Saturday 24 January 2015

They wanted freedom - but they got... the sexual revolution instead


If you look back at the heady days of early radicalism - which can probably be dated to the Romantic movement as it emerged in Britain with the young Coleridge and Wordsworth, and spread to Germany, the United States (Transcendentalism) and eventually everywhere else; and of socialism, communism and Leftism in general- it was apparently fuelled by a desire for freedom.

This freedom came in many forms - freedom from Kings, slavery, the lash of economic need, 'established religion' and its prohibitions and restrictions, escape from alienation into happy community - the freedom of art, literature, science to develop where it would...

It was a very big package of freedoms which were hoped for.

But nearly always, sometimes covertly or explicitly, there was a desire for sexual freedom - which means escape from the responsibilities of marriage and family, the severing of sex from marriage, new kinds of sex with new kinds of people - in essence a situation where there was a lot more no-strings sex all-round - the actuality of this for the leaders of radicalism, and the hope of it for the masses.

As the decades went by, the demands for sexual revolution became ever stronger, the the demands for other kinds of freedom began to be sacrificed to these demands more and more ruthlessly - until we get to where we are now in which the sexual revolution is the only kind of freedom.

So now there is less freedom of worship, of speech, less autonomy of marriages and families, less freedom from arbitrary prosecution and punishment and contract-breaking, less economic freedom - and in general a society absolutely stuffed to over-full with laws and regulations.

But despite the soft-totalitarianism of the world, we do have pretty much that sexual liberty the radicals practised themselves and claimed as the 'right' of others.Sex is freed from marriage, conception, and offers always expanding possibilities.

Yet, because all other freedoms have, in practice, been sacrificed to the sexual revolution - what we actually have doesn't seem very revolutionary: radical sex defined and enforced by the state bureaucracy, by state-funded agencies, in compulsory schools and en-thralled colleges; and its advocates and exponents given money, status, awards and honours - indeed, in Britain, the sexual revolutionaries are routinely medalled and ennobled by the Queen.

It is a truly extraordinary situation, in which to practice and propagandize sex is regarded as an intrinsically admirable and indeed literally noble activity; in which sexual radicalism is compulsory - sex of almost any imaginable kind, it matters little or nothing; just so long as that sex being praised and imposed is not within a true marriage and does not lead to a stable, loving and 'free' family!



dfordoom said...

All of which was predicted by Huxley in Brave New World in 1931. He could see clearly that giving people sexual "freedom" was the most efficient way to get them to accept totalitarianism. And the totalitarianism of Brave New World is almost identical to today's version, including the complete destruction of family life which is always going to be the inevitable result of sexual freedom.

Amazing that Huxley warned against this in 1931 but we fell for it anyway.

Anonymous said...

Yes - very strange and very true. interesting post - thank you.

Porn addiction in any age and at any age, has seriously negative health and happiness implications. It will be interesting to watch how the sexperts handle it.

The pendulum WILL swing.

Nicholas Fulford said...

Actually sexual freedom is a member of the set of hedonistic freedoms.

The pursuit of pleasure as a social good was always piggybacking with the pursuit of freedom in general. The surpluses of time and wealth which accompanied the scientific and technological fruits of greater freedom was the enabler for our Mouse Utopia.

I suppose in retrospect it is a predictable thing that as less time is occupied in subsistence work, to pay the Red Queen her due at the most basic levels, that the pleasure seeking behaviours would fill the space provided. Without a philosopher-king we get the decadence of Mouse Utopia. And that is really the Achilles's Heel of Western society.

How do we now extricate ourselves from being pleasure junkies?

If freedom is to have meaning, it needs to be directed towards the creating and sustaining of a greater good, and this can be twisted into a greater evil - as is seen through the problem of disenfranchised. angry and idealistic youth who fall into the trap of jihadism. (Thankfully - so far - their numbers are few, but that there are any at all should be as a klaxon to our complacency.) Anger, disengagement and meaninglessness open the path to the One ring.

One ring to rule them all,
One ring to find them;
One ring to bring them all,
and in the darkness bind them.

Hence, the pursuit of pleasure becomes the path that leads to bondage, decay, and darkness. The ring of pleasure in our noses - draws us an ox is drawn - to enslavement and despair.

A dearth of meaning amidst a garden of delights, where the shadows of addiction and decay are hidden behind the masks of pleasure. If this is the state to which the Enlightenment has brought us, then we have a very big problem.

Bruce Charlton said...

Robert Marchenoir comments:

And yet, men need taboos.

It was once considered beyond the pale to discuss sex, at least outside certain strictly defined bounds.

Now, it's the opposite. It's not discussing sex that has become disgusting, or downright illegal. At least, it can seriously inconvenience you.


But as I said, men need taboos. So, sex has been replaced by race. Raising the issue of race in public is now met with the sort of social stigma that once greeted discussing the subject of sex.

Which is quite appropriate, in a way, since race is but another expression of sexuality.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Citadel and TD - Thank you for your comments.

josh said...

E. Michael Jones wrote a long book on this titled: "Libido Dominande"