“Classical liberalism” and contemporary conservatism 0

We find this essay by Yoram Hazony peculiarly interesting, so we are posting it in full.

It was published in the Wall Street Journal two days ago on October 13, 2017.

We have long assumed that contemporary Western conservatism is “liberal” in the sense that John Locke and Adam Smith used the term. This essay enlightens us about that. We discover that we are not “classical liberals” after all.

And we are surprised to learn from Yoram Hazony that Friedrich Hayek, whom we much admire and often quote, was at one time an advocate for world government. (We have called world government “the ultimate nightmare” in an essay listed under Pages in our margin). The same goes for Ludwig von Mises. And we are less surprised but still concerned to learn that Charles Krauthammer is too.

We offer no criticism, make no comment, except to say that, like Hayek, Milton Friedman, Robert Nozick and Ayn Rand, we still “place religion outside the scope of what is essential to know about politics and government”.

Is ‘Classical Liberalism’ Conservative?

American conservatism is having something of an identity crisis. Most conservatives supported Donald Trump last November. But many prominent conservative intellectuals—journalists, academics and think-tank personalities—have entrenched themselves in bitter opposition. Some have left the Republican Party, while others are waging guerrilla warfare against a Republican administration. Longtime friendships have been ended and resignations tendered. Talk of establishing a new political party alternates with declarations that Mr. Trump will be denied the GOP nomination in 2020.

Those in the “Never Trump” camp say the cause of the split is the president—that he’s mentally unstable, morally unspeakable, a leftist populist, a rightist authoritarian, a danger to the republic. One prominent Republican told me he is praying for Mr. Trump to have a brain aneurysm so the nightmare can end.

But the conservative unity that Never Trumpers seek won’t be coming back, even if the president leaves office prematurely. An apparently unbridgeable ideological chasm is opening between two camps that were once closely allied. Mr. Trump’s rise is the effect, not the cause, of this rift.

There are two principal causes: first, the increasingly rigid ideology conservative intellectuals have promoted since the end of the Cold War; second, a series of events — from the failed attempt to bring democracy to Iraq to the implosion of Wall Street — that have made the prevailing conservative ideology seem naive and reckless to the broader conservative public.

A good place to start thinking about this is a 1989 essay in the National Interest by Charles Krauthammer. The Cold War was coming to an end, and Mr. Krauthammer proposed it should be supplanted by what he called “Universal Dominion” (the title of the essay): America was going to create a Western “super-sovereign” that would establish peace and prosperity throughout the world. The cost would be “the conscious depreciation not only of American sovereignty, but of the notion of sovereignty in general.”

William Kristol and Robert Kagan presented a similar view in their 1996 essay “Toward a Neo-Reaganite Foreign Policy” in Foreign Affairs, which proposed an American “benevolent global hegemony” that would have “preponderant influence and authority over all others in its domain”.

Then, as now, conservative commentators insisted that the world should want such an arrangement because the U.S. knows best: The American way of politics, based on individual liberties and free markets, is the right way for human beings to live everywhere. Japan and Germany, after all, were once-hostile authoritarian nations that had flourished after being conquered and acquiescing in American political principles. With the collapse of communism, dozens of countries — from Eastern Europe to East Asia to Latin America — seemed to need, and in differing degrees to be open to, American tutelage of this kind. As the bearer of universal political truth, the U.S. was said to have an obligation to ensure that every nation was coaxed, maybe even coerced, into adopting its principles.

Any foreign policy aimed at establishing American universal dominion faces considerable practical challenges, not least because many nations don’t want to live under U.S. authority. But the conservative intellectuals who have set out to promote this Hegelian world revolution must also contend with a problem of different kind: Their aim cannot be squared with the political tradition for which they are ostensibly the spokesmen.

For centuries, Anglo-American conservatism has favored individual liberty and economic freedom. But as the Oxford historian of conservatism Anthony Quinton emphasized, this tradition is empiricist and regards successful political arrangements as developing through an unceasing process of trial and error. As such, it is deeply skeptical of claims about universal political truths. The most important conservative figures — including John Fortescue, John Selden, Montesquieu, Edmund Burke and Alexander Hamilton — believed that different political arrangements would be fitting for different nations, each in keeping with the specific conditions it faces and traditions it inherits. What works in one country can’t easily be transplanted.

On that view, the U.S. Constitution worked so well because it preserved principles the American colonists had brought with them from England. The framework — the balance between the executive and legislative branches, the bicameral legislature, the jury trial and due process, the bill of rights — was already familiar from the English constitution. Attempts to transplant Anglo-American political institutions in places such as Mexico, Nigeria, Russia and Iraq have collapsed time and again, because the political traditions needed to maintain them did not exist. Even in France, Germany and Italy, representative government failed repeatedly into the mid-20th century (recall the collapse of France’s Fourth Republic in 1958), and has now been shunted aside by a European Union whose notorious “democracy deficit” reflects a continuing inability to adopt Anglo-American constitutional norms.

The “universal dominion” agenda is flatly contradicted by centuries of Anglo-American conservative political thought. This may be one reason that some post-Cold War conservative intellectuals have shifted to calling themselves “classical liberals”. Last year Paul Ryan insisted: “I really call myself a classical liberal more than a conservative.” Mr. Kristol tweeted in August: “Conservatives could ‘rebrand’ as liberals. Seriously. We’re for liberal democracy, liberal world order, liberal economy, liberal education.”

What is “classical liberalism,” and how does it differ from conservatism? As Quinton pointed out, the liberal tradition descends from Hobbes and Locke, who were not empiricists but rationalists: Their aim was to deduce universally valid political principles from self-evident axioms, as in mathematics.

In his “Second Treatise on Government” (1689), Locke asserts that universal reason teaches the same political truths to all human beings; that all individuals are by nature “perfectly free” and “perfectly equal”; and that obligation to political institutions arises only from the consent of the individual. From these assumptions, Locke deduces a political doctrine that he supposes must hold good in all times and places.

The term “classical liberal” came into use in 20th-century America to distinguish the supporters of old-school laissez-faire from the welfare-state liberalism of figures such as Franklin D. Roosevelt. Modern classical liberals, inheriting the rationalism of Hobbes and Locke, believe they can speak authoritatively to the political needs of every human society, everywhere. In his seminal work, “Liberalism” (1927), the great classical-liberal economist Ludwig von Mises thus advocates a “world super-state really deserving of the name”, which will arise if we “succeed in creating throughout the world . . . nothing less than unqualified, unconditional acceptance of liberalism. Liberal thinking must permeate all nations, liberal principles must pervade all political institutions”.

Friedrich Hayek, the leading classical-liberal theorist of the 20th century, likewise argued, in a 1939 essay, for replacing independent nations with a world-wide federation: “The abrogation of national sovereignties and the creation of an effective international order of law is a necessary complement and the logical consummation of the liberal program.”

Classical liberalism thus offers ground for imposing a single doctrine on all nations for their own good. It provides an ideological basis for an American universal dominion.

By contrast, Anglo-American conservatism historically has had little interest in putatively self-evident political axioms. Conservatives want to learn from experience what actually holds societies together, benefits them and destroys them. That empiricism has persuaded most Anglo-American conservative thinkers of the importance of traditional Protestant institutions such as the independent national state, biblical religion and the family.

As an English Protestant, Locke could have endorsed these institutions as well. But his rationalist theory provides little basis for understanding their role in political life. Even today liberals are plagued by this failing: The rigidly Lockean assumptions of classical-liberal writers such as Hayek, Milton Friedman, Robert Nozick and Ayn Rand place the nation, the family and religion outside the scope of what is essential to know about politics and government. Students who grow up reading these brilliant writers develop an excellent grasp of how an economy works. But they are often marvelously ignorant about much else, having no clue why a flourishing state requires a cohesive nation, or how such bonds are established through family and religious ties.

The differences between the classical-liberal and conservative traditions have immense consequences for policy. Establishing democracy in Egypt or Iraq looks doable to classical liberals because they assume that human reason is everywhere the same, and that a commitment to individual liberties and free markets will arise rapidly once the benefits have been demonstrated and the impediments removed. Conservatives, on the other hand, see foreign civilizations as powerfully motivated — for bad reasons as well as good ones — to fight the dissolution of their way of life and the imposition of American values.

Integrating millions of immigrants from the Middle East also looks easy to classical liberals, because they believe virtually everyone will quickly see the advantages of American (or European) ways and accept them upon arrival. Conservatives recognize that large-scale assimilation can happen only when both sides are highly motivated to see it through. When that motivation is weak or absent, conservatives see an unassimilated migration, resulting in chronic mutual hatred and violence, as a perfectly plausible outcome.

Since classical liberals assume reason is everywhere the same, they see no great danger in “depreciating” national independence and outsourcing power to foreign bodies. American and British conservatives see such schemes as destroying the unique political foundation upon which their traditional freedoms are built.

Liberalism and conservatism had been opposed political positions since the day liberal theorizing first appeared in England in the 17th century. During the 20th-century battles against totalitarianism, necessity brought their adherents into close alliance. Classical liberals and conservatives fought together, along with communists, against Nazism. After 1945 they remained allies against communism. Over many decades of joint struggle, their differences were relegated to a back burner, creating a “fusionist” movement (as William F. Buckley’s National Review called it) in which one and all saw themselves as “conservatives”.

But since the fall of the Berlin Wall, circumstances have changed. Margaret Thatcher’s ouster from power in 1990 marked the end of serious resistance in Britain to the coming European “super-sovereign”. Within a few years the classical liberals’ agenda of universal dominion was the only game in town — ascendant not only among American Republicans and British Tories but even among center-left politicians such as Bill Clinton and Tony Blair.

Only it didn’t work. China, Russia and large portions of the Muslim world resisted a “new world order” whose express purpose was to bring liberalism to their countries. The attempt to impose a classical-liberal regime in Iraq by force, followed by strong-arm tactics aimed at bringing democracy to Egypt and Libya, led to the meltdown of political order in these states as well as in Syria and Yemen. Meanwhile, the world banking crisis made a mockery of classical liberals’ claim to know how to govern a world-wide market and bring prosperity to all. The shockingly rapid disintegration of the American family once again raised the question of whether classical liberalism has the resources to answer any political question outside the economic sphere.

Brexit and Mr. Trump’s rise are the direct result of a quarter-century of classical-liberal hegemony over the parties of the right. Neither Mr. Trump nor the Brexiteers were necessarily seeking a conservative revival. But in placing a renewed nationalism at the center of their politics, they shattered classical liberalism’s grip, paving the way for a return to empiricist conservatism. Once you start trying to understand politics by learning from experience rather than by deducing your views from 17th-century rationalist dogma, you never know what you may end up discovering.

Mr. Hazony is president of the Jerusalem-based Herzl Institute. His book “The Virtue of Nationalism” will be published next year by Basic.

 

(Hat-tip to our reader and commenter, Cogito)

The US and the EU are entirely different 7

There is a profound difference between the US and the EU, and one that will never disappear. The US has a single culture, a single language, a single and powerful global brand, and a single government that commands national allegiance. It has a national history, a national myth, a demos that is the foundation of their democracy. The EU has nothing of the kind. In urging us to embed ourselves more deeply in the EU’s federalising structures, the Americans are urging us down a course they would never dream of going themselves. That is because they are a nation conceived in liberty. They sometimes seem to forget that we are quite fond of liberty, too.

Boris Johnson, the buoyant, brilliant, good-humored Mayor of London, who may be and ought to be a future Conservative prime minister, writes at The Telegraph:

I love America. I believe in the American dream. Indeed, I hold that the story of the past 100 years has been very largely about how America rose to global greatness – and how America has helped to preserve and expand democracy around the world. In two global conflicts, and throughout the Cold War, the United States has fought for the founding ideals of the republic: that government of the people, by the people, for the people should not perish from the earth. So it is on the face of it a bit peculiar that US government officials should believe that Britain must remain within the EU – a system in which democracy is increasingly undermined.

Some time in the next couple of months we are told that President Obama himself is going to arrive in this country, like some deus ex machina, to pronounce on the matter. Air Force One will touch down; a lectern with the presidential seal will be erected. The British people will be told to be good to themselves, to do the right thing. We will be informed by our most important ally that it is in our interests to stay in the EU, no matter how flawed we may feel that organisation to be. Never mind the loss of sovereignty; never mind the expense and the bureaucracy and the uncontrolled immigration. The American view is very clear. Whether in code or en clair, the President will tell us all that UK membership of the EU is right for Britain, right for Europe, and right for America. And why? Because that – or so we will be told – is the only way we can have “influence” in the counsels of the nations.

It is an important argument, and deserves to be taken seriously. I also think it is wholly fallacious – and coming from Uncle Sam, it is a piece of outrageous and exorbitant hypocrisy.

Only it is not coming from Uncle Sam. It is coming from Uncle Sam’s enemy, President Barack Hussein Obama.

There is no country in the world that defends its own sovereignty with such hysterical vigilance as the United States of America. This is a nation born from its glorious refusal to accept overseas control. Almost two and a half centuries ago the American colonists rose up and violently asserted the principle that they – and they alone – should determine the government of America, and not George III or his ministers. To this day the Americans refuse to kneel to almost any kind of international jurisdiction. Alone of Western nations, the US declines to accept that its citizens can be subject to the rulings of the International Criminal Court in The Hague. They have not even signed up to the Convention on the Law of the Sea. Can you imagine the Americans submitting their democracy to the kind of regime that we have in the EU?

Under Obama, the US has not been defending its sovereignty. And Obama would love it if America could be totally ruled by a world communist government. But the rest is true.

Think of NAFTA  – the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement – that links the US with Canada and Mexico. Suppose it were constituted on the lines of the EU, with a commission and a parliament and a court of justice. Would the Americans knuckle under – to a NAFTA commission and parliament generating about half their domestic law? Would they submit to a NAFTA court of justice – supreme over all US institutions – and largely staffed by Mexicans and Canadians whom the people of the US could neither appoint nor remove? No way. The idea is laughable, and completely alien to American traditions. So why is it essential for Britain to comply with a system that the Americans would themselves reject out of hand? Is it not a blatant case of “Do as I say, but not as I do”?

Of course it is. As for this precious “influence”, so dearly bought, I am not sure that it is all it is cracked up to be – or that Britain’s EU membership is really so valuable to Washington. Since the very foundation of the Common Market, the Washington establishment has supported the idea of European integration. The notable state department figure George W Ball worked on drafting the Schuman plan in 1950. He was a pallbearer at the funeral of Jean Monnet, the architect of the European project.

The Americans see the EU as a way of tidying up a continent whose conflicts have claimed huge numbers of American lives; as a bulwark against Russia, and they have always conceived it to be in American interests for the UK – their number one henchperson, their fidus Achates – to be deeply engaged. Symmetrically, it has been a Foreign Office superstition that we are more important to Washington if we can plausibly claim to have “influence” in Brussels. But with every year that passes that influence diminishes.

It is not just that we are being ever more frequently outvoted in the council of ministers, and our officials ever more heavily outnumbered in the Commission. The whole concept of “pooling sovereignty” is a fraud and a cheat. We are not really sharing control with other EU governments: the problem is rather that all governments have lost control to the unelected federal machine. We don’t know who they are, or what language they speak, and we certainly don’t know what we can do to remove them at an election.

When Americans look at the process of European integration, they make a fundamental category error. With a forgivable narcissism, they assume that we Europeans are evolving – rather haltingly – so as to become just like them: a United States of Europe, a single federal polity. That is indeed what the eurozone countries are trying to build; but it is not right for many EU countries, and it certainly isn’t right for Britain.

There is a profound difference between the US and the EU, and one that will never disappear. The US has a single culture, a single language, a single and powerful global brand, and a single government that commands national allegiance. It has a national history, a national myth, a demos that is the foundation of their democracy. The EU has nothing of the kind. In urging us to embed ourselves more deeply in the EU’s federalising structures, the Americans are urging us down a course they would never dream of going themselves. That is because they are a nation conceived in liberty. They sometimes seem to forget that we are quite fond of liberty, too.

That last sentence of Mr. Johnson’s is typical British understatement.

At least three of the most important thinkers of the Enlightenment whose ideas inspired the Founders to ground the United States of America in liberty were British: Hobbes, Locke, and Paine. From the Glorious Revolution of 1688 on, Britain, though in form a constitutional monarchy, was a free democracy, with suffrage spreading eventually to all citizens – until it entered the European Economic Union, which evolved into the European Union. That fatal step took democratic self-government away from the United Kingdom.

There is to be a referendum in June on whether or not a majority of Britons want to stay in the undemocratic EU or leave it. It is time for Britain to reclaim self-determination, and Americans, of all the peoples on earth, could surely be expected to applaud the British for doing so.

Posted under Britain, Europe, United States by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, March 15, 2016

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An underpopulated world … and the atavism of the affluent 16

This is from Investor’s Business Daily:

Earth now has 7 billion people. Are we overcrowded? About to outstrip our resources? Should we prepare for the catastrophic population bomb we’ve been warned about? No, no and no.

In 1968, a Stanford biologist named Paul R. Ehrlich wrote “The Population Bomb,” an unnecessary alarmist book that warned of famines in the 1970s and 1980s due to overpopulation.

Ehrlich, still honored and respected for reasons we don’t understand, likened humans to a cancer that must be cut out using “brutal and heartless decisions.”

Ehrlich, of course, advised governments to impose population growth limits. One solution included “the addition of temporary sterilants to water supplies or staple food,” doses of which “would be carefully rationed by the government to produce the desired family size.” …

Despite it being a tome of gloom and barbarism, Ehrlich’s book became a best-seller, which is odd since he did nothing but repeat the false theme that Thomas Malthus and the rest of the doomsayers have been saying for centuries.

It makes no sense to us why so many want to believe predictions of mass human tragedy, especially when the end-of-the-worlders such as Ehrlich have always been wrong and spectacularly so. 

Naturally, the misanthropes, environmentalists and gaia worshippers have latched onto the anti-humanity message to support their Earth-first, people-are-invaders radicalism. …

Humans are in fact a resource, an infinite form of capital. We have had an uncanny way of using our minds to overcome all of the environmental challenges we’ve faced and there’s no reason to think that won’t continue as long as the Ehrlichs don’t succeed in stamping out large portions of the population.

No one honest or decent person can say what the right number of people is for this planet. But overpopulation at 7 billion isn’t a concern. …

Population growth is no plague. It is an opportunity.More people mean more minds able to solve problems and sustain human progress. …

In contrast with the academic and left-wing pessimism about population growth, there exists a cogent argument that our planet is actually underpopulated. We are headed toward a world with a population that’s growing old — and peaking in 25 years.

We will be looking for help that won’t be there as birth rates fall and life spans increase. Under these conditions, who’ll pay taxes to fund the aging population’s pensions? …

How will a shrinking labor force provide the goods and services the older population demands in its extended retirement years?

And how will it pay off the staggering debt that keeps growing in so many nations?  …

While 7 billion might seem like a teeming crowd ready to devour the Earth, it’s not. There’s no population bomb to worry about. Worry instead about how population bombers, so wrong for so long, get into academe and other places of influence — and stay there.

*

Free enterprise, meanwhile, responds to the demands of the “misanthropes, environmentalists and gaia worshippers”, the back-to-nature cultists, the apostles of anorexia, the role-playing children of the prosperous West, catering to their faddish tastes by opening a stone-age restaurant.

This report is from the MailOnline:

At first glance, Berlin’s Sauvage restaurant looks much like many of the German capital’s other trendy eateries.

But take a closer look at the chalkboard out front and you’ll discover they are embarking on a culinary shake-up that takes its inspiration from the Stone Age.

Proudly announcing a “Real Food Revolution – Paleolithic cuisine!“, there is no cheese, bread or sugar available, only fare accessible to our hunter-gatherer ancestors more than two million years ago.

Sauvage claims to be the first restaurant in Europe to solely serve a Caveman diet.

The restaurant menu shows a stereotypical image of modern humanity’s forbearer, the jutting profile of a hirsute caveman.

Inside, diners eat at candle-lit tables [wax candles are too mod-con for cavemen, actually – JB] with a contemporary cave painting hanging in the background …

Sauvage, which is the French word for “savage” or “wild”, is part of the Paleolithic diet movement and claims to be first of its kind in Europe.

Probably only the first of many. And they’re unlikely to be cheap.

That means serving only organic, unprocessed fruit and vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, and herbs.

The truly obsessed build an entire lifestyle around the concept, mimicking caveman-era exercise.

This can involve lifting boulders and running barefoot, with some even emulating the blood loss they believe Stone Age hunters might have experienced in pursuit of their dinner by donating blood every few months.

Sauvage’s Boris Leite-Poço … said: “Many people think the Paleolithic diet is just some hipster trend, but it’s a worldwide phenomenon, with an online community that spans the globe. The trend is probably strongest in the United States …”

We wish the enterprising Boris Leite-Poço success. He should do well until the food fashion changes, and the play-boys and play-girls of the free capitalist world move on to indulge their next modish whim.

Unless socialism-induced, global economic collapse plunges them – and all of us – into the real thing: the life that Thomas Hobbes accurately described as “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short“.

Environmentalism, death cult 7

Environmentalism started as a rational conservationist movement, but evolved into mass lunacy. It’s decline – terminal, we hope – started with the global warming scam.

For many environmentalists the cause of “saving the planet” has become an obsession.

The worst threat to the planet, they believe, is the human race. We are too many. If there were far fewer of us the earth would be less threatened. When people were few in primitive times, living close to nature, struggling for survival, they did less damage. Civilization is the enemy of nature: with its manufactures, its consumption of raw materials, its profligate use of energy, its plunder of earth and ocean, its alteration of the natural order, it is finally recognizable as a bad, destructive development that should never have happened and must be reversed. The population of the world must be greatly reduced. People must go back to living from hand to mouth; stay where they are born; walk where they need to go; eat what grows about them…

Revert, in other words to the life of the savage, which, as Thomas Hobbes pointed out, is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short”. Those who preach such reversion may know that that’s how it was and would be again if they had their way, but the health, safety, longevity, prosperity, happiness, freedom, and inventiveness of human beings is of no concern to them. The only thing that “matters” is the planet.

We’ve picked some samples of their thinking from a collection to be found here.

We have wished, we ecofreaks, for a disaster or for a social change to come and bomb us into Stone Age, where we might live like Indians in our valley, with our localism, our appropriate technology, our gardens, our homemade religion—guilt-free at last! – Stewart Brand (writing in the Whole Earth Catalogue).

Everything we have developed over the last 100 years should be destroyed. —Pentti Linkola [Finnish ecologist]

I suspect that eradicating smallpox was wrong. It played an important part in balancing ecosystems. —John Davis, editor of Earth First! Journal

Human beings, as a species, have no more value than slugs. —John Davis, editor of Earth First! Journal

To feed a starving child is to exacerbate the world population problem. —Lamont Cole [Cornell University Zoologist]

We, in the green movement, aspire to a cultural model in which killing a forest will be considered more contemptible and more criminal than the sale of 6-year-old children to Asian brothels. – Carl Amery [German environmentalist]

The collective needs of non-human species must take precedence over the needs and desires of humans. – Dr. Reed F. Noss, The Wildlands Project

How should the reduction of population be effected?

Some say by killing off many at a time with fatal infections:

If I were reincarnated, I would wish to be returned to Earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels. —Prince Phillip, [patron and past president of ] the World Wildlife Fund

Human happiness, and certainly human fecundity, is not as important as a wild and healthy planet … Some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along. – David Graber, biologist, National Park Service.

Some advocate more dramatic and economical solutions, with recycling in mind:

Cannibalism is a “radical but realistic solution to the problem of overpopulation.” — Lyall Watson, The Financial Times, 15 July 1995

There seems to be broad agreement that births should be restricted by governments.

The right to have children should be a marketable commodity, bought and traded by individuals but absolutely limited by the state.—Kenneth Boulding, originator of the “Spaceship Earth” concept (as quoted by William Tucker in Progress and Privilege, 1982)

They see (rightly in fact) that our civilization is a product of capitalism, and as in their eyes civilization is the supreme disaster, capitalism must be understood as an abomination:

Free Enterprise really means rich people get richer. They have the freedom to exploit and psychologically rape their fellow human beings in the process…. Capitalism is destroying the earth. —Helen Caldicott, Union of Concerned Scientists

We must make this an insecure and inhospitable place for capitalists and their projects…. We must reclaim the roads and plowed land, halt dam construction, tear down existing dams, free shackled rivers and return to wilderness millions of tens of millions of acres of presently settled land. —David Foreman, Earth First!

The only hope for the world is to make sure there is not another United States: We can’t let other countries have the same number of cars, the amount of industrialization, we have in the U.S. We have to stop these Third World countries right where they are. —Michael Oppenheimer, Environmental Defense Fund

Some of the most fanatical, forgetting, or intellectually unable to grasp, that value and meaning reside only in the human mind, and believing that the globe itself is all that “matters” (why? to whom? for what?), have come to the conclusion that the human race must be totally eliminated. No adjustments of life-style or behavior can make it fit for continued existence, because by its very nature the human species is a pollutant and wrecker of what would otherwise be a perfect ecosystem.

They long for the utter extinction of their kind. They have become exterminationists.

We advocate biodiversity for biodiversity’s sake. It may take our extinction to set things straight…. Phasing out the human race will solve every problem on earth, social and environmental.—David Foreman, Founder of Earth First!

It sure would.

They are not lone nuts raving on the fringes of society. Among them are highly respected opinion formers:

The extinction of the human species may not only be inevitable but a good thing….This is not to say that the rise of human civilization is insignificant, but there is no way of showing that it will be much help to the world in the long run. —Economist editorial [no less]

There we have it: if the human species is no help to the world, away with it. As if the concept of a “world” were not dependent on human consciousness!

Environmentalism has become the most nihilistic movement of all time. It is a death cult.

Jillian Becker    October 19, 2010