The Devil’s dictionary: “neutrality”

132397-050-7A8BE1ABIn one of our last posts we reported about a Swedish youth organization promoting the idea of “number-neutral” marriages.

This is but the newest example of the stultification of the public discourse, which is greatly facilitated by the fact that, for some reason, certain abstract concepts seem to enjoy a positive connotation that can be exploited to promote even the weirdest ideas. Not long ago, the trick was to use the “equality” argument: everything must be treated equally, even if it isn’t equal. But the newest magic wand of political spin-doctoring is “neutrality”: say that what you are proposing is “neutral”, and you have won.

Admittedly, the concept has some beauty. Besides “gender-neutral” marriages (for sodomites) and “number-neutral” marriages (for polygamists), we might obviously also envision “age-neutral” marriages for paedophiles.

But why stop here? The idea of “neutrality” deserves to be further explored and could be put to good use also elsewhere:

  • Employees could get work-neutral salaries and go on health-neutral sick leave.
  • A company might be run by a competence-neutral management board.
  • Public servants could receive merit-neutral promotions.
  • Taxpayers might be subject to income-neutral taxation.
  • Students might do knowledge-neutral exams.
  • House-owners and car-drivers might be asked to pay risk-neutral insurance premiums.
  • Tribunals might hand out guilt-neutral sentences.

And so on…

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