Requiem for a failed referendum: still philosophy

by Ana Bazac

I wrote a paper – The breaking importance of the Romanian referendum for the traditional family: philosophical arguments –. The liberals who read it were disturbed by the arguments I advanced for the referendum and tried to counter them with the usual reference to the human rights and the discriminations towards LGBTI.

But:

1. The referendum related to the definition of family as free consented union of a man and a woman, and not simply of spouses, is a preventive measure against the pressure of LGBT to adopt children. The measure is preventive because in the present Constitution the formula is “between spouses”, and this formula would be a basis of that pressure. The referendum is not  against the same sex marriages, which will to become official under the name of partnerships or any other name chosen by LGBTI – but against the possibility of LGBT unions to adopt children, regardless of whether one of the partners is the biological parent of the child.  This is the reason the referendum concerns the definition of family. A family is not a simple union of partners on the basis of love and intercourses, but a union able to raise children.

Letting aside the socially induced homosexuality, nature gave birth to different anomalies, so homosexuality is natural. The homosexual couples result. But just because they cannot produce children, they cannot raise them. From this standpoint, they are not families, so they are not natural for children.

The referendum is not a manifestation of hate and homophobia, because it does not question the love, respect and mutual attraction of partners, and because it does not impugn the human rights and the equal rights of people, irrespective of their sexual preference.

The referendum is not an infringement of the economic, political and social rights of LGBTI persons, it is not an interference into the private right of people – yes, the right to same sex unions is a private right, and no social regulating must involve in these unions – but a support of the right of children, and thus of the biological health of the generations and species. The rights do not concern only the LGBTI partners, but also the children: who have no voice in this possible relationship, and whose sensible, vulnerable mind must be defended against unnecessary problems at their age, just in order to be free to be curious to understand the world, to learn and to solve intellectual and physical tasks.

The right to marriage is not at all tantamount to the right to adopt children: because the first concerns only the two partners to freely consent to their union, while the second does concern also “the third person”, the child. Just for this reason, more clearly for the rights of children, the state institutions analyse the adopters and, for example, forbid adoptions by alcoholics etc.: and this does seem to be normal, even to LGBTI persons, does it?

And since the LGBTI persons are humans – not only with the same rights but also deserving the same respect and dignity as human beings – they have not only aspirations, e.g. the aspiration to have children, but also rationality: that manifests also as responsibility. This does not mean the mortification of aspirations in the name of an apparently cold and abstract rationality, but a responsible judging: that cannot ignore the priority of responsibility towards the other, in this case the children. Once more: except the right to raise children, the LGBTI persons have the same rights and, from a liberal standpoint speaking, the same opportunities for their aspirations.

But just as human beings deserving the same respect and dignity as all the other humans, the LGBTI persons must think to the children not only as means for their aspirations, but also as ends for the sake of children themselves. Actually, just by considering the children as ends does mean to be responsible as human being. This reference to Kant – to consider the others not only as means but also as ends – helps all of us to understand that the human rationality implies the judgements about the consequences of the actions and about the situation of generalisation of our aspirations an actions: if in our deep moral intuition these aspirations and actions cannot be generalised/cannot become universal, it means that they must be changed. If I cover this condition of universalizability, if I overwhelm it with my aspirations/if I consider that my aspirations deserve an exception, I do no longer behave as a (responsible and rational) human being, for my egotism is more important than anything else. Or: The psychical health of children requires a family (a mother and a father, or only the conscience that it was a father and a mother). If the adoption of children by LGBTI persons cannot be universalisable from the standpoint of children’s psychical troubles produced by this adoption, it must be forbidden.

***

  2. Briefly, these where my arguments responding to liberal arguments. I certainly did not answer the political offensive from the media: a) and since this offensive has continued even in the days of referendum (as movies and actions advocating “diversity”)   – at the same time that offensive monitoring and forbidding any defence of the referendum – why did the liberals not apply that famous liberal saying “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”[1]?; b) but I only wondered about the blindness of “left-wing” intellectuals who did not differentiate between the fascist propaganda against homosexuals and the idea of the referendum.

  The defence of the referendum was promoted by the hated social-democrat politicians in power and by priests and thus was untrustworthy and deceitful; the political offensive against the referendum has incriminated the political and electoral interests of the social-democrat coalition in power; the unjust policies of this coalition and even the simple fact that the referendum came from those in power were, in the eyes of the neo-liberal offensive, and of people, the proof of the malign character of the referendum; the pro-referendum propaganda of the Church made once more weak the reasons of the referendum.

***

3. But I considered that people can discern an idea from its promoters. Well, they could not. The anti-referendum propaganda was so offensive and the promoters of the referendum were so unworthy of confidence that the logic of people proved to be very simple. Their attitude was an ordinary electoral punishment of those in power and has excluded the consequences of the adoption of children by LGBTI persons. And since the present was more interesting for them than the future, they reduced the stake of the referendum to marriage and homosexual intercourses. Accordingly, they behaved in a normal tolerance towards the homosexual partnership.

From an epistemological viewpoint, it’s interesting that though people are educated to have a fragmentary vision, to separate things, thus to not relate them and nor them and the consequences, they did not separate the core idea of the referendum from its bearers: and behaved in a manner of classical electoral refusal.

***

4. But this behaviour is both the result and part of a conscious strategy to make the majority to accept ultimately – thus after gradually introducing the latest values of domination – what is malignant for it. In this strategy, people were accustomed to ignore an “all the way” logic – namely, the future consequences of a series of causes, as well as the discovery of causes, and the differences between time intervals – thus rationalism was substituted by the approval of the ephemeral and the seen present; people were accustomed to ignore the appurtenance to the human species, in the name of both or either the individual ego and/or the appurtenance to narrow and close communities: humanism being substituted by the carpe diem of the individual and the close communities; for this reason, to show the reason of universal values became untimely.

The adoption of children by homosexual couples is not at all the most malignant situation. But as in other countries where this situation is already a banal fact, the majority from these countries and from Romania fell in front of the mimicked progressivism waving the flag of liberal tolerance, some one even thinking that this would be a revolution, but tolerating at the same time – no, approving the wars in the name of intolerance towards opposed political options. Supporting and enjoying the Pride Parades, people are silent in front of the bombardments of children in Yemen and of wedding celebrations in Afghanistan.  They are silent in front of the big war preparations, but consider that the right of homosexual couples to adopt children is a “human right”.

Is there too much philosophy for such a trivial fact as that to letting homosexual couples to adopt children? Not at all; because there are two big problems: that of adoption as such, and that of the majority’s behaviour. This behaviour is “thoughtless”, and proves a “negative solidarity”, to use Hannah Arendts’s formula in The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951), of the majority: just that now the masses are not against the sexual minority – as between the two world wars – but against the children and the future generations, just because the sexual minority is used by neo-liberalism as “rabbit” attracting the thirst of masses for equality. The public interest – still in Arendt’s understanding – is not at all attained through the right of homosexual couples to adopt children, because the public interest transcends the particular identity (here, sexual) and the private interest in a temporally permanent structure of relations. On the contrary, that “right” makes the public future more fragile than ever.

In 1958 Aldous Huxley has published Brave New World Revisited[2]. Here he showed that the control of the future society will be realised – and more rapidly he thought in Brave New World – through positive stimuli/”non-violent manipulation” – a permanent consume, unlimited sexual freedom, recreational drugs, cultural uniformity, and genetic engineering – and lesser through punishment. This strategy applies even in the “coercion zone” (the peripheral countries), we add, but here the negative/violent stimuli are predominant.

The result of such abdications like the failed referendum illustrates only a new step in this brave new world: the adoptions will be free, with two major consequences; the present behaviour of the majority destroys the future of concrete children and concrete generations, and strengthens the moral relativism; in present and in the future.

***

My article gave cogent arguments related to the taking over by the left of the right-wing slogan of equivalence of class and sexual identity, and the present mantra of the “modern” lining the feminist, LGBTI, antiracist activists as main allies of the left movement: as if all these non-class identities would be similar, and as if the feminist and LGBTI activists would not have an anti-proletarian stance. The fear to not be considered dogmatic and anti-modern – and to not alienate the above activists – made some left-wing people to not agree my article.

***

Finally, what does the failure of the referendum show? Hate of Russia – since even in the days of referendum, the neo-liberal propaganda has insisted on the interest of Russia in the fuelling of referendum –? Hate of the social-democrat coalition in power? The big enthusiasm for the “Western world and values” equated with the “modern spirit”? The rejection of the Church?

Probably:  all of these, but in different proportions. The hate of Russia prepares the approval of the next war. The hate of the social-democrat coalition is a basis for the next elections and alternation, with the help of the enthusiasm for the “modern (Western, and not pro-Russia) spirit”. But have the social-democrats an electoral alternative? Does this situation not pave the way to a radical right (instead of a not enough right-wing social-democracy)? But can we base on the rejection of the Church? People should have showed this rejection much before, at least when the mega-cathedral began to be erected.

But they did not. Therefore, the failed referendum was not a victory of the people – “who finally showed its distancing from the left” – but a demonstration of its impotence. To not vote and to not prevent future catastrophes of children and generations/the species was the more comfortable behaviour, continuing the silent opposition and alienation. People have showed that they are “against”: the coalition in power, the Church/rather its high hierarchy and privileges, the whole electoral masquerade. But this is only a negative freedom, to use Isaiah Berlin’s category.

The immediate future is cardinal for the construction of a positive freedom.

[1] S.G. Tallentyre (Evelyn Beatrice Hall), The Friends of Voltaire, London, Smith Elder and Co., 1906, p. 199.

[2] New York, Harper and Brothers, 1962, ebook 2017. Brave New World was published in 1932.

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