Mapping the Swamp: Understanding the Microcosm and Macrocosm
Mapping the Swamp: Understanding the Microcosm and Macrocosm
I keep waiting for Peak Madness with regards to the sexual hysteria currently poisoning our nation’s minds. Sex abuse, sexual harassment, and the even vaguer issue of “sexual misconduct” have become such irrational evils in the minds of both left and right, we have seen our most basic social interactions torn apart and our language decompose into gibberish.
What are we doing, exactly, when we fight for someone we don’t know to be ritually stripped of his livelihood or banished from public life because of things we read about online posted from other people we do not know?
Why is it that we would never feel compelled to insert ourselves so boldly if it dealt with theft, perjury, conspiracy to overthrow the government, or accessory to murder, but if someone’s erogenous zones are involved, we suspend all semblance of logic and discernment?
People on the left, who have rebuffed endless conspiracy theories about Obama and the Clintons saying “there’s not a shred of evidence” of this or that, suddenly embrace the flimsiest of evidentiary standards to destroy people’s careers where sex is concerned. It would be easier to make the case that Barack Obama was born in Kenya than to make the case that Roy Moore is a child molester.
But there you have it. The right wing, not to be undone, has split down the middle into camps of unhinged sex alarmists on one hand and sane traditionalists on the other. But with the entire left and middle lost to hysteria, and a large percentage of the right lost to its own hysteria, the number of people who can discuss basic social issues without turning into a puddle of nervous mush is dangerously small.
We face, it seems, a problem of unnoticed connections. Perhaps because of social media, or perhaps because of our own vulnerability to the evil wiles of Satan, Americans have become accustomed to reading the world around them through aphorisms and bumper stickers rather than in paragraphs and treatises. They have lost their sense of timelines, causality, proof, context, dialectics, and thought progression. Much of this is to be blamed on a field known as “Composition & Rhetoric,” a discipline that trained the vast army of writing teachers who influenced hundreds of millions of Americans when they were most impressionable. When this largely unnoticed field swerved away from classical logic toward identity politics, postmodern relativism, and popular culture, they deprived many people of their chance to be rational beings.
The disciples of the new Composition & Rhetoric, people schooled by the likes of Peter Elbow, Bell Hooks, and Paulo Freire, wander in a world of impulse. Impulse is what you have when postmodernism’s allergy to grand narratives and connective discourse draws people away from history toward mythology and archaeology (precisely what Michel Foucault and Roland Barthes, the twin devils of postmodernity’s Pandemonium, sought to promote). This development explains why so many are drawn to sex as an issue. Sex is a realm ruled by impulses and they have no other common language now.
To its credit, sex is also an issue with universal power over people’s souls, usually because it produces such amazing ambivalence. Women want the power that sexual objectification brings them but they fear the damage wrought by vanity in other women. Women know that they can benefit from being sought after, but they also dread the negative consequences of being pursued by unwanted men who want them nonetheless. Men want relief from “horniness,” and they also look in sex for some re-enactment of the blissful embrace of their mothers, which still lingers on in their unconscious memories. But men fear rejection and mockery, both of which they have good reason to fear will come from women who rebuff their interest. Both sexes live with deep sexual ambivalence and know how to push each other’s buttons. Liberals have long wanted to segregate sex from other realms of human activity, such as work or church; liberals exalt naked selfishness in sex even as they condemn greed and oppression in colonizers, ethnocentrists, and profiteers. Conservatives have always been known to struggle with practicing what they preach, for they have a terrible habit of elevating themselves above others by denouncing others’ sexual excesses, while still never escaping the sexual demons that haunt their private thoughts.
If the Swamp needed something to fill its cavity, so that everyone would have to swim in confusion and fear, sex is far and away the best and most trusted filler.
We hear a great deal about the swamp’ or the Swamp, which Donald Trump characterized quite colorfully to suit his rhetorical purposes in 2016. But people often fail to understand fully what the Swamp is, how it works, and how they can change it. This is why I am going to devote several months of English Manif posts to ‘Mapping the Swamp.’ We have to understand what the Swamp is to save ourselves from it, because ignorance is the filler, the voluminous fluid like plasma surrounding us, blinding us, poisoning us, keeping us subject to the Swamp’s power. While sunlight is a powerful disinfectant, even sunlight shined through a swamp gets filtered through the filth of ignorance.
We must drain the Swamp to save ourselves. But the Swamp cannot be drained if we do not know where the draining outlet is. In a bathtub, if you cannot find where the plug is, and unstop it, the water will not flow out. If a toilet is clogged, you can shine a light on the toilet bowl and keep pulling the flush lever, but you will not be able to empty it until you figure out where it is clogged and dispense some agent to get the clog broken up. In the case of a flooded pond, you will not be able to move the water out if you cannot figure out where there is a depression that could possibly be used to turn into a drainage ditch, and if that ditch is jammed with junk, the water won’t flow out.
The first step in mapping the Swamp so we can escape it is identifying the role of sex. Why is it so powerful? What cultural problems have led us to a point where sex has nuclear capabilities to derange us and leave us unable to think? The dangerous role sex plays in our discourse is not, I would like to point out, merely an organic problem that develops on its own. There is a massive governmental superstructure that forces sexual issues upon us, forces us to be exposed to arousing sexual content, surveils our response to sexual content, and then punishes us for our reactions to sex.
We cannot drain the Swamp if we do not recognize that our public policy, and specifically our government’s subsidizing of sexual perversion through educational funding, is the clog in the drain. We can be angry about pornography, sexual assault, broken marriages, and abortion, but the fact is that all of us are mentally thrown into the swamp first and foremost by schools. The humanities curriculum has thrown out much of classical literature and Biblical narratives that help us to understand our sexual design, but at the same time they have forced children to grapple with gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender identities from an early age; and the roles of male and female have been clouded and muddled during the formative years between childhood and adolescence.
To answer the cultural upheavals of the 1960s and 1970s, schools de-emphasized gender roles and gave boys and girls the dangerous illusion that their genitals posed no differential barriers in life. At the same time the sexual revolution drove them to focus ever more obsessively on their genitals, because it was this part of their body that reacts so powerfully to the sexually suggestive stimuli flooding our culture. Rather than teach students in schools of the immense power, blessing, and danger in sex, schools systematically banalized sexual contact or sidestepped the issue, leaving students defenseless in a world of constant multilateral and omnipresent predation.
Everywhere they were being forced to see things that would produce reactions in their genitals, while simultaneously being judged by the traces of their reactions, and punished for whatever reaction they had. Girls were slut-shamed or prude-shamed or told they were being teases, by other girls and by boys alike. Boys were called faggots and told they had to spend the rest of their lives with other males, by pro-gay and anti-gay girls and boys alike. Or boys were shamed for their interest in girls and humiliated by rejection or held prisoner to the threats of retaliation if they found themselves in sexual relationships with girls they did not want to stay with. In such a jumbled and toxic situation, nobody can think clearly, and schools were conveniently retreating from a model of cool, systematic logic when such an approach was most needed to offset sexual chaos.
That was how we got the Swamp. The Swamp is sexual. We cannot drain it until we identify the institutional chokeholds that prevent us from restoring reason to the discussion. One of those chokeholds, keeping the Swamp from its drainage, is the school system. And I will focus a great deal on that in coming weeks.
For reference purposes I have identified and posted an archive from my own horrid experience with the Swamp, namely the Title IX case and all it revealed:
One thing revealed by my Title IX case was the tragedy that what we see happening on a grand national scale happened first in a million different cases on a petite personal scale. The national insanity about sex is a macrocosm of what will happen to you personally if you do not engage the problem of our sexual confusion. The personal manifestations and harms by sexual hysteria represent microcosms of what is going on nationally, and if you can document and learn the devices and pitfalls of sexual discourse as they played out in personal instances, you will have a greater chance of tacking these issues on a grand scale.
Draining the Swamp means mapping the Swamp, which means connecting points that seem at first unconnected. And the first crucial connection is between the macrocosm and the microcosm of the Swamp, seeing how the individual and collective mechanisms of Swamp culture inform, shape, and reveal each other.
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