Saturday, 12 April 2014

New Puritans revisited


Here is Lord Macaulay on the Puritans:

"It was a sin to hang garlands on a Maypole, to drink a friend's health, to fly a hawk, hunt a stag, to play at chess, to wear lovelocks, to put starch into a ruff, to touch the virginals [a predecessor of the piano], to read the Fairy Queen.--Rules such as these, rules which would have appeared insupportable to the free and joyous spirit of Luther, and coutemptible to the serene and philosophical intellect of Zwingle, threw over all life a more than monastic gloom. The learning and eloqueuce by which the great reformers had been eminently distinguished, and to which they had been, in no small measure, indebted for their success, were regarded by the new school of Protestants with suspicion, if not with aversion. Some precisians had scruples about teaching the Latin grammar because the names of Mars, Bacchus, and Apollo occurred in it. The fine arts were all but proscribed. The solemn peal of the organ was superstitious. The light music of Ben Jonson's masques was dissolute. Half the fine paintings in England were idolatrous, and the other half indecent."

So those people who condemn, would limit and even ban so much pleasure simply to enforce their belief that it's for our own good - what else could we call them but New Puritans. These are the voices of the anti-consumer, the dry and pleasure free health fanatics, the people who see sex as a threat not a joy. Every day we are regaled with the patest dire warnings and every day a new call is made to the government for something to be done about these sins. Even harmless activities that look like the sin are condemned - recalling those who covered chair legs so as not to be reminded of the female form.

All these doctors, campaigners and activists who wish to order our lives for the benefit of our health are just worldly echoes of those old Puritans. We are reminded of this by Irma Kurtz:

Are health educators the new puritans? Yes, of course they are. They would cleanse and purify the new religion. The new religion is a paltry faith. It is worship of self. Religions get the puritans they deserve, and the new puritan is not much more than a rather fussy housekeeper who doesn't want cigarette ash on the carpet. Some of the new puritans, that is the medicos, are also the new priests. They are expected to intervene between mankind and the supernatural...

Since our health is placed on the highest pinnacle in this new religion, those charged with care for that health are not to be challenged even when they step beyond their knowledge. Thus, a doctor's opinion on the packaging of cigarettes is granted more value - because he is a 'priest' - than the opinion of those who understand the role of packaging or have studied its actual effect.

Those who contest these ideas, who challenge the New Puritians are condemned as the followers of Satan - in thrall to Big Tobacco, The Drinks Industry or Big Sugar. Even non-smoking, teetotal opponents are condemned as the New Puritans search for the tiniest justification for their condemnation.

Now, the New Puritans have adopted an ideology of total control - rejecting democracy and preferring instead the authority of the public health priesthood:

An urgent transformation is required in our values and our practices based on recognition of our interdependence and the interconnectedness of the risks we face. We need a new vision of cooperative and democratic action at all levels of society and a new principle of planetism and wellbeing for every person on this Earth - a principle that asserts that we must conserve, sustain, and make resilient the planetary and human systems on which health depends by giving priority to the wellbeing of all. All too often governments make commitments but fail to act on them; independent accountability is essential to ensure the monitoring and review of these commitments, together with the appropriate remedial action.

The voice of public health and medicine as the independent conscience of planetary health has a special part to play in achieving this vision.

These is little difference - other than reference to god - between this and the Puritan justification for banning the celebration of Christmas:

'More mischief is that time committed than in all the year besides ... What dicing and carding, what eating and drinking, what banqueting and feasting is then used ... to the great dishonour of God and the impoverishing of the realm.'
Such is the sad, drear, judgemental world the New Puritans would have us live in: rationed celebration, the condemnation of unlicensed pleasure, the placing of contentment - wellbeing if you must - as the primary virtue. These are the tenets of New Puritans, tenets that cannot be revoked by either the choices of individuals or the exercise of democracy - they are statements of faith in the religion of self proclaimed by that religion's priesthood - the public health profession.



Stewart Cowan said...

The "New Puritans" differ, I think, from the old type in very important ways. Religious puritanism was probably for honest reasons, whereas the new and not improved version comes to us mainly via the UN and is probably related to control and eugenics.

Rather than caring about our souls, the New Puritans have been brainwashed into elevating physical health and the environment above everything else, even the Almighty and salvation, which the puritans of old put first.

In fact the New Puritans aren't puritans at all; they're control freaks for some grand Malthusian Agenda 21 depopulation and neo-feudal future.

Take, for example, sex 'education'. Malthus recommended abstinence and putting off marriage until suitable finances were available.

Contrast this with the so-called New Puritans, who aim to achieve the same result through very evil social re-engineering. They have been using sex education, television and what passes for music to encourage youngsters to have sex earlier and with more partners, BUT that "teenage pregnancy" is some great evil which must be reduced through 'free' contraception and abortions. Ed Balls has been campaigning for sex education to start at age five. Some even more twisted individuals think it should start pre-school.

Early exposure to these messages has the effect of many youngsters experimenting more and earlier than would otherwise be the case; the opposite of what Malthus proposed.

These dysfunctional people nowadays have had the sex act removed from love and marriage, so that when older, they find it difficult to settle down to family life, stay faithful and raise children.

This is one way the New Puritans, or let's call a spade a spade: these are people with Obsessive Depopulation and Control Disorder (ODCD), are planning the future of mankind (the relatively few who will remain).

The only thing they have in common with genuine puritans is their religious zeal; there is fight in them to reduce the population for a greener, cleaner planet and to produce a healthier, fitter human race: a master race, as it were, so there is no drain on the others.

Now that abortion is well and truly part of our culture and unborn babies with disabilities can 'legally' be butchered right up to the time of birth, it won't take too much of a leap to what some 'experts' are calling for: "post-birth abortions" or "after-birth abortions". These are more acceptable terms for infanticide or child murder.

One such advocate is a Dr Francesca Minerva, from the University of Melbourne, who has a piece on the BMJ's website.

In fact, because she considers newborns as "non-persons" she thinks that killing healthy babies is also morally acceptable,

"Actual people's well-being could be threatened by the new (even if healthy) child requiring energy, money and care which the family might happen to be in short supply of. Sometimes this situation can be prevented through an abortion, but in some other cases this is not possible. In these cases, since non-persons have no moral rights to life, there are no reasons for banning after-birth abortions."

Stewart Cowan said...


If this were to become law it would open up a whole can of worms as to who else could be considered a "non-person" and killed off. Likewise, who can be said to be a drain on their family or be costing too much money to keep alive or whose quality of life is considered to be low?

That could include the very elderly, people with Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia, people with severe depression and the severely physically handicapped.

Marie Stopes, the mad feminist who sent Hitler adoring poetry, called for the "compulsory sterilisation of the diseased, drunkards, or simply those of bad character." She concentrated her abortion clinics in poor areas to help reduce the birth rate of the lower classes.

The clinics bearing her name are now popular and their chief executive gets to 'help' the government to formulate strategies to reduce teenage pregnancies (i.e. more sex 'education' to produce more dysfunctionality to provide yet more clients to make use of the contraception and abortion 'services' provided by the Marie Stopes' clinics.

These New Puritans (ODCD sufferers) just seem to hate people. They crave a small global population as physically healthy as can be bred and the way we are heading, all other people will be deemed suitable for "after-birth abortions" or sterilisation.

With the country's finances on life support, these evil ideas could become reality sooner rather than later.

John Gray said...

A really nice little commentary by Simon Cooke and a fantastic adumbration of the current social condition from Stuart Cowan. What a pity this new Puritanism seems unstoppable!