If a person who disapproves of homosexual behavior, or is disturbed by what is somewhat euphemistically called “the homosexual lifestyle,” is a homophobe, and a person who refuses to accept a biological man who wishes to be called “she” as an actual woman, for purposes of legal identification, public bathroom admittance, or sports participation, is a transphobe, then why isn’t a person who mocks religious belief a faithophobe, or a person who wishes to impose mandates restricting others’ speech, “discrimination,” property rights, and economic activity a freedomphobe? 

The answer, of course, is that only the progressive left uses the language of phobias — irrational fears — as a rhetorical weapon to marginalize and stigmatize any point of view or longstanding moral constraint that they regard as an obstacle to the further imposition of socialist tyranny. Socialist tyranny requires the disintegration or trivialization of the private family and shared religious practices, with all these institutions’ inherent psychological lessons about attachment, hierarchy, identity, community, personal responsibility, moderation, and so on. Progressivism therefore naturally embraces any course of behavior or “way of life” that would undermine family and church in favor of “society,” aka the state, as the only protector and guarantor of happiness (i.e., pleasure) and freedom (i.e., lack of restraint).

Since such useful progressive causes are rarely the products of rational argument, or even of sincere moral belief, but merely of pragmatic power lust, the left feels no compulsion to persuade anyone through reasoned discourse, when it is so much more efficient to intimidate everyone through pseudo-scientific labeling. Hence the reduction of the accumulated moral constructs of most of human history (now dismissively dubbed “traditional morality”) to a collection of phobias.

This intimidation method is also a beneficial reminder of the fact that what we call modern psychology, like its social scientific sisters sociology, anthropology, economics, and the like, is and always was at heart an academic greenhouse for progressive utilitarian rhetoric. This, for example, is why any psychologist who does not identify entirely with the goals of collectivist ethics and serve the interests of leftist politics is treated as a pariah within his own discipline. (Consider the famous cases of Thomas Szasz, who understood this essential irrationality within his field, or Jordan Peterson, who clearly does not.)

And so we have arrived at a point in public discourse in which merely expressing qualms about the social effects of normalizing “the homosexual lifestyle” entails branding oneself a homophobe, and questioning the emotional stability of a man who wishes to participate in a wrestling tournament or dance recital alongside girls makes one a transphobe. That is, one cannot even discuss these matters today without thereby labeling oneself as mentally ill, i.e., subject to excessive and irrational fear, “phobic.”

On this standard, then, I hereby confess, before all the world, to being progressophobic, tyrannophobic, propagandophobic, and these days, to be frank, pretty much anthropophobic. I can live with the labels — better than I can live with the objects of those particular phobias, at any rate.

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