How Western Social and Moral Life Has Been Radically Altered

The transition from the 'Four Fs' to the 'Four Gs'
By William Gairdner
William Gairdner
William Gairdner
William Gairdner is a best-selling author living near Toronto. His latest book is "Beyond the Rhetoric" (2021). His website is, and on
December 28, 2020Updated: January 8, 2021


Countries that undergo a peaceful regime change from free and open to closed and less free, usually do so by accepting the gradual substitution of one set of values for another. They abandon what I call the Four Fs and begin accepting the Four Gs as their new belief system.

The Four Fs are Freedom, Family, Free enterprise, and Faith, and these are the essential cornerstones of a free society.

The Four Gs are Government, Groups, Grants and Grabs, and Godlessness. These are the essential cornerstones of an unfree society and part of the gradual shift of all the Western democracies from free and open to more socialist and closed societies.

You can tell when a country has begun to abandon the Four Fs and has opted for the Four Gs when, instead of more freedom, you get more Government; instead of a focus on the natural family you see a focus on politically defined Groups; instead of the promotion of free enterprise you get a focus on Grants and tax-Grabs; instead of the social direction provided by a moral law common for all you get the official promotion of moral relativism and Godlessness in schools and the public square (which leaves the state free to direct all things).

There are five contemporary forms of radicalism that have enabled and promoted this change in the foundation of Western social and moral life from the Four Fs to the Four Gs.

Radical Feminism

The first and perhaps most virulent of these is radical feminism, which seeks to overthrow the order of human biology by promoting the fantastical idea that the sexes are exactly the same and that any differences in the way they choose to live must result from brainwashing. Or that male and female gender is not natural, but “constructed” and freely chosen. But as Harvard professor Michael Levin once dryly suggested, “any parent who has raised both boys and girls and still thinks they are born the same, has already withstood more evidence to the contrary than any laboratory could possibly provide.”

The first mistake, however, is to identify feminism with women, most of whom have never supported it. “Feminist theory,” as the insightful British critic Kenneth Minogue put it, “is passionate and salvationist in a way similar to Marxism, to new religious movements, and occult enthusiasms. Academically, it is mostly unsophisticated. A little light generalizing work is followed by polysyllabic decoration and some spray-on indignation.”

The Abortion/Euthanasia Movement

The second radicalism is the radical abortion/euthanasia movement, which attempts to end our age-old principle of the sanctity of life, thus to overthrow the order of love in society.

Euthanasia is really an extension of the abortion movement (which is better thought of as “pediatric euthanasia”). The “right to choose” to kill someone inside you, a living child, easily mutates into adult euthanasia—the right to kill someone who asserts a right to be killed. Euthanasia was made a legal right in Canada in 2015 and is now practiced by physicians licensed to kill other citizens.

Only too late will we discover that the ultimate form of equality in the socialist state is the right to direct this latest ethic of killing to the elimination of all lives considered not worth living.

Radical Pansexualism

The third radicalism is the radical pansexual movement, of which the homosexual, pornography, polygamy, pro-incest, and now the transgender movements are connected parts. This radicalism seeks to overthrow the sexual order, especially the marital order, of western society, which is based on four prohibitions as to the number, gender, age, and blood-relation of legal sexual partners. This was the time-honoured belief that a marriage must be restricted to one partner at a time and that the partners must be of opposite sexes, cannot be beneath a specified age, and may not be close blood relatives.

This is bolstered by the radical notion that “love” is a sufficient warrant for almost any human behaviour because we are all naturally good, and so all consenting sex, with whomsoever and however, as long as there is no harm done to consenting individuals, must also be good, with no concern for harm to the ideals of the larger society. It’s a belief that dispenses completely with our 2,000-year-long tradition of attempting to teach the difference between good love and bad love (such as narcissism/self-love, incest love, sexual love of little children, love of uncommitted sex, love of polygamy, love of adultery, and many more forms of illicit love, since normalized).

Educational Radicalism

The fourth radicalism is educational radicalism, and here we have a continuous attempt, as the Swedes put it (when radical elitists in Sweden in the 1960s decided to force a switch from the Four Fs to the Four Gs), “to divest the parents of their authority over their own children.” Now education radicals everywhere in the West, who see themselves as “change agents,” seek to overthrow the order of private family authority.

The connection is from Plato, to Rousseau, to the likes of John Dewey, to teacher-training institutions like the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education in Toronto and Columbia University in New York City. The strategy is to persuade the public that teachers are trustees of the nation’s children, not for the family but for the state. It was Canada’s Laurier LaPierre who in 1978, intoxicated with the vision of a top-down, redistributive state, declared that “the child is not a family child. He is an institutional child. It is not the school that is the extension of the home, but the home that is the extension of the school.”

Soon after, former Calgary Board of Education chairman (and education professor) Alex Proudfoot was more blunt. He told a meeting of astonished parents: “The child is not your child. Canadian children are the property of the state, like our oil, our gas, and our pipelines … it’s the law.”

Legal Radicalism

And finally, we have legal radicalism, the most powerful of all, emanating from law schools, law reform commissions, and tribunals and charters of every description, all of which are intent upon circumventing the democratic process.

It is the legal fraternity that is rapidly becoming the most powerful wing of the political class, and the reason is that they have figured out how to use legal rather than political means to overthrow what they believe is the dim-witted democratic order of a free society.

The chief instrument used in this subtle exercise in Canada is its 1982 Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Formerly sovereign and free legislators are now subordinate to legal dictates based on the Charter with respect to most things in life that really matter. The Charter specifically promotes and entrenches the notion of “substantive” equality (making people equal in real life) rather than the original “formal” equality (ensuring equal opportunity under law for all), and so radical egalitarian judgements and social programs get smuggled in under this mutated definition of equality by unelected judges whom no power in the land can remove.

This is a process that bypasses our formerly free legislative sovereignty and replaces it with a new judicial sovereignty. Canada, and many other democracies now identify whole classes of citizens to be favoured over other classes according to linguistic, gender, religious, ethnic, or other differences, in a blatant form of legal discrimination.

If you want more of this kind of equality, you need more government, and if you want total equality, you need total government.

William Gairdner, Ph.D., is an author who lives near Toronto. His latest book is “The French Traveler” (2019). His website is

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.