[lit-ideas] Re: Does This Have Wings?

  • From: Donal McEvoy <donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2012 07:45:33 +0100 (BST)

The equation of fascism and liberalism is hardly sustained by any posts: Chris 
Bruce has sensibly posited a way of tackling overpopulation through education, 
and other means to give women more freedom, which is non-coercive and indeed 
the opposite of coercive. My own post merely suggested that coercive means - 
meaning laws and their enforcement - could be justified depending on what the 
problem-situation was. It does not seem to me that I suggested means that 
forcibly violate a woman's body; certainly using taxation may be viewed as 
coercive [as per Nozick etc.] but not as forcibly 'violating' any body. It is 
true that a Chinese system of forced abortion would amount to such forcible 
violation, but this was not a legal means I argued for - indeed, my post left 
open what legal means might be used here. Nor need any post assume their 
definition of the "general welfare" is correct, simply guess that an expansion 
of population that was unsustainable given
 limited resources is not in the "general welfare" - particularly if it brought 
about catastrophic consequences for those living.


The point about religion may be right though: I don't think religious belief 
could exempt people from legal restrictions imposed for "general welfare", 
especially as it is certain irresponsible religious beliefs - for example, the 
Catholic Church's stance against contraception - that may foster an 
irresponsible attitude to having children. In the case of general catastrophic 
consequences, so-called 'freedom of conscience' cannot be indulged: 'freedom of 
conscience' may demand protection within the private individual sphere, but 
actions that harm the public sphere cannot automatically be granted protection 
because they are claimed to be in the exercise of 'freedom of conscience'. If 
that were so, we might have to turn a blind eye to Sept 11 on the basis that Al 
Quaeda were acting in accordance with their religious beliefs and in good 
conscience [as doubtless they thought].

Donal







________________________________
 From: Thomas Hart <tehart@xxxxxxx>
To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
Sent: Thursday, 12 July 2012, 2:37
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Does This Have Wings?
 

I wanted to see if it might be possible to combine arguments and rationales 
that used "liberal" interpretations of various phrases in the US Constitution 
to impose a Chinese style tyranny. I started with the idea that anything could 
be justified by invoking "general welfare." Then I proceeded to look for 
something that is a liberal favorite, and found population control. I then 
proposed a mandate that imposed violence upon women by mandating abortion. No 
liberal male defended a woman's right to choose to have more than one child. 
The Robert's court ruled that as long as you can invoke the taxing power you 
could basically get away with anything. I proposed total confiscation of income 
for 10 years, essentially slavery. No liberal objected. I then came up with a 
justification for imposing a tyrannous definition of religion. No liberal 
objected.

The justification for population control rests on Malthus, but Malthus, in the 
19th century, and Paul Erlich, in the 20th century, both made predictions that 
haven't come to pass. I believe current projections are for population to peak 
in 2050 at 9 billion, and then begin a slight decline. 

Unfortunately, the whole idea of population control runs counter to the way 
many current social programs are constructed. Social Security and Medicare are 
both pass-through systems that should have a small number of people being 
supported by a large number of workers. Unfortunately, the population is aging, 
and living longer so that the top of the pyramid is increasing, and birth 
control, abortion, late marriages, etc., are leading to smaller numbers of 
workers. Unless there is a die-off at the top, either active killing, or 
passive neglect, or the working base broadens (through legal immigration, since 
illegals will avoid taxes), or increased fertility, financial implosion is 
inevitable.

What is interesting is that:

1. People assumed that their definition of "general welfare" is the correct 
one, and that they were willing to impose it by force.
2. The ideal of forcibly violating a woman's body was not repugnant to them.
3. Children were regarded not as people, but as things, i.e., reified.
4. The idea that the government could impose a penalty, disguised as a tax, 
amounting to 10 years worth of income was not repugnant to them.
5. The idea that government could determine what constitutes religious 
practice, and limit one's freedom of conscience was not repugnant to them.
6. The idea that the government could essentially penalize religious thought, 
belief, and practice, was applauded.

So where is the "liber" in liberalism? I see:

1. The belief that a person, one of the cognoscenti, the good, those who have 
knowledge, can act for the people as a whole. I'm reminded of Trotsky's 
criticism about the Party substituting for the workers, the Central Committee 
substituting for the Party, the Politburo substituting for the Central 
Committee, and the General Secretary substituting for the Politburo.
2. Liberty is not inherent, not unalienable, but exists at the whim of the 
rulers.

I'm afraid that I see the boot trampling on the human face and grinding it into 
the ground, and the proponents of these ideas can only be described in one word:

Fascists.

Jonah Goldberg is right, liberalism and fascism are nearly identical.




"All women are created equal.
Then some become Marines"

Katy Perry video for "Part of me"

Thomas Hart
tehart@xxxxxxx


 

On Jul 11, 2012, at 6:01 PM, cblists@xxxxxxxx wrote:


>I've got an alternate proposal for population control: give all the women of 
>the world minimum health care, education and nutrition for themselves and the 
>children they have already borne, education about and access to contraception, 
>and the absolute right to choose their sexual partners and (without coercion 
>in either direction) how many children they will bear in the future.
>
>It has wings - the question is: who keeps clipping them?
>
>Chris Bruce,
>who has more faith on this matter
>in womankind than mankind, in
>Kiel, Germany
>--
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