89. Deliverance (III)
Updated: Dec 18, 2020
“The right should talk about the environment. Nobody does more for conservation than the right. The right is all about nature.” I recently watched an interview from 1970 with the novelist Kingsley Amis; he said this, or something very like it. It is likely people have been saying this for hundreds—probably thousands—of years.
It will never work, since the left is talking about environmentalism and the right is talking about conservation. These are not the same thing. Conservation requires responsible action—the essence of the right—and so, whether on an Oxfordshire farm or a Kenyan game reserve, it requires discrimination and, every season, a cull. It is impossible to formulate general abstract rules for an Oxfordshire farm and a Kenyan game reserve, but we can arrive at general principles: this is conservation. Environmentalists—adhering to an ideology, a secular religion—say the same thing in Kenya or England. An English environmental NGO and a Kenyan NGO will talk about the same issues: carbon footprints, climate change, and, behind it all, the universal panacea of government action and regulation. Life is easy when you belong to a Manichaean cult that divides every problem in life into two camps: “bad people” and “good people”—and then suggests the same solution every time.
Conservation requires the ability to prune and cull. If a physical system is losing energy, then the entropic part must be located and removed—if you get a flat tyre, it must be removed if the car is to function; if a man’s leg goes gangrenous, it will sap the energy of the body until the body dies—a surgeon must remove it; and, finally, if a man murders his fellow man, he should be put to death—otherwise society itself will die. So the role of the executioner—or, if you are lucky, the pruner—is required in any form of conservation.
Will the left accept this? No. It does not make good rhetoric to tell people the truth that sometimes daddy has to cut the beautiful rosebush in the garden, or else it will die. Nobody wants to hear this. The left kills people, but, for them, this is an aberration. When the “bad people” have all been killed there will—supposedly—never be a need to kill again; thus, perversely, the left exterminates those people who are willing to make proportionate killings while they end up—as in Mao’s China or, especially, Pol Pot’s Cambodia—exterminating entire societies. The difference between Nazi concentration camps and Soviet concentration camps was that the former represented a selected cull, whereas the latter would sweep up everyone and anyone in a chaotic fashion. The Nazis generally killed quickly; the Soviets wasted your energy digging a canal to nowhere and then let you starve when the bread ration failed to arrive. The executioner is always there: the question is only whether he will be used to strengthen or destroy an organism.
The right cannot win by rhetoric; the left is lies and so its rhetoric will always be better. Environmentalism is a lie: the people who advocate it spend no time interacting with nature responsibly; if they did, they would know how difficult it is to manage a garden—let alone “global climate change”. The right takes its lead from the Robinson Jeffers line: “Reason will not decide at last; the sword will decide.” It uses minimal moralised rhetoric, instead leaning on the symbolic stories about reality embodied in myth, religion, and art—all shorthands, united by tradition, that embody intergenerational knowledge about life. If we are responsible—prepared to cull and prune—we can avoid the worst massacres and collapses. It is the left, lying, who claim that the executioner is not part of the world and so, by the paradoxical reversal of opposites embodied by the Tao, become the greatest and most perverse executioners; they become indiscriminate death, because it is only in death that we will ever find the equality they seek.