In a superb column in today’s Daily Telegraph Charles Moore lays bare the callous and selfish motivation at play in our culture’s narcissism. Children are the victims and if the narcissism of our generation is not arrested the number of victims is going to increase exponentially.
The fallacy at the heart of the narcissists pursuit of self is rights-related, rights untethered to any reasonable anthropology, tethered only to what you feel like when you get up in the morning. This is the fruit of the new Age we live in, the Age of Feeling. In this Age compassion is all. But compassion without reason is corrupting and it is this very corruption which is now producing the intolerance, the ugliness and the unhappiness beginning to unfold in the lives of countless of our kind in the generations which will follow us.
If you follow this rights-based way of thinking, children are an afterthought. You identify your sexuality. You assert your rights. You decide that your rights include children. As with abortion, you are not encouraged to ask, “What about the child herself?” And if someone else asks that question of you, you start shaking with rage.
These strange ideas have now been around just long enough for the children raised in such a culture to be finding their voice. There is a growing online community of people brought up by gay couples who describe how difficult it was for them. In particular, they talk of their innate desire, which their situation could not satisfy, for the real parent – father or mother, known or unknown – who was not there. We shall hear a lot more of this, and we shall learn that the era of liberation was not always so good for those who never asked to be liberated.
“They f— you up, your mum and dad”, the poet Philip Larkin famously wrote. Alas, it is too often true. But as we abandon Mum and Dad’s primacy, we shall find out, too late, that every other way f—s children up a great deal more.
The unintended consequence of the selfish attitudes and acts of the ascendent establishment of this Age will be the creation of a nightmare society in the future where thousands of young people will grow into adulthood not knowing some of the most fundamental things about their identity nor about the motivations which brought them into the world.