A Useful Analysis of the Prevalent Victim-hood Culture

Visitors may find that this article on our present victim-hood culture makes useful distinctions between dignity, honour, and victim-hood that help us understand our present confusions.

None of these confusions would exist, of course, in a world of real crisis. Which is only to say that the concept of “a crisis,” whether personal or global, is itself always relative to the next worst possibility. Recall the man who fretted that he had no shoes, until he saw a man who had no feet.

I just finished reading a short, harrowing account by an English sailor who was on a ship that entered a bay populated by Nootka Indians on the Northwest coast of Canada in the early 1800s.

Dues to some earlier grievance against the Whiteman, the Chief ordered the immediate slaughter and beheading of the entire crew except for this fellow and his buddy, whom as blacksmiths, the Chief thought might be useful to the tribe for making metal weapons. Within an hour of his arrival, our sailor saw the severed and bloodied heads of his fellows – all 35 of them – lined up in a row on the deck of his ship.

Now that is a crisis!

At any rate, if we must arrange our thoughts surrounding our present petty grievances about each other, this article is helpful.

http://quillette.com/2018/05/17/understanding-victimhood-culture-interview-bradley-campbell-jason-manning/

New Study Reveals 1,500+ Gene-based Gender Differences

Below is a link to a recent study that is going to help sink the egalitarian ship.

In the century and  half it has taken for Western liberalism to mutate from its original, eighteenth-century foundation in liberty, to its subsequent foundation in equality, to its present foundation in Libertarian-Socialism, there has been a persistent drum-beat announcing the “equality of the sexes.”

Egalitarian radicals have stridently insisted that human gender has no biological basis, and is simply “constructed” by individuals, according to how they feel and choose. This is an expression of what I have described elsewhere as the Triumph of the Will over Nature (see my article, “Getting Used to Fascism,” in The New Criterion, October, 2011).

Well, Nature continues to assert herself, as readers will discover in this study. Expect more of this science-based repudiation of egalitarian ideology. None of this is a surprise to any sensible person, of course.

I recall a statement from a researcher on biologically-based differences, long before the DNA revolution, stating that “Anyone who has raised both boys and girls and still thinks there is no difference between the genders has already withstood more evidence to the contrary than any scientific study could ever provide”

It will be interesting to see how/if the left has any response to this study.

https://bmcbiol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12915-017-0352-z

 

Honest Skepticism About Residential Schools

Below, you will find very revealing “comments” on an article about the cult of the so-called “Noble-Savage” that was recently published in the on-line Journal Quillette, by Toronto journalist Jonathan Kay (himself now an Editor of this Journal). Kay’s article is here:

http://quillette.com/2018/04/22/canadas-cult-noble-savage-harms-indigenous-peoples/

The article is interesting, but in some cases poorly informed. I think he could have benefited from reading Professor Tom Flanagan’s book, First Nations, Second Thoughts (McGill-Queen’s, 2008), and also Widdowson and Howard’s Disrobing the Aboriginal Industry (McGill-Queen’s, 2008), prior to publishing his article. In the article, he offers some personal observations on Canada’s residential schools.

[As an aside – My own interest in this topic comes from the fact that I recently finished translating an Eighteenth-century French book that has never before been translated into English before, called Le Voyageur Français (1768), or, The French Traveler. It is a fascinating, but not very politically-correct rendering of Indian and colonial life in Canada in the mid-eighteenth century, and is presently under review by McGill-Queen’s University Press, with a view to publication before the end of 2018].

Now, back to Kay and Canada’s residential schools. Human nature being what it is, there were clearly some cruel abuses in Canada’s residential schools over the period of more than one hundred years. They were not run by angels. But there were just as obviously many wonderful stories of otherwise neglected children who thrived at these schools. At any rate, I have long been suspicious of much of the public account.

This began when my friend Rod Clifton, who taught for a year at a residential school in the far north of Canada, reported personally to me: “The children were often brought to our school straight out of the forest, dirty and hungry, their parents begging us to take them in. Sometimes they wandered in from the forest by themselves.”

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Christianity, and The Kingdom of Heaven on Earth

Below is my only slightly-edited reply to “Eli”, who kindly sent a comment on my first Podcast: “The Four Stages of Liberalism,” which is posted on this website. On re-reading my own reply, I would say that in a very short space it sums up the conclusion to which I have come with respect to mutations in the deep-ideology of the West. The “libertarian-socialism” I explain in my podcast is the most recent aspect of that mutation.

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“Hello Eli. Thx for sharing your thoughts. Hard to answer all this in short space. But The deepest analysis I can manage is this:

The decline of the Christian religion and belief in the Kingdom of Heaven – perfect justice – in an afterlife, is still with us. But no longer in a theological form. God has left the building, so to speak. But all the hard-wiring remains.

So all those formerly and feverishly expecting justice in the Afterlife, are demanding it here and now, in this world, rather than in the next. This is called the “secularization thesis,” whereby the idealistic, justice-seeking left strives to create the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, because they no longer believe it is waiting for them in Heaven.

Hence, the West has put itself thru a couple of centuries of “expectational” radical politics and has slaughtered untold millions of people who resisted their perfect justice on earth story. Sad to say, The root of the revolutionary spirit in the West, has arisen from a secularization of the Christian ethos. Who would ever have guessed?

Ben Shapiro Slices and Dices the Phony Starbucks “Racial” Incident

Here is a cool-headed evisceration of the Starbucks “racial” incident by Ben Shapiro, who applies his scalpel-like intellect to it.

Stay tuned ’til near the end when the black police chief states the facts. Looks like it was a case of defiant loitering, pure and simple. But, what an upside-down world. The two offenders got rewarded for it!

Give thanks that fair-minded, logically-astute people like Ben are around to correct the all-too prevalent intellectual and moral rot-by-media by which we are afflicted.

Fake news surrounds.

 

Alfie Evans and the War Between Parents and the State

Here is an excellent piece from the excellent on-line journal Quillette, covering the heartbreaking Alfie Evans case, in which his caring and sensible parents were denied the right to make final decisions on the life and death of their beloved child.

http://quillette.com/2018/04/28/tragic-case-alfie-evans/

This sort of detail on the case is hard to find elsewhere, and the nuance must be understood before judging the outcome.

My own conclusion is that as long as parents are sane and caring, their wishes should be given moral and legal precedence over the dictates even of a caring law and State.

Better this doomed little boy should have died in the arms of his own loving parents as they desperately tried everything possible to comfort him and – maybe? perhaps? possibly? hopefully? – to fend off the inevitable, than to die in a hospital bed five days after the docs unplugged him from life-support, with the doors of his room padlocked legally against his own Mom and Dad.

The main fact to be noted is that the Court alone decided that Alfie’s life was not worth living. Alfie’s parents did not do this.  Some parents may have done. But Alfie’s parents did not. So the Court exercised what is called “substitute judgement“, which is a legal technique for subordinating the judgement of others, in this case Alfie’s parents – and thereby barred his own Mom and Dad from removing him to another facility (in this case, a hospital in Italy that had offered to care for Alfie  free of charge).

The technique of substitute judgement has terrible precedents in the history of the world. It is always the final step in converting a living human subject into a disposable, non-human object, that may be enslaved, beaten, or killed at will. It has been used extensively in every slave-regime that has ever existed, and is the most widely used technique today for denying the right to life of all unborn human beings.

That is why I have argued in many places that all the modern democracies are in fact slave-regimes of a new kind, because they rely on substitute judgement to deny the humanity of the unborn, thereby to make abortion legally acceptable. And they are forced to do so in order to sustain the ideology of egalitarian democracy. You can sustain a liberal democracy without an abortion right; but not an egalitarian one.

The argument runs thus: women bear the unequal biological burden of bearing and nurturing their children, and therefore can never be equal in liberty to the male citizens of a democracy unless they have a right to kill their own unwanted children in the womb. You see the thinking: If I have this baby, I will become unequal.

By using substitute judgement, the unborn child can be defined as non-human, aborted legally without conscience, and thereby removed as a barrier to a woman’s equality

 

 

 

 

A Guaranteed Basic Income? A Proven Failure!

Welfare programs throughout the Western world have never been able to avoid the moral hazard that arises from the fact that when you keep giving people something for nothing, they stop trying to earn it for themselves.

The classic examples are such as welfare programs that immediately create dependency on government handouts – a dependency that all too often becomes inter-generational.  Another is the American AFDC program – Aid to Families With Dependent Children – which aimed to help young mothers by giving them a monthly payment per-child.

The result? One of the rules was that if there was a father/husband living in the home, the money was cut off. So … guess what? Poor people are not so stupid. They soon realized that they could get more money by having more babies out of wedlock, and by ensuring their boyfriends were not caught living with them. The unintended, but disastrous consequence was that the AFDC program created more fatherless babies and more dependency on government.

But many Western governments could not – still cannot –  resist flirting with the idea of a so-called Universal Basic Income, or a Negative Income Tax (NIT), or what is sometimes coyly called a “basic income supplement.” That’s a fancy expression for a graduated subsidy, by which recipients receive a cash payment to bring them up to a specified average income level. Theoretically, this is designed to replace all other welfare benefits – as well as the considerable load of bureaucracy that comes along with it. What toying with this idea amounts to is a recognition by governments that welfare doesn’t work – “so let’s just give them the money!”

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My First Podcast Is Up Now

Please go to “Podcasts” on the Home page of this website, and click the media-bar to hear my first ever Podcast.  I hope it is clear, informative, and makes sense.

I have done many hundreds of media interviews in my life as an author, but this is my first Podcasting effort. And I think I am going to enjoy it a lot – eventually. Seems to be the way of the future. But honestly, it is a little more difficult than I imagined, because unlike a live interview, where I get to engage with real people, see their reactions, hear their thoughts as we discuss or debate a topic, podcasting alone is, well, a little lonely.

Okay, there is a lovely view of nature outside my window, But basically, I sit in my study alone and speak into a microphone to no one, and have to fiddle with recording details as I go, and hope I don’t mess it up.

So if you do listen, please let me know if you think this is a worthwhile venture, because if it is, I will plan more of them.

 

How Physician-Assisted Suicide Leads to “Involuntary-Euthanasia”

Here is a particularly moving warning that laws allowing physician-assisted suicide, almost immediately lead to laws allowing “involuntary-euthanasia”: the State legalizing the killing of people who have never agreed they want to die – the old, the infirm, the mentally-disturbed, and more. Of course, all the democracies of the Western world have been doing this for decades now, in the form of abortion, which is just pediatric euthanasia.

From: The Daily Signal

Physician-Assisted Suicide in Hawaii Is an Attack on All of Us

 by Monica Burke, April 16, 2018

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Earlier this month, Hawaii became the sixth state in the U.S. to legalize physician-assisted suicide.

Proponents of the law hail the move as a step toward “death with dignity,” but this could not be further from the truth. Physician-assisted suicide is a direct attack on human dignity.

Every human life has value, not because of what one does, but because of who one is—made for reason, freedom, to love, and to be loved. Physician-assisted suicide cuts at the heart of human dignity by dismissing some lives as not worth living.

The idea that some human beings are disposable shakes the very foundations of a free and equal society. Physician-assisted suicide sets off a chain reaction that extends well beyond the health care context. It harms all of society in a host of ways—it corrupts the practice of medicine, destroys relationships, and paves the way for even greater evils.

This practice of discarding human life turns the practice of medicine upside down: Instead of preserving the life and promoting the comfort of the patient, it prematurely ends the life of the patient.

In corrupting the meaning of medicine, physician-assisted suicide compromises the patient-doctor relationship. When medical healers are also agents of death, patients can no longer trust that their physician will be unilaterally committed to their life and health.

Physician-assisted suicide further damages the broader health care context by giving insurance providers perverse incentives to provide a “cheap fix” for patients who require additional, more expensive care.

Physician-assisted suicide also leaves patients vulnerable to pressure to end their lives, not only from their doctor or insurance provider but from family members. Families have intergenerational responsibilities to look after the young, the sick, and the aged. But the normalization of physician-assisted suicide destroys these intergenerational ties by encouraging families to view the elderly or disabled as burdens, a view which patients may then internalize themselves.

This weakening of the young’s obligations to the old harms culture on a grand scale. Communities are made up of families, and as individual attitudes shift away from providing care to relatives in need, so too our society shifts away from an attitude of compassion toward those who are suffering.

Even beyond these negative cultural effects, the laws themselves often come with gravely insufficient safeguards for patients.

For instance, Hawaii’s new law requires waiting periods, witnesses to written requests, and sign-offs from physicians, yet these do little to protect patients from the pressure to kill themselves and other forms of abuse.

When he signed the Hawaii physician-assisted suicide into law, Democratic Gov. David Ige said, “It is time for terminally ill, mentally competent Hawaii residents who are suffering to make their own end-of-life choices with dignity, grace, and peace.”

But why stop at the terminally ill? The mentally incompetent? When ending one’s life is considered a valid and even ideal option for those who are suffering, why deny that option to others who may be suffering less? Surely anyone who wants to die is already suffering to some degree. Why should they not have the same right to die?

Now that Hawaii has accepted the principle of physician-assisted suicide, there is a clear logical path toward extending it to more and more people—not just to those who choose to die, but also to those society or family believes should die. There is no natural, logical limit to who qualifies for physician-assisted suicide, and pretty soon, the “death with dignity” mentality will expand to include euthanasia.

This has already happened in many European countries that have legalized physician-assisted suicide. Examining the state of physician-assisted suicide in the Netherlands, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel wrote in Atlantic Monthly:

The Netherlands studies fail to demonstrate that permitting physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia will not lead to the non-voluntary euthanasia of children, the demented, the mentally ill, the old, and others. Indeed, the persistence of abuse and the violation of safeguards, despite publicity and condemnation, suggest that the feared consequences of legalization are exactly its inherent consequences.

You heard that right: Non-voluntary euthanasia follows almost immediately upon physician-assisted suicide—perhaps even by design.

Wherever it is legalized, physician-assisted suicide sets a troubling precedent for public policy by undermining equality before the law. If our legal system treats a subgroup of people as eligible to be killed, it would seriously compromise the natural right not to be killed. Where might this disturbing legal precedent lead?

A lot is at stake in the debate over physician-assisted suicide. The immediate victims are the most vulnerable in society—the sick and elderly.

But that also means every last one of us is vulnerable: It is only a matter of time before each one of us ages and dies. How many years until our own lives are deemed less valuable?

Ultimately, we all suffer in a culture that fails to honor the dignity of every single human life. We do ourselves a disservice when we fail to empathize with those who are suffering, to do our duty by those entrusted to our care.

There is still time to reverse course. But we must act now before laws like those in Hawaii become the new norm.