Friday, June 22, 2012

Puritans, Sex, Violence

- I have to admit I looked at your writing. I couldn't get into it.
- You don't have time for it.
- Yes, like most people most of my time goes into making a living.
- How you think about making a living makes some other thoughts harder to accept.
- How do people think about making a living?
- Americans for example are famously puritanical. They don't like talk about sex in public life. It embarrasses them. Have you ever considered why?
- I read about a congresswoman who was silenced after using the medical name of female body parts. As a physician I find that ridiculous. I suppose it's just one of those things every group of people do without knowing why.
- They don't know why, but there is a reason. Like the Puritan can't admit attraction of people to each other into his public life, the free market advocate can't allow liking for people to affect his economic behavior.
- Interesting.
- Puritanism is a barrier against change. When people like each other new relations - economic, personal, sexual, - are established which compete with established monopoly relations.
- What do you mean?
- Unregulated free markets result in concentration of wealth, monopolized wealth monopolizes influence on politicians. The rich impoverish everyone else, and repressive puritanism dispirits opposition by making it impossible for them to establish relation to each other, to communicate. A kind of stability results. It's the other invisible hand. The open society of the free market leads to the closed society of puritanism, so-called "austerity", and repression.
- But there are many immigrant groups that are not puritanical.
- Sure, but they are being assimilated. Control is being tightened in other ways as well. Shows of violence are acceptable so long as they serve as a warnings not to make a claim on a new relation. That is why they are hardly regulated, paradoxical though it seems that in a controlled society shows of sexuality are restricted but not violence.
- What about pornography? It's all over the Internet.
- Pornography is sexuality devoid of personal knowledge, and it's sold. It trains people to use money, the most impersonal of mechanisms, to do without making new personal relations. It's perfect for the free market.
- You're saying that puritanism leads to free-market economics?
- And free-market economics leads to puritanism.