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Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The New Shunning

Timothy Birdnow

(This first appeared at Canada Free Press

What are the limits to civility, and why is what Rush Limbaugh said about Sandra Fluke wrong? It occurs to me we are not asking the right questions in this instance.

What is it that societies use to enforce standards of behavior? In Hunter Gatherer days it was brute force, but that changed to concepts of honor as the power of the tribes gradually overtook the individuals. Honor became especially important in agricultural communities where public opinion could compel right behavior as the community saw it. Losing one’s honor in the eyes of the community was to be shunned by that community, and this meant not merely a loss of fellowship but of business contacts, of help when needed, of COMMUNITY that is so important in an agrarian society. How do you harvest crops if nobody will associate with you? What do you do when raiders attack and nobody will come to your aid? If your crops fail, who feeds your family? Agriculture in an unmechanized civilization requires community.

You couldn’t have a daughter who slept with every field hand; wives, mothers, sweethearts would force your eventual shunning. It became a matter of honor; you simply couldn’t allow your honor to be so besmirched.

Modern science and technology has changed much of that, has atomized us to the point where we don’t give a rats petunia about what the community thinks. On the contrary, communities of outcasts can now make common cause, establishing counter cultures that demand to be recognized and even subsidized by those who would shun them. Without modern technology you would have no homosexual movement, for instance; it would be a shunnable thing, and gay people would still be doing it in the closet out of fear of losing their honor.

Sandra Fluke would not demand the right to copulate with everything animal, vegetable, and mineral because she would be called precisely what Rush called her, and she would find herself on the outs. But she can join with the misanthropes of the Democrat Party and other should-be outcasts and actually turn the attention away from her own immorality and onto the messenger.

Modern society controls with guilt. And the guilt is put there through a series of crisis, generated by those in Academia and propagated by the media. Michael Crichton made this observation in his novel “State of Fear” and he is quite correct; there is a guilt industry, a crisis industry, whose purpose is to manipulate public opinion - generally away from the direction it would normally take. And the modern electronic beast that is media promotes and reinforces these new standards of behavior and thought created by the Humanists, the God-haters, the Progressives and heterodox.

Limbaugh was doing what any normal person would have done even thirty years ago; called Sandra Fluke out, appealing to honor to shame her. What he did was not unusual from a traditional sense, but we no longer accept traditional standards and so it is Limbaugh who is the bad guy. Moral relativism and nonjudgementalism have replaced traditional standards, and the worst sin is now proclaiming something a sin.

In that regard the new method works much like the old. Limbaugh has been censored, been shunned by the ubercommunity. That is the nature of the concept of political correctness; call out those who violate liberal standards. Political correctness was an invented tool of the Left to enforce speech restrictions, and it is hoped that restricting speech will restrict thought as well.

So it is o.k. to shame Limbaugh for calling a woman a slut, but it is not o.k. to shame the woman who demands the right to be one - and insists we all pay for that privilege.

Where is the difference?

The difference is that Sandra Fluke is an activist in the service of the Revolution. She is working with forces who seek to dismantle traditional values and morals, and this, in their minds, places her on the right side of things. Limbaugh seeks to uphold those “antiquated” traditions, and so he is absolutely disqualified from making any judgments on Fluke or anyone. He cannot be allowed to make such judgments, lest others follow suit.

This is the new shunning.

If our culture is to restore any sanity it must return to at least some sort of standard of judgment, and that judgment must be enforced with some degree of societal disapproval. That is not to say someone must be punished in perpetuity for mistakes made, or that society should be unforgiving, but open defiance of morality as bequeathed by our cultural inheritance and our Faith must be punished. As things stand now the vandals of Western Civilization are protected and her defenders are the ones punished.

A society cannot survive without some means of restricting those who would destroy it. But too many have come to believe that the only sin is judgementalism, and so the barbarian hordes in our midst are sweeping in from every closet to slash and burn our cultural underpinnings.

Rush was right to call this out. Perhaps his choice of words was poor, but his initial impulse was spot-on!.

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