Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Lucia Pornography and the destruction of democracy

Barnsey Bill asked me (in a round about way) on the Boobs on Bikes post how to explain why the parade was wrong and how to explain it to his kids. With the huge preamble on how much an atheist he is, I've taken to time to find a non-religious explanation of the dangers of pornography. So, I've found a real, eye-opening article that connects pornography with the destruction of democracy and doesn't invoke anything religious.

In the meantime, now that I have everyone's attention, let me just say how fitting that John Key's speech on the Government's Electoral Finance Bill and the Boobs on Bikes parade occurred on the same day. It's like a divine coincidence.

John Key talked today on how dangerous for democracy the bill is. Yet, how on earth did NZ get to the point where we voted in a Government that would even contemplate such a crack-down on free speech as the Electoral Finance Bill?

It's because moral restraints in NZ have just about completely fallen away. The Boobs on Bikes parade being able to occur in public is a symptom of a far greater problem in NZ.
[...] the key to democracy is not free choice. As we know from the Weimar Republic, people can freely choose anything, even Hitler. The key, as our Founding Fathers knew, is virtue. Only a virtuous person is capable of rational consent because only a virtuous person's reason is unclouded by the habitual rationalizations of vice. Vice inevitably infects the faculty of judgment. No matter how democratic their institutions, morally enervated people cannot be free. And people who are enslaved to their passions inevitably become slaves to tyrants. Thus, our Founders predicated the success of democracy in America upon the virtue of the American people.
Related Link: The Politics of Porn

Robert Reilly explains how pornography, rather than being the sign of freedom some claim it is, threatens both our freedom and our civilization....

25 comment(s):

I.M Fletcher said...

Helen Clark should read that article; she might learn something about why the family is the most important thing in a society.

Barnsley Bill said...

Attempting brevity.
Interesting article Lucyna, although I find the linking of pornography as a "softening agent" for the french revoltion a ludicrous supposition.
The preamble problem has snuck up on me as I am too lazy to maintain my own blog but still have an enormous number of random (and probably pointless) things to say.
Thanks

Greg Bourke said...

-----------
The thought "people who are enslaved to their passions inevitably become slaves to tyrants" can be extended to debt.

A nation that spends about 14% more than it earns is rationalizing economic vice and will be enslaved.
-----------

Porn is a dulling opiate. I haven't read the link yet but I think pornified culture reflects the motivations and self-discipline of the culture as well as how other citizens are respected. If the citizenry are motivated by gentital vasodilation, by an inability to restrain or plan consumption, and readily view others as meat components in a business process, then they will vote accordingly (whatever that means).
Beyond voting though, and probably more corrosive is that such citizens will laugh at the disadvanaged and malformed and won't make any sacrifice to the function of civil society.

A. J. Chesswas said...

Great posts Lucyna. It's nice to see someone else taking BOB on on the blogosphere this year... :)

Especeially coming from a woman. You would think your presence would be enough to make these guys realise their whole base is grounded in a perverted, disrespectful and dishonouring view of women.

"It's their right to BOB" misses the point that for women to stoop that low requires a significant loss of self-respect and dignity.

Just show why the Atheist view is so morally bankrupt - what on earth can you base morality, honour, dignity, self-respect and self-restraint on if there's no such thing as a human spirit made in the image of God... ?

Danyl said...


"It's their right to BOB" misses the point that for women to stoop that low requires a significant loss of self-respect and dignity.


Why dost thou lash that whore? Strip thine own back;
Thou hotly lust'st to use her in that kind
For which thou whipp'st her.

fraser said...

"It's their right to BOB" misses the point that for women to stoop that low requires a significant loss of self-respect and dignity."

have you asked the woman involved?

didnt think so

ive known (in the flatmate sense - not carnal)some strippers in my time and they all had plenty of self respect and dignity.

consider who has the power in the stripper/observer relationship. i can assure you its not the chump watching.

Sure you might not like it - thats your right - but how can you condemn the participants as having no self respect, without actually finding out how they feel about it.

"Just show why the Atheist view is so morally bankrupt - what on earth can you base morality, honour, dignity, self-respect and self-restraint on if there's no such thing as a human spirit made in the image of God... ?"

oh please - i hope you subscribe to the entire bible (you know the really juicy retribution bits) otherwise youre just picking and choosing like the rest of us "morally bankrupt" atheists.

Infidel said...

Excellent post - a voice of reason in a dark wilderness. I love the atheist comments, their sneering rage is evidence of their lack of rational thought.

scott said...

Good post, the link was great :)

A. J. Chesswas said...

fraser, I disagree with your opinion and doubt you are a man of good judgment...

Lucyna said...

Ok, everyone. I do not want this post to turn into an attack on atheists. While there are atheists who are completely immoral, there are also atheists who have very sound morals. Easily explainable when you think that we are all made in God's image and He made sure that we knew right from wrong in our hearts, and there are many people who still listen to their hearts - just incompletely.

Barnsey Bill, I'm currently looking around for an article that goes into more detail on how damaging to the character pornography is. With very little religious content, as, it is entirely possible to explain this in a way that is completely reasonable and understandable.

I need to go out to the library now, so won't have much time until later.

Oh, and AJ, I think a number of people don't think I'm a real person, so my apparent persona of being a woman won't have much impact on those people. But thanks!

I.M Fletcher said...

ive known (in the flatmate sense - not carnal)some strippers in my time and they all had plenty of self respect and dignity.


Not sure what to think about that.

Self respect and dignity according to whose standards? Their own? If a person has little self-respect, aren't they judging themselves by the measure of that little self respect?

Would they strip if their mother or father was in the audience? If so, then I'd say they have no self respect at all, or else no sense of the sacred and profane. At least Adam and Eve, after they'd eaten from the Tree of Knowledge, covered themselves up with fig leaves when they realized they were naked. They knew the meaning of "shame".

consider who has the power in the stripper/observer relationship. i can assure you its not the chump watching.

Oh, and why do you say that? A man can make a woman take off her clothes (something she'd never normally do, unless it was in the bedroom)and prance around naked just by paying her some money.

That's 'power' bud; that's using someone else to get your jollies.

Socrates said...

“I do not want this post to turn into an attack on atheists. While there are atheists who are completely immoral, there are also atheists who have very sound morals.”

I agree, as is the reverse, where there are Christians who are completely immoral, and Christians who very sound morals. Professing to believe in set of values, or a position, does not necessarily equate to an understanding of those values, or of that position nor of acting within those values or position.

I.M Fletcher said...

Socrates, yep, I agree with that. That would make them 'Christian' in name only.

fraser said...

"They knew the meaning of "shame"."

hold on, didnt god make your body - in his image? - why so much shame about it then. :-)

also - how did they keep the fig leaves in place :-)

"A man can make a woman take off her clothes" - umm that would possibly land him in court for sexual assault. You are you confusing a financial contract with an act off force. In that contract it is most definately the woman who has the power.

Ever seen a man get all "im the boss, im in control" in a strip joint? They dont, they meekly pay their cash and do what theyre told.
Sure its covered up by lots of bravado and bluster, but underneath it all they know that any power they might have is very limited, almost nill. Break the rules and its bye bye sunshine.

and yes, i dont want it to turn into an attack on atheists (no surprise there really) so i will just leave it at being a "agree to disagree". i dont agree with every comment, but i should never expect to.

And AJ, before you pass judgment you should actually meet me for a chat. Untill then your assumptions about my character are completely baseless.

I assure i do have a strong moral ethic - its just not derived from the bible. (i would hazard a guess that there would be many moral stands we could agree on, much like most people)

lycuna - cheers for trying to tackle the issue from neutral ground

I.M Fletcher said...

hold on, didnt god make your body - in his image? - why so much shame about it then. :-)

For the same reason you don't go walking naked down the street (or do you?). Perhaps I should have said "modesty" rather than shame.Yes, we are made fearfully and wonderfully by God. Man is also made so that he will be aroused by his partner - that is the way it is supposed to be, but it's not made for out in the street.

(i would hazard a guess that there would be many moral stands we could agree on, much like most people)
Check out this thread at the briefing room for why there is no such thing as morality without God.

Here's a short answer though -

You may dismiss the conclusion that only God can objectively determine morality, but you cannot logically refute it. At best, you can only say that you are satisfied with subjective morality that is established by groups who have the power to legislate, in which case, you would be faced with the dilemma of might makes right and ad populum fallacies.

Lucyna said...

Fletch, "shame" is a good word. I'll explain later...

Psycho Milt said...

"Yet, how on earth did NZ get to the point where we voted in a Government that would even contemplate such a crack-down on free speech as the Electoral Finance Bill?"

Er, perhaps via the 1951 Waterfront Dispute Emergency Regulations, a far more draconian assault on NZ democracy? Oddly enough, that far more serious assault on free speech occurred in a time when no bugger in NZ could get his hands on any porn worth having.

Lucyna said...

Fraser,

.hold on, didnt god make your body - in his image? - why so much shame about it then. :-)

Shame is protective. There was no shame when Adam and Eve were created. However, once they ate of the tree of knowledge, they realised they were naked and were ashamed and covered themselves. This is because, while they were made in God's image and what he made was good, sin introduced lust into their hearts. Lust seeks to use the other, not to love.

It can even be said that man and woman, through shame, almost remain in the state of original innocence. They continually become aware of the nuptial meaning of the body and aim at preserving it from lust.

~ Lust Limits Nuptial Meaning of the Body

So a woman that is naked and not ashamed of her nakedness in front of all and sundry is not seeking to protect herself from lust - which she ought to be. As lust depersonalises her. It's like a figleaf for the face or even a reverse burka.

Matthew said...

Hi Lucyna, this is an excellent post. Keep writing.

Hi Fraser,

"ive known (in the flatmate sense - not carnal)some strippers in my time and they all had plenty of self respect and dignity.

consider who has the power in the stripper/observer relationship. i can assure you its not the chump watching."

Did you read the link that Lucyna provided in full?

Your first comment falls straight into the category that Reilly identifies as "threatening the democracy that (sadly) allows [pornography]".

Your second comment also assumes that "power" is something good. Did you ever stop and read "Mao The Unknown Story" and see the effect he had on own life in assuming power was a good thing? Power will end up consuming people who use it for their own ends, even if their own ends are virtuous, which in this case it isn't anyway. And in case you are not assuming power is a good thing, then what purpose is there for the woman to strip?

ZenTiger said...

Fraser, there are three groups in the stripper-voyeur picture you painted.

There's the stripper. The voyeur. And the person that hired the stripper.

Where's the power relationship now?

In any case, assuming the stripper is mentally well adjusted and is happy in treating this merely as a financial transaction (and I think this probably represents a minority of strippers), perhaps what the stripper thinks of their role in all this may be secondary to the outcome?

Danyl said...

There's the stripper. The voyeur. And the person that hired the stripper.

Where's the power relationship now?


This dyanmic describes pretty much every business relationship in the world - sounds like your problem is with capitalism, not stripping.

Dirty commie.

ZenTiger said...

Hi Danyl, I can see how I gave you that impression. However, it's not the point I was making.

Fraser was painting the stripper as selling product to a meek customer, forced to abide by the rules in play. The implication the stripper was in control seemed to me to omit the fact that the strip club owner was an influencer in this picture.

And this discussion is is no more about capitalism than if we were commenting on a pedophile buying child porn from a web site and neglecting to talk about the supplier of the porn to said web site. Or a drug dealer supplying an addict and neglecting to talk about the drug cartel further up the supply chain.

Capitalism is merely a tool here and not germane to the conversation. However, the mind does boggle to consider a strip club provided by the state, ensuring that all men were entitled to receive according to their needs, and all women providing according to their ability (or vice-versa).

Actually, I recall a strange story from Sweden(?) where paraplegics were entitled to tax paid visits by prostitutes...

Danyl said...

My point is that many strippers - as you point out - probably don't really want to be doing their jobs and aren't terribly empowered by the experience. But that makes their attitude towards their job identical to pretty much everyone who works at Burger King, the Warehouse and every other crappy McJob in the country. And probably most of the white-collar workers in the world as well. The only real difference is that strippers get paid a lot more and work much shorter hours.

And somebody needs to come up with a Godwins law equivilent for trying to use child pornography as an analogy.

ZenTiger said...

Fair enough. My point is that their attitude to the job still doesn't mean that the existence of the job in the first place isn't without deeper ramifications.

And some-one needs to come up with an un-Godwins law where people attempt to trivialize (or equate) some roles and activities as having the same cultural, moral and emotional impact on society as selling girl guide biscuits.

It may be liberal nirvana for nothing to matter to anyone, but that's not going to stop some people from exploiting others to the detriment of society as a whole.

Matthew said...

"the only real difference is that strippers get paid a lot more and work much shorter hours."

You're loosing the wood from the trees Danyl, as C.S.Lewis explained in his "Fern-seed and elephants" essay. Stripping, and pornography, is destructive, regardless of whether the women is paid or not. In fact paying her is likely to do more damage because it's encouraging a vice which is destroying her virtue.

Addressing a different topic is not going to debate the issue on this particular blog entry, even if someone else raised it first.

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