This is a rather good thread on the pseudo-medicalization of psychological conditions that are often, in other instances, nothing more than perverse sexual fetishes and I recommend it to you. One of the interesting aspects here is the status of perversion under liberalism. To put it bluntly, liberalism not only lacks the philosophical and moral framework and vocabulary to distinguish and elaborate the perverse from the good/ natural, it is actually and increasingly hostile to any such architecture and vocabulary.
The framework and vocabulary that distinguishes and elaborates the perverse from the good/natural is one that is able to identify what certain things are as well as what they are for. The problem for liberalism is that it abandoned this framework from its inception and overtime the remnant vocabulary was purged as it ceased to make any sense within the framework of liberalism. Now, whenever we are confronted with what was formerly understood as perverse conduct, within the framework of liberalism, only the ideas of consent and harm are our guides. While these ideas are serviceable within their limited range, as guides they in no way exhaust the legal or the moral, and they certainly provide no assistance in identifying or dealing with perversity.
And it’s precisely because of this absence and hostility that our understanding of perversity follows a pattern of first being psychologized, medicalized, and finally normalized via a program of de-stigmatization. We now see the reverse occurring; that is, people that maintain an understanding of this or that conduct as perverse are, firstly, stigmatized as extremists, bigots, and the like, and, finally, psychologized as suffering from irrational fear (homo/ trans/ –phobia). Many such cases, indeed.
30 thoughts on “Perversity under liberalism”
Thanks: a very good thread. John Money and the Kinseys have a lot to answer for over their normalisation of perversion. Their influence, which crept into the DSM, was, needless to say, of no interest to the Gillard-McClellan political sham of a royal commission; that might have taken them to leftist academics, state school teachers, The Wall and the ABC.
The explosion of abuse in the Catholic Church in the 1960s and 1970s – which, of course, merely tracked trends in broader society – also owed much to this pseudo-science. From the late 60s, traditional doctrine and morals gave way to pop psychology, with predictable results. In far too many ‘Catholic’ (recte bureaucratic, philistine and secularist) schools, they have not come back.
The ABC and the execrable Milligan are prime examples. With acknowledgements to CS Lewis, they sneer at celibacy, purity and chastity and affect to be shocked that there are perverts in our midst. Or compare so-called consent education: anything goes with anybody or anything provided you sign consent forms in triplicate.
Is this related to Body Dysmorphia Disorder ? I have met a family where two sons suffered the disorder and one grandson of the daughter. Not wanting Healthy parts removed as in amputation but using other ways of removing the offending part.
Yes, Min, the tweet certainly referred to that malady, but as she notes in the tweet, we understand the condition as a mental disorder. Why doesn’t the same apply in the case of someone that believes themselves to be a member of the opposite sex? And so on.
Reminds me of this guy, a noted cricket historian, and a late friend of a friend of mine:
February 21, 2023 at 3:23 pm
Reminds me of this guy, a noted cricket historian, and a late friend of a friend of mine:
An eccentric and difficult man – “Bowen never made an influential friend he couldn’t turn into an avowed adversary” – Bowen amputated his perfectly healthy right leg below the knee in September 1968.
Got me stumped as to why.
Yes, you can consent to something peverted; they are not mutually exclusive.
While doing something peverted doesn’t necessarily make you an irredeemable pevert, it is indicative.
doverobeach yes mental health issue and I agree about diagnosing sex change problems of today . Tavistock institute has 1000 cases where kids have had the hormone injections and or bits cut off only to find they are still depressed . Looks like bankrupting the place and this is where Freud announced his findings , changed from original observations middle class women who had been fiddled with by relatives or daddy’s friends suffering from anxiety and hysteria to the Oedipal complex. Today sexual abuse , PTSD. Probably borderline personality disorder . I reckon there has been a lot of wrong diagnoses made from Deductive rather then inductive reasoning.
My friend who knew Bowen pretty closely back in the 1960s, did tell me more about the circumstances of the leg-cutting-off than what is in the Wikipedia article, but I don’t recall the details.
I’ll ask him next time I see him.
That’s a lot of commas.
You mean progressivism.
Locke, Mill, Rand etc never said “let’s enable mental illness to create a fake dialectical crisis and help the crazy eschatology of the commies where they ride in like White Knights to save the day.. ”.
You talk shit, Dover. What’s “normal” for you? Allowing hatred on your blog? You are incredibly naive and sheltered. Your source? Twitter?? You search for what feeds you. Selective. Not much life experience outside your marriage. If you were a good religious man you wouldn’t allow all the phobes on your blog. You are a selective conservative and religious man. When it suits you. Predictable.
Liberalism. None of the above are able to distinguish the perverse from the good, which is why the best you get from them is the perverse as synonymous with the abnormal or unconventional.
I think the original French term was idee fixe. Anorexics have the fixed delusion that they are fat. We try to change their minds.
There is an abundance of mental illness around us, nowadays they are supported and encouraged to “express theselves” and turned out into the community to live with the rest of us who are completely unaware of those around us who are dangerous or to themselves,
The common thread is the left’s desire for equality of outcomes, not equality of opportunity.
Of course, equality of opportunity would instantly eliminate the “woke” but the left having won all those wars ensures we get equality of outcome, meaning every extreme is to be tolerated.
How many times do we see murderers and terrorists whose actions are explained away as mental illness, as if that makes it OK and worthy of pardon.
The acceptance of mental illness as an excuse, as a sound reason for behaviour is breaking down our society.
On sexuality, I hate to agree with Andy Bolt, but he did say, frequently, that gay marriage was the beginning of the slippery slope, how right he was.
Are you sure about that?
The peculiar manipulation of, for one example, Mills’ harm principle by New Leftists from the late 1960s on should not be taken as anything other than an expression of New Leftism.
Mill was primarily a utilitarian and that utilitarianism (‘the greatest good for the greatest number’) greatly influenced the development of his theory of ethics and his treatment of morality in liberalism.
The idea that Mill could not distinguish what you term ‘the perverse’ (a term that I do not recall Mill himself using but which we may reasonably consider contained in his terms ‘wrong’ and ‘immoral’) from ‘the good’ (a fundamental concept in utilitarianism) is entirely unreasonable and betrays an insufficient reading of not only his early works on Bentham but also his later works Utilitarianism and On Liberty.
Mill took morality very seriously. As just one example, in his 1838 article on Bentham he writes that:
He outlined a whole system of morality and its relation to rational thought in his many writings from the 1830s to the 1860s. He made morality one of the three fundamental spheres of action of human beings.
Similarly but for different reasons, Locke cannot reasonably be said to be unable to distinguish the perverse from the good.
It is a mistake to use ‘liberalism’ in the sense that our American cousins mis-use it (to sneak Leftist/collectivist/socialist ideas into the American setting, where they have been generally regarded as anathema to a degree not found elsewhere in the English-speaking world in particular, and Western society more broadly) and then use that mis-characterisation to criticise real liberalism.
The inability to distinguish the perverse from the good stems not from liberalism (properly understood) but from the Leftism (and particularly the New Leftism) of the mid-twentieth century onwards.
Dot is more right than you, I am afraid, dover0beach. It is progressivism (in the American sense) not liberalism (in the everywhere-but-American sense) with which your bone lies.
Dover – Two stories for you today.
Pennsylvania English Teacher Says His Sex Ed Course Is Designed to ‘Desensitize Children’ to Sexual Imagery and Genitalia (21 Feb)
Spain decriminalizes sexual relations with animals as long as there is no physical injury that requires a veterinary visit. (21 Feb)
Links are to the Lucianne and Instapundit entries where I saw the stories, which I have not read and am not going to. Disgusting and horrible. Everything we’ve been saying about the Left re their sexual perversions, especially the qwerty wing, is evident with these two reports.
This is a handwave, and not a very good one either. Rather than explaining how this concept is available within utilitarianism and providing an example of how it can be successfully deployed, you just hope it possibly can because Mill thought morality very important indeed.
In the news today: Spain decriminalizes sex acts with animals as long as no physical injury occurs
Now, how would does a utilitarian deal with bestiality? Is act utilitarianism sufficient in identifying the perversity involved or must we deploy rule utilitarianism?
Rather than saying it can’t be reasonably be said, just set out how Locke could sustain that argument. Locke’s problem is that he denies the metaphysics which could sustain such an argument while still using terms that have been rendered a husk by his own metaphysic. The instructive bit about that story from Spain is the deployment of the harm principle on behalf of…whatever animal is violated. I mean, really.
And yet you’ve provided no evidence that ‘real liberalism’ can distinguish the perverse from the good. Liberals are going to have to stop pretending that policies such as the one in Spain are simply ‘Leftist’ and have nothing to do with liberalism. It’s not even remotely persuasive any longer.
I haven’t argued they were mutually exclusive.
We need an API embedded in WordPress to censor and correct Dover’s errors.
“Gee that bloke really dislikes progressivism”
This comment demonstrates my post. Liberals will typically just associate perversity as abnormal or unconventional in the non-moral sense; as something not often seen. Not sure why twitter is not an appropriate source if its simply referencing traditional materials, like an academic paper, or its simply the site in which an argument is made. Then they will attempt to psychologize their opponent: A is opposed to Y because they are religious, conventional, and so on. Or, anyone that is opposed to Y is a ‘phobe’, they cannot have entirely reasonable arguments against Y. Entirely predictable that they would make these assumptions; we’ve witnessed it for decades now.
And yet, here you are, declining the opportunity to demonstrate how utilitarianism recognizes bestiality as perverse.
Well said Dover.
The liberal and his proggy successors cannot seprate the act from the person who commits it. THus they do not realise that we can feel sorry for the deviant whilst deploring his behaviour. It is in itself a perverted version of noblesse oblige and the cde of chivalry.
There used to be a understanding that what went on behind closed doors was a matter for the people involved.
Therefore people still had to at least show obedience to social norms.
Most people prosecuted for perversity in “the bad old days” were either sprung in a public place, or openly carried on the behavior.
This seems to be a more sensible approach than “let your freak flag fly” with the objective seeming to be to recruit or propagandize what were fringe activities for the majority of people.
I can understand why a young bloke with no access to female human beans should feel the need to shag a sheep. I’d feel pity for him. If he preferred sheep to girls, I’d say he definitely had his wires crossed.
A liberal ( in the classical sense) can easily point out that the blind forces of evolution have left us with a strong sex drive so that we’ll reproduce our species, and that the various perversions do not accomplish this goal, and hence indicate a brain malfunction. You don’t have to moralise about this, and a classical liberal wouldn’t, but you do have to decide what to do about it. Isolating perverts in case it’s infectious (which it probably is at the margins) would look to be a rational response.
The mental health profession is damned if they do and damned if they don’t with these characters, rare though they are. If they self harm the psychiatrist got it wrong and is viewed negatively. When the chosen method of amputation is by putting the offending limb on a rail track and this is told to the psychiatrist they really have no choice but to recommend medical amputation.
You have never noted how I tend to post in disagreement?
I have, Dot. I have.
Liberalism, oh no, sorry ‘progressivism’ spotted in Sydney.
Wot Doc Beau Gan sed @ 5.53.
Two more pertinent articles today:
Concern Voiced as ‘Transgender’ Male ‘Nappy Fetish’ Artist to Entertain Children at UK Library (23 Feb)
Left-Wing Guardian Admits ‘Horrifying’ Book Detailing Trans Kids Clinic Practices ‘Reads Like a Dystopian Novel’ (23 Feb)
The predatory behaviour of these people towards children is despicable and completely evil.