A short essay in which I trace, from the ancient Greeks to present, the forces that shape some of today’s opinions about Ceara Lynch’s moral character.
It’s everywhere online. It’s rushed and it’s relentless. It comes from all quarters. It’s political and it’s moral. More often than not, it’s both. It’s judgment. And it’s ruthless.
It only takes a cursory glance at Ceara Lynch’s web presence to notice something is missing. If the internet is the venue of choice for expressing an opinion, Ceara’s social media postings are surprisingly devoid of political or social commentary. This is by design, of course; Ceara Lynch is disciplined in marketing her business. Nevertheless, as her celebrity increases, so do the judgmental comments about her, her profession, and her clients.
Recently, a short 250-word article about Ceara Lynch appeared on the right-leaning news site, Breitbart.com. The article, which was clearly meant as entertainment rather than social commentary, spawned over 150 comments from readers. Most of the comments reflected the conservative political and moral view of Brietbart.com readership. Several made nebulous links between her activities as a humiliatrix and people with progressive political views:
“This sounds like good work for HRC … if she doesn’t go to prison.”
“Cuckold emasculated-by-feminism liberal males love this stuff.”
Other comments addressed Ms. Lynch’s morality:
“It’s definitely demonic in origin and her fate is in Hell.”
“Well, isn’t that special. Who could be her silent partner? Maybe … SATAN?!?!”
And despite the apolitical nature of her Twitter postings, political diatribe from online followers occasionally find their way into her Twitter comment stream:
“I enjoyed the line ‘Her fate is in hell!’ I would guess the majority of your subs are Republican businessmen.”
“Now you’ll get some clients who really deserve to be humiliated.”
In another recent example, Ceara Lynch’s production of racial humiliation video clips generated several comments, particularly from the left. One follower went so far as to write a short entry in his blog laying out arguments as to why racial humiliation is an inappropriate scenario for a publicly sold humiliatrix video clip. As cogent and articulate as those arguments were, the author couldn’t avoid referring to Ceara Lynch as racist.
“It’s hard to swallow when we’re not even asking for political correctness here, but just the smallest modicum of respect, which Ceara (and other racist clip dommes) fail to provide.”
Do these sort of comments bother Ceara? The comments are directed at her online persona, not her, so I don’t think she takes them personally. In a way, I think these sort of comments are just part of the cost of doing business online.
Still, as I followed these discussions, I couldn’t help but wonder where this pervasive morality-based political judgmentalism came from? Did it arise because of specific issues, as it appeared? Or was there something deeper, more ingrained in our social DNA, that linked morality and politics in such a way as to fuel an enduring debate? Were there distinct social consciousnesses that always existed, but become most evident when discussing divisive social and political issues?
What is Morality Anyway?
Morality is about the difference between what is proper and what is not. Intentions, decisions, and actions are distinctions without a difference. Morality applies equally to all three. Morality can derive from a personal belief in some universal standard. Or it can be derived from a code of conduct for a particular philosophy, religion, or culture. Note that culture is generational and not static. Therefore, a new generation may develop its own set of morals.
Politics and Morals …
Politics is the activities associated with the governance of a country or other area, especially the debate or conflict among individuals or parties having or hoping to achieve power. At its core, politics is a competition between ideas. Nearly all these ideas have a moral component to them, with the debate won or lost depending on a person’s perception of man’s fundamental nature.
And what are these perceptions that frame the debate? That predisposed a person towards one moral argument and not the other? To understand this fully, it’s necessary to go back to the beginning of western political thought.
The Greeks, Romans, and the Foundation of Moral Governance …
Greek political science studied constitutions and generalized the relation between human nature and political organizations. Perhaps its most powerful instrument was the theory describing a cycle of political evolution called anacyclosis. The theory is mainly attributed to Polybius in Book VI of The Histories. As described by Polybius, the state begins in a form of primitive monarchy under the leadership of an influential and wise king. Political power will pass by hereditary succession to the children of the king, who will abuse their authority for their own gain; this represents the degeneration of monarchy into tyranny. Some of the more influential and powerful men of the state will grow weary of the abuses of tyrants, and will overthrow them; this represents the ascendancy of aristocracy (as well as the end of the “rule by the one” and the beginning of the “rule by the few”). Jut as with the descendants of kings, political influence will pass to the descendants of the aristocrats, and these descendants will begin to abuse their power and influence, as the tyrants before them. This represents the decline of aristocracy and the beginning of oligarchy. As Polybius explains, the people will by this stage in the political evolution of the state decide to take political matters into their own hands. This point of the cycle sees the emergence of democracy, as well as the beginning of “rule by the many”. In the same way that the descendants of kings and aristocrats abused their political status, so to will the descendants of democrats. Accordingly, democracy degenerates into ochlocracy, or more literally, mob-rule. During ochlocracy, according to Polybius, the people of the state,conditioned to accept the pandering of demagogues, will become corrupted by a sense of entitlement. Eventually, the state will be engulfed in chaos, and the competing claims of demagogues will culminate in a single (sometimes virtuous) demagogue claiming absolute power, bringing the state full-circle back to monarchy.
In general terms. the cycle, then, is (1) monarchies degenerate into tyrannies, (2) tyrannies are overthrown by aristocracies, (3) which degenerate into oligarchies exploiting the population, (4) which are overthrown by democracies, (5) which in turn degenerate into the intolerable instability of mob rule and anarchy, (6) whereupon some powerful leader establishes himself as a monarch, and the cycle begins all over again. It’s a cycle of benign, well-meaning governance (monarchies, aristocracies, and democracies) interrupted by malevolent, selfish governance (tyrannies, oligarchies, anarchy.) The ancient Romans, in an attempt to break this cycle, developed a republican model of governance composed of magistrates, senate, and comitia in which the three types of benign well-meaning government (monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy) worked simultaneously.
The Schizophrenia of American Consciousness …
As ancient as this theory was, at the time of the American Revolution, it remained the central thesis of political thought. In fact, the revolutionary Founding Fathers of the United States were so greatly influenced by it that their novel experiment of a republican government (with a considerable measure of democracy built in) was modeled on what Polybuis wrote of the Roman republic.
Choosing the Roman republic as a model wasn’t just coincidence. Rather it was an intersection of two opposing views concerning the very nature of man. These views, and their associated political perspectives, were championed respectively by the great ideological revolutionaries in America at that time, John Adam and Thomas Jefferson.
The noted historian, Page Smith, labeled these two opposing perspectives as Classical-Christian and Secular-Democratic consciousnesses. The Classical-Christian view (represented by Adams and later James Madison) emphasized the fallibility and limitations of humanity; the Secular-Democratic perspective (held by the Jefferson) viewed humanity through a gentler lens, focusing on both the equality and the perfectibility of man. The first view is realized in the Constitution, a document designed to guard against the cyclical appearance of malevolent selfish governments. The second view inspired the Declaration of Independence and, coincident with the Age of Enlightenment (1715-1789), became the emerging Secular-Democratic ideology overlying a declining Classical-Christian polity. This ideological schizophrenia between Classical-Christian and Secular-Democratic is embedded in our country’s political DNA so that these two irreconcilable consciousnesses persist today and lie at the core of nearly every debate in US politics.
Not surprisingly, both consciousnesses spring from the same tap root. Though their perspectives diverge as the “How?” and the “Who?” what they have in common is “Why?”
Both Classical-Christian and Secular-Democratic consciousnesses see redemption as the end state for man. The Classical-Christian view focuses on redemption of the individual; the Secular-Democratic on the redemption of humankind within a broader societal context. Classical-Christian seeks heaven, Secular-Democratic seeks utopia.
Whereas Classical-Christian morality is largely defined for the individual, Secular-Democratic morality is defined for society as a whole. The focus is different, so moral standards are viewed differently (usually along cultural, religious, or philosophical lines.) Because both consciousnesses have redemption as their common goal, seldom are moral standards in direct conflict. More often, the difference in viewpoint lies in prioritization and moral weight afforded a particular argument.
Argument, Hyperbole, and Sin …
As the intensity of competition between political viewpoints increases, so does the passion of proponents. Passions beget hyperbole so that the arguments are no longer about worst or best, but about right versus wrong. Or, at the extremes, good versus evil. The moral standards adapted for political argument become black and white. The middle ground evaporates. And, in the morality drenched competition of ideas that is politics, transgression takes on the appearance of sin. For the Classical-Christian, sin is any thought or action that endangers the ideal relationship between an individual and God, that obstructs a person’s path towards redemption in heaven. For the Secular-Democrat, it’s any individual thought or action that is not aligned with society’s path towards a perceived ideal order for human living.
The Sins of Ceara ….
Ceara has often advocated that people accept themselves and enjoy their kinks. That philosophy, akin to hedonism (but not quite), allows her to go about her business unencumbered by the burden of regret and guilt that morality-based proponents seek to impose for transgressional thought and deed. That does not make her amoral. Rather, her moral code is different and does not easily conform to tribal patterns inspired by Classical-Christian or Secular-Democratic consciousnesses.
That said, as Ceara Lynch’s notoriety has increased, so too has the number and type of people judging her and her sins. But what are those sins exactly? What moral standard is being used to judge her?
Within the Classical-Christian consciousness, the seven cardinal sins are the usual standard against which a person is judged. These vices (wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy and gluttony) are so odious as to have a fatal effect on an individual’s spiritual health, deny their redemption, and result in eternal damnation. Nearly all these sins are touched upon in some way within Ceara Lynch’s video catalog. But it’s important to note that for the vast majority of her clips. she is not the “sinner.” Rather, she is the Great Tempter, the Great Deceiver. She is more Satan than sinner. In that context, absence contrition and repentance, she is dammed and salvation is denied to her forever.
Within the Secular-Democratic consciousness, Ceara Lynch’s thoughts and actions are judged against a more imprecise standards. The standards, established by evolving social mores, are often inconsistent when applied across different demographic groups. The principle underlying these standards is social justice, so certain historically ill-treated demographic groups (women, minorities, etc.) are given preference where advocacy for social justice is concerned. Conversely, other demographic groups are seen as privileged, so that treating them poorly or with ill-regard is more often than not considered ‘justice served.”
For example, Ceara Lynch’s stock-in-trade is intentionally not affording respect or dignity to her paying clients. To the secular-democratic consciousness, white wealthy men are viewed as privileged; a humiliation scenario based on that demographic is not only acceptable, but is seen as virtuous. However, as in recent discussion surrounding racial humiliation video clips, the use of a non-privileged racial identity (i.e., black) as the basis for a humiliation scenario is heinous. It crosses the line. So a moral judgment is made. Ceara has sinned and, in order that all would know her for who she was, the scarlet letter “R” (for “racist”) is figuratively placed about her neck. You’re either in, or you’re out. To be outcast … to be shunned … to be perceived as part of the problem … is to be denied access to the envisioned Secular-Democratic Utopian society.
A Different View of Morality …
Both the Secular-Democratic and Classical-Christian consciousnesses provide guidance as to WHAT choice should be made when facing a moral problem. But a different approach, which may lead to less judgment and more acceptance, is to understand HOW moral choices are made. The scientific foundation for this approach was advanced by Lawrence Kohlberg, Professor of Education and Social Psychology at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, in the 1970’s.
Kohlberg was able to demonstrate that people progressed in their moral reasoning (i.e., in their bases for ethical behavior) through a series of stages. He believed that there were six identifiable stages which could be more generally classified into three levels. Kohlberg’s classifications are:
LEVEL STAGE SOCIAL ORIENTATION Pre-conventional 1 Obedience and Punishment 2 Individualism, Instrumentalism, Exchange Conventional 3 "Good boy/girl" 4 Law and Order Post-conventional 5 Social Contract 6 Principled Conscience
The “pre-conventional” level of moral thinking is that generally found in children. In the first stage of this level, people behave according to socially acceptable norms because they are told to do so by some authority figure (e.g., parent or teacher). This obedience is compelled by the threat or application of punishment. The second stage of this level is characterized by a view that right behavior means acting in one’s own best interests.
The second level of moral thinking is that generally found in society, hence the name “conventional.” The first stage of this level (stage 3) is characterized by an attitude which seeks to do what will gain the approval of others. The second stage is one oriented to abiding by the law and responding to the obligations of duty.
The third level of moral thinking is one that Kohlberg felt is not reached by the majority of adults. Its first stage (stage 5) is an understanding of social mutuality and a genuine interest in the welfare of others. The last stage (stage 6) is based on respect for universal principle and the demands of individual conscience. While Kohlberg always believed in the existence of Stage 6 and had some nominees for it, he could never get enough subjects to define it, much less observe their longitudinal movement to it.
Discussion and Moral Growth …
Kohlberg believed that individuals could only progress through these stages one stage at a time. That is, they could not “jump” stages. They could not, for example, move from an orientation of selfishness to the law and order stage without passing through the good boy/girl stage. They could only come to a comprehension of a moral rationale one stage above their own. Thus, according to Kohlberg, it was important to present them with moral dilemmas for discussion which would enable them to gain insight into cognitive conflicts at their current stage, help them to see the reasonableness of a “higher stage” morality, and encourage their development in that direction. Although Kohlberg believed that most moral development occurs through social interaction, he saw academic discussion as one of the ways in which moral development can be promoted through formal education.
Ceara Lynch and the Absence of Sin …
At the Conventional moral level (Stages 3 and 4), external judgment is the integral part in ascertaining the morality of a decision. So it’s not surprising that judgmentalism runs rampant in online social-political comments. Unfortunately, judgment usually shuts down discussion. And discussion is how people advance to the next higher stage of moral development. Which brings me back to Ceara Lynch.
I have found Ceara Lynch exceedingly non-judgmental. Rather than close down conversation, she pursues discussion; particularly when she thinks insight can be gained and moral growth is possible. This approach allows her to not just accept, but revel in the socially unacceptable erotic thoughts of others.
As mentioned at the start of this essay, her social media feeds offer little insight into her social-political consciousness. Judgment is kept to a minimum. And without judgment there is no sin; only a psyche unencumbered by guilt or misgiving, a mind uncluttered with the baggage of other people’s judgments and their moral certitude.
When it comes to living life, I think Ceara Lynch likes to keep things simple. So I suspect she lives that universal maxim, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” One interesting facet of this Golden Rule is that it doesn’t require a God, only a healthy respect for the dignity of man … an irony which just increases the charm of the Ceara Lynch persona.