Michael Dean

When a restive subject defied the Roman Empire, he was crucified next to a public roadway as a warning to anyone else who might entertain ideas of liberty or resistance. The American empire doesn’t crucify anyone nowadays, but it has a deterrent just as effective – deny federal funding.

Threats from governmental authorities to local schools claim that public schools must allow a boy who “identifies as female” to use girls’ restrooms and locker rooms on the same basis as girls. Such claims are utter fabrications, but that doesn’t matter – loss of funding for non-compliance is a death sentence, and the mere threat coerces schools to comply.

If you haven’t been paying attention, you need to do so. Federal, State, and local government campaigns to end sex-differentiated restrooms and locker rooms in public schools are part of a larger agenda to wipe out any kind of natural, rational distinction between the sexes, and your children and grandchildren are being indoctrinated with this madness at an extraordinary pace.

You might think it can’t be that bad – that the physiological bright line between the sexes is so numbingly obvious that not even a government official would advocate something that absurd. But a few short years ago, marriage between man and woman was just as obvious. The deconstruction of marriage was only a marker in the ultimate deconstruction of any difference between the sexes at all.

While the revolt against reason may seem shocking, it’s been a long time coming, and it really shouldn’t surprise us that it’s finally here.

Philosopher Simone de Beauvoir was the mistress of existentialist godfather Jean Paul Sartre. In 1949, she wrote in The Second Sex:

Woman is a female to the extent that she feels herself as such. There are biologically essential features that are not a part of her real, experienced situation . . . . It is not nature that defines woman; it is she who defines herself by dealing with nature on her own account in her emotional life.

(For what it’s worth, I once thought I was Nolan Ryan, too, but the coach hadn’t read Sartre and didn’t much care about my “emotional life” or how I “defined myself” – all he knew was that I lacked the “biologically essential feature” of a decent pitching arm.)

“Economic” conservatives often think we “social” conservative are an embarrassing anachronism. But regardless of one’s moral views, de Beauvoir’s madness is cultural suicide.

In purely economic terms, the end result of denying woman’s “biologically essential features” is Europe and a negative birth rate. Just to keep the European economy staggering along demands mass importation of foreigners who have no clue about the West’s classical liberal heritage, and certainly no inclination to preserve it.

Whether or not anyone cares about the nature of morality or being, the “enlightened” decision not to have children is really a self-absorbed calculation of the childless, who assume that while they’re having fun, accumulating wealth and getting ahead, someone else will still be incurring the trouble and expense to bear and raise the children necessary to maintain the economy, support the social welfare pyramid, and produce the goods and services the childless plan to consume when they get old.

But that’s a death wish, because everyone eventually catches on to the game. The welfare state exacerbates the temptation because people intuitively come to assume that even if they don’t have children, plan ahead, and save, someone else will.

A Moslem gentleman recently told me exactly that. He’s a wonderful friend who truly appreciates the historic Western tradition, but he observed correctly that once a nation’s birth rate goes negative, it will never recover. He is the “laggard” among his Islamic siblings — “only” 6 children. Europe’s birth rate in many places is already below 1.

The Wall Street Journal recently ran a front page article by Greg Ip, The World’s New Population Time Bomb: Too Few People. Ip comments that economists groping to explain underperforming Western economies are now realizing that “one of the stiffest headwinds is also one of the hardest to overcome: demographics.” In typical “economic” conservative Newspeak, Ip suggests that “richer countries can boost their immigrant intake” in response to “declining fertility” – as if plummeting birthrates are the result of some novel biological phenomenon rather than the collective of effect of individual conscious decisions.

If anyone needed convincing we’re in trouble, Justice Kennedy’s Obergefell opinion was the handwriting on the wall in plain English. The decision of a man and woman to bear and raise children in a permanent stable family is a commitment to the future, a habit of mind unstated but essential to liberal democracies and market economies. When Kennedy ruled that adult gratification is the essential purpose of marriage and that having children is not, he signaled a backward turn and the ultimate collapse of historic Judeo-Christian teaching and culture on which stand the next generation and transmission of Western civilization’s traditions of a free polity and economy.

Abraham Lincoln was right — “The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.” Rome didn’t burn in a day, but burn it did.

If you like poetry, here’s one of my all-time favorites, Rudyard Kipling, 1919. It’s not a happy poem, but there’s still something inspiring and even a bit hopeful about truth well-expressed. So we do what we can.


As I pass through my incarnations in every age and race,

I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market-Place. Peering through reverent fingers, I watch them flourish and fall, And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn: But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,

So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace, Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market-Place;

But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch. They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch. They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings.

So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace, They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.

But when we disarmed They sold us, and delivered us bound to our foe, And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “Stick to the Devil you know.”

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life (Which started by loving our neighbor and ended by loving his wife); Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,

And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “The Wages of Sin is Death.”

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all, By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;

But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy, And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “If you don’t work you die.”

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew, And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true

That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four

And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man There are only four things certain since Social Progress began:

That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire; And the burnt fool’s bandaged finger goes wobbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins, As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,

The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return.


Michael Dean is an attorney from Brookfield, Wisconsin, who litigates in defense of historic First Amendment liberties. Mr. Dean recently testified before a Wisconsin Assembly committee in support of legislation requiring sex-segregated restrooms in Wisconsin public schools.

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