Remember when Gena Davis goes back to visit Jeff Goldblum during the middle of his transformation in the remake of “The Fly”? He’s becoming more and more grotesque as he gradually changes into a human fly. He tells her that he would like to become the world’s first “insect politician.” She is confused and doesn’t know what he means, so he explains that insects don’t have politics, that insects are brutal and do not negotiate anything. He is telling her that she mustn’t come back because he will hurt her against his will.
I was reminded of that statement, that “insects don’t have politics,” when the 5-4 majority draft decision about Roe v. Wade was leaked recently. “Insects don’t have politics…insects are brutal…” Anyone who says that the evolution of law has nothing to do with politics is either very corrupt or very stupid. Laws evolved through the centuries as a way of society understanding itself and deciding what is and what is not right or wrong.
In some ways, law has a biblical foundation: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Sort of makes sense in a general social way. I don’t think anyone wants to put an ice pick into their eye, so it’s reasonable to assume that they would not want anyone else to put an ice pick in their eye. So while we’re at it, let’s make it “against the law” for either person to put icepicks in the other person’s eye.
So if in American society in the year 2022, 60% of the people think Roe v. Wade should be upheld, and 27% think it should be overturned, with 13% undecided, I would venture a guess that this constitutes a political stance. So one wonders why the Conservative branch of the five justices who currently form the majority, have decided to behave like insects, and be brutal, and reject politics, and reject negotiation, and think that because “they” have made a decision, the day to day lives of the people affected by that decision, do not matter?
I don’t see 60% of the American people trying to get the Supreme Court to overturn rulings that have stood for hundreds of years and make it against the law to steal, or to murder, or to commit arson, or to kidnap someone, or to counterfeit money, or to commit treason. I would imagine that this is because most of us do not want any of these things to happen to us, and that produces something called “majority consciousness,” which means that we can all agree that something is right or wrong, good or bad, and we create laws and penalties as a preventive measure to hopefully stop these behaviors and as a punitive measure to punish them when they happen.
The Shaman in primitive and aboriginal societies is entrusted with the spiritual and material welfare of the group. He is thought to possess mystical and magical powers that enable him to “see” beyond the surface of everyday life. He goes into a trance and finds solutions to serious problems for which the “ordinary” people have no solutions or answers. They operate within a closed system where there is no critical thinking, no objective reasoning. They do not analyze; they do not process. Does anyone believe that Justice Alito is a Shaman? That he and he alone has the insight that is required to decide that abortion is wrong? That is the brutality of insect aggression and domination.
The great insult of Alito’s thinking is that it places the rest of us in the same closed system that controls the tribal societies. In these societies, people are like clones of one another, lacking the ability to think critically. Alito’s twisted logic about abortion deprives all women of the rights of majority consciousness, of determining right and wrong within the context of their own lives.
There seems to be some kind of bizarre, incantatory power within the religious right, ultra-conservative mindset in this country, because to link all of this anti-abortion mania to religion makes no sense whatsoever when you consider the fact that abortion is perfectly legal and acceptable in Italy where Roman Catholicism and the Vatican have thrived for over twenty centuries.
Apparently, Alito tried to justify the idea that the Constitution does not guarantee a woman the right to abort her fetus by using an archaic reference to a legal figure who declared it illegal and who, by the way, also condemned several women to be burned at the stake for suspicion of being witches. Maybe Alito needs more recent reading material.
Nowhere in any of this do these conservative justices (who all obviously lied about their position about Roe v. Wade during their Senate confirmation hearings) show any grasp of the existential idea that a fetus is a “life within a life” and therefore it “belongs” to the person whose life gives it life. Suicide is technically “illegal” in some places but does anyone get a prison sentence for an unsuccessful suicide attempt? No, because it is an accepted notion that a person “owns” their life. That’s why there are “do not revive” clauses in living wills.
Remember “Whose Life Is It Anyway?” In my view, this rabid, feverish unwillingness to let abortion be a way of life in modern times, like Italy and France and Spain and so on, is a distinctly American malady. It reeks of “The Scarlet Letter” and all of the sick, Calvinistic, Puritanism that, unfortunately, still festers within pockets of our extremely variegated society. It has all the ingredients of sexual repression, racial hostility, and a sanctimonious denial of the rights of the individual. Insects are brutal. Insects don’t have politics.