Social Engineering

Staying on the subject of gays:

A bill that would have wiped clean the criminal records of thousands of gay men has fallen at its first parliamentary hurdle.

The private member’s bill would have pardoned all men living with UK convictions for same-sex offences committed before the law was changed.

Mr Nicolson says he was motivated by his work as a BBC journalist in the 1990s: “I made a documentary in the 1990s looking at the discriminatory laws which criminalised gay men.

“There were some shocking injustices. Men were arrested aged 21 for having ‘under-age sex’ with their 20-year-old boyfriends,” he said.

Section 12 of the Sexual Offences Act 1956 concerned buggery.  Which means 60 years ago politicians sat down and decided what two grown men of sound mind could and couldn’t do to one another, and how the rest of the country should treat them.  Does this sound reasonable to you?  It doesn’t to me.  There is an argument that this is what the majority population wanted, but I don’t see any reason why the wishes of the majority should be taken into account when two independent adults decide what they’re going to do behind closed doors.

Had the principle of individual freedom and liberty been in force in 1956, this law would never have come into being.  This is why the war cry of the gay movement was “Get the Government out of the Bedroom!”, implying what two men get up to is no business of the government’s or anyone else.  On that basis, the gays of the day would have had my full support.

Across the Atlantic there is a parallel: pre-Civil Rights Era laws requiring blacks to be segregated from whites, and the two treated differently.  At some point legislators sat down and determined that blacks should be treated differently from whites, and anyone breaking these laws – be they black or white – would be subject to criminal prosecution.  Regardless of whether a free individual of one colour wanted to interact with a free individual of another, this was prohibited by law, which in turn was justified on the grounds that this is what the majority wanted.  Only if individuals are truly free then they can associate with whomever they please, and it ought not to be a matter to be decided by the majority.

My point is that not so long ago legislators put severe restrictions on supposedly free individuals as to how they could interact with each other based on rather arbitrary criteria beyond the individuals’ control.  They justified these laws by saying that this is what the majority wanted and it was for the greater good of society.  These laws, the majority agreed, made for a better, safer society.

Only now we look back and most people are in agreement that these laws were an abomination and ought never to have been passed.  Hence the attempt now to pardon those in the UK and the rioting and looting in the USA.  I’m being ironic about that last one.

Fortunately politicians and the voting public learned their lesson that individual liberty and freedom is paramount and governments have no business passing legislation as to how free individuals should interact (short of causing actual physical harm or loss of property, reputation, etc. covered by laws that have been in place since Man first wandered out of the Great Rift Valley).

Oh wait.  No, actually they didn’t.  With breathtaking hubris they determined that although the last lot of politicians and voters were catastrophically wrong, they are much smarter and hence are able to write laws setting out exactly how individuals must interact in a hideously complex society to achieve the absolute optimum outcome in terms of happiness and security for all.  Clever folk, eh?

So now we have laws which actively discriminate between people of different skin colours and religions, insist that gender – which can be changed on a whim – should be both ignored and acknowledged simultaneously, maintain an ever-growing list of sexual orientations all of which deserve special treatment, allow grown men to wander into women’s toilets a fundamental human right, and make formal (and even informal) criticism of all of this practically illegal.

Whatever happened to the principle of all humans are equal?  Or the principle of individual freedom?  Well, that’s the problem: there are no principles being applied, it is simply a small group of people deciding this is what they want to do, claiming a democratic mandate, and forcing it on everyone else.  Just as they did when they criminalised gays and made blacks drink at a different fountain.

Some people call this Social Engineering, and it’s a good term.  But engineering is all about the application of principles, not doing whatever a gaggle of people fancy doing this week.  If you tried to build a bridge like this it would collapse.  As will our society if we keep this up.

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8 thoughts on “Social Engineering

  1. You are right about the true concept of freedom, whereby free and equal people should be allowed to close bedroom doors and either sit together in meditation or play games. Equally, people gathering at a water fountain for the purpose of refreshment does not need banning.

    The problem is that the games have a tendency today to be encouraged to spill out of the bedroom and the people gathering at the fountain may be seen, when in large numbers, doing it for reasons other than swallowing water. This then becomes an issue.

    I happen to think a lot of people throughout history quietly closed doors to do what they wanted in private and if both kept their mouths shut afterwards no one knew, or more relevantly, cared. The old phrase “providing it doesn’t scare the horses” comes to mind.

    People as we know get ‘turned on’ by all sorts of things, including bathing in cold baked beans, so we shouldn’t be surprised at how inventive desire and pleasure can get. But that is the point of turning a blind eye to such things. Not so much not being concerned about scaring the horses but please clean up the bathroom afterwards as I don’t want to have to do it. Not sure how one can legislate on this but the whole thrust (pardon the analogy) of government is to invent even more laws. Otherwise the voters may wonder why they were voting for lawmakers if these people never pass many laws.

    All this brings me to the subject of what may happen with future laws. It will take a long, long time perhaps to become evident but there is a feeling among some that, however reprehensible such a concept in today’s ‘open and honest times’ may be, there is a chance of some form of segregation returning. I mention this only, before the howls of outrage fill the air, that some people have looked at the blacks gathering in large numbers round the water fountain are chanting ‘kill whitey’ and as they aren’t happy living in a multi-racial society they might be better off — for everyone’s peace of mind — being in their own safe and happy place.

    We might equally be able to pass a law too that says two grown adults meditating in a bedroom should only do it there and nowhere else. I leave the more able lawmakers among us to work out how that might be phrased.

    My point, laboured as it is, becomes further watered down by the fact that none of us know what will happen this time next week let alone in a hundred years time, and most of us will be gone by then. But if we think all old laws were bad then we might miss the underlying idea behind some of them, which was simply that sometimes you can’t trust people to not scare the horses.

  2. Person of no interest,

    Firstly, thanks for the comment.

    There is definitely a “don’t scare the horses” argument to be made regarding behaviour in a public place, and I believe the government – exercising the will of the majority – does have a role in determining what and what is not acceptable. By definition a public place is somewhere which is supposed to be run on behalf of the general public and in accordance with their wishes. However, I don’t believe this argument extends to places of business. But I would say it applies on public transport.

    Incidentally, a lot of the rules proscribing certain behaviours in public are inherently sensible and have to do with hygiene more than anything. Take public nudity, for example. The main objection to this being done in a city is not because everyone is prudish, but because nobody wants to sit in a tube carriage on a hot August day after a load of people who are bollock-naked have been sitting on the upholstery for the last forty minutes. Therefore there is definitely a Chesterton’s Fence case to be made before abolishing existing laws, as you rightly point out.

  3. Your post describes a fascist control system with a democratic look, just like Orwell’s 1984.

    Social Engineering is very much about the effective application and implementation of principles in a highly organised and structured manner. The small group of people you refer to are the elite, the principles that they apply are psychological, their organizational tools include think tanks, foundations, universities, NGO’s, intelligence agencies, mass media etc. Their object is to destroy western civilization, religion particularly Christianity, the family, nation states, private property, free will, reason, truth, and natural beauty.

  4. “There is an argument that this is what the majority population wanted, but I don’t see any reason why the wishes of the majority should be taken into account…”

    After finishing your post, I can think of a few.

  5. “Some people call this Social Engineering, and it’s a good term. But “

    You could have stopped before the “but”. It is a widely held truth that the prefix “social” gives the following word its opposite meaning, e.g. and in particular “Social Justice”.

  6. It is a widely held truth that the prefix “social” gives the following word its opposite meaning, e.g. and in particular “Social Justice”.

    Ah yes…I have heard that said many times, I ought to have used it. Damned first drafts! 🙂

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