TERFs, Trannies, and Metaphysical Horror: Welcome to the Desert of the Real

Polish philosopher Leszek Kolakowski wrote a great little book called Metaphysical Horror that everyone should read.  The problem, says the Goodreads blurb, is this:

For over a century, philosophers have argued that philosophy is impossible or useless, or both. Although the basic notion dates back to the days of Socrates, there is still heated disagreement about the nature of truth, reality, knowledge, the good, and God. This may make little practical difference to our lives, but it leaves us with a feeling of radical uncertainty, a feeling described by Kolakowski as “metaphysical horror.” “The horror is this,” he says, “if nothing truly exists except the Absolute, the Absolute is nothing; if nothing truly exists except myself, I am nothing.”  The aim of this book, for Kolakowski, is finding a way out of this seeming dead end.

I didn’t describe Kolakowski a a “Polish philosopher” for pretentious, “lookit me I read philosophy in translation!” nerd cred, but to suggest a reason why Kolakowski, a brilliant and courageous man, didn’t see an obvious way out of this dilemma: Identity politics.

Let me illustrate.  Fair warning: I want you to click on this article – a typically excellent piece of Stacy McCainian vitriol — but before you do, pack eye bleach.  You’re gonna see some things you can’t unsee.  Everyone good?  OK:

As you may recall from reading McCain (or reading me singing McCain’s praises), there’s a TERF war going on out there on the radical fringes of Feministan.  Feminist lesbians, otherwise impeccably #Woke, are hung up on the antiquated cisgender heteronormative patriarchal notion that the possession (or, in the (sometime) case of the first two, former possession of) penises, testicles, Y chromosomes, and so forth, makes one indisputably, actually — metaphysically, if you will — male, in a way that original possession of vaginas, ovaries, and double-X chromosomes makes one metaphysically female.

The transsexuals, obviously, disagree.  In the only documented case of a valid logical inference being made by Leftists, the trannies conclude that the feminist mantra

  • gender is just a social construction!


  • gender is just a social construction

and thus they, as a society, have constructed themselves as lesbians, despite — in perhaps the vast majority of cases —  full, original, and ongoing possession of wedding tackle.

And so now we have the schadenfreudily delicious spectacle of the “gender is just a social construction!” crowd yelling that no no, in just this one special case, biology is real and hormones have a fundamental relationship to sexual characteristics and behavior.  Get woke, go broke, amirite?  Or, more accurately: Get woke, get your feminist-only safe spaces invaded by sweaty, hairy dudes — built like linebackers and hung like rhinos — who call you oppressors for not wanting to have some hot lesbian action with them.

Just what, one wonders, is the point of all this?  If you made it past the picture in McCain’s article, you’ll have read up on the adventures of

The Degenderettes [a violent “activist” group who] specifically targets lesbians as “oppressors” of men — because they exclude males from their dating pools. The men in the group identify as transgender and consider themselves to be male lesbians.

Obviously these people will never, ever be content, let alone actually happy.  There is no possible social arrangement that would ever satisfy someone who calls xzhyrself a “Degenderette.”  For such a…. being, “The Struggle” simply is life.  Without an Oppressor against whom to lash out, xzhey would simply pop out of existence like a quark.

Kolakowski (remember him?) says that philosophy itself is a route out of metaphysical horror.  We may never find The Answer, but the process of thinking about them itself gives life meaning.  He asks, “Is it not reasonable to suspect that if existence were pointless and the universe devoid of meaning, we would never have achieved not only the ability to imagine otherwise, but even the ability to entertain this very thought—to wit, that existence is pointless and the universe devoid of meaning?”

But Kolakowski grew up in occupied Poland, where, thanks to Stalin and his merry band of murderers, the common man got all the philosophizing he could take.  Having seen the brutal realities of Soviet communism, he wouldn’t have imagined that there are folks who embrace the idea of Nothingness, for whom the pointlessness of existence isn’t a bug but a feature.  Like all but the most debased modern philosophers, Kolakowski assumed that everyone’s end goal is happiness — that “metaphysical horror” is horrible precisely because the more one thinks through the question “how shall I be happy?”, the more one begins to suspect that his efforts are in vain.

For a “Degenderette,” the vanity is the point.  If, per impossibile, they should ever achieve the “equality” that is their stated goal, they would have no reason to get up in the morning.  Their entire lives are negative — built around something that does not exist, and which they know full well cannot exist, because it’s built on a fundamental contradiction of Reality.  Howling into the void of metaphysical horror is, for them, the whole point — there is no happiness in this world, and there’s no next world, so let’s be maximally miserable in this one.

It’s a (non-metaphysically) horrible way to live, but if you accept, as all Leftists fundamentally do, that everything which makes life living for “normies” is bad because it makes life worth living for normies, it’s the only thing that’ll get you up in the morning.

Whether they should keep getting up in the morning is, of course, an independent question.  I’m a Christian, so I’m required to say yes, but… I wonder what Kolakowski would say?  Or — more to the point — Stalin?

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5 thoughts on “TERFs, Trannies, and Metaphysical Horror: Welcome to the Desert of the Real

  1. Anonymous White Male

    I look forward to the lesbian-transgender war. Primarily because lesbians are the only group on the left with any balls. Bada boom.

    1. Severian

      He’ll be here all week, folks! Try the veal, and don’t forget to tip your servers.

      [Seriously, though, this thing might get nasty. Given that both groups are crazy even by SJW standards, I wouldn’t be surprised if they actually, literally — literally, Millennials! — start killing each other].

  2. Jay Carter

    There are only two things that I am certain of.

    1. There are only two sexes.

    2. Death.

    Everything else leads to doubt.

  3. Altitude Zero

    “Without an Oppressor against whom to lash out, xzhey would simply pop out of existence like a quark.”

    Now that’s just plain good!

  4. Pingback: Why I’m Not a Liberal, Part III | Rotten Chestnuts

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