18 Jul 2008

Why Not Incest, Too?

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Conservatives, like Edmund Burke, have repeatedly warned that human reason employed by a contemporary intelligentsia class does not represent an authority wise or competent enough to overturn the wisdom of numberless generations and to remodel the immemorial institutions of mankind.

Reflections on the Revolution in France, 1790:

But now all is to be changed. All the pleasing illusions which made power gentle and obedience liberal, which harmonized the different shades of life, and which, by a bland assimilation, incorporated into politics the sentiments which beautify and soften private society, are to be dissolved by this new conquering empire of light and reason. All the decent drapery of life is to be rudely torn off. All the super-added ideas, furnished from the wardrobe of a moral imagination, which the heart owns and the understanding ratifies as necessary to cover the defects of our naked, shivering nature, and to raise it to dignity in our own estimation, are to be exploded as a ridiculous, absurd, and antiquated fashion.

On this scheme of things, a king is but a man, a queen is but a woman; a woman is but an animal, and an animal not of the highest order. All homage paid to the sex in general as such, and without distinct views, is to be regarded as romance and folly. Regicide, and parricide, and sacrilege are but fictions of superstition, corrupting jurisprudence by destroying its simplicity. The murder of a king, or a queen, or a bishop, or a father are only common homicide; and if the people are by any chance or in any way gainers by it, a sort of homicide much the most pardonable, and into which we ought not to make too severe a scrutiny.

On the scheme of this barbarous philosophy, which is the offspring of cold hearts and muddy understandings, and which is as void of solid wisdom as it is destitute of all taste and elegance, laws are to be supported only by their own terrors and by the concern which each individual may find in them from his own private speculations or can spare to them from his own private interests. In the groves of their academy, at the end of every vista, you see nothing but the gallows.

When the argument against Gay Marriage is made that no greater practical impediment to formalized polygamy or incest exists than to formalized sodomy, slippery slopes are pooh pooh’d by the party of alleged progress.

Well, here you are, progressives.

The Times of London publishes memories of an agreeable relationship with her brother by an articulate and clearly well-educated citizen of modernity, who describes herself in passing as an academic.

Their incestuous relationship isn’t something she and her sibling “can share easily.” But that isn’t because there was something wrong with it, you see. It’s simply the case that their relationship was unusual and other people wouldn’t understand.

The lady academic refuses “to be made to feel guilty about it.” Incest may be “traditionally seen as bad, but in some cultures that isn’t the case.”

What really matters is that she can identify no specific utilitarian loss, and she enjoyed it.

So here we are, living in a time in which members of the sophisticated, international haute bourgeoisie are not ashamed to admit to practices normally ascribed uncomplimentarily to rural primitives.

But, we know there are no slippery slopes, and one couldn’t possibly suppose that parent-child incest could ever be described affirmatively or even ambiguously, could one?


Hat tip to MeaninglessHotAir.


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