In response to The Grotesque Consumerism of People’s Climate March Attendees:
I love the sheer block-headed stupidity and soaring hypocrisy of a big eco-march. Green activists leaving mountains of stinking trash for other people to clean up? Check. Socialists selling magazines and mementos for cash money? Bingo. Featured speakers who emerge from carbon-blasting private planes and gigantic yachts to lecture everyone else on the need to reduce their lifestyles? Absolutely. Activists eagerly pumping out anti-capitalist messages on billion-dollar social-media sites with smart phones they bought from big corporations? You betcha!
Some of this is not really inconsistent with the world-view of the marchers. Of course they throw garbage in the streets for other people to clean up. I’ll bet a few of them honestly believe that’s a form of Keynesian job-creating “stimulus.” It’s not surprising they think their godlike rulers and celebrity champions should ride greenhouse-gas spewing chariots across the sky. They don’t understand, or actively deny, the connection between free-market capitalism and technological progress; the younger Occupy activists don’t know squat about the degenerate nightmare of communism, and have been assured by their professors that wise government planners can think up all the great tech they’ll ever need. Others are more properly described as fascists, since they believe in the idea of free industry working on a very tight leash held by an almighty State and its ruling Party.
But mostly what this is all about is hatred. It’s a giant bitch-and-moan session, where true believers embrace one another and share fantasies about the overthrow of a shadowy capitalist, patriarchal, planet-destroying cabal. Some of those fantasies are quite violent, as we learn from John Sexton’s article about the capitalist-shooting daydreams of filmmaker Terry Gilliam. You hear a lot of such tripe if you hang around any left-wing protest, especially if it’s got a radical environmentalist presence. To their way of thinking, greedy capitalists, global-warming “deniers,” and other undesirables are trying to murder the Earth and all who dwell upon it with their ideas. Killing them would be an act of self-defense, right?
In addition to the visceral appeal of these hate-fests, there’s the abandonment of personal responsibility. This is collectivism, the same monster that menaced the Twentieth Century. Its appeal has not diminished all that much, despite a century of bloodshed and failure. Fantasizing about the overthrow of faceless capitalist overlords is a way of expressing tribal solidarity and dominance without having to face the ugly truth that what the hard Left really wants to do is enslave ordinary people who do have faces. It’s fun to dream about being part of a mighty collective movement that beats down rich oppressors, not so much fun to deal with the bleak reality of bureaucrats harassing regular folks with increasing amounts of coercive power. Thus do the agents of Empire pretend they are the rebels.
It doesn’t matter that nothing ever gets better under collectivist ideology, including the environment. That’s a feature, not a bug. It’s a source of limitless power. Everything bad can be blamed on what remains of the private sector. The “problem” is always that too many people retain too much freedom to disobey. And if you’ve ever watched an Occupy group run through one of their creepy “human microphone” checks, you know how much they value obedience.