Working-class American conservatives shouldn’t fight utopian wars abroad, and should be very careful about ideologues manipulating their patriotism and kindheartedness to drag them into imprudent conflicts. Sometimes dissent is patriotism, especially when much of the neoliberal push for foreign entanglements stems from feminists’ globalist pipe dreams — as evidenced by the odd accusations of “toxic masculinity” against American foreign policy realists.
A recent Twitter reaction exemplifies this undercurrent in foreign policy positions. University of Chicago international relations professor John Mearsheimer has been long arguing that the West cozying up to Ukraine would push Russia to war. After that recently happened, he became a target among liberal foreign policy types who claimed he had provided Russia a pretext for its aggression.
“As a woman covering foreign policy, and simply as a woman in society who sees regular justification of male violence, in this case it’s Putin’s toxic masculinity against Ukraine — but Mearsheimer’s position isn’t just a ‘take,’ it is morally deplorable and based on misogyny,” tweeted Washington Post contributor Melissa Chan last weekend, adding that “Mearsheimer’s argument is basically the ‘she wore a short skirt’ justification.”
The tweet is eye-opening. It demonstrates America’s social hierarchy and explains how a country’s foreign policy blob is tied to the societal revolution in its universities.
Chan isn’t the only example. Students recently tried to “cancel” Mearsheimer on an American campus for the heresy of promoting “anti-Ukrainian ideology.” There is relentless propaganda insisting everyone from Tucker Carlson to J. D. Vance and most of the current Republican Party are Russian apologists because they do not want the U.S.-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) involved in a nuclear war over Ukraine.
Why is this new line of attack important to understand? Because the elite disdain and animus for working-class conservatism (and all that entails) is reflected in the public outrage towards Russia. The same instinct that led to Mearsheimer being called a “toxic male” for arguing for caution against foreign intervention is the same instinct that leads to left-wing columnists equating Vladimir Putin with Republicans. The instinct for sacrificing working-class blood to promote a global feminist revolution is the same one that argues all truckers are fascists and terrorists.
Feminists: Everyone Else Is an Authoritarian
Consider a recent essay from Erica Chenoweth and Zoe Marks in Foreign Affairs, titled “Revenge of the Patriarchs: Why Autocrats Fear Women.”
“Understanding the relationship between sexism and democratic backsliding is vital for those who wish to fight back against both,” Chenoweth and Marks write, adding that both autocracy abroad and conservatism at home represent “nationalist, top-down, male-dominated rule” while “feminist movements are a powerful weapon against authoritarianism.”
Not just women, but “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people are seen as undermining the binary gender hierarchy celebrated by many authoritarians,” they continue. In short, Ron DeSantis, Donald Trump, Putin, and the Taliban are all the same.
The last few paragraphs of the essay provide some guidelines. Those who wish to stop authoritarianism (both at home and abroad) should make “promoting women’s political participation central to their work,” and further, “Democratic governments and international institutions must also put defending women’s empowerment and human rights at the center of their fight against authoritarianism worldwide.”
Put simply, they want to see a global feminist revolution, with American working-class blood and treasure.
The Girlboss-ification of our Modern Foreign Policy
In a March 2020 article titled “The Best Foreign Policy Puts Women at the Center,” Rachel Vogelstein, Jamille Bigio, and Rebecca Turkington declared that “A foreign policy vision that announces itself as feminist has the advantage of making gender equality an implicit and explicit priority.”
There are think tanks dedicated to this vision. Glossy videos are produced for propaganda. NATO calls for a “Gender & Hybrid Deep Dive” which is “the first among a series of future sessions, including Gender & Resilience, Gender & Deterrence and Gender & Climate Change.”
The official U.S. Army Twitter account quotes Lana Del Ray, while Russia and China ban “sissy men” and “LGBT propaganda.” Mark Malloch-Brown, the president of George Soros’s Open Society Foundation, recently wrote that the crusade against a misogynistic Taliban must continue and:
…donor governments and private funders must back the local Afghan groups and individuals who have been courageously speaking up for good governance, the rule of law and human rights. They include women’s groups, independent journalists, and voices representing religious and ethnic minorities whose views must be reflected in any negotiation between the government and the Taliban.
Bad theory that is considered profound within the academy is often practically useless in policy. But sometimes, bad theories can lead to bad policies. Remember well that a disastrous Afghanistan crusade in part to promote female education, at the cost of trillions of dollars and thousands of lives, now lies in a sandy Bamian grave.
The common theme is that working-class conservatism, at home or abroad, is traditional and hyper-masculine, and therefore bad even when it leads to a balance of power and peace. Meanwhile, multilateral leftist and feminist policies are good — even when they are impossible to achieve and inevitably fail — because they are internationalist, egalitarian, and revolutionary.
It’s an aesthetic where logic is irrelevant. One cannot argue or debate with an aesthetic; it is impervious to realism. And the result is for all to see.
Feminists Want American Men to Fight Their Global Crusades
Just why should British and American taxpayers fund female empowerment across the globe, not just with treasure, but at times even with blood, and “stare down autocrats” ignoring the principles of Westphalian sovereignty so academics can write op-eds about “empowerment”?
What level of “empowerment” dictates asking men to go and fight foreign theocrats to promote a global foreign policy ensuring feminism? What benefit can working-class men suffering from lockdown-induced job losses gain from ensuring rights in every corner of the world? These are serious questions that need serious national debates.
Clintonist liberal feminists dream of a world ruled by “girlbosses” — dependent on working-class foot soldiers, whether they are truckers or Marines — maintaining and operating a neo-feudal global security state to perpetuate a sexual revolution from Afghanistan to Ukraine.
The rhetoric of “we must do something, or babies will die!” is used to perpetuate that worldview. The leftist rhetoric abroad is all about saving churches, defending borders, guarding statues, and defending women and babies from vandals. At home, the same people cannot define women, promote abortion, and are at the forefront of tearing down statues and patrimony.
As the story goes, a Roman patrician once came up with the clever idea of putting an armband on slaves, only to be shot down by his fellows, as then the slaves would know how much overwhelmingly greater in number they were and would rise up and topple the ruling class.
Conservatives are the silent majority. They are also patriotic, and often romantics who seek a noble cause — to fight the next battle between good and evil. Therefore, they can be susceptible to clever rhetorical manipulation by those who want them to fight wars on their behalf for utopian and revolutionary causes. But there are times to yell stop, and this is one of them.
Power is power. If the feminist-globalists feel so “empowered,” they should test that out on a foreign battlefield, instead of urging someone else to fight and die for them. Working-class conservatives should refuse to fund or fight for utopian revolutions around the world.