Imposed equality pushes ambition and the longing to differ to the underworld.
Following the gang rape of Jyoti Singh in Delhi and the mass shooting of Sandy Hook many people of ordinary walks of life are getting increasingly worried about the escalating culture of violence and rape in the West and beyond – probably not the last convulsions of the exhausted sexual revolution. However another force driving sexual excesses and violence that might be staying with us is the Enlightenment furor with eradicating difference or the polity of equalizing everything: West with East, men with women, heterosexuals with homosexuals, humans with animals, old with young etc. Rebecca Solnit’s shocking and comprehensive report over at the Asia Times, claims that every 6.2 minutes a woman is being raped in the United States and every nine seconds a woman becomes a victim of violence with 149 000 per year ending up in hospital there. In addition America saw 62 mass shootings in three decades and many more modern abominations.
According to Robert Bellah the loss of coherence in American society is to blame: the “subtle ties that bind human beings together” have been obliterated by modernity. Climate change seems a pittance compared to the cultural decline of the West. Forget the havoc wrecked on natural ecology and focus on the social ecology, Bellah told us decades ago, correctly predicting “that we will destroy ourselves long before natural ecological disaster has time to be realized.” (Robert N. Bellah; “Habits of the Heart” – Individualism and Commitment in America Life, University of California Press 1985, p. 284)
However according to Charles Murray this is only a continuation of the spiritual entropy that began at the dawn of modernity during the Renaissance - a primitive rebellion against the gothic high culture, the last culture firmly anchored in Christianity (C.M. “Human Accomplishment-The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800-1950” Perennial 2003, pp.301). As an example for this, already in 1611 John Donne anticipated Bellah’s and Robert Putnam’s diagnosis with the latter’s “Bowling alone - The Collapse and Revival of the American Community” of 2000:
Tis all in peeces, all cohaerence gone;
All just supply, and all Relation:
Prince, Subject, Father, Sonne, are things forgot,
For every man alone thinkes he hath got
To be a Phoenix, and that then can bee
None of that kinde, of which he is, but hee.
(from “An Anatomie of the World; The First Anniversary”, quoted after R. Bellah, ibid. p. 327)
The Renaissance taking off from the monotheist concept of man being equal to his fellow as created “in God’s own image” descended on the course of equalizing man in a wholly secular frame. My thesis is that this attempt was bound to fail from the start and that it is also the source of many abominations of modernity. My following series of essays is an attempt of preliminary sampling of those unintended consequences of ill-conceived equality politics in the West. Most of our modern problems surfaced in the Renaissance as described by Jacob Burckhardt and went full blown after the French Revolution as pictured in his famous account by Edmund Burke. Although early romanticism rejected the French Revolution it vainly attempted to revive medieval Gothic ideals. And this futile romantic motive is living on today, still a subliminal rejection of quotidian egalitarianism, in countless fantasy fiction stories such as “The Hobbit” and Harry Potter”.
Nevertheless the egalitarian revolution was propelled through the nineteenth century with Marxism driving radical social politics well into the so called Belle Epoch. The resulting collapse of Victorian culture in turn set off sexual licentiousness at the close of the nineteenth century epitomized by Oscar Wilde’s magic tour through the United States. With the notable exception of the roaring twenties in Berlin, sexual debauchery was temporary subdued in sync with the Beaux Arts as a result of two World Wars but rebounded with a vengeance in 1968 – setting off the anti-authoritarian student revolt. With some delay even the fanfare of inevitable progress, embarrassingly buried in the trenches of WWI, was brazenly re-adopted by the American left, sailing for a century under the liberal ticket, with “progressive” Hillary Clinton setting the tone – a significant turn that anticipated Barack Obama’s re-election. Thus the final break through into mainstream culture of Herbert Marcuse’s concept of repressive tolerance –meaning phony tolerance – has helped resurrected progressives to eclipse the tea party and humble whatever remains of conservative America. The perfect symbol for this in the UK as before in the US is the arrival of homosexual issues at the top of the progressive food chain. Steeled with their new intolerance, first spotted by astute Daniel Henninger over at the Wall Street Journal, the new progressives are now determined to destroy any resistance to their equalizing Juggernaut.
This is just one of many signs that point back to the decadence of the fin-de-siècle when the progressives, propelled by German idealism, first assumed power in the New World with the Wilson administration. History seems to repeat itself for today’s decadence is as poorly understood as the First World War. What we know for sure though is that long before defeated post-WW II Germany has been re-educated in the Western way of life, that very raison d’etre had been utterly undermined by German ideology that entered the United states pre-WW I and followed many inter-War exiles to the New World. Freud’s disciple Carl Gustav Jung noted in 1912: “We can hardly realize the whirlwinds of brutality and unchained libido that roared through the streets of Imperial Rome. But we would know that feeling again if ever we understood, clearly and in all its consequences, what is happening under our very eyes.” (cf. Philip Rieff, The Triumph of the Therapeutic, 2007, p. 272)
Infantilization, Informality and Primitivism
Now let’s look more closely in order to understand “what is happening under our very eyes”. For a start we are seeing adults dipping into kilo jars of Nutella, a hazelnut-chocolate spread, invented by Ferrero 1944 under conditions of War time rationing – a fair measure of the absurdity of our present course of things. Today Nutella is being exported to seventy-five countries (Wikipedia). The whole point of it is that being addictive trumps taste of this obscenely unformatted food. For unlike a decent cake or donut it puts no intrinsic limits on consumption and you will find it difficult to stop gorging. Yet people probably don’t even know that because of the high density of nuts it ranges amongst the triggers of severe allergic reactions. Nevertheless Nutella is the perfect symbol for modern infantilization: informal and impulsive eating habits stripped of all manners. Its popularity indicates a weakness in our culture for immediate gratifications.
The context is about families abandoning formal meals in droves in favor of more expensive fast food and snacks that permanently undermine the control of their instincts. Thus adults are becoming more tied to the moment like children. This trend is pretty much enhanced by the spread of informal, unisex sports suits and all sorts of trash cloths that began with funky sneakers (US) or trainers (UK) - replacing precious and healthy leather shoes in the boring but grueling terror- stricken 1970ies. For dressed like that it would never occur to you to sit down for a formal dinner even at home. No doubt, fancy and ageless informal dress, conspicuously don by pop celebrities, BBC presenters such as Jimmy Savile and many Rock stars, has in the past helped facilitate male rape and sexual child abuse.
Another anomaly are people of all ages walking the streets or shopping malls eagerly clutching a bottle of water, because they are getting scared by media morons about dehydration - with bars, shops and restaurants within reach everywhere. Or we are seeing skaters well up to their sixties roaming “piazzas” in many Western metropolitan areas giving us the impression that ageless “moving on” is still the order of the day. Now in Europe even the ban on incest and pedophilia is about to being lifted and child pornography on the internet is widely consumed. This has resulted already in mass rape and abuse of children, hugely under-reported and estimated at a range between 5 and 35% in Western populations (accounting for victimhood in a lifetime). The fun obsessed and perennially exhausted urban elites have now targeted unspoiled children as a source of their insatiable hedonistic roaming. How different the times still where at the end of WW II when Albert Camus noted “sexuality leads to nothing. It is not immoral but it is unproductive. .. But chastity alone is connected with personal progress” (Notebooks, 1942-1951, 1965, Notebook IV, January 1942 - September 1945).
On a different note whereas the Muslim world is throbbing with a real youth bulge counting to at least two hundred millions, the West, direly lacking offspring, is touting its own phony youth bulge of would be youngsters. And then there is the scourge of equalizing the sexes and fostering even more the prevention of any offspring often justified with reference to carbon footprint-related scare of overpopulation. Just look at the eradication of any differences in the dress code between man and women, the elderly and even children with ninety percent trousers and minimum variety of materials. In a similar vein we are witnessing a spread of infantile oral and anal sex rather than mature and healthy genital sex, as Sigmund Freud has established long ago. In Britain today girls as young as 13 years even if attending upscale public schools are bullied into oral sex by their male peers, as Allison Pearson recently reported in the London Telegraph. Because of abominations like this the health gains in terms of preventing cancer of the throat through smoking bans have been all but lost, because the massive increase of oral sex is now producing large numbers of that cancer caused by the spread of human papilloma-virus. Righty understood the people in public places clinging like toddlers to their water bottles are a fair measure of the oral regression today.
Then we are invited to birthday parties and see children and adults imitating African tribes with festive ceremonies, daubing their faces and bodies with colors. This penchant for the primitive conjures up echoes of the “Noble Sage” and brings us straight to an important founding myth of modernity created by the prophet of primitivism: Jean Jacques Rousseau. And it is his invariably good-natured noble sage that the Romantics discovered first in innocent children and later in aborigines, both by nature wild and unrestrained. Early in the 19th century children became one of the most vibrant sources of inspiration for enthusiasts of enlightenment. Ever since the youth cult serves the market appetites so well that it has fueled commercial consumption. The whole point of Rousseau amounts to submerging divine commands or the “ought to” in a shower of dream besotted impulses. And not for nothing exactly this became the selling point of fantasy fiction as a commercial modern genre.
Long ago the emerging mass culture has reversed the Victorian virtues completely. Contemporary Sigmund Freud, the last of the Enlightenment philosophers, became fascinated by the primitive. Thus the Homeric underworld river Acheron became his symbol of last resort for interpretation of dreams rejecting authority as in his motto: 'If I cannot deflect the will of Heaven, I shall move Hell.' Ortega Y’Gasset concerned himself with the observation that habits once common at the bottom of society have been embraced by the elites. Through most of history it was exactly the opposite way with the lower ranks emulating the advanced upper layer of society in order to better their lot. Post-modernity has reversed this seemingly natural order with liberal elites now aping the lower ranks including cranks and prison inmates. Literally this is why - sorry for touching on this - sagging pants with sometimes sparkling flesh are no embarrassment anymore. Quite the opposite, prison inmates started to show them off simply because they are not allowed, for security reasons, to keep their belts. In a typical modern gesture inspired by the equality fad youths have picked up this embarrassing habit allegedly to neutralize the stigma of the crooks. Thus we now see teenagers walking metropolitan shopping malls and having their trousers drop without bothering about revealing their underwear.
The same is true for tattoos which also emerged from the prison culture in the 1980ies but also from developing countries and have recently wound up on the shoulders of a former German First Lady. Or look at the rise of the equally base and popular “Jungle” genre of reality TV fame which is purely Rousseauan entertainment. The same is true for cars fitted with rims displaying spikes like antique Roman combat chariots. If I remember this right, those Roman rims were first mounted on cars of pimps and crooks in metropolitan red light districts in the 1980ies. Yet thanks to the bottom-up aesthetics of the popular culture it took the crooks and their adjunct prostitutes, who in the process established themselves as pensionable sex workers, little more than a decade to emancipate their aesthetics from the underworld. Meanwhile just as with sneakers you see accountants and clerks proudly showing off their muscular Roman chariots.
Similarly betraying the misery of modern formlessness and a memorable feature of London’s Third-World appeal, we come across builders and craftsmen who don’t mind traveling on the London Underground with filthy clothes not bothering to travel with clean outfit only to be changed upon arrival at the work site. This is why you may encounter the odd overall rubbing shoulders with a tuxedo on the Central Line. Crowded and uniform conditions with public transport is one of the reasons why we are seeing masses of people carrying a host of “escape gadgets” such as the I-phone that project them into primitive dream worlds via Twitter and Facebook. They all depend on the expansion of lowbrow pictorial representation and a contraction of highbrow vocabulary that has pushed literacy rates below levels reached already in Scotland early in the 18th century. The digital escape from the boring, egalitarian Western life style seems to be one of the major forces behind the unrelenting allure of the noble sage and seemingly immortal romanticism. We will return to this issue later.
For the moment suffice it to state that the intricate magic of sneakers, water bottles, sagging pants, face painting, tattoos, rims with spikes, and many more features of the inexorable youth cults are confirming the ascent of primitivism and debauchery in postmodern culture. Surely this is just poor old Rousseauan wizardry meant to invigorate the exhausted urban soul. If this somehow sounds familiar to you it is because it echoes the failed socialist experiment of elevating the working class as the ruling elite. This attempt sealed the fate of the communist block and may serve as a warning that the hegemonic pop culture may sink the West as well. Meanwhile even refined high end liberals cannot help but extricate some eerie powers from the noble sage.
Just as this Rousseauan concept serves for understanding modern depraved lifestyles it is also aptly for understanding the unremitting boom of fantasy fiction. This is not a trivial matter for fantasy fiction is increasingly marketed for children and adults and for no other reason, as I remember Norman Podhoretz arguing, that Hollywood could probably not survive without. Now already Shakespeare’s theater gave people an escape from the quotidian misery. The difference however is, that he had at his disposal a fabulous theater with all the splendor of live performances presented to a gregarious audience but the separation of reality and dream was maintained. His was a veritable Gesamtkunstwerk but at a distance compared to today’s intrusive Ersatz performance on the I-phone that projects a fictional world inside the lonely urban soul stuck at the bus or tube platform.
In addition Shakespeare was brilliant enough to impregnate his plots with “warts and all” that play to their biblical appeal and also took care to share some features of romances: "Their plots are multi-layered, they rely on extraordinary coincidences and quasi-miraculous happenings, and they culminate in spectacular recognition scenes" (Daniel Deronda, Penguin Classics, 1995, XXV). This includes ghosts and the like as for instance stone statues suddenly coming to life or protagonists suddenly freezing, reflecting the shocking inner experience - all of which being romantic literary sorcery as much later employed by the likes of George Eliot and Henry James. Those ghosts have the fascinating dynamics of instant secular resurrection – a topic excessively exploited by fantasy fiction.
If you take the trouble of watching “The Hobbit” or “Harry Potter” you get a perfect example of this fictional world that dwells on the full exploitation of the “possible” at the expense of the “actual” as Aristotle once put it, or in other words it’s about the existential eclipse of the “ought” by a fictional “is”: just think of the sensational riddance of gravitation only surpassed by the riddance of good manners. The absence of gravitation just enhances the effects of violent action, blowing it out of proportion. This reverse of the natural and polite orders serves only to nurture a feeling of unlimited power with the poor Cineastes – reminding us at one favorite feature of the romantics: self-aggrandizing. By comparison in Greek tragedy the “possible” as opposed to the actual used to be dramatized as improbability, by that weighing pre-determined over free action and limiting choices. However the “Hobbit” shares with the Greek tragedy the preference of masks or types over individuals and the occasional distorted time frame. However tragedy lends itself to a comparison of the humble roles of Greek heroes with the blown-up egos and unlimited powers of the fantasy heroes of Tolkien’s imagination. Greek tragedy might provide us with model of understanding how the suppressed but steadily stirred ambitions of postmodern adolescents suddenly explode in mass shootings or in gang rape. Are they not just impulsive releases say of pressure piled up from tensions between the blatant improbabilities of youth unemployment or the monotony of the relativist postmodern world and at the same time incessantly propelled by their escape gadgets into a digital world exploding with possibilities? Urban youth misery has been the theme of Jane K Rawling’s only recent non-fantasy novel Casual Vacancy that depicts a suburban environment imbued with the tragedy of inescapable pre-determination and no hope – the exact opposite world to her Potter series.
Can we not positively interpret the postmodern informal trash outfit as romantic survival kit? With reality TV like Big Brother and Jungle World it is not difficult to imagine the encounter with the primitive: sneakers, spiked rims, jumper suits and water bottle after all are what you would need to survive in the urban jungle. Again like the ancient Greeks monomaniac modern consumers are tied up with tragedy finding their freedom and flexibility to be impaired. For their unbecoming lifestyle is designed by others and not of their own making – just as the plot in fantasy fiction. In addition it is revealing that Tolkien selects for the dwarfs only Jewish pre-biblical episodes, including the scene of God spiriting the Jews out of danger “on eagles wings” (Exodus 19:4) but never mentions the ten commandments or any “ought to” that would point to a free personality. This qualifies Tolkien’s phantasy as counter-enlightened. And this seems to be one reason why some grown-ups are finding “Hobbit” or “Harry Potter” boring at best or infantile and annoying at worst. They are just silly romances, as brave Jane Austen observed, “childish - a story to be grown out of”.
The late American sociologist Philip Rieff, whom this essay owes a lot, labeled the sort of low culture that we sketched in the previous chapter with the fitting acronym of pop meaning the “primacy of possibility” as compared to higher cultures buttressed and maintained by limitations through a moral demand system with the dominance of the ought or interdicts over indulgences. Equipped with this sharp razor, Rieff saw most of our present problems emerging and it is for that reason that his seminal work “The Triumph of the Therapeutic” has been reprinted in 2007 forty years after it was written. In his comprehensive analysis of the pathology of the modern psyche Rieff’s deeply philosophical spelling of “pop” points to a culture that is inimical to restraint, sacred order or “ought to” - all of which are essentials for building a civilization.
It is telling that the corruption of modern personality was first described by the Marxist Georg Lukacs who, summing up the consequences of the Enlightenment, wrote: „Gods abandonment of the world (clearly it is the other way round, man abandoning God, FH) makes itself felt in the incommensurability of soul and achievement, between inwardness and adventure; with the lack of transcendent belonging of the human ambitions. This incommensurability shows itself roughly in two types: either the soul is smaller or broader than the outside world, that is given as a theater or substrate for her deeds“(G. L. “Theory of the Novel – a Historico-Philosophical Essay on the Forms of Great Epic Literature”, MIT edition, 1971, S.83).
This fatal distortion of representation and subsequent loss of the free personality would not only beget all sorts of scapegoats and representations of split off individual personalities such as ghosts and demons but also collectively projected evil agents such as witches. It would also weaken the demarcation between children and adults that in turn begets all sorts of immature self-aggrandizement and swagger. The dire result was not simply narrowing the gap between children and grown-ups but actually the weakening of the essential culture of adulthood marked by restraint, responsibility and prudence. Heroic deeds were replaced by rationalizations. Thus the classical or medieval hero, say the Christian knight was replaced with the feckless introverted bourgeois followed by the self-absorbed liberal, both habitually prone to compensatory self-aggrandizing. This much suggests already Cervantes’ “Don Quixote” the prime subject of George Lukacs’ theorizing about the modern novel and of course Thomas Mann’s imposter “Felix Krull”. We will return to this in our next installment.
To be fair even before the modern era the problem of splitting off or schismatic personality existed in the Christian medieval culture. The root of this might be seen in the tragic compromise between Jerusalem and Athens that makes up the controversial heart of Christianity. From Jerusalem Christianity inherited the free worshiping religious personality with one God and from Athens it took the determinist and hence tragic intellectual culture of polytheism resulting in the Trinity. This impossible compromise haunted Christianity ever since. It reveals itself in the catastrophic rendering of the paradisaical “fall of man” which is based on a false opposition of human reason and divine revelation. For in contrast to the Hebrew original story, the Hellenized Christian version with its deterministic legacy denies Adam the freedom of unmediated redemption by way of remorse. More precisely the mainstream Christian and even more so the Calvinist inescapable “Original sin” follows the logic of a patronizing church that makes a huge difference between Post-Temple Judaism and episcopal Christianity: the Jew can correct and therefore redeem himself before God, the Hellenized Christian can’t, rather depending on Jesus and his apostles to redeem him.
Max Weber has been exploring the differences between the Christian denominations in his “Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism”, observing that the momentous Christian delegation or institutionalizing of redemption, that the Protestants loathed, paradoxically puts its gospel closer to fatalist Islam, away from the free personality of Judaism. More importantly it also created the dangerous difference between absolute (irredeemable) and relative (redeemable) evil. Nevertheless Cairo based medieval Jewish Rabbi-Philosopher Moses Maimonides rejected absolute evil and qualifying it as simply lacking good intentions and of course mendable. Unfortunately in Europe the fatal division between absolute and relative evils persisted and catalyzed the persecution and genocide of witches in the 16th and 17th centuries - even extending to Calvinist New England.
Contributing to these crimes against humanity was the spurious transition from genuinely situational sin to the determinist notion of permanent sinner - sort of separate incorporation which appears to be the flip side of the incarnated savior Jesus. The concept of sinner, marginalized within Judaism early on, should become the Avatar of all the Christian monsters, devils, demons, witches, ghosts and what have you. By contrast Judaism had overcome the problem of demons and witchcraft long before the destruction of the Second Temple, i.e. before the birth of Jesus Christ, rendering it simply as an unacceptable negation of the unity of God (Pentateuch and Haphtarah’s, Hertz edition, London, Socino: 1978, p. 313).
Obviously it comes to pass that the concept of sinner lends itself to the legitimacy of apostolic succession with priests and the whole church hierarchy. Thus in the Catholic tradition sins were translated into determinist character traits as if burned into the human soul permanently. The seven evil character traits were defined as follows: Superbia=pride, conceit; Avaritia=greed, penury; Luxuria=hedonism, desire, debauchery; Ira=wrath, vengefulness, rage; Gula=selfishness, gluttony; Invidia = envy, sloth, grudge; Acedia = cowardice, ignorance, inertia. Now those vices, impregnated into the Christian personality, are evidence for its submissiveness, disenfranchisement and curbed freedom.
One might be forgiven to conclude that this patronizing attitude would eventually weaken the free personality of the believer and could be one of the reasons why the Christian (European) community is utterly lacking the stamina to resist modern attacks on its authority as well as the essence of the gospel. And it could explain why the Greek heritage in Christianity keeps coming to the fore under the false label of liberation with female priests as liberators of old demons. Indeed those old demons used to be personifications of the cardinal sins, as for instance with Peter Binsfeld in the 16th. Century: Lucifer became incarnated pride or haughtiness; Mammon personified stinginess, Leviathan envy, Satan rage, Asmodeus lechery, Beelzebub gluttony and Belphegor laziness. It is noteworthy to add that pedophilia and homosexuality were missing in this catalog. Was this a secret concession to the proclivities of its clerisy which has been disclosed only recently?
Nevertheless the penchant for incarnation remains perhaps the Achilles heel of Christianity including Protestants. For Martin Luther’s justification of killing witches with reference to Exodus 22:18 is just another Christian misreading of the Hebrew Bible. Sadly thanks to Luther and other church reformers in Germany alone at least 25000, in Europe over 100000 so-called witches have been brutally persecuted and killed - mostly based on confessions under torture. For the first times this has been documented in painstaking detail at a new exhibition in Schmalkalden in Germany that is still open to visitors until March 2013.
With fading influence of the Christian church in Western democracies irredeemable adolescents and grown-ups are left to their own means and are becoming a problem. For they are the ones often drawn into regression, propelled to more impulsive behavior. It appears that free market economies have long been benefiting from this cultural shift and are thriving on the indulgence of unredeemed customers by expanding not only horizontally but also vertically - intruding ever more into the human psychophysical depth of the masses. Sneakers are a case in point. I once had to deal with a young man who had spent all his savings for a collection of trainers that he kept in his home under the delusion that their value would somehow wax. Contrary to this trainers are a prime symbol for the corruption of custom, attitude and manners and the submersion of personalism by a tempest of equalizing, unisex and ageless mass culture.
Sneakers (US) or trainers (UK) became fashionable and - as markets work - more expensive in the 1980ies, because Afro-American kids fancied them. Instead of wearing them for exercise and sports though, they wore them 24/7 as footwear instead of a more purposeful choice of shoes, better accustomed to season and circumstances. The loss of flexibility that trainers incur is being justified by their uniformity fostering the myth of equality of all ages, classes and races in a multicultural society. If I remember right, Tom Wolfe was the first to note in his “Bonfire of Vanities” of 1990 that middle class adults were picking up the fashionable habit of wearing sneakers instead of shoes - pretty much kind of social-liberal snobbism. A case in point is the green politician Joschka Fischer conspicuously wearing trainers upon taking his oath as a minister, his very footwear now on display in the German leather museum in Offenbach. That’s why today even chief surgeons and CEOs are wearing them at work as a “sexy” statement of youthfulness. And make no mistakes the insouciant use of “sexiness” as a means to catch attention even for political matters is a modern cultural pathology of sorts. Even serious political crimes are wrapped in “sexed-up” language that gives a cynical haut-gout to any affair.
By contrast to durable leather shoes sneakers lose their patina and get smelly rather quickly - asking for new ones. That wearing-off-quickly-thing is probably the vicious business model for the international brands. I have always wondered how poor African American kids could afford sneakers for up to 200 US$ a pair lasting only a couple of months. It is no secret that only thanks to the market for illicit drugs, depending on small retailers such as teenage street dealers, this sort of money laundering works. Thus dirty drug dollars are circulated by urban youth with purchases of sneakers, trash clothes, fast food, IPhones. All this belongs to an urban culture of short attention span also marked by violence and impulsive sex.
Sexy trainers and other unisex attitudes indicate that the market, reversing Mandeville’s Fable of the Bees, has turned private virtue, the sexual drive in its natural context of founding a family and raising offspring, into the public vice of hetero- and homo promiscuity. The millennial homosexual promiscuity makes same-sex marriage a veritable farce. About 1700 Bernard Mandeville inspired Adam Smith with the notion of beneficial division of labor and free markets that would alleviate private vices corresponding to the catholic cardinal sins, such as idleness, greed, gluttony, intoxication, thrift and many others. Notwithstanding the emerging Asian economies, big multinationals like Adidas and Puma have reversed this beneficial concept of the division of labor. For they eradicated worthwhile small family shops in southern Germany or northern Italy and elsewhere that used to manufacture a variety of conventional good quality leather shoes and kept unemployment in bucolic rural stretches at bay. Shoes like that had exceeded the durability of trainers literally hundred times. My “churches” from London have been with me nearly 30 years. It is one of the untold stories of our present capitalist crisis that the CEO’s of these youth cult brands for trainers have grown on just that myth and without a whiff of innovation.
To be sure the youth cult started a century ago with the collapse of Victorianism with the story about a “guy, who never gets old” written by Oscar Wilde. His “Dorian Gray” got him into a lot of trouble but also raised his publicity whilst being persecuted for publishing it. This was followed up in the fantasy genre with Peter Pan in the early 20th century who also never grew old. Many others would follow. And here’s the catch: because pop culture elevates base styles and abject behavior to the middle class, ennobling them at the expense of looking slightly preposterous, it surely helps to sell larger numbers of those items on the market. The same business model as with trainers also applies to gay and lesbian life styles that are being sponsored by very big industrial foundations that also used to sponsor the Nazis in the 1920ies and 30ies.
Absent any binding moral code and committed to the cultural relativism of “anything goes” there are scant barriers left to stem the swell of abominations emerging from the bottom of post-modern society. What Western identity politics and base culture are after is, in the words of their prophet of the superhuman (Friedrich Nietzsche: “On the Use and Abuse of History for Life”, revised edition 2010, Translated by Ian Johnston, Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo, BC, Canada.p.3.) to be “happy like animals tied to the peg of the moment” worshiping the Greek concept of kairos. It was Oswald Spengler who spotted first that Athens had no concept of history. The loathing of history and tradition by the enlightenment and its fondness of women emancipation has finally brought about the modern eye sore of informality.
Let’s reveal the symbolic of this by pointing to the contrast between superannuated camisoles or corsages, still worn by some women today, and informal junk dress including sneakers once worn by socially deprived people but clearly absorbed into mainstream today. Junk dress originally reflected depravity, lack of restraint and the spread of casual sex in unbecoming places. Track suits, sweat pants and sweat shirts simply did protect children and women less against indecent molestation than corsages of old. For instance trash garb blurs the difference between house and street dress and this alone lowers the threshold for sexual assaults compared to formal clothing. Not for nothing socially deprived areas have been labeled “pajama” neighborhoods for decades. From there out-of-wedlock offspring, the perspicuous high-end of informality, has spread into mainstream society. There is no question about the fact that informal dress increases the risks of rape for it is taken by certain males appetizing. And we are not even talking about slut walkers here, women who dress in a way precisely meant to provoke men.
Informal or trash clothes more often than not fail to enhance the natural beauty, self- confidence and attractiveness of the person wearing it and more importantly they are clearly meant to equalize the appearance of people leveling all individual differences of beauty, age, manners and even clumsy demeanor. Never mind that aesthetic fastidiousness, now looked at with contempt, once protected people from the temptation of promiscuous sex and it certainly boosted self-esteem. Thus in conclusion, Western trash fashion lacking any aesthetic value is generally less effective with regard to protecting the innocence or bodily integrity of the individual whether child, woman or man. In contrast the Muslim garb and other Third World attire retained dignity and protective power that Western junk dress gave away. But it may be true that nothing could protect a woman against the Bill Clintons of this world.
Finally gay and lesbian life styles are pushed through from our ruling elites because they are good for business even at the price of ruining the last remnants of our sacred order, the institution of family. After all multiply single households spend more dollars on nearly everything - including expensive weddings - than core families of four or six who share facilities and consume less. Big business is well aware of the fact that the number of American families with children has not increased for a very long time: “America's population has risen from 200 million to 300 million since 1970, while the total number of two-parent families with children is the same today as it was when Richard Nixon took office, at 25 million” (http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Front_Page/NK06Aa02.html). By contrast single households, broken-up families with out-of-wedlock offspring, highly volatile homosexual couples and divorce-prone same-sex marriage are set to feed fast growing service market segments, kindling the “animal spirits” of otherwise overstuffed markets.
After all gender or ethnic minorities politics is driven by two major forces: first the paradox flight from the consequences of egalitarianism and second the inwardly search for hidden identities at any prize. There is sort of continuation of the phony liberalization and equalizing agenda that did survive the atrocities of the Holocaust and the Nazi regime intact. Yet the democratic overthrow of Nazism and Communism has not resolved the ethical issues of eugenics, euthanasia and anti-Semitism, neither the obsession with designer offspring and abortion on demand that were surely virulent on both right and the left between the great wars. Eugenics and euthanasia emerged from the totalitarian creeds of breeding a new race but have meanwhile been implemented into the free choice frame of Western market economies.
Those economies are still trapped in the same stubborn lopsided biologism that survived the Holocaust unblemished. Thus paradoxically modern Israel, whose living democracy is the nemesis of surrounding Middle Eastern despots, is still perceived through the Nazi lens and thus accused of racism and apartheid politics. It is not even trickling through the media that Judaism is genuinely spiritual and was only engineered as biological by the Nazis. Only seven years after the sexual revolution set free the instincts against the last refuges of authority, Patrick Moynihan had to fight the monster of “Zionism is Racism”, the infamous majority declaration of the United Nations. No doubt the biological Nazi prejudice is still alive and kicking. In classical Freudian manner repressed biologistic Nazi continuities in the West are projected on Israel. The trick is making them look innocuous by framing it within the mainstream liberal left. However the perverse effect of this is to attach some semblance of anti-fascism to the Iranian atomic threats while at the same time denouncing Israel as the resurgence of Nazism – denying it equal access and protection by the international community. Are we witnessing Israel not being accepted on equal terms by the Western community of nations under the spell of a Western prejudice that would Israel not allow redeeming itself but rather relinquish her stuck in alleged Original sin?