Thank you for coming.
Today we continue where we left off at the end of part II, continuing with Harry Lesser's Plato's Feminism:
"It was thus legitimate---indeed, wise, -- for Plato to argue empirically for sexual equality. But this brings us to the last of Julia Annas’s three criticisms, that he chose the wrong empirical grounds---public efficiency rather than personal fulfillment. What is crucial here is to realize that Plato would deny that these are opposed to each other; to direct the individual into the work for which she is best suited is simultaneously to help her towards personal fulfillment and to increase her usefulness to the community. The fact that she is using her skill for the benefit of society will in itself increase her sense of being useful and fulfilled, and the fact that society is efficiently run means that she can devote all her energies to the work which she does well and enjoys (p. 115).”
Hmm… sounds like a society right out of Huxley's Brave New World:
“Brave New World is a benevolent dictatorship: a static, efficient, totalitarian welfare-state. There is no war, poverty or crime. Society is stratified by genetically-predestined caste. Intellectually superior Alphas are the top-dogs. Servile, purposely brain-damaged Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons toil away at the bottom. The lower orders are necessary in BNW because Alphas - even soma-fuelled Alphas - could allegedly never be happy doing menial jobs. It is not explained why doing menial work is inconsistent - if you're an Alpha - with a life pharmacological hedonism - nor, for that matter, with genetically-precoded wetware of invincible bliss. In any case, our descendants are likely to automate menial drudgery out of existence; that's what robots are for…Do tell!
… BNW is a benevolent dictatorship - or at least a benevolent oligarchy, for at its pinnacle there are ten world controllers. We get to meet its spokesman, the donnish Mustapha Mond, Resident Controller of Western Europe. Mond governs a society where all aspects of an individual's life, from conception and conveyor-belt reproduction onwards, are determined by the state. The individuality of BNW's two billion hatchlings is systematically stifled. A government bureau, the Predestinators, decides a prospective citizen's role in the hierarchy.
Children are raised and conditioned by the state bureaucracy, not brought up by natural families. There are only ten thousand surnames. Value has been stripped away from the person as an individual human being; respect belongs only to society as a whole. Citizens must not fall in love, marry, or have their own kids. This would seduce their allegiance away from the community as a whole by providing a rival focus of affection. The individual's loyalty is owed to the state alone. By getting rid of potential sources of tension and anxiety - and dispelling residual discontents with soma - the World State controls its populace no less than Big Brother.”
Could it come to pass, that the North American Union and the "Eurabian" Union will come to dominate the world, in the spirit of Huxley?
Frankly, I find Mr. Lesser's words cold, insensitive, and quite chilling.
A committed disciple of Plato indeed.
Moving on, let's look at more connections between Platonism, Feminism, and Marxism.
According to Men's Wiki:
“Feminism, Socialism, and Communism are one in the same, and Socialist/Communist government is the goal of feminism.” - Catharine A. MacKinnonWe will be looking at her essay entitled, Feminism, Marxism, Method and the State: An Agenda for Theory.
MacKinnon is a perfect example of a feminist that draws heavily on Marxism and Socialism, with a dash of Lockean liberalism. Her words help solve the puzzle of why feminism was so widely supported, and so weakly opposed by the all mighty "Patriarchy".
Plato looms large over her shoulder, urging her on.
“Feminism has no theory of the state. It has a theory of power: sexuality is gendered as gender is sexualized. Male and female are created through the erotization of dominance and submission. The man/woman difference and the dominance/submission dynamic define each other. This is the social meaning of sex and the distinctively feminist account of gender inequality. Sexual objectification, the central process within this dynamic is at once epistemological and political (Mackinnon p. 635-636).”Be warned...
Mackinnon's work is at once confusing and soulless. It always amazes me how supposedly educated people can say so much, yet communicate so little.
Our author continues:
Feminism criticizes this male totality without an account of our capacity to do so or to imagine or realize a more whole truth. Feminism affirms women’s point of view by revealing, criticizing, and explaining its impossibility… if women had consciousness or world, sex inequality would be harmless, or all women would be feminist. Yet we have something of both, or there would be no such thing as feminism. Why can women know that this---life as we have know it—is not all, not enough, not ours, not just? Now, why don’t all women (p. 637)?”There are many schools of feminism. However, the leftist strains have consigned the liberal feminists to the sidelines. Radical, Socialist, and Marxist feminists indeed run the asylum.
“Feminism has been widely though to contain tendencies of liberal feminism, radical feminism, and socialist feminism. But just as socialist feminism has often amounted to Marxism applied to women, liberal feminism has often amounted to liberalism applied to women. Radical feminism is feminism. Radical feminism—after this, feminism unmodified—is methodologically post Marxist (p.639).”
The author states in a footnote on the same page ( footnote #8):
“I mean not to imply that contemporary feminism that is not methodologically post Marxist is not radical, hence not feminist on this level… This feminism seeks to define and pursue women’s interest as the fate of all women bound together.. if whatever a given society defines as sexual defines gender, and if gender means the subordination of women to men, “woman” means---is not qualified or undercut by—the uniqueness of each woman and the specificity of race, class, time, and place. In this sense, lesbian feminism, the feminism of women of color, and socialist feminism are converging in a feminist politics of sexuality, race, and class, with a left to right spectrum of its own (p. 639).”Got all that?
“ Feminism distinctively as such comprehends that what counts as truth is produced in the interest of those with power to shape reality, and that this process is as pervasive as it is necessary as is changeable. Unlike the scientific strain in Marxism or the Kantian imperative in liberalism… feminism neither claims universality not, failing that, reduces to relativity (p. 640).”In other words, feminists, in order to achieve their goals, must use liberalism when it will conquer, and once all opposition has been silenced or deceived, a Marxist-Socialist agenda will be established.
“Both liberalism and Marxism have been subversive on women’s behalf. Neither is enough. To grasp the inadequacies for women of liberalism on one side and Marxism on the other is to being to comprehend the role of the liberal state and liberal legalism within a post Marxist feminism of social transformation (p. 640).”
“A methodologically post Marxist feminism must confront, on our own terms, the issue of the relation between the state and society, within a theory of social determination adequate to the specificity of sex. Lacking even a tacit theory of the state of its own, feminist practice has instead oscillated between a liberal theory of state on the one hand and a left theory of the state on the other… in liberal moments the state is accepted on its own terms as a neutral arbiter among conflicting interests. The law is actually or potentially principled, meaning predisposed to no substantive outcome, thus available as a tool that is not fatally twisted. Women implicitly become an interest group within pluralism, with specific problems of mobilization and representation, exit and voice, sustaining incremental gains and losses. In left moments, the state becomes a tool of dominance and repression, the law legitimizing ideology, use of the legal system a form of utopian idealism or gradualist reform, each apparent gain deceptive or co-optive, and each loss inevitable (p.642).”Elaborating on the use of classical liberalism by feminist thinkers, Harvey Mansfield, in his masterwork Manliness notes that:
“The revolution that made the gender neutral society was not led by liberals but by women of the left, inspired … by a womanly nihilism. Their heroine was Simone de Beauvoir, and behind her, Marx and Neitzsche. The feminists discussed… were highly critical of liberals and liberal principles as well. Although the women’s movement followed close upon the civil rights movement, it took a very different path. Civil rights leaders in the 1960’s, above all Martin Luther King, called on America to be true to itself, to live by the principles it had long proclaimed, and to cease the hypocrisy of talking one way and acting another.In previous posts in this series, various authors have noted that the ideal of private property, and private interests in general, were anathema to Platonic thought. Privacy and the like were a threat to the harmony and efficiency of his republic. Marx, and his red-headed philosophical step children, the feminists, inherited this violent dislike of the private from Plato.
The feminists did no such thing. Although of course they denounced male hypocrisy, they did not take liberal principles for a measure. Liberal principles were inherently faulty and inevitably hypocritical because they were formal. Liberal principles gave everyone a formal right to equality but deliberately refrained from examining whether formal equality was make actual. Under formal, liberal equality, the feminists said, women were at an actual disadvantage (Mansfield, Manliness, p. 163).”
“In so arguing, feminists were echoing a long standing complaint against liberal formalism, perhaps stated best in Karl Marx’s On the Jewish Question (1844), that the unlovely informal practices of liberalism cancel out its published principles. Another way to put the objection is to say that in liberal society, the public, the sphere of the formal, is in fact governed by the private sphere so that the public promise of equality is betrayed. “The personal is the political” is the feminist formula for that point: women have been confined and oppressed by the liberal distinction between personal or private and political or public, which was intended for concealment and fraud (p. 163-164)”.
If we consult Men's Wiki:
"All patriarchists exalt the home and family as sacred, demanding it remain inviolate from prying eyes. Men want privacy for their violations of women... All women learn in childhood that women as a sex are men's prey." -- Marilyn FrenchWith that being said, Mansfield explains one of the reasons why feminists managed to overthrow the dreaded Patriarchy without firing a shot:
"I was, in reality, bred by my parents as my father's concubine... What we take for granted as the stability of family life may well depend on the sexual slavery of our children. What's more, this is a cynical arrangement our institutions have colluded to conceal.". -- Sylvia Fraser; Journalist
"Catharine MacKinnon ( ) maintains that "the private is a sphere of battery, marital rape and women's exploited labor." In this way, privacy and family are reduced to nothing more than aspects of the master plan, which is male domination. Democratic freedoms and the need to keep the state's nose out of our personal affairs are rendered meaningless. The real reason our society cherishes privacy is because men have invented it as an excuse to conceal their criminality. If people still insist that the traditional family is about love and mutual aid--ideals which, admittedly, are sometimes betrayed--they're "hiding from the truth." The family isn't a place where battery and marital rape sometimes happen but where little else apparently does. Sick men don't simply molest their daughters, they operate in league with their wives to "breed" them for that purpose." -- Donna Laframboise; The Princess at the Window; (in a critical explication of the Catharine MacKinnon, Gloria Steinhem et al tenets of misandric belief.)
“Feminism won its easy victory because it was able to appeal to the liberal principle of equality and demand that equality for males be made actual for women too. Though liberalism was more opposed, even reviled, than appealed to by the women’s movement, it was the cause of it’s easy victory. Americans were ready to give justice for women—the liberal of equality—and did not much care that the advocates for women spoke more of power than justice, more of sex than career, more of autonomy than happiness (Mansfield p.164).”
While the feminists were appealing for “justice” and “equality”, the Just Noticeable Difference bar was being raised ever higher, in preparation to wage Radical Feminist Jihad against the Western world in the name of Plato, and his spiritual successors. And the rest, as they say, is history.
John and Jane Q. Public never knew what hit them.
Next time, more Platonic and feminist connections. This groundwork must be done before we can look to the words of Plato himself and know that they have had catastrophic effects on mankind even until our present day.