At Liberty's Torch, Weetabix asked me a question whose answer is too long to put into a small comment.
Pascal - I must admit up front that a surfeit of current projects has undermined my normal willingness to research - have you any links to further explain the "Malthusian Sustainability nuts?"
The answer is even too long for a single post, but I need try at least this once.
For my recent thoughts, the Sustainability label at my blog will provide you many examples of news that spurred me to note the connection.
Our host, Fran, beginning in 2004, ran an exhaustive series called "The Death Cults." The participation of mainstream elected leaders were much less brazen then. But they did permit non-profit status to be bestowed upon a load of Malthusian extremists. The same IRS that blocked TEA Party groups from (c4) status lets those guys thrive under (c3).
I've a not too complex theory that has withstood my tests over time. It is time to let others take some shots at it. If it only needs some adaptations and it can be refined, maybe there is hope that can be snatched from the knowledge. Know thy enemy and know thyself, and you will win every war said Sun Tsu.
Thomas Malthus' theories arose about 50 years after Pascal's death. The Age of Reason was beginning to undermine the Ancien Régimes. Many rulers saw and welcomed the benefits of liberty. But two kinds, both powerful, hated it. Those who hate the common man, and those who love concentrated power. Sometimes they're the same, and sometimes not. Malthus provided a "moral" cloak to hide both the explicit and implicit hatred of humanity -- even from themselves. By being able to convince even themselves that their vision is righteous, they can remain calm and seemingly benign as they convince large numbers
"Leave it to us boys. We know what needs be done. Really."
(The ancient Sophists understood power and how to get and keep it. One of their chief ways of keeping it was through fostering ideas that attract casuists -- men who sought the moral path based on studying cases of conduct -- and let them do the heavy lifting, often with little expense or risk to the Sophists' masters, spurred by a few demagogues, and fueled considerably by the zeal of the useful idiots. Eric Hoffer, by popularizing the more easily understood term of "true believer," did us a disservice by disconnecting the Greek designation for them, and thus their historically implied connection to the power seeking schemers. The humanity haters may believe they now have sufficient armies of those who are enthralled by the indirect means to achieving a new (old) religion (see below). It is one that will provide them moral authority to achieve their goals. The real powers only have to support the activists when things get tough. Mostly they have historically chosen to be silent partners. Today -- not so silent.)
A tactical note. What I'd like to make popular is the term Susnuts (or something like it), for the worshipers of Sustainability. (It really does fit the open ones. What I'd like is for the term to affect those who remain hidden. Some, who retain some of their humanity, will feel tainted by it). They believe their goal is righteous: to save us all from the one thing (they believe) that the planet has too much of -- human beings. They know that targets will not appreciate it, so they can't easily announce it. But they could not help leaving mountains of evidence as they progress.
It has all the earmarks of a religion. Ancient pagan ones. The ones that flung live babies into holocausts and virgins to the wolves. Its "priests" are instigating wars with the competition; that is, with all people who still adhere to the Judeo-Christian ethos whether or not they are religious.
For instance, you are seeing today with the witch hunts to rid the military of people who dare stand by their religion. Any religion that has in its books the promise "God will provide" -- the contrary idea to their conviction that we will run out of sustainable items -- is anathema to them. The phrase linked to Hitler "the Jewish disease" expresses the major cultural foundational obstacle to the earliest Susnuts (eugenics embracing Progressives such as H.G. Wells and Margaret Sanger) long before Hitler was born.
One more thing. The old labels do not apply here. Even those who call themselves religious or conservative will say "but there are too many people." They might be reachable. If even 50% reading this blog don't say that, then that would be wonderful news. But, if Armageddon really is imminent, forget about large numbers. Then, as Revelation predicts, the majority are already deluded. What can I say? The ones who seek to save their souls will be reached.
I say that as an agnostic. I literally do not know. But the evidence is hard to deny. Believing the world is overpopulated has to be deluded, because it leads inevitably to world-wide wipe-outs. This goes back to "Progressive" thought of the late 1800s. Those who most want children cannot be tolerated by the Progs lest they over-populate with all "the wrong" types. HG Wells' eugenic euphemism of "people of the abyss" is what they do not want as survivors.
If we are stoked into a civil war, it will be between peoples who have been set upon each other by these schemers seeking to obliterate the current population of the planet. I used the term 1/13 as a guess for their target number, because it fits their vision so well. A normal deck of 52 playing cards has only 4 aces; 4/52 = 1/13. Only Aces will be permitted to survive. Ace rocket scientists down to ace housekeepers and gardeners I guess. Don't ask me how they plan on living well if they do manage somehow to survive their man-made cataclysm. They're the whiz-kids. Ask them.
I look at this pessimistic thought process of the Susnuts, their craven misanthropic backers and their foolish followers and I see a clear demarcation between them and people who I'd say are filled with common human decency. That is a charitable streak which shows itself most nobly in times of crisis often in stark contrast to the less than noble behaviors that occur then too. In short its captured by the phrase "we are all in the same boat; let's make the best of it."
The Susnut creed, with its religious like belief in the inevitability of Malthusian catastrophes, and which has created a moral imperative derived from the specious Precautionary Principle, has to hide its intentions from its victims.
Are you with them or are you against them?
- The boat we call Earth has limited resources, so we enlightened geniuses must decide who stays and what useless souls must be thrown overboard.
- We love humanity so much we must cull it properly in order to save it.
- Our morality (live and let die) trumps yours (live and let live) so much that we can't even speak of it openly because the majority are benighted souls who simply do not understand us.
And if you agree with them, then "are you useful?"
For how long?
Well? Are you a target of the Susnuts?