Against sterility

[This rant slightly extended overnight.]


There are sterile factions on both the Left and the Right of the current ideological spectrum; but the thinking heart of the “pro-life” movement is, in defiance of human physiology, mostly to the Right. (The human heart is a little to the left of centre; the brain is at the top, incidentally.)

All my life, it seems, and especially through my arguably adult life, which began with the legalization of abortion and a clot of “social” legislation around it, the cause of sterility has been gathering force. That is to say, every demand from the politically active has advanced this cause in some way. Killing babies was just the start.

The public embrace of homosexuality, and now transsexuality, with interventions from “gay marriage” to the latest hormone “therapies,” is an obvious part of this massive “trend.” But there are many more subtle developments, and by no means are they all political in the strict sense. It could be said that the bulk of efforts are commercial. Governments (in places unlike Venezuela) adapt to them, rather than setting the pace, with parasitical policies designed to capture tax revenues and secure borrowing.

While the endless demands for “reform” and “progress” are made by a small minority of activists, who infiltrate our bureaucratic institutions and covet all positions of power, the sleepy majority play along. We snore through the latest innovations. The governments we elect are as spineless as we are. They are not themselves radical. The politicians would rather avoid a fight, in which they would be smeared and demonized. They surrender every fort to the Enemy.

But why wouldn’t they, in what I characterize as our pigsty of consumerism?

I notice this in all my walking about, and wandering through media. Everywhere one is confronted by the triumph of mass marketing — a form of salesmanship by demographic in which the lowest common denominator becomes the highest, and the purpose of business is not to fulfil needs, but to create wants on vast economies of scale. “You deserve a break today,” might serve as the background slogan (no you don’t, incidentally); all products promise “the easy way out.” Nothing needs to be done the hard, rewarding way, for the Mass Man requires a life of ease. He eagerly embraces wage slavery to obtain it.

How is this anti-life? Because it extinguishes every aspiration of the human soul to what is higher and better. Raising children isn’t easy. But grooming dogs is a glide, when there are shops to do it for you. Cooking is hard, but our urban world is now full of restaurants. All entertainment becomes passive. All goods become disposable, and essentially generic. We have an economy built around convenience, or more precisely, the propaganda of convenience. (Whether commuting for hours every day to one’s repetitive work is truly convenient, is another question.)

While heredity may remain the determining factor, in distinguishing one human being from another, environment is hugely powerful in making us all the same. Hardware has been in my sights lately. When, for instance, one looks for something that was once available as a matter of course in any family-owned hardware store, one finds that it is no longer available, only things in “bubble” or “blister” packs. For everything is now made handy for the home handyman to do a quick, botched job.

Twice each morning a huge, very loud garbage truck comes to my apartment building, to remove the mountains of consumer packaging that come with modern life. (One truck is for “recycling,” the other for unrecyclable grunge.) I am indifferent to the environmental impact of landfills and the like. (They may some day make rich harvesting.) Rather I am distressed by the human environment that follows from this way of living. Our souls are being discarded piecemeal like the trash. And when they’re done, our bodies are sent, with minimal fuss, to incinerators.

How do we bring moral focus to what Belloc called the “Servile State”? In which nothing holds still, and everything blurs as it passes; and heads choked with advertising jingles lose the capacity for consistent thought? In which Freedom has been redefined as the right to pursue brief physical pleasures, and Love is reduced to inconsequential sex?

A revolt, against the “Culture of Death,” would necessarily involve the rejection of almost everything that has been standardized and sterilized around us. Let’s not wait until tomorrow morning.