Category Archives: sexual permissiveness

Imbecile militants of libertinism

Havelock Ellis

Havelock Ellis

Dalrymple writes that the shallow, twisted and dishonest sexual revolutionists’ ideas

about the relations between men and women—entailing ever greater sexual liberty, ever less mastery of the appetite—were so absurd and utopian that it is hard to understand how anyone could have taken them seriously. But mere absurdity has never prevented the triumph of bad ideas.

Their sensibilities

have permeated our society. The Dionysian has triumphed over the Apollonian. No grace, no reticence, no measure, no dignity, no secrecy, no depth, no limitation of desire is accepted.

There is, writes Dalrymple,

denial that sexual relations are a proper subject of moral reflection or that they need to be governed by moral restrictions. The result is soaring divorce rates and mass illegitimacy.

He points to the profound

change in moral sensibility, in the direction of a thorough coarsening of feeling, thought, and behaviour.

The state of sexual enlightenment

Screen Shot 2015-04-18 at 18.42.04Gone, writes Dalrymple,

are the days of unhealthy concealment, of absurd Victorian taboos that led to the application of cruel and cumbersome devices to children to prevent masturbation, to prudish circumlocutions about sexual matters, to the covering of piano legs to preserve the purity of the thoughts of men in the drawing room. We are at ease with our sexuality.

For the first time in history

we can enjoy sexual relations without any of the unnecessary social and psychological accretions of the past that so complicated and diminished life. No more guilt, shame, jealousy, anxiety, frustration, hypocrisy, and confusion. Free at last!

But

Screen Shot 2015-04-18 at 18.49.28

George Grosz, Circe, 1927

 

When whim is law

The victims

Some of the victims

Reflections on the case of Frederick and Rosemary West

The serial killers’ path, writes Dalrymple,

was smoothed by the increasing uncertainty as to the line between acceptable and unacceptable conduct, or even whether such a line exists.

Increasing sexual permissiveness

was taken by the Wests, whose libidos were a great deal stronger than their powers of reason, to entail a complete absence of limits; they told those whom they raped that what they were doing was only ‘natural’ and unobjectionable.

The cellar

The cellar

They operated

in an atmosphere in which, increasingly, self-discipline was not accepted as a necessary condition of freedom—in which everyone’s merest whim was law.

The case reveals

how easily, in the anonymity of the modern urban environment, and in the midst of crowds, people may disappear.

Such disappearances

are made all the easier by a collective refusal—in the name of individual liberty—of parents to take responsibility for their children, of neighbours to notice what is happening around them, of anyone to brave the mockery of libertines in the defence of some standard of decency.

Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 19.31.04

The evil

The various public agencies—the police, the schools, the social services, the hospitals—proved no substitute

for the personal concern that families were once supposed to have provided, but that, in a permissive climate in which tolerance all too often shades into indifference, many provide no longer.

The failure of these agencies

was not accidental, but inherent in their nature as bureaucracies: the state is not, and never will be, a substitute for an old-fashioned Mum and Dad.