Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Diagnosing the "Collectice Psychosis" of the Eco-Left

Friends, no one disputes that proper stewardship of the environment ought to be a priority for society, and for each of us individually.  The radical agenda of the leftist environmental movement, however, starts with this amply supportable premise and quickly soars to otherworldly heights of wackiness.  Simply put, the eco-left has turned mankind itself into the enemy, and their strategies for restoring "climate sanity" involve the unravelling of human civilization, including, as this excellent article suggests, many of the pillars of Western democracy.  Bottom line: the sky isn't falling, Chicken Little, so take a deep breath, and let's see if we can't make the environment cleaner and more livable in a way that doesn't cost jobs, untold trillions in additional taxes, or the mental health of children and young adults...


  1. Dr. Waddy: I couldn't get the article to allow me access to other than its first sentence and so I am informed thereby by no more than that.

    The "Greens" are consumately antiintellectual in that they advocate and enforce the closing of the argument about whether humanity is responsible for apparent global warming. The argument is far from over, as any perusal of online assertions would support.

  2. I'm sorry to hear that, Jack. If you do a web search for "climate stalinism joel kotkin", you should find the article. It's a good one.

  3. Dr. Waddy: OK , I got it that way and everything he says is plausible. I'm struck by his notation that Australians rejected measures aimed against fossil fuel companies. I don't know how much natural gas they have but we have a whole bunch of it here and its great stuff and if its use cuts carbon emissions too, why then lets use it. In saying that I'm not saying I am convinced that human action has caused possible global warming. Certainly the fanatic left (which sees all this as yet another hellish power grab) is completely unconvincing, since their goals are social, political and respectful of science only when it confirms their views. Failing that, why, its back to the Middle Ages, when heresy was punished.

    Leftists are very insecure; fascinating psychological studies of them must exist. Once they are convinced by, well, whatever, that something is true, it becomes something beyond gospel. In this may be a manifestation of their demonstrated fear of free enquiry, embodied as we know, by their infestation of the American and Western academy with totalitarian political correctness.

    They were freed by Marx from consideration of values established in the 18th century Enlightenment (in contrast to the value laden thought of the 19th century) which encouraged intellectually rigorous, courageous and self effacing reasoning. Marx thought everything preRousseau condemned. Its a very convenient tactic. "Why let us reject all thought before our time as having resulted in the injustice and 'dysfunction' we see today. Let us form, from whole cloth, a creed informed by guaranteed future outcomes. And let us destroy, as we are undoubtabley correct, using ANY means, all who doubt or oppose us."Stalin redux.

    The contemporary green movement is clearly motivated by such principles. A very obvious example is NY Governor Cuomo's reckless attack on readily available and acceptably clean utilization in "his" state of natural gas.

    Too, there is always this, in all leftist crusades. That is: the use of specific issues as vehicles to complete presumptuous and by definition totalitarian leftist control of ALL issues. Such as the plainly objective and goal driven Cuomo are proof of this.

    Natural gas as a solution? "Why, we cannot endure the adrenaline cutoff this causes us, Why, its SO FINE and we had so many societal and political reforms in mind!!!" How for us in the real America to combat this? Force them into rehab by marginalizing them.

  4. Jack, I agree with everything you said except for this: "fascinating psychological studies of them [leftists] must exist." That's very unlikely, because the psychological profession leans heavily to the Left, and, as you've just proved, leftists are, almost by definition, lacking in self-awareness. For a liberal to look in the mirror and ask himself, "Are all my presumptions really true? Am I guilty of the very excesses I regularly pin on my enemies?" he would have to be capable of a depth of feeling and thought that, well, just doesn't apply in this case. As you say, insecurity and petulance are the armor in which modern leftism is cloaked. Shutting down conversations is, to them, far more important than starting them. So...fascinating psychological studies of the Left OUGHT to exist, yes. The closest we will get, unless the academic wing of psychology experiences an epiphany, will be studies of ideological differences and what causes them, or studies of people's understanding of facts versus values, objectivity versus subjectivity. 99% of the time, though, I fear educated liberals are convinced that their point of view is simply the one endorsed by truth, reason, and simple humanity. Critical thinking is, from that point on, suspended.

  5. Dr. Waddy: I do know of a forensic Psychologist named Stanton Samenow,whose professional views amounted to conservative views and who wrote Inside the Criminal Mind. His conclusions were castigated by most highly educated criminologists, who inclined more to Menninger's The Crime of Punishment, but not by many of more practical mien who work with criminals every day. Would that he would write an objective psychological study of leftists. I recently read a psychology based biography of Henry VIII and it was very engaging.

    In my view, leftists are freed of many of the intellectual demands necessitated by use of empirical information (eg. the past) because so much of what they maintain is supported by expectations and suppositions about an unproven future. The fact that their expectations in 1917 have been tragically and completely discredited is of no moment to them. The future is an ever beckoning blank slate upon which anything may be superimposed.And if their vision does triumph, surely only through brute force as we learned in the 20th century, then some doctrinaire leftist will write of the end of history and rather than being subjected to sound intellectual criticism, it will be ENFORCED, as is the leftist wont.

    I agree; educated leftists assume that their views, arrived at by any means, even intuition, are, once arrived at, set in stone. From then on, any criticism is beneath intellectual challenge, it is simply suppressed.

  6. Jack, psychology is a fascinating field, I agree. There are still so many mysteries about how the human mind operates, though -- even supposing that generalizations about "the mind" are practicable, given the important differences between us -- so I fear that a lot of what passes for scientific analysis is mere mumbo jumbo or speculation. The great question of psychology has always been: are we formed by our genes or by our environment? The best answer we have thus far is: all of the above.

    I have seen a study, though, that seemed to prove that both liberals and conservatives were easily seduced by "fake news". That tells us something...something obvious to anyone with a scintilla of common sense, that is.

  7. Dr. Waddy: Perhaps that reveals that our side (the other side? I would not dare to speak for them) is amenable and sees some utility, in that which is maintained by preemptive reporting. As it may advance our cause, perhaps it must be embraced. We have to know that even such a moral consideration is very far beyond the ken or intention of our leftist foes.

  8. Jack, all it tells me is that the vast majority of liberals and conservatives are more or less equally gullible. :)