In the world of instant content where 500 characters “articles” are TL;DR, 20 second videos are already too long and anything older than 3 years is the equivalent of Late Cretaceous, it is perhaps a bit quaint to put a nod of approval in the title to Foreign Policy magazine’s section Think Again (initiated in 2005 and abolished in 2013-14). That section was not intended to be an arbiter of truth necessarily, but to expand the reader’s perspective upon the issue being critiqued.
Such is the purpose of this dispatch in relation to Ms. Hobson’s article The War on Masculinity is a precursor to the totalitarian subversion of Western Civilisation published a few weeks ago, which, in Internet time, is somewhere in Late Quaternary. With that said, it is wise to reflect more in general, but particularly when making pronouncements that can lead one to despair.
One gripe yours truly has always had with most of the notes coming from the non-feminist sector over the last 15 years is that too often they suffer from two severe but otherwise self-imposed perspective limits: terminally online and rigidly Anglo-centric. More often than not, and this is true of Ms. Hobson’s article as well, it is purported to present a Western perspective but then that isn’t delivered.
With the risk of stepping on some toes, it is worth reminding that the Anglosphere is not the World. It’s not even the West – given that there are such thing as distinctly non-Western English-speaking places and distinctly Western places where nobody knows a single word in English. Regardless of one’s consideration of what constitutes “West” and what constitutes “the Rest”, roughly speaking, the West is no more than 9% of the World yet it continues to act as if the rules of basic human nature don’t apply to it. Here’s an example. Ms. Hobson says:
But I failed to acknowledge that the deliberate destruction of our men could be being perpetrated by our own elites, not just out of foolishness and political expediency but, as method of disarming and dislocating our populations by design, to make us easier to reengineer to serve their ends. It’s not clear to me the degree to which the War on Men has been consciously informed by this goal, but I’m not sure how much that matters anyway.
None of this is necessarily wrong. It may very well be that some of our elites (though certainly not all – since we all can name members of the elite whose wisdom is far from stellar) are indeed engaged in a war on men (for lack of a better term) with at least a vague intention of disarming and dislocating our populations to make us easier to reengineer to serve their needs. But is this complete? A quick glance of the World and at the patterns of human nature, clarifies things.
Totalitarian societies from the recent past or even contemporaneous with us have been created and upheld for decades (and some are still around – see the CCP) without the need for a convoluted long game specifically against the male population.
Elites are still formed by people. Usually people extraordinary in some way, shape or form, but humans nonetheless. This applies to both elites considered benevolent or beneficial but also to those considered malevolent or evil. And humans, since time immemorial, have consistently taken the path of least resistance and innovated in such a way to achieve the goal(s) by fighting the least.
So why would the Western elite choose to deviate so much from the historical norm and basic human nature in order to achieve what can be achieved without so much work? Occam’s Razor posits that they wouldn’t. Not for this purpose, anyway, for the purpose of achieving a totalitarian society can be (and is being) achieved much easier.
The picture in the featured image was taken in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and it depicts the heroes of Socialist labor as the place acceded to the USSR as a Union Republic with full rights (to the extent that one can talk about rights under Stalin). If you notice, the men are quite manly, the woman is quite womanly and the division of labour is observed even in this propaganda monument which suggests that undermining men (or women, for that matter) wasn’t even an afterthought even for the Soviet apparatchiks tasked to erect such propaganda in the Kyrgyz capital.
Russia had managed to thin the number of Kyrgyz people without any complex ideological construct (see Ürkün). The Kyrgyz saw Lenin as a saviour by comparison, even though Soviet Russia finished the job – by colonizing the lands emptied by the Tsar with ethnic Russians. At the fall of the USSR, only 22% of the people living in the Kyrgyz capital were indeed Kyrgyz. And, to this day, sufficient numbers of Kyrgyz people are convinced that that was a good thing. All while the Soviet authorities denied it was happening until they acknowledged it was happening and it was a good thing. Sound familiar?
All of that was possible without any war on men or really without any complex ideological structure.
The experts have been sounding the alarm over the fact that the People’s Republic of China has too many sons and, the experts argued, just like Ms. Hobson, they may revolt and burn the village to feel its warmth so to speak. The argument has been going for over 15 years now that those men will not be able to get married and thus this will be a problem for the Communist regime. So what did China do? Become more liberal, to allow men to leave? No, not really.
Did China started a program to make its young men more effeminate in order to mitigate the risk? If anyone would be capable of such thing in a coordinated fashion, it’s probably China. But no, China did no such thing. In fact, for 7 years now, China is in an aggressive race to find more male teachers so they can make their boys men.
In fact, China today is more totalitarian and more stable than it was 15 years ago when the experts warned that their excess of sons will burn the place down. Xi Jinping turns out to be a far more repressive leader than Hu Jintao had been when the issue was first mentioned.
Kyrgyzstan in the past and China in the present day show that totalitarian subversion and population displacement can be done at will, and cheaper than a supposed long game to which Ms. Hobson alludes to.
Ms. Hobson is nostalgic for 2016 a year in which we rocked the establishment she says, in an article that’s supposed to be about the Western civilization, rather than a regular presidential election in the USA and a referendum in the UK. Sure, the Brexit referendum was important, but so was the 2014 Scottish referendum. That one prevented a catastrophe too.
Meanwhile, other places have had their 2016 moment too (with mixed results, just like in the UK and USA). Italy had its 2016 moment in 2022 – and with a woman too! This year is likely a 2016 moment for Spain as it’s increasingly likely that PSOE (the same PSOE that nearly got annihilated for being feminist in public, wrote here about it 10 years ago) will get shellacked and be replaced by a coalition that includes VOX, a party that has some of its roots right here, on this very website and the 2016 ICMI in London. Also, 2024 looks up to be a “2016 moment” for the EU itself (not to mention Austria and Romania).
Let us also not forget South Korea which in 2022 voted in an explicitly anti-feminist president that ran on a men’s rights platform. And, shockingly, he also started delivering. President Yoon Suk-yeol abolished the “gender equality ministry”, abolished all women’s quotas in all state institutions and is now working hard to increase penalties for false sexual allegations and to make it a crime to treat men as “potential sex criminals” (his words, not mine).
Ms. Hobson correctly identifies in her article the subtle differences between men and women at a population level (though over-reliance on Jungian theory has its limitations) but looks at trends from an excessively pessimistic perspective and awards excessive importance to phenomena that is real but not quite as potent, while awarding no consideration to phenomena that is equally real but trends in the opposite direction.
Speaking of disarming, just yesterday a federal court in the USA ruled that one cannot be stripped from his Second Amendment rights just because there is a domestic violence restraining order (which is, as everyone knows, an ex-parte piece of paper issued without any evidence seriously assessed). In other words, it is now the law once again that the mere word of an alleged victim is simply not enough to suspend the Constitutional rights of legally innocent people. The case is US v Rahimi.
These things are far more important than, say, Agenda 2030. Yes, Agenda2030 is a real thing too, but it also comes from the UN, an organization which has an impeccable trackrecord of being a glorified debate society at its best, and an annoying grift in the rest of the time.
That’s not to say terrible, illiberal and indeed dangerous ideas don’t come from there. They do. All debate societies produce terrible ideas as a matter of routine. But just because the UN says something doesn’t mean it has to happen. And it’s certainly wrong to lower one’s spirit by inducing the idea that it will happen. Heck, the Regime bets on people submitting to such helplessness.
The precursor of Agenda2030 was called Agenda21 and is 31 years old. It was signed in 1992, when the shtick with the child crying for the environment was pulled before Greta was even a love letter. Nobody remembers the name Severn Cullis-Suzuki today just like nobody will remember the name Greta Thunberg by 2030.
Agenda21’s best product was the book itself with the wishlist. And other than a few bike lanes leading to nowhere and tons of paper consumed as various mayors virtue signaled as they signed the paperwork and subscribed to the mailing list of an NGO… nothing really happened.
I tend to doubt that we will be able to arrest the trajectory, never-mind claw back freedoms already lost, in the near-term.
This kind of mentality is what the Regime wants.
In my backyard, the pandemic project was great for increasing liberty. We got the Constitutional Court to recognize the inherent illegality no matter what of all mandates, we got the High Court to recognize that individual bureaucrats are also at fault if they follow a pandemic order (and thus liable and can’t hide behind the institution) and one of the formerly top Branch Covidians who would ban anyone from her show if not properly QR-coded is now talking openly about individual freedom and ways to expand the legal recourse of individuals against both bureaucrats and the State.
How did we do that? Well, for starters, we didn’t doubt. We knew we were right and acted as such. Yes, it was masculinity that led, mentor and gave courage (here I am confirming that part of Ms. Hobson’s thesis) but it was also femininity that delivered the message.
People like me wrote the message, argued in court and physically struggled with the Police and the MPs personally. Men like me also kept the crazies out, but it was also courageous women who stood their ground, also knowing they were (taught) right.
In the end, if you want freedom, you have to take it. In my backyard, this is implicitly understood (with the exception of Ceaușescu, he didn’t understand). Maybe other yards should understand it too?
One thing is certain though: Self-doubt, learned helplessness and distractions are the best tools the Regime has on all of us. It’s highly convenient for the Regime that plebs argue about Agenda2030 rather than practical ways of seizing back their fundamental rights.
Think again: We can (and indeed might) have totalitarianism anyway, and the war on men is, at best, tangential.
The World is a big place. And continues to spin. Nothing is inevitable and nothing is permanent in politics.