Last modified: 7:58 AM Saturday, 14 January 2017

The fools of April

Do Republicans love pollution, or does it just look that way?

Here’s a bit of legislation that came up before the Republican-controlled Michigan legislature on exactly the right day. What could be more appropriate on 1 April 2011 than a bill to forbid wind-power development on “environmental” grounds? Meanwhile, the existing coal-powered plant, despite — or perhaps because of? — the heavy pollution it generates, remains free of controversy.

Offshore wind turbines

Offshore wind turbines in Michigan: environmentally objectionable, according to some GOP legislators...
[ Image Source ]

How’s that again?

Coal-fueled power plant, Michigan

A coal-fueled power plant in Michigan: not environmentally objectionable...
[ Image Source ]

Why do I sense that this comes as no more of a surprise to you than it did to me?

The fact is, and this has long needed to be said, that Republican “leaders” don’t just tolerate pollution. It is, by all appearances, a positive moral value among them. They like pollution because to them it represents industry hard at work making the most productive class of Americans richer, and perhaps also because they can impose it on other, poorer people and thereby further reinforce their self-approval. The reasoning goes, I think, something like this: “I can impose suffering on them and they can’t impose suffering on me. See? That just goes to prove my superiority.” (Not, of course, that any of them will admit it. Dissimulation seems to be another moral value among those who subscribe to the PT Barnum School of Ethics: Thinking sociopathically, they believe that if they can deceive you, the blame falls on you for allowing yourself to be deceived. The ineluctable inference: All crime is the victim’s fault.)

Of course, the damage inflicted on the environment affects everyone in varying degrees, and even the children of those responsible will without doubt suffer from it. But when one is dealing with psychopaths, one must remember this: These are people who don’t even care about their own children. How, then, can we expect them to care about ours? If one assumes that life is a game in which whoever dies with the most wealth wins, which is precisely the premise on which laissez-faire conservatism is founded (and the only one according to which it makes any semblance of sense), then there can be no room in a serious “player’s” thoughts for any factor that would tend to mitigate the attack on the world needed to wrest such wealth from it.

Since our country (like virtually every country) is a pathocracy — a society controlled by functional or clinical psychopaths — we will continue to march in blinkered lockstep toward the abyss of self-annihilation unless or until we can overthrow and institutionalize our self-styled betters. The sooner we realize that our “leaders” are not rational, the better off we will be.

The race is on. When do we start running?

Originally published as a review of a news report on Michigan legislation seeking to ban development of wind power.

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