On Life and Luxury

“VACCINE hesitancy is a First World privilege,” wrote an enraged Jennifer Oriel on Monday in one of many pieces featuring the h-word craze all our dutiful betters are hula hooping. The citizens of India and Brazil “do not have the luxury of a Covid vaccine and they are dying for want of it,” Oriel scolded, deploying a comparison beloved of a thousand mothers on vegetable patrol. They die for the want of many things – hygiene above all – but few arouse the interest of Australian columnists. Diarrhoea kills between 800,000 and one million Indian children a year and hospitalises 900,000 more. Indians also don’t have the luxury of gender-mutilating children who do survive or of killing others before they’re even born. Westerners have the luxury of doing – or not doing – innumerable things the world’s poor do not.

Here’s another Western privilege without equal in the brown and struggling world: not skipping a beat for the past year to enact new laws that allow doctors to kill the sick. Politicians in Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia chose a global death event as the backdrop for a malapropos putsch to facilitate… death. They could have earmarked funds to buy vaccines for, say, Indians, and reconsidered “assisting” the vulnerable to die during a co-epidemic of isolation, unemployment and melancholy caused by the useless lockdowns they arrogantly imposed. But I suspect this pandemic has been regarded by them as an ideal (rather than grubby) stage for their ‘reforms.’ The pitch: death is stalking us as never before; why not get the jump on it?

Slut-shaming the Hesitant, nuisance-shaming the weak

Continuing as chastiser of the Selfish Hesitant on behalf of the Noble Eager, Oriel says that “many Australians are rejecting the vaccine by choice and women are leading the march of the privileged.” Well, here’s a feminist novelty. It’s a privilege for women to choose what and who penetrates their bodies? If setting aside women’s physical autonomy for the benefit of the economy is the goal, why not reward the fecund and shame the barren as Germany did in the 1930s and early 40s? The idea that our bodies in some measure belong to ‘society’ at the behest of the state is deranged and evil. When Billy Hughes wanted to tip thousands of extra bodies into Moloch’s insatiable maw in 1916 and 1917, Australian voters twice rejected his plans. Interestingly – as these conscription posters demonstrate, Hughes targeted women “Antis” in terms Oriel would recognise. Simply replace the Kaiser with the coronavirus.

Related to all of this in two ways is the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill introduced to the Queensland Parliament by Annastacia Palaszczuk. First, the most aggro of the Vaccers are the most dogmatic of the VADers. Your body/our choice one minute; my body/my choice the next. Even their hypocrisy is sloppy. No, commissioning an assassin is not an expression of bodily independence. Second, for the reasons stated above, the Premier’s agenda is First World extravagance at its most offensively ill-timed. To say nothing of a professed Catholic’s godly hubris:

“Many Queenslanders who have watched a loved one suffer feel passionately that there must be dignified options available to everyone,” she said on Tuesday.

“[The bill] provides a chain of safeguards to ensure only those at the end of life can make these choices and then only those capable of making that choice for themselves.”

If the last 16 months have proved anything, it’s that a “chain of safeguards” forged by governments will protect us. Right? But that howler isn’t what makes Palaszczuk’s bill so morally crass. Nor its proponents’ conveniently on-again off-again reverence for choice. Nor even a Premier reassuring us the medical establishment’s judgement is fail-safe while dodging the plonk of AstraZeneca and authorising ‘doctors’ to kill. No, it’s morally crass because its foundational premise is that suffering is undignified. Not just undignified but harmful to others. This, then, is the barbarian revolution at the top of Australia’s things-to-do list. Coinciding with both a pandemic endangering the elderly and an aged ‘care’ sector collapse, this virus-like utilitarianism will train successive waves of the dying to believe they may have to be murdered to be loved.

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1 Response to On Life and Luxury

  1. Roger says:

    Abortion: My body. My choice!

    Vaccine: Just get the damned thing already!

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