Thursday, December 10, 2015
Notes: Toward An Efficient Political World-View
This article article was first published on April 12, 2008. It was been edited for clarity and style, and reissued.
The will to oppose feminism and its damaging consequences operates, in a fragmentary way, all across the social landscape. This so-called "movement" lacks cohesion. In terms of ideology, strategy and practical organization, it looks like a disjointed rabble of separate mobs armed with torches, pitchforks,and poorly articulated anger. Briefly, a peasant rebellion.
Hence it is no movement at all, but a plurality of "motions" that amount to a sloshing chaos. That some of these angry mobs are as angry with each other as with feminism, thickens the plot.
Putting it simply, our so-called "movement" is a broad demographic uprising among a disaffected population. To call it a movement is a linguistic shorthand, and we must muddle along with this until the language grows to accommodate new thinking.
All the same, our enemies wish to proclaim this thing of ours as a movement according to their orthodox understanding. This helps them, for it simplifies matters and puts their side in a stronger attack posture. If our side looks amenable to customary formulae, they find it easier to forgo the diligence of investigation and chuck us off glibly.
This thing of ours is paradoxical because it both is and is not monolithic. True, it embraces the full moral spectrum of human nature, but that spectrum is hardly monolithic apart from being monolithically human. We are at present little more than a fermentation of disaffected feeling across a range of people. What makes this monolithic for us, is that it conjoins in a shared opposition to feminism and feminism's consequences. This opposition is sometimes articulated, other times not, but at all events it unites us – at least up to a point.
So a certain unity is already ours, because opposition to feminism combines our energy at the root of our endeavor. This does not quite make us a "movement", but it does make us a community of shared intention. That is a foundation not to be neglected, since for want of it nothing further could be built.
Such being said, our task is to see if we can build it further.
Again, the opposition to feminism embraces the full moral spectrum of human nature. Disliking feminism does not make you a good person or a bad person. It simply makes you a person who dislikes feminism – and there are reasons to dislike feminism which cannot be tarnished merely because unlikeable people happen to concur with them.
Yes, human behavior is sometimes commendable and other times otherwise. Yet the fact remains that nobody, commendable or otherwise, enjoys being trodden on — and the more so when they have committed no certifiable offense that would justify such treatment.
When a targeted population — in this case a birth group equal to half the human race — is subjected to such treatment arbitrarily, on a systemic skew, it should come as no surprise that this group will show its displeasure in many ways, and that when it does, some of the action, some of the time, will be blameworthy. Call it the law of averages.
Truly, we confront the full spectrum of human nature here: there is no doubt the world contains all manner of men, and you mustn't expect all of them to react morally when they are immorally treated —although quite a few of them might struggle heroically to do so.
So the unity of our cause lies in our shared opposition to feminism and its damaging consequences. Such is the bedrock we stand upon. That alone—no more, but certainly no less. For it comes to this, that our shared opposition draws us all into a shared perimeter of operations or, if you will, a sector. And please note that a sector is not a movement, but rather a charted space that renders movement intelligible in terms of its progressions.
Given that the prefix anti is understood to mean opposition, to say that I am "opposed to feminism" means that I am anti-feminist. However, prior to opposition (and a necessary precondition to it) is simple negation. Hence, to declare that I am non-feminist is to assert a thing of greater latitude, greater profundity and, as it may prove, greater utility.
The term non-feminist etches a line through the middle of reality, and by so doing draws into the light of discourse a region of existential space which is not feminism. This act is decisively consequential, as hope to show. It is of course a political line in the sand—that much verges on the self-evident.
Yet the thing is not merely political, but in addition metaphysical. The category of non-feminism, as we understand it and would have it understood, poses a counter-claim against feminism's usurpative self-investiture of hegemonic privilege. This counter-claim operates elegantly, by directing attention to a
quintessentially constitutive fact about feminism iself: that it both claims universality and aggressively aspires to it.
We consider feminism's claim to be grandiose, and we believe that it crosses into the territory of hubris. We consider feminism's aggressive pursuit of its claim to be pernicious.
But to say that feminism "claims universality"—what meaning has this?
It means that the partisans of feminist doctrine assert that a certain body of theory—of which they are the custodians—holds a legitimate sovereign right to subsume all of human life within the purview of its explanatory
And to say that feminism "aggressively aspires" to universality—what meaning has this?
It means that the partisans of feminist doctrine seek by all possible contrivance of law, pedagogy and propaganda to advance feminism's claim into the realm of WORLDLY FACT—both within the fabric of cultural and institutional life, and within the private lives of as many private citizens as might be drawn into the moral gravity-well of feminist theory.
Non-feminism both bears witness to these facts about feminism, and stands as a roadblock against them. The minute you say "non-feminist", you are (so to speak) advertising a competing product and demanding a rightful share of the market for that product. Feminism, you see, not only claims a monopoly upon truth, but likewise claims a mandate to exercise unhindered political muscle on behalf of that monopoly. But the claim is spurious; the claim is a bubble. A way is needed to pop this bubble—and the simple notion of non-feminism is just the pin for the job!
When the term "non-feminism" presents itself without explanation and yet apparently demanding respect, how can a feminist argue against it? The answer is: uphill, and with difficulty.
"Non-feminist" says both a lot, and not much at all. It says a lot because it surveys a lot of territory, but it says not much because we are not told much about what that territory contains. We are told only that it does not contain feminism.
But to a feminist, such negative presentation offers a slippery wall with no grappling points— there is nothing positive to be asserted against non-feminism because the term itself asserts nothing positive in the first place. It bespeaks nothing judgmental - either good or ill—as regards feminism. It bespeaks only ALTERITY.
Non-feminism signifies nothing about itself other than to assert its otherness by its mere presence. It signifies to the feminist, "you are feminism, and I am not." That is ALL it signifies.
Yet this deceptively simple message sets a burden of proof upon the feminist, IN PERPETUITY, to establish feminism as inherently more desirable than a lack of feminism, or inherently more entitled cultural sovereignty.
Simply stated, the non-feminist sets feminism permanently on the defensive, by default, and does this masterfully, without assuming any aggressive posture.
Mere lack of feminism is not a person, not an organization, not an ideology, not a doctrine, and above all not a movement. It is simply the universe exclusive of feminism—and that is a portion of the cosmos greater than 99%. Therefore, non-feminism need not and cannot answer for itself.
How can 99% of the universe "answer for" itself? What in heaven's name could such action possibly entail? No, only persons, organizations, ideologies, doctrines and so-called political movements need to "answer for themselves", because only entities such as those are constricted enough to embody the
possibility of transgression.
Those who speak on behalf of feminism cannot hope to gain the initiative against non-feminism without FIRST making it clear why the rest of the universe ought to be filled with feminism, or interpreted by feminism, or overshadowed by feminism, or by whatever means brought under the sceptre of feminism's imperium.
Tersely stated, feminism must first explain itself. And regrettably, self-explanation constitutes a position of weakness because it differs by merely a shade from self-justification—and self-justification is a defensive posture.
Thus, to be under obligation of explaining yourself is ipso facto to be on the defensive. It is the thief who must explain himself; the magistrate need not. It is the courtier who must explain himself; the king need not.
So, if you simply declare yourself "not feminist", others have no warrant to interrogate you in quest of further particulars. Your non-participation in feminism, your non-alignment in the polarity of its discourse, your cavalier refusal to take its issues as points of decisive personal or spiritual significance,
are simply not open for discussion unless you—in your own good time and at your own sovereign pleasure—feel so disposed.
Still, you may anticipate occasional opposition to this scheme of politesse. A customary knee-jerk response by the typical feminist foot-soldier is to rattle off a list of talking-points pertaining to women's issues. In the mind of the speaker, such a list passes for a "definition" of feminism, and the speaker wishes to drive you into a corner by suggesting that your aloofness toward feminism means that you approve of glass ceilings or the like.
The talking-point trick is simply a way for the speaker to talk past you, and duck the genuine point at issue. I don't mean the speaker consciously goes about to do this, but the net effect comes to the same thing. The speaker presents what he or she personally believes to be feminism, and uses this purely subjective understanding as a yardstick to measure the objective world—in this case, you!
Such is the character of feminist subjectivism. Feminism is an enterprise composed of many people who have only a skewed, sketchy, or compartmentalized knowledge of what they are involved in. It is also an enterprise which privileges theory over reality, and fails signally to factor the real-world result of its theories into its self-definition, preferring rather to lay blame upon the world when things go awry.
For such reasons among others, we are ill-advised to go to the feminists themselves for an account of what feminism essentially IS. The feminists will only explain what feminism is supposed to be, and even those reports will vary markedly. Hence, our quest for an objective accounting must step beyond feminist subjectivism and self-description, and take stock of feminism from the outside, as a phenomenon embedded in a web of ecological relations with things other than itself.
Feminist subjectivism presumes that feminist ideology holds the power to explain all things, and that all things must therefore yield a right-of-way to feminist ideology. The trick works because the majority of feminists are profoundly ignorant of how feminism actually operates. This ignorance is owing to incomplete information about feminism—in other words, partial knowledge.
Partial knowledge begets partiality, toward a personal version of feminism—whatever the feminist speaker believes feminism to be, or wishes it to be. But this personal version, being founded upon incomplete (partial) information about feminism, cannot gather the full scope of what feminism in total does to the non-feminist world.
All the same, this partial knowledge deems itself to possess a complete understanding. Accordingly, if the non-feminist world does not defer to such "understanding", then that very fact must (by the feminist reckoning) be due to intransigence on the part of the non-feminist world — and must therefore count as inculpatory evidence against that world.
Now consider that this mental proceeding is duplicated, with degrees of variation, in millions of feminist or feminist-influenced brains, and it becomes clear that feminist understanding is built upon a subjective platform. Signals from the non-feminist world—which speak of feminism's effects upon that world—would be critically informative in this connection. But such signals are not objectively processed.
In sum, if you wish to know what "real feminism" is, you could as well ask a non-feminist as a feminist. To ask a feminist about feminism is useful if you wish to put feminism on the defensive by forcing it to explain itself. But if you seek pragmatically useful knowledge about feminism as a phenomenon, you should commence your investigation in the border region of feminism's impact upon
the larger world, and only much later convene your court of inquiry with the individual feminist.
So once more, it is feminism's responsibility to justify itself to the non-feminist world—continually and repeatedly if need be, and even until hell freezes over! Feminism is not equivalent to a natural law (such as, for example, gravity) which operates with supra-human compulsion. One cannot "argue" with a natural law or expect a natural law to justify itself.
But as concerns feminism, the case stands rather differently. Feminism is very much a human artifice. It is contrived by humans and imposed by human methods upon other humans—who in theory might not take such imposition kindly and therefore ought first to be consulted.
In the future, we may expect to block feminist subjectivism by an arsenal of methods whose ingenuity will grow in proportion to our research and development efforts. This is to suggest where our study energy should be directed.
In the end, to position yourself as “non-feminist”, is to position yourself as one possessing a moral awareness of the harms which feminism has inflicted.
Yes. Feminism, which presumes to interpret all things, must hereinafter be made to answer searching questions about itself as requital for its presumption. That is quite proper when you consider the metaphysical nature of the case. Did feminism give birth to the rest of the universe, or did the rest of the universe give birth to feminism? If you are like me, you will see straightway that the rest of the
universe knocks feminism behind the eight-ball every time.
Simply put, the rest of the universe supplies the foundation and formative principle which permits feminism to exist in the first place—and that makes feminism itself no better than a ripple on the river.
There is an enormous world beyond feminism, a world enormously more ancient and deeply-rooted than feminism, and feminism is enormously conceited if it presumes to explain everything about that world, or presumes to make its explanations morally binding upon that world.
In the expanded view of things, feminism is precious little and non-feminism is quite a bit. So if you are not a feminist, you have ample territory in which to wander without feeling constrained or in peril of being taken for somebody you are not.
Nobody is entitled to any clarification of your standpoint beyond what the term non-feminist plainly intones. By that I mean, that if you encounter somebody who desires to "preach feminism" at you, you have only to say "I am not a feminist" and then walk away. Having no ground to guess your precise objection to feminism, or even that you have any objection at all, they may not rightfully harm you further.
Or if they assail you with the talking-point trick, stand quietly and let them say their say until their spring winds down. You may, at your discretion, ask them if they have anything to add. Then, deliver something like the following speech:
"None of your remarks have the least bearing upon my reason for objecting to feminism. Since I have not stated my reason, you have no ground on which to Furthermore, I am bound by no legal or moral principle to discharge my mind upon that point. So, I bid you a good day!"
You might go for the rest of your life and never call yourself anything but a non-feminist. This might be the only such descriptor you will ever need or care to use. I would like to impress upon you that there is no requirement to voice your opposition in terms of a political movement, platform, ideology, organization, or anything at all of a positively assertive nature. To declare yourself not feminist does no more than locate you within the universe exclusive of feminism—which is in no way a "movement", but rather a container of movement, or of predispositions to movement. Yet this brisk little maneuver is a radical decision of enormous political weight.
As earlier stated, the non-feminist part of the universe is a region of existential space. A word previously used was sector, and that is a good terminological choice because it implies cutting or partitioning—which is very much the sense of matters we would like to impart. So from henceforth we shall refer to the universe exclusive of feminism as the non-feminist sector.
The non-feminist sector contains all that is not feminism—and that is a lot. But prior to anything else, and as the name would suggest, it embodies a primordial negation of feminism. Negation is the foundation. With respect to opposition of whatever form, negation is clearly the greater holon. If you declare yourself anti-feminist you must as a prerequisite declare yourself non-feminist. But the reverse is not the case. You can be non-feminist without being anti-feminist, even as you can be non-catholic without being anti-catholic, non-jewish without being antisemitic, or all manner of similar examples.
Again, the non-feminist sector contains all that is not feminism—and that takes in a wealth of scenery. It includes the ridiculous, the sublime, the base, the exalted, the ignoble, the noble—the sum of human nature and all which it encloses or encloses it! Please etch upon your memory that the non-feminist sector is in no way a moral generalization or moral collective.
These two sectors—the feminist and the non-feminist—are merely two opposed systems of human imperfection. One must prevail and the other must sink into irrelevance, because some imperfections are more desirable than others.
Feminism, as we have explained many times, is perpetual revolution — which means that its being is identical with its being-in-motion. And feminist motion can be of only two sorts: advancing or retreating. Thus, for feminism to prosper, it must overflow continually into the world beyond its perimeter, and in the process convert more and more of the non-feminist sector to a subaltern pattern of existence.
That is how feminism aggressively aspires to universality. It doesn't just sit quietly and pronounce an abstract "right" to be the ruling paradigm. It undertakes actively to conquer, and to assert the rights of conquest.
Feminism can do none other than this, for it cannot sit still. If it were not in motion, it would literally not exist at all. Therefore, if feminism is barricaded along its line of advance, it can do one thing only—retreat, and disintegrate within its own boundaries like an empire collapsing from internal decay. Such collapse too, is after all a form of motion.
Given that feminism aggressively aspires to universality, it cannot tolerate the continued existence of the non-feminist sector in any form, whether as opposition or as negation:. Let's consider these one at a time:
Firstly, feminism cannot tolerate the non-feminist sector in the form of opposition, and whenever it non-feminist opposition, it will call this "reactionary" or "regressive" sooner than look into alternative explanatory models. Such is feminist subjectivism.
Equally, feminism cannot tolerate the non-feminist sector in the form of negation, for the quite simple reason that feminism does not wish to be negated. Any piece of the world which stubbornly persists in "going its own way" is an open affront to any system (such as feminism) which desires to "become the
world", or which claims an unassailable prerogative to do so.
Briefly then, any condition or thing which is distinctly not feminist is an irritation and a threat to feminism because it stands as a reminder that feminism is not the world. That in turn raises the politically loaded question whether anything which is not feminism should be permitted to exist at all.
The only plausibly feminist answer would be NO, but few feminists would care to tackle this head-on because honesty would be politically awkward and therefore not the best policy. Luckily for them, it is easy to sweep such conversations under the rug before they even get started.
So it comes to this, that the non-feminist sector commences with mere indifference to feminism, and rises by degrees through the many shades of active opposition, even to the point of unmitigated vitriol. And yet, to the feminist worldview there can be NO difference among those many shades, for in
the mind of a truly indoctrinated feminist it is all the same whether we merely negate feminism by living blithely as if no such thing existed, or whether we campaign actively with the fixed intention of destroying it. Either possibility pours equally consequential sand into the machinery.
In consequence, the universal and etherically all-pervading feminist undertone says: "Who is not for me is against me!"
This, I submit, is a fact of surpassing importance which ought to stand uppermost in our thoughts. You must realize that they will name you as an adversary if you merely fail to hoist their flag.
Yet it goes deeper, for you must also realize that by your mere existence — your simple presence in the world nothing more—you pose an objective threat to their existence, the very basis of their existence, their entire enterprise. Thus, whatever your posture within the non-feminist sector — be it opposition
or "merely" negation—they will rank you as an objective enemy within their ideological paradigm.
Hence: All opposition is negation, and all negation is opposition. Through the feminist eyeball, that is how the world appears. In their scheme of things, negation and opposition are the same animal, and whatever stands in the way of feminism's universal presumption – be it actively or passively—counts as opposition. It's all the same to them.
In the beginning, before feminism existed, everybody was a non-feminist, and there was only negation. Those were innocent times. Then feminism appeared, making certain claims and demands, some of which appeared reasonable. After a time, the world re-flowed somewhat in order to accomodate those claims and demands. Then feminism came back with new claims and demands, or more detailed editions of the old ones. This time, the claims and demands sounded a shade less reasonable, but still somewhat so. Again, the world re-flowed—and this time in a more detailed way, but a shade more slowly.
Over and over the cycle replayed itself — with such frequency and overlap that it more resembled an asynchronous transformational blur along many fronts. In time, the continually updated claims and demands became tedious in their proliferation of nuance, taking on a more boring and burdensome character, seeming to drain the vital blood of life from the non-feminist sector in a way that could no longer be tolerated.
In addition, the overt reasonableness of feminist claims and demands was declining steadily because the normative threshold of reasonableness itself was steadily declining—owing largely to those small initial concessions which had little-by-little debased the standards defining that threshold in the first place, thereby lowering the bar and admitting further debasement of standards, followed by still more lowering of the bar, and so on.
Such was the slow, steady encroachment of feminist politics into the non-feminist sector. And as the feminist power base grew, so likewise grew feminism's power to roll over anything in its path—culturally, socially, legally, academically, politically, propagandistically, or any other way.
However, as feminism's power multiplied, more and more of the non-feminist sector grew aware of that power, and that power's range of influence. In the course of so learning, the non-feminist sector grew ever more aware of itself as a thing not only apart from feminism, but actively opposed to it.
Feminism, as we have noted, does not distinguish negation from opposition. In the long run therefore, feminism can do none other than greet negation with the same hostility it would display toward opposition. I say in the long run, for there is plenty of non-feminist territory which feminist reconfiguration hasn't quite probed into yet—meaning that life within such territory may go on for quite some time in the naive enjoyment of its proper narrative. But eventually the feminist miasma will creep into such corners also, and when it does, predictable antagonisms will arise.
For sooner or later, the feminist question "what side are you on?" would demand imperiously to be answered. And some people, knowing a phony moral dilemma when they smell one, would flatly refuse to be lumbered with this. Above all other things—although likely in addition to such things—they
would take offense at receiving an ultimatum.
At such a critical moment, an anti-feminist is made.
Yes, when feminism aggresses against non-feminism, certain parts of the non-feminist sector will naturally rise up and take the field against feminism, and in so doing become anti-feminist—by choice, by definition and by practice.
Negation turns into opposition when feminism rudely steps on the wrong people's toes—and to its significant misfortune it does this quite a bit.
Feminism has from the very beginning waged a campaign of steady, escalating aggression against the non-feminist sector. It is only to be expected that the non-feminist sector would rise up against this. If such uprising is not yet evident in all locations clear across the board, it will become so when feminist innovation reaches such critical mass that none may any longer live in blissful ignorance of feminism's true nature.
On that day, it will be as if the feminist effort no longer had any room to exploit the unheroic, pacifistic nature of the average person. This will occur because mere shallow acquiescence in feminist ideas will no longer satisfy the feminist demand for affirmation. More precisely stated, feminist authority will no longer be humored or bought off by such acquiescence and will require some manner of decisive inner change testable for authenticity.
When matters come to such a stand, people in markedly greater numbers will put away their pacifism and wax heroic. When they are backed against that brick wall they will make their decision—be it yea or nay—and the hurly-burly will commence.
In the interim, the term 'non-feminist sector' solves the vexed problem of how to designate ourselves. We may, if we choose, call ourselves non-feminist and nothing more. Yet because the non-feminist sector is not a political movement but only a container of such movement, it can be made to contain whatever the superabundance of our creativity and the exigency of our future needs might eventually require – a rising sea floor destined to become a new Atlantis, but first showing only scattered islands which in time will grow and merge.
The non-feminist sector is everything. In the feminist order up to the present it has been nothing, but it must now assert itself and become SOMETHING.