The Hydra’s Heads – Radicalization

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Radicalization, twisting, corruption of values

There is not a single well-meaning concept, no movement that does not turn into a playground for doctrinaires and fanatics. Often they do not even seem keen on the matter, but appear to be interested in sowing as much disharmony as possible whilst unabashedly rebuking others.

From feminism to revenge fantasies

Positive feminism strives to leave behind the centuries of disregard for women in public, in legal texts, and in our minds, and to achieve an equal cooperation with men.

In this sense, the envisaged emancipation would be a common one, based on exchange and reciprocal inspiration, one that does not liberate women from men, nor put them solely in charge, but deliver both sexes from a doctrine of separation, constraints, and mutual distrust.

What has become of feminism though – or at least the voice which is heard most loudly (because stupidity, unfortunately, does not slow itself down with incidentalities like reflection) is, however, a completely different, practically opposite message. It is an attempt to turn the tables, to devalue and to threaten. This attitude completely undermines positive feminism, and can probably be said to have already dealt it the final blow.

There is also no official distancing, as there is no competent body, instead it is left to each and every one to come up with their own interpretation and implementation of the concept. It is quite impossible to commit to a movement so vaguely defined that it encompasses and tolerates some completely opposing (and partly absurd as well as  profoundly sexist) views.

At the same time, however, I do not wish to dissociate myself altogether from feminism, because I very much stand for its positive values and would also consider it a betrayal of all the courageous and wonderful women who struggled without any bitterness, for real equality at a time when this step could have had very serious consequences. So what does positive feminism mean to me, personally?

A striving for freedom from oppression for all women (and in many places the state of affairs is frightening); an end to imposed role models for both sexes, while at the same time respecting the actual differences; the possibility to have children without slipping into the poverty trap (from getting sidelined and stuck in badly paid jobs); an end to the alimony payments which create endless discontent and instead a basic measure of self-evident financial security for all; an end to the embarrassment and degradation of female sexuality, a judiciary and a youth welfare office that are designed to provide real help, affordable mediation and family therapy, and … and … and …

It is quite easy to summarize: fairness to all.

Masculinism (whose positive core concerns by no means contradict those of feminism, but merely have a different focus), just as feminism, should be nothing more than a partial aspect of a philosophy that strives for genuine reconciliation and respect. Instead of arguing like good kids about the topics put on our plates, we should rather laugh out loud at the attempt to separate something as so obviously complementary, both mentally and physically, as the two sexes.

From Marxism to Communism

The positive side of the basic idea is that, divided into local areas of co-operation, community householding and the upkeep of shared facilities are performed in a collaborative manner,  while a long-term distribution system handles matters in a larger context (above all, the life cycle of goods which imply a high production and disposal effort and thus can only be managed in co-operation).

In the same way, as it has been aptly put, the means of production should actually belong to the workers, so that the value they create is not skimmed from above, and they are not, as is regarded as decent and right in capitalism, fobbed off with the absolute minimum required to just keep people’s heads above water.

However, what communism has made of this basic idea – above all, the addition of a profoundly Fascist control system that demands submission rather than voluntary cooperation, rigorously prevents criticism, and finally rages almost worse than capitalism (by using its absolute power in order to award all the benefits of the system, again, to a small minority, while the rest sink into scarcity and lack of perspective) is so perfect a perversion of the basic idea that one can speak of nothing short of a reversal.

No wonder that this takeover could only work by killing or displacing all educated citizens – and it makes me wonder how this coup could even have been possible without massive help from the outside.

From free market to turbo-capitalism

The concept of a market economy, which is based on a means of exchange which, unlike the actual goods, won’t spoil and is easy to transport, was a brilliant idea. Also the principle that the market regulates itself, because satisfactory service leads to loyal customers, works in the small frame.

However, as soon as larger conglomerates are created, this market is distorted because they can influence the situation with excess combat capital – for example, by artificially creating bottlenecks, by hostile takeovers of opponents or by eliminating them through price battles until all have disappeared.

Whether a private man or a company – from a certain volume of wealth, an upward spiral is produced, which will always keep turning faster, and draw funds from all others in varied ways.

For the most part, this happens through interest, which is why there used to be jubilee years: every time the system had reached its inevitable final state of concentration of all funds in a few hands, and as a result no room for action for all the others, the dice were thrown again and the game could start from scratch.

From spirituality to religious fanaticism

The idea that the world is united and inspired by a common principle leads to a quite healthy attitude, regardless of its truth content. On the one hand, it is clear that the environment and fellow human beings have to be respected; on the other hand, it leads to a sense of being connected and belonging. In addition, it is also an incentive to seek wisdom and understanding, to pursue spiritual growth and care of the soul.

However, the moment a priestly class, usually in connection with the secular ruler, monopolizes the privilege of defining spirituality, the result is the same worldwide, over and over again. Religion is undermined from the inside, turning to the antithesis of its original message: a separation of people into believers and others (with bloody consquences), striving for political power, deprivation and even prohibition of knowledge, tyranny and thought control, accumulation of wealth, and finally decadence and debauchery – since even for priests, it is true that absolute power corrupts absolutely.

The community of believers, who have been seduced by them, are in turn driven by compulsive obedience and hollow phrases on the one side of the spectrum, by flaming contempt, hatred of others, bigotry, and self-righteousness on the other.

As usual, several other examples could be cited. Strictly speaking, there is scarcely a radical movement that has not started out with a positive message – how else would it have found a basis? With this in mind, one should consider and judge the world: every conflict, every exaggeration, every extreme has a history. Nothing comes out of a vacuum, and very little happens without a comprehensible reason.

Often enough, this reason will be manipulation – the use of a trust relationship in a group to subvert and instrumentalize it. It may also be the unfortunate dynamism between people, to surround themselves with others of the same opinion, and then to consider the absence of opposition as proof of the unassailability of their own position.

To engage in conversations with people of completely different convictions, challenging and uneasy as it may be, is an important corrective for one’s own world view. However, there is little to be gained if one is concerned merely with proving to the other that their point of view is worthless. Instead of planning out your next counter-argument, while the opposite is talking, it is important to actually listen and privately consider the possibility that you yourself are the misinformed party.

This respectful treatment of conversation partners is, by the way, not to be confused with the rather strange esoteric attitude that all truths are equivalent. Disrespect, deliberate dissemination of lies, etc., are not to be tolerated – and the blind acceptance with which such behavior is met is the reason it is so rampant.

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EXIT_(27917694546) EXIT_(27917694546) N Medd CC BY-SA 2.0