There are some very strange things going on in the culture today. Yes, just recently, there was the anti-logical declaration by the Supreme Court that same sex pseudo-marriage is functionally and morally equivalent to natural heterosexual marriage but beyond that there are some even stranger falsehoods being promoted in the culture. The idea that ones gender is what one feels ones gender to be; that gender is self-determined based on ones self concept of themselves rather than a simple direct matter of chromosomes and ones inherited physical anatomy. You have the celebrity story of “Caitlyn” Jenner where the ultra-masculine Olympic Champion Bruce Jenner decides at age 65 that “she” is really a woman and goes through multiple surgeries to look more feminine and that this act of will by itself entitles Bruce Jenner to be thought of and referred to as a woman. Along similar lines the public schools in Lincoln, Nebraska have given instructions to their middle school teachers to not use “gendered expressions” such as “boys and girls” or “ladies and gentleman” and that each individual student should have the opportunity to give the pronoun or name they want to be referred to by.
James Kalb has a new article out at First Things titled “Technocracy Now” that deals with and tries to explain the underlying elitist Technocratic worldview that leads to this latest manifestation of strangeness and unreality of gender itself being something that is merely self-defined and self-asserted rather than a physical undeniable fact of biology.
As James Kalb describes it the “technocratic project” is “[T]he modern attempt to turn the social world into a universal machine for maximizing the satisfaction of preferences. This project’s goal is best understood as eschatological, or perhaps counter-eschatological: a social world that recognizes no transcendent authority above it, no history behind it except the history of its own coming into being, and no nature of things beneath it that cannot be transformed technologically into what we choose.” This “technocratic project” being so radical and so ambitious that even ones own gender is claimed as within the scope of human choice and human will.
Technocracy is based on the supposed “scientific” and “rational” claim that human beings are whatever they will themselves to be, that the fundamental moral imperative is the satisfaction of ones choices or preferences, and that any assertion of objective truth or objective reality is simply “oppression” or “discrimination” or “bigotry” motivated by arrogance or superstition or the pathological desire to control and abuse others. The overall societal goal then is equality and relationships being based on mutual self-interest and mutual consent in service of a self-chosen goal or purpose.
Though this technocratic idea of the ideal society and the nature of human life is very strange and detached from reality still it is a very very powerful cultural meme that does indeed in more and more radical and absolutist form seem to be “taking over” mainstream culture and the governing institutions.
The key to the technocratic delusion is the denial of there being an underlying nature of things, of there being objective truth and objective reality more powerful than human will. There is an incredible arrogance that truth is whatever WE will it to be; that a thing is GOOD merely because we desire it. In short there is a denial of God, of there being a natural order that they are obligated to submit to.
It should be seen that this view of life is very selfish and very egotistical and very abusive against others; that this is its fundamental flaw and its fundamental falsehood. To claim that others are not hurt by your own refusal to obey the natural law is a lie, is a self-serving delusion, is to place yourself above others arrogantly and narcissistically. A parent owes duties to a child whether that parent likes it or not. A man owes duties to a woman whether that man likes it or not. A woman owes duties to a man whether that woman likes it or not. These duties are precisely outcomes and derivatives of the natural order and God designed nature of human life that the technocratic “individual choice” ideology denies the existence and relevance of.
The technocratic theory of ideal social organization where all human desires and preferences are declared to be equal to each other is really just the strong preying upon the weak; the strong denying their obligations and duties to those naturally dependent upon them. It is adults abandoning and neglecting the needs of their children. It is men shunning their duties and obligations towards women. It is women attacking men at their points of vulnerability and neediness in relation to women.
The denial of God is not rationality or higher wisdom; it is simply giving oneself license to do whatever one wants to to those without the means to retaliate against you effectively.
Traditional moral values and social rules are what is objectively and rationally true precisely because they impose moral codes of conduct that ensure that the strong treat the weak well; that the needs of children are attended to and taken care of and that the needs of women are attended to and taken care of. Individual freedom and “personal choice” is just barbarism and selfishness and it is morally degenerative over time due to its short-sighted nature and tendency to devalue the interests of children leading to children being worse off than their parents emotionally and in terms of their relationship skills.
Denial of natural law and inborn human nature and differences between male and female is completely anti-rational and illogical and unscientific and unethical.
The development towards this idea of reality and truth and morality being self-chosen and self-declared and merely a manifestation of human will has been going on for a long time. The idea of gender being a “social construct” that feminists pushed starting around 1980 may be the beginning of the delusional conceit that reality is derivative of human will rather than something external to and above human will. More fundamentally the decline of the influence of organized religion was a necessary pre-condition to people starting to get the idea that THEY were in charge of what was right and what was wrong rather than THE CREATOR.
Now however things seems to be going to ludicrous extremes where people get to pick their own gender now and whether you join with someone of the opposite sex or the same sex makes no difference.
At the same time however that the “official ideology” becomes more and more disconnected from reality a funny thing is happening regarding people’s actual family choices and behaviors. That is that people are reverting to more traditional conservative behaviors often presenting their return to traditional lifestyles as their “personal choice.” College educated women still proclaiming themselves to be feminists are “making the personal choice” to be stay-at-home mothers more and more. In 2009 in the United States 61.4% of all married women were in the workforce; this dropping to 58.4% in 2014.
The “official ideology” seems to be losing its power over people at the same time that it is becoming more extremist in its “anything goes” demands. Women may still call themselves feminists while shunning feminist promoted career ambitions saying that feminism is about making their own choices in life as women; whether that be staying at home to raise the kids or pursuit of a career. At the same time that feminism itself is being watered down explicitly anti-feminist beliefs are also on the rise in the form of the Men’s Rights Movement and the Manosphere and “Red Pill” ideology on the one side and also the rise of counter-cultural Christian Complementarian and Christian Patriarchy churches on the other side; the rise of the Acts 29 Network being the most prominent example of the rise of Christian Complementarianism. Also in response to the recent Supreme Court ruling mandating so called “gay marriage” nationwide there is a lot of talk in Christian circles of the need to develop a “Benedict Option” to preserve Christian teachings and practices against societal pressures to conform to secularism.
The breakdown of belief in and adherence to the Technocratic Order is already happening and is very visible. Self-proclaimed feminists are “choosing” traditional gender role lifestyles as their “personal choice.” There is a secular male rebellion against the selfishly oriented “women first” demands and expectations of feminism. There is a higher functioning more healthy Christian rebellion against feminism with the explicit teaching that husbands are to be in authority over their wives (the one part of Christianity that is growing while Christianity overall declines). In addition to this many nationwide social indicators seem to be moving in the right direction; the rapid fall in married women working during the past 5 years being the most impressive.
As far as what is to be done? I would say promote Christianity in its authentic traditional form more and more. If one is secular then promote the natural law view of human life whose moral teachings are essentially the same as traditional Christianity but for Christians defend and promote your traditional orthodox Christian views; defend your community and expand your community through “preaching the Word” and proselytizing. In the long term conservative complementarian and patriarchal Christianity expanding and expanding in exponential fashion will be the means by which a healthy culture in America becomes reestablished.
For access to the full article “Technocracy Now” follow this link.