Still creeped out.
Darth Wong wrote:Who in public life (ie- with real power) ever actually says this, or anything like it?
Pretty much every revolutionary political movement ever either says it outright or says it implicitly. It's all part of the process of turning mass murder and censorship into the good of the people.
Don't you remember the phrase "bourgeois morality?"
That's something that needs to be thought about, probably thought about harder than modern society does. We've cast away a lot of rules about things like the nature of government and economics in the past two generations, and I think we're paying for it now.
The people who have cast away those rules have been doing so in the name of traditional values, the way things were done in the distant past, etc. The rules we cast away were in fact fairly recent rules, mostly dating from the early or mid 20th century.
I don't know. In many ways neoliberalism
is actually quite new.
Eugenics was never the "New Morality"; it dates back to ancient Sparta. In medieval times, people who deviated too much from expected standards were deemed to have been cursed by God, and treated accordingly. In slave-owning early America, blacks were not even considered humans, and were basically treated like two-legged farm animals. The idea that eugenics introduced some new horror into the world is a real distortion of history: it was just an excuse people cooked up to try to keep doing the things they used to do even more openly, like wiping out entire peoples that they deemed inferior. People deemed other people inferior long before they knew what "genetic" even meant.
When it keeps getting reintroduced
I call it "New Morality." And seriously, read some of the stuff people were talking about in the twenties and thirties, about how they expected the 20th century to look.
You may disagree with him in detail, but seriously there's something important there at the top of the page. It's about how much the way we think about the world in the Anglosphere has changed from having to deal with the World Wars and their aftermath. We didn't get the future anyone in 1900 would have expected.
In some cases, what was expected was that what used
to be old atrocities committed out of superstition would be refined into scientific practice. Like eugenics. Or the destruction of ecosystems, once a careless thing done by goatherds and now envisioned as the way to cleanse (sterilize) the world of tomorrow. And I don't think it can be simplified into "oh, well that was an old legacy of the bad old old old times." People were imagining their own vices, as well as their virtues, magnified onto a giant heroic scale by technology.
And I'd say that because of this, in political philosophy, newer is not always better. The period from 1900-1950 is a pretty good illustration of this. In some places and schools, progress. In others, regress into a horrible sort of totalitarian viciousness, something we'd call "barbaric" if only it weren't so organized and technocratic and efficient about its brutality.
Basic rules like "just don't torture, it always ends in tears" should not be overthrown for the sake of passing fads like "but we beat the communists, so now history is over and hypercapitalism has won which means that it's all going to be all right as soon as the new world order gets settled in!"
How do you tell what is a good or "basic" rule as opposed to a bad or presumably unimportant rule?
Persistence. If the problem that caused you to make it keeps coming up across cultures, if you can't point to anyone who ignores the rule and does fine, if people keep trying
to ignore it and it keeps resulting in ugliness and death... yeah.
I mean, come on, this is the large scale equivalent of safety rules like "don't play around the electric fence." Sure, sometimes the power is off and playing is awesome, but you'd be out of your mind to tell people that they should avoid the electric fence only sometimes
Whether morality is absolute or subjective or evolved or constructed, some things are the practical equivalent of "don't go playing around the electric fence."