The New Wokeist Faith

The website of the American Psychiatric Association says:

Psychological attempts to force a transgender person to be cisgender (sometimes referred to as gender identity conversion efforts or so-called “gender identity conversion therapy”) are considered unethical and have been linked to adverse mental health outcomes.

The official position of the APA is that a man who thinks he is a woman is not necessarily deluded, and it would be unethical to treat him as if he were.  It is, in other words, entirely possible for a person who carries an X and a Y chromosome and who is, therefore, biologically male to be, nevertheless, mentally female -- a woman “trapped in a man’s body.”

The website continues: “Medical affirmation may include pubertal suppression for adolescents with gender dysphoria and gender-affirming hormones like estrogen and testosterone for older adolescents and adults.” (Emphasis added.)

We who still cling to reality are accustomed to viewing this sort of lunacy as, well, lunacy.  It appears that almost overnight half of America has gone mad.  We are at a loss to explain how otherwise rational, highly accomplished persons like those at the APA could ever have come to believe something that is so self-evidently contrary to reality.  Well, they are not mad.

The story begins in an unlikely time and place. Long before the civil rights movement of the 1960s, American leftists had set their sights on disaffected blacks as potential allies in their campaign against capitalism and Americanism.  The success of this alliance at forcing the defenders of the American Republic into retreat -- the Civil Rights Act of 1964, for example, partially nationalized private businesses in the name of racial integration -- persuaded the Left to begin striking alliances with other disaffected minorities.  Thus did the Left abandon their commitment to purely economic revolution, and thus was born cultural Marxism.

Among the early members of the Left’s newly forming Coalition of the Oppressed were homosexuals.  The Left’s implicit message to them was, “Join us and we’ll get special rights legislated for you.  We’ll also promote your view of homosexuality, and we’ll savage anyone who disagrees with it.”  So it came to be an article of faith among liberal-progressives that homosexuality is a normal and psychologically healthy alternative to heterosexuality.

From the sixties onward, the list of such articles of faith has grown continually. A few now-familiar ones:

  • Black poverty, ignorance, and crime are primarily a consequence of white racism.
  • Most women throughout history have occupied themselves mainly in bearing and raising children, not because bearing children is quintessentially and uniquely feminine, but because they have been forced to do so by men.
  • All cultures, however primitive or advanced, however barbaric or civilized, are equally valid and equally worthy of respect.
  • A racially, ethnically, religiously, or culturally diverse society is superior to a correspondingly homogeneous one.
  • Global warming is caused primarily by humans’ burning of fossil fuels.

Any misguided soul who questions one of these or of the many other articles of faith that now constitute liberal-progressive orthodoxy is subject to vicious verbal reprisals, excommunication from the faith, and sometimes physical threats or violence.

And now the latest addition to the creed: it is possible for a man to be really a woman.  The highly-educated doctors and administrators at Vanderbilt Medical Center who have acquiesced in the “transitioning” of adolescents will say they know that a person can be physically male and mentally female.  But they do not know it, because it is not true.  They merely believe it; it is an article of faith.  And the reason such a belief can take up residence in their brains and then influence their thinking and acting is simply that they refrain from scrutinizing it rationally.  To question it is taboo; it has been rendered taboo by the architects of the neo-Marxist cultural revolution, who have simply decreed it so, entirely for political reasons.

All it takes for a person or a society to become a party to the most enormous atrocities, such as the stunting of the natural physical development of adolescents, is for individuals to accede to the circumscribing of their powers of reason, to say “Here my thinking stops.”  Allow the number of such no-thought zones to proliferate, as is happening today, and civilization itself begins to totter.

In our schools and colleges, young minds are being literally disabled by no-thought zones.  Reason is being crowded out by arbitrary belief masquerading as knowledge.  At a recent speech at Cornell, alumna Ann Coulter was shouted down by cries that “your words are violence.”  But the students have been misinformed (or disinformed?); words are not violence, just as a man is not a woman, and 2 + 2 does not equal 5.  Words are the indispensable alternative to violence.  But when reason ceases to be the coin of the realm, then words become increasingly ineffectual, and the silencing of one’s opponents becomes the default means of settling disagreements, as those young scholars at Cornell have so eloquently demonstrated.  

All this belief is propped up by the moral certainty furnished by another article of faith, that one man’s need is another man’s moral obligation.  The transsexual, for example, is a victim both of his condition and of a society that considers that condition to be psychologically unhealthy.  So, as victims, transsexuals are morally entitled to have the rest of society reorganize itself to whatever extent is necessary to make them feel comfortable and included.

This is all passed off as a triumph of individualism; “See the lengths to which we will go to accommodate those who are different.”  But forcing society to accommodate the needs or wants of a minority is no more individualist than is forcing a minority to accommodate the needs or wants of society.  Each is a manifestation of the collectivism implicit in the idea that one man’s need is another man’s moral obligation.  If we are all responsible for each other, then no one is responsible for himself, which pretty well encapsulates the moral outlook of today’s liberal-progressive. 

We celebrate the extinguishing of common standards of decorum in manners, comportment, dress, and grooming as further evidence of the triumph of individualism.  But tattoos, green hair, and nose rings are an attempt to purchase individualism on the cheap, an anodyne individualism that stays safely within the bounds of liberal-progressive orthodoxy.  Genuine individualism, on the other hand, begins with independence of mind. He who thinks for himself, and acts accordingly, is the true individualist.  “I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man,” wrote Jefferson.  This sort of individualism does not come cheap.

Tom McCaffrey is the author of Radical by Nature: The Green Assault on Liberty, Property, and Prosperity.

Image: John Singer Sargent

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