90 Miles From Tyranny : The Tyranny Of The Socially Self-Righteous - A Coercive Green New Deal

Monday, August 12, 2019

The Tyranny Of The Socially Self-Righteous - A Coercive Green New Deal

Social and economic crises, real and imagined, often seem to bring out the most wrongheaded thinking in matters of government policy. Following the 2008 financial crisis and with the fear of “global warming,” there has been a revival in the case for “democratic” socialism. But now its proponents are “out of the closet” with a clear cut and explicit call for forcefully imposed, authoritarian central planning of the world.

John Feffer is affiliated with the Washington, D.C.–based Institute for Policy Studies, a “progressive” think tank that has never seen a government command or control, regulation or redistribution that they seemingly have not liked – as long as it reflects their version of preferred social engineering compared to anyone else’s, of course. He has recently made, “The Case for a Coerced Green New Deal,” on the website of The Nation magazine (July 30, 2019).

The world, he warns, has a window of perhaps 12 years to transform the way people work and live, or its curtains for the planet. Belching out the carbon dioxide by-product of using fossil fuels, the atmosphere is heating up with feared disastrous consequences for all living things on earth. For decades, people have talked and talked and talked about the dangers of global warming; but the time for talk has reached its end, Mr. Feffer declares. It's time for concerted, planned and comprehensive action of the type proposed in the Green New Deal legislation submitted to Congress earlier in 2019. 

China as a Model for a Future Eco-Authoritarianism

He compares two lifeboats lost at sea, whose ship survivors are facing doom if they do not reach the safety of land. On one of the lifeboats, the occupants form committees to discuss and debate which direction to go and how best to manage the meager supplies they have on board. All their jabbering eats up precious time and limited resources, with no definitive decision about what to do. Here is seen the dilemma and dysfunction of indecisive democratic decision-making.

On the other lifeboat, after some debate and discussion, a “leader” emerges and takes charge. He assigns tasks to the people in the lifeboat, he decides on a course for the boat to follow (hopefully) to reach land, and organizes how best to ration out the available supplies for the lifeboat occupants until safety has been reached.

As far as John Feffer is concerned, the time for the delays and indecisiveness of the democratic talking shop of the first lifeboat type is now passed. America and the world must follow the authoritarian model of the second lifeboat. He greatly admires the example of modern China under President Xi Jinping. Under his clear and determined leadership, China knows where it is going, and why. Government directs and plans the overall direction of Chinese society and the economy. The global dimension to China’s role in the world is seen in its Belt and Road project to link more of the world to China’s future development. And the Chinese government has even publicly embraced the idea of an environmentally friendly future for China. (See my article, “Economic Armaments and China’s Global Ambitions”.)

So is Mr. Feffer ready to give his oath of allegiance to a world with Chinese characteristics? Alas, no. President Xi shows determined and forthright leadership, but he is, well, sort of like Donald Trump with the goal of “making China great again.” Besides, while talking clean air, China keeps building coal-burning furnaces. And the Belt and Road strategy for establishing China’s place in the global sun is not geared to bend other countries to fighting global warming, but to serve China’s national interests.
If Not China, Then America’s Green New Deal

Furthermore, Mr. Feffer declares that the problem is that China, well, is not “eco-authoritarian” enough to take on the mantle of “Climate Leviathan.” As he put is, “China is actually not Leviathan enough.” There are too many competing government ministries and regional and business interests for the sufficient and more centralized “stringent standards” needed for a China to compel the world in the direction he wants President Xi to take it. He does not say it, but we could imagine that in a sleep time dream, Mr. Feffer might very well wish for the reincarnation of an environmentally devoted Chairman Mao who would show the leadership qualities not to brook disagreement, dissent or decentralization to get in the way of a unified and fully centralized plan to save mankind from the current heat wave.

Turning away from his wistful wish that China would lead the way, Mr. Feffer sees the national populisms cropping up in various countries to have the right sentiments to do away with the greedy capitalist exploitation from which the world suffers. But they are too nationalistically focused and too often against fighting climate change as he sees its danger. Of course, there is always the hope that the United Nations could play the role of global central planner, but the UN is bogged down in the dead end of talking head committees and unenforceable resolutions.

But don’t completely lose a positive attitude, because Mr. Feffer sees salvation in the Green New Deal (GND):

Read More HERE

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