Thursday, December 01, 2011

Anthropogenic Global Warming as the Progressives Long Sought After "Moral Equivalent of War"

The Dallas Federal Reserve in its online publication "Economic Insights" frames the real argument with the UN IPCC and the bevy of central planners supporting radical action regarding Global Warming when describing the environment that Hayek's work responded to in the 20th century.
"The 20th century has seen a single, unifying intellectual struggle play out across its decades, affecting all the earth's peoples. That struggle has been between those who wished the state to impose a centrally planned order on society and those who understood that the best order—and the only one consistent with democracy and individual freedom—is a spontaneous one that does not need imposition. Such an order flourishes only under democratically, or constitutionally, restrained governments that operate under the rule of law. Tens of millions of people have died in this century's wars, perished under oppressive regimes or were put to death simply because they were in the political opposition. Even those who survived have often suffered harsh economic and political deprivation. This is the most visible manifestation of the ideological struggle in which Hayek was a central participant. "  (See link below:  Hayek - Social Theorist of the Century - Economic Insights - FRB Dallas)
My concern about the Global Warming issue has been, from the beginning, that separate from the scientific argument there is a political argument in which, central planners, using the possibility of Global Warming as an excuse, a "moral equivalent of war", seek to impose their political will on the US and the world.  This is not a new idea.  William James, pacifist, philosopher, socialist, utopian and originator of the discipline of Psychology wrote an essay in 1906 entitled "The Moral Equivalent of War" in which he suggested just such tactics to accomplish utopian socialism in the United States of America.  In the essay he described the polarities of militarism, pacifism and socialist utopianism and suggested that the latter two could only be successful if they could somehow duplicate the surrender of individuality and dedication to higher cause that characterizes the military on a war footing.  In so doing he also reveals the elitism inherent in the socialist, pacifist movement and disdain for "inferiors" that has become so evident in contemporary political argument.