Restless Heart of Darkness — Part Two

This is the second part of an essay in which I try to explain, in a few zillion words or so, an insight that took me less than a second. As I said before, it is no doubt something which many people have noticed erenow, but to me it allowed many disconnected facts to leap into place.

I said before that the insight was based on three discussions I recently encountered, but, to be precise, one non-discussion must be added. This is one of the sets of facts that fitted itself suddenly into place with a click like a tumbler falling.

The one non-discussion must serve in the place of an endless number of non-discussions. A non-discussion is that particular act of craven intellectual treachery whereby a man flees from confronting any honest inquiry into his arguments by decreeing imperiously that no discussion is profitable or possible: the matter was settled long ago, and to dissent is a sign of mental incapacity and moral depravity and treason and blasphemy and worse.


I will use the example of the non-discussion on the sensitive matter of Women’s role in a post-gendered, post-Christian and post-rational society. If the gentle reader recalls from our last episode, your gentle but innocent host (me) was taken unawares, elbows and knees jerking in angular yet antic surprise, eyebrows aloft, to discover a respectable lady of the science fiction persuasion expressing discontent with the way strong female characters are portrayed in genre writing.

Now, to be clear, she was not saying that she was tired, because she had seen it too often, of seeing sweater girls in tight leather skirts carrying naked swords on the covers of Urban Fantasies and Buffy Ripoffs. Nor was she saying that she was tired, because she had seen it too often, of the gritty realism where a female character must be raped in order to give her a tragic back story or a motive for revenge. Any fashion becomes wearisome after a while.

What she was saying (if I understood correctly) was that portraying women as sword-wielding Amazon was tokenism, and was condescending, and was not true to life for most women’s lives, and therefore was insulting to women, and an enemy to female equality.

What she was saying (if I understood correctly) was that women are portrayed as rape-victims in order to portray them as weak and inferior to men, to make sure women are not uppity, are kept in their place, and kept weak. This portrayal was also an enemy to female equality.

What bemused me not a little was that both these conceptions of how to portray women in stories have their origin in the Left and only in the Left.

It was not any author loyal to conservative ideals of decency in speech and writing, decorum and honor and the defense of female honor who were clamoring for the portrayal of more grim and gritty and dark-undersewer realism in genre fiction, who wanted, for example, to portray a sweet and innocent Mary Marvelesque superheroine as a rape victim in the pages of MIRACLEMAN, it was Alan Moore. Likewise for the portrayal of the Phantom Lady style superheroine Sally Jupiter in WATCHMAN. It was not Gene Wolfe or Tim Powers who larded an urban fantasy with chapter-long digressions on the evils of raping children, and had both major female characters in the drama be victims of child sex-abuse in the pages of ONION GIRL, it was Charles de Lint.

Let no one misunderstand my point in marking these examples. I mean no disrespect to these authors, whose fame and genius need no additional lauds from me. Both Alan Moore and Charles de Lint are seminal writers, and stand as colossi in our field, along side the very few who can claim to have founded an entire subgenre of work: Urban Fantasy in the case of de Lint, and Antisuperhero comics in the case of Moore.

I do however mean disrespect to the literati Left who rejoices shallowly in the perpetual degradation of our culture, who in my generation applauded this sickening desecration of women as ‘brave’ and ‘edgy’ portrayals, and in the current generation now do an about-face and condemn that same desecration, not because the rape scenes or warrior babes are insulting to the image of women (which they are) but because they are insulting to the image of equality (which they are not).

The question again arises as to why the Left cannot take ‘Yes’ for an answer. Having succeeded beyond their wildest dreams on the issue of women’s equality, why are they gnawing on their own entrails in orgasms of spite and rage and mewling hatred, and making more demands?

It is not a question of moving the goal posts, as when our grandmothers wanted the vote, our mothers wanted to enter the work force, our daughters want to kill our granddaughters in the womb. It is a question of why the goal posts move. Why, in the West, the only place on the globe and the only point in history when women are legally equal to men, is equality not enough to make women equal?

It is not a question of moving the goal posts. There are no goal posts. There is only envy and discontent. The divorce rate is way up, nine out of ten of which are initiated by wives, and the suicide rate among women is way up and the rate of venereal disease among women is way up. I take these rates as signals of discontent on the grounds that the normal, sane, and prudent way of life, the way of life which displays self-control in sexual matters is for a virgin girl to marry a virgin bridegroom and cleave to him and forsake all others until death. That is a contented life. Suicide, divorce, and promiscuity are not signs of contentment and happiness and joy. They are the erratic distractions or vain and desperate lunges toward false pleasures are signs of discontent, unhappiness, self-hatred.

The women have equality in every real sense of the word, and it is still bitter in their mouths. Vanity of vanities, they have found equality is vanity.

Why are they unhappy?

Is it because, as they claim, masculinity is a cultural artifact? Because if masculinity is cultural, then changing our laws and customs can change masculine nature, tame it, break it. Once unsocial masculine behavior and masculine ‘gender roles’ are happily abolished, womankind will be free to define each happy maiden her own role in life, and be truly free. Such is the promise.

The promise is false.

The unhappiness of women is a feminine version of the unhappiness of men, which are both versions of the unhappiness of the Fall of Man. We are unhappy with life because life does not give us — and can never give us — what we truly desire. It is human nature to be dissatisfied with life, and it is the nature of the proud (that is, it is the nature of those with high self esteem) never to blame themselves for their own failures. It is the nature of the proud to hate any superiors, real or imaginary. It is the nature of the proud to blame superiors, real or imaginary, and see each disappointment and imperfection in life, real or imaginary, as an oppression and as an injustice, only some of which actually are injustices.

Ladies, you cannot change our nature. The best that anyone has ever done to tame the masculine spirit, and make it useful rather than antisocial, is to impose the norms, values, laws, and customs associated with chastity and charity into the male psychology. The Church once persuaded or pressured or commanded men to marry, and to love their wives, and to fight with chivalry rather than with pragmatic ruthlessness, and to treat the weak, the humble and the fallen with honor, and to let women and children get to the lifeboats first.

This society no longer teaches that. This society teaches the opposite. This society teaches self esteem. A man with high self esteem shoves granny aside while running for the lifeboat, and a woman with high self esteem divorces a man and has the courts of law punish him the moment she fears he will one day bore her. Marriage is no longer a mechanism useful for domesticating the male warrior-animal. You’ve broken it.

You’ve broken it in pursuit of the promise that abolishing laws and customs will change human nature for the better, because human nature is cultural. Suckers.

The promise is false because masculinity is natural, not cultural.

If masculinity were cultural, then there should be many, or at least some, or at least one, culture where men did not fill the masculine roles.

This is not to say that the specific form of masculine fashion does not change from culture to culture or year to year. In some years, it is fashionable to shave your whiskers, and in others, to grow your whiskers, but a bearded lady is always a freak, never a fashion.

In some places, the men fight with guns, and in others with knives or poisoned tipped spears; but in all cultures, the fighting role is masculine. Nor does this say that females do not fill fighting role in times of need or emergency, such as when the poverty of the Celtic tribes or the vastly outnumbered military of Israel made them expose their daughters to the rigors of war.

No, what was meant by calling masculinity ‘cultural’ was a hope that a new civilization, not based on any of the values or virtues, philosophy, tradition, standards, faith or morals, laws or customs of our current civilization, would somehow grow out of our own by evolution, or spring from our ashes by revolution, in which the enlightened despots of the future could condition or brain-program the sexless humanoid beings of that era, and turn them into unisex supermen, oops, I mean unisex superhumans.

In the sextopia of Ungenderland, some humanoids would have breasts and some whiskers, or both or neither, some endowed with penis or womb, or both or neither, but these matters would be merely a question of plumbing, unrelated to psychology, soul, mind, or social expectations. Babies would be raised or slain by the State, or by everybody, or by nobody, and the curse of Eve would be lifted: women would no longer desire men, no longer bear children in pain, and no longer be subject to men.

Ah, do you doubt me? You think I exaggerate? If anything, I am understating the matter.

Notice that while persons apparently educated and sane not only think masculinity is cultural ergo open to being re-engineered by society, they are unable to imagine the opposite opinion. Meanwhile, Miss Macfarlane over at (my publisher, I am ashamed to say) writes a manifesto calling for the end of Binary Gender in SF.

“Post-binary gender in SF is the acknowledgement that gender is more complex than the Western cultural norm of two genders (female and male): that there are more genders than two, that gender can be fluid, that gender exists in many forms.”

She means ‘sex’ or perhaps ‘sexual roles’. The word ‘gender’ refers to words in declined languages.

She goes on to say

“I am not interested in discussions about the existence of these gender identities: we might as well discuss the existence of women or men. Gender complexity exists.”

Since she is not interested, I will not address that topic here, nor read one word more of her no doubt fine and fascinating essay.

Mr Larry Correia conducts an incisive, warm, and final deconstruction of the true meaning of Miss Macfarlane’s disquisition for your edification and amusement. For me to add a word, verily, a syllable, a letter, or a jot, would be but to gild the lily. Read it here.

But I will address what is betrayed by this unintentional (and unintentionally hilarious) admission that the matter cannot be debated.


This is, of course, the same attitude expressed by the baffled surprise of those who cannot imagine that masculinity or femininity is natural rather than cultural.

The Left cannot see both sides of any issue. They cannot (or dare not) treat any rival viewpoints with respect, not even the respect needed to address or refute them. This alleviates the Left from the burden of actually meeting a burden of proof, indeed, of actually making any argument at all. They just ask opposing viewpoints to shut up.

The great selling point of the Left, the great promise of PC, is that all issues are orthodox and settled, and the great debate of the human condition, all the mysteries of life, no longer are open to discussion. The matter is closed. Talk must stop. Correct thinking is true; incorrect thinking is heresy. You must shut up. You must shut up. You must shut up.

And the burden of human reasoning, the torment of the paradoxes of life, the need for learning, education, or curiosity is done away with. Everything the faithful need know can be printed on a bumper sticker, and chanted as a mantra or a mob-slogan at a rally.

It would be an insult to religion to call this a religion. Real religions take their theology seriously, and debate hairsplitting nuances of phrase over centuries to arrive at precise truth. Cults are not serious. Cults chant slogans. Leftism is a cult.

And no theology can be reduced to a slogan, even if it can (at times) be reduced to a credo or formula. The Incarnation, the idea that Jesus was both fully God and fully Man can be uttered in a sentence, or even a single word, but the theological implications of that will puzzle and awe the saints and angels forever.

What is most annoying is that the partisans of the Left deserve something better than Leftism. Feminism, at its root, is a just and noble idea: the idea of women enjoying the same civil rights as men. In its freakish corrupt form, feminism is just another excuse for the abolition of all moral norms, the abolition of humanity.

The idea of Women’s Liberation can be said in two words, but the implications will puzzle and exasperate the feminists forever; nor will the feminists of one wave ever agree with their sisters in another. “Equality for Women” is, in fact, a theological statement, a mystery of faith, a seeming paradox as puzzling as the paradox of the Incarnation.

A woman in America has the right to vote and to own property in her own name — but what other rights, real or not, must be protected, or invented, or bestowed, in order to achieve the utopia?

Some are more reasonable than others. The right to be chaste without social repercussion? The right to be promiscuous without social repercussion? The right to dress, talk, and act like a man? The right to urinate in a urinal? The right to force all employers to grant equal pay for equal work? The right to commit abortion? The right to marry a lesbian? The right to force the Roman Catholic Church to pay for the abortion and perform the lesbian marriage? The right to force the Roman Catholic Church to pay for the lesbian marriage while performing the abortion on the marriage altar with one bride while the other bride is urinating in a urinal?

The right to force the sperm donor to pay for the childrearing of a lesbian couple once the couple breaks up, and no longer wishes to raise the child together?

This last is a real case. I am not making it up. I note with considerable wry irony and perhaps a pinch of schadenfreude that a culture which has tried its level best to divorce all sexual matters from nature and sanity, until we have lesbian so-called families attempting to rear a fatherless child in imitation of the Virgin Mary, nonetheless retains the at least one judge who does not allow that a man can use his seed to father a child without incurring the responsibilities of fathering a child; in this case, supporting the single mom after a lesbian so-called divorce.

You see, in the case of the Sperm Donor and the Lesbians (hey—that would make a great name for a Rock Band, wouldn’t it?) two worlds collided.

In the first world, the world of reality, the child that grows from a man’s sperm is his child, and he is responsible for it. The institution of marriage serves many purposes, but the primary purpose is to make fathers responsible for rearing the children they father.

In the second world, modern science allows sexual reproduction to take place without the sex act, hence without marriage, hence without laws and customs to prevent improvident fathering of children in situations where both parents are not present to rear him. In the second world, modern acceptance of contraception allowed the growth of the false-to-facts emotional fixation on sex as distinct from reproduction. First a small group, then a larger, than nearly the whole society developed a neurosis, that is, an emotional complex utterly antithetical to reality. This neurosis treats the sex act as a subjective emotional and physical experience unrelated to the act of sexual reproduction; this is turn is unrelated to the pleasures and duties and social roles of childrearing; this is turn is unrelated to the pleasures and duties and social roles of marriage.

In the first world, fornication is forbidden, and women are frequently segregated from men so as to prevent even the opportunity for fornication to arise.

In the second world, the sex act has no bearing on sexual reproduction, hence no bearing on childrearing, hence no bearing on marriage.

In the second world, this sexless form of marriage becomes nothing more than a legal and social sanction to an emotional relationship, either permanent or not, as the partners wish.

If sex means the emotional and physical act of stimulating the sexual organs, then one can have ‘sex’ (by this odd definition) as easily with one’s own sex as with the opposite sex: or, for that matter, with children, corpses, animals, or inanimate objects.

According to the fashions of the moment, this second group is still considered perverse, but the consideration is a matter of sentiment and not logic: that is, an arbitrary reason can distinguish them (for example, capacity to give consent) but no reason actually pertinent to sexual reproduction.

If you doubt me, ask a partisan of sexual liberation why copulating with one’s adult sister (with her consent of course), or with a menstruating fourteen year old (with the parent’s consent, of course) , or with the corpse of one’s wife (with her permission granted in her last will and testament, of course), or with an ape (assuming she gave consent in sign language to the best of her ability, of course; or her owner gives consent on her behalf) in each case where actual coupling takes place, is evil, sick and perverted, whereas sexually stimulating the private parts of a person of one’s own sex, a situation where no copulation can take place, is nonetheless a cherished and romantic fulfillment of utterly natural longings which law, custom, society, public opinion, and the Roman Catholic Church must not only tolerate, but support, applaud, and approve. Ask them.

The partisans of the Sexual Revolution will not give you an argument, merely sneer, or shriek, or pretend to faint like an overexcited Victorian matron, or call you names like a schoolyard bully, hack your Wikipedia page, send hate mail, ad nauseam. They will not give reasoning, by which I mean a structured line of deduction from identified axioms to valid conclusions, each statement being the conclusion of a prior syllogism.

This is not to say an argument cannot be made. I heard and read such arguments commonly enough in my youth. But that was half a century ago. These days a syllogism is a thing many a college graduate has never formed, no, not once. We live in an age of gullibility, where all statements are taken on authority, but always on the authority of anonymous academics, jurists, entertainers, pundits, and bureaucrats who are never, no, not once, asked to produce a warrant of authority. We live in an age of emotion, especially the emotion of offended self-righteousness.

You may be more successful than I, and can, perhaps, find someone willing and able to construct an argument in favor of Sexual Liberation that does not logically necessitate the legalizing everything from algolagnia to zoophilia; but he is as rare as the bearded lady. Yet I suspect you will find “I am not interested in discussions about…” to be the standard response, with few exceptions, or none.


There are many valid reasons why a particular topic cannot be broached in polite company.

First is that the company is met for another purpose, and that certain topics are so fraught with emotion or so complex with so many ramifications, that the social cost of holding a debate at that time and place exceeds the good of talking. This is why gentlemen do not discuss politics at dinner parties, or at work, or discuss the merits of their previous sweethearts with their wives on the honeymoon, or discuss the most effective methods of torture while addressing a grammar school class.

However, in no case is this reason universally valid to silence debate — particularly in the places and at the times when debate is allowed, encouraged, or necessary. The pages of an editorial, particularly an editorial advocating radical and permanent changes to the lives, virtues, values and norms of society cannot silence debate on the grounds that ladies are present, and discussing politics will spoil the dinner party.

Second is that one has no qualifications to have an opinion on the topic, or that all the facts are not in.

In no case does this reason allow you to prevent another man from talking, only you yourself, and only in areas where expertise is required, and you lacks that expertise. In a democracy, or on a jury, every free man is assumed to have the basic knowledge of right and wrong, sick and hale, sane and insane, which the Abolishers wish to abolish. No one is disqualified from holding and promoting an opinion about the sickness of sexual perversion on the grounds that he has no doctorate in the area. The moral law natural to man is known to all who have achieved the age of reason.

Third is that the other party in the discussion has retreated, will not answer questions, or has nothing to say while never shutting up. I pass lightly over the question of why Abolishers, of all people on Earth, ought not use this excuse to back politely out of a conversation.

Fourth is that the matter truly is settled by an authority to whom you and your debate partner must refer all questions to be satisfied.

If I report the diameter of the Earth based on the experiments and calculations of Eratosthenes of Cyrene, or the distances to the sun and moon based on based on measurements taken by Aristarchos of Samos, and I cannot satisfy you, it is not unseemly of me to refer you to those authorities and have you take up your argument with them. If I am aware that I cannot give an argument more clear than the original I am repeating, humility, if nothing else, dictates that I direct you to wiser minds and that I step aside.

Likewise, while I am aware, in a general way, of the arguments for the Big Bang and against the Steady State theory, I could not win an argument against Fred Hoyle. My golden tongue is not so golden as that. I could do no more than refer him to Georges Lemaitre, and bow out.

But note that at no point while bowing out of a conversation one is not qualified to hold is it legitimate to accuse one’s opponent of disqualification. To say “Argument from Authority is the strongest form of argument, as many eminent people will attest!” is a joke, not an argument.

Likewise, saying ‘Global Cooling is Settled Science! The consensus of opinion says…etc’ is an informal logical error. It is another way of saying ‘Shut Up.’

Just this morning on the news, I heard an article saying that school officials oppose a proposed law to teach the children critical thinking about science, by offering more than one point of view, on the grounds that it may provoke children into questioning matters of settled opinion, such as Darwinian Evolution or Global Warming. I am not making this up, not kidding, not exaggerating. The Abolishers are not even bothering to pretend to be honest. Their express reason for opposing teaching children how to think is that they want non-Left points of view to shut up.

Of course, this is a favorite tactic of Abolishers, which is why all the nonsense and offal they utter is asserted to be expert opinion, but any attempt to track down an authority to its source ends up being a maze paved with paper. The authorities being quoted are all anonymous. The experts, upon examination, turn out to be journalists, academics in other fields, political operatives, bureaucrats, paid hacks, and so on.

The Abolisher obsession with detailed statistics generated by allegedly scholarly studies, now that the scientific field is as utterly politicized as the journalistic, is a pathetic attempt to win arguments by false and meretricious authority. No attempt is made to establish the credentials of the authority beforehand. And, in any case, few men are patient enough to look at the actual numbers, who understand the pitfalls of statistics and know what statistics can and cannot prove.

Fifth is that the subject matter is ineffable. If I am discussing how I know my wife loves me, or why I am stirred by Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, or a mystical experience of the oneness of Creation, mere words fail, and I must fly to poetry and music, the language of heaven, or fall mute, the language of awe.

Legal and moral issues, however, are not ineffable, but are open to as much clarity and precision as any philosophical issue.

Sixth is that the point in dispute is a dogma, part of a theological system accepted on faith in its entirety, or else rejected in its entirety. Dogma is accepted, if at all, upon faith in the authority of the man or institution (or divine being) proposing the dogma.

As with other matters resting on authority, it is permissible to disqualify oneself from defending an issue which one believes only for another’s sake. If a child is asked by her father for his sake to believe a certain matter, she cannot argue the point. Loyalty to her father, and her own awareness of her own inadequacy, prevents her from entertaining questions on the matter.

Now, a dogma can indeed be questioned by anyone willing to question his entire loyalty to whatever authority is asking for his consent: but then the particular matter is subsumed into a greater question. In this example, to question the daughter’s dogma, the point to be discussed is the legitimacy of the authority of her father. That point is always open to question.

Except among Progressives, of course. They are devoted to the Unreality Principle.

Their system is as dogmatic as Catholicism; the difference being that we are honest about it and they are not.

When our Pope makes a statement Ex Cathedra, or invokes the doctrine of Papal Infallibility, or a General Council settles a dispute about some theological point, such as the divinity of Christ, we admit it. We admit we are sheep following a shepherd, whom we love.

When the vague consensus of anonymous opinion-makers, however, invokes their Leftwing equivalent of Liberal Infallibility, and speaks Ex Cathedra, and suddenly decrees some absurdity, such as the doctrine that gays are to be thrown under the bus for Islam, they do not admit it. The freethinkers all pretend that they each man independently came to the same opinion as the received dogma. They are sheep pretending to be lone wolves, and they fear their alpha wolves turning on them and rending them. They fear being denounced as a bigot (or whatever the meaningless swearword of the day is).

So the dogmatic reason for disqualifying oneself from debate is legitimate, but at this price: one must be honestly willing, then, to give whatever reason one has for placing faith in the authority whose dogma one receives. It is not the end of the debate, but the opening of a deeper one. Any Christian not ready to give a reason for the hope he has within him is disobeying Christian teaching.

But the Progressives would rather die than admit their beliefs are dogmas. They each pretend they are all fearless and independent thinkers, who have all come to the same fashionable conclusions because the matters are so clear and obvious — too, too obvious to bother discussing — that no other opinion is possible, nor needs to be explored.

In other words, they are conformists pretending to be nonconformists, they are stupid people pretending to be smart, and they are cowards pretending to be brave. One wonders whom they think they are fooling.

The final reason is illegitimate. It is a knowledge of the weakness of one’s own position, and the desire to silence the opposition. Now, at best, this betrays an impatience with the thickheadedness of the opposition, or disgust with their willful blindness, or condemnation with their lies. However, a gentleman continues a conversation even with fools and liars in the hopes that onlookers will come to understand on whose side truth stands, and he abides by the rules of debate even if the other does not. There are many reasons for this, one of which is that one is entirely clear of any accusation of retreat.

It has been my unfortunate experience never to have met a legitimate reason for retreat from the combat of debate. I have never been asked by an Abolisher to hold my tongue because ladies and children were present, so that we could meet out back and continue the conversation outside the hearing of those who would not understand that we can debate a point without ill will and argue without hatred. Indeed, I have never met an abolisher who could argue without hatred. Indeed, I have never met one who pretended to argue without hatred, or who held intellectual integrity to be a value worthy of pursuit.

I have never met an honorable enemy. Nothing but caitiffs and vermin meet my sword. Perhaps I have been spoiled by long years being an atheist, when not one, but many apologists for the Christian religion expressed themselves logically, clearly, without rancor, without sneers, without hate, without heat.

At the time, I thought love of reason was the universal heritage of all man, or, at least, of all intellectuals. Since then, I have never met more hatred of reasoning anywhere more vehement than the hatred of intellectuals for reason. It is the treason of the clerks.

I truly hope you have better luck than I.

But for the moment, I think experience sufficiently demonstrates that the Abolishers wish to abolish reason first of the human faculties of mind to be discarded on our way to afterhumanity.

To them, questioning any of their received dogmas about politics, economics, human sexuality, or any other topics including climate science is not a sign of curiosity but of sign of mental flatulence, moral depravity, and treason against the universe.

But, you may ask, if they are not willing to discuss matter, why is all academia, all jurisprudence, all entertainment, all media, and the entire leftwing blogosphere filled with nothing but talk, talk, talk?

I propose a simple answer. These words are apologetic for their doctrine, or preaching to the choir, or missionary work to the unenlightened.

Progessivism is a heresy of Christianity, that is, based on Christian ideals taken out of context but ignoring other Christian ideals; but it retains the Christian catholic nature, that is, small-c catholic, meaning universal. Progressivism is meant to be sovereign in the hearts of all men in all the whole world, and rule all nations, tribes, languages, and peoples.

The reason for all this talk combined with so much silence on so many crucial issues is because of despair. Progressives do not believe in philosophy, do not believe in metaphysics, do not believe in reasoning about matters of faith, which, to them, includes politics and economics and science, and every other matter they find so confusing but do not admit they do not understand.

The Progressives also hold, as a matter of their Pseudo-Calvinist dogma, that we Reprobates are destined to be damned from Creation, that we are trapped in a false consciousness of an ideological superstructure, or deceived by a narrative, or poisoned by testosterone, or something — so that it is impossible to reason with us.

The crowning dogma of their nihilistic, pro-irrationality world view is that we, who have reason and right reason, we the normal and sane people, we are irrational to the point where no debate with us is possible, and no speech.

The insight which flashed upon me was that this was not merely cowardice, not merely the desire to avoid humiliating defeat in debate after debate, but was despair. They think they are the elite, the only true humans, the Tarzan, living among a grubby tribe of ape-things with whom no speech is possible.

They are not willing to discuss matters because they have no hope.


  1. Comment by Stephen J.:

    It’s an interesting thing to speculate on the difference between what something is and how it is so often presented to appear. Love is so often depicted in the usual emotion-storm tropes of desire and infatuation; love as it is lived, as anyone who has done it knows, is a long, slow, piecework process made up of deliberate decision after deliberate decision, all based on a conscious principle to put someone else’s welfare and happiness ahead of one’s own.

    And so, perhaps, my initial objection (“But can we really accuse them of ‘despair’ when in practice most of them seem, and even believe themselves, reasonably happy when they’re not declaiming and passionately convinced when they are?”) might be answered if we separate the choice of despair from the feeling of despair, and its usual expressive signifiers of mopiness or gloom — the choice to give up on someone or on a group, to say, “For those who understand, no explanation is necessary; for those who cannot understand, no explanation is sufficient; and for those who will not understand, no explanation is deserved.”

    (I can’t say I don’t find this attitude easy to understand at times. Matt Walsh wrote a powerful but bleak essay recently on his blog which concluded with the sobering thought (paraphrased), “If you don’t see why murdering children is wrong without my having to explain it, I don’t know what we have left to say to one another.” So it’s not an attitude confined to the Abolishers. But we at least have a logic by which we can recognize it as something to overcome.)

    • Comment by Mary:

      If you observe in a public comment thread that if anyone discovers that if he does something, it will infect his (purported) beloved with a nasty, incurable, and fatal disease, the loving thing to do is recoil, declaring you would rather die — oddly enough when no one is brave enough to argue the point, they are brave enough to down-vote it.

  2. Comment by Gian:

    The implication is politically glaring. The republican politics is based upon the assumption of goodwill of all participants and the possibility of rational debate.

    The participants must assume that their opponent desires the same end as themselves i.e. the good of the nation. The good of the nation itself must be a thing in consensus. You can not debate with a person that wants a communist system while you desire a libertarian system.

    So, the republican system presumes a commonality in ends and only differences in the means to achieve the said end may be safely debated.

    But with Abolishers, can it be done?. Their end is diametrically opposite to yours. Essentially, their heaven is your hell and vice-versa.
    And, even if the ends be same, they can not debate, as you argue persuasively.

    Thus, I wonder what kind of politics is possible with Abolishers.

    Consider, for instance, the abortion and same-sex marriage debates. They do not belong to the political sphere but they are pre-political, in the sense that such fundamental matters must be a matter of consensus in a republic., in the same way as it was said that “the republic can not function half-free and half-slave” , similarly the republic can not function where half of the people regard the other half as wicked and vice-versa.

  3. Comment by Gian:

    Modern Age is not only that of the Progressive but also that of the Capitalist and of Megacorporation. It is the industrial system that has made the world unlivable.

    I quote from a 19C Progressive that understood what modern conservatives refuse to:

    The Disintegrating Work of Property

    The general movement of property has, so far, been like that of a huge glacier, breaking and wearing away into their elementary atoms all forms of cooperation, whether political or economical. Its ultimate atom is the individual; its favorite corporation is the largest possible combination. The family has in it the greatest cohesive strength, and has most successfully withstood the grinding power that has tended to crush everything subjected to it. This operation of the modern industrial system, and the commercial outgrowth of it, combine with other social causes to help postpone marriage and reduce the size of families in those sections of society where these tendencies are the least needed. It brings the family into the labor market as a mere collection of individuals on the same economic footing as the unmarried. For small provision, at the best, will be made in fixing wages, for the rearing of children, the care of other dependents, and all those little things that make the home. In the market of wages, the family is the accident of the laborer rather than his essential.
    Samuel W. Dike, founder of the Divorce Reform League, January 1890

  4. Comment by KFJ:

    Well, to give the devils their due (so to speak), at least the postmodernists don’t go around burning people alive, the way the popish Church did, as long as it had the power.

    • Comment by The_Shadow:

      KFJ: You might want to think about that some more. The victims of Stalin’s purges, or of the Cultural Revolution, might beg to differ. For that matter, our own country’s aborted unborn would disagree. It’s true that our breed of Abolisher is (so far) ‘nicer’ in that they prefer their victims to be comfortably out of sight. But that is a cultural accident that may change.

      And as for your slur against the Catholic Church (her proper name, thank you): It is true that the burning of heretics occurred, and was both wrong and wicked. But there’s plenty of blame to go around. It seems peevish to condemn Catholics given that pretty much all sides at the time were willing to do the same: Lutherans, Calvinists, Anglicans… all have blood on their hands. Let us all take the beam from our own eyes before we try to remove the speck from our brothers’.

      It also does you no credit as a gentleman or a Christian to imply that the Church’s recognition and repentance of her actions is insincere. The measure you use to measure with will be used to measure you.

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      To give the devils their due, the postmodernists — if by this you mean the group I call Nihilists — promise peace once we all agree not to hold any opinions or have any values, except for matters of personal expression. Theirs is not a philosophy that allows them to burn heretics, because they define all orthodoxies as self-serving lies. However, their nonviolence is a matter of tactics, not principles. They are willing to side with Third-World Dictators and Second-World Communists and Fourth-World Jihadists, even against their own self interest and against their own civilization.

      Let us also give the angels their due. The Catholic Church did not burn any Heretics within the first thousand years of her existence, and her philosophy actively forbids such things. The problem is that men who are brave and strong and zealous when they are saints turn into brave and strong and zealous monsters when they are sinners; when the highest fall, they fall farthest. A dull eyed hedonist who thinks life is not real and thoughts are the byproduct of brain-computer stammers does not make a very ferocious sinner because he has no virtues to corrupt. The reason why the postmodernists do not burn people is not because they are strong enough to resist the temptation, but because they are too craven, soft, and weak to have any ideas worth protecting, neither by fouls means like Inquisitions nor fair means like rational debate. They are hollow men.

      • Comment by Expendable Henchman:

        I must heartily disagree. You are an erudite and gracious host, but you fall into the same problem as the good ever do. You believe the opposition to be basically honest decent human beings. Nothing could be further from the truth.

        Many of the left would be quite happy to manacle you to a stake themselves and taunt you while they lit the wood you were standing upon. Their only regret, which they would bill your widow for, would be the CO2 emissions that your burning released into the atmosphere.

        I recommend you do a search of what the lefties had to say about Dick Cheny’s heart attack. Or perhaps a search including the words ‘rush limbaugh screaming rectal cancer’ would prove enlightening. Sean Penn originally said it, apparently about anyone criticizing Hugo Chavez. There are a great many lefties in hearty agreement with the sentiments.

        Back with the religious thing. Another problem we face is that many, if not all, of the nastiest dictators were quite happy to use religion to further their own evil ends, including Stalin. He was the head of Russia’s state church, though I doubt he had any more belief in God than I (an athiest) do. So did Hitler, whose troops all wore belt buckles inscribed with “Gott mitt uns”.

        Far more of the lefties than you would believe would be more than happy to lead you in Jean d’Arc’s final footsteps, and would proudly post videos on their Facebook pages. There is no difference between them and the power mad youth of the Khmer Rouge. None whatsoever. Spend any time at all reading Daily Kos if you doubt me.

        They don’t crave equality, peace or anything else, it’s all simply an excuse for power. Their idols aren’t so much Ghandi as Lenin, Stalin and Emperor Palpatine. It’s no accident that Earth Day falls on Lenin’s birthday.

        • Comment by John C Wright:

          I agree with all you say, except only that I divide Lefties into two or three groups.

          The Ideologues are willing and able to burn people and cause famines and so on. But I was asked about the Nihilists (which the question called ‘postmoderns’ — also a good name for them). They are too empty of spirit and weary of soul to believe in any cause, good or bad, worth burning another man over. They lack passion.

          They don’t crave equality, peace or anything else, it’s all simply an excuse for power.

          Again, I agree insofar as the Inner Circle or leadership of the Left is concerned: but the slogans deceive someone, or else they would not be uttered.

          There is a great mass of what Rush Limbaugh calls the ‘Low Information Voter’ which I call the Useful Idiots. They believe in the cause, or in the slogans, at least in so far as they do not oppose the Inner Circle.

          Most notably, the accumulation of power in the hands of the Inner Circle is something which causes the Useful Idiots no pause, for in it they see no danger, or even they take a deal of comfort. Leftists are terrified of the Rich, of Corporations, of the Man, of the Establishment, of the Jew, which they see as a cross between Sauron and the Illuminati. The power of Stalin or Obama or what Glorious Leader is leading gloriously this season is seen as a bulwark against the menace of the Rich.

  5. Comment by sparrow:

    It really does takes you a while to come to the point but I did enjoy most of the trip. Despair is a very charitable and I believe accurate view. I find your insight helpful. It provides a possible link to salvation, for the few that would take it up, through hope in Christ. We Christians must radiant that hope/joy and teach it. Some among the despairing will hear it. I find your distillation especially charitable because it moves me to pity rather than anger. The post-moderns are on the door step of nihilism; just as you have said. I wonder what horrors we’ll see once they cross it. Maybe we can save a few before they do. Cheers

  6. Comment by KFJ:

    1. I did say “postmodernists,” meaning the Western Left post-1968. Apologies for not expressing myself more clearly.

    2. The aborted unborn are all dead (assuming they were ever really alive, which is debatable), so they’re in no position to disagree.

    3. a. The Catholic Church is ruled by the Pope, is it not? Anyway, if “popish” sounds offensive, well, I just sling the slang as she is (or was) slung.
    b. The burning of heretics was instituted by the Roman Church, and was perpetuated by it for centuries; though the practice did persist for some time after the Reformation began, it seems likely that it never would have ended without the Reformation’s (however inadvertently) liberating effects.

    4. I make no pretension to being a gentleman, and certainly not (other than historically and culturally) a (Protestant) Christian. What I am is a loyal man of the West, specifically an American, who is simultaneously exasperated and amused by those who recoil from the demented ugliness of postmodernism into medievalist, fairy-tale fantasies about popery and chivalry and princesses and such-like, and never mind little things like, oh, famine and pestilence and the Inquisition.

    • Comment by A Spectator:

      The aborted unborn are all dead (assuming they were ever really alive, which is debatable), so they’re in no position to disagree.

      To debate the question of whether an organism composed of living cells which is capable of being killed is alive is a foolhardy effort. As for the larger assertion, those who were executed as a result of inquisition are also dead, so you reject your own point by this argument.

      The burning of heretics was instituted by the Roman Church, and was perpetuated by it for centuries; though the practice did persist for some time after the Reformation began, it seems likely that it never would have ended without the Reformation’s (however inadvertently) liberating effects.

      According to historian Thomas Madden, inquisition was an attempt by the Church to reign in unjust executions by commoners and rulers with little patience for dissent and little competence in judging such matters. Additionally, once a Church official determined whether a person was a heretic, it was the secular authority’s place to pronounce sentence, and at this time the Church routinely petitioned for the convict’s life. Your opinions seem to be informed by too much black legend and too little history.

      What I am is a loyal man of the West, specifically an American, who is simultaneously exasperated and amused by those who recoil from the demented ugliness of postmodernism into medievalist, fairy-tale fantasies about popery and chivalry and princesses and such-like, and never mind little things like, oh, famine and pestilence and the Inquisition.

      Famine and pestilence aren’t results of moral, theological, or philosophical sanity but are accidents of an inferior understanding of agriculture and medicine (things which only advanced as a result of the intellectual groundwork placed during the period in question as a direct result of the belief system in question). Your opinion of the inquisition suffers from the same flawed comparison. Grain elevators and the establishment clause are not only poor substitutes for a society guided by logical coherence but are products thereof. They can only survive without that foundation temporarily, to boot. Perhaps your misunderstanding of the appeal of medievalism is in failing to understand what exactly is considered appealing.

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      Karl, you know me. I’ve been to your home and eaten your soup. What cause have you to spit insults at me? I am recoiling from the ugliness of postmodernism because it is ugly — but I recoil from the ugliness of the Medieval period as well. When I speak of chivalry, I am speaking of what a man of the last century would call a gentleman’s honor, or what a man of this century would call the laws and usages of war, military courtesy. It is a fantasy to say we should not torture prisoners of war? Or care for widows and orphans?

      And I never said anything about Princesses or that other nonsense. Stop talking rot.

    • Comment by Robert Mitchell Jr:

      Alas, sir, for all of your examples are worse under “postmodernism”. Famine almost if not always turned out to because of government policy, and used as a deliberate weapon for ethnic cleansing in this “postmodern” age. Pestilence? Yes, due to ignorance, as opposed to the current “postmodern” narcissistic idea that one is so important that all children but yours are to be vaccinated, so that you might have the benefit of the program, but beg off of the minuscule risk that come with the shots. Lot of ugly pestilences coming back (Funny how often people are selfish with you….. Oops, doesn’t take a lot of vectors to get to your kids if just a few people are as selfish as you. How unfair!). The careful, meticulous Inquisition, which slowed if not stopped the vile excesses of the governments of that age? Compared to the “postmodern” show trials of Stalin? Well, shoot! If those are my choices, bring on the medievalist fairy tale fantasies and Popery!

      • Comment by Expendable Henchman:

        It is my (not too well informed) opinion that governmental policy famines weren’t intentional unless there was a scarcity of water (water empire model). I don’t think despots would intentionally cause a famine so much as move a shortage of water from a favored district to an unfavored one. If the land was able to produce, I’m of the opinion that the despots would be happy to let the harvest come in, then confiscate it, and possibly killing the farmers after their usefulness was past for the season.

        The governmental policies under Mao were probably the worst government policy famines, and to the best of my knowledge, they were due to incompetence.

        I largely agree with your take on the Inquisition. I’ve read the Ordo Malleus, and for the time, it was a pretty fair book. Of course, some of the inquistors were undoubtedly bastards, and there were certainly trials motivated by profit, but from what I read of the Ordo Malleus, such injustices were actually against the rules therein.

        • Comment by John C Wright:

          No, sir, you are misinformed. Mao deliberately, as a matter of public policy, arranged famines in certain provinces to punish them

        • Comment by Mary:

          And, I add, both Stalin’s show-trials and Mao’s Cultural Revolution appear to have be orchestrated in order to punish those responsible for stopping the respective famines they engineered.

          • Comment by Patrick:

            Hitler himself attempted to orchestrate the destruction of Berlin with scorched earth policies, in condemnation of the unworthy German soliders and citizens who failed his vision.

            • Comment by Mary:

              “It would not be necessary to take any account of the basis which the nation needs for its survival on the most primitive level. On the contrary, it would be better to destroy even these things. For the nation would have proved itself the weaker and then the future would belong exclusively to the stronger nation of the East. Those who remained after the struggle would in any case only be the inferior; for the good would have died.”

              (This is Albert Speer’s summary, but since it is in a letter addressed to Hitler to make sure he understood, it’s probably accurate.)

  7. Comment by PersonalLiberation:

    Identity politics is rife with desperation, the desperation which comes from a self-esteem propped on the acceptance of others. This need for others to define one’s self-worth leads to the group sharing of co-dependent aggrandizement. Such an individual will derive good feelings from being seen as cheering for the right team and trouncing the opposition, which is a completely emotional and logic devoid act, for the weak of spirit doesn’t feel strong enough to respect others, nor respect themselves, which is required of mutually respectful discourse.

    As for Nihilism in general, it is a depressing situation the lack of people willing to have discussions, thinking of anything other than how easiest they can get what they want, a collective you-know-how-it-is hedonism attitude. I try to lead by example and be courageous when someone asks why I’m “weird,” as acting on virtue can seem no other way to those who live without meaning.

  8. Ping from On Cismale Gendernormativism; Or How Writing a Good Story Should Always Be Prioritized over a Political Message. | A Journey Through Life:

    […] in on this. John C. Wright wrote an excellent essay not only on this, but touching on why this is such a big deal for Ms. McFarlane. In fact, Mr. Correia linked to excellent responses to those people in this post, […]

  9. Comment by Gian:

    The Progressive argument has been given concisely by Justice Kennedy that the heart of liberty lies in the right to create one’s essence.
    Or in Sartre’s words, Existence precedes essence.
    That implies erasure of a pre-existing human essence.

    Since American conservatives are embodiment of the worldly spirit, the progressive argument is merely the logical climax of the mislabeled entity called American conservatism. Mislabeled since it does not seek to conserve anything.

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      Technically, what Kennedy announced was a doctrine of Nihilism, not necessarily Progressivism. One can be a progressive and still believe that there is an objective and true structure to history, and that humans are under a moral obligation to aid the unfolding of that structure, without believing that one has the ability to create own’s nature. On the other hand, one cannot believe that one can create one’s own nature, one’s own truth, one’s own being except unless (by necessity) one believes that nature, truth and being exist not at all, save as arbitrary human constructs. But by definition, believing that nature, truth and being do not exist is Nihilism. (I am using the technical philosophical definition here: ontological nihilism. I am not talking about poets who dress in black and say life is not worth living).

      But, aside from that technicality, yes, I agree, Sartre is the father, or a father, of the modern nihilistic world view. I also propose that Progressivism taken to its logical extreme implies Nihilism, because the Progressive must believe nature is plastic and malleable, and this is but one step to saying it is manmande, and if manmade then nonexistent.

      The conservative label was pasted on the normal Americans, the ones who like the Constitution, the Rule of Law, the family structure, civic and private virtue, and the bedrock Christian values of our ancestors by the Radicals, who see all those things as impediments in the way of the coming cosmopolitan utopia.

      It is a misleading label, because the Constitution embed timeless principles of equality, justice, and law as well as practical steps to implement them, such as limited government and separation of powers, which the Radical despise.

      The progressive ‘argument’ if it can be called that, always starts as a reasonable sounding extrapolation of some core Enlightenment principle, such as freedom or justice, but then turns into freedom from Capitalism or Social Justice by an Orwellian torment of the language, so that each word means its opposite, and all thought is mazed in paradox and nonsense. Progressivism is an extension of Conservativism in precisely the same way that Islam is an extension of Catholicism, that is, taking some idea and distorting or reversing the rest.

      It is in no sense a natural outgrowth, unless you call a parasite an outgrowth. It is a deliberate rejection of the older thought, and the creation of an antithetical enemy to it.

      We conservatives seek to conserve civilization from the modern barbarians inside our gates, running our schools, our courts of law, our media, and our government. We also wish to hinder and deter outward barbarians, at the moment Islam, in the prior generation, Communists, and in the prior to that, Nazis, from overthrowing civilization and replacing it with ruin, want, and misery. We seek to preserve our natural, God-given liberty from encroachment by the state, and therefore seek to conserve those laws and institutions which protect that liberty, and to diminish and destroy those laws and institutions that menace that liberty.

      On what ground can you say this is not what the conservatives seek to preserve? How are you defining the term so that it does not bear this meaning? Else can the word mean?

      The accusation of the Progressives is that the ‘reactionaries’ seek only to conserve institutionalized injustices from which we receive some benefit at the expense of the downtrodden. Considering how downtrodden everyone from unborn babies to the poor, to women, to American Negroes to Russia Kulaks end up under the ministrations of Progressive policies, this accusation can be dismissed summarily.

      • Comment by Gian:

        America is, at the same time, most progressive nation of the world and the nation with strongest conservative movement. How could it be so?

        Conservatism can be charged with preserving the letter of the Constitution, while letting the meaning turn diametrically opposite of the original.

        Secondly, it can be charged with not appreciating the non-conservative aspects of Capitalism and Creative Destruction.
        Isn’t Self-ownership axiom acceptable to far too many conservatives and hasn’t abortion been defended on self-ownership grounds in libertarian and other right-wing circles? This is merely one example among many that can be given.

        I have read conservative writers ridicule Kennedy’s platitude about doing for your country; yet no nation can exist without continual sacrifice made by citizens for the greater whole. That this is not understood tells me that the idea of liberty has been unsettled in conservative mind.

        That the movement built to defend liberty is confused as what liberty is. Those chirping sectaries, as Kirk called libertarians, have gone and done a great deal of confusion in conservatism.

        • Comment by John C Wright:

          America is, at the same time, most progressive nation of the world and the nation with strongest conservative movement. How could it be so?

          That is simply an excellent question. Let me ask one in return: how is it that in Europe in the last century, Europe was the home both of the strongest Protestant movement and the strongest Catholic movement? Or, to use an example more modern: how is it that in Jerusalem there is the strongest pro-Islam movement and the strongest pro-Israel movement? The answer is that the place is divided, and the parasite takes its strength from the host.

          The Heretics from any worldview are strongest because they have the same faith as the Orthodox, whereas someone indifferent to the whole worldview altogether has no faith in it to corrupt.

          As for the rest, the Conservatives, in general, support patriotic sacrifice and oppose abortion, and very strongly support the free market. You are confusing us with Libertarians.

  10. Comment by AkHaephestus:

    As is was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be as the Glory Be Says. Let us suppose that the poor confused young woman who wrote the essay at is in fact correct, and that there are persons who feel in their mind that they are of a different sex that their DNA shows them to be. Let us suppose further that rather than an indication of madness, this is in fact, normal for that person. That person then has the two choices all men have, the choice of the Angels. to wit.

    Non Serviam!


    Quis ut Deus? Serviam!

    To embrace the delusion that a man can be a woman or vice versa is to place yourself and your delusions at the center of your life. Rather than giving the deluded power over their problems it only sucks the poor soul into a vortex of narcissim and madness. Such Narcissistic madness if rife throughout our society, like the notion that my grandchildren will be happy to be debt slaves to the Chinese and Russians because great, great Grandma wanted to go on a cruise in 2003 and did not save for it. There are many others, I cannot think of them all.

    If, instead of embracing your own delusions, mental or otherwise you choose to embrace God, does indeed make you powerful, for you are a saint. To take what must be such a terrible burden, and to carry it up to Calvary with Him, will win you heaven’s throne indeed. If you have this burden, and you accompany our Lord on his Via Dolorosa, you are not only a better person than I am, you are better than St. Peter himself. Miracles will flow like honey from the rock, and you will save others in a similar predicament.

  11. Ping from Genre Fiction Is a Small World after All | Brian Niemeier's Web Journal:

    […] incomes cited author Jim Hines, who helpfully publishes his own earnings. Quite separately, I found this piece by John C. Wright discussing issues of more philosophical import. Mr. Wright linked to a post by Larry Correia which […]

  12. Comment by pst314:

    “In the sextopia of Ungenderland, some humanoids would have breasts and some whiskers, or both or neither, some endowed with penis or womb, or both or neither, but these matters would be merely a question of plumbing, unrelated to psychology, soul, mind, or social expectations.”

    Do you remember John Varley’s stories of the 1970’s, in which it was all a matter of surgery and could be repeatedly altered on a whim?

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      Yes. I also wrote such a story myself, called THE GOLDEN AGE. My assumption in that story was that since no one was of any one of several available sexes involuntarily, the social expectations of behavior were much stricter than ours, not more relaxed, at least among those segments of society who cared about such things.

      Do you recall A VOYAGE TO ARCTURUS? What amuses me is that the only convincing portrayal of an alternate sexuality I have ever seen in science fiction is in that books, written in 1920.

  13. Comment by Tyrrell McAllister:

    Indeed, I have never met an abolisher who could argue without hatred. Indeed, I have never met one who pretended to argue without hatred, or who held intellectual integrity to be a value worthy of pursuit.

    Well, I for one pretend to argue without hatred… er, I mean, I actually argue without hatred. (oops.)

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      If you are one of the people I call an Abolisher, a Leftist, and have argued with care and patience, I owe you a deep apology. If you are just making a joke, on the other hand, I will chortle.

      • Comment by Tyrrell McAllister:

        I am a liberal, a progressive, and a free thinker, in the sense in which most people understand those terms these days, as well as an atheist and a feminist. But I am convinced by J.S. Mill’s arguments in ON LIBERTY on the value of dissenting opinions.

        I am also convinced that you hold your views in good faith, and that you work strenuously to bring those views into conformity with the truth. I see in some small measure the effort you put into seeking the truth, and I see that you are motivated to a great extent by a genuine love of the truth.

        Obviously I think that your beliefs are nonetheless fundamentally wrong in many important respects. However, if you are right, and I am wrong, and I come one day to realize that, then it will be in no small part due to your efforts. All sincere truth-seekers are owed a debt of gratitude by those who might learn from them, and you are no exception.

  14. Comment by jimf:

    Just found the link from Larry Correia. Excellent essay and analysis of the “Left”!

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      Thank you. The important thing to remember is that the Left is not the enemy. They are merely innocent dupes attacked by something like a face hugger from the movie ALIEN. An idea, a view of the world, a love of evil, has been implanted in them, and it grows and swells and will destroy them, and us — if good men do nothing.

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