Using Government to Fake Up Your Fantasy
every ruling class does this
Actions speak louder than words, so as our leaders create their manger cribs, their nativity scenes of the future, with EPA issuing its regulation to mandate 67% EVs by 2050, because subsidies in the Inflation Reduction Act will help make it so — and also with Governor Polis in Colorado mandating high-density zoning statewide even for rural towns — I keep thinking about what our liberal friends are telling us with these actions.
Yes, politics is about whacking your enemies and helping your friends. And that means killing the suburbs and creating Jobs for Gentry — educated Gentry — in education, in the administrative state, and in activist NGOs.
But it is also about putting on your school play and faking up the scenery, so we can all get together on Saturday night and applaud the kiddies and their earnest, if amateur, efforts.
Let’s take climate change and let’s suppose that it is real and that it will transform life on this Earth before the end of the century.
What would be the difference if we waited until 2099 before doing anything? If climate change were real and people were dying, we could gin up a global response, probably involving mass migration. Or, if climate change were minimal, or non-existent, or if it looked like a new ice age were on the cards, then we would have saved a ton of money that we would not have spent on EVs and fast charging stations and rebuilding rural towns on the high-density model.
See, my judgement is that, even if climate change is real, we will find at the end of the century that most of the educated-class proposals will have been mistakes. I say that not because I know that EVs are stupid — although that’s what I think. It’s just that, when reviewing human actions with the advantage of hindsight, they always appear as one mistake after another. That’s how every human gets to the future: fixing his mistakes, one after another.
But there is one form of human organization that finds it really difficult to admit mistakes and learn from them: government.
Put another way, government is all about OMG the Nazis are coming and so we must mobilize the entire society to stop them, because if we fail, it’s the end of life as we know it — and certainly the end of the current ruling class.
That is why socialism fails. Every human endeavor is one damn thing after another, but socialism assumes that human life is a play — Agatha Christie’s Mousetrap that opened in 1948 — that plays without change forever, except for an interruption during the COVID crisis.
Do you see the point? Even if climate change is real, it is dollars to donuts that EVs and high-density cities won’t make a blind bit of difference.
No. Just about everything that government does is the ruling class putting on a play to amuse itself, something that doesn’t benefit ordinary people, but ends up being paid for by ordinary people. And it was ever thus.