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Paglia v. Rand

By Michael Moriarty
web posted June 28, 2010

The comments on my earlier Obama Omelette in Big Hollywood included this quote from Camille Paglia:

Similarly, Bill Clinton's support for abortion rights gave him a free pass among leading feminists for his serial exploitation of women -- an abusive pattern that would scream misogyny to any neutral observer.

One can't help but admire Camille Paglia.

She continues:

My argument (as in my first book, "Sexual Personae,") has always been that nature has a master plan pushing every species toward procreation and that it is our right and even obligation as rational human beings to defy nature's fascism.

Hence I have always frankly admitted that abortion is murder, the extermination of the powerless by the powerful.

So one can conclude that some forms of feminism mirror "nature's fascism".

Liberals for the most part have shrunk from facing the ethical consequences of their embrace of abortion, which results in the annihilation of concrete individuals and not just clumps of insensate tissue.

Therefore Ms. Paglia, obviously agreeing in part with Jonah Goldberg, confirms that Liberals mirror nature's fascism or "ethical" vacuum.

However, she qualifies her defiance of nature's fascism with this:

The state in my view has no authority whatever to intervene in the biological processes of any woman's body, which nature has implanted there before birth and hence before that woman's entrance into society and citizenship.

Hmmm … does that mean "nature's fascism" can be chronologically defended as part of, say, our authentic self, a condition that predates education of any kind?

Pregnancy, however, cannot possibly occur in most Western Civilizations without a numerous number of "socializing" school years having been undeniably digested.

Must the preeminence of our naturally fascist self be honored despite the unavoidably conflicting values taught us by our culture?

One consistent ingredient to Ms. Paglia's atheistic libertarianism is her generously shared hedonism.

This makes her works quite thrilling to read.

Abortion, however, which decidedly doesn't "feel good", is considerably less inconvenient than the very, very not-so-feel-good-agonies of childbirth and the tedium of motherhood.

Given Ms. Paglia's wonderfully candid feelings about feminism's frequent self-delusions, I think her personal stand on abortion has less to do with "women's rights" than with her own, massively entertaining love of pleasure.

As Ms. Paglia further adds:

On the other hand, I support the death penalty for atrocious crimes (such as rape-murder or the murder of children). I have never understood the standard Democratic combo of support for abortion and yet opposition to the death penalty. Surely it is the guilty rather than the innocent who deserve execution?

Nat Hentoff, formerly the jazz critic for the far left Village Voice, opposes both capital punishment and abortion, which, for me, seems considerably less complicated and obviously more consistent.

However, for Ms. Paglia at any rate, such consistency is the hobgoblin of "romantics", a category she decidedly detests in her provocative tome, Sexual Personae.

Ms. Paglia, libertarian or hedonist, is decidedly not a conservative.

On the other hand, the far less seductive Ayn Rand of manic Capitalism has this to say about abortion:

An embryo has no rights.


Then why Ms. Rand's émigré love affair with America where all Americans are "created equal" and not gestated as possible candidates for abortion?

Rights do not pertain to a potential, only to an actual being.

Yet there's always a "second chance" on earth to read Ms. Rand's lectures and "find" your "potential" love of blindingly radical selfishness.

I much prefer Ms. Paglia's hedonism to Ms. Rand's ideological certainties, such as:

A child cannot acquire any rights until it is born.

So there's no "right to life"?

That right at the very heart of the American Declaration of Independence.

From the sound of Ms. Rand, "cannot acquire rights" does not necessarily mean "will acquire rights".

The living take precedence over the not-yet-living (or the unborn).

A pregnant woman does not receive any preferential treatment in the Titanic's lifeboat?

Abortion is a moral right—

Therefore murdering the innocent is not a crime.

Perhaps murdering the "unproductive" may not be a crime as well.

(It) should be left to the sole discretion of the woman involved; morally, nothing other than her wish in the matter is to be considered.

Is there any long distance between letting murder be the "sole discretion of the woman" and the "sole discretion" of the State?

Not a hard sell from legalized abortion to the very French Revolutionary "raison d'etat".

What makes abortion so dangerous to everyone?

That is plain and simple.

It is the nation-wide right to commit murder.

Who can conceivably have the right to dictate to her what disposition she is to make of the functions of her own body?

An "inalienable right to life", Ms. Rand.

America's "inalienable right to liberty" was prosecuted in the Civil War at the cost of over 600,000 American lives.

Ms. Rand's divine right of prescience and prophecy over the living unknown, in order to make herself The Goddess of her own life, renders her American "equal", her own child, less than human, with no rights at all and, therefore, an immediate memory and symbol of Hitler's Holocaust.

Because of Ms. Rand, the Obama Nation, despite its own love of abortion, make easy targets of Ayn Rand capitalists, lumping them in with Nazis and racial supremacists.

As you can see, it's not a difficult task, given the arrogant certainty of Ms. Rand's rhetoric.

However and until America begins to overturn the Roe v Wade decision legalizing abortion, God will allow the Obama Nation to do unto America what Americans have been freely doing unto their own gestating infants.

Needless to say, though I disagree with both Ms. Paglia and Ms. Rand on abortion, I find Ms. Paglia by far the wiser and more realistic.

As for Ms. Paglia's disgust with full Romantics like myself?

I have my own reservations about full Hedonists. ESR

Michael Moriarty is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor who starred in the landmark television series Law and Order from 1990 to 1994. His recent film and TV credits include The Yellow Wallpaper, 12 Hours to Live, Santa Baby and Deadly Skies. Contact Michael at rainbowfamily2008@yahoo.com.


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