Winds of change and winds of the spirit
3/3/16 at 12:41 AM 0 Comments


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This article, 'The sexual revolution', is based on factual evidence. (Copyright March 2016, Selwyn Perry) Permission is required to publish this article and remains the exclusive copyright of Selwyn Perry, author and publisher of SPCB.

Permission given to The Christian Post by Selwyn Perry

The first major changes occurred in the 18th century when land closures forced people off the land to live in towns and work in factories. This was a mass movement of people who left behind them a simple agrarian society where they lived off the land and where home and work were in one place. But in the town or city home and work were driven apart. No longer was it possible to work at home, spinning yarn or operating a hand loom; no longer possible to grow vegetables on the common land shared by the village, or have a goat, a lamb or hens in the backyard. Home was a cottage where a woman had her babies and weaned them, managed her household, her husband, spun yard, prepared meals, educated her children attended church, cared for the sick and did a thousand and one other duties: keeping the cottage clean, washing and ironing clothes, baking bread, cooking etc. Her husband worked on the land, or he was a tradesman, a blacksmith, a builder. Together, his wife and he kept the family together through spring, summer autumn and winter, sharing the work and the pleasures of family life. His wife was not his chattel or his servant but his lover and she worked just as hard as he did if not harder.

The town was geographically and demographically different to the country and village life. The lord of the manor was replaced by the town hall, a mayor, clerks, banks, companies, and a police force. The population of towns grew overnight, so to speak, and comprised the labour force to run the factories, steel works, trains and machines. The town and its design was the 'honey pot' to make the rich richer, and make the poor poorer. But this was not seen politically as exploiting the working class, or denying the liberties and rights of the poor but as the sacrifice needed to build a new world, and a new empire to stretch across Europe and the world. The key to this was mass production of textiles, steel, glass, masonry, coal and iron to build ships, trains, factories, houses, bridges, tunnels, and the implements and instruments of war. Mill chimneys, coal mines, foundries, and furnaces formed the landscape of the towns, and the labour force for these was housed in line after line of back to back houses, surrounding the mills and factories. As the population of the towns grew so did the suburbs. These became the residential areas apart from the town centres and industries.

The factory system in the late 19th century illustrates very well the toll on family life brought about by the factory system, and at first tolerated by Parliament.1 Children as young as five were employed in cotton mills. Many of them died there. Girls and boys spent years without schooling or domestic knowledge. Mothers often went out to work and employed a nurse to look after their babies. Pregnancy, births and babies went on normally yet without the due care or health necessary to life. Many children died of infectious diseases, overcrowded housing and poor subsistence. For most town dwellers survival was the greatest problem. The home itself was neglected and became a place to recover from exhaustion and lack of sleep. The working day was 12 hours, in addition to which, the usual domestic chores had to be performed. The separation of home and work, was not merely a distance between the one and the other but the absence of time, money, health and humanity. By the time Parliament had halted the exploitation of human labour it was too late to change a whole generation of young men and women who had no real knowledge of family life or any schooling to fit them for later years.

Political reform grew from the social conditions that were abhorrent to all thinking people, both atheists and Christians. But this was slow and restrained by the Victorian ideal of every man, woman and child having a place and a function in society, such that if you ruled your ruled, if you worked you worked, if you prayed you prayed. A class society, royalty and titles extended throughout Europe and the colonies, like Australia. However, many upper class people wanted to see change and human rights regulate industry, improved health standards, a more liveable wage, and political rights for the working class. The town and city was, unlike the country, a hot bed of ideas, some radical, some gradual. The crisis of matching humanitarian or Christian conscience ideals with economic realities had reached boiling point. For working people and families the crisis had become political, for in order to ensure the rights of every family and worker to have a living wage, real health standards and medical care, it was necessary to have representation in Parliament. Thus:
The Chartist movement was the first mass movement driven by the working classes. It grew following the failure of the 1832 Reform Act to extend the vote beyond those owning property.

Chartists' petition

In 1838 a People's Charter was drawn up for the London Working Men's Association (LWMA) by William Lovett and Francis Place, two self-educated radicals, in consultation with other members of LWMA. The Charter had six demands:

All men to have the vote (universal manhood suffrage)
Voting should take place by secret ballot
Parliamentary elections every year, not once every five years
Constituencies should be of equal size
Members of Parliament should be paid
The property qualification for becoming a Member of Parliament should be abolished2

The Chartists petition was turned down by parliament three times, even under the threat of violence. But it became obvious to the ruling classes that their only course was to grant the vote, not only to property owners but all working men. Women were not allowed to vote but this too was permitted in a limited form by 1918, in the 'Representation of the People's Act ,3 when women 30 and over who owned property might vote. By a further act of Parliament the Equal Franchise Act 1928, women were given an equal right to vote along with men, ushering in universal suffrage.
The first World War, 1914-1918, had changed the face of politics forever, giving the working class population the greatest reason to have an equal right to vote and rule over their own lives. 17 million men were killed and 38 million wounded in the war, and women took over the heavy work of manufacturing munitions in the factories raising the working force of women from approximately 26% in 1914 to 40% in 1918.4 This was a toll on family life never before experienced. Millions of children were left without fathers, wives without husbands and parents without children. The impact of this decimation of population was enormous on towns, cities and countryside. The full responsibility of bringing up children was laid upon mothers who now had to earn a living as well as provide for their children. Their daughters reaching puberty had less chance of finding boy friends and little chance of securing husbands. A whole generation of marriageable girls was lost; their biological needs unfulfilled; married women too, whose husbands had been killed had biological needs too which they were unable to satisfy. From 1918, the end of world war 1 until the beginning and end of world war 2, the depopulation of young men continued to rise and bring unfulfilled hopes with it on women and mothers who bore the burden of singleness and a childless future. This was the real beginning of the sexual revolution.

The sexual revolution of the 20th century has been the most extensive and far reaching of any other revolution preceding it. No other revolution in the history of the world has swept aside all other restraints, or counter revolutionary forces than has the sexual revolution. Mao's Communism was a dream held back by the will to make money; Hitler's nationalism, a force thwarted by his megalomania; Stalin's Russia by Russia's freezing winters and the desire for sanity and reason. Let us go back further: the British Empire was too big to rule over and too weak to control; not one empire in the whole history of the world has been able to weather the forces of change either from within or without. Women had to change. There was no other alternative but to bear the load of family life without husbands, sexual desire without men, and youth without marriage.
Who would have believed at the start of the 20th century that sexuality would sweep through all restraints and counter restraints of society? Women's liberation has had little to do with it. The sexual revolution has been accumulative and irrepressible because it has been spontaneous and unstoppable. The restraints of church and state were no longer adhered to as in the pre-war era; not only the Victorian era had collapsed, the British empire and the industrial revolution. Confidence in the Church of England and churches in general was lost because church and state had both sanctioned the war against the teachings of Christ and the unspeakable suffering, because the price of war was felt too deeply and too personally.

Against the reality of the biological imbalance, - the great post war imbalance of too many females and too few males, - 'family planning' and 'the pill' were prescribed by the state to counter the danger of polygamy on the one hand and single motherhood on the other, a policy that would further shrink the family and do nothing to increase the male population. Thus began the age of the nuclear family which foreshadowed the end of marriage as the foundation of society. For the past 100 years the trend towards sexual freedom and sexual aberrations such as homosexuality has been unstoppable.
Nevertheless, the biological problem remains as the biggest crisis of modern society because only marriage can ensure the care, safety and responsibility for children. Children are the future of any society, so their education, discipline and outlook is vitally important to prevent social upheaval, and the breakdown of values that keep society together.

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