Monday, November 14, 2011

Rape and the Occupation

The multiple incidents of sexual assault in the Occupation tent cities are as ugly as they are inevitable. The absence of theft, assault and other forms of attacks is not a natural phenomenon, it is the outcome of a system that protects individual rights. The Occupy tent cities are not concerned with the rights of the individual, but with the grand collective right of the "99 percent" to demand private property on behalf of the government. And collectivist movements are notoriously unconcerned with what happens to the individual.

The collectivist response to the allegations is to urge the victims to remain silent to avoid harming the reputation of the movement. This is a commonplace institutional response to rape allegations. It is not concerned with the individual, but the group. You have to break some omelets to make some eggs and you have to cover up some rapes and assorted bits of ugliness to have a society where everyone's masters degrees are subsidized by the state.

Rape is a symptom of a larger loss of rights. When rape becomes widespread, as in South Africa, it can mean that the society is now lawless and the weak are preyed upon, it can also mean that a society has been conquered from the outside and the conquerors are looting the conquered, as Muslims are doing in Sudan or Sweden. Either way it means the end of a consensus on enforceable individual rights.

Between the tribalism of Islam and the totalitarian hierarchy of OWS or the USSR or any leftist system, the Western world has carved out an imperfect space of individual freedom by leveraging the free market that OWS is busy denouncing.

If OWS thinks the 1 percent is bad in the United States, try the 1 percent in Medieval England, the USSR or Egypt in the present day. The 1 percents over there were and are a good deal worse with much more power and few rights for the commoners that needed respecting. And for all the working groups, the occupiers have not managed to come up with anything that works any better than the system they are denouncing.

While the left has consistently tied the redistribution of power to the redistribution of wealth, the United States Constitution redistributed power as widely as possible and then let the free market take care of the redistribution of wealth. The system has worked well enough that half the world would like to move to the United States, not because it has a wealth of natural resources, plenty of countries have that, but because it actually is the land of opportunity. 

The free market difference extended economic power to individuals, rather than groups. The less regulated the marketplace was, the less use there was for the hereditary power of a nobility. It wasn't the radicals who really put an end to the crown and scepter. That's the difference between America and France, where the bourgeois revolution of businessmen and militias led to an independent republic, while the French Revolution of lawyers, nobles and their ragged mobs paved the way for more chaos and the return of the crown in various other forms.

Almost a century after the French Revolution, France was being ruled by the Second Empire and the Napoleonic Dynasty. Around the same time the United States had put an end to slavery and was enjoying nearly eighty years of uninterrupted rule under the world's second-oldest written Constitution. There's the discreet charm of the bourgeoisie which managed to roll out a system of government that could be scaled from a portion of one coast to half a continent, survive a civil war and two world wars.

Women's rights are yet another example of radical activism not translating into freedom. French women were vocally and passionately involved in their liberation movements and despite all the declarations and slogans, not only was France one of the last countries in Europe to give women the right to vote, but it did so only belatedly in 1944. The reason has an obvious overlap with what is going on at OWS.

The political involvement of women in a collectivist system did not translate into meaningful rights, while American feminists could campaign for individual rights, their French counterparts were joining doomed radical movements which did paid lip service to suffrage but did not truly support it. The collective goals of French political movements were too concerned with society as a whole, for the individual to be meaningfully represented. Women's rights had to keep taking a back seat for the more important collective issues.

It is no coincidence that the growing political power of women correlated not with radical politics, but with their growing economic power. Individual rights have always followed the trajectory of free market rights. Only individuals within a group that achieves wealth can achieve any meaningful equality. That's the difference between Asian-Americans and African-Americans.

Without the industrial revolution, it is doubtful that women would have had a national right to vote or that there would have ever been a civil rights movements. But the revolution multiplied the value of the individual worker and made occupational flexibility possible. It is only through this that women came to be viewed as more than a subset of the family and workers as more than subsets of the plantation.

The American colonist began the process with the exploitation of a continent full of available land putting him outside the remnants of the old landholding system. The American manufacturer and inventor continued it by making development of agricultural and eventually even non-agricultural products into a massive industry in which everyone could participate. None of this was glamorous or ideal, but it worked. It worked so well that we are all the beneficiaries.

Private land ownership and labor mobility made individual rights possible. It also made rape into a crime against an individual, rather than a crime against a family or a society. And this is important. In a tribal system, rape is a crime against a woman's guardian. In a totalitarian state, rape is a crime because it disrupts public order. In neither of these is it a crime against the rights of an individual.

Muslims don't view rape as a crime because they don't recognize women as having individual rights. Tribal belonging yes, rights no. The hierarchy, whether it's the USSR or OWS or any other similar monstrosity sees it as a crime against public order, and their goal is to maintain that order in the name of the larger cause. But that order can be maintained by suppressing rape or by suppressing reports of rape. Totalitarian systems usually practice a measure of both, manufacturing the illusion of order by suppressing crime and reports of crime, depending on the level of incompetence of those in charge.

Collectivism insists on an ideal that trumps the real, that invalidates the rights of specific individuals in the name of everyone's rights. The greater good. This ideal never works and its failure must be covered up so that the lie continues.

The free market offers the real equality of achievement, while Obama and OWS promise subsidized equality. How well does subsidized equality work? Go look at the economic position of African-Americans, particularly after the subsidized mortgage implosion. Subsidized equality exists at the mercy of a hierarchy while the free market provides breathing room from hierarchies.

There is no equality without independent power and the essence of the free market is independent power. That's an independent power that many have forgotten they even have, manipulated by governments and corporations into misusing it or selling it cheaply.

The collectivists offer the subsidized equality of their hierarchy, which is tyranny with a slogan. Not only can't they promise equal rights to the country under their system, they can't even practice it in their own encampments. If OWS's raped women are expected to keep their mouths shut for the sake of the movement now, what can the whole country expect under an OWS system?


Paul said...

The major difference between the French and American Revolution was two things. First, the American Revolution was fought in a colony where there was no royalty and the French Revolution was fought on the continent in France itself where the royalty lived and held power. Second, the American Revolution was fought by Protestants and had foundations in advancing the cause of Protestantism while the French Revolution was fought in a Catholic country, by Catholics, and never successfully confronted the Catholic Church as a legal and moral authority in France.

It should also be remembered that both American and French revolutionaries saw common cause in each other and there were communications and cooperation between the two revolutions. Both revolutions saw the institution of governments without a peerage or monarchy and this was a major change for the better in the history of Europeans. Monarchies are obsolete institutions of authority in Europe and the US even though they continue to exist in Europe.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Yes, though that cooperation broke down once the Americans realized the extent of the radical trajectory.

Keliata said...

OWS needs to be broken up now, by the National Guard if necessary, before things get too far out of control.

Lemon said...

Woman are fine as long as they are useful to governments and movements. Other than that they are thrown to the side.

Rape is the result of depraved men with utter disrespect and disregard for the humanity of woman. It comes from hatred and sexism.

Perhaps instituting rape for rape as in eye for eye might be of value. Let them have it in return complete with beating and savagery.

Lemon said...

Rape, murder and drugs and disease are already way out of control.

Lemon said...

Also, the taxpayers, whose money pays for the upkeep of the parks,etc are being abused. They cannot safely use the amenities they pay for while the occupiers (are they all from the area?) have taken over.
Free speech is one thing, becoming a public nuisance and detriment to safety and health is another.

Edward Cline said...

Daniel provoked an observation in this essay, which is that the redistributive philosophy of OWS (or of any collectivist movement) would regard women as things to be redistributed. On the premise that an OWSer is, fundamentally, a thief and a thug (stripped of his sanctioning, rationalizing ideology), then a woman’s body is something to be taken, as either an act of conquest (a la Islam) or gratification. It hardly matters that a woman OWSer is a “comrade.” Recall the rape sprees the Russians went on when their “liberating” armies moved through eastern Europe and finally into Germany at the close of WWII, when anything that wore skirts was fair game for gang rapes, regardless of age.

The individual right of a woman in any collectivist society is secondary to the right of the collective; thus the downplaying of Muslim rapes of non-Muslim women in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, France, and the UK. To report these rapes publically is considered an act of racism, when in fact the crimes are racially motivated. Factor in the racist element of the rapists – let’s get that white girl, show her who’s boss, have a good time, then we’ll scar her face for life, nobody’ll want her when we’re through with her – and the phenomenon accrues another ugly patina. Also factor in all those “rap” albums that sanction rape, especially if it’s racially motivated. Young Muslims love that rubbish. And factor in the Koran, which also sanctions the rape and “possession” of infidel women.

OWS and our POTUS aren’t just encouraging “class” warfare; they’re also sanctioning a race war. In Zuccotti Park, as in any collectivist “society,” there is no such thing as privacy or ownership of one’s body; if one proclaims that one has surrendered one’s life and body to a collectivist cause, the average OWS woman shouldn’t be surprised if someone comes to claim it.

Anonymous said...

Paul -

I'm not sure what you mean by "...the French Revolution was fought... by Catholics, and never successfully confronted the Catholic Church as a legal and moral authority in France."

My history book says the French Revolution was one of the most anti-clerical in the history of the West, up to the Bolsheviks. The revolutionary government suppressed the church, destroyed and expropriated monasteries, exiled tens of thousands of clerics, and murdered hundreds more. The Catholic Church in France never returned to its former power.

- Marc

S. Richard said...

Rape is unnatural because women are supposed to choose their sexual partners. It is the warped brutality of manmade monstrosities like islam and radicalism that pervert the natural order and brutalize women in the name of self-serving ideology.

Keliata said...

I guess the occpiers are now getting booted out of the park. They can return after it's cleaned up minus the camping gear.

Hopefully that plus the cold weather will end the movement. Right now they seem too disorganized to pose any serious threats to the rest of the country.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

And indeed that kind of redistributionism popped up in communes and some socialist utopian theories.

Rita said...

I feel a little stupid, but I dont know what "OWS" stands for?

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

occupy wall street, the flea-bitten junior marxist thugs

Keliata said...

As I read this post--particularly the last paragraph--two words kept coming to mind: Jim Jones. This was the exact sort of thing that happened to women in his cult once they moved into the jungle to start their utopia. Everything was about the community.

Religious or secular, once any movement gets into this collectivist mentality it spells trouble.

It was disturbing to read and watch the protesters crying and everyhing after being broken up after only two months. In just two months they went from being activists to an oppressed minority group singing We Shall Overcome.

Anonymous said...

Of all inherited tendencies rape is the elephant in the room.
Why? Its impacts on sexual reproduction immediately & directly. Its offensive, but its a successful breeding strategy in certain circumstances.

The crime rate and rate of sexual assault is one thing that will be strongly influenced by both environment AND by genes:

Especially the tendency to rape women. As disgusting as this sounds, that’s a behavior that massively impacts reproductive success. It will be the first offensive behavior to be genetically transmitted.

The incidence of stranger-rape shows hard, clear, and stark evidence of being transmitted through lines; the transmission is stronger than for other types of criminal behavior; it’s linked to specific kinds of genes (a whole range of them); and it comes in many forms.

And here's my point.

The incidence of forcible-rape in societies that were not traditionally agricultural is *MUCH* higher. Not a little – usually, on the order of 10x.

Children of rape may indeed be more inclined to rape, or, if female, produce sons that rape.

Today, South Africa has the highest incidence of violent rape and stranger rape on Earth – in fact, in recorded peacetime history. Fully 25% of women have reported being raped. This isn’t date rape or random drunken fumbling that you can debate is somewhat different: This is full-on, hard, forced rape by another man, often who you just met; a lot of it is RANDOM ASSAULT rape, which is rare almost everywhere else (including other parts of Africa). Equivalent rates elsewhere are vanishingly small – .04% in most places, despite rhetoric.

And of that 25%, until a few years ago, pregnancies resulting from rape came to term, by and large. Daughters or sons, those are genes that get passed on.

Now if we look at the incidence of rape in Americas black community we find that it is many many times that of the the white community; also the public culture of poor black American is, shall we say, not rape-aversive.


Lemon said...

Ray, It impacts breeding?? That is all you think it does?
Breaking down violent sin to being all about breeding is just .. I have no words for the lack of humanity in your response.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

I question the idea that rape is genetic, violent acts exist in inborn impulses, it's nurture and personal traits that prevent people from killing, robbing, etc.

The idea that children of rape are more likely to rape is genetic determinism and justifies genetic screenings and abortions.

Rape is a reproductive strategy in the animal kingdom, among human beings it's a horrific crime that isn't about reproduction, but about power and dominance.

The deprivation of physical autonomy and the violation of the self. It has that in common with tyranny.

Master of Obvious said...

I think that an important key to understanding the left is to analyze their comments/actions through the lens of "projection".

Their concept of 1% is that a select few have all the money and dictate reality to the rest of humanity.

If you substitute "physical strength" for "money" then you understand OWS rape. Namely the most strong 1% have the right to rape (rob, intimidate, etc) the 99%. Hence the OWS has its own 1%/99% problem.

Projection causes them to mis-identify the problems in society at large.

careyrowland said...

Rape is a subject I know very little about, having been married to the same woman for 32 years now, so I'll leave the analysis of causes and effects to you and the others.
I do want to commend you for this analysis. It is one of your best, despite the tragedy of rape as a consequence of human depravity that provoked it.
Pertaining to other points you have expressed, I find especial profundity in this:
"The American colonist began the process (of industrial and free market revolution)with the exploitation of a continent full of available land putting him outside the remnants of the old landholding system. The American manufacturer and inventor continued it...
This is one of the best statements to testify of the exceptional quality of our American experience in world history.
Furthermore, the historical thrust of that innovative, individualized precedent is what is now at stake.

Rita said...

@ Daniel
"occupy wall street, the flea-bitten junior marxist thugs

Thanks! Ah, the ones whose message is: "I have something to say but I dont know what". Bored people can be dangerous.

These occupiers have started here in Australia also, with the strident support of our largely anti-semitic Greens party, the most strident Jew-hater among them a post-menopausal crone by the name of Lee Rhiannon, who is largely behind the BDS movement here. And that woman sits in the Senate where the Greens have the balance of power. I fear for Australia :(

Keliata said...

OT but curious--has the anti-semitic violence in Brooklyn generated much media response in NYC? I've only seen one article online, nothing on the national news or anything.

They're calling it vandalism but IMO once you start burning cars it's more like rioting.

Anonymous said...

"Rape is the result of depraved men with utter disrespect and disregard for the humanity of woman."

And of homosexual men with no regard for the humanity of men and boys.

Alas, not all rape victims at OWS are women. Women have a "safe space," but OWS will never permit a safe space for men, because it will refute their basic morality and upset their strongest supporters.

Lemon said...

Men can defend themselves a lot better against other men than women can.

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