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It's Alive! Social Justice Movement Turns On Its Creators
In 1816, over the course of a rainy vacation in Geneva, 20-year-old Mary Shelly wrote what many consider to be the first science fiction novel. In it, brilliant young medical student Victor von Frankenstein creates a creature sown together from the body parts of the dead that eventually murders everyone he loves, before driving his creator to the ends of the earth in a doomed attempt at revenge. The story has been retold in countless films, most of which focus on the grotesque and the macabre elements, while ignoring the moral and philosophical questions that have made it such an enduring cultural myth. But those questions are so much a part of its legacy that to describe an arrogant creator playing with forces they scarcely understand, losing control of their creation, and then being destroyed by it, all you need to say is, “They created a Frankenstein monster,” and everyone will know exactly what you mean.
And so it is with the decades-long project in liberal politics, corporate branding, and academia, to redirect the famously disruptive energies of youth away from questions of class and economics, and towards questions of race, gender, and sexuality, to the exclusion of all other things. The product of this mad scientist’s experiment in separating race from class, fat from food, attraction from aesthetics, gender expression from sex, and sex in turn from biology, all with the purpose of driving the public to fight over absurdities while our overlords extract the last scrap of wealth remaining in the hands of the peasantry, has been a lumbering misshapen ideological monstrosity, as incapable of forming a coherent sentence as Boris Karloff’s iconic interpretation of Shelley’s nightmare.
Stitched together with bits of post-modernism, lumps of dialectical materialism, a putrefied, mutant version of the gay liberation, women’s rights, and civil rights movements, the establishment never saw this thing as a threat to its power. Quite the opposite, it was as functionally impotent and aimless as it was always intended to be.
And then . . .
A war broke out.
This, in and of itself, shouldn’t have posed any great difficulty. A war had already broken out between Russia and Ukraine, after all, and the monster hadn’t even strained against its chains. It believed exactly what it had been told to believe, as it always had before. The blue and yellow of the Ukrainian flag was simply dropped in next to the rainbows, black squares, and ever-expanding list of letters in their social media profiles. If there were disturbing reports of Nazi battalions fighting on our side, the creature was easily reassured. “These Nazis are our Nazis,” it was told, “and better they fight with us than against us.” That seemed to be enough to satisfy its less than mild curiosity.
But that was different. That was wypipo on wypipo. It had not been trained to have any particular feelings about such matters, outside of a general discomfort with wypipo and their wyprivilege, but being mostly made up of wypipo itself, this wasn’t something it was prepared to litigate where in-fighting among wypipo was concerned, Hitler’s views on the matter of Slavs as an Asiatic race notwithstanding. Clearly that view hadn’t made an impression on the Banderite Ukrainians, so why quibble? But a proudly Western colonizing power, like Israel, whose ruling classes, in spite of their protestations to the contrary, was visibly and effectively made up of wypipo, driving millions of brown-skinned Palestinians off their land and then murdering them daily by the thousands? This was the moment the monster had been made for, it thought. To stand for the marginalized non-wypipo pipo of the Earth, against the colonizing forces of Western imperialism. It was right there in every book they had ever read in every social science course they had ever taken, from Frantz Fanon, to Edouard Said, to Ibrahim X. Kendi, thief and scoundrel though he may be.
Decolonize the curriculum. Decolonize the canon. Decolonize your mind.
Except . . .
Except, Northrop Grumman never lost a nickel over a furious debate about Shakespeare’s worth, and no billionaire ever lost sleep thinking about the fate of an old statue of an old Confederate sitting on top of an old column in a backwards town where the residents have the poor manners to remind everyone of the country’s embarrassing past by failing to remove it on their own.
Under the direction of our ruling class and the educators who rely on its largesse for their tenure and their grants most recent activism has been confined to the realm of manners, microaggressions, and most of all, an endless litigation of the past. Because nothing can truly be done about it. You can’t free slaves that have been dead for 150 some-odd years, unlike the victims of today’s slave markets, which are far more numerous and also have the benefit of still being savable by virtue of still being alive. But you don’t hear very much about them. To focus on them would create a demand for meaningful action. The kind of action that could upset corporate relationships, manufacturing deals, international geopolitics, the price of labor; in short, profits. Much better to hunt down racism in the human heart, which, like the hunt for sin, can never really be concluded, and like the war on terror, can make its proselytizers a fuck ton of money.
These modern-day Dr. Frankensteins had apparently never considered what might happen were a 21st Century Wounded Knee to erupt in broad daylight on social media with a client state being the colonial power responsible for the horrific massacre of women and children. It never occurred to them that after years of easily directing the monster’s rage at police reforms that they always knew would never survive the ballot box, or at anyone who dared to suggest that women had a right to enjoy a few cock-free spaces, it might one day turn its wrath on them when their shallow identity politics were revealed as the sham that they had always been, and that on that day, they would be in a world of shit.
Through a combination of doxing, threats, financial pressure, and cancellation, they are now furiously attempting to destroy the thing they’ve made before it destroys them in turn. In Shelly’s novel, a similar effort ends with Victor dying a cold, lonely, sad death, in the Arctic Circle, undone by his attempt to eradicate the monster, which in the end turns out to be far more humane than its maker. Our leaders will find the same fate eventually, with everything they value burned to the ground by their own children, and with their genocidal opinions banished to the frozen lands of irrelevance.
If someone had actually read the canon before setting about the work of decolonizing it, they might have known that it could never have ended any other way.
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