Blissfully unaware of how hot the irony burned, Robert Kennedy Jr. yesterday took to a public protest to rail avidly in favor of censorship. The United States government, Kennedy lamented in an interview with Climate Depot, is not permitted by law to “punish” or to imprison those who disagree with him — and this, he proposed, is a problem of existential proportions. Were he to have his way, Kennedy admitted, he would cheer the prosecution of a host of “treasonous” figures — among them a number of unspecified “politicians”; those bêtes noires of the global Left, Kansas’s own Koch Brothers; “the oil industry and the Republican echo chamber”; and, for good measure, anybody else whose estimation of the threat posed by fossil fuels has provoked them into “selling out the public trust.” Those who contend that global warming “does not exist,” Kennedy claimed, are guilty of “a criminal offense — and they ought to be serving time for it.”Actually Gawker is on a much higher moral, legal and intellectual plane, just trying to make a buck off the foibles of humanity and the political class. Kennedy squarely placed himself on the same moral etc. plane with Marx and Lenin, and I doubt that deep in the middle of the night even Bobby Jr. would bother to deny it. Lenin, at least, got what he wanted.
Thus did a scion of one of America’s great political dynasties put himself on the same lowly moral, legal, and intellectual plane as the titillation website Gawker.
Of course, Bobby is not the first leftist to call for what is effectively the selective repeal of the First Amendment (at least, it might be selective initially, but camel's nose and all). A quick google shows that professor Lawrence Torcello, University of Buffalo, and Adam Weinstein (Mother Jones and Gawker) have previously called for jailing global warming skeptics for having the temerity to disagree with their personal convictions. But Kennedy may be the closest to the actual power center of the United States as a scion of a politically powerful family, (duh) and former flunky at the New York City District Attorney's Office, and a senior lawyer for the Natural Resources Defense Council, the NGO which is the left's shadow version of the EPA.
What is it about climate whatever you want to call it that drives lefties to become wanna be tyrants. I ran into this essay on Neil deGrass Tyson, and his propensity to fabricate quotes into the mouths of his opponents, and found this wonderful explanatory passage:
Given the size, breadth, and intensity of the global warming vogue and the pro-science pose of its supporters, it must answer some profound need, some crisis of the soul.
It is needed because the left is fundamentally reactionary.
The modern left formed as a reaction against capitalism and the Industrial Revolution. I think this reaction was driven by a deeply ingrained attitude toward morality. Practically every moral philosophy has warned against the evils of greed and self-interest—and here was an economic system that encourages and rewards those motives. You could look at this and decide that it’s necessary to re-evaluate the moral issues and come to terms with self-interest in some way. Most factions of the modern right have done so, whether they accept self-interest as a necessary evil or to make a virtue of selfishness.
But if you’re not willing to make such an accommodation, you’re going to look around, see all this heedless profit-seeking, and conclude that it must be evil in some way and it must be leading to evil consequences. So you will lend an eager ear to anyone who claims to validate your moral suspicions about capitalism.
In the first go-around, these anti-capitalists tried to capture the science of economics, forming theories about how capitalism is a system of exploitation that will impoverish the common man, while scientific central planning would provide abundance for all.
Let’s just say that this didn’t work out. When it turned out that central planning impoverishes the common man and capitalism provides abundance for all, they had to switch to a fallback position. Which is: to heck with prosperity—too many material goods are the problem. Our greed for more is destroying the planet by causing environmental catastrophes. This shift became official some time in the 1960s with the rise of the New Left.
Some of the catastrophes didn’t pan out (overpopulation, global cooling) and others proved too small to be anything more than a speed bump in the path of capitalism (banning CFCs and DDT). But then along comes global warming—and it’s just too good not to be true. It tells us that capitalism is not just exploiting the workers or causing inequality or deadening our souls with crass materialism. It’s destroying the very planet itself.
The global warming theory tells us that the free market is a doomsday machine bringing about the end of the world. It turns capitalism into a metaphysical evil.
And there is no halfway solution to the problem, no practical fix or technological patch. Carbon dioxide emissions are an unavoidable byproduct of the burning of fossil fuels, and the entire system of industrial capitalism runs on fossil fuels. So the only way to avoid catastrophe is to shut it all down.
You can see how this brings order and balance back to the left’s universe. Their visceral reaction against capitalism is validated on the deepest, most profound level.
You can see how this would be almost like a drug or like an article of religious faith. How can you allow people to question and undermine the very thing that gives meaning to your life? Hence the visceral reaction to global warming skeptics.