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Green New Deal VII - Ideas Matter

This post has been precipitated by the following question Christoph Becker asked rhetorically in a comment to Part VI:

"Is education in our situation still of any use or is it just depressing, unwanted or even dangerous?"


Mike Haywood, of course, found this cartoon that illustrates so well the fundamental quandary of the Green New Deal: Economic growth we got accustomed to will stop, and with it the global Ponzi scheme, which is a synonym for the global economy, will crumble.

My short answer to Christoph was that good education would always be necessary for a functioning democracy. We see great examples of this requirement in Denmark, Finland, Holland, Norway, Sweden and Germany, for example. Education is the necessary condition for a thriving democracy, but it alone is woefully insufficient. Democracy must also be antifragile in the sense of Nassim Taleb. That is, any perturbation that attempts to blow up an antifragile democracy, will only make it stronger. Churchill knew it well, as I told you in Part VI.

Good education can only do good when it exists inside of a democracy that is stable to large perturbations. The democracies I listed above still appear to be stable to large perturbations, but the UK and USA certainly no longer are. Countries like Hungary and Poland were never truly democratic to begin with, and receded to the rather ugly stews of technological advancement wrapped into the utterly antidemocratic protofascist governments supported by majorities of the respective populations. England and the United States of America are moving in the direction charted by Hungary and Poland. A remarkable example of a large strong democracy is Germany. She persists despite contamination by the toxic East German ex-communist, ex-Stasi, never-cured-from-their-sickness, third and fourth-generation Nazis. You know, the children and grandchildren of the people whom KGB Colonel Vladimir Putin tried to control and manipulate for several years.

Since you are impatient readers, let me jump to the first punch line (there will more a little later). The next link is a must-read, so please give yourselves at least 20 minutes to glance through it, and still more time to finish reading the unsettling historic meanders of this post. Here are three excerpts to wet your appetite: 

"The abrupt appearance of fascist, ultranationalist, racial separatist, and authoritarian movements throughout the world in the last five years—and their success in coming to power through “democratic” electoral processes—is truly terrifying. At no time since the 1930’s have we seen not only a comfort but a deep lust for authoritarianism in so many people: closed borders, immigration raids, direct and brutal violence against political opposition, flagrant displays of racism and male chauvinism, popular referendums towards national separatism, and an almost jubilant erosion and revocation of civil protections for minorities."  

“[…Contrary to the popular myth that the recent history of civil rights, women's liberation, gay rights, etc., has put us on a path to greater freedom] "...arguably for the last forty [years], the general movement of governments and societies has been one of increased control, not of increased freedom. It has also been a movement towards increased concentration of wealth for the rich and increased debt and poverty for an ever-expanding base of the poor whose material conditions only get worse, never better."

 "The situation we are in can perhaps best be seen with Trump’s proposed border-wall between the United States and Mexico. As awful as Trump is and as racist as the wall will be, it’s too easy to forget the actual logic behind the thing. The point of the wall isn’t to keep people out now, it’s to keep out the millions of people fleeing drought and starvation due to catastrophic climate change later. It is not about a racist present, but about a fascist future."

This great essay by Rhyd Wildermuth is "The Future is Fascist."  It was discovered by my ecologist friend, Bill Rees. 

Here is the deal. The ruling elites in the US have already determined that they want an autocracy (fascism?), and identified an enemy - Hispanics for now - so that you can start hating them early enough.  Together with their battle-hardened Russian friends, current US rulers are preparing ground for the next presidential election in our country. They want Trump to win. Do you?


Do you keep your eyes on the political ball?

My own philosophical quest to define a well-functioning democracy started over 20 years ago, when I read the book by Allen Chase,"The Legacy of Malthus - The Social Costs of the New  Scientific Racism," the University of Illinois Press, 1977.  From this great book I learned a lot about the bête noire offshoots of our democratic societies, mostly British at the beginning, because Great Britain was the most advanced industrial civilization.  These ugly offshoots were, Thomas Robert MalthusArthur de Gobineau,  Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Francis Eugene Galton, and many others.  They started an avalanche of ideas the led in a straight path to fascism, Nazism,  Soviet communism, official state racism, extermination camps, and so on.  I set Carl Marx somewhat to the side, because his ideas were hugely distorted by, for example, that murderous psychopath, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, followed by the biggest monster of all time, Joseph Stalin

Beware, you young readers, because fascism of some kind is about to happen to all of you, if you take your iPhone-bound eyes off of the real political ball. Vote! Even if voting inconveniences you. Believe me, the likely alternatives to your inconvenience are too horrific for most of you to grasp, my fellow Americans and Europeans and Asians and Africans and Australians.


Thomas Malthus was born on Feb. 13, 1766, in Surrey, England, and died on Dec. 23, 1834, in Haileybury, Hertford, England. In 1805, Malthus became the Professor of History and Political Economy at the East India Company College in Hertfordshire. He was the first modern faculty fully supported by a corporate chair, and that's where his loyalty was.

Let me now tell you about one of the most influential economists of all times and a rare scoundrel, Thomas Robert Malthus. The second, revised 1803 edition of his anonymous "Essay on the Principle of Population," published in 1798, had an expanded title too, "Essay on the Principle of Population or, a View of its Past and Present Effects on Human Happiness; with an enquiry into our Prospects respecting the Future Removal or Mitigation of the Evils which it occasions."

This essay contained an analysis of the unequal nature of food supply and population growth. The exponential nature of population growth is today known as the Malthusian growth model: "This natural inequality of the two powers, of population, and of production of the earth, and that great law of our nature which must constantly keep their effects equal, form the great difficultly that appears to me insurmountable in the way to the perfectibility of society.''

Malthus discovered that human population grows exponentially, while the supply of food grows only linearly. I will abstain from commenting how the application of extensive, nay, the overwhelming fossil power and exponential deforestation of the planet delayed the inevitable for two centuries. But, the long-overdue bills for this insane eating binge are coming fastand faster. I will tell you more about what's in store for the anthropocene planet in a separate post on agriculture.

By the logic of his arguments, Professor Thomas Malthus was led to state the following:

"… we should facilitate, instead of foolishly and vainly endeavoring to impede, the operations of nature in producing this mortality (of the working poor, TWP); and if we dread the too frequent visitation of the horrid form of famine, we should sedulously encourage other forms of destruction (that's an invitation to genocide, TWP), which we compel nature to use. Instead of recommending cleanliness to the poor, we should encourage contrary habits. In our towns we should make streets narrower, crowd more people into the houses, and court the return of the plaque. In the country, we should build our villages near stagnant pools, and particularly encourage settlements in all marshy and unwholesome situations. But above all, we should reprobate specific remedies for ravaging diseases; and those benevolent, but mistaken men, who have thought they were doing a service to mankind by projecting schemes for total extirpation of particular disorders. If by these and similar means the annual mortality were increased from 1 in 36 or 40 to 1 in 18 or 20, we might possibly every one of us marry at the age of puberty, and yet few be absolutely starved."
An Essay of the Principle of Population, Book IV, Chapter 5, second edition, 1803.

Many have disagreed with these recommendations, and those who accepted them wholeheartedly included the early American and British scientific racists and their eager Nazi followers.

Let's move on to an even a bigger, albeit not as original scoundrel, an archetypal Nazi, and a traitor to Great Britain, Houston Stewart Chamberlain, with whom I got well-acquainted reading Allen Chase's book. Chamberlain was greatly influenced by an unabashed French racist, Arthur de Gobineau.

Houston Stewart Chamberlain (9 September 1855 – 9 January 1927) was a British-born German philosopher and a British traitor, who wrote venomous pamphlets in political philosophy he supported with pseudo natural science. The deadly venom he spitted for over 30 years infected Kaiser Wilhelm II, Hitler's future generals, marshals and admirals, and Adolf Hitler himself.

It may surprise you that the original idea of extermination of Jews came from this Briton, Houston Stewart Chamberlain, a nephew of a British Navy Admiral. Chamberlain became the son-in-law of the then long-dead super-racist Richard Wagner.

Chamberlain wrote the first global anti-Semitic bible in two volumes, “The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century,” in 1899 (you may not have enough patience to flip through all 934 pages of this confused crap). Later, his close friend, Keiser Wilhelm II, himself half-British, spread that book and many other propaganda writings by Chamberlain among the German Army officer corps during WWI. Chamberlain pushed his "Anglophobic, anti-Semitic, Germanophile ideas to the point of murderous lunacy," wrote a Dutch journalist, Ian Buruma.

"Chamberlain's wartime essays were widely read. The first set of essays sold 160,000 copies within six months of publication while the second set sold 75,000 copies within six weeks of publication. Between 1914 and 1918 about 1 million copies of Chamberlain's essays were sold, making Chamberlain one of Germany's best read writers during the war. In December 1915, it was estimated that between the direct sales of Chamberlain's essays and reprints in newspapers, at least 3 million people had read Chamberlain's war-time [mostly anti-Semitic, virulent genocidal propaganda, TWP] writings." (All excerpts are from Chase's book.)

Chamberlain's pamphlets filled Hitler with genocidal hatred of the Jews and gave him ideas for the "final solution of the Jewish question" (Endlösung der Judenfrage).

The Nazi party chief ideologist, Alfred Rosenberg, brought Hitler, a long-time Wagner admirer, to Bayereuth in 1923, where they met Chamberlain and his lovely wife, and attended a Wagner music festival. Chemberlain became Hitler's mentor, and was able to channel his visceral hatred of Jews to Adolf, 34 years his junior.

Let's go back to one of several connections between the genocidal Nazism and the old school American racism. The 1907 Indiana Eugenics Law comes to mind. Here is an excerpt to encourage you to glance through this mad(e) in America ugliness.

"CHAPTER 215. AN ACT entitled an act to prevent procreation of confirmed criminals, idiots, imbeciles and rapists; providing that superintendents and boards of managers of institutions where such persons are confined shall have the authority and are empowered to appoint a committee of experts, consisting of two (2) physicians, to examine into the mental condition of such inmates.

 [H. 364. Approved March 9, 1907.] Preamble. Whereas, Heredity plays a most important part in the transmission of crime, idiocy and imbecility;
Penal Institutions—Surgical Operations. Therefore, Be it enacted by the general assembly of the State of Indiana, That on and after the passage of this act it shall be compulsory for each and every institution in the state, entrusted with the care of confirmed criminals, idiots, rapists and imbeciles, to appoint upon its staff, in addition to the regular institutional physician, two (2) skilled surgeons of recognized ability, whose duty it shall be, in conjunction with the chief physician of the institution, to examine the mental and physical condition of such inmates as are recommended by the institutional physician and board of managers. If, in the judgment of this committee of experts and the board of managers, procreation is inadvisable and there is no probability of improvement of the mental condition of the inmate, it shall be lawful for the surgeons to perform such operation for the prevention of procreation as shall be decided safest and most effective. ... "

Does this way of thinking remind you of Trump and his backers vs. Hispanics?

The 1935 Nuremberg euthanasia laws Hitler asked for and got, were directly influenced by the 1907 and later Indiana Eugenics Laws. Here is a fascinating guide to eugenics, euthanasia, and genocide. If you think that genocide is something that happened to the Armenians in Turkey, in the Soviet Union, German Nazi camps in eastern Europe, in China, Cambodia, Rwanda, Burundi, Bosnia, Syria, Iraq, Myanmar, etc., think twice. A full-scale genocide was committed on native Americans across the land that today is US.

In conclusion, ideas matter. Sadly, some of the most murderous ideas the mankind has witnessed, came from the best-educated Brits, French and Americans, who lived in or left behind what we consider firm democracies. Because of their well-published work, today's racists and fascists, and Nazis (they are not the same) have a lot of ideological support their forebears, like Hitler, did not have.

It is not a coincidence that Joe Biden just blurted out that the “poor kids can be as smart as the white kids.” Racism and eugenics are as thick as our blood, especially when we are well educated, and feel powerful and special. The same feeling of superiority must have swept England on the eve of Brexit. The English seem to think they are too special to be a part of the EU infested by those Untermenschen from east and south Europe, and Africa. The Welsh, Irish and Scots beg to differ.

To end this post on an upbeat note, Trump's EPA just reauthorized the use of cyanide bombs to kill wild animals. Perhaps this is a yet another mischief to keep us distracted. Now, do you still hope to have a New Deal, Green or not? If yes, please get engaged and vote.

P.S. (8/11/2019) Given a long-lasting, very large perturbation from international forces (the Russian contribution is standing out), Sweden may become destabilized.  The international white supremacists, including President Trump, work overtime to make Sweden a showcase of their global success. Here is a short excerpt:

"And it was right around that time, according to Mr. Castillo and four other witnesses, that Russian television crews showed up, offering to pay immigrant youths “to make trouble” in front of the cameras."

 “They wanted to show that President Trump is right about Sweden,” Mr. Castillo said, “that people coming to Europe are terrorists and want to disturb society.”
Source: The New York Times, "The New Nativists. The Global Machine Behind the Rise of Far-Right Nationalism."

Do you shiver seeing this American-Russian collaboration in destabilizing a strong European democracy?  Since nothing of significance happens in Russia without FSB (The Federal Security Service for the Russian Federation), you are witnessing yet another example of collusion between FSB and Trump's people.

Do you remember H. S. Chamberlain? His best known book, "The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century," became highly influential in the pan-Germanic völkisch movements of the early 20th century and later influenced the antisemitism of Nazi racial policy and genocide. Nativism is the English translation of those movements.  The new nativists are the new Nazis.

It took 30 years of hard frenzied work by Chamberlain and his friends to install Hitler as Chancellor of Germany. By the time Hitler was in control, almost all of his generals, marshals and admirals were certified Nazi fanatics. Is Steve Bannon a new H.S. Chamberlain, a traitor to his country and the idea of democracy?  Is Trump an already formed fascist, or merely a protofascist still under construction? What role exactly do social media play in destabilizing countries?

P.S.P.S. (8/12/2019)  Now it's Norway's turn to be subjected to a large disturbance by a young white supremacist.  Fortunately the boy's attempt to shoot up a mosque was foiled by a 65-old man, but the boy still managed to murder his step sister.

P.S.^3 (8/12/2019) A snow-white John Hopkins faculty got really upset with them colored student demonstrators. With six supporters the professor tried to dislodge the students by force.  "White men", that white professor wrote, "are expected to care about every demographic group except for their own, like a neutered puppy-dog or some Justin Trudeau man-child.” The good professor got a job with FaceBook, but now he will be fired for the second time.

P.S.^4 (8/15/2019) Here is brilliant satire on Trump aiming to deport his wife and her family for the legal infractions they both committed,  #DontDeportMelania; in most countries, this link works.

P.S.^5 (8/22/2019)  More about the British super-racists. This time it is Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip.

"Our dearly beloved Duke of Edinburgh is blissfully old. He has lived a long, rich, and fulfilling life - and may he live the rest of his racist days with the dignity and poise that he has denied others. His xenophobic bigotry is pure, his sense of class entitlement undiluted, unencumbered, uncensored, liberated from any inkling of bourgeois inhibitions. He does not mean to be offensive. He just is. He is a walking embodiment of every layered lava of European racism summed up inside one royal head."  Sort of like the much younger president tRump, "The Chosen One."

Comments

  1. Do ideas matter? Yes and No. It is as with education and knowledge. Whether and if so, how much, ideas, knowledge and education do matter, depends on the available amount of "land" (real land, energy and other resources) in the sense of William Graham Sumner's Essay EARTH HUNGER OR THE PHILOSOPHY OF LAND GRABBING ( http://www.freizahn.de/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Sumner-EH_50-63-Earthhunger.pdf ). Sumner was the first american professor of sociology. Two collections of his brilliant essays can be found at https://www.freizahn.de/2016/05/sumner-earth-hunger-and-other-essays/ and https://www.freizahn.de/2016/05/sumner-war-and-other-essays/
    I came across these essays because William R. Catton mentioned "Earth Hunger" in his book "Overshoot: The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change".

    Is Germany a real democracy? As a German i think no, not really. Most Germans do not unterstand the real reason of democracy: To compensate as good as possible by open debates and freedom of speech for the inevitable errors in perception and reasoning, all humans experience. Democracy and freedom of speech are tool to optimize the quality of government.
    An other problem of Germany and other western countries is, that they cling fast to doctrines in the sense of Sumners "Earth Hunger", while the once reasonable foundation of these doctrines are crumbling with the fading availability (and usability) of cheap fossile fuels.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Christoph,

      From your first email, I knew you were German. My ancestors left Germany in the 18th and 19th century and moved to Poland to open factories and farm in Ukraine. In the process, they were all polonized. My grandfather was an officer in the Polish army and spent 6 years in German concentration camps. His father did not speak Polish. My grand uncle asked for the Polish citizenship in August 1939. He was an ethnic German who fled successfully the Soviet Union after the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact of 1938. Most Americans have no clue about what I just have described.

      As Jack Nicholson once famously said in a waiting room for a psychiatrist: "Well, folks, this is as good as it gets." Germany today is as good as it gets; let me assure you. No one is perfect. Certainly, Poles and Americans are not. Nevertheless, we must defend our democracies against the forces of evil that are now emboldened. Ordinary people are not heroes and do not know how to fight aggression and oppression. When they learn, it is usually too late, and boot is already on their collective face. So hold on there, my friend, and do good work. Solidarity in Poland taught me a lot.

      Delete
  2. There's a more recent version of that Polyp cartoon:

    https://polyp.org.uk/cartoons/environment/polyp_cartoon_Economic_Growth_Ecology.jpg

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, adding a policeman with a baton to that sinking boat is a good touch.

      Delete
    2. Continue:

      This won't happen within 10-20 years, but once the ignorant global elites eventually realized that all the so-called solution given by academic (of course, published in high impact factor journal) are unrealistic sci-fiction the endgame begins.
      Prof. Tad, you and most of baby boomer probably won't see these happen, but your children and grand children definitely will.
      Once the endgame begins, the global population will be drastically reduced to 30 or 40 times less than today (I am sure you know the truth much better than anyone), and will reach the equilibrium between nature production and human consumption without petrochemical.
      After the chaos (hundred years after), I doubt anyone will learn and respect science and logical thinking if human race survived, since it was these empower the human to dig their own grave.
      So let's get back to the survival guide: where is the safest place to hide? (taking food, energy, and clean water shortage, society collapse, nuclear war into consideration?)
      Southern Island in New Zealand could be a good place to hide and I have read some news reports about richest man building doomsday bunkers there. New Zealand is food, clean water, and energy self-sufficient, not overpopulated and won't be the target in the nuclear war. However, New Zealand has no industry, which means there is no parts to maintain infra-structure. It will gradually deindustrilize.
      Canada and Nordic countries also meet the requirement and industrialized; however, Canada and Nordic countries will definitely get involved the war between US-Russia or US-China. Even the nuclear bomb doesn't detonate in there, but the radioactive cloud will reach there.
      I have a friend in Chile and he told me Chile is the most stable country in Latin American and meet most of the requirement above. However, like New Zealand, Chile is not industrialized.

      Delete
    3. Dear Anonymous,

      The first part of you reply did not show up. Can you resend it and post as a reply to this message? You are making several practical points on physical survival.

      The fact is that there is not a place to run to in a global nuclear conflict. Even if you survive the direct hit, your remaining, short and brutal life will not be worth living. The human population needs to come down by a factor of two or 2.5, not 30-40 times, as it would after a nuclear conflict. Thus, let's work hard on avoiding a global nuclear conflict.

      Delete
  3. Hi Prof. Tad,
    99.99% of people won't listen to you and the disaster is inevitable
    I have been (or watch online) your lecture and speech many times. I am pretty sure all the student or audiences don't know what you said, although you try very hard to tell them the truth "indirectly". Except for some ivory tower nerd, other professors might know what you said (not the whole picture); however, they need to protect and justify their existence and career so that they either be ignorant or fiercely be offended. Today, the academic is nothing about telling the truth or give a practical solution, but about making a sci-fiction-like story, advertising high impact factor journal paper, making beautiful slides for seeking funding etc. Doing practical research or identify the key problem to solve are probably the least important things to do in academic. Yet, the global elites like them and believe they can provide the solution!
    Instead of wasting time telling people the truth, the most important thing to do is to make a "survival guide" for the rest 0.01% who listen to you. Even you convince 99.99% of people, you can't save all of them. Why not just keep them asleep in a sinking Titanic?
    Thanks to the green revolution, this planet is over populated by petrochemical fertilizers, and neoclassical school/ideology make it worse (I make money therefore I am)!
    Once all the cheap (economical affordable) resources, e.g. oil, clean water, raw materials etc., are depleted, the global economic and political framework designed by neoclassical school from the early 80s will collapse.
    Countries rely on food import will fall into famine and collapase first, then countries rely on petroleum import will fall later (petrochemical fertilizer shortage). The remain big countries will invade and annex other small countries to secure resources and save themselves. For example, Russia will annex the former CCCP countries and Warsaw blocks, China will annex western pacific and southeastern countries, India and Pakistan will have a regional nuclear war, and the whole middle east (including Israel) will fall into Syria-like chaos (except for oil, middle east is over populated and has little resources). Instead of maintaining the global order, US will be busy for its own survival too. All of the countries will apply wartime economy, and democratic and liberal society will end (before global population reach the equilibrium with the nature).

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Prof. Tad,
    99.99% of people won't listen to you and the disaster is inevitable
    I have been (or watch online) your lecture and speech many times. I am pretty sure all the student or audiences don't know what you said, although you try very hard to tell them the truth "indirectly". Except for some ivory tower nerd, other professors might know what you said (not the whole picture); however, they need to protect and justify their existence and career so that they either be ignorant or fiercely be offended. Today, the academic is nothing about telling the truth or give a practical solution, but about making a sci-fiction-like story, advertising high impact factor journal paper, making beautiful slides for seeking funding etc. Doing practical research or identify the key problem to solve are probably the least important things to do in academic. Yet, the global elites like them and believe they can provide the solution!
    Instead of wasting time telling people the truth, the most important thing to do is to make a "survival guide" for the rest 0.01% who listen to you. Even you convince 99.99% of people, you can't save all of them. Why not just keep them asleep in a sinking Titanic?
    Thanks to the green revolution, this planet is over populated by petrochemical fertilizers, and neoclassical school/ideology make it worse (I make money therefore I am)!
    Once all the cheap (economical affordable) resources, e.g. oil, clean water, raw materials etc., are depleted, the global economic and political framework designed by neoclassical school from the early 80s will collapse.
    Countries rely on food import will fall into famine and collapase first, then countries rely on petroleum import will fall later (petrochemical fertilizer shortage). The remain big countries will invade and annex other small countries to secure resources and save themselves. For example, Russia will annex the former CCCP countries and Warsaw blocks, China will annex western pacific and southeastern countries, India and Pakistan will have a regional nuclear war, and the whole middle east (including Israel) will fall into Syria-like chaos (except for oil, middle east is over populated and has little resources). Instead of maintaining the global order, US will be busy for its own survival too. All of the countries will apply wartime economy, and democratic and liberal society will end (before global population reach the equilibrium with the nature).

    ReplyDelete

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