Friday, June 07, 2013

Exemplos de conservadores defendendo a intervenção do Estado na moral social

Ainda a respeito disto, a dada altura o Rui Albuquerque pediu exemplos de "exemplos de autores conservadores ingleses que defendam" a "intervenção do Estado na manutenção (e promoção) de princípios morais e organizativos da Sociedade".

Ingleses não me ocorre nenhuns (mas a associação histórica do Partido Conservador ao "antidisestablishmentarianism" não contará?), mas não é difícil encontrar norte-americanos (e o conservadorismo norte-americano até tem fama de anti-estatista comparado com o britânico).


Robert Bork:

The nature of the liberal and libertarian errors is easily seen in discussions of pornography. The leader of the explosion of pornographic videos, described admiringly by a competitor as the Ted Turner of the business, offers the usual defenses of decadence: 'Adults have the right to see [pornography] if they want to. If it offends you, don't buy it.' Those statements neatly sum up both the errors and the (unintended) perniciousness of the alliance between libertarians and modern liberals with respect to popular culture.

Modern liberals employ the rhetoric of 'rights' incessantly, not only to delegitimate the idea of restraints on individuals by communities but to prevent discussion of the topic. Once something is announced, usually flatly or stridently, to be a right --whether pornography or abortion or what have you-- discussion becomes difficult to impossible. Rights inhere in the person, are claimed to be absolute, and cannot be deminished or taken away by reason; in fact, reason that suggests the non-existence of an asserted right is viewed as a moral evil by the claimant. If there is to be anything that can be called a community, rather than an agglomeration of hedonists, the case for previously unrecognized individual freedoms (as well as some that have been previously recognized) must be thought through and argued, and "rights" cannot win every time. Why there is a right for adults to enjoy pornography remains unexplained and unexplainable.

The second bit of advice --'If it offends you, don't buy it' -- is both lulling and destructive. Whether you buy it or not, you will be greatly affected by those who do. The aesthetic and moral environment in which you and your family live will be coarsened and degraded. Economists call the effects an activity has on others 'externalities'; why so many of them do not understand the externalities here is a mystery. They understand quite well that a person who decides not to run a smelter will nevertheless be seriously affected if someone else runs one nearby.(...)

 Can there be any doubt that as pornography and depictions of violence become increasingly popular and increasingly accessible, attitudes about marriage, fidelity, divorce, obligations to children, the use of force, and permissible public behavior and language will change? Or that with the changes in attitudes will come changes in conduct, both public and private? We have seen those changes already and they are continuing. Advocates of liberal arts education assure us that those studies improve character. Can it be that only uplifting reading affects character and the most degrading reading has no effects whatever? 'Don't buy it' and 'change the channel,' however intended, are effectively advice to accept a degenerating culture and its consequences

The obstacles to censorship of pornographic and viloence-filled materials are, of course, enormous. Radical individualism in such matters is now pervasive even among sedate, upper middle-class people. At a dinner I sat next to a retired Army general who was no a senior corporate executive. The subject of Robert Mapplethorpe's photographs came up. This most conventional of dinner companions said casually that people ought to be allowed to see whatever they wanted to see. It would seem to follow that others ought to be allowed to do whatever some want to see.... Any serious attempt to root out the worst in our popular culture may be doomed unless the judiciary comes to understand that the First Amendment was adopted for good reasons, and those reasons did not include the furtherance of radical personal autonomy.
Irving Kristol:
For the plain fact is that we all believe that there is a point at which the public authorities ought to step in to limit the "self-expression" of an individual or a group. A theatrical director might find someone willing to commit suicide on the stage. We would not allow that. And I know of no one who argues that we ought to permit public gladiatorial contests, even between consenting adults.

No society can be utterly indifferent to the ways its citizens publicly entertain themselves. Bearbaiting and cockfighting are prohibited only in part out of compassion for the animals; the main reason is that such spectacles, were felt to debase and brutalize the citizenry who flocked to witness them. The question with regard to pornography and obscenity is whether they will brutalize and debase our citizenry. We are, after all, not dealing with one book or one movie. We are dealing with a general tendency that is suffusing our entire culture. (...)

I'll put it bluntly: if you care for the quality of life in our American democracy, then you have to be for censorship.
E,já agora, a defesa por Willmore Kendall da condenação de Sócrates (o grego), que me parece basear-se em princípios similares.

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