Hyper-individualism

The Spectator doesn’t always do it for me. When it’s about the “modern” Tory Party, which includes Cameron et al, it’s less endearing. But when its authors address traditional values, it can be very good indeed. This is a long excerpt which you can read all of here but it couldn’t be abridged:

Opponents of traditional marriage have fallen into the trap of hyper-individualism. Sometimes without being aware of it, they see society as comprising nothing but individuals and their wants. For them, marriage primarily bestows legal privileges, which are not available to the unmarried. They must have these privileges in the name of equality.

But the hyper-individualists, who lack awareness of their personal intellectual limitations and think it impossible that they could learn from earlier generations, have had their task made much easier by the half-hearted resistance of the Church of England. It has allowed marriage to be so hollowed out that it is already little more than a few legal rights. Traditional marriage at its best involved accepting burdens.

It was above all a lifelong commitment. If your partner became ill or disabled you had to see it through – and not walk out on them. If children emerged, as they do in most cases, you had to take full responsibility for them. And you had solemnly to swear to be sexually faithful to each other.

When divorce was based on fault, it gave partners a reason to treat each other with respect. Marriage provided a regular outlet for sexual needs. Partly for this reason and partly because children were expected to emerge except for the unlucky few, non-consummation of a marriage was a reason for annulling it. Without regular sex, some might seek their pleasures elsewhere and unwanted babies might result.

“But the hyper-individualists, who lack awareness of their personal intellectual limitations and think it impossible that they could learn from earlier generations …” Wow, haven’t we seen quite a few of those online. It’s the ignorance of how societies have functioned in the past which leads them to this ridiculous idea of it somehow being about “equality” and “human rights”.

One of the best analogies was the Loretta bit of Life of Brian.

One Response to “Hyper-individualism”

  1. haiku February 7, 2013 at 06:13 Permalink

    Love the “But the hyper-individualists …” quote.

    In some ways it can be viewed as a variation of my favourite quote: “Awareness preceeds choice …”

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