It is about time common sense prevails!
It is a piece of good news!
I wish journalists would stop writing about a person’s sex being “assigned” at birth. His or her sex is not “assigned”. It is manifest and nothing could belong to that person more completely, absolutely. and irrevocably than his/her sex.
Yes, “assigned” by who? A higher power? Society at large, who just made it up out of thin air??
If we’re just “assigned” our sex, then I suppose we’re just “assigned” our race, our species, or whatever else they can come up with!
The previous post raises the question – not for the first time – If we can choose whatever gender we want to be, why cannot we choose whatever race we want to be?
When various whites have been caught pretending to be Black, there is great indignation towards them on the Left. [ ]
In reality, it’s pointless to try to understand the logic here, because there is none.
Something about modern society breeds a kind of insanity in people. I’ve just finished reading Jill’s Hitler’s Children, and then was reading some discussion of Guy Debord on the other Atheist Conservative Forum.
I have tried to analyze what drove the German terrorist-Left to do what they did… what was their rationale? Although they had some things in common with the Weathermen, I don’t think their essential motivations were the same. And then reading about Guy Debord, I’ve finally decided: these people are outside of ordinary political analysis. They’re insane.
On a personal note, I lived in a ‘commune’ (just a shared house, really) in Bezerkeley in the late 60’s and early 70’s, and for a while one of our members was a ‘Situationist’. His operating philosophy was “What’s yours is mine, and I have nothing to give you.” I believe that he was also, literally, ciinically insane.
I don’t like this conclusion. I’d like to have a detailed, social, psychological analysis of what makes privileged young people want to pull the whole building down around their (and our) ears. But can’t come up with anything other than that it’s a kind of insanity … perhaps caused by having nothing to live for.
Incidentally, if anyone here has not read any Guy Debord, do spend a few minutes trying to make sense of his major work, here: Society of the Spectacle
I recall one theoretical physicist saying of another’s far-out theory, “It’s not even wrong.” Which is how I reacted trying to understand what this man was saying.
“Berzerkely” - quite fitting!
The idea that it is insanity fits in well with the theory of “mass psychosis”, or “mass hysteria”, which was induced in the Covid mask and vaccine mandates.
I think it also manifests itself in this case.
Guy Debord is not to be taken seriously.
You can read what I have to say about him here:
No, no, no, Doug…this is not allowed. You can identify as another species or another sex, but that is it! A person’s race/skin color, culture, hair style, music and food are absolutely sancrosanct, white boy. You may not pass!
Excellent. I knew some of this because I experienced it from the inside. A lot I didn’t know about.
Another aspect of the descent into Darkness: the combination of religion, and revolution/socialism. I’m referring to the Jim Jones cult, the so-called “People’s Temple”. [Jonestown - Wikipedia ]
I had a (distant) personal connection to this whole horrible thing, which I might relate at some other time.
Yes, the Jim Jones cult was so weird, but i didn’t know he was a communist till just a few years ago.
I wouldn’t use the word ‘communist’ in such a general way, but never mind.
Jim Jones attracted young people who found no spiritual satisfaction in what the socialists and communists were offering, and also didn’t find the rock-and-roll 'n drugs 'n sex of the Bay Area attractive either, at least not as a permanent lifestyle.
Here’s an example: I became a socialist – joined a socialist organization, through the mail! – when I was a teenager. I then organized a socialist group in my city, Houston. We had 15 members at our height – in the early 60’s. It was a ‘broad’ group, no ideological uniformity.
One of our members – we were almost all high school or college kids – was the son of two CPUSA members. The CP didn’t have an active youth group at the time, and even if it had had one, I’m not sure my friend would have joined, although he basically had his parents’ pro-Soviet politics. (Which none of the rest of us shared.)
The group dissolved as we all went away to college, or graduated and found jobs elsewhere in the US. But one summer, in the mid-60s, I was home from college, and visited my friend whose parents were CP members. While we were sitting in his room and talking about this and that, when his younger brother came in.
Whoa! My friend and I, although we had serious political differences, were both self-described Marxists, atheists, historical materialists, believers in reason. But the younger brother – who must have been about 16 then – was a hippy! Not political at all. Long hair, love beads and, worse … he believed in astrology!!! Terrible.
Anyway, I went back to college, graduated, barely, … some years passed, and I was living in Bezerkely, in the early 70s. And … I ran into the little brother. (How, I can’t remember.)
But what a change! He had short hair, was wearing a suit and tie and … was enrolled in medical school, at Cal Berkeley!
What had caused this (wonderful) change? Religion! He had run into a proselytizing religious sect, stopped doing drugs, straightened out, and was now making something of his life … becoming a doctor! So, I thought, religion is not necessarily always a bad thing. It could put this kid on a good path, where we Marxists had failed.
The next time I heard about him, was in the Time magazine article about Jonestown. He was the doctor there who advised Jim Jones that cyanide would be the way to kill his 900 plus followers, and he apparently was the one who administered it to them, and then to himself.
Which raises a question we ought to think about: in the age of material afffluence, through which we have passed and are still in, middle-class young people (who can get a skill) are, or were, starting in the late 50s, far more economically secure than their parents.
My parents, and I’ll bet this is true of most of us who are 70 or older, had to really struggle … they grew up in the Depression … went through the War … and had to work hard to get the good things of life: a house, a car, a TV, etc.
But for their children, at least those who were reasonably behaved, this was not the case. Life was good. A unionized industrial job paid well, a middle class job also.
But … this meant that there was a stratum of young people who wanted more than just material self-gratification. (I’m not saying this is admirable, or deplorable. It’s just a fact.)
Their motives were mixed: there was idealism, there was the desire to exprience the ‘bright colors’, there was the desire to dominate others in ways not possible to normal people. (Jill’s Hitler’s Children explores some of the more extreme examples, as does her essay on the gathering darkness on the sister forum.)
Some became terrorists, others more conventional leftwing radicals, and some … went into religious sects. My friend’s younger brother is an extreme case, given the accident that his sect was led by a human demon. (I know other people like him who joined quasi-religious communes, or more orthodox sects like the Seventh Day Adventists, which offered a structured,meaningful life, free of drugs and casual sex/relationships.)
Now … we’re conservatives, and atheists. We can’t offer such young people heaven, or heaven-on-earth. All we can offer is a decent society where you can prosper materially, where progress (either political, as most people would define it, ie the opening of hitherto-closed regions of desirable/interesting activity to more and more classes of people – as witness the entrance of women into full intellectual life during the 20th Century) … and the progress of science and technology.
But that evidently has not been enough for some young people, many of whom were/are not monsters. Some of them have within them empathy with others, and the desire to take part in something bigger than themselves, to help make a better world – whether this takes religious or political form, (or both).
Is there anything we can offer them?
I know we can offer the defense of liberty, of a law-governed society with equality before the law. But I don’t think we have ‘packaged’ this in a very attractive form. Does ‘Turning Point’ or ‘Young Americans for Liberty’ attract many idealists?
What I am saying here is related to another discussion thread, the one based on the article claiming that we must stop being ‘conservative’, and become ‘radical’ – although the specifics of that radicalism, as put forward by the author of that essay, seemed rather dubious. (He seemed to be arguing against the rule of law – not as a temporary measure in a life-or-death conflict, but as a new idea.)
[I can’t find that particular thread, in a quick search, but here is a similar one: A Rising Militant "Radical Right"?]
The problem of how to – if at all – attract the restless young person looking for a cause greater than him/herself, is just part of the bigger conversation we should be having:
As we watch our country disintegrate, what are we doing wrong? What are we not doing, that we should be doing?
A PS: one fact about the Jones sect: by providing a kind of quasi-welfare state for older Blacks, Jones built up a considerable following: he could mobilize several hundred people to do things like knock on doors and distribute leaflets. This made him a serious political force in the Bay Area, so liberal Democrat politicians there tended to defer to him.
When stories of his sexual abuse of his members began to come out – and these cults almost ALWAYS end up with the Supreme Leader going after the females in his group, including the non-adults – they were reluctant to act.
From the Wikipedia article on them:
“With the move to San Francisco came increasing political involvement by the Temple and the high levels of approval they received from the local government. After the group’s participation proved instrumental in the mayoral election victory of George Moscone in 1975, Moscone appointed Jones as the Chairman of the San Francisco Housing Authority Commission. Increasing public support in California gave Jones access to several high-ranking political figures, including vice presidential candidate Walter Mondale and First Lady Rosalynn Carter. Guests at a large 1976 testimonial dinner for Jones included Governor Jerry Brown, Lieutenant Governor Mervyn Dymally, and California Assemblyman Willie Brown, among others.”
When liberals get too self-righteous about our side’s catering to popular beliefs, remind them of this.
Thats interesting! Yes, our parents generation didn’t have the luxury of wasting time trying to get “enlightened”, as ours did. With the left destroying the economy now, the next generation may not, either.
I don’t know the answer to getting youth on a conservative path without becoming religious - its such a predominant route. My path was similar to your friend’s little brother, only (luckily) I didn’t end up in a Jim Jones cult, and after 30+ years of religion finally studied it enough to de-convert.
Rand’s Objectivist philosophy is a valid alternative, but it’s never been as popular - Christians condemn it for the atheism, and leftists for it’s promotion of capitalism. It also requires thinking, rather than “feeling”, the latter of which is more appealing.
I’m really much more ignorant of Objectivism than I should be, but … isn’t Randism a philosophy of unashamed self-ness? Whereas the young people we’re talking about are seeking precisely the opposite – a better world for all. But I may be misguided here.
It’s the idea that when an individual acts in their own rational self-interest, based on objective facts, that it results in the best interests of not only the individual, but the rest of society.
As opposed to “altruism”, the idea that the individual should sacrifice himself and what is in his own best interest for the “common good”.
Which is unrealistic, and leads to hypocrisy and collectivism, in which no-one is happy.
An excellent summary, Liz!
Okay. So, suppose there is a natural disaster somewhere, and patriots in a nearby part of the country, already organized in a Community Defense Team, mobilize themselves and go to help – bringing competent engineers, electricians, medics, etc, plus specialized equipment.
All of which costs them something in time and money.
Or suppose we solicit money to support protestors in Iran?
Or a soldier, fighting in a just war, does something that risks his life, but which is necessary to win a particular engagement?
Would these be considered ‘altruism’? If not, is it okay to educate young people to act in the ways mentioned above?
Acting in ones rational self interest doesn’t mean never helping other people. Helping other people is usually in the best interests of the individual who does it, too, if it’s done voluntarily.
The idea applies, in my opinion, mainly to the differences between free enterprise and collectivism. Having the right to own the fruits of your labor, rather than being forced to give what you earn to other people who haven’t earned it.
The pilgrims learned that that didn’t work. Productivity went way down when they tried it.
Just a suggestion, Doug: read Atlas Shrugged.
Okay, I’ll put Atlas Shrugged on the reading list.
At the moment, I favor a certain amount of socialism: for instance the military, in my opinion should be government employees, not private contractors. Same for the police.
I’m also in favor of the National Parks remaining government property, paid for by all of us, even if we don’t use them.
And I’m in favor, in general, of those welfare state mechanisms which force people to behave sensibly, ie forces them to save for their old age, or unemploment, or medical emergencies … including those which force their employers to contribute to those payments.
Will reading Atlas Shrugged expose me to arguments against my current belief in a certain amount of socialism – that is, the sort of thing I’ve mentioned above?
Read it and see.
Atlas Shrugged is a great book, but veeeeerrry long.
If you want to get a quicker take on Rands basic ideas, I’d suggest her essays or shorter works.
“The Return of the Primitive” or “Capitalism, the Unknown Ideal”, for example.