In response to a post by SwedishJewfish putting Walker's exploitation of the death of a child into its proper context, as an effort to assign culpability from himself to where it doesn't belong, I was moved to "pen" the following as a comment which two readers would like to see as a stand-alone.
So, here it is below the curlicue, even though it contains hardly anything new.
Not that it's any help, but child welfare and family services and foster care are all variants of human husbandry -- the exploitation by people of their own kind to their detriment. Now that the quantity of natural resources that can be doled out for exploitation has significantly decreased, providing "services" to human beings as if they were another exploitable resources has become attractive. Children, at any stage or age, are particularly vulnerable because the law considers them to be the property of their parents, whose property rights trump human rights unless the state perceives a challenge to its right to make life and death decisions.I just want to add that the Koch Brothers' championing of Walker is entirely consistent with their history of having gotten rich by extracting free natural resources from the bowels of the earth and taking them to market for a profit. That's the process "free market" actually refers to. The avoidance of conditions or obligations associated with that transfer (such as cleaning up after themselves) is what makes them free. Freedom from obligation is, after all, the authoritarian ideal -- to take without having to give anything in return, just as other natural predators do. Which, given that the human brain is capable of cognition, suggests that the practitioners of human husbandry, who exploit without killing directly, are somehow deficient and incapable of living up to their potential.
When it comes to children, we're still in the world of euphemism and secrecy, a misuse of the right to privacy which serves as a shield to protect all the actors, except the children. The exploitation of "our most precious resource" is almost a given, considering that throughout EuroAmerican history in the Western hemisphere that's what resources have been for. It's what the ex-men do:
It's all part and parcel of the dominionist attitude. In exchange for being subservient to the deity, man gets to lay waste to the earth with abandon and that includes his own off-spring. It is not mere chance that, along with Somalia, the U.S. has failed to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The incorporation of slavery as a legal status continues to reverberate in our habit of letting ownership rights trump human rights. Most people do not realize that "property rights" or the right to own property (including other people) is a sop to compensate for the fact that human rights, including the right to sustenance and to go on living, are not absolute but are conditioned on humans being subservient and "deserving" of their portion -- the message of the euphemistic "no free lunch." The longer version of which would be that if people want to eat, they must be compliant with the culture of obedience.
That, btw, is a central point of disagreement between authoritarians and the Obama administration and it's being played out in the school lunch program. The proposal to provide free lunches at schools to all children in districts where census data reveal a low level of income is really irksome to conservatives. But, as happened with the student loan program transfer to the Department of Education, they haven't yet figured out how to talk about their ire that children should be started on the road to expect free lunches without seeming mean.
Strange as it may seem, "abortion" is actually a euphemism for talking about "the children of people we hate" by pretending to be concerned about their survival. That "abortion" is a euphemism is not immediately obvious. But, the claim to want to prevent a natural process, an impossibility, serves to obscure the real intent -- i.e. to punish women who don't behave and assert a claim over the children they are forced to produce.
If women don't reproduce with abandon, there won't be a supply of "fungible troops" and there won't be any children to exploit and abuse. Not so long ago, authoritarians used to inveigh against humanism. They did so under the guise of religion, claiming that the elevation of human rights represents a rejection of the supremacy of the deity. But, what they were really opposed to was the elevation of human rights over property rights. When Dubya spoke of home ownership, he may well have had that particular form of ownership in mind, but the "ownership society" he proclaimed has broader implications. It means that a claim to the ownership of things (material assets) trumps respect for the natural properties (speech, association, perambulation, creation) of man. It is the contemporary version of selling our birthrights for a bowl of porridge. There is no living free in that society because the resources we need to survive have been allocated as private property and we have to obey, if we want to get some.
Private property is not, btw, the problem. The problem is that those, who claim to own a portion of God's good earth, have no obligation to share. This is not necessarily so. We could determine that man's natural properties are unconditional and deserving of respect while material assets belong to him only on condition that he share. We are entitled to our properties, but property has to be shared.