Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Inciting hatred?

This witty little piece is worth pondering for the light it throws on changes that have occurred in the social, cultural and legal environment over recent decades. The song (as the text on the video notes) ruffled a few feathers when it was released more than 30 years ago.

But would such a song have been written today? And, if it had, would it have been given a mainstream release? I doubt it.

Individual ethics and manners once bore a far greater load and played a more central role in the functioning of society. But now, as Western governments seek to modify behavior through 'education programs' and a progressive legislative agenda, the role of private judgement in morality, manners and professional life has been downgraded.

Legal systems, once perceived as staid but respected, have become pro-active players in an intra-societal struggle, as an ever-expanding inventory of groups and sub-groups and categories of individual seek to benefit from their minority or 'oppressed' status.

I have the strong sense that Western societies were not only considerably freer, but also considerably saner in previous decades.