Saturday, April 16, 2005

Roger Scruton's Prejudices

Roger Scruton is one of those writers, (like Paul and Boris Johnson, but unlike Mark Steyn who is pretty consistently right), whose arguments can by the moment change from the completely subtle and awe-inspiring, to the utterly wrong within the space of a comma. To see what I mean, you may have to subscribe to the Spectator at, for his current article entitled "Shameless and Loveless."

To sum up, the article laments, in the fairly traditional way of conservatives inveighing against the modern world, the loss of the Arcadian era, pre-1963 when people knew how to genuinely go about the project of love. He writes: "In pornography, desire is detached from love, and attached to the mute machinery of sex. This is damaging to adults in just the same way that modern sex education is damaging to children. For it undermines the possibility of real erotic love, which comes only when the sexual act is hedged round with prohibitions, and offered as a gift and an existential commitment".

He insists: "By focusing on the wrong things we pollute and diminish the right things."

Why this either/or equation? Does this not simply gives us all more possibilities? Sex workers are most often quite clear about the distinctions between their work and the project of love and they take the latter one just as seriously as humans ever did and this usually involves a number of prohibitions, which though these may have changed in some regards, are not the less life-enhancing for this. Most children find sex education classes only relevant in so far as they are good for a laugh.

Rog...get real and actually talk to real people without prejudice, for a change.

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