Green Totalitarians

17 01 2008

If anyone still has doubts that environmentalism is just another form of totalitarian ideology similar to communism, socialism or fascism, read Climate change, is democracy enough? by David Shearman. In this article Shearman muses:

Taking into account the performance of the democracies in the reduction of emissions over the past decade, do you feel that the democracies are able and willing to reduce their emissions by 60-80 per cent this century or perhaps more importantly by approximately 10 per cent each decade?

Would David care to give us some good news on performance of non-democracies in reducing of emission? No, actually not because they don’t exist. Instead he argues that because China banned plastic bags before Western Democracies did, totalitarian communism is better equipped to deal with environmental problems than democracy. One is left to wonder what the ban on bags has to do with greenhouse emissions, but never mind. Taking into consideration that China is opening a new coal plant every two weeks or so, Shearman’s argument appears idiotically illogical and out of touch with reality.

Liberal democracy is sweet and addictive and indeed in the most extreme case, the USA, unbridled individual liberty overwhelms many of the collective needs of the citizens. The subject is almost sacrosanct and those who indulge in criticism are labeled as Marxists, socialists, fundamentalists and worse.

If one trumpets the virtues of communism or some other totalitarian ideology why shouldn’t they be called communists or fundamentalist?

These labels are used because alternatives to democracy cannot be perceived!

Actually, they can be perceived, but most straight thinking people don’t fancy communist China as the model society. Perhaps David could suggest a model that doesn’t involve collectivism and totalitarianism and than we will talk, rather than drumming up command and control dictatorial systems with proven record of failure and human misery.

There must be open minds to look critically at liberal democracy. Reform must involve the adoption of structures to act quickly regardless of some perceived liberties.

I’m guessing this must be the implicit acceptance of anti-terror laws, Guantanamo Bay and the use of torture. Why not, if perceived liberties are so unimportant!

It is not that liberal democracy cannot react once it sees a threat, for example, the speedy response to a recent international financial emergency. If governments can recognise a financial emergency and in an instant move heaven and earth (and billions of dollars, pounds sterling and euros) to contain it, why are they unable to do the same in response to a global environmental emergency?

Hmmm… One one hand we have the real financial emergency that is happening right now, on the other we have a hypothetical emergency that could happen in some distant future if computer model predictions turn out to be correct. It surprises me that Dave is having some difficulty distinguishing between real and hypothetical. Than again, I bet Shearman never had to endure life in totalitarian China he so admires. His entire world-view is based on embracing hypothetical over real.

The greatest virtue of democracy is open debate that allows various ideas to tested. That’s why it often takes longer for democracies to change. We don’t just do something rash on a whim of the dictator. As far as I am concerned this is our strength not a weakness. For the green zealots demanding that society must change to accommodate their preferred world-view democracy is the obstacle to imposing their agenda on everyone else. For the rest of us, it’s the best protection from zealots we have.




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