Sometimes the news comes bite-sized.
1. Federalism and Freedom.
Currently, we have at least two large states, Texas and Florida, that enjoy strong, effective leadership, while our national government flounders. States like Texas and Florida are plenty big enough to go it on their own, and one wonders how long they will chafe under the yoke of an inept and destructive central government.
And wonder of wonders, net population flow is into those states.
In recent years, the federal government has encroached on its citizens’ rights to an unprecedented degree, and in a way that is particularly hostile to residents of the well-run states. Why should citizens of Florida and Texas—and North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee, South Carolina, and so on—put up with a government that leans on social media companies to limit their freedom of speech? Why should Florida, for example, continue to recognize the authority of the FBI if it deems that agency to be hopelessly corrupt? And why should energy-rich states like Texas, North Dakota and Louisiana allow their economies to be suppressed by an unholy alliance of misguided environmentalists, greedy politicians, Big Wind and Big Solar?
Those are dangerous questions, John. You could be branded an Enemy of the Regime for asking them. Yet they are the questions most pertinent to our current political milieu. The answers are unlikely to please the Washington Establishment.
2. Optimism: Misplaced or Appropriate?
An old gag runs thus:
Optimist: This is the best of all possible worlds!
Pessimist: I’m afraid you’re right about that.
As a general rule of action, I try to expect dismal developments and plan accordingly. It’s been a reliable guide for some decades…roughly from the instant of my birth to this present moment. That can make it hard to remain properly cheerful – and cheerfulness is almost always the most constructive attitude possible. It can be quite a trick to stay positive and pleasant without descending into Panglossian foolishness.
The system’s too powerful! You can’t beat a “big brother” police State! The globalists control all the money and have all the leverage! I’ve heard every reason under the sun why individual liberty will continue to lose out to the rapidly advancing technocratic surveillance structure extinguishing Western freedoms today. I say, “So what?” The bigger they come, the harder they fall.
Our whole human story is a repeating pattern in which power accumulates, empires emerge, power corrupts, divisions grow, and empires come crashing down. Anyone who thinks an international oligarchy of corporate behemoths, central banks, and Intelligence Community spy chiefs will succeed where the Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Carolingian, Byzantine, Ottoman, Yuan, Ming, and British empires all failed makes the mistake of giving today’s power brokers more credit than they deserve. International oligarchies commanding unbeatable militaries and hoarding unparalleled wealth are nothing new. The “unbeatable” are always beaten.
Historically, that is indeed so. All the ancient totalisms have fallen. But remember your Baron Rothschild: “Trees do not grow to the sky.” Trends of any sort are suspect, and the longer a trend has run, the more suspect it becomes.
I know, I know: “The trend is your friend,” as the technical analysts say. And in the short run they’re correct about that. The challenge is accurately predicting when the “short run” will end. There’s an ugly possibility that wasn’t available to the old ruling classes that’s nearing attainability:
“About twenty-two hundred of your years ago, a great geneticist isolated the constellation of genes and alleles that give rise to a brain capable of sentience and rational thought. It was well that she was female and discreet. She immediately conceived of the application to the pacification of our race, and set about assembling a team that would construct a nanite that would unmake the sentience constellation in our male progeny. As soon as they were certain it was effective and safe, they flooded the waters of our world with the devices. Within fifty years, there was virtually no violence among us.”
She glanced back at the door of Vellis’s cell. “My husband is typical of Loioc males. His brain masses to about sixty percent of mine. His ability to communicate is limited to what he can absorb through conditioning: simple sounds and simple gestures. He’s not the sort of companion with whom I could have a conversation such as this.” Efthis smiled. “But he essays no violence. He recognizes females—Loioc females, at least—as his superiors by inborn instinct, and submits to us without hesitation. Now that he’s been conditioned for personal loyalty, he does as I command him, and nothing more.
“We had a few regrets, of course. Society was more dynamic, and more interesting, before we unmade our males’ minds. But the consensus was that a degree of social and economic stasis would be a small price to pay for the elimination of the horrors male aggression had brought us. At any rate, that door is closed forever. The nanites are self-replicating. The waters of our world are saturated with them, and they can never be seined out.”
Althea suppressed her desire to shudder and did her best to smile.
“If you had asked your men whether they would agree to be…pacified that way,” she said pleasantly, “do you think any great number of them would have said yes, do it?”
Efthis shrugged. “Possibly not, but what does it matter? The moral imperative was too obvious to permit any resistance. We had learned all too well what develops when male aggression is permitted to operate unchecked.” She waved an elfin hand. “You would not find a Loioc anywhere below who’s unsatisfied with the arrangement.”
Yes, it’s science fiction. But that doesn’t mean it can’t become reality. Or something with a similarly pacifying effect, such as Aldous Huxley’s soma. Daily advances in the understanding of the human genome aren’t just a pathway to the elimination of such scourges as birth defects and susceptibility to disease. They carry as much danger as opportunity.
Of one thing we may be sure: If it were to become possible, a very large group of persons, confident in their superior wisdom, would say to themselves and to one another that the moral imperative is just as obvious as Efthis deemed it. Be ever mindful – and watchful.
3. Trend Confronts Counter-Trend.
For a few years now the “gender identity” movement has charged forward with little opposition. But that appears to be the case no longer — and those who benefit from the “transition industry” aren’t happy about it:
For years, the LGBTQ+++TM social engineers denied that “detransitioning” — the act of attempting to reverse (often irreversible) medical interventions and social “transitions,” most often performed on children — even existed as a phenomenon.
Stories about detransitioning often include misinformation not only about the prevalence of transition regret, but also about transitioning itself, according to transgender health experts and LGBTQ advocates… coverage that questions the existence of trans identities can be particularly harmful to trans youth, an already vulnerable group that has an alarmingly high rate of attempted suicide.
LGBTQ+++™ “advocacy” group Stonewall outright labeled the “detransition” problem a “myth.”
You see, until very recently, even broaching the “detransition” issue in public discourse was off-limits because it was tantamount to suiciding vulnerable “trans youth,” a rhetorical trick clearly meant to quash any dissent because transing children can’t be defended on its merits in an open debate.
That was 2019, and this is now. The numbers of “detransitioners” have predictably ballooned in the intervening years, and so the corporate media is forced to address the issue in some way.
Understanding the reasons some transgender people quit treatment is key to improving it, especially for the rising number of minors seeking to medically transition, experts say…
Many [transgenders] have said their gender identity remained fluid well after the start of treatment, and a third of them expressed regret about their decision to transition from the gender they were assigned at birth. Some said they avoided telling their doctors about detransitioning out of embarrassment or shame. Others said their doctors were ill-equipped to help them with the process. Most often, they talked about how transitioning did not address their mental health problems…
When someone does detransition, [“transgender” professor of social work Dr Kinnon MacKinnon] say[s], it’s almost never because of regret, but rather, a response to the hardship of living in a society where transphobia still runs rampant.”… “We cannot carry on in this field that involves permanently changing young people’s bodies if we don’t fully understand what we’re doing and learn from those we fail,” said Edwards-Leeper, the clinical psychologist and WPATH member. [emphasis added]
As it happens, there are now quite a few detransitioners, such that they can no longer be ignored or dismissed as victims of “transphobia:”
Gender ideology depends entirely on one question: Is gender dysphoria a legitimate biological disposition, or is it a social contagion?
With a few rare exceptions, almost all of the evidence points to the latter. For example, until very recently, gender dysphoria was considered a rare mental condition that affected mostly young boys. Now, however, 1 in 5 young adolescents say they identify as a gender different than their sex, with young girls making up the majority of those who seek treatment.
More persuasive than this statistical switcheroo are the inconvenient testimonies of detransitioners — those who transitioned to identify as a gender different than their sex only to desist later on. Their stories tear apart gender ideology by rebutting its core argument: that a different identity will make a gender-confused person happier and more fulfilled.
Detransitioners have discovered that the opposite is true: Transitioning never fixed the underlying anxieties they struggled against because those anxieties were never the result of gender confusion. Rather, they stemmed from other mental woes, such as social isolation, body dysmorphia, and even repressed homosexuality . Adopting a new gender identity was simply a Band-Aid solution that made them feel better for a little while, with its new sense of purpose and built-in community, until reality set in and their troubles returned.
I have no doubt that the social contagion – in terms unpleasantly more blunt, the fad — is at the root of most of it, possibly all but a tiny fraction. Minors are easily led…indeed, all the way into their majority. And what’s trendy can seem more imperative than what’s real. But some transitioners are happy with the results, make strenuous efforts to present themselves accordingly, and in the main succeed at looking like what they prefer to be. So there remain at least two important problems.
First is this one: the unwillingness of some to accommodate those who insist on their transitions and are resolved to maintain them. If Smith knows that Jones is biologically male, compelling him to accept the counterfactual reverse is unseemly and wrong. A friend of mine lost his job for saying so in the presence of a couple of Human Resource harridans who were busily proclaiming that he and similarly minded others must “honor their choices.” I’m sure he’s not alone in this tragedy.
Second, and equally important, there is a barrier that must not be crossed out of determination to cleave to the realities. One who presents adequately as male must be taken as male; one who presents adequately as female must be taken as female. Never in our history have we done otherwise, at least in public settings such as restrooms. The suggestion that guards should be posted at the doors to single-sex facilities to “check the hardware” before permitting access is as vile as the notion that a bearded man in a dress be permitted access to a little girls’ locker room.
Is there a gray zone? Of course. But it will become less gray as matters progress. Until then, we must cope as best we can.
The Year of Our Lord 2023 promises to be at least as challenging in many regards as were 2020, 2021, and 2022. It’s important to be braced for unpleasant events, to be prepared to defend oneself, one’s loved ones, and one’s property, and to go about one’s business in an unperturbed fashion as far as that may be possible. And while it’s essential to keep up with the news, it’s also imperative that we not “obsess” about things that are beyond our control. That can ruin any life:
Jubal blinked. “Front!” Anne appeared, dripping. “Remind me,” Jubal told her, “to write an article on the compulsive reading of news. The theme will be that most neuroses can be traced to the unhealthy habit of wallowing in the troubles of five billion strangers. Title is ‘Gossip Unlimited’—no, make that ‘Gossip Gone Wild.’”
Defy the wisdom of the Grand Master of Good Sense at your peril. And do have a nice day.