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Creating Monsters & Summoning Demons

Temple of Satan statue based on 19c occultist Eliphas Levi's genderfluid Baphomet invention (Source)

Last night I returned to my hotel from a fun dinner at a private apartment near the Champs-Elysees. On the midnight ride back to my apartment on the other side of the Seine, I marveled at the Eiffel Tower, the Invalides, and other monuments that make Paris the world’s most beautiful capital. The genius of it all, and the glory of a civilization that can create such beauty and complexity.

Got back to room, logged on, and read an e-mail from a friend who was telling me about a group of guys he’s gotten involved with who are teaching themselves how to be men. From what he said in his letter, it sounds like they are sick and tired of the decadent society around us, and are trying to save themselves. They are reacting to something vile, immoral, and destabilizing, and I was glad to learn of at least some practical pushback from these rebels.

But then there was a letter from a reader who sent me this ad from a San Francisco surgical center. Excerpt:

You need a strong stomach to view the gallery. The nullification patients have had all sign of genitalia of either sex removed; they are as smooth as a Barbie doll. There are also images of people who have been given a pseudo-vagina beneath their penis. “Phallus-preserving vaginoplasty” they call it. You can have both a penis and a pseudo-vagina — and people get that (there are pictures). And there is this:

Why not? The ideology driving this clinic is that people should be able to have anything done to their bodies that they want. Desire, imagination, and medical technical skills are the only limits they recognize. They call this freedom. How many Americans would agree? More than many of us think.

Radical mutilation to one’s generative organs for the sake of personal liberation is a service offered by this fancy clinic in the world city most associated with the technological innovation that is at the core of the world’s wealth. Richer than the capitals of kings, pharaohs, and emperors, and so technologically advanced that what comes out of this city and its region is hard to distinguish from magic, this city is where they mutilate healthy people and turn them into monsters. And the elites of this decadent civilization, of which that golden city on the bay is an apex, are spreading the psychotic ideology that causes men and women to monster themselves throughout the entire society. Look at this:

From the Kellogg’s press release:

“Together With Pride cereal marks the latest chapter in a years long partnership with GLAAD and is the evolution of the much-loved All Together cereal, which previously was only available online,” said Doug VanDeVelde, General Manager of Kellogg U.S. Cereal Category. “Our delicious new recipe features berry-flavored, rainbow hearts dusted with edible glitter. We can’t wait for fans to try our latest limited run.”

Together With Pride cereal is now available at select major retailers nationwide while supplies last.

More:

“Boxes are for cereal, not people” is the embodiment and celebration of Kellogg Company’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, not just within Kellogg Company, but also at the tables of our cereal fans coast to coast. As Kellogg has grown its multiyear allyship with GLAAD, the company hopes to spread the word on allyship and show its support for the transgender and gender nonconforming communities.

“Kellogg has a long-standing commitment to Equity, Diversity & Inclusion to our employees, our consumers and communities,” said Priscilla Koranteng, Vice President, Talent and Diversity. “New Together With Pride cereal is our latest effort aligned with our purpose to create better days and a place at the table for everyone.”

Did you notice the place on the side of the cereal box encouraging children to write their own pronouns? This is absolutely indoctrination. The cereal giant is undermining a basic truth about reality, biological and psychological, among little children, and teaching them to embrace this ideological construct through changing the meaning of language. Put more darkly, this is woke capitalism trying to convince little children to exchange truth for a lie, and to destroy themselves within.

I know there are some of you who are sick of hearing it, but this is totalitarian. It’s not gulag-totalitarian, but it is soft totalitarian. Totalitarianism is a system in which only one ideology is allowed political power, and in which everything in life is political. The cultural politics of the woke movement is everywhere, even turning children’s cereal and toys (Legos, as of last week) into icons of propaganda. I have adapted a well-quoted passage of Live Not By Lies to fit this soft-totalitarian model:

One of contemporary progressivism’s commonly used phrases—the personal is political—captures the totalitarian spirit, which seeks to infuse all aspects of life with political consciousness. Indeed, the Left pushes its ideology ever deeper into the personal realm, leaving fewer and fewer areas of daily life uncontested. This, warned Arendt, is a sign that a society is ripening for totalitarianism, because that is what totalitarianism essentially is: the politicization of everything.

Infusing every aspect of life with ideology was a standard aspect of Soviet woke totalitarianism. Early in the Stalin era, N. V. Krylenko, a Soviet commissar (political officer) Kellogg’s vice president of talent and diversity, steamrolled over chess players cereal eaters who wanted to keep politics out of the game breakfast bowl.

“We must finish once and for all with the neutrality of chess cereal,” he said. “We must condemn once and for all the formula ‘chess for the sake of chess,’ ‘cereal for cereal’s sake,’ like the formula ‘art for art’s sake.’ We must organize shockbrigades of chess-players cereal eaters, and begin immediate realization of a Five-Year Plan for chess cereal.”

This is all ideology, all the time. Once you know how totalitarianism functions as an ideology, you have no problem recognizing the same process at work in our culture. There is a line between cereal boxes propagandizing children over gender ideology at breakfast, and the Doctors Frankenstein of San Francisco who create bespoke genitals to advance the Revolution.

It is absolutely vital for people within institutions and countries that have not given themselves over to this madness yet to understand that this ideology recognizes no limiting principle. There is no point in which it will accept “this far, and no farther.” Not long ago in Budapest, I interviewed a liberal university professor (I’ll be making a separate post on this tomorrow) who is a well-known critic of the Orban government here. In particular, he said he opposes the government passing into the country’s Basic Law (constitution) the definition of marriage as one man plus one woman. And, he favors gay adoption. But about transgenderism, and the polymorphous forms of gender identity, that’s too much for him, he said (all on the record, by the way).

When later in the interview he acknowledged that here in Hungary, he can say anything he wants to in his classroom without having to worry about being bothered by the state, I pointed out to him that that’s true in the US too, but if this man — a pro-gay liberal — were to say in his classroom what he said to me about trans and gender-confused people (simply that he can’t accept it), he would be immediately denounced by his students, reported to the administration, which would fire him, and render him unemployable in academia. The agents of totalitarianism are private institutions and entities, which carry out the cancelling work that the state used to do in hard totalitarian countries. And yes, losing your job and your career is not the same thing as being sent to the gulag, but it is still totalitarian! What that professor had to say about LGBT was the standard American liberal position in the first Obama administration. Now it is so intolerable among liberal-led institutions that you would risk your livelihood for holding it publicly.

Ask yourself: if you think that that San Francisco clinic’s procedures are medically unethical and should not be legal, or at least discouraged, would you have the courage to say so on Facebook, on Instagram, or Twitter? Be honest. Could you be confident that you wouldn’t lose your job for publicly holding that opinion? If you can’t, what does that say about the power that that ideology holds in our society?

We Americans are lucky to have a First Amendment. If not, we would no doubt be like the people of Scotland, whose speech and beliefs are criminalized because they offend against the Sacred Victims:

Totalitarians. Straight-up.

So look, going back to the beginning of this blog post. Western civilization is in an advanced state of decay. Those young men who are teaching themselves how to be men are trying to live, not to succumb to the deathworks of the progressives. More power to them! But the history of 20th century totalitarianism shows us where this kind of reaction can go, if not reined in and channeled by spiritual and religious teachings. But where will those teachings come from? Massive percentages of young Americans are rejecting religion, and many of those who don’t profess a Moralistic Therapeutic Deism incapable of standing up to militants of either the Left or the Right.

As with Critical Race Theory fanaticism, these woke maniacs working their ideological sorcery to transform society according to their malignant ideologies are creating monsters and summoning demons. I’m speaking both literally and figuratively. This is going somewhere very, very bad — and very quickly. When I was in Paris, I spoke with two young Catholics who believe that now is the time to get out of the cities and move to the countryside to live near monasteries, and they’ve put together a business plan and an organization to make this a reality. I’ll be writing more about them soon. The point is, there are people who can read the signs of the times, and are acting based on what they see. Many more will lie to themselves, and say that it’s really not so bad, that they thought Elvis was bad in his time too. In Live Not By Lies, I quote this from Hannah Arendt, in her The Origins of Totalitarianism:

There is a great temptation to explain away the intrinsically incredible by means of liberal rationalizations. In each one of us, there lurks such a liberal, wheedling us with the voice of common sense. The road to totalitarian domination leads through many intermediate stages for which we can find numerous analogues and precedents. . . . What common sense and “normal people” refuse to believe is that everything is possible.

Your children’s cereal box teaching them the ABCs of transgenderism, and inviting them to invent their own gender pronouns. Come on, people!

UPDATE: Well, well, well. Unlike the rest of the Western countries, which are in moral collapse over this stuff, Hungary now says that you may get whatever you like done to your private parts in San Francisco clinics, but the law will consider you to be the sex to which your chromosomes testify. Notice the way the NYT characterizes it. This is not news reporting. This is the purest propaganda:

Hungary’s far-right government under Prime Minister Viktor Orban has for a decade demonized his long list of perceived enemies, including Muslim migrantsGeorge Soros, Brussels, civil society, homeless people, foreign universities, Roma families and an independent press.

Yet with migration fading as a potent issue, and with the world struggling to manage the coronavirus pandemic, Mr. Orban’s government has shifted its focus to another perceived threat: transgender people.

In a law that legal observers believe is the first of its kind in Europe, Hungary will now tie an individual’s gender to the person’s sex and chromosomes at birth, restricting later modifications on official documents. The bill was signed into law this week by President Janos Ader.

“This law is unparalleled in Europe,” said Bea Bodrogi, a Hungarian lawyer representing 23 transgender applicants to the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of the Transvanilla Transgender Association, an advocacy group. “This goes against all international and national human rights standards: right to privacy, right to self-determination, right to human dignity.”

 

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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