Tuesday, December 04, 2007

James Lileks on the anti-libertarian, brave new world

If the developed world is to implement the 80% cuts in carbon emissions the UN demands as part of the talks beginning in Bali today, the lives of our children will have to be dramatically different from everything we are currently bringing them up to expect.

Agreed. And if the developed world is to implement the 95% reduction in human population proposed by the Bilderberger’s Ultra-Secret Herd-Thinning Initiative, our children’s lives will be drastically shorter than they’re being brought up to expect. So we had better take them to Disneyworld now, right? Something to think about when they’re fed into the bloody thrashing blades of the municipal Reduction Centres. Or you could note that reducing the population by 95% is probably not going to happen, any more than the developing countries will reduce their carbon output by 80 percent without mandatory sabot-insertion into every facet of modern industrial life.

There follows the usual tut-tutting about other people’s spending choices, which are always easy to mock – and I’ll happily play that game too, because people do waste money on stupid stuff. Not me, though. There’s nothing I buy to enhance my mortal existence that isn’t a good idea whose merits can be proven empirically. Anyway: she wants a low-consumption economy, achieved by general societal consensus. If that’s what a society wishes, fine; go ahead. There’s a precendent for pulling together and doing without: “Hearteningly, we know it can be done - our parents and grandparents managed it in the second world war.” Well, buzzbombs, firestorms, wholesale overnight urban destruction and the threat of a life writhing under the Nazi boot do focus the mind. As it turns out, though, her example of plucky Britons pulling together to defeat the Hun peril was not achieved without a few nudges from their betters:

In the early 1940s, a dramatic drop in household consumption was achieved - not by relying on the good intentions of individuals, but by the government orchestrating a massive propaganda exercise combined with a rationing system and a luxury tax. This will be the stuff of 21st-century politics - something that, right now, all the main political parties are much too scared to admit.

It’s the rationing system some want, I suspect. It will be the job of the state to decide how many times a week you can eat meat, how many rooms you should have, what sort of vehicle you drive, how many times you may fly, how many toys you can buy your child.

Incidentally, she’s also written that reducing consumption is one thing – but it’s more important to not have lots of children. Well, she has three, and does not appear to share a dwelling with their father.

For shame.

Whole post at the Bleat. I posted on the same story yesterday.

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