A Religion of Death
He claims to care about the poor: "the global economy's distribution of resources can play a major role in both the existence of poverty... the poorest 20 percent consumed only 1.5 percent" of resources. First, goods in a free economy are not "distributed"; they are produced and become owned by their producers and later their customers. There is no process of distribution of unowned goods separate from the process of the goods' production and exchange. If the poor nations consume little, it means that they produce little, too. Might it be the case that the producers are entitled to the fruits of their labor?
Second, the author's concern is hard to square with his denunciation of "consumerism" and "profit seeking." I'd imagine that we want those poor people to become rich. But if they become rich, then they'll presumably harm the environment as much as the American public does. Once again we are led to a "violent war," and this war (probably numerous nuclear strikes) will have to be, according to Garrison's logic, directed at the most prosperous communities, such as indeed the United States. Garrison thus advocates a massive nuclear attack against America. Notice how he wants to use the very technology developed by the environmentally incorrect nations – "a revolution in technology and industry gave us god-like abilities to control entire ecosystems" – against them. I would suggest to Garrison that he major in biology, so he might work for the military in creating biological weapons designed to wipe out major parts of humanity. At any rate, what is bad about being God-like? Are we not supposed to imitate God in His creative power? By lifting ourselves from the state of natural abject poverty, the world in which life is "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short," we do God's work indeed. Even in the Garden of Eden, a perfect place, according to the story, the Garden was made for man, not man for the Garden. The lower in perfection serves the higher; the author's case is metaphysically obtuse.
Third, that "material gain has failed to make us happy" is falsified by the obvious efforts of almost all the poor folks to raise their standard of living. It is precisely the prosperity created by capitalism that has enabled cultists like Garrison to call for humanity's destruction. He is a representative of the new "environmental" madness that has gripped the US; he would be hard pressed to find converts in China or Africa.
"Humans have been leisurely chomping away at natural resources," Garrison writes. But everything around us can be, with the right technology, a resource or capital good to be used in production of consumer goods. Oil, which 300 years ago was a useless thing, unknown and unnoticed, is now a hugely important product. Human ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit can make a resource out of practically anything.
But Garrison is not done. "Current trends of capitalistic globalization are designed to maximize profits, often without a consideration of social good." That is exactly contrary to fact, because under capitalism individual self-interest seeking does not conflict but is in harmony with the good of society. Has our author never heard of the invisible hand? At any rate, what is Garrison doing talking about "social good" of humans, when he is clearly more interested in the good of trees and viruses? It used to be that radicals of the left, in advocating socialism and such, were at least motivated by a desire to promote the human good, alleviate poverty, and so on. They used the wrong means, but their ends were not that awful. As Lew Rockwell argues, environmentalism "holds the moral high ground not as the brotherhood of man, since we live in post-Christian times, but as the brotherhood of bugs." Whom are you trying to deceive, sir?
In short, Garrison's religion is a repulsive and self-contradictory death cult. We'd be well-advised to steer clear of it.
September 14, 2009
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