16 April 2015

Plus c'est la meme chose, plus ca change.

The more things stay the same, the more they change.

I've spent a fair amount of time reading one jeremiad after another about how we've changed for the worse and will continue to change for the worse. The authors all share one error in their thinking: they seem to believe we will continue down the same curve from this point on.  But anyone with an eye to history would know that we never stay on the same curve forever.  Our society at any given moment is not the end product (unless the conditioners have their way- but I don't believe they will) but just a blip.  We changed from the way things went before.  Things will change after us.

Take the issue of promiscuity.  Many writers are obsessed with how bad it is right now, and I admit it is bad.  I also admit it may get  worse, but I don't think it will get infinitely worse.  Other societies before us have had loose morals as far as sex is concerned.  Some eras would make even the most libertine among us blush.  They all changed eventually, as will we.  And if you look closely, you may see that the current promiscuity itself bears its own seeds for its eventual decline.

For example, there was a video from last year which applies an economics model to relationships.

Not entirely Catholic, but, as I said, it applies a economics model to sex. To continue their model, women once demanded a very high price from men for sex: men had to swear, before God and their fellow man, that they would love only that one woman, would support and love that woman for all his life before the woman would agree to sex.  In part, men had to grow up.  Despite what feminists have said, in the past it wasn't men who controlled women's sexuality. Read the books by women in the past- Jane Austen et al, and you will realize that it was the women who kept their eyes on the other women.

Think of them as a union.  A union seeks to control access to a goods or service in order to demand the highest price possible.  As far as services go, they control a doozy, and women could demand as high a price as possible.  Women who didn't charge the high price for their-- ahem- services- were a kind of scab labour, driving the price down for everyone, and therefore measures such as shaming were taken against them to try and keep them in line.   Am I saying this was a perfect situation and that it always worked for the benefit of both parties?  Heck no.  It had its failures, including a great many spectacular ones.  But both the men and the women knew what was expected of them.  Now, unfortunately, nothing is expected of the men, and both are suffering for it, though men are slow to realize that.  With sex being easily accessible, men no longer have to prove or promise anything.  Among other outcomes, that means men are no longer growing up.   Women are starting to notice, and they aren't entirely happy with this situation.

Or take another form of the promiscuity of the day: the naked selfies.  (There's a video on it here, but there is language and it is a little risqué. Clink on the link if you wish, but be warned.)  Using economics again, it used to be that a women would send them to her... guy... thing.. whatever- and she would be get a little risqué thrill, and so would he.  There was a risk, but also a reward.  However, what with hacks, and guys being scum and not growing up to be men, these photos got passed around.  A lot.  In economic terms, the risk has grown, but the reward has remained the same.  This is an entirely untenable situation.  Sooner or later, women will realize the risk isn't worth the reward, and when they do, the supply will diminish.  And it isn't an outside force that leads the change, but rather the forces inherent in the practice itself.

Am I saying that sex will return to solely inside the marriage?  No.  Even in the most puritan of times and places, there were always exceptions.  Nor will the porn industry ever completely go away.   But their influence and patterns wax and wane.  In restrictive times, people eventually want to break out of the restrictions.  In licentious times, people eventually tire of the emptiness of license, and realize it is not worth the effort. 

I can't promise you that we will soon move out of this situation.  I can't promise you that the new situation, in whatever form it will take, will be perfect -actually, scratch that- I can promise you that the new change will not be perfect.  It will have it's own problems.  But I can also promise you that the way things are today will change in the future, that we will shift gears and change our direction.  If nothing else, mankind has far too short an attention span to travel forever in the same direction.

No comments: