progressing beyond conservatism

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According to Michael Lind, technological progress killed social conservatism as "social traditionalists who claimed to be a 'moral majority' in the United States in the 1980s are acting like an embattled, declining minority in the second decade of the 21st century:"

Many paranoid social conservatives blame the triumph of moral liberalism on a conspiracy of sinister secular humanists, using the media and the public schools to indoctrinate their children and grandchildren in a godless morality. But the truth is that social conservatism has been undermined by technological progress, which has increased the opportunities for freedom in matters of sex and censorship while raising the costs of enforcing traditional norms.

Noting that "The pill did more to undermine traditional sexual morality than an imaginary secular humanist conspiracy could have done," Lind notes the effects of other freedom-increasing technologies:

Once most Americans stopped listening to priests, preachers and rabbis who seek to prescribe what married couples do in bed, it was only a matter of time before they stopped paying attention to clerical rules about what anyone does in bed.

He concludes that:

The cultural revolution of recent decades does not mean Americans are less moral than they were in the ages of speak-easies and corner bordellos and vaudeville strip shows. They are just less hypocritical.

and suggests that conservatives stop trying to force the rest of us into their peculiar closets. "Short of reversing the industrial revolution, emptying the cities and restoring agrarian society," he writes, "the best hope for social conservatives is to retreat to minority enclaves like those of the Amish:"

On self-created reservations they can raise their children as they see fit, segregated from mainstream culture and visited, perhaps, by morally liberal tourists nostalgic for an older, simpler way of life.

Solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short? No thanks.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on May 22, 2012 6:38 PM.

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