Compulsory Sexual Ethics, In Reverse

Once upon a time gay people… homosexuals… were shunned, punished, and even beaten by the police. Horrible things to be sure, but they happened quite a lot.

Likewise women were locked into societal roles. If you wanted to be a housewife, that was fine, but most any other avenue was closed to you, or at least barricaded fairly well. That’s awfully nasty too, but it also happened a lot and for a long time.

And just to be clear, you should understand that everything above was either prescribed by law or tacitly accepted by “the law of the land.”

These things and things like them were what we can call “compulsory sexual ethics.” Unfortunately, they are to be found all through human history. And they are always wrong, for the simple reason that we’re not all the same. (And because no one has a right to tell us how to live.)

A small percentage of us, for example, are homosexually inclined, but so long as these people don’t harm others along the way, they ought to be free to live as they wish. Any of us majority types who seek to punish them are simply being barbarians.

Likewise, our second example: Being a mom and raising children appeals to many women, and there’s not a thing wrong with it. But the woman who doesn’t want children or who doesn’t want to marry or whatever… she should be free to live her way as well. Anyone trying to punish her or compel her is likewise a barbarian.

And as I say, such things used to happen a lot, and it was a real problem.

My Generation

My baby boom generation is composed of millions of people, so what I’ll say here doesn’t apply to all of us, but it’s a fairly reasonable generalization.

On one hand, we get credit for defending gays and women who wanted to live differently. That was the right thing to do, and millions of us did it.

But on the other hand, the political types among us have taken things way over the edge in the opposite direction. To the point where they’re coercing people into embracing unusual sexual inclinations. They are, in fact, imposing a reversed sexual ethic.

A lust for power has led these baby boomers into the roles of previous leaders they hated. And doing nasty things in the opposite direction makes those things no better.

It’s important to understand how this works:

  1. Political boomers gained control of the educational systems of America (and most of the West). From that base, they sought to push the world into their ideals. Not to simply convince people of their ideas – that would be fine – but to coerce, which is, again, barbaric((Remember that schooling is compulsory. Escape from it is punished with government force, and a parent’s disagreement with policy matters not at all.)). Such were the people who pushed homosexual-themed books into public schools. (Then followed by more, and now by transgender-themed)

  2. This worked because the people of the West are suckers for guilt. I explained why in a previous article, but the seekers of political power learned the trick and have been using it nonstop. Most people are intimidated by it and go along, fearing that they’ll look bad… that people will say nasty things about them. And that is simply coercion.

  3. The coercion mentioned above is usually a breath away from the word “racism,” because that’s a hook that digs deeply into people. Understand, please, that noticing race and even pulling back from people who look markedly different from us is built in. Hating and hurting are not, but a small (and temporary((This pulling back vanishes, by the way, after four minutes of contact with a “different” person. So, it is very short lived.))) pulling back is built into most of us.

  4. This pulling back has been portrayed as a type of original sin. To feel it, or now to feel any instinctive pulling back, has become a powerful political weapon. And so, if homosexuality rubs you the wrong way, you are guilty, guilty, guilty, even if you never do anything bad to any homosexual.

And that is a harsh sexual ethic. Those who impose it are barbarians.

The End of the Line?

This reverse sexual ethic of the political boomers may be reaching the end of its line with their new sin, discomfort with transsexualism. What someone does with their genitals is no one else’s business. But political types aren’t asking kids to leave transsexuals alone, they’re insisting that they be comfortable with transsexualism. They teach these children that their thinking, “Chopping up my genitals is gross,” makes them degenerate.

There are no more than a tiny fraction of one percent of people who want to surgically modify their genitals, trying to approximate the opposite sex. Once these kids discover that almost everyone feels like they do… that they’ve been coerced into calling themselves “degenerate”… they’ll become very angry. Then they may (though hopefully not) start calling transgenders and transsexuals “degenerates,” and the pendulum will swing back the other way.

This is part of what’s fueling the alt-right movement. If the power-seekers keep driving that way (and they don’t have much else), they’re probably going to get a lot more pushback.

And So…

And so, if this thing turns again, let’s remember to defend the people who stand to suffer under it… like gays and especially those few who choose to become transsexuals. Their choice may strike most of us as self-destructive, but it’s their life, their body, and their choice to make.

We have every right to defend ourselves from guilt and coercion, but we must also defend people making choices that we wouldn’t. If they don’t hurt anyone, they can do whatever they want. We must draw a line there.

* * * * *

The novel that helped put the crypto revolution into high gear.

Comments from readers:

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Get it at Amazon or on Kindle.

* * * * *

Paul Rosenberg

The Recipe for Heroes and Saints

9/11There is nothing inspiring about rules. While they may produce order, they don’t elevate anyone to heroism and greatness. But I know what does, and I discovered it in the rubble of 9/11.

The story began, as such stories do, quite innocently. I was scheduled to be in New York for a convention in early 2002, and I sent an email to my old friend Jack. The text was along the lines of “Hey, I’m coming to NYC. Wanna get lunch?” His reply was simple: “Sure, but first I’d like you to come see my new project.”

Jack’s new project, as it turns out, was the restoration of the old New York Telephone building, now called the Verizon building. It was notched into the World Trade Center site, inches from the destroyed Building 7. This building was badly damaged on September 11th, but it didn’t come down. And it was extremely important that it did remain in service – nearly every phone line serving Wall Street ran through it.

Lessons from a Disaster Zone

It was a cool, rainy, hazy day. Fitting, I thought. Most of the debris had been removed by the time I arrived, which gave everyone on the job a clean view of what was missing and how much work lay ahead.

Since Jack and I are old electrical guys (my classical training), we began by examining the power systems. And thus began a day of epiphanies. Each new piece of information brought others to mind. Every fact implied a lesson. I thanked God for a good memory; scribbling notes in the rain was not going to work.

The first item on the agenda was the 13,000 volt electrical service to the building. It was running over an aluminum scaffold, inside of a plywood box. Now, you may be thinking that 13,000 volts in a plywood box on a metal scaffold doesn’t sound very safe, and you would be right. There’s no way this installation would be acceptable in any normal circumstances.

But in this case, there wasn’t much choice. This was a disaster zone and an “approved” installation wouldn’t be possible here for months. (They couldn’t even get the right kinds of wires.) So, the rules went out the window and Jack’s crew had to come up with something that would work and that wouldn’t kill anyone. Otherwise, Wall Street would shut, and half of New York would have no telephones. The rules were simply overridden by reality. I couldn’t help thinking of an old quote, attributed to the Dalai Lama:

Learn the rules well, so you will be able to break them properly.

But the big story of the day came after our inspection. At lunch, Jack explained that after Building 7 initially fell on 9/11, other partial collapses continued for quite a while. Each time, clouds of dust and debris filled his Verizon building.

On one particular day, the FBI vault in the basement of Building 7 caved in under the weight of yet another collapse. “And I swear to you, Paul,” Jack assured me with bulging eyes, “twenty- and fifty-dollar bills came floating through the site!”

Free money… it’s hard to imagine a better setup for a moral dilemma.

I made some comment about the guys being very happy that day. “No,” Jack said, “they wouldn’t touch them!”

I looked at him and waited for some elaboration. Finally he spoke up again. “They said ‘that’s not our money; it belongs to other people.’ And they wouldn’t touch it. They wouldn’t allow anyone to touch it. It just sat there until the FBI guys came through and picked it all up.”

When the lure of free money fails, I pay attention. This was clearly no ordinary event. Here were dozens of construction workers who refused to take free money – a lot of free money – when there was no enforcer looking over their shoulders or threatening them.

I looked at Jack again. He was stone serious, as serious as I have ever seen him.

So I was left facing a serious question: A large group of construction workers were turned into what we used to call stand-up guys… into exemplary stand-up guys. But what was it that turned them into these paragons of ethics? Obviously it had everything to do with 9/11, but exactly how?

I began analyzing the event, starting with the participants. I’ve known New York construction workers, and not many of them had any abiding interest in the study of ethics. But now these same men were acting with deep ethical convictions. Obviously it was the change of situation that mattered, not the basic nature of the men; one’s nature does not change in a moment.

Then I understood:

These men had never lacked basic decency; what they had lacked was a clear choice! This was the first time in their lives when the difference between right and wrong was this clear.

Having clearly understood right and wrong, it would have been stupid for these men to take $50 bills belonging to others – their conscious sense of righteousness was worth far more.

For the rest of their lives, these men will know that when it counted, they stepped up to the task and performed it with honor. And I would bet large that, on their death beds, this fact will pass prominently through their minds. They will feel honorable, and they will have earned it.

What this Means

This means that one can act with confidence only when he knows, clearly, what is right and what is wrong. It is moral clarity that makes men and women good.

I know that we’ve all been taught to freeze up at questions about good and evil, but it really isn’t hard. Here is the answer in two very simple statements:

  1. What is hateful to you, don’t do to anyone else.
  2. Do not encroach upon anyone or their property, and keep your agreements.

Number one is the “Golden Rule,” and number two is the essence of the common law – more or less an extension of #1. And that’s all that we really need.

Sure, a professional philosopher can come up with weird exceptions, but that’s not a serious concern. Send the one-in-a-million scenario to a judge and get busy with the other 999,999.

Yes, life is complex but that’s no reason to say, “We can’t know right from wrong.” Act with integrity and I guarantee you’ll do the right thing 99.9% of the time.

The Lesson

The events of 9/11 were obviously very stark, and we certainly don’t want to rely on such things to set our moral compass. But the lesson is clear: It is moral clarity that turns us into heroes and saints.

So, if you want to see good conduct, talk about integrity, self-honesty, and the courage to make individual judgments. Require this of your children. Oppose people who try to cloud moral choices.

I leave you with a few lines from a song called The Hero, by David Crosby:

And the reason that she loved him,
was the reason I loved him too.
He never wondered what was right or wrong,
he just knew,
he just knew.

Paul Rosenberg