Heightened Senses

Hello. I'm Imraan. This is the only thing I own outright; I write from time to time, in the hopes that free-association might save a trip to a sanatorium.

Category: Books

Why is it never said that a woman is ‘potentially pregnant’ at 24 weeks?

If you happen to be an ardent secularist, or a person that finds my views unsavoury because I happen to come from a religious tradition, or just don’t like that I happen to disagree with a secular consensus on this issue, please don’t bother to read this. The discussion on the subject of abortion has gone to such ridiculous dimensions, full of non-sequuntur (or is that non-sequiturs), that we are no longer even talking about actual people  – and so I apologise in advance if this appears more a screed than anything else.

I mean no disrespect to the women who have had to undertake such a drastic step – in fact, my heart bleeds for them – it is primarily the discourse with which I have a problem – it sidesteps the greater debate about preserving the equality and dignity of women…not just despite the fact that they have a womb…

Dear readers – here is my first rant in God-knows how long… I have not slept, and so I am trying to tire myself out by putting down all my current thoughts on this subject. That said, you will clearly be able to tell that I am no moral philosopher nor have any command over modal logic – these are my visceral reactions to some of the rather tiring things I hear. I will offer unsophisticated arguments to what I see as very unsophisticated arguments that I read.

In the last couple of years or so, I’ve begun to find myself overwhelmingly in what will be called the ‘pro-Life’ camp in the debate surrounding the termination of a life in the WOMb of a WOMan… (see a connection? Maybe not linguistically correct but it says something profound about the incredible biologic and spiritual function a woman plays in relation to the man).

Part of this has something to do with my disillusion with that liberal secularism in the West – the principles upon which it stands are flimsy at best – we find ourselves in a situation where we insist on protecting and preserving the most vulnerable of our society, yet it seems to conflict with the apparent right to be sovereign over one’s body).

Recently, in the UK anyhow, the debate has produced great dicta of sophistry:
“This is a legally decided matter  – the issue has been resolved.”

With a lack of moral clarity over the matter, the secular age has resorted to the free-consensus of the general, sentient population to legislate upon moral issues. Try as they might – in an age driven purely by the discourse of ‘don’t infringe upon my rights to do anything’, there is an utter conflict. Surely Hitler and his power-apparatus alone weren’t solely responsible for the tragedy of the mass and industrialised killings of the first half of the twentieth century? Whether or not the people had legislative power, no doubt a general consensus was a necessary reason for the events that tragically ensued.

But what about propaganda, or the (mis)guiding of the discourse from the top, resulting in a sort of mass hysteria or a delusion…? Well, good point. But then what about the case of the discourse from the bottom, as the top, which says “these are my rights and therefore I can…” without giving a thought to the rights of whoever exists within the womb?

What about the fact that ‘religious views ought not be involved in the legislative process’ – what about the fact that those religious traditions represent a broad church of those for whom values are sacred and moral judgements more founded than mere ‘consensus’-politics… is this not an equal steering of the discourse by systematically excluding voices in a hard secularist paradigm.

For example – despite a large protest from Catholic, Islamic, conservative/Orthodox Jewish, conservative Christians, and many other religiously affiliated groups – the matter is not resolved on terms of “what are the moral consequences for the soul [which won’t exist in this discussion],” “or where is the fundamental sacredness of life in this debate?” “Why is the termination of a life of an unconscious fetus more significant than that of an equally unconscious animal?”

“How dare you tell me what I can do with my womb?”

Is this the epitome of hubris? There’s all sorts of things that I can and cannot do with my body upon which we legislate for reasons that seem liberal and democractic. I.e. I am not allowed to, say, use my hands – from which the sustenance of my child is produced – to beat my child to the edge of his life… why? Because it is an abuse of a vulnerable entity – concious or otherwise – the law applies equally to my five year old as it would my newborn.

I am not allowed, for example, to kill my cat because I find myself in dire financial straits or find it untenable to continue to let it live. Why? Same reason – this being is perhaps less conscious than my five-year-old yet for some reason, its life is protected also?

“I’m not pro-abortion, I’m merely pro-choice…?”

What if one was to say that your right to choose directly affected the right to life of the unborn, over which you seem to insist upon full sovereignty? Could you imagine saying that about a newly-born child who is still entirely dependent in its existance over you… Why do you get to decide when life actually begins, if, in theory, the sovereignty that you wish to express physically will impact that child in the same way – that it will find itself dead – only in both cases, fetus and newborn, it is not conscious and has no cognition over what you will do in deed that would directly affect it…

Height of doublespeak here, I feel, the clause may as well read “I’m merely pro-choice [to abort] What is to be said of the fact that “I am pro-choice [to end a life]” or “I am pro-choice [to kill a human being that had no choice in the matter of coming into existence, but, for the most part, was as a consequence of my consensual act of sexual intimacy]”

Why omit words? Why not say it like it is – should this be such a straightforward issue in terms of the moral discourse…?

“This is a decision of the woman and not the man, should she so choose.”
– there is a very dark irony in relation to this one, considering we have a host of absenteeism when it comes to fathers. There is something so fundamentally jawdropping that the woman who claims she can decide to end the life of that child (which she ultimately carries to full=term), equally feels that the father of her soon-to-be-born ought to have positive role in his or her life… Of course, this is a rhetorical generalisation, but for God’s sake…

Nor am I saying that one sufficiently leads to the other – but for some reason we have systematically excluded men from the discussion and not, in this secular, radically feminist (and I speak as a feminist) age where there is almost a guilt-complex meaning that men are somehow excluded from the discourse regarding an act in which they were involved, in which resulted in the beginning of a human being…?” They might say  – “ah, but this is only a ‘potential‘ human being”… to which I could say a fatuous thing such as…

and this is an extreme example (but follow my thought here) –
“I am pro-choice to abort the life of my middle-aged mother –  who is disabled that I help to look after – to save her, and me, the indignity and costs of her old age,”  Sound ridiculous? I have equal sovereignty over her life, and if she is severely disabled I am the one upon whom she depends entirely – whether or not she happens to know it.

Why the hell not? After all – she merely has the potential of becoming an old person… why not save her, and more importantly, me, the heartache?

Our secular mentality is at a complete contradiction – whereas we give rights to those that don’t even know they have it, we still insist that our own self-mastery can in some, rather peculiar cases, override those rights of others because of the fact that the agent is conscious and has an upper hand in the balance of power between child-and-parent.

What is happening to [our – for yes, men have a stake in them too] women today – in what situations are they finding themselves – that for financial or social reasons, they feel often compelled, in their best interest, to have to end the life of the child? We are failing our women. This provision has merely sidestepped the issue of gross inequality toward women. It seems utterly unfeminist to have to lead to a situation where a woman feels compelled to undertake such an undignifying procedure – in an age in which we want women to be seen for all that they are, including the half of the species that will inevitably nurture future generations, – we have done a grave disservice to them.

As the feminist writer, Daphne de Jong, says (according to this) “If women must submit to abortion to preserve their lifestyle or career, their economic or social status, they are pandering to a system devised and run by men for male convenience.”

“Well I wasn’t expecting to get pregnant, was I?”

Sure, your pregnancy wasn’t a choice, but did you seriously think that that absolves you from the duty of nurturing a child if you chose to have sex? Why are they not teaching people anymore that a child is a natural consequence of sexual intercourse? Is this a form of cognitive dissonance?
Why are we not taught that whatever our acts, however safe we are,
the sexual act isn’t merely something that we ought to do and bear no responsibility for the outcome? Reminds me of those sex-ed campaigns that teaches teenagers that they have a right to orgasm daily…

What if a doctor didn’t treat a car-crash victim because she hadn’t attempted to get run over by a car when she crossed at a zebra crossing? Okay, a little indulgent sophistry on my part… Yup, his responsibilities end for some reason? Do your responsibilities of being a parent to a child cease just because you took some precautions, knowing full well that there was a tiny possibility even of your pregnancy?

We’ve become a sex-obsessed culture. Richard Dawkins and the late Chris HItchens used to speak about (as David Berlinski aptly summarises), their moral  judgements are based upon the fact that each human being can solve all his problems (and get rid of those pesky religious arguments) if they happen to have a great sex-life. Uninhibited, unfettered. All problems solved therefore.

We seem under the illusion that giving way to our own pleasures as a primary right – something wholly alien to the pre-modern age where rights were (though some were of course repressed, women in particular) were treated as moral propositions that had to be exercised with great judgement. That there was no such thing as an uninhibited right. And then they believe that if indeed all precautions are taken, it would reduce the number of abortions in sum. Well the evidence is of course far to the contrary. Liberal sex-ed programs in New York, for example, have not stopped abortions in genocidal proportions. Have a listen…

Father Robert Barron, the philosopher and priest, makes an excellent case in which he outlines what has happened to the rates of abortion despite all of these measures. His case is excellent, and very solid I think, and is worth paying attention to.

I shall end there. No conclusions at all…

Faith and ‘Reason’

If we are to defend Reason, we must be inspired by more than Reason to do so.

Terry Eagleton

Here’s a fascinating talk in which the dear Dr Eagleton, esteemed literary theorist, furious Marxist and ‘Believer’ (as well as pop-culture savant!) sets about to try to deconstruct grand-narratives that exist outside of the meta-narratives of religion/’Faith’. That said, his analysis in particular about seeing the world as more than its agonising, groaning, self, despite it being empirically so, is an excellent analogy about what a religious worldview might appear to do. Please look out for it!

And then, if you have the time, watch his Gifford Lecture – particularly 43:00-48:00 where he speaks about a religious believer as being in love – is love reducible to ‘reasons’. Reason doesn’t “go all the way down,” he might put it.

Free Thought

Recognition that control of opinion is the foundation of government, from the most despotic to the most free, goes back to at least David Hume, but a qualification should be added. It is far more important in the more free societies, where obedience cannot be maintained by the lash.

Noam Chomsky, Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance.

“But he cried through the depths of darkness…” (21:87-8)

Yesterday I found myself reading these verses by Rumi, the masterful Persian mystic (from the Islamic tradition), and felt that I had to share them.

Just in case you didn’t know, ‘Allah’, is the Arabic term for God (the same God of the Judeo-Christian tradition, the Bible, regardless of what some people will try to tell you). Then there is

is the mention of ‘Khazir’ (Khidr more commonly), ‘The Green One’ – a revered figure in the Islamic tradition often charged with carrying out spiritual tasks by God, who was said to possess some mystical insight, and a righteous dispossession.

One night a man cried, “Allah, Allah!”
until his lips became sweet with the sound.
The Evil One approached him as he stood chanting,
and asked “How now, chatterbox?
Where is the answer to your insistence?
Who replies to you ‘Here am I?’
No answer comes from the Throne:
how long then will you mindlessly go on crying ‘Allah?'”

Broken-hearted, the man ceased his chant and lay down to sleep.
In that sleep he dreamed a dream, and in that dream the
holy mystic Khazir appeared before him in a green garden. The saint spoke:
“Why have you desisted from the mention of God?
How is that you now despair of calling on Him?”

The dreamer replied,
“I ceased because no ‘Here am I’ was coming to me.
I fear therefore I may be turned from His door.”

Khazir answered, “God says: ‘Your cry of “Allah” is itseslf My “Here am I,”
just as your pleading and agony and fervor are My messenger.
All your twistings and turnings to come to Me were
My drawing you that set you free.
Your fear and love are the snares to catch My grace.
Under each “Allah” of your whispers many a “Here am I” ‘”

At least to my mind, these verses say something profound in opposition to the dominant, materialist worldview that our friends in the ‘Academy’, especially in the Natural Sciences (how’s that for ironic?) seem to uphold. Causation in the linear sense appears here to be profoundly insufficient in understanding Reality. Whether or not Rumi is suggesting (and I know very little about him, alas) that the very act of chanting His name is a manifestation of the Divine Mercy – that our connection with God is so pervasive and sewn-into the fibre of our existence that we fail to realise how connected we are actually in fact…or if it means that we ought not to see our pleas for ‘help’, or our yearning for Him as a spiritual endeavour that originates in our own agency rather than His…I cannot be entirely sure. Maybe he meant something else altogether.

But we have the problem today of seeing ourselves as ‘apart’ from the Reality of things (and I find this a grave difficulty with the various apologists from the great Monotheistic traditions, Islam included), through which we insist on placing barriers between God’s ‘Will’ and that which is manifested through it – i.e. creation. No, I’m not saying in the more pseudo-spiritual fashions, or even in the demonic traditions (see what I did there :p) , that we are all deities therefore and that we possess Divine Agency thus, and can manifest our wants independently and so for – far from it!

Yet what we see is a hermeneutic sense of ‘separateness’ through which we try and ‘rationalise’ without recourse to the Revealed or inspired traditions our place in the cosmos (which might be in part where the analytic tradition, so impacted by the dualistic tendencies, has gone astray).   Thus we place tremendous intellectual barriers between us, and Him, and our approach in trying to reconcile ourselves with our existence; I can’t provide an alternative framework for viewing the world (though I’m currently reading Dr Nasr’s Islamic Philosophy from its Origin to the Present: Philosophy in the Land of Prophecy which seems to be making a good go of it!) but increasingly the ‘rationalistic’ lens appears gravely inadequate when trying to reconcile our metaphysical beliefs/structures we perceive with the epistemological observances we make of the world, which are often wholly reliant on those metaphysical presuppositions (remember my previous post on David Berlinski?). Thus, is God merely a metaphysical construct or is He part of the lived epistemology of our world? Or both?

This translation is from The Inner Journey: Views from the Islamic Tradition (Ed. William C. Chittick); ‘PARABOLA Anthology Series’; (Standpoint; ID: Morning Light Press), 2007; 205.

The book was kindly gifted to me by someone I hold very dear, and I highly recommend its various essays (which are rather short and eminently readable), with the various masters of Islamic philosophic/mystical traditions, not least of all Dr Seyyed Hossein Nasr (one of my heroes).

Helen Prejean – Poverty and Death

This is a truly great watch – Prejean, in my view, is revolutionary in her thought. Whatever your thoughts are on the death-penalty (I, for one, am against it for socio-economic reasons, as well as theological ones, i.e. no just jurist exists, as far as I’m concerned), she makes an important link between poverty and crime. This is only 3-minutes in length or so, so it shouldn’t take up too much of your time.

There is a fundamentally astute point made here – that class matters when it comes to conviction rates in the United States when it comes to death-row inmates; why should that be?

And give the relative his right, and [also] the poor and the traveler, and do not spend wastefully. Indeed, the wasteful are brothers of the devils, and ever has Satan been to his Lord ungrateful. (Qur’an 17:26-27)

Think of the images that this verse conjures. What is it that we are being told about being wasteful? What are the social/economic consequences of such thing, or the lack of such thinking in the first place. Wastefulness suggests almost parity between the Devils – what capacity have we to debase ourselves…, eh?…

Good ol’ Frothy Hitchens

This about made my week. I have recently taken to reading David Berlinski’s The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions and read this early on, and just had to share:

Because atheism is said to follow from various scientific doctrines, literary atheists, while they are eager to speak their minds, must often express themselves in other men’s voices. Christopher Hitchens is an example. With forthcoming modesty, he has affirmed his willingness to defer to the world’s “smart scientists” on any matter more exigent than finger-counting. Were smart scientists to report that a strain of yeast supported the invasion of Iraq, Hitchens would, no doubt, conceive an increased respect for yeast.*

No, I am not in any way related to the Discovery Institute, nor do I have a personal stake in the books’ sales (and if all three of you buy it, we probably won’t be able to start that literary revolution) – nonetheless, it is worth a read despite the fact that my pockets won’t feel heavier. How’s that for self-effacing…?

*(David Berlinski, The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions; New York, NY: Basic Books; 2008; 4-5).

Free-Thought is Underrated: David Berlinski – Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions

Though I understand that the likes of Dennett and others aren’t fans, here is a rather thought-provoking interview by a man who I have come to respect rather a lot lately, David Berlinski, a mathematician, philosopher…a thinker. The fact that he seems rooted within the analytic tradition makes his case far more ‘rational’ in the face of science…or dare I say…scientism.

Despite all my qualms with the Hoover Institution and the Discovery Institute, and other ‘think-tanks’ (which often don’t really do much thinking) etc., nonetheless I must give credit to a man who has the guts to attack the scientific consensus on all sorts of things…particularly when it comes to that unquestionable orthodoxy of Darwinian Evolution (which, to be fair, is increasingly anti-Utopian category of modern ‘faith’ with rather apocalyptic visions and with already evident catastrophic consequences).

Worth a watch. Even if you don’t find yourself agreeing with much of it. Broaden your minds, won’t you? 

Though I understand that he makes no claims to ‘knowledge’ of the Sacred or is a bit hesitant with the term ‘proof’ (or so I gather from this interview), I will cheekily add the following quote from Solzhenitsyn (borrowed from Wikipedia):

“Over a half century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of old people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.” Since then I have spent well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.”

Religion and the 21st Century…

Here’s a recent debate at the Cambridge Union featuring some rather interesting big-wigs – Drs. Rowan Williams, Richard Dawkins, Tariq Ramadan, among others! A friend once pointed out to me that sometimes, if not often, a lot of these debates are about rhetorical posturing -but we have come to an age where the only way you can make a systematic case, where people will actually pay attention to you, is if you host a public spectacle and allow charismatic people to speak (I’d say this is the tragedy of modern newscasting – although the latter is far more agenda-driven than most of us actually recognise). So, more power to those who partake and actually give up their precious time to engage with people who seem more interested in point-scoring than with any notion of ‘truth’.

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So, this is perhaps the first (and last) time I might find myself supporting Douglas Murray in anything – I was thoroughly impressed by his talk – at least in part- , despite the fact that on the whole, he has a knack for essentialising religion and religious people; however this was one of those rare occasions where I found, one the whole, that the ‘religious’ seemed to make a much more strong case in favour of their views. Now, despite being of a ‘religious temperament’, I tend to find that arguments from science, for example, as being a little lacking (to say the least), however I’m more convinced by Dr William’s/Ramadan’s/Douglas Murray’s (Lord help me for including Murray…!) arguments about human dignity, opposition to dogmatic humanism, and the search for meaning far more convincing and systematically sound – even if the latter disagreed with both the former Archbishop and the ‘Islamic Martin Luther’!

Anyhow, Rowan Williams – for whom I have a great respect – was on peak form (if only he had been allowed to speak like this regularly, and wasn’t demonised by the press as some sort of archaic despot overseeing an influential but fallacious worldview and dangerous power-structure)… Dr Ramadan made his usual case , polished, refined and I think quite fair (but I wish more people would take it seriously – somehow when hardened humanists face a reasonable ‘believer’, their minds somehow short-circuit and they often ignore what he actually has to say.

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Finally, did anyone spot the slightly sloppy “Nobody denies that correlation doesn’t entail causation, everyone who knows anything about it knows that correlation is evidence for causation…” – I’m no philosopher, and I don’t say this with any sort of polemical glee… but do they really let him teach at Cambridge…?! Or is he some sort of quintessential postcolonial subject whom they keep around for display purposes?

…Okay, that was a cheap-shot, I admit; nonetheless this perhaps demonstrates the fallacy, which Dr Ramadan accurately expressed, of essentialising someone with whom you disagree.

…Just in case you’re wondering what problem I have with it – the speaker cited that in Western countries that ‘more religious’ (however you measure that), there is an increase in all sorts of social problems, etc.; of course one could offer a counter-argument that secular states have historically been responsible for wholesale industrial death, in a greater scale than anything witnessed in history; moreover, tremendous demagoguery existed, nuclear weapons were discharged…hmm, correlation between a secular state and atrocity…ironic, ain’t it? Like I said, who in their right mind would let him teach Logic?

“…they think ‘denial’ is a river in Egypt…”

Goodness, I was so saddened to hear of the demise of one of my heroes, Zig Ziglar. I had taken some time off of my social networks so I could focus on…well…sleep…and only recently found out that ‘America’s Master Motivator’ had passed away in November of last year.

Anyhow, (and please if ignore this if you’re of the cynical disposition), here is one of my favourite clips of his. His words, to a large extent, helped me get through a very difficult time in life  when I fell very unwell (prayer of course, too); this clip has soared in popularity and is very much worth the ten minutes that you give to it. And then the ten minutes thereafter when you hit ‘play’ a second time.

His lectures called How to Get What you Want, and particularly See You at the Top are an excellent investment!

Why I love Alex Jones…

Weber defined the State as that entity which “upholds the claim to the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force in the enforcement of its order.” I imagine that in the logic of a state, it means that it is, or ought to be, the sole claim to legitimate physical force. I mean, why shouldn’t it be? Could you imagine what the state could do to you or me with that kind of power. I say this all rhetorically, of course; however speaking as a minority in an increasingly hostile West I give it ten years before the mass-deportations begin.

Maybe I’m turning into something of a conspiracy-nut (I wonder if Webster Tarpley has a ‘collected essays’ volume…?); I, too, given my experience these last few years given up really on institutions such as conventional medicine , and have begun to wonder what else I might question. The government seems like an easy-enough target – in the wake of the blatant lies told about the WMDs in Iraq, many Americans joined the 9/11 Truther movement – after all, if 9/11 could be the pretext to an illegal war of regime change in two sovereign countries, what else might they have been lying about?

Perhaps I’m too far a Leftist to actually be able to tolerate the likes of Jones, but I honestly have a soft-spot for him (probably right over my cerebral cortex). I think he raises some very valid concerns in his theorising – I am very sceptical of psychiatric interventions, for example…or vaccinations…the economic crisis affecting us all is another; moreover the alternative media has a great way of bringing to the public attention issues which don’t get a second look at in the mainstream…so what I’m saying is, despite not agreeing with everything this fellow and his ilk have to say on various subjects, they constitute and serve a critical function which cannot be provided by the corporate media (except on the odd occasion when they let people like Jones on their shows, as you will see below!)

This is an hysterically-charged interview in which Jones was perhaps most effective in the first four minutes – just watch those if you can’t be bothered to watch more!

I’m not sure what 9/11 had to do with the recent spree of mass-shootings – perhaps this was an attempt to discredit the guest, and thus very unprofessional – nonetheless Jones has a pretty broad church and no-doubt his points of view will resonate with large numbers, perhaps millions of Americans (not that millions are necessarily watching CNN…) when they get to hear about it.

I can understand how Jones fears that there will come a time where the population will have to bear arms against their government – I can’t decry him for his lack of patriotism -considering that there are now armed drones flying over the US and much of the rest of the world, moreover the NDAA has essentially created a state of martial law in the States – we know how wicked the US Government can be toward those whom she captures or wants killed – GTMO, Predator Drone strikes, Bagram, Renditions are just examples of the last decade…however for some reason I cannot but feel utterly sick when I think of guns and the harm they cause.

I loathe them with every aspect of my being, and I hate the culture that has emerged surrounding them. But then, I don’t necessarily approve of the culture surrounding states generally, and in particular, military institutions today. Leo Tolstoy once said of nationalism being:

the principle that will justify the training of wholesale murderers

A call for a ban on assault weapons or handguns is a red-herring; I’d much prefer calling on the banning of production of armaments, and the banning of exporting guns to international markets…so that they don’t then end up back in our hands, and nor can others kill because we enabled them by not insisting that the same taxes collected from the arms trade are helping to pay for our welfare state or Health Service, or feeding the hungry though international aid be rejected outright; the stigma should be such that these corporations might pack up and go elsewhere (I’d accept that as a start, but this would of-course take concerted efforts from activist groups across the Global North; we might then consider financial aid or some other mechanism to incentivise other governments to not allow these bloody corporations from starting ip elsewhere).

Our bodies should be temples; for metaphysical reasons I cannot grasp how we can feed ourselves with, or benefit from the effects of, funds gathered through such barbarism. Gun culture isn’t enough to explain such violence, especially given that the numbers of stabbings and muggings are on the rise in states even with such bans…this goes right to the core of our souls. As much as guns themselves have the power to create culture which manifests in the world, we tacitly do the same to our souls…

Maybe the Hobbesian or Weberian conceptions of the modern states, and world, ought to be done away with in favour of a new model of governance.

Or maybe I should be a pragmatist and support Chris Rock’s idea:

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On a side note here’s an extract from an interview with the always prescient and logical Noam Chomsky in 1994 found here:

Q: Advocates of free access to arms cite the Second Amendment. Do you believe
that it permits unrestricted, uncontrolled possession of guns?

It’s pretty clear that, taken literally, the Second Amendment doesn’t permit
people to have guns. But laws are never taken literally, including amendments
to the Constitution or constitutional rights. Laws permit what the tenor of
the times interprets them as permitting.

But underlying the controversy over guns are some serious questions. There’s
a feeling in the country that people are under attack. I think they’re
misidentifying the source of the attack, but they do feel under attack.

The government is the only power structure that’s even partially accountable
to the population, so naturally the business sectors want to make that the
enemy–not the corporate system, which is totally unaccountable. After decades
of intensive business propaganda, people feel that the government is some
kind of enemy and that they have to defend themselves from it.

It’s not that that doesn’t have its justifications. The government is
authoritarian and commonly hostile to much of the population. But it’s
partially influenceable–and potentially very influenceable–by the general
population.

Many people who advocate keeping guns have fear of the government in the
back of their minds. But that’s a crazy response to a real problem.”

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