There's a global morality gap — and it's getting wider

Why is it that some nations are moving forward on gay and women's rights, while others are moving backwards? 

26 October 2013

9:00 AM

26 October 2013

9:00 AM

First World, Third World, East, West, North and South; every few years economists come up with yet another supposedly more acceptable way of slicing humanity into manageable chunks. Mostly these great divides are riven by wealth; sometimes (RIP Second World) by ideology.

But I think it’s time to name a new divide, a more fundamental, more puzzling one — a split between worlds that will define the 21st century much as the Iron Curtain defined the 20th. I am talking about the morality gap.

It is now clear, though not much talked about, that humanity, all 7.1 billion of us, tends to fall into one of two distinct camps. On the one side are those who buy into the whole post-Enlightenment human rights revolution. For them the moral trajectory of the last 300 years is clear: once we were brutal savages; in a few decades, the whole planet will basically be Denmark, ruled by the shades of Mandela and Shami Chakrabarti.

And there’s some truth in this trajectory — except for the fact that it only applies to half the planet. The other half resolutely follows a different moral code: might is right, all men were not created equal and there is a right and a wrong form of sexual orientation.

You can identify those countries in the dark half of the divide by their attitudes to homosexuality and women; to honour killings, race, disability, mental illness, religious minorities and to crime, torture and punishment, even animal rights and the environment.

This gap is new (only about 60 years old in fact) but it is widening and deepening every year. Put simply, and brutally, for about two billion people, living mostly in Europe, the Americas, Australasia and eastern Asia, the attitudes prevailing in the rest of the world are beyond the pale and getting further beyond it by the minute.

So what is going on? Let’s start with attitudes to gays, not because gay rights are the most important issue, but because attitudes to homosexuality show the morality gap in sharpest relief.

Fifty years ago, male homosexual acts were illegal in both the US and much of Europe, including Britain. The idea that two men — or women — could marry, inherit pensions and adopt children would have seemed an absurdity in Macmillan’s Britain, never mind Attlee’s.

Fast forward to 2013. Britain has a posh, Eton-educated Tory Prime Minster who is proselytising for gay marriage. In many countries it is now illegal to discriminate against gays on any grounds. And this is not just a political hobbyhorse; the most recent British Social Attitudes Survey illustrates the astonishing wave of liberalism that has swept our nation. As recently as 1983, 50 per cent of those polled thought same-sex relationships were ‘always wrong’; by last year that number had dropped to just 22 per cent. We are simply not bothered, and becoming less bothered every year. As long as they do no harm, individuals are increasingly free to choose their own way of life without being condemned by their community.

Similar trends are found across a swath of northern Europe, much of the US and Canada, Latin America, Israel and much of east Asia. A look at the timeline of gay rights shows a seemingly unstoppable barrage of permissiveness, with state after state passing laws first legalising homosexuality, then going further: permitting gay marriage and gay adoption and formalising gay relationships in terms of pensions and property rights. It’s tempting for those of us in this enlightened half of the world to think of this as a great wave of progress that rose up in the mid-20th century and will sweep across the world.

Tempting, but wrong. In fact, in much of the world, received wisdom on homosexuality appears to be going into reverse. Across the old USSR, Africa, south-western Asia and the Caribbean, huge numbers of people hold views that, were they to be expressed openly here, could land them in prison.

In 2006, the Republic of Cameroon’s leading newspapers vied to ‘out’ a series of prominent gays, the editors saying they had a duty to expose ‘deviant behaviour’. The publisher of the weekly L’Anecdote, Jean Pierre Amougou Belinga, defended headlines such as ‘Gays are among us!’ and Yaoundé’s answer to Kelvin MacKenzie promised more revelations to come. ‘We could not remain silent. We had to ring the alarm bell.’

It is tempting to believe that this is simply the time lag at work; just as Africa and the Muslim world catch up with the West economically, they will catch up with us in permissiveness as well.

But there is little sign that this is actually happening. Africa is — hearteningly — getting richer. But it is not getting more tolerant. Uganda is in trouble for debating laws that would make it illegal not only to be gay (which it already is) but illegal not to report gay people to the police. It is hard to imagine any European politician — even the nutters of Golden Dawn — arguing for that.

Guardian-ista opinion excuses Middle Eastern, African and Caribbean homophobia by blaming ‘colonial era’ laws, but these countries have had decades to repeal the laws and have chosen not to do so.

Why? The non-partisan American think tank Pew Research Center has the answer. It carries out social attitudes surveys in Africa, and the most recent one found that in most African countries between 80 and 98 per cent of the population believe homosexual behaviour to be ‘morally wrong’. Even in Russia, gay rights are in retreat. President Vladimir Putin signed a law at the end of June prohibiting the promotion of nontraditional sexual relationships to minors. It has been interpreted as banning gay pride parades — children might see them — and preventing talk of homosexuality among teenagers.

The morality gap is not, of course, just about gay rights. Recently a disturbing survey conducted by the UN found that a quarter of all men in the ‘Asia Pacific’ region have admitted committing rape. The survey was flawed — I am not entirely clear how they define the region in question (Papua New Guinea is in, as is China, but for some reason Japan is not, and there is the whole problem of self-reporting bias) but even so, a quarter. If a poll found eight million British men (or 40 million Americans) cheerfully admitting to being rapists, we would go into shock. But in a culture where men are dominant and their needs privileged over women’s, it becomes alarmingly normal.

The two worlds are moving further apart. While we agonise about glass ceilings and discrimination — beatings, torture, rape and floggings are de rigueur at police stations across the world. Again, it is fashionable to blame ‘poverty’ for this state of affairs, but rich old Saudi Arabia still cuts people’s heads off in public, bans women from driving and tortures with impunity.

There has been a lot of debate about the seeming lunacy of the UK giving aid money to India. But actually there is a moral case for doing so, if only we’d admit it, which is that rich Indians, of whom there are many, don’t much care about poor ones — at least not nearly enough of them do.

Most of Europe has a homicide rate of 0 to 2 people per 100,000 per year (in the UK it is 1.2). This low baseline rate is now matched by several Asian countries, including Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong. But in the rest of the world things are a little different. The murder rate in South Africa is 69 per 100,000. In Colombia it is 52. In most of the Third World you are between ten and a hundred times more likely to die a violent death than you are here.

People persist in thinking that time will close the morality gap. According to Steven Pinker, whose 2011 book The Better Angels of our Nature charts the extraordinary decline in human violence, the ‘civilising process’ that saw an end to burning, flogging, mass rape, hanging, judicial torture, slavery and homicide stats that made modern Detroit seem like Oslo began in Europe and spread outward. ‘In the late 1800s, Europe had a peaceable bull’s eye in the northern industrialised countries — Great Britain, France, Germany, Denmark and the Low Countries’.

This peaceability spread east and south because, says Pinker, of the spread of information about the world (the more we learn about each other, the less we want to kill each other) and the industrial and scientific revolutions that freed us from the tyranny of mass poverty, class divides and primitivism.

My fear is that the spread of peaceability has stalled, and we’re too politically correct to point it out. We simply cannot accept that there are several billion people out there who do not think as we do, and perhaps never will. So we prefer to focus on trivia.

Recently, Amnesty International became het up about the fact that in Denmark the penal code has an ambiguous definition of rape-within-marriage, calling it ‘disturbing’.

No doubt the Danes could do better, but: have a sense of perspective! For most women in this world, rape is commonplace, and moreover in many places hardly any women dare to report it, not because they don’t think they will be believed, but because they will be raped again by the policemen and then murdered by their own family. How can we agonise about Danish laws — Danish! — when every year several million girls in 28 countries suffer genital mutilation in the name of ‘purity’?

This is not to say that Africans or Russians or Muslims are intrinsically worse people than, say, the British or the Danes. This is not about race or nationality. There are people alive who were involved in the quite legal persecution of British homosexuals in the 1950s and 60s. Our grandparents’ generation was on the same side of the morality gap as today’s Saudis and the Ugandans. We used to be ghastly, and hold ghastly views. And we in the West do some things that Africans and Middle Easterners find repugnant, and rightly so, especially the appalling way we treat our elderly.

Nor am I arguing that one has to accept the changes in mores in most western countries as ‘right’. You may support capital punishment and hate the gay liberation movement, but the fact is that if you live in the West, your views are increasingly out of kilter.

A moral gap is dividing us — one we really don’t need in this ever more crowded world. Let’s hope everyone eventually learns to behave.

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Show comments
  • anyfool

    It is quite something for a scribbler on any paper to assume that he can become the arbiter of morals, after all the human race has been around millions of years in one form or the other.
    Has he never given thought to, what if other races are inherently different to white Europeans even down to white Slavs being different to white Celts.
    What can he say to people who were over thousands of years brought up to hold these views, after all his kind of people when it comes to homosexuality say it is the gene`s, when it comes to differences between the races in intelligence its down to nurture, ( nurture being the code for white repression )
    There is now the possibility that Gay Rights is now at its highest acceptance in the world as a whole and given the predilection among the ruling classes in the Western world for integrating these savages as he puts it into Western countries how long before they reach critical mass in free societies like ours to democratically reverse the freedoms we now assume are immutable.
    Does the author think that if the Muslim population reach a voting level of 50% that they will not reverse almost all gains made over the last 50 years, does he really think they will reject the teachings of its ideological creed even if it is proved nonsense, after all the silly socialists have not rejected their failed creed even after the collapse of its experiments in the East and the USSR.
    The people of the West are doomed if we keep electing people who try to make things as they ( the tiny little metropolitan class ) want it to be and not as it can be or will be.

    • RoxanneRoxanadana

      Morality required the presence of some sort of civilization, which has only been in existence for 3,000-5,000 years. During that time, morals have hugely advanced. Cannibalism & chattel slavery are acceptable in only the rarest of locations. The notion of actually conquering the world by military means is gone (the Jihadists are idiots in this respect). These advances occurred in part because of the printing press &, now, the computer & the internet. As real knowledge spreads, so will more equitable treatment of all human beings.

      Of course, as shown by this fascinating video, not all educational videos are equal.


      Love the neurons in the back.

      • anyfool

        You say,
        The notion of actually conquering the world by military means is gone

        The notion that military conquest is now defunct is not quite true, the only reason the West have failed in Iraq and Afghanistan is because they tied their own hands with very strict rules of engagement, remove these and the complete subjugation of the enemy would have taken weeks instead of years.

        If the West disarms you can take it as given the Muslim or other armies will not be constrained by any shreds of humanity

        • RoxanneRoxanadana

          Technology definitely has a role, (e.g., you would find all you citizens nuclear ash), but world conquest simply cannot be done

          • anyfool

            I am not talking about technology although it speeds up the process, I am talking about the physical constraints such as the Geneva Convention and the added rules that are supposed to create more humanity in the effects of war such as reducing collateral damage to civilian sections, ( where do soldiers come from).
            The concept of decency in war is a recent Western concept and will not be a consideration by other non western armies when they invade the West.

      • Tom M

        “..morals have advanced..” Evolved, not advanced. The Christian missionaries of the 17th and18th centuries would have claimed the same thing whilst destroying whatever society they happened to come upon.

        Looking at Western society at the moment it might appear to you that, with a few selected examples, we have improved but there are many people on the surface of this planet who would disagree with that.
        All these aspects are social constructs. The people who live in them can always argue their own case (as you are doing). You don’t think, for example, that some Ayatollah in some Muslim country is lying awake at night concocting a story to put a positive gloss on hs religion do you? He thinks he is as right in his point of view as you do. It is as well to remember that.

        • RoxanneRoxanadana

          Except that when one reads the history of the centuries, one sees a progression towards kindness in general. By heavens this is so. Consider even from a legal perspective the Peace of the Land, of Fred Redbeard, back in 1152-57. This was without a doubt one of the greatest legal advances in history. Yet when you look at its precepts:

          1. If any one, within the term fixed for the peace, shall slay a man, he shall be sentenced to death, unless by wager of battle he can prove this, that he slew him in defending his own life. But if this shall be manifest to all, that he slew him not of necessity but voluntarily, then neither through wager of battle nor in any other manner shall he keep himself from being condemned to death.

          10. If for violation of the peace, or in any capital matter, a knight wishes to engage in wager of battle against a knight, permission to fight shall not be granted to him unless he can prove that front of old he himself, and his parents as well, have by birth been lawful knights.

          17. If any one shall have stolen 5 shillings, or its equivalent,-he shall be hung with a rope; if less he shall be flayed with whips, and his hair pulled out with a pincers.


          Now, it may be my “constructs”, but it seems we have progressed as a civilization. This is true in so many other areas as well.

          • Tom M

            Too complicated by half Roxanne. The headline on the article started thus:

            “..Why is it that some nations are moving forward on gay and women’s rights, while others are moving backwards..”

            The point here is the author assumes that those with his views on gay rights are moving forwards and by inference correct. The implication here is that others are wrong and the human race has apparently been waiting till now for enlightenment.
            I had different views on sexuality from my parents but I thought they were different and old-fashioned, not wrong.
            The author’s view as I explained before is a social construction of morality, nothing to do with the laws you quote, although as in the best traditions of zealotry they wish to use homophobia laws to promote their view.
            I have no problem with two people living together and what they do in their spare time is their affair. I do wish however that the succession laws extended to two people of the same gender living together hadn’t been predicated on sex. This now means that two people of the same gender living together are automatically considered to be homosexual where that might not be the case.

            I do object to these people telling me that my view is wrong and (as I saw on the television the other week), a gay couple explaining that anyone who didn’t hold the same views just need to be educated.

    • As I am in a country on the pro-sodomite side of the “gap,” count me a traitor. The only honorable course a man in the Jewish and degenerate-owned “West” is to act the part of a Lord Haw Haw against our elites.

      The author’s claim that science has something to do with acceptance of sodomites is laughable. The degenerates are only tolerated because of twenty or thirty years of nonstop propaganda. I first remember hearing about accepting those of other “sexual orientations” when I was in elementary school, before I even knew what homosexuality was. We have also learned, as I recall, that pedophiles’ brains work differently, but are as far as ever from accepting them (child marriages are common in traditional society, so I suspect the reason the media demonizes even non-abusers has something to do with its anti-natalism).

      Hail Holy Mother Russia!
      DEATH to the degenerate “West”!

  • Pentheus Makarios

    Is there even such a thing as objective, culture
    transcendent moral obligation? If not than it is ethnocentric of us to make any
    value judgments on any other culture. But if so, is there a better basis than
    mere moral feelings?


    • knocke

      You may leave that question behind once you get out of school.

  • Nick

    ‘It is now clear, though not much talked about, that humanity, all 7.1 billion of us, tends to fall into one of two distinct camps’…..
    Once I had read that sentence,I knew this article would be c–p.
    If the author hasn’t recognised in his lifetime that there are a lot of humans that fall in between those two general categorizations,then the article is not worth reading.

    • Paul Austin Murphy

      You knew the article would be crap from one sentence? You mustn’t end up reading much, then. Besides which, the author wasn’t really saying that it was (only) his view. He actually wrote ‘much talked about’ – which you quote. It’s a convenient way of seeing things. It’s not meant to be scientific or gospel.

      That’s what happen when you only read one sentence and reject something.

      • Nick

        You’re just jealous because I have X-ray vision.

  • mikewaller

    When will folk ever learn? The Whiggish view of history – the idea that we are all on an upward trajectory called “progress” – is, very sadly, just an illusion. It is no truer of human affairs than it is of evolution. Co-operating with those we consider “one of us” seems to be part of the human condition, but even then, only up to a point. Those we define as “other” generally get a pretty hard time.

    I have a horrible feeling that the kind of social progress towards inclusivity we have made in recent years has largely been a function of those pushing it having delivered other goods such as near full employment, welfare support, free health care etc.. I think that as globalisation drives much of this into retreat, the tacit compact between the liberal elites and the ordinary people will start to collapse and even here “the other” will be back in the frame. The technical term is “scapegoating”.

  • Michael

    ” If a poll found eight million British men (or 40 million Americans) cheerfully admitting to being rapists, we would go into shock.”

    Au contraire.

    If you look at the phony figures published by the Home Office and promoted by Keir Starmer, you will discover that they support almost exactly the view that 8 million UK men are rapists.

    Take a look at the Home Office rape figures for one year. Then multiply by 40 years.

    If you do, you will discover that their figures imply that some 25% of UK men are rapists.

    A few years ago, their figures implied that some 30+% of UK men were rapists. When this was pointed out to them, they re-jiggered their figures.


    • Jackthesmilingblack

      Of course if the Julian Assange definition for rape were used, a lot of us boys would be looking at slammer time. Get some booze in the *road and it becomes rape. Consummate the relationship stone cold sober? Gimme a break.

    • RoxanneRoxanadana

      What should be counted are investigations that revealed the presence, in the opinion of the police, of rape, not surveys. The US has a rape rate that has been declining for decades by FBI figures. What happened when the US Department of Justice took surveys was exactly what you describe here, the rates ballooned.

      When comparing US & European murder rates, remember our FBI figures group both murder & most of what would be called manslaughter as non-negligent homicide; this is because the distinction in the US between reckless homicide & murder is often very difficult & determined by prosecutors more than police officers. Our non-negligent homicide rates have declined to 1950’s – 1960’s levels & are likely to continue to drop. Crime laws vary from country to country: the cases each supreme judicial authority evaluates the members of the judiciaries, & the members of the legislatures all differ.

  • GUBU

    ‘In a few decades, the whole planet will basically be Denmark, ruled by the shades of Mandela and Shami Chakrabarti’.

    What an utterly depressing prospect.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      Ship me somewheres east of Suez,

  • la Catholic state

    Under Christianity….everybody has the same rights, ie everybody has the right to life…and everybody has the right to marry someone of the opposite sex. Under paganism, some have more rights than others. It’s a simple pagan caste system.

  • Crumbs

    There are three main divisions, not two, and they are described by Toffler in *The Third Wave*. The first wave was agriculture, the second industrialisation, the third computerisation. Each brought a whole way of life and associated cultural norms. Tribal societies (e.g. most Muslim countries) still live under the First Wave. Russia and China are trying to hold onto the nationalist norms of the Second Wave. The open societies of the West espouse an individualistic but simultaneously globalised culture. Within Western societies, the forces of the Third Wave have, paradoxically, recruited those of the First Wave in order to undermine and replace Second Wave values. Or perhaps the Third Wave has been recruited by the First.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    How about discussing the NSA/CIA spying on the leaders of some 34 independent, sovereign nations? The story of the year floats by while the Spectator sits on its hands and whistles “Dixie”.
    I could go old and grey waiting for the UK MSM to grow a backbone.

    • RoxanneRoxanadana

      Very likely the same occurs in the opposite direction; countries interested in US policy (all of our friends at the minimum) very likely monitor conversations of US officials as best they can, especially those of our President. Technology for governmental spying exists in all countries pretty much at the same level these days. What frightened me most about the Snowden revelations was not the government, but another set of entities we both have the same feelings about.

      You see, Mr. Snowden acquired confidential court documents. He may have done so out of patriotism or a desire to earn money, but surely not from any more vital motive. By contrast those monsters in organized crime have a very pressing need to learn of secret court documents such as the names of investigators, witnessesses, &, of course, the issuance of search warrants. Now they have large piles of money with which to pay very skilled computer whizzes to garner this information for them. Do you think the computer systems at our murder court level have as much protection as did the NSA?

    • Mr B J Mann

      Whatever next?
      Spy agencies spying on their own MPs?!?
      And even PMs?!?!?!?

      • knocke

        Yes, and their “own” diplomats too.

  • Paul Austin Murphy

    “How can we agonise about Danish laws — Danish! — when every year several
    million girls in 28 countries suffer genital mutilation in the name of
    ‘purity’?” – Michael Hanlon

    Hang on a minute! There are many cases of female genital mutilation in Denmark too, as in Sweden and Norway.

    As for the UK, the last survey I saw I think put the figure of 20,000 or more cases of FGM in the UK each year. It seems that Muslims are spreading Islamic values to the UK, yet we are more comfortable about pointing out evils abroad than ones at home.

    For example, we fight Islamists (who believe in many of the prejudices and crimes noted in the article) in Mali, but support them in Syria. More than that, we fight Islamists in some places and support them at home (e.g., in the Tower Hamlets, the Muslim Council of Britain, those in Respect, etc.).

    Let’s get our own house in order first.

    • RoxanneRoxanadana

      I really, really wonder about those FGM figures.

      • Paul Austin Murphy

        You really, ‘really wonder about those FGM figures’? Then surely you must check.

        Here’s the NHS on the subject. Not usually regarded as ‘Islamophobic’:


        Unless you meant that the figures clash with your political preconceptions. But that’s another matter entirely.

        • RoxanneRoxanadana

          Your site provisions estimates without saying how they are derived. Investigated rapes, not mere reports of rape, are what count; similarly, it is the number of investigated cases of female genital mutilation that count. Now, if a set of doctors examines 10,000 women at random & emerges with such a set of figures, that’s a different matter. In that case, however, the only trusted results would include physical deformity, not interviews of what went on in the past.

          • Paul Austin Murphy

            You doubted my figures without giving the analysis above. If it had something to do with how the figures were collected or derived, then you should have said that. Besides which, there are many other links which put the figures much higher. I gave the NHS link just in case someone accused the website of being ‘Islamophobic’, or ‘racist’ or ‘far right’.

            The NHS site also says that 60,000 are known victims of FGM. Your explanation sounds very vague and almost like dissimulation.

            Examining 10,000 women at random? Sorry, what does that mean? Are you saying that doctors shouldn’t trust what women say? Are you saying that only a random selection would give a correct result? A random survey would never happen when it involves doctors investigating Muslim women’s genitals. Therefore there would never be ANY proof of FGM by your strict standards.

            So you don’t trust Muslim women’s accounts? You would only trust a random survey which would never happen? And you have assumed there was never any physical evidence. All this leads to the possibility that there would never be be any evidence of FGM in your eyes.

            Also, I am having a problem deciphering exactly what you are saying. Was that the intention?

            Incidentally, how many cases of FGM do you think occur each year in the UK? And how do you know that?

          • Tom M

            So Roxanne it’s the actual numbers that count ? Are you saying that the less the numbers the less our interest?
            Personally if one were proved that would be sufficient for me to do something about it.

          • RoxanneRoxanadana

            Numbers appropriately influence the level of government activity. The US government opposes slavery by virtue of Amendment XIII. The estimated number of US slaves is 10,000. Murder & non-negligent homicide, far, far worse crimes, occur now at 1950’s-1960’s rates, the latest total being 14,168 http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2012/crime-in-the-u.s.-2012/tables/12tabledatadecpdf That means government need not worry too much about slavery, even by that unverified estimate. The same would be true of female genital mutilation, assuredly awful.

            In assessing crime programs, what counts are changes in rates, better seen when cases are better assessed. A problem Britain has with rape surveys is that the crimes themselves are not properly verified. Proof US child abuse programs work came via counting underage corpses from murder. With the institution of the programs, body count rates dropped. Otherwise, it would have been difficult to argue efforts made on behalf of children had value; reports of child abuse increased as knowledge of the reporting programs was disseminated.

  • jacknyc

    so gay rights define morality with other issues tag-alongs

    good luck in your crusade, you will need that and much more

    subtract gay rights, add female mutilation and oppression and focus on islam, and you have a start, oh and islam’s war against the infidel and itself and each other, 1300 years of psychopathy for god, and abandon all hope and despair

    a very small start

    oh and add in the US black-on-black enabled homicide, yeah how about black-on-black enabled homicide

    the progress of western enlightenment is Protestant creed, dead White European males, quite demonized these days, the Christianity of the USA as Christian nation (past tense these days, and very tense indeed about it)

    or go back to multi-culti Stanford 1960s through now

    ‘hey hey/
    ho ho/
    western civ/
    has got to go’

    yeah blame multi culti

    you sire will end a re-education camp clearing mines with your bare feet, in fatwa-stan

  • Zureiter

    The author himself demonstrates the extent of his own morality gap. In most societies throughout history, the Ten Commandments or some similar basic set of moral statutes set the standard for morality.
    But in this author’s weird paradigm, homosexuality is the North Star for his determination of which nations and cultures are more moral than others. All in all, I find this article a joke. It’s just a case of this person’s apparent sexual obsession coloring his entire view on every other issue and every other culture.

  • RoxanneRoxanadana

    Two points. First, it is well known from calculations using the Inspector Morse series, that Oxford has a rate of murder that is ten times that seen in South Africa. Most know that Oxford is one of the “safest” places in the United Kingdom.

    Second, the transformation as respects views of homosexuality is unlike any that ever occurred before. It was after scientific investigations showed homosexuals had slightly different brain structures in parts of the brain that differed between men & women & genetic studies showed there were genetic influences on the presence or absence of homosexuality, that the notion that homosexuality was a normal variant, not a matter of moral determination, became accepted in the West. As this knowledge spreads, so will the acceptance of homosexuals.

    The latter point is vital because it can be applied to what is without doubt the foulest human rights violation on the planet. In Africa, the Pygmy peoples are subject to cannibalism, such that they might all eventually be eaten. This is due to the false notion that Pygmy flesh increases one’s strength. Clearly, the spread of the knowledge that nothing in Pygmy flesh differs in that respect from any other human flesh or mammal flesh will end that horrific practice.

    • Kennybhoy

      “Clearly, the spread of the knowledge that nothing in Pygmy flesh differs in that respect from any other human flesh or mammal flesh will end that horrific practice.”

      Touching faith in reason you have there…

  • Bo

    “There has been a lot of debate about the seeming lunacy of the UK giving
    aid money to India. But actually there is a moral case for doing so, if
    only we’d admit it, which is that rich Indians, of whom there are many,
    don’t much care about poor ones — at least not nearly enough of them

    Well you would need to provide evidence that the money actually ends up in the hands of the poor. I doubt it actually does. So your “moral” case is taking taxes from the poor in this country and sending the money to very, very wealthy elites over there. Nice one.

    “It has been interpreted as banning gay pride parades — children might see them”

    What’s wrong with that? I wouldn’t want my child to be exposed to a heterosexual parade in which men and women grind on each other in tight leather outfits either.

    “Most of Europe has a homicide rate of 0 to 2 people per 100,000 per year
    (in the UK it is 1.2). This low baseline rate is now matched by several
    Asian countries, including Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong”

    Wow, those are good choices. Japan was technically a US colony following WWII, Singapore was founded by the UK and only gained independence in the last century and Hong Kong? Well lets just leave it at that.

  • pp22pp

    Yeah right. Britain is turning brown and Moslem. Have you not noticed? They’ve been gang raping our orphans on an industrial scale. Ah, yes, the media chose not to notice for years.

    If you follow current trajectories, this country will be an overpopulated, multiracial, multicultural hell hole in less than a generation. Large parts of it already are. Don’t tell me that Luton or Tower Hamlets are places where Liberal values are spreading and growing.

    Also, if your moral philosophy can change with the weather, so can your attitude to everything else. Today’s Hampstead Liberal can easily morph into a gay bashing Islamofanatic if the demographics of this country continue to change.

    One more thing. The society you envisage presupposes high IQ’s and self-sustaining birthrates. The civilized societies you mention fail dismally in this respect. We are encouraging immigration from the world’s most dysfunctional, low-IQ societies, while paying the dimmest girls from our own ranks to have all the kids.

    And don’t say that IQ and genetics are unrelated. As a geologist, I squirm when I hear evolution being denied – both by Creationist nutjobs and Liberal hacks.

  • Tom M

    “… not because gay rights are the most important issue,….”
    It very much sounds like for you it is.
    What you seem to misunderstand is that there is no pot of moral gold at the end of the social rainbow that we, the enlightened ones, are struggling to reach and educate others of the correct path in doing so. To my knowledge there are many many civilisations on the surface of this planet that strongly disagree with you and would likely deem that you suffer from a form of moral conceit.

    What we are experiencing, as outlined in your article, is the latest export in social engineering from the West to the rest of the world whether they like it or not.
    We have in the past, with equal moral certitude, exported religion to prepare others for the afterlife (usually but not always at the point of a gun). Because it was obviously the most important thing a human being could do was it not?
    We then exported ordered civilisation in the shape of imperialism because someone had to educate those savages had they not?
    We are now in the industrious process of exporting democracy and human rights. The results are plain to see if you look. Give it a few decades more and it will be something else that occupies the fertile mind.

  • Sarka

    The situation is more complicated than just a gap. It involves a relationship and what could be called a “backlash” While many people in various parts of the world may not like modern Western mores, they most certainly want modernity in the form of greater prosperity, standard of living, opportunities, technological advance (the conveniences and the toys). It is extremely difficult for societies to modernise in this sense, desired by pretty well everyone, without accepting a big dollop of Westernisation. Whatever any Westerner’s criticism of Western culture, or aspects of it, we are all aware that much of what we appreciate (our wealth, liberal rights, individual freedom, science, education, comfort, much better health than our ancestors, etc etc..) is based on a very long and specific development in the West.

    The extent to which other societies can “pick and choose” from the Western example and influence, is quite limited in the long run. You want an educated population and all those benefits? It’s hard to achieve that without letting in free-thinking, without e.g. loosening social family structures in which parents or men have automatic great authority, respect for tradition etc. And as some people, more than others, capitalise on economic opportunities of modernisation while others are not so lucky – or again while for example deathrates drop (modern western medicine some rise in living standards and security) and an immense population of young people is generated without opportunities corresponding to expectations, the social fabric is disrupted.

    The non-Western world is replete with examples of attempts to “have Western cake and eat it” (whether Korea’s now old-fashioned pecular communist project, or various less bizarre authoritarian projects supposed to ensure modernisation benefits while protecting “values” – the Japanese tried it for a while – or Islamism, which is the latest and most formidable such project), and they all sooner or later fail. Because either they fail to deliver modernisation benefits, or they deliver them to some degree but then lose control just because people are richer, more educated…more subject to outside influence.

    And to make it worse, even when no western power is trying to enforce Western values, by military or other action, these societies cannot escape the Western or Western style global media, information etc…Every time the Iranian regime has a campaign to smash people’s satellite dishes, the satellite dishes come back.

    The attractions of the West/modernity are also differentially felt in different parts of the societies. Ruling elites with money often live a bit of a double life, causing resentments that may manifest as desire for social purity. Women and kids may get ideas above their station! Young men, as many studies have shown, are particularly conflicted. How can they have all the toys and benefits of modernity but at the same time keep that sense of masculine entitlement and control of females that is so important to them?

    The result is confusion, struggle and quite often ideological backlash, which is often “neo-traditional” rather than genuinely conservative. In Africa and the Muslim world generally there is also a a very strong edge of “crisis of masculinity”, which manifests in punitive action against women (the terrible rape rates in South Africa, for example – elsewhere rising rates of honour killings), and against homosexuals. Oddly, while in these societies it would be a mistake to consider tradition necessarily very liberal, it was more liberal than it is now – when e.g. in North Africa the pretence that “homosexuality”is something alien and toxic brought from the West is utterly absurd. Why, European gays used to escape to N. Africa because of the comparative tolerance….!

    Gap? No, it’s more like an unstoppable cycle of action and reaction… .

  • I felt this deserves commentary because it describes a process of nihilism rather than a shift to an alternative moral system, but also because it overlooks that gays have shifted their propaganda tactics since 1983. Before gays were presenting themselves as a lifestyle choice not as something inborn, and to people that can look like violating natural function. But since then they shifted more towards the gay gene theory so that homosexuality is natural biodiversity. People will object less to that, even if public sympathy for gay rights is motivated more by pity than by equality as they’d like.

    “As recently as 1983, 50 per cent of those polled thought same-sex relationships were ‘always wrong’; by last year that number had dropped to just 22 per cent. We are simply not bothered, and becoming less bothered every year. As long as they do no harm, individuals are increasingly free to choose their own way of life without being condemned by their community.”

  • BD

    Personally I think this attempt to boil down world morality into two separate spheres, one pro-homosexuality and one anti-homosexuality seems simplistic at best. Granted certain areas of the world, primarily the middle east and maybe to some extent India seem to be still governed by largely medieval codes of conduct but still within this group to say that the social mores of Russia, Saudi Arabia, India, and Uganda are all essentially the same is rather dumb. Same as saying the mores of the United States, China, Japan, Norway and Mexico are all the same. Look at China and Japan for example, Japan has at times tried to downplay its role in WWII atrocities and its prime minister has visited a shrine where war criminals are buried, also in the last year Japan and China nearly went to war over a few small islands. Somehow I cant see the German prime minister visiting the graveyard of Nazi war dead or Germany and France going to the brink of war over a few uninhabited islands.

  • David

    A very interesting and accurate portrayal of the next big divide to hit our world. I did, however, find the conclusion a little… unsatisfying. Perhaps that’s just my need to have things wrapped up nicely rather than left vague and open ended. I acknowledge that life isn’t always that straightforward… bit when it isn’t it irritates the daylights out of me.