Since I am going to be airing my opinions regularly, I thought it might be useful to discuss certain of my underlying beliefs. They are hardly revolutionary, but are decidedly out of fashion.
First, I believe that people, all people, should have a great deal of power over their own lives, but very little over the lives of others. This is deceptively simple, but is virtually the opposite of the course of modern democracy. The pathology of democracy, indeed, is that it encourages everyone to aspire to rule others. Voting has come to be viewed as a basic human right, like that of not being murdered or robbed, even though voting is in fact wielding power over other people. Granted it is a merely symbolic sliver of power, but nonetheless, this power, this political authority, has come to be seen as the due of everyone who can achieve the feat of continuing to inhale and exhale for at least eighteen years. It is not confined to taxpayers, to people who have contributed to society in some way, or to people who have demonstrated competence; all you need is a pulse to help choose those who shall rule over your fellow man.
Similarly, activist and lobby groups strive to determine what their fellow citizens shall eat, drink, inhale, do for fun, what objects they may possess, what safeguards must be taken for their safety at every moment of their day regardless of their own wishes. The most recent ludicrous example of nanny-stating in my country is the new law forbidding the sale of children’s books printed before 1985. More and more, our decisions are made for us by others who were able to organize a voting bloc to reward politicians willing to impose the bloc’s will upon us all, or to raise enough funds for those same politicians’ advertising campaigns. In return for marshalling sufficient lucre or sufficient votes, any of your fellow citizens who wishes to can make your decisions for you. In a democracy, all of your unalienable rights are negotiable by those who make campaign contributions.
To me, one of the most ironic facets of this is that people are permitted to vote at eighteen, years before most people today are living as adults. Insulated from experience of the real world, spending hours each day listening to the nattering of Marxist megalomaniacs, they are a prime target for the machinations of those hoping to hold public office. Some people have been proposing lowering the age of voting to twelve, and the electorate has come to such a pass that I cannot feel anything other than indifference to the prospect. Yet no one other than myself believes that twelve-year-olds ought to be permitted to work for a living or to leave abusive parents. Teenagers, it seems, are fit to make decisions for others, but not for themselves. This is less true of college age people, who do have the legal right to make such decisions, but the importance of college degrees in today’s society effectively prevents many of these legal adults from living as adults.
Nor is this confined to young people. Increasingly, it is coming to seem appropriate that each of us should strive to control what other people are permitted to eat or drink – consider the war on tobacco and the current attempts to control foods considered to be fattening – but that we are not entitled to make those same decisions for ourselves.
Not everybody is suited to take any part in the making of laws or the selection of officials, yet throughout the Western world today, everyone over eighteen, and soon likely even younger than that, is considered to have a sovereign right to do just that. On the other hand, every individual deserves the right to self-determination, and this is being eaten away by our democratic system.
My second major premise is: It should be possible, but not easy, to go against society’s traditional norms. For example: women are the most useful to society, and in most cases the happiest, if they are in the home, doing the vitally important work of caring for their children and of creating a home for the family. Social pressures should encourage women to do this and recognize its value. The small minority of women who are so constituted that their nature requires a career outside the home should not be prevented by law from having it, but a woman who cannot overcome a measure of resistance to her doing so is not among that minority. The current tremendous social and economic pressures on women to neglect their children and outsource their families’ nutrition to Ray Kroc are completely inappropriate and need to be put exactly in reverse. Even a more moderate attitude, where women’s choices to be either a wife and mother or pursue a career were respected equally, would be damaging to society. Civilization depends upon women being willing to provide their children with love and the first training for decent behavior and ethics, and to nourish their families properly – the majority of our skyrocketing health problems today are caused by malnutrition, the result of women becoming convinced that they have more important things to do than cook for their families. Unless she is discovering the cure for cancer, any woman would make a far more valuable contribution to the world by caring for her family than by anything she might do in the workplace. Women do not have any “right” to jobs outside the home. Allowing women to sue employers who do not hire them for “sex discrimination” is almost the equivalent of dragging children by force from their homes each day and tossing them into the care of people who are indifferent to them. Society should resume making it difficult for women to pursue careers outside their homes so that most of them will not do so… but we should not make it impossible for those who have a genuine innate need.
Similarly – and this view is one which often puts me at odds with people far less conservative than myself, and will please neither conservatives nor homosexuals – those who are truly inclined to homosexuality should be left to practice it without harassment. Since there is no evidence that the orientation is curable, it would be inhumane to do otherwise. However, today’s politicization of homosexuality is completely inappropriate. The majority of people are inclined to heterosexuality, and it is, for obvious reasons, valuable to society. The current climate which actually encourages heterosexuals to “experiment” with their own sex is deeply sick, and no more proper than attempting to force heterosexual behavior upon gays. Most people are straight. Homosexuality should only be engaged in by those who are born to it – and while those few should be left in peace to live as they must, this does not mean wielding their prerogatives as a political gaming piece or treating their unions as if they had the same value to society.
At least the fad of feminists “deciding” to be lesbians out of hatred of men rather than desire for women seems to have died out.
Alternative religions are another example. In the 1940’s, children’s comic books had surprisingly complex plots, and a striking number of the stories were about cults created for the purpose of bilking the idle rich out of their money. Such stories, once so commonplace that even children were expected to understand them, have disappeared today for fear of offending people who practice New Age religions. Christians are expected to swallow any and all insults to their faith. Jews are accorded more consideration because we are often seen as victims, but we too must endure having civilization’s ills laid at the doorstep of our oppressive patriarchal authoritarian monotheistic faith, if only because we bequeathed its tenets to the Christians.
But Muslims, pagans and followers of new manufactured religions are to be accorded every respect. Their tender sensibilities are to be tiptoed around with delicacy. Even though Western civilization was created almost entirely by Christians, every sign of Christianity must be purged from government buildings and where possible put out of public view so that unwary heathens will not be offended by the sight of them. Last year I got embroiled in an argument over the removal of plaques of the Ten Commandments (the foundation of the West’s morality) from American courtrooms. One of my chief arguments was that lawsuits over this are a waste of taxpayers’ money. (Why I imagined that progressives give two pins about wasting taxpayers’ money I cannot recall; perhaps I had been drinking.) My chief opponent’s chief argument was that I (not society in general or the government, me personally, even though my voter’s registration card is the extent of my involvement in government) had no right to support things that “made her feel marginalized”. To her, the most important factor in any situation was her emotions. Not what is just, or beneficial to a well functioning society, or within the rights of citizens, but how things made her feel. I am afraid that all she did was fuel my conviction that most people are unqualified to hold opinions on political matters. Please consider for a moment that this self-centered little drama queen is permitted to vote. Just think about that for a moment.
No, the government has no business decreeing to its citizens what they may believe. Unless some cult is killing people, delivering young girls into concubinage, or some other criminal activity, they have every right to worship imaginary gods or forces of nature or space aliens unmolested. But they have no right to the same respect accorded to millenia-old faiths which have made great contributions to world culture. Nor do they have any right to demand that the religion upon which our society was founded be banished from public mention.
People who must deviate from society’s norms must expect to find their lives, not impossible, but more difficult for it. They have no right to overturn the norms which have made civilized life possible for their own convenience.
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