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The theme of The Great Divide is that the populations of the democratic world, from Boston to Berlin, Vancouver to Venice, are becoming increasingly divided from within, due to a growing ideological incompatibility between modern liberalism and conservatism. This is partly due to a complex mutation in the concept of liberal democracy itself, and the resulting divide is now so wide that those holding to either philosophy on a whole range of topics: on democracy, on reason, on abortion, on human nature, on homosexuality and gay marriage, on freedom, on the role of courts … and much more, can barely speak with each other without outrage (the favorite emotional response from all sides). Clearly, civil conversation at the surface has been failing -- and that could mean democracy is failing.

This book is an effort to deepen the conversation. It is written for the non-specialist, and aims to reveal the less obvious underlying ideological forces and misconceptions that cause the conflict and outrage at the surface -- not with any expectation the clash of values will evaporate, but rather that a deeper understanding will generate a more intelligent and civil conversation.

As an aid to understanding, the book contains a handful of Tables directly comparing modern liberal and conservative views across a range of fundamental moral and political “issues” so that curious readers can answer the book’s main question: “Where Do You Stand?” An interesting result in testing this exercise has been the number of people who find they “think” one way, but “live” another.    

 

Good Reading
Essays (37)
Sunday
Sep102017

On Vacation

I will be away on a cycling vacation in the Dordogne region of France for two weeks+, and back home near the end of September.

Meanwhile, I hope the world stays in one piece.

Until then, visitors to this site who are new, are encouraged to browse the many essays posted on the right side of the home page, and check out my blogs from years past, most of which still speak to our time. I am confident in saying this only because I have always been more interested in the enduring issues and truths than in things ephemeral.

Enjoy,

William

 

 

Tuesday
Sep052017

Feminism, Abortion, and Egalitarian Democracy

"All Who Support Slavery Are Free, and All Who Support Abortion Are Alive"

          Abortion has for so long now been considered a right in the Western world that even millions of ordinary, non-radical women defend it passionately. But that is not my topic here. I am going to discuss abortion as the third fundamental plank of the radical feminist platform; which is to say, the so-called “right” to abortion as a tax-funded service of the State claimed as a means to equality with men.

         All women understand that the work of birthing, suckling, and the early care of children fall disproportionately to them, and so no society can be “equal” in the gender sense, unless this natural consequence of human biology is somehow transformed into a chosen consequence of a woman’s Will, rather than of her sexual behavior. Laws permitting abortion-on-demand achieve this result by enabling women to eliminate their unwanted children, leaving them only with wanted children, thus removing any grounds for complaint about an unchosen inequality.

         What this distinction tells us is that all modern major democracies (with the exceptions only of Poland, where it is outlawed) locate their moral justification for abortion in the Will of the woman, and not in her biology. In this sense, all modern abortion regimes are an expression of the modern Triumph of the Will over Nature. In the past, this triumph of Will over nature was expressed by careful women prior to the sex act, rather than after the sex act. A woman refused sex entirely if she didn't want the risk of pregnancy, or she indulged, but with the help of contraceptives. What has changed is that the control of the Will over nature to sustain one's freedom exerted before pregnancy, now includes control over the life or death of the unborn child in order to sustain one's freedom after pregnancy. Presto! You can be free at all times.

           Radical feminists have been extraordinarily successful in procuring this objective. Canada, for example - perhaps the most radical abortion regime in the world - currently has no law whatsoever against abortion. An unborn eight-pound child, say, may be aborted in Canada even m

oments before natural birth without breaking any law (though this is unlikely to happen, but as I say, there is no law against it). In short, in most Western nations the survival of an unborn child is now completely dependent on its Mother’s Will. In most of those same nations citizens are warned sternly on wine bottles and cigarette packets not to drink or smoke, for fear of “harming the fetus,” but they may kill their own unborn child with impunity at any time prior to the moment of natural birth and send it to the garbage.  Get it? You shouldn't harm your own unborn child; but you can legally kill it.

          I include the “Three Questions on Abortion” below because, although I was once in favour of abortion for hard cases (though never as a general or contraceptive right), both the facts of this grisly reality and what I believe is the inescapable logic of the arguments against it presented below, have convinced me that abortion as practiced in all modern democracies must be judged a distinct moral evil no different in character from the early programs of death-by-infanticide practiced by the Nazi regime in Germany, and the genocidal programs engaged in by many other totalitarian regimes.

          Now it grieves me to characterize my own country in this way. However, all who doubt this statement but want to see how we got here, are encouraged to read The Nazi Doctors by Robert Jay Lifton, which details very precisely the amoral gradualism by which very highly-educated German scientists, intellectuals, and lawyers developed arguments for the tax-funded liquidation of those having what they called “lives not worth living.” The fundamental legal trick that enabled this for the Nazi regime is the same as that used by the Canadian Supreme Court: they simply invented a kind of “category law” to redefine disabled children as non-persons or not “human beings.”  Canada has declared that an unborn child in Canada is not a human being until "it has completely proceeded, in a living state, from the body of its mother." (Section 223 of Canada's Criminal Code). This is often called the "born alive" rule. Point is, the unborn child is considered non-human prior to birth.

            Now it so happens that this was the same legal trick used by all former slave-owning regimes in history (Canada was also a slave-owning society). They legally-defined blacks and other slaves, as property, or chattels, or non-persons, rather than as full human beings. I am arguing that we are doing the same thing with unborn children.

             Looking more deeply into the history of democracy in particular, we find plenty of ancient thinkers in places like Greece and Rome who argued that democracy as a political system is impossible without slavery. They realized that in order for democracy to function properly, citizens had to be freed from the drudgery of labour. In short, slavery was considered essential so that free citizens could think, read, debate and engage fully in democratic life. Rousseau argued the same thing in the 18th. century: a functioning democracy is impossible without slavery. So ... guess where this train of thought is leading?

             Right to our front door. I argue that with the exception of Poland, all the major modern democracies have mutated into slave-regimes of a new kind. Here's why. When they were rooted in liberty, the Western democracies expected the full and free expression of human differences. Free societies would inevitably and naturally become unequal. Some would be smart, some stupid; some hard-working, some lazy; some rich, some poor, etc. etc. But once what looked like a permanent underclass became a reality in democratic systems, thinking switched from our original, non-coercive start-line equality (come to our shores and begin life with equal opportunities!), to our present coercive, state-guranteed finish-line equality (gosh, we can't stand all this inequality, so it is not sufficient to make opportunities equal; we have to make outcomes equal for as amny as possible).

             Enter womb-slavery. There is no way that women could have lives equal to those of men, with the same freedom from biology as men have always had naturally, unless they had a right to kill their own children in the womb. But ... there was a hitch. Women are sweet and compassionate, right? So, the only way to provide them with such a killing right was to redefine human life in the womb as non-human. Unborn children would henceforth be defined as non-human, or as property. Presto! You are not killing a baby; you are getting rid of an annoying bunch of meaningless cells that are interfering with your life and will condemn you to a life of inequality

           Well ... as I say, that is exactly what all slave regimes in history have done. They just legally transormed living human beings into morally meaningless material things that could be bought, sold, or killed at will. And now, all democracies that permit abortion are doing the same. That's why I say all modern democracies have become slave regimes of a new kind in which in order to make women equal to and as free from biology as men, they have enslaved all unborn children.

           The proof of this argument is the following syllogism. A syllogism is a logical structure with a major and minor premise, and a conclusion. If the premises are true, the conclusion has to be true. The ancient example was:

Major premise: All men are mortal

Minor Premise: Socrates is a man

Conclusion: Therefore Socrates is mortal

That is undeniably true. Now, here is the same argument concerning abortion and slavery:

Major Premise: All slaves are defined as non-human

Minor Premise: Unborn children are defined as non-human

Conclusion:  Therefore unborn children are slaves

         This is an undeniable conclusion. And what it is telling us is that in order to purify the current underlying ideology of radical egalitarianism by way of resolving its internal contradictions (the fact that there is no way men and women can ever be equal in natural biological terms), modern democracy in the West, like many other political systems of the past, has had to sacrifice a whole class of human beings to make its ideological purity possible.

         In ancient times, in places like Greece and Rome, human beings outside the womb were made chattel slaves to sustain a political ideology resting on victory in war, disdain for labour, democratic rights, and so on. Human slavery was a systemic necessity. In Hitler's regime, and Stalin's, the sacrifices to the system, so to speak, were Jews, ordinary liberal and conservative protesters, artists, and so on. In our time, the only thing that makes our radical egalitarianism possible, is the killing of humans in the womb, which removes the impediment of natural biology and frees (equalizes) the half of the population chained to their babies.

***********

          Many libertarians and conservatives part company with me on all this, because they are staunch supporters of individual freedom. But I suggest they have not followed their own logic far enough to see that their liberty-license - the code for which is the word "choice" - has produced a plain and obvious evil: the deaths to date of several million perfectly healthy unborn children in Canada from 1968 (the year Pierre Trudeau relaxed the law against abortion and opened the floodgates for abortion (averaging now around 100,000 per year, down from a peak of 120,000), and over 40 million in America (now at 1,000,000 per year, down from a peak of 1.5 million). However, these numbers must be inflated by all the unregistered abortions.

          I challenge all doubters, here and now, to read what follows sincerely and honestly, and to face their own honest answers to these questions.

                                        Three Questions on Abortion

            Some time has passed since Canada disgraced itself by conferring its highest citizen honour, The Order of Canada, upon the late Henry Morgentaler, a doctor who devoted his entire adult life to legalizing abortion-on-demand at any stage of pregnancy, as a political right. It was pretty strange to see a Jewish man doing this all his life, when the same technique for making an enmey of the unborn child, was used with chilling effectiveness against Jews in Germany (and elsewhere). Ironically, at the press conference for this nefarious presentation he offered the opinion that abortion has helped to reduce violent crime because “there are people out there who would otherwise have been murdered.” In the days that followed there were a few cries of moral outrage concerning who, exactly, was doing the murdering, and a number of distinguished citizens returned their Order of Canada pins to the government.

            But we need to ask: What happened? How did we in the West change from a people that once so valued human life that we universally criminalized abortion (with only a few exceptions having to do with rape, or a real medical threat to the life of the mother), to a people that now permits and publicly subsidizes the right to terminate human life in the womb - in Canada, at any stage of pregnancy up to the moment of birth?  Some will immediately object to my use of the phrase “human life” on the ground that many courts in many nations, as I say, have declared that a “fetus” is not a “person” or a “human being” until it is born alive. That is true, but I think the facts will expose the bogus use of these terms for the following reasons.

         Even if we all were to agree that what a pregnant woman is carrying is not a fully-developed person, or “human being” we nevertheless cannot deny that in every case what she is carrying is alive, for if this were not so there would be no need for anyone to claim a right to “terminate” a pregnancy. In other words, we are talking about actual life, and not in any degree a “potential life,” as some Judges have archly argued. Once we have secured what must be unavoidable agreement on this point, we are then forced to agree that in every case, absolutely, the life a pregnant woman is carrying is a human life. No one believes she is carrying a developing puppy, or a swan.

          So having come this far, and only once we decide to face this singular truth as honestly as possible, any reasonably informed person will be led to the ultimate question of whether or not it is morally acceptable for one person in full possession of his or her own human life, to terminate another human life at any stage of development.

          Reasonably informed? By any measure, most people who adamantly support abortion are grievously uninformed. They simply don’t know how we arrived at the new moral ground we seem to be standing upon; what changes in the law have enabled such a strange about-face; or what the current practices of abortion are that this very recent thinking has permitted.

     The answers, explored below, are each followed by a plain question that readers are challenged to think deeply about and to answer as honestly as possible.

How we got this way – the change in our moral thinking

        Until about the middle of the nineteenth century, all philosophers, and all religious and political leaders in the Western world accepted as obvious the idea that we live – and ought to live – under a common moral bubble, so to speak. Which is to say that moral standards were considered public by their very nature, rather than private. The mere idea that morality should be something sourced in a personal point of view aimed at serving the purposes of solitary individuals or, even more fickle, something constructed to suit the occasion, had always been considered absurd, if not a sign of moral sickness.

       But with the advance of egalitarian democracy came an increasingly shrill demand for individual rights divorced from duties, and with this a weakening of shared moral consensus and an entirely new idea: that each human being lives under his or her own private moral bubble. The most famous articulation of this historically bizarre alteration in the public conception of morality was by J.S. Mill in his little booklet On Liberty in 1859. Within certain confusing limits he basically argued that morality is a private matter and the only case for concern is when we directly harm someone else by our conduct. This is today called Mill’s “harm principle” and it has rapidly become the most common Western ideal of what it means to live a free and moral life. Indeed, Canada’s own Supreme Court, in R. vs. Labaye (2005), in which a citizen complained that it was indecent and against community standards to allow a swingers’ sex club in a residential neighbourhood, ruled in favour of the club, and in doing so wrote that “The philosophical underpinnings of the … harm-based approach are found in the liberal theories of J. S. Mill. This philosopher argued that the only purpose for which State power can be rightfully exercised over a member the community is to prevent harm to others.”

          And so it has come to pass by edict of our highest court that there is no longer a common moral bubble; that we have no duty to be concerned for others, nor for the greater good, nor for society as a whole understood as a social entity comprised of real relationships, that is more than the sum of its   individual parts.

First Question: How is it possible for a civilization to thrive and for a people to arrive at any consensus of the common good when the most fundamental questions of human life are to be decided solely by will of self-interested individuals without regard to the common good of all?

 

The flimsy legal right

       Unfettered abortion in Canada has been possible since 1988 when the existing law placing minimal conditions on abortion was struck down as “unconstitutional.” Several efforts were subsequently made to replace it with a compromise law that failed due to a tie vote in the Senate (where 23 Senators did not bother to vote at all). The result is that Canadian law, as mentioned, does not presently say that abortion is right or wrong. It says nothing at all – even though no poll has ever shown that a majority of Canadians accept unlimited abortion on demand. Quite the reverse. In fact, when you tell a Canadian there is no law whatsoever against abortion in his country, and that you can abort a six-pound baby in the womb without legal impediment, they are appalled.

       The conjuring began the moment judges decided, mostly for radical feminist reasons having to do with the growing demand for individual freedom and moral autonomy (as explained above), that a woman ought to have a “right” to abort. This meant that all unborn human life had to be redefined as a valueless non-human so as to remove it as a matter of concern from the legal arena. As it happened, the legal category of non-human was well-known. It is a very old device introduced throughout history whenever States, tribes, or courts, want to justify the elimination of an enemy. As such it was easy to adapt for the purpose of facilitating abortion. 

           For example, slave-holding regimes (Canada and the United States were no exception) have always defined their slaves as less than fully human to make enslavement morally acceptable. They even developed a separate category of laws to define and defend the master-slave relationship and to justify the unequal rights and obligations of each party. Jews, and many other groups in the horrific Nazi and Soviet regimes were defined as non-persons, or more aggressively, as sub-human (if not as vermin, or some other such despised creature).

          Such linguistic and moral contortionism and the official justifications for it have been almost exactly duplicated by the abortion regimes in all Western nations, and this parallel is far more than an analogy. For with the sole distinction of the existence of the victim either outside, or inside, the womb, there is no difference between a declaration of non-personhood that creates a class of born-alive victims that enables, sustains, and makes invisible to its perpetrators a regime of chattel slavery, and a declaration of non-personhood that creates a class of alive but not-yet-born imminent victims, that enables, sustains, and makes invisible to its perpetrators the abortion regimes currently defended in the name of egalitarian democracy.                

        The reasoning produced in Canada for granting a pregnant woman a “right” to decide the life or death fate of her unborn child, a right that has priority even over the will of society at large (and, not incidentally, even over the will of the child’s father), is that if the mother does not want her child, then the “security” of the mother’s person (which now means her psychological “health” as a self-flourishing and freely-choosing individual) has been put at risk (ironically, also by her own will). She is therefore said to be justified in protecting herself from such a threat by demanding the tax-funded professional removal of the offending object, or enemy, from her womb.

       The same sort of legal and verbal legerdemain was used in the United States where the justifying ground for this practice was not security of the mother’s person, but her right to “privacy.” There, if the life within is unwanted by its mother it is considered a kind of enemy “occupying” the mother’s womb without her consent - an illegal trespasser invading her privacy.

       This is a very brief overview of the constitutional artifices required in both countries to justify ending human life in the womb. Note that in both cases, whether with respect to the artificial grounds of security, or privacy, what I have called a developing human life, once considered sacred and of the highest value in itself, and without regard to the opinion of the moment of any other human being, may now by the sole and god-like edict of its own mother be declared of no value whatsoever – or, of a supreme value, as she may decide, even calling upon the unlimited and heroic resources of the medical profession and the State (and the taxpayer) to save its life, if necessary.

Question Two: Can it be right and good for any civilization that the most fundamental question - whether or not another human life has value, and so whether it is to be protected or killed - should be decided by the private and changeable will of a single individual?

 

The practice of abortion                                

        Now let us ask what is actually being done to unwanted human life. How many unborn lives are ended? How large are they? What are the methods? Once abortion enthusiasts learn a little of the bald truth, many are horrified, backpedal a lot, and start to suggest ways to severely restrict abortion, if not to end it entirely. This grisly aspect will only be touched upon here.

      Suffice it to say that of the average of approximately 106,000 abortions performed annually in Canada over the past decade (that’s about 290 per day, or 1,060,000 per decade, the vast majority of whom would have been perfectly healthy citizens), most are in the first trimester of pregnancy. The routine methods of abortion at this stage involve injecting saline solutions that burn and kill babies, to scraping the womb, and so on. Many people who don’t know much about this subject say abortion is acceptable because they falsely believe all abortions take place during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and that this involves getting rid of what they consider to be a microscopic cluster of valueless human cells. 

           But many are changing their minds because the debate surrounding abortion has been altering rapidly not, as we often think, due to religious or moral claims, but because of neo-natal science, neurology, DNA studies, cell biology, CAT scanning, surgery on infants in the womb, and so on. We now know that a human heart starts beating around 21 days, because we can see it and hear it; that a human life in the womb has a distinct and unique personal genetic endowment (and thus is in every strictly biological sense, a genetically complete and unique, if undeveloped human life); and studies with tiny digital cameras show clearly terrified second and third-trimester babies trying desperately to escape the vacuum tube (or other devices) inserted into their mother’s wombs to suck away their lives or tear off their limbs. And who has not seen the incredible photo of Baby Samuel’s tiny hand reaching out of a small incision in his mother’s belly to grasp the surgeon’s finger during an operation to save his life?  

            This latter situation is bizarre, because once taken outside the womb for surgery such a child is considered a full person with all normal human and civil rights (because “born alive”). But when put back in the womb to finish gestation, it again disappears as a human being, or person, and is without value, or any such defence or rights until eventually born alive once again (if Mommy so wills).

          These are simply facts. And so is the distressing reality that about 10 per cent of all abortions in Canada and the United States (perhaps 100,000 annually there) take place in the second trimester. At this point, many unborn babies are about 12 inches long, and weigh up to a couple of pounds. At this 5-6 month stage of development (when the human life to be terminated looks in every way like a small human being) there are often “evacuation” problems, and so the most efficient and “safe” way to get a sizeable baby out of an unripe womb is in pieces, by first ripping off its arms and legs and crushing its head with forceps for easy extraction, after which all the pieces are counted and thrown into a garbage pail. Those who want to read a viscerally upsetting description by an American physician of his real-life accidental encounter with recently-aborted babies that fell out of a hospital garbage bag from a truck onto the street in front of him, should read the essay “The Street of the Dead Fetuses” on my website. Be prepared. And those who want to see shocking photos of babies acid-burned to death or torn apart in this way, can simply Google “abortion photos” and a lot of upsetting websites will pop up.

        There is more. About 40 U.S. States have restricted or banned third trimester abortions because unborn children at this stage are very large – about 20 inches and between 6 and 8 pounds. Canada has no law whatsoever against late abortions , as mentioned, and it is true that even where they are allowed (or, not prohibited) many abortionists will refuse to perform them. But when it comes to women who want to get rid of their large second or third-trimester babies, there is an especially gruesome practice called “partial-birth abortion” (formally called “intact dilation and extraction”) that I am obliged to describe briefly here, because although it was successfully banned by President George W. Bush, President Bill Clinton before him refused outright to ban it, and President Obama, when a Senator, refused to vote against it on several occasions, and one of his first acts as President was to reverse Bush’s ban on American funding of abortion in other countries. It is impossible to verify if, where, or when this method may have been used or is now used. But there is nothing to stop it in Canada, and no one is telling. In the last year for which I have seen numbers for America, the National Coalition of Abortion Providers estimated that there were 4,000-5,000 partial-birth procedures in the U.S. (New York Times, Feb. 26, 1997).

        For this method, the unborn child’s position in the womb is manipulated until it can be pulled out of the birth canal feet first. When the abortionist sees the back of the baby’s head, he stops pulling, takes a pair of scissors and jabs them into the back of the baby’s skull. Observers have said that at that moment the child startles, as if falling. The abortionist then inserts a vacuum hose and sucks out the brains. He must do this before the child leaves the birth canal alive and is transformed by law into a person, possibly exposing the medical staff to charges of murder. An alternative method is by “disarticulating at the neck,” which means the abortionist manually breaks the baby’s neck prior to extraction. Then home for supper goes the doctor.

Question Three: Once a people is aware of such practices, which necessarily implicate all citizens morally because they are not forbidden by the laws of the people and (in Canada) are paid for through the tax system, is it possible for any reasonable person to say that these practices are right, and good, or that a country that sanctions them is right and good? And if they are evil, as they clearly seem to be, is not a country that refuses to forbid them, indeed, that promotes them, also evil?

        All "civilizations" must ask such questions, and by their answers they shall be known.

Wednesday
Aug302017

Feminist Mothers: What Is Daycare Doing to the Children?

 

"Working parents want daycare. What children want... is their parents."

~ Wendy Dreskin, author of The Daycare Decision: What's Best For You and Your Children.

              Now I turn to the second program demanded by feminists. So-called “universal daycare” has been promoted by feminists from the start as an essential government service that would enable all women, regardless of income, to free themselves from the natural consequences of their own biology – the responsibilities (to many of them, the burdens) of homemaking and childrearing. As men cannot bear children, feminists set themselves the target of equalizing the parental work of childrearing. But they cannot force men to stay home and share that load. So instead, they seek to force all taxpayers to share it via tax-funded daycare. Then, free of their own children at last, feminists would be free to sally forth and compete with men as equals in the capitalist jungle. So this is at bottom a program of unknown expense – estimates range from $5 to $10 billion per year - designed not to give children the best care, as we shall see, but to level the gender playing field that radicals are convinced is stacked against women.

                    So my immediate concern, once I understood the depth of the attack on traditional society this would mean, was then to ask what it would mean for the nation’s children? Right after the original of this book appeared I got busy researching, and published The War Against the Family.[1] What follows is a revised segment that addressed this very issue. I present it here as a critique, not of normal and reasonable use of good daycare, but of the feminist notion of long-term daycare as a tax-funded woman’s “right.” There was no need to update the alarming science, because nothing has changed – the story has only gotten worse. Readers will find all the relevant references, and more, in War. And it’s not as if radicals have given up, or that the ideological war against the family is over. Far from it. In the 2009 Pink Book of the Liberal Party of Canada’s Women’s Caucus, over which then leader Michael Ignatieff gushed enthusiastically, a national tax-funded daycare program was once again promoted. Now the current PM, Justin Trudeau is at it again. They never give up. Such a plan may be a dream come true for radical feminists, or for androgynists, and for socialists; but … is it the best thing for the nation’s children? Read on, and decide. 

                                                              ~                                                                 

         We are in the midst of a terrible impasse, whereby in a pursuit of economic survival that is very real for some (the truly needy), a matter of economic comfort for most (yuppie daycare mothers), and endemic in a consumer society's pursuit of a flashier lifestyle, we are forcing children to pay a terrible price. This is going to haunt us as long as they live. For as the old Jewish saying goes: "If you aren’t there for a needy child when he's young, you'll be there when he's old." That quote came from an article by Canadian psychiatrist Dr. Elliot Barker, who spent many decades working with angry killer psychopaths. I spoke with him. From his window he watches their anguished parents bent with sadness as they arrive to comfort their criminal children, and says "I cannot help wondering where they were when it mattered most." He says that the psychopaths he treats invariably have the same history: shortly after birth the child is separated from his mother and given into the care of a multitude of surrogate parents. From Barker, from criminologist Stanton Samenow, from legions of researchers, the evidence has cascaded off the presses in a crescendo of damnation. It is a finger of shame pointed at a society that is rapidly breaking the bonds of the natural family, that has succumbed, encouraged by the shrill goading of tax-funded radicals, to an increasing abandonment of its children.

           What all honest researchers are re-discovering, however, is what the popular wisdom has always known: young children need an uninterrupted, intimate, continuous connection with their mothers, especially in the very early months and years of life. We all know that there are a lot of excellent daycare centers and dedicated childcare workers. What follows is not a critique of any particular facility or person. It is a critique of the notion of daycare as an adequate substitute for mom and dad, a report on some of the scientific findings concerning the effects of extended daycare on the behaviour and health of young children.

 

Breaking the Bonds: Women Oppressing Children.           

        Quite contrary to the radical feminist insistence that "parenting" is a gender-free matter (either parent, or even a surrogate, will do), or that "mothering" is an oppressive role constructed to trap women and recruit them as slaves for a patriarchal society, highly respected social scientists such as John Bowlby have been tirelessly reiterating the obvious: that “the attachment relationship that a young child forms with its mother is the foundation stone of personality." We are discovering much too late that when this primal attachment is missing, or inadequate, children, especially young boys, develop into adults who lack any ability to form meaningful relationships with other people. In Attachment and Loss, and again in A Secure Base, Bowlby insists that "the young child's hunger for his mother's presence is as great as his hunger for food," and that "her absence inevitably generates a powerful sense of loss and anger." Woe betide us.

         A veritable avalanche of "attachment” studies has shown that although fathers are crucially important to any child's development, attachment bonding is overwhelmingly a matter of the quality and continuance of the relationship between the mother and her children in the early stages of life. Through a variety of current experiments based on the "Strange Situation" used by psychologist Mary Ainsworth in the 196Os, it is now devastatingly clear that when babies are placed in "other than mother" care during the first year of life - even very good quality care - "about 5O percent are insecurely attached to their mothers." Ainsworth's technique of asking mothers to leave their children in a room with a total stranger abruptly and without explanation to the child (the strange situation), to reappear some minutes later, were decisive. During the mother's sudden absence, and on her reappearance, the children demonstrated clear differences in attachment, ranging from callous indifference and anger, to joy on re-uniting. Penn State's Jay Belsky, who originally argued for the harmlessness of daycare, now says that daycare erodes a child's sense of trust and order in the world, and Belsky, Barglow and others argue that when mothers leave children in daycare as infants, especially for more than 2O hours per week, children read this as parental rejection. Belsky argues that daycare weakens the father-child bond as well, because when full-time working mothers get home, they monopolize the child's attention during evenings and weekends.

             Belsky says he has since been "smeared" by feminists for turning against daycare, but that his newly-critical perspective is shared by many specialists who are fearful of incurring the wrath of daycare partisans. This truth, shared quietly by many Canadian specialists, is being hidden from Canadians through an academic and media blackout. Chillingly, Ainsworth has discovered that whereas only 3O% of children demonstrated poor attachment in the 196Os, by 199O fifty percent did so. She concluded that "It's very hard to become a sensitively reponsive mother if you're away from your child ten hours a day, it really is." Recently, work by Mary Ainsworth, Mary Main, and Alan Stroufe, researchers from three major but different university research centers, has clearly and consistently shown that the pattern of attachment developed in infancy and early childhood is profoundly influenced by the mother's ready availability, her sensitivity to her child's signals, and her responsiveness to the need for comfort and protection.

           Jay Belsky now calls extensive daycare in the 2O+ hours range a "risk condition" for children - and therefore, for society as a whole. Why? Because - there is near professional unanimity on this point - poorly attached children are sociopaths in the making. They feel anger and aggression toward their parents and other children. Study after study shows that the ranks of the aggressive, of angry children, of drop-outs, of detention centers, of welfare and unemployment roles, of drug and drunk tanks, of the homeless hordes, and the jails, are increasingly occupied by those - who missed out. Mostly, who grew up, first without full-time mothers, then without a father model, or both. As young children they are less cooperative with adults, more aggressive in their play, fight more, cry more, hit more, cling more, are more rebellious, have far less tolerance for frustration, and are far more at risk for personality disorders in later life.  Predictably, those in the lowest quality daycare had the highest number of such disorders. And such profiles are very common in low-income strata. But even children from affluent homes, left with one-to-one nannies, showed significant attachment insecurity. Psychiatrist Graeme Taylor, of Mt. Sinai Hospital in Toronto, concluded what all natural mothers already know by instinct, and can deny only by self-deception: that the infant-mother relationship is "an interactional system that organizes and regulates the infant's behaviour and physiology from birth," including such intimate and sensitive matters as heart-rate, enzyme levels of growth hormone, thermo-regulation, responsiveness of the immune system, and upwards to psychological States of mind. This regulation comes about through the mother's direct and intimate attention and holding behaviour, and if it is lacking, can result in conditions of physical and personality inadequacy that endure for a lifetime. The point here, simply put, is that prolonged daycare serves to negatively restructure the mother-infant relationship, and thus may be dangerously restructuring society itself. A clear sense of this can be grasped from the turnover rates of childcare workers – sometimes 4O to 6O per cent per year. "Attachment" is impossible under such circumstances. Some Swedish researchers report that in Sweden the average Swedish child may have 50 to 1OO different "caregivers" by the age of ten (perhaps the word should be "caretakers"). Because of this, we can be sure that extensive daycare facilities will be matched by increases in the number of divorces, social violence, psychiatric beds, and jail cells. That's why Dr. Burton White, of Harvard University's Pre-School Project, once America's leading authority on the first three years of life, declared daycare to be "a disaster" for children, saying that it is impossible in daycare centers to manufacture "large doses of custom-made love." After more than thirty years of research on how children develop well, he said “I would not think of putting an infant or toddler of mine into any substitute care program on a full-time basis, especially a center-based program...I urge you not to delegate the primary child-rearing task to anyone else during your child's first three years of life "

 

Breaking Their Bodies

           As if the production of generations of children who grow up lacking empathic capacities were not enough, daycare facilities, by their very nature, are also hosts for all sorts of illnesses and diseases, some of them extremely dangerous to children and their families. Dr. Harrison Spencer, Chief of Parasitic Diseases at the Atlanta Centre for Disease Control (CDC), describes a fascinating Minnesota experiment in which researchers created a video showing how a disease organism can start in a child's diaper, and travel to other children and workers. They placed a tablespoon of tapioca pudding combined with a dye that becomes fluorescent under a black light, in just one child's diaper. Eventually the diaper oozed. One child, then another touched it, "and pretty soon it spread all over the whole room.” They've got a video showing exactly how this happened. They took pictures at timed-intervals which showed “a gradual progression as the dye spread onto the daycare worker's hands, the furniture, and so forth." Dr. Harrison said that daycare children "are at risk anywhere from two to eighteen times as much for certain infectious diseases that run the gamut from diarrheal diseases to respiratory and flu-like illnesses," and that "as many as 8O per cent of children in daycare excrete cytomegalovirus (CMV) in their urine and saliva." Other studies show 1OO per cent for daycare children (compared to 5O per cent for all children). Scandinavian children have higher rates than others, likely due to more widespread daycare there. CMV is a herpes-type viral infection that doesn't seem to bother young children much, but can cause a mononucleosis type illness in older children and adults, and if contracted by a pregnant woman, can cause deafness, birth defects, mental retardation, and even death in her newborn. 

        Joanne Braithwaite, an infection expert with the city of Toronto Health Department said daycare centers are "high risk institutions, just like hospitals," they act as "a community reservoir" for infection - a place where bacteria and viruses are always present, ready to infect others. Winnipeg disease expert Dr. Ron Gold said the 2OO,OOO plus Canadian children in daycare are twice as likely to get sick as those cared for at home (Canadian Press, February 2, 1988).  And … there's a horrible litany of "Daycare-Related Illnesses" (DCRI's) as they are called: over 7O per cent of clinical cases of Hepatitis A can be traced to a daycare setting, as can so many other fecal-oral enteric (bowel) diseases, including viral gastroenteritis, salmonellosis, shigellosis, giardiasis (found in 3O-5O per cent of daycare inmates, with an estimated 6OO per cent increased risk in centers with children under two), and pinworms, many of which have their highest "attack rates" for children under one year of age. It's the same story for respiratory diseases, the various forms of pneumonia, Influenza B, the various pathogenic "strep" bacteria, and the deadly meningococcus diseases. In most cases it is useless to "isolate" such sick children in a daycare setting, because they are often badly infected long before symptoms show up, and may well have already infected dozens of other children (and thus their families). Even worse, anxious mothers often resort to "masking" a child's illness with drugs so the sickness or fever will be undetected until after Mom is at work. Studies show up to 12 times greater risk for such diseases in daycare children, and many of these bacterial and viral conditions can have sequelae like scarlet fever, nephritis (kidney inflammation), rheumatic fever (inflammation of heart), septicemia, meningitis, septic arthritis, and osteomyelitis.

        Enough said. So alarmed are some authorities, that even the cautious US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has warned that "large, licenced daycare centers...are major transmission centers for hepatitis, severe diarrhea, and other diseases." Dr. Stanley Schuman, of the Medical University of South Carolina blames daycare for the outbreak of all sorts of illnesses, saying that the situation "is reminiscent of the pre-sanitation days of the seventeenth century."

         Daycare centers can also be magnets for certain types of workers: one study of sexual abuse in Michigan said 75 per cent of the victims were daycare children (it didn't say whether the abuse occurred in the centers or not). But some does. U.S. Senator Hawkins told of a daycare center in Florida where "dozens of children were found to have gonnorhea of the mouth." The University of New Hampshire reported that from 1983 to 1985 there were 1,639 confirmed cases of sexual abuse of children in U.S. licenced daycare centers; in some cases, the children were used for the production of child pornography.

         The current fear is that many unnattached youngsters, utterly lacking in empathy, in a truly vicious social cycle are becoming the angry radicals of tomorrow. Disappointed with the real world, they understandably become dependent on illusory utopian goals for the reformation of society, trying to force society to give them what they missed, and punishing their parental generation at the same time. Radical feminists, I'm afraid, are rather cornered, and will not succeed in negating or reconstituting human biology or gender or reforming society to their liking through daycare, no matter how many children they sacrifice to it. A nation-wide Globe and Mail-CBC News Poll (November 5, 1991), revealed the deep feelings of the public on this issue: a huge majority of anxious Canadians (76%) said "children's well-being is being sacrificed" because both parents have to work. The poll said "they have tremendous nostalgia for the way the family used to be run." So radicals would be better to reform themselves. In writing on this point for Harvard Business Review, no-nonsense feminist Felice Schwartz said that some women are "career primary," but that following this urge "requires that they remain single or at least childless or, if they do have children, that they be satisfied to have others raise them." Pretty honest, even though she refrained from commenting on the satisfaction of the children. At any rate, we cannot prevent radicals from forcing their own children into heavy-duty daycare, but we ought to prevent them from restructuring society with our money in order to normalize this practice.            

 

 

 


[1] William D. Gairdner, The War Against The Family (Toronto: BPS Books, 2008). The book is available directly from www.williamgairdner.com

Tuesday
Aug292017

The Feminist Pay-Equity Scam

             Almost everyone misunderstands so-called “pay-equity.” They think it is a fair-sounding idea that basically says any two human beings, regardless of gender, should be paid the same if they do the same work. But pay-equity is not about that at all.

             The principle of paying people the same wage for the same work has long since been accepted as fair by almost everyone (although some economists still say that even this custom limits the freedom of individuals to offer their services for less, if they so desire, and is thus a form of minimum-wage legislation that discriminates against the very poor). But radical feminists are not satisfied with the rule that women and men must be paid the same wage for the same work. They want them to be paid the same for different work if they can show that different kinds of work have the same “value.”    

              For example, if a government consultant can show that a female computer-operator’s job has the same “value” as a male truck-driver’s job, then the government will order that the two must be paid the same. Presto – gender equality in the market place! But there’s a twist, of course: this applies only to women. If he makes more than she does, she can complain to the government, get the “value” of her job assessed in her favour, and then force her boss to pay her the same as the truck driver. But if she makes more than he does, he cannot use the same argument to force his boss to pay him the same as her! But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s backtrack for a minute.

            As it turns out, even though men and women don’t very often choose to do the same kinds of work, feminists insist that as a class they ought to have the same earnings in the free market as men. But they don’t. Men in free economies, as a class, earn more than women as a class. So radical feminists have decided that any difference between the pay of men and the pay of women must be due to “sex discrimination.” Once having decided this, they quickly began stigmatizing the kinds of work women tend to prefer as “job ghettos,” or “Pink Collar Ghettos.” They conveniently ignored the fact that dental hygienists and legal secretaries, for example, are 99 percent female occupations and have very high starting salaries; but these jobs do not qualify as ghettos. In other words, if you train and strive for a high-paying job, you are assumed to be free; but if you take a low-paying or part-time job, or simply don’t wish to earn any more than you now do, you are assumed to be suffering exploitation and discrimination. Once radical feminists succeeded in selling the government on the idea that any difference was really due to discrimination, the course was clear. They then had to set about forcing a world of otherwise free people to conform to the feminist vision of fairness. Despite the insult to the intelligence of free working women everywhere that this attitude suggests, their approach was very effective.

              Here’s the radical feminist’s economic formula so far: Men and Women are the same, but because they are not paid the same when doing different work that we believe to have the same value, sex discrimination must be operating. Therefore evidence of discrimination is required; then a program for correcting it; and finally, someone to implement, finance, and police a corrective social program. So . . . the proof was the invention of a so-called “wage-gap”; the program was so-called “pay-equity”; the Sugar Daddy (as always) would be … the State. Canada’s Pay Police would monitor all this. And they have done so.

            Truth to say, one could marvel at the implacable and devious cleverness of the whole thing—if it weren’t so dishonest and such an assault on our free way of life. The unfortunate result, and the deception of the public required to bring it about (Canadians have never understood clearly what the term “pay-equity” means) is that many jurisdictions in Canada and America have the dubious distinction of having passed into law the most draconian pay-equity legislation in the free world, and have completely hoodwinked the paying public in the process. Why so? Because …

 The “Wag Gap” Is a Red Herring – It’s Marriage That Accounts for the Difference

         Feminists say that there is a "wage gap" between the earnings of men and women in Canada (which is true, and always has been), and that much of this difference is proof of wage discrimination based on sex. But this is a plainly misleading and dishonest thing to say, because the biggest reason for the difference in male/female earnings today, is marriage. That is because marital status has an asymmetrical effect on earnings by sex, as the economists say.

            In plain English: let’s suppose a man and a woman are working side by side and earning the same wage. They fall in love and decide to get married and raise a family. Suddenly something absolutely normal happens. Visions of children dance in their heads, along with simultaneous worries. If both think even the best daycare is impersonal—“there’s no way a stranger’s going to raise our kids.”—then they worry immediately about how in the world they are going to give their children personal attention and both work full time as well. Will her boss still keep her on if she asks for part-time work? He worries about mortgages, university education, clothing, food, and thinks: “Good Lord—I’m going to need a better job.” The result of this totally predictable equation is that she reduces her work hours, or quits altogether, or quits and then takes a part-time job. And he? Well, the pressure is on. He arranges an appointment with his boss and lets him know in no uncertain terms that the promotion he wasn’t so sure about last month . . . well, he’s had a serious change of heart. In fact, given a chance, he’d love to run the whole department. When this occurs millions of times over, and you average their respective earnings, you have the makings of a “wage gap.” But the crucial factor is not sex discrimination. It’s the laudable and free preferential choices made by both parties in favour of marriage and their children.

            The ratios of earnings between never-married men and women, and ever-married men and women in Canada, have always been stable. As long ago as 1971 (when the feminist movement was in full delirium) a study compiled from Census data for Statistics Canada,[1] showed the following:

 

                               Never Married                          Ever Married

Men                        $4,201                                      $6,675

Women                  $4,170                                       $2,217

 

            The excellent American economist Thomas Sowell tells us that the same picture was found from the start in the U.S.A., that “as of 1971 single women in their thirties who had worked continuously since leaving school earned slightly more than single men of the same age, even though women as a group earned less than half as much as men as a group.” Yet another study in the U.S. showed that “female academics who never married, earned more than male academics who never married,” even before “affirmative action” became mandatory in 1971. Sowell summed up this confusion by saying that most of the current income and occupational differences between males and females as gross categories turns out, on closer scrutiny, to be differences between married women and all other categories.[2]

         Almost two decades into the radical feminist era, a 1987 Statistics Canada report called “Earnings of Men and Women” still showed that never-married women made the following percentages of the earnings of never-married men:

                        never-married women             25-34 years of age:                  96.8%

                        never-married women             35-44 years of age:                  101.4%

                        never-married women             45-54 years of age:                  107.2%

                        never-married women             55+ years of age:                     102.4%

         Astonishingly, the women made more than the men at all ages except the youngest studied. Fact is that if anti-female discrimination was at work, this would have been impossible.

            Further, here’s some economic logic to put the whole mess to shame: if women were truly supplying business with cheap labour, business owners would naturally hire as many women as possible and would let the overpaid men go. But this has not happened. Further, one of the lowest-paying jobs around is that of an outdoor parking-lot attendant in winter—but you could count on one hand the number of females doing that in this country. Is this therefore a male ghetto? Not likely.

            Furthermore, if the feminist thesis were true, firms that are said to be “exploiting” low-paid women would be making large profits. But they are not. Most, in fact, are fighting tooth and nail to maintain competitive margins in the face of world competition, especially in clothing, footwear, and food processing—all family staples.

            Furthermore, women who have been widowed, divorced, or separated should not be averaged into the figures and used as proof for the lower pay of “single” women. Obviously, after years out of the job market, they cannot expect to return to the job market at high pay.

 The Bachelor “Wage Gap”

        There’s further and rather dramatic evidence to support the effect of marriage on earnings: it turns out that bachelors, in both the U.S.A. and Canada, show the same 60-70 percent “wage gap” with married men, as do all women as a group.[3] The reason for this is the same: bachelors don’t need tons of money for family and children, so they don’t engage in as much income- and promotion-seeking behaviour. The result? They earn, on average, the same as married women. In fact, the Statistics Canada data referred to above showed that bachelors as a whole made 42.8 percent of the wages of married men as a whole in 1987. Is this discrimination against bachelors? Obviously not. And yet the exact same arguments can be applied. Will pay-equity supervisors soon be forcing us to pay bachelors the same wages as married men? Don’t hold your breath.

 Canada’s Pay Police

           What about the draconian program in use to bring about pay equity? If it weren’t so sad and ridiculous, it would be funny. Suffice it to say that the in the province of Ontario (much the same elsewhere) the plan for its “implementation” engendered a whole new class of paid bureaucrats, consultants, inspectors, and, let’s face it, pay police. These ordinary folks are empowered: to hear complaints from employees; to enter an establishment and seize records without warning; and to haul employers before their “pay-equity tribunal.” Clearly, the many pay-equity commissions dotting the landscape are kangaroo courts of the first order, empowered to “make final decisions of fact and law,” made up mostly of unionists, feminists, and “experts” who make their money at the social-policy trough.

            If the cook in your staff kitchen decides that she deserves the same pay for rustling up hamburgers as your maintenance man down in the basement fixing the boilers—watch out. The pay-equity system is “complaint based,” which means she merely has to pick up the phone, and ask one of those friendly “inspectors” to drop in for a visit to your head office. These inspectors will evaluate her job—not her, but her job—in terms of four official categories: skill, effort, responsibility, and working conditions. They will then assign a “value” to each of these things, then run down to the basement, and do the same for the maintenance man’s job. For this unsubtle science they will use either the Hay Scale, or the Willis Scale (two of the most-used scales). The fact that there are hundreds of aspects to every job and they consider only four is, of course, passed over elegantly.

            The witty Fabian socialist and elitist George Bernard Shaw, who criticized the market system because it paid so much to prizefighters, wrote, “To suppose that it could be changed by any possible calculation that an ounce of Archbishop or three ounces of judge is worth a pound of prizefighter, would be sillier still.”

               Nevertheless, the Hay Study in San Jose California determined through “an objective point system” that a puppeteer’s job was worth 124 points, the same as the jobs of an offset-print operator and a street-sweeper. Of course no one can objectively compare, say, the pay of a great teacher with the work of Oprah Winfrey. Such evaluations are possible only by reduction, by reducing each job to aspects so common that you could walk an elephant through the subjective holes in the system. It’s like saying that because a one-ounce diamond and a one-ounce piece of lead weigh the same, they are worth the same. The Canadian economist Morley Gunderson once wrote that “while comparisons across quite dissimilar jobs are possible in theory . . . the results of evaluation procedures become more tenuous the more dissimilar the jobs.”[4] And the ever-insightful Charles Krauthammer ridiculed the use of the Willis Scale in Washington state (where pay-equity legislation was eventually thrown out as discriminatory and unconstitutional by three judges of the U.S. Court of Appeal), saying that the scale is a mandate for arbitrariness:

every subjective determination, no matter how whimsically arrived at, is first enshrined in a number to give it an entirely specious solidity, then added to another number no less insubstantial, to yield a total entirely meaningless . . . everything is arbitrary: the categories, the rankings, even the choice of judges . . . there remains one factor wholly unaccounted for which permits the system to be skewed in any direction one wishes: the weight assigned to each category . . . Who is to say that a secretary’s two years of college are equal in worth to and not half or double the worth of—the truck driver’s risk of getting killed on the highway? Mr. Willis, that’s who.[5]

      But . . . we’ve left the inspectors in the basement!

      Suddenly, they dash breathless up the stairs and inform the President of the company that he (or she!) is guilty of wage discrimination based on sex. So the President is ordered to pay the cook the exact same wage as the maintenance man. Flabbergasted, he cries out, “If I could find a maintenance man at her rate, I’d hire him!” (“Pay her!” he is told.) “My hamburgers are three dollars. I’ll have to raise the price to twelve dollars each, no one will buy them!” (“Pay her!”) “If no one buys them we’ll have to shut down the kitchen. It’s losing money already!” (“Pay her!”) “There’s a hundred others who would love to have her job at what she’s making now!” (“Pay her!”) “I’m going to shut down the damn kitchen, it’s always been a pain in the neck to the whole organization. She’ll be out of a job, for all your bungling.” (“We’re sorry, we can’t help that. Thank you. Goodbye. We’ll send your records back sometime next year.”)

             In a riotous story, "Pastry Cook Pay Angers 8OO nurses" (Toronto Star, May 18, 199O), the full idiocy of these situations began to surface. The pay police were called in to "evaluate" the work of nurses, and equate it to male work of equal value. They decided, after much precision and deliberation that a nurse's job was equivalent to that of a male pastry chef. Well, the outrage! The scandal! The "unfairness"! Florence Nightingale, a mere pastry chef? Well, this was very funny. So-called pay-equity was brought in to make pay more "fair" for certain groups of women who had voluntarily accepted their wages. But once the fairness judgement was rendered, these same women hit the streets, striking for "Fair Pay Equity" (Toronto Star, October 2, 1991). Jonathan Swift must be laughing in his grave. It has never occurred to these women that if hundreds of them line up eager to take a low-paying job, they will get low pay. In a free society, pay is a function of an employer's ability to produce a product for a price acceptable to consumers, and the worker's willingness to accept the wage required to make the product. How could it be otherwise? Next, we will see demands for "Fair, Fair Pay Equity" - but...the employers will all have left town.

            These little scenarios illustrate the arbitrariness, confusion, and failure in principle of the whole pay-equity scam. But this was inevitable, as it was just another socialist idea, as are most of the radical feminists’ ideas, and as such it could never provide any basis for economic calculation. For there is no way to establish economic value outside of a voluntary market for goods and services. In other words, by its very nature, the value of anything can arise only from a cost/benefit transaction voluntarily entered into between free buyers and sellers. There can be imposed prices (that no one will voluntarily pay, or charge, except under duress). But there is no such thing as imposed economic value. In fact, nothing has any economic value outside a free market, because any amount paid above the free price is immediately recognized as a kind of tax. Why? Because the “value” of a job is strictly related to the demand for the goods or services a job creates. And what’s called the “market-clearing” price for a good (or the wage for a job) is always a result of how willing people are to exchange a specific sum of their own money for that good, or service, or job. You can pay the cook all you want, but if no one wants twelve-dollar hamburgers—goodbye, cook! If you keep the cook anyway, her cost to the economic unit, above what revenue she generates, will be a tax on the rest of the operation (or the industry, or the nation). After all, if the sale of hamburgers isn’t paying for her keep, something else is, right? That’s why I said feminists are ignorant of the principles of economics, in the same way socialists are. It hasn’t worked for them, and it won’t work for feminists, because it can’t work. (in small ways, the Berlin Wall keeps on falling). In the end, the pay-equity idea makes feminists look pretty stupid.

            Here’s just a small sample of the kind of political jargon to which such pay-police regimes such as found in Canada- this is from Ontario - must resort because their valuations are necessarily subjective and bureaucratic. It’s hard not to giggle nervously when reading this offensive muddle. The language alone is a riot of confusion – but the Pay Police in Canada are very real. So read on, and weep:

            On definitions: The Act permits differences in compensation resulting from the use of gender-neutral formal seniority or merit systems, and from gender-neutral red-circling, temporary skills shortages, and temporary training or development assignments (see Section 8(1)). On job salaries: The midpoint and the reference point [of a salary scale] are two different things, which sometimes coincide and sometimes do not. In some salary ranges, the reference point might be two-thirds of the way up the scale, for example. The reference point is the point that employees performing at the levels their jobs require may be expected to reach.

            At one stroke, the government of Ontario introduced a program which is as complete a model of the socialist process at work in a formerly free country as could ever be invented. As the internationally respected economist Thomas Sowell, who, as a black, has had lots of experience with discrimination, says, “If we buy the key assumption of [pay-equity] - that third-party observers can tell what jobs are ‘really’ worth—then our whole economic system should be scrapped . . . If somebody has this God-like ability, why restrict it to . . . ‘pay-equity’? . . . why not rent equity, tuition equity, vacation equity, and all kinds of other equity?”

            Take a look at the Snapshot below to see why forced-equity arguments are doomed. It shows just a few of the ethnic groups in Canada that have very different earnings. There are hundreds of such “ethnic wage gaps.” In this small but real Statistics Canada sample, Jews earn twice as much as some other groups. So using the same fallacious tactics as the feminists, is anyone going to argue that this is a result of discrimination by Jews against non-Jews? Either Jews earn more because they work harder and are better at earning good wages than others, or this is racial and religious discrimination against non-Jews by a group that has itself suffered ... widespread discrimination. So, discrimination makes you wealthy?

By now, the Pay Police have left the building, scratching their heads.

 

 

***********************************************************************

                                                            Snapshot

 

            Wage & Salary Differences in Canada, by  Selected Ethnic Groups, 2005                 

                          (Source: www.12.statcan.gc.ca/english/census06/data)

 

                      Ethnic Group                   Average Male Employment Income

                       Jewish                                               $72,311

                       Japanese                                            $51,988

                       English                                              $48,088

                      Greek                                                 $45,612 

                       French                                               $42,142

                      Chinese                                              $38,307

                      West Indian                                       $37,261

                      N.A. Indian                                        $31,681

                      Inuit                                                   $29,967

 

***********************************************************

 

 


[1] Data from Walter Block, “Economic Intervention, Discrimination, and Unforeseen Consequences,” in Discrimination, Affirmative Action, and Equal Opportunity (Vancouver: The Fraser Institute, 1982), p. 112.

[2] Block, p.50.

[3] See Gilder, Wealth and Poverty, p. 279, note 8; for Canada see  “Earnings of Men and Women,” in Statistics Canada report, 1987.

[4] Morley Gunderson, “Discrimination, Equal Pay, and Equal Opportunities in the Labour Market,” in Work and Pay: The Canadian Labour Market (Ottawa: Ministry of Supply and Services, 1985), p. 238.

[5] Charles Krauthammer, “From Bad to Comparable Worth,” in Regulation (Washington D.C.: American Enterprise Institute, 1984), pp. 32-33.

Monday
Aug282017

A Peek at Feminist Radicalism

 

It is difficult to understand the present radicalism of Western feminism without looking into its roots. They differ in every country, but also have a lot in common.  Here is just a glimpse of the underlying radical root of modern feminism in Canada, which echoes the same radicalism in many other Western nations.

What is the Radical Feminist Political Program?

           As we have seen, natural male/female differences, and the free choices that spring from them, are generally reflected in a free society, and in marketplace of jobs, goods, and of ideas. Even though many militant feminists have now given up in their effort to prove that innate differences are the result of “socialization,” they have developed a more sinister approach to getting what they want. In short, if you can’t prove male-female differences are learned, but you still want to eradicate the natural as well as freely-chosen consequences of these differences, you need a lot of tax dollars, and radical changes in the laws. Remember, the leftist conception of human nature is that it is wholly malleable. So the leftist wants to shape human nature with laws and policies, whereas the conservative will generally argue he opposote: that because human nature never really alters, the laws and policies ought to conform to human nature.

              So, to change human nature, most radical-feminist organizations in Canada (and elsewhere in the West) lobby aggressively for abortion on demand, for legalized prostitution, lesbian rights, universal tax-funded daycare, the nationalization of banks and industry, for abolishing the common-law right to private property, and for withdrawing from NATO and NORAD. This is hardly the ordinary women's agenda anywhere. In Canada, it's the socialist NDP agenda – one with which some 80% of Canadians openly and repeatedly disagree. Nevertheless, successive Canadian governments, including conservative ones, have continued to finance feminist left-leaning programs lavishly, even those committed to bringing the entire government down.

                 Some examples from the start? The June, 1987 issue of World Marxist Review carried an article by Nancy McDonald, a member of the Central Executive Committee of the Communist Party of Canada, in which she Stated, “The Communist Party participates actively in NAC [since renamed]. . .” Judy Rebick, a former head of NAC, once described herself as “a former Marxist” (Globe and Mail, July 4, 1990); and Judy Darcy, formerly head of CUPE, Canada's half-million strong Union of Public Employees was once described as "radically left wing" (Globe and Mail, Aug. 17, 1991).  

                 Although the Women’s Program was invented in 1973 to promote the status of all Canadian women, it quickly morphed into an organization run by a hard-core radical feminist group that uses government funds to implant radical values in Canadian society that have nothing whatsoever to do with Canadians women as a whole.  

               Such an attitude would be less objectionable from a self-supporting group claiming to represent Canadian women. After all, they can claim whatever they want! But from a department of government? Funded by tax dollars? Pushing an openly socialist, anti-freedom agenda so obviously out of step with the sentiments of the people of Canada? And more pointedly, with the women of Canada? And ... against human nature? Why, it’s nothing short of a scandal made possible only by tax plunder.

                 Any thinking woman who does not share radical feminist views and who stops to consider how her country is being socially-reshaped by such feminists in her name, without her blessing, but with her money, ought to be outraged. Without such funding, these women’s organizations would be a backwater collection of toothless radicals. With it, they are a dangerous force for social change completely opposed to the values of most Canadian women.

                  I say let them fight as hard as they like for their views with their own money, but don’t give them my tax dollars to do it, nor the dollars of millions of men and women who deeply disagree with them.

 

Thursday
Aug242017

The Androgyny Hoax

As of 198O, 72 per cent of mental health professionals...described a `healthy, mature, socially competent' adult, as androgynous.

~ Allan Carlson, Family Questions

 

“WASP men are the only safe target [for abuse] in advertising … you don’t get a single letter of complaint.”

~ Terry O’Reilly, host of CBC’s The Age of Persuasion (2009)

 

            A major instrument in the feminist effort to equalize sex-roles in society, still used by those who insist on the by-now embarrassing sameness argument, is their assault on the whole idea of gender. In effect, this is part of a vast psychological, political, and yes, philosophical rebellion that in my last book, The Great Divide, 2015), I characterized as "The Triumph of the Will over Nature," in a chapter of that title which I still believe hit the nail on the head, as they say.

At any rate, the root of this goes back to early feminist rebellion against natural gender of a kind that has exploded onto the political stage once again in the name of so-called  "transgender rights."   “Androgyny” is a term with a somewhat different inference. It refers to both genders as one, and the use of it follows from feminist ideology. They think that if all sex-role behaviours are just a result of social conditioning rather than of biology, then without such biologically-determined “roles” authentic human beings must be … naturally androgynous (an equal mixture of male and female). Hence the distinction between male and female, they have argued, is a social myth. At the extreme, feminists even argue that God is both male and female, that "Holy Wisdom" is the female persona of God, and that human beings can attain "spiritual androgyny." Such ideas have ancient origins in mystical forms of thought in which, at the extreme, the human spirit is said to be one with the universe, and all distinctions whatsoever are held to be a falsification of our original unity. This sort of spiritual egalitarianism is a retreat not merely from biology, but from all known social and material reality. 

        In his detailed, eloquent and sobering work Family Questions (1988), theAmerican scholar Allan Carlson was among the first to cite a bevy of serious scientists, some of them feminists of the honest type, who showed that the whole androgyny movement was and remains ideologically motivated, has never had any basis in fact, and has "elevated corrupted science to the level of public truth."[1]

         Beginning in the 196Os, in reaction to the "natural complement" theory of gender most people still hold (that males and females are both incomplete, and thus are a natural complement for each other), the radical feminists began to argue that women would never attain sex-role equality unless a different model of gender was created. Shulamith Firestone (who, as Carlson pointed out, did humanity a service by pushing feminist logic to perverse conclusions), argued that "Mom" must be eliminated, and replaced by a "socialist feminism"; that sex roles had to be eliminated, and replaced with her preferred "polymorphous perverse" sexuality (meaning anything goes); that the incest taboo had to be eliminated, and that parents should freely have sex with ready children. Bottle-feeding "technology" and daycare, she said, would end the need for natural mothering. This, she called "revolutionary feminism." Her peer, Anne Ferguson, of the University of Massachusetts, argued that "androgynes" the "superpersons" of the coming new society (the feminist utopia she imagined), would be freed from the need for children (here's that anti-child theme again, masquerading as a concern for over-population), by experiencing pure "bisexual love." Ferguson despised natural biological parenting because it produces "a debilitating heterosexual identity" in children. Her formula to bring about the socialist society organized on strictly  feminist principles, was simply to equalize all social, economic and political power outside the home (with affirmative action programs) - all else would follow.     

         Edward Tiryakian, of Duke University (still a real hotbed of feminist and post-modern psycho-babble), was out of the gate early too, insisting that androgyny is a "truly revolutionary" principle for overturning both the sexual division of labour and "the present prevalent form of the nuclear family which is the source of the reproduction of heterosexuality." He too advocated revolutionary change through the perfection of baby-bottle technology, and called for a U.S. Supreme court ruling declaring it unconstitutional to teach or reinforce heterosexuality in the schools.  It is now 2017, and this is about what we are seeing. 

         Ruth Bleier, another early soldier of fanatical feminism, argued that the nuclear family must be "crushed". The bitterly hostile Andrea Dworkin made a name for herself arguing for homosexuality and even bestiality – for what she called "other-animal relationships," and the freeing of children to enjoy their "right" to "live out their erotic impulses." That's what Rousseau advocated in the 18th century, and what his bizarre compatriot the Marquis de Sade actually did. She called for a "new kind of human being, and a new kind of human community." At a Canadian feminist conference she notoriously advocated that battered women "should feel free to murder their husbands."[2] Today, that would get her dragged up for “hate speech,” as well as for discrimination, for she did not advocate that battered males murder their wives, or sons their mothers.

         In acceptance of this model for the new and healthier human being, Alexandra Kaplan actually argued that “social sickness” ought to be redefined as a society with "overly masculine" men, and "overly feminine" women. This, too, followed the peculiar egalitarian illogic of radical feminism, and illustrates the attempt to alter the foundational concepts and language of our society. Another  writer, Christabelle Sethna of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (now as radical a leftist “education” school as one could find anywhere in the world) argued that dead animals represent patriarchal society and war, whereas live animals represent women; therefore, "meat eating is mysogyny" [woman-hating], and milk dairying (all those nasty men a-squeezin’ them thar udders) is a rampant exploitation of the female sex.

           Without our tax dollars, such people would be reading this drivel to the walls in some holding tank for losers; but with our considerable dollars, they have created a tax-funded audience. The State has paid for their jobs, subsidized their books, and funded their travel and their conventions. More's the pity. Angry, narrow-minded feminists have been extremely influential, despite the blatantly ideological nature of their program, their shoddy science, and their perverse anti-social values. As American psychologist Paul C. Vitz of New York University discovered, after intensive scrutiny of over 1OO high-school social studies and history textbooks at the turn of this last century: "by far the most noticeable position in the textbooks was a feminist one." Not a single story or theme celebrated marriage or motherhood as a positive experience. Sex-role reversals and the mockery of masculine men were common."

               In short, public (government) schools in North America (and many private ones, too) have for more than three decades been furiously promoting lies about human nature. They began with the androgyny myth (the lie that both sexes are the same); then moved on to the notion that human sexuality is a diverse phenomenon, and normal heterosexual relations, marriages, and families no better or worse than any other kind; to the general “post-modern” lie that all gender is at bottom a matter of choice, and is “socially-constructed.” That’s why today we can see vote-grabbing Mayors gliding through some of our largest cities on garish, tax-funded floats surrounded by genitalia-brandishing exponents of “LGBT” (etc., etc), or the “lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-gender,”[3] lifestyle. Your gender is what you construct for yourself. Human nature is not defined by your biology, but by your will. It’s all a kind of sexual fascism - the imposition of human Will on reality; another expression of the eternal revolt against … human nature   

        In public schools it amounts to a tax-funded brainwashing of society through children. And this, despite the fact that there have always been a host of serious social scientists demonstrating that the androgyny notion has no basis in fact, and is a political hoax. So-called "androgynous" people are in fact far more dysfunctional, more neurotic, lower in self-esteem, and more confused than normal people. There is nothing "super" about them. Researchers have shown conclusively that normal sex-typed parents make by far the best parents (androgynous parents "perform dismally"); that masculinity in males is correlated most highly with positive mental health; that male psychopaths have low masculinity scores, and so on. Researcher Diana Baumrind summed it up long ago when she said that traditional sex-typing is healthy for society and for children, and that androgyny, as a positive concept, is a complete and utter failure.[4] Carlson lamented that in the United States (ditto for Canada) "a small band of ideologues...has succeeded in imposing a fraudulent, dangerous ideology, masquerading as science, on broad elements of our public life." A major concern for our future is that this fraud has succeeded in legalizing “misandry” - the hatred of men - which I will write about next.

 

 


[1] Allan Carlson, Family Questions (New Brunswick, N>J.: Transaction Books, 1988), p.44

[2] Alberta Report, May 27, 1991

[3]  From Wikipedia: “LGBT is an acronym referring collectively to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. In use since the 1990s, the term “LGBT” is an adaptation of  “LGB” which itself started replacing the phrase “gay community” which many within LGBT communities felt did not represent accurately all those to whom it referred. In modern usage, the term LGBT is intended to emphasize a diversity of "sexuality and gender-identity based cultures" and is sometimes used to refer to anyone who is non-heterosexual instead of exclusively to people who are homosexual, bisexual, or transgender. To recognize this inclusion, a popular variant adds the letter Q for queer and questioning (e.g., “LGBTQ”) for those not explicitly denoted by LGBT, such as pansexuality, intersex, etc. The acronym has become mainstream as a self-designation and has been adopted by the majority of LGBT community centers and LGBT media in many English-speaking countries. These acronyms are not agreeable to everyone that they literally encompass.  Some intersex people want to be included in LGBT groups and would prefer the term “LGBTI”. Some argue that transgender and transsexual causes are not the same as that of LGB people.  A correlate to these ideas is evident in the belief of “lesbian & gay separatism,” which holds that lesbians and gay men should form a community distinct and separate from other groups normally included.  Other people also do not care for the term as they feel the lettering comes across as being too politically-correct, an attempt to categorize various groups of people into one grey area, and that it implies that the issues and priorities of the main groups represented are given equal consideration.” [My comment:  Such are the contradictions and confusions of post-modern sexual fascism.]     

[4] Diana Baumrind, “Are Androgynous Individuals More Effective Persons and Parents?” in Child Development, 53 (January 1982), pp. 45-66, cited in Carlson, Family Questions, p.42.