Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Global Warming: Another Statist Failure

Projection is a common defense mechanism. You take the flaws of your own position and pin them on your opponent, while you take the strengths of your opposition and attribute them to yourself. It completely diverts attention, and demands of your opponent to justify something which he may not be able to answer. The most blatant example of this is the Christian insistence that morality cannot exist without religion.

Many belief systems use projection extensively, and statism is no exception. The most blatant method they use is to take a current problem, and pin it on us. Of course, any current problem must be taking place in countries with a state- since right now that's all we have- so to put the blame on our ideology is quite hypocrite! But that doesn't stop them, of course.

A great example of this is global warming. Given its popularity, global warming, in my opinion, deserves to be known as a strong indictment of statism. Why? Because the state is utterly unable to moderate pollution externalities. When industrialization kicks off, a Market Anarchy justice system, or any system with real justice for that matter, would acknowledge that industries are causing damages to their surroundings, and balance this with our right to industry and production, instituting a restitution system which would have led to stronger incentives for clean production and clean cities.

But what we really got was a state which, depending on industry barons to fill its coffers, could not impose justice. The state let pollution become a matter of fact, a right, turns a blind eye to it. And now we have global warming.

"But wait!", pipes up the statist. "Without the state, corporations would be free to pollute all they want!". Projection indeed. Of course, the possibility of having real justice, not the costumed parody of justice we get with the state, does not come to his mind. Why should it? As far as statists are concerned, their theatrics is as good as it gets.

Of course, it also does not occur to them that the state is the biggest polluter of all. In the United States, the biggest polluter is the US Army. In Canada, the Nanticoke power plant, an Ontario state-ran power plant, is the biggest single polluter. Whatever happened to the state being our hero in a shiny clean green armour?

The only thing that is reducing pollution is not the state, it's progress. Air pollution has been going down in the most developed countries simply because they can afford more efficient processes. Pollution, after all, is waste, and waste is unprofitable. Once again, the profit motive does what the state can't do.

Crime is another argument the statists like to use. Without a state, who would stop crime? Well, that kind of premise is ridiculous- the state cannot "stop crime". Police can find criminals after the fact, but not prevent them from striking. A big state can make crime more enticing however, through gun control, forced poverty and other goodies. And isn't it funny that this is exactly what we observe? Funny, that. Of course I'm not saying that the state is the sole factor in crime, far from it (population density is pretty important, for one), but it is certainly one factor.

Another example, which was brought up in my debate with Nikhil Rao, is the idea that people don't want to be free because they keep voting their rights away. As I pointed out in reply, that is an absurd argument because it assumes that humans under a state behave the same as humans who are not under a state:

Of course people cheer the rise of the welfare state. They assume that the state is a permanent fixture, and thus seek to utilize as much of its power as possible to perpetuate their values against those of other people. Social warfare, after all, is the state of any society in a democratic system. And people mistakenly assume that the welfare state is good for their own security. Given this, their behaviour is not surprising at all.

So the next time a statist brings up something from the present as an argument against your position, remember that we live in statist societies. It is THEIR problem!


Brad Spangler said...

In my opinion, there's also a compelling point to be made that imperialist US foreign policy in the Middle East has been acting as a state subsidy for the petroleum cartelists for decades. It keeps the cost of their product artificially low, diverting R&D investment away from alternative energy sources that might otherwise prove profitable if the price of oil was allowed to rise naturally in response to security costs.

Francois Tremblay said...

I didn't know you read my blog. Thanks for the good comment!

Brad Spangler said...

Relevant background on the above point can be found in this Wikipedia article on the Carter Doctrine, although (as the article makes clear) it all really goes back at least to WWII with regard to petroleum.

That said, I'm disappointed over the use of minstrel imagery in the most recent post. Hopefully, there's some irony there that I'm just not getting right now -- but I'm not even sure that would be relevant to the nature of my concern.

Otherwise, thanks for some great writing. Please keep it up.

Francois Tremblay said...

Actually, those are called "zwarte piet," and it's the image for the newest Mondo Diablo show posted by Alleee. She was very irritated that you even made that insinuation, and says that you should look it up, posthaste.

Anonymous said...


zwarte Piet

Not all blackfaces look alike!

I have to mention that you probably don't know much about minstrels, either. That can be forgiven, since very few people do. Yes, we are all supposed to believe that minstrel shows were born of racism. But then we're also supposed to believe that Jesus was born on Christmas, and that Christmas started 2000 years ago. Being curious people, we like to look things up, and find out that our previous assumptions were wrong.

Brad Spangler said...

I found this:

I stand corrected and apologize, but in my defense I'll add that I hope it's understood that the whole thing seems easily given to misunderstanding in the context of American culture, even though it's a European thing.

James Pyrich said...

It is refreshing to discover the existence of a blog which strikes at the root more often than not.