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Who usurps the usurpers?

Here's a pretty old post from the blog archives of Geekery Today; it was written about 15 years ago, in 2008, on the World Wide Web.

I celebrated Roe v. Wade Day today by recalling the radical, anti-statist heritage of the pro-choice feminist movement. Lew Rockwell, on the other hand, celebrated it by reporting an anti-choice campaign endorsement for Chairman Ron’s Great Libertarian Electoral Revolution:

Today – the 35th anniversary of the Supremes’ Roe v. Wade usurpation – Norma McCorvey (Roe) has endorsed Ron Paul for president.

In passing, Rockwell describes the 1973 Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade as a usurpation. But a usurpation against whom?

The only thing that Roe does, legally speaking, is restrain the action of state governments, by forbidding them from passing certain kinds of abortion laws, on the claim that any such law conflicts with the requirements imposed on the several states by the United States Constitution. But depriving someone of a legal power can only count as usurpation if the person or people you’re depriving had some kind of legitimate authority for you to usurp. And since when do anti-war, anti-state pro-secession anarchists believe that state governments have any kind of legitimate authority at all?

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  1. heather reddy

    i think this really brings out a political tension that rose in later posts. for those of us who believe that the state itself is the problem, neither state government nor federal government is legitimate and it’s possible but fairly useless to attempt to quantify whether “minimal” government (which, to the more selfserving minarchist means a government that places minimal restrictions on the market’s ability to restrain the liberty of individuals). i find how anarchists are often misaligned with either fascist or extreme left ideologies to be analogous to how asexual people were misidenitified by kinseyian sexology as bisexual. asexuals have, it is true, equal attraction to the same sex as the opposite sex, which is none. likewise, a politics that assumes a spectrum of laissez-faire capitalism on one end and a big brother welfare state on the other doesn’t leave much room for you and me.

    oh, and vote for choice and stuff.

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