Conservative radio show host Mark Levin’s book, Liberty and Tyranny: a Conservative Manifesto has been at the top of various best seller lists for several weeks now.
Coincidentally, I reached the chapter on enviro-statism yesterday, just in time for Earth Day. (woo. hoo.)
To oversimplify and sum up, “statist” is Levin’s label for most left-wingers. They’ve abandonned the traditional liberal positions and have instead taken up the mantle of promoting the state above the individual. Largely, this takes place through making people dependent on the government… and strangely thankful for being treated like dependent children. (sound like any administration you know?) And then the state can do whatever it wants.
Did you see the movie version of I, Robot? (yes, yes, I’m sure the original Asimov stories were better…) Short summary: a computer in charge of a company that makes helper robots that do practically everything for people decides that the rules for robots need to be carried out better. Specifically that first one about no robot will ever allow a human to come to harm. Well, she reasons, every time humans are allowed to make choices they seem to cause themselves and/or others harm. Therefore, robots should take over everything, treating humans as children to be babysat, but not free adults. “Isn’t my solution more logical?” she insists. “Yes,” replies the one robot fighting her, “But it doesn’t seem… humane.”
Well, hold on: the government has decided our freedom is too dangerous. (especially the freedom of all my fellow “right-wing extremists” out there planning the next set of tea parties.)
President Obama has used the economic crisis to push through federal control of the major banks. Some talking heads have commented that it almost seemed like Obama was aiming for massive inflation, the way his policies were going. (Well, yeah, because then nobody would have savings, and we’d all be stuck being dependent on the government… and government dependency does seem to be the goal.) Now, the administration is threatening to prosecute former officials for the CIA interrogations (so much for 200+ years of peaceful transition of power… now, you need to be afraid the next administration will prosecute you for something they didn’t like?). Our government has run up trillions of debt before the first 100 days is even over, with more promised to be coming. (Well, heck, when you’ve spent trillions, it isn’t like it’s real money we’ll be paying back, right? Might as well promise the moon, too, while we’re at it!) And, of course, there are the general rumblings about the return of the Fairness Doctrine, the DHS memo categorizing pretty much all conservatives as “extremists” and possible terrorists, and the reaction to the Tea Parties.
The sum, so far, has been to squash dissent, with threats when necessary, and to encourage a fearful public to run to the government to solve all their problems, enforcing that trend by making it more and more difficult for individuals to do or say anything that isn’t an approved thought.
And, just in case the economy doesn’t do it, the environmentalists are ready to finish us off.
When abortion couldn’t be pushed as a population control, the founders of NARAL sold it to the gullible heads of the National Organization of Women (NOW) as a feminist issue with some baseless, inflated numbers about the number of deaths due to back alley abortions. Now that women are speaking out about abortion’s numerous awful effects on women, abortion is being sold again as population control for environmental and economic reasons.
Levin points out that statists resent capitalism’s creation of haves and have nots. Unable to guilt trip people into giving up their wealth or strangle it out with mega-unions, the statists have turned to environmentalism. New environmental standards will choke industry, probably forcing many companies out of business and increasing the costs to consumers on all consumer goods, especially energy.
The section on DDT is especially eye-opening. DDT was banned because it kills birds, right? Rachel Carson and all that?
Actually, the hearings on Carson’s allegations determined that there was nothing to back up her claims of wildly increasing rates of childhood cancers or damage to wildlife. The recently created EPA, however, decided that they were going to ban DDT anyways, in spite of their own hearing. As a result, hundreds of millions of people have died worldwide because the U.S. and U.N. decided that DDT was dangerous, disregarding its dramatic effects on controlling various mosquito-borne diseases, especially malaria. (Recently, news has been coming up about DDT being used the way it was originally intended: to spray walls of homes to ward off disease-carrying insects. Surprise, surprise, people are thrilled that more than half of their kids may actually reach adulthood instead of dying of malaria.)
One particular quote summed up for me the problems with the environmentalism that has become a religion (from National Park Service ecologist David M. Graber, writing in 1989 for the Los Angeles Times):
I, for one, cannot wish upon either my children or the rest of Earth’s biota a tame planet, a human-managed planet, be it monstrous or– however unlikely– benign… [I am] not interested in the utility of a particular species, or free-flowing river, or ecosystem, to mankind. They have intrinsic value, more value– to me– than another human body, or a billion of them.
Human happiness, and certainly human fecundity, are not as important as a wild and healthy planet… Until such time as Homo sapiens should decide to rejoin nature, some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along. (quoted in Liberty and Tyranny, p.121)
As with so many other things, we have flipped reality. As the saying goes, the devil can only mock, not create. Nothing original, only a perverse twisting of truth. Instead of the Biblical view of the environment, where animals have usefulness and are subject to man, who has the responsibility to use all of creation as a responsible steward who will be answerable to God… the church of environmentalism holds that animals are the ones with intrinsic worth, while man’s worth is contingent on how useful he can be to the animals, preferably by staying out of the animals’ way as much as possible, hence the tie-ins to abortion, contraception, and even assisted suicide.
So, if cap and trade taxes kill jobs, if ethanol causes food riots and starvation worldwide, if banning DDT makes American environmentalists feel warm and fuzzy but kills millions of people… well, it’s better for the animals and the planet, so it’s all good, right?
And I haven’t even finished the chapter…