Thursday, February 23, 2012

the problem with social experiments

The problem with social experiments is that they can’t be performed in a laboratory, and they can’t easily be reversed. Many of the social experiments that have had such catastrophic consequences seemed like a good idea at the time.

Removing the stigma on illegitimacy is a classic example. At the time it certainly seemed like a humane idea. No-one really foresaw that it would contribute to the destruction of family life.

Even the liberalisation of divorce laws seemed relatively innocuous to most people. Divorce is always traumatic and it was easy to convince oneself that making divorce less of an ordeal would simply make life easy for a relatively small number of people. Very few people foresaw that it would fatally weaken the institution of marriage.

The introduction of welfare payments for single mothers is less easy to defend, but it was done at a time when it was easy to believe that only a relatively small number of people would be affected.

Childcare was another fatal step, and that’s one bad decision for which no excuses can be offered. The idea of shifting the responsibility for child-rearing away from the family to the state was always a disastrously bad idea.

The legalisation of homosexual activities has widely believed to be a positive step, and again the dangerous consequences were not recognised at the time.

Unfortunately all these things, when combined with the contraceptive pill and the rise of feminism, have utterly destroyed the traditional family.

Of course there have been other forces at work, undermining our society. The cult of personal pleasure and the elevation of sexuality to a central place in society, to the point where sexual identity and sexuality is seen as the be-all and end-all of what makes us individuals, have been equally damaging.

It’s true that there was always a small minority actively seeking to destroy the family as an important step towards their dream of a socialist utopia but none of these social experiments could have occurred had not a significant proportion of the populace allowed themselves to be persuaded that these measures were basically harmless. That’s how societies destroy themselves - it’s a kind of accidental suicide.

That’s really the main reason for opposing homosexual marriage. Every such social experiment attempted thus far has weakened the family and weakened society. Can we afford yet another experiment the results of which cannot be predicted?

What is inexcusable is that once it became obvious that these failed social experiments were destroying our society so-called conservative political leaders did nothing to undo the damage. Mainstream conservative political leaders have displayed shameful cowardice on social issues. This is even more disgraceful given that the majority of voters (and I am convinced of this) would have supported them had they taken action.

I still believe that most conservatives, as distinct from party leaderships, would back actions to take back our society from the hardline leftists and feminists.

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