We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

“We are in enough trouble as it is with our social fabric.”

So says local MP Robert Brokenshire. It is a moot point, actually. I am not convinced the social fabric in Adelaide is really under that much pressure. There is nothing wrong with Australia that making us responsible for ourselves again will not fix.

That is by the by. Mr Brokenshire is a local MP who is angered by this website, which is a sperm donor registry. The problem with the site is that it is run by, and aimed at, lesbian couples.

Mr Brokenshire has introduced a private Member’s bill in the South Australian Parliament to prohibit such websites.

At present, homosexual couples are not permitted to use publicly funded fertility centres in SA.

The Australian Sperm Donor Registry bypasses these laws because it only connects the donors with recipients – forcing potential mothers to arrange insemination themselves.

Ms Thompson, who started the registry with Ms Ryan almost a year ago, said they had ‘matched up’ about 70 recipients.

My first instinct is to ask why the State is funding any fertility clinics- but the notion that the taxpayer should pay for all health in Australia is one of those assumptions that is just not questioned out here.

Be that as it may, if the State decides to discriminate against certain people on the grounds of their sexuality, people, being free, try to work around such restrictions, in the way Ms Thompson and Ms Ryan have. But you cannot keep a good Statist down, and Mr Brokenshire and his Parliamentry thugs, who know what is best for this couple, and me as well, are on the case.

After all, there is a social fabric to protect.

17 comments to “We are in enough trouble as it is with our social fabric.”

  • Huffington

    Yawn. Sorry Scott I agree with what you say, but there is so much happening re. Iraq, the 9-11 commission, GW’s press conference, Osama’s broadcast and SO LITTLE posting about all this here on Samizdata that I’m disappointed…

  • I sometimes wonder whether these clashes between social conservatives and the others are nothing more than a disagreement between those lovingly raised in a healthy family to their full and enduring psychological benefit and, well, the others again. On the all too many occasions I have waded into arguments on the side of the former the thought is never far from my mind that my interlocultor is, at heart, only defending his miserable self (of course, no such thought occurs to me on a Samizdata thread).

    What, exactly, are the arguments against the preference for the optimum foundations for psychological stability? Surely, folk should be as well-founded as possible. I fail to see why the self-indulgence of man-hating lesbians or feckless single mothers outweighs that consideration. As ever, the fact that one can do something is no reason to do it.

  • snide

    you are one of the most breathtakingly arrogant people i have had the misfortune to read in a while, guessedworker, though the inexplicably self-satisfied copeland gives you a run for your money. perhaps it is just that those who think they are “raised in a healthy family to their full and enduring psychological benefit” presuming to tell others how they will be compelled to order their affairs which makes people like me think less than charitable things about people like you. the notion a hateful racist like you has any idea what the “optimum foundations for psychological stability” for anyone other than yourself is actually quite funny.

  • Well, I’m not a lesbian so I can’t really claim that I’m defending my miserable self.

    I’m in fact a fairly well-rounded individual who likes to be free and doesn’t wish to deny freedom to anyone else.

    And that includes man-hating lesbians who wish to have a family. I just hope they, in turn, respect my own desire to live my life as I see fit.

    I just wish I had your confidence in knowing what the optimum foundations for psychological stability are. Just because I know what’s best for my own doesn’t mean I’m qualified to say what it is for anyone else. Perhaps you’d like to enlighten me?

  • Scott,

    The great French sociologist, Emile Durkheim, realised that social pathologies increase in periods of general societal instability. He was a great believer in and evangelist for the traditional family because he valued its results above all things, and understood its function as the only bulwark in unstable times.

    Since Durkheim’s time we have had two, uniquely calamitous world wars with which to contend, as well as the constant depredations of rapid social change, industrial unrest, class warfare and whatever else one can throw in the pot as producers of the aforesaid pathologies. But we came though relatively serenely because the foundation stone of the nuclear family remained intact.

    It is a mark of some distinction, then, that four decades of peace have succeeded in changing all that. A wave of pathologies on a scale hitherto completely unknown now confront the western world. It’s called social liberalism but it’s real names are family break-up, absent fathers, illegitimacy, violence, crime, dependency, drug abuse etc. No poverty of the past, no war has equalled the degradation it has effected.

    I expect the marxian left to care nothing for these things. One must not, after all, be judgemental. But I find it mystifying and frustrating that thinking people on the right should abjure themselves from honest and constructive consideration of the problem just on grounds of personal sovereinty. It feels very like an abdication of responsibility – and yes we do have an indirect responsibility because we possess the power to frame better conditions for living. We possess the power, still, to be Durkheimians.

    Scott, the goal of liberty simply does not trump the long-term interests of the young. Children surpass all other considerations in the long list of life’s priorities.

  • snide

    Scott, the goal of liberty simply does not trump the long-term interests of the young. Children surpass all other considerations in the long list of life’s priorities.

    Guessedworker, his eyes fixed on a spot on the sacred horizon rather than in the profane present, abjures liberty for us in the here and now because of… the children! And as we all know, the future of the Volk is in its children… [camera pans left to a group of angelic young boys in brown shirts and soundtrack fades into 'The Future Belongs to Me']

  • Cydonia

    Guessworker:

    I think I’ve asked you this before, but I’ll have another bash at it. Which if the following represents your position?

    1. You believe that the nuclear family, traditional values etc are best thing for people’s welfare but you oppose the use of the State to force people to conform to your beliefs.

    2. You believe that the nuclear family, traditional values etc are best thing for people’s welfare and you support the use of the State to force people to conform to your beliefs.

    The difference is crucial. 1. strikes me as a perfectly respectable position for a libertarian to hold; 2 is the position of a social authoritarian.

    You have yet to make it clear which camp you fall into.

    Cydonia

  • Cydonia,

    I am in the painful and rather hopeless position of believing in good and finding no way to effect it.

  • Cydonia

    Guestworker:

    You haven’t really answered my question. Is there a reason for that?

  • Cydonia,

    OK, I’ll be more long-winded. Sorry. It’s not an entirely apposite question, you know. All the authoritarian king’s men couldn’t put this one together any time soon. If authoritarianism is productive at anytime or anywhere I don’t know. But it isn’t productive here because of its inherent susceptibility to the strong positive/strong negative syndrome.

    Actually, I suspect that the sweet equasion of stable personalities = stable societies came into being not just centuries but millenia ago and under the most tortuous circumstances, many times repeated. Wisdom in mores tends to arise that way.

    We have at least had the privilege in our lifetimes of seeing how fragile and precious such wisdom is. Once it ceases to be understood, or is despised, it is a work of a few years to undo almost completely.

    The one saving grace is that all the bold new freedoms from stigma, all the adventurously experimental life choices are fashion, nothing more. They will do damage for a period, perhaps a few generations. But the optimalising characteristic of evolution will, over time, effect a correction and a return to what actually works. Of that I am certain.

    Meanwhile, all soc-cons like me can do is to speak our truths. Perhaps a few prisoners of modern circumstance will hear and wonder, you never know.

  • Shaun Bourke

    Scott,

    I think what we really have here is a prima-faceia case for failing to be inclusive. We should be actively encouraging minorities…..eg muslims and Aborigines….to fully support this this activity and seek Government support to force this group to supply sperm from donors to users on the standard type of Government quota.

  • Verity

    Lesbians can do whatever they feel like doing in their private lives as long as their actions affect only themselves. However, to intentionally bring a child, who has no say in the matter, no choice, no chance to say no, into an un-normal situation is heinous. What kind of childhood is this to have, with other children’s parents forbidding them to go over and play? And being sniggered at and singled out in school?

    Having “two mummies” is not normal. Sorry. I am not opposed to gay people adopting orphans who are already on this earth in this life and whose situation would be eased by having at least a stable, loving, uninstitutional home. But to create a child for the express purpose of living through what will probably be a horrible childhood just to indulge a couple of lesbians strikes me as extremely cruel.

  • Verity,

    I have observed the evidence of what you say over a period of twelve years. A lady known to me, she being of the persuasion in question, acquired a daughter by AI a few months before our daughter was born in 1992.

    Her child has been raised without the presence of a male in the home. Mum is an extremely promiscuous individual, currently working on the door in nightclubs in Brighton (where frisking of females is required). I have never seen the little girl in little girls’ clothes. She wears sloppy, boyish stuff and kicks a football around.

    How much of this behaviour is because she, too, is bound for a lesbian life I can’t say. But the odds on that are probably extremely low, so the likelihood is that her mother has simply been unable to induct her into an appropriately feminine life. She is, in consequence, deprived of all that her sex should have and be. It is extremely sad.

    The confusion she will experience – and create – as she comes to terms with the real world is the real social cost, however. I have sometimes felt tempted to ask the mother about this. In principle, I think one should. Social stigma is long gone. But, as I said above, we can be “Durkheimian” on this and similar social issues if we have are prepared to risk the inevitable backlash. Now I’ve written that perhaps I will!

  • Verity

    Guessed – that is just so bloody tragic! Poor little soul! Created as a prop to give someone who would not have created her otherwise as a normal act, a role. Mother.

    Poor little thing! Never held on a daddy’s knee, never to run to your father because your mother’s angry. (If you’re a girl, your father will always take your side.) No male voice always around the house. How awful! And to have been created to endure a childhood, which is the bedrock of life, to indulge the fantasies of people outside the mainstream is like a nightmare. To be created as a toy.

    What about a boy being legally born, and therefore tied, to a couple of lesbians? Where is this child going to go with his life, and how much destruction will he cause to others, as an adult? Same with a girl.

    These people who have hijacked society are wicked. The people who allowed society to be hijacked thus are no less culpable. But the Aldous Huxley’s soma people are slouching in.

  • Poor little thing! Never held on a daddy’s knee, never to run to your father because your mother’s angry. (If you’re a girl, your father will always take your side.) No male voice always around the house.

    Oh! The Deprivation! Yes, let’s garnish all the powers of the State to prevent Poor Little Girl from the Horrors of not having a Father.

    Excuse me if i don’t share the general admiration of fathers. As PJ O’Rourke once said “No one who ever met my family subscribed to ‘family values’.”

    What about a boy being legally born, and therefore tied, to a couple of lesbians? Where is this child going to go with his life, and how much destruction will he cause to others, as an adult? Same with a girl.

    I guess they will have to take their chances, just as those of us brought up by a single mother have to do.

    It would be wonderful if everyone could be brought up in the loving environment of a nuclear family. But many of us can’t be. We just have to do the best we can with what we have got. Bringing state prohibition into the equation is hardly an improvement.

    It’s like the difference between coming from a rich family as opposed to coming from a poor family.

    Certainly a lesbian would find being a decent father a challenge that might be beyond her. I must say, it is my observation that this challenge is also beyond a lot of the men out there.

  • Scott,

    That’s baby thinking. The quality of fatherhood is, like any other behaviour, open to improvement – and to the opposite. Taken as an aggregate across society, this quality would be improved by greater numbers of boys being raised in a secure nuclear family. Read what I have written above.

    In any case I can’t see the logic of your position. You are not arguing against the known fact that in western society nuclear families do the best job, on average, at producing stable individuals and society in general. You are arguing against state intervention that would discourage people acting selfishly and without consideration of the costs to others.

    So after the fact of cost you, as a good libbo, are happy to punish these people for their actions by making them pay (though in this case payment is impossible to quantify and non-actionable). But you are not prepared to protect society by prevention at source, so to speak.

    Now, I don’t think such state intervention is a good idea either – but not for some kneejerk libbo reason. That would be moronic, given the importance of the issue at hand (somewhat greater than politic theory, wouldn’t you say). No, I just don’t think state intervention would be practicable. But I do think strong, general social disapproval would be a positive influence. The answer to that is to destroy political correctness in all its forms and permit honesty to return to the public discourse.

  • Joe

    Actually the disturbing thing to me is that they publish the names of doners. I imagine that this is consentual.
    It reminds me of a funny legal case from sweden. A lesbian couple was in an insoluble custody dispute. The court ordered the sperm bank open up their records and make the formerly anonymous doner subject to child support payment.

    It illustrates an irrational hatred of men, and, if nothing else illustrates the falseness of the view that “ther personal is the political.”

    It is becoming vulgar to be a father in this world. It isn’t a matter of -if-, but -when- one will be ejected out of the life of one’s wife and children. Usually over nothing more than ill communicated intangable of a man trying to please the people he loves. If nothing is ever good enough, then nothing will be its’ result. Nothing more than an affectionaless distopia.