Saving Science Fiction from Strong Female Characters – Part 4

In a previous essay in this space, it was proposed that reviewers who yearn for more strong female characters in science fiction frequently mistake strength for masculinity.

That essay argued that by the nature of male and female biology, a certain stereotypical psychology and set of virtues, priorities and values was necessary and desirable to differentiate the sexes and increase their joy in each other.

The virtues of men are called masculinity; the virtues of women are called femininity. The argument given there was that females can be strong and should be portrayed in stories as strong in the way that is particular to women, but not in the way that is particular to men. What writers should not do, so the previous essay argued, is merely give female characters manly characteristics and call that ‘strong’.

So far, in none of these essays, have I mentioned what the objection is to the effort to making these masculinized glamor-model Amazons into main characters.

I have said I have no objection to Supergirl, who is Kryptonian, and stronger than any mortal, and no objection to Wonder Woman, who is, er, an Amazon. Not only do I have no objection to Batgirl either when played by Yvonne Craig or when drawn by Bruce Timm and voiced by Tara Strong, I actually have an unsightly crush on her.

I have no objection to Mary Sue style wish-fulfillment characters who are good at everything and loved by all men. I do not see them as different from James Bond style wish- fulfillment characters who are good at everything and loved by all women.

I have no objection to angst-ridden leather-clad buxom vixen in highheeled boots fighting her werewolf ex-lover not in highheeled boots with her silver switchblade on the back of her flaming Harley-Davidson motorcycle in the moonlight on a storm-drenched burning train-trestle collapsing beneath the roaring unmanned freight train carrying jet fuel and nitroglycerine bearing down on her. Will she be able to stab the handsome brute in time to swan-dive to safety into the raging piranha-filled and ice-choked river far below, and still find forgiveness and love, before the inevitable explosive break-up of the Transcontinental Railway and her relationship with her brutally handsome demon-lover?

Who am I to criticize any of this? I mean, good grief, I watched RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION and almost enjoyed it. (I actually have rather plebeian tastes. Albeit I suppose a real plebeian would not know the word plebeian. He would use the phrase  the hoi polloi  instead.)

So what is my objection?

My objection is to falseness, insincerity, propaganda, bad drama, bad art, and treason against the muses.  My objection is to using art for propaganda purposes. My objection is to Politically Correct piety. My objection is to the Thought Police.

My objection is to the spirit of totalitarianism.

For about ten years now, I have been writing and posting essays and articles on my electronic journal, and in all that time, I have been subjected to the Leftist mob tactics of mass hatred once and once only. It was the time I mocked the Sci-Fi Channel for kowtowing to Political Correctness. My motive for objecting was perfectly clear to everyone: I would like to write without censorship, formal or informal, based on political considerations. Formal censorship is state enforced; informal is enforced by organized mob-tactics, minority pressure groups, yelling, screaming, boycotts, hysteria and general bullying.

Because I would like to write without informal censorship interfering with my livelihood, I objected to Sci-Fi channel, or anyone in my field, surrendering to the minority pressure groups screaming and yelling and mob-tactics and bullying. So I mocked the Sci-Fi channel for encouraging the bullies by bowing the knee to them.

And in return the mob tried to bully me, of all people. As if I give a tinker’s damn for the opinions of these yowling halfwits. (There was exactly one person of the seven hundred or so who wrote in to me who seemed sincerely offended, and to him I apologized. To remaining six hundred and ninety-nine or so, I offered defiance in public, and in private prayed for their fool souls, hoping despite all appearances they were not damned fools.)

This taught me a lesson, but not the one the mob organizers wanted to teach. It taught me what they were afraid of. Not of me: no one can be afraid of a fat and balding nearsighted science fiction writer with a dull swordcane.

Nor were they offended by calling sodomy a sexual perversion, which I have done frequently before and since, never eliciting a single angry comment in reply, or attracting the slightest notice.

Since my legions of drug-maddened terror troops are all stranded on Salusa Secondus, the third planet of Gamma Piscium, 138 lightyears away, surely the mobsters of Political Correctness are not afraid of any physical force I can bring to bear. Neither am I in a position to deny any man any economic opportunities, nor am I influential enough to provoke public opinion or create any controversy. I doubt I could even do as much myself against them as they have done to me, such as hack a Wikipedia page or send around an open letter and expect it to be published and reprinted.

To explain what they are afraid of, I am afraid I have to explain something of the pathology of Leftism.

They actually think they are fooling us.

No, stop laughing. I will give you a moment to catch your breath again.

They think we think they care about gays and lesbians and blacks and women and Jews, and that their motive is compassion for all these poor oppressed groups…

Please stop laughing. I will give you another moment.

Now they know what their real motives are: to give themselves a sense of greatness which they actually do not deserve by thinking that they fought for civil rights that they actually oppose, out of compassion which they do not have for victims of utterly imaginary hardships and oppressions.

Am I being unfair? Remind me of the last time a group of feminists rioted outside of a Saudi Embassy.

They want what they have not earned. I do not mean monetary earnings. Their socialism, the craving for the unearned in the economic sphere, is not the main thrust of their psychopathology, it is a side effect. I mean spiritual earnings. They want self-esteem without the effort of doing anything worthy of esteem. They yearn for the palm of martyrdom without actually suffering the pain of being a martyr in the same way they want the crown of righteousness without actually being right.

My theory is that the schoolgirlish overreaction prompted by my comment had nothing to do with the particular topic of gay characters in Sci Fi shows. My theory is that the unadmitted reason for the degree of hostility in that one case was that I happened accidentally to tell the truth about them.

They are censors. The Politically Correct are Thought Policemen.

They do not think it is evil if a man commits crimes; for them, evil is a matter of thinking the wrong thoughts. Hence, Bill Clinton can abuse women without limit, but if he mouths the correct thought in reference to abortion, the feminists love him. Hence, Mrs Chaney can be loving and compassionate toward her gay sister, but if she disapproves of gay marriage, she is the same as a Nazi yearning to exterminate the Jews.

‘Censors’ is perhaps not the right word. In ancient Rome, the office the Censor, in addition to counting the numbers of the tribes and orders for voting, was to bring public shame upon behavior unbecoming to Roman dignity. Later, the office was to bring shame upon books thought heretical or immoral or deleterious to the public order, or redact, or forbid them.

What they are is anticensors: the Politically Correct try to bring shame onto books thought orthodox or moral or insufficiently deleterious to the public order. If a book does not promote sexual perversion in a sufficiently flattering and fulsome way, our anticensors hold it up to public shame.

A single example should suffice. Nothing is more wholesome and decent than a Disney children’s film. Here is an example of the Left trying to hold the wholesome and decent up to shame.

feminists are batshit crazy

Savor, for a moment, dear reader, the absolute wrongness, the twisted perversity, of holding Disney Princesses up to scorn, as being sinister agents of the oppression of little girls.

Now, these self-anointed Thought Police would have no appeal if they admitted their true motivations, even to themselves. They need rationalizations, they need excuses, they need a mask.

The mask is compassion for the downtrodden.

Now, if you look through all human history, you will not find a single instance where the Leftists have actually helped the downtrodden, but many instances of the Left enthusiastically trampling the downtrodden, and grinding the faces of the poor into the dirt. That is the mental image which causes the Leftists their semi-sexual leg-tingles of sadistic lust: they want to see the human face trampled forever beneath their bootheel.

The examples of Cuba, China, Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany should be sufficient warning of what the true motives are behind movements like Occupy Wallstreet, or what the moblike anger of the Ku Klux Klan, which formed the military arm of the defeated Democrat Party after their defeat in the South, can do when its grip on the levers of power goes unchecked.

A reasonable objection to make at this point is that the Fabian style socialists do not want violence. Clement Attlee managed to bring postwar Britain to adopt all the same economic and social policies as Mussolini’s fascist Italy, after all, without firing a shot, without making any arrests.

An even more reasonable objection is that nearly all Leftists think of themselves and talk of themselves and tells narratives about themselves where they are kind and compassionate and softhearted and filled with pity and brimming with the milk of human kindness, and so violence is that farthest thing from their mind.

Then they explain why Che Geuvara is a hero, why George Washington is not so much a hero, why Castro’s Cuba has free health care, and why the guillotine was necessary because the aristocrats and the Jews are enemies of the people, and you cannot make an omelet without murdering 259,000,000 million people in war, pogroms, and government-orchestrated famines.

So they might not approve of killing the victims of Communism by the millions, but they strongly, strongly object to you criticizing Communism.

After all, Castro and Che and Mao and Stalin murdered more people that Attila the Hun, but Senator McCarthy terrified self-important Hollywood people by following legitimate evidence indicating that the State Department was infiltrated by Soviet Agents, and, after the fall of the Soviet Union, it was discovered that each and every person McCarthy accused by guilty of exactly that which he accused them… UH … So, this means McCarthy was such a bad person, you cannot criticize Che or Castro or Stalin. Ronald Regan was the real terrorist, and may have been a madman.

In other words, not all Leftists are violent, but Leftists are blind to violence on their side, because whatever their side does is not judged by moral standards.

Hence in the PC cult worldview, violence is permitted when it serves the cause, but not necessary. Violence is merely icing on the cake, an extra, something in which to indulge when and if opportunities permit, such as among barbaric Russians who passively will endure it, but easily eschewed when opportunity does not permit, such as among civilized Englishmen who might well take up arms if provoked, as Englishmen, judging by their history, are wont to do.

Violence is not the point of Political Correctness.

The central point of Political Correctness is faith.

It is a religious faith, similar to Christianity and growing out of her, but opposed to its host organism and seeking forever to destroy her.

Leftists will trace their roots back to Marx or to the left hand seats of the French Assembly during and before the time of the French Revolution, but the transformative and utopian spirit reaches back to Cromwell and the Puritans. The Puritans in their early days were the arrogant intellectual elite precisely like our current ones, and it was bishops, not beer, to which they objected.

The Puritans gave birth to the Unitarians who gave birth to the Progressives which gave birth to the modern Left, which takes little or no inspiration from the French Revolution. The religious and crusading impulse of the Puritans, the hatred of Christmas, of worldly wealth, of Jews, of Catholics, all of those things remain.

What the Puritans wanted was totalitarianism. The Catholic Church wanted the secular power separate from the spiritual power, and always has, and always will, and the Church always grants her children freedom to make their own judgment in any thing where God has not spoken. The Puritans want no freedom at all, no latitude. Teetotaling and Prohibition and living without private property and that sort of rigorousness has never been a Catholic thing. Just ask the Irish.

The Church has always allowed and encourage those called to a special spiritual adventure to live without worldly pleasures or worldly goods, but never demanded each and every one of us dress in broadcloth like the Puritans year round, rather than just for Lent. The Church demands modesty from her daughters, but not the head-to-toe veil of the Islamic Fascists or the austere unisex drabs of the Maoists.

The Puritan plan was to have the King of England be the Pope, to combine the secular and spiritual power, and when that failed, to establish a utopia in the New World. The Church says there is no paradise before Doomsday. The Church says Man cannot save himself without the grace of Christ. The Puritans say some men are born elect, and cannot be damned, and others are born depraved, and cannot be saved. So to create utopia, all that is required is to give all spiritual and temporal power to the Elect, the elite, the enlightened. Does that sound familiar?

I am emphasizing the spiritual roots of Political Correctness to support the argument that PC is fundamentally a religious movement, a faith tradition, a cult, and not a political movement except in a trivial sense.

Like all faiths, the cult has certain articles of faith. Like all heresies, this cult takes the main propositions of the traditional historic Christian faith for granted, and these are its only source of strength and only source of appeal. The concern for the poor, the widow, the downtrodden, the belief of the brotherhood hence the equality of all men, all this comes from Christian thought: there is no corresponding doctrines to these among the Stoics or Aristotelians or Neoplatonists, and the opposite is preached by those who follow Confucius or those who believe in Karma and in the caste system.

Like all heresies, this cult rejects vehemently other propositions of the Christian faith, and anathematizes them not just as bad opinions, but as an evil to be vilified in absolute terms.

Unlike other heresies, the cult rejects God and the supernatural altogether, and presents itself as if it is not a heresy, not a cult, not a religion, and not based on faith.

It claims to be based on ironclad scientific reasoning of the latest and most intellectually sound and objective sort.

Please stop laughing or I will never finish.

One of the articles of faith of this religion is that it is not a religion and their conclusions are the product of clear and logical thinking, or perhaps the product of pellucid clarity of pure motives and highminded compassion, and that to disagree with the articles of faith is a sign, not of lack of faith, but a lack of intelligence, education, or compassion.

They think they are smarter than us.

These undereducated boobs who cannot follow a syllogism of three steps, who do not speak a word of Greek or Latin, who do not know the difference between Arianism and Aryanism, who have never read ORIGIN OF SPECIES or DAS KAPITAL or THE REPUBLIC and who do not even know the intellectual parentage of all their ideas, these vaunting cretins whose arguments consist of nothing but tiresome talking points recited by rote and flaccid ad hominem, whose opinions are based on fashion, they, of all people, think they are smarter than the rest of the world.

Yes, you can go ahead and laugh at that one. I’ll wait.

It is merely a fact that no Politically Correct policy has ever had the outcome planned. These are not stopped clocks who are correct twice a day: the PC cultists always, always, always, side with whatever is the most evil, illogical, destructive, nihilistic, perverted, and foolish measure in any debate or decision of policy. PC ruins everything it touches.

Instead of providing an endless list of PC schemes, ideas and policies that have failed, since they all fail, I will issue a general challenge to any reader who wishes to dispute the obvious to list the PC success stories. List one. A single example will overturn the universal affirmative. Knock yourself out.

You will find that the candidates on the list are one of two things:

First, the cultists will claim credit for something they opposed, such as the Civil Rights Movement, which was a Republican movement, spearheaded by a Christian minister named King, aided by Nixon, voted into effect by a Republican majority, to overcome Democrats who stood in schoolhouse doors or turned firehoses on peaceful protestors or lynched blacks. Meanwhile the NRA was arming blacks with handguns, Saturday Night Specials, that the Democrats tried, often with success, to remove.

Second, once the true depth of the evil is undeniable, the cultists will deny something that they once supported, such as Stalin’s Soviet Union (of which Lincoln Steffens said “I have seen the future – and it works”) was really actually honest-Injun a truly true example of the true faith after all. It was not REALLY socialist. They did not really try hard enough. They did not spill enough blood. We need to try again and try harder.

These two factors acting in concert create what I call the unreality principle. The unreality principle is the principle that whatever is truth is called not true and whatever is not true is called true. It does not matter what the topic is. The point is to break the mind of its ability to focus on rational thought.

This conditioning of the brain to flinch away from reason and embrace unreason is done by making the unreality principle the paramount moral and ethical principle in the cult. It is the principle that trumps all others.

So the first article of faith of Political Correctness, the one from which it takes its name, is that to think or speak what is factually correct, that is, whatever is really real, is morally wrong if it harms the party or the cause.

Moral righteousness consists of thinking and speaking falsehoods and nonsense-words that are factually incorrect but politically correct, that is, by slogans, jeering, noise, commotion, jingles, hullaballoo, alarums, and cacophony which aid the party or the cause.

And it is only moderately meritorious to speak small falsehoods (such as blaming the failure of the Soviet Union on the need of the idealistic revolutionaries to arm themselves against the vicious attacks from the capitalist West) but truly meritorious, because it is a true sign of deep faith that resists all fact and ignores all logic, to tell truly huge, outrageous, utterly unbelievable lies (such as saying all opposition to Obama is racist, or saying the National Socialist German Worker’s Party was not Socialist, or saying Capitalism produces poverty, or saying the only truth is that there is no truth, or saying that one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist).

Those who take up the pen to argue against this endless drip of nonsense are often baffled by the fact that the PC cultist, when discussing any other matter aside from one of their articles of faith, is capable of humanity, wit, logic, and seems like a normal human being; but once on one of the subjects where this mental disease has taken hold, the cultist will and must say things no one is stupid enough to believe but which no one is dishonest enough to lie about: it is lies on the level of saying your head is a pumpkin, things a child would not believe.

These cultists are not monsters. Why, then, do they say things that anyone can see are utter evil, utter nonsense, utter folly?

What makes kindly gray-haired old grandmas who act like humans at all other times suddenly curse the United States for opposing the spread of International Communism to South America, and unable to believe that the communist assassin Lee Harvey Oswald shot Kennedy, but instead think a Rightwing conspiracy or an evil redneck city in Texas is to blame?

Once might as well as why Eve and Adam, our first parents, favored of Heaven so highly, and blessed with endless life and lordship over the gardens of paradise thought that disobedience to God would get them some greater good, such as equality with God, a good that God whether through cruelty or unfairness, wished to deny them.

The cultists will tell you their motive. Their motive is kindness. They want to help.

The cultists are shocked by the unhappiness and unfairness of human life on earth.

But that is not what makes them cultists. Christians are also shocked by the unhappiness and unfairness of human life on earth, and they explain that shock by reference to the Fall of Man, and seek the solution of the world’s pain in a supernatural power from beyond the world, seeing all men’s devising must fail.

What makes an otherwise rational men into PC-cultists is that they do not believe in the Fall of Man; they believe in the Interrupted Perfection of Man.

They believe perfection of paradise is within arm’s reach, perhaps less than 25 years away, but that the achievement of this eschaton is thwarted by the folly and inertia of the uneducated masses, and by the sinister conspiracy of the malign vested interests favored by the current world-system.

This conclusion is not as bizarre as first seems. The Politically Correct cultists see that reason and decency and honesty have not solved that unfairness nor that unhappiness. Therefore (so their reasoning goes) reason and decency and honesty, also called factual correctness, are worthless.

Disobedience to reason and decency and honesty seem to the cultists to deny to them some greater good that reality has always denied them. It is the same logic Eve used when reaching for the apple. They want to be gods, or, what is the next best thing, the fathers of the New Man who is destined to occupy the shining towers of Utopia.

And ergo the cultist concludes that if factual correctness and loyalty to truth has always failed throughout all history to produce perfect utopia, then political correctness and loyalty to falsehood and outrageous lies must serve in its place.

This thought is like an addictive drug, a drug that gives pleasure only the first time it is used, and thereafter only produces pain if it is withdrawn. After the first euphoric days of the Movement, the cultist quickly finds he cannot get what he wants.

He does not conclude from this that utopia is a self-contradictory and appallingly stupid and Escheresquely impossible idea. He merely feels frustration.

Then he finds a scapegoat for his frustration, usually some harmless bystander, perhaps a Jew, perhaps an Investment Banker, perhaps the Pope, perhaps his father, and blames him.

This scapegoating does not necessarily involve a conspiracy theory of history, but it must have the mood and savor of a conspiracy theory: it must assume action in concern of many groups widely disperses through time and space, whether that group is called Capitalists or the Patriarchy or The Establishment or The Man or what have you.

If the cultist is frustrated, and if the frustration cannot be admitted honestly to be because of the foolishness of his goals, then the frustration of his goals must be blamed on an opponent, a group of wrong-thinking people who have some base and vile motive for maintaining all the injustice and unfairness of the world. The wrong-thinking people are sadists, who thwart the utopia because and only because they want people to be unhappy. The wrong-thinking people are witches on whom all bad harvests are to be blamed.

With the freedom from facts and logic which is the core of Cultist thinking comes a number of defense mechanisms too numerous to list here. I will mention only two.

The first mechanism is placing ideology over logic. Because logic is not a priority, the cult does not demand uniformity of belief even on the core doctrine. The Cult has a number of propositions or special interests it serves, and loyalty to any one of them makes you a cult member, so you get the benefit of unearned sensations of moral superiority and self-congratulation on your kindness, even while other members of the cult are carrying on to do the opposite of whatever you support.

Your loyalty is still to them, and you attack anyone who attacks them. That is the bargain.

This is why some PC Cultists can even admit the communism is a mad, bad and evil, but they also must think McCarthy and Reagan are even worse. Some cultists can think that Islamic terrorists are bad, but the price is that they have to think that criticism or mockery of Islam is even worse. That is why Gay activists and Islamic terrorists can agree to attack their mutual foe, Christendom, despite their mutual hatred for each other.

The second mechanism is placing ideology over honesty. Whenever the lies become too obvious, the cult denies itself, changes its name, and the shadow takes another form and grows again. It cannot call itself Liberalism once it becomes too obvious that the cult yearns with semi-sexual lust for totalitarianism, and seeks totalitarian control over all media, all communication, all thought. It cannot call itself Progressive once it is clear that the progress is toward the edge of a cliff. They cannot even call themselves Left once it is clear they have no relation to the left-seated liberal delegates in the French assembly. They cannot call themselves socialist once everyone sees what socialism does to the economy, to human honesty, to self-reliance, to manhood, to humanity. They cannot call themselves communists once it is clear they have no intention of sharing all property in common, but instead given Dachas to the elite party members and giving slums or Siberians gulags to the depraved under-men. This is why the cult keeps changing its name.

There is no center to it. There is no Pope in charge of this antichurch of antihuman belief. It is a loose collection of gibberish which has nothing in common except for the psychological effect on the cultists. They get to feel good about themselves as morally superior while thinking they are saving the earth while doing everything imaginable to sink more and more deeply into moral depravity, infanticide, euthanasia, sexual perversion, theft, half-lies and whole lies, revolutions, riots, violence, wars.

It offers complete freedom from morality and reason while also offering to them the laurels and ermine trimmed robe granted to the saints and saviors and beauty queens.

Everything is permitted to cultists because the cult enemy, the witches or wrongthinking people, have  no rights and merit no respect, no, not even the respect due an honorable opponent, or due a man honestly mistaken.

It goes without saying that if utopia were possible, anything done to achieve utopia were be permissible; and likewise any opposition to utopia would be an evil so monstrous as to be beyond explanation. That is why the cultists are not just appalled by opposition to their featherbrained and bloodthirsty schemes, their desire to loot and lie and give the guillotine work to do, they are honestly baffled by it.

The same reason that utopia, by being so valuable, permit any sacrifice needed to reach utopia, and makes all opposition into devils and madmen, so too does an emergency permit large sacrifices allegedly for the duration and silences all opposition as being impermissible given the limited time and the severity of the emergency.

This is why the cultist are always shouting at the top of their lungs.

This is why the best health care system in history, with little or nothing wrong with it, which, perhaps, to be made even better, could have used a few minor tweaks, is described as a crisis demanding immediate action.

A crisis is like a miniature utopia, in that the severity allows foolish actions, like passing a law without reading it first. And any objection to solving the crisis can be denounced as being prompted by an evil desire to prolong or deepen the crisis, a wrongheadedness and willful blindness to the looming severity of the coming disaster.

The end of the world is always immanent for the Cult. The stakes are always all or nothing, world salvation or world damnation. Nothing can be discussed calmly.

Nothing can be discussed calmly for the same reason there is no loyal opposition nor honorable rivals: everything opposed to the cult must be described as absolutely bad and evil in all ways.

(Even science fiction writers, like yours truly, who speak against the cult cannot simply be making an innocent mistake, they must be both uneducated and untalented in the writing of science fiction. Correct political opinion seems also to grant all talents and all graces.)

The only way to escape being accused of being a wrong-thinking person is to denounce other wrong-thinking persons with the vehemence and correct formula of speech to show that one believes the cultists. The formulae change from decade to decade and year to year (Colored to Black to Afroamerican to African American to whatever) so that no one can be a cultist without paying close attention to the cult and its fashions.

And, like the Gnostic before them, the cult has an inner and an outer circle. The inner circle are the ones who half-believe their own lies, and the outer circle are the ones who the inner circle deceives and misleads.

And this is one of the best defenses of the cult: the outer circle members like the sensation of belonging to a group, and like the flattering of speeches and stories and movies telling them, over and over, that they are smarter than average, more compassionate than average, and that the witches and wrong thinking persons are to blame for all the crop failures and everything else wrong with your life.

Did you get fired from your job? When all things are controlled by the state, no more unjust firings will happen. Did your boyfriend break up with you? Once feminism is taught to one and all, an era of mutual understanding and equality will grow, where men will no longer be unfair to women. Do you have a longing for something hard to name? This is because the witches are keeping you from your true heritage.

The Jews are the blame for the Fatherland losing the Great War. The White Man is to blame for my poverty. He makes more than I. He is handsomer than I. He is happy and I am not. Vote for me, and I will stop the witches from cursing the climate and creating a hole in the ozone layer. By November, the Utopia should be up and working. But I need more power over your lives because I am an elite expert and wiser and more compassionate than you, and I will stop the wrong thinking people, who are all-powerful witches.

And on and on and on. It is a formula that explains all failures and promises all success and shifts blame to the wrong thinking people, and the beauty of the cult is that facts never, ever get in the way.

That is the strategic overview of the Cult belief of Political Correctness.

What has this to do with science fiction?

Nothing. The Cult is totalitarian. It does not want to control merely your beliefs about God and angels or your beliefs about race relations or your beliefs about the proper forms of law and government or your beliefs about questions of capital and labor or your beliefs about relations between the sexes or your beliefs about the relations between man and his environment or your beliefs about your diet and your smoking habits. They want to control your beliefs on purely scientific questions, such as the role of human activity in relation to global temperatures over the next century, or the average intelligence quotients of various racial groups.

They want to control EVERYTHING. The totality. Your whole mind and whole heart and whole soul, during your every waking moment.

And they want you to believe – this is also a central tenant of their dogma – that they do not want you to believe anything, that their beliefs are nothing but the independent conclusions of disinterest scientific thinkers who just so happen to agree in perfect lockstep on these matters.

The central dogma of the Cult of Political Correctness is that there is no cult, and no dogma. The dogmatists are the other people, the wrong-thinking people, the witches whose malign magic powers somehow cause utopia not to be born.

So the Cult is interested in science fiction only because science fiction exists and the Cult demands total control over every aspect of human life down to the last nuance (while denying that it makes that demand).

Ah, but is it not true that science fiction back in the unenlightened days before our messiahs of female equality Hugh Hefner and Bill Clinton, writers and editors treated women as secondary characters, and female authors where hunted down by Senator McCarthy and his Sardaukar Terror Troops?

The answer will have to wait. To be continued in our next.

47 Comments

  1. Comment by Stephen J.:

    Well said.

    And it occurs to me that there is a neat parallel to Screwtape in your words: “I would like to write without censorship, formal or informal, based on political considerations.”

    Screwtape said to Wormwood, “It is amazing how many people think of us as ‘putting things into’ their heads; in reality much of our best work is done by keeping things out.” Similarly, one could write, “It is amazing how many people think of censorship as forcing people to take things out of their speech; in reality much of the worst censorship is done by forcing people to put things in.”

  2. Comment by The Ubiquitous:

    I am afraid I am about to overwear my welcome.

    First, if Left and Right have any meaning, it is because they are not synonymous with Republican and Democrat. We can speak of a global Leftism, and a historical Leftism, in limited senses. Historically, Leftism so far as it can be described does trace its American roots to Teddy Roosevelt, who is himself Lincoln’s heir. These are not Democrats, and yet neither are they really Lefitsts. Long story short: The old GOP from when it was still new really does not say anything about either the modern Left or the modern Right. A GOP of the neocon is only incidentally and superficially related to the historical GOP, or a GOP of more laissez-faire foundations. I am not sure there is substantial ideological continuity between Lincoln and TR and Goldwater and Reagan and Bush and McCain, each of whom represents a period of GOP ideology.

    Second: I do not believe that I am a prude, but I do in fact object to sexpot portrayals of women on general principles, and I do in fact desire the return of nearly every principle of the old Comics Code and the Legion of Decency. This is at first reconcilable with your opinions, but the return of private censorship is, I fear, at odds with your views.

    Here are some of the principles I mean:

    * Suggestive and salacious illustration or suggestive posture is unacceptable.
    * Females shall be drawn realistically without exaggeration of any physical qualities.
    * Illicit sex relations are neither to be hinted at nor portrayed. Rape scenes as well as sexual abnormalities are unacceptable.
    * Seduction and rape shall never be shown or suggested.
    * Sex perversion or any inference to same is strictly forbidden.
    * … clothed figures shall never be presented in such a way as to be offensive or contrary to good taste or morals.

    • Comment by Pierce O.:

      Females shall be drawn realistically without exaggeration of any physical qualities.

      Isn’t exaggeration, caricature, and general unrealisticness kind of the whole point of cartooning? Furthermore, why should comic artists be forbidden to draw physically exaggerated women but not men? Why is Superman okay and Supergirl not (though I suppose since both are Kryptonian their bodily proportions do not have to be the same as those of humans, which provides an incredibly easy to exploit loophole to that rule)?

      • Comment by The Ubiquitous:

        It is a period euphemism for “no cheesecake.” You can replace it with “no softcore porn” and have about the same effect.

        As for why women and not men, I think that should now be clear for any serious enquirer. However, you may be being sarcastic, in which case: Carry on.

        • Comment by Pierce O.:

          It is a period euphemism for “no cheesecake.” You can replace it with “no softcore porn” and have about the same effect.

          Ah, this makes much more sense.
          Also, euphemistic use of the phrase aside, I realized you and I may be thinking of very different things when we think of exaggerated proportions in comics. I primarily read manga, in which any absurd proportioning, be it female or male, is presented as part of an overall very stylized, cartoony style (which isn’t to deny that many comics contain fanservice, which I try to avoid), whereas most Western comics present it as part of an ostensibly more realistic style of cartooning.
          Compare, for example, this:
          http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mdzmu5SvMe1rhgn53o1_1280.jpg
          with this: http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20131030005608/protagonist/images/f/fe/Spider-man_black_cat_mary_jane_comic_book_cover.jpg
          I find the latter offensive to good taste but not the former, because one is trying to pass as realistic whereas the other makes no pretense to being anything other than cartoony and exaggerated (which, again, isn’t to say that you can’t find tasteless anime pictures, just that the difference in art styles makes exaggerated anatomy more problematic more often in Western comics).

          As for why women and not men, I think that should now be clear for any serious enquirer. However, you may be being sarcastic, in which case: Carry on.

          The webcomic Shortpacked actually had a strip on this once: one of the female characters pointed out that while it was true both sexes were physically exaggerated, in both cases the exaggeration was to cater to the male readers’ fantasies

          Ah, here I was being serious, but I believe that comes from difference in experience: a few acquaintances of mine, plus numerous comments I’ve seen on tumblr (there is a small group of Catholics who reblog fandom stuff intermingled with Catholic stuff in that wretched hive of scum and villainy), make it clear that many women do find the exaggerated, overly muscular heroes quite attractive, so it seems to me that if we are going to limit cheesecake we should limit beefcake too.

          • Comment by The Ubiquitous:

            Maybe. But porn showing women is a more frequent and more serious problem than porn showing men. If nothing else, there are plenty of relatively scrawny male superheroes.

            Moreover, beefcake makes sense for Colossus. Cheesecake makes sense for nobody. More to the point, if beefcake had its way, we’d still have Colossus. If cheesecake had its way, we’d never have Kitty Pride.

      • Comment by Stephen J.:

        “Furthermore, why should comic artists be forbidden to draw physically exaggerated women but not men?”

        The webcomic Shortpacked actually had a strip on this once: one of the female characters pointed out that while it was true both sexes were physically exaggerated, in both cases the exaggeration was to cater to the male readers’ fantasies: the women were exaggerated to make them more sexually appealing to men, and the men were exaggerated to make them more vicariously appealing to men by identification — presenting them as fantasies of power, size, strength, certainty and invulnerability.

        The character then drew a quick sketch of Batman as she thought he might look if drawn to be more sexually appealing to her: “Okay, lean strength for speed rather than bulk… big, dark, intense eyes… give him fuller, more kissable lips….” The result was a distinctly yaoi-fied, anime-esque Caped Crusader. The male character looked at this, squirmed, and said, “That art is… really making me feel uncomfortable.” The girl said, “Welcome to the background radiation of my world.”

        The tumblr blog eschergirls.tumblr.com has a running record of female images in which the exaggeration is so acute, and almost always purely for the purposes of sexualizing the imagery, that it actually violates anatomical functionality and skeletal proportion. If a parallel blog exists for similarly distorted male imagery, I haven’t seen it, but I doubt it has anywhere near the same volume of content.

          • Comment by Nom de Guerre:

            Shortpacked! author/artist David Willis is homosexual, isn’t he?

            So far as the topic of that particular strip is concerned, though, I rather suspect that cheesecake-ified superheroines tend to draw feminist wrath at least partly because A: they’re presented as being extremely appealing to men, which feminists stereotypically are not, and B: they tend to possess very masculine strength and durability, which feminists envy but cannot possess.

            • Comment by Stephen J.:

              This is an extremely belated followup to this post, but as a matter of public record it must be corrected: David Willis is actually heterosexual, according to Wikipedia, which states that he proposed to his girlfriend on September 19, 2008 through his “Shortpacked!” comic of that day.

        • Comment by John C Wright:

          If the claim being made that women are attracted to wispy, big-lipped men with big eyes, rather than men who project a sense of power, size, strength, certainty and invulnerability, a healthy skepticism is the most polite reaction I can muster to answer the claim. This describes, at best, what a feminist activist wishes women would find attractive in men, but not what they find attractive.

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      What here is at odds with my views?

      I have been waiting for someone on the Left to realize that the pornographers are the enemies of womankind and that the legion of decency, that is, the Christians of the Right, are their friends. The comics I read when I was a kid certainly had pretty heroines and heroes built like bodybuilders, but they were not the exaggerated cheesecake or beefcake that Rob Liefeld made popular.

      • Comment by The Ubiquitous:

        Here it is:

        First, the cultists will claim credit for something they opposed, such as the Civil Rights Movement, which was a Republican movement, spearheaded by a Christian minister named King, aided by Nixon, voted into effect by a Republican majority, to overcome Democrats who stood in schoolhouse doors or turned firehoses on peaceful protestors or lynched blacks. Meanwhile the NRA was arming blacks with handguns, Saturday Night Specials, that the Democrats tried, often with success, to remove.

        This is false, for the reason I labeled as my first.

        I have no objection to angst-ridden leather-clad buxom vixen in highheeled boots fighting her werewolf ex-lover not in highheeled boots with her silver switchblade on the back of her flaming Harley-Davidson motorcycle in the moonlight on a storm-drenched burning train-trestle collapsing beneath the roaring unmanned freight train carrying jet fuel and nitroglycerine bearing down on her. Will she be able to stab the handsome brute in time to swan-dive to safety into the raging piranha-filled and ice-choked river far below, and still find forgiveness and love, before the inevitable explosive break-up of the Transcontinental Railway and her relationship with her brutally handsome demon-lover?

        This, I thought as I wrote my comment, is related to my second reason. Upon re-reading, I think your description is not so much about the cheesecake of leather and buxom as it is about describing Eliza Dushku in Buffy, &c.

        So far as feminists against pornography, there are a few, and they are always encouraging. They are also, to my knowledge and regret, dying off.

        • Comment by John C Wright:

          I am not sure what you are claiming is false, or what it has to do with your views about pornography. The paragraph you quote contains nothing controversial.
          I said the following:
          1. Martin Luther King spearheaded the Civil Rights Movement (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/110/hr2040/text). He was a Christian Minister (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Luther_King,_Jr.).
          2. Nixon aided the Civil Rights effort (http://nixonfoundation.org/2013/02/robert-brown-president-nixon-strong-on-civil-rights/). Dr King publicly thanked him. See the second page of this original letter (http://www.thekingcenter.org/archive/document/letter-mlk-vice-president-nixon-0#).
          3. Governor George Wallace of Alabama stood in the schoolhouse door to block the entrance of black students Vivian Malone and James A. Hood showed up at the University of Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa to attend class. His stated reason was to support segregation. He was a Democrat. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stand_in_the_Schoolhouse_Door)
          4. As was Bull Connor.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bull_Connor)
          5. As was the KKK. “In 1874 … newly organized and openly active paramilitary organizations, such as the White League and the Red Shirts, started a fresh round of violence aimed at suppressing blacks’ voting and running Republicans out of office. These contributed to segregationist white Democrats regaining political power in all the Southern states by 1877.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ku_Klux_Klan)
          6. The NRA armed the blacks against the KKK. (http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/negroeswithguns/rob.html)
          7. Saturday Night Specials were inexpensive guns, commonly thought to be used by blacks (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturday_night_special, see the section on the Origin of the Term) And the NRA opposed banning them (http://www.nraila.org/news-issues/fact-sheets/1999/saturday-night-specials.aspx)

          I am assuming you misunderstood some basic point of mine. The events to which I refer are a matter of public record, and, to the best of my knowledge, not open to dispute. At least, I have never heard of Leftists saying King was not Christian or Wallace was not Democrat. Perhaps the degree of NRA support for Blacks is open to dispute, but not in the main. It is clear which side, Conservative or Liberal, generally favors gun control. If it is not clear that at least part of that desire for gun control is a desire for race control, the difference between the KKK being met by armed victims versus disarmed is clear enough.

          I do not understand what you are calling false or what this has to do with pornography.

          • Comment by The Ubiquitous:

            Early in the essay you write regarding Leftism. Later you identify Democrats as Leftists for their actions during a period when Democrats were not Leftists. This is an equivocation.

            Even at the time of Governor Wallace were there several factions within the Democratic Party, Left and Right, and they wouldn’t have much to do with each other during the ’50s and ’60s and so on. Look at Byrd’s electoral votes in 1960 to see what I mean. The real exodus of the South to the GOP didn’t really come until Goldwater, and wasn’t solidified until Nixon — yet at no point in this process was the South Leftist.

            It is inappropriate to cite Democrats as Leftists when the Democrats cited were not Leftists. Show a Bobby Kennedy in a white pointed hood and you will have your Leftist Democrat. Governor Wallace? Not quite.

            • Comment by Carbonel:

              I disagree: the continuity of maintaining Blacks as a slave-class, is unbroken within the history of the Democrat party. Compare the educational, political and economic status of Blacks in any area controlled by Democrats vs. their educational, political and economic status in any area controlled by Republicans. Before you jump in, (as I would expect) don’t forget the house overseers. We don’t need to see Bobby Kennedy in a white painted hood, so long as nearly all of the rest of his party wears them, for all they like to call them “alternative sex wear” these days, and read you a lecture on prudery when they’re caught bringing the iron boot of government down on Black hopes and dreams.

              • Comment by The Ubiquitous:

                There is a difference between intending to keep the blacks as a slave class and not intending it but making it happen anyway. Even if the welfare state absolutely creates a slave class of black people — and, for the record, I’m friendly to that a moderate version of that conclusion — it does not mean that the Democrats are such demons that they mean to make blacks slaves. There are a fair amount of dupes, and many are deluded, and, dare I say it, some of the deluded dupes are leaders.

                In fact, the whole horror of the Left is that they really do mean well but have no idea what good is. If there is anything really frightening about them it is the good intentions within their chestless selves. If they were demons, they would be easier to reject. Unfortunately, they are not pure error — only the admixture of truth with error. They are not pure evil — they are only a broken good. They they do irredeemable evil does not mean they are irredeemable, not yet.

                This last part is not directed at you, not unless you need to hear it. I’ve just been thinking about it a lot, having bumped into Martin Buber in conversation lately.

                • Comment by John C Wright:

                  That last part is not directed at me. I said as much in my essay. I only think that there is a duty which no man can escape to make himself aware of the consequences of his actions. This duty is breached for most liberals unintentionally. They are innocent, they know no better, that have been lied to, they do not know it is a lie.

                  This is true only up until a certain point. Policy wonks, speechwriters, lawyers, politicians, newspapermen, and so on, meet enough evidence every single day of our lives that says what the consequences of the actions are, at that point it becomes no longer innocent, but it requires a willful closing of the eyes. Then there is a point beyond that, where such a deep cynicism sets in, that the willful closing of the eyes becomes a willful prodding out of the eyes, so that the person deliberately rips out of himself a conscience or an ability to think about what he is and what he has done. At that point, the talking points become automatic, and they disconnected from any though process, and there is no way to reach the person any longer. He has departed of his own free will from the realm of reason and logic and lodged himself firmly in a dark realm far removed from reality, facts, and honesty.

                  At that point of corruption, they are evil and willfully evil. It is no longer an innocent mistake once they know better.

                  • Comment by The Ubiquitous:

                    At that point of corruption, they are evil and willfully evil. It is no longer an innocent mistake once they know better.

                    Certainly, and it is impossible to disagree.

                    Where we disagree: You seem to believe that most of the people involved are at that level, and I don’t. I prefer to think that only a few are really willfully evil about this kind of thing, but my preference has no more basis in reality than some governmental programs. It would be appropriate if my own biases were found to be based on wistful desire and groundless hope, built up on my ignorance of how things are. I’ll have to watch that.

                    For now, I think, I’ll hold on to the optimism in my blind spot — now that it isn’t in my blind spot any more, I’ll have to see whether it lingers.

                  • Comment by The Ubiquitous:

                    We also disagree, mind, on how hopeless the situation is. In absolute terms, nobody alive is beyond the hope of Christ, at least to our perception. Only God knows for sure who and whether anybody ends up in hell. Though we have cause to believe that many end up there, and to be more sure of that than an empty hell, we have no cause for certainty. This applies especially to any individual.

        • Comment by John C Wright:

          As for the second part, I assume I have made it clear that when feminists ask for strong female characters and in return are offered buxom cheesecake models, that the feminists should be more upset, not less. A fainting female character who needs rescuing is uninspiring, but some girls do act that way in real life in real emergencies (some boys, too; one never knows one’s strength of character before the trial) but the frail and petite superninja death-doll who both fights linebackers and hulking thugs while still looking like a fashion model, or perhaps a leather fetish model, is even more uninspiring and more insulting to women, because no one looks like Twiggy and fights like George Foreman.

          I was not advocating more cheesecake in this society. We are drowning in it. Nor would I abolish it, but if we want to do the ladies a favor we should clearly do with less, and abolish pornography altogether.

          I was merely saying that is not the basis of my objection. Those books are fantasy books which appeal to male and female fantasies alike, and I do not think they are any better or worse than the Barsoom books of which they strongly remind me. The negative points and positive are the same. They brave and pagan and shallow, and have a trifle of prurient appeal: everyone on Barsoom is a nudist, remember. The fanboys of 1912 were titillated by such daydreams as much as fanboys nowadays reading about winsome vampire huntresses.

          Obviously I do not object to cheesecake, since I often post girl pictures here. But if you notice almost all the pictures I post here are as old if not older than I am: I honestly do not think I am contributing to the degeneration of the morals of the young. By modern standards, the raciest photograph of Julie Newmar or Yvonne Craig is tame.

          But my motive is clearly prurient: if you want to criticize me for that, I cannot argue with your justice. My only argument is that within sane standards of decency, a certain amount of sex appeal should be permitted, provided it does not get out of hand. The moment it turns into porn, even the softest of softcore, it has gone too far, and I would welcome censorship of my own work or any other man’s. Even so, I have no objection to nude classical statues and the like.

          • Comment by The Ubiquitous:

            After your clarification, I am happy to understand. In understanding, I basically agree.

            Even your cheesecake does bother me, since you bring it up, because I really aim trying and failing at keeping custody of the eyes. I won’t say whether that’s my problem or yours, but know I am taking the step of turning on “no images” to read your latest post. For what it’s worth.

            • Comment by John C Wright:

              I am honestly surprised to find anyone thinking magazine covers from the 1940′s are too spicy. I don’t know whether I have been desensitized or you are over-sensitive, but this is a matter of prudence, where reasonable men can differ. I fear I have been thoughtless and imposed on you and your noble and difficult efforts to take custody of the eyes.

              • Comment by The Ubiquitous:

                Please don’t feel that way. This is probably, as you say, a matter of prudential judgment. I am young, and not too many years past the days when National Geographic was also effectively smutty — in this usage if a thing is effectively smutty it does not mean it actually is. I have avoided cheesecake deliberately for similar reasons, though the intentions of the comic book artist are likely much less honorable.

                (All I say here is effectively smutty, as in: It might as well be for me considering its effects. Certainly if the creator intends “prurient interest” then a thing is smut, but if the creator of a thing does not intend this, then it may not be. I don’t pretend to be able, as a youngish guy, to tell if a thing is actually or only accidentally smutty. That it is for me is enough to avoid it.)

                To prebut any charge of relativism: The only thing absolute is that smut is bad, but whether a thing is effectively smutty does in fact depend on the culture and the individual.

  3. Comment by Brian Niemeier:

    Your allusions to the Fall are spot on. The father of lies has only one lie: “Divine and natural laws are oppressive, arbitrary restrictions. Disobedience is freedom.”

    He tells it over and over again. The first time we lost paradise. You’d think we’d learn, but we keep listening in the vain hope that somehow the lie will restore what we lost by it.

  4. Comment by Bobby Trosclair:

    Excellent article, John, and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

    There may be a slight typo in the paragraph “What makes kindly gray-haired old grandmas who act like humans at all other times suddenly curse the United States for opposing the spread of International Communism to South America, and unable to believe that the communist assassin Lee Harvey Oswald shot Kennedy, but instead think a Rightwing conspiracy or an evil redneck city of Houston is to blame?” – I think you meant Dallas, unless there is a leftwing conspiracy theory that there was an internecine war between Houston and Dallas that left JFK in the crossfire.

    In light of the Screwtape reference above, it’s interesting that many people think that the totalitarian government in Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451″ is based on government censorship of thought inimical to its goals. In the novel, Bradbury made it explicit that the incendiary culture of the State began as political correctness run amuck, with special interest groups each demanding that no thought that they might find offensive be published or aired, and the government finally stepping in to ensure a tyranny of blandness of thought.

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      I always welcome corrections.

      I saw Bradbury give an interview, where he corrected a common mistake about Fahrenheit 451. As you say, it was not a book about government censorship; it was a book about self imposed censorship once television had rotted everyone’s capacity for critical thinking, and everyone was afraid of voicing disagreement.

      I am reminded of Pope Benedict’s warnings about the tyranny of moral relativism.

      • Comment by Sean Michael:

        Dear Mr. Wright:

        The former Pope Benedict XVI warned against the “dictatorship of relativism.” But of course he would agree with the need to oppose “the tyranny of moral relativism.”

        Sincerely, Sean M. Brooks

  5. Comment by Carbonel:

    “[a real plebian] … would use the phrase the hoi polloi instead.”

    Bwa-ha-ha! Too funny.

    I’m hoping to make this into a longer post on the subject, but since I began noodling about this a few years ago, and still haven’t worked it out sufficiently, who’s to say I’ll do better now? The gist: Based on your essays, my own opinions about parfait knights, it seems to me that both male and female chivalry exist, as both men and women may be virtuous and possess moral strength. The critical difference is that, should chance require it, the chivalrous hero will insist on dying for his Lady Love, and the chivalrous heroine will let him.

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      Maybe. Or maybe the dame will slap him and tell him not to die, get the other sorry bloke to go die, and then go get a real job with the Emperor in Constantinople and support the family.

      Perhaps I am reading too much of my own attitude into the medievalist epic, however.

      • Comment by Carbonel:

        “Perhaps I am reading too much of my own attitude into the medievalist epic, however.”

        Ya think?

        Chivalry, is strength stooping to lend its power to weakness, without counting the cost.

        Based on your own descriptions of what men and women are naturally strong for and about, I think I’m on to something.

        But yes, most modern scenarios will end as the final battle in the Incredibles did, with Mr. & Mrs. Incredible entering the fray together.

  6. Comment by Andrew Brew:

    Speaking of censorship…

    This happened to be what I was reading just before I opened John’s article. It is relevant to the start of this article rather than to the whole of it, but worthy of being a footnote, I think.

    I’ll post the link quickly before Mary beats me to it:
    http://www.city-journal.org/html/13_3_oh_to_be.html

  7. Comment by KFJ:

    The religious and crusading impulse of the Puritans, the hatred of Christmas, of worldly wealth, of Jews, of Catholics, all of those things remain.

    Actually the Puritans were Judaeophile. The Jews were re-admitted to England under Cromwell, having been expelled by King Edward I., and much of Puritan zeal was very Old Testament. For instance, their iconoclasm was based on the 2nd Commandment, and their hostility to Christmas and other such feast-days was based on the 4th, which they believed had been slighted by those Popish practices.

    http://www.olivercromwell.org/faqs4.htm

    As for worldly wealth, it’s no accident that modern capitalism took off in the Protestant Netherlands, Britain, and USA.

    The Catholic Church wanted the secular power separate from the spiritual power [except, of course, in the Papal States], and always has, and always will, and the Church always grants her children freedom to make their own judgment in any thing where God has not spoken.

    And where God (according to the Pope) has spoken, and anyone contradicted it, he would be handed over to the secular power to be burned alive.

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      And where God (according to the Pope) has spoken, and anyone contradicted it, he would be handed over to the secular power to be burned alive

      List for me the nations where heresy was a capital crime and treason was not.

      • Comment by Stephen J.:

        I welcome correction if this is my misunderstanding, but isn’t KFJ’s point that heresy, if it was proven with sufficient legal weight to be real and the heretic absolutely refused to recant, was basically considered treason anyway?

        The larger point being, I infer, that for significant portions and periods of Christendom the Church-State division was much blurrier in practice than the formal separation might indicate. But again, I welcome correction on this inference.

        • Comment by John C Wright:

          I did not say anything about a Church-State division, which is not a doctrine of the Catholic Church. I spoke of the division between spiritual and temporal authority, which has existed during all of Church history and all the way back to Moses and Aaron.

          If his point is that Christians are sinners, I grant him the point. If his point is that the Catholic Church at certain periods of history called on the secular authority to punish heresy with capital punishment, and that this is an offense against human justice and divine love, I grant him the point. If his point is that the Catholic Church is somehow singular in offending in this way, I will smile and refer him to a history book. If he was just sneering to sneer, I wish him well in finding better pasttimes.

  8. Comment by Nom de Guerre:

    Then they explain why Che Geuvara is a hero, why George Washington is not so much a hero, why Castro’s Cuba has free health care, and why the guillotine was necessary because the aristocrats and the Jews are enemies of the people, and you cannot make an omelet without murdering 259,000,000 million people in war, pogroms, and government-orchestrated famines.

    Mr. Wright, I’m curious. Under what circumstances, in your view, would “the Jews” be the “enemies of the people”? I ask because A: it seems a commonly-held belief that Jews cannot, as a group, ever act to the detriment of others (any undeniable examples of wrong-doing, such as the heavy Jewish presence in the Bolshevik terror apparatus, being made out to be cases of isolated, individual initiative reflecting in no ways upon the greater community), in direct contrast with the collective culpability that academia, Hollywood, the major news agencies and other organs of state propaganda are wont to foist upon Christians and/or peoples of European descent in general, and B: historically, numerous Catholic observers of diverse stature and office, ranging from Gregory IX all the way up to Joseph Breen, have held that Jews tend to be hostile towards, and their ways corrosive to, the ideals of the people of Christ.

  9. Ping from Lightning Round – 2013/12/04 | Free Northerner:

    […] great read: The cult of political correctness. Related: Saving SF from strong female characters, part […]

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