Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Alone With The State

Politics is often very much a matter of worldview. As such, that which attracts people on one side will often repulse those on the other.

President Obama's campaign has put together a slick little Flash site called "The Life of Julia" which details the 67+ year life of a woman named Julia who has, though great providence, managed to live out her entire lifespan during the administration of President Obama.

When we first meet her, Julia is 3, and she has been enrolled in Head Start so that she'll be ready to "learn and succeed" in kindergarten. Under Romney, we are warned, the Head Start program might be cut 20%, and so Julia might not get her pre-school education.

We follow Julia through the rest of her life, as she benefits from Federal school programs, takes out federally subsidized student loans for her seven year odyssey through college, benefits from the contraceptive mandate, is protected from unfair pay practices by equal pay for equal work legislation, enjoys federally mandated maternity care when she "decides to have a child" at 31, sends her child to a public school full of federal programs, and eventually manages to fulfill everyones dream of retiring on social security and working in the community garden. All along the way, Obama is there, a benevolent presence protecting her from the rapacity of the Romney/Ryan budget.

I'm sure that Obama campaign would not have put out such a highly visible advertisement if they didn't think that it displayed all that was most wonderful about ObamaWorld. But to those who don't see their primary relationship in life as being with the all-protecting state, it's actually a mildly spooky piece of work. Julia is utterly alone. You never see her with parents, siblings, friends, boyfriend (or girlfriend, for that matter), or spouse. We see her pregnant once when she "decides to have a child", and we see her with her six-year-old son Zachary once when he goes off to his federal-program-filled kindergarten. But he's never seen again, nor is any other human being. Clearly, once Zach is under the sheltering arm of the state, he has no need to see his mother again. Nor does Julia need to see parents or siblings. She doesn't even need a spouse or other "life partner". She's got the state to watch out for her, and she has a fulfilling life with equal pay, a SBA loan to start her web design business, and a community garden to work in when she retires on social security. So in each image she appears alone. Safely cocooned from the need to rely on or interact with others. All she needs is the state.

I just hope they've legalized drugs too. It's a brave new world out there.


TheOFloinn said...

Everything within the state; nothing outside the state; nothing against the state.
- Benito Mussolini

Clare said...

I'm often in the awkward position of strongly believing in the legislation proposed by liberals, while being extremely spooked by the worldview that drove them to propose it. Although that actually happens a lot with conservatives too, so c'est la vie

Jennifer Fitz said...

I have a friend who's a single mom in a European state that has every program Obama dreams of and more. Only, her life is a nightmare -- can't get a steady job despite college degree (teacher), doesn't qualify for benefits to stay home, social work won't help, state-approved doctors can't seem to treat the health problems, local school can't or won't provide for the special-needs son. Everything the state is supposed to be doing, it isn't.

And there is no other help for her, because the state is supposed to be doing it all.

That never-ending scenario is always before me when I consider these programs. I really like living in a city where someone who is hungry can turn to dozens of different charities -- if you don't get along with this one, there's another choice.

Jenny said...

Julia is just the composite embodiment of this old Slate article.

Canadian and European women don't need men because they are already married to the state. It is the goal of some for American women to be married to the state as well.