Thursday, March 15, 2007

Hysteria

The intellectual fallout that we see over the present hysteria over global warming is dangerous. McCarthyism, eco-witch hunts, businesses that are ruined by hasty deliberation on environmental issues, failure to connect the dots on other, perhaps more important things that directly impact human beings in the here and now, etc., come from poorly thought-out premises. The hysteria over nuclear power in the 70s and 80s and the resultant cut backs on the building of nuclear power plants might be tied, in part, to rising carbon dioxide levels and most of this was based on all sorts of wild doomsday scenarios about leaking nuclear waste that were, most likely, largely unfounded.

The failure to understand the positive aspects of population growth, for example, based on the absolutely hysterical writing of Paul Erhlich and others has resulted in support for all sorts of silly policies all over the world regarding the regulation of birthrates and the subsequent devolution of family life and morality in general. Rather than building a world that can take advantage of the productive power of human numbers, we are building zero growth enclaves in Europe and Israel that will ultimately result in the cultural and racial extinction of Caucasians in those areas.

Protectionism is another form of hysteria whereby the causes of prosperity are filtered first through a kind of oligarchic mind set that binds the marketplace to a set of rules that do not benefit the greatest number of individuals possible, and then refers back to those rules for further circular reasoning about policies. I am truly astounded that nobody seems to understand that the reason the internet has produced more wealth than any other economic vehicle in human history is because it has been left largely unregulated. What does that say about the need for economic reform? Probably three quarters of all the trade regulations we have on the books could be thrown out if we would just have free trade and let the market determine where it wants to go.

OReilly’s Law: Whatever impedes the velocity at which business can be conducted must itself produce sufficient benefits to facilitate the speed or safety at which business and markets will naturally move in a free trade environment.

In my opinion, one of the single most important issues the world faces is the moral and intellectual education of the young. The need for education of the intellect is well known and supported by everyone (well almost) but the education of the will or moral education? It is not even on the map. Mention the need for a public morality to any politician and you will receive the hysterical response that the line between Church and state should not be trespassed upon.

All this worry about global warming and little or no concern whatsoever with overheated loins generating moral, social and physical plagues. Hysteria, Michael Crichton attempts to demonstrate in his novel, State of Fear, is a tool that those with an emotional and retrograde spiritual investment in various social and political outcomes use to club intellectual and moral dissent.

2 comments:

M. J Reilly said...

Unfortunately for all of your primitive populist forms of government, including advanced oligarchies as well as the so-called democracies/republics, the free trade environment is never a per se advancement of the bonum communis, and descends all too easily into the free greed environment. Even recent 'enlightened' business practices vis-a-vis the employee are driven purely per aliud, ad fructum. Not one to promote anarchy nor proletarianism as even more ignorant roads to tread, I would rely upon your edict only when the crown possesses the means of production.

And just to correct a point, the will cannot be educated. As a principle of tendency/act, it can only be disciplined by the intellect or habituated practice. Check out your dogma on that.

MJER

Sean said...

The notion of the Holy Roman Emperor is not far from my thoughts when one wants to hold up a model for statesmanship. Education of the will is a way of describing the issue in populist terms. The will is to be trained, steered and habituated.

I oversimplify the economic issues to focus on some necessary changes. Human appetites always have to be taken into consideration for any enterprise to succeed.