In Other Anti-Human Science News…

July 29, 2009

…apparently Obama’s new science czar called for “de-development” back in the day:

“De-development means bringing our economic system (especially patterns of consumption) into line with the realities of ecology and the global resource situation.”

“The need for de-development presents our economists with a major challenge. They must design a stable, low-consumption economy in which there is a much more equitable distribution of wealth than in the present one. Redistribution of wealth both within and among nations is absolutely essential, if a decent life is to be provided to every human being.”

“The most critical change of all must be a change in goals; all people, rich and poor alike, must come to recognize that being a citizen of a giant, smoggy, freeway-strangled industrial state is not necessary to being a happy, healthy, fulfilled human being.”

My first thought was to concur with the Other McCain: we should intentionally pollute something for spite.

My second thought? Where have I read something awfully similar to this recently? Oh:

““The world’s wealth is growing in absolute terms, but inequalities are on the increase. In rich countries, new sectors of society are succumbing to poverty and new forms of poverty are emerging. In poorer areas some groups enjoy a sort of “superdevelopment” of a wasteful and consumerist kind which forms an unacceptable contrast with the ongoing situations of dehumanizing deprivation. “The scandal of glaring inequalities” continues.”

“Secondly, the opposite danger exists, that of cultural levelling and indiscriminate acceptance of types of conduct and life-styles. In this way one loses sight of the profound significance of the culture of different nations, of the traditions of the various peoples, by which the individual defines himself in relation to life’s fundamental questions.”

“The dignity of the individual and the demands of justice require, particularly today, that economic choices do not cause disparities in wealth to increase in an excessive and morally unacceptable manner, and that we continue to prioritize the goal of access to steady employment for everyone.”

Is this due to Ratzinger using people that would tend to agree more with Holdren than with Jesus to write the rough draft? Some worse quotes that I considered ancillary are around these, more or less. So, the thought-process of destroying the life of the high to ensure everybody is content being low via reductions in economic growth and smack-talking progress to save the environment is still alive and well.

Which makes that dichotomy between the Social Justice office bits and Ratzinger’s bits of the encyclical so striking. One calling for the destruction and worsening of life does not exactly jive with the other calling for the preserving and betterment of life.


3 Responses to “In Other Anti-Human Science News…”

  1. Tony G Says:

    I think you’re misreading Ratzinger’s writing again. What he’s calling for is for society to quit being so consumerist and the care for those near them. Also that the dignity of the human calls us to help them find jobs. This does not mean, as Thomas Sowell suggests, an unequal distribution of wealth. What it does mean is to not be so materialistic, and help those in need. He’s not calling for the cab driver to be paid as much as the doctor.

    I understand your concern, but it’s really false to even compare Ratzinger with Holdren. First, Catholic theology does have a fruits-based system in place, and this may not jive with your Calvinist leanings. That’s fair. But you cannot say that Ratzinger is anything like a man who believes people don’t have a right to live because they might be missing a finger, or are of mixed ancestry. Holdren’s solution to the economic crisis is not to help those in need, but prevent those in need from ever being born.

  2. liberexmachina Says:

    That post was a shot against the Office of Social Justice (or whatever it is called), not at Ratzinger (well, unless you want to argue that Ratzinger condones the beliefs of that office by not throwing the ashes of their rough draft out the window, like he should have). Why else would I point to:

    “[the] dichotomy between the Social Justice office bits and Ratzinger’s bits of the encyclical [being] so striking. One calling for the destruction and worsening of life does not exactly jive with the other calling for the preserving and betterment of life.”

    I still think the comparison betwixt that Office and Holdren is apt. They are both calling for the destruction of the capitalistic society that has lifted so many people out of poverty. They both feel it is unjust that there is a vast difference in the wealth of the American lower and upper classes. Or the American lower class and the African middle class.

    They are both calling for the coercive force of the government to get what they want. As the clique argument goes: if someone puts a gun to your head to get you to support something, it’s not charity; it’s blackmail. Especially when you view the means as a horrible way to get to the ends or not going to result in it (exemplia gratia, federal money going to Planned Parenthood to pay for family counseling…).

    Both plans are the result of a zero-sum view of the economy. They both cannot see that human ingenuity will create new wealth.

    Both plans are also the result of a zero-sum view of the environment. They both cannot see that human ingenuity will create the ability to take care of the needs of more people using less resources (which also creates new wealth). They honestly believe that the environment is both finite (with it is) and fragile enough that humanity can cause irreversible, permanent damage (with it is not). They view man as a plague on Mother Gaia and not, to quote a Ratzinger bit of the encyclical:

    “God’s creature, whom God chose to endow with an immortal soul and whom he has always loved.”

    The result of both plans (whether intentional or not) would bring the “rich” down to around the level of the American lower class and everyone else down to feudal serfdom levels. That is what happens when you guarantee jobs regardless of ability or effort: people will put in the least amount of effort possible. Decrease the quality of the product, decrease the quality of life for everybody that would use it. Which is the more pleasant errand: Dropping something off at FedEx (where employees are not guaranteed to keep their jobs), or dropping something off at the Post Office (where employees are)? Ensuring equality of outcomes (even guaranteeing someone has a job) hurts everyone.

    The big difference is that Holdren obviously relishes his plan’s ultimate conclusions and the Office might not have thought it through. But, in the end, evil and stupid can both kill.

  3. Tony G Says:

    Like I said, I don’t expect you to agree with it, but at least you acknowledge that the Office isn’t evil.

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