Fascism in sheep’s clothing

I’m slowly working my way through Liberal Fascism[*1] by Jonah Goldberg.  It’s a pretty horrifying book, partly because it reinforces just how easily people who start with the best of intentions rapidly run off the track from well-meaning busybodyness and all the way into full-blown we-know-better-than-you-do-how-to-run-your-life arrogance which is a signal trait of fascism.  Time after time the book presents the ugly underside of the left, from the Progressives at the end of the 19th Century all the way to today.  It’s not a very comfortable read but it’s must-reading for anybody who really cares about freedom and liberty.

So, now comes some of the same argument from a completely different source:  a blog for the New Scientist magazine by Fred Pearce[*2] .  He takes on “green fascism.”  Based on the general tone and tenor of many of my recent posts (as well as my current reading matter documented above) it seems spookily timely:

Most of us breed. And those of us who do have one ecological footprint in common: our offspring. Me included. So all greens have to ask: is having babies bad for the planet?

Fair enough. But there is another question that I find increasingly being asked. Should we be trying to stop others having babies, especially people in poor countries with fast-growing populations?

I must say I thought this kind of illiberal thinking had been banished from the environmental movement. But it keeps seeping back. When I give public talks on climate change, I am often asked if all the efforts in the rich world won’t be wiped out by rising populations in the poor world.

(emphasis added)

It’s almost like some people can only conceive of two possible futures:  one where the developed world is pulled down to the economic level of the Third World by environmental restrictions and regulations; or a world where the entire Third World is left to starve and bake in the globally-warmed world while the environmentally-advantaged jet from conference to conference and from benefit concert to benefit concert, while their lessers look up at them with envy and hatred.

I reject both futures.