Value of Human Life

I was asked yesterday after my talk what’s the most important characteristic of democracy that is being eroded out of existence right now.

My answer is: the value of human life. The idea that an individual is valuable and that every human being is endowed with equal and inalienable rights is at the heart of the nation-state’s social contract with its citizens. Yes, it took a long time to include every individual and every group into this rights-based compact. But that doesn’t invalidate the revolutionary nature of this idea that only in the 1700s managed to migrate from Christianity to politics.

The neoliberal post-nation state has a very different view of human life. Not only aren’t individuals sacred, they are, for the most part, ‘human waste.’ Pesky, annoying, useless rubbish that needs to be pushed out of the way.

Immediately, policies arise that aim to dispose of this human waste. Deaths of despair, puberty blockers, state-imposed genital mutilation of unhappy adolescents, euthanasia of those who are inconveniently sad or not perfectly healthy. Identity politics where nobody is allowed to be an individual. You can only be a function, a blank slate where somebody else will write and rewrite a situationally useful story.

It is crucial that we look at all these policies as part of a whole and not a random collection of incomprehensible instances of weirdness. There is a method to this madness and we need to be very aware of it.

6 thoughts on “Value of Human Life

  1. They began with normalizing and legalizing abortion, which previously, everyone agreed was wrong. I know we disagree on this issue, but for me it’s hard to think if a better example of treating people as “human waste” than this. They even throw the fetuses away in dumpsters afterwards.

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    1. I’m completely opposed to abortion as a method of contraception. Or treating it as anything but a tragedy that should have been avoided. It absolutely shouldn’t be normalized or “celebrated” as a run-of-the-mill occurrence. And it exactly what you say, a first step on the road to “human waste.”

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      1. Clarissa, I am curious, but I remember reading your blog a bit probably like ten (or close to it) years ago and you were very much an advocate for a right to abortion back then. Just curious about what changed?

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        1. Nothing changed. This is one of the few topics where my beliefs have not changed in my whole life. I believe, like all of us old-timer feminists used to do, in safe, legal, extremely rare abortion. We also used to believe (and I still do) that abortion is a symptom of a malfunctioning society where the female body is castigated for being female. I’m so old that I remember how this was a completely non-controversial opinion in feminist circles.

          I’m completely opposed to banning abortion. I’m in favor of reforming our lives in a way where every woman’s pregnancy is a miracle and a joy. And not a terror or a burden. I’m a woman whose every pregnancy is cherished and celebrated. I would have never had to abort. I want every woman to experience that.

          So I’m for the right but for women to have no need to exercise it. Like I’m for the right to bear arms and for a reality where I don’t need to buy a weapon.

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  2. “Deaths of despair, puberty blockers, state-imposed genital mutilation of unhappy adolescents, euthanasia of those who are inconveniently sad or not perfectly healthy. Identity politics where nobody is allowed to be an individual. You can only be a function, a blank slate where somebody else will write and rewrite a situationally useful story.”

    Also, let’s not forget that quality healthcare is only available to few and inexpensive foods that are chemical poison are slowly becoming the only option for low income people due to raising food prices. Also, how about a vaccine that produces many unwanted side effects that we know of and possibly many that we don’t know of yet, but people are coerced to take it?

    If only people saw that there is a huge effort to destroy them. But they are still convinced of their own importance because they are allowed to have an opinion. Ironically that opinion is often in support of those very causes that lead to their own destruction.

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  3. Leftists right now are panicking that Elon Musk may engage in a hostile takeover of Twitter, likely to end the censorship it has been engaging in. He has said that democracy requires a platform for freedom of speech.

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