THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 170, April 22, 2002
REMEMBER 9/11? REMEMBER 4/19!
I don't intend to comment on the abortion thing per se; convincing you is irrelevant to me, and I am already convinced. Still, I find it deeply ironic that the group pressing for "pro life" government force, are also most often the same folks fighting to stop any and all biotech. Surely if you are pro life, you should assist medicine, not fight it. Especially since this is the very same technology which may eventually provide haven for those you so vocally wish to protect.
Julian Morrison (firstname.lastname@example.org)
When does life begin?
Sam Grove (email@example.com)
Reply to Curt Howland's letter:
Here is a perfect illustration of that which gives everyone such a headache in abortion debates: the morass of side arguments which fail to address the actual issues. In TLE 169, Curt Howland writes:
"To those who wish to argue anti-choice, be aware of the world you are arguing for: Prohibition of common vetrinary compounds [...]"
To those who wish to argue anti-robbery, be aware of the world you are arguing for: Prohibition of common weaponry, pantyhose, and fast cars.
To paraphrase one slogan of a formerly great institution, common veterinary compounds don't abort fetuses. People do. Let's try to avoid Sarah Brady's arguments, okay?
Robert Hutchinson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
May I suggest that Mr Westmiller, in his argument in favor of legal abortion has chosen convention over clarity and defensibility; and has thereby failed to reach the key questions:
Perhaps we wander into an impossible thicket if we try to so use the criminal law. Perhaps we rather ought to ask what essential purpose must the criminal law serve.
We need the criminal law (at least to the extent of defining offenses against us, if not in its customary means of deterrence and punishment) in order to maintain a public peace, and an honest market. If we ask much more than this of the criminal law, do we not implicitly invite everyone else to try to harness it to serve their notions of undesirable behavior?
The implications of this view of the criminal law are discussed further at www.reninet.com/maile/billbunn/political/soapbox/Bounds%20of%20Criminal%20Law.html.
You may also wish to read:
Bill Bunn (email@example.com)
Mr. Carville makes some good points about morality being partly a product of economic necessity. This may not always be a good thing -- Americans' need for oil has certainly led to some bad moral decisions lately -- but it is encouraging to see a libertarian that can acknowledge the impact of technology on fundamental questions. His comment about a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Fetuses was especially relevant. I apologize for lumping him with people like Mr. Antle. That was not my intention.
Mr. Antle. I did not elaborate on where rights come from because I was writing a letter to the editor not an essay. The submission guidelines request less than 500 words. In that spirit, let me just say I prefer a sapience test to a particular alignment of molecules in the DNA. If I accepted your racialist definition, I would have to allow that a single cell has 'rights' but an uplifted chimpanzee or orca does not. Even a reasonably precocious five year old could see something wrong in that assessment even if some libertarians cannot.
Interestingly it was a story by Robert Heinlein -- an author libertarians often claim as one of their own -- that started me thinking about sapience as the source of rights. The question of where rights come from and who has them is not peripheral to a political philosophy: It is even more fundamental than what those rights are. All moral philosophies break down at the extremes but one that is so poorly thought out it cannot answer unequivocally whether a fetus has rights does not deserve serious consideration.
Mimbreno Chiracahua (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Having read some of the letters regarding abortion, it seems to me that the whole debate begs a question: When does Life change into a human?
This is not merely a useless begging because this address the heart of the whole debate. What most people don't understand is that human life do not actually begins with the union of sperm and egg because there is a very long process of transformations that go way back eons to the very beginning of evolution (some might not agrees with my assetment of origins but that's whole another story). Life begins then and life went under series of change thru mutations and reproduction from one stage to another. From single cell to fish to mammal to man to woman to child, there is a great chain of changes and a formation of a human is only the latest. The potential of a human child is implied within the DNA of a fish millions of year before us. Even in a man or woman, the human life is potential within their cells and eggs and sperms. But even with the joining of egg and sperm, human life is not set! Before it can transform into a baby it must first attact itself to a wall of womb for failure to attact mean failure to gain a channal thru which a potential child may receive its food. This is one of the reasons why women have periods, to clean out failed eggs so that another seeded egg that can attact to the womb may survive. In every step of reproduction, death is a handmaiden and a nurse savagely thrusting its knife to clear the forest of life of undergrowth. Then it beg a question of when does an egg become human with human nature.
This science lead me to consider that abortion is proper in the early stages and become questionable only in the later stages when such action can be difficult with much tearing in a manner that seems murderous. A far better thing to do is for us to help create a way to transfer the late stage baby to another a la Koman's book. But I don't think this debate will resolve itself anymore than the debate over how life begin because they both address the same problem of finding a line the divide the long gradual process into two neat parts.
Carl E. Mullin (Ravenart@aol.com)
Dominion: The power or right of governing and controlling; sovereign authority; lordship, sovereignty; rule, sway; control, influence. Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition, CD-ROM v3.0.
W. James Antle III writes in "Freedom to Abort? NO! (Closing)" that "The abortion issue highlights a controversy between those who believe this self-ownership gives a woman dominion over the body of the pre- born child and those who don't". Since he is against abortion, he must then think that once a sperm and an egg unite that it has dominion over the body of the woman.
Now let me get this straight, a living, breathing, thinking, adult woman has no dominion over a fetus in her womb, but a few cells called a fetus has complete dominion over this living, breathing, thinking, adult woman. Something about this line of reasoning smells rotten, and not just in Denmark.
Since this small ball of cells called a fetus cannot, by its nature, be an advocate for its so called "rights", I just bet that W. James Antle III would love to be appointed head of the Bureau of Womb Slavery and use the absolute power of the state to enforce his views on abortion. No other way exists if he truly belives that abortion is murder. What is all boils down to in the end, is that this is not really about abortion, but about absolute state control over your life.
I grant him the right to try to persuade any woman he can not to have an abortion, but once he tries to enforce his views through the power of the state, he is just your simple, garden variety wanna-be-dictator who wants to be your absolute master in this, and everything else.
MacGregor K. Phillips (email@example.com)
Dear The Libertarian Enterprise,
I send herewith a news release from the Libertarian Alliance that you may find useful or interesting.
Dr. Sean Gabb (firstname.lastname@example.org)
NEWS RELEASE FROM THE LIBERTARIAN ALLIANCE
Dear Mr. Taylor
The Canadian publication, The Interim, reports that despite fervent opposition from the Australian government, top-secret files recently declassified from the National Archives of Australia has revealed that one of the fathers of modern biotechnology and genetic engineering-- world-famous microbiologist Sir Macfarlane Burnet--recommended in a secret report for the Australian Defence Department in 1947 that biological and chemical weapons should be used against Indonesia and other "over-populated" countries of South-East Asia.
Macfarlane, who won the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1960 and died in 1985, believed biological and chemical weapons should have been directed towards the destruction of tropical food crops, and the dissemination of infectious diseases capable of spreading in tropical climates.
The Interim report also touched on the official policy of the U.S. regarding population control. In National Security Study Memorandum 200, written by Henry Kissinger, there were warnings that increasing populations in developing countries threatened U.S. strategic, economic, and military interests. It was proposed that strict population control was needed;specifically targeting 13 countries whose growing population suggested coming power.
It is quite clear that Third World de-population became a U.S. government strategic policy in '74, and has possibly remained so in various forms to this day.
David Maraj (email@example.com)
In regards to the article The Fastest Way to Freedom by Corey Langeslay, I would offer this comment:
There is nothing new here. This is what the corrupt and inept Libertarian Party has been saying for years. The reality is that the major problem with communicating the ideas of freedom is that there is no way to show people how freedom works -- beautifully and simply and to everyone's advantage. And the reason we have nothing to show people is that those of us with a drive for libery above security, a commitment to a bold ideology, are scattered like needles in haystacks.
The solution to this conundrum has already been proposed right here in TLE. To quote our mission statement: The Free State Project is a plan in which 20,000 or more liberty-oriented people will move to a single state of the U.S. to secure there a free society. We will accomplish this by first reforming state law, opting out of federal mandates, and finally negotiating directly with the federal government for appropriate political autonomy. We will be a community of freedom- loving individuals and families, and create a shining example of liberty for the rest of the nation and the world.
We are growing in leaps and bounds, primarily through word of mouth. We can and will create something to show the sleeping masses, but it takes the cooperation of an essentially uncooperative bunch -- us ornery individualists. Check us out, join us, or just support us -- we have a solution.
Do you have a business? Do you offer a service? Do you have goods to sell?