Thursday, June 02, 2005

Prostitutes as responsible citizens?

Don't expect too much from right-liberals in the moral sphere.

A left-wing researcher at Melbourne Uni has claimed that many female students are turning to prostitution because of Liberal Party welfare reforms.

Andrew Norton, the most mainstream right-liberal at the Catallaxy website, has chosen to defend the Liberal Party reforms as follows.

He claims that uni students have higher lifestyle expectations than in the past and that,

I can't see any reason for government to pay for all this, so students should work for it.

The interviews ... show that the sex worker students accept this. They are quite pragmatic about what they do, adopting the language of choice and individual responsibility ... We should not see student prostitution as a policy failure, but as a legitimate way a small minority of people choose to finance their lives.

Prostitutes, it seems, meet all the requirements of good right-liberal citizens. They don't make government bigger by depending on welfare but "responsibly" earn their own money. And they exercise a "pragmatic" individual choice in entering their field of work.

And this is all an intelligent right-liberal has to say on the issue. He is indifferent even to "pragmatic" questions of the real-world effects of prostitution on women, let alone the issue of moral integrity in the realm of sex and love.

This is an example, I think, of how liberalism, even in its right-wing forms, cannot adequately comprehend the nature of man. To someone not sharing this ideology the liberal approach to moral issues seems curiously artificial and stunted.

Something does not become moral because it is individually chosen or because it frees the market from government intervention.

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