April 14, 2018 § 27 Comments
If the positive law of some governing body expressly authorized X yesterday, and then that same body criminalizes X tomorrow, it is unjust – with caveats – for that body to punish someone tomorrow for having already done X yesterday. This has to do with the just exercise of authority, not the justice of the action in question: when a particular authority punishes an action which it explicitly authorized this (the punishment) is an unjust act by that authority. If I authorized you to shoot the dog it would be unjust for me to punish you for having already shot the dog, though it is not unjust for me to withdraw authorization.
This principle against ex post facto law has limits. Punishment might not be an unjust act by a different, especially a higher, authority: God punishing people for doing things which are supposedly “authorized1” by the positive law is not unjust, for example. And in general a different authority may be justified in punishing actions which it did not authorize, even though some other authority attempted to “authorize” it.
This is especially true when people ought to know better. Importantly, the fact that some authority has not said anything about X does not constitute authorization by that authority to do X. In this case no ex post facto prohibition applies as a moral constraint on the authority to punish. And I would not be too quick to dismiss the notion that mothers mostly ought to know better than to kill their own children, no matter what pressures they are under.
Modern people with their politically liberal commitments may find this difficult to swallow, but the fact that nobody in authority has expressly forbidden doing X does not mean that you are authorized (have the authority) to do X. The fact that there is no positive law prohibiting you from doing X doesn’t grant you a right to do X, for all possible X: “right” is just a different term for authority.
When we do something which we have no right to do, sometimes there are consequences, including punishment of some sort by someone in authority. And the fact that someone – even someone in authority – told you that you were authorized to do something evil does not confer actual authorization: it doesn’t make you not guilty, it just makes the person(s) who attempted to authorize evil also guilty.
The fact that someone in authority egged you on to commit murder may be a mitigating factor in deciding upon a just punishment. But it can never be entirely exculpatory. We are responsible for our own choices2, and that includes being sure that we have the authority to do the things we choose to do.
 I use scare quotes around “authorize” because in fact nobody has the capacity to authorize or require doing evil.
 Here I leave out the mentally ill and otherwise truly incompetent.
April 12, 2018 § 29 Comments
There is an enormous amount of room between the death penalty and, not only no punishment whatsoever, but a general freakout over the very suggestion that this form of murder ought to carry some sort of punishment — any punishment at all.
Voluntary abortion only has “two victims” in the same sense that any kind of voluntary murder has “two victims” – that is, when we cast the perpetrator as a kind of victim. There is some truth to that, but it doesn’t keep us from punishing murderers.
October 21, 2017 § 38 Comments
The most primal power of men is violence. Therefore the besetting sins of incontinent men tend to be sins of violence primarily, and to involve sex only circumstantially/accidentally. A violent man will use violence to get sex that he desires, but he will also use violence to get other things that he desires: money, drugs, prestige, etc. This decreases as individual power decreases: the besetting sins of incontinent men with diminished capacity for violence will tend to be more effeminate or androgynous sins.
The most primal power of women is sex. Therefore the besetting sins of incontinent women tend to be sins of sex primarily, and to involve violence only circumstantially/accidentally. A slutty woman will use sex to get violence that she desires, but she will also use sex to get other things that she desires: money, drugs, prestige, etc. This decreases as individual power decreases: the besetting sins of incontinent women with diminished sexual power will tend to be more masculine or androgynous sins.
This is reflected in prison populations, which are mostly men, because our society is willing to punish crimes of violence but is not willing to punish crimes of sex. In fact when a straightforward crime of violence perpetrated by a woman is perceived to primarily arise from sex, there is across the board resistance to punishing that crime.
July 29, 2017 § 70 Comments
First assume that any theory is better than no theory at all; even when the theory in question is manifestly and demonstrably destructive, evil, deceptive, and just plain wrong. The important thing is that in the hierarchy of answers we accept, admitting ignorance and expressing a willingness to accept reality as it is, is at the bottom of the list.
The magic question of modernity is “what alternative do we have?” Failure to answer this in a way that the questioner finds satisfactory is disqualifying.
May 1, 2017 § 36 Comments
My post The Products of Inception deliberately evokes the modern morally sanitizing euphemism “products of conception,” which refers to the post mortem object of the abortionist’s ministrations: the dismembered remains of her human victim.
There can be all sorts of personal motivations, as with murder more generally speaking, when it comes to murdering (or contracting the murder of) one’s own child. Liberalism (in its feminist aspect) isn’t always and necessarily what motivates individual choices to abort. Sometimes it likely isn’t a significant factor at all.
Liberalism considered purely in itself, as an abstracted idea to which nobody is committed even as a kind of default, doesn’t cause mass murder. What causes mass murder is the crushing impact of the liberal commitments of governing regimes , ruling classes, and whole populations as these social forces come crashing into reality.
Folks who like to think in terms of academic ideas isolated from reality, clinically examined in the laboratory of the mind, sometimes object that – despite express commitment to freedom and equality of rights among the herrenvolk – nazis and other moderns don’t really fit the “liberal” label.
I’m OK with that. No, really. Debate over whether mass-murdering modernist regimes are all forms of “liberalism” strictly speaking, as opposed to the perfectly understandable (and inevitable) results of liberalism crashing into reality, itself represents a radical pullback from the real world and into an abstract mind laboratory.
So feel free to insist that nazism and communism are not forms of liberalism, strictly speaking. From my point of view this is just counting nazis dancing on the head of a pin.
March 8, 2017 § 74 Comments
As we’ve discussed many times before, what modern people call “rights” are instances of discriminating authority. A property owner has the authority to eject trespassers without everyone insisting that he has to give good reasons for why he is doing so.
A property owner’s discriminating authority is labeled “property rights” as a way of short circuiting any further thought on the matter. By labeling this a “right” we don’t have to acknowledge that the law discriminates between the property owner and everyone else, empowering the property owner to, himself, discriminate and bind people to do or not do certain actions within the domain of his authority.
The magic word “rights” acts as a kind of wrongthought circuit breaker, allowing us to notice the empowerment involved in “rights” while studiously ignoring the multitude of constraints which are concomitant to every right. “Rights” give us mental cover for thinking of ourselves as empowered while at the same time avoiding the terrible crime of discrimination. Because rights are empowering, more of them means more freedom to our short-circuited modern minds. The more expansive our “rights” are interpreted to be by the ruling class, the more of this “freedom” we have.
At least for certain values of “we”.
October 30, 2016 § 15 Comments
We must not tolerate illegal immigration. Since 1992, we have increased our Border Patrol by over 35%; deployed underground sensors, infrared night scopes and encrypted radios; built miles of new fences; and installed massive amounts of new lighting. We have moved forcefully to protect American jobs by calling on Congress to enact increased civil and criminal sanctions against employers who hire illegal workers. Since 1993, we have removed 30,000 illegal workers from jobs across the country. – Between Hope and History, by Bill Clinton, p.134 , Jan 1, 1996
Donald Trump in 2016 is objectively very similar to Bill Clinton in 1992. The main difference is that from an Overton Window standpoint Trump is now an extreme right wing candidate rather than an extreme left wing candidate. Anything resembling social conservatism has simply dropped off of the radar: even the pro life movement these days is pro choice. Donald Trump when elected (assuming he is smart enough to let Grandma Abortion Witch implode) will just be the third black president.
Liberalism is insane and anti-human, but its insanity ironically makes it extremely adaptable. The Trump phenomenon is not some great new hope for the salvation of Western civilization: some new direction which represents the possibility of a future free from SJW excesses and other leftist insanity. Rather what we are witnessing is the action, in real time, of liberalism’s own internal mechanisms for protecting itself from the results of its own excesses as it continues to dominate more and more of reality. We are witnessing how it absorbs and repurposes any possible incipient opposition, turning the energy of that opposition toward liberalism’s own ends: ends which include self preservation.
Liberalism’s greatest enemy has for centuries been the consequences of its own comprehensive triumph. But by keeping all political conflict inside of its inescapable gravity well it ensures its own long term persistence, in spite of itself.