Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Debt and Prostitution

I don't make it a habit to visit web sites catering to the far left part of the political spectrum, but on occasion it makes for some entertaining (and always infuriating) reading. As an example, the HuffingtonPost contains this little gem:
Slavery is more prevalent today than at any point in history. Free the Slaves estimates that 27 million people are trapped in debt bondage, domestic servitude, hard labor, or the sex trade for little to no pay beyond subsistence.
The rest of the article goes on to give details and statistics about prostitution around the world and the steps being taken to reduce sex-for-pay. For example:

After years of parliamentary debate, in 1999 Swedes passed the Sex Purchase Law, which criminalized buying and decriminalized selling sex. This placed the emphasis on the buyers, while allowing women to seek help without being fined or deported.

I am not a fan of prostitution, but it strikes me as ironically unprincipled for an "anti-slavery" organization to be promoting laws designed to criminalize prostitution.

Adults have a right to engage in whatever consensual activities they choose, including paying for sex. To criminalize consensual activities is to declare that individuals can not act according to their own volition, but can only undertake those activities approved by the state. In short, the individual does not own his own life-- he is the property of the state.

How is this different from slavery? A slave cannot act of his own volition, but can only act as allowed and/ or dictated by his master. The slave does not own his own life-- he is the property of his master.

Forcing someone into a life of sexual servitude is indeed a horrible action, and a violation of individual rights. But the solution is to prosecute those engaging in such activities, not the poor schmuck who has to pay for some affection.

But this unprincipled position is not what really caught my eye in the article. In the first section quoted above, those who are forced into prostitution are equated with people "trapped in debt bondage". Which means, forcing a woman to have sex with strangers is the equivalent of lending someone money. A pimp and a banker are moral equals according to this thinking.

The word "bondage" certainly has negative connotations. One pictures a helpless borrower, tied up, and pleading for mercy. "Bondage" implies that he borrower had no input in his plight, that he is a mindless automaton under the complete control of lenders.

This should not be surprising. After all, the Left thinks that we are incapable of caring for our self--that is why we need a paternalistic government to make sure we don't run out into the road. The Left thinks that our lives do not belong to us--we are the property of the state. So it is no surprise that we can't have sex with whom we choose, even when it is consensual. And we certainly aren't responsible for running up debt that we can't afford.

To put forth such positions in the name of fighting slavery is worthy of the 1984 Double-Speak Award. Worse yet, it puts forth the idea that an evil can be fought by engaging in more of that very evil.

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