December 31, 2009
The Left's End TimesBy J. Robert Smith
Lefties have long mocked Christians on the fringe for proclaiming the imminent end of the world and the coming of God. Yokels, bumpkins, knuckle-draggers, Bible-thumpers, crazies, and zealots are but a few of the epithets that have been hurled at End-Times Christians.
It's therefore more than a little ironic -- perhaps divinely ironic -- that many of these same oh-so-worldly liberals have come to embrace their own version of the end times. Theirs, though, hasn't a hint of the divine in it; that would smack of the wrong sort of primitivism and violate their steadfast secularism and their claim to upholding down-to-earth science and ideology.
Their chicken-littleism, preaching, and rants about global warming (or climate change, or whatever else they think helps sell the goods) is never portrayed as such -- not, of course, by themselves or by a pliant establishment media. Theirs is "settled science," according to movement gurus, with Al Gore being the most conspicuous.
Mr. Gore is never wont to mention that legions of scientists back up claims that the world's very existence hangs in the balance. The world's end may or may not surpass the year it ends (2012) in the Mayan calendar. Never mind the large and growing body of scientists who are openly dissenting from the global warming creed. Never mind that some of the scientists -- or high priests -- who are quite zealous regarding global warming doomsday scenarios have been caught cooking the science or obscuring findings that run counter to their claims. Isn't that, in a sense, what priests in a bygone era did to discredit Galileo? Or what clerics did when they burned witches at the stake?
As the informed know, science isn't science unless theories -- if they are that -- are subject to rigorous examination and criticism. Theories stand or fall through a relentless process of challenge and elimination. Call the method scientific musical chairs. The last to have a seat wins...for a while, anyway.
The scientific priesthood that surrounds global warming theory seems far more determined to protect the theory from the rigors of scientific method than to open it up to challenge. This bespeaks a couple of important things: 1) that so jealously guarding global warming theory from scrutiny and challenge means that its advocates have little confidence in it; 2) that it reduces the theory to an article of faith, which anyone is entitled to hold, but not to impose on the rest of us.
It must strike those who are stridently secular as peculiar for anyone to suggest that global warming science is nothing more than a faith, and that their deep need for faith -- as there's a deep need for faith in all human beings -- is being satisfied and expressed through pseudo-science.
Global warming adherents are simply replacing God -- Christian or otherwise -- with constructs of their own. It's quite remarkable that socialism or Marxism -- which are generally hostile to religion or faith, which lay claims to objectivity and reality, and which most global warming adherents are in sympathy with -- should fall into the hands of those who, despite their protestations, are decidedly antagonistic to the openness and dissent that in large part makes science science. Granted, socialism and Marxism are frauds (the latter especially), but they maintain some pretense of being reality-tested.
Global warming isn't a religion, not even figuratively. It more resembles a cult. In a couple of generations -- let's hope -- the global warming camp of our time will be seen clearly as having occupied the fringe of science; a heretical (in scientific terms) movement given to wild claims and inspired by a cultish fervency to convert fellow humans to their extreme beliefs -- findings and facts be damned.
It's quite possible that future Americans who watch the videos of a ranting Al Gore will widely consider him an unhinged buffoon. Gore's name may make it into the lexicon, to be used along this line: "Don't go Gore on me" to refer to anyone who's about to go red-faced and scream and froth in favor of or opposed to anything.
The End-Times Left is more than the sum of global warming enthusiasts, boosters, and acolytes. Broadening the secular left's universe are those who are anti-life.
For the secular left, there's no redemption, no God to judge, no life beyond this one. Oh, certainly, many secular leftists pay lip service to a misty utopianism -- you know, the peoples of the world will unite and live as one, human nature will be transformed into the angelic, disease and poverty will be eradicated, and so on and so forth. Again, leftists seek immortality of a sort but absent Providence.
But the commitments and actions of the secular left speak to the underlying emptiness of its faith in utopianism. Utopianism reveals itself day by day, year by year, as a great conceit. As leftism has aged since the 19th century, its repeated collisions with the world's hard realities have gutted its faith in humanity. Human nature isn't so plastic after all. The peoples of the world have many differences, some good and some bad, but often not easily reconciled, if at all. Where there's poverty, there's usually tyranny of the left variety, or of corrupt oligarchs, who often mouth fealty to leftism.
This gulf between an unobtainable ideal and world and human reality has made left-wingers quietly disillusioned and bereft. Their "isms" have failed or are failing. Communism, as practiced behind the Iron and Bamboo Curtains, weren't just failures, but monstrosities. Butchery -- mass genocide -- was a feature of the Soviet Union, Mao's China, and Pol Pot's Cambodia. Fascism -- communism's first cousin -- was equally monstrous. Hitler and Tojo peddled utopianism with nationalistic and ethnic twists.
Modern European socialism is certainly more benign, but it lacks dynamism. It's a smothering wet blanket to initiative, creativity, and reward. It seeks to eliminate risk but really eliminates the daring that advances civilization. It eschews the cultural traditions, religious faith, and character that made Europe great; it does so in a fawning gesture to multiculturalism and aggrandizement of third-world anti-western prejudice.
European socialism is proving to be a slow death to western civilization. This smotheringly wet statist blanket has seriously affected European birthrates. Europeans are going extinct. Europe as we know it will not exist by the end of the century if present trends continue.
The left's failures have bred widespread nihilism among its adherents, and that nihilism has crept into western culture. If the left can't succeed, nothing can succeed. Failure isn't theirs alone, but a global disaster. What's life worth if humans are intrinsically unable to live up to the left's ideals? What does life matter? Hedonism and libertinism -- why not?
This, in part, has given rise to the left's embrace of a range of anti-life propositions, from abortion to stem cell research (on living embryos) to end-of-life counseling to sexual promiscuity that results in disease and, in some instances, death. Some leftists are now calling for a one-child policy to be imposed on all nations. Crazy? Indeed, but today's crazy leftist idea often becomes a serious proposal or policy tomorrow. Check the history for yourself.
The global warming cult, in one sense, is the left's last stand: It's a lashing out at the human race for all its perceived deficiencies, avarice, narrowness, and failings -- or at least, that portion of the human race that resides in the west. The human race stands in the docket accused of degrading the world with the intent of destroying it. But the evidence doesn't bear out the charge. It is instead the accuser who has and continues to destroy human life. It's the left that's intent on making the end times a self-fulfilling prophecy.