Karl Marx

Social Critique and History

All social critique is founded upon some idea of the better. It is only in comparison with this idea that any existing society may seem good, tolerable, bad, or unbearable. But the idea of the better does not emerge from nothing: it is conceived of by actual men, members of the same society they criticize. If we consider that the mindset of these men is entirely a “product” of society, then, only one of two alternatives is true: either they themselves fall into the evil they denounce, or society, having given these men the idea of the better, cannot be as evil as they say it is.

Therefore, all social critique that claims to have any foundation at all can only be based upon the premise that in man’s consciousness there is a dimension which somehow transcends any present society and to which he can transport himself in thought in order to judge that society from the outside, or from above.

It is evident, however, that a simple verbal appeal to a legitimating authority is not enough to validate any critique. A critique must not only allege but must also prove its logical affiliation with a superior authority.

Social critiques, therefore, can be hierarchized on a scale of strictly objective validity, in accordance with (a) the intrinsic legitimacy of the authority called upon to legitimize them; (b) the degree of logical consistency of the nexus between the legitimizing authority and the content of the critique. In other words: (a) The authority of the superior authority summoned to legitimize a critique may be false or deficient in itself, as in the case of the critic who condemns society based upon a pure Utopian model of his own invention. (b) If the alleged authority is valid in itself, there is also the risk that the deduction which the critic draws from it in order to validate a specific critique of a specific society is not a logically valid inference.

A history of social critique from antiquity to the present day would easily demonstrate that, over time, the social critiques formulated in the West have been progressively losing their validity as they have grown in virulence and in the number of their adherents. In other words: as time goes on, social critics lose in intrinsic authority what they gain in pretension and audience.

I know that this is a lamentable observation and that some people, without having ever studied the subject, or even become minimally aware of it before reading this article, will reject it in limine and will seek refuge from it behind all sorts of subterfuge. The only thing I have to say to these people is: don’t bother me; go study. As to other people, that is, those for whom the enunciation of a hypothesis arouses curiosity instead of tears, I suggest they compare, for example, the Socratic critique to the Marxist one. The latter has far more adherents and is much more ferocious than the former, but, in declaring that men’s consciousness is a “product” of history, the Marxist critique cannot allege any legitimizing authority other than history itself; however, since history does not provide models for its own judgment, but rather the simple reporting of faits accomplis, the Marxist critic is left with no other alternative than to infer from past history a hypothesis for a future development and to take it at once as the legitimizing authority for the critique of the present. Nothing proves that the predicted development is inevitable, nor that the state of affairs that results from it will have to be better than the present state of affairs; all this is nothing but hypothesis and has no other legitimizing authority than that of a hypothesis. On the other hand, Socrates’ critique, which did not gain many adherents, except in a very limited circle, had a much more solid foundation, since the authorities to which he appealed were the certainty of death and the intrinsic authority of reason, which no man can reject.

Marxism stands at an even greater disadvantage when compared to the social critique of the Hebrew prophets, who draw their authority from the fulfillment of prophecies. Moses’ critique of the state of affairs in Egypt was founded upon his foreknowledge of the concrete means of leading the Jewish people to a better situation; and the success of his undertaking provided full proof of his claims. This is an argument that no Marxist can allege in support of his criticism of capitalism. Quite to the contrary, the historical achievements of the socialist model in USSR and China were so disappointing that, nowadays, Marxists, after having proclaimed and defended them as the purest and most typical expressions of how Marxism overcomes capitalism, strive to explain them ex post facto as accidental deviations and to purge Marxism of any commitment to such obvious failures.

Olavo de Carvalho is the President of The Inter-American Institute and Distinguished Senior Fellow in Philosophy, Political Science, and the Humanities.

The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute. This article was originally published in the Brazilian newspaper Diário do Comércio on October 11, 2011 and translated from the Portuguese by Alessandro Cota.

U.N. Legalizes Child Porn, Prostitution

Consider the recent WND report on Scotland’s opening up internet pornography to school children at lunch break thanks to the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, currently un-ratified by the repressed USA.

The U.N. “child rights” includes conditioning children to “consensual” prostitution and pornography, and the “right” to be used by any scoundrel they “chose.” Protesting parents risk jail or the loony bin.

Although the 2010 U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child language avoids the incendiary language of past years, the same child sex sale apparatus applies.

“Article 1 (Definition of the child): The Convention defines a ‘child’ as a person below the age of 18, unless the laws of a particular country set the legal age for adulthood younger …” This deliberately allows any age child to be redefined as adult.

Translation: Countries with legal prostitution or pornography and younger “age of adulthood,” can sell legal child prostitution/pornography. “Rights” authors know adulthood may become any age, depending on the age of the partner(s). Spain’s age of consent is now 13, pornography legal and prostitution effectively legal.

Article 17 says: “(Access to information; mass media): Children have the right to get information that is important to their health and well-being …”

Much international pornographic and fraudulent Planned Parenthood material masqueraded as sex education and AIDS prevention are said to be good for children’s “health and well being.” Similarly, “children’s books” lie and sexually violate the child reader.

Article 13 is the pornography access act: “The child shall have the right to freedom of expression … [to] receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of the child’s choice.”

So a Scottish pedophile educator organizes access to “all” media for any age, one to 18. Free “expression … regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media,” it’s a child’s choice.

Article 15 gives children of any age “freedom of association and to freedom of peaceful assembly. No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of these rights” if they are legal and don’t violate public safety, etc. It is illegal for parents to stop children from bad actions, etc. Billions can be made via these child “protective” articles.

Article 16: allows the lockup for parents who interfere with a pimp for children are protected against “arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy … honour and reputation.”

Article 24 provides “health care” family planning education and services, “abolishing traditional practices prejudicial to the health of children.”

Translation: child contraception, venereal vaccination and abortion as child “protections” in international care documents

No “rights” identify sexually graphic images as “materials that could harm children.”

UNICEF folks as all good guys? In the Spring 1991 issue of the Journal of Pedophilia, the author laments the conviction of UNICEF’s Belgian director for the child rape, torture, prostitution and pornography in the U.N. cellar lab. Pedophiles protested that, “Since the Dutroux [UNICEF] affaire in Belgium, television and the newspapers are full with news about pedophilia in a pejorative and negative way.”

Gosh, no American newspapers. Although the conviction of a notorious pedophile ring that regularly assaulted children in the official UNICEF basement could be of significant interest to Americans, neither UNICEF nor the U.S. press found this “news fit to print,” protecting UNICEF’s image and income.

UNICEF has provided basic nutrition, water safety, sanitation, emergency services and the three Rs. However, UNICEF’s “children’s sexual rights” means the fox is guarding the chicken coop and eating well.

6Dr. Judith Reisman is a Distinguished Senior Fellow in the Study of Social Trends, Human Rights, and Media Forensics.

The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute. This article was originally published on WorldNetDaily on September 4, 2010. You can buy Dr. Reisman’s book Sexual Sabotage on her website.

Socialism Has Suffocated the People of God

Several people in the Democratic-socialist power structure have decided that the only way they can convert America into a totalitarian gulag is to destroy the church, the people of God – and too many of the sheeple have fallen for their nefarious plans.

As Sharon Sebastian notes in her article “Hijacking the Faith: The Obama Way”:

Years ago, the head of a major gay-rights organization told Pacifica radio that he thought Bill Clinton could deliver what his group wanted, but when a sitting president failed, he suggested he now understands that you “have to go after the churches.” That is a strategy that the Obama administration appears to have also adopted. The hijacking has been effectively under the radar for years and now presents itself in the form of “social justice.” Rev. Jim Wallis, a self-proclaimed progressive, who has reportedly supported many communist causes, has renamed “social justice” to “biblical justice.” With that renaming or change in terminology comes a full-out assault on the meaning of biblical Scripture.

One of the great Christian heroes responsible for the fall of Communism in Romania was Pastor Joseph Tson. As a Baptist pastor, he preached salvation messages every week while the Romanian secret service sat in the front pew and did nothing. Eventually, he realized, however, that the Gospel starts at Genesis and ends with Revelation. He discovered that the church, the people of God, and not the state, was responsible for the homeless, the needy, the prisoners, the widows and the orphans.

Thus, when Pastor Tson started preaching that the state was intruding on areas where the church had responsibility, the Communist government arrested him. After persecuting and torturing him, they could not break his faith in Jesus Christ, but he broke their faith in Communism, and Communism fell in Romania.

Several years ago, NPR was interviewing an American Indian leader about the high alcohol and drug use and high suicide rate among American Indian men, something that had skyrocketed after President Lyndon Johnson’s socialist Great Society program. The leader responded, “Don’t you know, Uncle Sam cuckolded our wives.” The NPR interviewer was perplexed, so the leader continued, “The U.S. government took our wives. They provide for all their needs. They feed them. They give them jobs. They put their children in government schools. They built community centers for them to hang out with other women. So, they took them from the husbands, and the husbands had nothing to do but escape in a bottle or die.”

An African-American told me the same thing on a flight to Amsterdam. He was in charge of the unwed mother program for the Bronx. I mentioned that the young girls needed more education. He countered that these were the smartest girls:

“If they get pregnant at 13 years old, they get to move out of their crowded family apartment and into their own government-provided housing. They get money for their child. They get complete care for their child. They get job training with other young women. They get a place to hang out and have fun. These are the smartest girls.”

Too many churches and too many Christians in the United States have allowed the church and the institution of the family to be suffocated to death by socialism. We have allowed the government schools to brainwash out children. We have allowed the government to cuckold our young women. We have allowed the government to make our young men useless and then drug them with specious treatment programs. We have moved onto the government plantation.

This has happened time and again in history. It has failed time and again. It has resulted in the killing fields of Cuba, China, Russia, Romania, etc.

Why? Because we have replaced God with government, but the government is merely a group of underperforming envious fools who think that they know more than they do and who believe that they should control your life completely.

If we want to see revival, reformation and renewal, churches and their members have to take back the Gospel and live it out by taking back responsibility, by God’s grace, in the family, the church and the individual for the benefit of the children, the wives, the husbands, the families, the widows, the needy, the poor, the prisoners, and the orphans. The state has no business whatsoever being involved in performing this duty. And, anyone who says otherwise is promoting statism, Communism, or National Socialism, i.e. Nazi-Fascism.

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Dr. Ted Baehr is the founder and publisher of MOVIEGUIDE, chairman of the Christian Film & Television Commission, and a well-known movie critic, educator, lecturer and media pundit. He also is the author of several books, including “The Culture-Wise Family” with legendary entertainer Pat Boone, and a Distinguished Senior Fellow for Study of Culture, Media, and Mass Entertainment at the Inter-American Institute for Philosophy, Government, and Social Thought. For more information, please call 800-899-6684 or go to the MOVIEGUIDE website.

This article was originally published on WorldNetDaily on September 23, 2010. The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute.

Ending ‘Legal’ Abortions

Pro aborts say that they want abortion to be “safe, legal, and rare.” Pro-lifers vehemently disagree.

Abortion, pro-lifers say, can never be safe, certainly not to the child. Nor, they claim, are they safe for the mother, citing the growing literature, demonstrating that even the so-called “medically safe” abortion is dangerous to the mother.

Abortion, they vigorously contend, cannot be legal. It is, they assert, murder and contrary to the nation’s charter commitment that all human beings are equal and entitled to the inalienable right to life. No court and no legislature can change that.

Finally, abortion, they state, will never be rare, so long as it is promoted as a constitutional right. They maintain that women will never be deterred from killing “unwanted” children unless and until abortion is once again condemned by civil society as a morally reprehensible homicide.

Without question, such pro-life rhetoric is principled and powerful. For too long, however, pro-life strategies to restore legal protection for the pre-born child have been pragmatic and anemic. Sadly, their proposals for action have too often matched the pro-abortion slogan that abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare.”

Since Roe v. Wade, the dominant pro-life strategy at the state and local level has been to limit, not prohibit, abortion. To this day, pro-life advocates continue to promote such laws as requiring parental consent before a minor may get an abortion, a 24-hour waiting period, and informed consent. Such proposals concede that abortions are legal, but should be limited so as to make them safer and rarer.

Proposals to ban abortions after the twentieth week of gestation and partial-birth abortions also concede that abortion is legal. Again, such efforts, even if successful, would only prohibit a limited number of abortions, with the possible effect of making abortion safer and rarer.

Even the proposal to prohibit all abortions except in cases of rape, incest, and threat to the life of the mother, is based on the assumption that the killing of a baby in the womb of a mother is legal, even though the baby has done nothing to deserve death. Such a compromise of the principle of the sanctity of innocent human life presupposes that abortion should remain legal, but only very safe and very rare.

In short, the pro-life forces have unwittingly adopted strategies that reinforce the opposition’s rhetoric and undermine their own. As a result, there are any number of politicians who qualify as pro-life so long as they support any measure, no matter how modest, limiting a woman’s right to an abortion.

This must end. If it does not, then innocent human life in the wombs of American mothers will never again be protected. Rather, abortion will remain almost unlimited. And the holocaust will continue, notwithstanding the pro-life protests that the taking of innocent human life should never be sanctioned by a civil society, no matter how safe nor how rare.

What kind of pro-life strategy ought to be adopted that is consistent with pro-life principles and that has a realistic possibility of success- To map out such a strategy, one must first address two preliminary questions.

First, what is the constitutional framework within which the issue should be resolved- Second, what law defines personhood, and does that definition include a child in the womb of the mother?

Constitution

Since Roe v. Wade, pro-life strategies have been based upon the premise that the Supreme Court’s opinion in that case is the Supreme Law of the Land. Therefore, short of a constitutional amendment or Court reversal, it has been assumed that federal, state, and local officials – executive, legislative, and judicial – must conform their actions concerning abortion to rules handed down by the courts.

This working premise is erroneous. It is both unwise and unconstitutional.

Article VI of the United States Constitution states that three things are the Supreme Law of the Land: “This Constitution … the laws of the United States … made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties … made under the authority of the United States.” Conspicuously absent from this list is a court opinion.

At the time that the Constitution was written, it was universally understood that court opinions were not laws. Therefore, under no circumstances could it be contended that federal court opinions are “the laws of the United States” within the meaning of Article VI.

Nor can it be maintained that a court opinion, even an opinion rendered by the Supreme Court, determines what the Constitution means. Again, at the time that the Constitution was written, it was universally understood that a court opinion interpreting a provision of the Constitution was not equivalent, either in design or effect, to that constitutional provision.

To the contrary, the Supreme Court itself, when exercising the power of judicial review, acknowledged that the Constitution governed the court, not vice versa. Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 137, 179-80 (1803). Thus, the Constitution is not what the Supreme Court says it is. Rather, the Constitution is what the Constitution says it is.

Accordingly, when Article VI of the Constitution states that all federal, state, and local officials executive, legislative, and judicial, “shall be bound by oath or affirmation to support this Constitution,” it means that those officials are duty bound to support the Constitution as it is written, not as it has been construed by the United States Supreme Court.

This does not mean that a civil government official may defy a court order rendered by the United States Supreme Court in a case in which that official was a party. It does mean, however, that a state or local official who is not a party has the duty and the power to act according to the constitutional text, even when the action taken is inconsistent with a court opinion interpreting that text.

In addition, under the doctrine of separation of powers, the Supreme Court cannot impose its view of the Constitution on Congress or upon the President. Both Congress and the President have co-equal power with the Court to apply the Constitution, and an independent duty to act according to the Constitution as they understand it, not as the Court has determined it to be.

This is the very essence of the rule of law. No human institution has the final and supreme power to determine what the law is. Otherwise, the rule of law would be reduced to the rule of those who possess such final and supreme power.

This wisdom is reflected in the checks and balances established by the Constitution, for as James Madison wrote in Federalist No. 47, “the accumulation of all powers … in the same hands … may be justly pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”

Personhood

In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decided that the Constitution does not recognize a child in the womb of a mother as a “person” entitled to the protection of the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. To support this conclusion, they cited a number of constitutional provisions in which “person” can only be understood as referring to a human being who has been born. Roe v. Wade, 410, U.S. 113, 156-57 (1973).

Since Roe v. Wade, efforts to define a pre-born child as a person have assumed that the child, to be a person, must be one according to the constitutional text in order for that child to achieve the status of personhood and, thereby, to be entitled to protection against abortion.

For example, in the early 1980s, the United States Senate had before it “The Human Life Bill.” This Bill defined “person” for the purposes of the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment in such a way as to include a human baby in the womb of a mother from the very moment of conception. See Report to the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate from its Subcommittee on Separation of Powers pp. 1-2 (1981).

One could argue that Congress could not have done otherwise, because it was acting pursuant to its authority under the Fourteenth Amendment which limits its power to enforcing the terms of that Amendment. Hence, any Congressional definition of person must conform to the constitutional textual meaning of that word.

But the findings contained in the Report proposing the Human Life Bill were not so confined. To the contrary, they went behind the constitutional text to the common law as reflected in the nation’s founding charter, the Declaration of Independence.

That law, the Report stated, established that all human beings are legally equal. Furthermore, the Report continued, the very purpose of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment was to enforce that equality rule upon the states. Such a rule of equivalent value of all human life, the Report concluded, demanded that abortion be outlawed. Id. at 15-16.

Even though the Report drew this conclusion, it did not incorporate it into the text of the Human Life Act. Instead, it left it to the discretion of every state to decide whether to prohibit abortions, and if so, by what rules. Indeed, the Report emphasized that the Human Life Bill did not make abortions illegal, but only made it possible for state legislatures to make them illegal. Id. at 19-20.

By leaving it to the States to decide whether a child in the womb of the mother is a human being deserving the full protection of the law, the Report chose not to embrace the common law definition of personhood. That decision has plagued the pro-life movement to this day and in two distinct ways.

First, it tacitly conceded that state and local legislatures may define legal personhood in any way that they choose, notwithstanding the life principle embraced by the nation’s charter. Second, it assumed that Congress has no authority to protect innocent human life in the womb of a mother if the states choose not to provide such protection. Neither of these assumptions is true.

Congress

As for Congress, the very purpose of the Equal Protection Clause was to deny to the states any power to withhold from any class of human beings the benefits and protections of the common law. As the Supreme Court observed in the Slaughter-House Cases, 83 U.S. (16 Wall.) 36, 81 (1873), the Clause was specifically designed to protect former slaves who were being denied their rights to life, liberty, and property because states were not enforcing the common law on their behalf.

The Equal Protection Clause was designed to guarantee such common law protection by denying to the States any power to classify or treat any human being as anything but a legally recognized person. That is exactly what states are doing when they follow the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade – denying to a class of human beings the protection of the common law solely on the ground that pre-born children are not persons.

Following the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment, Congress enacted a number of criminal statutes designed to outlaw such practices. One of these statutes protects “any inhabitant” from acts “under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom” that “willfully” deprive him “of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution” or of “full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of persons and property as is enjoyed by white citizens.” 18 U.S.C. Section 242.

This law should be enforced by a President of the United States against abortion providers and women seeking such services, especially when those services are funded by state law or otherwise given special encouragement or protection by that law.

To be sure, such a prosecution would succeed only if there is proof that the abortion providers and women intended to deprive the pre-born child of rights secured by the Constitution or by the laws of the United States. Such proof could be provided by reference to the “rule of law” governing life in the Declaration of Independence and, thereby, meet this burden. See Screws v. United States, 325 U.S. 91, 103 (1945).

Obviously, this problem could be resolved if Congress acted by declaring that human life begins at conception and by redrafting the Human Life Bill in terms of the Equal Protection Clause. Such a Bill would make it clear that all human life is to be equally protected and that any state that does not afford such equal protection is violating the common law definition of person.

President

In addition to the enforcement of existing or future criminal statutes, the President may instruct the Attorney General to bring civil suits seeking injunctions against abortion clinics and abortion doctors on the grounds that they are public nuisances.

Such a suit would be based upon the same grounds that are set forth in the civil rights statutes set forth above.

Such a suit could very well succeed, especially if based upon evidence that the failure of states to protect the unalienable right to life imposes serious adverse consequences upon the “general welfare” of the country. In defining the general welfare in this context, emphasis should be placed upon the adverse impact that abortion has upon the national economy. Such a strategy is not unprecedented. In re Debs, 158 U.S. 564 (1895).

The President may also, under his constitutional authority to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” refuse to spend any money appropriated by Congress for the purpose of supporting any activity that facilitates or promotes abortion. This means that the President may cut off all federal funds to such abortion promoting organizations as Planned Parenthood and to such abortion facilitating activities as fetal tissue research.

This power is available to the President even if Congress should mandate that the funds that it has appropriated must be spent. Such a mandate violates the constitutional vesting of all of the executive power in the office of the President because the very essence of executive power is the discretion not to enforce a law. See Marbury v. Madison, supra.

Finally, the President has the power to appoint only judges to the federal bench, including the United States Supreme Court, who have clearly and consistently affirmed the legal personhood of the pre-born. Indeed, his constitutional oath of office to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States” requires him to exercise his appointment power consistent with his understanding of the Constitution, independent of either the judicial or the legislative branches.

In fact, the President’s oath of office, the only one spelled out in the Constitution, makes him the primary protector of the Constitution. Only the President is, by the constitutional text, commanded to “preserve, protect, and defend” the Constitution. All other officers are commanded by the Constitution only to “support” it.

As the nation’s chief constitutional officer, the president has the duty and authority to issue a Presidential Proclamation affirming the right to life of the pre-born child and to call upon state governments to protect that right with all deliberate speed and appropriate means.

Such a Proclamation would set the stage for aggressive action at the state level to restore the laws prohibiting the taking of innocent human life from the womb to the tomb.

States

In many states, statutes prohibiting abortion remain unrepealed and available to local prosecutors to bring criminal actions against abortion providers. While such laws may very well provide for an exception to protect the life of the mother, they afford statutory authority to a prosecutor who takes seriously his duty to “support” the Constitution’s high regard for the right to life.

The problem today is that state prosecutors assume that their duty to support the Constitution means obedience to Supreme Court opinions, even when they were never parties to the cases. Rightfully understood, their duty is to interpose their office between Roe v. Wade, a constitutionally erroneous opinion, and the people whose rights they are duty bound to protect.

Even in states where the statutes have been changed to conform to the Roe formula, a prosecutor may still have ample authority under the state’s law and constitution to bring criminal actions against abortion promoters and providers.

In Virginia, for example, producing an abortion, except to preserve the life of a mother, remains a felony. At the same time, by statute, a physician is permitted to perform abortions according to different rules governing the first, second, and third trimesters of a woman’s pregnancy.

While such a statutory scheme may pass the judicial test laid down in Roe v. Wade, it does not meet the constitutional test laid down by Article I, Section 1 of the Virginia Constitution which reads:

That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

While the United States Constitution may not afford protection to the pre-born, this provision clearly does. And what does a state do when it fails to protect innocent life in the womb of a mother, but “divest … posterity” of the rights of life, liberty, and property.

Virginia laws that permit the taking of the lives of pre-born children violate this constitutional principle. And where a state constitution lays down a higher standard than the United States Constitution, the state constitutional provision provides an independent and adequate state ground for a state law prohibiting abortion.

In addition, Roe v. Wade can be avoided by any state legislature that challenges its factual underpinnings. The Roe decision is based upon a number of factual assumptions that, if true in 1973, are no longer true today.

The major factual premise of Roe is that a medically safe abortion poses no significant health risks to the mother. Numerous studies since Roe have proved that assumption false. Physiological complications, including uterine perforations, excessive bleeding, and endotoxic shock, attend even the normal abortion process. Other physiological complications, such as cervical and ovarian cancer, placenta previa, pelvic inflammatory disease, appear after an abortion and are causally linked to it.

And there are numerous psychological and emotional side effects. Among the significant emotional risks are guilt and depression, suicidal ideation and sexual dysfunction. Among the psychological disorders are Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Postabortion Syndrome.

These emotional and psychological traumas contribute to a variety of sociological impairments, including psychic numbing, substance abuse, and relationship instability. This, in turn, adversely impacts family and other intimate associations.

None of this came before the Court in Roe v. Wade. Nor did the Court have before it evidence that the medical profession does not adequately protect the interests of women who obtain abortions in clinics. Nor did it have before it the threat that permitting abortion poses to the sanctity of life generally or to the economy.

Given these glaring factual omissions, Roe v. Wade is no longer a binding legal precedent for, as the High Court itself has observed, changes in the facts upon which a court ruling rests is sufficient reason not to follow that ruling. Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. -, 120 L Ed 2d 674, 703-06 (1992).

Conclusion

It is time for a new pro-life strategy, one based squarely upon the principle that the taking of innocent life is never justified. Such a strategy would seize the moral and constitutional high ground in the abortion debate and has a realistic chance to succeed.

Herbert W. TitusDr. Herbert Titus is IAI’s Distinguished Senior Fellow in Constitutional Law, Jurisprudence, and Public Policy.

This article was originally on January 21, 2003 on Vision Forum Ministries.

The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute.

Kinsey Consequences: It’s Rotten Research-ers. Part 4.

Table 1 at left says that 49% of all recent cyberporn abusers were “parents” of the child. Certainly pornography in the home means that those adults in the home have a higher probability of sexual assault of children under their care.

Therefore this 2004, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children chart pointing.

However, when looking at “rotten research” we need to always ask if an ideological vision is slanting what the researchers say. So, what is a “parent” in our justice department statistics? Knowing full well the bias against biological parents as caretakers of their children, I queried John Rabun, NCMEC COO to find out if that bias held in the “parental” abusers cited above. I am reprinting Mr. Rabun’s December 18, 2004 email to me:

Judith,

Parent is a term of law that has to do with who has legal rights and responsibilities to/for a minor. Most times that is the biological parent but more and more it’s the person who has been awarded care of the minor by a Family/Juvenile Court. The other legal term for this person is “legal guardian” which is not necessarily the step-father/mother as that person may be more simply living with their mate and may have NO rights/obligations to the minor in that home per se.

If by living arrangement or “common law,” the step-parent is fulfilling the parent role, then he/she would also be included in our term “parent” but wouldn’t be the short term, live-in boyfriend (otherwise we would use “close friend”).”

So, on the evidence, cyberporn is a domestic terrorism priority as reports of cyberporn child sexual exposure and/or harassment soared 2,222%

From 4,573 to 106,201 cases between 1998 and 2004. Some of these cases resulted in direct physical harm to the child, others in coarsening and shock, but all cause emotional damage along with brain structural changes of unknown and unknowable magnitude.

Biological Versus “Other” Parental Abuse Rates

Misleading “family” definitions take on an ideological cast in the context of the massive research produced by the OJJDP and DOJ premier child abuse expert, David Finkelhor. In 1979, Professor Finkelhor warned in Sexually Victimized Children of the increased sexual risk to children in a nonbiological family environment, warning especially of stepparent family hazards. Why then, having stated in 1979 that stepfathers were “almost 150 percent” more responsible for “family” sexual abuse, does Finklehor neither note that fact or distinguish between step fathers and birth fathers in his many research papers on child abuse in the family?

[T]he addition of a stepfather to a girl’s family causes her vulnerability to skyrocket. Girls who are merely without fathers were about 50 percent more vulnerable than the average girl, but girls with stepfathers were almost 150 percent more vulnerable ….Clinicians have noted that in many cases of father-daughter incest the offender was really a stepfather…. Indeed our data give support to this picture. The rate of father-daughter incest is much higher in the families with stepfathers than in any other subgroup in the whole survey—almost five times higher….[G]irls in these families are more vulnerable to stepbrothers, stepsisters, step cousins…[and possibly] a coterie of friends and acquaintances who are not so protective toward a stepdaughter. (Emphasis added)[1].

However, after stating in 1979 that the evidence was clear regarding the danger to children from non biological fathers, Finkelhor deliberately adds the number of predators who are step fathers with those who are birth fathers together and calls this group “parent” and “family.” Why do that? Whose interests are served by such a false classification? Is this flawed redefinition based on a personal or an ideological decision? And, why has no one protested? Why do neither DOJ or OJJDP investigate these repeatedly misleading definitions? Why do neither DOJ nor OJJDP investigate what else of this nature may be falsely disseminated via their “child abuse” reports?

“Report on the Nation’s Youth” (June 2000).

In June 2000 Finkelhor et al produced a “Report on the Nation’s Youth” in which the authors explained that there were “several thousand” child abuse incidents that year due to online solicitations, and “almost all of these would go unreported.”

Based on the results of this study, it appears that several million young people ages 10 through 17 get propositioned on the Internet every year…. If even some small percentage of these encounters results in offline sexual assault or illegal sexual contact — a percentage smaller than we could detect in this survey—it would amount to several thousand incidents.

Youth and parents do not report these experiences and do not know where to report them…. Even the most serious episodes were rarely reported[2].

Bear this report of thousands of unreported cyberporn abducted children as we proceed. Let’s briefly look at four more US Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention reports:

13 “Child Abuse Reported to the Police” by Finkelhor et al.,

14. “Explanations for the Decline in Child Sexual Abuse Cases” by Finkelhor et al. and

15. “Pornography Crimes Involving Juveniles,” by Finkelhor et al.

16. “America’s Children: Key National Indicators Of Well-Being,” a 20 Agency report.

 

CONTEXT: in 1990 the National Incidence Study of “Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Throwaway Children in America” (NISMART) was conducted by Finkehor, Hotaling and Sedlak. These were undertaken in response to the mandate of the 1984 Missing Children’s Assistance Act that requires the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to conduct periodic studies to determine the actual number of children reported missing and the number of missing children who are recovered for a given year.

Finkelhor said a “family member” was “anyone with a romantic or sexual involvement with at parent” (p. ix). With that definition, sexual abuse by “family members” would go sky-high.

 


 

 

[1] David Finkelhor, Sexually Victimized Children, The Free Press/Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., New York, NY, 1979 pp. 122-123.

[2] David Finkelhor, Kimberly J. Mitchell, Janis Wolak , “Crimes Against Children Research Center,” June 2000. National Center For Missing & Exploited Children, Pp, 33-34.

6Dr. Judith Reisman is a Distinguished Senior Fellow in the Study of Social Trends, Human Rights, and Media Forensics.

The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute. This article was originally published on WorldNetDaily on March 11, 2011. You can buy Dr. Reisman’s book Sexual Sabotage on her website.

The Demolition of Conscience

Whoever has fully understood my article “Weapons of Freedom” must also have realized the conclusion to which it unavoidably leads: a good part of the moralizing effort expended by the “religious Right” in cleansing a corrupt society is useless, since it ends up being readily absorbed by the “cognitive dissonance” machine and used as an instrument for general perdition.

Note well: morality is not a ready-made list of laudable and condemnable behaviors for citizens to follow with the automatism of Pavlov’s dog.

Morality is conscience, personal discernment, a quest for a goal of perfection which only gradually becomes clearer and finds its means of realization among life’s contradictions and ambiguities.

St. Thomas Aquinas taught that the greatest problem of moral existence is not knowing a general abstract rule, but bridging the gap between the unity of the rule and the inexhaustible variety of concrete situations, where oftentimes we are squeezed among contradictory duties or find ourselves lost in the distance between intentions, means, and results.

Luther—to dispel any notion that I am favoring the Catholics—insisted that “this life is not devotion, but rather a struggle for the conquest of devotion.”

And Saint Padre Pio da Pietrelcina said, “It is better to withdraw from the world little by little rather than all at once.”

Great literature, beginning with the Bible, is replete with examples of anguishing moral conflicts, showing that the path of good is a straight line only from the divine point of view, which encompasses all in one simultaneous glance. To us, who live in time and history, all is hesitation, twilight, trial and error. Only gradually, guided by divine grace, does the light of experience dissipate the fog of appearances.

Consciousness—especially conscience—is not an object, a thing you possess. It is a permanent effort of integration, the search for unity above and beyond the immediate chaos. It is unification of the diverse, resolution of contradictions.

The codes of conduct consecrated by society, transmitted through education and culture, are never solutions for moral problems: they are very broad and generic frames of reference that give support to conscience in its effort to unify individual conduct. They are to each person’s conscience as a building plan is to the work of a constructor: they say in a broad manner what the final form of the work must be, but not how the construction must be undertaken in each of its stages.

When codes are various and contradictory, it is the final form itself that becomes incongruous and unrecognizable, wearing down men’s souls in vain efforts which will lead them to become entangled in ever more insoluble problems, and in a great number of cases, to give up any serious moral effort. Much of the reigning relativism and amorality is not actually beliefs or ideologies: it is diseases of the soul, acquired by depletion of moral intelligence.

Under such circumstances, fighting for this or that moral principle in particular, without taking into account that, in the reigning mixture, all principles are good as fuel for keeping the cognitive dissonance engineering at work, can be of catastrophic naïveté. What needs to be denounced is not this or that sin in particular, this or that form of specific immorality: it is the whole framework of a culture set up to destroy at its foundation the vey possibility of moral consciousness. Tiger Woods’ case, which I mentioned in my previous article, is just one among thousands. Adultery scandals pop up every day in the same media that advocate abortion, free sex, and gay ideology. The contradiction is so constant and obvious that no agglomeration of curious coincidences could ever account for it. It is a political option; it is the planned demolition of moral discernment. Many people who are outraged at specific immoralities haven’t the slightest inkling of the permanent and general scandal industry, in which denunciations of immorality are usefully integrated as machines in a production line. Either the struggle against evil begins by the struggle against confusion, or it can only end up contributing to the confusion between good and evil.

Olavo de Carvalho is the President of The Inter-American Institute and Distinguished Senior Fellow in Philosophy, Political Science, and the Humanities.

The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute. This article was originally published in the Brazilian newspaper Diário do Comércio on December 21, 2009 and translated from the Portuguese by Alessandro Cota.

The Founders’ View on National Health Care

Confronted with the strident debate on national health-care legislation, one must be amazed at how often the opponents of the monstrosity being cobbled together by the legislative Doktors Frankenstein in the Disgrace of Columbia fail to appeal to constitutional fundamentals.

In The Federalist No. 57, James Madison relied on a constitutional principle that, for all intents and purposes, disposes of any and every argument in favor of the present bills before Congress. Recall that a main purpose of The Federalist Papers was to refute claims that the Constitution delegated too much power to the General Government, at the expense of the States and WE THE PEOPLE. In No. 57, Madison addressed the contention that “the House of Representatives * * * will be taken from that class of citizens which will have least sympathy with the mass of the people, and be most likely to aim at an ambitious sacrifice of the many to the aggrandizement of the few”.

Madison offered a number of reasons why this argument was invalid. But most relevant here was

a fifth circumstance in the situation of the House of Representatives, restraining them from oppressive measures, that they can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as on the great mass of the society. This has always been deemed one of the strongest bonds by which human policy can connect the rulers and the people together. It creates between them that communion of interests and sympathy of sentiments of which few governments have furnished examples: but without which every government degenerates into tyranny. If it be asked, what is to restrain the House of Representatives from making legal discriminations in favor of themselves and a particular class of the society? I answer: the genius of the whole system; the nature of just and constitutional laws; and, above all, the vigilant and manly spirit which actuates the people of America—a spirit which nourishes freedom, and in return is nourished by it.

If this spirit shall ever be so far debased as to tolerate a law not obligatory on the legislature, as well as on the people, the people will be prepared to tolerate anything but liberty. [Emphasis supplied.]

Precisely why, as a matter of constitutional law, can Congress “make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as on the great mass of the society”? Because part of “the genius of the whole system” and “the nature of just and constitutional laws” require equality in all legislation that is capable of equal application. The Preamble sets as one of the Constitution’s goals “to * * * promote the general Welfare”—which, because every power of Congress must be interpreted and applied in conformity with the Preamble, entails that no law that can be written so as to reach Americans in general can be tricked out with “legal discriminations in favor of [Members of Congress] and [any other] particular class of the society”. The Constitution deems the ruling criterion of “the general Welfare” so important that it repeats that requirement in Article I, Section 8, Clause 1, which delegates to Congress the “Power to lay and collect Taxes * * * to pay the Debts and provide for the * * * general Welfare of the United States”. So, any legislation which involves taxation, spending, or both must be equally applicable to all similarly situated Americans.

Now, as is self-evident, a scheme for “national health care”—involving taxation, spending, or both—can be written so as to apply to everyone, on precisely equal terms, designed to provide precisely equal benefits for and to impose precisely equal burdens upon Members of Congress, the President, and public officials and employees of the General Government, as well as “Joe Doaks”, “Ma and Pa Kettle”, and every other ordinary American. Yet the national health-care bills before Congress do not provide for universal and equal benefits for and burdens upon all Americans. No, indeed. Members of Congress—“and their friends”, as Madison so delicately put it—are excluded from these bills, and allowed to retain for themselves especially favorable health-care coverage unavailable at any price to average citizens.

On the face of it, then, the present national-health care bills, being (in Madison’s formulation) “[proposed] laws not obligatory on the legislature, as well as on the people”, are the products and the making of nothing less than tyranny. As the English political philosopher John Locke defined it,

Tyranny is the exercise of Power beyond Right, which no Body can have a Right to. And this is making use of the Power any one has in his hands; not for the good of those, who are under it, but for his own private separate Advantage.

’Tis a Mistake to think this Fault is proper only to Monarchies; other Forms of Government are liable to it, as well as that. For where-ever the Power that is put in any hands for the Government of the People, and the Preservation of their Properties, is applied to other ends, and made use of to impoverish, harass, or subdue them to the Arbitrary and Irregular Commands of those that have it: There is presently becomes Tyranny, whether those that thus use it are one or many.

An Essay Concerning the True Original, Extent, and End of Civil Government (London, England: Awnsham Churchill, 1690), §§ 199 and 201.

Even earlier, the eminent theologian and jurist Francisco de Vitoria—from the University of Salamanca in Spain—had held to the same definition: “Herein, indeed, is the difference between a lawful king and a tyrant, that the latter directs his government towards his individual profit and advantage, but a king to the public welfare[.]” De Iure Belli (1557), quoted in James Brown Scott, The Catholic Conception of International Law (Clark, New Jersey: The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd., 2008), at 38.

So, confronted with this crescent tyranny, what should Americans do? The first step must be to revive “the vigilant and manly spirit which [in the past] actuate[d] the people of America—a spirit which nourishes freedom, and in return is nourished by it”. With that spirit rekindled, anything is possible.

vieiraDr. Edwin Vieira  is IAI’s Distinguished Senior Fellow in Jurisprudence and Constitutional and Monetary Law.

This article was originally published at NewsWithViews.com on April 13, 2010.

The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute.

 

Michael Moore’s Utopian Nightmare

If only he would use his talent for goodness instead of evil!

That is a paraphrased comic statement that Secret Agent Maxwell Smart often used to describe some of the super-villains he faced on the TV spy show GET SMART in the 1960s. The same statement may be applied to Michael Moore, the filmmaking darling of the Left who has made another polemical documentary, CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY, this time calling for the replacement of America’s capitalist system with a socialist system, including, of course, pro-communist proposals to share all wealth or profits equally.

A talented filmmaker, Moore begins his latest movie by discussing the post-war economic boom in the United States in the 1950s and early 60s. After showing the consumerism that captivated many Americans during those times, and the riches that came to the leaders of industry and the wealthy bankers and brokers on Wall Street, he cuts to a shot of President Jimmy Carter during the late 1970s sadly complaining about the “greed” and “materialism” of America. Then, in a mocking tone, Moore says Ronald Reagan came riding into the White House, but that Reagan and his Treasury Secretary, Donald Reagan, formerly of Merrill Lynch, designed policies that hurt blue collar workers and encouraged Americans to borrow too much money so they could buy homes and modern luxuries, while the “fatcats” on Wall Street got richer and richer.

Interspersed within this somewhat biased history lesson, Moore describes the economic “meltdown” that occurred last year. While putting all the blame on bankers, mortgage lenders and financial institutions who, he says, corrupt the politicians in Washington, Moore visits several families and workers harmed by the economic collapse. Included among these scenes are people whose mortgages have been foreclosed, a family that is defiantly still living in its foreclosed home, and workers in Chicago who took action when their company suddenly went bankrupt and refused to pay the workers what it apparently still owed them.

Finally, the movie promotes a socialist vision with a Communist polemic advocating sharing the wealth equally. During these scenes, Moore, several Catholic priests and a Catholic bishop cite Jesus Christ’s concern for the poor and needy as inspiration, while declaring unequivocally that capitalism is clearly evil and unbiblical. Moore also cites for inspiration President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s speech calling for a “second bill of rights,” including the right to adequate healthcare, an adequate and fulfilling job, a full retirement plan, a home, and, if you own a business, a fair price for your goods and services.

The best, most coherent and perhaps most truthful part of the movie is Moore’s attack on the government bailouts for Wall Street firms like Goldman Sachs, Citicorp, the Bank of America, AIG, etc. He correctly notes that these bailouts don’t seem to have done much of anything for the people who have lost their jobs and their homes. Furthermore, he clearly shows that the government doesn’t have a clue where exactly the money went. Moreover, he shows that members of Congress are in on this and other alleged Wall Street con games, including Democratic Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut. Of course, President Obama also seems to be fully involved in these allegedly corrupt schemes, but Moore lets the President off the hook because he apparently loves Obama soaring, but phony leftist rhetoric of radical “Hope and Change.”

The rest of Moore’s movie, however, presents a very strong, somewhat mixed pagan worldview with very strong politically correct, leftist ideology. Although Moore includes overt, positive references to Jesus Christ and the Bible, including the crucifixion, he uses these references to promote his radical, anti-capitalist, pro-socialist, and even Communist socio-political philosophy. It’s all extremely polemical and one-sided in a deceitful way that will fool many gullible people, especially many young people.

The good news is that one older liberal/leftist journalist at the screening attended by MOVIEGUIDE® admitted that he didn’t think Moore proved his point either, mainly because the movie is so one-sided. He said Moore would have done a better job if he had included, in some way, a bit of give-and-take between himself and some experts or other people who actually believe in capitalism and who are opposed to Moore’s radical socialist utopia.

To help inform and equip the public, here are some of the problems that MOVIEGUIDE® found in watching Michael Moore’s CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY.

Problems with Michael Moore’s new movie:

1) Michael Moore’s presentation in CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY is one sided and unduly biased because it never provides a chance for his opponents to make their own case. Thus, he never interviews economists, much less any renowned conservative or libertarian economists, who support a capitalist system. Nor does he interview Christians or Christian capitalists who disagree with the Social Gospel of Liberation Theology and the Liberation Theologians and anti-capitalist, pro-socialist Catholic theologians Moore interviews. In a court of law, both sides get to present their case completely before the jury begins its deliberations. That is not the case with every movie, especially the movies that Michael Moore has made, including this one.

2) Thus, the movie is also guilty of special pleading – it only cites facts, arguments and opinions that agree with Moore’s political ideology, economic views and theology.

3) The anti-capitalist, pro-socialist Catholic priests and bishop Moore interviews repeatedly tell him that capitalism is evil and must be eliminated. They and Moore himself refer to statements Jesus Christ made about taking care of the poor and needy. They also refer to the incident of the rich young man in Matthew 19:16-30, who Jesus advises in Verse 21, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Of course, neither Michael Moore nor these Catholic officials mention that last sentence about following Jesus Christ. Furthermore, nowhere in this passage does Jesus turn to a government official armed or unarmed and say, “Take this man’s possessions, sell them all and give all the money to the poor.” Nor do Jesus and His disciples in this passage (or anywhere else in the New Testament documents for that matter) promote a welfare state run by governments. In fact, in most of the English translations of this passage, Jesus never actually tells the rich man to give away every single cent from the sale to the poor and needy (presumably, the rich young man was allowed to keep some of the money of the sale to pay for his personal food, clothing and shelter while he and the other disciples followed Jesus). Also, it is possible that a rich man might have poor and needy family members, so may not such family members be included in Jesus Christ’s admonition to give money to the poor? Finally, even though the rich young man walks away sad because he liked his wealth and Jesus tells his disciples, “It is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven,” Jesus does not tell them that it is impossible. In fact, he actually says in Verse 26, “With God all things are possible.” Thus, it may be extremely hard for a rich man to enter heaven, but it is not impossible, especially if you follow God through Jesus Christ.

4) The movie assumes that all the Wall Street companies, millionaires and billionaires that the movie attacks never give away any of their personal or company profits to charity or church (their own churches or other churches and synagogues) and never use their personal profit to support members of their family who may be poor, or much less wealthy.

5) The movie also assumes that the profits of banks or financial investment firms are never used to loan money to other kinds of businesses, either new ones or old ones.

6) Moore slams the wealthiest top one percent Americans for being greedy and having too much wealth compared to the other 99 percent or the bottom 95 percent, but he doesn’t mention that, according to the most recent figures from the Internal Revenue Service reported by THE NEW YORK TIMES on July 30, 2009, the top one percent of the wealthiest Americans paid 40.42 percent of the total federal income taxes in 2007, while the bottom 95% paid only about 39 percent and the poorest Americans paid very little or nothing[1]. Of course, to be fair, the wealthiest people in the United States, before the recent economic meltdown, saw their income grow much greater than the people toward the bottom, but also, many wealthy people working on Wall Street have lost billions or millions of dollars in the current recession. Even so, this argument about whether the federal tax system is fair has nothing to do with questions regarding government-run welfare and education programs, such as, Are these programs worthwhile and moral in the first place?

7) At the end of the movie, Michael Moore overtly advocates the elimination of the capitalist system, but his movie only implies that he would replace capitalism with Big Government socialist programs and business cooperatives where each worker has an equal share of the profits, but it is short on the details. For example, he doesn’t really say how the socialist programs would work, where the money would come from, or how the government would set prices for the healthcare services and houses the government would provide, or the wages and benefits that are handed out.

8) He shows President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s speech advocating a second bill of rights declaring that each citizen has the right to such things as adequate housing, an adequate job with a decent standard of living, proper healthcare (presumably through a government-run national healthcare system), and adequate provision for one’s retirement, but, again, no details are offered as to how all this could and would be achieved.

9) Though he notes that the public was generally opposed to the bailouts of the big banks, mortgage companies and financial institutions, Moore fails to note that Republican, conservative and libertarian voters were among the most vocal ones opposing the bailouts.

10) Although one of Moore’s interview subjects notes that current Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was the Federal Reserve official in New York whose incompetence is primarily responsible for the sudden financial meltdown on Wall Street, Moore lets President Obama off the hook for appointing Geithner because Moore thinks Obama supports Moore’s anti-capitalist, socialist ideology in some way.

11) Although Moore lambastes Goldman Sachs for its allegedly corrupt influence in Washington D.C., he again lets Obama off the hook, even though Obama has appointed former Goldman Sachs officials as part of his economic team!

12) Although Moore blasts Wall Street banks, financial institutions and mortgage companies like Citicorp, Merrill Lynch, AIG, and Bank of America, and attacks the bailouts they received, he again lets President Obama off the hook for supporting bailouts.

13) Moore fails to note that, according to many economic and public policy experts, it was actually the socialist housing policies and regulations of Democratic presidents FDR, LBJ, Carter, and Clinton, and Democratic Congressmen and senators like Rep. Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and Charles Schumer, not just the lack of action by President Bush to roll back these policies and regulations, that mainly caused the meltdown in the housing market. Thus, sound capitalistic policies and regulations, and deregulation, had little or nothing to do with the housing meltdown.

14) Moore uses anecdotal evidence of individuals in dire economic straits to create sympathy for the anti-capitalist, pro-socialist and anti-corruption viewpoint in his movie, but this kind of argument or “evidence” does not prove his point since anecdotal information is a fallacious way to prove a point because it can only serve as an example, not as part of a deductive argument using logic or an inductive argument using facts, documentation and science.

15) Moore also uses emotional arguments and appeals to pity for these suffering individuals to convince viewers of his anti-capitalist, pro-socialist viewpoint, but, here again, such irrational arguments are fallacious. An appeal to pity or emotion does not invalidate your argument, but neither does it validate it.

16) Moore claims that the United States Constitution does not establish a capitalist system but instead advocates a Democratic Socialist one. He points to the phrase “We the People,” and the phrase “to support the general welfare” to prove his point, but he forgets the commerce clause that appears later in the document and he forgets the Fifth Amendment, which supports the “right to property” and the “right to liberty.” Also, no less a person than James Madison, the fourth president who is often also called “The Father of the Constitution” said on Feb 6, 1792 in a speech before Congress that this is not what the words “general welfare” mean. In fact, Madison says that federal aid to education and the poor, and federal regulation of roads, are both unconstitutional and anti-American:

“If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads; in short, every thing, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress. . . . Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundation, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America.” – James Madison, The Papers of James Madison, Vol. 14 (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1983), pages 223-224.

1. Catherine Rampell, “Top 1% Paid More in Federal Income Taxes Than Bottom 95% in ’07,” NEW YORK TIMES, July 30, 2009.

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Dr. Ted Baehr is the founder and publisher of MOVIEGUIDE, chairman of the Christian Film & Television Commission, and a well-known movie critic, educator, lecturer and media pundit. He also is the author of several books, including “The Culture-Wise Family” with legendary entertainer Pat Boone, and a Distinguished Senior Fellow for Study of Culture, Media, and Mass Entertainment at the Inter-American Institute for Philosophy, Government, and Social Thought. For more information, please call 800-899-6684 or go to the MOVIEGUIDE website.

This article was originally published at MovieGuide.org on September 26, 2009. The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute.