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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Sunday 22 April 2012

Individual Right to Choose / Society's Responsibilty to Think Ahead

Oh, Lorrie...

Yes, the first quote is not a reference to the second.  Yet, they are in the exact same article.  Should a politician be allowed to raise eugenics as an issue today without reprimand?  What about segregation, which is what "firewall" could very easily amount to?  What about indentured servitude?  Where do we draw that line?  What are the risks if we don't?

It's not enough to say "there's no appetite for a debate on (insert contentious issue here)."  There was no appetite for genocide in 1930s Germany, either - only a bitterness against others and a need to come across as dominant.  Feelings can be manipulated and, when the manipulators continually get away with ignoring societal standards, they open the door to all kinds of abuses.  Somewhere, someone has to say "enough;" the successful perpetrators aren't going to regulate themselves.   

Along the same theme; a very common post-war response from these perpetrators is denial.

Another quote, again from the same article:

How many selection-of-the-fittest, Far Right (not Conservative, because Conservative is a much broader category) folk feel the courts have too much power?  How many of them are sceptical about immigration, think tough-on-crime is the way to go and don't believe in "social handouts?"

One last Goldstein quote:

Individual responsibility and personal feeling trumps all, I get it.  What about when that doesn't work?  Less public education means less educated people.  Less information gathering means less informed decisions.  Less central coordination?  That's proven to lead to unnecessary duplication, waste and missed opportunities.

Let's stick with education for a second, though.  Less educated people reproduce more - that's not speculation, but a lesson from history.  When you don't have facts, you rely on feelings, which rarely take into account such things as long-term costs.  That's one of the main reasons we bother to learn at all; so that we can avoid repeating mistakes.  Uneducated people tend to be more likely to experience poverty.

What do you think a lack of knowledge, a tendency to reproduce more and less easy access to birth control methods (and yes, abortion) leads to?

The more poor, uneducated people you have, the more poor, uneducated people you're going to end up with (keeping in mind that wealthy, educated people reproduce less).  Now, correlate poverty and crime rates.  Then, crime costs on the economy and the price of punishment and incarceration - both fiscally and, over time, socially.  Then look at natural resource dependence in places like Easter Island or Central America.  In fact, look at any failed civilization and you'll see short-term, resource-intensive and elite-centric policies at the root of the collapse - including the Soviet Union.  Where you see successes - like here in Canada - the reverse is true; more shared services, more planning, better education and a broader economic basket with a decent focus on production lead to better, lasting results for all.

The Far-Right, Two-Row Wampum conceptualizers seem to feel they can do it on their own and everyone should be left to their own devices, despite shared geography.  They appear to believe that helping others through centrally coordinated social services is too much like rewarding failure.

It's reactive, not proactive thinking - and it's doomed, time and again, to fail.

You can't consider the individual's right to choose without considering society's responsibility to think ahead.  Consider it a quality over quantity thing.

Maybe the proactive, liberal approach doesn't feel right to the Far Right - but that's the point, isn't it?  The best decisions aren't made based on gut-instinct alone, but are informed.

Those who fail to understand history, etc.

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