I think I’ll put a trigger-warning on this one – if you can’t handle reality, and you’ve actually been in a constant state of ongoing panic for years (quite a common state, and objectively well-founded) – whether or not you acknowledge this – you’ll probably find the following disagreeable. If, on the other hand, you’re really tired of people pretending that thermodynamics is just an opinion, and bears differently on those to the left and right – you may very well find the following rather refreshing.
It’s no observation at all to say that almost everything is incredibly polarized right now – it’s both obvious and much talked about. Here’s an important point that is NEVER mentioned. It isn’t just one – BOTH sides are completely full of it!
This isn’t a single-issue split, either – pick any fight you care to name, I’ll show you liars screaming death over positions that are themselves incoherent and ridiculous. Walking out of the Paris accords is a tragedy – Why? Those agreements were nowhere near strong enough to be even slightly effective – every single government and body there knew this – that’s the only reason they ever signed them! (Caught a daytime talk segment the other day, where they discussed how much fashion they might someday be willing to give up, for the environment).
Of course, using more coal is an example of outright lethal stupidity – but the opposing team wasn’t proposing a practical approach for survival, only making themselves feel better and kicking the sacrifices down the road a few years when they’ll be even harder and less effective. Three degrees worth – absolute minimum! We accepted inevitable mass crop-failure as a reasonable compromise, in order to achieve political ‘progress!’
I’ve lost count now of the number of people I know who ‘care about the environment’ but still drive a car – and plan-to keep doing that, until the government makes everyone stop – even though that same crew will swear that – “climate is already an emergency, and rapidly getting worse.” Step back again – you know this logic too, you might even have used it once or twice. “I want a government which will force me to change in a way that I won’t change voluntarily myself, even though I say I believe it – strongly – and as for those who don’t believe it at all – or might even have principled grounds for skepticism about approach? – use as much force as you have to…”
Have you caught-it yet? It’s really not a hard sum to do. This position – that the individual who ‘cares’ need show no personal sacrifice even of convenience, until all others are outright forced, is a demand for democratically getting rid of the democracy of broad consent altogether, and top-down imposing by state force and coercion – outright criminalizing the unwilling. Even though the self-designated ‘willing’ actually aren’t. These imbeciles are demanding fascism, while calling everyone else far right!
To improve the environment without smashing democracy – someone has to prove that giving-up wasteful shite can not only be done, but done with style, fun, flair, and no-whining. The unconvinced cannot be expected to live-out that notion and prove this truth to all. We used to widely prize the word consent – what happened?
Without such mass demonstration of responsibility as that, how else could such ends ever be accomplished, but by-bayonet? Naturally, none of the folks who use this logic feel they are supporting fascism – what they’re really after is a way to declare that their opinion about the environment is very right and important, despite the fact that it doesn’t have any significant influence on their own real-world voluntary behaviour. Somewhere between strange and bizarre as claims to principle go – but super-common, all the same. Much like a determined anti-abortion protestor who seeks to deny access to others, later having one themselves (I know three women like this).
So let’s just ask the question – are the passionate and highly emotional opinions of the spoiled citizens of the West – who have for their entire lives benefitted from poverty and despotism imposed on others who were not equipped to resist-it – important? Can we, poached lifelong in the fruits of such brutal exploitation, call our tantrums justice?
A century and a half ago, the middle classes in England, France, Belgium and Germany felt very sure that their indignation over the continuation of slavery in Africa (which they’d only recently given-up running as a globe-spanning business themselves) was vitally important. The big colonial power-grab (which resulted in staggering numbers of deaths, not just of individuals, but entire cultures), was definitely exploited by crazy capitalists – but it WAS NOT started by them! It was US, the outraged voting citizenry demanding, which made these colonialist projects politically irresistible. (Check out “the Scramble for Africa” – by Pakenham – extremely well-written and terrifyingly familiar, especially when we look around at all the trouble our own faux moral indignation has got the world into lately).
Not if we know what’s good for us
Us the people – lazy about our information, passionate about our support or our outrage ‘on principle’ even when we’ve barely heard of the people we’re being happy or mad about, and couldn’t easily find them on a well-marked map (and demonstrate every single day that princple fails to limit, and thus escapes us entirely).
How is everyone loving Aung San Suu Kyi lately? We KNEW she was ‘good’ because her opponents were bad, didn’t we? How about that environmental hero Al Gore – who, when he did have power (and the US had comparative peace, prosperity and stability) personally monkey-wrenched the Kyoto protocol? (And maintains perfect smiling confidence, thanks to broad political-amnesia). No, pay no attention to the funny man over there, get that curtain back in place, we demand to feel like the good guys in all cases, true or not. All discussions of our many and multiplying brave new graveyards banned on compassionate grounds (too triggering).
But honestly – if the enemy of the enemy is so stupid that anyone who doesn’t support the Albright doctrine (designed as a basis for using US military force to intervene in world affairs WAY more often – to do “good”) must necessarily be a horrid sexist – then maybe a second term of Trump is actually inescapable.
Not deserved by the world at large – and certainly not by anyone’s kid – but perhaps by those persistently delusional freakin’ morons who still think the opinions of the spoiled Eloi in the mirror are themselves already golden. No further serious action growth or commitment required.