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  An American Manifesto
Wednesday December 17, 2014 
by Christopher Chantrill Follow chrischantrill on Twitter

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Another Democrat Purge Resource Bank for Defense of Marriage

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Social Attitudes and Shame

by Christopher Chantrill
August 17, 2006 at 5:10 am

EVEN THOUGH young people in Britain today are regularly drunk as skunks, university students would never think of driving drunk, claims Mary Ann Sieghart. “What a change in a generation!” she writes.

And social attitudes have changed for the better in other areas, too. People are abandoning their SUVs and recycling. It is not so much that the law has changed as a kind of “social revolution that may well save our planet.”

This social revolution is a tribute to the power of shame. It used to be kinda cool to drive drunk and get away with it. Today it is shameful. And as for failing to recycle! In Seattle we are well on the way to making it a crime.

Maybe there are other areas where the power of shame could save the planet.

Russian immigrant Julia Gorin clearly wants a social revolution in attitudes towards abortion. On the website of Ms magazine, she notes, you can sign a petition. “I had a abortion.” Bully for Ms.

But Julia Gorin narrowly escaped being aborted thirty years ago. It was only due to the nurse at the Soviet abortion clinic “who sensed a tinge of reservation [in my mother] and kicked her out.”

Just as well, because Gorin’s only sister was killed in a car crash in 2000.

How about setting up another petition, she suggests helpfully: “I was nearly aborted!”

One of the proud boasts of the twentieth century was its conquest of shame—or rather sexual shame. But it is clear that in the most progressive circles where sexual shame has been most thoroughly banished a host of other shames has been created: environmental shame, sexual harassment shame, SUV shame, racist shame, patriarchal shame, even glass-ceiling shame.

We conservatives should learn a lesson from this. As the consequence of legal abortion becomes more and more clear to women—and in the case of Julia Gorin’s mother it is a lack of “close people,” children and siblings, in her life—it will create an opportunity for another social revolution.

We should learn a lesson from the liberals. The key to a social revolution is not in changing laws. It is in changing attitudes.

We should work to change hearts and minds, and make abortion Safe, Legal, and Shameful.

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Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.  His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.


 TAGS


Faith & Purpose

“When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of ages—they seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.”
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990


Mutual Aid

In 1911... at least nine million of the 12 million covered by national insurance were already members of voluntary sick pay schemes. A similar proportion were also eligible for medical care.
Green, Reinventing Civil Society


Education

“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State


Living Under Law

Law being too tenuous to rely upon in [Ulster and the Scottish borderlands], people developed patterns of settling differences by personal fighting and family feuds.
Thomas Sowell, Conquests and Cultures


German Philosophy

The primary thing to keep in mind about German and Russian thought since 1800 is that it takes for granted that the Cartesian, Lockean or Humean scientific and philosophical conception of man and nature... has been shown by indisputable evidence to be inadequate. 
F.S.C. Northrop, The Meeting of East and West


Knowledge

Inquiry does not start unless there is a problem... It is the problem and its characteristics revealed by analysis which guides one first to the relevant facts and then, once the relevant facts are known, to the relevant hypotheses.
F.S.C. Northrop, The Logic of the Sciences and the Humanities


Chappies

“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison


Democratic Capitalism

I mean three systems in one: a predominantly market economy; a polity respectful of the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a system of cultural institutions moved by ideals of liberty and justice for all. In short, three dynamic and converging systems functioning as one: a democratic polity, an economy based on markets and incentives, and a moral-cultural system which is plural and, in the largest sense, liberal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


Action

The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness... But to make a man act [he must have] the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action


Churches

[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm


Conversion

“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh


Living Law

The recognition and integration of extralegal property rights [in the Homestead Act] was a key element in the United States becoming the most important market economy and producer of capital in the world.
Hernando de Soto, The Mystery of Capital


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©2007 Christopher Chantrill