What are taboos? Each is a "ta" plus a "boo": A not yet articulate child point to something, trying to say: "the", or something like that. Followed by an interjection meant to startle of frighten; a sound we pretend ghosts make. So a "taboo" means: "I am pretending to be a frightening ghost! Beware!"
Incest is taboo! I interpret the Third volume of Robert Musil's "A man without qualities" as invitation to constructive incest, especially in a social surround where there are no other suitable partners; don't you see it that way → as a lab exercise, my reader?
The Pharaoh Akhenaten did it, didn't he? If it's good enough for the Pharaoh all monotheists seem to like for other reasons, of course, shouldn't it be good enough for all us lesser mortals? Follow the leader, yes? Of course, in the modern age of DNA and RNA, we know better than some ignorant Egyptean monarch, don't we? Absolutely! Consanguine coupling, where there is not physiological infertility on at least one side of the relationship, should either avoid vaginal intercourse or use effective contraception, shouldn't they? Then there is the biological absurdity that sex between an adoptive parent and child is "incest", when clearly there is no consangunity invloved. Woody Allen married his adoptive daughter and they apparently both like it, yes?
Isn't what should be prohibited be all coercive social relationships without exception? A simple logical deduction from that is that a parent, biological, adoptive, step, momny's boyfriend or daddy's girlfriend, or a kidnapped alien from some exoplanet, or any other should never take advantage of any child in any way,. A simple logical deduction from which is that parent child sexual relations should be assumed to be to be criminal until demonstrated otherwise, but not because of any possible consangunity but because abuse of power is always wrong, like a manager bossing an employee around in a workplace, neither more nor less. What needs to be prohibited is all social relations of asymmetrical power which are not fiduciary. Who among the anti-incesters is bravely standing up for that in our contemporary social surround? Hypocrites!
As Wilfred Bion said: All social customs are shared hallucinoses aka: social psychoses. They are all faux-awake sleepwalking. Are you now or have you ever been a somnambulist in your day job ("presenteeism")? Have you violated the 11th Commandment: Thou shalt not have body odor ("BO")! Don't all taboos stink?
I seem to have seen in a recent Olympics (or some other famous race) there was a lady runner who was menstruating without any taboo-preserving technology and had some blood running down her legs? Oh dear, how awful! In my "perp" school, two of my classmates were expelled for having oral sex in the public boys toilet room; it was OK to materially expel them, but not to semiotically talk about it, yes? Sticks and stone can break my bones but words can offend my being a self-righteous prig, right? And what is your salary, Mr. Head of School?
How else can we offend the self-righteous prigs who were brought into this world already toilet trained by storks and who do not defecate or piss? Did Jesus Christ masturbate (the ancient Greek philosopher Diogenes of Sinope apparently did it in the public squrare, to tell all the prigs and prudes what he thought of their taboos, didn't he?)? Was the revered Reverend Martin Luther King Junior a philanderer? If yes, shouldn't all his followers follow his example? Has Angela Davis published her Federal Income tax returns for the past 50 years in The New York Times and Wall Street Journal newspapers? Why was it OK to use Princess Diana's name on margarine tubs (above right) after she died in a car crash due to not wearing her seat belt, but not OK for the Royal Automobile Club to use her in a public service ad for people to buckle up? Let's everybody practice shedding crocodile tears over their (i.e.: our own) taboos!
To think of more interesting subjects to pursue here is left an an exercise for the reader. I (BMcC) will add any that look juicier than the ones I have thought of. firstname.lastname@example.org
This problematic is thoroughly described in: What secrets tell. This is something to which no person who has the capacity to do better in their life, such as myself (BMcC) should ever be or have been subjected. It is destructive and disgusting, but if some people need it, let them have it but keep it to themselves.
It's briefly: If you cannot create anything, hide something you have, forget where you put it (or pretend to do this), and then try to find it again. It's waste. But it helps people who cannot do any better to keep from being bored with their metabolizing when they cannot be busy mowing their lawns or watching football or committing felonies by proxy on the tele.
In the whole history of the human species there was actually at least once a man for whom this made good sense: There once was an inmate in Alcatraz prison who was kept in solitary confinement for months in a totally dark cell where he could not see anything and had nothing to do. How did he keep his sanity? He ripped one button off his prison uniform shirt. He would throw it wildly, some random place in his cell. Then for hours he would crawl around on the floor looking for it in the pitch black darkness. When at last he found the button, he started this little game all over again. By repeatedly searching for the button he kept himself from going insane.
But the zillions of people who get off on tabooing are not in this man's condition of life,. Most of them have eyes but see not and ears but do not hear, but if they espy anybody doing better than themselves they want to bring them down to their level unless the latter are stupid rich like the Kardashians or Donald J. Trump., with whose ostentatious stupidity they can identify themelves, since these "celebrities" are no better than themselves; they just have more money to waste. If nobody's better than them, then they can feel good about themselves that they araen't missing out on anything. Such were my childrearers, at home and, probably less excusably since they were all college educated, at prep school. But taht it its turn saays soemthing about the colleges they attended and so forth in a perhapos at lesat milllenia old regression.... It's like capitalism's invisible hand: Who's responsible? the Nobody.
What does society get out of all this? Partly it makes basic sexual physiology more interesting for the dolts than it might otherwise be, by making it be forbidden fruit. The remaining repressed energy goes into women playing cynical sex games like "Hard to get" and "Look don't touch", and men going off to get themselves injured on the playing fields of Eton or empty lots in the "hood", and maimed and killed in the Fields of Flanders. God has multiple personality disorder (MPD): Whoever "we" are, He is always on "our" side (right).
As Walter Ong says, males are expendable and society expends as many as it can get a hold of, as Shakespeare's Falstaff's "food for powder". Eat heartily, O mother/fatherland! The more the ladies reproduce them, the more of them there are for mother/fatherlands and alma maters to eat. ~ I (BMcC) did not ask for any this in my little life. As it said in my prep school yearbook: "he opposed the cult of school spirit".