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Meditations

Calling Out Evil
By Martin LeFevre
Feb 10, 2018, 4:47pm

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Nikola Tesla is rolling over in his grave. Tesla was an even greater inventive genius than Edison. He wanted to provide the world with free energy. A few days ago an odiferous capitalist named Elon Musk launched a "Tesla" on a permanent orbit around the sun.

It's all about selling cars now baby, advertizing Teslas by putting Musk's ego-mobile into solar orbit, heralding a slave new world of space tourism.

The sheer power of the Falcon Heavy through its first stage, and the simultaneous touchdown of its booster rockets in a pinpoint landing, was impressive. But human stupidity can be very impressive. After all, look how a supposedly sapient species is decimating the Earth in the so-called Anthropocene Age!

The Apollo missions to the moon were an expression of an existential competition between superpowers. It's hard to believe now, but people at the time really didn't know whether capitalism or communism would achieve world domination.

Sputnik was the first salvo, and like Pearl Harbor only 16 years earlier, it galvanized Americans. Pearl Harbor awakened a sleeping giant that wasn't revenged until the United States leveled two non-military cities in Japan with two of the first three nuclear bombs.

Sputnik brought an equally fearful though less angry reaction, instantly convincing Americans: 'We're losing the scientific and technological frontier to the commies!'

The moon landings were the beginning of the end for the USSR. Falcon Heavy is the logical end of an obsessively externalizing and materialistic America. Capitalism has nowhere to turn except to sell hellish condos to misanthropists on Mars.

Musk is a showman as much as Trump, but he's selling a snake oil much more pernicious than the competition that drove man to the moon. This is the same guy who says the future of humanity is in merging with our machines to become true cyborgs.

If you need any further evidence that the mainstream media is fully onboard with this madness, and decades behind what is actually happening, consider a recent article in the New York Times: "To Respect the Earth's Limits-Or Push Them?"

The first sentence of that moronically titled review of an equally moronically titled book, "The Wizard and the Prophet, Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow's World," misses the mark by two ages of man.

The review extols how the book attempts "to illuminate contemporary debates about the environment by examining the lives and philosophies of two men [William Vogt and Norman Borlaug], long dead and mostly forgotten thinkers who had competing visions for the Earth's future."

In the first place, it's astoundingly anthropocentric to speak of "the Earth's future" when we're actually confronting Humanity's future in the present. And it's mind-bogglingly obtuse to speak of "tomorrow's world" when the man-made ecological crisis is a real and present danger. Have these people ever heard of the Sixth Extinction?

To pit Vogt, who "helped birth modern environmentalism with its sense that humans should respect natural limits," against the Green Revolution's technology-can-fix-everything poster boy Borlaug, reeks of science at its worst---all reductionism and control. It's pure hubris to believe that humans actually have a choice between conquering nature, and learning to live in harmony with the Earth.

Ridiculing Vogt and the environmentalists for saying "our [consumeristic] prosperity is temporary because it is based on taking more from earth than it can give," ruling voices of darkness like Brett Stephens are cheerleaders for creepy capitalists like Musk.

People on the right like Stephens, and on the left like Nicholas Kristof, sing like mechanical canaries the praises of the status quo: "A multitude of technological advances requires a thriving capitalist economy to fund, develop and commercialize."

Their putrefying optimism is bolstered by the fact that some of the dire predictions by prophets like Vogt have not come true. Taking the same view toward the Earth and its creatures that Donald Trump does, just in a more articulate way, they intone, "Our Promethean species has shown the will and the wizardry to master nature."

As proof that they care about the environment, reactionaries and progressives say truly stupid things like, "even conservatives want their children to breathe." Then they have the gall to speak of "tedious criticisms by the environmental left."

You don't have to impugn someone's motivations to call out the evil they speak and promote. Make no mistake, such rot, coming at a crossroads when technological, capitalistic fixes are so clearly part of the problem, is evil.

Deriding that "a radical transformation of modern society and dramatic changes in personal behavior" are required to avert catastrophe, extreme denialists set up the straw man of erroneous past predictions of apocalypse.

Past warnings of imminent catastrophe were often wrong. But the scary thing now is that the first time in human history supposedly intelligent people are citing false warnings of apocalypse to rationalize avoiding the true crisis of the present.

It takes a stunted heart not to see that without radical change at every level, this dystopian world is the future of humanity.

******

Martin LeFevre is a contemplative, and non-academic religious and political philosopher. He welcomes dialogue. lefevremartin77@gmail.com


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