George Walford: What’s Wrong with S.I.? (56)

It seems obvious that a major difference between human beings and animals lies in humans having won, or having been granted by biology, freedom from some of the genetic restraints that compel the animals. This has probably been asserted somewhere in the literature of s.i. although a recent search has failed to find it. Its validity is doubtful. Human beings are subject to a full set of genetic restraints (admittedly somewhat different from those of any animal, but only in the way that every species differs from every other), and have been enabled to accomplish as much as they have by accepting further restraints on top of those. Elman R. Service points out that while animals follow their sexual inclinations without restraint: ‘sex is channelled sublimated restricted and tabooed in human society in ways which strikingly modify the social dangers that are inherent in its free manifestation.’ [1]

Beyond Politics, at least, got it right, saying: ‘Any considerable freedom from, natural limitations can be achieved only by suppressing spontaneity and accepting ideological limitations… ‘ (p. 116)

[1] Service, E. R. 1966 The Hunters 28.

from Ideological Commentary 56, May 1992.