Saturday, September 08, 2007

Sex is a Pandora's Box

I have opened a Pandora’s Box by writing about sex. It is after a really long time that I have had so many comments on a post. I really loved the one by Shashank. I like the way he gives me really juicy stuff to sink my teeth into. Let’s take a look at the various points that he makes.

He begins:

Although Vinod hasn't suggested this in any form, still in most cases i get a feeling that people confuse between modernisation and westernisation.

I agree with that. Modernization need not coincide with Westernization. In the way that he uses the term through his comment I think what he means by modern is anything that is recent and contemporary. I reason I think he means this is this statement:

… but I do not see any modern thing in being a libertarian. Such people were always there (even in our country) and so this is just another way of thinking.

Anything that was always there isn’t modern. So anything which came just a few days back is modern. However, what he means by modernization then I have no idea. Modernization is a process. If merely being recent is being modern then there is no process. Or perhaps the process is merely the passage of time and modernization means merely progressing through time.

Next he says:

Why is being a libertarian seen as being modern?

The answer to that is simple. Libertarianism is a very modern philosophy. Wikipedia defines libertarianism thus:

Libertarianism is a political philosophy maintaining that all persons are the absolute owners of their own lives, and should be free to do whatever they wish with their persons or property, provided they allow others the same liberty.

This notion of liberty, that a person should be free to do as he chooses, as long as he does not hamper anyone else’ liberty is very much a modern concept, even by Shashank’s definition of modern. In fact, the same Wikipedia article that I picked the definition from states that the first usage of that term was as late as 1857. And certainly, never in the history of mankind have we been free to do as we please. Even today, libertarianism remains largely a coffee shop philosophical idea. It is not surprising then that being libertarian is seen as being modern. It is a modern concept. And the claim that libertarians have always existed is probably a wrong claim. Perhaps they existed in philosophical circles but it never was the dominant socio-political system. It even isn’t today. I’m weak at history; please correct me if any libertarian societies have existed in the past.

And when he says:

Coz i dont think that if I am a person who doesnt believe in sex with multiple partners, that makes me any less modern.

I cannot agree more. According to his definition of modern you don’t have to believe in anything at all. You just have to keep moving in time. And wait a minute, why was he talking about Westernization in the first place? Wonder, wonder.

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