Dr. Melvyn Shapiro, Chief, Meteorological Research, NOAA, Boulder, a bitter critic of the ozone hoax: "What you have to understand is that this is about money... If there were no dollars attached to this game, you'd see it played on intellect and integrity. When you say that the ozone threat is a scam, you're not only attacking people's scientific integrity, you're going after their pocketbooks as well. It's money, purely money."
From Dr. Melvyn Shapiro, Chief, Meteorological Research, NOAA, Boulder, and a bitter critic of the ozone hoax:
"What you have to understand is that this is about money... If there were no dollars attached to this game, you'd see it played on intellect and integrity. When you say that the ozone threat is a scam, you're not only attacking people's scientific integrity, you're going after their pocketbooks as well. It's money, purely money."
Dr. Fred Singer, a battle-scarred vet of the war against eco-zealotry, takes a similar cynical view:
"It's not difficult to understand some of the motivations behind the drive to regulate CFCs out of existence. For scientists: prestige, more grants for research, press conferences, and newspaper stories. Also the feeling that maybe they are saving the world for future generations. For bureaucrats the rewards are obvious. For diplomats there are negotiations, initializing of agreements made, and - the ultimate - ratification of treaties. It doesn't really matter what the treaty is about, but it helps if it supports 'good things'. For all those involved there is, of course, travel to pleasant places, good hotels, international fellowship...."
Or there's Kary Mullis, Nobel, Chemistry:
"The global warmers ... predict that global warming is coming, and our emissions are to blame. They do that to keep us worried about our role in the whole thing. If we aren't worried and guilty, we might not pay their salaries. It's that simple."
Shapiro, Singer, and Mullis are partially correct; some do it for money and/or glory. But others do it for other reasons. What might those other reasons be?
The Political Connection
Beginning in the late 1930s, what passes for the global temperature record took a slight (statistically insignificant) downward trend. Based on that minute dip, in the early 1970s the prophets of doom rang the alarm! A NEW ICE AGE IS COMING! A NEW ICE AGE IS COMING!
And the culprit? Industrialism! and its noxious effluents, dust and smoke, blocking out the sun, threatening to throw the planet into the deep freeze.
At the time, frights like these appeared in print:
Reid Bryson, longtime eco-deep-thinker, 1971:
"The continued rapid cooling if the earth since World War II is also in accord with increased global air pollution associated with industrialism, urbanization, and exploding population..."
Peter Gynne, Newsweek, 1975:
"There are ominous signs that the earth's weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production - with serious political implications for just about ever nation on earth."
Nigel Calder, former editor of the New Scientist, 1975:
"The facts have emerged, in recent years and months, from research into past ice ages. They imply that the threat of a new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear war as the likely source of wholesale death and misery for mankind"
But then, smack in the middle of the campaign to stampede the proletariat into ice age hysteria, the global temperature trend took a slight (statistically insignificant) upward slope.
On a dime, without so much as an, "Excuse my elbow", the prophets of doom spun a one-eighty. By George! It isn't global COOLING that threatens life as we know it! By golly! It's global WARMING!
And the culprit?
And its noxious effluent, CO2.
To illustrate how these characters did the eco-flip.... [the late] Dr. Steven Schneider (mentioned above) [spoke] with a stentorian voice among the global warming apocalyptics, and, like Tertullian, threaten[ed] us with fiery annihilation, lest we change our profligate ways.
However, twenty-five years [before], Schneider was busy flogging the anthropogenic-aerosols/ice-age line of doom. At the time, a few scientists speculated that the theoretical warming caused by increasing CO2 levels might tend to offset the cooling effects of anthropogenic aerosols. In furious defense of his ice age, in a published paper, Schneider lashed back (note the categorical certainty of his tone.):
"Temperatures do not increase in proportion to an increase in atmospheric CO2... Even an eight-fold increase over present levels might warm the Earth's surface less than 2 degrees Centigrade, and this is unlikely in the next several thousand years."
When global temperatures seemed to be falling, Schneider blamed the fall on industrialism, and he understood clearly that CO2 was an insignificant greenhouse gas.
But when temps began to rise, Schneider spun round and scrambled aboard the CO2/global-warming bandwagon, this time blaming the rise on, what?
So, you see, it ain't about warming or cooling. It's about industrialism.
These guys don't like it. They wanna kill it.
Which leads to a most interesting question regarding eco-zealotry: why do environmentalists want to kill industrialism?
They argue, typically, as does Dr. Ted Kaczynski - in an opinion echoed almost verbatim by Al Gore (See "A", below) - that, through its noxious effluents, industrialism threatens the survival of Planet Earth. But, they continue, industrialism is only a symptom of a much more fundamental flaw in human affairs.
And that flaw is capitalism.
Capitalism promotes industrialism.
Thus, to save ourselves ... CAPITALISM! ... THERE'S the demon we must exorcize!
And if you don't do what we tell you, THE WORLD WILL END! Not my words. Theirs. A few examples (of many out there):
"... the immediate source of the ecological crisis is capitalism, a cancer on the biosphere. I believe that the color of radicalism today is not red but green."
- Murray Bookchin, founder of the Institute of Social Ecology.
[The environmental movement should regard attacks on pollution as] ... "different ways for attacking concentrated corporate power, thereby opening up the possibility of revolutionary change, and for reorganizing society and communities on different principles..."
- James Ridgeway, long-time fellow of The Institute of Public Policy.
"... environmental pollution is a sign of major incompatibility between our system of production and the environmental system that supports it. [The socialist way is better because] ... the theory of socialist economics does not appear to require that growth should continue indefinitely."
- Barry Commoner, long-time star and seminal thinker among the eco-elite.
"...if we don't overthrow capitalism, we don't have a chance of saving the world ecologically."
- Judi Bari, of Earth First!.
The real world has a nasty way of jumping up and slamming these suckers in the face. If you think that only socialism can save the planet, check out, "Tragic Nightmare: Ecocide in the U.S.S.R. and Eastern Europe" (1993), and/or, "Ecocide in the U.S.S.R." (1992).
At this point, one must lay aside the scientific journals and pick up the history books, because we're not talking about science anymore; we're talking about political beliefs and their etiology. Specifically: socialism and fascism.
Enter Socialism & Fascism
What follows are historical accounts I've gleaned over the past several years from reading a lot on the origins of fascism. Nothing I say is outlandish or outside what has evolved into a legitimate interpretation of the growth of fascist theology. In fact, at this moment, I've just finished, "The Third Reich - A New History", by Michael Burleigh, the William R. Keenan Visiting Professor at Washington and Lee and Distinguished Research Professor in Modern History at Cardiff University. Per the book's jacket, Burleigh is, "... the author of six well-received books on modern European history." One cannot classify Burleigh as a "questionable source".
In Burleigh's account - or any other, for that matter - I've encountered nothing that contradicts anything I say below. And Burleigh hits all the fundamentals. For example, at the bottom of page 30, writing on the attitudes gaining popular purchase in Germany during World War I, he writes:
"... enmities gradually focused upon ... England as the home of rapacious 'Manchester' capitalism, or of France as the embodiment of ideas represented by the date 1789. ... Among German intellectuals of an already illiberal cast of mind, such writers as the Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky, who were rabidly anti-Western, became modish."
Later, at the beginning of Chapter 3, he continues:
"[The Germans hailed World War I] as a revolution and a liberation, a rebellion against stultifying conditions and the domination of Western culture by France and Britain, providing the chance for the full affirmation of Germany and German culture for the first time."
Burleigh nailed it. He uses the terms "Manchester capitalism", "illiberal", "anti-Western", and the date "1789" correctly, and there did exist in Germany this long-standing anger and resentment at "Western culture" and its supplanting of a superior German culture. And therein lie the origins of modern socialism, fascism, and environmentalism.
Another not exactly "questionable source," in Chapter 1 of his, "A History of Fascism, 1914-1945" (University of Wisconsin Press, 1995), Dr. Stanley Payne, Hilldale-Jaume Vicens Vives Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, observes that, "... the first major expressions of modern environmentalism" occurred in pre-WWI Germany around the turn of the last century and "would later be adopted by the fascists".Bingo! Another bull's-eye!
Environmentalism, as we know it today, has its roots (for the most part) in 19th century Prussia, where an assortment of deep-thinkers most influenced the advance of both socialism and fascism. Among many other persons, this group included fellows like Marx, Fichte, Sombart, Lagarde, Hegel, Langbehn, List, Schmoller, Feuerbach, Nietzche, and von Treitschke - the Dead White European Males who established the intellectual foundations for every belief held so dear by today's left. Whatever social injustice today's leftist detects, these guys detected first. Whatever solutions to social injustice today's leftist demands, these guys demanded first. And for all their intellectual brilliance, the theories generated by these 19th century geniuses in practice gave to us in the 20th century: Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro, and Mussolini.
Fascism as socialist heresy...
" ... better go down with Bolshevism than live in eternal capitalist servitude."
- Joseph Goebbels, from his, "Diaries".
Fascists are socialists.
First clue: the Nazis called themselves, "The National Socialist German Workers Party", not, "The National Capitalist German Plutocrats Party", and the Nazis boasted that Hitler's Germany was, "the most modern socialist state in the world."
In the late 1930s, during a visit to Spain to witness the civil war, George Orwell - at the time still a true-believing socialist - lamented at the warfare between fascists and Marxists because, after all, "Aren't we all socialists?".
When reading fascist theologians, one quickly realizes that fascists were as obsessively anti-capitalist as any Bolshevik or Social Democrat, and, during the 1920s and 30s, everybody knew it.
Fascism is but a heretical sect of socialism. In Mussolini's early days, before his rise to power, many of his Marxist critics viewed his fascism as a curiosity and recognized it as "more of a heresy from, rather than a mortal challenge to revolutionary Marxism." (See Agursky's, "The Third Rome", 1963.)
In the first few paragraphs of "Capital", Marx decrees private property to be the root cause of capitalism and, thereby, the root cause of evil, and no self-respecting Marxist-socialist will ever let go that cardinal article of faith. And therein resides the critical difference between fascism and socialism. Socialism prohibits the private ownership of property; fascism does not - which is the ultimate heresy to socialists and thereby inspired the unbridgeable and often violent schism between fascism and socialism which has lasted until this day.
During the 1920s and 30s, because such little practical difference existed between fascists and socialists, critics of Hitler's National Socialism routinely called it, "National Bolshevism". And the Bolshevists, stung by being throw on the same theological pile with fascists, decreed through the Comintern that the international socialist propaganda machine should immediately associate fascism with capitalism. The machine swung into action with such vigor and lasting effect that until today people wrongly perceive fascism as a necessary characteristic of capitalism, and any critic of socialist (or, lately, "progressive") dogma risks being tagged as a fascist.
Other sectarian differences exist between fascists and socialists. For example, Marxist-socialist, such as Lenin's Bolsheviks or the Social Democrats, were, "internationalist"; that is, they dismissed national frontiers as the obsolete vestiges of capitalism, and, to destroy capitalism, all world's proletariat must act as a single, unified entity without regard for geography or nationality or ethnicity - as Marx proclaimed in his "Manifesto", "The working men have no country." (A canon still fundamental to today's left, latched on to especially hard by environmentalists. See the first few citations in "C", below.)
On the other hand, fascists tended to be "nationalist", that is, the socialism of most fascist parties was specific to a specific nation, appealing to prejudices and petty hatreds of a specific nationality. Or one might have a variety such as Hitler's National Socialism, a flavor of socialism meant specifically for the "Volk", which National Socialist theology portrayed as a kind of mystical Germanic or Aryan "Nation", bounded not by geography but by blood - and non-Aryans need not apply.
Because so many variations existed, scholars disagree over a precise definition of fascism. In the "Enciclopedia Italiana" (1992), Emilio Gentile, in an article on "fascismo", takes a shot at a comprehensive definition by listing a series of ten generally-accepted sets of characteristics common to all fascism's varieties.
A few excerpts from Gentile's list.
"[Fascism is] anti-materialist, anti-individualist, anti-liberal, anti-democratic, anti-Marxist, and anti-capitalist."
"[Fascism is] ... an organization of the economy that ... broadens the sphere of state intervention, and seeks, by principles of technocracy and solidarity, the collaboration of the 'productive sectors' under control of the regime, to achieve its goals of power, yet preserving private property and class divisions." (More on this, "organization of the economy", later, when we'll talk about Mussolini. And if you think he's not important, think again.)
Ernst Roehm, a dedicated socialist, leader of the SA, second only to Hitler in power in the Nazi Party, in a letter to a friend noted how often his SA street thugs switched back and forth between Roehm's gangs and the communist gangs, uncertain on whose side they rightly belonged.
Roehm lasted until Hitler began to suspect that he and others planned to challenge Hitler for control of the Party, at which time Hitler had all their throats cut in one fell swoop during, "The Night of the Long Knives".)
In his "Road to Serfdom", Hayek remarks on how, during the 1930s, university professors in the U.S. and Britain noticed that students returning from study in Germany could not decide whether they were socialists or fascists, but were certain only that they hated "Western Civilization".
Down with Western Civilization!
"It is true that the impertinence and the presumption of the French was and is, in spite of all their misfortunes, unbearable; but after all, France has given the modern world its freedom and its civilization. ...
"Let our litterateurs and our politicians vaunt the science and even, God forgive them, the arts of these conquerors [the Prussians]; but if they would only look a little below the surface they would see that in their veins still runs the old blood of the Goths, that their pride is beyond measure, they are hard, intolerant, despisers of everything that is not German".
- Guiseppe Verdi, from a letter to a friend on the eve of the Fanco-Prussian War, 1870
To all those 19th century Prussian daydreamers, the mortal threats to life as we know it were "modernity" or "liberalism" or "Western Civilization" - the terms are almost interchangeable - and were the fetid manifestations of the wicked ideas spawned by the warped minds of such "liberal" thinkers as: Adam Smith, John Locke, Jeremy Bentham, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Edmund Burke, Thomas Jefferson, John Stewart Mill, Lord John Acton, and Alexis de Tocqueville - the 18th and 19th century liberals who held that: (1) individuals held rights superior to the rights of the state, and (2) because any state by nature will turn oppressive and tyrannical, its powers must be severely restrained. (For more, see the original version of the U.S. Constitution, a classic, 18th century liberal document.)
To the Prussians, "Western Civilization" meant west of the Rhine; that is, French notions of democracy carried into Prussia on the heels of Napoleon's armies and British capitalism and commercialism and urbanization and "Manchester" industrialism and technology and individualism and rebellion and parliaments and political bickering... all of which the Prussians perceived as socially destructive and contrary to the Prussian way of doing things... inimical to the Prussian sense of order... all very, "un-German".
For a good introduction to this topic, see "The Politics of Cultural Despair - A Study in the Rise of German Ideology", Fritz Stern, 1963.
So the Prussians set about concocting forms of salvation, which split into two general categories - "socialist" and "conservative".
The socialist utopia - in its broadest sense - would be industrial, filled with great factories and mills, owned in common by the proletariat who joyfully tended their machines safe and content in the knowledge that the all-powerful Party would see to all their needs.
The conservative utopia - in its broadest sense - would be a return to Medieval times, bucolic, few factories or towns, peopled by small land-holders, noble yeomen tending their fields with crude tools, happy in the knowledge that an all-powerful prince would protect them and see to all their needs.
So they disagreed over how Utopia should look.
The socialists would retain the cities and the factories, but hold all property under communal ownership.
The conservatives would retain the notion of private property, but do away with the cities and factories.
Despite their theological differences, with crystal clarity all those early Prussian prophets understood that they could not achieve, "the age-old dream of a world where everybody would live in harmony, united by a single common will and faith, without secrets from one another", if, "the Western malady, the revolt of the individual against the species", was allowed to exist.
Therefore, to create Utopia the utopians had to eradicate this individualism, this ugly "Western malady".
No need for individual "rights" in these utopias; the state has rights, citizens have duties. None of this liberal British "individualism" crap allowed here; we will not tolerate any revolt against the species. We are all "one"; one proletariat, one Volk, and the Party will care for us, the prince will care for us, and we shall never suffer want or fear again. As Tom Joad said, "We are all part of one big soul". That's powerful stuff to the empty-headed.
Here's an interesting exchange recorded in 1972 between Otto Friedrich (in his "Before the Deluge, A Portrait of Berlin in the 1920s") and Professor Richard Lowenthal, a former leader in the communist youth movement in Germany during the 1920s:
Friedrich: "How is it that the Nazis could appeal so strongly to young students, when one usually thinks of young people as idealistic?"
Lowenthal: "Because the Nazis were idealists too. They promised national unity and national resurrection.And there was that basic German romanticism - you know - you know the difference between 'Gemeinschaft' and 'Gasellschaft'? The first is a medieval concept, a society in which everyone works for the common good; the other is the modern, materialistic idea, a society in which everyone competes against others for his own good.There was widespread feeling that this was un-German, that it had been imposed by foreigners. There was some truth to this too. Capitalism did come from outside because Germany was so backward, and democracy was brought in by the armies of Napoleon. The whole of the German Romantic movement was a criticism of that, and it is still true for young radicals today. So the Nazis promised an alternative to what they called a corrupt plutocratic system. And everyone wanted to believe."
All these early revolutionaries venerated and appealed to youth in a kind of early 20th century version of, "Don't trust anyone over thirty".
And they had lots of success recruiting the young.
Hitler's bloodiest henchmen - e.g., Himmler, Rhoem, Eichman, "Gestapo" Mueller - all joined the Nazi party in their twenties, as had fellows like Lenin's head executioner, Felix Dzerzhinski, organizer of the OGPU, and later came Mao's Red Guards, most barely out of their teens. No fascist or Marxist tyrant ever lacked for hot-eyed young zealots all chomping at the bit for the chance to lop off the head of anyone who dared challenge the revolution.
Friedrich records another conversation, this one with Dr. Heinz Pachter, a professor of history then teaching in New York, but who grew up in Germany during the 1920s and 30s:
Friedrich: "Was the Youth Movement really serious? Was it comparable to the radicalism of American students?"
Pachter: "Frighteningly comparable."
Friedrich: "But the students are mostly left-wing nowadays, whereas they seem to have been right-wing in the twenties."
Pachter: "Right-wing, left-wing, it doesn't make that much difference. The Nazi youth talked of 'liberation.' They were also in rebellion against their parents, and against 'the system.' The left today - they just want power, and the worship of power is Fascist."
The environmentalist sentiments of the conservative movement manifested themselves most concretely beginning around 1900 in the form of the charismatic Karl Fischer's "German Youth Movement" (the "Wandervoegel", roughly, 'birds of passage'), where, at any one time, tens of thousands of young German males trekked the forests arm in arm, singing songs of praise to their oneness with Nature, vilifying cities and factories and technology and liberalism, greeting each other with "Heil!", and addressing Fischer as, "Fuehrer". Over the decades, the German Youth Movement eventually splintered into competing factions, flickered, then, with the coming of World War I, sputtered out. But the ideas were there, firmly planted in millions of young minds, primed and ready for action: down with capitalism! down with the cities! down with technology! lacking only a new Fuehrer to lead them, whom they found finally when Hitler emerged to gather them all up into the National Socialist German Workers Party.
In 1943, in response to a letter written by a Gauleiter anxious to get on with the creation of the Germany Hitler had promised, Martin Bormann counseled patience - as soon as Germany had won the war, Hitler would smash the churches and "love of Nature will be the sole guiding moral principle of the Third Reich."
So the environmental sentiments of the conservative utopians did pretty well. They survived World War I in tact and found a home inside the Nazi Party.
But the socialist utopians hit a snag. There was a flaw in the socialist promise. That "private property" thing.
Except for the most rigidly dogmatic cranks, people wanted to preserve the capitalist notion of private property; that is, they wanted to keep their stuff.
On the other hand, people also wanted all that free stuff the socialists promised.
What to do? What to do?
The Birth of Fascism
"The Kapp Putch  was not just against the government. It was against capitalism. [General] Ludendorff was behind Kapp. He wanted that the military and the workers to make a new government, a worker government. That would have been the first uniting of nationalism and socialism - and youth."
- Dr. Hans Staudinger, an official in Germany's Economics Ministry in the late Teens and early 20s.
"Fascism, which is the very antithesis of Individualism, stands as the nemesis of all economic doctrines and all economic practice of both the capitalist and communistic systems."
- "The Philosophy of Fascism", 1936, by Mario Palmieri, Italy's foremost fascist theologian.
Round the turn of the century, into the breech stepped a new form of Utopia - an idea that had been formingup for a generation - a synthesis of socialism and capitalism, a middle way, a third way.
George Sorel, circa 1900, an advocate for violence to bring about socialism - but no Marxist - distrustedthe "decadence" inherent in the Marxist variety of socialism and preached that socialism could work only by, "incorporating into it free-market competition".
In 1913 Hilaire Belloc published, "The Servile State", a criticism of this 'third way' idea, in which Belloc argued, "the effect of Socialist doctrine on Capitalist society is to produce a third thing different from either of its two begetters - to wit, the Servile State",
Belloc defined the Servile State as... "That arrangement of society in which so considerable a number of families and individuals are constrained by law to labor for the advantage of other families and individuals as to stamp the whole community with the mark of such labor we call the servile state."
But hardly anyone listened to Belloc's alert to the dangers to freedom lurking in this "third thing".Instead, they listened to fellows like Arthur Moeller van den Bruck, who, in 1919, published "Das Dritte Reich" (The Third Reich), an "enormously influential book among German intellectuals" (and the generals), in which Moeller proclaimed that, to save Germany, socialists and conservatives must join forces to combat their common enemy, liberalism, and create a "new thing", a "German socialism", where, "...we do not of course mean the socialism of the social democrat ... neither do we mean the logical Marxist socialism ... .We mean rather a corporative conception of state and economics...", led by one strong man on a horse, acting through a loyal and youthful elite - ruthless, dedicated, unfettered by squabbling parliaments and laws.
But Moeller had competition south of the Alps, because, about the same time in Italy, Benito Mussolini, who, like the Prussians, perceived liberalism as the mortal enemy of mankind, had broken with the Italian Socialist Party.
As had almost every leading fascists of the era, Mussolini started out as a virulent, true-believing Marxist. In fact, Mussolini was your classic "red-diaper"; his father was a fire-breathing Marxist activist who preached violent revolution and who named his son after Benito Juarez, a hero of Marxist revolutionaries. (See, "Mussolini in the Making", by Gaudens Megaro, Houghton Mifflin, 1938, an excellent account of Mussolini's pre-fascist years.)
By 1920, Il Duce had moved well along toward forming his own version of Moeller's "corporative conception of state and economics" - fleshing out an "Italian model" of the synthesis of capitalism and socialism.
In Il Duce's utopia the capitalist exploiters of the proletariat could retain ownership of their dismal factories, but the state would dictate prices, wages, working conditions, allocation of resources, profits,and disbursement of class privileges according to social goals dreamt up by a ruling priesthood who, through a system of state-run "Corporations", would control the market, "in the interests of the people".
"Fascii di Combatimento", Mussolini called it - Fascism. And Mussolini-style fascism proved enormously popular round the world. Mussolini was a miracle worker, they all said. Thomas Edison called him, "The greatest genius of the modern age"; Gandhi rued his own limitations because he was, "no superman like Mussolini"; in 1933 Winston Churchill called him, "the greatest living legislator"; and, in 1934, in the original version of, "You're the Top", Cole Porter wrote (the words are still there in the original):
You're the top!
You're the great Houdini!
You're the top!
You are Mussolini!
(If you read enough - a bit here, a bit there - you stumble across these gems.)
In the early 1930s, when Mussolini predicted that, "In ten years all Europe will be fascist", no one of importance thought to contradict him, and few bothered to notice that Mussolini had turnedItaly into a police state in which you had better watch your mouth lest you lose your job - or worse.Instead, they all marveled at how fascism solved all social problems. It avoided the excesses of the Bolshevist tyranny that had risen in Russia, it pulled the fangs of the capitalist exploiters of the industrial proletariat, and it promised a cradle to grave welfare state.
In short, fascism resolved all conflict between - as Il Duce used the phrase - "the haves and have nots".(For a bit more on Mussolini-style fascist theology, and how well Mussolini predicted the future, see "B", below.)
There are plenty of books out there recounting how fascist economics had in fact wrecked Italy. Through a variety of accounting tricks and outright lies, Mussolini made Italy appear solvent and prosperous, which misled everyone to believe that his "Corporative State" ran like a well-oiled economic machine. But it was all bluff, bluster, and bull. After a decade of fascist economics, Italians were paying the highest taxes ever, and their standard of living had fallen below pre-WWI levels. By the late 1930s, the chickens had roosted, and no amount of cooking-the-books could hide the truth any longer: Italy was bankrupt, on the verge of collapse, and Mussolini welcomed war in desperate hope to pull his chestnuts from the fire.
Not to mention official corruption, which had risen to a scale in Italy that would make your average Cook County Democrat Party hack salivate with envy. The same sorts of economic disintegration and corruption evolved in Hitler's Germany and the Soviet Union too. In, "The Coming Soviet Crash" (1989), Judy Shelton writes an excellent account of the chaotic state of the Soviet economy just prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union and Gorbachev's frenzied but futile attempts to stop corruption and to inject capitalist market forces into the Soviet system to save the day.
And the bureaucracies... Many historians point to the explosive growth of government planners and regulators in Germany and Italy and the Soviet Union as a primary cause for the apparent reduction of unemployment under socialist rule in those countries. By sheer weight of numbers, armies of bureaucrats inevitably become a formidable inertial force in a society, obstructing change for fear of losing their sinecures and privileges and pensions. Gorbachev viewed the Soviet bureaucracy as an ravenous, insatiable maw which the state could no longer afford to feed, and he openly planned to clean house - until the roof fell on his head.
Not all fascists subscribed to the "return to Nature", pre-industrial doctrines of the environmentalists.
Mussolini certainly did not.
But the Nazis did.
So the environmentalists stayed tucked inside the Nazi Party, biding their time, and most socialists - excepting die-hard Marxists - had moved in with the fascists, and fascism by the late 1930s seemedto be doing well. (For an account of how quickly most socialists accepted Hitler's fascism, see, "Germany - 1866-1945", by Gordon A. Craig, Oxford University Press, 1978, part XV, 'The End of Weimar'.)
But Bolshevist-style Marxist-socialism in the Soviet Union had problems.
Inside the U.S.S.R., opposition to Bolshevism was so general and vehement and persistent that, to hold power, Lenin and Stalin had had to resort to a more-or-less permanent killing rampage in the People's' Paradise.
On the topic of socialist killing rampages: one must read, "The Black Book of Communism", by Stefane Courtoise, a French historian - and one-time Maoist - who, in the 1990s, with several collaborators, spent a few years researching the number of killings it took to keep Marxism alive across the planet. Courtoise came up with something between 85 and 110 million total dead. A quick - most conservative - tally:
The Soviet Union, nearly 10 million dead
China, 65 million
Vietnam, 1 million
North Korea, 2 million
Cambodia, 2 million
Eastern Europe, 1 million
Latin America, 150,000
Africa, 1.7 million
Afghanistan, 1.5 million.
These folks did not die in wars. They resisted their Party masters, and for it, died as "enemies of the people".
Did you ever notice that the people who promise social justice have no qualms using mass murder to achieve social justice? Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, Mao ... it is as if they used social justice as an excuse for killing people.
In the first few months of the Bolshevik Revolution, Lenin had more people executed than had the Tsars in the previous hundred years of Russian history.
Here's a typical Lenin telegram found by Courtoise in the Soviet archives:
"You must make an example of these people. Hang (I mean hang publicly, so that people see it) at least 100 kulaks, rich bastards, and known bloodsuckers ... Yours, Lenin. P.S. Find tougher people."
Lenin's word was law. So if Lenin ordered a hundred "bloodsuckers" hanged, a hundred "bloodsuckers" got hanged. And if you had trouble getting people to do the hanging, you just found, "tougher people".
Even during his last days before his death - wasted to bones and half incoherent - he was still firing out orders for the execution of recalcitrants. 'Arrest three thousand in Minsk, and send a thousand of them to the archives!' And his death squads dashed out and did it.
It is not a stretch to imagine this sociopath's last breath ... "Kill 'em! Kill 'em all!"
Not to be outdone, Hitler had his SS Einsatzgruppen, special "operations units" charged with organizing the systematic murder of "untermenschen" in the conquered territories on the eastern front.
Who were these Einsatzgruppen fellows?
Burleigh gives a good description:
"Historians have routinely made much of the fact that many of the Einsatzgruppen were educated - two-thirds of whom held university degrees, and a third doctorates. Predictably, less is made of the truth that a doctorate merely betokens an assiduous mindlessness, signifying nothing about the wider personality. For, ironically, the universities were precisely the places in Germany which fostered an elite form of antisemitism, whose radicality was ill-disguised with a carapace of 'scientific objectivity' towards the 'Jewish Question'. Now these former student radicals had the chance to implement what they so often talked of in their exclusive circles."
No telling where it all might have ended had not Hitler triggered World War II and thus tossed a monkey wrench into the works.
The disaster of World War II knocked the fascists - and, thereby, the environmentalists too - off their feet.
Down. But not out.
Time to reorganize.
First order of business, change the shingle on the front door; we can't go round calling ourselves fascist anymore.
Enter: The Greens
The entire thrust of the post World War II environmental movement revolves round reversing the Industrial Revolution and destroying capitalism, notions which come straight from the 19th century conservative element of the Prussian anti-modernity movement and its version of reaction against liberalism and Western Civilization.
However, because Marxist-socialism welcomes industrialism, when today's environmentalist say only socialism can save us, they cannot mean the Marxist variety of socialism. Then what variety of socialism might they mean?
Enter: The Third Way
"If there is to be revolution, there must be a revolutionary party."
- Mao Tse-Tung.
"We have moved past the sterile debate between those who say Government is the enemy and those who say Government is the answer. My fellow Americans, we have found a Third Way."
- William Jefferson Clinton, founder of "The New Democrat Party".
"Without a revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement."
- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
"The Third Way is a unified theory of life which will marry capitalism and statism, and tie together practically everything: the way we are, the way we were, the faults of man and the word of God."
- Hillary Rodham Clinton
During the German election campaign in 1932, the Nazi party ran against both Marxism and,"the American system, or high capitalism", promising to take the best from each and create, "a new socialist man".
"The Third Way is an alternative to both Capitalism and State Socialism."
- Andrew Gamble and Gavin Kelly, theologians for Tony Blair's "New Labor Party".
"Fascism can be regarded as a compromise between pure individualistic Capitalism and Socialism, but is decidedly nearer to the latter than to the former."
- Paul Einzig, from his, "The Economic Foundations of Fascism", 1933 - a British apologist for Mussolini, just one of many many of the era.
A couple of years ago, Tony Blair visited Chicago to make a speech to some sort of international business association. I caught Blair being interviewed on a local TV show during which he mentioned "The Third Way" and a few items from the Third Way's agenda. I'd never heard the term "Third Way" before, but I did recognize the agenda. Tony Blair's Third Way agenda comes directly from the "Declaration of Principles", as published by the Socialist International Party, the "SI". And it is no surprise that Blair's Third Way agenda is the SI's agenda; the SI lists Tony Blair (and Ehud Barak) among its current roster of vice presidents. Lots of international heavy weights in this SI gang.
I'd already encountered the SI when researching the "United Nations Conference on Environmentand Development", 1992, a.k.a., "UNCED"; a.k.a., the "Rio Conference"; a.k.a., the "Earth Summit" - the great environmental hootenanny at which Mrs. Gro Brundtland, an organizer of the Summit, freely acknowledged to reporters in Rio that the Earth Summit's agenda was based upon the Socialist International Party's "Declaration of Principles".
Brundtland is the current head the U.N.'s World Heath Organization, former President of Norway, and a former vice president of the Socialist International Party, whom Donna Shalala, during her stint as Clinton's Secretary of Health, described as possessing, "a large heart, a clear vision, and a strong voice", and a "natural born leader", and "my distinguished friend and colleague".
At the time I read Brundtland's statement at the Earth Summit, curious as to who was this SI, I found them on the Web and downloaded their Declaration. Based on what their Declaration states, the SI seems to be a kind-of-sort-of-internationalist-environmentalist-neo-Social-Democrat-socialist-or-whatever-bunch; they've crammed lots of stuff in their bag. However, sifting through it all:
The SI allows for the private ownership of the means of production.
The SI, per article #64 of their Declaration avers that, "... the State must regulate the market in the interests of the people...", which is the theological foundation of Mussolini-style fascism, so the SI definitely falls among the fascist varieties of socialism.
When reading "The Declaration", one enters a dreamland in which the past never happened andhistory starts today, at this very instant in time, and only a shiny-bright future lies ahead - provided we follow the SI's agenda. In the real world: the Declaration, point by point echoes all those 19th century Prussian utopians. They said it all before; they tried it all before. Hitler tried it, Mussolini tried it, Lenin tried it, Mao tried it, and here comes the SI, hot to give it another shot.
These guys never quit.
For example, do these words sound familiar?
"We ask that the government undertake the obligation of providing citizens with adequate opportunity for employment... We demand a broad extension of care for the aged... an all-around enlargement of our entire system of public education ... education at government expense of gifted children of poor parents ... the improvement of public health..."
Of course these words sound familiar. One hears them or variations on them spoken during every election campaign in the United States. And they've been around a long time. In 1920, these specific words were written into the Nazi party platform. But they might just as well have come from a speech by Lenin or Mussolini or Dick Gephardt. And somewhere along the line they always appeal to envy and contain elements of intimidation. Note these comments written by an anti-Nazi German in 1937:
"Hitler's speeches are all demagogic and laced with sharp attacks on the entire upper class. ...[With] The mounting hatred against the upper class, at the same time there is a growing aversion to all independent-minded people. Whoever does not crawl in the dust is regarded as treacherous."
There it is. Down with the rich! And if you disagree, you are treacherous - and it is a short step from "treacherous" to "enemy of the people", to be dealt with accordingly.
The SI started out Marxist, founded round 1900 as an umbrella organization under which the world's various Marxist-socialist parties could meet to match notes and form a common international agenda to advance.
In the early days, the SI was composed mostly of the "Social Democrat" variety of Marxist-socialists, and Lenin perceived the Social Democrats as a greater threat to his Bolshevism than were liberals or fascists. Liberalism - pummeled unmercifully by all sides - was a severely crippled creed clearlyon the way out, and the fascists were a barely-organized gang of head-busting thugs roaming Italy's streets, but the Social Democrats were everywhere, organized and in force. (For the Marxist roots of Social Democrats, see, "The German Social Democrats and the First International, 1864-1872", R.F. Morgan, 1965.)
The fundamental theological difference between the Bolsheviks and Social Democrats revolved round by what means the Marxist utopia should come about. They agreed that the dictatorship of the proletariat, as Marx decreed, "cannot be effected except by means of despotic inroads on the rights of property". However - led by a priesthood composed of the intellectual elite - Lenin advocated violent revolution, convinced that the proletariat was by nature inert and stupid, and, if push came to shove, would always side with the existing regime. On the other hand - led by a priesthood composed of the intellectual elite - Social Democrats preached evolution, working within the existing system, but constantly pressuring it for change, disrupting its institutions, undermining its mores, battering its traditions, sowing doubt and confusion, confident they could - bit by bit, slow but sure - persuade the proletariat to legislate the Marxist state into existence. (For the complete social democrat argument, see, "Evolutionary Socialism", by, F. Bernstein, 1909.)
Lenin truly HATED! Social Democrats - ostensibly for their imperfect grasp of Marxist theology, but really because they challenged his global control of the Marxist revolution by offering a potent alternative to his Bolshevism; not all Marxists went for that "violent" bit. And there must have been a personal element in Lenin's hatred. Friedrich Ebert, a Social Democrat and the first President of the Weimar Republic, leading a Reichstag dominated by Social Democratsand other varieties of socialists, joined with Prussian generals to suppress the Spartakist (Communist) Uprising (1919), thus foiling Lenin's bid to take Germany by coup.
Outside the USSR, by 1919 the SI had reached sufficient stature among international socialists that Lenin founded the Comintern specifically to combat the SI's influence and to advance his own Bolshevist vision of Marxist perfection. And Lenin's tactic worked pretty well; many Marxist parties jumped to the Comintern, while others split, some members joining the Comintern and others remaining with the SI.
Inside the USSR, Lenin had little problem with Social Democrats; he either had them shot or shipped off to the gulag. Later, in Germany, Hitler dealt with them similarly.
Despite the pounding they took from the Bolsheviks and Nazis, both the SI and the Social Democrats survived, and, sometime after World War II, for reasons not clear - to me, at least - both the SI and the Social Democrats abruptly deserted Marxist-socialism for fascist-socialism, now accepting the notion of private property.
Later, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the SI has again emerged as the dominant voice for the international socialist revolution. Among its member parties, the SI lists the likes of the British Labor Party, the Sandinistas, lots of "Social Democrat" parties, a smattering of "Socialist" parties, and the odd "Revolutionary Front".
When I heard the Blair interview (above), I searched the Web for the "Third Way". Found zip. But today you find a lot. Some of it comes from the "New Democrats Online", a propaganda organ for the Democratic Leadership Council (founded by Bill Clinton), and "The Progressive Policy Institute", a New Democrat Party think tank. Both these groups heap page after page of breathless adulation upon Bill Clinton and Tony Blair as champions of the Third Way. Here's a sample of what they crank out. From the New Democrats Online:
"The Third Way, Key Documents, Fact Sheet/DLC/PPI/June 01, 1998 ...
"Starting with Bill Clinton's Presidential campaign in 1992, Third Way thinking is reshaping progressive politics throughout the world. Inspired by the example of Clinton and the New Democrats, Tony Blair in Britain led a revitalized New Labour party back to power in 1997. The victory of Gerhard Shroeder and the Social Democrats in Germany the next year confirmed the revival of center-left parties which either control or are part of the governing coalition forming throughout the European Union. From Latin America to Australia and New Zealand, Third Way ideas also are taking hold."
On the other hand, others see the Third Way as nothing more than fascism with a paint job. Which it is.
So, what's all this got to do with environmentalism?
By making the SI's agenda the environmentalist agenda, Brundtland herself has placed the world's environmental priesthood inside the SI. And the SI is fascist. Ergo, environmentalism has found its familiar old home, wed to fascism. But there's a hitch in this marriage. These ain't the same fascists from the old days. The SI is Mussolini-style fascist, not Nazi-style. For example, Rudolf Bahro, a founder of the German Green movement, viewed his Brave New Green World as one where people shall livein socialist communities of no more than 3,000, consuming only what they produce, and thereshall be banned: trade among communities, mechanized transportation, computers, telephones, and all other modern technology. Bahro's utopia resembles the Nazi's utopia, the utopia those 19th century Prussian conservatives had in mind. Which is NOT Mussolini's utopia,which does not oppose industrialism - provided the state controls the market in the interests of the people.
So it is a marriage of convenience only, one using the other, which will last only until both have achieved their common dream: the destruction of the "Western Malady". And after?... your guess is as good as mine. Perhaps, to sort things out once and for all, after they've eradicated the Western Malady, we'll see another, "Night of the Long Knives".
What puzzles me most about these people is not how they do what they do, but why?
The how is easy - the propaganda, the half-truths, distortions, misrepresentation of facts, the appeal to the greed and sloth and envy and gullibility of the proletariat - Hitler and Lenin had it down pat; the techniques have not changed since, and they work.
But we have now a grisly, meticulously documented, 80-year record of where it all leads. So WHY do they persist? In the face of the record, what motivates these people to persist in believingthe things they believe and in doing the things they do?
Those much more knowledgeable than I have suggested possibilities. For example, in his "1984", Orwell, who understood them as well as anyone has ever understood them, has O'Brien say to Winston Smith (who, in a major theme of the book, also couldn't grasp the "why")...
"... It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness; only power, pure power. ... One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes a revolution in order to establish a dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?"
For Orwell, then, the motive lies in a blind lust after pure power, advanced and preserved by terror. As O'Brien tells Winston, "If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever."
But David Horowitz, who grew up among and spent half a lifetime with these people, suggests a different motive:
"The effort to produce a super race of socialist men and women created monstrosities instead ... .... For behind the revolutionary pursuit of the impossible ideal lies a deep hatred for the human norm, an unquenchable desire for its annihilation. ... Self-hatred is the dark side of the ambition to exceed all previous human possibility, and the ultimate root of the revolutionary ideal. ...Totalitarian terror is the necessary means for an agenda whose aim is to erase the past and remake the human soul. The totalitarian state is not an aberration of the progressive spirit, but its consummation."
So, for Horowitz, the motive lies somehow in self-hatred, but the results are the same as for Orwell - totalitarian terror.
Perhaps they're both right, or perhaps they're both wrong; I don't know. But whatever the motive is, it is something sick, and, once set loose, the "progressive spirit" feeds on its own momentum to a point of depravity where it can survive only through the ruthless, bloody suppression of dissent.
Here's an interesting exam for those who consider themselves followers of eco-zealotry. Below, in five-hundred words, compare and contrast Kaczynski's, Gore's, and Hobsbawm's world-views:
"The Industrial Revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race. ... We therefore advocate a revolution against the industrial system. ... Its object will be to overthrow ... the economic and technological basis of the present society."
- Dr. Theodore Kaczynski, from his manifesto, 'Industrial Society And Its Future'.
"Modern industrial civilization, as presently organized, is colliding violently with our planet's ecological system. The ferocity of its assault on the earth is breathtaking, and the horrific consequences are occurring so quickly as to defy our capacity to recognize them. [Therefore] We must make rescue of the environment the central organizing principle for civilization."
- Albert Gore, from his, 'Earth in the Balance'.
"The forces generated by the techno-scientific economy are now great enough to destroy the human environment, that is to say, the material foundations of life. ...We have reached a point of historical crisis. ...If we try to build the third millennium on that basis we shall fail. And the price of failure, that is to say the alternative to a changed society, is darkness."
- Eric Hobsbawm ... a grizzled old British Marxist and defender of Stalin ... now in his eighties, the dear and treasured elder statesman of today's revolutionary left - from his, "Age of Extremes - A History of the World, 1914-1991", 1995.
Hobsbawm's book got sparkling reviews, written, I'm certain, by people who never read it through. This is an intolerably bad book, laced with flagrant errors of fact and all muddled and confused - more stream of semi-consciousness rather than concise argument.
And Hobsbawm sums up the 20th Century not with a warning against the depredations of socialism, the proven source of death and pain on a scale unprecedented in history, but rather with a warning against allowing technology to lead us into "darkness".
Hobsbawm's use of the word 'darkness' is a hallmark of socialist polemics. In leftist writings, starting well back in the nineteenth century, one often encounters the choice between socialism and capitalism presented as a choice between good and evil, light and darkness.
Gore himself used it during the election campaign when, before a group of black ministers, he actuallycharacterized the election as a choice between 'light and darkness'.
From, "The Philosophy of Fascism", 1936, by Mario Palmieri, Italy's foremost fascist theologian.
Fascism, which is the very antithesis of Individualism, stands as the nemesis of all economic doctrines and all economic practice of both the capitalist and communistic systems.
Fascism holds that:
The economic life of man cannot be abstracted and separated from the whole of his spiritual life. In the words of Mussolini: "The economic man does not exist. Man is integral; he is political, economic, religious, saint and warrior at the same time".
The economic life of man is influenced, if not actually determined, by idealistic factors.
True economic progress can be derived only from the concerted effort of individuals who know how to sacrifice their personal egoism and ambitions for the good of the whole.
Economic initiatives cannot be left to the arbitrary decisions of private, individual interests.
Open competition, if not wisely directed and restricted, actually destroys wealth instead of creating it.
The wealth of a community is something intangible which cannot be identified with the sum of riches of single individuals.
The proper function of the State in the Fascist system is that of supervising, regulating and arbitrating the relationships of capital and labor, employers and employees, individuals and associations, private interests and national interests.
Class war is avoidable and must be avoided. Class war is deleterious to the orderly and fruitful life of the nation, therefore it has no place in the Fascist State.
More important than the production of wealth is its right distribution, distribution which must benefit in the best possible way all the classes of the nation, hence, the nation itself.
Private wealth belongs not only to the individual, but, in a symbolic sense, to the State as well.
Change the terminology round a bit, and you could slip any or all these ten points into the Democratic Party platform and no one would notice. (Supposing they're not in there already.)
And, in one form or another, you can find them all in the SI's, "Declaration".
A few randomly selected remarks made by environmentalists, and those who see things in a different light:
Marx said it first....
"Our accepted definition of the limits of national sovereignty as coinciding with national borders is obsolete. ... "
- Jessica Tuchman Mathews, of the World Resources Institute.
Marx said it first....
"It is simply not feasible for sovereignty to be exercised unilaterally by individual nation-states, however powerful."
- Maurice Strong, currently, Co-chairman, UN Commission on Global Governance Analysis, and an organizer of the Earth Summit.
Marx said it first....
"Nationhood as we know it will be obsolete, all states will recognize a single, global authority. National sovereignty wasn't such a great idea after all."
- Strobe Talbott, Clinton administration's Deputy Secretary of State, comments made to the U.N.'s "Millennium Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders" (WPS), August, 2000.
Prior to joining the Clinton administration in February 1993, while still an editor for Time Magazine, Mr. Talbot published in Time, "The Birth of the Global Nation" (July 20, 1992), in which he espoused this world view:
"...within the next hundred years ... nationhood as we know it will be obsolete; all states will recognize a single, global authority. ...
"All countries are basically social arrangements, accommodations to changing circumstances. No matter how permanent and even sacred they may seem at any one time, in fact they are all artificial and temporary....
"The internal affairs of a nation used to be off limits to the world community. Now the principal of "humanitarian intervention" is gaining acceptance. ...
"However limited its accomplishments, last month's Earth Summit in Rio signified the participants' acceptance of what Maurice Strong, the main impresario of the event, called "the transcending sovereignty of nature": since the by-products of industrial civilization cross boarders, so must the authority to deal with them. ...
"They are the disputatious representatives of a larger, basically positive phenomenon: a devolution ofpower not only upward toward supranational bodies and outward toward common-wealths and common markets, but also downward toward freer,more autonomous units of administration that permit distinct societies to preserve their cultural identities and govern themselves as much as possible.
If one takes Mr. Talbot at his word, then his Brave New World will be composed not of nations - which are, after all, "artificial and temporary" - but rather of "autonomous units of administration", "distinct societies", preserving their "cultural identities" and governing "themselves as much as possible".
These "autonomous units of administration" shall owe obedience to a global authority who decides what degree of self-governance each "unit" shall enjoy.
And one might reasonably infer that if a "unit" declines to obey the instructions passed down by the global authority, then, according to Mr. Talbot's principle of "humanitarian intervention", the global authority will exert whatever means it sees fit to set the recalcitrants' minds right.
And, above it all, looms, "the transcending sovereignty of nature".
Won't this be a fun world?
World Peace Summit (WPS)
Regarding this "Millennium Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders" (WPS):
First of all, they refused to invite the Dalai Lama; the Chinese Communists - those most aggressive defenders of religious liberty - objected to his presence; he might have had the impertinence to demand his country back.
And, Maurice Strong, as he did at the Earth Summit, loomed large here too, as the UN's Chairman of the WPS's Advisory Board.
And such spiritual luminaries as Ted Turner popped up as Honorary Chairman and Jesse Jackson as a featured attendee.
They all signed off on something called the, "Commitment to Global Peace", which addressed their concern with, "problems of conflict, poverty and the environment" (Environment!? These days, EVERYTHING coming out of the U.N. contains a reference to the environment.), and was filled with slogans, high-sounding phrases, and buzz-words, which are what comprise reality for these folks.
They start out with: "[because] Humanity stands at a critical juncture in history" ... the world's spiritual leaders must help, "set a new direction for society"; which is your basic leftist fright: we face a crisis, and, if we fail to head in a fundamentally new direction, we are done for.
When reading this, "Committment to Global Peace", you quickly realize that it mirrors the SI's "Declaration", which seems to be the template for everything "progressive" these days.
"Since environmental destruction [caused by 'irresponsible industrialism'] extends across national frontiers, environmental protection must be international. ...
The best and cheapest solutions to the crisis are those that change the [world's] basic framework of production and consumption..."
- From Principle #45 of the Socialist International Party's 'Declaration of Principles'.
"The traditional notion of ruthlessly exploiting and controlling nature in the name of progress is being challenged by an environmental creed that emphasizes a reintegration with the ecosystem.... unbridled scientific and technological progress and creeping corporate hegemony call for a new spiritual awakening which would lead to a fundamental change in the values and institutional relationships of American society."
- Jeremy Rifkin and Ted Howard, eco-theologians.
"[To save the planet from the horrors of Industrialism] We've got to reach search back to our last know safe landmark. I can't say where it is, but I think it's back there about a century, at the start of the Industrial Revolution."
- David Brower, director of the Sierra Club and the Friends of Earth.
"[Technology is] taxation without representation imposed by an elitist species upon the rest of the natural world... .
"The only good technology is no technology at all."
- John Shuttlesworth, eco-theologian.
"... patterns of production and consumption in the industrialized world are undermining Earth's life-support systems. To continue along this pathway could lead to the end of our civilization... .This conference [Earth Summit] must establish the foundations for effecting the transition to sustainable development.
"This can only be done through fundamental changes in our economic life and international economic relations.... ."
- Maurice Strong, at the time spoken, Secretary General of the Earth Summit.
The phrase, "sustainable development" appears everywhere in eco-zealot literature. But damned if I can figure out what "sustainable development" means - except that, if, for whatever reason, the coercive power decrees a thing NOT "sustainable", then the coercive power a priori claims the right to use whatever means it deems fit to shut that thing down.
Principle 27 of "The Rio Declaration" - produced at the Earth Summit - announced the creation of a United Nations, "Sustainable Development Commission", with powers to:
"...receive evidence about the behavior and policies of countries around the world in order to assess whether and to what extent they are consistent with [environmental] agreements reached."
Which leads one to wonder... if the U.N.'s Sustainable Development Commission finds a country's (or Unit's ?)"behavior" NOT "consistent with agreements reached", then what are they gonna do about it?
Not to worry...
"We need a real world authority, to which should be delegated the follow-up of international decisions, the treaties signed ... This authority must have the capacity to have its decisions obeyed.
..."What we seek, to be frank, is the legitimacy of controlling [by force] the application of international decisions."
- Michel Rocard, an organizer of the Earth Summit, spoken at the Earth Summit.
Dr. Dixy Lee Ray's resume reads:
Governor of Washington state, Assistant Secretary of State, Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, recipient of many awards and honors, including the United Nations Peace Prize, 21 honorary doctorates, Woman of Achievement Award in Energy, and the Susan B. Anthony Award.
Dr. Ray dedicated the last few years of her life to battle against revolutionary environmentalists,during which she attended the Earth Summit and summed it up with...
"The objective, clearly enunciated by the leaders of UNCED, [Earth Summit] is to bring about a change in the present system of independent nations. The future is to be world government, with central planning by the UN. Fear of environmental crises, real or not, is expected to lead to compliance. If force is needed, it will be provided by a green-helmeted, UN police force."
Let's allow Hayek the last word here.From his, "Road to Serfdom"...
THAT socialism has displaced liberalism as the doctrine held by the great majority of progressives does not simply mean that people had forgotten the warnings of the great liberal thinkers of the past about the consequences of collectivism. It has happened because they were persuaded of the very opposite of what these men had predicted.
The extraordinary thing is that the same socialism that was not only early recognized as the gravest threat to freedom, but quite openly began as a reaction against the liberalism of the French Revolution, gained general acceptance under the flag of liberty.
It is rarely remembered now that socialism in its beginnings was frankly authoritarian. The French writers who laid the foundations of modern socialism had no doubt that their ideas could be put into practice only by strong dictatorial government.
Where freedom was concerned, the founders of socialism made no bones about their intentions. ... the first of modern planners, Saint-Simon, even predicted that those who did not obey his proposed planning boards would be "treated as cattle."
Planning on an international scale, even more than is true on a national scale, cannot be anythingbut naked rule of force, an imposition by a small group on the rest that sort of standard and employment which the planners think suitable.
To undertake the direction of economic life of people with widely different ideals and values is to assume responsibilities which commit one to the use of force... .[Planning on an international scale] would make the very men who are most anxious to plan society the most dangerous if they were allowed to do so. ... From the saintly and single-minded idealist to the fanatic is often but a step.
And while the planning authority will constantly have to decide issues on merits about which there exist no definite moral rules, it will have to justify its decisions to the people ... . The need to rationalize the [arbitrary] likes and dislikes, which, for lack of anything else, must guide the planner in many of his decisions, and the necessity of stating his reasons in a form in which they will appeal to as many people as possible, will force him to construct theories, i.e., assertions about the connections between facts, which then become an integral part of the governing doctrine.
... The totalitarian leader may be guided by [nothing more than] an instinctive dislike of the state of things he has found and a desire to create a new hierarchical order which conforms better to his conception of' merit; he may merely know that he dislikes the Jews ... [so] he will readily embrace theories which seem to provide a rational justification for the prejudices which he shares with many of his fellows.
Thus a pseudo-scientific theory becomes part of the official creed which to a greater or lesser degree directs everybody's action.
Or the widespread dislike of the industrial civilization and a romantic yearning for country life, ... provide the basis for another myth: "Blut and Boden" ("blood and soil"), expressing not merely ultimate values but a whole host of beliefs about cause and effect which, once they have become ideals directing the activity of the whole community, must not be questioned.
Perhaps the most alarming fact is that contempt for intellectual liberty is not a thing which arises only once the totalitarian system is established, but one which can be found everywhere among intellectuals who have embraced a collectivist faith and who are acclaimed as intellectual leaders even in countries still under a liberal regime.
Biography - Bernard Switalski
Graduated high school, 1953. U.S. Army lab technician, Bell Telephone Labs guided missile R&D, White Sands Proving Ground, NM, 1954-1957. Railroad freight conductor, Chicago, 1958-1963. Petroleum products quality/quantity surveyor, mostly in Venezuela, 1964-1965. Blast furnace foreman, Chicago,1966-1968.
After that damn blast furnace put me in the ER, got into the heavy industrial construction industry, 1969. First job, laborer. Last job, general construction superintendent, contracted by a Spanish consortium to oversee the construction of a 4 billion dollar grassroots petroleum refinery in Sumatra.
Somewhere in there, picked up a BA in philosophy. Traveled a lot. As old Cap'n Bill Jensen used to say back there on the Orinoco, "Been round the world two dozen times, first time in a baby buggy, twice in a submarine." Jigged for cod from a dory off Newfoundland; ran like a sissy from an irate cobra in Brunei. Met lots of good people along the way.
Switalski died, April 13, 2009 in Riverdale, Illinois.