Friday, February 16, 2007

School Teachers with Guns

Does the state have a right to intervene in the life of the family to enforce laws favoring the life of children in contradiction to the beliefs and customs of the family? Of course, and it flows across the planes of Left, Right, Green or Islamic. Oh, damn, that's true but it depends on the situation and the group the state intends to interfere with, the Modernist state being the evil figure intervening in the family affairs of sharia Muslims and being the good guy in intervention into the lives of home-schooled Christians.

There is a line that is so obvious that only the most sophisticated of intellectuals at our local cappuccino bars can't see: When a family harms the life and mind of a child directly, such as by disallowing vaccination against polio, a contagious disease preventable by care from the medical state, the family endangers not just the child but the larger community of children. Fascist apologists will cry-- and they do-- that we cannot intervene in the cultural practices of Others. Yeah, and I have a store of rope to deal with such objections. Kids are kids, whether Islamic or no, and they do not deserve to die or to be destroyed by disease to indulge the phantasies of sentimentalists and philobarbarists in the modern West. It's criminal to prevent state intervention that might save children from harm and death by the hands of parents, whether from denial of polio vaccinations or from parents who mutilate their children's genitalia or any other damned thing. There's no room in the world for the sophists to delay or to deny care to those in danger of harm at the hands of parents. It requires direct and immediate intervention in the lives of families who harm and destroy children. The only question is where to draw the line and who should intervene. Deny your sick child a blood transfusion, and then hang for it. Fair is fair. Kill a doctor providing polio vaccinations, and then stand up to be shot to death. It's just fair.

Manifest Destiny provides Western man with all the theoretical background one needs to organise the mind to formulate and activate a plan of colonialism for the propagation of universal Modernity by filibustering. Polio destroys children, cripples them, and often kills them. Some parents refuse vaccination to prevent that harm to their own children and allow the spread of polio to other children. Those parents who make polio possible are not necessarily evil but they are harmful to the lives of children; and they must be stopped at all costs, even at the cost of being shot to death on the streets in broad daylight without benefit of trials and courts. Just shoot them. Is it right? Is it moral? Are we foisting our own unproven medical model imperialist ethos and capitalist meta-narratives on authentic peoples? Do I give a shit? Shoot them.

Again I argue that there is a bifurcation of Humanity taking place, that there is a move from the usual fascist state of Human existence into a world of Modernity, and that not all will willingly move from the past to the future. We, revolutionaries of Modernity, will prevail in the move to universality of Modernity; the question is only how many we will kill as we do so. It is prudent to kill the fewest if only to prevent the plagues that arise from the bodies of the unburied. It is moral to prevent our descent into hatred and genocide by acting wisely now to prevent ourselves from acting in a condition of enraged madness later that might well result in our creation of a sand diorama of the primitives. We will prevail, and the question is one of the number of the dead we will leave in our wake. Conquer now, take no prisoners, and impose Modernity on the universal condition of Man.

School teacher: Take up thy books and hold your gun high. Go forth and kill parents who interfere in your glorious work. School teachers with guns: Protect your charges.
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Bomb kills polio health official

A senior health official has been killed and three guards injured in a bomb blast in Pakistan's tribal region bordering Afghanistan, officials say. The dead man, Abdul Ghani Khan, played a key role in a polio immunisation drive in the Bajaur tribal region. Dr Khan was returning from a meeting of tribal elders to persuade them to end their opposition to the campaign. It is not clear if he was targeted because of his work to eradicate polio in the area. No one has admitted to carrying out the blast. Officials said the assailants used a remote-controlled bomb.

Endemic

The government is facing resistance from some tribes in its campaign to vaccinate children against polio. Some tribal leaders say the vaccine is a part of a US conspiracy to reduce fertility and reproduction rates.... Pro-Taleban militants are known to be active in the area. Pakistan is one of the few countries in the world where polio remains endemic.

It is a highly infectious viral disease which mostly affects children under five-years-old. The virus attacks the central nervous system, causing paralysis, muscular atrophy and deformation. It can ultimately lead to death. Pakistan last year confirmed 40 cases of the crippling disease, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6368505.stm

More on polio in Islam:

http://nodhimmitude.blogspot.com/2005/11/polio-in-islamic-countries-is-said-to.html
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Is the Melian Dialogue an exercise in right morals? Not hardly. Are we modernists of the West the ultimate in moral right? Not likely. Should we impose our values on others simply because we can? Yes. And we should and must kill those who harm and kill there own children because those parents are violent and ignorant and vicious. We, school teachers with guns, have a duty to go forth and to shoot those parents who would otherwise kill their children in accord with primitive cultural values and religious hatreds. Just kill those parents and adopt the children as your own. Life is tough. No more talking. Kill people with your guns. Spread our Modernity to all through the barrel of a gun. Everywhere an America of the mind. Friend, go do some great thing. Raise a healthy child.

11 comments:

truepeers said...

Manifest Destiny provides Western man with all the theoretical background one needs to organise the mind to formulate and activate a plan of colonialism for the propagation of universal Modernity by filibustering.

-if that's true, and maybe it is, you haven't done much yet to show or convince me.

Those parents who make polio possible are not necessarily evil but they are harmful to the lives of children; and they must be stopped at all costs, even at the cost of being shot to death on the streets in broad daylight without benefit of trials and courts. Just shoot them. Is it right? Is it moral? Are we foisting our own unproven medical model imperialist ethos and capitalist meta-narratives on authentic peoples? Do I give a shit? Shoot them.

-So you don't give a shit, so what? Like it or not, so far you are unlikely to convince many people that you any better a modernist revolutionary than, say, Lenin, Hitler, or Mao. Making the trains run on time is not enough. And what about the great Cuban healthcare system? Should I give a shit that there's no polio in Cuba?

Should we impose our values on others simply because we can? Yes. And we should and must kill those who harm and kill there own children because those parents are violent and ignorant and vicious.

-Simply because we can? That's not much of an argument. What I sense here is a claim that Plato's Republic is superior to Islam. I'm not convinced.

Kill people with your guns. Spread our Modernity to all through the barrel of a gun. Everywhere an America of the mind.

-And after all the killing, exactly what kind of America of the mind will we have, and will it be worth living? How would we just stop the violence, sadism, and the guilt and live normally again?

It seems to me we have to find a harder and higher road. Deferring violence is not a bad idea if there is a real hope that our means of deferral will end up structuring a new kind of order in which kids will be vaccinated from polio and bad, war-mongering, religion. Why are you so sure no such form of deferral is possible? I have reason to hope and believe such deferral is possible and a necessary choice, which is not to say it can be chosen without also recognizing some need for pre-emptive violence. In any case, there is much room to deepen these arguments in a way that might engage readers.

dag said...

I'm willing to try.

truepeers said...

We all have resentment - it is a fundamental part of the human condition. But our moral imperative is to try to defer more resentment than we create and encourage. That requires acts of faith. Deferral is another word for faith.

CGW said...

Dag, I agree with you. There will be no deferring violence. Are we supposed to lie down and die?

We overcame Hiroshima. We can do the same again.

War is coming. Fight or die.

Anonymous said...

Dag: Your violent fantasies are fascinating. A minor quibble. When I think of fascists, I normally think of people who worship state power and the ascetic of violence. Perhaps a guy who appears to promote limitless state authority (in the name of Modernity, of course) and readily endorses the frequent use of political violence (“they must be stopped at all costs, even at the cost of being shot to death on the streets in broad daylight without benefit of trials and courts”; “…the question is only how many we will kill as we do so”; “We will prevail, and the question is one of the number of the dead we will leave in our wake”; “Go forth and kill parents who interfere in your glorious work”; “Spread our Modernity to all through the barrel of a gun”) should think twice about condemning his enemies as fascist.
na

Anonymous said...

hummm, that should read "aesthetic" rather than "ascetic." I should remember not to return to the scene of my own mangled writing.

dag said...

Anon, if you had an argument, perhaps even something bordering on an honest opiniion, I'd bee happy to discuss it with you. Try me.

Anonymous said...

Very simple:

1. You condemn your enemies as fascists (or apologists for fascists)
2. Your views on the use of political violence dovetail with those of traditional fascists
3. Your condemnation of fascism is therefore hallow

Even people who are supposedly familiar with your thinking (and thus more attuned to your literary style) note a similarity between the ideas in your post and the totalitarian philosophies of the 20th century.

dag said...

"Even people who are supposedly familiar with your thinking (and thus more attuned to your literary style) note a similarity between the ideas in your post and the totalitarian philosophies of the 20th century."

I do not care about the nnumber or per centage of people who misread or misunderstand the points I make. Like is not same. It's not at all hard to distinguish between the just and the evil capricious.

I keep wasting my energies offering to buy you a cup of water at the library only because you've shown yourself at times as capable of responding honestly to sosme points, showing you can do it. Bujt i seldom see anything like that in sresponse to the points I make. Give me an honest precis of my thesis above and I'll go at it with you till you drop to your knees as a convert. And I will also give you half a cup of skim milk. No saucer unless you are very polite.

dag said...

Anon, I'm sorry I can't do much today, having a personal project I must do instead. It would be far better anyway if you'd just show up and sit with us and have some -- well, I might even spring for the coffee, depending on state of my innately fascistic mood at the time.

truepeers said...

To be clear, I am not calling Dag a Leninist, fascist, etc., though he once wrote a post that made me fear that Lenin is his guilty secret model of a revolutionary, the evil dark side he has to learn to transcend. We all have such dark thoughts and transcendent needs. My point is that his elliptical and provocative style - which I take it is meant first to take us down a garden path and then prompt us to realize that we all are capable of evil, that there is some inescapable quantum of evil in all of us, and that we might have to be prepared to exercise some evil to avoid falling into a greater evil in future - might leave a lot of doubt in readers' minds about his commitment to our highest values and that he should do more to show his commitment.

In any case, the simple expression of the need, at times, for political violence should not be equated with fascism. Is George Bush a fascist for his doctrine of pre-emptive war in Iraq? Of course, that is what many are chanting, but it is a ridiculous chant, especially since many of the chanters are much closer to fascism than Bush.

Violence is sometimes a necessary evil in a moral politics. To be justified, I think the performance of a minimal necessary evil must provide a convincingly true, rational, and honest picture of the past to which we are responding and the future that is likely to arise if certain actions are or are not taken.

Fascism is a kind of narrowing, whether by glorifying or demonizing, of our understanding of the past, in order to justify some present violence that will bring in an equally narrowed vision of the possible future, one that fits with the limited understanding of the past as its solution or transformation into some kind of utopia.

If, however, we advocate violence in the present with an honest and not unduly blinkered understanding of the past and in an attempt to maximize the openness of the future, then we are in the world proposed by the likes of the Bush doctrine's campaign for democracy, not fascism.

I questioned Dag a while ago about his tendency to label Islam "fascism". It is certainly often a totalitarian system, but does it fit any useful understanding of that particular form of totalitarianism we call fascism, an evil outgrowth of western gnosticism and eschatology? He has yet to convince me that his use of the f word is always sound. But today he is otherwise occupied in a personal duty so I look forward to future chats at the library. He has a hard way of saying it, but I think he would like you to join us, na, as would the others...