Op-ed: ‘Stupidity of capitalism’ causes global warming
A New York Times opinion piece argues that climate change “catastrophe” is the result not of careless individuals, “immoral companies,” or “foundering” reforms, but rather of “the rampant stupidity of capitalism” – “the overwhelming unintelligence involved in keeping the engines of production roaring” in the face of looming climate change (emphasis original).
The writer, Benjamin Y. Fong, who holds a Columbia University Ph.D. in religion, argues that the idea of solving the climate change “disaster” through more intelligent voters or better technical solutions is a fallacy:
Put differently, the hope that we can empower intelligent people to positions where they can design the perfect set of regulations, or that we can rely on scientists to take the carbon out of the atmosphere and engineer sources of renewable energy, serves to cover over the simple fact that the work of saving the planet is political, not technical.
In other words, says Mr. Fong, “[t]he intelligence of the brightest people around is no match for the rampant stupidity of capitalism.”
For Mr. Fong’s “anti-capitalist struggle” to address climate change, picking out “bumbling morons to lament or fresh-faced geniuses to praise is a missed opportunity” for “structural change.”
Mr. Fong is less clear about his alternative to capitalism. Moving through the piece, Mr. Fong refers to “foundering social Democratic reforms,” a “democratic socialist society,” and “socialists” who have been “defensive for centuries,” followed by a link to Communism for Kids, translated from the original German and published by MIT Press.
The “Overview” of the Communism book begins with:
Once upon a time, people yearned to be free of the misery of capitalism. How could their dreams come true? This little book proposes a different kind of communism, one that is true to its ideals and free from authoritarianism.
And as the “workers” take control:
At last, the people take everything into their own hands and decide for themselves how to continue.
Perhaps volume two will discuss Stalin’s Russia, Mao’s China, Castro’s Cuba, and the latest worker’s paradise in Venezuela.
Such thoughts do not trouble Mr. Fong, who concludes that “the burden of justification” is not on the those promoting socialist alternatives, but rather on those defending capitalism.
As Steven Hayward writes at powerlineblog.com, “as long as leading, celebrated climatistas talk about it as a reason to smash capitalism … there is every reason for conservatives to reject the whole racket as a hustle for political power.”
This is exactly what happened in the last election, when a president was elected to prime the “engines of production” to produce jobs and economic growth – and, by the way, exit the Paris climate agreement. The anti-capitalist struggle will have to wait.