A little chart produced by Think Progress has been making a second set of rounds on my social media feeds so I thought I’d address it. The charge describes the number of weeks of paid maternity leave several countries mandate by state decree (click to embiggen):
To many of my friends this chart demonstrates the horrible working conditions modern women in the United States are subjected to. Why, Canada gives women 50 weeks of paid maternity leave! They don’t seem to consider the fact that this paid maternity leave is only provided at the point of a gun. In order to provide such a benefit either the state must pay the women on maternity leave or the employer. If the state does it then it can only be done through theft, and if a business is forced to do it then it can only be done through the threat of violence.
People who are demanding the United States provide paid maternity leave should stop asking for it and start taking it. Do you want paid maternity leave? Is your employer unwilling to take it? Are you petitioning the state to provide it? Why not cut ou the middle man? Walk over to your neighbors’ homes, put a gun to their heads, and take what money you feel you’re owed. That’s what you’re demanding the state do for you after all.
This is the thing that irks me about the progressive movement. They aren’t trying to get social changes through voluntary cooperation, they’re trying to get it through force. Instead of advocating companies provide paid maternity leave or setting up mutual aid societies to help women on maternity leave they’re asking the state to use its gun to force the issue.
People want fre shit. If getting that free shit means forcefully taking it from others so be it, so long as somebody else performs the theft. It’s no different than the gun control advocates who demand the police rush to their house and kill the intruder; they’re against violence unless it’s done by proxy.
Before some member of the progressive movement accuses me of being misogynistic, waging a war on women, or simply being an asshole let me clarify this: I’m not against people voluntarily creating a mechanism to help people with newborn children. I would love to see a mutual aid society that focuses on helping families with newborns, in fact I would love to be a member of such a society because I know those services will likely be important to me when I decide to have children. You will get no argument from me if an employer decides to voluntarily offer paid maternity leave. If neighbors want to band together to help new mothers I’m all for it. I encourage helping one another but I can’t, in good conscious, support the initiation of violence.