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Human Life

I’ve mentioned that IMHO, modernity, as a matter of principle, does not value human life.

“Human life,” within modernity, is just another fact, and as such is treated like any other fact: with neutrality and devoid of any intrinsic value.

Then, I ran across this quote from Trotsky, a principled modernist if there ever was one:

“We must rid ourselves once and for all of the Quaker-Papist babble about the sanctity of human life.”


Oddly, I got the automatic email saying you had posted this just as I finished fiddling with the following passage in my book:

At present liberalism does not physically destroy anyone, except the unborn, those killed in wars for democracy, and—increasingly—the old, sick and useless. Possibly the tally should also include murders and suicides resulting from deteriorating social order, and some of the Russians who have drunk themselves to death since the fall of Communism, but the point need not be insisted on. Whatever its record to date, liberalism is one of several modern political movements that deny human nature. It makes human nature a matter of human choice and technology, as communism made it a matter of economic evolution and fascism of human will and national struggle.

In each case the motive has been to eliminate human nature as an obstacle to re-creation of the world. The difficulty has been that destruction in concept of fixed and rooted human nature has led repeatedly to the concrete destruction of very large numbers of actual human beings. The sequence seems natural. If “man” does not exist, why should it matter whether men exist? Liberals do not take the threat of such inferences seriously, but it is not clear why. If “human” is content-free, so it becomes a social classification the point of which is determined politically, and if it is irrational to recognize a radical difference in rights between a man and a dog, both of which seem to be the emerging liberal views, the stage seems rather clearly set for horrors. In the absence of a reliable way to limit government and hold it to account, the horrors may not remain forever a matter of debatable interpretation. Soft totalitarianism may turn to hard.

Rem tene, verba sequentur.

Rem tene, verba sequentur.