Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Judge Not

[TRIGGER WARNING: ABORTION, ANTI-CHOICE RHETORIC, VIOLENCE, BLOOD MENTION]

Something I realized lately is the stark difference in the left and the right when it comes to judging people. And by judging people, I mean thinking yourself so smart and important and special and downright god-like that you can determine who deserves to live and who deserves to die. I'm saying that the right is doing all that, to be clear.

I'm currently reading Conquest of Bread, an anarcho-communist book. For those of you who didn't know, anarcho-communist is the fusion of anarchist and communist theory. It's about as left as you can get, I think. Of course, I'm also perpetually reading the bullshit that comes out of the heads of people on the far right. Recently, there was yet another argument between pro-choice and pro-life people on Tumblr, and something a pro-lifer said made it click.

This person was dismissing the essential bodily autonomy argument of pro-choicers. The idea that you cannot be forced to give someone blood or a kidney even if they will die without it. It's never even been suggested that we make obligatory organ donation law because it's horrifying to even contemplate taking away that level of bodily autonomy. But a pro-lifer countered with this:

oh boy, the “a rando doesn’t have the right to your kidney, and a new human who was forced to grow in your body by no choice of its own is totally the same thing,” argument.

What is with this language? Why is the person who needs a kidney to live any more random than a bunch of unwanted cells developing in a uterus? Why is there a bizarre assumption that the "rando" chose to be in a situation where they needed a kidney to live? Who would choose that? There may be an assumption that anyone who needed a kidney must have done something bad to be in that situation, like used drugs or something. But very often that is not the case. Some people experience kidney failure because of genetic diseases, usually it's a complication from some other medical problem they did not choose. That they were forced into. Why is the baby more deserving of life? So much so that it overrides the right to bodily autonomy?

It's likely the idea that the pregnant person forced the "baby" into the situation by having sex. But let's say you shot someone in the kidney. And because of that, they needed a new kidney. Maybe they had already given away the other one. Even if you were a match with them, you still could not be legally forced to give them one of your two kidneys. You couldn't even be forced to give them blood if they were bleeding out and you two shared an incredibly rare blood type. No one would think of trying to legally force you to do that. After you maliciously forced a guy into a situation where he was bleeding out of his only remaining kidney.

But in the mind of the pro-lifer, a rando with kidney failure deserves to die more than an embryo. Why do they get to decide that?

Then I'm reading Conquest of Bread, and the author is explaining why you can't possibly measure how much each worker deserves in pay even if you're going to nationalize everything and make sure everyone is paid enough to live. Because considering all the millions of factors that go into every job and how interconnected everything is, you could never ever reasonably calculate how much money any one profession deserves. You can't make that kind of judgment. So just pay everybody the same.

Makes perfect sense to me.

I also recently read money referred to as "imaginary human worth points." I like that.

To me, a dirty leftist, judging people is wrong, and acting like I can determine who deserves to live and die is worse. Thinking I somehow have the moral authority to determine that is terrible. And it's supposed to be sinful.

On another post, someone argues that conservatism and Christianity are incompatible. Conservatives hate immigrants, after all. And Christians flock to the post to explain that they don't hate immigrants, just illegal immigrants, or "economic migrants" (read: an imaginary boogeyman of an immigrant who comes to a white-controlled country purely to make money for himself even though he's fine in his home country).

What this means is that they, the conservatives who responded that way and all the ones who think like this, believe they know or get to decide who are the good immigrants and who are the bad ones. And since so many of the immigrants who come here are in fact fleeing for their lives, and deporting them is often a death sentence, they're essentially declaring who deserves to live and who deserves to die. They do the same with the poor. They don't hate poor people, just the ones who deserve to be poor because they made some bad decisions, or got addicted to drugs, or didn't become poor the way the conservatives think they should have.

Conservatives think they have the right or the ability to judge. That they can and get to decide who deserves to live, who deserves to die, who deserves to suffer, who deserves to be healthy and happy. I think I don't get to decide that. I don't get to look through someone's life and measure their sins to decide if they deserve the suffering they experience.

Don't get me wrong. I do judge people. You can tell that by the way I'm broad-painting all conservatives right now, can't you? But I'm not saying that conservatives deserve suffering. If a conservative was sick or poor, I wouldn't try to argue that they deserve that. I might say certain people deserve suffering or death out of anger. But generally, I don't spend a shit ton of my time trying to convince myself that poor people deserve to be poor, and immigrants deserve to be torn from their families and shipped off to their probable deaths, and that refugees don't deserve safety and life, and that people who are sexually assaulted deserved that, too.

I don't think I could possibly judge whether a person suffering deserved it when I don't know a single thing about them. And even if I was given all the knowledge about their entire lives, circumstances, and deeds, I don't think I would have the right to sentence them to anything. Suffering or happiness. How much they should be paid for their work. Anything.

I'm not god, after all.

And that's the difference between what I see on the right and the left. Conservatives have some kind of god complex that makes them think they can decide which total strangers deserve suffering. And it's always conveniently the ones who they can blame for their own troubles. Those on the left seemed to have learned some fucking humility, and think that we should provide for everyone without trying to judge whether they deserve it, because guess what? That judgmental shit is what gets people killed.

Maybe that's why the Bible says "judge not."

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