Max Horkheimer on Critical Theory


Conservatives who bring up neo-Marxist Critical Theory and its influence on the modern Left (of which I’ve written about here and here) are often dismissed as conspiracy theorists. After all, “Marx” is still somewhat a dirty, four-letter word in the mainstream, and progressives big and small convulse at being besmirched by it.

Well, take such filthy language straight from the Horkheimer’s mouth:

Betwixt thine dialectical thighs, Freedom and Justice, the social justice warrior is thus thrust into the world only to despise it and manufacture its overcoming. Who else thrives upon bringing forth the perceived “negative aspects” of this country and the concomitant self-loathing festering in American and Western politics? Critical Theory, criticism solely for the sake of change itself, is their noxious enterprise. Regardless of whether the modern leftist wants to think about it, here was “Daddy” reminiscing about conception.

And yes, you read the subtitles correctly. For Horkheimer, a society that “does not immiserate the workers but helps them to build a better life” is not a good or free one. There’s still workers and property owners, the oppressed and their oppressors and social strata, the very being of which dominates human existence. So let’s criticize and tear down the “superstructure” that prevents us from divining this superlative community about which people like Horkheimer cannot ever seem to articulate a moral standard, let alone a compelling reason, as to why this immanentized future would be superior to the capitalist, poverty-killing, constitutional republic in which we now reside. Sure, it’s not perfect, but there’s very little to suggest — controversial appeals to dialectic aside — what follows would be freer and more virtuous.

On the contrary, the evidence — history has routinely reflected the reality of fallible human nature — indicates that it would become the polar opposite,

Modus Pownens

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Will social justice warriors apologize for their “cultural appropriation”?


* Updated on 4/30 *

Although it requires further effort and explanation, to keep it brief, mainstream social justice ideologies are incoherent. By design, these theories are less interested in truth and internal consistency between its tenets than enacting change. Are most social justice warriors aware of or if cognizant, even care to address these implications, precarious as they undoubtedly are?

Don’t count on it.

Both this incoherence and willful ignorance is perhaps best demonstrated by the use of the concept of “cultural appropriation.” According to “MTV Decoded” host Franchesca Ramsey, “The main problem with cultural appropriation comes from dominant groups ‘borrowing’ from marginalized groups who face oppression or have been stigmatized for their cultural practices throughout history” (00:36 – 00:46). She utilizes the example of cornrows and makes what is a false comparison between blacks being fired or told not to wear these type of hairstyles as a matter of workplace etiquette and white celebrities who are praised for wearing them in the contexts of fashion. Additionally, YouTube personality Kat Blaque opines, “Cultural appropriation can kind of be defined as a sort of taking of different aspects of culture, and in the process, kind of erasing the meaning and the importance of these aspects” (02:40 – 02:51). Both Ramsey and Blaque also intimate as racist the “monetization” of these cultural “aspects”;  both will also be haunted by the specter of their own words.

See, not that I’ve ever taken a course in ethnic studies, but I wager most instructors aren’t too keen on teaching their students who came up with Critical Theory — of which Critical Race Theory is a particular genus — and where this intellectual tradition of “Critique” comes from…

max-horkheimer
Max Horkheimer
adorno
Theodor Adorno
herbert_marcuse_in_newton_massachusetts_1955
Herbert Marcuse

….that’s right — white men! Although there were others, these were the three main guys who believed that philosophy ought to serve as handmaiden for the social liberation of the downtrodden against forms of oppression. Simply put, they conceived of Critical Theory to pursue such an end.

Now if I was a black, Critical Race Theory-espousing professor decrying the injustices of cultural appropriation during lecture and instilling the spirit of black emancipation against white hegemony into my budding activist students, I imagine, if I had any integrity, it would feel a tad bit awkward and self-contradictory to relay the fact that our entire crusade is indebted to whitey.

But if there is one consistent thing about social justice warriors, it’s that they have no integrity. Thus, if confronted with this information the likes of Ramsey and Blaque would probably distance themselves from their intellectual benefactors, responding that as white men, Horkheimer, Adorno, Marcuse, et al. were the privileged of the privileged and truly could not fathom the sort of oppressive systems and structures “people of color” face daily. They’re part of the “dominant” group, so they and their ideas couldn’t be and aren’t subject to cultural appropriation.

Nice try, but I can’t help but find that reply about as useful as a riposte that skewers oneself. Horkheimer, Adorno, Marcuse and their colleagues are not only white but Jews — Jews who lived in Germany during 1920s and 30s. They literally fled their country because of the antisemitism and anticommunism of the Nazis. Therefore, it’s untenable to imply that men who escaped the white supremacist clutches of the Third Reich and otherwise would have been likely victims of the Holocaust, who also pioneered and wrote the first books on “structures of oppression,” overall lacked firsthand knowledge of racial discrimination and were more privileged than Ramsey and Blaque, who get in a tizzy when Kylie Jenner has the gall to wear cornrows or dreads.

In other circumstances I might be inclined to agree that the Kardashians are worse than the Nazis, though methinks what we have here is a rampant case of foot-in-mouth syndrome. Oh, and this gaffe is the gift that keeps on giving. There’s more of their own rope to be hanged upon, more of their own petard by which to be hoisted.

Remember Blaque mentioned that the “taking of different aspects of culture” trivializes their value and meaning? Well, to really understand Critical Theory and the work of Horkheimer, Adorno, Marcuse and at least the first generation of the Frankfurt School, one can’t downplay the roles of the Holocaust, the rise of fascists like the Nazis, mass media, consumer culture and the influences of Marx, Hegel and Freud in their thinking. Yet, there’s little doubt that Ramsey, Blaque and their brethren probably have never heard of the Frankfurt School let alone read the works of its most prolific thinkers. But that hasn’t stopped them from liberally “borrowing” various elements of these men’s work and “in the process, kind of erasing the meaning and the importance of these aspects” within the greater context of their thought and annals of philosophy.

See, social justice warriors are fond about about personal narratives and subjectivity as a legitimate forms of knowledge that supersede objective facts. That’s why the claim, “All lives matter” — the truth of which is uncontroversial — as a response to the proclamation of “Black Lives Matter” is now chastised as racist because it impugns the demagogues’ war cry and their grander project for “change.” Similarly, Horkheimer criticized positivism, metaphysics and other systems of absolute truth or objectivity that emphasized and scrupulously maintained the separation of subject (knower) and object (thing to be known external to the subject). Being the good Hegelian and Marxist that he was, according to him, individuals are embedded in the existential and historical contradictions constituting class struggle — in this sense, collapsing the subject-object distinction — and thereby ought not remove themselves from the suffering experienced therein, as the scientific method mandated even if applied in matters of sociology. Thus, radical emancipation, “change,” again is forestalled.

Between these examples of Horkheimer and the typical college cry-bully, there is an implicit call for empathy and primacy of feeling in rejection of detached rationality that is seen as complicit in social domination. However, Horkheimer relies on Hegel’s understanding of society as an intertwined totality and Marx’s focus on concrete existence to buttress this conclusion. Social justice warriors and their ilk just sort of assume it, the bastards with no awareness of their intellectual parentage that they are.

Of course there is more wanton taking from their forefathers. Progressives are extremely prone to denouncing those who disagree with them as “racist,” “homophobic,” “Islamophobic,” “transphobic” and just basically mentally ill and sociopathic. Horkheimer and Adorno were the first to habitually psychoanalyze and deconstruct the supposed lurking malicious biases behind any opposition in order to dismiss it. Likewise, the notions of “safe spaces,” perceived “right not to be offended” and shutting down of dissenting conservative or otherwise critical voices echoes the one-sided tolerance for the Left that Marcuse argued for in “Repressive Tolerance.”

Furthermore, they like to plagiarize the Marxist slogan of “We have nothing to lose but our chains” and sermonize about “being on the right side of history,” extracting the determinism that characterizes Marxist theory for rhetorical effect. Ramsey and Blaque even riff off of Marxist criticisms of commodification with their reference to capitalization or “monetization” of culture.

Now, I’m not implying they are disciples of Marx; rather, I’m insinuating they are disciples to nothing but their own wills to power. For I’m willing to bet they haven’t a clue what is dialectic, remain completely oblivious to the fact that what they scrutinize in society is what Marx identified as “superstructure” and don’t have the good Left-wing Hegelian sense to reject the entire rotten whole of the white male bourgeoisie culture they’re lambasting, instead often preferring to condemn it piecemeal and by its own socially spawned and accepted terms — in 140 characters or less. Any avowed Marxist at least acknowledges dialectic and is well-versed in these concepts. Most social justice warriors would probably go, “Dia-what?”. At the most flattering, they’re the worst kind of Marxists: unconscious and non-revolutionary.

This isn’t to argue they’re not dangerous or uninfluential because they definitely are, as the recent slew of college administrators and governors who crumble to their moral bluster abundantly illustrate. However, average social justice warriors lack the intellectual firepower and mental acuity to realize that they should go all-in and maintain some semblance of ideological coherence in the service of radical change. Instead of merely flirting with it, embrace the Dark Side of the Force, as it were. Follow the logic embedded in your tirades to its utopian conclusion. Yet, more comfortable and immersed in the status quo than they realize, these creatures of habit, as a matter of course, culturally appropriate singular elements of classical German philosophy and its 20th century offshoots when it suits them rather than jumping completely into the deep end.

Thusly, these self-righteous imbeciles are the ones who show no respect for the brilliant heritage and high culture they rely upon, thereby diminishing it and the men, oppressed or not, who begot it. They strip it from its context and mystify its meaning. Sure, their irreverence isn’t for making a profit; it’s just for enriching themselves in more and more power. They’re afflicted not so much by greed but that other immemorial evil that corrupts souls — megalomania. Terms such as “privilege,” “patriarchy,” “intersectionality,” “cultural appropriation,” “problematic,” “microaggression,” “cultures of oppression,” etc. exist to offer a patina of legitimacy, a veneer of objectivity — or in a phrase from Horkheimer and Adorno — serve as a form of “instrumental reason” to justify their swift bid to remake the world in their image.

Many people like Ramsey and Blaque like Critical Theory but are anything but critical. Not in a full-blooded Marxist sense. Not in an introspective, intellectual sense. They are dilettantes. Charlatans fooled by their own con. Most of their radicalism is imitation. The pretense of revolution is hollow. They court the devil but don’t really believe in him.

However, the Father of Lies is very real, and the hour is drawing late to exorcise his demonic machinations from the West’s embattled core,

Modus Pownens

Rorty on the role of college indoctrinat–I mean education


It’s an old post, but I recently discovered this nugget on Edward Feser’s blog about a unnerving passage attributable to the late American pragmaticist philosopher Richard Rorty and his casual musings monologue (it’s more villainous) on the general schema of college education and his view of himself within it (added emphasis mine):

It seems to me that the regulative idea that we—we…liberals, we heirs of the Enlightenment, we Socratists—most frequently use to criticize the conduct of various conversational partners is that of “needing education in order to outgrow their primitive fear, hatreds, and superstitions.” This is the concept the victorious Allied armies used when they set about re-educating the citizens of occupied Germany and Japan. It is also the one which was used by American schoolteachers who had read Dewey and were concerned to get students to think ‘scientifically’ and ‘rationally’ about such matters as the origin of the species and sexual behavor [sic] (that is, to get them to read Darwin and Freud without disgust and incredulity). It is a concept which I, like most Americans who teach humanities or social science in colleges and universities, invoke when we try to arrange things so that students who enter as bigoted, homophobic, religious fundamentalists will leave college with views more like our own.

What is the relation of this idea to the regulative idea of ‘reason’ which Putnam believes to be transcendent and which Habermas believes to be discoverable within the grammar of concepts ineliminable from our description of the making of assertions? The answer to that question depends upon how much the re-education of Nazis and fundamentalists has to do with merging interpretive horizons and how much with replacing such horizons. The fundamentalist parents of our fundamentalist students think that the entire “American liberal establishment” is engaged in a conspiracy. Had they read Habermas, these people would say that the typical communication situation in American college classrooms is no more herrschaftsfrei [domination free] than that in the Hitler Youth camps.

These parents have a point. Their point is that we liberal teachers no more feel in a symmetrical communication situation when we talk with bigots than do kindergarten teachers talking with their students….When we American college teachers encounter religious fundamentalists, we do not consider the possibility of reformulating our own practices of justification so as to give more weight to the authority of the Christian scriptures. Instead, we do our best to convince these students of the benefits of secularization. We assign first-person accounts of growing up homosexual to our homophobic students for the same reasons that German schoolteachers in the postwar period assigned The Diary of Anne Frank.

Putnam and Habermas can rejoin that we teachers do our best to be Socratic, to get our job of re-education, secularization, and liberalization done by conversational exchange. That is true up to a point, but what about assigning books like Black Boy, The Diary of Anne Frank, and Becoming a Man? The racist or fundamentalist parents of our students say that in a truly democratic society the students should not be forced to read books by such people—black people, Jewish people, homosexual people. They will protest that these books are being jammed down their children’s throats. I cannot see how to reply to this charge without saying something like “There are credentials for admission to our democratic society, credentials which we liberals have been making more stringent by doing our best to excommunicate racists, male chauvinists, homophobes, and the like. You have to be educated in order to be a citizen of our society, a participant in our conversation, someone with whom we can envisage merging our horizons. So we are going to go right on trying to discredit you in the eyes of your children, trying to strip your fundamentalist religious community of dignity, trying to make your views seem silly rather than discussable. We are not so inclusivist as to tolerate intolerance such as yours.”

I have no trouble offering this reply, since I do not claim to make the distinction between education and conversation on the basis of anything except my loyalty to a particular community, a community whose interests required re-educating the Hitler Youth in 1945 and required re-educating the bigoted students of Virginia in 1993. I don’t see anything herrschaftsfrei about my handling of my fundamentalist students. Rather, I think those students are lucky to find themselves under the benevolent Herrschaft of people like me, and to have escaped the grip of their frightening, vicious, dangerous parents. It seems to me that I am just as provincial and contextualist as the Nazi teachers who made their students read Der Stürmer; the only difference is that I serve a better cause. I come from a better province.

Pretty brutal, honest words that cause me to reflect on my time at the academy. I can think of a handful of classes that aimed to cure me of my superstitious filled bigotries. It also causes me to wonder on the introductory philosophy course I took: Why did we skip the Presocratics, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics, Augustine, the Scholastics, more than 2,000 years of Western thought, and instead dive into Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion as the first substantive and maybe one of the few works of philosophy we freshmen and sophomores would ever study? Is it because discussing the existence of God is a provocative topic that might interest a couple hundred millennials with low attention spans, or was it a bias for Hume’s epistemology that’s partial, though superficially, to secularism? Why did we spend only our time on the moderns, the implication being this is when real philosophy started? Is it because everything, prior to Descartes, at least lots of it, to borrow a phrase from Rorty, “give(s) more weight to the authority of the Christian scriptures,” and we can’t have that?

Upon reading Rorty’s confession here, I’m inclined to think my professor’s selection of topics was in part due to the attitude Rorty described, though not so conscious and disdainful. Of course, not all professors whose politics are “liberal” are this unethical, as my college experience also affirms. Yet, I can’t help but think that my peers, myself and generations before have been conditioned to be chronic feelers not critical thinkers, rendered purposefully more susceptible to the sophistry of emotional and psychological manipulation.

I feel compelled to point out how illiberal Rorty’s view of education is and he admits to such. There is no plurarilty of views, no “tolerance” of the rube-headed religious “other,” no inclusivity of those who believe deplorable thoughts, as narrowly defined by the elect. Just “herrshaft.” “Hegemony.” And “der Wille zur Macht” to implement it. On the converse to whatever Horkheimer means by the phrase, “real democracy” has never been engendered by such an outlook on the universe.

Ah, but Rorty’s cause is just because the “benevolent Rorty knows best. He has a proper, pragmatic understanding of things, and as such, it is his duty as an influential member embedded in a cultural institution to convert as many as possible; cull the rest. This is the work that needs to be done. The dissenting “bigots” have no place in the society, the utopia being erected by he and those “enlightened” enough to prophesize its coming.

I’ve quoted it before, but I’ll do it again: “The philosophers have only variously interpreted the world; the point, however, is to change it.” Marx’s pithy statement encapsulates the mantra of the leftist. Rorty was thorough enough to grasp and utilize it.

What number of us have fallen prey to he and his ilk’s applied machinations?

I can’t and won’t dare to say, but too many,

Modus Pownens

Talking Sirius Bizinus: The “intimate relations” of slippery slopes, redefining marriage and the Left


I accidentally published an incomplete draft of this post earlier this month — WordPress is screwy sometimes. While published, that article had already attracted some attention, so I apologize for the mix-up and confusion.


Over at Amusing Nonsense, Sirius Bizinus is periodically providing his analysis of Hodges v. Obergefell, which is in front the Supreme Court. He has allowed me to comment on his posts here. So, when time permits, I’ll try to critique his arguments. My first rejoinder concerns procreation and marriage. In this case, it pertains to slippery slope arguments and redefining marriage.

To be honest, if I had one word to describe my reaction to Sirius’ response here to Justice Alito’s questions about why not recognize other types of relationships such as polyamorous or incestuous ones if same-sex marriage is ratified, it would be naive. Two words: hopelessly naive. And if I was allowed three or more, hopelessly naive and ignorant. This isn’t to claim that Sirius is unintelligent because clearly the opposite is true, as he has earned a graduate degree in law from some university in the Deep South — I can never remember which. But when matters extend beyond his legal pedigree or require more than a lawyer’s take on it, he stumbles. The more I read his blog, the more I become convinced he is oblivious to political and social theory, especially the ones that underlie today’s conservatism and “liberalism,” and how it has influenced past events and movements. I know I’m being a tad harsh, but I can’t help but find his post hastily uncritical and indicative of a self-imposed blind spot. Hence, it beckons for stark exposure, ripped limb from limb, so to speak, as it’s put me in a dismembering sort of mood, but all in good time, dear reader. All in good time.

First, let’s talk about slippery slopes, which are injected regularly into many discussions of same-sex marriage and gay rights. According to definition, a slippery slope argument is reasoning that “asserts that some event must inevitably follow from another without any rational argument or demonstrable mechanism for the inevitability of the event in question. A slippery slope argument states that a relatively small first step leads to a chain of related events culminating in some significant effect”. For instance, I’m sure you’ve seen these infuriatingly fallacious commercials:

Critically, these style of arguments are always invalid, but this does not mean what you probably think it does. Validity refers to argument structure in logic and philosophy; more specifically, for an argument to be valid, if the premisses are true, so must be the conclusion. Validity does not guarantee soundness, however, as the premisses could be false. To better illustrate my point, behold these rudimentary syllogisms:

  1. Socrates is a man
  2. All men are mortal
    Conclusion: Socrates is mortal

or

  1. Socrates is a woman
  2. All women are mortal
    Conclusion: Socrates is mortal

The first argument is sound: It’s valid because the conclusion must follow if the premisses are true, which they are. Moreover, the conclusion is also true. On the contrary, the second argument is unsound: It’s also valid because the conclusion must follow if the premisses are true, but premiss 1 is false; Socrates is not a woman. It’s pivotal to note that the argument still fails even thought the conclusion is true. Furthermore, it’s significant to identify these examples as deductive arguments, which strive to be valid with their conclusions being inexorable as mandated by logical certitude. They’re what’s known as proofs.

Yet, we actually prove very little — colloquially asking for it way too liberally for my tastes. Most of the reasoning people do is inductive in nature, with the submitted conclusions intended as probably true. Of course, these arguments are invalid, but that does not make them poor. Rather, they live or die on how well the conclusion is warranted as likely. As a fallacy, slippery slopes  are either presented as valid or the premisses don’t adequately support the conclusion as plausible.

Now, returning to the question of redefining marriage to include same-sex couples, claiming that if we recognize genderless marriage, then we’ll also legally acknowledge bestiality, polygamy, pederasty, necrophilia, etc. is indeed guilty of “slippery” thinking and overall an incredibly feeble argument. But at the very least, proponents of same-sex marriage are not being charitable if not outright dismissing based on mere caricature the challenge to “marriage equality,” as betrayed by this same slogan. For Justice Alito was not claiming that this “parade of horrors” would occur but on what objective basis would prevent it: Not would but why, as in theoretically or “by what principle,” as Robert P. George seems to like to phrase it.

As such, this is no longer an invalid slippery slope argument. There is no direct attempt at establishing a metaphysical causal chain between states of affairs, as in A will unavoidably lead to G. Rather, in this case, this claim belies deductive, valid reasoning. It’s reductio ad absurdum, which is pretentious Latin for basically taking your interlocutor’s logic to its idiotic conclusion and then thrusting it back against your opponent.

See, although “marriage equality” advocates find it irrelevant that there is a categorical difference between opposite-sex and same-sex couples — the former are innately procreative, while the latter are innately infertile — it means a commonality between the two must be given for them both to be marriage material. Remember, “equality” is what they’re all about. On this account, intense romantic feelings are proffered, but this is as vague as believing in “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. Love, after all, is as amorphous in meaning as in the multitude of shapes it comes in. Limiting the institution to two people surely seems as arbitrary as maintaining it as husband and wife.

Therefore, all those sophistic platitudes for same-sex marriage now can be sallied against the post-gay marriage, two-person status quo of the institution as unfairly discriminatory: Who’s to say single-partnered love is superior to multiple-partner love? Isn’t it “as good as you”? What about the romantic sentiment shared between siblings? Isn’t denying them “marriage equality” not just institutionalized incestophobia? What about the amorous desire a secluded rancher has for his stallion? If inmates can marry, surely a hardworking society-contributing person like he should have the right to marry the object of his affections. Can you say that these the listed hypothetical individuals in these cases are not “born this way”? If we now have multitudes of genders, and Facebook has 56 options, why don’t we have more than two or three sexual orientations? Isn’t it entirely possible that “familials,” “beasties” or some other Orwellian obscurities can be coined and applied to each group as they are shepherded under the LGBT alphabet soup umbrella for political capital, while a concentrated public image campaign via TV, cinema and news is conducted to normalize what was considered abnormal and abhorrent as “just another thing”? I mean, It worked for homosexuality and now transgenderism. Or what about the phenomenon known as singlism? They’re tax-paying individuals whom the state discriminates against by recognizing marriage at all. Truly, the equitable thing would be to abolish the institution. Summarily, there’s just a lot of holes in theory within “marriage equality” that makes it a highly spurious for public policy making.

In short, if marriage has no basis in rigid objective reality, say human sexual complementarity, as it had been grounded in for millennia, then it and its natural fulfillment, family, is purely an expression of subjective whim and preference that’s subject to anyone’s inner proclivities. If you loosen the bonds that define marriage in the spirit of “tolerance,” you must recognize everything and distinguish nothing. If there is one thing both sides agree on, it’s that marriage is distinguished. Why else are we fighting about it? Digression aside, this is just simple deduction and logical entailment. It’s also the sturdiest of justifications for a premiss in an argument becoming less slippery but more sure-handed in its descent to the “parade of horrors” and marriage’s eventual resting place six feet underground. Hence, Sirius cannot be more mistaken, utterly inconsistent and self-contradictory to his greater cause when he asserts, “The bottom line here is that recognizing same-sex unions does not by itself require recognizing other unions, just as recognizing heterosexual unions did not require recognizing all other unions.”

To his merit, though, he does seem to anticipate the strength of the above reasoning after breaking the dam, so to speak, and tries to pragmatically posit an objective bulwark to suppress it until the rush of social consensus, of course, becomes irresistible. He writes:

One could point to trends of excessive force, unequal social status, and other points of reference to show why polygamy should not be recognized (at least as of right now). Furthermore, one can point to all sorts of psychological damage should siblings and other family get married.

One also could point to trends of excessive force (here, here, here), unequal social status — as in an estimated 700,000 same-sex households out of 115,227,000 American households ( ~ 0.6%) that apparently justifies gutting humanity’s first institution as essentially nonprocreative and blood ties between child and parent as optional in the view of the state — and other points of reference (here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here) to show why same-sex relationships should not be recognized (at least as of never). Furthermore, one can point to all sorts of psychological damage children suffer with surrogacy and divorce among other related and correlated factors involved in nontraditional households (here, here, here, here, here).

Ah, but this all is rank bigotry on the level of notorious Bull Connor because, well, HRC, GLAAD and all those well-dressed, good-looking, likeable, eloquent demagogues on the news and in TV and movies and such shout it really, really loudly — so, it must be true! I feel like those who are taken with this rhetoric have an arbitrary double standard here. After all, Sirius’ listed reasons not to acknowledge polygamy and incest would and are outright condemned as prejudicial by his side — including himself, I bet — if nearly exactly applied to same-sex relationships as done above.

I also “feel like I’m taking crazy pills here!” because Sirius and other well-intentioned LGBT allies are also seemingly unaware what other advocates for “marriage equality” pretty candidly admit about this embroiled front in the culture wars, among other related trends. For instance, Jillian Keenan writing for Slate shamelessly transposes the above “bigoted” reasoning as the next step in “marriage equality”:

The definition of marriage is plastic. Just like heterosexual marriage is no better or worse than homosexual marriage, marriage between two consenting adults is not inherently more or less “correct” than marriage among three (or four, or six) consenting adults. Though polygamists are a minority—a tiny minority, in fact—freedom has no value unless it extends to even the smallest and most marginalized groups among us. So let’s fight for marriage equality until it extends to every same-sex couple in the United States—and then let’s keep fighting. We’re not done yet.

Or as George, Ryan T. Anderson and Sherif Girgis cite and observe in their defense of marriage, the Orwellian re-education has already begun with terms like “throuple,” “wedleases” and “monogamish” starting to make their rounds, thereby impugning the conventions of monogamy, exclusivity and permanence within marriage. Dan Savage is a big proponent of “monogamish”ness and resorting to profanity such as “suck my cock!” to those who disagree with him. Yet, for some reason, CNN features him to debate for the LGBT side of things as if he is a knowledgeable, qualified source and is conducive to civil discourse, though his regular polemics show him instead as a detriment to it. New York Magazine has run this Q & A with a man in a monogamous relationship with a mare. Wikipedia actually has an article documenting the cases of “human-animal marriage.”

Note also the sources for these stories come from well-known organizations and not just some lilliputian rag. New York Magazine and the New York Post also frame their subjects sympathetically or at least with a hint of curious optimism. The fact others consider it at all newsworthy, publishable and worthwhile to inject into the marketplace of ideas for the readership to consider, especially coming from allegedly reputable news sources like The Washington Post and CNN, suggest what we conservative conspiracy theorists have always been harping on about: The press at large are heavily predisposed for the Left, and as such, are corrupt and irresponsible when feigning objectivity and moderacy — whether they realize it or not. Likewise, this litany of examples also points that the alleged regression into depravity won’t occur ex post facto of same-sex marriage recognition but that we are well on our way sliding.

Some would contend that this moral decline has been going on for decades, centuries even. Perhaps Nietzsche or more accurately Dostoevsky was right: “If there is no God, everything is permitted.” Assuredly though, if the mainstream press are flirting with these notions that not only sex and gender are irrelevant for marriage or for general courtship but also norms pertaining to exclusivity, permanence, monogamy and keeping it in the species can be discarded, then these ideas must certainly not be too far removed from the public consciousness either. So, it would appear the “bigots” are not merely fear-mongering but are actually being reasonably observant.

The even more observant also notice the disparity between what image media perpetuates about gay rights and what lesser publicized voices and queer theory have to say. They take it straight from the gay activist’s mouth. For starters, the 1989 manifesto After the Ball lays out an extensive game plan to persuade America “to conquer its fear and hatred of gays” via “propaganda” — authors Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen’s word, not mine. Apart from opining that marriage is a patriarchal, sexist institution that ought not exist but suits their designs, here are some highlights:

You can forget about trying right up front to persuade folks that homosexuality is a good thing.  But if you can get them to think it is just another thing–meriting no more than a shrug of the shoulders–then your battle for legal and social rights is virtually won (p. 161).

[…]

Constant talk builds the impression that public opinion is at least divided on the subject and that a sizable bloc — the most modern up-to-date citizens — accept or even practice homosexuality. …. The main thing is to talk about gayness until the issue becomes thoroughly tiresome (pp. 177-178).

[…]

[G]ays can undermine the moral authority of homohating churches over less fervent adherents by portraying such institutions as antiquated backwaters badly out of step with the times and with the latest findings of psychology… [This] has already worked well in America against churches on such topics as divorce and abortion.  With enough open talk about the prevalence and acceptability of homosexuality, that alliance can work for gays. Where we talk is critical . . . In the average American household the TV screen radiates it’s embracing bluish glow for more than 50 hours every week…. These hours are a gateway into the private world of straights, through which a Trojan horse might be passed (p. 179).

[…]

In any campaign to win over the public gays must be portrayed as victims in need of protection so that straights will be inclined by reflex to adopt the role of protector…First the public should be persuaded the gays are victims of circumstance, that they no more chose their sexual orientation than they did say their height, skin color, talents or limitations.  (We argue that, for all practical purposes, gays should be considered to have been born gay– even though sexual orientation, for most humans, seems to be the product of a complex interaction between innate predispositions and environmental factors during childhood and early adolescence.) . . . And since no choice is involved, gayness can be no more blameworthy than straightness.
In order to make a Gay Victim sympathetic to straights, you have to portray him as Everyman.  But an additional theme of the campaign will be more aggressive and upbeat.  To confound bigoted stereotypes and hasten the conversion of straights, strongly favorable images of gays must be set before the public.  The campaign should paint gay men and lesbians as superior — veritable pillars of society (p. 183).
Our primary objective regarding diehard homohaters is to cow and silence them as far as possible (p. 179).

Moreover, listen to Marsha Gassen in 2012:

Anderson further provides several examples here, but I’ll give you some of my favorites:

Anti-equality right-wingers have long insisted that allowing gays to marry will destroy the sanctity of “traditional marriage,” and, of course, the logical, liberal party-line response has long been “No, it won’t.” But what if—for once—the sanctimonious crazies are right? Could the gay male tradition of open relationships actually alter marriage as we know it? And would that be such a bad thing?

We often protest when homophobes insist that same sex marriage will change marriage for straight people too. But in some ways, they’re right (The Advocate).

Michael Signorile strongly advises gay couples to “demand the right to marry not as a way of adhering to society’s moral codes but rather to debunk a myth and radically alter an archaic institution.” They should “fight for same-sex marriage and its benefits and then, once granted, redefine the institution of marriage completely, because the most subversive action lesbians and gay men can undertake…is to transform the notion of ‘family’ entirely.” According to Professor Ellen Willis, “conferring the legitimacy of marriage on homosexual relations will introduce an implicit revolt against the institution into its very heart.” Surely, all this casts doubt on and contradicts the highly publicized and seemingly innocuous meme of “how will allowing gay couples to marry affect you or your marriage?”. They also strongly indicate that HRC, GLAAD and others, whose campaign and tactics uncannily resemble those prescribed in After the Ball, have been far less than truthful to the American people surrounding this issue.

And then again for the Left, truth and civility — those pesky things that help keep a free society free — are not virtues, and altering and doing away with marriage and the family has traditionally been one of its long-held ambitions. Let’s just say, same-sex marriage aligns with or is and has been very much in bed with Marx. According to Paul Kengor, the cranky German mused frequently about “abolishing the family” and how his workers’ revolution would be “the most radical rupture with traditional ideas.” Likewise, Marx’s successors were the academic pioneers to scrutinize and radically challenge Judeo-Christian ideals on sexuality, gender and identity at large. They never conceived of same-sex marriage, but its legal and social affirmation would see them overjoyed. And this all makes sense. After all, under communism, your first loyalty is to the state, the community. The church and the traditional family are competition in this regard and overall impediments to utopia. Why else would the Soviet Union praised Pavlik Morozov as a state hero for betraying his family to the secret police and thus rendered as exemplary for all adolescents? Out with everything that upheld the old order, for the new world, a future free of inequality, awaits.

Additionally, if you look at other well-known authoritarian regimes, you’ll see they have a tendency to blur this distinction between the domestic and the state. We’ve already met Pavlik. Hitler had his infamous youth program. To this day, China’s government limits the number of children couples are permitted to have. In all these cases, the state does not recognize the family as a separate entity, and as such, has and uses the authority to extend its control where we don’t want it: our private home life. Same-sex marriage necessitates that the boundary between family and state is a function of malleable subjective preference and personal whim instead of something fashioned from the timbre of objective reality like biology. In other words, why should government heed me at all when I object to sexual education that explains BDSM to my ninth grader if my relationship to my child is ultimately just another social construct devoid of actual meaning and clear demarcation when there’s “the common good,” as defined by faceless bureaucrats? Why would I endorse public policy that undermines my claim to my kids and their inherent rights to me?

I’ll let you chew on that one for awhile, so let’s once again return to Marx. He also put a lot of stock and faith in change qua change as both a unequivocal and unilateral force for good: “The philosophers have variously interpreted the world; the point, however, is to change it.” And so did Lenin: “What is to be done?”; and so did Trotsky; and so did every good Bolshevik, Stalinist, Maoist, etc., possess unflinching confidence in the future they were deceiving and or murdering to build. The ends justify the means.

So, it’s much to my chagrin when Sirius expresses the following:

What we are looking at is the residual process of trying to normalize marriage across the nation. As people clamor for marriage equality, the uniformity is upset. We must either be okay with having different marriages in different states, or we must come to a new consensus.

That new consensus does not necessarily include people who want to limit marriage to man and wife. Young people overwhelmingly support marriage equality. Even when balancing things out with other voters, in the U.S. support for marriage equality has reached an all time high. As older people give way to newer sensibilities, the consensus will go against people who oppose marriage equality.

At the least, then, both sides need to be careful for what they ask for.
With any social change, there are always going to be arguments that claim the change will go too far. That in and of itself is no surprise, especially in this case. But really nobody is advocating for drastic changes to marriage law. Instead, they’re asking for states to recognize marriages granted in other states. While it raises concerns, the U.S. hasn’t imploded any other time it enacted social change.

Now, of course, he isn’t a communist as in like “Comrade Sirius,” but he does naively echo the Marxist fatalistic and blind adherence for change with little concern for the costs. He’s so self-assured in the righteousness and inevitability of “marriage equality” as a cause that he tends to overlook the harm to American civil health its supporters are doing in service to it. The defamation and slander the gay rights movement have repeatedly used to get to this point is seemingly fine. Sirius also alludes to federalism and an inexorable “new consensus” but is not only ok with unelected judicial fiat overturning the current official and recent consensuses, as established in state constitutional amendments, he seems to welcome it coming sooner rather than arriving later by its alleged natural course. As this sets precedent in judicial activism, it weakens those “laboratories of democracy” of the states in favor of further centralization of power.

In addition, Sirius expresses no qualms over but approval for the zealotry to put First Amendment-inspired negative freedoms of religion, association, speech and conscience in a collision with public accommodation law. I’m referring to Christian wedding bakers, florists and the like. Never mind civil rights and civil liberties are in tension with one another, and each needs to limit the other to some degree to ensure balance. According to Sirius, “Freedom of religion does not trump basic human rights,” which broadly is right. But by “basic human rights,” he means nondiscrimination rights to equal treatment based in statutory law, and that these measures take precedent, in principle, over freedoms of religion, conscience, association and such, as enshrined in the Constitution. This view seems radically backwards, as constitutional rights are more fundamental than ones found in the nondiscrimination statutes for employment and service as enacted by legislatures. What he’s espousing sees the scale tipped heavily against the Bill of Rights. It’s no longer the supreme law of the land but a vassal to progressives’ “tolerant” convictions and “more enlightened” modern anti-discrimination laws. This is hegemony, not equality. Moreover, he’s running contrary here to the driving spirit of many of the first Europeans who immigrated to these shores. Groups like the pilgrims fled the Old World so they could have the liberty to live by their principles in the new one without reproach from the state. Summarily, what good is having my mind if I can’t speak it or act upon its precepts?

Additionally, I feel obligated to point out his faith in the steady march of progress and social change is gravely misplaced. I bet Lenin and the Bolsheviks were equally assured of their impending “new consensus” and the paradise they were forging, except it resulted in miseries for 70 years like gulags, abject poverty and Lubyanka killings. Western Europe faced centuries of disunity and stagnation after Rome was sacked by Alaric and the Goths, and it did not perhaps completely recover until the Carolingians. The French Revolution was done for “liberty, equality, fraternity” but led to Robespierre, the guillotine and eventually Napoleon. The Nazis gave rise to Hitler, the Holocaust and World War II. China’s Cultural Revolution slaughtered an estimated 30 million over a course of a decade. Sure, “the U.S. hasn’t imploded any other time it enacted social change.” It was just torn asunder by the bloodiest conflict in our history due to the growing influence of the abolitionist movement against slavery and the election of Abraham Lincoln. It also wasn’t too long ago that the intelligentsia were fawning about abortion as a foregone conclusion. Roe v. Wade was supposed to be the formal resolution to the issue, period. Yet, now some would contend it’s Sirius and his pro-choice leanings that are on “the wrong side of history.” History, she’s hard to pin down.

Anyway, the frightening thing is that sharp individuals like Sirius fight for “social justice,” a euphemism to mask Leftist objectives, and believe such ends to be somehow latent within or mandated by the Constitution. In fact, what they are advancing is born of an ideology that rejects the classical liberalism of the Founding Fathers. They’re all about equality — cultural, material, social or otherwise — but have little to no appreciation of liberty in any form. You know contemporary American “liberalism” is way askew when they start to have more in common with Marx than Thomas Jefferson, the progenitor of the Democrat party. His belief in freedom of conscience, like not coercing someone to participate in something they deem as sinful, would be and is considered cover for homophobia nowadays. We conservatives, on the other hand, are comfortable with good ole TJ.

We also like our Alexis de Tocqueville and his exultation of American mediating institutions, those lesser forms of human association that act as a barrier “between the individual in his private life and the large institutions of public life.” These include the family, as emboldened by marriage, churches and Christian schools and charities, among many other nonreligious “associations.” “Marriage equality” crusaders and their reliance on the courts to seek government to redefine and exert greater control over the sort of things that are supposed to keep it at bay. They instinctually presuppose the state ought to and is in the business to define and regulate mediating institutions. This is evidenced disconcertingly by fact social justice warriors clamor for its interference or edicts and shout “hallelujah!” at Ireland’s same-sex marriage referendum because it more than anything bestowed social affirmation and dignity. Apparently, validation is not to be had in who we voluntarily associate with, and integrity isn’t implicit within our natures; both are found in Big Brotherly benevolence and or if something gets carved into legal stone. That’s what is really of import. The licit gains, although nice, were ostensibly a smokescreen. Contrarily, the first Americans escaped Europe to be rid of the overbearing hand of big government; a multitude of contemporary ones now search for its embrace and then its fist to punish those who don’t want to be held so tightly. Truly, Thomas Sowell is right, as we don’t see eye to eye. There is a “conflict of visions.”

Enough analysis, though. Let’s finally get a grip on this slippery slope situation. Given that in theory, redefining marriage means making it a union grounded in the vagueness of intense emotional attachment, this entails that other forms of “love” ought to be recognized, lest we keep affairs unequal. Many people on the Left, including plenty of gay activists, not only realize where the logic leads and recognize gay marriage as a revolutionary overhauling of family, they openly crave it. Therefore, I don’t know how it isn’t unadulterated inanity for Sirius to assert, “But really nobody is advocating for drastic changes to marriage law.” Same-sex marriage is a challenging to our very understanding of family and parenthood as they are conceptualized and forged into current law. The legal framework involving divorce, adoption and alternative reproductive technologies will all demand to be amended to accommodate such upheaval.

Moreover, acknowledging same-sex couples as marriage plays a perfect complement to other Leftist goals. There are feminists scholars who argue marriage is an oppressive patriarchal institution that needs to be diminished if not utterly vitiated for women to truly achieve cultural, legal and material parity with men. Or then there is this professor’s ideas about how parents reading bedtime stories and put them into private school is unfair and contributes to inequality. Speaking of family, all these modern ideologies draw much from their Marxist and neo-Marxist parent philosophies, whose innovators again wanted to subvert the natal bonds between mother-father and child, among other traditional values, according to their writings. They’re all monsters descended from the same Marxist Echidna, and all of them are intent on devouring the individual by isolating him or her from the familial associations he or she is naturally born with. After same-sex marriage, destigmatizing polygamy and company can be conceivably applied to further this end. As severe strains of egalitarianism, these worldviews are innately totalitarian, not liberal. It’s not in their progressive nature to desist and be content.

So, yes, there is plenty of theoretical concern for “the parade of horrors,” but beyond pontificating in the abstract, the actual behavior of nonacademic agents suggest that these fears have basis in the real world too. Journalists and other people in mainstream media are beginning again to popularize and normalize what was considered unthinkable for polite society in the same manner they elevated the once taboo notions of homosexuality and transgenderism. Moreover, the mainstream gay rights movement, at large, has shown itself to spew lies that both deny and disguise its readily apparent insatiability, especially of late — “If you like your morality and civil liberties, you can keep your morality and civil liberties.” Right Christian bakers, florists and photographers? And then there’s the body politic of the movement, the social justice warriors, who are more Marxist and therefore totalitarian in their tendencies and views on equality, liberty and the state than liberal in any robust sense. Domesticity and human worth is grounded in the state are a couple telling examples of their mindset. Moreover, they are the lifeblood of this cause, and they really believe it to be their own and the next front in the inexhaustible war for civil rights. They won’t stop and will swarm the enemy (the social conservative) like killer bees, the good drones that they are, cued by collaborative media for whatever becomes the next stop for the social justice parade.

Consequentially, there is ample evidence and warning that this saga is far from over. It is not at all unreasonable to predict a coming lapse into that ugly (polygamy, incest, etc.) and horrible (further marginalization from those with traditional values from polite public society) parade, though it’s nigh impossible to know how long it will take. The hive is just too frenzied and preoccupied to notice, believe or care about what’s been briskly detailed above. When it comes to “marriage equality,” most of its members only smell blood and pheromones.

Blood and pheromones,

Modus Pownens

Why I like “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”


To show that I’m not just a philosophical and theological stick in the mud, devoid of pop culture savvy, I’m going to do something a little new in this post. With The Avengers: Age of Ultron released Thursday, I thought I would take the time to come out and say that I am thoroughly a fanboy of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Spider-Man has been my favorite superhero since childhood, but Disney/Marvel just got the licensing rights to put the web-head back on the silver screen — and hopefully well compared to the dreadful Amazing Spider-Man 2.

The MCU character I really connect with is the quintessential super-soldier himself, Steve Rogers, a.k.a Captain America (Chris Evans). In a time when the Left controls all the mass disseminators of culture — Hollywood, TV, news media and academia — it’s fantastic that a character that represents old-time American values isn’t just rewritten to accommodate today’s rampant moral relativism and politically correct Orwellian doublespeak. He actually is extolled and portrayed sympathetically as a paragon of moral fiber and virtue. His man-out-of-time schtick has never come off as a goody-too-shoes boy scout to me but rather as someone who has moral convictions, plants his feet and says, “I believe in x” or “y is wrong, and I won’t stand by it.” This is refreshing and appreciated.

For instance, in the original Avengers, somehow this exchange (if you want the actual scene) got into a movie: Not only did director Joss Whedon, a self-avowed atheist, stayed faithful to the character, but he showed he actually understands Christian theism better than many of today’s New Atheists. The sophisticated theist (here, here, here) does not hold God to be anything like Thor, Loki, Zeus, Ra, Ganesha, Quetzalcoatl, etc. Even though philosophically-minded theists disagree among themselves whether God is ipsum esse subsistens — Subsistent Being Itself — or is the necessary, infinite and maximally great being amongst contingent, finite and imperfect ones, comparisons to Odin, Vishnu, Marduk and the like are mere caricatures. As Edward Feser pithily puts it: “When you understand why I dismiss all other gods, you’ll understand why I dismiss your ‘one god further’ objection as puerile.”

Contrasted with the Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier inculcates some good political wisdom instead of theological thought. As a brief synopsis to add context, after the events of the Battle of New York, as depicted in the Avengers, Cap has gone to work for S.H.I.E.L.D, an advanced and clandestine intelligence agency headed by the sometimes shady super-spy Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). Cap finds himself clashing with Fury due to his manipulations, lack of honesty and his plans to execute a morally ambiguous answer to a 21st-century problem that should resonate in this post-9/11, Patriot Act, drone-warfare age. Not to give the details away, but Cap calls him out on it, describing Fury’s plans as such: “I thought the punishment came after the crime…By holding the gun to everyone on Earth and calling it protection?…This isn’t freedom. This is fear.” The whole scene needs to be watched to see how Cap responds to Fury’s retorts. Our hero recognizes that big, sweeping governmental solutions, where the ends justify the means, aren’t enlightened nor do they preserve liberty.

Cap’s criticisms are inherently conservative in nature, not progressive. Ahem, cue up Grubergate, “If you like your plan you’ll keep your plan” and Marxist eschatology, where the violent overthrow of the bourgeoisie by the proletariat to immanetize workers’ paradise, as a few examples that come to mind. See, agents of the Left operate under the delusions that they know best, that their utopias are not only true but achievable and that these axioms absolve the lying, defamation, bloodshed and domination of every facet of human life and will to get there. Don’t believe me? Who wants to tax soda? Who wants to introduce legislation to dictate what is considered officially consensual sex between a man and a woman? Who wants ensure that the appropriate numbers of people of each sex, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation are on TV, hired by employers, distributed correctly among professions or admitted into college? Who wants to implement policy to address the issue of racism despite there being no overt racists, i.e. correct thought-crimes or subconscious crimes? Who wants to re-educate people via “sensitivity training”? Who looks to punish those who refuse to bake a cake for a ceremony because of sincere religious and moral convictions when this spiteful patron could easily go somewhere else? Who demands the state step in to remove religious symbols from public ground lest the non-religious or those from different faiths take offense and feel stigmatized? Find those who call upon governmental force, that by its nature is always backed by a barrel of a gun, or other formally coercive and direct means like boycotts or terminations of employment as a first resort to confront every problem or diverging of opinions under the sun. Good, now those are your totalitarians.

The second gem of conservative virtue, which is very much related to the nefarious nature of the Left as described above, comes in one of those cliche scenes when a villain monologues about his scheme to our plucky protagonists. Within this one, this evildoer waxes:

…humanity could not be trusted with its own freedom. What we did not realize is that if you try to take that freedom, they resist…Humanity needed to surrender its freedom willingly…[We’ve] been secretly feeding crisis, reaping war. And when history did not cooperate, history was changed…[We’ve] created a world so chaotic that humanity is finally ready to sacrifice its freedom to gain its security. Once the purification process is complete, [our] new world order will arise.

I would replace “chaotic” with “unfair” or “unjust” and “security” with “equality” in order to apply it more accurately to designs of the Left. But this is another apt characterization. As I argued earlier, the Left does not believe in the liberty of free-market solutions, permit dissenting ideas to challenge its own in the marketplace of ideas or think the rule of law and its system of checks and balances, constitutional or otherwise, will right itself. It ultimately does not trust us with our own freedom, as evidenced by the perpetual attempts to regulate everything and politicize anything in everyday life as justification for its interference.

I maintain these machinations really picked up steam when Marx’s intellectual successors like Gramsci, Adorno and Horkheimer were puzzled as to why the apocalyptic communist revolutions never occurred like Marx and Engels had predicted. After all, white Russians opposed red Russians; Chiang Kai-shek’s nationalists fought again Mao Zedong’s communists; and the United States and its Western allies challenged the Soviet Union and its satellites. Therefore, these Marxist philosophers set out to determine why the popular uprisings struggled to even spark, let alone why heaven on Earth had not occurred as forecast, i.e. “What we did not realize is that if you try to take that freedom, they resist.” In the 1930s, Gramsci focused on what is known as cultural hegemony, where the ruling class transmits its values and beliefs, via educational institutions and mass media, to the exploited classes for the downtrodden to adopt them against their better interests as a means of control. Adorno, Horkheimer, Mercuse and others submitted a critical theory of Western civilization, which I believe has proven as one of the most influential contributions of philosophy in the last century. Critical theory is not only alive but has thrived on college campuses in its relentless pursuit to chastise the West, breeding and festering in university departments like African-American, gender and queer studies. Though I also submit the conditioning starts in earlier education, however, where do you think the myths of the wage gap and 1 out of 5 college girls are sexually assaulted exactly are born from? Moreover, gen-ed courses feature curriculum that indoctrinates students to believe that America is still fundamentally racist, white Christian males are the great oppressors, capitalism is the great evil and American imperialism is as heinous if not worse than the forcible subjugation of foreign peoples as perpetrated by ancient Rome, the Mongol khanates or Hirohito Japan. Meanwhile, the critique — if you can really call it that — ignores the inconvenient fact pertaining to all the cultural, intellectual, technological innovation, individual wealth and personalized autonomy in a nation that has never been so populous and ethnically and ideologically diverse in history. Reveling in both its shrillness and simplicity, this appraisal of America and the West thoroughly has been reinforced and perpetuated by our popular media and culture, which curiously also was a locus of scrutiny for Gramsci, Adorno and other Marxists from the Frankfurt School.

Isn’t it interesting that what these philosophers identified as weapons against the weak, within a generation of their writings, have become magically the inverse: tools to promote “social justice”? What a convenient and fortuitous reversal, unless its just the Hollywood and other media creme de la creme decidedly projecting their values onto the common person to adopts as his or her own, another manifestation of Gramscian cultural hegemony coming from a direction that heavily veers to the Left. Based on what we see on TV, doesn’t the outside world seem so “chaotic,” “unfair” and “unequal” that many of our “liberal” friends have mistakenly bought into it all and are unwittingly “ready to sacrifice their freedom” to ensure “equality”?

Let’s go through another litany of examples to demonstrate what I mean: Who wants to drastically raise the minimum wage even though it naturally will result in a sharp drop in jobs?; who wants the government to provide for entitlements to education and housing and more benefits to the unemployed despite that such initiatives impoverish cities like Detroit and Baltimore; who wants to redefine marriage, rendering mothers and fathers as optional to their children in the view of the state?; who wants to ban assault rifles and enact other gun control measures that likely will be ineffectual on gun violence, in general, because handguns are overwhelming the deadliest firearms in the country?; who demands that the Washington Redskins change its name because some people in a minority find it racially insensitive, despite such a change would fail to address the real empirical problems within their communities? Doesn’t it seem like an extremely bad, crisis-steeped world that requires decisive, comprehensive action from Big Brother, as everything from video games to “mansplaining” is somehow a form of overbearing oppression and injustice?

Furthermore, for the Left, “when history did not cooperate, history was changed”: Travyon Martin, the teenager who pounded “white hispanic” George Zimmerman’s face before being shot in self-defense, is Emmett Till; Ferguson, when a community abandoned all counsel from Rev. Martin Luther King to flaunt the rule of law and further impoverish itself, is Selma. “Hands up, don’t shoot” was and is a lie, yet demonstrators continue to repeat it to protest racist police brutality even though the evidence shows Michael Brown’s slaying was not an example of racist police brutality. Illegal aliens are now “undocumented workers,” and “global warming” has become “climate change.” A University of Virginia fraternity’s members gang-raped a girl, except that they didn’t. Orwell: War is peace; freedom is slavery; ignorance is strength.

As for the purification process, look no further than Memories Pizza which apparently deserves to be threatened out of business because its owners wouldn’t service a same-sex wedding if they were ever asked. A gay hotelier must pay penance for meeting with “anti-gay” Ted Cruz. Actress Alice Eve is harangued until she recants for stating the irrefutable truth: Bruce Jenner is a man whether or not he feels like he has the soul of a woman. More Orwell: “…we have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.”

Anyway, I could go on ad infinitum chronically how today’s mainstream Left and progressives are the antithesis of what they claim to be. With Marvel in mind though, I summarily find it absolutely great that Cap finds that it his duty to say the Orwellian obvious like “This isn’t freedom. This is fear” to the “enlightened” Fury. I’m ecstatic that Cap fights against those who have lied, slandered and manipulated their way to cajole people into endorsing things that makes government bigger for no real purpose or reason other than some elite agenda. I find it hilariously ironic that all this appears in and can be gleaned from a singular work within one of the propaganda engines that the Left uses to “win young hearts and minds.”

Oh, and if you disagree with me, and or this analysis rubs you the wrong way, you should still give the film a try anyway, as it’s highly entertaining. Like the best superhero movies such as The Dark Knight or The Avengers, it not only stands alone but actually transcends the genre. Captain America: The Winter Soldier has elements from spy thrillers and 80s action fare. The fight sequences are arguably the best Marvel has ever produced, and I propose could be the best in recent memory. For the most part, they’re less CGI, more hand-to-hand combat and practical effects. Plus, this is the best iteration of the Winter Soldier I’ve ever seen. He’s a Terminator, not a whiny brat — at least so far — and actually a physical match for Cap. Overall, strongly recommended.

Enjoy (***Major spoiler after 02:57***),

Modus Pownens