Random Social Evolution or Money Talking?
The concept of social evolution is bogus, as is the naïve presumption of randomness that accompanies it. However, the elites who would steer culture toward libertinism and radical individual autonomy use this fraudulent language to mask their concerted and well-funded efforts to direct social change for the worse.
These wealthy coarseners of culture need not be directed by a central command because often they share the vain self-affirming view that they themselves succeeded in a random contest of the fittest, in which their autonomous efforts and skills were superior. Thus they, a sad but very well-capitalized group, seek the promotion of individual autonomy because it is a monument, validates their self-worth and, through both self-affirmation and legacy-seeking, forestalls the consideration of death.
Let's start with evolution. Biological evolutionary timetables indicate the emergence of anatomically modern humans about 200,000 years ago and humans who reached behavioral modernity at least 50,000 years ago. In contrast, most arguments against marriage, religion, tradition, and natural law hinge on a "that was then, this is now" framework applied to the last several hundred years, a period that doesn't even register on evolutionary calendars.
Although potentially gratifying to pretend otherwise, we simply have not evolved materially since Barack Obama's inauguration, the Enlightenment, this country's founding or, for that matter, in the last 2,000 years. Many sociologists now even question if the term social evolution has any real meaning or simply reveals something about the person applying it.
Now to libertinism and radical autonomy. Cultural Marxism is well documented. It is the movement that seeks the elimination of codes of behavior, binding obligations, and moral standards. It seeks to convert our country from what was a virtue-based community of mediating institutions into a wilderness of wildly autonomous selves. Think abortion, drug legalization, euthanasia, gay marriage, no fault divorce, etc.... This is not a neutral, live and let live progression of events. Cultural Marxists make laws, and specifically laws that encourage or, at least, enable vice. It is important to remember the starting points from which they hope to diverge are tradition and virtue.
And it is unfortunately true that by pretending there is a neutral option and by naively assuming individuals can always act in a non-directed way, libertarians sometimes enable cultural Marxists. It's time we recognize that law and media are influential cultural leaders; not followers, reflectors nor mere reporters. In the hands of cultural Marxists, law and media are leading us to the bottom and actually detract from and impinge upon the exercise of true freedom (there really aren't victimless crimes).
Finally, to those who would drive culture lower. Ponder which is more naively fantastic, that the rejection of virtue is random societal evolution or that a cooperative effort to impose elite-held amorality is underway. Again, "underway" doesn't necessarily require a terrestrial central command. All that's required is a common tendency, regardless of whether that tendency is driven by "principalities and powers" or simply populated by vain and rich libertines (is there really a difference?).
The Boy Scout debacle is instructive here. Although charitable, I don't subscribe to the Chronicle of Philanthropy (due to a lack of resources sufficient for me to be deemed a philanthropist). However, I recently came across the periodical. In a page one feature, the Chronicle ran a story titled "Donors Await Boy Scouts Decision on Gay Ban: Scouting officials and others say gifts totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars are at stake." The Chronicle's website also provides interesting information about top philanthropists. In 2012, the top 50 donor list included such names as Warren Buffett, Carl Icahn, Phil Knight, Leon Black, Jeffrey Katzenberg, David Geffen, and Helen Gurley Brown. (For those of you eagerly awaiting his breakthrough appearance, Joe Biden once again inexplicably failed to make the list.)
Chilton Williamson Jr. observes in his book After Tocqueville that Western-style governance is "unable to accommodate an elite that is rootless, resentful of history and revolutionary," that "a multicultural nation is a contradiction in terms," and that our elite class is "assured that it well deserves all that it has managed to acquire... has no sense of generational continuity; and is aware of no responsibility...."
Having again been left off the Bilderberg and Davos invitation lists (I knew I should have subscribed to the Chronicle of Philanthropy!), I can't say for sure that successful liberal billionaires, whose money talks loudly even to Boy Scouts, are more inclined towards libertinism and radical autonomy; but perhaps only an average inclination is sufficient (although see the Bloomberg, Soros, and Zell grants to Planned Parenthood).
Consider history. The desire for radical autonomy of the fist-shaking at God sort has always been nearly irresistible for we the fallen. From the Garden of Eden, to the "don't tell me what to do" teenager, to the "it's all relative" sophomore, to the "I'm spiritual but not religious" suburbanite, to the multicultural world-cultures teacher; we can't seem to shake our lazy failure to think, judge and choose virtue.
And this ultra-rich-sponsored libertinism wouldn't be a big deal if rich liberals wasted their money, died and were forgotten. St. Alphonse Ligouri comments on death being a great equalizer:
"On this earth," observed Seneca, "men are born unequal; but after death all become equal." And Horace said: "Death levels the scepter with the spade."
Enter legacy-seeking, the centuries-old attempt to deny the inevitable embrace of Sister Death. Although modern attempts to forestall death are as ineffective as their earlier predecessors, the new politically correct legacies inflict substantially more damage on both beneficiaries and benefactors.
Cultural Marxism has many victims. Consider that 52 million babies have been murdered (now both unborn and born -- courtesy of Gosnell, Karpen, Carhart, Riley, Brigham and others); nearly half of all young black women have genital herpes; black illegitimate births have peaked at 72.5% of all black births; the Boy Scouts can no longer live by their own moral code; Grandma and Grandpa are increasingly at risk of doctor-issued DNR orders; and middle school kids are unnecessarily confused by the queer "education" their parents would have preferred they not receive.
But the victims aren't just traditional vulnerables -- children, minorities, and the elderly. (Incidentally, aren't we supposed to care for the orphan, unclothed, sick, elderly, widow, etc...?) The victim list also includes those you might deem autonomous. Consider the shiftless, novelty-addled Hollywood star and her substance-abused life; the philandering politico who has deprived himself of the support and warmth of a loving home life; the maritally-troubled 40-something, repeatedly advised by her sad and serially drunk friends to "ditch and toss;" and, the rest of us who now wade through, resist and witness against an American culture rife with scandalous levels of selfism, vice and loveless irresponsibility.
This desire of certain wealthy elites to create a world that mirrors their distorted image of themselves -- autonomous; disrespectful of tradition; entitled; and confident in their not particularly well-researched worldviews -- is a real threat to us all. These elites would do us and themselves well to again heed the words of St. Alphonse Ligouri, "Remember that you die -- Memento mori;" that judgment is coming; and, even after an evolutionary timetable of say 250,000 years, an eternity in hell would only just be underway.
So given the choice between random social evolution (aka, the "arc" or "right side" of history) and money talking, the simplest explanation is also the most logical. Evolution doesn't happen on tight time frames and the suggestion of a random arc is a contradiction -- randomness refutes teleology and an arc suggests it. Out of vanity, today's new money leans toward libertinism, cultural Marxism, autonomy and social chaos; it gets spent; and we get the laws, policies and media cheerleading all the way to the bottom.
And so, without humility, philanthropy is just monuments and some pretty bad ones at that. There may be at least one application of this fact for those of us who are not invited to Bilderberg or Davos and who do not subscribe to the Chronicle of Philanthropy. As parents, let's not permit low standards or rationalize away our children's behavior because we did the same thing when we were young -- that's just vain legacy building of the same sub-par variety as Bloomberg, Soros, or Zell. Let's love our children enough to want them to be better and more virtuous than we are, to ask more of them than we did of ourselves.