Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Notice a Pattern?

Historical parallels between slavery, the Holocaust and abortion

In October of 2004 published an article by Timothy Noah titled Why Bush opposes Dred Scott It’s Code for Roe v. Wade. In a condescending tone Noah mocks President Bush and the Christian right, evidently thinking himself clever for exposing what he thinks a secret tool of propaganda conservatives try to keep hidden among themselves. What he may not realize is that the Pro-Life movement is not trying to hide the comparison between those two cases, but is trying to publicize it. In his research for the article, Noah discovers many references comparing the two Supreme Court cases, but rejects them. He seems to think such comparisons are merely a political ploy, at best. Noah also seems to think the comparison between Roe and Dred Scott (the case in which the Supreme Court denied American citizenship to people of African descent, effectively also denying them human rights) is illegitimate. He is not the only one who thinks this way. Through ignorance, bias and other ailments, “abortion rights” advocates in general seem uninterested in understanding the agenda of the Pro-Life movement or its arguments, and instead prefer to assign a more sinister motive. In lieu of trying to persuade abortion advocates otherwise, the American people in general could benefit from seeing more detailed historical patterns among the Dred Scott case, the Nuremburg Laws of Nazi Germany, and Roe v. Wade.

Most of the information referenced in this essay was gathered in passing over many years, whether in conversations with people or in general reading, such as news stories and the like, with no thought of organizing it until 2008. This lead me to think the similarities between the three Holocausts, as I am calling them, could be common knowledge, at least on an implicit level. I set out to find readily available sources supporting the historical instances mentioned in this writing, and in a very busy culture such as the United States this could be accomplished with the internet. Most of the references here are linked at the bottom of each page to a web-based source, though a few of these are books not currently readable online. Much of what you will read in this essay you likely already know, and yet seeing it all woven together in a broader context may prove surprising.

It is not the intent of this writing to convert those who choose to believe killing an unborn baby is a constitutional right. The purpose of this essay is to change complacent attitudes, to challenge the belief that public policy has no affect on the individual citizen, and for those who already agree an unborn child has a right to live, to remind us to not carelessly accept talking points, analyses, alleged trends and outright falsehoods about the constitutionality of denying a group of people their unalienable human rights. The American people have enough trouble as it is with a government that acts as if it knows best on all things without us enabling that belief by effectively ignoring those who make a living creating laws and spending other people's money.

read the book

excerpts below


"Having to explain why children in the womb are people is as
ridiculous as having to explain why black people are people; no
explanation should be necessary. Why should one have to spell out that
killing a baby is not what America's founders had in mind when they
shaped the language of our constitution?"

"Unless abortion rhetoric is challenged and made to defend itself, the
concept of compassion will continue to mean an act which results in
the death of a child."

"The phrases "a woman's right to choose" and "reproductive rights"
might be considered the modern equivalent of a slave owner defending
"property rights." In each case, an argument for the constitutional
rights of one group inherently denies the human rights of another."

"There are also efforts challenging the physician's right to abstain
from performing or participating in an abortion. The conservative
political action group Concerned Women for America is trying to bring
attention to the fact that abortion groups oppose a doctor's right to
choose not to do abortions."

read the book

Presumptions of Marxism

updated 2011.02.11

One big problem with debating controversial issues is that people tend to misconstrue the positions of the opposition. This is easily and sometimes unwittingly done, by those on any side of an issue. But deliberate distortion seems to be standard procedure when criticizing capitalism. I've noticed 11 general points where Marxians (classical Marxists, Communists, Socialists, liberals, leftists in general) exploit common mental laziness and gloss over the issue to promote their agenda. I'm not suggesting conservatives don't do the same, but let's face it, even when conservatives do this it doesn't reach nearly as big an audience as does left wing propaganda. What should be outrageous to intelligent people or just those who value integrity, misrepresenting someone else's argument is the antithesis of intellectual honesty.

1. Karl Marx's ideas are readily accepted as self-evident, putting capitalism on defense, as if Marxian ideas need not be proved. Marxian theory is presumptuously made the standard by which capitalism should be measured.

2. Any explanation of Marxian theory is portrayed in an ideal setting, whereas capitalism is typically shown in a negative and over-simplified light, promoting the presumption that Marxism is morally superior to capitalism.

3. Marxian theory treats the subjective notion of fairness as a sort of natural law desired by all, but it is only the Marxian definition of fairness that is considered legitimate. Marxian theory presumes life can be made fair, and that unfairness is manufactured only by capitalist mindsets, meaning greed or selfishness. The historically proven fact that manufactured fairness inevitably results in tyranny and oppression must be whitewashed.

4. Capitalist criticism of Marxian societies (i.e., the former Soviet Union, China, North Korea, Cuba, etc.) is dismissed as criticism of illegitimate examples of Marxian theory, because those states are not "pure" or ideal Marxian societies. But when the United States is described by Marxian followers as the preeminent example of a greedy and selfish society, the fact that the U.S. also is not a "pure" capitalist society (because it is heavily influenced by socialist/Marxian ideas) is conveniently neglected. In fact, the failed examples of Marxian nations usually follow the path of failure predicted by Capitalists (i.e., the Soviet Union being run by Stalin naturally devolves into a totalitarian society, because making life "fair" for everyone requires the sacrifice of most freedoms). Similarly, in ignoring the impure capitalism of the United States, Marxians may use a "dog eat dog" metaphor to describe a logical extension of capitalism, while avoiding the "equal misery" reality of Marxian ideals which contaminate American capitalism.

5. Capitalist attitudes are reflexively described as inherently greedy or selfish. The "capitalist mindset" (meaning selfishness) criticized by Marxians may not be a result of capitalism or so-called greed; such attitudes could be the natural state of individuals when allowed to make their own choices. Though a "selfish nature" is sometimes acknowledged, it is improperly attributed to "capitalist mindsets" by Marxians. This selfishness (which indeed exists and is common) may be inherent to humanity itself. Marxian theory prefers the dubious belief that humanity is not naturally selfish, but is made selfish by capitalism or by society in general.

6. Self-interest is unjustly equated with selfishness when criticized by Marxian followers. Marxian theory does not acknowledge the fact that greed can exist in any society, especially one where resources are scarce, which is very common among nations implementing Marxian ideas. For example, Cuba engages in trade with many nations, yet it is still a poverty-stricken nation. This sad fact is often blindly attributed to the trade embargo inflicted upon it by the United States. The possibility that Cuba's widespread poverty may be self inflicted is simply overlooked, because this would suggest Marxian ideals are fundamental flawed.

7. Capitalism is deliberately misunderstood by Marxians, as may be observed by their criticism of it (i.e., a lack of incentive for working one's best is often misconstrued as "a lack of incentive to work at all"). It is seldom (if ever) mentioned by Marxians that Capitalism survives only by serving the community, which is fickle, diverse, and too large and complex to be sufficiently understood by any theory or paradigm, socio-economic or otherwise, a fact Marxians often use to justify their rejection of Capitalism.

8. Marxians tend to discount individualism itself in favor of community. The desire, effort, skill and accomplishment of individuals are rejected to maintain a group mentality. For example, the concept of "earned wealth" is discarded so as to promote the Marxian pillar of class envy. In this manner wealth is not discussed as it actually works (via voluntary exchange), but rather in mythical terms of distribution - as if there were some high governing power deciding who will get an unequal share of available wealth. Likewise, individual charity is ignored to promote group charity (taxation and redistribution of wealth). With Marxian thinking, poverty is not itself a problem, as long as it is equal. It is unequal enjoyment of wealth that is the real injustice.

9. Marxians presume they know what is best for others, and the price required by Marxism (i.e., individualism, freedom, private property, religion and family) is justified for everyone, and should be enforced even by violent means, if necessary. In the Marxian mindset, fairness is valued above freedom, and those who value freedom above fairness are reflexively accused of being "greedy" or lacking compassion. Capitalist examples of compassion are ignored or explained away as something contrary to capitalist mindsets; and religion is certainly not given
credit for compassionate acts.

10. Marxian theory presumes a mythical endless supply of goods and services on one hand, yet a limited amount of collective wealth on the other hand. Capitalism recognizes goods and services must be produced in order to be consumed, but that they are produced only with sufficient incentive. The capitalist focus on liberty permits people to fulfill these needs as they see fit (requiring that individuals serve the community in some way). When people are rewarded with the fruits of their own labor the natural result is abundance (society's economic pie continually grows). The Marxian focus on fairness naturally hinders the incentive to put forth that extra effort, which reduces the total goods and services people are willing to provide, which reduces total available wealth. This results in the use of compulsion and oppression to meet society's needs. Where properly limited freedom tends to breed prosperity, manufactured fairness tends to breed poverty. Prosperity must grow to exist; it must be focused to grow, it does not grow by being arbitrarily redistributed.

11. Marxian theory oversimplifies human history by focusing on and defining it in the limited mindset of class struggle: the "oppressors and the oppressed". Though this perspective is not in itself inaccurate, the insistence that the study of society be approached almost exclusively from this point of view creates a biased and misguided understanding of human experience.