Femmesplaining in the Second Reality

“When gnostic experience is consolidated, the social raw material is ready for existential representation by a leader.  [….]  Such people will prefer each other’s company to that of the rest of the world, they will voluntarily accept counsel and direction from indoctrinators, they will neglect their own affairs, and they will extend generous material aid to the leaders of the movement.  An especially important function in formation of such societies will have women, because they are weak in judgment, emotionally more accessible, tactically well placed to influence husbands, children, servants, and friends, more inclined than men to serve as a kind of intelligence officer concerning the state of affections in their circle, and more liberal in financial aid.

“Once a social environment of this type is organized, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to break it up by persuasion.  […]  They are impermeable to argument and have their answers well drilled.  […]  In brief: The attitude is psychologically iron-clad and beyond shaking by argument.”

For the Gnostic: “Social evils cannot be reformed by legislation; defects of government machinery cannot be repaired by changes of the constitution; differences of opinion cannot be settled by compromise. ‘This world’ is darkness that must give way to the new light. Hence coalition governments are impossible.  The political figures of the old order cannot be re-elected in the new world; and the men who are not members of the movement will be deprived of their right to vote in the new order.”

Eric Voegelin, The New Science of Politics (1952), Chapter 5, “Gnostic Revolution”

“In our time it is broadly true that political writing is bad writing. Where it is not true, it will generally be found that the writer is some kind of rebel, expressing his private opinions and not a ‘party line’. Orthodoxy, of whatever colour, seems to demand a lifeless, imitative style. The political dialects to be found in pamphlets, leading articles, manifestos, White papers and the speeches of undersecretaries do, of course, vary from party to party, but they are all alike in that one almost never finds in them a fresh, vivid, homemade turn of speech. When one watches some tired hack on the platform mechanically repeating the familiar phrases — bestial, atrocities, iron heel, bloodstained tyranny, free peoples of the world, stand shoulder to shoulder — one often has a curious feeling that one is not watching a live human being but some kind of dummy: a feeling which suddenly becomes stronger at moments when the light catches the speaker’s spectacles and turns them into blank discs which seem to have no eyes behind them. And this is not altogether fanciful. A speaker who uses that kind of phraseology has gone some distance toward turning himself into a machine. The appropriate noises are coming out of his larynx, but his brain is not involved, as it would be if he were choosing his words for himself. If the speech he is making is one that he is accustomed to make over and over again, he may be almost unconscious of what he is saying, as one is when one utters the responses in church. And this reduced state of consciousness, if not indispensable, is at any rate favourable to political conformity.”

George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language” (1946)

4 thoughts on “Femmesplaining in the Second Reality

  1. Pingback: Femmesplaining in the Second Reality | @the_arv

  2. Pingback: Femmesplaining in the Second Reality | Reaction Times

  3. As the saying goes, it is hard to reason someone out of what (s)he never reasoned himself into to begin with. Or something like that.

    Bonald has lamented before in these threads that (paraphrase) the older and more experienced he gets the more he is persuaded that no amount of reasoning, no matter how logically correct and ironclad one’s arguments are, will suffice to prevent self-destructive behavior in persons *intent* on pursuing a self-destructive course of action. I am likewise persuaded.

    • There were people like Carlson’s interlocutor (using the term loosely), many of them women, on the UCLA campus in 1972 when I was an undergraduate for the first time — Communists, their kin the Spartacists, various spokesmen and spokeswomen for Black Supremacy, and what have you. They have been around for a long time, as Orwell’s description of them from 1946 would indicate. Carlson has recently specialized in letting them splash themselves over the people who would normally not encounter them, which is good publicity for sane discourse and courteous exchange.

      In consideration of Orwell’s essay, the various once-ornate but now hackneyed phrases that he quotes seem in their ensemble positively rich in comparison with the ranting harridan’s verbal torrent, which contains only two words, “fascist” and “nazi,” endlessly repeated.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.