Environmentalism has long stopped being about the environment.
It has become a vehicle for anti-capitalist (not even leftist, just anti-capitalist).
For the last two centuries, capitalism, scientific and economic progress had - instead of coming to pieces in ever-expanding economical crises, like Marx predicted - made everybody in the world incredibly wealthy.
Economists estimate that the per-capita GDP in the United States in 1820 - already then one of the wealthiest countries in the world - stood at $1,257 per capita when translated into modern money. Today, the inhabitants of Lesotho are wealthier than this. The average Russian, Mexican, Kazakhstani is now orders of magnitude wealthier than the average American in the 1820's. The average per-capita income on the planet, according to the IMF, is $10,725.
And this is not even including wealth that cannot properly be measured with money. I am likely to live longer than the Americans of the Founding era. Thomas Jefferson, the most brilliant man on the North American continent in his lifetime, had owned 6700 books and donated them to the Library of Congress. There are now people who carry more books on their person. Next week I will go to Ireland. I will arrive within 8 hours, a time which includes spending 2 hours in Istanbul. I will travel in comfort that would be completely unimaginable even to the wealthiest men of 1820.
In short, capitalism in the general sense – the process of people buying and selling goods and engaging in the process of trade via the institutions of private property, investment, and banking – has succeeded beyond the wildest dreams of economists. Any sensible economist, even a Keynesian, believes now that the best way to ensure the greatest wealth and prosperity for the greatest number is to preserve this process at least in the general sense.
In a greater sense, Ayn Rand and Herbert Spencer were right. It turns out that the economy is not a zero-sum game. Money and resources are not re-allocated, they are made.
Neither did – like leftists predicted – capitalism lead to an intolerant, sexually-conservative bourgeois society. Nevada, San Francisco, Amsterdam are all products of capitalism and private property. Capitalism has led to the greatest liberalization of attitudes towards sex, political views, personal freedom known to the world.
But there are still people – mostly in the academic and para-academic world – that feel an inherent loathing of the capitalist system. They hate consumerism, they hate prosperity, they hate commercialization. They hate it for a variety of reasons – because a consumer can choose a book that the English Studies professor thinks is primitive, and his vote counts as much as the English studies professor's, because a consumer may reject the Film Studies' major's pathetic little student movie, because they've been taught by their environment to do so. There are great reasons they do it – but they all don't matter. Mises 'Anti-Capitalist Mentality' is the best document to read on this.
The important thing to realize that the radical leftist hates you – and the modern radical leftist is worse than the Communist of the 1930's. The Communists at least believed in science, progress, dams, and medicine. They built DNEPROGES, they invented nuclear power and sent men to space.
The radical leftist is not – whatever he claims – a liberal. Having abandoned religion, he has required a justification for his belief that everything around him is morally wrong. Since it is now clear to anybody who cares to look that capitalism in the broad sense leads to more wealth and freedom for everyone, it only remains to hate wealth and freedom.
This does not mean that the scientists who propose the theory of AGW are wrong. I don't know and I don't care. It's not relevant to what I am talking about.
The ideology of the warmist as it is promoted in the media and environmentalist organizations has little to do with the science of global warming.
The warmist contends not only that AGW is true. He contends also that the only legitimate solution to it is his solution. In the warmist's universe, nuclear power is evil. Adjusting to the (Actually very limited) effects of warming is irresponsible. Geoengineering is morally wrong.
So what is left? Only the deliberate slashing of emissions and accepting a reduced standard of living for all. If you do not want to do this – if you don't want the government to ban the vehicles you like, or tax the food you like, or raise the price of electric power deliberately so you will consume less – then you are evil.
Never mind the monstrous implications. Reducing the standard of living for a European means a 24-inch TV and not a 32-inch TV. Reducing the standard of living for the African or Indian who made the TV means starvation. But who cares?
The person who believes in this chain of ideas – that not only is global warming coming, but that it is our duty to reduce our standard of living – is a complete moral monster. He is opposed to your right to the pursuit of happiness and this person Hates. Your. Freedom.
The warmist is a monster. He is a well-dressed, tie-wearing monster who has managed to work himself into the respected echelons of society. He is the sort of person who will look at you and say: “Yeah, sure, in the modern world Indian children may feel happy that less of them are starving, but...”
This is why it is morally right to burn tires just to piss off these people. Because these people are monsters.
Saturday, April 2, 2011
Why the Leftist must be Stopped.
My friend Boris (a Russian Jew, now living in Israel) nails it in this post over at APS when we were discussing Earth Hour :