Irony is a funny thing . . . and sometimes irony is unavoidable. For Progressives who seek to deny the realities of low nature rather than taking them into account on the journey toward a more natural (in the higher sense) and just world, the irony often is that they end up embracing the low tyranny of nature's grip on man. They think they are overcoming nature by denying it when, in fact, they only reaffirm their powerlessness in the face of it. They decry the "cretin-like" and "backward" thinking of conservatives when, in fact, it is their way of thinking that points backward . . . way backward.Jennifer Roback Morse
helps to illustrate this phenomenon by taking to task a "story"
that ripped through international headlines last week as it claimed to demonstrate that lesbian couples make better parents than heterosexual couples. As Roback Morse argues, the "story" amounted to a single (and fuzzy) quote from a lone conference participant at a meeting of the British think tank Demos
during which they were discussing this report
(a report which, by the way, does not at any point address the question of the relative merits of lesbian parents). That conference participant--one Stephen Scott, who holds the title of director of research at the National Academy for Parenting
Practitioners (UK)--offered some remarks to the conference (presented as fact) that boil down to nothing more than Mr. Scott's own pet opinion. The original reporter from the TimesOnline
went on to present more anecdotal evidence and other opinions (including seeking out Mary Cheney's views, of course) in an attempt to bolster Mr. Scott's view and create a story where one did not exist.
Further complicating this non-story are the actual
findings in the report from Demos. The report in question found that so-called "tough love" and "1950s-style" parenting methods proved
superior in cultivating character traits (today antiseptically called
"life skills") such as "empathy, self-control and application." With that in mind, one begins to see why a man of the left might work to generate some smoke as cover for the report. Indeed, when confronted with these findings in another venue
, Mr. Scott commented (without focus on the question of lesbian relationships and their alleged superiority as a model for parenting) by stating his view that poverty was a likely cause of parental disengagement. He made these remarks in spite of the findings in the report which showed that "parenting style is the most important factor in determining
child character development, cancelling any differences in development
between children from richer and poorer families." But, of course, there has to be a reason why (other than character and lack of personal responsibility) more lower income parents seemed to be disengaged. It couldn't be that this "disengagement" from parental responsibility might be reflective of other types of disengagement which might lead to
poverty? How silly of me . . .
The Demos report also tells us that children with divorced or remarried parents are less likely to develop these character traits of "empathy, self-control, and application"--dubbed "soft skills" in the report--and that "soft" efforts (championed by liberals for the last generation) to inculcate these skills have had the counter-intuitive effect (counter-intuitive, that is, to people on the left) of tending to make people less what they call "soft" (or, I'd say, "civilized") and more . . . well, the word I would use is "tyrannical." Grandma would call it "spoiled" and a lefty--in keeping to his interest in preserving ideology over truth--might call it "self-assertive."
Indeed, Mr. Scott does seem to adopt what he might consider to be a positive spin on what otherwise must be bad news for him. If kids in more traditional homes tend to develop "empathy, self-control and application" perhaps he can say that kids from lesbian homes tend to be "more aspirational and more
confident in championing social justice" . . . though maybe Grandma would have just called that "pushy." Notice too that the key in Mr. Scott's formulation is not so much the character of the individual
, but an external end result: what he calls "social justice." The character of the child is less important than the opinions and the social results that child champions. His own goodness is determined less by his virtue and more by the "correctness" of the political camp to which he becomes attached. The child is a cog in the evolutionary wheel of "progress."
But there is another aspect of this attempt to make lemonade out of lemons on the left that is even more curious than the their abstruse reasoning regarding so-called "soft skills" and their refusal to confront the question of individual character. Note how the old (and amazingly rigid) stereotypes regarding sex differences creep into this argument. If conservatives are "cretins" and "sexist" for noticing sex differences and suggesting that society accept rather than combat them in building civilization, what are these Progressives who seem willing--for the sake of absolving individual human beings from judgment and culpability--to reduce humanity to the level of mere animal? Two lesbians make better parents than a male/female couple? Really? Is that because females are better suited to dealing with offspring? Are they more nurturing and "designed" for the job? So the argument goes that if one mother is good, two mothers must be better? Fathers are what
? Roving sperm donors?
It's really not much different from the argument made by these feminists
some years ago in regard to polygamy--which they regarded as empowering to them and beneficial with respect to the proper nurturing of their children. Of course, this required them to overlook the lessons in tyranny that polygamy, inevitably, teaches . . . but, then again, perhaps feminists are comfortable with lessons in tyranny.
Welcome to the state of nature, folks.