The cultural right lives in a different world - here's an attempt to understand it
The Supreme Court ruling destroying the constitutional right to an abortion was the biggest blow to cultural progress in a generation, and will be followed by many more blows like it. Such attacks are impossible to fully understand without ‘getting’ the motivation behind it, a motivation which is partially inspired by an intellectual picture of the decline of Western Civilization but which is also largely inspired by good old fashioned primal disgust.
For the cultural right, phenomenon like abortion, homosexuality, and transgenderism are viscerally, immediately, and obviously disgusting. It isn’t an abstract thing, something you can respectfully disagree about - the disgust is just *right there*, and seeing the cultural profusion of these things makes them angry and sad.
For those of us who live in the world where abortion and homosexuality and transgenderism are acceptable ways of life this disgust can be difficult to understand, but I think that this understanding is important to conjure if we can. To try and create this understanding I want to briefly imagine a world much like ours, where “progress” has been made in the world of “equality”, but where that progress has been all about the cultural prominence of anorexia.
In this world, an ‘anorexia-rights’ movement has enjoyed extraordinary cultural success. This movement, made up of proud anorexics and their proud allies, asserts that anorexia is every bit as valid a lifestyle as any. Yes, anorexics face severe emotional and physical disadvantages, but the anorexia rights movement asserts that these are mostly just due to social bigotry. Anorexia Centers have popped up all across the nation to give give anorexics a place to create supportive and understanding communities, places where people new to the anorexic lifestyle can get support and make sure their anorexia can flourish for a lifetime. Anorexics have become a major cultural presence in major media companies, where anorexic people and their lifestyles are presented as valid without any bit of debate. There is now this weird cultural game among the elites to see who can be the most pro-anorexia, and if you even suggest that maybe anorexia isn’t healthy and that maybe these people should get help and get healthy then you are punished, swiftly. You lose opportunities, people blast you and your retrograde ideas on social media, then people mock you if you so much as complain about it. It’s 2022! Consequences are real! Maybe don’t be such a bigot? You’ve clearly lost the argument. There is now the cultural phenomenon of “Anorexia Pride Month”, where corporations and friendly governments all change their social media profile pictures to feature the Anorexia Flag. The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that every state in the country must honor anorexic lifestyles as valid. It is now illegal to discriminate against people on the basis of their anorexia - you can do nothing to control the presence of anorexic people in your life, you can not suggest that they get help, the only acceptable possibility is to accept them enthusiastically exactly on their terms. And, of course, to let them have full access to your children. “Anorexia Storytime” is now a thing at many publicly funded libraries, where anorexics connect with the kids and assert to them that anorexics are real and valid and that you can be anorexic too! Anorexic teachers are in front of your kids and teaching them who-knows-what during those school hours when the law dictates that you be separated from your children. Most distressingly, the “protect anorexic kids” movement is advocating for *permanent*, *life-altering* surgeries for anorexic children as part of their therapeutic regime. Does your 10-year-old child feel that they are anorexic? Did they respond positively to the anorexic images that are everywhere in our media now? Well then we can just staple their stomach and assign them a lifetime of appetite-suppressing drugs, and the truly evil thing to do is to try and get in our way.
If you lived in this world, you’d at least want the dominance of anorexia in law to be loosened, to at least have the option of creating a local world where anorexic people are guided back to the light and helped to heal. Let them have the rest of the nation, but at least let me have my workplace and my family be a place where healthiness is recognized for what it is. Even if you can’t force everyone back to the light overnight, you at least hope to loosen the darkness’ grip. Maybe someday, maybe even soon, those few of us who still carry the light of truth and who recognize anorexia for the horror that it is can overcome the mad crowd that has been seized by such crippling delusions, that has brought so much unnecessary pain and suffering into this world. If there are institutional tools we can use, if we can restrict votes and appoint friendly judges and deny the legitimacy of those who oppose us, then great! Let’s do all of the above, and then some. We live in a sick world, full of broken people who are breaking people over and over and over again, and if we can seize the strong hand of the State and use it to guide the world back to the light then it will be worth any price we have to pay.
The above world is not the one that we live in - the above vision isn’t meant to draw explicit parallels between homosexuality/queerness and anorexia. But some people very much do live in that world, and are going to be doing quite a lot to act accordingly. Our engagement with them is only just beginning.