Friday, 25 October 2019

The American disease

Part 1

There was a time not so very long ago when academic study was free from politics. Universities may have been full of political activity, students went on demonstrations complaining about Margaret Thatcher, but the subjects everyone studied were mainly free from politics. I wonder sometimes if I am part of the last generation in Britain to study in this way.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when the change happened, because it happened so gradually. The subjects I studied mainly, philosophy, theology, history and Russian literature were about themselves and nothing else. I would study Hegel and try to understand the text. I would read what some others thought about it and begin a sort of dialogue between Hegel, these others and myself. The task was to produce arguments. The same went for every subject I studied. If I had a tutorial, I never discovered the political position of my tutor. That would have been something superfluous.

Even then however I began to see the beginnings of what has now come to dominate academic study.

I spent a year studying in an Ivy League college in the United States. I found the standard of study to be pitiful. The problem was that the American system of education had not been able to produce a single united school leaving exam and so had to rely on multiple choice aptitude tests. These tests no doubt told the testers something about ability, but they told little about knowledge. The result was that courses of study began from the beginning (101) and assumed no knowledge of a subject whatsoever.

With each course I studied in New Hampshire we were assigned four or five books which we were expected to buy at the local bookshop. During each class we were told to read a few pages. If you read the pages you passed the course. The exams lasted twenty minutes. The essays required minimal levels of thought. The students spent their afternoons napping and their evenings setting up their sister at the sorority. You said Hi to everybody but knew nobody. It was as superficial as people in the supermarket wishing that I had a nice day, when they were not at all interested in either me or my day. It was here that I first came across something called Women’s studies.

It’s hard to explain to people now that the issues that obsess so many academics today and much of society too were once considered fringe issues at best.

Race was a subject that would only come up if you were studying racial conflict in history or some other area of contemporary life. It might involve some subjects, but certainly not every subject.

The college had been almost exclusively white until a short time before, but it wasn’t now. I hadn’t met many black people until then, but they were just like other Americans. They didn’t make an issue about race. No one did.  Most people treated others as they found them. There was no overt prejudice that I saw.

Homosexuality was a non-issue. I had only ever met two or three people I knew to be gay.  In all Western societies homosexuality was legal and gay people had as much chance as anyone else to become successful, not least because it was generally impossible to tell from someone’s appearance who they went to bed with.

Women I knew were uninterested in feminism. As a subject it was sterile, because only certain answers were acceptable to certain questions. This became clear when I discussed what happened in the Women’s studies course. There were one or two men doing the course, who had apparently been stumped by the requirement that they learned how to examine their breasts. The rest of the course consisted in blaming men for everything and trying to create grievances where none had existed up until then.

I found the American dating customs to be completely baffling. Men and women might be dating any number of people. In Britain a drunken snog usually meant you had begun a relationship, but in America it might mean nothing. In Britain at that time it was common enough that you might sleep with your boyfriend, but generally there was a relationship that had lasted more than a few days. In America they had a concept of “fooling around” which was much more casual. You could fool around with someone who was just a friend, but what was involved was never quite made explicit, nor was it defined.

Drunken fraternity parties could rapidly end up with people who had just met ending up in bed with each other not quite knowing what should happen next. Drunken mistakes were made. No doubt they have been made in such ways since time began. But at that time women still took responsibility for their actions. It was your choice to get drunk and go to the room of a man you’d just met. Nobody forced you to go.

But anyway, it wasn’t much of a problem. While I found Americans more willing to kiss people they’d just met than had been my experience at home and while sex was perhaps a touch more commonplace than in Cambridge, it was still the case that most men and most women normally slept alone and if we did share our beds it was usually with someone we knew well and with whom we had some sort of lasting relationship. But like everything else this was changing.

Transgender was an almost complete non-issue when I was a student. I might have read somewhere about men who thought they were women and women who thought they were men, but if it was a subject to be studied it was part of medicine. There were men who dressed as women. In Britain it had been an established part of theatre and comedy for centuries. There were likewise women who preferred to dress as men. But no one thought that these people wanted literally to change sex. We assumed that they were mostly gay or lesbian. I had never met nor heard of anyone meeting a man who literally thought he could become a woman. The idea never occurred to me. If it had I would have considered it to be simply impossible. I think this is how nearly everyone felt then.

I’m not sure what we really thought about those very few people who had had sex change surgery. Had a man become a woman by means of cutting off some parts and adding other parts? I think we were all willing to treat these people with sympathy, but it rather resembled someone in a war being given a new leg. An amputee might have an artificial leg, but it was just that. It was artificial. It was the closest approximation to a real leg, but it wasn’t the same thing as real leg. It never would be. It never could be. So too the man who had surgery so as to become a woman had been turned into the closest approximation of a woman that was possible. But he wasn’t a woman really. How could he be? I think that is what I would have thought back then if I had thought about this issue. But of course, I didn’t think about it, almost no one did.

Part 2

I wrote my dissertation prior to the Internet. Maybe that’s the dividing line. I studied people like Kierkegaard and Dostoevsky. I went to my tutor’s college rarely, sometimes not for months. It was assumed that I could read everything in the original language. It just isn’t possible to understand a text in translation. 

I spent my time wandering the streets of Cambridge. I would work hard for a few hours each day, but it just isn’t possible to do much more than that. So, I would walk and think. The thinking was often unconscious. Sometimes a problem could be solved by not thinking about it.

My dissertation fitted best into the Theology Faculty, which I found to be full of atheists. My perspective was Christian. I assumed that the central claims of Christianity were literally true.

But this wasn’t a problem then. Both of my tutors were ordained, neither believed in the traditional sense, but we discussed the texts that I was reading without letting our politics get in the way.

Tutorials were intense. I would write something, and an argument would develop. Both of us would give it our all, but it wasn’t personal. There was no anger, or at least no lasting anger. There were no limits on what could be said. I could argue for whatever I believed so long as I could make the case with reason and by demonstrating knowledge and understanding of the text. In this way people who disagreed about everything could have a useful discussion. This is what we have lost since then.

I was aware of certain areas of study that I could have gone down, which I chose to avoid. I could have gone down the continental route and read people like Derrida and Foucault. I could have embraced post-modernism, feminism, structuralism and post-structuralism, but I quickly found that I could make little of this kind of material.

When I read Heidegger or Wittgenstein or even Hegel and Kant and Aristotle, I may frequently struggle to understand the text. But I usually ascribe the fault to myself. A text may be difficult because it is deep and expresses ideas that are hard to understand. It may not involve difficult language. Wittgenstein frequently writes simple sentences which capture something illusive. The point though is that with these people there is something to understand. It is worth trying to understand them because they are genuinely deep, intelligent thinkers with something to say that is important. I never found I had that experience when reading the works of the “post-moderns” still less did I find it with the feminists, the post-colonialists or any of the other ways of reading that have developed in the past thirty to forty years. All I found was jargon and a deliberate lack of clarity, masking an emptiness of thought.

I avoided anything that even hinted that the author had a political agenda. Eventually I avoided anything written by an American.

Too much is written. In the 19th century it was still possible to read just about everything important that was written about a subject. Academics would spend years writing a book and the quality was high.

There are now hundreds of universities in America and every academic is pressurised to publish both journal articles and books. Many of these academics went through the same pitiful course of study during their undergraduate days as I did in America. They then spent three or four years at graduate school, often taught by highly politicised tutors. They were then encouraged to write and write and write, but most often from only one “correct” perspective. The result is dire.

Publish or perish destroyed the quality of books and journal articles coming out of America. Even if good work was still being produced it was impossible to find amidst the fool’s gold. I gave up reading American books en masse. Later when the “publish or perish” disease spread here I gave up reading British books too.

Even then I focussed mainly on the primary source. What mattered was reading the author I was studying. I read just enough secondary material to provide footnotes, but otherwise just wrote what I thought.

It was still possible to get away with it then. I could ignore politics. I could ignore feminism, post-modernism and anything else that had newly arrived from the Continent or the States. There were academics who were interested in that stuff, but I wasn’t penalised if it didn’t interest me. There was still room for someone who wanted to understand philosophical, theological and literary texts without discussing politics. There is still just about room if you deal with something very technical. But that room is getting smaller and smaller, like something out of Alice in Wonderland.

I don’t remember when I first became aware of people objecting to certain words because they were not inclusive. I think I came across some Americans demanding I write “He or she” or still worse S/he, sometime when I was writing my dissertation. But I just continued writing in the way that English speakers had been doing for centuries and so did practically everyone else in Cambridge.

It all seemed rather silly as if our American cousins had somehow developed their own grammar after so many centuries in some peculiar way. Did they speak that way? How would you say “S/he” in a way that distinguished it from “she”? I thought it was safe to ignore this sort of stuff.

But this was really the beginning. The Left made gradual steps. It demanded we cease to say “mankind”, some people did. But whatever step we made, there was always going to be another. It was only because some people replaced “he” with “he or she” that we ended up replacing he and she with “they” “ze”, "xe" and were told that there was nothing fixed about being he or she and that anyone could on a whim be either.

I was at a conference reading a paper and suddenly an American voice objected. He found it offensive that I wasn’t using gender neutral pronouns. I was baffled for a minute, but then explained that I was following standard English grammar. My American friend walked out. Was this the moment that changed everything?

The absurdity of course is this. It is only because Americans are so parochial and most frequently don’t speak any languages other than English, that they could suppose that gender neutral language is universally possible.

The rules about not having words like “mankind” and using “he or she” instead of “he” have to be applied to all languages. It cannot be only that English speakers have to be re-educated. But while making English gender neutral is just about possible even if it is ugly. It is simply impossible for other languages to do this.

In Russian there are three grammatical genders, masculine, feminine and neuter. There are six main grammatical cases, nominative, accusative, dative etc, plus some that are used less frequently. 

Put simply.

Masculine words end in a consonant, e.g. Ivan.

Neuter words end in o or e, e.g.  Politburo.

Feminine words end in a or ia, e.g. Anna Karenina. This is why Putin’s wife was called Putina.

Not only this. Men and women have different endings for certain verb forms and adjectives.

Gender is absolutely everywhere in Russian. This is the case with all Slavic languages and was once the case with most western European languages which used to be highly inflected.

Whether you use the Russian word he or she or it is determined by that words ending. It doesn’t of course mean that the word is itself a man, woman or neuter. The Russian word for table is masculine the French is feminine. This is a matter of grammar not of genitalia.

But the same of course is the case with English. “He” can refer to male human beings, but it can also apply logically to women in certain usually ambiguous circumstances. That is just how English grammar evolved.

So too the "man" part of “mankind” no more means a man than it does in the word “Manchester” rather man is derived from the proto Germanic word meaning “person”. The ugly “personkind” is therefore as ignorant as herstory supposing that the etymology of history is "his story", rather than ἱστορία [historia].

It would be senseless to try to make all languages gender neutral. It would also be extremely difficult for a Russian woman to decide that she was a man. She would have to relearn the grammar that she had grown up with from childhood. But then again you would struggle to find a Russian woman who would want to. The American disease spreads by means of language and that language is English.

Part 3

I remember treating what was sometimes called “political correctness” as a joke. I wonder now if the humour element was part of the strategy. It made us think that the issue wasn’t serious. We could be amused by the “looney left”, but all the time the Left were using our laughs to get their Trojan horse inside the citadel.

The problem was that we didn’t have a name for what they were doing, or else there were many names. The Left itself denied the legitimacy of the term “political correctness” while at the same time telling us what was correct to say and do.

The whole concept of one opinion being correct while another was incorrect struck me at the time as dangerous. It was so obviously totalitarian that it was hard to take seriously that anyone in a democracy was suggesting it. But they were, only they were doing so gradually. They were delighted that we didn’t take it seriously and that we didn’t really have a word for what they were doing.

I still don’t know how quite to describe the change that has taken place over the past thirty to forty years. Political correctness is inadequate and seen by the Left as pejorative. Wokeness has somehow entered our vocabulary, without us quite being aware of in what way we are awake and how previously we were asleep. The concept of the Liberal Left is American. Liberal means one thing in the States but had a quite different historical meaning in Britain. John Stuart Mill was a liberal but would have been quite horrified by what has been done to liberty in the past few years.

This too is all part of the strategy. The target is vague and undefined. Conservatives have known for some time what we are up against, but somehow it is illusive. It presents itself as campaigning for social justice. It asks us to accept a tiny change in our use of language for the sake of fairness, but thirty years later we end up living in another world that isn’t fair at all. It tries to change the way we are able to think by changing the meaning of the words that we use, and it sometimes seems that we have forgotten the meaning of ordinary words. But it forgets that some of us speak foreign languages and in these the words mean the same as they always did.

In Russian there are two verbs for getting married.

Women use the verb выходить замуж [vykhodit’ zamuzh] It literally means leave to gain a husband. The root "muz" means husband and is also part of the word man мужчина [muzhchina]. So, when women marry, they leave home to be with their husband/man. Russian much more than English reflects linguistically what traditionally happened.

Men have a different verb when they marry, жетиться на [zhenit’sia na]. This verb includes the root zhen which also appears in the words for wife жена [zhena] and женщина [zhenshchina]. So, a man when he marries takes a woman to be his wife.

The very words in Russian make clear what marriage involves. It is linguistically impossible in Russian for a man to marry a man or for a woman to marry a woman. To suggest that this were possible would be to show a basic misunderstanding of the words involved.

Of course, this used to be the case here with the English verb to marry. If I’d asked an English speaker one hundred years ago if men could marry men, I would have been told that this was simply impossible. The meaning of the words “marry” and “marriage” implied a wife and a husband a man and a woman.

How did we arrive at a situation whereby a contradiction on a par with an unmarried husband was arrived at? We got there gradually.

For most of human history and in most parts of the world there has been a taboo about homosexuality. Many of the world’s major religions condemn men sleeping with men. They are usually indifferent to what women do with women. There is probably a good reason for this taboo. It is unlikely that it came about from nowhere. Pre modern societies perhaps needed all the males to father children in order survive. But gradually in the West as people were more and more willing to question the teachings of the Church and as we took on board the ideas of people like Mill that we all should be allowed to do what we please so long as it doesn’t harm anyone else, the criminality of homosexuality was seen as unjust.

Homosexual acts were legalised in the UK in 1967. No doubt the gay people who campaigned for this were delighted. Non gay people in Britain could reflect that this change in the law didn’t really affect them. It wasn’t really any of anyone’s business what people got up to in their own bedrooms.

It’s worth reflecting that this happened a little over fifty years ago. If I had asked anyone in 1967 whether men could or should marry each other I would have been met with bafflement from gay and straight alike. Gay people in 1967 didn’t want to marry each other, they just wanted to be safe from being persecuted by the police.

But here we arrive at the crucial point. Whatever step forward is made, whatever injustice is righted, it is never enough.

The Left is unwilling to accept that some people are genuinely different from other people. Each must be treated as if they are the same no matter what absurdity results.

Through the decades that followed from 1967, gay rights campaigners made gradual steps. They campaigned for the age of consent to be the same for gay people and straight people. That seemed reasonable. Eventually it was agreed. They campaigned for the same rights as married couples and pointed out that with regard to things like inheritance and tax there were disadvantages. Again, in time most people were willing to go along with this. Why shouldn’t gay couples have the same rights as married couples? It didn’t do the rest of us any harm.

But whenever a battle was won, it turned out that it was not enough. Eventually gay people demanded marriage. What this meant though was that not only would they be allowed to change the meaning of the word “marriage” the rest of us would have to do so too. A husband and wife would have to accept that they were in exactly the same relationship as a husband and husband or a wife and a wife. We all would in effect have to accept that 2 + 2 = 5 or that bachelors could be married.

This is the key to understanding what the Left has been doing for the past forty or fifty years. It is trying to make us change the way we think by trying to change the meaning of the words we use.

Whatever steps it takes, however reasonable, it always demands more even when it ceases to conform to logic.

Homosexuality ought to have ceased to be an issue in 1967. Do what you please in private it has nothing to do with me. But no. Demands have been made that the Church ceases to teach that homosexuality is a sin. The teachings of the Church about marriage and the purpose of sex have been condemned and demands have been made that they be changed.  It has been demanded that people who disagree with what the Church has taught for nearly two thousand years should be allowed to be priests and that these priests conduct public weddings between people who even fifty years ago no one thought could marry.

This is no longer liberalism in the sense of Mill. Do what you like so long as it harms no one else. The Left makes gradual steps. Each may seem reasonable, but we end up in a new world with new words and what appears to be a minority issue affects all of us. We all have to change how we speak and how we think and if we fail to adapt, we will be condemned.

Part 4

The United States in the 1960s went through two great revolutions, the sexual revolution and the civil rights revolution. To an extent these happened in western Europe too. But it's only possible to understand the civil rights battle if we understand American history.

The American Civil War was a battle that had been waiting to happen ever since the United States was founded. All men were created equal, but some of them were slaves. Did this mean that the founding fathers didn’t consider these slaves to be human beings at all?

The United States was almost wholly admirable. It had a constitution that can still be admired more than two centuries later. It was when it began the most democratic and most free country in the world. The American Revolution involved battles fought between Britain and the Colonists, but neither Britain nor America descended into chaos. There was no terror as there would later be in France. But there were questions that were unresolved. Who was an American? What was a state?

By the nineteenth century it was already becoming clear that slavery was a far less effective way of working than paying wages. The states above the Mason Dixon line were more prosperous, more industrialised and much richer. Slavery might have been economically effective when the South was first colonised, but it was no longer working either economically or morally. It became ever more impossible to reconcile the ideals of the United States with the reality. The problem was what was to be done with the slaves.

Abolitionists from the North would write about slavery but the North in general was as racist as the South if not more so. The people of the northern states didn’t want a mass movement of freed slaves to move north and the South didn’t know how to live with people it had enslaved for centuries. It neither had the economic model to pay them nor did it want to live with them as equals. Even if the slaves were people, they were not yet Americans. Few, North of South were ready to treat slaves as equals and as fellow citizens.

By mid-century everyone with any sense knew that slavery could not last. The Atlantic slave trade had been abolished, but could America reconcile itself to the fact that it had imported millions of people against their will and could it live with these people as fellow citizens?

To this question was added, who had authority in the United States. The state or the federal government. While the ultimate cause of the Civil War was slavery, the immediate cause was the question of states’ rights and the will of the majority.

Did South Carolina have the right to secede from the Union. Well this depended on how we thought of South Carolina. Was it a sovereign state that had happened to join a collection of other sovereign states called the United States, or was the United States a single indivisible nation state that had parts with a certain degree of freedom, but which had to accept the will of the majority? This issue is still pertinent in Scotland and in Spain.

The South wanted to deal with the issue of slavery in its own way without northern interference. It probably would eventually have dealt with the issue in the same way that it actually did after Reconstruction. Slaves were freed after the war, but their equality was in name only. This is how America really freed its slaves.

Lincoln did not set out to free any slaves when the war began. If the war had ended quickly, they might even have remained enslaved for a few more decades. But the war did not essentially change how Americans viewed their former slaves.

What did change was the United States. The war determined that South Carolina et al could not secede (The SNP, of course, take the South Carolina side of this issue). Even if the whole of the North voted for Lincoln and the whole of the South voted for someone else, it did not matter. The will of the majority prevailed. 

But in every other respect South Carolina won the Civil War. The solution to the problem of slavery was such that white southerners were more or less content. An economic model was found whereby former slaves were paid but paid little. They were citizens but had almost no power. They had rights in theory, but not in practice. The South kept winning the Civil War for more than one hundred years until the 1960s. At this point indeed the fight really began for the first time.

Throughout the late nineteenth century and early twentieth black people in the United States did not have equality of opportunity. They met racism in the South, but things didn’t get much better if they decided to move North or West. They were banned from playing professional sports with white people. They rarely appeared in films other than as servants. It was unimaginable that a black person could be a Supreme Court judge or the President of the United States. In many states there were laws preventing white people and black people from marrying. They might as well have been living in South Africa.

The Civil Rights revolution changed everything but did so from the perspective that we should ignore race. What mattered was the content of a person’s character not his skin colour. I think it was this that meant that for the first time in American history there was a critical mass of the American population that began to realise that the way black people had been treated was unfair and un-American.

Equality of opportunity has meant that black people in the fifty years since the Civil Rights movement have been able to achieve a degree of success that is startling compared to what went before. Every job imaginable is now done by black people on merit. All American citizens have embraced equality of opportunity for everyone because they see that it benefits them too. It doesn’t matter where you come from you have a chance to reach the top.

But just as success has been won, the Left has decided that it wants more. Gradually the Liberal Left has not been satisfied with mere equality of opportunity. It wants equality of outcome and is willing to give preferential treatment to certain races to achieve it.

There was a brief moment when it looked as if the Civil War might finally have been won. All Americans might finally see each other as fellow citizens. But the Left perversely thinks that some citizens are more equal than other citizens and they have to have rights that most Americans don’t have. Gradually with carefully correct steps the Left has turned Martin Luther King’s dream into a racial nightmare. It did this by refighting the Civil War only this time it was called a Culture war.

As everything with the Left it happened gradually.

Part 5

If a black person had to choose any country in the world in which he wanted to live, which country would he choose? The answer is probably the United States. A case might be made for the UK or another Western European country, but nowhere in the world are black people freer, more successful and wealthier than the United States. One of the reasons why we can so easily answer the question of where a black person would choose to live is that black people do choose to live in the United States. Huge numbers of black people from Africa and the Caribbean want to move to the United States. This indeed is the case with all races.

If the United States had a completely open-door immigration policy how many people from all around the world would choose to live there? The numbers of people from all countries and all races would be quite overwhelming. This is likewise the case with countries like Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the UK and others. How many people on the other hand who live in the United States want to become citizens of an African or Middle Eastern country. How many Americans want to renounce their American citizenship in order to become Chinese or Russian, Iranian or Indian? The answer of course is almost zero.

Those black people who actually do live in the United States have so to speak won the lottery. Out of all the black people living in the world, they are living in a place where more black people would wish to live if they had a chance. Not only this, those black people who do live in the United States under no circumstance would give up their United States citizenship in order to go elsewhere. How many of them would decide to become citizens of Angola, or Mali? Almost none.

It is of course the case that the vast majority of black people in the United States are there because something terrible happened to their ancestors. Slave traders whether black or white forcibly removed these ancestors from Africa. They sailed across the Atlantic in terrible conditions and then were forced for generations to work without any pay and without any freedom. Nevertheless, a black person living in the United States can accurately reflect that the best thing that ever happened to him was that his ancestor was abducted rather than missed. The descendants of Kunta Kinte’s brother remained living in the Gambia and long for the chance to have what the descendants of Kunta Kinte have.

The United States has come a long way since 1860. It has come an even longer way since 1960, but it is as if none of this progress ever happened. In no country in the world do black people have the equality of opportunity that they have in the United States. Black sportsman, film stars and musicians are some of the richest people in the world. There is not a single profession in the United States where black people cannot reach the top. But American is more divided about race than it ever has been before.

The places where you are most likely to meet racial prejudice are those which are least multi-ethnic. Forms of racism and racial slurs are a completely routine part of life in Russia, China and Japan, simply because few Russians, Chinese and Japanese have ever made friends with people from other ethnic backgrounds. Britain is much less racist now than it was before Windrush. Once people from different ethnic backgrounds work together, make friends and marry prejudice becomes unsustainable. 

Prejudice is a feature of humanity. We are tribal. People with similar beliefs and languages formed themselves into communities that eventually became countries. It is not accidental that most of these countries historically were not multi-cultural.

The United States was one of the first countries in the world to try the experiment of bringing together peoples from all over the world. There are now Americans whose ancestors came from every country on earth. Is there prejudice in American? Yes. Is there more prejudice there than elsewhere. No. In fact the United States is one of the only places in the world where people from everywhere for the most part can live free, successful lives where they rarely meet prejudice. Compare and contrast living anywhere else.

A black American may be able to find a similar quality of life and opportunity if he moved to the United Kingdom. He might find a similar lack of prejudice if he moved to Australia or some parts of Europe. But where else could he go and be able to achieve what he can achieve in the United States?

But it is as if none of this matters. Having achieved so much America is more divided now than it ever was.

The least hint of perceived racism has become the unforgivable sin. Anyone who expresses an opinion that does not conform to the Left’s latest edict on race is likely to be condemned by a mob on Twitter. This sort of condemnation frequently has real world consequences. People have lost their jobs because of a slip of the tongue or a mistake, or a dubious joke. In the land of the free it has become dangerous to write seriously about race. In order to think through an issue, it is necessary to think freely to write things that might be controversial. But controversy about race has become dangerous.   The thought police is waiting for any slip. Did you say “colored people” rather than “people of color” did you express the correct view about an aspect of American history. The consequences of getting it wrong can be enormous and life-changing.

If America were so full of prejudice how is it that people from Arabic, Chinese, Japanese and Indian backgrounds have achieved such success. Did they or their ancestors not face prejudice? Irish people were met with prejudice when they first arrived in the United States, but this has not held them back in the long run. Prejudice is due to our humanity.

The greatest temptation is to blame someone else for whatever bad things happen. But this tendency is the reason for failure.

If you tell a child that success depends on his own effort, he will be much more likely to succeed. If you give him an excuse for failure, he will be much more likely to fail. It is easier to embrace the excuse for failure than to succeed.

This is the biggest problem facing America. Some people succeed despite whatever prejudices they meet. Other people use perceived racism as an excuse for failure. It’s not the racism that causes them to fail. Other people met racism but succeed anyway. No, it’s embracing the excuse for failure that causes it.

In this way the obsession with race in the United States acts as vicious circle. Far from helping those who are still on average less successful it reinforces this lack of success. Despite numerous examples including the President of the United States far too many people think that they cannot possibly succeed because of racial prejudice.

But everyone faces obstacles to success. Some people have disabilities, others are from poor backgrounds, others go to bad schools or don’t know anyone who is successful. But nowhere in the world can these obstacles be more easily overcome than in the United States. At no time in history can they be more easily overcome either.

Black lives matter in the same way that any other human beings lives matter. But rather than continually blaming someone else for lack of success or for unjust deaths, look at what you can do to improve the lives of yourself and other people living in America. Blaming someone else whether it is other Americans, including the police, shifts the responsibility away from yourself to the other person. It makes you passive, a victim. Passive victims never succeed and never change anything.

If each black person thought about what he could do to make it less likely that black people would be murdered, there would be less murder. Police kill people because of crime and the fear of crime. They have prejudice about black people in part because of the behaviour of some black people. It’s not straightforwardly racism. After all there is no Chinese lives matter campaign, because Chinese Americans are rarely shot by the police. Why? This is in part owing to the behaviour of Chinese Americans in general. Only when every American takes responsibility for how they each live their lives will there be any chance of overcoming prejudice. If there were fewer gun crimes in America there would be far few instances of the police unjustly killing innocent people. But it’s not merely up to the police to reduce crime, it’s up to all of us.

America was built by individuals taking responsibility for their lives and not blaming the other guy when things went wrong. But the Left requires a victim and it requires an oppressor. It is for this reason that even as America becomes less racist and less sexist it is still always white men who are to blame for everything. As long as this continues then the races and the sexes will continue to battle and never find peace.

Part 6

In which country in the world is it best to be a woman? There are a few candidates, but the United States would be high on the list. Someone might argue that it’s best for a woman to live in New Zealand or Japan or Denmark. But a case could also be made for Britain or Canada. Each of these kinds of places has plusses and minuses.

A baby girl born in the United States has more opportunity than almost any baby girl born anywhere else. A woman in the United States has more rights, more freedom and a better standard of living than almost anyone else anywhere.  Men and women in the vast majority of Africa, Asia and South and Central America frequently prefer to live in the United States than their own countries. The reverse is not the case. How many American women choose to emigrate to Bolivia, Kazakhstan or Chad? Yet far from celebrating their good fortune vast numbers of American women appear to want to spend their lives complaining not only about America, but also about their fellow Americans, those who happened to be born male.

To complain about someone because of a quality they were born with, such as their skin colour is rightly considered to be racist, but to complain about someone because they are born a man is by some strange logic not considered to be sexist. Rather it is considered by many American women to be the opposite of sexism. Only men can be sexist, women are born with an immunity from this most American of diseases.

One of the problems with America is its size. Americans do not need to travel abroad because they are fortunate enough to have been born in a country where there is enough to see to last a life time. They don’t need to learn other languages because they are fortunate enough to have grown up speaking a language everyone else does. America has periodically isolated itself from the conflicts of the rest of the world. It has stood on the side lines when wars begin only to come to the rescue of the circle of covered wagons just in time. America can be prosperous by trading only with itself. Yet America exports itself and its values and expects everywhere to be like itself. American problems and conflicts whether to do with race, sex, homosexuality, or transgender rapidly are expected to be the world’s problems, even in places which are radically different from America and with different population makeups, traditions and religions.

Most of the world is not remotely like America. Most countries are made up of people or peoples who have lived there with little change for thousands of years. America too prior to Columbus was made up of a single indigenous group that had arrived there from Asia many thousands of years ago. This group had divided itself territorially and had fought amongst itself, but it was largely homogenous.

It was mass immigration that brought about the present United States. The original inhabitants of the United States, who are in fact no more native than anyone else, they just migrated somewhat earlier, were destroyed by prejudice, war and disease. North America was settled by the Spanish, the French, the British, the African and the Asian and then by the whole world. It is an almost uniquely heterogenous society.  

While the first few centuries of United States history have been dominated by white people, this has masked how the United States has been changing into a country where white people are becoming a minority.

Just as the history of South Africa for white people was dominated by the story of their colonisation, their conflicts and their rule, so American history is dominated by white presidents, white conflicts whether with the British or with the North and the South and white achievements. But how can a culture created by white people be reconciled with white people being in the minority? Just as black South Africans may reflect that the Boer War and voortrekkers had nothing to do with them, so non-white Americans may reflect that Washington chopping down an apple tree, Chickamauga and Belleau Wood has nothing to with them. The melting pot has held the United States together and the common idea that “we are all Americans”, but if division between races continues and people begin to think of themselves primarily as where they originally came from or by the colour of their skin, then what actually is holding the United States together? Wealth? What is to stop nationalism once more questioning whether the United States is one nation indivisible? This is the biggest danger of identity politics.

American history is dominated by mass migration. But until very recently in history everyone was expected to think of themselves first and foremost as an American. Mass migration has worked remarkably well for the United States. It has become in many respects the greatest country in the world. The most free, the most democratic, but it is in danger of becoming the most divided. Mass migration combined with identity politics is explosive. Moreover, the Left in America demand not merely that America should continue to have mass migration, they demand that everyone else has it too and that everyone else has America’s identity politics. So not merely is the Left in America importing something explosive, they are exporting it too.

Until 1945 Europe was almost exclusively homogenous. The percentage of British people, French people and German people who could not trace their ancestry back a thousand years to the exact same country where they themselves were born was tiny. This is not unusual. The same situation obtains in most of Africa and much of Asia. Japan, Korea and the Congo are almost completely full of people whose families have lived there for centuries.

The Left both in the United States and Western Europe has set about changing this situation. Much of Western Europe embraced American mass migration, but we also began to embrace American identity politics. While some European countries were able to develop their own melting pot many migrants refused to be melted and were encouraged by the idea of multiculturalism not to do so. The combination of mass migration, no melting pot and multiculturism with identity politics is such that finding common ground, common humanity is becoming ever harder, not merely in America but in Western Europe and Australia and New Zealand. Carried on long enough what will hold any of these places together?

Meanwhile certain countries look on at the experiment that the West is conducting and choose not to get involved. Eastern European countries are almost exclusively homogenous. Nearly everyone living in Poland is a Pole. Nearly everyone living in a Japan is Japanese. These places do not think of nationality as we do. Here anyone can be British, it doesn’t matter where your parents come from or even the language you speak. You can become British. You can’t become Polish and you can’t become Japanese. You might be able to get a Polish passport, you might under very rare circumstances even be able to get a Japanese passport, but Poles won’t think of you as Polish unless your parents were Poles and you have a long line of Polish ancestors stretching back to when Poland began. The same goes for many Arab countries. Arab migrants cannot become Kuwaiti or Saudi let alone people from the Philippines.

Western Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are expected by the Left to accept anyone from everywhere give them citizenship and accept them as exactly the same as people who have been living in these countries for centuries, but it is all one-way traffic. We rightly look to our shared humanity, but at the same time undermine what we share by emphasising difference in nationality and race. The real divide in the world is between those few countries who will accept anyone. These countries are called racist. The other countries will accept almost no-one. These countries are called non-racist.

But while people can be divided by race and by nationality, while we can live separately in the United States or Saudi Arabia, what we cannot do is live separately from men or from women. The division created by feminism is perhaps the most dangerous of all.

Part 7

American women are amongst the freest, wealthiest and healthiest in history. They live longer on average than anyone else in the world including American men. There is hardly a job they are not allowed to do. American women have reached the top in almost every profession and it is 100% certain that in the next twenty years or so there will be a woman president.

In Western Europe there is the same story of women gaining rights and responsibilities that our grandmothers could not have dreamed of. More women study at university than men. Girls most frequently do better at school than boys. It is possible, though sometimes difficult, for women to both have children and a career. While women can take a year off work to have a child, men cannot take a year off to do what they want or need to do. Women still frequently retire earlier and live longer than men do. Divorce laws tend to favour wives rather than husbands. Medicine tends to focus on women’s health even though we live longer. Yet still we complain. Try living anywhere else.

Feminists complain about a patriarchy that barely exists in the West, while ignoring the fact that women who live in parts of Africa and the Middle East have far fewer rights than we do. The real battle for women’s rights is not in America, Britain and New Zealand. It’s in Saudi Arabia and Chad. Women in the West in general can wear what we want. We can walk around in public wearing almost nothing or alternatively we can cover ourselves from head to toe in black. We can do almost any job we please, we can have sex with who we want and if we become pregnant, we can with some limitations decide not to have the baby. We can vote and we can demonstrate. There are important women writers and journalists. Universities are absolutely full of feminists who argue continually for ever more rights for women. These things exist nowhere except in the West.

When I first went to Russia it felt like I had entered a time machine. It was like going back to Britain in the forties or fifties. Men and women had clearly defined roles. The way the sexes interacted was like something out of Jane Austen. There had been no sixties sexual revolution and feminism barely existed. Women ran the home, while men did absolutely nothing inside, but were expected to fix everything outside. Much of Eastern Europe still follows this model. Yet feminists in America and Britain complain about our lot. Have they travelled anywhere?

Women in Russia have fewer rights than American women. They are expected to fit into certain roles. Sexism is commonplace. Many men still think that it is legitimate to use their strength to subdue the women in their lives. Yet men and women get on far better in Russia than in America.

Having achieved equality of opportunity and to a large extent equality of outcome, American feminists continued the battle, but the battleground changed from the public to the private. Mistrust entered into the relationship between American men and women. This was the endpoint of the sexual revolution.

Until 1960 women had to be careful about sex. To have a baby without a husband was dangerous. This is a story that goes back to when time began. The nature of human beings is such that women spend a long time being pregnant and have to devote a long time to child care. A human infant is helpless for years.

It is for this reason that human beings developed ideas such as marriage. There was a deal between most men and most women. If you want to have sex with me you first have to make a commitment that you will stay with me and look after me. Male desire was regulated by a social contract enforced by society. If a man got a woman pregnant, he was frequently expected to marry her. Society disapproved of women who got pregnant outside marriage because the burden of looking after the children fell on society rather than a husband. For thousands of years this social contract existed. It did so in the West until around the mid-1960s. It still exists everywhere else that hasn’t yet been infected by the American disease.

If we look at courtship in American films and fiction prior to the 1960s it is most commonly assumed that sex takes place inside marriage. There are exceptions, but popular culture discouraged sexual relations prior to marriage.

A woman prior to 1960 would very rarely indeed go back to a man’s room at university and certainly not having just met him and having got drunk.  There was no such thing as date rape prior to 1960, because people on dates and certainly not on first dates, didn’t go back to each other’s rooms and didn’t usually sleep with each other.

Throughout human history rape has been a crime of violence. A man broke the social contract by instead of having sex with a woman who had consented to be his wife, having it with someone he simply desired without her consent. It was assumed that this crime took place by means of a man using his strength to force a woman to have sex against her will. There was nearly always evidence that a crime had taken place simply because of this force.

Prior to the 1960s if a woman had said I went willingly to a man’s bedroom, got into bed with him, took off all my clothes and engaged in foreplay, but then he raped me, there would rarely if ever have been a conviction. Firstly, because there would have rarely been evidence of a crime and secondly because both the man and the woman would have been acting outside the social contract.

For the first time in human history the 1960s changed everything about human sexuality. Instead of being something that usually happened within marriage and which usually gave rise to children, sex became recreation. Prior to the 1960s both men and women knew that every time they had sex there might be a baby. There were methods of contraception, but they were either unpleasant or they were unreliable.

Suddenly with the sexual revolution both men and women could engage in what they thought was risk free sex. But while one risk (having a baby) had been eliminated or mitigated by effective contraception and easily obtained abortion another risk undreamt of in human history was waiting to be discovered.

Male desire was no longer regulated by a social contract. From the 1960s onwards men could relatively easily obtain sex. If they went on a few dates they would expect to sleep with their girlfriend. Gradually the situation developed to the extent that it became completely normal for men and women who had just met to go back to each other’s bedrooms. Sex before marriage became the norm. The percentage of husbands and wives who were both virgins on their wedding day became tiny, whereas it had been completely normal one hundred years earlier.

The sexual revolution went further and further. Whereas in the 1970s and 1980s it was common for boyfriends and girlfriends to have sex, most people were not especially promiscuous. Few women would sleep with someone they had just met. Sex was still something that happened within a relationship. With the growth of the Internet and with the ease of meeting people for dates simply by using a mobile phone or dating site, it became more and more common for men and women to have multiple partners and to sleep with people they had just met.

Clearly there was a new social contract. A man and a woman could now swipe, meet and be in bed within the course of a few hours. No one disapproved and there was minimal risk of pregnancy.

But the risk was this. If next day the woman went to the police and said she had been raped, the man might go to jail for many years.

Women know that men desire sex. We have always been the gate keepers. Any reasonably attractive young woman can go to a bar and find a man willing to sleep with her immediately. In the modern world men have come to believe that they can do this without consequences. This after all was the whole point of the sexual revolution. Free love. But it turned out not to be free.

Feminism now demands that any woman can sleep with who she wants when she wants without any consequences for her, but that at any moment, even years later and without any other evidence, she can complain to the police that she was raped and that the courts will believe her.

But if this is the social contract that now obtains, it is an attack on men and the very nature of men. Men desire women, they want to have sex with young, beautiful women. Well a young beautiful woman can go into a bar and like a siren draw any man she chooses onto the reef. She can take revenge on any man she can attract into her bed and any ex-boyfriend or indeed any husband.

Whereas rape was once a crime of violence, with visible signs of the attack, feminists now think it is something that can happen in the bedroom in such a way that men don’t even know they have done something wrong until the police knock on the door next day.

If the woman was drunk the man may be accused of a crime of violence even though he used no violence. She may have been begging him for sex, but because she was drunk, she didn’t consent and the man goes to jail. But a sober woman who encourages a drunk man to have sex can’t be charged with rape, even if the man later cannot remember what he did and regrets that he slept with her. This is not a social contract, it’s one-way traffic.

The law cannot prove what goes on in the privacy of the bedroom. There is no evidence other than the testimony of the two people involved. But feminists don’t want to be equal any more, they want the testimony of woman to count for more than the testimony of men. They want to be superior. They want us to be beings who never lie and must always be believed.

We have reached a situation where every man risks going to jail every time he sleeps with a woman even with his wife. If a couple get drunk on their wedding night, the woman can say she was raped. The battle of the sexes has entered the bedroom and the private lives of all of us, but one side has tanks and the other side has spears.

The only rational thing for men to do is to go on a sex strike like in Aristophanes' Lysistrata. Men have become the pre 1960s woman. It is now men who face risk from having sex. Women face no risk at all. We are unlikely to get pregnant. Our reputation is safe now. What if men became the gatekeepers? What if men became reluctant to have sex and women had to court them so that we could have babies. But this would be to reverse human nature and the likely result would be that neither men nor women would have babies. The birth rate in the West is low enough a male sex strike would lower it even further. We need a new social contract for the bedroom, because feminism is quite barren.

Part 8

Metoo follows the same pattern of all left wing thinking. Having won acceptance on one point it always wants to go further. No concession is ever enough. The concept of date rape would have been considered absurd by our grandmothers. They just wouldn’t have got themselves into the situation where any such behaviour could occur from either side. But having won acceptance that there was such a thing as date rape, having got the judiciary in many Western countries to prosecute men simply because the person they thought wanted sex was too drunk or later changed her mind, feminism banked its victory and looked for new targets to attack. As always, the target was the other half of humanity.

Remember the scene where Atticus Finch protects the jail against the mob who wants to lynch his client. The mob now shouts Metoo and as one person shouts it others join in until the mob is far larger than the one Mr Finch had to defend against. None of the mob except perhaps one person who began the shout knows what happened, but even that person can’t prove it. This is why she is resorting to the mob for justice. Shockingly the tactics works. How many men have been lynched by the Metoo mob without any trial, without any evidence and without any conviction? Yet their lives have been ruined, their jobs lost, simply because someone cried Metoo and made accusations that neither side could prove or disprove.

In any other crime except, rape, sexual assault and child abuse the police require objective evidence before they even begin an investigation. In no other crime can someone come forward out of the blue and years later to accuse another person of a crime that may lead to them spending years in jail and provide no evidence whatsoever beyond their testimony. This method of determining whether crimes have taken place may lead to some rapists, perpetrators of sexual assault and child abusers going to jail. But it is bound to lead to lots of innocent people going to jail too. No doubt lynching also executed some who were guilty, but it treated the innocent and the guilty alike and the mob become judge, jury and executioner.

There has been a casting couch in Hollywood since Hollywood began. But there has been a metaphorical casting couch since men and women first began interacting. Most men are attracted to young, fit, beautiful women. There are good evolutionary reasons for this. If sex is unavailable to men, they are frequently willing to pay for it. There were brothels in Flanders in 1914, but there weren’t brothels back in Blighty for the women who had been left on their own. Men have usually in history been keener to have sex than women. It is men who have been expected to initiate courtship. Women have been expected to show reluctance.

These things are not accidental. They are wired into our natures as men and women. For almost the whole of human history sex has been risk free for men, but risky for women. In the past a woman who found herself accidentally pregnant would find herself condemned by society and left in an extremely difficult financial position. Women did their best to avoid the situation where they had a child without a husband. But women also knew that their best chance of having a happy successful life was if their husband was successful. For much of human history women simply couldn’t have careers of their own. They were too busy having children instead. What mattered therefore was that a woman picked a husband who would provide her with happiness and success.

It is for this reason also that traditionally women have been willing to marry men who were older. A twenty-year-old woman might choose a man who was thirty, forty or even fifty because he could still provide her with children and he could provide her with the security, safety and success that she simply could not obtain on her own. This is the casting couch.

Women throughout human history have been willing to trade sex, love and marriage for security and success. There is a transaction going on. Just as men have been willing to pay for sex, because it’s something they cannot obtain for free, so too women have been willing to sell. Sometimes this transaction happens in a crude brief encounter. But most often it occurs when a man demonstrates to a woman that he can afford to buy her a house, two holidays a year and security for her children.

Of course, there is such a thing as love. But let’s at least try to be honest about human nature. Rich footballers find it easy to marry young beautiful women. Poor footballers find it rather harder. Rich male actors in their forties and fifties in Hollywood find it easy to go out with young beautiful models in their twenties. Ugly fifty-year-old men struggling to make a living do not have this opportunity. Why? Is it because they are not lovable?

Young beautiful women have a commodity that men want, and they know it. They also know that it won’t last. They can use their youth and beauty to gain a husband. A young woman can become wealthy simply by saying Yes and young man can rarely do this. Instead he has to earn his wealth by working. Of course, women can become wealthy by means of a job too, but not all women have the ability to do so. It is for this reason that it is rational for a beautiful young woman of average intelligence to want to marry a rich footballer. The alternative is to remain poor and work in a sausage factory.

Joan Crawford apparently used the casting couch to get a start in Hollywood. Perhaps she did, perhaps she didn’t. She could have used her youth and beauty instead to have caught a husband, but in that case,  she would have remained relatively poor and obscure. Instead she became a major star, famous and very wealthy indeed. Did she regret what had happened, if indeed it happened. Who knows, but she didn’t cry Metoo. She made a bargain. Just as all of us have made bargains throughout human history.

Metoo began when certain Hollywood actresses began to complain about what had happened in private between themselves and Harvey Weinstein. Did Harvey Weinstein have a casting couch? It appears likely that he did. Did he use it to sleep with young beautiful women who otherwise wouldn’t have given him the time of day? Yes. Were these women consciously making a bargain? Almost certainly. They were trading success for sex. This is sleazy, but the sleaze is on both sides of the bargain. Did Weinstein use physical force to compel young women to visit him in private? Each of Weinstein’s visitors could have turned down the invitation. It might have cost them a role in a film, but so what? Most of us never get to act in films. Did Weinstein use force with those women who willingly accepted his invites? Who knows, but I am unaware of any Hollywood actress who went immediately from a visit with Weinstein to the police in order to show the signs of his violence.

What we have here is a simple case of young women selling sex for success and then regretting it, or sometimes not even regretting the success, nor indeed the sex, but just joining the mob because the Meetoo mob itself brings with it success.

A once young and beautiful actress who had an encounter with Weinstein may find twenty years later that her career isn’t going anywhere. Roles for middle aged, ugly actresses dwindle. What better than to reinvent oneself as a campaigner for social justice and feminism. Suddenly there is a new role, even new roles.

Men and women have different human natures especially with regard to sex. We cannot change this. We also cannot change that sexual relations invariably happen in private between two people. Throughout human history promiscuity has been frowned upon. But since the 1960s we have decided that we know better than the whole of human history. But how are we to police what goes on in private in a world where strangers meet and have sex and where no one frowns upon almost any consensual sexual activity.

Sex above all else requires trust. If trust breaks down between men and women there will be no humanity. But how can men trust women if at any time and years later with no evidence whatsoever they can be accused of assault or rape. How can there be trust if it’s not merely one women who accuses them but hundreds, thousands and sometimes millions who have no idea what took place but are willing to side with the accuser simply because she is a woman and women never lie.

Sex, love and marriage involves a transaction. It always has, it always will. Men get something they want, and women get something they want. Neither can obtain it on their own. Women can attract men into a situation where the man can be investigated for a serious crime just because the woman says she didn’t consent. The man can’t do the reverse.

Young women appear to think that they can sleep with whomsoever they meet whether drunk or sober enjoy the experience on nine occasions but on the tenth send the man to jail and ruin his life. They expect to be able to do this without any evidence other than the fact that they say it and they expect the whole of womankind to back them. This is what Meetoo means. It’s a lynch mob. In a promiscuous world where anyone can sleep with anyone on a whim, it will lead to injustice and it will eventually divide humanity in half. Because this is not the end point. Where next for feminism? How next will it try to police what happens in our bedrooms? Will there be two classes of human beings. Those which always lie and those which never lie? Will this be known as equality?

Part 9

For nearly all of human history there have been some points that have been fixed. These are the foundations stones of society. Society begins with the family. It begins with a man and a woman deciding to be together and having children. When lots of men and women do this, we have a village, when more still we have a town and when enough families decide to live together and form a common purpose we have a country. Without men and women deciding to be together to form a family we would have nothing.

Throughout human history in almost all cases and almost without exception whether someone is a man or a woman a boy or a girl has been something objective and determined at birth. In no primitive society is there a debate about who is a woman and who is a man. There is no doubt about what is a girl and what is a boy. There may be a very few individuals who are born in an indeterminate sex. There are homosexuals and there are people who like to dress up as the opposite sex. There have throughout history been eunuchs. But for the vast majority of people throughout history sex is something fixed and unchangeable.

This is still the case in most countries. If you go anywhere outside those few places that follow the rules laid down by American academics it is still the case that everybody thinks as they always have.

Hardly anyone who hasn’t followed and obeyed Left wing orthodoxy thinks that there is a valid distinction between sex and gender. Boy/girl, male/female, man/woman describe the same difference and this difference is determined in the same way. To suppose that someone can be a boy, but female is to misunderstand the words “boy” and “female”.

Imagine learning a foreign language and pointing to a person in a dress and saying he’s a man. The teacher would quietly correct, no, she’s a woman. This is how we all learned our own language. We determine the usage of words by objective visible characteristics.

It is because men and women are the foundation blocks of society that most languages use gender. English is one of the few languages I know that has relatively few instances where words are changed according to whether they describe men or women.

Everyone who did French at school knows that words are divided into “Le” words and “La” words, but some languages are inflected by gender even more than this.

In Russian every word and every pronoun is either masculine, feminine neuter or plural. There are six main grammatical cases that apply to each word and each pronoun with a few extras cases that are sometimes used. If you multiply 6 cases by 4 you get 24 variants. There are patterns of course, but for a foreigner it is literally a nightmare to discover the multitude of ways of saying a simple word like he, hers, this, that, it.  The word “one” can be said 24 ways in Russian. It can be plural. “One” is plural when it describes a watch in Russian, because watch is plural.

The idea that Russian could be made gender neutral or that anyone could change their pronouns is simply preposterous. It’s hard enough dealing with three genders. If everyone was able to simply add a new pronoun “ze” “xe” etc., everyone else would be baffled and unable to speak. How would ze decline? What would the accusative of ze be? If A Russian said he wanted to be known as she I could manage, but if he wanted to be known as xe or ze I wouldn’t know how to form sentences.

Language is collective, not private. We determine the meaning of words and the grammar that joins them together as a group. No individual can on his own change grammar without causing chaos.

The American Left has taken an unusual feature of English, the fact that it has relatively little gender inflection and used this to not merely try to eradicate gender in English, but also to make it supposedly possible for everyone to change their pronouns at will. The ignorance of this is that while it is just about possible to make English gender neutral and just about possible in English to make up pronouns, this is only because gender is relatively unimportant in English. Chairman can be made gender neutral in English, but it can’t be made gender neutral in French without wrecking French grammar. Still less can it be made gender neutral in Russian. We could probably manage in English to call someone ze, though we might have to think sometimes, because there are so few possible grammatical variants in English. It’s either he, him, his or himself. It would be possible to say ze, zim, zis and zimself. But it would hardly be possible to do this in Russian where there are a multitude of variants and where gender is determined not merely by whether a man or a woman is speaking but also by how each word ends. To imagine a world where everyone can call themselves what they like is to imagine Humpty Dumpty saying words mean what I want them to mean. It would leave us all unable to speak.

I don’t believe that it is possible for a human being to change gender. I think that it is something determined objectively by biology and known at birth. I also don’t think that a cow can become a bull. If you cut off the penis of a bull and give it fake udders, it doesn’t become a cow, because it can’t do what a cow does. It can’t have calves and it can’t produce milk. The same goes for human beings. A woman is essentially a human being who can give birth to children. Men and women are similar in many respects, but we are different in this respect. A man is essentially a human being who can father children. A woman could not do this on her own or with another woman. It is for this reason that marriage was developed as something that involved a man and woman. Because only men and women together could create children. It is this fundamental building block of society that the Left wants to overthrow first by opening marriage up to everybody and then by arguing that anyone at any time can simply decide that they are either a man or a woman.

When you have overthrown society you can begin to create socialism. The Soviets tried to get rid of families, because they knew that the family would always be an obstacle to socialism. We care more for our husbands and children than we care for the state. The Soviets never could break the family bond, though they tried. This is the battle the modern Left wants now to win.

Transgender was a non-issue until recently. Some very few people found that they were unhappy being men or women and decided to change sex. The rest of us may have been rather bemused but we were sympathetic. If I had met such a person, I would have called him or her whatever they pleased. I would have said “he” even if I thought she was still she and vice versa. I would have done so out of politeness. It doesn’t much bother me if some people decide they want to have sex change surgery. It doesn’t affect me.

But my politeness wouldn’t chance my view of the reality, for the idea of transgender is intellectually incoherent. If you think that gender is a matter of how you subjectively feel why should it matter that you dress as a man or a woman or have the bodily characteristics of a man or a woman? Either you think gender is subjective, in which case body and clothes don’t matter at all, what matters is how you feel, or you think gender is objective in which case how do you suppose changing body or clothes can ever amount to a change of gender? Transgender theory assumes that gender is both objective, otherwise surgery is pointless, and subjective because the objective nature of the bodies we are born with does not determine our gender.  The whole theory is therefore founded on a contradiction. If you think that being a woman is a matter of how you feel, why not feel that way without cutting anything off? If on the other hand it is a matter of what is objectively between your legs (and if it isn't why do you want surgery?), how can it be a matter of how you subjectively feel? These sorts of contradictions were fine so long as this sort of illogical thinking involved only those few individuals who chose to go down this route. The rest of us could safely be bemused. But not any longer.

But rather than leave this situation alone, the Left decided to weaponize trans. Suddenly we all had to give up our understanding of ordinary words like “man” and “woman”. Suddenly we were all supposed to think that a boy could be female a woman could be male. We were all supposed to agree that a man could give birth to a child and that a woman could have a penis. We were supposed to cheer as a man changed into a woman and then competed in international sport in a competition where everyone else had been born a woman. We were supposed not to notice that “she” had the physique of a man and many of the advantages of a man. We were all supposed to accept that “women” with the physique of men could come into women’s toilets and that they could go to a woman’s prison and they could live in a woman’s refuge shelter. We were supposed to not care when male and female toilets, which benefited both sexes were abolished. We were supposed to not care when our children were told they could be one of a hundred genders and they could choose to be whatever sex they wanted. We were supposed to go along with it when they were pumped full of hormones and when they had irreversible surgery that meant they could never have children. A niche issue that affected none of us began to affect all of us.

The modern Left’s message spreads usually from American universities. Ideas that seem completely mad, like safe-spaces, trigger warnings, cross the Atlantic and arrive in Britain and the other English-speaking countries quickly. It doesn’t matter how crazy these ideas first seem, two or three years later they go mainstream. But not everywhere. It is an English-speaking disease.

Eastern Europeans look on bemused as Western liberals argue for mass immigration from the third world, that men can become women and that homosexuals can marry. Eastern European women are rarely interested in feminism and most commonly are quite happy for the distinctions that have always existed between men and women to continue. They expect to be treated as women by men and they like it.

In China and Japan, they want the vast majority of people who live there to be Chinese and Japanese. This is the case everywhere except English speaking countries and Western Europe. These places have not been infected by the American disease that spreads by means of English. They look on us as in decline and decadent.

In no other continent except Europe do people think it’s a good idea for very dissimilar countries to form a group which is ruled from the centre and which has the goal of creating a new nation state. The Japanese don’t want this. The Australians don’t want it. The Canadians don’t want it. But many of these same people, criticise Britain for not wanting it either. The Americans would not allow a supreme court that was higher than their own. They would not allow a Parliament other than their own which could overrule Congress. Yet they think Britain must Remain.

The American disease spreads most quickly to English speaking countries and to a lesser extent to Western European countries. Everywhere else rape is a crime of violence to be investigated objectively. Evidence is required. A Russian man cannot be charged with sexual assault merely because a woman said he touched her twenty or thirty years ago. A Russian woman student who sleeps with nine men and then says she was raped by the tenth although she has no evidence of this beyond her testimony, will not gain a conviction. The police won’t even investigate. This is the same everywhere except those few countries infected by the American disease. Men and women are happier in those countries too. They look on us as immoral, promiscuous and bizarre.

Where next for the Left. We have reached the stage where we are told to say that black is white, a man is a woman. Ordinary words like "marriage" have been changed. The bedroom has become a place which men should fear.

None of this was imaginable fifty years ago. In 1960 most people still went to Church in Britain. They believed more or less the same things as their ancestors had believed for centuries. The idea that men could marry would have been considered ludicrous. The idea that little boys could become little girls would have been considered bizarre if not perverted.

What new unimaginable things does the Left have in store for us. Are they going to demand that polygamy be legalised? Are they going to demand that transwomen be given surgery so they can have babies? Are they going to demand that countries and borders be abolished? Who knows what they will dream up next? The Left needs to destroy everything so as to create socialism from the rubble. It needs to destroy what the Soviet Union could not destroy, what the Chinese Cultural Revolution left standing, otherwise socialism will fail here as it failed there.

But as the Left works its magic, we are becoming ever more divided. Most people pretend to go along with the latest left-wing edict about race, sex, gender, multiculturalism and homosexuality, because we want to live a quiet life.  The consequences of failing to obey can be that we are denounced, arrested and that we lose our jobs. But there is a tipping point. When enough of our children are taught things that we think are crazy and harmful, we will no longer obey. When enough of our sons are sent to prison because their girlfriends were drunk, we will protest. When enough men dressed up as women enter women only spaces we will rebel.

The first step is to write honestly, openly and fearlessly. We must use argument and we must use truth. We must show the Left that they are the minority. When we do that, we will be free again and we shall also be cured. There will no longer be anything to be afraid of.   This is the only cure when infected with the American disease. The First Amendment kills all known leftish germs stone dead, just like Domestos. The American disease therefore has an all-American antidote.