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“And this,” said the Director opening the door, “is the Fertilizing Room.”

“These,” he waved his hand, “are the incubators.” And opening an insulated door he showed them racks upon racks of numbered test-tubes. “The week’s supply of ova. Kept,” he explained, “at blood heat; whereas the male gametes,” and here he opened another door, “they have to be kept at thirty-five instead of thirty-seven. Full blood heat sterilizes.”

One egg, one embryo, one adult-normality. But a bokanovskified egg will bud, will proliferate, will divide. From eight to ninety-six buds, and every bud will grow into a perfectly formed embryo, and every embryo into a full-sized adult. Making ninety-six human beings grow where only one grew before. Progress.

He pointed. On a very slowly moving band a rack-full of test-tubes was entering a large metal box, another, rack-full was emerging. Machinery faintly purred.

“Scores,” the Director repeated and flung out his arms, as though he were distributing largesse. “Scores.”

But one of the students was fool enough to ask where the advantage lay.

“My good boy!” The Director wheeled sharply round on him. “Can’t you see? Can’t you see?” He raised a hand; his expression was solemn. “Bokanovsky’s Process is one of the major instruments of social stability!”

“Ninety-six identical twins working ninety-six identical machines!” The voice was almost tremulous with enthusiasm. “You really know where you are. For the first time in history.” He quoted the planetary motto. “Community, Identity, Stability.” Grand words.

The principle of mass production at last applied to biology.

“So many individuals, of such and such quality,” said Mr. Foster.

“Distributed in such and such quantities.”

“Unforeseen wastages promptly made good.”

“Promptly,” repeated Mr. Foster. “If you knew the amount of overtime I had to put in after the last Japanese earthquake!” He laughed goodhumouredly and shook his head.

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World, excerpts from Chapter One, 1932

Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World was an early 20th century dystopian novel in which decisions on parenting were moved away from the family — from parents — to the State. In Huxley’s caricaturization of progressive ideals, conception and childbirth, themselves, were given to the State.

Huxley’s novel appears at first glance to portray a left-wing utopia; yet all but careful historians forget that progressives have had as much of a foothold on the right as the left. It was progressives who favored the “great experiment” of prohibiting alcohol, and it was Richard Nixon who in the 1970′s revivified social prohibition of intoxicants, slightly retargeted and rebranded as the War on Drugs.

Nixon, as much as any liberal Democrat, favored strict gun control. Jim and Sarah Brady were Reagan Republicans. Nancy Reagan was the social engineer whose propaganda campaign was “Just Say No.”

But if any political faction has done more to damage the sanctity of family decision-making — done more to make the personal political — it’s been the social conservatives’ campaign against legal abortion.

The political campaign to define by politics when life begins — and with that mandated definition prohibit a family from making the decision whether to bring a life into the world — is as much an intrusion of the State into the family as any nightmare conceived by Mr. Huxley.

Mirror Images
Mirror Images

Now decades of progressive Right to Life rhetoric has found its echo on the progressive Left, as the campaign to insert the State into the relationship between families and physicians has been taken up by a campaign to deny families the choice of circumcising their infant sons, whether for reasons of health or for reasons of faith.

The direct consequence of demanding the State have decision-making authority over family planning may well be the legal prohibition of that practice which has defined what man is a Jew for all of human history. A bill is on the ballot in San Francisco to criminalize this Jewish and Muslim sacrament.

We libertarians warned you. In my 1983 novel The Rainbow Cadenza, I have a female character object to the abortion being forced on her by the government, crying: “They have no right! It’s my body and they have no right to make me have an abortion!”

We libertarians warned: any government powerful enough to give you what you want is powerful enough to take it away.

It’s not all that different from an old witch’s warning: “Don’t call up any spirit you can’t put down.”

The abortion prohibitionists called up the Monster to prohibit abortions. It didn’t work but the Monster hung around and is now salivating over demands to prohibit circumcisions.

You trusted the government to make decisions about your children. Now they want absolute control over the education of your children, outlawing home-schooling and demand you drug your children with antidepressants if they won’t sit still and listen to the unionized government-school propagandists. They want to tell you you’re poisoning your kids if you buy them a McDonalds Happy Meal. They’ve replaced Jungle Jims and merry-go-rounds a ten-year-old could get some exercise on with foam playgrounds useless to any child over three.

I will not respond to arguments that abortion is murder and circumcision is child mutilation. Those are debate questions you should answer within your own family.

But you have no right to impose your conclusions on anyone else’s family.

That you’ve made these very private decisions public policy is the problem.

Proverbs 11:29 told you, “He who brings trouble on his family will inherit only wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise.”

What, did you think handing over your rights to the eager busybodies wouldn’t threaten your family?


Winner of the Special Jury Prize for Libertarian Ideals from the 2011 Anthem Film Festival! My comic thriller Lady Magdalene’s — a movie I wrote, produced, directed, and acted in it — is now available as a DVD on Amazon.com and for sale or rental on Amazon.com Instant Video. If you like the way I think, I think you’ll like this movie. Check it out!

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