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May 18th 2010 print

Bill Muehlenberg

The politicisation of society

As long as these various groups stay free of politicisation, and remain independent, they can provide helpful restraints on the expansionist state. But sadly, many of these bodies and institutions are becoming politicised and unduly quite partisan.

In contrast to free democracies, totalist police states seek to politicise everything. In free societies the state is limited in what it does and what it impacts on. In dictatorships, everything is political and the state sticks its nose into everything.

One way democracies keep the ever-growing state in check is by means of mediating structures. Pater Berger and Richard John Neuhaus coined this terms back in the 70s, referring to institutions such as the family, the church, and voluntary associations which stand between the individual and the state.

As long as these various groups stay free of politicisation, and remain independent, they can provide helpful restraints on the expansionist state. But sadly, many of these bodies and institutions are becoming politicised and unduly quite partisan.

Increasingly some of these bodies are simply becoming advocacy groups, pushing politically correct causes. Many professional bodies are moving in this direction. Plenty of examples can be cited here. Consider a classic case where politics and political correctness resulted in one professional body becoming a tool of lobbyists and advocacy groups.

The American Psychological Association (APA) underwent a clear case of allowing itself to be politicised. They basically caved in to the radical homosexual lobby, and reversed long-standing policies simply to placate and appease the homosexual activists.

Prior to 1973 the APA had included homosexuality in its list of mental disorders. An active and belligerent campaign was undertaken by homosexual militants to pressure and intimidate those within and without the APA to reverse this policy.

Sure enough, the activism succeeded, and the APA changed its policy. This politicisation of the APA has been thoroughly documented. For example, readers should consult the important 1981 volume by Ronald Bayer, Homosexuality and American Psychiatry: The Politics of Diagnosis (Basic Books).

This same APA did not stop there. In 2003 it debated whether other conditions and lifestylse should be removed from its list. Indeed, it looked at “all the paraphilias – which include pedophilia, exhibitionism, fetishism, transvestism, voyeurism, and sadomasochism”.

And in the APA’s journal, Psychological Bulletin, there have appeared articles stating that no real harm is experienced by children when they are victims of paedophile encounters. This is part of a much larger movement aiming at legitimising paedophilia and removing all age of consent laws. These are further examples of how various professional bodies and organisations are becoming politicised and have become activist change agents.

A much more recent example of this has just hit the press. According to a recent New York Times article, the American Academy of Pediatrics wants to see female genital mutilation allowed in the US. The AAP is obviously bowing to political pressure. And guess which group is behind this push?

Medicine has become politicised, along with groups which should be looking after the well-being of children. Just as AIDS has become the world’s first politically protected disease, we are now witnessing all sorts of other PC causes which are putting public health and safety at risk.

And catering to the Arab/Muslim communities in the US is not just confined to the professional bodies. The Miss USA pageant has just crowned its first Arab-American. Whether this was due to her sheer beauty alone, or due to the pressures of political correctness remains to be seen. But when more important bodies become enslaved to the PC agenda, then we are all in strife.

Recall that the AAP is the same group that has taken a PC stance on physical punishment: “Where We Stand: The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly opposes striking a child. If the spanking is spontaneous, parents should later explain calmly why they did it, the specific behavior that provoked it, and how angry they felt. They might apologize to their child for their loss of control, because that usually helps the youngster understand and accept the spanking.”

So according to the AAP, smacking a child is out, but female genital mutilation is in. If this is not political correctness gone mad, I don’t what is. The slow but steady politicisation of society continues apace. Formerly independent and neutral bodies are being politically co-opted and used to push the agendas of various activist groups.

Social engineering is taking place at increasing levels as these various groups are being subverted or coerced into taking on activist causes and activist roles. As this continues, the lifeblood of freedom and democracy is slowing being drained out of most Western societies.

Unless steps are taken now to counter these moves, we soon may not have the luxury of speaking out and taking a stand. As always, whether our democracies endure or are gradually snuffed out is largely up to us. How we respond – or don’t respond – will largely determine our fate.