The Fusion of Nature and Virtue

Under progressivism, nature and virtue fuse. To newthinkers, the more natural, the more virtuous.

The unconscious logic supporting this belief goes like this, starting from the “Human beings are inherently and transcendentally noble” branch of the newthink worldview tree:

• Human beings are inherently and transcendentally noble.
• We need to strip away society and return to a natural state to uncover our inherent and transcendent nobility.
• The more natural, the more virtuous.

Many entailments branch out of this particular belief. The unconscious logic is: The more natural, the more virtuous. Additionally:

• Emoting is natural and therefore virtuous; thinking is unnatural and therefore unvirtuous.
• Expressing yourself is natural and therefore virtuous; stoicism is unnatural and therefore unvirtuous.
• Sex is natural and therefore virtuous; sexual inhibitions or modesty are unnatural and therefore unvirtuous.
• A simple life is natural and therefore virtuous; a complex life is unnatural and therefore unvirtuous.
• Whole foods are natural and therefore virtuous; processed foods are unnatural and therefore unvirtuous.
• Holistic medicine is natural and therefore virtuous; traditional medicine is unnatural and therefore unvirtuous.
• The environment is natural and therefore virtuous; humanity’s physical presence is unnatural and therefore unvirtuous.
• Human will is unimportant in understanding human behavior. Human behavior can be completely understood through natural influences: genetics and environment.
• So-called primitive societies are closer to nature and therefore superior to our society. The social achievements and wisdom our society has gained since primitive times are therefore bogus.

 

…the ultimate expression of newthink’s nature/virtue conflation is the environmental movement.

Nature and “the environment” are synonymous, so the ultimate expression of newthink’s nature/virtue conflation is the environmental movement. In the 1960s and 1970s, many of the hippies headed back to the land clutching copies of Mother Earth News. As the hippie movement faded, many switched from the antiwar movement to the environment. Environmentalists as guardians of nature in progressive society perform a function psychologically analogous to soldiers as guardians of freedom in traditional American society – without the pesky bullets, bombs and dying part. Also analogous is the virtue attached to the environmentalist and the soldier. Like conspicuous worshipers in the temple, anyone associated with the green movement is touched by progressive virtue, which helps account for its current ubiquity in the media and the sanctimony with which its message is delivered.

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