A Tale of Two Courts: Why Elections Matter (and a Note About Fashion)

As Politico reported, “The Supreme Court on Tuesday blocked the lifting of the Trump-era Title 42 order on migration, forcing the Biden administration to leave in place the federal directive that has prevented the entry of millions of asylum seekers at the southern border” (emphasis mine).

Migrants on the US-Mexico border, Matamoros, Mexico, December 2022 (AP Photo)

Joe Biden and the Democrats want those millions. Why? Several reasons. Here are four: (1) super-exploitable foreign labor driving down wages for native workers to raise the rate of surplus value for corporate firms; (2) millions whom Democrats believe will thank them with votes for open borders (once the massive amnesty program is passed into law and even before that); (3) vast expansion of the custodial state to manage idled populations (modern serfdom); (4) weaken national integrity to prepare the masses for further integration with the global order of things (cultural pluralism and transnationalism).

What stands in the way of the ramping up of the managed decline of the American republic and the civilized West? Five conservative justices on the Supreme Court prepared to read a Trump-era policy reasonably (note that one lost his way).

* * *

Speaking of civilization and courts, a Massachusetts judge dismissed parents’ lawsuit over school gender policy yesterday because, while he found it “disconcerting,” it did not “shock the conscience.”

Parents had filed a lawsuit accusing public school officials in Massachusetts of encouraging their children to change their names and pronouns without their consent and beyond their knowledge.

Activists promoting transgender ideology in public schools (Getty Images)

Fox News reported: “U.S. District Judge Mark Mastroianni ruled Dec. 14 that the lawsuit against Ludlow Public School officials failed to meet the ‘shocks-the-conscience’ legal standard for due-process claims under the 14th Amendment, but he also scolded the school district for its policy to withhold students’ gender identities.”

The judge said that “it is disconcerting that school administrators or a school committee adopted and implemented a policy [which he deemed policy “imperfect” and “flawed”] requiring school staff to actively hide information from parents about something of importance regarding their child,” but that such an action does not “shock the conscience.”

“Shock the conscience” is an action that strikes the observer of a civilized society as “grossly unjust.” The rule has rarely been used over the last half century since the consensus is that the test permits judges to impose their own subjective views of what constitutes shocking.

Perhaps civilization would be better served by a more objective standard, such as taking into account the obvious facts that a public school is not the family unit and that parents are the primary guardians of children in civilized society (and even uncivilized ones).

This is not a totalitarian society where children are isolated from their families and molded in indoctrination camps to take up party ideology. (Or is it?) Nor are public schools religious cults where zealots separate individuals from families and brainwash them to believe in new mythologies. (Or are they?)

Of course, this is Massachusetts and the judge is an Obama appointee, so maybe “disconcerting” is the best we might expect from Mastroianni’s court. But what would shock the conscience of a reasonable observer if public schools transitioning transition children behind the backs of parents doesn’t?

No, not drag queens in fetish gear reading sexualized materials to young children in public libraries, either.

* * *

The fashion company Benetton is getting in on some Balenciaga action (see this story and then check out this story for some Balenciaga action). As we saw with Balenciaga, as soon as the child porn angle drew complaints, Benetton deleted the ads.

But is Benetton shame-faced? They’re sly. This is part of a strategy: progressively desensitize the public so that the next push moves even further into the mainstream with durable effects. Two steps forward. One step backwards. Repeat. (Authoritarianism works the same way.)

I’m not posting the Benetton ad campaign in question because I don’t promote the paraphilias of those who run the fashion industry (you may have noticed that they’re obsessed with prepubescent children). Nor do I share sexualized pictures of children. I saw the campaign on Twitter and even in a highly censored presentation found it troubling—let’s say even conscience-shocking.

It’s a weird thing brewing in today’s society. It’s not only fashion companies sexualizing children. Woke parents are taking their children to strip clubs, giving their little ones dollar bills to push into the G-strings of performers. Kink is being promoted to children. Appealing to higher loyalties, wrapped in the rhetoric of social justice, we are witnessing a drastic rise in cultish behavior.

One of the most worrisome aspect of this strange brew is long-standing campaign to erase age of consent rules. The idea being socialized is that consent rules are, like other norms around sexual activity and identity, oppressive structures the normality of which proves the asymmetrical power relations behind them.

This underpins Mastroianni ruling in the Massachusetts case. The children in public schools who, in collaboration with administrators and teachers, change their names and pronouns, are exercising consent as they would if they were no longer minors living with parents—as if parents were irrelevant.

War with the prevailing norms of civilization follows from the core doctrine of the new woke religion. Removing barriers to child sexual activity and expression is a campaign. You’re a heretic if you disagree. (And it’s not even your religion.)

This is mass formation psychosis. The century of the self (detailed in 2002 by Adam Curtis in his four-part documentary by that name on corporate state propaganda) have paved the road to trauma and declared it progress. The heads of generations to come are messed up and most of the public is terrified to object. Those who do object find judges whose consciences cannot be shocked by policy turning children against their parents.

I know a lot of my Christian friends see evil at work here. It looks satanic to them. However, there is a secular reason for all this. Authoritarians have long understood that, to control individuals, the authority of the family needs to be undermined and children robbed of their innocence. We won’t protect our children by explicitly defining the struggle with religious language. We have to speak in civilizational terms. Everything reasonable is at stake.

Published by

Andrew Austin

Andrew Austin is on the faculty of Democracy and Justice Studies and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin—Green Bay. He has published numerous articles, essays, and reviews in books, encyclopedia, journals, and newspapers.

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