Cui Bono or Who Benefits

Feminism is a great panic among others in today’s world. The issue of sexual abuse, rape and rape culture and domestic violence is owned and owned exclusively by feminists. This has had the effect of escalating claims and a neglect of scientific technique. Just like the witch trials of old this facilitates hysteria accompanied with more than just a little bit of “getting your own back” and opportunity for commercial gain.  See my post on Federick von Spee. See https://leftleaningantifeminist.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/frederick-von-spee/

The effect of the misinformation, fabricated statistics and advocacy research has been and continues to be making all women fearful of all men and all men self loathing and guilt prone. A Hobbsian war of all on all. Division and conquest. The question then is cui bono or who benefits? To whose benefit is it for everyone to be fighting and fearing everyone else? Who could benefit? Maybe the theorists, and gender class tutors? Authors? Or the one percent. There is a concordance between the rise of second wave feminism in the 70s and the rising inequality of wealth in the same time period. Everyone has instead been too busy chasing phantom enemies to notice the real villains of the peace. There is also the strange fact that Gloria Steinem was working for the CIA and no one ever really leaves the CIA. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HRUEqyZ7p8

This is a tempting narrative but using Ockams Razor I believe incompetence and serendipity are more likely explanations for what looks like a conspiracy. In the same way that the inquisitors of the witch hunts did not start off thinking of a way to siphon off assets from the estates of the accused but recognised a gravy train once it was in motion such that opportunist mercantilism allied itself with petty jealousies and discontents to become part of a mania with an independent life of its own to fulfill both mercantile yearnings and emotional needs.

Now that society has fallen into this Hobbsian war of all on all it has taken on an inertia of its own and will certainly have unintended consequences such as the original feminists may not have foreseen or really liked.

Of all the feminist issues in recent years none has me more worried than the “rape culture” hysteria which I fear will end in tears. I fear that a repertoire of deep biological instincts have been touched such that external social addressing of overt concerns will result in shifting goal posts to restore the same level of fear; the expression of fear rather then problem resolution being the important driver.

The Miner’s Canary

In more dangerous times coal mining could be lethal in many ways. One way was a build up of dangerous gases including sulphur, mercury fumes and various hydrocarbon gases like methane. It was customary for coal miners to take a canary down the pit with them. If the canary keeled over it was a sign that gases had built up to toxic levels signaling it was time to evacuate.

Canary

A coal miner and canary from http://tinyurl.com/k2w5avu – The Cannock Heritage Chase Trail

I have discovered another Miner’s Canary of a sort in the area of ideology. A canary which indicates the presence of a toxic ideology. I am talking across different ideologies and even diametrically opposed ideologies.

That canary is the promise, prediction/belief/assertion that prostitution will not or should not exist in an ideology’s utopia. This is accompanied by a negative moral judgement even if it is a patronising “love the sin but not the sinner” type of put down and the feminist equivalent.  I will give a few examples below. Prostitution is said to be the world’s oldest profession. There are even analogues of it in chimpanzee society. Prostitution seems to find a niche somewhere in most societies either underground or as official practice such as temple prostitutes.  Interdiction against prostitution is a result of a purity ideal tending towards utopian ideals. The more pure, the more poisonous.

First there is Christianity. For Christianity prostitution is an anathema. An abomination to the Lord, a sin and in contravention of God’s plan of a family with faithful spouses. If all are saved by Christ and have their sins washed away then the urge to sin against God and the 10 commandments will subside. Christianity comes in various sects but Christians as a whole are in agreement on the desirability of prostitution. For that extra little bit of judgement the “hate the sin, not the sinner”. In a perfect Christian community there would be no prostitution. The utopia is an afterlife but Christians do their best to produce a utopia here on earth before departing for heavenly realms. A utopia mirroring heaven in which prostitution will not exist.

The next utopian vision of interest is that of the Marxists. Under Marxism the bourgeois will be overthrown by the workers who will then banish all forms of state/capitalist control and in its place establish a dictatorship of the proletariat. All forms of imperialism and exploitation will vanish including colonialism, capitalism and patriarchy. This means that exploitative practices of women including prostitution will vanish along  with all other forms of exploitation. We now know that the Marxist utopias did not live up to the rhetoric and that prostitution was still always available.

This brings us to the modern ideology of feminism and in particular extreme schools of feminism like gender feminism which are puritanical and very anti-sex, anti-porn and anti-prostitution. The word puritan comes from the word pure. In life poison comes from purity. Purify anything good, refine it, concentrate it and you get poison.

Good + purification => poison

Poison + concentration => evil

Think of certain substances cocoa leaves into cocaine or the poppy plant into heroine or even sugar found naturally in most fruits but concentrated into processed food.  It’s a question of balance. Purification of anything in society or in nature tends towards poison. Containing prostitution and with it criminal and health problems is a good social policy. Prohibition of prostitution on the other hand leads down the road to social poison. It works the same way with the use of hard drugs.

Around the world feminists are on an anti-porn and anti-prostitution crusade and much of the rhetoric is indistinguishable from that of Christians with a few differences. Instead of Satan being the agent of all evil leading good men astray it is ALL men who are the evil agents and they must be controlled. Men are dangerous. Men are bad. We must control what they see, do and think. Here we hear the voice of the control freak, of authority and conformity. This is not the voice of an oppressed minority. No oppressed minority calls for censorship of thought.  In Sweden and in Iceland the war on prostitution has reached paranoid witch mania proportions. In Iceland groups of women are compiling dossiers of the clients of prostitutes and setting up entrapment stings. In Sweden the prostitutes are not criminalised but the clients are criminals. The women are only poor exploited victims and can not be held responsible for their plight. They are also outside any public health monitoring and within the scope for abuse by criminals but the feminists have instituted a patronising variation of “love the sinner, not the sin” in what might be called “love the whore but not her choices”.

Running parallel to the feminist “war on prostitution” is the “war on porn”. Just as the Christian found “sinners” to give testimony of their “sins” and how they have found the Lord and saviour so too have feminists found men who now confess and atone for a life of looking at porn and who now no longer view porn; instead they are now anti-porn warriors. They acknowledge their original sin of being part of the “patriarchy”. This is close to Christian homosexuals who now preach against homosexuality since finding the “light and the way” of our Lord Jesus Christ.

So to summarise you know you have a toxic ideology when its utopia promises an en end to prostitution. Everything wrong and excessive about an ideology coalesces on the prostitution issue. So I use it as my miner’s canary to tell me that I am in the claustrophobic  presence of a toxic ideology.

Frederick von Spee

In 1996 Carl Sagan, astrophysicist wrote a book called The Demon Haunted World. In chapter 24 on pages 407-11 Sagan referred to a book written by Frederick von Spee (pronounced Shpay) called Cautio Criminalis. Frederick von Spee was a Jesuit priest who wrote critically about the witch trials of his time and put his life at some personal risk in doing so.  The 38 points are reproduced below.

1)      Incredibly among us Germans, and especially (I am ashamed to say) among Catholics, are popular superstitions, envy, calumnies, backbiting, insinuations, and the like, which, being neither punished nor refuted, stir up suspicion of witchcraft. No longer God or nature, but witches are responsible for everything.

2)      Hence everybody sets up a clamor that the magistrates investigate the witches – whom only popular gossip has made so numerous.

3)      Princes, therefore, bid their judges and counselors bring proceedings against the witches.

4)      The judges hardly know where to start, since they have no evidence (indicia) of proof.

5)      Meanwhile, the people call this delay suspicious; and the princes are persuaded by some informer or another to this effect.

6)      In Germany, to offend these princes is a serious offense; even clergymen approve whatever pleases them, not caring by whom these princes (however well-intentioned) have been investigated.

7)      At last, therefore, the judges yield to their wishes and contrive to begin the trials.

8)      Other judges who still delay, afraid to get involved in this ticklish matter, are sent a special prosecutor. In this field of investigation, whatever inexperience or arrogance he brings to the job is held zeal for justice. His zeal for justice is also whetted by hopes of profit, especially with a poor and greedy agent with a large family, when he receives as stipend so many dollars per head for each witch burned, besides the incidental fees and perquisites which investigating agents are allowed to extort at will from those they summon.

9)      If a madman’s ravings or some malicious and idle rumor (for no proof of the scandal is ever needed) points to some helpless old woman, she is the first to suffer.

10)  Yet to avoid the appearance that she is indicted solely on the basis of rumor, without other proofs, a certain presumption of guilt is obtained by posing the following dilemma: Either she has led an evil and improper life, or she has led a good and proper one. If an evil one, then she should be guilty. On the other hand, if she has led a good life, this is just as damning; for witches dissemble and try to appear especially virtuous.

11)  Therefore the old woman is put in prison. A new proof is found through a second dilemma: she is afraid or not afraid. If she is (hearing of the horrible tortures used against witches), this is sure proof; for her conscience accuses her. If she does not show fear (trusting in her innocence), this too is proof; for witches characteristically pretend innocence and wear a bold front.

12)  Lest these should be the only proofs, the investigator has his snoopers, often depraved and infamous, ferret out all her past life. This, of course, cannot be done without turning up some saying or doing of hers which men so disposed can easily twist or distort into evidence of witchcraft.

13)  Any who have borne her ill will now have ample opportunity to bring against her whatever accusations they please; and everyone says that the evidence is strong against her.

14)  And so she is hurried to the torture, unless, as often happens, she was tortured on the very day of her arrest.

15)  In these trials nobody is allowed a lawyer or any means of fair defense, for witchcraft is reckoned an exceptional crime [of such enormity that ll rules of legal procedure may be suspended], and whoever ventures to defend the prisoner falls himself under suspicion of witchcraft – as well as those who dare to utter a protest in these cases and to urge the judges to exercise prudence, for the are forthwith labeled supporters of witchcraft. Thus everybody keeps quiet for fear.

16)  So that it may seem that the woman has an opportunity to defend herself, she is brought into court and the indications of her guilt are read and examined – if it can be called an examination.

17)  Even though she denies these charges and satisfactorily answers every accusation, no attention is paid and her replies are not even recorded; all the indictments retain their force and validity, however perfect her answers are to them. She is ordered back into prison, there to consider more carefully whether she will persist in obstinacy – for, since she has already denied her guilt, she is obstinate.

18)  Next day she is brought out again, and hears a decree of torture – just as if she had never refuted the charges.

19)  Before torture, however, she is searched for amulets: her entire body is shaved, and even those privy parts indicating the female sex are wantonly examined.

20)  What is so shocking about this? Priests are treated the same way.

21)  When the woman has been shaved and searched, she is tortured to make her confess the truth – that is, to declare what they want, for naturally anything else will not and cannot be the truth.

22)  They start with the first degree, i.e., the less severe torture. Although exceedingly severe, it is light compared to those tortures which follow. Wherefore if she confesses, they say the woman has confessed without torture!

23)  Now, what prince can doubt her guilt when he is told she has confessed voluntarily, without torture?

24)  She is therefore put to death without scruple. But she would have been executed even if she had not confessed; for when once the torture has begun, the die is already cast, she cannot escape, she has perforce to die.

25)  The result is the same whether she confesses or not. If she confesses, her guilt is clear: she is executed. All recantation is in vain. If she does not confess, the torture is repeated – twice, thrice, four times. In exceptional crimes, the torture is not limited in duration, severity, or frequency.

26)  If, during the torture, the old woman contorts her features with pain, they say she is laughing; if she loses consciousness, she is sleeping or has bewitched herself into taciturnity. And if she is taciturn, she deserves to be burned alive, as lately has been done to some who, though several times tortured, would not say what the investigators wanted.

27)  And even confessors and clergymen agree that she died obstinate and impenitent; that she would not be converted or desert her incubus, but kept faith with him.

28)  If, however, she dies under so much torture, they say the devil broke her neck.

29)  Wherefore the corpse is buried underneath the gallows.

30)  On the other hand, if she does not die under torture, and of some exceptionally scrupulous judge hesitates to torture her further without fresh proofs or to burn her without her confession, she is kept in prison and more harshly chained, there to rot until she yields, even if it take a whole year.

31)  She can never clear herself. The investigating committee would feel disgraced if it acquitted a woman; once arrested and in chains, she has to be guilty, by fair means or foul.

32)  Meanwhile, ignorant and headstrong priests harass the wretched creature so that, whether truly or not, she will confess herself guilty; unless she does so, they say, she cannot be saved or partake of the sacraments.

33)  More understanding or learned priests cannot visit her in prison lest they counsel her or inform the princes what goes on. Nothing is more dreaded than that something be brought to light to prove the innocence of the accused. Persons who try to do so are labeled troublemakers.

34)  While she is kept in prison and tortured, the judges invent clever devices to build up new proofs of guilt to convict her to her face, so that, when reviewing the trial, some university faculty can confirm her burning alive.

35)  Some judges, to appear ultrascrupulous, have the woman exorcized, transferred elsewhere, and tortured all over again, to break her taciturnity; if she maintains silence, then at last they can burn her. Now, in Heaven’s name, I would like to know, since she who confesses and she who does not both perish alike, how can anybody, no matter how innocent, escape? O unhappy woman, why have you rashly hoped? Why did you not, on first entering prison, admit whatever they wanted? Why, foolish and crazy woman, did you wish to die so many times when you might have died but once? Follow my counsel, and, before undergoing all these pains, say you are guilty and die. You will not escape, for this were a catastrophic disgrace to the zeal of Germany.

36)  When, under stress of pain, the witch has confessed, her plight is indescribable. Not only cannot she escape herself, but she is also compelled to accuse others whom she does not know, whose names are frequently put into her mouth but the investigators or suggested by the executioner, or of whom she has heard as suspected or accused. These in turn are forced to accuse others, and these still others, and so it goes on: who can help seeing that it must go on and on?

37)  The judges must either suspend these trials (and so impute their validity) or else burn their own folk, themselves, and everybody else; for all sooner or later are falsely accused and, if tortured, all are proved guilty.

38)  Thus eventually those who at first clamored most loudly to feed the flames are themselves involved, for they rashly failed to see that their turn too would come. Thus Heaven justly punishes those who with their pestilent tongues created so many witches and sent so many to the stake.

Feminist ideas so nearly mirrors the poor logic and unfalsifiability inherent in the witch trials of Frederick von Spee’s time. After listing the 38 points in Cautio Criminalis Sagan makes the following prescient statement .

If we’re absolutely sure that our beliefs are right, and those of others are wrong; that we are motivated by good, and others by evil; that the King of the Universe speaks to us, and not to adherents of very different faiths, that it is wicked to challenge conventional doctrines or to ask searching questions; that our main job is to believe and obey—then the witch mania will recur in its infinite variations down to the time of the last man.

Feminist theory almost seems to be use Sagan’s book The Demon Haunted World as a textbook for their own witch hunts.

Unfalsifiable Patriarchy Theory

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Patriarchy Theory is malleable and flexible to context to the extent that is is essentially unfalsifiable. This can be demonstrated by comparing a theist idea with the idea the patriarchy is the cause of all or most problems faced by people or in general.

This is the idea that God answers prayer. This says that God will deliver on any prayer request. For example a God believer prays for X. If X happens then this is “proof” that God answers prayer. If however Y happens the theist tells us this is not evidence that God does not answer prayer but instead this is evidence that God answered the prayer with the answer of “no”. Both of these outcomes are evidence for the existence of God and for his power in this world.

The idea can not be falsified since there is no possible result which will falsify the idea the God answers prayer. Falsifiability is the cornerstone of scientific technique. Without it no idea can not be known to be true since there is no way it can be known to be false.

Take another example from the witch trials of centuries ago. An accused witch may confess to her torturer that she is a witch. This is “proof” in itself that she is a witch. If she did not confess to being a witch this is “proof” of her obstinacy which is a sign of a witch. If she was frightened of torture  then that was naturally “proof” that she is a witch and fears being found out.  If she is not showing fear of immanent torture then this is “proof” that she is good at hiding fear and “proof” that she is a witch because this is something witches do.

Feminism displays so many features of unfalsifiability and indeed the “rape culture” narrative displays certain features of a witch hunt.

To get back to patriarchy theory. The patriarchy is blamed for “male privilege”. If for example a woman is living in a skip bin then that is because the patriarchy put her there. If she is successful in a career then that is in spite of the patriarchy. If a man is successful in a career then naturally that is “male privilege” and patriarchy. If a man is living in a skip bin then that also is patriarchy; an example of what men will do to men.

Unfalsifiability is a common thread through many feminist ideas besides Patriarchy Theory.