Etiquette is the set of conventional rules of personal behaviour in polite society, usually in the form of an ethical code that delineates the expected and accepted social behaviours that accord with the conventions and norms observed by a society, a social class, or a social group.

I have always promoted the instruction of people in proper etiquette. Even when I was a young Gothling in high school, amongst my friends I promoted etiquette, and I spoke to teachers and other adults about the need for etiquette classes, and how the removal of them in the 1950s has lead to the degeneration of the behaviour and mindset of people. The absence of these teachings over generations have caused people to not even consider being polite unless they want something, therefore leaving politeness as only a thin veneer which covers a rotten core. People belch loudly, emphasise their farts like a giggling 5 year old, laugh when someone gets injured, and other such odious behaviour. They believe in only being nice in exchange for something, often sexual or financial — a form of social prostitution and abuse. These behaviours lead to a traumatised, resentful, bitter, hateful and violent society. Proper instruction in etiquette can help reduce these negative aspects of modern day society. and increase charity / caring and true kindness and respect.

When I was around seven year old and in the second grade, I was diagnosed with a learning and taken out of normal schooling classes for English and mathematics, and place in what were termed “Special Education classes” which did not help any of it to improve and re-integrate back into ordinary classes, instead resulting only in keeping us dumbed down and at the learning level we were when we entered the Special Ed class. In the summer between seventh and eighth grade, my mother purchased for me an electronic dictionary, which allowed me to type in a word, and have it read to me the definition. Using this device, I taught myself how to read, and in three months went from a second grade to post-college reading level. Being a Goth, I first tackled books on themes and topics I was interested in: The Bible, Victorian Gothic Horror novels, and books on etiquette.

I noticed that the youths, and even the adults around me, were woefully lacking in these skills regarding their manners of decorum. I tried to teach my small circle of friends these more refined ways in which one should behave; and I lamented to others regarding the societal lack. The teachers and parents agreed with me, yet indicated that they did not know how to improve the situation. I suggested that if there was such an outcry as it seemed parents had been complaining of such poor manners, that then the government should fund the return of etiquette classes to public schools. The teachers told me of the peoples’ unwillingness to increase their taxes to fund such classes. I found this odd, as if these same people were complaining about the loss of manners and respect within the youth, should they not be willing to fund and support the return of those things in order to solve that problem? I still ask myself this and related questions to this day, “If so many are complaining of this problem, and if proper funding would fix this problem, why do these same people refuse to fund that solution to the problem which concerns them?” I truly hope society realises that soon.

Teaching etiquette classes, starting from pre-school and going through twelfth grade, will result in less crime, and deeper respect and kindness towards others. We would see levels of theft, abuse, and rape go down. Society will prioritise consent and selflessness. We could make proficiency in etiquette a requirement to attend school dances and for participation in sports — this would increase the youths’ desire to acquire these skills and take them to heart. Dances and proms would no longer be events for parents to dread the chastity of their children, but they can be confident in their virtuous courtship. Sports players would honestly and with great respect and admiration shake the hands of the other team and congratulate, “Good game!” In time these behaviours would move on to the workplace and interpersonal relationships among adults. Why society ever thought it was okay to remove this decorum, I will never understand. I understand that World War II lead to shortages in personnel and in funding, and that perhaps it was thought that parents would teach their children the proper manners; but with both parents entering the workforce in order to function within the inflations of capitalism, this was no longer something parents had time or energy to do. Society therefore broke down in this regard, and lead to a de-civilisation.

I therefore urge the study of Victorian and Edwardian etiquette books, and the societal funding of the teaching of such to youths. This will help us to become a better society, a better people, who treat each other with caring and respect, selflessness and personal sacrifice for the greater good other others around use. If we desire to live in a better world, we must be and support that change ourselves.

I supply here, a link to etiquette books that have entered the public domain and can be freely downloaded and used for teaching:

I also recommend the articles and book of the Gothic Charm School by Jillian Venters.

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