marxism on abortion?? -Reply

Fri Aug 11 14:42:39 MDT 1995

In reply to >>> <daviesj at>  8/11/95, 09:53am >>>

I haven't got a coherent theory of morality to present, and no I
don't find all morality to be religious, although surely the
pro-natalist morality I've seen is all religious.

I grew up in a religion with the very word "morals" often used to
refer specifically to sex, as in "he's got loose morals" i.e. he has
sex outside of marriage.  There were many other rules, of course, but
to me, it was all about other people trying to control my behavior,
and I didn't like it one bit.

And it is still going on all over the country: Christian Coalition
and Republicans in bed together, and Democrats like Clinton
"compromising" and appeasing, etc.

So, to even try to drop some of that baggage from the term "morality"
is a step for me.  (I can probably better stomach words like
"justice", problematic as any term is.)

Yet, I care deeply about what happens to me, to others [already human
life], the planet Earth and everything.  I just don't have handy a
way to put that in terms of "morality".  Especially not without
entering that "nebulous world of 'rights'" [in your words], or even
worse for some, invoking some respect for "individuals".

I do not and did not claim "that there can be no moral argument on a
marxian basis."  I don't know Marx well enough to make such a claim.
I just asked if there is one, regarding abortion in particular, and
against abortion specifically, that someone on the list would like
to claim.

My formal study of non-religious "morality" will have to go on my
reading list; the next opening is about June of 1997.  Until then, I
must make do with the list discussion and my previous life

I'm not sure what you mean by "a moral basis for your capacity to
decide".  Where is the "slippery slope"?  What is the moral basis for
anyone else to intervene in my decision?  What is the basis for
anyone else to be judging if a reason is a "moral" reason?  I hope
you don't recommend distinguishing between "moral" abortions and
"immoral" ones based on the reason for the decision!

If one can find a supportable [moral?] claim for one to have the
legal capacity to determine one's own body, then the rest of the
"morality" of abortion disappears, as far as I can tell.


>  I share these views of yours, and I think that recognition of your
 capacity (I won't enter the more nebulous world of "rights") to
determine the basis for deciding how to live your life is one of the
moral stones with which arguments about class emancipation can be
built.  But both you and Carol Cox have wanted to distance yourselves
from looking for a moral basis for your capacity to decide, and I
fear that's a slippery slope.   Surely you don't think it's a purley
pragmatic or practical issue?  Was  the abolition of slavery only an
expedient?  And is *any* reason really moral?

Matt Davies

     --- from list marxism at ---

     --- from list marxism at ---


More information about the Marxism mailing list