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There were, in the Vox.com article I referenced yesterday, a couple of paragraphs not directly connected with what I was discussing, but which invite analysis on their own (de)merits.  The interviewer asked why things like astrology, “traditionally considered more feminine and kind of taboo”, are enjoying more mainstream appeal these days.  And Chani Nicholas (who you may recall has the dubious distinction of being styled “head astrologer at O Magazine”) answered as follows:

I think what’s happening is everything that the patriarchy has tried to kill and withhold from us, we are reclaiming. White supremacist colonial patriarchy says that there’s only two genders and there’s only one science. There’s only one way to have sex and there’s only one way to be in a relationship. It’s stripped us all culturally and personally of the richness and the diversity of life. And I think we’re just sick and tired of it. We know it’s a lie, and the devastation that those systems have caused is showing its ass.

Because who the hell fits into those fake, made-up systems? Nobody. They don’t represent us. Everything that the white supremacist patriarchy has tried to hold back is now coming forward and being like, “I don’t think so. I get to dig up my own space.” And astrology is part of that. All liberation movements are parts of that. From everything like being able to see body hair and stretch marks and acne — these very simple things are just so human.

What an instructive pair of paragraphs.  Here is a (post)modern worldview, in all its defiant incoherence.  Where to begin in pulling apart this tangle?  Here’s an effort to pull a little bit at the threads:

  1. Observe first the framing of everything in the buzzwords of popular ideology.  On the one side you have not just “patriarchy”, but “White supremacist colonial patriarchy.”  On the other you have “richness”, “diversity”, and “liberation movements”.  The bad guys and good guys are delineated with appropriately emotional terminology, rendering careful thought rather superfluous.
    1. That being said, one must appreciate her candor in admitting that science supports the gender binary.
    2.  Astrology, of course, is lumped in with the liberation movements.  It’s something that gives us self-realization, and it’s something we’ve been robbed of by the evil “White supremacist colonial patriarchy”.
      1. Did you think that it was science that had disabused us of the ignorant notions of astrology?  You probably thought that because science is, it would appear, a tool of the “White supremacist colonial patriarchy”.
  2.  But here is the ideological center of the tangle: truth is evil and oppressive.
    1. For Nicholas has to defend the absurdity of astrology–and a particularly (post)modern western version of astrology, one concerned with self-realization and self-actualization, the kind of astrology that very much belongs in Oprah’s empire.
      1. So she shows how her ideology is a part of the self-actualization program ripping apart western civilization, especially as realized in the sexual revolution.  Astrology and the sexual revolution have in common that they are part of a self-actualization movement, or revolution, or rebellion, that is opposed to science–that is, opposed to truth.  Truth has been oppressing them for quite some time.
    2. But how can you denounce truth?  How can you convince people to get on board with your rebellion against scientific fact?  You have to somehow delegitimize science.
      1. Start with a good ad-hominem.  Switch from your real target to a bogey-man sure to get an emotional reaction from your audience.  The enemy isn’t really science–it’s “White supremacist colonial patriarchy”!
      2. Then comes the assertion of basic relativism.  The WSCP has not only suppressed astrology, it has also suppressed transgenderism and has insisted “there’s only one science”
        1. The only sense I can see in this last and crucial phrase is that scientific findings, in such fields as astronomy (which goes against astrology) and biology (which goes against transgenderism), don’t matter because there can be other sciences which reach other conclusions.  Since the enemy is WSCP, there is, presumably, some feminist or non-western science that is more friendly to some of these ideologies–her notion, not mine.
      3. The rest follows on the gelatinous foundations of this relativism.  There is no right or wrong in sex and relationships.  Richness and diversity is found outside the rigid order of a worldview that thinks there are boys and girls and that they’re meant for each other.  Such a worldview is harmful, and accurately describes no one.  But now we have liberated ourselves from the WSCP, and can embrace the astrology and other self-actualization we’ve been so long denied.

The poison of such ideology should be all too clear.  Liberation from the truth, freedom from reality, is otherwise known as madness.  If chaos is what we see in such a liberated society, we should not be surprised.

But there is another option.  We could ally ourselves with reality, submit ourselves to the truth, and let science inform our worldview.  We could see in the order and rationality revealed by astronomy the grand handiwork of a divine Creator.  And, finding His revelation, we could submit to that as well.  We can submit to appropriate authorities and discover the secret of freedom, or we can pursue liberation to the point of chaos.

True freedom is possible; but in a culture of chaos, freedom and rationality will require the willingness to be strenuously counter-cultural.