Tam was playing MSNBC on the Magic Picture Box (no, the old-timey kind, that doesn't have comments or scrollback) this morning. I went out to the living room to hear how "99 percent..." of the People Of The Earth (or was it The Nations?) thunk the bad ol' U.S. (and the rest of the industrialized West) needed to throttle back right now, so's Gaea didn't drown us.
You know what? Being in the majority does not always mean you are right.
Tellya what; for the purpose of argument, I'll assume that we're really facing anthropogenic global warming, rather than normal, solar-driven long-term variation. Say the problem is totally us, from pole to pole. Considering the way the human race keeps on breeding, we're not gonna fix it by stopping the music and everybody sitting down. Technological problems require technological solutions -- and they are not going to come from the hard-working schmoe living "sustainably" in the Third World, because he is running just as fast as he can simply to stay in the same place. The opinion of 99% is wrong if it thinks otherwise.
We grew up on a world where "democracy" is a good thing. It's had great press. Even communist countries put "democracy" in their names. Yayy, voting! We've forgotten that the democracy of Athens used to be taught as a warning example -- because everything was up for a vote. Individual life, property, freedom: your fellow-citizens could vote them away.
This is the problem with the "We are the 99%" line from the Occupiers, too. Say you are -- does that make it okay to not have to pay back your student loan? Did the debt magically vanish just because there were more of you?
For that matter, just because the majority of the population holds some opinions to be repugnant, that doesn't mean they should be free to use the full force of law to suppress them. If you find someone's ideas appalling or terrible, you're free to shun them; but unless they're initiating force or committing fraud, they're free to express their ideas.
That's why we have a Constitutionally-defined and in theory limited government; its why we have the Bill of Rights and it's why pious appeal to one's opinion being shared by the majority is really no more than a simple threat of force. Might does not make right -- and shame on you if you managed to grow up here without grasping that simple fact.
1. Though Europe usually gets less criticism 'cos they feel really, really bad about having done better for themselves. Ooo, guilt-trip points!
2. Or not sustainable -- Third-World Guy, even if he's doing all right by local standards, has to take a lot more interest in where his next meal is coming from than you do. This rarely leaves a lot of time for consideration of Green-ness in the obtaining thereof.
4 months ago