Insolence towards the Zeitgeist
The one form of rebellion I support — by crabbed age or youth — is rebellion against the Big Lie. Hence my passing delight in gratuitous political incorrectitude. It is an act of resistance, which could have unpleasant consequences; but this was always so. Alternatively, smile. The age is as a neighbour’s pet, which one is obliged to host for the weekend. One will brush it off Monday.
It is vain to consider our generation somehow worthy of the Parousia, as if our skins were so valuable, or our sins more impressive, than those of any previous generation. We are small and squalid and statistical today, hardly worth punishing except by a loving God. Our men are not men and our women are not women. Look at the vacant faces.
We direct our unhappiness at miscellaneous targets, in an unfocused way. We locate ourselves within the smear of a “democratic” order — an immense dovecote meant as the expression of The People, not God. Inside, the guano is accreting. If something is wrong, we will vote on whom to blame, in our sleepy, pigeon-like way.
Frustrations associated with longer commuting times or diminishing real wages trigger a response. We are like union members in a company whose managers are too obviously incompetent to sustain their arrogance. So we call a strike; vote for Trump or Le Pen or whomever. In the end they give us more of the same.
It will make a difference when, by nature, masculine qualities re-emerge in the men, feminine qualities in the women; and when both turn from politics to God.
There was a lad in a bookstore of university age. He had been experimenting with independent thought; the proprietor taxed him with “conservative” tendencies. He had given his opinion that the welfare system entraps the lower orders, and could not be “reformed.” Instead it should be abandoned. He thought, with Saint Paul, that those able to work should earn their keep. As to the imagined hordes of unemployed social workers, “let them do the jobs we import immigrants to do.”
Pressed on this point, and asked how we should help the dependent poor, he said, “Maybe bring back workhouses.”
On the old and infirm: “Maybe their families should be taking care of them. Maybe they would be, if they didn’t have a choice.”
He was of course against public daycare. Warned that this position might be labelled “misogynist,” he escalated.
“Yeah. I suppose the idea that mothers should put their own daughters ahead of their careers seems misogynist to you. Well, you’re a white male, you have a right to your opinion.”
“What kind of politics is that?” he was asked.
And the young man replied: “I think I must be a fascist. Everyone tells me I am turning into a fascist, so that must be the word.”
This left his interlocutor speechless.
A young woman nearby spoke up: “Yes, you’re a fascist, that’s what you are! … I think I’m a fascist, too.”
Several readers mentioned that they’d heard this anecdote before, from me, but could not find the initial version in any computer search. That is because I deleted it. It was from a much longer piece I posted four years ago, and have since regretted, because it contained traces of political optimism. Still, I wanted to preserve the anecdote, so I brought it forward. I do this kind of thing fecklessly, and only sometimes own up. No “text” in this site is guaranteed stable. Mistakes, especially, may be subject to amendment. Fresh mistakes may be inserted in their place. The whole thing is a “work in progress,” and would change faster if I could find the time.