Nipples and the moral bottom rung

Updated: 21 May 2008, 23:05

Originally written: 02 June 2005

It goes without saying that socialism reduces everything to the lowest common denominator, and capitalism allows for true individual expression.

It goes without saying because socialism is a target for unreasonable criticism by those who defend current capitalist society, which does not get enough reasonable criticism. There has been no socialist society to invalidate the belief. But there is a global capitalist society to show that at least half of the belief is wrong.

A recent news article, Nipples the latest agent of civilization’s demise, shows that under capitalism, even physical reality is subject to censorship. Recently it started with the ridiculous clamour about Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” at the 2004 Super Bowl football game. Jackson’s publicity stunt has resulted in the bizarre situation that women’s clothed nipples are considered too offensive. Victoria’s Secret, marketer of women’s undergarments and not known for garments intended to obscure a woman’s figure, has found that one of the biggest complaints from clients was “nipple show-through” in unlined bras. To accommodate those who find the nipple offensive, Victoria’s Secret now sells a bra with a contoured pad to protect our sensitive psyches from having to suffer from being able to discern that clothed women actually have nipples.

Prime time television is not going to be outdone by Victoria’s Secret in the rush to the lowest common moral denominator. The popular Desperate Housewives television show hopped on the elevator going down, and employs people to digitally erase the nipples brazenly appearing on the breasts of actresses Teri Hatcher and Nicolette Sheridan. Pamela Anderson has complained that the network censors have ordered her nipples taped down during filming of the show Stacked.

Both the Right and the Left are guilty of promoting this race to the bottom. Sometimes it is called political correctness, sometimes moral decency. It is not at all uncommon under global capitalism. It has nothing to do with keeping us safe, or protecting our children, or anything but imposing the lowest common denominator on all of us. It is a chilling factor which attacks our human expression and even our human physical attributes. It belies the assertion that capitalism permits true individual expression.

Socialism, on the other hand will be a society in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all. Free development will not and cannot involve television censors ensuring that we are protected from women’s nipples.

The current censorship is particularly disgusting because showing people shooting other people is considered completely acceptable. The message: killing is good, nipples are bad. Capitalism is a society with a very unpleasant morality. Morality changes all the time, but the morality of capitalism to date is sadly lacking, and capitalism shows no likelihood of ever producing a desirable morality.

So why continue to support a social straight jacket? Why believe those who promote it?

Socialism is as close as you make it, and with it will come a morality worthy of human beings who want freedom.
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