Thursday, September 18, 2008

Capitalism and the problem of Abortion

I'm a strident capitalist. I absolutely endorese individual rights, reason, the protection of private property, and the  laissez-faire system that naturally extends. It would seem that I am one Dagny Taggart reference away from an Ayn Rand wet-dream except I'm not.

Don't get me wrong, I think that Ayn Rand was a brilliant thinker who did wonders articulating something this country desperately needed... a moral defense for capitalism. The problem was that she was also something of a paranoid polemicist with borderline delusions of grandeur and a penchant for scape-goating. This resulted in her late life banishment from the intellectual mainstream that has maintained to this day by her cultish followers because of their utter inability to admit that her philosophy isn't a closed, i.e. perfect system.

The crux of the problem for her is that her philosophy gives too much control of human values to our will and rational mind when in truth, our genetic make-up accounts for much of it. This accounts for her utter inability to explain and deal with children. Humans have a genetic nature and built into it is the occasional bit of tribal altruism. This is why the question of abortion is so tricky.

I think that most reasonable human would agree that a third-trimester abortion is pretty repugnant because you have to perform an explicit act not only to remove the fetus from the womb but to kill it. That second act separates late-term abortions from first and second trimester ones. Outlawing this procedure seems only reasonable and just.

The remaining six months of pregnancy are less clear morally but beside the point. Abortion is the premiere moral and legal wedge issue (but nowhere near its most important) in America today and it may very well be tearing this country apart.

Political parties have essentially realigned along pro-choice and pro-life factions and what's been lost in the mix is political principles. The champions of reason and individual liberty are incapable of leaving abortion to discussion simply because Ayn Rand didn't and were all suffering as a consequence.

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