Hitler’s world may not be so far away
"Misunderstanding the Holocaust has made us too certain we are ethically superior to the Europeans of the 1940s. Faced with a new catastrophe – such as devastating climate change – could we become mass killers again?"Excerpt:
"As Hitler himself knew, there was a political alternative to ecological panic and state destruction: the pursuit of agricultural technology at home rather than Lebensraum
abroad. The scientific approach to dwindling resources, which Hitler insisted was a Jewish lie, in fact held much more promise for Germans (and for everyone else) than an endless race war. Scientists, many of them Germans, were already preparing the way for the improvements in agriculture known as the “green revolution”. Had Hitler not begun a world war that led to his suicide, he would have lived to see the day when Europe’s problem was not food shortage but surpluses. Science provided food so quickly and bountifully that Hitlerian ideas of struggle lost a good deal of their resonance – which has helped us to forget what the second world war was actually about. In 1989, 100 years after Hitler’s birth, world food prices were about half of what they had been in 1939 – despite a huge increase in world population and thus demand.
The compression of politics and science into Lebensraum
empowered a Führer
to define the good of the race, mutate German institutions and oversee the destruction of neighbouring states." http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/16/hitlers-world-may-not-be-so-far-away
The above article is a must read, not just for understanding world history, but for the clear light it throws on science denial and politics today.
Below are my notes on the article as published in the comments section. (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/16/hitlers-world-may-not-be-so-far-away#comment-59634185
There is nothing hyperbolic about this comparison of Nazi science denial and climate science denial, and their tinderbox proximity to each other in crisis and state upheaval. If anything, this superb treatment is too academic and not polemic or evangelical enough.
The only bone I'd pick is with the use of the word 'technology.' This is not the same as science. Technology is science through the lens of the culture or institution implementing it, and as such, can be wrought for good or evil, or neglected altogether. This latter would seem to be the preferred course of the laissez-faire 'free marketeers' so well described in this treatment.
For an ecological case in point, they could have replaced the hundreds of billions of plastic bottles used each year with hemp-based biodegradable full size bottles years ago, and haven't. [For just one site sample, see http://hempwaterbottles.tripod.com/home.html
] It is not the technology, it is the absence of anything or anyone coercing industry to act. Neither investment on the supply side or awareness on the demand side are doing what those who worship 'free markets' believe. Science, through the lens of capitalism, leaves technology orphaned at the door of an indifferent market, not to say a callous and brutal one.
Why should we tout yet another 'techno-fix' that will never be implemented? Why keep the illusion alive that free market capitalism, the cause of all our ecological woes, can preserve itself through technological innovation that will resolve the existential problems it creates? Note the absence of any remonstration against industrialism itself in this otherwise masterful discourse, god forbid that mindless consumption culture and the industry that supports it should have to change their behavior. And note again the careful avoidance of any issue of industry inertia not to do the right thing at all, to do nothing in fact, or to do too little, too late.
I wish I could post an image here showing the oceans already jammed with plastic bottles, plastic of every shape and kind—whole mini-continents of plastic floating offshore in the pacific. See, for just one example of such websites, http://www.plasticoceans.net/
. While biodegrade 'hemp plastics' themselves are not perfect (yet), they are a giant step forward over fossil-fuel plastic, yet nothing is done. The state is absent, co-opted by private capital and the free market myth, and sustainable technology is warehoused for extant profit streams.
Who among you has not been hearing about one ingenious techno-fix or another, month after month, year after year, decade after decade, while NOTHING in the mass marketplace changes ecologically? Ever wonder why? The whole point of articles like this should be to shake you awake from a pacified 'techno-hope' dream to the catastrophic social, political and ecological realities awaiting your children and theirs. Is there some 'fascist conspiracy' that is keeping eco-tech off the market shelves? That filters out truly sustainable science by reducing it to politics? Well, there is, hiding in plain sight.
It is the utterly self-absorbed, profit-god worship inherent to 'free-market' capitalism on the one hand, wedded to the modern state, its subsidiary in corporatism, a/k/a the Nazis state, on the other. Both freedom and justice are the short-term losers, the planet and humanity itself to follow in due course.
"Those who would pit liberty against equality understand neither to human scale. And scale is a matter I understand uniquely well." Sa from Nine Inch Bride
, book one: An Epiphany On Wall Street