In today’s Guardian Britain’s first and (thank Gaia!) only Green MP Caroline Lucas tells us that climate change is “one of the greatest threats” to Britain since the Second World War. Her solution is for Britain to “mobilise as a nation in a way we haven’t seen since 1945”.
What this means (as is clear from the new report – entitled The New Home Front – which she launched today at the Imperial War Museum) is government rationing of food and energy, bans on unnecessary journeys, the abolition of property rights, extensive Ministry of Information-style propaganda campaigns and massive wealth re-distribution.
According to Lucas, this will be OK because of the magic it works on social cohesion, just like during the war when we all pulled together.
People put up with so much disruption and deprivation because they knew there was no alternative, and because they believed society would emerge stronger at the end of the war.
Perhaps it’s time Lucas read Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism, which anatomises this mindset just perfectly.
Crisis is routinely identified as a core mechanism of fascism because it short-circuits debate and democratic deliberation. Hence all fascist movements commit considerable energy to prolonging a heightened state of emergency.
Fascism, Goldberg explains, is not a movement of the political right but of the political left. It is a “religion of the State”.
It is totalitarian in that it views everything as political and holds that any action by the state is justified achieve the common good. It takes responsibility for all aspects of life, including our health and well-being, and seeks to impose uniformity of thought and action, whether by force or through regulation and social pressure.
Now compare this with what Lucas says in the Guardian today:
Of course, much of what we cover in the report is really the responsibility of government. But it is as if the country’s politicians are scared of their own people. They know that we must act now on climate change, but are frightened to introduce the necessary measures in case it alienates the voters. I hope this report will increase pressure on politicians and reassure them that, once people in Britain understand what needs to be done and are convinced that everyone will be treated fairly, then they will respond with the same creativity and commitment as in the dark days of the war.
She makes it sound as if the public will be allowed to have some choice in the matter. But will they? Try decoding this weasel sentence from the report, produced by the hardcore environmentalist think tank the Tyndall Centre:
The most effective policies and approaches should be re-interpreted for today and built into our programmes with an enabling regulatory environment, targets, timetables and appropriate resources.
Doesn’t sound like a recipe for free markets and freedom of choice, does it?
In fact one of the few things scarier than Lucas’s smiling, Malvern-Girls’-College-educated brand of bourgeois eco-fascism is the sort of person to whom it appeals.
Here is one of them responding at Komment Macht Frei:
Personally i think a nice big nuclear war would rid us of our problems. Most of the human on this planet have no respect for it so i cant say i would miss those who would perish anyway. Let the cockroaches have a go….
And here’s one that proved too much like strong tofu even for the tastes of Komment Macht Frei’s notoriously eco-biased censors: (H/T Henry Brubaker)
As I sit here in Brisbane the bodies of children are, quite literaly, floating down the river outside my flat.
I’ll assume it is only pure ignorance on your part that prevents you from realising just how offensive your climate change denial has become to the millions of people who are, have been, and will become, victims of it.’
‘And perleeese. Don’t further compound your faux pas by trying to claim that “it’s all due to La Nina”. If you tried that here in Brisbane you would get your face smashed in.’