Some time – and some liquor bottles – ago my publisher suggested we meet to discuss the timetable on my upcoming book, “Carne”. The publishing date got postponed time and time again, both because I kept expanding the covered material, and because the editor had a hard time with the complex and voluminous text.
So, in order to gain some time – and some profits – we have decided to publish a prequel of sorts: a book which could tell the story of my investigations, serve as an entry point for a reader new to these ideas, all the while maintaining the philosophical and cultural tone of “Carne”. I had to work double- and triple-shift to write this book on time, I was drained, but was, in the end, successful. The result was a rather intricate blend of journalism, libertarian philosophy, sociological treatise and political essay; it covered such topics as etatism, welfare state and treating of women as property. We have decided to call this book “Prolegómenos al libro Carne” (which can be loosely translated as “Introduction to the book ‘Carne’”.)
Most of the covered subjects were the same as in “Carne” itself: prostitution, adult industry, migratory workers; positive and negative sides of various solutions to various issues in this field. I based the book on a few key points, such as: only the person can own herself; relations between sacrifice, gift exchanges and commune-style common ownership of property; privatization and communalization of an individual, as related to a state viewing its citizens as property. I have also analyzed several recent addition to the leftist newspeak, such as “anti-capitalism” and “surplus theory”, and showed that these, too, are but fronts for nationalization of the individual and the annihilation of self.
I could explain further, but it would be better to quote directly from the text.
It should be obvious that a an state-enforced sacrifice, whether it takes the guise of a gift or an obliteration, is only possible in the absence of private ownership of said gifted/obliterated property. In order for property to become available for sacrifice it must, first of all, be either collectively owned (which is just a pretty way of saying “have no owner”) or disowned (either by expropriation or by nationalization). Otherwise its destruction, whether spiritual – by gifting – or physical – by obliteration – will be met with resistance and societal splits. This destruction either requires the existence of a dedicated regulating office whose sole purpose is to determine when to declare the property to be superfluous and therefore available for sacrifice, or, even better, the deep-rooted understanding in the society itself of complete lack of property ownership by anyone in particular, thus fully justifying its destruction or redistribution.
Thus redistribution and destruction of property are actually two sides of the same coin: in both cases the “superfluous” (as determined by an external agency) property is viewed as something morally wrong and physically unnecessary. Thus either type of sacrifice make the life of the governing bureaucrats easier by disposing of the surplus which they justly view as threatening to their very existence. It is, indeed, a threat, for it can lead to, or at the very least fund, the reduction or annihilation of their power.
Indeed, if too many of the producers start coming up with surpluses they will come up with an idea of selling it for their own profits, which will make the state – or at least that archaic part of it which deals with religious dictatorship, warmongering and redistribution of wealth – no longer indispensable.
Thus the need for the sacralization (or rather demonization) of the superfluous property. Once the surplus becomes a taboo, it no longer is a part of the normal socio-economic relations and becomes the responsibility of the ruling bureaucracy. This makes it impossible for the market relations to grow and for the people to start governing themselves.
This archaic yet effective stratagem became a vital part of the left-wing movements of the 19th-21st centuries. They developed it to a science and an art, improved and revolutionized it, transformed it from religion-based into socium-based, and yet in all the “modern” theories of the left we can still hear the echo of the archaic, etatist, anti-market, discriminatory practices of the past, whereby the property and the surplus were sinful and abhorrent.
Today’s governments play the same role in holding the societies back as did the North-American native shamans in performing the ritual of Potlatch. By swallowing the «superfluous» property and excreting it for redistribution, they legitimize it (and make a nice fat profit from those parts that never make it out of the bureaucrats’ pockets). The government acts, not like a symbiotic but rather like a parasitic organism, profiting from its host while at the same time holding it back; yet this parasite has, in the minds of people and societies, a sort of religious, unchallengeable status.
The expropriation (whether direct or indirect, in the form of e.g. high taxation) is doubly evil in that it takes from the people without giving anything back, increasing corruption, improving the social and fiscal status of the bureaucrats; and on the other hand it destroys the institute of property and the market relations, thus depriving the people of any chance of change towards normalcy. Any rhetoric employed by the proponents of a strong state machine is nothing but propaganda: fascism, Soviet communism, Maoism, Chavism, Kirchnerism and Sandinism are all pertinent examples of the functionaries robbing their subjects while hiding under the guise of a “social state”.
People forced to exist in the conditions of common property lose the will to learn, work or improve their life status, for if everything belongs to everyone then nothing belongs to anyone and no one is responsible for anything. The end result is either social and economic depression or chaos, like in Kirchner’s Argentina, or Maduro’s Venezuela. Worse, when it is illegal to own or buy property, the only way to gain it is to either steal or ruin it; societies therefore turn to criminal, destructive behavior and petty jealousies dictate everyone’s decisions.
My intent in both Carne and Prolegómenos was to show that the women involved in the adult industries are more often than not forced into it by being subjected to the ages-old mechanism which turns human beings, females especially, into the property of the state. In many countries women are excluded from the labor market and sometimes even lack basic education opportunities; this makes it easy for the state to exploit them, expropriate and utilize them for their covert and overt procreation programs. Adult industries play a significant role in these mechanisms.
Any time a state criminalizes any market segment, like the adult industries are nowadays criminalized in many countries, one can be certain it is done in order to monopolize it and make a killing off the shadow market. Thus, the criminalized gun, drugs and sexual services in Russia provide a secure trough for various state police agencies. Likewise, the intelligence agencies in the United States make a good living off the drug trafficking market. This is why the state constantly strives to form the cultural and education paradigm in which the women participating in the adult industries are viewed as something repulsive, sinful, verboten.
If, on the other hand, the state legalizes the sex industry, this isn’t any great cause for celebration either. Using Europe as example I show that such legalization is not a real change of state policy, but rather has to do with the political changes in the ethno-migratory ideology. In simple terms, instead of selling their own people into the adult industries, the state utilizes the newly-arrived migrant girls who, for fear of being shamed or even killed by their own friends and families, are forced to hide their occupation. They have, by now, filled about 60 or 70% of the lower ranks of adult-industry employment, riddled with chaos, criminality and lack of any legal contractual obligations towards the workers. (I also have a separate and very important chapter dealing with this matter of contracts).
These issues with the migrants is characteristic not only of Europe with its Muslim newcomers, but also of the Latin American countries. For instance, lots of Haitian women are “employed” as prostitutes in the Dominican Republic, Brazil and Argentina, but they would not think of registering as “legal sex workers” for fear of being rejected by their own community. Meanwhile, they keep plying their trade, feeding their families and boyfriends, who, in their turn, keep their tradition-rooted, archaic society stable and ghettoized. The state utilizes this to its own advantage: a ghettoized society, i.e. one broken into compact easily identifiable islets with their own identity, housing weak minorities not participating in the general labor market and living off criminal and other shadowy activities, is profitable and easy to control. Thus, the state fulfills the role of a devil: it forms a compact with the ghetto community, and the blood used to sign this compact of power sharing is shed by the community’s women.
The interplay of forces between the adult industries, illegal migration and the state is one of the major subjects in my book. I demonstrate that throughout history the criminalization of the sex industry and the manipulation of the state borders turned the former into a gold fountain for the state, and turned the women forced into that life into state property. I dissect and analyze the methods employed by the state in its expropriation of these women, from direct criminalization, creating a cultural paradigm whereas they are viewed as pariahs and right up to various types of socio-economic isolation). I also write about the state’s reasons for acting in this manner, about why the leftist and libertinage-oriented practices are ruinous for society, and how the corresponding rhetoric and politics are making things far worse than they already are (Brazil is a good case in point).
In fact, all prohibitions serve to strengthen the state, increases its power and control over the citizens. From the point of view of a state bent on expanding its control and subduing its citizens the target of criminalization– be it the prostitute or her client or both – is unimportant, what is important is the ability of the state to perform the act of criminalization, and the willingness of the citizens to accept it. The profit from the corruption blooming in the shadow market is guaranteed, as are other, less direct advantages, such as diverting the public attention from any other problems, like rapes, riots and assaults done or instigated by those politically active minorities close to or needed by the state.
So when it looks like the humiliated, oppressed girls are being helped by the state, the truth, unfortunately, is much less rosy. A casual observer without any first-hand knowledge and in-depth analysis of the situation and the cruel rules of this shadowy world cannot comprehend that all that happens is that the oppression gets shifted to other victims. Girls newly immigrated from Africa, Eastern Europe or Middle East replace those “relieved” by legitimization, and they would no longer complain of their problems to the state; they would suffer quietly so as not to attract attention.
When that happens, the state profits in two ways: it takes its regular cut in various forms from the “lower 70%” of the adult industries pushed into the shadow market, and take much more in direct and very high taxation from those “upper 30%” that have been legitimized. This also annihilates all the relatively safe types of sex industries, which formerly allowed some women to save money for their children food, clothing and education, while protecting all the dirty, shadowy, corrupted ones, sanctioning not only their existence but the horrific conditions in which the women are forced to endure.
Two excellent examples are post-revolution Cuba and post-Perezjimenist Venezuela. In Cuba, the revolutionaries, howling about the women’s rights and dignity, smashed all the strip-clubs where the tourists used to party… and sent all the prostitutes (together with the “bourgeoisie” and “perverts” – mostly gays and lesbians) to concentration camps. If memory serves, Castro issued an official apology for this – in 2010 or so. As for Venezuela, there the comrades acted in a much more humane manner: they allowed the prostitutes to go free. The problem was that the prosperity ended with Marcos Pérez Jiménez, the people could no longer allow themselves such luxury as sex entertainment, and the women working in these professions had to take on more johns simply to feed and clothe themselves. The result was inevitable – venereal diseases, living in barracks, poverty… all the more reasons for the Venezuelan women to be grateful towards the progressive leadership.
Another topic I touch upon in my book is the idea of “sex-workers’ unions”. Obviously it is an unbelievably dumb idea, and I try my best to show why. Shortly, because for one thing, the last thing any worker needs is to feed a union; and for another, because such unions are predictably headed by the traffickers, the pimps and the owners of websites showing mostly underage girls masturbating with cucumbers…
And so, finally, we come to the question of whether there is anything we can actually do to improve or resolve this execrable situation. The answer, alas, is less than comforting. It is doubtful whether we will be able to solve this fully, or even partly, in any foreseeable future. Neither the criminalization nor the legalization are likely to bring about the desired result, for the adult industries are knitted together with the corrupted state feeding well off the shadow markets under its control. Here is a quote from the book:
So is it possible to ameliorate or destroy this evil? To the latter, I believe the answer is ‘no’. As for the former, yes, some things, can be done, the evil can be minimized by disposing of the unnecessary regulations, and, in general, by putting the state under a strict control of the civil society, the market and such private organizations that have proved themselves to care about law and justice, instead of bureaucracy and corruption. Additionally, it’s important to create the conditions in which it is easier and more profitable to open a small business than to slide into the criminal underbelly. Personally, I would also strengthen those humanitarian organization that work towards saving these women from slavery – I myself have witnessed time and again the Catholic and the Protestant foundations aiding the prostitutes to leave the life, helping the illegal immigrants gain legal status and work, etc. Obviously, this also serves to strengthen the idea of the primacy of private property.
So, in the end, I came to the same conclusion as all the other researchers and analysts who care more about the women’s well-being, health and identity than about ideology. While I believe the adult industries to be destructive and dangerous for the participants, especially those who have been forced into this life, I do not believe in the criminalization and forceful prohibitions in these areas. Such measures would cause severe degradation by isolating these industries from a legal society and turning it into a corrupt, slavery-based feeding trough for the bureaucrats. We have seen this happen many times in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean countries. Legalization, however, is not going to work either. What we need is decriminalization, deregulation, annihilation of the corrupt state control (whether performed via unions following the legalization or via pimps and gangs following the criminalization). Further, we need significant reduction in the “pornoization” of the culture and the societ, restoration of certain conservative values and traditions, opening various markets and professions for female employment. What do all these sum up to? Total removal of state influence from various areas it currently controls and turning the society towards rightist and conservative ideas. Possible? Sure. Easy or probable? Not so much. I’ll follow up with another quote:
The importance of the decriminalization of prostitution and other adult industries cannot be overstated. Researchers from all over the political map come to this conclusion, regardless of their other, often clashing, views. While I came to this realization from the positions of market economy and conservatism, Andrea Dworkin arrived at the same place despite being a radically leftist feminist. Here is what she wrote on the subject: “Briefly, about prostitution: it is very much in our interest as women to see that prostitution is decriminalized. The criminalization of prostitution leaves poor women open to the most extraordinary kind of abuse and exploitation— by pimps, by pornographers, by professional buyers and sellers of women. It is also very important to us as women that prostitution not be legalized. In other words, there should be no laws against prostitution and there should be no laws regulating prostitution.” A similar point of view was expressed by Dr. M. I. Pokrovskaya of the pre-revolution Russia, whose conservative views and Christian moral led her to condemn prostitution. In her report made in 1899 to the Russian Society for the Protection of Public Health she said: “Elimination of regulations is to be hailed as (…) acknowledging a prostitute as a human being”.
The book is 186 pages long, its size is 21.5 x 15 cm, and it includes, among other illustrations, some exclusive pictures from my personal archives. It will sold both in paper and electronic versions in various online stores.
Kitty Sanders, 2016