How to Stop the Gadarene Swine in Time
I mean, a ruling class
Right now our educated ruling class is bound and determined to save the world from climate change. And their strategy to do this involves transitioning from “fossil fuels” — meaning oil and natural gas and coal — because carbon dioxide. Their strategy seems, mostly, to build wind and solar electric generation facilities, at enormous expense, and encourage nice liberal ladies to purchase “EVs.”
Now maybe our rulers are right, and we humans face an existential crisis that requires a global mobilization to fight World War Climate.
But maybe our rulers are wrong. It won’t be the first time. Take World War I. I’ve read that it was the Brits’ fault, because they wanted to keep the surging Germany from becoming the most powerful country in Europe. And then there’s Bismarck’s worry about “some damn thing in the Balkans.” And the Russian Tsar: what on Earth did he think he was doing? Look I get it. All those rulers liked to preen and posture and throw a bit of weight around. Like rulers do today. Hey, things got a bit out of hand. Could have happened to anyone!
But egad, did they ever make a mess, and send a generation of young men to their deaths in the trenches! For nothing! And then did the same thing 25 year later!
And that is what I think is happening with climate change: the ruling class posturing and throwing its weight around, because that is what ruling classes do.
Thing is, our rulers could be wrong in all kinds of different ways. Maybe the strategy of renewable energy is wrong. Maybe the strategy of banning nitrogen fertilizers won’t make a dime’s worth of difference. Maybe the theory that CO2 is a driver of climate change is wrong. Maybe a dozen other different things.
But there is no way for any government to analyse the whys and wherefores and figure out what to do next. That’s not what governments do.
You see, my argument to the political sector is: Stay in your lane. Your job is to identify enemies and then send us all out to fight them. As in Nazis and Commies. As in street thugs and criminal gangs. Because unless it’s a shooting war it’s not in your lane, pal.
And I mean everything that isn’t a shooting war. In my view just about everything that has gone wrong in the last century or so is because the ruling class didn’t stay in its lane.
Childhood education? In my view nobody has a clue how to educate kids, least of all gubmint bureaucrats with lifetime tenure. It would probably be really good if we could do it with a lot less full-time labor in the education sector and a lot more volunteers and parents and local businesses and the odd billionaire.
Marriage, sexual norms, sex roles. I just doubt that gubmint mental health experts and interventions and activists are the way to go.
Yeah, activism. Modern activism mingles government force and morality. I just don’t think it’s a good mix.I think that government needs to stay in its lane, and attend, like the President of Salvador, to cracking down on gangs. The question of the patriarchy, or transphobia, or celebrating Gay Pride Month should have nothing to do with government.
Look that’s not to say that government can’t help. Maybe it can. But then there is the little problem that, since the political is the distinction between friend and enemy, it means that every government program degenerates into helping our friends and sticking it to the enemy.
And then there is Chantrill’s Law, that government programs cannot work because you can never reform them. Suppose the current government program to build out renewable energy and convert to EVs turns out to Make Things Worse. Imagine how hard it will be to shut off the subsidies and the renewable energy construction programs, because of the opposition from the current beneficiaries of those programs. You’ll never get them to agree that green energy is a mistake. They will all say that the only problem is that we didn’t commit enough resources to saving the world.
I’m reading Francis Fukuyama’s Origins of Political Order, and of course each of the civilizations and/or empires he writes about decline and decay as they run out of money. I wonder why. Is it because they ran out of loot and plunder to give away, or just that they had to keep shoveling cash out to their supporters, and the supporters can never get enough, and so the regime kept on keeping on until the day when it couldn’t.
Until the whole thing breaks and grass start growing up in the streets.
That’s what I think will happen with green energy, and I don’t like it. Not at all.
And that’s what happens with everything that rulers do. And I don’t like it. Not at all.