The Real Roots of the Dangerous but Resistible Rise of Anti-Feminism


The World Health Organization reports almost 2 million workers per average pre-pandemic year having died workplace-related deaths. In the most countries, men die the overwhelming majority of on-the-job deaths –generally more than 91% –while they also constitute the overwhelming majority of the global prison population of 10.35 million. In Western societies, the overall deterioration in men’s employment, educational levels, physical and mental health–with suicide almost as rampant as addiction–is often harshly dismissed by social media influencers, who, in a pattern of thinking once typical of the moral majority right, shrug and blame the “toxic values” and moral inferiority of men. This mindset does not only represent zillennials’ bitterness about having been expropriated of their generation’s economic prospects, neurons, and right to education by their elders. The influencers can hear themselves echoed by prominent aging liberals in the upper reaches of the corporate world, the cultural industry, and academia. Even disease manuals of the American Psychological Association are citing influencers, not as case studies or as patients, but rather, as authorities on the psyche: in 2019 the APA listed a new entry on “toxic masculinity” as an illness category. The reactionary indexation signals a radical break from the compassionate legacy of progressive 1960s movements that had humanized and reformed psychiatry. Listing “toxic masculinity” as a new illness-category also jeopardizes the safety of women in abusive relationships, by further discouraging disturbed or violent male partners from accessing mental health services, which usually reach working-class families last. Further deprivation of access to a judgement-free space for mental healthcare can only make men far less likely to improve their relationships with women. The APA “reform” demonstrates again how liberal feminism acts destructively towards less fortunate women.

In the zero sum mentality of business culture, one group advancing means another declining. So goes the philosophy of Michael Bloomberg, whose net worth approaches one hundred billion and who at a televised conference of the Center for American Progress (misnamed a “think-tank”) enthusiastically pointed out “the percentage of men went from 1 in 20 to 1 in 5 that are unemployed, but part of that is in some senses good!” What is the upside of this massive unemployment according to Bloomberg? Euphorically, he heralded, “Opportunities for women to enter the workforce and take advantage. If you look at universities, at high schools, everyplace it’s starting to be women, women, women!”

Statements like Bloomberg’s, commonly echoed by managerial elites, are irresponsible provocations that have poured lighter fluid onto the flames of a rising, dangerous, yet predictable anti-feminist counter-fashion now gaining popularity among millions of men who are rallying to participate in a culture war advertised as the only game in town. Demagogues, noticing the vacancy, predictably take advantage of the otherwise unmet demand for any criticism of liberal feminism proposed thus far by the left.

The soon-to-be victims of this growing phalanx of disgruntled men will likely be women who do not find themselves in enviable positions of privilege in the academic, corporate, and managerial hegemony. One precursor has already popped up: Republican Senator Josh Hawley from Missouri, who, in speeches addressing the new economic misery of the North American male, links it to the decline of the nuclear family. Like most conservatives, Hawley ignores that immigrant minorities often have strongly-knit extended families. Also typical is his ideological view of the household and its intra-family economy as a microcosm of the nation, which also mirrors the prestige projected by the country abroad. Hawley meanwhile blames pop-cultural habits, such as video gaming and online pornography, as evidence of the nihilism that plagues young men requiring rude awakenings, the remedy of Christian militancy.

Ironically, the GOP shares its critique with the Chinese government, which began regulating gaming–deemed an addictive lifestyle product coming from China’s neighbour and competitor, Japan, promoted until late 2020 by late Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The continuity of Japanese traditional art forms –including kendo, the Samurai fencing tradition– are nowadays threatened with extinction, as Abe’s openly neo-Fascist movement derided unprofitable culture, targeting all that was passé for erasure and austerity, even as it over-subsidizes the gaming and anime industries. These pacifiers feed the demand of increasingly atomised, listless, and depressed youth in Japan and beyond. US liberals and leftists, however, reflexively side with gamers the moment Hawley criticizes them – at the same speed with which they immediately mock gamers the moment a different (and recently defrocked) masculinity guru, Jordan Peterson, defends them on the technocratic ground that society dislikes gamers because of their problem-solving skills.

Hawley is a serious politician and therefore far more ominous than liberal bogeyman Peterson. The senator credits Theodore Roosevelt for having upheld an idyll of rustic, combative North American masculinity to compensate for the uninspiring nature of urban normalcy. Such evocations starkly contradict Hawley’s anti-war conservative positions. A nostalgic vindication of the cowboy perhaps served Roosevelt’s campaigning for resource-wars in Mexico and the Caribbean, promising restored dignity to alienated lower middle classes who were ready to give their all for American exceptionalism and an expansionist foreign policy.

The agenda of many of these rising young heterodox conservatives, depends on grouping together personalities who resemble ill-fated bourgeois revolutionaries Marx criticised in The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte: those willing to form a phalanx in the name of “property, family, religion, order”, only to end up serving interests alien to their own, until they are eventually persecuted or imprisoned by the more powerful spokespersons for these supreme values.

While rallying against the undeniable abandonment of men to joblessness, imprisonment, and suicide, these conservatives have adamantly opposed their country’s reinvesting in infrastructure which would give dignified employment to millions of men. (Hawley has called such public infrastructure “woke.”) To cite Marx on the general climate of conversations at that time (which in ways resembles ours): “Every demand of the simplest bourgeois financial reform, of the most ordinary liberalism, of the most formal republicanism, of the most shallow democracy, is simultaneously castigated as an ‘attempt on society’ and stigmatized as ‘socialism.’”

While there was no denying the appeal that any version of the dead-on-arrival Green New Deal’s programs would have yielded jobless men, GND spokeswomen like AOC and the Squad can no longer convince a sizeable majority within the multiracial working class that they have the resilience or courage to implement the policies they advocate. Certainly not after the infamous retraction of the Ukraine letter, and their lack of criticism for Sanders’ withdrawal of his War Powers act on the Yemen genocide. It does not go unnoticed that one of the handful of brown men in the much-hyped, and fashionable because women-dominated “squad”, stood resolutely by the declaration he signed despite partisan pressures.

The squad’s target-audience sanely suspects being short-sold with the promise of labor programs that, like their opposition to the “forever wars” are hastily discarded at the mildest pressure. And, indeed, the progressives seem more sure of themselves when they demand more regulations on offensive speech to muzzle the disgruntled. Progressives who lobby against toxic speech, lose the power to distinguish themselves from unpopular centrist leaders like Emanuel Macron– whose fines for “catcalling” enlarged the arsenal of means with which to cancel and restrain France’s popular gilet jaune protests.

That’s where the right sees its opportunity. Walter Benjamin, writing in the 1930s describes our present situation:

The growing proletarianization of modern man and the increasing formation of masses are two aspects of the same process. Fascism attempts to organize the newly created proletarian masses without affecting the property structure which the masses strive to eliminate. Fascism sees its salvation in giving these masses not their right, but instead a chance to express themselves.

Meanwhile we sorely need an emerging movement on the Left, outside of the small video podcaster scene, to aggressively defend both the expressive and organizational freedoms: civil liberties and workers’ rights.

The world-ruling country –the US– despite being founded by immigrants, remains infamously oblivious to realms beyond its borders. The myth of a classless society is one of its few binding communal legends. These “culture wars” are but a small, fuming crater in the larger volcano of class warfare, which North American punditry prefers to ignore altogether, as an unmentionable blasphemy against the American Dream’s folklore of forever-upward social mobility. One of the more visible fronts of that cultural warfare has an insidious effect on the left: instead of first listening to workers and attending to the unemployed about their problems and aspirations–or discovering how activists can make themselves reciprocal and relevant–progressive organizations prioritize the missionary quest of imposing their middle class, often prudish values regarding gender and sexual morality onto their apparent underlings. These are non-starters for engaging the multi-racial working class, which will inevitably have different attitudes towards sex, not only because of its greater physicality: sex, along with religion–the pairing is not a contradiction–offer reliable sources of stress-relief from the vicissitudes of the industrial workplace and a shorter life expectancy.

Much hoopla and fear-mongering has been conjured around the persona of spokespersons like Jordan Peterson – who, embarrassingly, has issued more stern condemnations of the Ukraine war than anything we’ve heard from the left in his country. Before his statement on Ukraine, Peterson’s politics appeared to be nothing more than those of a bland Cold War-era liberal, who cites Soviet dissidents like Solzhenitsyn –often in order to comically compare the ivy league university campus to a Soviet Gulag– and who seems to have not noticed any major changes undergone in the capitalist system since the heyday of his Baby Boomer generation’s rise to success and power.

The greater danger is of demagogic figures emerging in the new right wing movements in the West’s former colonies–particularly in countries where organized religion has made a comeback. The new right has already begun to emerge in various countries of the South. In India, Modi-aligned activists protest towards the elimination of the Nehru era’s progressive anti-dowry laws. In South Korea, a self-described anti-feminist recently won the presidency and seeks to plummet man-woman relations into further misery.

Wherever the new right emerges wearing a variety of masks–whether in Asia or in the Americas–it becomes clearer that the new right is at least in part responding to the digital exportation of North American culture wars to the “outside” world. Progressive academics, along with the institutions of the liberal center and conservative movements all share a hand in this borderless malady.

The Jacobin Left response– too tepid, too late

Responding to these trends, a relatively recent episode of Jacobin TV featured journalist and cancelled former doyenne of the Jacobin left, Ana Kasparian, interviewing social researcher Liza Featherstone, on the always nebulous yet topical “crisis of masculinity.” (Featherstone’s recent book is Divining Desire on the mysticism of focus groups.) The two women rightly emphasized the need for leftist organizations and media to communicate a more appealing (or in any case less worthless) message to men, and acknowledged the cost of the left’s failure to do so thus far.

The Jacobin women’s sensible dialogue on men met with great enthusiasm from a flock of online commentators, and seems to be one of the last important appearances made by Kasparian in the left podcaster ecosystem. Both fans and predictable sceptics for some reason assumed that these women were vindicating exclusively white American men. As if men from minorities have not on more than one occasion been kicked in the face by the institutional power of liberal feminism–particularly when it came to the immigration and incarceration debates in North America and Europe [1]. (Aya Gruber’s book The Feminist War on Crime: The Unexpected Role of Women’s Liberation in Mass Incarceration gives a chilling account of this problem.)

Around that time, Black Lives Matter touted its bona fide of being a “woman-led” organization, exorcising what Angela Davis on DemocracyNow! called the “masculinist values” of male charismatic leaders like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King. The problem with this is twofold: firstly, those most affected by violent police discrimination happen to be young men from the black and brown working class. Secondly, the self-congratulation on being “woman-led”, was accompanied with an overly optimistic and fashionable presumption that corruption could be easily avoided by formula of “smashing the glass ceiling” and hiring more women at the top–as advocated by figures on the right like Christine Lagarde, who insisted “Had the Lehman Brothers been the Lehman Sisters,” gender would have prevented the 2008 crash–a prescription that identifies “toxic masculinity” as the extricable source of corruption and inefficiency haunting capitalism. In BLM’s case, Patrisse Cullors disproved the Largardean equation.

Critics like Featherstone correctly admit that liberal feminism –a term describing the policies, worldview, and attitudes of prominent professionals– offers nothing to men, other than a guaranteed future of losing, a “catch 22” limbo of “damned if you do, damned if you don’t.” Whether or not you agree or see value in the feminist debate, you’re obsolete – so get used to desultory prospects in work and romance. Feminism also advocates a new model of the middle class family, unexcitingly similar to the old one – except that the “rethought” nuclear family allows a switch of roles, accommodating fantasies about female breadwinners and “reinvented” men eagerly overtaking child-rearing roles in the suburbs. This model of domesticity certainly brings happiness to more than a few people. It remains, however, an affluent suburbanite’s lifestyle, radically distinct from the extended family’s solidarity-systems through which working classes survived, and many lightyears from the communal experiments once imagined by future-oriented socialists.

The cornerstone of this “war of the sexes” is not to be simplistically pinned on the much-touted “decline of the embattled nuclear family” so decried by conservatives. For the “nuclear family” was itself but a failed social experiment of late Anglo-Saxon Protestantism – a synthetic miniature of the older and more tenacious extended family, which was a pre-capitalist institution that needed to be conditioned and scaled down for the aims of American business [2].

Nor is cause of male misery to be found in the exorable and historically inevitable rise of modern women – a milestone which was always inseparable from the projects of the internationalist labour movements. Underlying the war of the sexes in media, we may uncover other culprits: technocracy, academicism, the liberal obsession with college certification, and the way in which the middle-class and professionals during a time of crisis have arrogated their values, traumas and priorities as superior to those of the working class.

Rather than being conversant with workers, middle-class intellectuals somewhere between the Obama and Trump eras declared a jihad-like quest to embed their values as the new inarguable common-sense – as evident in the American Psychological Association’s registration of “toxic masculinity” to the reactionary DSM-V index of psychiatric diseases.

What is often falsely represented as simply the new “rise of women” is actually the consolidation of a meritocracy in which an increasing number of jobs go to college degree-holders.

Commentators on male decline often notice men’s dwindling attendance in schools and universities. Rarely do these critics draw an important connection: we live under an increasingly academic, meritocratic, diploma-obsessed regime, resembling the guild systems of late medieval Europe.

Capitalism long ago set aside the idyll of the “self-made man,” which had some true success-stories of illiterates scaling the heights of dynastic tycoon power. But today’s capitalism is heavily “academicized,” favoring the holders of MBA titles over aspiring Rockefellers or Marriotts.

In all areas, Western employers demand educational credentials on any job application. Despite their anti-neoliberalism, the Democratic Socialists of America functions similarly, ironically in lockstep with the neoliberal obsession with college education as a one-size-fits-all litmus test for competence in all fields.

According to the Washington Post, degree discrimination has become automated. Algorithms screen out applicants who belong to the seventy million workers who lack bachelor’s degrees, but who may be otherwise qualified, abbreviated as “STARS” or Skilled by Alternative Routes.

Losing massively in education to the women of the same generation was inevitable. Young men don’t as diligently do their homework. Stereotypical as it may seem, the evidence is in. But diplomas should not be the foremost measure of a person’s talents. Dickens’ pauper-turned-bourgeois protagonists would never have risen so spectacularly in society as they did on the basis of their talents and personal strengths, had they come up against 21st century’s educational gatekeeping. Colleges transformed in their roles, from elite spaces for reflexion and intellectual and personal development in the 1960s, into the neoliberal era’s tollhouses for mass-certification of specialized professionals racing onto the market. The designation of college as the new high school degree, along the skyrocketed cost of education have entrapped generations within the bowels academia or in the doldrums of unemployment. Dropping out or failing in school becomes a burden one wears into the grave. The sole remaining paid avenue for autodidacts, where hiring can happen on the basis of skills rather than degrees, seems to be in programming.

Men who find themselves alienated from post-industrial society’s aesthetic of the “New Man,” are not necessarily repelled by socialist feminists. They are, rather, at odds with this brave new world in which only a coder, an advanced degree-owner, or app designer deserves a dignified and enjoyable life, earning recognition and material reward. Personal freedom and independence have become monopolized by the highly software-literate in a culture that demonetizes the analogue skills and crafts. From material vocations and trades, to artisanry and arts: musicians as well as journalists are paid in “exposure” on platforms for self-exploitation. The “great resignation” is a result of this illusory choice. A society that finds itself disposing of old items, requires no repairmen. Soon enough even the programmers will have their comeuppance: the coding goldrush will someday be undone by AI.

“Son of Frankenstein / Return of the Self-Made Man: Paleo-capitalist Revenge Trickery”

To some extent, Trump’s cult-like status promised a return of the “self-made man” mythos of early American capitalism, a swipe at the MBA-holders currently leading capitalism. Trump, of course, was an inheritor, entirely unlike self-made man Rockefeller, but alas he is an actor. An artificial self-made-man legend also surrounded the very different entrepreneur Elon Musk–also the son of a powerful businessman, a PHD, entirely unlike autodidact Edison. The obvious Frankenstein-like counterfeit of these men’s “self-made” aura only emphasized the defeated nature of this archetype, which played a central role in the religion of American capitalism and manhood. The atrophied archetype of the “self-made man”, however, was not entirely fictive–it proved true in the case of a journalist like Joseph Pulitzer–a sidewalk-dwelling immigrant who conceived the first penny-press newspaper that would reach the working classes whom elites had wrongly presumed to be illiterate. Pulitzer was only one of various “self-made men” to play a vital, subversive role in Western culture, benefitting social struggles.

The academization of corporate capitalism has severely limited in-roads and nodes of resistance that once allowed for such exceptions, as unaffordable Ivy League universities become the gatekeepers appointing which young intellectuals may now advocate the antiquated myth of a classless society.

Whereto for the autodidact, the unschooled thinker? Diminishing male attendance would be less alarming were it not for the excessive fetishization of school over STARS. But graduation has become yet another indispensable weapon in the culture-war arsenal, in which the middle class smugly imposes the regimen of its values onto everybody else. In a time of highly commodified educational credentials, will leftists attack the mystique surrounding degrees – which disqualify so many talented men and women from social participation? This could be achieved by directly building alternative, free-attendance universities and popular education programs, alongside an international network of book-clubs which welcome poor and working people’s participation.

“Sons of Dracula, Che Guevara vs Zelensky: Destroying and outsourcing the warrior-ethos”

The model of success held aloft by our technocratic post-industrial societies has moved far away from the warrior ethos inherited from traditional feudal and tribal societies.

One might ask, “But wasn’t overcoming the warrior ethos one of modern society’s great achievements – allowing peaceful competition to take the place of war?”

Despite our obsessions with security and with therapeutic consolation, and our aversion to the “toxic masculinity” of boys who want to set out to sea and join faraway revolutions they read about in the press, our hypermodern societies remain bedrocks of the global weapons industry. Western arms-supplies flowing to the client-state Ukraine has only underscored that gross contradiction.

Previously the Obama administration advocated drones as the humane, safe and civilised alternative to traditional battle. This marked an apogee in our –at least temporary– cultural abandonment of the warrior ethos, without having abandoned war itself. While maintaining our spatial and moral distance from societies that hold onto the reliquaries of outmoded feudal and tribal warrior culture, the progressive war machine assigns its remote-control drone pilots, who operate like clerks with office hours in a software firm. The drone pilot can access psychotherapy to manage nightmares, PTSD and guilt he or she suffers, after mowing down young guerrilla fighters –the last traditional warriors– in landscapes like Sudan, Somalia, and Syria. Military PR outlets even struggle to reach female aspiring drone pilots, to thereby heal the “gender gap.”

From its first mass implementations under Bush and Obama, lethal robotics’ purpose was to defuse indigenous guerrilla resistance, to prevent the roots of the type of warrior-insurgency which gave imperialists so many headaches by undermining colonial regimes throughout the 20th century.

Drone assassination tech appealed to ruling elites on its promise to conveniently delete the possibility and the allure of guerrilla warfare, as the 21st century has also deleted heroism from our vocabulary – switching the popular 1970s euphemism “freedom fighter” for the less dated word “terrorist.” The eroticism that haloed the guerrilla presented a problem for imperialism’s propaganda machine, as Guevara, Frantz Fanon and Ho Chi Min effortlessly earned rock-star status in Western youth counterculture. A quick glance at Guevara’s Costa Rican travel diary, “I spent the night with Socorro, a black girl, at sixteen already she’s more whorish than the hens” [3] should disabuse us of any remaining doubts that today’s online feminism would have swiftly liquidated Guevara, and demoralized his supporters through cancellation, effectively ending the process of which he had been a catalyst and mere messenger.

The drone era’s abject moral bankruptcy and its dearth of symbolic power has made for too-unconvincing propaganda, unable to win what Kennedy called counterinsurgency’s “battle for hearts and minds”. And even the drone failed to prevent Afghan guerrillas’ victory against a humiliated NATO in 2021 – an event which reasserted Guevara’s theory of war even if few observers made that association. The crisis of imperial morale drove a desperate Biden administration –erstwhile champion of robotic warfare– to try to dust off the cult of the hero once again, as the White House resorts to a celebration of Ukrainian proxy guerrillas, lauded from afar as we fight Russia to the last Ukrainian. But overwhelmingly, even in the Ukraine impasse, the West has clearly voiced its new ruling values during wartime: championing sanctions and digital censorship as its ideal strategies. War-lust is cheered, especially when expressed by women such as Germany’s third-in-a-row feminist defence minister Christine Lambrecht, but enacted chiefly through untraditional means of so-called “soft power”: by blocking SWIFT, Youtube and Paypal accounts of dissenters.

The Ukraine war wielded an especially terrible impact on the Occidental left, divided by the hysterical debate about which simple answer to the Ukraine conflict it must embrace. A significantly large segment of the left vocally supports Western policy in Ukraine –as Owen Jones shrieked whilst debating an establishment critic who doubted his fealty: How dare you–I support sending weapons to Ukraine!

The leftist enthusiasm for Ukrainian blood-and-soil nationalists –who won’t reciprocate the solidarity, as the ennobled Cossacks openly call for a brutal global censorship regime to stamp out left-wing voices– is part of our mental captivity, a double-bind in the Cold War’s aftermath. This is not unrelated to leftists’ earlier enthusiasm for the US endorsement of the Kurdish YPG militia that fought ISIL in Syria in the past decade. The West has long been interested in Kurdistan’s potential for further fragmentation of the Arab world, and to permanently undo any remaining vestiges of the spectre of pan-Arabist unity left over from the Nasser era, which represented a nightmare for Washington interests. Here, too, the Western left reneged on its duty to be sceptical even when showing solidarity for the Kurdish national guerrilla.

The left has entered its own “catch 22”: after having striven since 1989 to fully abandon the “masculine” values of courage and guerrilla warfare that made the Cuban and Nicaraguan revolutions possible, we found that the subsequent void could not successfully be replaced with identity politics or online activism. The grotesque result is that socialists in Western Europe participate in doing the thought-policing work at the behest of liberal powerholders, by patrolling and censoring critics who point out the superabundant presence of Ukrainian Neonazis who receive weapons and who have found an unlikely symbiosis within the living corpse of the Zelensky government.

Clearly, we have witnessed the “dawn” long-anticipated by the global right wing, precisely at the moment when anti-capitalist and left-wing economic ideas could have a broad appeal for much of the world population.

Men on the left have no Cuban revolution, no Nicaraguan or Spanish international brigade that can be joined, no Warsaw Ghetto uprising in the current politically-correct hellscape. The remaining alternative is to lionize any armed insurgency even if it happens to be ideologically incompatible with the internationalist tradition.

The glaring absence of war correspondents in Ukraine, Syria, and other warzones since the Obama era, has also closed an avenue in which young male writers had once exhibited their qualities. The war-correspondent’s fall from fashion, is related to the rise of digital media–which does not pay freelance investigative journalism, the trade by which we came to know such writers such as the young John Dos Passos, John Reed and Albert Camus, better male role-models than Jordan Peterson. The demise of the war-correspondent only further contributes to the de-realized picture of these wars that reaches the West, luring more would-be “legionnaires” driven by a youthful thirst for “toxic masculinity” – the newspeak for heroism or meaningful action which make revolution possible on the horizon.

Right-wing anti-woke media have praised the Ukrainians for putting an end to the “snowflake era.” Zelensky currently enjoys hegemonic support as Western capitalism’s very own Comandante Guevara, but he is an interim anomaly. Capitalism’s postmodern posterchildren are Zuckerberg, Bezos, Gates – all coders, boneless and bloodless. Such men are the apogees of our shift away from physical culture. Appearing as if moulded from paraffin or born from a test-tube, they embody an absence of those elements that traditionally alloyed together the archetypal “Macho,” except for the attendant money and power. The absurdity of Biden’s chiding old coalminers to “learn how to code!” on the 2020 campaign trail clearly expresses the new bourgeois value system.

Bezos’ and Gates’ managers, journalists and programmers today have the economic power to choose where they live, to afford formal freedoms, and to find attractive partners via Silicon Valley’s dating apps. The resulting alienation and class-hatreds among the losers are being maliciously channelled into anti-feminism. The left can counter this time-bomb only by appealing to men’s and women’s frustrations over technocracy. That requires moving beyond the “wars of the sexes” so lucratively fomented by digital media. The left doesn’t sound like it’s ready.

[1] One must only consider the what became of the innovative globetrotting jazz trumpetist Ibrahim Maalouf, just around the time the celebrity unveiled an ambitious project he said was inspired by social experiments he’d seen in Venezuela: bringing musical education to impoverished youth in the banlieue. French media, however, had another priority: to wipe the Franco-Lebanese horn-blower off the star-map in the face of accusations of sexual impropriety–all of which were later retracted by the accuser, a fan who came under parental pressure to denounce the performer. We no longer hear much about Maalouf’s project for Parisian ghetto youngsters. Perhaps he’s no longer a posterchild for them to look up to. But the marginalized youths can always turn to the more influential pool of role-models among the Salafist militants on the religious right, who bolster their popularity by operating social services in the urban slums. France’s Mélènchon-aligned left, predictably, maintained its noble silence on the media’s handling of Maalouf.

[2] Critics of the feminist movement like French novelist Marguerite Yourcenar were early in pointing out the artificiality of the nuclear family– a Cold War institution, whose mourners amongst American conservatives have thus far blamed the progressives’ failed social experiments of the 1960s for its demise, rather than themselves for attempting to fragment the pre-capitalist solidarity-system that flourished in the extended family network, and which still prevails amongst every new and hated generation of immigrant minorities in the United States until these capitulate to the reigning values of atomization as the price to be paid for success. The work for the left is to revive a form of the extended family, liberated from the strictures of religious conservativism which dominated it, so as to offer men and women an alternative to the off-putting and forever fading atomised family of the desexualized suburbs.

[3] Yo me quedé afuera con una negrita que me había levantado, Socorro, más puta que las gallinas, 16 años a cuestas” p. 34 in “Otra Vez: Diario del Segundo Viaje por Latinoamérica (Once Again: Diary of the Second journey across Latin America) by Guevara, E. 2007 Ocean Press