Conservative Anti-Humanism

by A. Jay Adler on September 22, 2010
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Increasingly, American conservatism is an anti-humanism, dogmatically opposed to nature in its physical reality – the natural occurrence in the animal world, including the human, of homosexuality – and assertive of supernatural religious claims and imperatives in the face of reason and science. In opposing the ignorance and intolerance of Islamic fundamentalism, American conservatism purports to affirm the legacy of the Enlightenment – the world culture of human knowledge and values we have painfully created from it, against continual assaults – but in its domestic creed conservatism pursues an ideology increasingly reactionary to those values.

In this story reported by Scott Keyes of Think Progress, about Christine O’Donnell and the reliably unenlightened John Fund, we have a duofecta of retrograde conservatism. O’Donnell, who has long been on record as opposing masturbation (good luck with that one), once worked for “the conservative Intercollegiate Studies Institute.”

While on the job, O’Donnell allegedly worked in a hostile environment where, according to a lawsuit, the company “wanted every female employee to report to a male employee, which was in line with its philosphy [sic] that a female employee should not have any authority without being under the headship, or authority, of a male employee.” She was also the subject of lewd comments and insubordination from male employees. As a result, O’Donnell filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and was subsequently fired. She then filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against ISI, though she dropped the case in 2008 because she could no longer afford the attorney fees.

John Fund disapproves. Speaking at the Right Nation conference in Chicago, Fund said,

Maybe there was some male chauvinism involved, I’m not saying it’s impossible. Boys will be boys. I don’t deny that that can’t [sic] happen. But the bottom line is she became dissatisfied and her response was not to seek other employment, it was not to have a showdown with the management. (Italics in original)

Of “boys will be boys,” let’s all offer a Mad Men, over-a-raised-martini wink and move on. But note how Fund has reduced and converted a hostile, discriminatory work place into O’Donnell’s own “dissatisfaction,” no different from “this job’s not for me.”

Now, gender discrimination does exist in this country. There are women everyday who are given less than their due. But the response of a conservative – a properly thinking conservative – is not to go first to the federal government and still try to keep your job…. That is not the responsible thing for a principled conservative to do. (Italics in original)

No, the responsible thing for principled conservatives to do – so mindlessly opposed are they to any federal government role in restraining human behavior that is an abuse of other humans, that enacts social responsibility and pursues justice – is to accept, simply, that the world is unjust (it’s tough, isn’t it?) and live with it, however unnecessarily our lives may be burdened and diminished. It’s the dogma – I’m sorry, the principle.

American conservatism: so far to go, so far to go back.

AJA

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