We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Ve’re askink ze qvestions!”

Last Wednesday, Jodi Shaw received a Hero of Intellectual Freedom Award – and got to rap on-stage in NYC, four years after Smith College told her she couldn’t because rapping while white was racist.

The freedom to rap while white is a form of free speech it has never occurred to me to pursue, but something Jodi said struck me.

“These terms are never defined … It’s just ‘social justice’.”

“And you’re afraid to ask,” she added, because “that might put a spotlight on you,” and people will think you are racist … According to Shaw, there was an “ever-present terror” at Smith “that any unverified student allegation of racism, or any other ‘-ism,’ has the power to crush our reputations, ruin our livelihood, and even endanger the physical safety of ourselves or our family members.”

It’s not the first time a movement has refused to define its central idea.

Himmler issued strict orders to issue no definition of the term ‘Jew’ “because with all these foolish commitments we will only be tying our hands.” (referenced and discussed in ‘The Origins of Totalitarianism’ by Hannah Arendt)

Identify a respected institution. Kill it. Gut it. Wear its carcass as a skin suit, while demanding respect. I’ve seen that spot-on description of how the woke operate applied so many times – to institutions. But it’s just as true of ideas. Totalitarians always gut the ideas they proclaim of all actual meaning. The woke wear the murdered carcass of words like racism (structural racism) or justice (social justice) as a skin suit, while demanding respect.

Sonnets are racist says SalfordU

Salford University has banned sonnets and suchlike “products of white western culture” from its creative writing course to “decolonise the curriculum”. I say ‘banned’ but they say they merely

“simplified the assessment offering choice”

and I have to admit there is a sense in which ‘simplified’ is the mot juste.

Frequent readers of Samizdata will now be expecting Niall Kilmartin (a.k.a Bilbo Baggins) to inflict some of his own poetic doggerel on you, but as none of mine even try to be any kind of sonnet, I will instead quote Neo’s response to the news.

My grief is deep, as deep as oceans vast
But virtue has its own reward, and so
I’ll give up sonnet-writing, and the past
Can sink beneath the waves of gloom so low.
Old Shakespeare, with his bootless bootless cries
No doubt was white and certainly supreme
Let’s stamp him out, and “colonization” dies.
We’ll show fidelity to the new meme.
Oh Wordsworth, even more forlorn are we.
Bereft of your old counsel, now we stand
On their less wise and quite unpleasant lea
Without the comfort of tradition’s hand.
The poems they write today are stupid shite
And sonnets are too challenging to write.

[If you compare with Neo’s original you will see that Niall get-the-scansion-perfect Kilmartin has made a tiny change at the start of the fourth-last line; feel free to comment and/or upbraid me any who wish. I have also skipped Neo’s link to the meaning of ‘shite’, assuming British readers know it, and transatlantic ones can deduce it from the context and from a certain rather obvious homonym. 🙂 ]

Neo has not offered an example of the modern, de-colonised poem that must now be written instead. Commenters are welcome to fill the lack with genuine examples or their own spoofs, or to share much loved poems, or just to give their opinions.

It was foresighted Robert Conquest who wrote, decades ago, that alongside ‘War is Peace’, ‘Freedom is Slavery’ and ‘Ignorance is Strength’, there was another essential slogan of totalitarianism that Orwell had (surprisingly) omitted:

Rubbish is Art

and of course, its corollary: Art is Rubbish (and racist and …).

“Who said the ‘N’ word?”

Natalie asked, “Can you guess what Lufthansa is talking about here?” For a bonus point, can you guess what word, beginning with ‘N’, the German policeman is prohibiting here?

… Jewish passengers were confronted by a layer of armed police who stood between them and the departure gate. In a scene that conceivably would have won critical praise had it been staged in a dark historical comedy, one of the distressed passengers asked plaintively, “Why do you hate us?” as the officers grimly surveyed them. Then someone else said the word “N—” … one of the offended police officers began barking in a thick German accent, “Who said the ‘N’ word? Who was it?”

[Excerpted from this article, edited to omit some letters following ‘N’ lest these offend any German police readers, or sympathisers thereof.]

One can hardly blame a German policeman for speaking “with a thick German accent”, and in Germany, it is a crime to call a police officer that word. Prudent Germans who wish to use the word without consequences are better advised to apply it to Donald Trump, or to call Israel a ‘N— state’. And prudent Jews who find themselves in Germany were reminded three years ago by the (perhaps unfortunately termed) ‘German anti-semitism commissioner’ to avoid looking Jewish – advice these “visibly Jewish” Lufthansa passengers had completely failed to heed.

I guess one take-away from this is that, next time anyone make a fuss about “the ‘N’ word”, they’ll need (and frequently deserve!) to be asked, “Which one?” Commenters are welcome to add any other take-aways that occur to them.

Samizdata quote of the night that identifies as a day

Kathleen Stock’s latest article in Unherd is titled “The emptiness of being queer” and subtitled “Sexual libertarians and rainbow bureaucrats created the perfect racket”. She should have subtitled it “Sexual libertines and rainbow bureaucrats created the perfect racket”, but given Stock’s own background and orientation, I happily overlook the minor misphrasing of her subtitle in view of the free-speech-forthrightness of her title.

Perhaps it won’t have escaped the reader thus far that there’s a biological element to all this too. The sexual libertarians are mostly men; the staff and trustees of Mermaids are nearly all female — no matter how they identify — and, in my experience, so are most other rainbow bureaucrats. Despite foundational intellectual myths, it turns out biological sex matters in the queer world too. And though they won’t like it, it’s tempting to see these two factions as part of a tediously conventional nuclear family, with rebellious jack-the-lad Dad and solicitous stay-at-home Mum, and with many confused children shunting between the two.

It was always inevitably a Stalin or a Mao who rose to rule any free-speech-hating communist party, unhindered by the purgeable presence in its early ranks of sincere types like Victor Kravchenko or Jung Chang’s father. I explained here why, similarly, groomers and pedophiles would come to control the free-speech-hating ‘identify’ movement, whatever other motives also helped start it.

However I forgot to add (as yet another example of oppressive tyrants pretending to be oppressed rebels, of those who hurt you pretending they help you) that the rainbow-bureaucrat-groomer side of that movement would aggressively self-identify as protective helpers.

Compared to that, it is indeed “no matter how they identify” otherwise.

Woke rage reveals a fact about the transition pipeline from schools to social services

Some Texan childcare social workers are so “distraught” that a new law regulates their handling of trans kids that they say they will resign! (We’ll see if woke bureaucrats’ promises to resign are worth more than woke celebrities’ promises to quit the US if Reagan/Bush/Trump became president.)

If anything could be more where all is most in their self-revealingly woke article, it is the moment (about half-way through) where a social worker tells of their horror at the thought of having to investigate a report of a parent giving their child trans drugs. Previously any such report had instantly been marked ‘priority: none’ and the agency only ever investigated (vigorously, it would appear) any report of a parent hesitating to give their school-groomed child the woke-prescribed trans drugs.

The pipeline starts at school.

– The woke-about-everything school teaches the child that their white skin condemns them to a life of inherited racial sin – but don’t tell their parents. The school then offers a way out: pupils can escape their otherwise-ineradicable guilt by adopting a marginalised sexual identity – but don’t tell their parents.

– Instead or (usually) as well, the school can affirmatively teach the kids a lot of pornography:

To girls who are pressured into regurgitating how fantastic and progressive porn culture is, the very idea of being a “woman” becomes repulsive.

In these and other ways, a child’s un-parental-informed consent to being transitioned is obtained and puberty blockers are prescribed. The day after the kept-in-ignorance parents finally discover this is happening, the school questions the child and informs the social services of the parents’ insufficiently enthusiastic response. The social workers then ‘investigate’ – and that’s where we came in at the start of this post.

There are several things wrong with this. In the rest of this post, I’ll focus on just one.

“I do not for a moment regret the act of change. I could see no other way, and it has made me happy. In this I am one of the lucky few. There are people of many kinds who have set out on the same path, and by and large they are among the unhappiest people on the face of the earth.”

The quote is from ‘Conundrum’, a book written in 1974 by Anglo-Welsh writer, Jan Morris, who from birth to mid-forties was known as James Morris (and served with the British army in Italy in WWII), before undergoing surgery. In the pages of Conundrum, “the unhappiest people on the face of the earth” are joined by

“the poor castaways of intersex, the misguided homosexuals, the transvestites, the psychotic exhibitionists, who tumble through this half-mad world like painted clowns, pitiful to others and often horrible to themselves.”

In short, the odds of becoming “one of the lucky few” were not good even in the old days.

  • Back then, Jan Morris’ books on Oxford characters and the like were popular enough. That the dust-jacket often had a summary of the author’s unusual life and circumstances didn’t seem to prevent decent sales.

  • Back then, the modern view that sexual identity was merely social was already being experimented with on children and the results lied about to preserve the narrative.

    “It was like brainwashing … I’d give just about anything to go to a hypnotist to black out my whole past. Because it’s torture. What they did to you in the body is sometimes not near as bad as what they did to you in the mind – with the psychological warfare in your head.”

    He is referring to the extraordinary medical treatment he received after suffering the complete loss of his penis to a botched circumcision when he was 8 months old. On the advice of experts at the renowned Johns Hopkins medical center, in Baltimore, a sex-change operation was performed on him, a process that involved clinical castration and other genital surgery when he was a baby, followed by a 12-year program of social, mental and hormonal conditioning to make the transformation take hold in his psyche. The case was reported as an unqualified success, and he became one of the most famous (though unnamed) patients in the annals of modern medicine.

    [The sad story told by that (long) account is in some ways typical of today: the doctor with a ‘progressive’ agenda – and compliant colleagues; the easily-published papers boasting of a success that never was; the decades it took for the facts to emerge. But in other ways the woke of today are uglier than the progressives of half-a-century ago. The link is to a page on the wayback machine. The facts came out in the late ’90s but are now being forced back in again.]

But, along with all that, back then, those who were “pitiful to others and often horrible to themselves” did not have the encouragement of hate speech laws and ‘microaggression’ theory. The doctors in my link above felt elite because the common herd did not share their ‘advanced’ opinion that sex was socially conditioned, not innate – and, back then, the common herd were not at all afraid to say so. So those who nevertheless presented themselves for the procedure were much more likely to have tried something (or everything) else first. Their chance of joining Jan’s “lucky few” was therefore far better than today, now the group is swelled by propagandised schoolkids, by asbergers assured it will solve their problems, by people kept grossly ignorant of trans-regret and by many a “misguided homosexual, transvestite and/or exhibitionist” who back then would have chosen another way to express themselves. In that group, the proportion of Jan’s “lucky few” will be few indeed – meaning, the woke will have ruined many lives for each one of them.

Abuse of power is greatest where the laws fail to anticipate it. (Montesquieu)

Just as woke-trans cancel culture makes grooming more likely by forbidding you to expect it, so being forbidden to notice the immense improbabilities of woke-trans recruitment methods makes it more likely their targets will end up among “the unhappiest people on the face of the earth”.

Government minister guilty of ‘bullying’: expecting senior civil servants to do actual work

Michael Gove stands accused of bullying his civil servants. According to The Sun, he “was said to have been visibly angry with a string of officials” over the abject state of the visa scheme for Ukrainian refugees.

This has led Jeremy Rycroft, the Permanent Secretary at the Home Office, to complain to Jeremy Pocklington, his counterpart at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC). … when Priti Patel was accused of the same, the report into the incident concluded that: “Her approach on occasions has amounted to behaviour that can be described as bullying in terms of the impact felt by individuals”. … If they feel bullied, it’s bullying

One would not expect Conservative Home to be overly sympathetic to the whining permanent secretaries, or harsh to Gove. That said, I think a new series of ‘Yes, Minister’ would see Permanent Secretary Sir Humphrey Appleby sobbing “How can you bully me like this?”, then behind-the-scenes fixing the ‘enquiry’, as another way to block whatever Minister Jim Hacker was pushing him to do. Whether it’s Priti Patel ‘bullying’ a permanent secretary to bar illegal immigrants the higher civil service is happy to see enter the UK, or Michael Gove ‘bullying’ a permanent secretary to admit Ukrainian refugees the higher civil service is happy to see kept out of the UK, it’s a great way to ensure that if the minister ever reaches the point of banging the table and demanding that orders be carried out, yet another obstacle to that can be put in place.

The WWII Jewish Brigade was formed when Churchill banged the table and stated that of course it would be, putting an end to the meant-to-be-endless delays of certain advisors. The Jewish Brigade spent the last six months of WWII killing Germans and learning everything the British army knew about military technique (by the end of WWII, that was a lot). Historians of the wars of Israel’s formation say Israel would not have survived without the Jewish Brigade. It was lucky Churchill banged the table then, not today, when the brigade’s creation could have been delayed yet longer by a ‘bullying’ enquiry.

“If he were killing a mouse, he would know how to make it seem like a dragon.”

I offer two bits of the anglosphere’s past to help us understand two bits of the Russian present.

Firstly,

“I should like to put it on record that I have never been able to dislike Hitler. … The fact is there is something deeply appealing about him.” (George Orwell, review of ‘Mein Kampf’)

Like the media travestying Trump’s remarks about Putin’s ‘genius move’ into sounding like Trump approved Putin’s invasion, I have used omission to near-invert Orwell’s point. Here it is again, with less omitted.

“I should like to put it on record that I have never been able to dislike Hitler. Ever since he came to power – till then, like nearly everyone, I had been deceived into thinking he did not matter – I have reflected that I would certainly kill him if I could get within reach of him, but that I could feel no personal animosity. The fact is there is something deeply appealing about him. One feels it again when one sees his photographs … It is a pathetic, doglike face, the face of a man suffering under intolerable wrongs … the martyr, the victim, Prometheus chained to the rock, the self-sacrifing hero who fights single-handedly against impossible odds. … If he were killing a mouse, he would know how to make it seem like a dragon.”

The last sentence is the point; before he finally awakened dragons he could not slay, Hitler spent years being the dragon, and the Jews were not the only victims who were about as much of a threat to him as mice – who only became even a bit dangerous to him because he left them no choice. But he knew how to make it look like the opposite. He knew in terms of conscious propaganda, but it was more than that: “there is little doubt that is how Hitler sees himself”, warns Orwell.

For months, up until ten days ago when he invaded, Putin (and western elites) thought the Ukraine was a mouse that Russian tanks would race through – Biden’s handlers had so written it off they had him invite (beg) Putin to take just a piece of it. But Putin’s propagandists knew their task was to make it look like a dragon. How to explain invading Crimea under Obama, and Ukraine under Biden, and nowhere under Trump, while claiming you’re doing it because you feel threatened – threatened not by Ukraine as such (bit of a hard sell, that) but by big bad America’s use of Ukraine? Luckily for them, Putin’s narrative has an ally – Biden’s narrative. How to explain Putin doing nothing under Trump, then invading after the U.S. flees Afghanistan, while locals who’d relied on them dropped from aircraft wings? Thus it is that the two insolent, imbecile narratives – Putin’s (that he’s invading because the US looks active, not because it looks pathetically weak) and Biden’s (that he causes Putin concern, not contempt) – acquire strange echoes and overlaps from their mutual need to write Trump out of the story, to explain away why it’s happening now, not then.

Secondly, that is not the whole story. You miss something central if you think this deflection is happening only in Putin’s conscious mind. The full story (that is, what I’m guessing is the full story) is rather odd to the western mind. I hope my next historical anecdote will make it more relatable.

The Americans had friends as well as foes in Britain’s parliament during their revolution – people as highly placed as former prime minister Pitt the elder, who were ready to defend the justice of the American case, to vote for them to have assurances, rights, no taxation without representation – but not independence. Edmund Burke, MP for Bristol, told his fellow MPs they

looked at the position in a wrong point of view, and talked of it as a mere matter of choice when, in fact, it was now become a matter of necessity. … It was incumbent on Great Britain to acknowledge it directly. On the day he [Burke] first heard of the American States having claimed independency, it made him sick at heart … because he saw it was a claim essentially injurious to this country and a claim Great Britain could never get rid of.

Burke felt as strongly as any other British MP how they all disliked the idea of the American colonies ceasing to be part of the British nation – and so worked hard to resolve tensions, to maintain or restore the “rights of Englishmen” for which the rebels first fought. At celebrations of the American revolution he therefore has a slightly equivocal place. His insightful explanations help establish the justice of the American Revolution – which he tried very hard to avert by removing its cause. Only

“When things had come to this pass (which no-one laboured to prevent more than I)”

did Burke tell his fellow British MPs that American independence, was no longer a matter of choice, no longer a debating chip to be traded away in negotiations – so Britain’s true interest was no longer to refuse a thing so “essentially injurious” to the mother country, but to limit the injury by parting on as friendly terms as could be managed.

Others lacked such insight. Years later, America’s friends in parliament yielded to military necessity what they were slow to yield to Burke’s ‘necessity’.

It was a useful lesson. The better part of two centuries elapsed before the British empire had “its finest hour”, soon followed by its last (of existing on the scale that had once seen it not just a world power but the world power). Parting on good terms was now accepted as the goal – which left the UK still ready and able to punch a bit above its weight in coalitions with its friends.

Like Britain, Russia could be a great power with its empire – and a prosperous, safe, happy power without it, but not a great power bestriding the world in splendid isolation. Russia has no need to rule the Ukraine – but Imperial Russia does, and that in turn needs the Ukraine to be not a real country, not a thing innate and of itself. Putin doesn’t just lie about the Ukraine existing only as a US puppet. He has to confabulate that it is, because, in his imperial vision of Russia, the Ukraine can’t be real.

– The Ukraine isn’t a real country, so obviously the Ukraine cannot be seeking ties with NATO because Putin has been saying for years that it never really existed and must cease to exist; that’s unimaginable as the cause. So clearly, those wicked Americans have corrupted the Ukrainian government into acting against its own interests. (When the wicked American is Joe Biden, it helps that the part about causing corruption in the Ukraine is no lie.)

– The Ukraine isn’t a real country so it cannot matter that Russian rule of the Ukraine began in a word translatable as ‘serf’ or as ‘slave’, and in living memory meant Stalin, famine and purge on a scale meeting the UN definition of genocide. Russia had serfs and Stalin too, and the Ukraine, not being a separate country, cannot be acting out of a distinct, grimmer, historical memory.

Thus Putin is not simply lying when his actions show he knows the U.S. has never been weaker, yet he insists America is driving events in Ukraine. The Ukraine cannot be acting autonomously, still less from fear of the man who has so clearly explained that it’s not a real country – because the Ukraine is not a real country.

And it is by this that he has been punished. Ten days ago, he had everything whose existence he believed in sewn up: a self-prostrated US; a Europe that had chosen to be dependent on his energy; woke weakness everywhere in the west. It was the perfect time to act. What could go wrong?

In the west, we’ve said Mr Putin is wicked, we’ve renamed Chicken Kievs “Chicken Kvivs” in the shops, we’ve even expelled Russia from the Eurovision Song Contest. While cancel culture crazies loudly retarget their usual techniques to ban Dostoevsky (university of Milan), to withdraw the film Anastasia (Disney), and to clear the shelves of bottles of Smirnoff (actually made in Latvia), the World Economic Forum has very quietly scrubbed Putin from their website.

Less uselessly, we’re rethinking buying so much of our energy from him. Some NATO members are talking about meeting their treaty obligations. We’ve banned Russia from the SWIFT system. Zelensky having refused Biden’s proffered ride out (“thou thought I was even such a one as thyself”), the ammunition he demanded instead is now being supplied – and the weapons that Trump was giving them are now flowing again (from Britain and Poland – and Sweden). If you volunteer to fight for the Ukrainians, the west will let you go (and stay behind).

And we wouldn’t have done any of these things if Putin had raced through the Ukraine as fast as he, and the western smart set, thought he would. The west driving events in Ukraine? No, for the last ten days, events in the Ukraine have driven the west. Putin ramps up his narrative; Biden’s handlers scramble to reorient his; the unanticipated reality of the Ukraine drives events.

Which, alas, is dangerous to the Ukraine that Putin now dimly knows exists, since the obvious way for him to deal with this unexpected development is to decide it’s not too late to kill it. He expected to look like Hitler racing through Austria. Today, he looks more like Stalin invading Finland. He fears looking like Mussolini invading Greece. Putin will endure much before he lets that happen; so may the Ukraine.

Behind Putin and Trudeau stands Xi

At the start of WWII, Britain and France imposed a blockade on Germany. They believed the blockade had contributed greatly to victory in WWI – and they liked the thought of doing it again far better than the thought of doing Verdun or the Somme again. Great confidence was expressed that blockade could break Germany, that Germans would abandon Hitler. The RAF dropped many leaflets pointing this out to the Germans.

There was just one small problem. Stalin was Hitler’s ally. The Russians supplied Germany with huge volumes of goods the west fondly imagined they were blockading. Where Russia could not supply them herself, she acted as intermediary for Germany in the world market. She also transported supplies from Japan to Germany. Russia did not do it for nothing, of course – but her payment terms were so generous that the Germans complained their Japanese ally looked mean by comparison.

Why did the communists do this? After Russia and Germany completed their joint operations in Poland, the Soviets urged the Nazis to end the ‘phoney war’ in the west:

One must ardently hope that the world war will begin in earnest as soon as possible.

(The Germans would grant Stalin’s wish – more than he bargained for, in the end.)

That was then, this is now. The west’s ability to isolate Putin has a gaping hole: Xi. China won’t help Putin fight his Ukrainian battles, but as far as western sanctions are concerned, it can keep Putin afloat for a long time. That does not mean it will. But when gladdened by the sight of Putin in difficulties, or western cringing acquiescence changing to something less shamefully absurd, we should not forget that Xi can undercut a lot of the fairly little we have done so far, if he wishes.

To Trudeau, Xi is an envied example. We know this because he said so.

“There is a level of admiration I actually have for China because their basic dictatorship is allowing them to actually turn their economy around on a dime … a flexibility … that I find quite interesting.”

Xi does not return the admiration – but China has spent a ton of money in the west so that “capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them”, and a ton more on “useful [and greedy] idiots”.

Another thing Trudeau finds quite interesting is China’s social credit scheme, that can unperson dissenters from their bank accounts and their credit cards, even before arresting them – indeed, even before ruling their acts criminal. We know this because he did so.

Putin threatens freedom in the Ukraine right now – and in neighbouring countries (that he clearly thinks of as next) soon, and in the west generally long-term. Trudeau threatens freedom in Canada right now – and in anglosphere countries (that his ideological allies clearly think of as next) soon, and in the west generally long-term. When assessing their strength versus our strength to resist, don’t forget: behind both stands Xi.

They used to feel the need of adjectives

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has a dire warning for us.

Freedom? Far-right, man!

There was a time when it was “bourgeois freedom” or “freedom to starve” or something. There was a time when they felt the need of some fig-leaf to cover their real meaning – to the masses, and (sometimes, I think) even to themselves. But now, their ‘experts’ proclaim their core belief: “Freedom? Far-right, man!”

I think we should spread this warning far and wide. 🙂

Woke hatred of free speech transitions its proteges into what it forbids you to say

The problem is: I was wrong. Or, to be a bit more accurate, I got things partly right. But then, for the rest, I basically just made it up. In my defence, I wasn’t alone. Everyone was (and is) making it up. That’s how the gender-studies field works. But it’s not much of a defence. I should have known better. If I were to retroactively psychoanalyze myself, I would say that, really, I did know better. And that’s why I was so angry and assertive about what I thought I knew. It was to hide the fact that, at a very basic level, I didn’t have proof for part of what I was saying. (Confessions of a Social Constructionist)

Only in the light of this agenda does it make sense that so-called ‘sex education’ should be advocated to take place throughout the school years “from kindergarten to college” when it could not possibly take that much time to teach basic biological or medical information about sex. What takes that long is a constant indoctrination in new attitudes. (Thomas Sowell, ‘The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy)

It has long been said that nothing is ever true till it’s been officially denied. Today, nothing is ever truer until saying it has been made a thought-crime. Let’s look at an example of how that happens – and I do mean how that happens; what the cause and effect chain is. Before I am ready to explain in my own words, however, this post will take a longish trip though the words and experiences (including some genuine ‘lived experiences’) of others.

A very able friend of mine spent her working life teaching – latterly as headmistress of sizeable schools, some prestigious, others she intentionally chose to be very challenging – before retiring just a little before 2015’s trans-wokery kicked off. Speaking of several decades of secondary school intakes (some two hundred pupils annually), she said (the following summarises a much longer conversation):

In many years, there was a pupil in the 11-year-old intake who was not comfortable with their gender identity. In many years there were none. We never had a year with two. But in many years, there was one.

My policy was to be sympathetic and observant, to avoid making a big thing of it, and to help the pupil be aware that, over the next few years, more bits of their adolescent/adult nature would wake up – including more bits of their sexual nature; that they were going to learn more about themselves, not just about what we taught them, while they were with us.

Invariably, by age 16, these pupils were OK with their gender identity. Some (far from all) were gay. None still thought they were not their biological sex.

Of course, with a much larger sample size, or just the random chance of a different sample, I could be saying ‘almost invariably’ here, but my experience was that not one who thought their gender and body mismatched at age 11 still thought so at age 16.

Since 2015, many schools have been following an exactly opposite policy. Instead of sympathy and support, there is flattery and affirmation. Making a big thing of it is now demanded, not avoided. And you risk cancel culture, or even legal trouble, if you advise an 11-year-old trans-thinking pupil to expect their sexual nature and self-understanding of it to grow (let alone, to wake up) in the next 5 years.

With that for starters, let’s tour some related issues.

The wisdom of a policy depends on what you think the underlying probabilities are. Older readers may recall the Cleveland child-abuse diagnosis scandal back in the mid-1980s. An NHS paediatrician in Cleveland believed the feminist narrative – that patriarchal parents perpetrate lots of child-abuse. Her job was to examine infants of local families referred for the usual childhood diseases. Someone published a very preliminary paper speculating that certain genital signs were consistent with child abuse. She began examining every infant who appeared in her clinic for those signs – and reporting more and more of them as abused. Soon she was reporting every single infant she saw. At first, every case was investigated, every family ripped apart, but after she had reported a total of more than a hundred in the space of a few months, push-back called a halt – and then her left-wing defenders pushed-back against the push back (there were feminist ‘New Statesman’ articles decrying the ‘prejudice’ against her, etc.). In the end, most people in Britain assumed she’d gone nuts (those who did not say her examining of infants and victimising of their parents was itself abuse) but her defenders’ commitment to the narrative warred against that idea. If you refuse to question what the narrative says patriarchal parents do, then you train yourself never to see her rate of detecting child-abuse as absurd. What you think reasonable – and what you think absurd – depends on what you already believe. I did not think her or her supporters honestly mistaken, but I could see their errors were layered (layered in their minds, layered in how they were acquired over years), older absurdities protecting newer ones from looking crazy.

Next, let’s compare the experiences of Heather Barwick (Dear gay community, your kids are hurting) with those of Moira Greyland (The Story of Moira Greyland).

Heather (the original Heather of ‘Heather Has Two Mommies’) describes a caring childhood in which her ‘two mommies’ did not intentionally harm her. When she talked to them years later “but it seems like you’re not listening”, when she uses the analogy of a child whose parents would listen and understand if their child said (for example), “I love you – but your divorce hurt me terribly”, Heather is talking about being hurt by an ideology – ‘abused by it’ one could say, but she is emphatically not talking about abuse in the sense that word ordinarily conjures up.

By contrast, abusively is exactly how Moira Greyland was raised by her parents and their community of “aggressive gay pagans”. She was certainly abused by their ideology – that of the Californian society in which they moved easily, without question – but that takes second place to the fact that her well-connected gay father violated her at age five, at the request of her famous-author mother, who was determined to raise a lesbian child. (Moira describes the mother as significantly the more vile of the two! I’m glad I never took to Marion Zimmer Bradley’s books; it would be distressing in retrospect to have liked them.) Moira knows from her younger self how useful to perpetrators the ideology can be in the minds of its victims. As she grew up, she went through a phase when she utterly refused to see what was done to her as abuse, but was rendered furious by evidence of abuse to other children.*

As Moira grew older still, yet more aware of how her whole circle exploited their ‘anti-prejudice’ ideology to have fun with exploitably-vulnerable youngsters, her opinions evolved further.

What sets gay culture apart from straight culture is the belief that early sex is good and beneficial

Inside the circle Moira grew up in, they knew very well why they wanted this. “Don’t think they don’t know”, she warns (that statistically few children will grow up to lead an alternative lifestyle if left alone in their early teens**). “Don’t think for a second that they DON’T know”, she says, the value to them of

“providing a boy with sexual experiences BEFORE he can be ‘ruined’ by attraction to a girl.”

And she goes on to explain why she says, “Don’t think they don’t know how to”.

Moira also knows how useful to perpetrators the ideology can be in the minds of witnesses and those they talk to, not just victims – and she is not alone in having experienced how the ideology can be used to make a suspicion rebound on any who dare raise it. Patrick Courrielche’s wife was just one of a group of Hollywood wives who, comparing things their kids had said about sleepovers at a certain house, suddeny realised there was a pattern (a pattern, the Courrielches later discovered, that had also been noticed several years earlier by a quite separate group of Hollywood parents). “The impromptu story swap lit off a firestorm.” – at first.

But Mr. and Mrs. Creepy knew something my wife and I didn’t understand at the time – in Hollywood, there’s something more toxic than spooning in bed with other people’s kids. … Word was getting back to us that The Creepies, in a seeming attempt at deflection, were telling anyone that would listen that my wife and I were right wingers – unrelated intel anywhere but in La La Land. Within a matter of weeks, the spotlight had shifted from their creepy behavior to our politics. The turn was startling.

Moira, raised in this ideology, now rejects it wholly. Where Heather only regrets the ideology-caused harm of kindly carers, Moira now regards abuse as that lifestyle’s statistical norm.

So, with these detours done, with these contrasting examples and ideas in mind, what do I think? Here is one last distantly-relevant detour to frame the analysis. An investigator of fraud and theft at UK firms long ago told me:

We go into any case assuming that 30% of the employees are pure as the driven snow, 10% will steal if it is safe to do so, and the firm’s health depends on the other 60%. If the culture acts against crime and rewards honesty then the 60% rally to the 30%, the 10% know and experience being under the eyes of the other 90%, and thefts are rare. But if the culture signals that no-one cares, that it’s a mug’s game to be honest, and you can safely be light-fingered, then slowly, one by one, the 60% rally to the 10%, the 30% (those who don’t leave – or get punished for rocking the boat) learn to look away, and theft becomes the culture, restrained – but only occasionally and inadequately – by the need not to kill the goose. It takes time to reach 70% – but once you do, the journey back takes longer and is a lot harder.

Most people think sex crimes worse than thefts – but also find sexual desires stronger than financial ones. Just for this discussion, I’ll sometimes reuse these 90:10 / 30:70 percentages merely as labels, deferring the question of what the real equivalent percentages may be. As for the 30%, the 10% and the 60% between, let’s call them the uncorrupt, the corrupt and the corruptible.

It sounds like Heather was raised in a 90:10 society. “I know you have been hated”, she says of her carers, in assessing some of their temptations to “not listen”. It sounds like Moira was raised in a 30:70 society. “It looks like he’ll skate on all this”, she says of one member caught in peculiarly egregious activities, since they’ve been creating, promoting, defending and de-stigmatising this narrative for quite a long time. As it went from being twitter-risky, to being career-limiting for teachers and punishable for pupils, then career-ending for some dissenters and physically dangerous for others (even an L or a G or a driven-to-suicide-for-being-off-message T), then a hate-speech crime to question everyone’s right and duty to recruit the underage to the cause (and a hate crime accusation for heterosexual men or lesbian women to refuse sex to an M-to-F trans), it becomes safer to go further – and so the 10% gain adherents.

And that (finally! 🙂 ) leads into my thought for this post: the question “How apt is a given lifestyle to lead to pedophilia” has a non-binary answer.

People did not just fear to discuss whether islamicism could have any statistical relationship to grooming in Rotherham; they felt obliged to deny it and hide it. That fact, that cancelling and criminalising of free speech, explains much of how it was that a larger gang had victimised some 1400 girls, not a smaller gang some 14 or so, before people dared to say it was happening. Making it an islamophobic thought-crime to notice didn’t just delay discovering the crimes that an existing gang were committing anyway. It helped the gang grow and persist – helped more of the corruptible rally to the corrupt. It helped the crime rate grow – taught more of the law-abiding to look away. It made the very thing that it forbade you to say more statistically true – because it forbade you to say it. It ensured that Lord Ahmed of Rotherham (who was finally convicted last month of pedophile assaults on two boys and a girl) would be more representative.

It’s a pattern as old as the Bible. When the elders desired Susannah, each felt timid to be merely a peeping Tom at first, when alone, but they were bold to form a rape gang once they thought they could control the public discourse – till Daniel picked holes in their story. And it’s as new as CNN, who also thought they could control the public discourse – till Elon Musk said he was not perverted enough to appear on CNN.

This history echoes through today’s trans-genderism. Activists spend Scottish taxpayers’ money campaigning to lower the age of consent to 10. Across the pond, the modern age of Dem-endorsed sexual-identity consent is lower – try preschool. And over here (as over there), don’t tell the parents, let alone ask their consent – silence will help Scottish children “thrive”. The jargon-laden public-domain justifications of this may seem to make little sense, but they do teach a lesson – that swift promotion comes to a woman with a wholly faked identity, married to a child-molester, whereas dismissal awaits those off-message.

To dissenters, the lesson is “be afraid” – dissenting has risks, sufficient risks that nowadays, it doesn’t take a village to raise a child; only a child is unafraid to tell the virtual village that the self-identified Empress has no ideological clothes. But to the already-corrupt 10%, and the corruptible 60%, the lesson is “don’t be afraid” – the ruling ideology has your back. Why be a self-denying chump when it makes a pedophile safer to self-identify as trans – when a powerful ideology not only has your back but not-so-secretly thinks that “early sex is good and beneficial”.

Pedophilia does not need this kind of help to occur.

“Both Nicky and her brother Kevin later identified as gay” [the writer grants that, of course, they might have been so anyway]. “They were both troubled, and Kevin committed suicide. Maybe it was an identity crisis, or maybe it was that they were being fucked when they were children.”

But it is easy to foresee that, when the latter speculation is cancel-cultured, the crime will become commoner.

Unfortunately, foreseeing consequences is something the politically-correct have been bad at for a long time. Communism in Russia and China caused bad economic consequences, which caused the communists to punish those who complained about them, which meant few dared, which meant the unaddressed problems got worse, which meant temptations to grumble became stronger, so the communists imposed harsher punishments, so people grumbled about the punishments, and so on and on. The punishment of those who grumbled about the punishments is all most of us remember about Stalin and Mao; not many remember the earlier victims who grumbled about the famine that socialism caused.

Nowadays we have the word ‘transphobia’. Roughly half – that’s an official (FOIA-confirmed) half – of Scotland’s convicted, imprisoned trans are sexual offenders. That’s not 70% – but it’s a lot more than 10%, let alone than before legal changes made it not just ‘offensive’ but an actual offence to doubt an offender’s self-identity. Do locked-up rapists identify as trans because they feel like women? Or because they feel like raping women (both inmates and warders)? Do others identify as trans because they feel like women? Or because they feel like serving their sentences in the company of women? Political correctness requires you believe the first explanation. Political correctness requires you believe it is transphobic to consider the second explanation. And in Scotland, so do the official rules and the officials’ attitudes demand it even more stringently than similar officials in Rotherham demanded you avoid islamophobia. Down south in England, one might wonder (though AFAICS officially no-one does) if the headline “84% increase in female-perpetrated child sexual abuse” is related to over a third of them having only recently reclassified themselves as members of the fair sex.

Like the Cleveland doctor and her allies, if someone believes sex is just social construct, and destroying patriarchal indoctrination is merely exposing a long-existent reality, then it affects their understanding. Even if they let themselves notice people who identify as trans and thereby get a pension, a sports trophy or the darker advantages I mention above, they will assume such cases are unrepresentative, exceptions that prove their rule. But if you think the real incidence of a true trans state is very low – if, for example, you want evidence before thinking that the brain’s chance of diverging from its body’s sex is so very different from the observable chance of any other one organ in an otherwise normal-appearing body – then you’ll think the few real trans likely to be overwhelmed (in numbers and in the public eye) by people the woke indoctrinate into it and people who see the opportunities created by woke control of speech.

Remember the two quotes that head this post. Hating free speech may seem secondary to the woke, just a necessary means to enforce the dogma until its truth is grasped by the ignorant masses. But hating free speech will always become primary. Hating free speech determines who joins the movement and who leaves it. Hating free speech will determine the statistical make-up of the self-identified trans. Where this came from can be debated. Where it’s going can be deduced.

___

* When I first read of ‘dangerous faggot’ Milo Yiannopoulos a few years back, I saw an analogy with his state then. Milo had exposed three pedophiles, but gave an interview in which he nevertheless refused to regard the older man who initiated his own underage gay experiences as an abuser.

** Moira (unlike me) avoids weakening her writing style with the statistical qualifications I occasionally put in my summary of her post. As regards the inner thoughts of her own vile relatives and their circle, I suspect she is 100% right to do so – that is, she is right to describe them without qualification in the sense that they don’t care. And it would be the height of impertinence for the woke to complain that she applies this style more generally, given how they write. But Niall pedant Kilmartin inserted a couple for the benefit of Samizdata’s readers.

Samizdata quote of long ago versus yesterday

“The idea that you are successful because you are hardworking is pernicious and wrong because it means everyone who is unsuccessful is stupid and lazy.” Minouche Shafik (LSE director, quoted in The Observer / The Guardian, Saturday 22nd January 2022)

“I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.” (Ecclesiastes 9:11, King James Version)

I prefer the Bible’s less judgemental, more qualified take to the LSE director’s woke-sounding justification of why she wants to reset capitalism, replacing the “extreme individualism of the last 40 years” with the “shared endeavour” expressed in her book ‘What We Owe Each Other’. ‘The preacher’ did not say it was ‘pernicious’ to think swiftness, strength, wisdom, understanding and skill favour success – just that you’d be wise to understand that time and chance also play a part.

And other things too, perhaps. As recipient of a “too good to miss” offer from the LSE after several years at the World Bank and two years as (youngest ever, IIRC) number 2 at the Bank of England, Minouche Shafik’s career would be very impressive indeed if one assumed that her Egyptian ethnicity or female gender had been always and everywhere only a handicap to her.

Rising to the top – to resident of the White House, for example – may indeed not denote swiftness, strength, wisdom, understanding or skill (or even the honest counting of all and only legal votes), may indeed be compatible with stupidity and laziness. Being unsuccessful – losing a university post, for example, or not gaining it – may indeed not denote stupidity and laziness, may indeed be for failure to tolerate these attributes. Many an ‘expert’ isn’t.

There’s a pernicious idea around these days – that anyone who is unsuccessful is not so because they are stupid and lazy. If Minouche heard someone say “The idea that you are unsuccessful because you are the victim of prejudice is pernicious and wrong because it means everyone who is successful gained it solely through luck and privilege”, she’d not be so slow to see the need to tone it down. And that, I think, is why she’s so slow to see the absurdity of her ‘everyone’.

Jesus College, Cambridge, pays reparations for abolishing slavery

the college staged a fulsome ceremony, in which the statuette was handed to a descendent of the Obas of Benin, the slavers from whom it was confiscated. The British who freed the Oba’s slaves were described by the Master as having committed “a wrong that is so egregious”

The article I’m quoting from also notes Jesus College’s

embarrassing record of lucrative sycophancy towards the Chinese regime

in which

discussion of human rights has been regarded as “unhelpful”

All this “comes from the University and College administrations”, who clearly grasp that the British Empire’s duty to pay reparations for abolishing slavery follows inevitably – unavoidably – from the entire woke project, which cannot make sense without it.

However it seems Cambridge administrators are not yet finding this logic quite as easy as they expected to communicate to their own students. On 11 November (Armistice Day), at the Cambridge Union, the debate motion “This House is ashamed to be British” lost

“by a considerable majority, in a packed chamber.”

You might almost suspect an element of astroturfed collusion in the narrative of woke students forcing university administrators to do these things.