Hari on Liberal Eugenics, Bailey

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In the Independent, Johann Hari, fresh from trading spitballs with Oliver Kamm and Nick Cohen, makes the case for "liberal eugenics," emphasizing that it "has nothing to do with the evils of Nazi eugenics. It is entered into by parents and it is motivated by love." Taking pot-shots at the Vatican's position on stem-cell research, Hari cites our own Ron Bailey in his defense, whom he correctly identifies as a "brilliant science writer":

Stem-cell research is Mengelian. Discarded embryos have been murdered. To a materialist who rejects supernatural explanations for the world, this of course seems absurd. We believe humans develop slowly and in stages, and that they have far greater rights once they become self-aware and capable of feeling pain—at around twelve weeks after conception—than when they are insentient blobs. The brilliant science writer Ronald Bailey has picked numerous holes in the Vatican position. Using their logic, if there was a fire in an embryo lab and you had a choice between saving a petri dish of ten near-invisible embryos or Steven Hawking, you would snatch the petri dish and run. And there's a bigger hole. Eight in every ten embryos are flushed out in women's menstrual flows, so why aren't the Catholics trying to prevent this global holocaust of human beings? Why aren't they trying to collect and implant them? The answer is obvious—even they cannot take the Pope's position seriously. If we followed his dictates and refused to develop cures that can treat millions because of these supernatural beliefs, we would actually create the "culture of death" that the Pope crows about.

Whole article here.

Ron being brilliant on the subject of stem cell research here. 

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  1. Johann Hari?

    Is he related to M’Balz es Hari?

    Craig Fenson would like a word with him if he is…

  2. We believe humans develop slowly and in stages, and that they have far greater rights once they become self-aware and capable of feeling pain – at around twelve weeks after conception – than when they are insentient blobs.

    He believes that human beings have greater rights when they become self aware? Why believe that? That’s not from some science textbook. He pulled that belief out of his ass. At least the Pope can point to where his beliefs come from.

  3. w/o reading the post first, much less TFA

    Eugenics was,is and always will be a liberal progressive cause.

  4. if there was a fire in an embryo lab and you had a choice between saving a petri dish of ten near-invisible embryos or Steven Hawking George Bush or Hillary Clinton or ******, you would snatch the petri dish and run.

    As corrected, definitely.

    [****** insert name of choice]

  5. Abdul

    He believes that human beings have greater rights when they become self aware? Why believe that? That’s not from some science textbook. He pulled that belief out of his ass. At least the Pope can point to where his beliefs come from.

    The Pope points at his ass?

  6. How would a good Catholic answer this one: “If there was a fire in an embryo lab and you had a choice between saving a petri dish of ten near-invisible embryos or the Pope…”

  7. Aresen,

    He can point to the book, the sky, his ass-whatever he’ll be right ’cause he is infallible.

    I read the article, it was incoherent.That guy gets paid to write?

  8. Liberal Eugenics. What a concept, man. Is that where you practice, er, ah, certain, well, practices that are guaranteed to eliminate the Liberal Race within a given number of years? Could you speed the process up a little?

  9. What if there was a fire, and I had to choose between saving the life of my mother and saving the life of a brilliant scientist who was about to discover the secrets of curing millions of people from fatal illnesses? I would save my mother, although of course I cannot justify this decision rationally.

    But the scientist can rest easy: Even if I might seem callous when it comes to *rescuing* him from outside danger, I wouldn’t want to murder him for his organs, even if his organs, transplanted into my mother, could save her life.

    Do you kind of get the distinction here?

  10. Aresen,

    While the Pope can point to his ass (I assume), his beliefs come from the Bible and Christian tradition and logical deductions drawn therefrom. You may not find either of the premises persusasive, but there they are.

    Hari, on the otherhand, pulled his beliefs out of his ass.

  11. The brilliant science writer Ronald Bailey

    That’s cool.

    I’m ‘sposed to be working, not looking at this stuff.

  12. Did somebody say, EUGENICS? Just because the world doesn’t live up to your PC fantasies doesn’t mean eugenics isn’t right!

  13. Original article is over a year old. Took a while to make it down the pipe, no?

    Ross Douhat, Julian Sanchez, and several others have tackled the issue recently. Where Hari seems to differ from the recent arguments is his willingness to use the word “eugenics”, where many others have found the definition lacking. The difference being that parents, and not the government, choose the characteristics of their offspring.

  14. Le Mur is gonna be pissed when he finds out, man.

  15. Come down off your high horses.

    I am a female, 50-year-old, spontaneous Nail-Patella Syndrome mutant. I have avoided having children. I have a 50/50 chance of passing the gene on.

    Life has been good to me. My symptoms are cosmetic and minor. My symptoms are no indication of what my children’s might be.

    Others of my ilk have connective tissue and skeletal problems that can be utterly debilitating — arms that won’t extend, knees that won’t work, clubbed feet turned backwards at birth. We are prone to glaucoma, arthritis and kidney failure.

    I have effectively self-sterilized out of selfishness, economy, and the consciousness that I don’t want to start another line of genetic defectives.

    Our gene has been isolated, somewhere around 1998, and in some cases, defective embryos can be screened out in an IVF environment. Might have been nice when I was 28 or so.

    I won’t be sniggering at other NPS mutants, and I won’t be poisoning Down’s Syndrome babies.

    But I would have liked some other options.

  16. Mr. F. Le Mur | August 9, 2007, 8:30pm | #

    Did somebody say, EUGENICS? Just because the world doesn’t live up to your PC fantasies doesn’t mean eugenics isn’t right!

    I’m guessing your point here is that human beings can be selectively bred. That is undeniably true. Humans can be selectively bred for whatever characteristics you can define and measure objectively, provided the characteristic has a basis in genetics.

    The libertarian problem with it is: Who gets to do the selecting?

    I also have a problem with anyone deciding that this or that characteristic is acceptable or unacceptable in another human being. [Note I said characteristic, not behavior.] The latter may not be a “libertarian” position, but I’ll bet a lot of libertarians agree with it.

    I recognize that parents, through training, “select” acceptable and unacceptable behaviours in their offspring. Parental selection of a child’s genes MIGHT be an acceptable extension of this, but I remain uneasy with it. Certainly, I would not allow anyone other than the parents to make the selection of their child’s genes. Not the state, not the Church, not the Committee on Public Welfare, not even joe.

  17. Well, at least women who accept welfare checks should be sterilized. Right, right?

  18. At least the Pope can point to where his beliefs come from.

    Someone else’s ass.

  19. He pulled that belief out of his ass. At least the Pope can point to where his beliefs come from.

    Really? So unless the Pope has a finger up his own ass, or the ass of a predecessor, just where is it he would be pointing?

  20. uncle sam,
    Isn’t it heartening to know that great minds think alike?

  21. Well, at least women who accept welfare checks should be sterilized. Right, right?

    Let’s start with people who take the hybrid car tax credit and see how it works.

  22. Certainly, I would not allow anyone other than the parents to make the selection of their child’s genes. Not the state, not the Church, not the Committee on Public Welfare, not even joe.

    I might let joe do it. Or Dan T.

  23. It’s difficult to imagine a more ill-advised rhetorical strategy than Mr. Hari’s decision to call his ideas “liberal eugenics.”

    Did anybody read the phraseliberal eugenics and think, “Oh, that sounds nice?” Anybody?

  24. Abdul,

    Hari makes a claim about our beliefs, not just his. Not even the Pope pays any attention to what (by “logical deduction” from his stated beliefs) kills more people than everything else combined. Why do you suppose that is?

  25. See? Look at the twaddleknockery the phrase has inspired already, on this very thread.

  26. I, for one, will endorse sterilization–for farmers that accept subsidies.

  27. So, are you, too, going to talk across me, joe?

    What do we want to call it? Scientific selection?

    There’s really nothing we know as “humane” about it. And I’m a practitioner.

  28. I plan to clone an army of joes. Then force them to live in the suburbs, commute by car, vote straight GOP ticket, and close italics tags.

    [Maniacal laughter.]

  29. Guys, it’s not Le Mur, it’s a troll posing as Le Mur. Probably a regular.

    And Maggie, I’m down with sterilizing people who use tax credits to buy hybrids.

  30. Most of you are speaking trivially, because you think it means nothing to you. Could one day. I’m the seventh of seven.

    I am interested in what we could call it, because joe is on to something. “Liberal eugenics” is a pretty awful phrase.

  31. Janis,

    I don’t even understand what you’re getting at, or what you think I’ve said about you.

    FWIW, it doesn’t sound like you’ve done anything wrong, and I wish there were technologies available for you at a younger age, too.

  32. See? Look at the twaddleknockery the phrase has inspired already, on this very thread.

    LOL, LOL, LOL

    I resemble that remark…..

  33. SIV, please tell us the progressive liberal origins of eugenics. I’m pretty sure it would give two certain people on our forum pause if they found out their beliefs are rooted at least partly in leftist thought!

  34. So, if you were a libertarian, and there was a fire in an embryo lab, and you could take pictures or save the embryos, would you use a digital camera or 35mm?

    ROTFLMAO

  35. Cesar,

    Hitler liked eugenics and he, uh, did stuff with the government.

    Ergo, progressive leftist.

    Seriously, I’ve seen him make this argument before. That’s about it.

  36. joe-

    I know, I’m just asking him because I’d love to see the heads of Chalupa and Lemur explode when they find out they just might be leftists! At least by some peoples logic.

  37. I want URKOBOLD in charge of my childrens’ genetic makeup.

  38. The brilliant science writer Ronald Bailey has picked numerous holes in the Vatican position.

    Ok, let’s have a look…as Mr Bailey’s Papist Nemesis, I’m pretty experienced at dealing with these supposed holes.

    Using their logic, if there was a fire in an embryo lab and you had a choice between saving a petri dish of ten near-invisible embryos or Steven Hawking, you would snatch the petri dish and run.

    That’s not necessarily true. A lot of things besides simple head-counting go into a decision like that. For instance, if you had 10 elderly terminal cancer patients vs. a 10-year-old child, a lot of people would choose to save the child. Does that mean elderly terminal cancer patients aren’t persons and have no right to life?

    Eight in every ten embryos are flushed out in women’s menstrual flows, so why aren’t the Catholics trying to prevent this global holocaust of human beings? Why aren’t they trying to collect and implant them? The answer is obvious – even they cannot take the Pope’s position seriously.

    First off, this is an ad hominem, and thus not really a valid argument in the first place. In any case, Catholic teaching does not require people to go to extraordinary measures to preserve life that is naturally ending. And collecting and analyzing every woman in the world’s menstrual flow, then implanting them, would be quite extraordinary. (Actually, there have been cases where Catholic women have had abandoned embryos from fertility clinics implanted and gave birth to them — a very honorable act, but not a required one.)

    If we followed his dictates and refused to develop cures that can treat millions because of these supernatural beliefs, we would actually create the “culture of death” that the Pope crows about.

    So, it’s A-OK to destroy an embryo that, if allowed to develop in the proper environment, will eventually become an already-born human being…but to prevent research that maybe, possibly will result in treatments that extend the life of future people is equivalent to murder? If we’re not allowed to use the argument for the embryo’s potential life, you guys aren’t allowed to use the argument for the potential death of those who may have benefited from ESCR-caused treatments.

  39. For joe:

    Let me restate this. I agree with you.

    Now, what is a better name? Sorry as it is, we’re talking about “branding” here.

    “Eugenics” does surely have a booted quality to it.

    So now what? “Self-selection? Is that ever egoist.

  40. Agree or disagree with Hari but the Independent is a great daily of journalism and independent thought, theyh also of course carry the wonderful libertarian journalist Robert Fisk amoung others.

  41. Janis,

    How about “medical technology?”

    I don’t see why we have to built a political movement around this. Frankly, the idea that there could be any agenda other than providing life-enhancing care to individuals who want it for themselves and their children is creepy as hell.

  42. Taktix?,

    YOU POSIT SOME SORT OF URGENICS? HMMMMMMMMM.

  43. joe,

    See my points above:

    #1.Progressives are in love with the idea,still.

    #2.Hari can’t write coherently.

    Eugenics originated in Britain and the United States. Hitler just spoiled it for the progressives.Forced sterilizations continued as late as the early 70s in the USA.

    Eugenics began as “applied Darwinism” to better the human race by eliminating undesirable “genes” for the purpose of eliminating individuals deemed unfit to live in society.

    Very popular among wealthy “science minded” do-gooders who were appalled at the lower classes and wanted to create a progressive society of better citizens.The idea really took off with State Laws,Judicial rulings and inclusion in school biology textbooks such as the one Scopes was teaching. Planned Parenthood was/is a eugenics group.Hitler was a fan and implemented the whole program at once which had the effect on a lot of people rejecting scientific progressivism and falling back on their superstitious morality and rejecting it.
    That superstitious morality is part of the tradition of valuing individual rights and choices over collectivism and absolute central authority(a fact not too popular here at H&R)

    Sorry I was late with this.

  44. Technology is the ugly word. Man fiddling with acts of God.

    I don’t want to make it a political movement, but other people do.

  45. I should have previewed the last comment as the hitler sentence came out awkward.

    Eugenics was opposed by Evangelicals and Catholics while it was favored by mainstream Protestants(particularly the educated and infuential ones).

  46. Of course, I don’t have a problem with bioengineering in general, or stem cell research in particular. Science is a splendid tool to improve the lives of human beings, and its exercise has done so to an impressive extent during these past few centuries. On a more theological level, looked at with the proper attitude, it reveals the greatness of God through the analogy of his creation.

    But, the fact that you’re doing research that has the potential to save lives does NOT justify committing otherwise immoral acts (ie, harming innocents). That’s where I take issue with the current practice of ESCR.

  47. Let’s revise that to “people opposed to me” do.

  48. Maggie Sanger,

    #1.Progressives are in love with the idea,still. Bullshit, RTFA. Hari isn’t even talking about eugenics as the term has always been understood, but about treating illness and disease.

    Forced sterilizations continued as late as the early 70s in the USA.

    Until they were stopped by liberal and leftist reformers.

    ugenics began as “applied Darwinism” to better the human race by eliminating undesirable “genes” for the purpose of eliminating individuals deemed unfit to live in society. And since liberal progressives don’t believe in genetic determination, and have always formed the first line of defense against those wishing to impose genetic hierarchies on the world, you’ve just demonstrated that eugenics and progressive liberalism are diametrically opposed.

    Very popular among wealthy “science minded” do-gooders who were appalled at the lower classes and wanted to create a progressive society of better citizens. A true sentence, except for the word “progressive.” Eugenics was popular among certain science minded do-gooders who were appalled at the lower classes and wanted to create a better society. None of this had anything to do with progressive, liberal, or leftist thought, which has always postulated that differences in wealth, behavior, and social class were the consequence of cultural and material forces. It has always been liberal progressives’ conservative, rightist, racist opponents who have attributed these things to unalterable biological inheretance.

    I’m not sorry your ideas are late, just that they’re nonsensical and ahistorical. You’ve simoply scattered the word progressive amongst various tales of bad acts.

  49. Janis,

    We have plenty of backing among words with universal appeal like “humane” and “healthy” and “free.” We don’t need to counter their ideology by constructing one of our own. We should be arguing for the elimination of politics from medicine, not putting our own political cast on medicine.

  50. Historically, the state has done everything that it has had the power and technology to do. Anyone who thinks that they can have eugenics without state coercion is living in fantasy-land.

  51. joe,

    You are engaging in the common practice of Progressives to deny their own sordid history.
    Margaret Sanger,the strongest proponent of eugenics in the USA, is a patron saint of feminism and liberal progressivism. Eugenics was a use of State force to reform society by limiting the reproduction of “undesirables” Some enthusiasts wanted to “euthanize” people-the idea didn’t originate with Hitler.
    Advocates of eugenics supported the other progressive ideas fashionable at the time.
    They wanted to use SCIENCE to inform public policy to make society “better” while totally disregarding the natural rights of individuals. Today you can read articles by progressives who incorrectly ascribe the program to “conservatives” or who express suprise that it was actively pursued by their intellectual forbearers(sp).

  52. SIV-

    What side of the National Assembly would you have been siting on in the throes of the French Revolution? On the side of the absolute Monarchists, or on the side of the reformers?

  53. Don’t lecture me, joe. I agreed with you.

  54. As much as I like both Ron Bailey and stem cell research, I found this post to be more about self-congratulation on earning a name drop from a mediocre opinion writer than about any substantive comment on the linked article. Not a great showing.

  55. Johann Hari chose the term “liberal eugenics” because he thought it’d be brilliant and controversial. Of course, like almost everything he comes up with it’s not nearly as brilliant and controversial as he thinks.

  56. *,

    Indeed. When you have to call someone “brilliant” three times in a couple of paragraphs, you probably need to wash your nose afterwards.

  57. And thank you for talking to me, joe. Everyone else seems to be beating their own drums.

  58. Well before the eugenics era progressive reformers favored abolition.Classic case of the Progressive tendency to promote a good thing for the wrong reason. Many felt that not just owning slaves corrupted white people but that exposure to the culture of slaves did as well and advocated swift forcible “repatriation” back to Africa following abolition. Fortunately they did not prevail although Liberia is a legacy of this impulse.

    I could go on at length but you guys “own” racism as well-particularly the “scientific” variety.

  59. If “liberal eugenics” means we get to sterilize liberals, count me in.

    Otherwise, I like compassionate conservative eugenics.

  60. I thought the Hari article was truly astonishly bad, and I generally agree with the points he was lamely trying to make. For one thing, there was no need for that ham-handed swipe at the Pope. I’m a Calvinist and firmly pro-choice, but even I think that the Catholic position on this is more complex than the “if you don’t want disabled kids, you hate me” position of some in the disability rights crowd. (FWIW, I really do strongly believe in integrating the disabled into society. Self-supporting is better than dependent for them and for us.)

    Also, even though I think reproductive medical advances are great and hope to benefit from stem cell research some day (I come from a long line of Type II diabetics, as does my husband. Our sons will have an unpleasant middle age without this stuff.) even I acknowledge that there are serious risks involved.

    Finally, “eugenics” is one word I’m happy to see dumped in the historical garbage.

  61. mediocre opinion writer>

    You are being generous with the compliment.

    in my previous comment on progressive racism the “you guys” referred to progressives (who had quite a hand in advocating Indian removal for similar reasons as well as later taking native children away from their families for forcible acculturation)

  62. SIV-

    Answer Mein question. Since you are such a big fan of the linear left-right spectrum, which side would you be on in the French Revolution–this is where the left-right spectrum originated, after all! Would you be with the small-r republicans, or with those who were for keeping the absolutist King on his throne?

  63. Cesar,

    Semantics. And the left-right spectrum is broken…

  64. Well, there are already the concepts of positive and negative eugenics.

  65. Semantics. And the left-right spectrum is broken…

    Exactly my point. I’m wondering if SIV gets it. Lets see what side he would come down on.

  66. Although I am personally morally opposed to much of what is referred to in the article I am content to oppose the use of state force in funding the research or applications of it as a matter of policy.I truly resent being forced to choose an insurance pool that is mandated by law to provide others with some fertility treatments(and abortions) on my dime.

  67. As I’ve stated before I put most libertarians on the “far right” of American political tradition..

    Europe is different as conservative their leans toward monarchy and aristocracy

    I see it as a curving line with the “true” anarchists(not the faux crypto commie ones) being real close to the anarcho-capitalists across a gap however. Libertarians somewhat to the “left” or counter-clockwise of an-cappers.

    Hard to explain w/o drawing a diagram.
    Communitarian Progressive scum are the furthest point away.

  68. Communitarian Progressive scum are the furthest point away.

    Them… and BEARS!!!

  69. Semantics. And the left-right spectrum is broken…

    Yes but in American politics look at how others define you for some enlightenment.In a room full of conservatives libertarians are eccentric kinsman. In a roomfull of Leftists you are the enemy sharing less with them politically then they do with rightest moderates.

    Read what Amitai Etzioni and other communitarians have to say about libertarians.
    It ain’t pretty.

  70. The wikipedia page on communitarianism might be helpful in explaining my views(if they fer it I’m agin it).Sorry, no newsletter subscriptions available at this time(>:)

  71. if “liberal eugenics” means we get to sterilize liberals, count me in.

    Chalupa, 🙂

    You’d think the lefties should be an endangered species as none of them had/have kids.

    Janis, My apologies for the drum beating. OTOH, that doesn’t mean that I’m not reading and digesting what you have to say.

    SIV, not just Maggie Sanger but the founder of the ACLU was hardly a partisan of liberty neither. First amendment my ass, Roger Baldwin was a get down Marxist.

    When that power of the working class is once achieved, as it has been only in the Soviet Union, I am for maintaining it by any means whatever. Dictatorship is the obvious means in a world of enemies at home and abroad.

    I saw in the Soviet Union many opponents of the regime. I visited a dozen prisons – the political sections among them. I saw considerable of the work of the OGPU. I heard a good many stories of severity, even of brutality, and many of them from the victims. While I sympathized with personal distress I just could not bring myself to get excited over the suppression of opposition when I stacked it up against what I saw of fresh, vigorous expressions of free living by workers and peasants all over the land. And further, no champion of a socialist society could fail to see that some suppression was necessary to achieve it. It could not all be done by persuasion. . . .

  72. I want URKOBOLD in charge of my childrens’ genetic makeup.

    You want to have your kids genes to code for only hemoglobin and 10 million copies of “Vote Zod in 2008”?

  73. Did anybody read the phrase liberal eugenics and think, “Oh, that sounds nice?” Anybody?

    We prefer the term libertarian abortions

  74. You’ve simoply scattered the word progressive amongst various tales of bad acts.

    Progressive Japanese internment camps!

    Progressive inner city schools!

    Progressive Bill Moyer who outed gays in the Goldwater campaign!

    Progressive 90% taxes!

    Progressive Pol Pot style agrarianism!

    Progressive hospital waiting lists!

    This is fun

  75. I want to be the source of lobster girl’s reproductive spawn. Sorry Urk.

  76. Joe,
    Forced sterilizations continued as late as the early 70s in the USA.

    Until they were stopped by liberal and leftist reformers.

    To be fair, this is one of those issues where liberal and Christian activists found common cause, like opposition to the death penalty. You really can’t deny that there was a branch of progressivism that wanted to use compelled sterilization and abortion in order to cure social ills.

  77. Le Mur is gonna be pissed when he finds out, man.

    No, I sort of enjoy having a little anti-fan club, pitiful as he is. Besides, it’s just the internet.

    I know, I’m just asking him because I’d love to see the heads of Chalupa and Lemur explode when they find out they just might be leftists! At least by some peoples logic.

    Really? I don’t favor any form of gov’t mandated or planned eugenics (or dysgenics, for that matter), but everyone practices personal eugenics either by mate selection or by not reproducing.

    And yeah, gov’t eugenics programs, whether in the US or Europe, have mostly been leftist/socialist affairs.

    We believe humans develop slowly and in stages, and that they have far greater rights once they become self-aware and capable of feeling pain – at around twelve weeks after conception – than when they are insentient blobs.
    He pulled that belief out of his ass.

    Yes, but it’s pretty much the standard feminist line. I guess if you want to murder someone you could first insure that they’re not self-aware and incapable of feeling pain before killing them. “But yerhonor! They were asleep and therefore unaware!” or “They were reeeaaally drunk and couldn’t feel anything! Insentient too! And very fat, therefore just a blob!” I bet that’d fly in court, huh?

  78. “In a room full of conservatives libertarians are eccentric kinsman. In a roomfull of Leftists you are the enemy sharing less with them politically then they do with rightest moderates.”

    see i think we hang out in different spots cause in my limited experience with roomfuls of either group all of them can suh-suh-suh-suh-suck a dick. or maybe i just have banging social skills which frankly i might, not to be too brash or what have you.

    i mean i know i’m supposed to wave a flag for one side or the other but most people though not evil are somewhat into controlling others. son cosas de la vida, ?no? which is fine but instead of formalizing the arrangement and learning the sweet taste of control and decay in a play setting they’re more into the shouldsas, which are great because shouldsas don’t require any actual work on their part.

    oh “they” shouldsa do this and “they” shouldsa do that and while it’s great and whatnot to stand around pointing fingers yelling “at least i’m not THAT” like some kind of trained monkey (monkey u., class of 1999) and their one shared trait is that the wicked must be punished and the victim should be celebrated. beyond that they’re two different kinds of shits, and at this point the american communitarians don’t have the blood of a whole bunch of dead iraqis on their hands so score one for this imaginary grabass soccer match.

    we can’t really get past being human animals and all but i don’t see the point in rooting for anything but principles, and principles are in short fucking supply these days. everyone would rather play soccer.

  79. Let me see if I’ve got this down.

    Leftist = use the government to implement change.

    Progressive = leftist.

    So any program that includes the government as an agent of change is progressive = leftist.

    Any eugenic program that involves the government then, is leftist.

    Pretty solid logic.

    It requires a two dimensional model of political thought, however. So is based on invalid premises.

    But SIV knows that.

    So why continue to argue as if it were a valid way to describe the situation?

  80. After suffering severe retinal burns in the past, I now put on a welding mask before reading any of Ron Bailey’s alleged arguments concerning ESCR.

  81. neu mejican,

    Leftists in America like to be called
    progressives.

    What do you think of the Governor Richardson’position on
    choice?

  82. Worth a gander.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberal_eugenics

    To expand on the 2d model of current US politics…

    So given that most people who identify themselves as “left” oppose the use of government coercion in personal choices (but favor government intervention in the market), and those that identify themselves as “right” oppose government intrusion into markets, (but support police enforcement of traditional values), it is clear that the use of force in reproductive choice is far more likely have support among those on the right than on the left.

    If that is how left and right are defined.

    This is fun. Define the group you want to taunt according to your own definitions and you can support almost any statement.

    It would be easy to do a study on this issue in the real world.

  83. SIV

    What do you think of the Governor Richardson’position on
    choice?

    I don’t.

  84. SIV,

    Although I like the fact the he is open about not being an expert on the science, so he is unwilling to take a stance on the scientific question.


  85. So given that most people who identify themselves as “left” oppose the use of government coercion in personal choices…

    Bwaaaaaaaaaaaahaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!

    Excuse me, can you provide any documentation/citation for that absurd statement?

    As long as you are using the wiki check out Communitarianism.Nice concise connection between the Clinton Third way and Bush’s compassionate Conservatism— a pox on both by the way.

    My respect for Richardson has gone way up after the “gay debate”.Despite his ass covering follow up press release I think he began to answer honestly before he realized he was stomping out a flaming bag of dog shit.

  86. SIV,

    Excuse me, can you provide any documentation/citation for that absurd statement?

    See SIV… that is how your arguments sound to progressives.

    Let us document.
    Greens, usually considered “left.”

    Oppose the war on drugs, support Choice in abortion decisions, affirms the rights of all individuals to freely choose intimate partners, regardless of their sex, gender, or sexual orientation….etc..

    Democrats…the “left” of the mainstream parties. Support the Choice on abortion, no federal gay marriage ban are in the platform.

    Now you can cite some cases that contradict to help shatter the 2D view.

    We could do a tit-for-tat all day.

  87. SIV,

    BTW, in case you missed it.

    Your views on what constitutes the left are so subjectively defined that no one takes them seriously.

    Pretty much true of your view that libertarianism is on the “right” as well… as far as I can tell.

    Communitarianism as defined by Proudhon’s work is closer to the roots of libertarian thought than any other modern political movement. It also motivated Marx’s work and spawned communism.

    Are you willing to admit the socialist roots of your political philosophy?

  88. SIV,

    Your entire argument boils down to you playing dumb about the fact that the word “Progressive” in reference to a political ideology doesn’t mean the same thing it meant 100 years ago.

    I may as well accuse “liberals” of being committed to laissez faire economics.

  89. So this is what I infer from SIV’s posts over the past few weeks in terms of how s/he uses “left” and “right.”

    Left = communitarian policies
    Right = libertarian policies

    Communitarians and libertarians are natural enemies, apparently.

    Republicans and Democrats are both too communitarian, but Republicans are less so (in SIV’s view. why? I dunno)…therefore Republicans should let the Democrats have communitarianism and should move towards libertarianism.

    Libertarians should recognize the communitarian underpinnings of the Democrats and reject any calls for alliance with them.

    (SIV can correct me on any of these inferences as appropriate).

    This C/L split is a reasonable way to think about the current political landscape, or at least as reasonable as the authoritarian/anarachist framing that is used so often here, but it still suffers from a too black & white view of the world, imho.

  90. As you insist on reducing my philosophy to a linear continuum (among other distortions) try looking at it this way for illustrative purposes:

    “Left”= Collectivism
    “Right”= Individualism

    “Left”=Big central controlling government
    “Right”= Small central Government with limited Constitutionally defined functions

    Forget your European history and models (I’m an American) or the way our current Republicans behave as a party.

    Now place ideologies on either of these lines. Where do they fall?
    Other than “true” anarchists I am unaware of any leftist or “progressives” that fall anywhere near the Individualist Minimal State side.

  91. joe,

    Why is “Progressive” the preferred term of self description of liberal/leftists these days?

    Seems like as poor a choice as Hari’s “Liberal Eugenics” . I didn’t even begin to bring up Progressives in more recent history such as the Stalinist agents and dupes of the 1930s and 40s culminating in Henry Wallace’s KGB backed run for President.

    (Progressivism in America has a constant that holds throughout all these periods.They want to tell other less enlightened folk what to do based on authority grounded in variously the Bible, Science, experts, Marx, etc.The point at which they use State power and violence to do so makes them evil.)

    Thanks for the 8 hour workday!

  92. SIV,

    As you insist on reducing my philosophy to a linear continuum (among other distortions) try looking at it this way for illustrative purposes:

    I don’t insist on it. I am trying to understand why you use the terms “left” and “right” in the discussion.

    So do the two dimensions you use imply that you think more in terms of a grid?

    Are there

    a) Collectivists who believe in “Small central Government with limited Constitutionally defined functions?” (Greens, for instance with their platform advocating distributed power)
    b) Individualsist who believe in “Big central controlling government.” (supporting some sort of Federal Constitution to limit state power in relation to the individual…some sort of Bill of Rights…)

    How would these individuals map ideologically to the two major parties? Onto the minor parties like the LP?

    Why would someone who is in camp A support the Democrats over the Republicans? Why would someone in camp B support the Republicans over the Democrats? Are the ideologies of the two major parties really defined by the dimensions on your grid?

  93. SIV,

    Other than “true” anarchists I am unaware of any leftist or “progressives” that fall anywhere near the Individualist Minimal State side.

    See the Green Party platform…

    “Decision-making should, as much as possible, remain at the individual and local level, while assuring that civil rights are protected for all citizens.”

    Seems like a clear statement from a “left” or “progressive” political party that advocates minimal state power in relation to the individual.

    It comes directly from an ideological principle that the Green party uses to develop their platform… Decentralization (which seems to align with the “small central government” end of your second axis above.

  94. As SIV has probably gone home and I am done with work, I will leave with this thought.

    Neither the Republican party platform nor the Democratic party platform are defined in any meaningful way by coherent ideologies. Rather, they are designed to placate the incoherent predilections of their constituencies. People with ideologically based political positions gravitate towards the minor parties which are much more likely to base their positions on narrow ideological principles.

  95. SIV,

    Why was liberal the word of choice for leftists in the 40s-80s? Beate me.

    If you had brought up the Stalinists who reintroduced the term “progressive” in the 30s, you would at least have been talking about a branch of the same tree as contemporary progressives. But the Progressives of the early 1900s are a different species entirely, one whose descendants today amoung to the religious right, the religious left, and what’s left of the Eisenhower Republicans.

    Thanks for the 8 hour workday! As a modern liberal/progressive – meaning, someone whose political history goes back through the labor movement and economic left – you’re welcome.

  96. They want to tell other less enlightened folk what to do based on authority grounded in variously the Bible, Science, experts, Marx, etc.

    Darn those people who base their political prescriptions on the Bible, science, and Marx!

    You know. Those people. The one, undifferentiated, cohesive group known as “progressives,” who base their politics on the Bible, science, and Marx.

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