Commenting on "REP America On Bush At the House of SAUD" (RedStateEclectic 1/26/08), Eric made some excellent points that I would like to support in the below post. First some excerpts from Eric's comment:
The goal, imo, of reaching a green consensus is misanthropic in design. It seems to be more about growing government power and greasing the palms of green businesses than embracing whatever it is that greens stand for.
As far as "reigning in bad stewards", who decides which stewards are bad and why? What higher power uses the power and to what degree? ...
Whatever desires we have for a cleaner planet can be better met by embracing open markets and enforcing property rights. While there is some need of government involvement, it is dangerous to codify beliefs or lifestyles into law too hastily.
Now, some of my thoughts:
Here is a sure sign revealing the fact that most people in the West do not care much about democracy: they do not seriously ask themselves what democracy can do and what it cannot do.
Instead, what actually prevails is a fervent though hollow belief according to which majority consent is the be-all and end-all of political wisdom and legitimacy.
A welcome invitation for democratically elected politicians to extend their effective powers ever wider.
The political agendas advertised to the electorate are, of course, hardly a reflection of the true powers that a democratically elected government inherits from a long-standing history of runaway state expansion. These agendas highlight a small number of hyped issues, only to divert attention from the much larger number of competencies assumed upon being inaugurated by majority consent. "But, I have been democratically elected," effectively becomes an excuse to exert influence far beyond anything that can be seriously regarded as backed by intended consent.
In this way, democracy has moved in a direction opposite to where it ought to go, if it is to serve as a means of empowering the electorate. Most democratic decisions should be taken in a local context, where people understand the issues at hand from immediate acquaintance of the contentious questions and the persons affected by them, the personal risks and consequences, morally and materially, entailed by advocating this cause or another.
The touchstone of democratic procedure - and democracy is a counting device, by the end of the day, nothing more - the touchstone, therefore, of the procedure's merits in any given context is whether it promotes personal responsibility or incites the opposite: the shunning of personal responsibility - deference, cowardice or indifference, as the case may be.
The big democratic issues to be decided by the population in its entirety ought to be restricted to the question, how government can be restrained so it would do the least of the damage it is capable of, and what provisions should be in place to guarantee that government protect liberty and facilitate the ability of the people to look after themselves.
If a democracy is not subject to the rule of law, i.e. a set of principles intended to protect individual liberties, restricting government to actions that preserve and foster a free society, and if instead democratic approval is a blank cheque for the ruling to do what they like, democracy is bound to regress to the level of a pluralistic dictatorship, a mechanism by which to replace holders of unrestrained power with new holders of unrestrained power.
Little wonder that those inebriated with a democratic license to power increasingly grow accustomed to hubris, conceit and delusions of grandeur reminiscent of or even wilder than those characteristic of central planers of the Soviet type.
Democratic leaders, like Merkel or Blair, try to outshine one another in megalomaniac promises that surpass their terms of government and accountability by decades, let alone their true powers over whatever issue in question.
One vows to reduce global temperature by two centigrade, only to tickle the other to promise a reduction by three centigrade.
In actual fact, they are using far away future scenarios - that are in reality under nobody's control - in order to leverage self-aggrandizement. Soviet planers had the relative humility to restrict their powers over the future to a five year time horizon. Germany's chancellor, Merkel, seems to tend toward the time frame of Hitler's tausendjähriges Reich (a plan for the Reich's next thousand years) by giving precise directives on how to fix the weather in 2050. Maybe she should do a little advance training by ordering meteorologists to ensure that the weather tomorrow or the day after is in line with what she thinks it should be.
What we are facing with respect to global warming is not an environmental crisis, but a political one.
Unfortunately, there are few indications that the population is getting indignant out of a sense that their intelligence is being insulted.
Even the rare critical responses (in Germany) - to what would be ludicrous if it were not monstrous - turn out to be entangled in unquestioned suppositions of a dubiously subservient kind. Thus, there are some who argue:
How is controlling global climate supposed to be feasible when something comparatively easier such as simplifying the tax code proves impossible to accomplish by the very politicians who purport to act as the masters of global climate.
The tax burden and its rightfulness is not questioned, the demand is rather to make it easier for us to understand the levies we "owe" our government, getting more efficient at being obedient. There is a German word for it: Sklavenmoral - the moral attitudes of slaves.
The Sun Queens and Sun Kings of this world feed on Sklavenmoral. This is why environmental issues are prone to be accounted for in terms of human folly, guilt and the need to regiment human beings, who are depicted as the originators of apocalyptic vices unless shaped into wisely governed collectivities.
Genuine insight into the environment is secondary, at best. The true motive is to present man as evil and, therefore, in need of tutelage.
The same media that, twenty years ago, assured us of the prospect of the world freezing over, are now talking us into deadly global warming. Then as now, cause and culprit are sought in human behaviour - axiomatically.
In fact, the astounding reversal in climatological divinations of global perishing was brought about by a politician with an agenda of accusation: Margaret Thatcher, fighting the coal miners on the brink of civil war, heard of a fringe conjecture by a Swedish scientist, who surmised that anthropogenic CO2 emissions may contribute to global warming. Ms. Thatcher was looking for arguments to strengthen her case against coal and in favour of nuclear power, and discovered a convenient "truth". Desperately hoping for scientific substantiation of the Swede's humble conjecture, she embarked upon subsidizing supportive research, which, in the meantime, has grown to represent a multi-billion industry. For more on this, consult the documentary "The Great Global Warming Swindle", available on YouTube.
Today's Sun Queens and Sun Kings may soon discover that the task they think incumbent upon them is really to get the sun to shine a little less brightly. Rather a tall order for those passionately dedicated to leaving nature untouched by man, revealing the contradictions of people who do not wish the supposed equilibrium of nature to be meddle with by human interference, with the exception of their interfering conception of this equilibrium. (Nature, like the economy, is not an equilibrium affair, but one of permanent change and turbulence, which should not be forgotten when taking equilibrium snapshots of strictly limited heuristic value to begin to understand elements of the Universe.)
It is a question of time until the junk science championed by them will be discredited - at which point they will move on to new scare stories which, they hope, will take more time to debunk than is needed to accumulate powers that seem reasonable while the fake apocalypse has the majority still in its grip.
My prediction is that the massive cuts in pension entitlements awaiting us will be couched in terms of green "emergency" requirements or a "humanitarian" war.