[lbo-talk] Abortion in the Irish courts again

Wojtek Sokolowski swsokolowski at yahoo.com
Wed May 2 16:39:11 PDT 2007

--- Jason <lists at moduszine.com> wrote:
> Wojtek, while I wouldn't argue with your
> charcterisation of "religiosity, conservatism,
> income level, education, and residence" being
> related I don't think I could accept a "Southern
> Strategy". That would be abandonment of a great many
> people to the views of a small minority and the
> received wisdom they have imparted.

[WS:] This is what the critics of the new "southern strategy" say, but I disagree, at least in the US context. I think that the progressive has a much better chance of success by building progressiv eenclaves, or even states and writing off those areas that are generally hostile to progressive politics. There are many reasons for that, but my favorite is the "demonstration effect." Once you establish a progressive jurisdictions with all the benefits of progressive institutions clearly visible for all to see, this will create pressure for either (i) other jurisdirctions to implement similar measures, or (ii) people in those other jursdictions to vote with their feet if such measures are not implemented.

Following that logic, increasing the access to reproductive health care in, say, New York, Maryland or California (i.e. states that are "abortion-safe") makes more sense that fighting for the nominal availability of abortion services nation-wide. Reproductive health services are alredy scarce in many Jesusland states, so outlawing them altogther there will not make that much of a difference. However, if the capacity and access are significantly increased in 'abortion-free states" - that will actually provide a greater access to these services for those who live in Jesusland states that have no abortion services at all.

As to your remarks on the belief in Catholic dogma in Ireland - organized religion is not just about theology, buy above all, about social control and fascist-nationalist-populist mobilization. For example, the Italian fascists under Mussolini were not well versed in Catholic casuistry, but they nonentheless used Catholic institutions to control the population and undermine socialist organizations. Ditto for nationalist populism in Poland today. They are for the most part ignorant of the Catholic theology - they use religion only as a rallying cry for their cause. I doubt that this is any different in Ireland.


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