I found this interesting, challenging and engaging. I largely agree about the "intellectual masturbation" of much of the self-prescribed progressives - a label that I myself am attached to. There is seemingly no cohesive leftist movement that challenges the Neoliberal landscape and I think that's a huge issue. Which ironically has allowed the Right to continue winning the legislative battle. If we give up, they just run up the score.

One thing I would like to challenge is that it seems (correct me if I'm wrong) that you don't see any value in any of this critical theory or gender theory concepts. Is it that, or is your main critique that since these ideas seem to dominate the leftist landscape and lead to no real change? This I do agree with. I don't think it can lead Leftist policy goals, but I do think it should be included. Understanding the legacy of racism and sexism is very important in my opinion and before these ideas became more mainstream, the narrative seemed to be one of us living in a world where racism/sexism was defeated.

Gender theory exists whether some snooty liberal is lecturing it at you or not. I was informally taught gender theory as a young boy by being conditioned on how to be a "man". This usually was quite sexist. Objectifying women was celebrated. Being emotionless, or "stoic" as the term emotionally unavailable men like to hide their fear of vulnerability behind (I know actual stoicism is real), was also celebrated. Being genuinely loving, sweet, and openly emotional was socially sanctioned by peers and even adults. This usually ended up with being labelled some sort of homophobic slur. These were lessons that women even reinforced. Is this not all a form of gender theory? Just with a different curriculum and from taught different teachers? The legacy of patriarchy has its own gender theory we've been taught, no? Because when I learned what people call "gender theory" now, I was honestly liberated from these lessons that were engrained in me after my initial resistance wore off. I'm also aware of how smug plenty of these uni-folks are too, so yeah it's a mixed bag. And I do agree that too often, the language policing tactic has been used. But I think understanding the concept and history of gender is very useful. Otherwise, I would have probably just repeated the same behaviours my Father did because "that's what being a man was."

I also see a huge issue in these folks selling out because that's just how powerful the magnetic pull of capital is in our system. BLM is a great example. Started grassroots and then was co-opted and consumed by American corporations to eventually become hollow and perform liberal placation (to mostly middle-class white folks). Feminism is similar. It was quite anti-capitalist from its origins, but now mainstream "Girl-Boss Feminism" is when there's a Woman CEO? And it's fine when she union busts? That's not feminism. That's just capitalism co-opting feminism for its own goals.

Both of these movements should, at their core be pushing for the organizing of labour and toward a much more leftwing political landscape and I think that's the largest failure here. I think understanding history through the lens of minorities, women and queer folks is really important. I just also think the foundational policy pursuits should still be affordable/accessible housing for all, universal healthcare, equal access to education etc. etc. Because yes, although I do use the term unhoused 😂, that literally does nothing for those folks unless our housing policies meaningfully change and housing isn't solely a private commodity for people to build wealth. And using more progressive terminology does too often result in the only thing a self-proclaimed "progressive" does, while they still call themselves "radical."

All in all, I'm wondering your thoughts on this and how to navigate addressing real issues of the legacy and persistence of racism, sexism, queerphobia etc. while still having Leftist material goals still be the foundation of political pursuits.

Always appreciate your thoughts and the effort you put into sharing them here. 🍻

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May 24Liked by Alan Flanagan

This is a terrific piece of writing. Thanks so much. Glad I clicked on the link from Rob Henderson.

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May 23·edited May 23Liked by Alan Flanagan

This was an excellent and comprehensive summary of the ghastly takeover of our entire culture by the postmodernist cabal who set out to prove there's no such thing as Truth but instead proved that there is such a thing as liars.

You hinted at one of the many ironies here of the Bourgeois Bolshevik Cultural Revolution led from the ivory tower supposedly on behalf of "the marginalized": postmodern gurus like St. Foucault and Derrida were obviously amoral Mephistopheles wannabes, willing to do or say anything to épater les bourgeois, posing more as De Sade than Marx, but their acolytes have led a deeply moral movement, with in fact a sharp-edged morality as the weapon they wield first: we are the Official Defenders of the Oppressed™ thus even the slightest disagreement with us is the moral equivalent of punching a child.

And thus we proceed from amoral Parisian wordplay transformed into American Calvinist morality: Battling power relations and their discriminatory effects must be the central focus of all human endeavor (God is always watching!), be it intellectual, moral, civic, or artistic. Those who resist this focus, or even evidence insufficient adherence to it, must be sharply condemned, deprived of influence, and ostracized.

And now, sadly and scarily, these radical onanists blessed with "critical consciousness" have strapped themselves into their Deconstruction Machine that has no brakes and OFF switch, and which only operates under the principle of Who/Whom: lord only knows what will be left standing after they're done ruthlessly criticizing, denouncing and dismantling, all that exists.

Thanks again!

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May 23Liked by Alan Flanagan

Excellent, elsewhere I am replying to "Intelligence is a social construct." As well as giving me ideas you have also demolished my fallacious arguments, sparing me embarrassment.

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Apr 9Liked by Alan Flanagan

Always wanted a clear description of how this crap evolved. Now all we need is a description on how to move on from it though having a good understanding of how it operates its defenses is a good start.

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Fantastic critique of this very creepy Orwellian policing of language and thought by the Woke mob

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