Saturday, November 12, 2011

Martin Durkin: The Green Superstate - what the global warmers really want

Who poses the greater threat to freedom?   Colonel Gaddafi?  The Taliban?  Or let’s look closer to home, at a sinister group with far, far greater influence on the future of Western civilization.

The Green zealots, with their bicycles and wispy dresses and organic fruit juice, should have us quaking in our boots.  With terrifying single-mindedness, the Green movement is waging war against freedom, for more State control.   And they’ve been at it from the start. 

In his Population Bomb (written in the 60s) Paul Ehrlich says, ‘The policeman against environmental deterioration must be the powerful Department of Population and the Environment.’   Sounds scary, but when the future of the planet hangs in the balance, there’s no room for half measures. 

E. F. Schumacher, in his classic green text Small is Beautiful, advocates, in place of capitalist free markets, a ‘national plan’ imposed by ‘some central agency’.  And he reminds us, in sinister tones, ‘Planning (as I suggest the term should be used) is inseparable from power’.  National planning by a central agency would, he says, give us ‘a more democratic and dignified system of industrial administration’.    And, with topsy-turvy logic, he equates State control with freedom, ‘private ownership of the means of production is severely limited in its freedom of choice of objectives, because it is compelled to be profit-seeking, and tends to take a narrow and selfish view of things.  Public ownership gives complete freedom in the choice of objectives and can therefore be used for any purpose that may be chosen.’   How free they must all have felt in the old Soviet Union!

Three years later, in 1976, Stephen Schneider writes the first climate scare book, The Genesis Strategy.  He isn’t sure whether the world is going to get colder or warmer, but either way, the problem is free market capitalism, and the solution is more State control.  Schneider even floats the idea of rewriting the American constitution, recalling Paul Ehrlich’s suggestion of creating a ‘Planning Branch’.   As well as the Planning Branch, Schneider suggests another new branch of government, called (like something out of George Orwell) the ‘Truth and Consequences Branch’.

The Truth and Consequences Branch, he says, should work with a series of other ‘planning bodies’, known as ‘World Security Institutes’.  These would include an alarming ‘Institute of Imminent Disasters’, ‘to assess the probable costs of avoiding any and all perceived disasters impending,’ and a parsimonious ‘Institute of Resource Availability’ to provide the first institute with ‘independent resource data’, an ‘Institute of Alternative Technologies’ to which the reports from the Institute of Disasters would be sent, ‘for further study’.  And then, just in case, an ‘Institute for Policy Options’ which would ‘assess the probable costs, benefits, and uncertainties of various options.’  The research and development budgets of these new planning bodies, says Schneider, should be ‘open-ended’.  Hmm.  Lots of jobs and power for scientists like Schneider and his chums in all those institutes.

Like Schneider, Crispin Tickell, in his famous early alarmist book Climate Change and World Affairs, isn’t sure whether the world will warm up or cool down, but the problem, again, is industrial capitalism and the solution is a powerful ‘international custodian of the world’s climate.’

And so it continues today.  Michael Perelman in his book The Perverse Economy – The impacts of Markets on People and the Environment, insists that ‘markets promote behaviour that is environmentally destructive’.  He reminds us of the joys of World War 2, when ‘In place of markets, they turned to national planning.’  Because, ‘when survival was at state governments quickly abandoned markets.’  He says,  ‘Wartime planning represents an alternative organizational principle that can address the question of sustainability.’

In a recent popular green book called Do Good Lives Have to Cost The Earth, a host of green authors stick the boot into free markets and call for more State powers.  Tom Hodgkinson rails against the ‘sick and bloated private sector’, Caroline Lucas attacks privatization and deregulation, Andrew Sims and Joe Smith tell us, ‘This is a call for the politicians to get their hands on the big levers again.’  In his book Heat, the radical green George Monbiot says bluntly, ‘It is a campaign not for more freedom, but for less.’

But hold on a minute.  How does the environment in the despised free capitalist West (air quality, water quality, etc) compare with that of the heavily planned, State-controlled Soviet Union, or Cuba or Communist China?  To take just one example, the economist Julian Simon quotes a Soviet official who said that ’50 million people in 192 cities [in the Soviet Union] are exposed to air pollutants that exceed national standards tenfold.’  The term the Russian official used was ‘catastrophic pollution’.  In Magnitogorsk, a coroner complained in 1991, ‘Every day there is some new disaster … a worker in his thirties dead from collapsed lungs, a little girl dead from asthma or a weakened heart.’  Shockingly, the coroner said that ‘over 90 percent of the children born here suffer from some pollution-related illness.’ 

Why are the Greens so rabidly keen on more State control?  No doubt they would argue that all their green concerns lead naturally to demands for more regulations and public spending and government restrictions. 

Or is the other way round?  Is there a class of bureaucratically-minded folk who favour more State control, for whom green concerns provide what they regard as a justification?  In other words, are the Greens looking after the dolphins, or are the dolphins looking after the Greens?

There is, I believe, a solid, self-interested, class basis for environmentalism.  Green is the natural world view of what sociologists call the ‘New Class’.  Who are they?  Let’s ask Irving Kristol.  In his Two Cheers for Capitalism he tells us, ‘This “new class” is not easily defined but may be vaguely described.  It consists of a goodly proportion of those college-educated people whose skills and vocations proliferate in a “post-industrial” society (to use Daniel Bell’s convenient term).  We are talking about scientists, teachers and educational administrators, journalists and others in the communication industries, psychologists, social workers, those lawyers and doctors who make their career in the expanding public sector, city planners, the staffs of larger foundations, the upper levels of government bureaucracy and so on  … it is a disproportionately powerful class; it is also an ambitious class and frustrated class.’

Daniel Bell, to whom Kristol refers, calls the same class by a different name – the ‘scientific-administrative complex.’

At the start of Oliver Stone’s movie JFK, Stone uses a clip of President Eisenhower’s famous farewell speech, in which Eisenhower warned of the growing power of the ‘Military-Industrial complex’.  But if you look closely, you’ll see a glitch in the middle of the clip.  It is what’s called in the trade a jump-cut.  Oliver (being left wing) decided to edit President Eisenhower’s original sentence, to remove an equally dire warning about the growing influence of the ‘scientific-administrative complex’. 

In The Coming of Post Industrial Society, written in 1973, Daniel Bell argues, that the influence of the military-industrial complex has been exaggerated, compared to the scientific-administrative complex, which represents ‘an intermingling of government, science and the university, unprecedented in American history.’ 

He says, ‘The growth of [public] research and development funds, particularly after 1956 has multiplied the claimants of funds for science.  Universities have become active political entities in the search for money. Scientists and engineers have started hundreds of profit and non-profit companies to do research and evaluation.  The number of scientific and technical associations with headquarters in Washington to represent their constituents has multiplied enormously.  This is the broad base of the bureaucratisation of science.’  He argues that ‘the huge numbers of persons involved, the enormous amounts of money needed for support, and its centrality to the post-industrial society’ leads both to the bureaucratisation of science, and also to the rise of a new, enormously powerful political force. 

J. K. Galbraith (approvingly) notes this too in one of his most important books, The New Industrial State, ‘the educational and scientific estate is no longer small; on the contrary, as we have seen, it is very large.  It is no longer dependent on private income and wealth for its support; most of its sustenance is provided by the state.’ 

Galbraith says, ‘the educational and scientific estate is becoming a decisive instrument of political power.’   And he reminds us that this New Class, ‘owes its modern expansion and eminence to the requirements of the planning system.’ 

This is the planning class - the class that will always call for State intervention … something must be done!  It will always call for another committee or institute or ministry to be set up, for more research into this or that problem. The ‘blind’ market can never be left to its own devices.  It needs direction, and regulation and restraint.  If there is unemployment the answer will always be more government-funded training schemes (run by them) to bridge the ‘skills gap’.   If the price of rented accommodation rises, the answer will be more regulation (by them) of the housing market.  They demand more public spending, planning and regulation as naturally as a stream flows down a mountain. Public sector technocrats are a self-proclaimed solution in need of a problem.  And of course, there is none greater than saving the planet from the dire effects of free markets. 

As Trotsky correctly (for once) observed, a bureaucracy inevitably tends to develop and articulate its own vested interests.  To the planners, freedom itself is a problem.  Just as nature abhors a vacuum, every unregulated activity taunts them.  If there is no problem to justify an extension of their activities, a problem must be found.  And if no problem can be found, then there must be the threat of a problem – they call it the precautionary principle.  This is what the ‘Climate Crisis’ is.  It matters not one jot if it’s getting cooler or warmer.  There must be a problem, the problem must be industrial capitalism (ie, freedom), and the solution must be more State control. 

Irving Kristol’s warning about the ‘progressive left’ applies equally well to today’s trendy global warmers, ‘Modern, liberal secular society is based on the revolutionary premise that there is no superior, authoritative information available about the good life or the true nature of human happiness, that this information is implicit only in individual preferences, and that therefore the individual has to be free to develop and express these preferences.  What we are witnessing in Western society today are the beginnings of a counterrevolution, full of bad faith and paltry sophistry, because it is compelled to define itself as some kind of progressive extension of modernity instead of, what it so clearly is, a reactionary revulsion against modernity.’

And a final sobering thought from the economist Deidre McCloskey, ‘All the experiments of the twentieth century were arranged by governments against bourgeois markets.  All of them were disasters.  In short, the neoaristocratic, cryptopeasant, proclerisy, antibourgeois theories of the nineteenth century, applied during the twentieth century for taxing, fixing, resisting, modifying, prohibiting, collectivising, regulating, unionising, ameliorating, expropriating modern capitalism, failed of their purpose, killed many millions, and nearly killed us all.’

Martin Durkin is a film director and documentary producer (best known for the hard-hitting "The Great Global Warming Swindle") who blogs at http://www.martindurkin.com/home.

5 comments:

Brian said...

This article is more than borne out in the vast increase in regulations and compliance costs being placed upon the New Zealand farming industry.
The lack of political power in the farming lobby being a classic case; whereby bureaucracy can impose just what it likes upon agricultural industry making it out to be the pollution villain.

An example is the disparity between the monitored farm discharges and those from the large towns. The question must be asked "Why the separate division?
Would cities and town councils accept an independent body to run a range of tests on their discharges?" on a 24 hour basis. Not very likely and certainly NEVER during a run up to an election.

This article emphasis that "Rampant State Bureaucracy is the forerunner to a resurgent modern Communism".
Our failure to expose and destroy this "Green Virus" is our shame and consequently will infect generations yet to be born. It will bring in total State Control removing any individual choice and freedom.
The United Nations World Order and Government become nearer by the day.
"George Orwell turn in your grave."

Anonymous said...

All those academic book writers have identified a host of problems which thanks to global media. most of which we have now managed to import here, and yes those writers have their local counterparts and slavish followers, but let us not forget the role of the teaching profession, academics, socialists, theorists, they distribute half baked theories and socialism like so much daily porridge. They instruct young minds in the rights of everyone, everyone has rights, no one it seems has responsibilities or obligations, perhaps that comes in a later class, but no one seems to have majored in the responsibility class for three decades.
I think a beautiful green theory might be to give these Utopian theorists the Island of Great Barrier to work with. By their estimation, under their guidance it will be more prosperous that Hong Kong in just two years and then we can copy their proven and prosperous example. However I suspect that like a lot of schoolboys trying to make a work project, all the theories mean very little when you lack experience of operation. I would not be surprised that all their theories amount to is a huge debt for unworkable schemes, just as the last social program did (and the one before). Our biggest election problem are the Parties without a bolters chance of even a list seat, spouting forth great policy that they have not a snowballs chance in Hades of ever installing, yet they act as if their unreal policies might save the day. Beware grand promises from candidates without seats. This may go down as the election of hollow men with hollow promises stepping out to a hollow recession, something of a hollow victory.

Anonymous said...

A great article. 10,000 years ago Alberta Canada was covered in 3 km of ice...then it melted....but there were no SUVs, no steel mills or cement plants or oil refineries. Why? Canada needs more writers like Martin Durkin, unfortunately we are a nation of wimps led by likes of the Green advocates. Kiwis have more common sense than Canadians.

John Morrall Calgary Alberta CANADA

Anonymous said...

One overlooked reason for melting ice sheets is a tilt in the earth`s axis. A classic example happened 4000 yrs ago when what is thought to have been as an asteroid crashed into the earth north of Europe , destoying the land of the Frisians which is recorded as having been a pleasant temperate zone land] Supporting evidence; Glacier bay national park in Alaska 400yrs ago was covered with an immense sheet of ice [Probably was located ion the north pole]; Waimakariri gorge formed by a glacier that retreated 4000 yrs ago and that tiome was a time of mass migrations.

Anonymous said...

Capitalism is coming up against the brick wall of a finite world; the ignorant want to keep on rushing to the destruction of the natural environment which is our nest and the powers that be up the pyramidal heirachy of power [held in place by money and fear] want us all latched on to an electronic money system bearing no connection to productivity.Moneyfeudalism!!!