Of all the Cogniframes that have influenced the nations of the Earth, only Christianity could ever provide the sense of a universal Task and Goal which would enable a culture to transcend its locality and become global. Accordingly, European culture has indeed now become a world-culture. But recently Europe has been detaching itself from its Christian roots. It is now dominated by Humanism, and consequently is in decay. If this is not arrested there will be either a succumbing to a more vigorous culture, or a global breakdown of civilisation.
"A civilisation structured upon, and predicated upon, pathologies must disintegrate and perish."
John Norman, Rogue of Gor (1981) Chapter 24.
Civilisations rise and fall suddenly, but they decline slowly, so it is usually true, not mere nostalgia, that things are getting worse, and that the next generation is morally inferior to the previous. Yes, our parents thought the same about us, and their parents about them; and they were right!
The tide of Humanism seems to be rising even in China, in which case Taiji cannot "inherit the Earth". Apparently a poll of the Beijing population in 2009 showed over 30% for same-sex marriage, and where Beijing leads China as a whole will no doubt follow. The regime seems to think so, for although its current policy on sodomy is "no approval, no disapproval, no promotion", its position on same-sex marriage seems to be "not yet".
That leaves radical Islam as the likeliest successor. I think it too soon to say how likely this is. It is not a prospect that appeals to me, but it may be preferable to global breakdown.
This page consists mainly of explanations and examples of violations of duty (whether active commissions or negligent omissions) that in Europe are widely approved. It describes two sources of such violations.
Demoralisation involves abandonment of any cogniframe, leading to neglect of culture.
Humanism involves promotion of a false cogniframe, leading to distortion of culture.
"Europe" here includes European offshoots on other continents. It is shorthand for "the global West" or "the Western World".
Unless otherwise indicated, examples are from England.
For background, review Culture.
Unreflecting self-indulgence and ad hoc self-justification are widely approved. Recreational venery is an extreme form of this, but there are also more subtle forms. Often it is expressed in euphemisms like "having fun", "loving life" and "living life to the full". But occasionally the mask slips.
In a 2006 play (about Edward VIII) someone says "His feelings? What about his duty?" A Radio Times reviewer quoted this as an illustration of that character's "stuffiness". So there we have it: to place duty above inclination is to be stuffy. And who wants to be stuffy? Perhaps the reviewer only meant that the character was wrong about this specific duty, but it looks to me like an attack on the very notion of a duty that could trump personal "happiness".
In Sharon Horgan's and Dennis Kelly's Pulling, Donna explains that she deserted Karl because the fun had gone out of their relationship. I forget her exact words, but I recall those of Karl's mother, striving to understand: "So you ruined my son's life ... for fun?" The authors maybe saw this as no more than an amusing wordplay, but in fact it sums up a great deal. Sharon, interviewed regarding Pulling by Amy Raphael in The Guardian, 16 May 2009, explained that "I guess there isn't a moral centre because Dennis and I don't have one".
It is thought that "all's fair" if a couple are "in love", that is, have the right feelings. This state of feeling is romanticised as a supreme value.
"No matter what the gods or anyone else says, I know we are meant to be together."
Spoken by the hero Jason in the BBC's Atlantis, 11-Apr-2015. "Meant" by whom, one is bound to wonder, since "the gods" are to be disregarded. Presumably Destiny, to be respected so long as her decree is pleasing.
"[T]hough the 'right to happiness' is chiefly claimed for the sexual impulse, it seems to me impossible that the matter should stay there. The fatal principle, once allowed in that department, must sooner or later seep through our whole lives. We thus advance toward a state of society in which not only each man but every impulse in each man claims carte blanche. And then, though our technological skill may help us survive a little longer, our civilization will have died at heart, and will -- one dare not even add 'unfortunately' -- be swept away."
C. S. Lewis, We Have no 'Right to Happiness', 1963.
Lewis's prediction has increasingly become reality. Low ("coarse", "popular") culture has largely displaced high ("fine", "elite") culture. And that low culture is not the innocent old "folk" culture but a knowing, deliberately transgressive one epitomised by "rock" music with its persistent bestial beat.
Recently we had a Prime Minister who admitted preferring "rock" to "classical" music, and I am not aware that any of his successors has dared say otherwise.
This demoralisation leads to regarding painlessness as an aim in itself. This negative criterion leads to the conclusion that some folk are better dead.
Humanism's effects on the family
For background, review Family.
When the basic principles of the family are violated, cultural efforts are reduced to banality.
In recent centuries Europe, under the influence of the Humanist belief that the human will is the only standard of right and wrong, has been losing belief in any kind of fixed, divinely-appointed human nature. One casualty of this is, not only belief in Androcracy but also, worse still, any belief at all in a natural difference in the roles of the sexes, and men and women are now increasingly regarded as interchangeable in all important matters.
This is now routinely taken to such an extreme that any predonderance of one sex in any one occupation is seen as problematic.
Most women are strays.
Notwithstanding all the noise they have made, female Feminist zealots are not the primary perpetrators. Men have abdicated their regency, and women, like Eve, are victims of their neglect.
Where men are not obeyed they will be marginalised, and this has increasingly occurred.
We may have reduced maternal deprivation but there is now an epidemic of paternal deprivation.
Egalitarian beliefs have no power to prevent this. Since nature abhors a vacuum, the leadership inevitably swings to women. See Fatherhood.
The present "equality" is on paper only. For instance, the Divorce Act and the Children Act are fully Egalitarian in their wordings but English "courts" in their bias towards women have been blatantly flouting them since the 1960s and 1990s respectively.
Marginalisation often leads to vilification.
The only crime I can think of that (leaving aside redefinitions) can only be committed by men is rape, and sure enough rape has risen up the league table of execrated crimes, and now seems to be regarded as more severe than GBH, rivalling murder, sometimes even surpassing it. A 2017 internet search finds 154,000 hits for "rapists and murderers" and 152,000 for "murderers and rapists". In a 1998 interview for Radio Times, Faye Weldon mentioned that rape "isn't the worst thing that can happen to a woman if you're safe, alive and unmarked after the event", and received much opprobrium; Wikipedia says she "claimed" it, as if the point were doubtful, or as if any of her outraged denigratrices actually denied its truth, as opposed to wanting to suppress that truth.
Likewise, the "sexual offence" has been invented. Men are more likely than women to be driven to crime by venereal urges, so again here is an opportunity to say that if a man does something it is worse than if a woman does the same thing. The slogan "rape is rape" is intended to magnify the gravity of some relatively minor encroachments, even if it were true that all the instances intended really were rapes.
Again, consensual venery with 15-year-old girls is described as "child abuse" and statistically conflated as such, creating the impression of an epidemic of male monsters.
The "sexual harrassment" scare confuses action with motive and denigrates male venery. A man improperly stroking a woman is about as harmful as a woman scolding a man, but the former now attracts a storm of protest while the latter is winked at. The gravity of a gynarpazic aggression is measured not (as now widely supposed) by the absence of venereal response, but (as understood in the past) by its potential presence.
Anyone who upholds the Family is execrated.
On 03-May-2010 on BBC's Daily Politics, Ken Livingstone mentioned a man who prayed for folk to be healed of homoerotic urges as ipso facto an example of "unpleasant people".
On 23-Apr-2017 on ITV's Peston on Sunday, Liz Kendall called it "offensive" that Tim Farron had failed to pronounce the shiboleth that "sodomy is not a sin". Michael Gove, a "Conservative", seemed to agree with her.
In British mainstream television, a chaste character is always vicious or inept, and one who is generally virtuous and competent is always unchaste.
I see that the hero of Bones fornicated. As a good guy who was also a "Catholic", he presumably needed to, otherwise viewers might start thinking that it is possible to be heroic and celibate. (Good and celibate? Sure, so long as he is not too virile. Heroic and celibate? No way!) I guess America is not far behind us.
Married characters are not exceptions to this rule. The point is that chastity must not hinder venery. If this takes the form of marriage, fine. A hero can be celibate when deprived of his wife (because he has established his virility), while striving to gain his wife (because virility is driving him), and while preoccupied with saving the world, but not while at leisure with no specific woman in mind, because that implies a principled chastity.
An awareness of Androcracy as a viable principle may prompt doubts about the wisdom of Statism, so regimes miss no opportunity to undermine fatherhood.
The New Labour regime, especially, massively transferred income from men to women through "tax credits", and subsequent administrations have continued this.
The regime connive at their judges' reinterpretations (see above) of the Divorce and Children Acts. (They can hardly be unaware.)
Childcare is subsidised unless you do it yourself; absurd until we understand the hidden agenda. Ostensibly, paid childcare is subsidised because it boosts GDP. But it only has this effect because GDP excludes unpaid childcare. (Pointed out by Peter Lilley on the BBC's Any Questions, 22-Mar-2013. It may seem like a mere tautology, but it draws attention to the kind of reason that GDP is less useful as a measure of anything important than is usually supposed.)
Pregnancies are routinely aborted.
For background, review Human Fertility.
Many still sense the gravity of infanticide but not that of late abortion, and suppose that there is some basis for distinguishing morally between them. There is not, and unless someone knows of any culture that has maintained the distinction for long, we must assume that where the latter is prevalent the former will not be far behind, unless opinions change.
It is revealing that commentators who usually refer to unborn infants as "foetuses" tend to switch to calling them "babies" when they have been slain against the wishes of both parents, as for instance in a BBC News item around September 2008 on the Omagh bomb. In such cases the grotesquery of calling them foetuses is too glaring even for the BBC; the word is medically correct, but morally irrelevant. But does their moral status depend on who slew them?
The injustices of Statism are so rampant that it is almost harder to find examples of freedom than of encroachment.
Examples of regimes encroaching on men's domains meet us at every turn. Regimes declare among their aims, to be achieved by the use of force, "economic growth" and "welfare". Most of their victims approve, having come to expect regimes to "do something" about every problem.
"Something must be done. This is something. Therefore this must be done."
(Typical modern thinking.)
In Property I gave reasons to reject such encroachment in principle, and observation of the practical consequences of modern Statism corroborates that rejection.
Dirigism has undermined enterprise, and Welfarism has undermined folks' inclination to help one another voluntarily.
Examples are hardly needed, but I will mention that the BBC is institutionally not only Statist but Egalitarian.
"I'll be asking how to close the gap between rich and poor children."
John Humphries, on the BBC, 18-Sep-2010, pondering how to close the gap, not whether to close it or what the unintended consequences might be, let alone whether the regime is entitled to do it.
Recently Statist encroachment has taken a new, subtle form in what is known as "nudging", technically called Libertarian Paternalism.
Weak nudging (such as putting their preferred option at the top of the list) is innocent. Stronger forms (maybe we should call them "shove", such as making that preferred option the default, so that our consent is presumed unless we actively opt out) is not.
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