Salvo Links

Some articles of interest from around the web:

The Atlantic
What America Lost as Women Entered the Workforce

Civic organizations were built on the voluntary labor of women. As the demands on women’s time increase, communities are suffering.

The Guardian
A world without work is coming – it could be utopia or it could be hell
Robots will eventually do all our jobs, but we need to start planning to avert social collapse

Intellectual Takeout
Is European Civilization Vanishing Before Our Eyes?
The continent is witnessing an unprecedented population change.

This Past Weekend Modern Europe Died

51JnBP2io-L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_by Michael Avramovich

In his magisterial book, Dark Continent, Professor Mark Mazower’s history of 20th century Europe, describes how Europe was the killing field of the 20th century. For decade after decade, Europe was the site of wars, great destitution, and numerous attempts to destroy and exterminate whole populations. Hundreds of millions of Europeans were killed, imprisoned, tortured and expelled in the name of racial, political and national ideological “progress,” including an entire generation of my family. One of the most powerful sections in his book was his description of how the eugenic and racist policies of the Nazis actually were an extension of policy recommendations of social and medical “reformers“ in other nations. Professor Mazower writes, “The German racial welfare state . . . was in so many ways the apotheosis of very widespread trends in European social thought,” which we know from Scandinavian, French, Swiss and American legislation authorizing sterilization and other eugenic policies. The Nazis simply brought German efficiency to these eugenic policies.

In the United States, many supporters of Planned Parenthood and its organizational predecessors supported the eugenic trends in Europe. Even our nation’s Supreme Court ruled in Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200 (1927), that a state statute permitting compulsory sterilization of the unfit, including the intellectually disabled, ”for the protection and health of the state” did not violate the Constitution. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., famously concluded his ruling by declaring, “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.” (Incidentally, this Supreme Court decision has never been expressly overturned.) Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, believed that through abortion, birth control, forced sterilization and euthanasia, society could rid itself of “the unfit.” And who were the unfit? She dedicated her life to ridding the world mostly of poor black babies, whom she described as “degenerate and defective.” She was a featured guest of the Ku Klux Klan and a proponent of the eugenic policies of the Nazi regime in the 1930s. But, she wrote, one needn’t fear unfair excesses because “the rights of the individual could be equally well safeguarded by the Nazi regime.” After all, she noted in a letter praising Nazi eugenic efforts, “There are 1,700 special courts and 27 higher courts in Germany to review the cases. . . . but in no case should the rights of society be disregarded.”

Now we have come full circle. It was widely reported on Saturday that a terminally ill 17-year-old became the first minor to be officially euthanized in Belgium since age restrictions on euthanasia were lifted in 2014. Jacqueline Herremans, a member of Belgium’s federal euthanasia commission (death panel?), said in a French media report, “The euthanasia has taken place.” She further announced that the euthanasia was done “in accordance with Belgian law.” Few details were provided other than the minor child had “a terminal illness.” Belgium is presently the only country in the world that allows terminally-ill children of any age to choose to end their life, but Belgian law requires that the minor be capable of making “rational decisions.” Further, any request for euthanasia must be made by the minor, be studied by a team of doctors, approved by an independent psychiatrist or psychologist, and have parental consent. The only thing missing is the 1,700 special courts and 27 higher courts to give their legal authorization….always within the law, of course. The Netherlands also allows mercy killings for children, but only for those aged over 12. Lord, have mercy!

Douglass, the Play

An interesting review of a play about Frederick Douglass from The Weekly Standard:

“Douglass” a Timely Play amid Modern Racial Strife
Thomas Klingestein’s Frederick Douglass is optimistic, conservative—and occupied with personal disputes.

Timeliness is a virtue, and Thomas Klingenstein’s Douglass, which had its world-premiere this past summer at the Theater Wit in Chicago, captures the zeitgeist of our period of increasing racial tension. Through Douglass, Klingenstein hopes to reinvigorate our contemporary debates by revisiting the life and struggles of its titular character.

Douglass is presented as a story of redemption. At its founding the United States was burdened by the original sin of slavery, which needed to be expunged before it undermined the motivating principles of the Declaration and Constitution. Some men—such as the abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison and black nationalist Martin Delany—believe the damage has been done. The American dream is beyond salvation, as the sin of slavery had poisoned the tree of liberty down to its very roots.

Contrasted with these radical perspectives—one radically left, the other radically right—is the moderating wisdom of Frederick Douglass. He begins the play as an acolyte of Garrison, and struggles with the appeal of the intransigent positions of both Garrison and Delany. There is something attractive in radicalism, particularly for the dispossessed. It is sound and fury; a cathartic release, but one Douglass comes to realize is incapable of meaningful political action. . . . Read the rest.

I also recommend this article on Frederick Douglass from the Salvo archives:

Sabbath School
On the Emancipation of Frederick Douglass by Means of Liberal Education
by Thomas Jodziewicz

True wisdom has suggested that the only way to find one’s real self is, paradoxically, to get out of oneself, “to be beside oneself,” as philosopher Josef Pieper phrased it.

Our popular culture promotes the injurious fiction that the world is all about me, myself, and my ephemeral needs, a temptation that American culture has confronted for a long time. But a true liberal arts education can provide an escape from such alienation and loneliness—and boredom. A true liberal education is a way to discover that you are not alone.

As we share great texts and ideas and works of art, our vision and expectations can be enlarged. It does take work, and a peculiar type of courage to admit that there’s a world larger than the self while fear is all about us, but we are meant to be citizens of that larger world. The study of the liberal arts—the kind of study that means examination and not just memorization—can be a foundation or grounding for one’s work, one’s vocation, and really for one’s life in a larger world than oneself.

Take Frederick Douglass, for example. Douglass (1818—1895) escaped from slavery in Maryland in 1838. Seven years later he published the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written by Himself, the first of several autobiographies. . . . Read the rest.

Giving ’em What They Don’t Want

38kingFrom The Stream. African Activist: Stop Using Western Aid to Force Leftist Values on Our Cultures

Obianuju Ekeocha is a UK-based activist and author from Nigeria who founded Culture of Life Africa. Her organization defends African culture from Western governments and charities intent on pushing a ‘progressive’ agenda on African families. In her zeal to defend natural marriage and unborn life, Ekeocha has confronted various powerful figures, from Melinda Gates and President Barack Obama to U.N. Delegates and even the Catholic Church’s recent Synod on the Family.

Most of us in the West know very little about African culture, and yet many of us unwittingly support the very “charities” and foreign aid policies that Ekeocha believes are harmful to African people. To get Ekeocha’s take, I contacted her for an interview, which was conducted via email September 5.

Stephen Herreid: What got you started? Why did you found Culture of Life Africa, and how did you become a world-traveling advocate of the Gospel of Life?

Obianuju Ekeocha: I was born and raised in a small town in Nigeria. And I had the great blessing of assimilating, from my family and society, basic principles and values of faith, family, love, life, dignity and discipline.

I was taught that sex was sacred and best reserved for marriage, that marriage was the foundation of family, and that family was supposed to be the center of love and support. I understood that human life was precious from the womb and so every abortion was a serious attack against human life.

I knew, even as a young girl going through the less-than-perfect educational system in Nigeria, that my empowerment was dependent on my continued access to education rather than my access to contraception (and abortion).

By the time I moved to Europe in my mid-twenties for my masters degree, I realized that even though there was much to admire in the Western culture that I had moved into, there was a part of this culture that I could not accept or embrace because it was the direct opposite of the values I had learnt from my youth.

For years I held my thoughts, opinions and convictions to myself, but in 2012, when I heard that Melinda Gates was launching a multibilliondollar contraception and population control project targeted towards the 69 poorest countries in the world (most of which were African countries), I saw this as a bold move on her part to impose her worldview upon the poorest of the world. She was pushing to shift the views of millions of people on family, motherhood, marriage and sex.

This was cultural imperialism and I couldn’t reconcile with it or be silent about it.

It is Ms. Ekeocha’s last point here that struck me when we were working on the latest issue of Salvo—specifically from Nicole M. King’s article on this very topic. I had never thought about it in those terms, “cultural imperialism,” but of course that is exactly what it is. Ms. King writes in her article Fertility Fixers: Population Controllers Miscalculate

The second big incongruity in the NPR article—and others like it—is that apparently, when it comes to babies, it’s okay for the West to throw away its multicultural principles and instead be racist and colonial and altogether creepy toward people in less-developed countries. Despite all their talk about affirming the choices and cultures of people in those countries, the U.S. and other developed nations are brazenly poking their noses into the most intimate relationships that people can have.

Policymakers like to cite maternal mortality rates as justification for such intrusion, and admittedly, the rates in Ghana and other sub-Saharan nations are much higher than those in the developed world. But given that African women seem generally to want more children, why do we spend billions of dollars on birth control for them and then billions more trying to convince them to use it? The title of one of those Guttmacher Institute fact sheets says it all—”Costs and Benefits of Investing in Contraceptive Services in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

It’s the money, honey. The current model of reproductive foreign aid—injecting women with contraceptive implants or inserting IUDs—costs a lot less than setting up clinics and helping women deliver safely. It also costs the West a lot less in humanitarian aid when there are fewer women and children to care for. And it’s a lot more in line with our elite’s anti-baby ideology.

Food for thought.

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Vanity of Vanities!


A good article from Touchstone magazine that I think Salvo readers will appreciate:

The True Atheist Myth
Jordan Bissell on Past & Present Atheism & the Invention of Happiness

In a review of Alister McGrath’s recent book, The Big Question, Barbara King, a professor of anthropology at the College of William and Mary, takes issue with McGrath’s characterization of atheism as lacking the meaning which, McGrath contends, can be found in a religious, and specifically Christian, worldview. That the philosophical implications of atheism should doom the atheist to an arid and desolate existence, King contends, is an unkillable myth: a shibboleth of the faithful as buoyant but as false as the contention that Darwin experienced a deathbed conversion. King ends her article by wondering, “How to make this unkillable myth about atheism into a moribund myth?” . . .

Bissell goes on to say that the main reason this “shibboleth of the faithful” persists is that the most famous atheists themselves have affirmed it. Read some quotes:

Nietzsche argued that we have to come to terms with “the belief in the absolute immorality of nature and in the utter purposelessness and meaninglessness of our psychologically necessary human impulses and affections.”

“Nature, averse to crime? I tell you that nature lives and breathes by it, hungers at all her pores for bloodshed, yearns with all her heart for the furtherance of cruelty.”—Marquis de Sade

“Man is a useless passion” & “There can no longer be any good a priori. . . . Everything is indeed permitted if God does not exist, and man is in consequence forlorn.” —Jean-Paul Sartre

“we cannot admit that things might be neither good nor evil, neither cruel nor kind, but simply callous—indifferent to all suffering, lacking all purpose.”—Richard Dawkins

Related reading from Salvo:

Statism’s Deadbeat Dad
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
by Terrell Clemmons

Capital Losses
Nietzsche on Losing English Morality
by Cameron Wybrow

The Zombie Killers
Nihilism Threatens Us with the Walking Dead
by Regis Nicoll

Blinded by Science?
Don’t Be; That’s Just the New Atheists Masking Their Faith Choice
by Terrell Clemmons