Robert Tracinski: ‘The Party of Coercion Hasn’t Thought Much About Coercion’

force

Government Force is the Left’s Entire Agenda

 writes:

The left is the side of the political debate that wants more government: more taxes, more spending, more regulations, more laws. So you would think they would have highly developed thoughts about what a law is and how laws are actually enforced. This is, after all, the stuff they want more of.

You would be wrong.

Sally Kohn recently argued, bizarrely, that law as such is not coercive.

This issue of government force is a funny one. You could also argue that the government is forcing you to drive below the speed limit or wear a seatbelt in your car. But it’s not. There isn’t a police officer holding a gun to your head literally forcing you to buckle up. In fact, you are 100 percent free to speed and not wear your seatbelt—and simply deal with the consequences if you’re pulled over. Is the threat of the fine for breaking the law amount to “forcing” you to follow the law? No.

Get that? Unless someone is literally holding a gun to your head at this very moment, you’re not being coerced. Don Corleone would be glad to hear it. After all, he didn’t coerce anyone. He just made a suggestion that you’ve got a nice place here, and it would be a shame if something were to happen to it.

[Read the full text here, at The Federalist]

I forgot to pay a speeding ticket once. I’m pretty sure if I had persisted, the “consequences” would have involved handcuffs and the inside of a jail cell. And the guys who put me there would have been armed with guns. So I paid it.

keystone-cops

 continues,

This is a pattern I’ve seen over and over again, everywhere, for as long as I can remember: the party of coercion hasn’t thought much about coercion.

Government force is the left’s entire agenda. They want to expand Social Security, seize more wealth from taxpayers, force traditional Christians to cooperate with gay weddings, license beauticians, and impose vast regulations on every aspect of the economy with the goal of controlling the weather 100 years from now.

It is a program of coercion on a vast scale, encompassing matters great and trivial. Yet if you quiz them about the nature and justification of government force, they profess confusion: “The issue of government force is a funny one.”

Many year ago, I was helping to run a college club for Objectivists—fans of the arch-capitalist author Ayn Rand—and we had the idea of co-sponsoring a capitalism-versus-socialism debate with the Democratic Socialists. In the middle of the event, one of the debaters we brought in on our side made a direct challenge to the socialists: aren’t you in favor of force? The socialist debaters just skittered away and evaded it, finally mumbling something about how, when a policy is decided democratically, it doesn’t really matter how it is implemented. And these weren’t just cranks brought in off the street. They were professors at well-regarded universities, and one of them has gone on to some prominence.

This is how it always seems to work. Read the rest of this entry »


D.C. is WAY Richer Than Everywhere Else


Study: Can Boys Be Coerced Into Sex?

coerce-girl-boy

The notion of teenage boys as sexual aggressors is so engrained, the results of a new study, which reveal that they are being coerced into sex by girls and young women, will surprise many.

Lizzie Crocker writes:  There was nothing outwardly headline-grabbing about Bryana H. French’s latest study, published in the august and largely unread pages of Psychology of Men and Masculinity, an academic journal that typically reaches an audience of dozens. While her findings were depressing, they were depressingly banal: according to French and her team of researchers at the University of Missouri, “sexual victimization continues to be a pervasive problem in the United States.” Well, we know that.

“This study should be a wake-up call to parents and educators everywhere…”

— Dr. Barbara Greenberg

So why the media scrum? Because the authors concluded that “43 percent of high school boys and young college men”—yes, boys and young men—“reported they had an unwanted sexual experience and of those, 95 percent said a female acquaintance was the aggressor.”In a press release, French pointed out that “the victimization of men is rarely explored” and concluded hopefully that her team’s findings could “help lead to better prevention by identifying the various types of coercion that men face and by acknowledging women as perpetrators against men.”

The idea that boys (those sex-obsessed little monsters) could be victims of “sexual coercion,” while young girls (so often on the receiving end of clumsy and aggressive sexual advances of the sex-obsessed little monsters) could be perpetrators is, to many, both counterintuitive and unlikely.

“This is such an under-discussed topic,” clinical psychologist Dr. Barbara Greenberg told The Daily Beast. “We’ve been grossly negligent when it comes to talking to teenage boys about sex because society makes the assumption that young adult men are sex-crazed maniacs. But men and teenage boys have tender feelings too, and we often neglect them when it comes to sexuality.”

That females can be sexually aggressive—and young men and teenage boys can sheepishly submit to sexual aggression—is considered peculiar because “coerced sex” is narrowly imagined as violent or forced sex. But according to French’s research, only “18 percent [of respondents] reported sexual coercion by physical force” while 31 percent said “they were verbally coerced [and] 26 percent described unwanted seduction by sexual behaviors.”
Read the rest of this entry »