It’s my birthday this week. And I have to confess, for the first time in decades I’m afraid. Not for myself. My life means very little to me in the grand scheme, and if a lightning bolt were to finally exact divine justice for a life filled from end to end with lamentable acts, my only concern would be for the people who may feel some tiny loss at my passing. I consider myself quite lucky that at this point in my life, there are probably a few more people who will cry at my funeral than will dance at it… probably.
In fact it’s one of them I’m actually afraid for. It’s my daughter, who has made a casual appearance in this blog over the years. She’s 15 now. A tough age for a girl. And she’s being raised at a time when America is a dangerous place to be 15. Like all girls her age, she’s at the point where she’s almost an adult. She’s trying to understand the broader world and her smaller place in it. She’s looking for that image of herself – of who she’ll finally be, and trying to get an idea of what’s possible for her to accomplish in a big and often confusing world. Tragically, in the name of equality, we’re denying her the very tools she needs to understand the real answers to those questions.
The right has long described leftism as a sort of mass psychosis. A view of the world as a child’s fairy tale where the unicorns and rainbows of eternal bliss for all can be easily delivered on earth. Gone are the hard choices that life imposes or any compromises between cost and benefit. In the ideology of the left there are only victims, villains, and the heroes who would save them. And all you have to do to live in the fantasy world forever, is to surrender your grip on objective reality.
This is the world that my brilliant, impressionable, sensitive daughter is being raised in. A world where the only culture she knows, honestly believes that what is both demonstrably and visibly untrue, ‘can be true’ if you want it bad enough. All you have to do is place your feelings and your purely subjective experience above every other objective metric of measurement.
That’s what the left has done. They’ve finally stolen the idea of objective measurement. Gone also are the ideas of good and bad, right and wrong, and even better or worse. They got tired of their perspectives and 'solutions' always coming up short. So instead of changing their minds, they stole the measuring stick. Now everyone gets their own metric against which to view themselves. And no matter how foolish, or insipid, or demonstrably false their view is, they all get to declare themselves heroes on the "villain, victim, savior" scale of the global left. So long as they feel strongly enough about their view, they get to impose it upon others as well.
Bruce Jenner gets a measuring stick where s/he’s a beautiful woman instead of an aging man with a mental disorder. Lena Dunham gets one just like it, where she’s also an insightful thinker instead of a spoiled angry shrew. Michael Moore gets one where he’s a fit and handsome champion of the downtrodden instead of a bloated illiterate with a camera. And Barak Obama and John Kerry get one where they are the moral compass of the western world and brave leaders of men, instead of feckless and insecure cowards. But even worse, there is only one villain anymore. And that’s anyone who dares hold up the old objective measure.
I think about what Milton Friedman used to say about how the direction academics take can throw off an entire culture. Japan was exposed to idea of economic liberty when it came in contact with the west and it embraced that idea prospered, while India did the same with socialism, and choked under a generation of hyperbolic top down control instead.
Well in the immortal words of Peter O’Toole in the classic film Lawrence of Arabia, “What are we teaching our kids today?” We’re teaching them that facing reality is a bad idea. That’s its optional. That it’s the kind of thing that only bad people do and that only the worst monsters make other do. We’re teaching them that they can have it all and there will never, ever, be any price to pay so long as the right people get to make their decisions for them. We’re teaching them that only the power of hope, and the belief in feelings can ever make the world a better place. Anyone who says otherwise is nothing more than an exploiter, a racist, a misogynist hater.
They don’t realize that the people who market this view are much more likely to be mentally ill themselves. Our children have stumbled into the insane asylum of the west, and are being convinced that the patients are the doctors and the doctors are really the ones who are being driven mad with hate. The inmates never had to take over the asylum entirely, they’ve just convinced a generation or two of American kids to discard the ideas of sane and insane.
We can tell them the truth all we want. We can say that institutional racism hasn’t been a problem for decades. That sane heterosexual men don’t feel anything like misogyny as a motivating force. That “white privilege” is just a resentment driven fantasy, and that their college campuses are nothing like the hotbed of racism and hate that they imagine them to be. But they don’t care. They can’t. They’ve all already drunk the Kool aid. And to them it tastes wonderful.
I hope I’m wrong. I hope my own battle with my ex-wife’s rather severe (and clinically diagnosed) mental illness has made me jaded and with the cost it’s already exacted from my life. But things like this make me think that isn’t the case. I think leftism really is contagious. And it’s already gotten to all the weak minded adults and all of our our children. I hope there’s a cure, and that over time our kids will come to see that accepting reality gives as much benefit to them as it exacts as costs. And while I think that will be true eventually for someone who has as much going for her as my daughter, (who is not only quick witted and brilliant, but is also talented, beautiful and clever as hell). But for someone like Lena Dunham who is none of those things, what reason will she ever have to embrace reality when all it will ever promise her is the truth about herself?
Even worse, there are an awful lot more people like Lena Dunham in America today than there are like my daughter. Against an objective measure, not everyone can be a winner. So where does our culture go when people like her have the reigns? In a world where losing is idealized as a moral good in the form of victimhood, and achievement is vilified as being a product of exploitation and hate, who will want to choose that world over the morally approved mass delusion? Or maybe we know the answer to that question because they already control our culture utterly. And the real challenge for us now, is to find a way to take it back from them using something short of violence.
Feminism Delenda Est