Saturday 9 March 2024

This battle is not about gender it is about everything


I grew up thinking that the world would be forever divided between Communism and Capitalism, the West, and the East, for which reason the end of the Cold War with the complete intellectual defeat of socialism as an ideology came as a surprise. No one foresaw in 1980 that ten years later there would be no Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). It would have been like predicting today that ten years from now there would be no USA. Yet an even greater surprise is that thirty years later it is socialism that is winning and if anything, stronger than it was when the USSR collapsed.

The experiment made by Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s decisively showed that free market thinking can turn a country around from decline to prosperity. Yet perversely the Conservative Party has given up on free market thinking, continues to increase public spending and the size of the state and we are about to elect a Labour government that will do this even more. Britain will continue its postwar economic decline interrupted briefly by a decade or so of Thatcherism as if we hadn’t learned anything from the experiment.

The reason for this surprising turn of events is partly the peculiarly enduring popularity of socialism despite all the evidence from history telling us that it doesn’t work, but more importantly it is that having been defeated decisively with the fall of the Soviet Union, socialism and left-wing thinking decided to reinvent itself by using George Orwell’s 1984 not as a warning, but as a manual.

Socialism failed because of words and because of the human nature that is grounded in those words. People are motivated by self-interest and care more for themselves and their families than either their fellow workers, the state or society. There is no such thing as society as was correctly pointed out. There is only me and my family and perhaps a common identity with those of my tribe. Everyone else are strangers to whom I owe nothing.

It was this that the Left attacked in order to have a chance of remaking human nature from the ground up by changing the meaning of the words we use so as  it hoped to change our way of thinking and thus make socialism possible.

It is one of the faults of the English-speaking world that we are so bad at learning foreign languages.  Only such linguistic ignorance could come up with the idea that we can change pronouns like we change clothes.

English has largely ceased to be inflected by grammatical case and gender. This is one of the reasons why English has spread so widely. French still has Le and La, but this is nothing compared to Polish where knowing the gender of the person we are speaking about and knowing our own gender determines the nature of the nouns, verbs and adjectives we speak.

The nature of the world in which languages developed was such that the most important determinant was whether someone was a man or a woman a boy or a girl. Why else divide the world into Le and La?

It is also because the English-speaking world cannot speak foreign languages that it has such a peculiar view of how we acquire language. We learn by being corrected by other speakers.

How did you learn the word “boy” or “girl” or that you were a boy or a girl? You learned by being corrected. If you called a little girl “a boy” your mother said, “no dear that’ a girl”. If you called yourself a boy when you were really a girl your mother said, “no dear you are not a boy, you are a girl”. It had nothing whatsoever to do with a feeling in your head, because your mother had no access to that feeling in your head.

When I see grass and call it green, no one else knows what I am seeing, but they can still correct me if I call grass red. It doesn’t matter what is going on in my head so long as I call grass green and the sky blue and agree with the language community.

But this isn’t just the case about words like “boy”, “girl”, “green”, “blue”, it is the case about every word. It is this that gives us our shared reality. It is what makes the world objective rather than subjective.

Once you understand this, then you can understand that the concept of basing gender not on something objective and shared, but on something subjective, private and hidden involves an attack on the foundations of human nature, science, rationalism and everything that has followed from the Enlightenment onwards.

It is senseless to say I am not a boy because of a feeling in my head, or the idea that I am in the wrong body, because words are not based on feelings. How would I know what it was to be in the wrong body? A man can no more know what it feels to be a woman, than he can know what it feels like to be anyone else. We only know what it feels like to be me. We have no access to anyone else’s feelings.

To suppose that a boy believes that he is really a girl depends on him having learned the words “boy” and “girl” by objective characteristics, while redefining these words using subjective characteristics. It is senseless and contradictory. If what matters is the feeling in your head, why try to change your body or wear women’s clothes? If what matters is not the feeling in your head, then changing your body or wearing women’s clothes, will change nothing.

If the words “man” and “woman” are based not how people are physically but rather on how they feel subjectively, then logically we can do the same with other words. We thus have the idea that race is a social construct and not truly real, even though it is blindingly obvious to a white visitor to sub-Saharan Africa and to everyone else who lives there that there is such a thing as race, because we can see it.

While destroying race and gender as objective characteristics the Left makes everything about race and gender, because now that these concepts have been made subjective, they can be moulded and gradually used as tools to bring about socialism. White people must be made sufficiently guilty about slavery and race that they redistribute their money to black people.   

Socialism failed because human nature insisted that what is fundamental to us is that we are men and women who have families. But you are never going to get equality let alone equity unless you can reinvent humanity so that these fundamentals cease to be fundamental.

Feminism began the process by attempting to erase all distinctions between men and women, requiring equity and equality of outcome even though it is obvious that men and women are different and the roles they play in families makes equality of outcome impossible. Women have babies. It makes men and women different in every other respect too.

The next development of feminism was transgenderism that required there to be no distinction between men and women such that a man can become a woman and vice versa. Thus, the endpoint of feminism is to abolish women. You cannot say anything meaningful about women either in the present or the past if you can no longer objectively tell who is and who is not a woman. Feminism led to male rapists in women’s prison’s because feminism insisted that there was equity between men and women.

Once there is no longer anything objective, there is nothing left with which we can argue for the truth. If race is a social construct, then so too must nationality in which case there can be no justification for not sharing our resources with the whole of humanity rather than keeping it for our own people and we cannot object to a world without borders and unlimited migration. But if that is the case then families too are a social construct and there can be no justification for caring about myself and my family more than strangers. At this point we have socialism.

Why do you think the Left is so aggressive about race and gender? Why is it trying to police what we can say about these issues to forbid disagreeing with the current orthodoxy? Because this is how it has changed decisive defeat into decisive victory. Thatcherites have become socialists.

The battle between a famous novelist and an obscure newsreader isn’t merely about whom we can use the word “man” about, it is about everything. If words mean what I want them to mean, then we are not so much through the looking glass as in room 101 in 1984 and we lack the intellectual means to even fight back.

The proles still know what a man and a woman is, because we lived in a time before all this, but we are getting older, and the young are preparing a world that burns witches for heresy. When they are our age, I fear they will have that world, because they will be in charge then.

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