I’m reading Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism; I’m a couple of pages into the first chapter (which deals with Mussolini). Goldberg connects “belief” with fascism in a way I’ve never before considered. The principles and promises of fascism need not be true for the movement to be successful. As long as followers of those principles believe the promises, and as long as the unbelieving leaders are good liars, the leaders of the movement can use that popular belief to “bring the masses under control for the greater good.”
In the book, Goldberg explains that before the fall of Hitler, both Mussolini and fascism were widely applauded by liberals. But just as equally applauded was communism. After Hitler’s atrocities toward Jews were exposed following WWII, fascism became associated with genocide, racism, and a whole host of other nastiness. So the liberal praise and applause that had formerly belonged to fascism migrated to communism.
So. I told you all that to get to this and to explain what started my kettle boiling.
I’ve been thinking about all that liberal applause, praise, and general idolatry that was heaped upon communism. Where did it go after the fall of communism? Liberal idolatry was left without a target. Certainly some have praised Cuba, but not as loudly and with as many numbers as once praised communism. I think that the liberals who once praised communism so greatly found a home within the environmental movement.
Whether they truly believe in the movement, I don’t know. The movement is so strong; I’m sure that many, if not most people involved in it, are true believers.* But according to Mussolini, belief by leaders isn’t important. As long as the people believe, they can be subjugated; they can be controlled; they can be manipulated. Religions have been doing this for some time. The brilliance of Mussolini was in his taking the lessons of control and domination from the religious leaders he despised and applying them to the state (and I mean “brilliance” in that he was smart to figure it out, not that I agree with it).
The environmental movement is the perfect breeding ground for modern day liberal fascism. It contains within its principals the idea that men must be controlled for their own good, indeed, even for the good of the planet. Corporations must be regulated. People can only buy certain items. People must live a certain way. Dissent is not allowed. Merely questioning their promises and principles is not tolerated.** The principals are simple: Government must keep a tight handle on us all or else the planet is destroyed.
The environmental movement sounds an awful lot like religion to me. Even more, it sounds like good old fashioned Italian politics a la Mussolini.
*(Really. There are too many of them that are absolutely nuts to be faking it. And they’re not nuts in a good, fun, healthy way such that you want to hang out with them and watch Survivor. They’re nuts in a bunny boiling way. And that’s not fun to be around at all.)
**(Seriously, have you ever critically questioned a true climate change believer about climate computer modeling? OMG. They take it very personally. Muslims have been known to react less violently when faced with critical questions about Muhammad. Oy. Anyway. I’ll get to climate computer models in another post.)