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Archive for October 6th, 2014

What drivel it all is!… A string of words called religion. Another string of words called philosophy. Half a dozen other strings called political ideals. And all the words either ambiguous or meaningless. And people getting so excited about them they’ll murder their neighbours for using a word they don’t happen to like.  –  Aldous Huxley

Moral panics never collapse until they completely saturate the culture they infect; once the idiocy has penetrated every available space, then and only then do the conditions become ripe for the dissolution of the entire panic.  One of the signs that this saturation point has been reached (or is at least very close) is that politicians and other control freaks begin to use it as an excuse or explanation for almost anything they can think of.  We’ve been seeing this building with the “sex trafficking” hysteria for some time now; besides its predictable implementation as an excuse for border controls, workplace surveillance and pogroms against sex businesses, we’ve also seen it employed to justify suppression of bitcoin, armed raids of mines in Alaska, harassment of abortion clinics and even military intervention.  It was France who used the latter excuse first, but if you didn’t expect the country that invented the hysteria to follow suit, you haven’t been paying attention:

The Islamic State militant group, which once relied on wealthy Persian Gulf donors for money, has become a self-sustaining financial juggernaut, earning more than $3 million a day from oil smuggling, human trafficking, theft and extortion…The extremist group’s resources exceed that “of any other terrorist group in history,” said a US intelligence official…it…has taken over large sections of Syria and Iraq, and controls as many as 11 oil fields…The group also has earned hundreds of millions of dollars from smuggling antiquities out of Iraq to be sold in Turkey…and millions more…by selling women and children as sex slaves…

white slaveryIt’s interesting that, though the article can tell us exactly where the oil and antiquities are being sold, it’s mysteriously silent on the subject of where all these “child sex slaves” are fetching millions.  I have no doubt that there’s at least some of that going on, but to portray it as a major source of funding sounds to me like the same sort of propaganda used to demonize enemies and justify wars for most of human history.  Though ISIS is being described as a “terrorist group”, it’s obvious that it’s as much a government as any other military junta:

Its cash-raising activities resemble those of a Mafia-like organization…They are well-organized, systematic and enforced through intimidation and violence…in June…the group began to impose “taxes” on nearly every facet of economic activity, threatening death for those unwilling to pay…

Try not paying the “taxes” assessed by your “legitimate” government and let’s see if it responds in some way other than intimidation and violence.  In any case, it was inevitable that “sex trafficking”, as the panic du jour, would be used to justify yet another military adventure; what’s more interesting is when it’s used to rationalize the bloating of a different tentacle of the Leviathan:

100,000 U.S. kids are forced into prostitution each year, and federal investigators regularly rescue children…trafficking is a $9.8 billion industry in this country.  Pimps, who typically control four to six children each, can make $150,000 to $200,000 per child each year.  The children who are forced into sex work are typically about 12 to 14 years old.  They tend to come from disadvantaged backgrounds…Addressing the root cause of the issue involves a commitment to expanding social safety net services for impoverished children.  The people working in the field say they simply need more support in order to create a society in which vulnerable girls can thrive…

Traffic in Human FleshRegular readers know that I support drop-in shelters and some variant of the guaranteed basic income, but that’s not what people like Tara Culp-Ressler (who has repeatedly rebuffed sex worker activists correcting her bogus claims) want; no, they envision an immense, intrusive bureaucracy with others like themselves in charge, implementing social engineering programs to “create a society in which vulnerable girls can thrive” via such means as ordering physicians to “screen” men with irritable bowel syndrome to “spot potential domestic abusers” (and, presumably, send them for “re-education”).

“Sex trafficking” is the most versatile and effective excuse for expanding the State since communism; “terrorism” so pales in comparison that, as demonstrated by the ISIS story above, “sex trafficking” must be added to it because it simply isn’t strong enough alone.  The moral panic can’t last much longer, but I shudder to think which new imaginary menace the statists will dream up next to replace it.

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