Sometimes it takes me a while, but the pieces have finally slid into place. Like a lot of others, I have been mistakenly thinking that the GOP’s legislative campaign against women is about domination or subversion or repression or some other kind of man-woman conflict. It’s not at all. It is about dehumanization: the puppet party of business seeking dominion over the population by controlling our reproduction.
Consider that the ideal environment for multinational corporations is pretty much the opposite of what benefits humans:
Corporations would like to drive down the worldwide cost of human capital in order to own and manage a world economy. We have already seen how this is accomplished. On the production side, corporations play leapfrog, moving factories from country to country based on marginal labor savings. On the revenue side, they drain the private assets of countries whose citizens still have money. With no resources, the citizens are ripe to be exploited as the next labor force.
This creates an endless boom and bust cycle. Countries start as exploited labor. From that labor, a middle class emerges. The middle class becomes a target consumer market, but the middle class also prices itself out of the cheap labor market. While the middle class is establishing itself, its foundation is being dissolved as jobs and factories move to poorer countries. A critical mass of countries must participate to make this work, but it need not be every country. Certain conditions maximize the impact of this cycle, including the absence of trade restrictions and taxes.
Corporations would also like to drive down the value of human capital, and we have seen how that is accomplished, too. Zero value means, for example, the elimination of wrongful death as a cause of action. How close are we to that? What happened when miners in West Virginia and oil riggers in the Gulf were killed by foreseeable results of negligence? Where workplace laws are not enforced, humanity is devalued. Where employees are allowed to die with only token efforts to prevent or penalize the cause of the fatalities, humanity is devalued. Where high court decisions constrict or remove causes of action against corporations or make them prohibitively expensive to pursue, we inch closer to the devaluation of humanity. Where the environment that sustains us is under destruction, humanity and a lot more is devalued.
How does this apply to the GOP war on women? First, it’s not a war on women; it is a war on all of us. If it were truly a war on women, we would see proposed legislation limiting women’s dress, their actions, and their associations. No, it’s really not about women. Women just happen to be the vessels of reproduction.
What has the GOP tried to do?
- Eliminate sex education in schools, especially any discussion of contraception.
- Eliminate family planning clinics like Planned Parenthood, which offer contraception and education.
- Proscribe how doctors educate patients about abortion—favoring medically inaccurate discouragements.
- Restrict access to abortion by restricting when and where they can occur and adding prerequisites.
- Create fetal rights as another tool to restrict abortions.
The cumulative results of these policies are younger parents with less education. We know that reduction of sex education correlates to an increase in teen pregnancy. Teens don’t stop having sex; they just do it with less awareness. When girls have babies, it sharply reduces the odds they will finish their education. For the boys that stay to support the family, it means they probably quit school to take a low-wage job. These young families have long odds of staying together and of getting out of poverty. Thus, this is an anti-family course of action that leads to a splintered, alienated populace.
Those fathers that abandon the mothers instead come to mixed ends economically, but they have started their young adult lives with a dehumanizing act—refusing their progeny.
Overall, more educated couples delay starting families longer, but the reverse of that is also true: couples that start families earlier are less likely to reach higher education. The GOP’s legislative drive really should be called an anti-choice agenda because the goal is to give people fewer choices in life.
This anti-choice policy works with other GOP policies, such as rolling back child labor laws and reducing the quality of public education. The Emergency Financial Manager in Detroit shut down a very successful school for girls with babies (it was saved at the 11th hour, probably due to media attention). Again, the results of implementing these policies over the long term are that the age at which people become parents would drop and the average education across the population measured in years would drop.
What could you do with such a population? Few would have the skills to start a business, and fewer would have the capital. They would be ripe for exploitation in low-wage corporate drone jobs.
But also, by insinuating the government between man and woman and between woman and doctor, the government is staking its claim to domain over the decisions of how, when and whether we reproduce. How far is it from forcing a girl to give birth to a rapist’s baby to forcing girls to become inseminated? Or to legalizing the purchase of babies? How far to a day where business, through the government, determines both quantity and individual characteristics of the entire population?
It may sound extreme, but so did an Emergency Financial Manager until it happened. And there is no doubt, this is the direction in which the GOP is taking us.