Sent to you by Karl via Google Reader:
Let's suppose you were born with an inheritance, something that accrues to you by virtue of being born and being human.
It's something you can spend, but not directly, like a lot of cash. But you can trade for it. Let's say it is a beautiful, rare, exquisitely cut diamond. You can wear it, but it's not quite suited for display. It's just something you've always had, more precious than anything else you have except life. And if you keep it, lifelong, your kids will be given equal ones when they're born, and then your grandkids too.
How would you go about safeguarding such a jewel?
Would you keep it always under your control, where you are the only one who has a say on whether it's kept or taken away? Or would you trust politicians – politicians who btw are telling you they can keep your jewel for you by taking other people's jewel away and trading it to keep yours safe – to safeguard that jewel by putting yourself, your life and everything you own in their power?
I'm very afraid for a number of people the answer is the second. And that the answer is the second for even one person scares me beyond reason.
I was watching Bill Whittles's excellent video Cannibals, which details our fiscal and cultural troubles. I wanted to leave a comment (ended up not doing it because youtube drives me nuts on registering to do so) so I looked at the comments.
Comment after comment, with names like "proudfree American" said things like "I voted for Obama because I don't want to have to bear a rapist's child. My body is mine and no one else can make decisions about it."
(A friend pointed out these are pathetic comments both in search of approval of like minded people, and sticking one in the eye of what they imagine to be the opposition. Let that stand for a moment. I'll come back to it in the end.)
Abortion is, of course, one of those complex things. It is not a natural right. It can't be a natural right because a human woman in a state of nature who tries to abort will more often than not end up offing herself along with the child. You could say infanticide is a natural right, as it has been practiced by most civilizations throughout the ages, less so in Judeo Christian lands, but impossible to stamp out just like murder is impossible to stamp out. Of course it violates another person's natural right to life, but in the case of infants that is always iffy as "natural" as they require someone else to defend them. So, it is a very complex thing, not from a moral but from a NATURAL point of view.
Let's leave aside for a moment that no one in this election – not even Todd Akin – ever said a woman BY LAW should bear a rapist's child. What Akin (who is an idiot for the way he expressed himself and for walking into the matter at all) and the other guy said was based on their own moral judgment, involving "if it happened to someone I love." Let's leave aside, also, that my answer would be rather similar to theirs, and it's more germane, since I CAN get pregnant. (In theory. Well, it happened once naturally.) "If I got pregnant by rape, it's impossible to know what I would do, but it would be hard to get over the fact that the child DIDN'T commit the rape, and that what causes a man to become a rapist is not necessarily genetic otherwise every man and woman born would be a rapist, because we're all descended from rapists several times over. Though I can't say for sure what my state of mind would be, there's a good chance I'd decide the moral thing is to keep the child. Because I like children, because it would still be mine, and because it's not the child's fault."
That is not important. It's also not important that while Mitt Romney made noises about abortion, the MOST he could do – and he wouldn't, any more than he would abolish the department of education. That's not how DC works – is sent the matter back to the states. And he NEVER said anything about outlawing abortion in cases of rape or incest.
Let's instead assume that it is right and just, always, for a woman to abort a rapist's child. This right to "not carry a rapist's child in MY body" is not only NOT a natural right – it is one that depends on an advanced enough technology, a functioning economy, and no one being able to regulate what kind of medicine is practiced upon you.
There is an English proverb "He who pays the piper calls the tune." Same thing. Updated "you buy your CDs, you buy whatever music you want." However, if the government is giving you free music, then you will listen to whatever they want you to listen to. And it can change.
So, let's suppose that for these young women the most important thing in the world, truly is that if they should get pregnant from rape – unless you extend rape to "changed my mind afterwards" a small enough chance – they should be allowed to abort the child.
To secure this non-natural (because it requires functioning high tech) right they voted for the man who promised them this AND contraceptives for free. I.e. they voted for someone who said they'd pay for what these women consider a need, so that the women can "control their own bodies." Further, to secure this, this man – this party – is trying to make people against whose conscience it is to pay for such things… pay for them. That is, they are willfully violating what is a natural right of other people: the right to not pay/endorse things that violates their conscience.
And these women think giving these group of people the right to pay for/decide what is done to them gives the women control of their own bodies.
It never occurs to them apparently that those who give them contraceptives/free abortions today can also deny them tomorrow. Or that the fiscal mess Bill Whittle is talking about in the video means a diminishing level of wealth and therefore of tech.
What I mean is even if the government isn't lying to you – and frankly, after Benghazi how can ANYONE believe these people won't lie to you and with a straight face – their policies are almost guaranteed to make doctors flee the country in droves, or go into retirement. They are also guaranteed to add a layer of bureaucracy that will delay everything.
The end result might be that you did in fact get raped – I understand in countries where law breaks completely down this is a risk women run from eight to eighty – and you got pregnant. (Or you had a night of sex with your boyfriend and didn't take precautions, so you're being "punished with a baby.") You have a right to your free abortion. Great.
Only the nearest hospital is chock a block with more urgent cases and the nurse practitioner who could have done it is full up for six months. In six months it will be a high-risk abortion, and gee, we just don't have the equipment. Maybe if you go to Mexico? I hear they can do these same day, for ten thousand dollars.
Think this is unlikely? This is almost guaranteed.
Other nightmare scenarios include the government running out of contraceptives. (No? When something is free, people get it. And when it's free there's no incentive for companies to research better stuff OR to make it cheaper or more abundant.) I once heard an – hilarious, because it wasn't me, and because these people had escaped – interesting story by a group of Russians, at the end of the USSR, discussing how this group of ten men shared a condom which they washed after sex and which, btw, the one of them who worked in a rubber plant patched more than once. If you think that can't happen here, you have missed the fiscal mess we're in to which we're adding an unimaginable amount of debt for an "entitlement" that can't be secured without enslaving doctors and other health professionals to serve at the pleasure of the government.
So, suppose you run out of contraceptives and your ONLY contraception is abortion. But the birth rate is going through the floor and our lords and masters become aware they won't have enough of a next generation to bear the massive burden of debt. Think they won't forbid abortion? Or they decide you're from a non-favored group and they don't want you reproducing at all, so they mandate that you be sterilized and your existing children killed. Think it won't happen? It's happening in China. Google "dying rooms" China and children, and I hope you have a strong stomach.
You think it won't happen here?
Why do you think that? Show your work. Is your body any more sacred than other people's convictions? Why? Why should a government that has the power of life and death over you, a government that can literally decide that you're too expensive to keep alive and send you home with palliative care (no? It happens practically everywhere the state runs medicine. Maybe everywhere. Reporting on these things is iffy) NOT make you bear a child because it suits the state's needs?
You were born with this special, priceless jewel: Liberty.
You can keep it – that includes covering the costs of it, both monetary and in informed citizenry – and get to decide what to do with it, and in which circumstances to apply it. OR you can entrust it to people who lie and whose very nature is predicated on having power over you.
Whether the liberty is freedom of religion, of assembly, the right to bear arms – no matter what those rights are, entrusting them to the government is a bad idea. All the more so when those "rights" require a complex, functioning civilization to be effective. (For instance, I would not vote for a government that promised me free weapons, because I know how bureaucracies work and in the end I'd have the right to a chipped bit of flint.)
No, you do not have a right to your own body. No one does. You can't say "I won't bear this child" any more than you can say "I won't die from this cancer." Both of them involve a complex civilization and other people's skill and knowledge to avoid. And neither can be granted to you by a tyrannical government who HAS to control other people's work, intelligence and freedom of thought to grant you this.
You do have a right to your own mind, and that so many people have chosen to give up their natural right to inform themselves and make informed decisions makes me seethe.
My friend was right, on the people who commented on that video being special snow flakes in search of social approval. Of course why they think that idiotic statement makes them sound "correct" is why we must speak out. For too long we've let the idiots own the air and the soundbites, because we didn't want to rock the boat. And what we've created is sort of a state religion, in which young people repeat platitudes that don't make sense, in the sure certainty of social approval.
It's time to start taking back their minds. And then maybe they'll understand how to keep control of their bodies. And maybe they'll understand the meaning of liberty.
You can't enslave a free man.
Only person can do that to a man is himself.
No, sir—you can't enslave a free man.
The most you can do is kill him. Free Men by Robert A. Heinlein