Contra Mozilla

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Cogent Case Contra Pornography

The Telegraph's Dr Tim Stanley makes an argument that Lady Thatcher would not support free access to pornography, and (more importantly) that conservatives right now shouldn't either. His concluding paragraphs are especially good:
This is what happens to conservatism when you strip it of moralism – it becomes economically deterministic, heartless in some quarters, libertine in most. It is the law of the jungle, in that it barely has any laws at all. Ironically, its end result is not a recognisably conservative society but a rather more liberal one. 
Comrades, we conservatives should be no friends of pornography. It is vicarious prostitution (you pay other people to have sex on your behalf, which is just sad), its links to organised crime are well documented, it dislocates sex from its natural or romantic states, and it undoes social cohesion. We shouldn’t outlaw porn, but we can regulate it and keep it away from kids – as we do with alcohol.
"Vicarious prostitution" seems like an apt enough description. Or, as C.S. Lewis put it (in describing the fantasies of masturbation, of which pornography might be a set), 
"For me the real evil of masturbation would be that it takes an appetite which, in lawful use, leads the individual out of himself to complete (and correct) his own personality in that of another (and finally in children and even grandchildren) and turns it back; sends the man back into the prison of himself, there to keep a harem of imaginary brides...the harem is always accessible, always subservient, calls for no sacrifices or adjustments, and can be endowed with erotic and psychological attractions which no woman can rival...In the end, they become merely the medium through which he increasingly adores himself."
Conservatives and especially Christians should rejoice over Britain's efforts to regulate porn. We ought to do the same here in the states. This is true whether Lady Thatcher (or Ronald Reagan here) would have approved of such regulation, though I somehow suspect that both would be on the side of at least commonsense regulations (e.g. allowing households to opt-out, or better yet requiring to to opt in if they want to have access to it).

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