killed in America last year. For one thing, one does not see many
people horrified. It is not horrible, because in an age of theory
and consumption it is appropriate that actions be carried out as
the applications of theory and the needs of consumption require.
Theory supersedes political antinomies like "conservative"
versus "liberal," Fascist versus Communist, right versus left.
Accordingly, it should not be surprising that present-day
liberals favor abortion, just as the Nazis did years ago. The only
difference is that the Nazis favored it for theoretical reasons
(eugenics, racial purity), while present-day liberals favor it for
consumer needs (unwanted, inconvenient).
Nor should it be surprising that for the same reasons liberals
not only favor abortion but are now beginning to favor euthanasia,
as the Nazis did.
Liberals understandably see no contradiction and should not
be blamed for favoring abortion and euthanasia on the one hand
and the "sacredness of the individual," care for the poor, the
homeless and oppressed, on the other. Because it is one thing for
a liberal editor to see the poor and the homeless on his way to
work in his own city and another to read a medical statistic in his
own paper about one million abortions. A liberal may act from his
own consumer needs (guilt, sentimentality) and the Nazis may act
from theory (eugenics, racial purity), but both are consistent in an
age of theory and consumption.
The Nazis did not come out of nowhere.
It may be quite true what Mother Teresa said---if a mother
can kill her unborn child, then I can kill you and you can kill me---
but it is not necessarily horrifying.
America is probably the last and best hope of the world, not
because it is not in the same trouble---indeed, the trouble may
even be worse due to the excessive consumption in the marketplace
and the excessive theorizing in academe---but because, with all the
trouble, it preserves a certain innocence and freedom.
This is the age of theory and consumption, yet not everyone
is satisfied by theorizing and consuming.
The common mark of the theorist and the consumer is that
neither knows who he is or what he wants outside of theorizing
This is so because the theorist is not encompassed by his
theory. One's self is always a leftover from one's theory.
Such a denizen can become so frustrated, bored, and enraged
that he resorts to violence, violence upon himself (drugs, suicide)
or upon others (murder, war).
Or such a denizen may discover that he is open to a search
for signs, some sign other than theorizing or consumption.