Menninger’s hypothesis was that a recovery of the concept of “sin” could be a more effective deterrent than state control of “crime”.
He proposed his guess at the time when the term “sin” fell into disfavor.
Menninger thought that the word “crime” replaced “sins” in many instances.
The criminalization of “sin”, however, may have been a consequence of a breakdown among families, churches, communities and guilds in the face of unrelenting changes in communication and production. Accusations of “sin” no longer were effective deterrents.
Advances in both “technologies of the intellect” and “modes of production” set the stage for the emergence of new symbolic orders, often with horrifying consequences.
The Public Cult of Progressivism in the United States, like previous Modern Cults, aims to regulate all aspects of human life in regards to political correctness.
Unfortunately, these regulations will be internally inconsistent (because all sorts of “buttons” fit into the buttonhole of “political correctness”).
People will not know how to respond to many conflicting demands and accusations of immorality. Some will haphazardly find themselves subject to criminal prosecution, caught in a web of multiple rules. Uncertainty will prevail. Economic activity will falter because contracts increasingly depend on the caprice of some regulator.
Gorgio Agamben wrote all about this: He called this situation “the state of exception”.
Goldsmith and the Tao agree on the consequences.