The Left Avows Its Ungodly Love of Filth

Since the beginning of time, the sentient, civilized person has strived to distance himself from filth, and for unarguably rational reasons.  Filth is parasites, dysentery, disease, decay, putrescence – all of which shorten lifespan and infuse what lifespan there is with misery.

With this in mind, the latest leftist initiative to turn us against our nature occurred in California last month, when the democratically elected hegemony banned (after first demonizing) all single-use plastic bags.  That an overwhelming majority of Californians oppose the ban is beside the point.  Such is the arrogance of tyrants, petite and grand. 

The leftist intellect portrays waste where a marvel of engineering and utility exists.  There's the obvious: the plastic bag enables us to segregate our groceries.  Meat remains separated from fruit and vegetables.  We've all encountered the leaky package of raw chicken.  Because the chicken is segregated, the risk of salmonella and coliform is minimized.  

Best of all, the chicken-contaminated plastic bag can simply be tossed away.  Compare this to the revolting reusable grocery bag – canvas or polypropylene – which over time festers a cauldron of mold and bacteria and, thus, disease.  Why?  Because no one washes the reusable bag after it has lugged home the leaky chicken.  Next time, the reusable grocery bag will just as likely haul back the naked apple and broccoli floret as it will another leaky chicken.

The term “one use” is also a misnomer and another example of manipulating language for devious purpose.  When the plastic bag isn't rightly thrown away because it's been contaminated, it's frequently called into duty that further distances us from filth.  Consider the lining of bathroom trash cans.  When a cold overruns the household and the bathroom trash can fills with mucus-sodden tissue, the trash can itself remains disease-free.  No one need contact the tissues or clean the trash can – simply replace the old plastic bag with a new one. 

The left counters, “Yes, but banning plastic bags will significantly reduce energy use and waste.”  For argument's sake, let's say it's true (it isn't).  It's still a non sequitur.

Banning anything will reduce energy use and another person's definition of “waste.”  If we really want to reduce energy use and waste, let's ban refrigerators larger than 10 cubic feet, homes larger than 1,000 square feet, automobiles with more than 150 horsepower engines.  Better yet, let's ban refrigerators, traditional stick homes, and automobiles.  Bury your food, live in a mud hut, ride the horse to work.  There's no limit to the ways energy use and waste can be reduced.  And if you want to go all in, if you are truly serious about the cause, simply die.  There's nothing more outside dying you can do to reduce energy use and waste.

That energy – hydrocarbons specifically – used to produce a plastic bag is meaningless anyway, as is the number of times the plastic bag is used.  Plastic bags are value-added goods, which is evidenced by the profitable manufacture and sale of plastic bags.  Thus, the energy used is value-adding, not wasteful.  Whether the bag is used once or a hundred times is no one's business; only the buyer knows what constitutes utility, and he telegraphs his utility by shopping in stores that provide plastic bags. 

Not that it matters; the underlying motive isn't about saving energy or reducing waste.  Entrepreneurs operating in free markets will always provide the most agreeable, most efficient solutions where energy, waste, or anything else is concerned.  Tyranny is the real motive here, and the left wraps tyranny and delivers it in the passive-aggressive multi-use canvas bag of the coward – the concentrated political minority interest.  Because too few Californians were stupid enough to fall for sophistry, sophistry was legislated from above.  

Of course, an intellectual movement favoring filth is nothing new.  Many towns and municipalities have long required their citizens to separate glass, plastic, and paper and set them aside in clearly marked bins.  The next step is to mandate separating organic and inorganic; then you can get even closer to filth.  But it's easier to escape a municipality than a state.  That's what makes statewide bans all the more damnable. 

These incremental steps that lead to more interaction with filth irritate at first, and frustrate later.  Your clothes are dingier, and your automatic dishwasher grows more putrid due to lack of detergent phosphates.  Your body is more difficult to clean and to invigorate because of the trickle that flows out of the shower head.  Low-flow toilets present opportunities to get more intimate with the most revolting of filth.  One flush or two?  This means having to watch.  And when the curious child or the optimistic adult finds himself in purgatory – where he or she isn't quite sure what's going on –  one more flush will do the trick.  It doesn't, and thus we become even nauseatingly intimate with the filth we most wish to avoid. 

In Europe, the leftists want to ensure no one can escape filth at the most quotidian level.  Bureaucrats in Brussels are so imbued with leisure that they have time to ponder the lowly vacuum cleaner, so they legislate vacuum-cleaner power; thus the European can be assured of never escaping dust, animal dander, dust mites, detritus, dirt, or whatever filth is brought or blown into the house.   

And while the left poses, postures, and pontificates on the environment-friendliness of its tyranny, it concurrently fantasizes of a world untouched by the human hand.  It sighs doe-eyed at the thought of a world bereft of CO2 emissions, hydrocarbon-fueled machines (which, when benefits are weighted against costs, clean much more than defile), capitalism, anything with a human touch, and even anything with humans.  Stasis it what the left desires.  Let's all return to 20,000 BC, when everything was putatively perfect.  Better to return to a time when a thorn prick could turn septic and then into a long agonizing death than to despoil an imperceptible amount of acreage. 

Such is the trajectory when a country is populated by people with too much time, too little common sense, and too many governmental avenues to impose their will.

Stephen Mauzy is a financial writer and principal of S.P. Mauzy & Associates.  He can be reached at

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