When I started the ATH project I thought that the problems that I saw on the tango scene had to do with things like poor organisation, poor teaching, and excess marketing. I then noticed that a lot of the issues had to do with the influence of politics, in particular, the encroachment of leftist and feminist ideology. I thought that perhaps the political influence would be limited and at least some part of the tango scene could be reserved for traditionalists who want to maintain the traditional practice of Argentine tango. However, I’m coming to the view that this assumption was wrong and that the tango scene is not only stagnating but rapidly regressing and falling into a downward spiral.
What’s particularly concerning is that the tango scene is following the wider social trends in becoming toxic for heterosexual men. Feminism has made it acceptable to view men with derision, to characterise male behaviour and cognitive style as toxic, and also to make it acceptable to plunder the fruits of men’s labour. Men perform the majority of the hard work in the economy and when feminists demand social justice and equity in the workplace what they mean is that they want easy access to the easy, comfortable, well-paying office jobs and they don’t want to compete for these by working long hours. Instead of treating their work professionally women feel entitled to dress provocatively at work to attract the attention of high status men but to cry sexual harassment when low status men show unwelcome interest. Men’s achievements in creating the most successful societies in history are derided as the work of “dead white males” who are instead said to have created a patriarchy that oppresses women and minorities.
The discourse deriding white men is now becoming well-established in tango and it is fair to say that it is no longer safe to be a north European man on the tango scene. Men are on the tango scene at the pleasure of women to provide partners for them. What I’m finding is that being a man on the AT scene you’re effectively regarded as a taxi dancer whose job is to satisfy women’s requirements. You’re not really appreciated or respected and this is signalled in a variety of ways.
For example, European women have a soft spot for “latin” men: South Americans, Italians, Portuguese, etc. Now, I understand that there are affinities between different ethnicities and I myself have a strong preference for Asian women. However, imagine if in my promotional material I constantly emphasised that there are great Asian female dancers at my event. If you analyse the discourse on the Western tango scene it is clear that it is essentially designed to cater to the tastes of Western women and their valuation of men. In this regard, I actually am on the side of those who call for “decolonising” tango. There seem to be few or no masculine Western men on the contemporary AT scene. Instead the typical guy on the AT scene is an emasculated social butterfly who is in a symbiotic bordering on parasitic relationship with the women.
As I see it, the contemporary AT scene is only marginally about sociality, conviviality and cultural enrichment and is predominantly about extracting value and it is slanted towards the interests and desires of women. I could offer many anecdotes illustrating the sort of toxic attitudes that I’m talking about: attention seeking, social climbing or competitiveness, consumptivism, valuation of men, etc. It is inevitable that these women are essentially engaging in self-sabotage because the men who remain on the tango scene know how to play the game. They are the “liberal”, leftist, feminist men who pander to the female ego and sense of entitlement but essentially extract maximum value for themselves by exploiting their advantage of scarcity as few real masculine men would endure the toxic vibe of the AT scene and instead pursue other, masculine hobbies. This is what I plan to do as well.
I’m pretty much done dealing with this and have already minimised my exposure to AT milonga scene. I’m just done with the treatment and I abhor feminism and female empowerment and entitlement. I was a “feminist” at university in the sense that I was in favour of equality between men and women. But I noticed that feminism is not about equality at all. It’s about female supremacy. Affirmative action is essentially about plundering men’s resources by women. It is about stealing from men: children, property, jobs, etc. Women have choices that men don’t. The idea that a man can be a “househusband” and the women can be the breadwinner is a complete fantasy. Women are given jobs in favour of men but still expect the man to be the provider. There is no equality or fairness in any of it.
All of this has eventually and inevitably reached the tango scene and I don’t see any improvement in the situation any time soon. What would have to happen is that all the steps that have been taken and that are being taken would have to be reversed, and it took a lot of steps to effectively kill tango. Tango is just another victim of socialism, or what Ludwig von Mises calls destructionism. As we find in Wikipedia:
Destructionism as discussed by Ludwig Von Mises, a classical liberal economist, is policies that consume capital but do not accumulate it. It is the title of Part V of his seminal work Socialism. Since accumulation of capital is the basis for economic progress (as the capital stock of society increases, the productivity of labor rises, as well as wages and standards of living), Von Mises warned that pursuing socialist and statist policies will eventually lead to the consumption and reliance on old capital, borrowed capital, or printed “capital” as these policies cannot create any new capital, instead only consuming the old.
Tango is the old capital that is currently being consumed or plundered by (a) the Argentinian state which has become parasitic and renders the country unproductive and (b) neo-Marxists in Argentina and elsewhere who seek so-called “social justice”, or what really amounts to plundering and destruction of the cultural capital of the West.
So let’s consider the steps in the process of the destruction and plundering of tango:
The rich economies of Argentina and Uruguay that were created mainly with men’s labour and that built beautiful cities with grand European architecture are destroyed by redistributive democratic statism/socialism starting with Juan Peron. The state plunders the economy that was built over the previous 100 years and then bails itself out by printing money destroying the currencies for decades. To this day the Uruguayan and Argentinian pesos are practically worthless and the cities look like they’ve been a war zone in recent years. Then, to explain the destruction of the economy, the blame is put on the evil American empire.
The Argentine government decides to engage in market capitalism by exploiting the tango culture and attracting tango tourism through state sponsored marketing. Has loud musicals travel internationally and then creates tango products for foreigners such as various classes, festivals, competitions, etc. Trains dancers to do performances and give workshops around the world that appeal to people’s vanity by offering them the possibility of “performing” in fancy costumes.
The “liberals” who dominate tango scenes in major urban areas start casting aspersions on traditional tango dancing as being “machismo” and traditionalist ideas as “the tango police” or “old boys club” etc., and promote leftist, feminist and egalitarian ideas about equality, anti-ablism, inclusivity, therapy and promote a culture of low expectations. They make sure that all communication channels such as forums and commentaries see discourse moving in the direction of the left and anyone that opposes that is outnumbered and if they appear to be persuasive are censored or cancelled.
We see the hard left ramping up the political attack by promoting the idea that tango is black/Afro culture dance that is culturally appropriated by rich whites or that has been “whitened” and gentrified and that it needs to be “decolonised”. It’s not clear what that means but it seems to mean at least (a) if you’re white you should feel guilty about your people appropriating/stealing and gentrifying/whitening tango; (b) you should work to compensate the marginalised groups by making tango less ableist, patriarchal, oppressive, that is, by rejecting things like skill, social rules or manners, and sex roles; and (c) refusing to dance or excluding in any way minority groups like black women, homosexuals, transexuals or the disabled signals internalised systemic racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, etc.
Any resistance to the LGBTQ+ agenda in tango is to be met with resistance. Although I haven’t seen this happen yet I won’t be surprised if we see online and offline mobs protesting cisgender only tango events that follow the traditional codigos as oppressive and patriarchal, and calls for people who organise or participate in such events to be fired from jobs, cancelled from forums, etc.
To my mind the people on the AT scene who are politically on the centre or to the right of centre are like the proverbial boiling frog. The left is taking systematic steps to shift the Overton Window away from traditionalist discourse towards a discourse where the traditionalist attitudes are considered radical and unacceptable. Their strategy was developed by Herbert Marcuse in his essay “Repressive Tolerance” (1965), namely, to be intolerant towards the mainstream attitudes in order to establish their preferred leftist attitudes. As Marcuse puts it at the outset:
The conclusion reached is that the realization of the objective of tolerance would call for intolerance toward prevailing policies, attitudes, opinions, and the extension of tolerance to policies, attitudes, and opinions which are outlawed or suppressed. In other words, today tolerance appears again as what it was in its origins, at the beginning of the modern period–a partisan goal, a subversive liberating notion and practice. Conversely, what is proclaimed and practiced as tolerance today, is in many of its most effective manifestations serving the cause of oppression.
So what the left is doing is systematically seeking to repress the prevailing attitudes and to tolerate only the marginal attitudes, namely, the attitudes of feminists, homosexuals, LGBTQ+, blacks, etc. The goal is to repress and not tolerate the attitudes that represent the dominant mainstream population, to delegitimise those attitudes. This is the explicit program of the left and as far as I can see they are proceeding with this program unabated. I see only a few people are meekly expressing dissent only to be mobbed with so-called “liberal” attitudes or opinions, ie., opinions that are anti-ablism, anti-male, and pro-inclusivity. Characteristically masculine and achievement oriented attitudes are actively opposed and discouraged, and a feminine cognitive style is dominant and acceptable. There are instead explicitly political moves to “decolonise” tango, to normalise same-sex dancing and to rely less on men in the organisation of events. Any such moves in the opposite direction would be considered fascist, sexist, or white supremacist.
The neo-Marxist agenda for tango is being clearly defined and can be found on websites like those of Olaya Aramo who is a “Philosopher with a PhD on sociology of gender. Professional (queer) tango dancer and organizer and Contact Improvisation practitioner and researcher.” As I have mentioned previously (see eg., Postmodernism) universities today are in the business of destroying Western culture and a major tool that they have developed is the manipulation of language. You basically have an army of PhDs like Aramo in philosophy, sociology, gender studies and dance departments of universities who are getting government funding to write dissertations on how to turn tango into a postmodern, inclusive, therapeutic, vegan, anti-patriarchal, queer practice that transgresses gender roles blah blah blah. This is their goal and they’re busy organising and indoctrinating.
So here are some of Aramo’s proposals for destroying tango:
Politicise tango in terms of rich vs. poor
Aramo’s first workshop Class and gender in the origins of tango teaches participants that
politics are a constitutive part of the movement itself, making visible the contribution of marginalized social groups as poor migrants, people of color, prostitutes, as well as the processes of whitening, gentrification, and nationalization.
So tango was created by poor migrants, non-whites and prostitutes, and then it was “stolen” by rich white Argentine nationals. So what’s the solution? Reparations of course. Given that the participants are most likely affluent white people I guess the goal is to create a sense of guilt and self-loathing.
Convince people that tango was stolen from the blacks by evil whites in an act of “cultural appropriation” aka cultural theft
The workshop entitled Intersectional tango, black roots of tango and whitening processes in technique
traces a genealogy in the movements of tango, looking for its black roots based on ethnomusicological and ethnodancelogical research, and describing the process which led to the whitening of these roots through so-called professionalization and cultural appropriation during the nationalization of tango phase. It’s aimed for anyone interested in tango or cultural history, and it’s especially pertinent for intermediate and advanced tango dancers who can strongly feel these cultural influences functioning in their bodies.
It’s not clear (at least to me) that Aramo is not herself engaging in “professionalisation” and “cultural appropriation” but either way she clearly wants to convince tango dancers that when they are dancing tango their bodies are somehow participating in stealing black culture, at least that’s one interpretation of this Pomo gobbledygook.
Convince people that sex roles are a patriarchal ploy and an irrational bias and therefore need to be destroyed
In the “Gender roles and gender identity” workshop entitled Unrolling partner dance Aramo teaches that
The assumption of roles in popular partner dance is prejudice to be overcome. Today, we know that there’s no need to use the fixed roles of following and leading to dance any partnered dance. This assumption comes from a social construction about gender roles and it is not based on any technical impossibility of dancing differently. What do we have instead? We need to deepen in the practice of active listening or connection, where we find the essence of partnered dance itself. This skill can be developed through simple exercises brung [sic] from contact improvisation, where roles have never existed and can be applied to any form of popular partnered dances.
Of course it may be possible to dance without leading and following but that does not, without the further assumption of gender fluidity ideology, entail that we want to overcome gender roles. Amaro is not, however, concerned with such mundane questions as freedom of choice because clearly she simply takes it as given that gender roles need to be destroyed in favour of “pansensuality” because that what she wants and wants everyone to want, presumably because wanting gender differences is being an oppressed slave of the patriarchy.
Anyway, I think that this illustrates clearly enough the neo-Marxist strategy for destroying tango. One may follow the link and consult the remainder of this stuff, I don’t have a stomach for it. I think the problem is that people on the tango scene believe that this will be a separate thing away from the mainstream milonga scene, but I think that they are mistaken and that we are going to see increasingly aggressive incursions by neo-Marxists on the mainstream tango scene in the form of same-sex dancing, transgender, queer and lesser-abled people insisting on being included, various improvisational dancing and vocal criticism on and off TA forums of traditional norms as signs of the cultural appropriation and patriarchy. In fact, we are already seeing all of these but over time they will ramp up to the point where the milonga scene will be unrecognisable and will in all likelihood completely implode.
For now the neo-Marxist agenda is proceeding unabated in its “slow march through the institutions” as the communist strategist Antonio Gramsci put it. Unless I see enough people waking up to what is going on, taking the “red pill” and presenting a concerted resistance I no longer recommend participating AT. I am myself minimising my own participation and instead focusing on other hobbies that are safer for masculine European men. If you are a man with an interest in AT I suggest becoming an audiophile or a musician as these seem to be relatively safe spaces for men. These can lead to organising tango events away from the feminised, neo-Marxist ridden tango scene, and may open up the possibility of re-building an alternative, anti-PC tango scene. But for the time being tango dancing seems to be pretty much a high risk activity for men and to be generally in the process of destruction. This website, if it survives the neo-Marxist attack and does not get cancelled, is meant to serve as a message in the bottle for future generations who might be able to attempt to rebuild it.
August 6, 2020, Eastern Europe. Once again I attend a milonga at which talking to women is essentially getting a gender studies lecture on “machismo” and how female tango dancers in BA are revolting against machismo by wearing flat shoes. I then enjoy the spectacle of two same-sex couples, two women and two men, dancing milonguero style and when I mumble dissent to a woman she tells me that I have a “choice” and can be invited by a man with a cabeceo.
So we’ve progressed from a situation where a few months ago it was either same sex couples or a lecture on machismo and women wearing flat shoes. Now, it’s doubling up with all of those in one event. Just as I predicted above. So directionally speaking there will be a point where am I really participating in a queer/feminist event where traditional “cisgender” dancers are in an event really intended for flat shoes feminists, queer and gender fluid/transgender dancers. I’d say we’re at least a third of the way there if not further but give it a year or two. They’re hard at work on it in the gender studies and dance departments of universities and their project is moving according to plan.
Below is a great lecture from the the Mises Institute on socialism and what you can expect, including a discussion of Mises’s notion of socialist destructionism:
And here is a video of a partriachal “cisgendered” milonga, with plenty of “machismo”. Bring in the gender studies professors to set them right!