kelley wrote:That which commenced in the Reagan era, of which I'm a product, found its illogical yet inevitable conclusion in the Trump administration. The two presidencies may clearly be seen now as the bookends of a frightful moment in American history, with a worldview consolidated in the opinions of the Roberts court.
Bodily autonomy, to my ears, sounds like an abstraction made for the sake of argument. It’s not a position I’d choose to assume. Frankly, of all things, it reminds me of Mike Tyson’s notorious quip about the stunning immediacy of violence— everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face. The court’s recent decision feels, to me, exactly like that. Strategy, tactics, debate, years of vigilance, protest, and action have all been for naught.
There are a dozen ways this outcome could have been prevented, and while it was not, I still don’t believe any of this to have been "political" in any typical way. Symbolic, yes, and social, certainly, but in concrete terms, one can map the reactionary sea-change the nation underwent by following that which Roe brought in its wake. In 2022, this change, now become law, represents nothing less than the destruction of two hundred-plus years of human endeavor.
I understand modernity as reaching back to the fifteenth century. An outline of liberty was expressed in the eighteenth. In my lifetime, the ruthless dismantling of these ideals began in earnest following Roe, and now it’s finally and unequivocally complete. Finished. All which likely follows will be a mere reiteration of this awareness, or of these facts, which, as noted, had been coming for years.
I watched “The Baader Meinhof Complex” again last night— I mean, why not, it was late, and I live in the countryside now— and Gudrun Ensslin’s pragmatic expression of despair, “Hope is for theologians”, hit very hard. The film proceeded to then show her and her comrades dead in their cells.
This is where all will eventually lead. Our prison has just gotten alot bigger, and there are myriad ways for us to be killed in it, or to choose to kill ourselves in defiance of lockdown.
Bodily autonomy, indeed. The pursuit of happiness? A life without liberty isn't one worth living. It's arguably not life at all. The left in America makes a thousand mistakes every day, but framing the debates which Roe created around the question of "life", with religious fanaticism subsequently dragged into it, has been the most grievous political error possibly ever made in the history of humankind.