An aberration’s path from rejection to tolerance and then to approval.
Success, especially when inherited and not earned, stimulates arrogance. The so cursed think to be immune to the consequences of errors that they exclude from the realm of the possible. The number of those grows of those in modern societies that are convinced that, what ruined others, “could not happen” to them. Disasters are stored in the past of others; they can only happen on the “History Channel”.
Such self-confidence spreads under a roof that is not made out what reality supplies. The delusion is constructed out of the amalgam of ignorance and conceit. Due to this blind carelessness, the quality of public affairs is declining. True, dunces might fool themselves and they may convince the dim to follow. However, even if the trick is sold, reality will not be altered. Not deigning to look at the approaching freight train as you park for a picnic on the crossing, might make you feel confident. Even so, the felt delight will not avoid the eventual collision.
Unwarranted confidence is enhanced by an unwillingness to acknowledge discernible trends. This shortsightedness is sustained by the ignorance of the past’s analogies. This tells why democracies are surprised by events regardless of their smoke signals.
It would be convenient to pretend that our shocks are a bolt from the blue and thus not foreseeable. Fairness demands a caveat. Some of those blown over in the past had excuses. One caught this writer’s attention. A 1944 deportee from Hungary to a Nazi death camp explained why he joined the transport to oblivion. He told: “if I would have known what is awaiting me, there would have been no power on earth to make me to get into the wagon. However, there existed no power on earth then that could have convinced me to believe the truth about those Lagers”.
The past’s bad decisions were taken by elites that relied on partial information with the masses beneath them completely in the dark. Nowadays we are, if we care to be, fully informed. Only, we do not “care”. This means that crucial decisions continue to be taken in the dark. The difference is that history’s decisions were born in the dark while the present is forged in the darkness of closed shutters. In both cases, the same lesson fits: badly evaluated data leads to bad futures.
While the dark clouds at the edge of the horizon are ignored, headline treatment is given to the drugged mischief of infantile actors. Out of a long list, the choice of ignored perils fell here upon a trend that involves a whitewash. The misdeed is regarded as so reprehensible that it is still beyond the pale for absolution extended by the unaffected.
Pedophilia is muting into a subject of public concern while its ill repute hinders its discussion. Scandals are now moving us away from the silent treatment. In part, the inclination to delegate a family responsibility to state-supplied professionals might be a moving factor. Pedophiles like to choose functions in which familiarity can develop toward children, while a link of trust to their protectors is nurtured. Traditionally, the priests of boarding schools, nowadays social workers fit the criteria.
Since the self-praised efforts of the ’68-ers, pedophilia is seeping through new cracks to gain acceptance. The “rebels” of ‘68 used advocate “understanding” for the “alternative way of life” of pedophiles. Cohn-Bendit, the bad tempered red-green turbo-charged EU activist is an outstanding example. This moral paragon still thinks that stroking the front of his slacks created a playful bond between an adult and a child. Revealingly, this has not ended his political life.
Yet, there is no open endorsement of pedophilia. Nevertheless, next to perfunctory condemnation –never as sharp as for nuclear plants or eating meat - nuances surface. The current approach questions jail for perpetrators in favor of “therapy”. Increasingly, the critique comes with mitigating references. One is that “jail is no solution”. What is meant is not to prevent future victims, but the pedophile’s rehabilitation. A further plea contradicts somewhat the advocated “therapy”.
It is accepted that pedophilia is not a matter of choice but a born-with inclination. The insinuation is that, from the point of view of the pedophile, the practice is “normal” even if for the children the consequences are negative.
Qualifications, still delivered with a frown, intend to soften up the public. Pedophilia might –as have other deviancies- move from the “criminal” into the category of the “unusual”. From there, the transfer into the “rare” but nevertheless “normal” for its practitioners, becomes a small matter.
The suspected trend away from deviancy, muting into understanding tolerance, will be confirmed or disproven in the future.
If experience is a general guide, then the current case constitutes a specific that fits a pattern. Therefore, a warning.
There seems to be a path for the unconscionable to become legitimate -and then to receive subsidies. We start from sanctions backed by social consent. Then we move to the tolerance that reflects our political culture’s favorite reaction when its values are challenged. Then, from tolerance, we move to approval –at least by “cultural leaders”. The final step declares the behavior to be an expression of “individuality” and then moves from approval to the imposition of originally rejected values.