An Excellent Quote From an Unexpected Source

From Steve Horwitz at BHL comes this prescient statement from a prominent western intellectual during the 1920s. See if you can guess the author without Googling.

The questions which I group together as sex questions have not been party questions in the past. But that was because they were never, or seldom, the subject of public discussion. All this is changed now. There are no subjects about which the big general public is more interested; few which are the subject of wider discussion. They are of the utmost social importance; they cannot help but provoke real and sincere differences of opinion. Some of them are deeply involved in the solution of certain economic questions. …

Birth control and the use of contraceptives, marriage laws, the treatment of sexual offences and abnormalities, the economic position of women, the economic position of the family—in all these matters the existing state of the law and of orthodoxy is still medieval— altogether out of touch with civilised opinion and civilised practice and with what individuals, educated and uneducated alike, say to one another in private.

Let no one deceive himself with the idea that the change of opinion on these matters is one which only affects a small educated class on the crust of the human boiling. Let no one suppose that it is the working women who are going to be shocked by ideas of birth control or of divorce reform. For them, these things suggest new liberty, emancipation from the most intolerable of tyrannies.

A party which would discuss these things openly and wisely at its meetings would discover a new and living interest in the electorate—because politics would be dealing once more with matters about which everyone wants to know and which deeply affect everyone’s own life. These questions also interlock with economic issues which cannot be evaded.

Check your guess.

Facebook Twitter Reddit
Daniel Bier

Daniel Bier

Daniel Bier is the executive editor of The Skeptical Libertarian.

View all posts by Daniel Bier

GET YOUR DAILY DOSE OF SKEPTICISM.

Subscribe to TSL emails: