The New Victorians

Posted on 2014 December 18

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“You can’t say ‘the black kid over there.’ No, it’s ‘the guy with the red shoes.’ You can’t even be offensive on your way to being inoffensive.” — Chris Rock

Back in the day, when Conservatives ruled the world and dinosaurs roamed the planet, it was considered immoral — and often against the law — to:

  • be gay
  • smoke weed
  • have sex out of wedlock
  • raise a child while unmarried
  • admit Blacks through the front door
  • look at pornography
  • drink alcohol
  • join a union
  • go broke
  • gamble

Much of this was codified during the Victorian Age, a nineteenth-century era of strict and formal social mores that spilled into the twentieth century.

Then along came the Progressives, who eschewed formality and privilege, and society was vastly altered. The reptiles were expunged, and the warm-blooded ruled the earth. This era extended into the twenty-first century, and with it comes a new set of ethical codes, whereby it is considered immoral — and often against the law — to:

  • smoke cigarettes
  • engage in micro-intimidations 
  • have sex in college without a signed contract
  • drink more than 16 ounces of cola at one sitting
  • utter anything that might “trigger” someone
  • run tap water while shaving
  • make use of privilege
  • have a lot of money
  • use plastic bags
  • be a white male
  • not join a union

To a Martian, this shift from one set of social rules to another might seem somewhat arbitrary. The old rules focused largely on sexual behavior, while the new set takes aim at wealth. The old system clamped down on license, while the new regime pushes down on advantage.

But marijuana for cigarettes? They’re both bad for the lungs. A license to marry versus a contract to hook up? They’re both squeamish about sex. The Poor House versus wealth shaming? They both punish the outliers.

Is this real change, or simply one puritanical belief system replacing another?

Puritanical… Easily offended… Holds transgressors up to ridicule. Makes unlawful certain private activities. Speaks with contempt toward those who disagree. This sounds so familiar … 

Ah, yes, of course! It’s obvious. Progressives are … The New Victorians!

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UPDATE: Neo-Victorian censorship

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