Where the modern sexual freak show comes from

October 29, 2015 § 103 Comments

It is actually rather difficult to get regular, salt of the earth human beings to stop believing in objective reality.  But nevertheless, when you look around at the modern sexual freak show, you can see that it is a result of lots of ordinary human beings denying the existence of an objective sexual reality which transcends subjective human perceptions and preferences.  I could give examples, I suppose, but things are so perversely surreal there is simply no need.

Getting regular salt of the earth people to stop believing in reality takes generations of inculturation.  It requires introducing anti-realism into their everyday lives in a basic way which involves their constant participation: through a pervasive process in which opting out is simply not reasonable or even possible for most people.

This could never have come about through sex on its own, because sex is too private a thing.  But most men simply cannot isolate themselves from the world economically.  There has to be food on the table and a roof overhead.

Which is why when the Diabolical decided to introduce and cultivate anti-realism broadly throughout human society, he did not choose sex as his entry point. The destruction of sex and marriage was a strategic achievement: a prize, not the race itself — a prize which could not have been achieved without centuries of preceding indoctrination in economic anti-realism, with usury at its center. Combined with a moderate liberalism riddled with plenty of unprincipled ‘common sense’ exceptions as the public creed, centuries of anti-realist indoctrination of everyman in his immersion in economic life set the stage for the present freak show.

§ 103 Responses to Where the modern sexual freak show comes from

  • Elspeth says:

    Jeez Louise, Zippy! My email overfloweth with your thought provoking and interesting posts! My brain runs to keep up, but you are on a roll, sir. I appreciate your perspective. This:

    This could never have come about through sex on its own, because sex is too private a thing. But most men simply cannot isolate themselves from the world economically. There has to be food on the table and a roof overhead.

    Which is why when the Diabolical decided to introduce and cultivate anti-realism broadly throughout human society, he did not choose sex as his entry point. The destruction of sex and marriage was a strategic achievement: a prize, not the race itself — a prize which could not have been achieved without centuries of preceding indoctrination in economic anti-realism, with usury at its center.

    Never would have considered it if not for reading here. Good thoughts, and it makes sense.

  • Kidd Cudi says:

    Much more convincing. Merits consideration.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    I take it as a matter of faith in revelation that greed, lust, and idolatry are of a piece. The places in the Bible which warn against idolatry are surrounded by passages warning against greed, miserliness, usury, and lust; and vice versa. Sometimes the headings of such sections have been labelled by the translators as “miscellaneous”; which I think is misleading because there is, to me, an obvious implication that error in one of these ways leads to error in another. Here the connection is explicit:

    “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”

    But it seems to me that your theory that there is a one way path from usury to sexual freak show did not occur in one direction, and also that you have given undue credit to salt of the earth people. Though, I could be misunderstanding who you mean by that; whether you mean Regular Joe, or you mean those who are Jesus’ salt of the earth.

    How far back does this particular conspiracy go? I am ready to cosign on “all the way back to the Genesis”, but I read you to mean something else in particular; the Jesuits, Lombards, the Enlightenment, Victorian Era, Turn of the Century, whathaveyou. Do you have a specific time-range or influence in mind?

    The evidence, as far as I can tell, is that neither the freak show nor usury are particularly modern and have frequently (perhaps always) been widespread plagues of mankind. (My understanding of usury is different from you, but I don’t think it matters for the purposes of this discussion as long as we both agree that charging illicit interest is objectively evil.)

    Now that I think about it: It seems to me that your idea of modernity is itself very modern.

  • Svar says:

    Sometimes things can morph into the opposite of what they once were. One example of a realist organization going from reality to unreality would be the Freemasons. The original masons were a Scottish Jacobite fraternal organization and when that organization spread to the Continent and Latin America, it became a Jacobin organization. In America, otoh, it’s just a fraternity for older men with the mission of drinking and with the side-habit of charity.

    I guess my point is regarding this: “Combined with a moderate liberalism riddled with plenty of unprincipled ‘common sense’ exceptions as the public creed, centuries of anti-realist indoctrination of everyman in his immersion in economic life set the stage for the present freak show.”

    What I’m trying to say is that the Traditional Conservatism of the Paleoconservatives (who are truly conservative not right-liberals like the Trotskyist NeoCons) looks to the American founders like Washington, Jefferson, and Hamilton in the same way that the Romans looked to Romulus and Remus and the ancient Anglo Saxons looked to Hengist and Horsa (as did the founders of America did themselves). While the Founders were steeped in a moderate liberalism like that of Edmund Burke and not the radical Enlightenment ideals of Thomas Paine and Alexander Voltaire, the fruits of many of these moderate Classical Liberal founders ended up being quite right-wing such as the agrarian, nativist and isolationist views of Jefferson, the protectionism of Andrew Jackson, and the nationalist views of Hamilton. It’s these views that form the worldview and political platform of the paleoconservatives who are truly an authentic right-wing tradition within America.

    Of course you and the European right wingers (like Spengler, Evola, Schmitt et al) are completely right in that the free-market liberals (19th century liberals and modern libertarians) and Marxist differ only superficially as they are both equally economically reductionist. Neither libertarianism nor neoconservativism (which is basically a Americanized, war-mongering version of Trotskyism) are a part of any genuine Right Wing tradition.

    We do however have an authentic American conservatism.

  • Zippy says:

    Cane:

    But it seems to me that your theory that there is a one way path from usury to sexual freak show did not occur in one direction, …

    Every discussion of historical narrative and cause is necessarily a simplification/generalization. The map is not — cannot be — the territory.

    …and also that you have given undue credit to salt of the earth people.

    Keep in mind that I did not suggest that it is difficult to convince ordinary people (people who have to work to live, as opposed to academics, politicians, and slackers like me) to sin. I suggested that it is difficult to get ordinary people to stop believing in objective reality.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    I wrote “It seems to me that your idea of modernity is itself very modern.”, but perhaps it would have been clearer for me to write: It seems to me that you have a modern view of the temptations of sin and human nature; that they are different just now.

  • Svar says:

    “Now that I think about it: It seems to me that your idea of modernity is itself very modern.”

    Cane Caldo brings up a good point. You can ask 10 men what modernity is and get 14 answers. What is modernity according to you Zippy? To me, it’s the world after the Industrial Revolution which was such a drastic change from the previous technological advances (the Neolithic Revolution, the Bronze Age, the Iron Age) that mankind has had a very maladaptive way of deal with it.

  • Zippy says:

    Cane:

    It seems to me that you have a modern view of the temptations of sin and human nature; that they are different just now.

    Not at all. My post isn’t about some historical vector where people became more fallen or more likely to sin. My post is about a historical vector which led ordinary people to embrace metaphysical anti-realism.

  • Svar says:

    ” My post is about a historical vector which led ordinary people to embrace metaphysical anti-realism.”

    Is this a unique situation in the history of mankind?

  • Zippy says:

    Svar:

    Is this a unique situation in the history of mankind?

    Some people disbelieve in change; others don’t believe in anything but change.

    I believe that we’ve got hundreds of millions of abortions worldwide, nation-state sanctioned ‘gay marriage’, and health insurance companies paying doctors to do transsexual surgeries while refusing to care for people with terminal illnesses. Just as a couple of off-the-very-top-of-my-head examples.

    So yes, there are at least a few nontrivial things about the current situation / freak show which are unique to our time.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    Zippy:

    Keep in mind that I did not suggest that it is difficult to convince ordinary people (people who have to work to live, as opposed to academics, politicians, and slackers like me) to sin. I suggested that it is difficult to get ordinary people to stop believing in objective reality.

    Sure, but you also wrote:

    Getting regular salt of the earth people to stop believing in reality takes generations of inculturation. It requires introducing anti-realism into their everyday lives in a basic way which involves their constant participation: through a pervasive process in which opting out is simply not reasonable or even possible for most people.

    This could never have come about through sex on its own, because sex is too private a thing. But most men simply cannot isolate themselves from the world economically. There has to be food on the table and a roof overhead.

    Which is why when the Diabolical decided to introduce and cultivate anti-realism broadly throughout human society, he did not choose sex as his entry point.

    In other words: Ordinary people have fallen into widespread sexual sin (the “modern sexual freak show”) because their ability to recognize objective reality has been compromised; specifically through an institutional prison-and-torture scheme of and by usury. Right?

    I understand that the map is not the territory. It remains that you clearly stated that there was a specific conspiracy to attain a specific prize of corrupting human sexuality.

    I also understand that you’re not talking about sin. (That’s my boggle, citizen.) The implication is that anti-realism is the source of the sexual freak show, and therefore by strong implication that people are in fact more likely to sin. If that’s not true, then the idea of a show that is distinctly modern and distinctly freak</i (but not distinctly sinful) is misleading.

    My post is about a historical vector which led ordinary people to embrace metaphysical anti-realism.

    Let me ask it this way: When did the first modern Winston Smiths (distinct from the previous Winston Smiths) live who were made to cry “I love usury!” for the specific purpose of creating a sexual freak show?

  • Zippy says:

    Cane:

    In other words: Ordinary people have fallen into widespread sexual sin (the “modern sexual freak show”) because their ability to recognize objective reality has been compromised …

    Not sexual sin in general, but the specific character of the modern anti-realist sexual freak show, yes. Are you suggesting that there is just nothing whatsoever unique about the modern sexual revolution at all? Because I definitely disagree with that.

    It remains that you clearly stated that there was a specific conspiracy …

    I’m pretty sure that I didn’t use (and would not have used) the word ‘conspiracy’; so I’m not sure you actually know what it means.

  • Svar says:

    I guess you can say that things always change but the root causes always stay the same.

    It was King Solomon who said that there is nothing new underneath the sun. The same sort of poz we see today was around in Rome, Persia and other great civilizations. Rome had all sorts of queer emperors towards the end, I remember a few homosexuals, a proto-tranny/transvestite/woman-wannabe, and a horse-banger off the top of my head. Caesar was their last hope and we know what happened to him.

  • Zippy says:

    Svar:

    Are you adopting the position, then, that the current modern sexual revolution has nothing whatsoever unique about its character? It is all just the same old same old?

    If that is the case then I’m not sure what I could possibly say. My lying eyes don’t agree.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    (I am very sorry that I have to go to work just now.)

    Zippy:

    I’m pretty sure that I didn’t use (and would not have used) the word ‘conspiracy’; so I’m not sure you actually know what it means.

    I didn’t mean to malign or cast aspersions. Plot would work just as well.

    Are you suggesting that there is just nothing whatsoever unique about the modern sexual revolution at all? Because I definitely disagree with that.

    I’m suggesting I don’t know, but more importantly that it seems very possible that the uniqueness is the depth of paint.

    I am thunderstruck to contemplate the sexual freaks of Sodom, (The open rape of a woman on a porch–to death–because they couldn’t rape a man?) or the regular immolation of live children to Moloch. We don’t see those “paints” now, but are they differently underneath?

  • Zippy says:

    Cane:

    Plot would work just as well.

    Well, no, not really; not if you are saying that I was postulating some human plot or conspiracy. That would be a misreading of my post.

    I do believe in the demonic, but for the record I don’t actually have a strong position on whether this was some actual demonic plot or simply the unfolding of human history.

    …it seems very possible that the uniqueness is the depth of paint.

    I am perfectly willing to let folks use their own lying eyes to determine whether there is or is not any specific difference in character between the modern global sexual revolution and various historical accounts of specific events and persons in specific places. If your impression is that this is all just the same old, same old – despite having eyes to see and a mind to think similar to my own – then I don’t think I could say anything to disabuse you of it.

  • Svar says:

    “Are you adopting the position, then, that the current modern sexual revolution has nothing whatsoever unique about its character? It is all just the same old same old?

    If that is the case then I’m not sure what I could possibly say. My lying eyes don’t agree.”

    I myself am not sure. Back then your average everyday Romans were committing acts of contraception and abortion and the old Greek sin of pederasty was making a comeback. Then just like now, most people weren’t chopping off their bits in a desperate bid to be something they’re not.

    In what ways is the modern sexual revolution different?

  • Svar says:

    ” I don’t actually have a strong position on whether this was some actual demonic plot or simply the unfolding of human history.”

    My position is that the demonic plot has already been implemented when the World-Serpent tempted Eve and indirectly Adam. Everything we see now has that event as it’s root cause.

  • Zippy says:

    I often encounter people who say “hey, it is just the Fall, sinners gonna sin — nothing to see here, move along”.

    Again, I don’t really have anything to say to those folks, and I’m not sure why they even comment on my posts.

  • Svar says:

    No, I am not pushing a certain viewpoint, I’m asking you a question. In what ways is the modern sexual revolution different?

  • Zippy says:

    Svar:
    I consider that line of questioning too ludicrous to spend my time entertaining it.

  • Svar says:

    No I am 100% serious. I really want to know the differences between the sexual chaos today and that of previous ages. As in, how are they different qualitatively? Is it the origin of the modern sexual revolution? (I don’t know what you consider it to be) The degree of the chaos?

    I know that the modern sexual revolution was a product of the machinations of the Frankfurt School which lends credence to the view that it was a manmade conspiracy (which doesn’t rule out direct demonic involvement in the least).

  • Zippy says:

    I was 100% serious in my previous comment too.

  • imnobody00 says:

    @Svar

    I am not Zippy but I think he could agree with me about the explanation below (maybe I am wrong though)

    I guess the modern sexual revolution has a nominalist root that was absent in ancient debaucheries, where people had a metaphysical realism.

    Examples abound. People are not men and women. In fact, there are not two sexes but as many genders as people want to believe.

    Fetus are not human beings. A man who thinks he is a woman IS a woman (even if he has a penis) and you can’t say otherwise because you are evil if you don’t agree.

    Two homosexuals committing sodomy is a marriage and so on and so forth.

    The features of nominalism are evident 1) universals are only names. So a marriage is whatever we want to say marriage 2) There is no trascendent standard and categories. (such as two sexes) 3) The will (rather than reason or reality) is the rule to judge all things. So, if I think I am a woman, I am a woman

  • Svar says:

    So basically you’re saying that you think today’s sexual revolution is different but everyone should just know why it is so because it’s just that obvious that it doesn’t need explanation or proof of why this is obviously so.

    You’re the only one making a concrete claim that you are apparently absolutely certain about here and your response to anyone asking for elaboration is basically the equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and screaming “I CAN’T HEAR YOU! I CAN’T HEAR YOU!!”

  • Svar says:

    “I am not Zippy but I think he could agree with me about the explanation below (maybe I am wrong though)

    I guess the modern sexual revolution has a nominalist root that was absent in ancient debaucheries, where people had a metaphysical realism.

    Examples abound. People are not men and women. In fact, there are not two sexes but as many genders as people want to believe.

    Fetus are not human beings. A man who thinks he is a woman IS a woman (even if he has a penis) and you can’t say otherwise because you are evil if you don’t agree.

    Two homosexuals committing sodomy is a marriage and so on and so forth.

    The features of nominalism are evident 1) universals are only names. So a marriage is whatever we want to say marriage 2) There is no trascendent standard and categories. (such as two sexes) 3) The will (rather than reason or reality) is the rule to judge all things. So, if I think I am a woman, I am a woman”

    Okay, that explains alot. In your opinion, where does this root begin? Cultural Marxism is the obvious culprit here but what about Bolshevism and Classical Liberalism? These last two types of liberals did mostly adhere to a sort metaphysical realism regarding things like men and women and homosexuality with a few exceptions. I’m not seeing an obvious correlation beyond the fact that Cultural Marxism is Bolshevism turned away from issues of class and towards issues of sexuality and other non-class issues, basically a union between Freudianism and Marxism.

  • Zippy says:

    Svar:
    In the first place, whether ancient Rome was or was not exactly precisely the same as now or not is entirely irrelevant to the thesis of the OP. The suggestion that someone in the ancient past got just exactly the same kind of cancer as the current patient is completely beside the point of a causal account of how the current patient in fact developed cancer.

    In the second place, I really actually don’t have anything to say to someone who can’t tell any qualitative difference between the present world and ancient Rome. There just aren’t any words that can help bridge the gap.

  • vishmehr24 says:

    “All that could be denied would be denied”-Chesterton wrote a hundred years ago. And thus truisms would be converted to dogma.
    A truism is a common-sensical truth that is accepted by virtually all.
    Such as two men can not marry.
    But the moderns deny this truism but the Church affirms them still and thus they become dogma. (A dogma is a truism that has been denied).

    So, this is clear enoughThe modern world denies a host of truism that were never denied. There was always sin but it was known as sin.

    How does usury figure into this–is more hard to say. Another possible candidate is the transvaluation that occured in 18c with greed being recognized as a social good.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    Zippy:

    If your impression is that this is all just the same old, same old – despite having eyes to see and a mind to think similar to my own – then I don’t think I could say anything to disabuse you of it.

    Why are you being ornery? For someone who especially hates misrepresentation of what you have said, you are too free in committing it yourself. Immolating children to Moloch and openly raping strangers to death is not “same old same old sin”, and I didn’t present it as such. That was my point. Really awful sins–including sexual freak shows–aren’t peculiar to modernity. If you didn’t get that it’s not because I’ve failed to grasp the evil of our times, but because you have failed to grasp ancient ones.

    We should all rely on our lying eyes, but while our lying eyes have seen some of the modern sexual freak show, they did not observe any of the ancient ones. So it is not the case that anyone of today’s lying eyes can unfailingly compare and contrast now with then. We need our minds. That’s why I asked you the question you have refused to answer.

    And for a person who hates mind-reading over the Internet… You have not read my mind, and you don’t know what may change it. Things move strangely in here. My suggestion (as the owner of my mind) is to answer my question about when you believe this particular introduction and cultivation of anti-realism (by humans, demons, or the unfolding human nature, and which led directly and strategically towards the prize that is the modern sexual freak show) began.

  • Zippy says:

    Cane:
    That (some) human beings have committed terrible atrocities throughout all of recorded history isn’t actually news to anyone. And that all human beings have sinned throughout all of recorded history is also not news. So carrying on as if it actually were news to anyone is actually rather insulting to my intelligence and the intelligence of my other readers, and comes across to me (whether intended to or not) as polluting the discussion with deliberate failure to get the point.

    … answer my question about when you believe this particular introduction and cultivation of anti-realism (by humans, demons, or the unfolding human nature, and which led directly and strategically towards the prize that is the modern sexual freak show) began.

    It is always difficult to pinpoint specific origins in the history of wicked ideas, but many would trace the roots of anti-realism to the nominalism of William of Ockham.

  • … health insurance companies paying doctors to do transsexual surgeries while refusing to care for people with terminal illnesses.

    Satan has a sense of humor

  • Elspeth says:

    I had a thought, which in fact isn’t my thought but was ripped off from man.

    It seems as if there is a debate here between whether things are markedly worse so far as the human condition goes, or whether it’s simply a question of “New look! Same great taste!”

    I think it is most likely both. It’s true that there is no temptation such as which is common to man. But also, there is no question that scripture teaches that the closer we get to the end, the worse mankind will get. I believe Paul said (I’m a KJVer): “Men will wax worse and worse.” This indicates that there is a scale down which we are sliding.

    Homosexuality, for example, was only recently removed as a bona fide mental illness and even the most pagan faiths understood that marriage was a man-woman deal for procreation and certain things were abnormal. In fact, if I remember my history correctly, the more economically comfortable a culture was, the more likely you were to see the restraints thrown off. The dark nature of man seems to come out of hiding on a mass scale when the two lowest levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs are satisfied.

    So at the risk of sounding like I’m talking out of both sides, both arguments have merit but Zippy’s seems to fall into line best with what we know about the merging of history and human nature. I am reminded of what Spurgeon said concerning the “conflict” between free will and God’s sovereignty:

    The system of truth is not one straight line, but two. No man will ever get a right view of the gospel until he knows how to look at the two lines at once. I am taught in one book to believe that what I sow I shall reap: I am taught in another place, that “it is not of him that willeth nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.”

    I see in one place, God presiding over all in providence; and yet I see, and I cannot help seeing, that man acts as he pleases, and that God has left his actions to his own will, in a great measure.

    Now, if I were to declare that man was so free to act, that there was no presidence of God over his actions, I should be driven very near to Atheism; and if, on the other hand, I declare that God so overrules all things, as that man is not free enough to be responsible, I am driven at once into Antinomianism or fatalism.

    That God predestines, and that man is responsible, are two things that few can see. They are believed to be inconsistent and contradictory; but they are not. It is just the fault of our weak judgment. Two truths cannot be contradictory to each other.

    It seems that this is a similar “conflict”, whether the sin nature of man can grow worse while being of the same original essence.

    For future reference Zippy, I need ask: Is this a manosphere blog?

  • Zippy says:

    Elspeth:

    For future reference Zippy, I need ask: Is this a manosphere blog?

    I leave it to others to categorize my views and my writing. My blogging activities involve interactive expression and development of my personal views and understanding of various subjects in which I take an interest. I have no policies other than that, as my blog, I reserve the authority to do with it as I see fit.

  • Zippy says:

    Elspeth:

    It seems as if there is a debate here between whether things are markedly worse so far as the human condition goes, or whether it’s simply a question of “New look! Same great taste!”

    I actually think that is irrelevant to the subject of the OP, because people are reading a claim that things are uniquely worse than they have ever been into the OP.

    That claim comes from inside their heads though, not my actual words. Pointing out the cause of this disease in this patient isn’t a claim about other cases of disease in other patients. Pointing out the cause of this war isn’t a claim about other wars.

    Folks are extrapolating from the haecceity of my claim to other things that I have not actually said, at least in the OP, though I may have allowed the misperception of some commenters to distract me in the comments.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    Zippy:

    Thanks for answering my question.

    Pointing out the cause of this disease in this patient isn’t a claim about other cases of disease in other patients. Pointing out the cause of this war isn’t a claim about other wars.

    Makes sense to me. This is where an (at least vague) demarcation of histories becomes a useful way to show that you are talking about this patient, but not that patient; this war, but not that war. There is a lot of overlap in wars, strategies, and combatants.

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  • Zippy says:

    To be fair to Ockham, it may be worth mentioning that what I term anti-realism may (at least according to authorities on Aristotle) extend all the way back to Aristotle. I have been told numerous times that human artifacts are not substances strictly speaking but are merely the projection of human perceptions and preferences onto collections of accidents. If that is a correct reading of Aristotle then it is an at least Paleozoic form of the kind of anti-realism that I reject, since in my view no actual property is fully reducible to nothing but a projection of human perceptions and preferences onto a collection of accidents.
    Of course that could be an unfair reading of Aristotle. But I expect that anti-realism has been around in at least a nascent form for all of human history. What is unique about the present age is that Everyman has been convinced to adopt anti-realism as his unspoken presumptive metaphysic.

  • vishmehr24 says:

    “human artifacts are not substances strictly speaking”
    What is a substance?

  • Zippy says:

    vishmehr24:
    An Aristotlean substance is a hylemorphic unity of matter and substantial form, or something like that. Substances are distinguished from properties (which proceed from a thing’s substantial form but are not themselves its substantial form) and accidents, and especially from artifacts made by human beings. Substances have intrinsic meaning; artifacts (on this account) have only the meaning that human beings assign to them. Ed Feser’s book Aquinas contains a good short introduction, and I have discussed/debated the subject with Ed Feser both here and at What’s Wrong with the World.

  • vishmehr24 says:

    . “Substances have intrinsic meaning;”
    Take the substance “water” for instance. What intrinsic meaning does it have?
    I do not get the connection to “meaning”. To me a substance is a thing that acts by itself.

  • Zippy says:

    vishmehr24:
    You’d be better off asking an expert on Aristotleanism about the meaning of Aristotleanism. I was asked by Cane Caldo where, historically, metaphysical anti-realism qua bad idea comes from. I proposed Ockham’s nominalism and even possibly the Aristotlean account of artifacts as non-substances.

    Whether anti-realism with respect to artifacts is an accurate understanding of Aristotle’s thought, or just a fairly obvious error which misconstrues Aristotlean thought in a way in which it is easy to misconstrue, is something I’m happy to leave to experts on Aristotle to explain.

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  • GJ says:

    Which is why when the Diabolical decided to introduce and cultivate anti-realism broadly throughout human society, he did not choose sex as his entry point. The destruction of sex and marriage was a strategic achievement: a prize, not the race itself — a prize which could not have been

    Anti-realism is key, but it is abstract and not the proximate factor. The line is more easily drawn when considering what is the common blinkers that prevent people from even considering any possibility of evil: Consent.

    If both parties give Consent, then what evil is there in sexual freakdom?

    If both parties give Consent, then what evil is there in usury? (I.e., is it not like other contracts?)

  • GJ says:

    Of course, it is at the heart of contemporary anti-reality to construe mere human consent into what it is not.

  • GJ says:

    Once man was successfully blinded to a grave evil by Consent, he became vulnerable to evils in all areas of life involving Consent.

  • Zippy says:

    GJ:
    Making consent or choice morally dispositive is convertible into moral anti-realism: the good isn’t a given reality, it is what we choose.

  • Mike T says:

    Consent is also tailor-made as a platform for making the issue into whatever you want because it is very much open to “it depends on what the definition of ‘is’ is” these days. There are now feminists and white knights who literally think that if a woman who is a) sober, b) of sound mind and c) known to be ordinarily competent in her handling of her life finds out a man tricked her into having sex, it should be considered rape by virtue of “consent under false pretense.”

  • Terry Morris says:

    NB to Gamers:

    There are now feminists and white knights who literally think that if a woman … finds out a man tricked her into having sex, it should be considered rape by virtue of “consent under false pretense.”

    The a), b), and c) stipulations in Mike T’s original comment above will most assuredly disappear over time; whereas the feminists and white knights Mike speaks of will, just as assuredly, increase in numbers, power and influence.

    You have been warned.

  • donnie says:

    Terry Morris,

    I’m pretty sure the “Gamers” are already aware. Maybe not your average fornicating bachelor, but anyone who considers himself to have “swallowed the Red Pill” certainly is. These kind of facts don’t change anyone’s mind, let alone anyone’s behavior.

    I don’t know what it is about fornication, but there is practically no way you can persuade a man to stop by pointing out the risks and potential downsides. Disease, pregnancy, false rape allegations, none of that stuff makes a dent. Honestly you’d have better luck persuading men to stop watching porn and masturbating, because at least most men still feel a tinge of shame about being enslaved to those vices!

    Actually, now that I type this, I think much of the problem isn’t the fact that men rarely feel ashamed of fornicating. I think a bigger part of the problem is that most men feel ashamed when they are not fornicating. It is likely this shame of giving up sex, combined with the pride felt when one “wins” a sexual conquest, that makes this sin so immune to rational risk aversion.

  • Zippy says:

    Agreed donnie: fornication confers status on men in our perverse society, because it concretely demonstrates the approval of women.

  • donnie says:

    Zippy,

    To be fair though, hasn’t fornication always demonstrated the approval of women and conveyed status on men since time immemorial?

  • Zippy says:

    donnie:

    I’m not an historian of fornication by any means, but my impression is that at least some traditional societies viewed incontinent men as foolish, weak, and low status; the approval of loose whores as worthless; etc.

  • donnie says:

    Zippy,

    Not sure what traditional societies you refer to, but in medieval Christendom fornication was rampant. Prelates from Exeter to Acre to Wildeshausen lamented in their writings how nearly everyone was committing fornication, that people were more prone to this sin than any other, and that practically no one believed it to be a sin. In 1287 Rome formally condemned the belief that fornication was neither a sin nor a crime as a heresy, but it hardly made any difference. Almost a hundred years later St. Vincent Ferrer famously opined that all men lost their virginity by the age of 15.

    All of this persisted despite the Church working hard to make Her position clear. Ecclesiastical courts would require male fornicators to provide the unmarried women they defiled with dowries, and make reparation for their offense. Fines were routinely imposed against fornicators, as were whippings, and so was participation in penitential processions. All of this was commonplace for lower ecclesiastical courts so even the dimmest of medieval peasants had no excuse not to know the Church’s position on fornication. And yet, whatever the Church might have said or done about it, there was clearly widespread social tolerance of male fornication in the medieval world.

    If there were some traditional societies that viewed incontinent men as foolish, weak, and low status, they weren’t common in Christendom.

  • Zippy says:

    donnie:

    Commonplace and high status aren’t the same thing, and in non-democratic societies tend to be inversely correlated.

  • Zippy says:

    It is an old argument, really: do whores confer status or does status attract whores? Which came first, the swarming whores or the status?

    I think the latter is generally the case, and only a perverse egalitarian respect for the worthless opinions of whores makes this seem less than obvious.

  • Mike T says:

    It is an old argument, really: do whores confer status or does status attract whores? Which came first, the swarming whores or the status?

    Women qua women value male status highly. Whores may react different than other women, but you are kidding yourself if you think the average woman isn’t status-oriented. If they weren’t, there would be no shortage of career women happily marrying lower-paid blue collar men who are stand up men. In reality, those men are invisible to them or are rationalized to be scumbags or what have you.

    I see this happening with women in my own social circle. “Who is [*sarcastic*effing…*sarcastic*] me, where have all the good men gone?” These are actually chaste women. Problem is, they’re not going to go from making a lot of money to couponing on half the income they’re accustomed to on their own.

  • Mike T says:

    Affirmative action for women was not only always unjust, but actually discivilizational in its impact. It’s not for nothing that Vox Day noted that the modern workplace is evolving into a sort of secular, sexualized nunnery for unmarriageable women.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    … but you are kidding yourself if you think the average woman isn’t status-oriented …

    I don’t know what you are responding to. That women are generally attracted to status the way that men are attracted to a nice figure isn’t contested. What is contested is whether incontinent fornication universally increases a man’s social status or if this is only the case in some perverse societies. It is a question of whether, among peers, incontinent fornication with sluts universally increases a man’s social status.

  • Mike T says:

    if this is only the case in some perverse societies.

    Donnie’s comment about fornication is a good answer. “Some societies” is actually really “all societies” as there has likely never been a truly “pious society” larger than a commune.

    Even “good women” tend to like men who are “good with women” just like “good men” will like beautiful women who they have no business pursuing.

    A church-going good woman might not want the attention of an obvious cad, but if one who has a measure of style and self-control over his image pursues her it could very well be a different story. Just like a good man might not want an obvious, broken whore who is beautiful, but if a troubled, very feminine and gorgeous woman enters his life and doesn’t act like an obvious whore he can rationalize to himself that she is something she isn’t.

    IMO the real divider is that a “pious society” requires these people to at least fly their freak flag at half mast or conceal it, whereas a “perverse one” simply lets people act freely according to their will and nature.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    I wasn’t thinking merely “pious”: incontinence in an earlier age could easily get you put down like a rabid dog, if you weren’t lucky enough to suffer mere banishment. And if flying your freak flag has to be repressed to maintain status then the notion that flying it is high status is incoherent.

    I suspect – though again I am not an historian of fornication so this is just a suspicion – that there are modern prejudices at work here: our society loves perverts, therefore all societies must love perverts. Only religious fundies (the “pious”) sometimes manage to suppress the status of perverts, and that is a highly artificial situation not a natural social state.

    Again I suspect that this is just horseshit: the self aggrandizement of a sexually perverted society which sees itself as the universal norm rather than as degenerate. E. Michael Jones’ book Degenerate Moderns makes a good reference here.

  • Zippy says:

    There is nothing quite as resilient as the liberal belief that once you scratch the surface, all people and societies are pretty much the same. All it should take is a few pamphlets and smart bombs to break the illusion, because deep down everyone is equal and wants “freedom”.

    This deeply held prejudice that every society is always just a thin veneer of empty symbolic colorful ceremony away from becoming Norman Rockwell paintings or bonobo perverts just like us is of course nonsense.

    But digging that particular provincialism out of your mind is an infrared pill that red pillers seem reluctant to take, probably in part because it entails waking up to the fact that some of their lionized philosophers are really just sewer rats preaching from atop a rusty tin can.

  • Terry Morris says:

    donnie:

    My comment was written mostly tongue in cheek. I agree with your overall assessment, though.

    Zippy:

    …my impression is that at least some traditional societies viewed incontinent men as foolish, weak, and low status…

    Our eldest son and I have a little missive we pass back and forth between one another whenever occasion arises (which is rather frequently, actually):

    As the Mormons say, if you’re an unmarried man 20 years old or older, you’re a menace to society.

    I take it attribution goes to Brigham Young, and that 25 was the actual ‘cutoff’ age in his original quote. But I always say 20 or above in any case. 🙂

  • Zippy says:

    Terry Morris:

    As the Mormons say, if you’re an unmarried man 20 years old or older, you’re a menace to society.

    That’s why God made seminaries, monasteries, and militaries.

  • Terry Morris says:

    Zippy:

    That’s why God made seminaries, monasteries, and militaries.

    Good point! That’s probably also why the devil made college level and professional sports. Ha, ha.

  • Terry Morris says:

    Zippy, great comment, here:

    https://zippycatholic.wordpress.com/2015/10/29/where-the-modern-sexual-freak-show-comes-from/#comment-41243

    I can actually remember when all of that really began to hit home with me – it was during the lead up to Operation Iraqi Freedom and all the nonsense about how the Iraqi people were just like us, all they really wanted was democracy and freedom and equal rights and blah, blah. The slightest departure, or hint of departure as it were, from that cherished belief in certain “conservative” circles would yield a public scolding declaring one to harbor feelings of bigotry, resentment; an uncharitable spirit and severe lack of sympathy for the plight of other peoples that “knows no bounds.”

  • Zippy says:

    Terry Morris;

    The “everyone wants the same things we want” prejudice is necessary to maintain liberalism’s delusions about its own status as putatively neutral referee, which is the reason why only liberals should – with a long face, and only when necessary (which just happens to turn out to be always and everywhere comprehensively, but any day now the State will wither away, really it will) – exercise authority.

    My specific suggestion here (which I have made before) is that the “sluts confer high status on perverts by sleeping with them” rule — Heartiste/Roissy’s definition of “alpha” — is not a universal principle. Rather, it is the pretension of a sewer rat preaching to the mice, declaring himself king of the Land of Turds.

  • donnie says:

    Zippy,

    I’ll grant you that it’s entirely possible fornication conferred no status upon men during the days of medieval Christendom. But I think if that’s true, it speaks even more profoundly to my original point: that you cannot get men to stop fornicating no matter what the consequences.

    That fornication was rampant, believed not to be a sin, and widely tolerated all over traditional, medieval Christendom is well attested. This was in spite of the fact that i) the risk of pregnancy and/or disease was very high, ii) getting caught and being handed over to the ecclesiastical courts could result in some fairly harsh penalties, such as being fined, flogged, and/or forced to marry, and iii) there may not have even been any status gain from being a known fornicator, as you argue, perhaps just the opposite.

    I would think all of the above reasons would be enough to persuade a man not to rut like an animal. Evidently it wasn’t. So even if you are right that seeing fornication as a high status activity is a perverse development of modernity, it doesn’t explain why this particular sin is so immune to rational risk aversion.

  • Zippy says:

    donnie:

    But I think if that’s true, it speaks even more profoundly to my original point: that you cannot get men to stop fornicating no matter what the consequences.

    That was never in dispute.  Pick any vice, and every society of sufficient size will have men who indulge in it. That is what prisons, pillories, gibbets, shunning, and shaming are for.

    Your comment to which I responded was this one:

    To be fair though, hasn’t fornication always demonstrated the approval of [the particular slutty] women [who sleep around with cads] and conveyed status on men since time immemorial?

    I put the disputed part in red bold to make it more clear.

  • donnie says:

    Zippy,

    All clear. In my original response to Terry I was wondering aloud what it was about the sin of fornication that makes it immune to rational cost-benefit analysis. I speculated that the answer has to do with the fact that men commonly feel a sense of shame and humiliation in not being sexually active, whereas they commonly feel a sense of accomplishment and pride in seducing a woman.

    I interpreted your response as saying that the shame/pride dynamic at play was a modern development having to do with the fact that modernity perceives fornicators as being high status, a point which I challenged. But I think the larger point is that if you’re right, then my speculation is wrong. If the phenomenon of men feeling shame when abstaining from sex and pride when fornicating is a modern development, then it can’t be the reason why fornication is immune to rational thinking. There would have to be something deeper at play, otherwise it doesn’t explain why fornication was so rampant in medieval Christendom.

  • Zippy says:

    donnie:

    I’m pretty sure that indulgence in any vice is immune to rational thinking (if I’ve grasped your use of the phrase correctly). Sex is a powerful drive in itself of course. Is it your impression that demand for sexual vice is intrinsically greater than for greed, gluttony, etc?

    If anything I would guess that greed represents an aggregate of the other vices. In another thread semioticanimal cites Aquinas to that effect: because money is fungible with all of the vices, greed in a sense is the Queen of Vices:

    https://zippycatholic.wordpress.com/2017/06/19/greed-consumes-lust/#comment-41110

    Or, one might say, the love of money is the root of all evil.

  • Zippy:

    “I answer that, As Isidore says (Etym. x), “a lustful man is one who is debauched with pleasures.” Now venereal pleasures above all debauch a man’s mind. Therefore lust is especially concerned with such like pleasures.”

    “Now the end of lust is venereal pleasure, which is very great. Wherefore this pleasure is very desirable as regards the sensitive appetite, both on account of the intensity of the pleasure, and because such like concupiscence is connatural to man.”

    It does seem that there is something especially strong in sexual pleasure as regards both the demand for it and how irrational human beings become because of it. I don’t think the loss of rational thought and intensity of desire for things like food or money are as great as that which is produced by venereal pleasure, at least not in the average person. But I don’t think that has much to do with the original point you were making, which With I agree.

  • In addition to sex being private, it’s much easier to obtain than money. Obtaining money takes planning and forethought and even then one may not succeed. One doesn’t constantly need to worry about how to obtain more sex in order to obtain it, but one does need to work very hard all the time in order to obtain lots of money if one doesn’t already have it. That sort of need to plan ones own life (and possibly whole societies) around obtaining lots of money is I think a reason greed is better at systematically encouraging antirealism than lust is.

  • One more thing: I think this progression might might go one step further back. Could it be that this all began with designing societies around disobedience (liberalism)? The 3 evangelical counsels, that is the way of Christian Perfection are obedience, poverty, and chastity. So the most unchristian society is that which is disobedient, materialistic, and unchaste. I’d say we’ve reached that state in a very special way. But i think it might be the case that the popularization of anti-authoritarianism preceded and made way for the greed (in the form of usury) which followed it. Just a passing thought, haven’t fully worked it out.

  • GJ says:

    Terry Morris:

    As the Mormons say, if you’re an unmarried man 20 years old or older, you’re a menace to society.

    And the failure of parents to prepare their children for marriage, up to and including arranging marriages, is a grave dereliction of duty.

  • donnie says:

    I concur with Tim. Grave sins like murder, theft, and bearing false witness are not rampant in most civilized societies. Most men would also agree that it is not in their own best interest to commit these kinds of offenses.

    But fornication has been rampant in every society that I’m aware of, and very few otherwise rational men are willing to admit that it is not in their best interest to fornicate. There is definitely something about this particular sin that distinguishes it among other grievous sins.

  • Zippy says:

    donnie:

    I guess I’m not seeing where some additional explanation – beyond the natural strength of the sex drive itself – is required.

    TimFinnegan:

    The obedience-poverty-chastity succession is an interesting avenue for further thought.

  • TomD says:

    I think there’s a difference that may be overlooked – there may have been much fornicatin’ in the past, but it was a “young oats” kind before settling down (wrong, of course), whereas now we have a permeated culture of fornication; and it’s celebrated. So in the middle ages, it might be admitted that people fornicated (and even adulterated, but that was much more of a problem), but now it’s seen as strange if you don’t.

  • donnie says:

    but now it’s seen as strange if you don’t.

    An old priest I knew once told the story of a young man who came to him during Confession to confess having fornicated with his new girlfriend. The young man mentioned that the sin had come about due to the fact that he and his girlfriend were spending nights together in his apartment. The old priest, cognizant of the fact that the young man was living with roommates, asked the young man if it had occurred to him that spending the night with his girlfriend would scandalize his roommates. The young man replied, “Father, I’m pretty sure it would be a bigger scandal if I wasn’t spending the night with my girlfriend.”

  • donnie says:

    Anecdotal stories aside though, I do wonder about whether the perception of chastity as “strange” is a modern development. If sowing one’s wild oats was a ubiquitous part of adolescent medieval life, I can’t imagine that people attached to that particular vice would look approvingly upon someone who rejected that behavior in favor of living chastely. Usually virtuous people in these types of situations become “signs of contradiction”, and there are social consequences. I recall the famous story of St. Thomas Aquinas’s family trying to get him to give up chastity by sneaking a prostitute into his room, and him having to chase her out with a hot poker.

    That said, I am pretty sure the social expectation that people who are courting/dating ought to be habitually fornicating together, and it’s weird if they’re not, is a modern development. I think Zippy actually has a post somewhere where he argues that “fornication-ships” are worse for the individuals involved, as well as society at large, than casual, “no strings attached” fornication.

  • donnie says:

    Found the post:
    https://zippycatholic.wordpress.com/2013/05/29/long-term-fornicationships-versus-hookups/

    I think it’s interesting to note that of the two, fornication-ships and hookups, one of them appears to be particular to modernity while the other one does not.

  • Zippy says:

    donnie:

    I think Zippy actually has a post somewhere where he argues that “fornication-ships” are worse for the individuals involved, as well as society at large, than casual, “no strings attached” fornication.

    The brief post is here.

    The basic observation is that to the extent that fornicationships are viewed as a legitimate alternative to or substitute for marriage they are far more harmful to the common good than casual hookups: in a fornicationship there is an additional[1] element of scandal, scandal which directly attacks the integrity of a sacrament, which is not present in the same degree and manner as in casual hookups.

    So we can certainly say that fornicationships are worse than casual hookups in a particular sense.

    The argument is similar to ones I have made previously that there is a particular sense in which:

    Drinking alcohol is safer than taking prescription psychotropics, and

    Usury is worse than adultery.

    That A is objectively worse than B in a particular sense doesn’t imply that A is worse than B in every sense, of course.

    But I think the arguments work as long as the “in every sense” strawman is left in the logical fallacy drawer.

    [1] Note that this obviously isn’t to suggest that there is no scandal in casual hookups. It is just to suggest that there is an additional scandal, which attacks marriage in a much deeper way, in fornicationships.

  • Zippy says:

    donnie:

    We cross posted.

    I think it’s interesting to note that of the two, fornication-ships and hookups, one of them appears to be particular to modernity while the other one does not.

    Which one? Courtesans or mistresses aren’t new, and unmarried Popes and other clerics have had children by their concubines. There is nothing new under the sun. And yet everything under the sun is new.

    Things become befuddled when we talk about sin and vice in a general sense, because like the poor those have always been with us and always will be with us.

    When we focus specifically in on something like conferral of social status, (as in the present discussion which you sparked) or politics (as in our many discussions of liberalism), or mechanized industrial mass murder (ditto), however, things have changed very much indeed: the notion that everyone everywhere has always been just like modern people falls apart.

  • […] enlightening posts at Zippy Catholic. Some of the main posts that deserve credit can be found here, here, here. These thoughts began as a comment of mine on the second article. I hope to expand upon them […]

  • donnie says:

    Which one? Courtesans or mistresses aren’t new, and unmarried Popes and other clerics have had children by their concubines.

    Ah, I hadn’t considered arrangements like those to fornication-ships, since I was thinking of a fornication-ship as something distinct from adultery. More like young people dating and openly fornicating and everyone thinking that this is normal and how it ought to be, which I suspect wasn’t quite as common or tolerated in the Middle Ages, even if sowing one’s wild oats was. But touché.

    I have often thought that one of society’s purposes is the taming of vice and encouraging of virtue. Obviously our present society abjectly fails at taming fornication and encouraging chastity. But even though other societies (such as medieval Christendom) certainly tried very hard to encourage chastity, they failed all the same in taming the vice of fornication. I think it speaks to something peculiar about the nature of this sin and how it grips people.

    I am hesitant to attribute it merely to “the natural strength of the sex drive itself” as you have above. It seems to me that if the sex drive is a gift from God to be used as He intended it, yet the strength of the sex drive is so strong that the majority of men since time immemorial have been enslaved in vice because of it, then that would make God out to be cruel. Therefore I have to conclude that there is something else at play here.

  • TomD says:

    The sex drive is strong to make marriage easier, as far as I can tell.

    Misuse of the strength doesn’t change that.

    The modern infatuation with luuuuuv as a basis for marriage (which is not found in Church teachings, though caritas, the kind that involves death on a cross is), even in Catholic circles, is a very bad thing, especially when it implies that you didn’t “choose” rightly if difficulty arises.

  • Mike T says:

    Zippy,

    There is nothing quite as resilient as the liberal belief that once you scratch the surface, all people and societies are pretty much the same. All it should take is a few pamphlets and smart bombs to break the illusion, because deep down everyone is equal and wants “freedom”.

    This deeply held prejudice that every society is always just a thin veneer of empty symbolic colorful ceremony away from becoming Norman Rockwell paintings or bonobo perverts just like us is of course nonsense.

    They’re not the same, but you’re arguing over degrees of difference when it comes to sin, as no society is made from men who have objectively conquered sin as a group. Donnie’s response is perfectly reasonable when views from that perspective. The fact that you have church records showing that actual sitting ecclesiastic authorities lamented a widespread sin problem should stand as objective evidence to you that perhaps some sins are universal societal problems that can only be controlled in moderate degrees.

    our society loves perverts, therefore all societies must love perverts.

    Perverts may have a look in some cases, but many perverts don’t. That is the problem. If all child molesters looked creepy as heck, we could use physiognomy to keep our kids safe.

    Many of the worst cads are actually not creepy, but have real style. In fact, far more style than many good men. Just like there are plenty of whorish, beautiful women out there whose allure greatly exceeds plane janes of good character.

    And that is a lot of the problem. If all perverts were scummy creeps, women wouldn’t assign status to them. It’s precisely because many perverts also have a lot of high status aspects to them that makes them so dangerous.

  • Mike T says:

    And when you add in “preselection bias” you have a real problem. A lot of women instinctively find a man more attractive if he already has a woman because “clearly he’s doing something right because some other woman took a risk on him.”

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    perhaps some sins are universal societal problems that can only be controlled in moderate degrees.

    Yes, and that has nothing whatsoever to do with any actual point of contention. The actual subject of contention is the relationship between incontinent sexual behaviors and social status in different societies. The “men who sleep around a lot with loose whores derive social status by doing so” postulate strikes me as typical modernist “everyone is just like us under the skin” provincialism.

    At least read the Jones book, if you want some color on why the “Roissy is Aristotle and Vox is Plato” thesis looks, shall we say, mildly implausible once you’ve gained a little distance from Current Year navel gazing.

  • Zippy says:

    donnie:

    I’ve never found the thesis that because the Cross is hard God is cruel particularly compelling.

  • Mike T says:

    Considering the fact that most pagan societies and Islam have markedly different sexual ethics, I think you are barking up the wrong tree here. Most of the Hindus I’ve met absolutely have more respect for a man who get a lot of women than one who can’t.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    In polygamous societies having a harem of wives is a product of status, it isn’t what produces status. The Current Year model of status-conferred-by-whores only seems plausible to the mice gathered raptly around the Sewer Rat King.

  • Zippy:

    It’s a truly bizarre social structure. I think your analysis of it over your multiple blog posts is correct, but the more I know about it the more bizarre it seems. To use your analogy, whores conferring status on cads is akin to johns conferring beauty on prostitutes; it would be as if society’s idea of a beautiful woman was guided by the opinion of johns.

  • Wood says:

    TimFinnegan,

    I think these discussions are helpful to the extent that it points out error and aids modern Christians trying to live chastely have a heads up on particularly modern temptations.

    But I get frustrated when a lot of this Game talk becomes one more subset of critical theory through which all of humanity must be viewed. It’s only a difference in perspective at that point from any of the other subsets – interestingly subsets that most Game proponents would be horrified to find themselves bedfellows with.

  • Zippy says:

    TimFinnegan:

    …it would be as if society’s idea of a beautiful woman was guided by the opinion of johns.

    It is exactly like that: measuring “alpha” by how many different sluts have fornicated with the man being measured is equivalent to measuring female beauty by the gross revenue of professional whores. By definition a woman who has never been paid for sex is “ugly”, and the more tricks she has turned for more gross revenue the more “beautiful” she is, by definition.

    It is difficult to even express how insane this “system” is – though it is easy to see why bottom feeding cads and whores would like a system in which they are the sexiest in the land by definition. The really sad part is the mice sitting mesmerized in rapt attention around the Sewer Rat King.

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