John Corson's Blog

WRITING & RANTING
for March 31, 2021

PRIMAL SCREAMS - IDENTITY POLITICS

I'm off today. I'm just sitting in the house, reading and cleaning a couple of the rooms downstairs. I was able to finish writing my sermon for Sunday yesterday and do all my office work, so that I can be free to visit people, work in the yard and do a few things I like, such as reading and ranting. And now I rant again as I await a series of heavy thunderstorms coming our way in the next four hours.

It was sunny this morning when I awoke. The temps are going to hit 80 today, but - get this - they won't make it out of the mid-40's on Friday! A cold front is bearing down on us as I write.

I went to Lowes this morning to buy a few more garden lights for Janice. We purchased 22 of those things Saturday and really needed a few more. I got around to it today and they have be put into place. We still have about 20 others, but they are more than 10 years old and some just don't want to stay lit. We will probably be able to use 10 or 12 of them. Then, if you fly overhead in a helicopter or plane at night and look down on our yard, you will be impressed by our "illumination."

I finally got around the finishing that book I started last week. It should have taken me only a day to day-and-a-half to read it, but I get constantly interrupted by texts, phone calls, Honey Do commands (and there were a lot of those last week) and, of course, some special TV programming that draws me away at certain times. The book in question is called Primal Screams by Mary Eberstadt and it was to-the-point riveting. It's simply about Identity politics and where it came from.

Identity politics is now the norm. In a nutshell it forces a question that everyone under its thumb must answer. That question is: Who Am I?

Across the Western World today, millions of people, especially Gen Zers and Millennials are unable to answer the question. Lacking a firm sense of self, they join the ranks of ideological tribes spawned by identity politics, and react with frenzy against any perceived threat to their group.

Primal Screams and it was a well researched and well argued treatise on the stormy development of identity politics and says that it is a fallout of the sexual revolution that began in the 1960s. That revolution was the cause of the collapse and what she calls the "shrinkage of the family."

Before the 1960s the extended family was the first tribe and first teacher for all children born within it. But with its unprecedented decline, generations of people have been set adrift from the primordial ties. Desperate for solidarity and connection, they claim membership in politicized groups whose displays of frantic irrationalism amount to what she calls "primal screams." Hence, the title of the book. Millions of teens, twenty and thirty-somethings are thereby caught up in familial and communal loss which then leads them into the arms of the special interests.

Eberstadt makes a sweeping claim in this book: that the modern phenomenon of identity politics is a response to that fundamental question, "Who am I?" The answer, which has been decimated by the sexual revolution, used to be some combination of the family, church, and communal ties that circumscribed an individual's relationship to the world around him. The tenuous ties to these bedrocks of civilization lead 21st century man to scrounge for other answers to the fundamental question.

While it is impossible to be certain about causation, Eberstadt supports her thesis well, including four chapters each dedicated to a different line of "supporting evidence:"

1) Understanding the "Mine!" in Identity Politics;
2) Feminism as Survival Strategy;
3) Androgyny as Survival Strategy; and
4) How #MeToo Reveals the Breakdown of Social Learning.

Throughout the book, Eberstadt uses psychological studies, lessons from history, patterns of animal behavior, and anecdotal evidence to support her claims.

The book is not exhaustive by any means, printed in paperback with just over 170 pages, complete with an index, footnotes and three chapters of commentary from social scientists and political analysts, Rod Dreher, author of The Benedict Option and Live Not By Lies; Mark Lilla, an historian of ideas and author of The Reckless Mind: Intellectuals and Politics, The Stillborn God: Religion, Politics and the Modern West, and The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics; and Peter Theil who is a venture capitalist and co-founder of PayPal, Palantir Technologies and Founders Fund.

If I were to summarize the book in one paragraph it would be like this:

Mary Eberstadt argues that the boisterous existence and never-ending shouts and screams from snowflakes, #MeToo, gender specialists, race baiters, cancel culturists and wokers is due to the lack of whole family units, a religious consensus, moral mentoring and the rise of the sexual revolution. These factors have fully contributed to the need of millions and millions to meld into one or more groups or gangs which shout the their grievances the loudest. This book best explains why we have not one, not two, but now three generations of children who are or have grown up to be "seekers" of free spaces, where they don't have to live with morals or those teaching any kind of ethics that would "hurt" the feelings. It addresses why teens, the 20, 30 and 40 somethings congregate in groups of "emoters" who know nothing other that to shout against any perceived threat to their understanding of who they are. All the while the search for the answer to "Who Am I?" will never come to fruition. And the more they search, the more their anger and discontentment grows.

The bottom line here is that Primal Screams is an incredibly influential, intellectual, precise commentary about current culture, philosophy, and the fate of the post-modern man. It is a read for everyone who thinks about contemporary society and finds himself puzzled, worried, or in a foreboding frame of mind about the alarming spike in identity politics as well as suicide, depression, substance abuse, and loneliness.

Who would have thought that a pill released in 1960 and abortion on demand codified in 1973 would have brought us the end of the family unit. It has and all we are left with are SCREAMS!

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Blogging

Blogs are about the blogger. It's as if he or she merely toots their own horns about the things they do, say and love.

My life is boring. I read, I watch Glenn Beck and Mark Levin. I listen to Andrew Wilkow. I engage in some conversation with those who are willing to listen (they being masochistic and enjoy killing themselves with my banter).

I plan on just laying out the things that bother me and the things I love. Nothing in-between. I hope you find whatever I put here amusing.