Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Great Personhood Hoax

One of the best known personhood wars was the issue of the status of slaves during the formation of the USA. Slaveowners wanted their slaves to get full “personhood” so that they could vote their entire plantation. The non-slaveowners conceded but only to the tune of 3/5 of a person per slave. That kept the effect of full plantation voting down some, but conceded a lot.

That definition of personhood, a legal definition, was not based on any characteristic of the slaves. It wasn’t their body functions or their minds or any physical or mental attribute at all. It was purely a political construct which was useful for application to a certain class of humans.

I’ve always wondered if that ratio was ever amortized by the percent black vs percent white in a given individual. Probably not. But the point is that the term “person” and “personhood” is not a reference to any tangible attribute of any human being. In the case above, it was an arbitrary political designation which chose slave status as the attribute. The reason for the designation of “non-personhood” to a class of individuals might vary in detail, but the original cause, the “why”, is always to deny that class of something that the more powerful class doesn’t want that class to have. It’s a class war construct.

There is no “personhood gene”; there is no “personhood” organ, no “personhood” height or weight or melanin. There is no “personhood meter” and no “personhood metric”. There is no operation called a “personhoodectomy” where personhood is removed. There is no “personhood replacement prosthesis”. There is no stem cell which provides “personhood”. The mother doesn’t pump “personhood” through the umbilical. No one falls and breaks their “personhood”. No one says, “your personhood is annoying, please tone it down, OK?”

Personhood doesn’t exist as a human attribute. Period.

Personhood is an externally applied exemption from the assault planned on those who are arbitrarily designated to be non-persons. Because it is not an actual part of a human, it can be applied and/or removed without touching or seeing the human or the entire human class being discussed. Personhood has no more actual meaning than the title of a designated class.

Personhood is always assumed to be attached somehow to the ethicist who is removing personhood from other unfortunate classes. No ethicist is a non-person under his own scheme of personhood, although when white men have their personhood revoked, some ethicists will be affected. Everyone else might be at risk, though, depending on the Social Justice theory of the day. One should check the list of personhood designations daily.

Particularly at risk is the human in the womb. Various calculations have determined many different points in the life of the human in the womb where “personhood” comes out of nowhere and lands on the fortunate pre-born. Commonly the “personhood” meme is created by law, and dispersed into the ether, where it ultimately finds pre-born humans to attach to. Of course, there is the other category as well, the non-persons, which get a similar meme through the ether but theirs decreases their chance of survival considerably.

In a sane society, there would be an effort to find the cause of the deaths of that category, and to apply constraints to stop it. That worked for polio and other hazards. But this is not your standard hazard, because it is a desirable hazard – a eugenic hazard which is legally approved and promoted, and supported secondarily with every taxpayer’s dollars.

So it is clear; personhood doesn’t exist, but not having it can get you killed. A society which designates a class of humans as killable purely on a non-existing attribute is not a well society.

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