EXPLAINING PROGRESSIVISM

By DAREN JONESCU

Since the Islamist terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13, leading progressives, inspired by the coincidence of the attacks occurring in the host city for an upcoming climate change conference, have tried to exploit the anguish caused by terrorism to promote their global governance agenda. In a classic instance of never letting a crisis go to waste, these amoral snake oil salesmen, from leading Democrats to Prince Charles, have insisted we acknowledge a link between global warming and terrorist violence.

At first, we laughed at this nonsense, regarding it as the height of desperate rhetoric. Gradually, however, even as we laughed, the seemingly impossible was happening: a ridiculous lie was evolving into a provable fact – far more provable than global warming itself has turned out to be.

It is time at last for the denialists to face facts and overcome their knee-jerk cynicism. There really is a link between global warming and terrorism.

A little context-setting is in order. Progressivism, all its theoretical euphemisms aside, is and always has been modern tyranny’s ideological mask. In other words, it is merely rationalized power-lust. Power-lust in any form recognizes no moral rule higher than the satisfaction of its aim, no ultimate truth beyond the need to subjugate others. Men whose minds are oriented in this way are sociopaths. This makes progressivism the most advanced and organized form of sociopathy – sociopathy as politics.

Malicious lies and violent means, therefore, are to be expected from true progressives – the sociopaths of modern politics – not as anomalies or aberrations, but as essential instruments in realizing their main themes, to be used whenever local conditions present the opportunity. The chief practical difference between despotic progressivism and democratic progressivism lies in the level of sophistication required in the lying, and the degree of subtlety with which coercion may be applied or utilized. In every case, progressivism in practice means the exploitation of real or perceived crises to promote increased government authority and decreased individual liberty, to be achieved by means of lies that, if repeated often enough, should supplant reality in the collective mind. This is why progressive philosophy in all its academic forms insists on both the malleability of truth and the collectivity of thought – i.e., the rejection of reason and common sense. These are the only conditions in which their political strategy can fully succeed.

Progressivism’s perennial effort to defy reason and common sense has borne fruit at last. Finally, against all odds and logic, two plus two equals five, and two wrongs make a right. Specifically, the globalists’ pathological lying about climate change (“The end is nigh!”) and Islamic fundamentalism (“Nothing to do with Islam!”) has achieved that progressive alchemy in which falsehood itself is transformed into truth – not the ersatz truth of propaganda, but real, incontrovertible truth: yes, global warming really is related to terrorism.

In a recent interview, U.N. secretary-general Ban Ki-moon said the following (watch it here):

When we do not address climate change properly, it may also affect many people who are frustrated and who are impacted, then there is some possibility that these young people who are jobless and who are frustrated, may join these foreign terrorist fighters. Therefore, we have to address all of this comprehensively.

What does Ban mean by “all of this” in the final sentence? Seen in context, he clearly means the nexus between the two threats, climate change and terrorism. When the sympathetic interviewer asks Ban whether he is actually linking climate change with terrorism, he deftly changes the subject with a non sequitur:

It’s not directly linking, but there is a concern that – whether this may overshadow a climate change agreement. I think we have to move on with the climate change agreement.

Having accomplished his aim of suggesting a direct link between climate change and increased terrorism, Ban, when asked to explain this link, in effect pulls a “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

Since he is not forthcoming, let us try to identify his link that is not a link a little more clearly.

According to the leader of the United Nations, joblessness and frustration may provoke the young to join terrorist groups. My history may be a little shaky here, so please help me out: during the dust bowl period of the Great Depression, did millions of jobless, frustrated “young people” go on beheading sprees, seeking to wipe out Christian and Jewish infidels in the name of Allah? After World War II, when Japan was a defeated, broken nation, having just suffered the devastation of two atomic bombs, did this national “frustration” express itself in a mass movement bent on destroying historical monuments and establishing sharia law to promote Islamic purity?

Have you ever been jobless and/or frustrated in your life? I have. And yet I can honestly say that not once during my periods of unemployment or frustration did I ever consider joining the “foreign terrorist fighters.” How about you? No? And why not? For the simplest reason of all to those of us still functioning on common sense: you didn’t believe in the global caliphate movement.

Ban Ki-moon’s hypothesis of a nexus between climate change and terrorism has a missing premise, obscured by the standard progressive refusal to identify Islamic terrorism with Islam – namely, that warming temperatures will actually change people’s beliefs about radical Islam, making them more likely to join the militant Islamist movement. Who designed the climate model to predict that?

According to the leading scientific advocates of “climate change” theory, the global mean temperature has risen less than one degree Celsius since 1880. Let’s imagine that the pace of warming is accelerating and that the mean temperature shall rise by a whole degree or two over, say, the next thirty or forty years. At what point will this warming begin to melt free will and rational thought? What exactly is the boiling point of moral principle, where conscience and basic civility are suddenly transformed into the steam of radical Islam? Until Ban, John Kerry, and other progressive crisis-exploiters can provide their data on this point, their attempts to link Islamic terrorism, a moral decision, with climate, a material fact, will remain nonsense.

So does that mean there is no link between global warming and terrorism? Sadly, no. Look at Ban’s words of warning again: “there is some possibility that these young people who are jobless and who are frustrated, may join these foreign terrorist fighters.” (“Foreign terrorist fighters” is the standard U.N. euphemism for Islamic radicals.) He is talking about young people being radicalized by the weather. He is warning, in other words, that the world’s nonviolent youth, frustrated by the prospective economic effects of climate change, might be turned by this frustration into terrorists.

In short, he is exploiting legitimate fears of the spread of Islamic terrorism to push the civilized world into accepting supra-national governance according to socialist (anti-property, redistributive) regulations enforceable beyond the jurisdictions of all elected governments, voting populations, and national constitutions.

For years, the warmists have attempted to promote their cause with dire warnings about impending cataclysmic results of climate change, warnings that in many cases have already passed their “best before” dates or have been retracted very quietly, so as to leave their original fear-mongering effects intact. The Himalayas are about to melt, the South Pole is about to drown the southern hemisphere, the world’s coastal cities are about to vanish, Santa Claus is stranded on an ice floe, etc.

But this newest dire warning is different. Telling us that Mother Nature is about to wipe us off the planet for our transgressions when there is no evidence to support such a claim is paternalistic propaganda, reducing all pretenses of scientific objectivity to sand. Suggesting, on the other hand, that climate change is about to unleash new beheadings, bombings, and shouts of “Allahu Akbar” at your family Christmas party is something else entirely. Put bluntly, it is an attempt to frighten people into acquiescence with promises of deadly violence.

Such a line of rhetoric is worse than mere propaganda. First of all, it promotes the fallacious “root causes” theory of terrorism, the same theory that claims that if only the West had not exploited Arab oil, if only Israel had not occupied this or that “sacred Islamic site,” there would be no Muslim extremism. It fosters the absurd notion that terrorism, in the sense currently threatening the civilized world, is just a gut reaction to personal hardship – like “going postal” – rather than a politico-religious strategy undertaken in the name of Islamic utopianism.

Even more disturbingly, however, Ban’s rhetoric indicates the depths to which “democratic” progressives are now prepared to sink to satisfy their power-lust. In his oh-so-moderate, passive-aggressive voice, the U.N. secretary-general is indirectly threatening an increase in terrorist violence if we do not allow our paternalistic betters to use their global administrative apparatus to control our economies, regulate our workplaces and homes, limit our transportation choices, circumscribe our use and disposal of our possessions, and even define the ultimate value of our lives (our “carbon footprint”). He has, in effect, co-opted the terrorists’ cause, seeking to manipulate the world’s population into submitting to a tyrannical bureaucracy by suggesting that if we fail to submit, today’s children will finally be driven by climate change to “join these foreign terrorist fighters” and kill us.

Genuine progressives – the leaders, theorists, and chief spokesmen of this pseudo-philosophy – are political sociopaths. Big lies; systematic propaganda; and, where opportune, the exploitation of violence and fear to further their ends are the basic tools of their trade. The attempt to use the hellish reality of the growing global caliphate movement to scare populations into accepting regulatory tyranny is worse than irrational, more than despicable. It is an attempt to piggyback the global warming agenda on the global caliphate agenda, literally exploiting real terror to further the ends of internationalist progressivism.

Hence, the imaginary link between global warming and terrorism is now real – a marriage of convenience between two hateful agendas. Only a sociopathic mind could dream up a scheme as revolting as this arms-length terrorism, let alone put it into practice as a coordinated, unified strategy, as the progressives have done over the past couple of weeks. Islamism thrives on the progressives’ refusal to acknowledge its religious basis. And now progressives are openly demanding that we submit to global authoritarian powers under the threat of increased terrorist violence.

The world faces two dire threats at this moment, both of which must be defeated if civilization is to continue: global Islamism and global progressivism. They are linked, and the nexus is becoming increasingly direct every day. Both threats must be fought with every weapon available. The first step is to be honest about the quasi-religious zealotry and life-destroying aims that motivate both factions, and to stop imagining we can subdue either of them with empathy, compromise, and root cause psychologizing.

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