Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Cult of Miserablism

"If God didn't exist, it would be necessary to invent him." - Voltaire
Indur Goklany has a new book titled The Improving State of the World: Why We’re Living Longer, Healthier, More Comfortable Lives on a Cleaner Planet. In a story about Goklany's book, Daniel Ben-Ami writes:
...the whole of humanity, including the developing world, has benefited as a result of rising prosperity...There are exceptions to this improving trend but these confirm rather than contradict the close connection between economic growth and quality of life...the combination of economic growth and technological development is not just beneficial to human well-being in a narrow sense. Goklany also argues strongly that the environment becomes better fit for human beings as a result of progress.

A key question is: What is it about contemporary society that pre-disposes so many people to be fearful of risks and blind to the benefits of progress?
My theory is that since modern-day humanism killed off God, liberals have developed their own religion, for as Voltaire said, man requires some sort of faith. To quote from Ann Coulter:
Under the guise of not favoring religion, liberals favor one cosmology over another and demand total indoctrination into theirs. The state religion of liberalism demands obeisance (to the National Organization for Women), tithing (to teachers' unions), reverence (for abortion), and formulaic imprecations ('Bush lied, kids died!'' 'Keep your laws off my body!' 'Arms for hostages!'). Everyone is taxed to support indoctrination into the state religion through public schools where innocent children are taught a specific belief system, rather than, say, math.
Now, global warming is becoming the state religion. Big corporations are the devil. Big government the savior. Al Gore the prophet. Melted ice caps the apocalypse. The minarets of the media broadcast the daily commandments that must be obeyed while local mullahs judge our behavior. Infidels are publicly stoned.

Actually, liberalism has many such sects (anti-sprawl, anti-Wal-Mart, anti-growth, anti-war, etc, etc.) The one unifying credo is that the world is going to hell and its all man's fault. We've taken a bite form the forbidden apple of capitalism and we are doomed as a result.

Why does the cult require such miserablism? Simple. It's the only way the faithful liberals can justify their existence. Their reward? Not eternal life, but earthly power of an unprecedented nature. The gloomerati now control the halls of Congress, the studios of Hollywood, the ivy-covered halls of academe, and the schoolhouses of America.

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