Belmont Club

The Party Line

At Socialist World, Ramy Khalil argues that women have the absolute right to choose to have an abortion because evil capitalism and patriarchal society is going to stick her with the kid.

The right to abortion is especially necessary in a society that ultimately expects women to bear the financial and emotional responsibilities of raising children, but pays women much lower wages than men. The decision to carry a pregnancy to term must be the woman’s and no one else’s – not the church’s, government’s, parents’, husband’s, or boyfriend’s.

So why is it a problem when women from ‘minority’ cultures choose to have an abortion performed because they don’t want girls? “In the third world, unwanted baby girls ‘disappear’. It’s called gendercide. And it’s happening in this country, too.”

According to Real Choices, a website which specializes in counseling women over unwanted pregnancies, abortions should be available, prior to the viability of a fetus for any reason.

Under the Supreme Court’s decisions in Roe v. Wade, Doe v. Bolton, and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, abortions may be performed for any reason (socioeconomic, failure of birth control, personal choice) prior to viability (about 24 weeks of pregnancy) and for any reason relating to the mother’s physical or psychological health thereafter. In these cases (post-viability abortions), the term “health” has been defined very broadly by the court to include any matter that might affect a woman’s “sense of well-being.”

Leaving aside the question of whether abortions are moral or not, or whether “gendericide” is moral or not, or what the law says, why is: gendericide > abortion rights? When does one set of PC rules trump another? Since both gender and amniocentesis tests can be performed before the 20th week, there is no reason, apart from holding one PC value higher than the other, why any political objection should be interposed.

Ordering the hierarchy of PC values is insoluble because all its values, whether they be the cost of an item, the worth of a life or the value of an education, are defined entirely by some ill-defined human consensus. Take a university degree for example. The Liberal Democratic Party of the UK have used their position in the ruling coalition government to appoint an academic called Les Ebdon to a position of supervision over all universities. Ebdon’s stated goal is to make all university degrees equivalent to each other.

He is vehemently against the ‘Oxbridge Obsession’, never mind the acknowledged excellence of other top-level universities.

Most controversially, he is in favour of social engineering, threatening ‘nuclear’ retribution against universities that don’t increase their intake of students from less well-off backgrounds …

It was under Tony Blair that Labour first introduced its so-called ‘flagship’ education policy of aiming to send half of all school-leavers to university — leading to widespread fears about the lowering of university standards and devalued degrees.

Sound familiar?

he will have huge powers over elite universities — able to slash their tuition fees from £9,000 to £6,000 a year if they fail to meet targets to take on more students from poor families. He says, rather melodramatically, that he will be an ‘iron fist in a velvet glove’ …

The Cambridge-Oxford-London ‘Golden Triangle’ group of universities is in his firing line. Why should these establishments receive more money for research than lesser institutions, he asks? Isn’t that elitism? Just because they are better, should they get more money?…

‘It’s a snobs’ table,’ he said. ‘Institutions like Cambridge and Oxford are always at the front, while newer places bring up the rear.’…

The courses on offer at his institution do not include traditional degree courses such as maths, physics, chemistry, history or modern languages.

Instead, there is a less-than-scholastic two-year course in carnival arts — teaching undergraduates how to design costumes and allowing them ‘to take part in Europe’s largest one-day carnival: the Luton International Carnival’.

Then there is the degree in advertising, and in beauty spa management. Work experience ‘is gained from working in the college’s own salon’. There is a specialist make-up design course on which students will be taught the wide range of skills required of the contemporary make-up artist.

Alongside practical work, they will ‘engage with the cultural significance of make-up in a society and discover the historic power of beauty products’.

Students will also become ‘expert in hairstyles, wig dressing and making, fashion styling and make-up.’

Again, we can leave aside the question of whether a Cambridge mathematics degree is worth more than a degree in Carnival Arts from one of Dr. Ebdon’s schools. The question that should concern us is how can we judge? The answer is that we can’t, starting from Dr. Ebdon’s first principles. Unlike a world in which prices are based on the market and morality is based on some externally agreed ‘natural law’ or intellectual excellence is measured by some market force, in a world where PC rules the roost, “someone” decides these things for the public.  There is no external reference to anything.

It’s not clear who. But someone does. Someone, for example, decided at some point that Global Warming became Climate Change. So why not with pregnancies?  Women who want an abortion on the basis of gender selection are guilty of something, but women who want to terminate a pregnancy because it will dampen their vacation are alright.  Someone will pronounce on the subject.

But how, apart from memorizing all these rules, is one to know whether A>B? Is it alright, for example for an Hispanic man to address a Black man in a certain way? What about a Black man talking to an Asian man? What if one of them is gay? Or disabled? Or disabled and gay?

What the Left needs is some version of “Ask the Imam” to settle all these questions, otherwise things will get too confusing.

Now returning to the incident of the man who was arrested for being depicted in his daughter’s drawing holding a gun, isn’t that OK because “it’s for the children?” Shouldn’t the precautionary principle rule? Why not arrest him after all? Or is it child abuse by the teachers and the cops? Above all, how ‘s a body going to make sense of any of it?

In a system which has decided to completely divorce itself from any relationship with reality, where god is the Party, or Gaia; where prices are set by a panel — like health care prices — and where everyone can have a degree because it’s a “right”, there is no way to order values.  Everything is entirely arbitrary. And as proof, you will observe that its values vary from one minute to the next, as each person tries to divine what the Party Line — or better stated “the consensus” — is now.

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