Dworkin I think described the curious position of right wing women in her eponymous book, about as well as anyone ever has. I mean, you can see the dynamic in any school yard where there's an established bully. In any power structure with an overclass and an underclass, there are always some folks in the underclass who figure it's more comfortable if you enable and support the overclass. Being friends with the bully and helping him intimidate the other kids is safer than standing up to him.

In the history of colonialism we call 'em comprador elites. Plenty of other examples throughout history: trusties in prisons, etc. And that's how I've always seen R/W women; they've considered the situation and decided to join what they think is the stronger team. Better to have the master's approval and crumbs from his table, than risk provoking his rage. It's a rational enough decision, rather disappointing but that's human nature.

What gets my goat though is the disregard for that fundamental principle of democratic governance, the separation of church and state. Clearly there are plenty in the US who would like to roll the clock back to early C19, when nations had "Established" churches and deviation from received dogma made life difficult, personally and professionally. A quick read of any popular literature of the period really ought to dispel any romantic nostalgia for those not-so-good old days.

Though the right tries to turn that argument on its head and claim that "liberals and leftists" are oppressing them and imposing a secularist dogma on them, I don't see the evidence for it. Megachurches still enjoy tax-free profits. Private schools are allowed to teach [imho] absurd Creationist fairy tales to impressionable kids. And that, in a free society, is their right. If secular liberal values really were imposed with zeal and enthusiasm... those tax shelters would be gone tomorrow, and subverting science education with folk mythology would be a serious civil offence, if not a crime.

The secularist "dogma" that rightists bewail, in fact, is one of tolerance and diversity... and therein lies its glory and its weakness. Liberalism is so damn tolerant that it tolerates fanatics, zealots, wannabe theocrats and protofascists; it tolerates them, guarantees their freedom of speech and assembly, allows them to organise and fundraise and get into positions of power from which they can attempt to undermine the same liberal society that granted them the right to pursue and propagate their extremist views. It has to. Anything else would be against its own core principles.

So it's one of history's weary ironies that when left revolutionaries want to overthrow the tyranny of fascists, kings, emperors and so on, they have to risk prison and torture, go to the barricades, take up arms. Their aspirations, their beliefs, their speech are all forbidden and punishable by law and armed force. All theocrats and wannabe fascists have to do when they want to overthrow liberalism... is buy some more radio and TV channels, set up some more web sites, tell more lies faster, and get friendly with more millionaires. The very "Liberal State" they desire to overthrow guarantees their right to do all of this. It can't do anything else.

"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity."

Retired; ex-software engineer. Paleo-feminist. Sailor. Arduino tinkerer. Enviro. Libertarian Socialist (Anarcho-Syndicalist, kinda). Writer. Altermondialiste.

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