In 1895, Emile Durkheim made the observation that “𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗻 𝗶𝗻 𝗮 𝘀𝗼𝗰𝗶𝗲𝘁𝘆 𝗼𝗳 𝘀𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘁𝘀, 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝘄𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗯𝗲 𝗱𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲”. Deviance being defined as any behaviour that goes against the norms, values and expectations of a society,
Then in 1993 American senator and sociologist Daniel Patrick Moynihan coined the phrase “𝗱𝗲𝗳𝗶𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗱𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗮𝗻𝗰𝘆 𝗱𝗼𝘄𝗻” to describe how society tends to accommodate destructive behaviour by lowering standards.
In other words by lowering the bar society creates a new normal as to what is acceptable.
And so here we are in 2023 and the bar has not so much been lowered but abolished all together.
Think about the defining or rather redefining of just the last few years.
Truth has been redefined as relative and subjective to the point where everyone has their own truth so the concept barely exists.
Of course once truth has been redefined it stands to reason that the flip side of that coin, lies, must also be redefined.
You can’t have one without the other.
Marriage has been totally redefined. Having redefined marriage the iconoclasts and societal vandals and wreckers have moved on to redefining gender and sexuality and are now trying to redefine childhood through the prism of drag queens, like a lifestyle and gateway drug, grooming for sex with the aim of normalising pedophilia. And all presented as “family fun”
What do all of these redefinitions have in common?
They are all concerned about the individual. “It’s all about me” It’s all about accommodating and satisfying the whims, impulses, inclinations and urges and most important of all, the feelings, of the individual.
It’s no longer about the broader good of society.
Crime too, in America at least, has been totally redefined.
In California you can shoplift in broad daylight with no one stopping you for fear of being charged with assault up to $950 and it’s no longer a felony but a mere a misdemeanour.
If you kill some one who is attacking and trying to kill you in your shop, the villain becomes the victim and could be charged.
Push someone into the path of an oncoming train, killing them in the NY subway, with the entire episode caught in video and you still walk free.
This is what both Durkheim and Moynihan were getting at. Defining deviancy down.
We’ve just seen over the last several years, a lot of redefinition compressed into a short space of time and it’s not over yet.
Far from it.