Friday, August 12, 2005

Smoking:Lung Cancer :: Socialism:Child Murder

Be patient. It will take awhile to establish these links. Just about as long as it took the link between smoking and lung cancer to be admitted, accepted, and then established as fact. Once upon a time, a researcher could get fired for finding a link between lung cancer and smoking. Remember the days when doctors endorsed Luckies? Hey, I’m old enough to remember smoking in my living room with our family doctor when he came by on a house call to see my ailing son. We both smoked in front of this child who was sick with a respiratory ailment.

But times have changed because our available information has changed. From universal tobacco smoke wherever you went, smoking is now rated right up there with social disease. Just to take a random example, what do you want to bet that they frown on smoking at NARAL meetings while touting the moral neutrality of partial birth abortion? Aside from a few furtive hold-outs, cigarettes are becoming the albatross only of the underclasses.

Meanwhile, here’s a news report from the Brussels Journal. Warning: the material is bizarre, inhuman and painful to read.

It seems that Sabine H., a thirty nine year old woman has had nine children in the last twenty years. Or rather, nine babies, since they never grew up. After each birth she killed the baby and buried it in a flower pot. The news report doesn’t say whether or not she used a fresh flowerpot for each baby but for some strange, no doubt hormonally-driven reason, I want each baby to have had his very own flowerpot.

Of course, eveyone is shocked, shocked I tell you. The interior minister announced that everyone must ask themselves how this “unbeleivable crime remained hidden all these years.” I’m sure he meant to say “crimes” since there were nine of them. Then, upon reflection, Mr. Schoenbohm suggested that “one of the causes of this horrible crime might have been the “proletarisation” of the former GDR.”

You see, the GDR was East Germany, and as we all know East Germany was a Communist dictatatoship. Perhaps, the interior minister (a man with higher political ambitions) suggested, it was living in such an amoral climate that had been the root cause of Sabine H.'s murders and flower pot burials:
     Schoenbohm had opined that the compulsory collectivisation of farms 50 years ago in the largely rural state had led people to lose their sense of personal responsibility, which in turn had led to a decline of moral values in society. “This is one of the fundamental reasons for both the disregard of and the readiness to resort to violence,” he said, blaming communism and the “deliberate proletarisation” of the country by the former SED regime.
You can bet that this kind of moral conjecture brought the wrath of…well, not of God, perhaps, but the wrath of the German politicos, which is probably worse.
     Schoenbohm was immediately criticised by the German Left Party (the “post-communist” successor to the SED), the Greens, the Socialist SPD, and the Liberal FDP, while even his own party leader Angela Merkel called him to account.
There were calls for his resignation and indignant claims that he had insulted East Germans. The Speaker of the German Parliament, a socialist, angrily retorted that he was not going to accept any blame that saw the GDR as “the root of all evil.”

However, as the Brussels Journal points out, the interior minister has hit a sensitive nerve.
A number of German academics and intellectuals, however, stress that Schoenbohm’s explanation should not be rejected out of hand. Crime expert Christian Pfeiffer pointed out that according to official statistics the risk of being killed by their parents is three times as high for children in East-Germany as for those in West-Germany. The historian Hubertus Knabe, who researched the archives of the former East-German secret police Stasi, said Germans ought to reflect on the causes of Sabine H.’s behaviour, though he stressed that obviously not all East-Germans are child murderers.
And then the Brussels Journal makes its case, here:
     Sabine H’s case, though horrendous in its scope, is not an isolated one. Over the past years there were 17 cases of child murder in East-Germany, with a total of over more than 40 victims.
Further, the author proposes an analogy, one which you will hear more of in the coming years re various acts and their unintended consequences both for the actor and for the larger community in which she lives:
    The situation can be compared to that of a smoker who is dying of lung cancer after having smoked two packets of cigarettes a day for 30 years, and who claims that his cancer has nothing to do with his smoking habits, ignoring the fact that thousands of heavy smokers develop lung cancer.
In a final entreaty to reason, they plead for recognition of the obvious:
    Surely the fact that the loss of morals due to communism may have something to do with this spectacular rate of infanticide must be taken into consideration. That socialists and post-communists alike feel uncomfortable about this is understandable, but one wonders why Angela Merkel should call a party member to account for stating the obvious, namely that a regime that robs people of their sense of personal responsibility also robs society of its moral values.
Good summation of this moral conflict and self-questioning, but the real parsing of the problem was made in the beginning, by the interior minister:
    …the compulsory collectivisation of farms 50 years ago in the largely rural state had led people to lose their sense of personal responsibility, which in turn had led to a decline of moral values in society.
In other words, the right to private property is the source of liberty. Frédéric Bastiat said it was the primary source of liberty and was God-given. Where men take it away by force, they also rip asunder and eventually cause to atrophy a multi-layered, dense and highly contexted individual morality. Morals are not about being good. They are body-based, visceral understandings of how the world operates and on what it hinges. Morality is the deep understanding that all actions have consequences and that we can never know ahead of time absolutely every ramification of our behaviors.

Socialism in all its forms destroys the very idea of personal responsibility, leaving in its place a vapid and vacuous sense of license.

What a gyp.


Lanny Nugen said...

Socialism no doubt degenerates the efficiency and moral value of a society, but a link directly to child murder is a bit dramatic, unless there is a counter evidence that other societies are free of that problem.

I personally think man is responsible for his own action and his action is influenced by many conditions, genetic, social contacts, social environments etc. That is to say unless they are under circumstances of directly or eminently threat to their life, people in those societies are rather belonged and subdued, moral equivalence and mental laziness are better words. This condition provides a fertile ground for a lot of crimes outside of personal relation crime, but murdering a child is rather a very drastic action to take, even in pre-historic societies. There are plenty of people in societies of worse condition than the one you have mentioned in your article, but I don't think any significant percentage to muder their children.

Of course their crime rate of a socialistic, communistic or despotic society are much higher to a more civilize society which lead me to believe an open society is always better. That is better in relate to other societies, but not free of child murdering. So smoking->Lung cancer but socialism <> child murder.

Lanny Nugen said...

I practice my English 101 here so please pardon my English's atrocity. I was a literature major in my own country but have to change to study Mathematic & Engineering in America because

"Obiwan Kenobi, you are my only hope"

Wild Bill said...

Lunacy can be attributed to your society just as much as lung cancer can be attributed to your society.. Lunacy and lung cancer can also both be linked to your environment.. I think tho, that the susceptibility to both are more predetermined by heredity.. And, I see little room to argue with the fact that this bitch was just CRAZY !!

Dymphna said...

lan nguyen--

Thanks for getting the point that socialism degenerates the ability to make moral choices. This does not relieve us of our responsibility decisions, nor should our compassion fail to take into account the effect of familial, genetic etc., conditions.

But the social environment *is* the political one -- i.e., the degree of personal freedom is the crux of the matter and personal freedom begins in our social constructs about the inviolability of personal property. If the state is free to take your property, under whatever pretexts about the "common good" then it also robs you of the hope that you can make your own way in the world and use your initiative to build a life. What point working when it provides no sense of acoomplishment, competence, or reward.

Is the Brussels Journal right that such things lead to a higher rate of abuse of the more vulnerable? I don't know, but it's an interesting proposition.

And please, practice your English all you want. By the way, I'm an excellent editor, so if you want to email me just general letters, I'll be glad to edit and explain. English is very idiomatic. Your grasp is quite good.

The Baron's Boy does a good imitation of his Asian (don't know nationality) calculus instructor. But then he loooves accents. Does a good one of Yorkshire and some political figures, too. Wish I had the ear for it...

Dymphna said...

Wild Bill--

I have absolutely no argument -- Sabine H. is obviously one crazy lady. What interests me are the parameters of her insanity. It's always social. Mine neurotic little personality sure is...

Lanny Nugen said...

Well, thanks Dymphna for your offer. When my difficulty arised to mark my thoughts "continuously", I would knock on your door.

Dymphna said...

As I said in the post, there is a quote from the interior minister which is most telling: when you collectivize and take away people's property rights, you are consigning them to the possibility of moral depravity. This is so because property -- including our own bodies -- are God-given rights that no one can remove without grave and just cause.

Here in this country, the Supreme Court just ruled that a community could decide to take away an individual's property and hand it over to another individual (or a company) simply in order to allow development that will bring in more $$ for the community. In some cases, they took farms or homes that had been in families for generations.

These kinds of rulings, which were at the heart of East Germany, can ruin a whole people. It can make them moral imbeciles and numbed-out human beings.

It is not Germans, East or West, it is the matter of law and respect for the individual. Hillary Clinton wants to take away rights in order to "help" people. That's why she's scary. In general, she reflects the philosophical and economic stance of the Democratic party. Very sobering and scary.

BTW, if you want to see a kind and intelligent interpretation of the Germans, read Thomas Sowell's Black Rednecks and White Liberals. The man is one of our finest analysts today.

THanks for commenting here and on the earlier post.

Dymphna said...


Thanks for the link to Horsefeathers. It was they who led me to Shrinkwrapped. It was also they through whom I found the writings of the treacherous (now late)Dr. Edward Said. I believe I did a post once with a hat tip to them.

You're right. Not many comments. They don't link-whore and generally keep a low profile. Good bloggers, though.

Thanks for the link. Send any along that you think we'd like.

Dymphna said...

lan nguyen said...

Well, thanks Dymphna for your offer. When my difficulty arised to mark my thoughts "continuously", I would knock on your door...

you're going to shoot darts at me, but that's a good example of idioms in English. When you switch over to the conditional (as in "if" or when" ) use the present tense for the verb. Sooo.

When (conditional)my difficulty *arises* I *will* knock on your door...

If you want to talk like a Brit, you could say, "Should the difficulty arise, madam, I shall knock on your door.

The Brits use the subjunctive a whole lot more than we do. So, if a Brit says I shouldn't do that were I you in American he'd use this form instead: I wouldn't do that if I was you. The "was" part hurts my ear, but that's how we speak.

Now, I'm clear as mud, hun? Just remember: the present tense for the verb when the sentence is an "if" or "when."

And as they say around here (in the South) "I'll be talkin' at ya."

Wild Bill said...

I've been thinking about this issue more.. Would it not relate then, to the men of divorces ?? Lately there seem to be a lot of cases of distraught men taking extreme actions at the prospect of having everything they have worked for, and will work for, for a number of years, taken away.. Shooting judges and family members at the courts.. Shooting the police that are serving divorce papers.. Shooting their Exes at their workplace.. Is this a sign of Socialism, or is it Anti-socialism ?? Is there a correlation between these two types of insanity, or am I way out in left field here ??

Lanny Nugen said...

Thank for the lesson but would it be better to send me an email so it won't take a precious space and off topic to people who has no need for the lesson?

Lanny Nugen said...

Here is my email addy
lnphoenix at gmail dot com

Dymphna said...

3sein -- are you making a German pun with your name?

Also, check the used books at Amazon. Sowell's book has been out long enough that I'm sure people are starting to sell theirs back.