victimism: the marked (and anti-Constitutional) expansion of government authority to ‘ease pain’, ‘bring closure’, and generally relieve such ‘oppressions’ as the pols – under the urging and guidance of the Advocacies – would declare themselves ‘shocked, shocked to find out was going on’. (While the pols – in best Inspector Reynaud fashion – would still collect their ‘winnings’ in the form of Identity group votes and corporate cash contributed through PACs.)

Give that some thought.

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