Politics and Delusions Roundup

Here’s a few things I’d wanted to blog going back a bit.

  • Billy calls it “psychosis.” I call it “automatic lying.” Take your pick with regard to Senator Harry Reid, D-NV. See if you can manage to get through all four minutes without your head exploding. 
  • Via my cousin Steve, who defends large companies against bullshit tort claims in large and complex business litigation, this excellent WSJ Op-Ed by Bret Stephens: Global Warming as Mass Neurosis.

A second explanation is theological. Surely it is no accident that the principal catastrophe predicted by global warming alarmists is diluvian in nature. Surely it is not a coincidence that modern-day environmentalists are awfully biblical in their critique of the depredations of modern society: “And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.” That’s Genesis, but it sounds like Jim Hansen.

And surely it is in keeping with this essentially religious outlook that the “solutions” chiefly offered to global warming involve radical changes to personal behavior, all of them with an ascetic, virtue-centric bent: drive less, buy less, walk lightly upon the earth and so on. A light carbon footprint has become the 21st-century equivalent of sexual abstinence.

Finally, there is a psychological explanation. Listen carefully to the global warming alarmists, and the main theme that emerges is that what the developed world needs is a large dose of penance. What’s remarkable is the extent to which penance sells among a mostly secular audience. What is there to be penitent about?

As it turns out, a lot, at least if you’re inclined to believe that our successes are undeserved and that prosperity is morally suspect. In this view, global warming is nature’s great comeuppance, affirming as nothing else our guilty conscience for our worldly success.

In “The Varieties of Religious Experience,” William James distinguishes between healthy, life-affirming religion and the monastically inclined, “morbid-minded” religion of the sick-souled. Global warming is sick-souled religion.

  • Then there’s the irreplaceable George Carlin, RIP. There were a number of post-worthy video clips I saw in the days following his death, but this one — “The Public Sucks. Fuck Hope” — is easily the best, just like Jay says. Here’s what I love about this clip: condescending contempt. He’s dead on, and it’s exactly how I view the average dumbshit American voter (99%+).

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