That swart ship
The preceding post was perhaps more appropriate to the season of Ashes than to the season of Advent, yet in both we consider a world without Christ. Advent waits hopefully upon His arrival, & so the character of the fast is different; Lent faces down the Crucifixion. (Happyface Christians skip that part.) But what of a world in which we are not waiting hopefully; of our New World, our America, our new found land, in which the toll from Operation Meetinghouse is reprised semi-annually, in the form of smoothly performed abortions? In Canada since the Omnibus Bill, & in the United States since Roe v. Wade, we have achieved about ten times the number who perished in the Nazi death camps.
The facts, when reduced to numbers, leave us cold. In the course of checking a few little facts last night, we saw a photo from that Tokyo holocaust of the remains of a young woman, charred black & brittle (one limb still lifted, like a burnt stick). We had to examine it for a moment to see what she had been before the incendiaries descended: a young mother carrying a baby in a pouch on her back. The two charcoal forms had become separated, but could be fit back together in the forensic imagination. Of course, one of the difficulties in counting the dead, supposing some attempt to count honestly, was that the great majority of corpses had burnt beyond this state; were for all practical purposes vaporized.
One of the progressive innovations feminist activists now pursue is to stop the abortion count: to remove the requirement for hospitals & clinics to report the numbers. This way the unborn child, already transformed by ideology into a “foetus,” & then by a “procedure” into medical waste, will lose his status even as a number.
There are many ways to achieve the same result in politics, & through the 20th century, & into our 21st, the human race has proved quite innovative in finding ways to make people disappear. With “deep ecology” our philosophy is catching up with our empirical science. For now the need to make humans disappear actually becomes the first principle of ideology: de-population as an end in itself.
Which takes us back to those Ten Commandments. Not any ten, randomly selected, but the specific set dictated to Moses, which the civil libertarians want stripped from court walls & any other place where they might be visible, as an affront not only to Atheists, but to moral relativists of any kind. “Thou shalt not have strange gods before me” has admittedly the authoritarian ring; but “thou shalt not kill” might be even more inhibiting of the great progressive project. And where would “democracy” be, to say nothing of the real estate markets, if we did not covet our neighbour’s house, glom his wife, eye his car & appliances, or envy his disposable after-tax income? Call him a member of the “one per cent,” & it will be seen that he is himself disposable.
The Plan, so far as we are able to follow, is to replace the superannuated Ten Commandments, from a law-giver anyway deposed, with new commandments of our own choosing. From that “primitive” beginning we have already progressed, & will continue to progress. From innumerable hints in this morning’s news we could clearly discern the direction of this progress, but from none of them a reference to the destination. Democrats all, aboard our great Ship of State, we decide where we’re going as we’re going along, voting as we sail on which obstacles to our progress we will recognize, & which ignore.
The quaint Mediaeval mind, with its delight in allegory, had already envisaged what we call the progress of democracy, though not our technological accomplishments (except in their most horrified nightmares). They called it the Ship of Fools: passengered & crewed by the frivolous & oblivious, & liberated from the ministrations of a pilot. They understood its destination, too, which they called the Fool’s Paradise, & in the same frankly reactionary view, believed that the ship would soon get there.