YDS: The Clare Spark Blog

October 8, 2014

Index to blogs on “totalitarianism”

Filed under: Uncategorized — clarelspark @ 7:10 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

girltotalitarianReflecting on why this word is so popular, while rejected by many serious scholars: Who historically has been deemed to be after total control of the world? Both “the Jews” a.k.a. “the money power” bent on world domination and 19th century mothers, “expanding their empire over the family.” Is Woman the Jew of the Home?

https://clarespark.com/2012/10/15/orwell-power-and-the-totalitarian-state/

https://clarespark.com/2013/01/20/an-awesome-inauguration/  [Talmon on nationalism and pageantry]

https://clarespark.com/2013/02/02/totalitarianism-polarization-and-single-issue-politics/  [Especially good for its quote from Jacob Talmon]

https://clarespark.com/2013/10/28/hobsbawm-israel-the-totalitarian-idea/

newworldorder

https://clarespark.com/2014/04/17/totalitarianism/

https://clarespark.com/2014/04/19/totalitarianism-2/

Illuminati_by_Cajmerek

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October 10, 2011

Populist catharsis on Wall Street

Jeffrey Sachs, Columbia U. professor

The Occupy Wall Street movement has the support of Old Leftists (Stalinists, Trotskyists), populists, tenured professors steeped in Keynesian economics, Big Labor, and an assortment of young people worried about their student loans and the lack of job opportunities. Some pundits on Fox News have been interpreting this protest movement as a product of disillusion with Obama, and a movement to his Left. My view is that it is a calculated event and part of his campaign for re-election, and perhaps even managed and instigated out of the White House, expressing Obama’s own Leninism as reinterpreted by Keynesian economics and a long-lived “soak the rich” philosophy that is directed against imputed Jewish control of everything: As “the money power” [the obscenely bloated Jew] controls banks, hedge funds, the media, advertising, and plants computer chips in our brain so that the ‘Jewish’ mask is not penetrated by ‘Jewry’s’ victims and sets them against their parents.  I.e, Through the control of “public opinion” the money power perpetuates its oligarchical, illegitimate control, and celebrates “corporate greed.”

No one should see OWS as anything resembling a leftist revolt, and those [New Leftists] who are crowing over it should hang their heads in shame, for they have sold out, possibly in the expectation that they would be rewarded with advancement in the new Obama dispensation.

This is how 19th century Marxists (not Leninists) operated in the past; unlike OWS, they were generally analytical, focused, disciplined, and had a goal in sight:

1. They identified a revolutionary agency—the new working class that, in their analysis, would be increasingly immiserated and would stop production in a general strike and take over the reins of power, this time abolishing classes altogether and, with a more just distribution of resources, would institute communism: “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” It was vague, but Marx at least saw the bourgeoisie as a progressive class that had created and developed  the productive forces that would enable capitalism’s transcendence into a society of abundance and the defeat of needless toil.

2. Along with this optimistic prophecy, at any particular stage of struggle, the Marxists asked themselves, “given the correlation of forces, what is the task of our generation?”  This required constant study of every institution; also focus on the likely allies to revolutionary struggle. Marx himself predicted that parts of the bourgeoisie would break off and join the working class. Crucially, one didn’t expect “the streets” to be the site of structural transformation. There had to be a ripened situation, such as a crisis of capitalism. So it seemed in the Great Depression, and hence hordes of intellectuals, workers, and small businessmen joined the Left or the Popular Front with its antifascist agenda. (Some even stayed there after the Nazi-Soviet Pact in 1939, and their children often remained tied to some form of Leftism, no matter how attenuated .)

3. The romantic part of Marxism is this: there could be no preconceived plan for the just society—a plan that we could all look at. There were no Federalist Papers or copies of a proposed Constitution for the working-class revolution.  Rather, it would evolve organically out of revolutionary struggle and the leadership of the “conscious” working class. It could not take place in a technologically backward society (here is the point of divergence from Leninism and Maoism or Third Worldism).

Surely, only a half-educated demagogue such as Keith Olbermann or a “progressive” neo-Keynesian college professor such as Jeffrey Sachs would see the present situation as ripe for revolution, in a series of demonstrations populated by frightened, undereducated youth and opportunistic labor unions or diehard Stalinists. Is there socialism ahead? I doubt it. Maybe fascist dictatorship given the populist rage and Jew-hatred that is cropping out even as I write this, and not only in the U.S.

I am not a Marxist myself, but one who appreciates the wealth-creating potential of free markets and limited government. The Republican Party should do a better job in explaining supply-side economics and defending those aspects of conservation and environmentalism that are grounded in sound science and medicine. And responsible historians and journalists should remind the public that Hitler’s base consisted of right-wing populists*: the petit-bourgeoisie, including small producers (peasants and artisans), unemployed and unorganized workers, civil servants, and everyone who profited from the expropriation of “Jewish” property and “Jewish” jobs. It is a canard of the Marxist-Leninist Left** that fascism is the triumph of finance capital and big business, though, to be sure, elements of those groups (in addition to monarchists or the army, including the Freikorps) served in coalition with Hitler until he kicked out such officials as von Neurath and Schacht, 1936-38.

*I am not forgetting the left-wing populism of the Strasser brothers. But that militant anti-bourgeois wing of the Party was decimated in the Night of the Long Knives.

** Lenin was influenced by the populist antisemite J. A. Hobson, see https://clarespark.com/2009/09/18/bad-sex-in-the-new-york-times/.  How many students today can describe the debate between Rosa Luxemburg and Lenin or Stalin about imperialism and backward societies?

July 16, 2011

Disraeli’s contribution to social democracy

One of the chief tactics of populists and progressives is to depict themselves as persons of the “grass roots”; as spokesmen for the common man and woman against “the money power.”

And [hook-nosed] moneybags are held by the populist-progressives to control all information in the society, with the exception of underground messaging and alternative media. The internet has only facilitated such carelessness and populists can be found on both the right and the left of the political spectrum. I have found them to be haters and uninterested in the histories they claim to depict with accuracy, deluded into the belief that they are correcting the “propaganda” generated by serious students of the past. There is money in it, as the book sales figures or viewers of some “traditionalist” conservative stars can attest. This blog seeks to correct a common misconception I have found in the ranks of some who deem themselves conservatives: that Rousseau* generated the Jacobins, and that a straight line can be drawn between the furious mob behavior in the Reign of Terror and the Democratic or even moderate Republican (“RINO”) opposition.  And the enemy is “secularism, ” redefined to signify atheism, a.k.a., worship of the Goddess of Reason, rather than religious pluralism and the separation of church and state.

As everything on this website will attest, populism and progressivism did not spring, fully-formed, from the industrial working class, or small farmers, or any other sector of the population de-skilled or otherwise harmed by the industrial revolution and the concentration of ownership in corporations. Rather, its ideology was largely cooked up by those European intellectuals who identified with a threatened aristocracy, and who wrote copiously in order to persuade a frivolous and conspicuously consuming class of lords and ladies, princes and kings, that they had better unite with The People against the “laissez-faire” industrial bourgeoisie that was the chief cause of lower-class suffering with the advent of science, the machine age, utilitarianism, railroads, the Higher Criticism of the Bible, and of course, Darwinism.

With a renewed devotion to “religion” (now seen as instrument of social control for all classes) the aristocracy would mend its ways, reverting to the gentle paternalism that was believed to have existed in the Middle Ages, and the new education-hungry working-class would settle for those reforms that did not threaten the social order as it had existed before mad scientists and engineers made the scene. The lower orders would be treated to lots and lots of spectacles and costume parties.

Benjamin Disraeli, a prolific author before he entered the British parliament, later to become Prime Minister and the Earl of Beaconsfield, wrote novels all his life, but the group of novels relevant to this posting was published in the mid-1840s, and meant to introduce “The New Generation” that would represent “Young England.”  Coningsby, Sybil, or the Two Nations, and Tancred, or the New Crusade,** were a trilogy intended to instruct Europe as to the chaos that was to be generated by the new industrial poor, whether they be slaves to the machine or miners–unless they were rescued by an enlightened and progressive aristocracy. Sybil, in particular, sounded the tocsin, and appeared the same year, 1845, as did Engels’ famous book on the condition of the working class in Manchester. Disraeli’s father, Isaac D’Israeli, never renounced Judaism, but did baptize all his children into the Church of England, home of the Elizabethan Compromise.

What Disraeli accomplished was to provide the moderate conservative alternative to the red specter that was haunting Europe. The Good King would represent the People against all forces of dissolution, and all would be self-sacrificing as their model, Jesus Christ, had been. Without faith, there could be no sense of duty, and everyone was bound by duty and those rights that kept the peasantry prosperous, and the male working class not exhausted or forced to compete with female and child labor.

Sybil with book

Disraeli was hardly alone in his prescriptions for a measured progress, with his religious model apostolic Christianity and the “reverence” it embodied. He was writing in the tradition of Hume and Burke, of the German Romantics (including Herder and Goethe). His contemporaries, such as hero-worshipping Carlyle and the Christian Socialists, and later Bismarck, would echo the same tradition of conservative reform, staving off excess of every kind, whether it be upper-class selfishness (“individualism” or “puritanism”) or lower-class licentiousness and excessive interest in the heroism of some Old Testament figures (see Kingsley’s Alton Locke, a founding document of Christian Socialism, puported to be the confession of an ex-Chartist, now dying of consumption).

Populism is inconceivable without hero-worship and the obeisance to opinion leaders, stand-ins today for the Good King imagined by Disraeli. In the populist appeal to emotions (“compassion”) and false utopias, rather than to careful analysis of policy, the notion of a democratic republic is subverted beyond recognition, wherever it may be found, on the left or right. Class warfare, wielded cynically by some Democrats, works, for populists hate capitalism/the money power. That is “the way we live now.”

*See image from Columbia Today (Alumni Magazine responding to 1968 student strike): https://clarespark.com/2010/07/04/rousseau-amidst-primitive-columbia-student-strikers/.

** See cartoon and description of Tancred in Arab News: http://www.arabnewsblog.net/2011/05/11/tabsir-redux-tancred-or-the-new-crusade/. The blurb author misses the point of Disraeli’s trilogy: to relocate the fount of Christianity in Jerusalem rather than Rome. Disraeli seems to have reconciled his Judaic ancestors with Christianity by finding heroism, honor, and direct communication with the Deity in the Middle East. What this may hint about relations with his father is speculation on my part. He does mention “theocratic equality” in Tancred, which suggests that equality is defined in religious terms, not material ones (those of the working poor who rise in the class system are tamed through deference and self-control), and that an established religion is the major source of social solidarity.

With respect to his relations with Judaism, his move was simply to stress the Judaic origins of Christianity, thus knocking out the antithesis between Good Christian and Evil Jew and making Jerusalem and environs the cradle of civilization. I don’t know if he was the first to do this, but it was certainly an obsessive theme. In Tancred, he complains bitterly about antisemitism, and lets none of his characters off the hook. It is unfortunate that in the process, he cleaved to contemporary notions of race and national character.

It is also interesting that his orientalist hero, Tancred, Lord Montecute, is prevented at the last minute from marrying the gorgeous Jewess Eva. In the last sentence we discover that his parents have come to Jerusalem to get him away from all those too rich, brilliant, and irresistible  Jews. There is also a hint that momma’s puritanism may have driven Tancred to excessive religiosity and the pilgrimage to Jerusalem/Syria, where any sensitive, shy fellow would have gone off the deep end, faced with all that glamor. As for Sidonia, a character sometimes identified with a Rothschild or even with Disraeli himself, Sidonia is wealthy beyond the dreams of avarice, and the model man of the world, brilliant and a linguist, but he lacks a heart: Sidonia is incapable of emotional attachments–he is a rootless cosmopolitan, the very embodiment of THE MONEY POWER, as drawn by the would-be aristocratic anticapitalist, Benjamin Disraeli.

October 26, 2009

“The Money Power” and other Ms.Conceptions

Image (76)The original comment to which this is a reply is found on About Clare Spark. Rereading my answer, I thought that this was a mercifully concise statement of my positions on numerous other blogs. I have added some sentences, here and there.
First, on “the money power.” It is not that the power of money itself that determines our prosperity or poverty, but monetary policy, as Niall Ferguson has shown in book after book, most recently The Ascent of Money, and in The War of the World and also his book on the Rothschilds. You might want to read Maynard Keynes book, The Economic Consequences of the Peace on this subject. Had different arrangements for German reparations been made during the settlement after the Great War all subsequent history would have been different, he argued, with sharp disagreement from Niall Ferguson. For those who think about mass death, this debate is crucial.

What I have said in my various blogs is that “the Jews” should be left out of it. Criticize capitalism to your heart’s content, but as long as the image of a fat Jewish plutocrat with his claws encircling the globe or, with his hypersexuality, polluting innocent Christian or Muslim womanhood inhabits the political imagination, there can be no progress, any more than a belief that this world is controlled by the Devil.

Second, the question of “material forces” as determinants of history, this could be standard Marxist boiler plate to me. To be sure, material conditions are very important, but so are the decisions made by individual leaders. Some historians argue that had Woodrow Wilson used his influence at the Versailles conference of 1919 to stop the excessively punitive ambitions of France and the U.K. [Keynes, see also Skidelsky vol.3], there might not have been a second world war with all its horrific suffering and lingering effects. In thinking about diversity in the multicultural university, administrators could have, but did not, integrate the history of women and minorities into the general curriculum. Because they chose segregated departments of Women’s Studies or Ethnic Studies, they relieved white male professors of the necessity of thinking about these movements in a rigorous way and then teaching their students appropriately. So instead of creating a new synthesis, historians could ignore the woman question or the history of various peoples if they chose, for some other course would make up for their deficiencies. The most we got was “whiteness studies” that were no more than covers for Leninist anti-imperialist orthodoxy and yet another capitulation to anti-Western cultural nationalism (see the lethal influence of black liberation theology, and its shameless annexation of Martin Luther King, Jr. I wrote about this on the History News Network www.hnn.us/articles/48809.html. My favorite novel on the subject of New Left personal politics is William Herrick’s Love and Terror.)

    As for the power of motherhood that I often mention, this is one of the great lacunae in the work of scholarship. The issue of separation from the omnipotent good/bad mother is one of the themes  urgently explored by too few theorists of the psyche, and I am going to post my talk on panic attacks today. [All the posts on sadomasochism deal with this problem.] I have thought a lot about this issue as Herman Melville is obsessed with it in his novel PIERRE, OR THE AMBIGUITIES. There is an obvious link between misogyny and antisemitism [see the two Murdered by the Mob essays]that has not gotten the attention it should. There should be a placard: Woman The Jew of the Home. I would add here that feminists do not always recognize that men feel women, especially modern women, have too much power over their lives. The skeptical male may then put cotton in his ears when feminists speak, then dream of a flight to the primitive (see Picasso image of Spanish peasants: Henry Murray had a print of this painting in his home). Meanwhile other ambitious women often use their sexual/maternal power to advance themselves at the expense of other women. It is a huge subject that I suppose a few others have explored at greater length than I can here.

Finally, it seems to me that the feminists of the 1960s and 1970s (initially mocked by many New Leftists and militant black nationalists) were acceptable to these bohemians, primitivists, and mini-sultans as long as they joined the “anti-imperialist” Left on male terms. Hence the new feminists did not generally defend “the West” but instead attacked it (along with Israel, often), notwithstanding the deplorable condition of women in non-Western societies. This gave some on the Christian Right an opportunity to attack feminism as an assault upon the family. [I understand that this latter claim about feminists and the Left is impressionistic and based upon personal experience with prominent women in the arts during the 1970s and afterwards, not comprehensive statistical research.]

August 30, 2009

That slippery word “populism”

Filed under: 1 — clarelspark @ 8:10 pm
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Richard Hofstadter

There is a role for both the public and private sectors in a democratic republic: what the division of responsibilities should be is the subject of the most raucous debates, as we have seen during the first months of the Obama administration. There is too much loose talk and name-calling, not enough healthy skepticism of one’s own predilections in favor of  this or that policy. I have frequently criticized the Populist/Progressive movement on this website, not only because I encourage vigorous, fact-based criticism of  over-reaching government powers or of any other “liberal” institution that betrays its principles and discourages competition, but because the original Populist movement in the 1890s was directed against “the money power” that was frequently (if not always) associated with “the Jews.” Sadly, some New Leftist academics have airbrushed the conspiratorial assumptions of populism in an attempt to rehabilitate the Populist movement; often this took the form of a general attack on the historian Richard Hofstadter, author of The Age of Reform (that nailed the Populists for antisemitism) as well as his work on “the paranoid style.” (For an encomium to Hofstadter see http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/issues/98nov/hofstadt.htm.)

Visitors here will notice that nearly all my entries are concerned with explicit or embedded antisemitic messages. It is very easy to spot the more obvious kinds of antisemitism that demonize “the Jews”, but even those organizations that are defending “the Jews” or the state of Israel do not go far enough, in my view, in identifying the more subtle forms of Jew hatred–a phobia that is so intense as to affect mental and physical health and impair the very critical processes that make a democratic republic possible. For if all criticism of [illegitimate, arbitrary] authority is subconsciously experienced as parricide or deicide, then the guilty would-be citizen has nothing but “the heart” (the emotions) to react with, and may become putty in the hands of demagogues.

When I criticize the Ivy League or other elite universities, it is not out of [populist] anti-intellectualism, but because I want the great universities to live up to their mission, that is, to train future leaders and innovators, who will then go on to make their professions true to their founding principles, whether these be designing curricula in the schools that develop fully conscious citizens who can separate facts from propaganda and test their government in every respect; or who, as experts, will separate the wheat from the chaff, and who will stand up to the institutions that direct their work in anti-social directions.

Take for instance the false impressions disseminated by the far, far Right, who now claim that “political correctness” and “the liberal narrative” were created by “the Frankfurt Shool” [sic]. Refugee scholars from Germany, such as Adorno, Horkheimer, Erich Fromm, and Marcuse are now the big bogey men on some blatantly racist and antidemocratic sites (one brags about its advocacy of monarchism). As I have demonstrated in my own research, much of it reproduced here on the YDS website, the Frankfurt School of critical theory did not initiate the goals of the Populist-Progressive movement of conservative reform in America (e.g. the New Deal), nor did they plot to curb the First Amendment.

The Frankfurters did share a sharp critique of “mass culture” and wrote about Hitler as the creature of mass culture (or popular culture), but in doing so, they were merely echoing centuries of aristocratic propaganda about the incapacities of “the people” to rule themselves without aristocratic leadership (see my blog “The People Is An Ass….” and the four entries on Hitler and the Big Lie: https://clarespark.com/2009/08/24/the-people-is-an-ass-or-a-herd/, https://clarespark.com/2011/06/19/index-to-links-on-hitler-and-the-big-lie/). And some of their most prestigious members did recommend the use of materials created by Henry A. Murray and Harold Lasswell (on the latter two men, see the blogs on civilian morale and preventive politics, both filled with documentary evidence of social psychologists seeking 1. to limit speech and create subliminal propaganda on a grand scale in order to maintain consensus, not to seek the truth; and 2. to identify latent radicals and keep them out of leadership).

But that is what pseudo-moderates do, so the worst sin I can attribute to such as Theodore Adorno is organic conservatism, a stance that he represented as “genuine liberalism.” (See the blog on his definition of that term, or the longer blog on corporatist liberalism: https://clarespark.com/2009/08/25/t-w-adorno-and-his-funny-idea-of-genuine-liberalism/, https://clarespark.com/2009/08/09/what-is-a-corporatist-liberal-and-why-should-they-frighten-us/.) As for his defense of high culture, there is no such thing as an ideologically consistent high culture standing armed to defend reality, science, and the rule of law, and I doubt that Adorno would have disagreed with that judgment. Where I fault the affinity group to the Frankfurters is their too hasty rejection of the Enlightenment and science as such, often attributing the rise of Hitler to the irreligous technical worker (see F. Meinecke on this diagnosis: https://clarespark.com/2010/04/12/multiculturalismethnopluralism-in-the-mid-20th-century/). But that is not why the far, far Right is going after them.  Write the ending to this blog yourselves.

August 6, 2009

The “Money Power,” material forces versus leader decision-making, separatism as strategy for women and minorities, and misogyny/antisemitism

 This blog is an expanded answer to “Michael” who wrote a lengthy comment to one of my recent blogs (see the comments on this site). First, Michael thinks that I am asking readers to ignore money altogether. This is a crucial point. It is not the power of money itself that determines our prosperity or poverty, but appropriate monetary policy, as economic historian Niall Ferguson has shown in book after book, most recently The Ascent of Money, but also in The War of the World (the latter work arguing that the first and second world wars are better seen as one continuous global conflict). Also, if you saw the recent Bill Maher show on HBO with Ferguson as panelist, he vigorously defended “the Fed” against the ignorance and misconceptions of populists. You might want to read John Maynard Keynes book, The Economic Consequences of the Peace on the question of monetary policy after the Great War. Had different arrangements regarding German reparations been made during the post-armistice settlement  subsequent history would have been different, and there would have been no Nazi victory. For one who is concerned about mass death, as Michael obviously is, this book is crucial.

     What I have implied in my various blogs is that “the Jews” as some kind of cabal should be left out of discussions of the source of the most recent and previous financial crises. Criticize capitalism and either its flaws or its corrupt operatives to your heart’s content, but do it with the tools of material analysis, not with the manipulation of negative images. As long as the image of a fat Jewish plutocrat battening on the misery of “the goyim,” or King of Jews Rothschild with his claws encircling the globe or, the carnal Jewish whoremaster, with his hypersexuality, polluting innocent Christian or Muslim womanhood, inhabits the political imagination, there can be no amelioration in the lot of the poor and deprived,  any more than the belief that this world, unlike the next, is controlled by the Devil. And do not underestimate the salience of the Devil to the historical narratives propagated by the “Christian Right” and other authoritarian ideologies opposed to science, the rule of law, and the materialist analysis attributed to the Jews by their most extreme nativist, white supremacist proponents or other premoderns.
    Second, Michael raises the question of “material forces” as the primary source of historical change. This sounds like standard Marxist boiler plate to me. To be sure, material conditions and conflicts are very important, but so are the decisions made by individual leaders. Had Woodrow Wilson used his influence at the Versailles conference to stop the self-serving ambitions of France and the U.K., there might not have been a second world war with all its horrific suffering and lingering effects. Or to take a different case, in thinking about diversity in the multicultural university, administrators could have, but did not, integrate the history of women and minorities into the general curriculum. Because they chose segregated departments of Women’s Studies or Ethnic Studies, they relieved white male professors of the necessity of thinking about these movements in a rigorous way and then teaching their students appropriately. (And moreover, many professors had already incorporated the travails of women and minorities and labor into their syntheses.) So instead of creating a new synthesis, the more retrograde historians could ignore the woman question or the history of various peoples if they chose, for some other course would make up for their deficiencies. The most we got was “whiteness studies” that were no more than covers for Leninist anti-imperialist orthodoxy and yet another capitulation to anti-Western cultural nationalism (see the lethal influence of triumphalist black liberation theology, and its shameless annexation of Martin Luther King, Jr. to the side of his bitterest enemies in this vast and influential body of pseudo-scholarship).
    As for the power of motherhood that Michael mentions briefly, this is one of the great lacunae in the work of scholarship. The issue of separation from the supposedly omnipotent good/bad mother is one of the themes most ignored by theorists of the psyche, and I refer the reader once again to my essay on panic attacks that summarizes recent thought among professionals on the subject, along with some references to reactionary modernism,  Goldfinger, Pandora’s Box, film noir, and Captain Ahab’s “monomania.”  I have thought a lot about this issue as Herman Melville is obsessed with the mother-son attachment in his much-abused novel PIERRE, OR THE AMBIGUITIES (1852) There is an obvious link between misogyny and antisemitism that has not gotten the attention it should. I would add here that feminists do not always recognize that men feel women, especially modern women, like Jews or other advancing groups, have too much power over their lives, and put cotton in their ears when feminists speak. Meanwhile some women use their sexual/maternal power to advance themselves at the expense of other women and give weight to the claims of misogynists. It is a huge subject that I suppose a few others have explored at greater length than I can here, but I did notice as I researched my book on the revivers of Herman Melville between the world wars that the most conservative of them were terrified of modern women and felt themselves to be puppets manipulated by these castrating and ever-changeable scheming women, leading to my slogan that “Woman is the Jew of the home.” Think about it. Captain Ahab as the Bad [Jewish] Mother.

     Finally, I would note that the feminists of the 1960s and 1970s were acceptable as long as they joined the anti-imperialist Left, and that meant that they did not subsequently defend “the West” but instead attacked it (along with Israel, often), notwithstanding the deplorable condition of women in non-Western societies. This gave the Christian far Right a great excuse to attack feminism as such.

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