Ever since the start of the Occupy protests in New York City’s Zuccotti Park the concept of ‘the 99%’ and ‘the 1%’ has entered out collective cultural consciousness.
Although I have some major issues with some of the practices, and proposals of the Occupy protest movement (for example, I don’t actually believe that all business leaders and people with wealth are immoral money hungry power-mongers bent on world domination), there is no doubting the fact that they highlighted some vitally important issues regarding resource control, distribution and greed that have arisen in Western culture.
Despite their deficiencies, the Occupy protesters managed to draw our global attention to the fact that a certain and very destructive type of mentality has captured much of the corporate, financial, and government sectors.
This mentality strips all of the great wonder, mystery, endless potential, possibilities and creative outcomes from every human existence and reduces people to little more than a function, or a means/hindrance to somebody else’s pleasurable ends.
‘Greed is good’ Gordan Gekko famously proclaimed in the original 1987 Wall Street movie (you know, the one without Indiana Jone’s son in it), because all Gordon Gekko cared about was getting what he wanted, to hell with ethics, and to hell with the harm his actions did to other human beings.
When Gordon Gekko encounters another human being, he doesn’t see the profundity and grand splendor of their individual existence. He doesn’t see their great dignity and worth. All he sees are dollars and cents, profits and losses, outcomes and productivity – and all of these things are weighed according to how they will impact the interstes and well-being of Gordon Gekko, not the other person.
We all look at the character of Gordon Gekko with a curious revulsion – how could a human being become so unethical? How could a human being treat other human beings so selfishly? How could such a person exist, and get away with such inhuman treatments of others in modern, enlightened, advanced Western society?
The cold hard, and very frightening, reality is that, while we may look down on Gordon Gekko with disdain, ultimately he is one of us – he is a cinematic representation of the attitudes and mores which pervade our modern Western culture, and which guide all of our actions and thoughts to some lesser or greater extent.
He is the epitome of ‘the 1%’ – and support for abortion is something he is more than willing to embrace, promote and advance in Western culture.
Because endorsement of abortion is an endorsement of the very same mentalities which underpin the ethics of ‘the 1%’.
Just like the mentality of the 1%, endorsement for abortion also views the human being as a mere function – if they serve a purpose then they are assigned value, but if they don’t serve any useful purpose then they are considered to be without worth, and aborting them becomes a perfectly acceptable thing to do.
Just like the mentality of the 1%, endorsement for abortion sees the human being as a means or a hindrance to somebody else’s pleasurable end – if the unborn human being is deemed to be able to bring us some pleasure in life it is allowed to live, but if it is deemed to be an imposition on our personal happiness then it becomes perfectly acceptable to dispatch with it via abortion.
Just like the mentality of the 1%, endorsement for abortion regularly weighs the good and the value of each human being based solely on financial outcomes – if a human being will impose a financial constraint, or imposition on us we stop seeing their humanity and simply view them as a fiscal liability that should be liquidated.
Just like the mentality of the 1%, endorsement for abortion overlooks important ethical principles and instead acts as if more powerful human beings automatically have the right to decide what happens to less powerful, more vulnerable human beings, without any regard for the needs or well-being of those weaker human beings.
Whether pro-choice adherents like it or not, their support for abortion is based on the same principles that underpin the mentality and actions of the 1%, and abortion is more than just a ‘good fit’ with the ideologies of the 1% – the two actually go together like hand and glove.
It’s a shame the Occupy movement were so narrow in their focus that they only honed in on the social injustice of the financial sector, for if they’d engaged in a more honest and much wider appraisal of our cultural practices they would have seen that support for abortion places us squarely in the same ethical ideological camp as ‘the 1%’.
Social justice isn’t something that we are owed from the moment of our birth, it is something that we are rightfully entitled to from the very first moment of our existence – being born is NOT what granted you the right to social justice, your humanness does!
Refusal to accept this concept, while raging away at big corporates for their acts of injustice, doesn’t make us enlightened, it makes us a culture of hypocrites.
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