THE Global Justice Movement Website

THE Global Justice Movement Website
This is the "Global Justice Movement" (dot org) we refer to in the title of this blog.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Personhood and the Ontology of Personalism, Part XV

As we saw in the previous posting, the belief that abortion is a constitutionally-protected right is both the Pro-Choice movement's greatest strength and, paradoxically, its greatest weakness. No one can claim a right to choose to have, materially assist in procuring, or support abortion without at the same time acknowledging the right of others to choose not to have, materially assist in procuring, or support abortion.

If some people are denied the right to choose in order to secure the right of choice of others, then the presumed right to choose abortion is not, strictly speaking, a true right, but (just as Justice Bryan White declared) an exercise of raw judicial power — an act of tyranny by means of which one group forces its will on another group or groups. The Pro-Life movement can therefore justly demand that all forms of government support for abortion cease immediately — or force the Pro-Choice movement to admit that the alleged choice they themselves are demanding applies only to them, and is not, in fact, a right at all (which implies the functioning of justice), but the creation of a privileged class or establishment of a State religion that has been granted the power to rob the taxpayer for its own benefit.

Still, useful and effective as removal of all federal, state, and local government support for abortion would be, it is clearly not enough. Abortions took place long before anyone had the idea that there was any kind of right involved, or even before there was any kind of State subsidy or support. Once all government support for abortion has been eliminated, then, two things remain to be done.

First, people must be educated to realize that the fetus is a human being, is thus a person, and thereby entitled to the full spectrum of natural rights that necessarily accompany the human condition. The Pro-Life movement has been perfecting its techniques in this effort since 1973, and, considering the massive amounts of money spent by the Pro-Choice movement and the government support it enjoys, has been astonishingly successful. Nothing should be done to decrease current efforts. A good case can and should be made that efforts must, on the contrary, increase dramatically. No day should pass without continuous protests outside any and all facilities providing abortions; no magazine or newspaper should be without its educational Pro-Life advertisement or article; prime time radio and television, as well as the internet, should carry a full load of both informational and educational advertising. Denial of media access should be the basis for a lawsuit on the grounds of denial of free speech.

People in the Pro-Life movement might want to consider refusing to take even legitimate tax deductions for contributions for Pro-Life purposes. While any legal justification for denying tax deductibility is shaky — many Pro-Choice advocates claim to support the aims of the Pro-Life movement other than an end to abortion, and it is highly questionable whether even the United States Supreme Court would move to so abridge or discourage freedom of speech — such a move would be another great moral victory at a relatively small cost. Most people who contribute to Pro-Life organizations or causes do not consider the tax effects in any event, and voluntarily surrendering a legitimate tax deduction removes the possibility that the Pro-Life movement would be labeled hypocritical for demanding an end to tax deductions for contributions to Pro-Choice organizations or causes, while continuing to take advantage of them to present an opposing view.

There is, however, one remaining thing that must be done. The charge of hypocrisy has already been leveled at the Pro-Life movement, chiefly on the grounds that people in the movement care only what happens to the fetus, not about the quality of life of the baby once born. This, up to a point, is a legitimate criticism, but hardly of the magnitude to be termed hypocritical.

The adoption of a Pro-Life economic agenda, first for the United States, and then the world would not only remove the charge of hypocrisy from the Pro-Life movement, it would in large measure remove any and all economic justification for abortion. One program that should be investigated that may have the potential to open up the opportunity for each family to generate income sufficient to meet common domestic needs adequately is Capital Homesteading for every citizen, from the book with the same title.

Capital Homesteading has been described many times on this blog, and a large amount of material is available on the website of the Center for Economic and Social Justice (CESJ), including a free download of the book, Capital Homesteading for Every Citizen, which is also available in paperback from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Some of the philosophical orientation of the Just Third Way can be found in, In Defense of Human Dignity, also available in paperback from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. (Anglophiles and UK residents can also find both books on Amazon UK: Capital Homesteading for Every Citizen, In Defense of Human Dignity.) Anyone wanting to help promote these ideas might want to consider writing a review of (and giving a high rating to) either of these books.

Anyone interested in promoting a Pro-Life economic agenda — and, incidentally, a possible way out of the current Great Recession (a.k.a., "The Jobless Recovery") — should look over the material on the CESJ website, and consider in what way he or she could advance the effort. One of the better ways is to spread the word, and open doors to "prime movers" such as Barack Obama who might be open to hearing about something that has the promise to deliver justice instead of inflation, joblessness, war, poverty, and death.