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The Few and the Many

October 10, 2000

The philosopher David Hume once observed: “Nothing appears more surprising to those who consider human affairs with a philosophical eye, than the easiness with which the many are governed by the few.”

And, by way of illustrating his point, nothing is more surprising than the ease with which a tiny minority of organized homosexuals has been overpowering such a mainstream organization as the Boy Scouts of America.

The Scouts won a victory this year when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that they can’t be forced to accept homosexuals as members and scoutmasters; but they have been losing other battles, as school districts from Massachusetts to San Diego have denied them access to school facilities because of their “discrimination” against homosexuals.

Federal courts are also using the 1964 Civil Rights Act to ban workplace “discrimination” against homosexuals. The use of such creative interpretation of the laws and the U.S. Constitution — investing them with meanings that never occurred to those who drafted them — in order to achieve social revolution is one of the basic devices by which the Few rule the Many.

A semantic note. Discrimination is liberalese for free association liberals disapprove of, just as civil rights means forced association. The more “civil rights” the state enacts, the less freedom of association we have.

Fifty years ago, nobody — absolutely nobody — foresaw that homosexuals would one day gain the upper hand over the Boy Scouts and private employers. It was literally unimaginable. Even the most hysterical doomsaying conservatives weren’t worried about it.

[Breaker quote: The real 
meaning of 'gay rights']It wasn’t a liberal-conservative issue; liberals themselves didn’t think of it as part of their long-term agenda. Homosexuality was considered a purely individual aberration, not a subject for social reform. The same was true of abortion and many other abnormalities that have been successively normalized. “Gay rights” was as remote a prospect as the legalization of cannibalism. Homosexuals weren’t yet “gays.” They were sexual deviants.

The liberal agenda is a profoundly unpredictable affair. Who knows what causes liberals — the dominant Few — may adopt in the years ahead? Who knows what they will insist that the Many be forced to accept as specious legal and constitutional imperatives?

Liberalism is driven by a mysterious antagonism to the moral traditions of the Many. In any society the Few rule the Many, but in most societies the ruling elite shares the general moral outlook of the majority of the population and there is no basic conflict between the rulers and the ruled.

In today’s America, so alien to our ancestors, it is different. The Few not only hate the traditions of the Many; they have conducted a relentless propaganda campaign against those traditions, variously called education, eradicating prejudice, and consciousness-raising. They coin new-fangled words like homophobia to stigmatize deep-seated popular attitudes; they publicize and memorialize minor local incidents, like vicious murders of homosexuals, making them symbols of the moral attitudes they want to condemn.

In pursuit of this agenda, the Many must be made to feel guilty about their natural feelings. And the government must be empowered to engineer a mass psychological transformation, until those feelings cease to exist. The process must begin with children in the public schools, where state propaganda will teach them that homosexuality is normal.

The desire of the Few to control and change even the inner lives of the Many is of course a totalitarian ambition. Liberals denounce “sexual McCarthyism” as they practice what might be called sexual Stalinism. As Stalin aspired to create the “New Soviet Man,” liberals want to produce new, sexually “liberated” children, with homosexual propaganda as one of their tools.

Such totalitarian programs never work; human nature is too stubborn. But in the meantime, setting an impossible goal — a fantasy masquerading as an ideal — allows the government of the Few to assume total power over the Many. And in today’s America, the Many are dangerously passive, hardly aware of the sinister conditioning they and their children are being subjected to.

G.K. Chesterton warned against “the modern and morbid habit of always sacrificing the normal to the abnormal.” That is liberalism in a nutshell, and it will always find more things to sacrifice on its altar of abnormality.

Joseph Sobran

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